The Mid-year Freakout Book Tag was originally created by Chami. I didn’t get tagged by anyone, but I thought this would be a cool and fun way to track all the books and characters that have made an impression on me.
1. THE BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2022?
I am fortunate to have read so many good books this year and am so happy to present my new favorites. If I had to pick the top 6, I have to say it’s The Hunger Of The Gods by John Gwynne, Malice and Valour also by John Gwynne, Ghostwater and Underlord by Will Wight and Dead Beat by Jim Butcher. These were a blast and they have given so much to enjoy from constant edge-of-the seat action to wonderful side characters who are some of my top picks for entertaining characters. I mean I could talk about my love for these books all day long.
2. YOUR FAVORITE SEQUEL OF 2022
This is an easy one and I can confidently say The Hunger Of The Gods by John Gwynne is my favorite sequel so far. It was so much more intense than the first book and we have so many new things happening and two new perspectives added to it that made the whole book excellent in it’s execution. That ending was crazy and I can’t wait to see what Gwynne has in store for us. I have a review up for this both on my website and Youtube. You can check it out here –
3. A NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ BUT WANT TO.
As per usual, I hate choosing one and this was hard because I have got so many amazing books that I am so excited to read but I also haven’t been able to because of other book commitments. Gunmetal Gods by Zamil Akhtar is one I have heard quite a few people talk about and they all have positive things to say about the series. It’s the first book in the Gunmetal Gods series and is a high/epic science fiction fantasy. I really hope I can get to it soon.
4. MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR.
This is an easy one because I am currently in the middle of the Cradle series and so when I saw the update and announcement on Will Wight‘s Instagram page, I was super excited to see Dreadgod the final and 11th book coming out on July 5th. I have finished 6 books so far and with each book the series has gotten better and better with the stakes being increased at each level. The character progression is also wonderful and we get to see some cool action. The unique magic system and the ever-expanding world with so much scope that is yet to be explored are also some of the notable highlights of this series.
5. YOUR BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT.
I have 2 books that didn’t hit the mark for me. One I completed and I didn’t like its as much as I had hoped. This was the first short story in The Witcher series, The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski. I guess, I had high hopes for this one and so when the book didn’t hit the mark for me I was disappointed. I am glad so many others enjoyed it so much more than me. I have a review for this one. If you are interested you can click the links below.
The second one that didn’t make it would be the first book Age Of Ash by Daniel Abraham, in a new series called Kithamar. I had high hopes for this one as well. Daniel‘s Long Price Quartet series is one of his well known and well loved series and so I was very excited when I saw Age Of Ash on Netgalley. I thought it would be amazing and would have great characters and the character work was one that was well praised in his other work. Unfortunately I did not like Age of Ash as much as I expected. I still have to finish it and I am at 80% of the book. I didn’t feel like continuing but I am also curious to see how things will come together in the end. What a conundrum to have!!?♀️ I loved the setting, the concepts, the magic was also quite unique and interesting. My issue was mostly with how I didn’t feel connected to the characters and one of the main POVs we get isn’t as compelling as I wanted it to be. I am hoping my opinion will change once I finished the book which has happened in a certain book where the ending and the last couple of chapters really turned around the story by bringing out one of the most amazing twists that I did not ever see coming. So fingers crossed things will be better!??
6. BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR.
My biggest surprise of the year would be The Prince of Thorns, the first book in The Broken Empire Trilogy. I have heard mixed things about this book with people either loving it so much to people hating the book. So when I picked it up, I went in with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised by not just how much I enjoyed the book but also a few reveals that completely shocked me. ?The book is not for the faint of heart with so much death, violence and a few other terrible things happening. Do check TWs before reading this book and I have to say this book is not for everyone. What I loved most is the setting and the character work of our main character Jorg. The dark and sarcastic humor and depth of the main character, the side characters and their entertaining interactions all made for an interesting read. I am currently reading The King Of Thorns and am enjoying it so far. I am already worried for a few characters, so that’s fun (not fun at all!).
7. FAVE NEW TO YOU OR DEBUT AUTHOR.
My favorite new to me authors would be John Gwynne, and Will Wight. I feel like their books really clicked with me on all aspects of storytelling and I love that I have some odd my favorite human and non-human characters because of them. I am emotionally invested in all of their fates and that’s a plus in my book. I think these authors would be auto-buy authors for me from now on.
Talking about debut authors, I haven’t completed the two debut authors’ works I am currently reading. One is Bryan Asher‘s The Assassin Of Malcoze and the second one is A King’s Radiance by L R Schulz.
I like the setting of An Assassin of Malcoze with a floating island concept for the world. This is a standalone and another book is also set in the same universe, The Treasure of Lor-Rev. There are 3 POVs that I have come across and I am enjoying it so far. The book is easy to read and we are dropped right into the world and Asher takes us on these character’s journeys right away by building the world and explaining the magic as it is being revealed, kind of how Jim Butcher does in his The Dresden Files series.
Schulz’s book opens up with a dramatic prologue and leaves the readers hooked wanting to learn more. I love that the writing is simple and straightforward-forward with interesting characters and a unique world. We have 3 POVs and I am liking all of them so far. I like the world-building and the setting and history we get to learn through the different POVs. The magic system is also unique. One of the main characters reminded me of Simon from The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams. One scene in the prologue where he love for climbing towers and getting into trouble is something I am seeing as a common pattern in a lot of our young protagonists. The setting and parts of the world and a few elements reminded me of The Prince Of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. There is one big reveal in The Prince Of Thorns and a few events in this book reminded me of those and I wonder if it was modeled after a certain concept.
The third debut book is An Ocean Of Others by Joshua Scott Edwards. I will read this one by September. The specialty of these three books are the stunning covers. ???I think Indie Authors have upped the game when it comes to cover arts and the bar is set quite high. Stunning covers aside the books’s synopsis really sealed the deal for me and I am really excited to see what stories our debut authors have to tell. I am hoping these authors’ works will be possible favorites for me in 2022. ??
8. YOUR NEW FICTIONAL CRUSH.
I don’t have a fictional crush right now. I have a few characters that I admire after reading all these fantasy books. Orka is a badass female characters and she is from The Hunger Of The Gods. I haven’t seen any artworks for her yet. I also love Lindon and Yerin from the Cradle series. Love their dedication and tenacity. Absolutely loved Butters from The Dresden Files. He was sweet, vulnerable, strong when it counted and something special.?’POLKA WILL NEVER DIE !’ (IYKYK)
Disclaimer : These images do not belong to me.
I mean I could go on and on? … and… we haven’t even scratched the surface with the non-human side characters.
9. NEW FAVORITE CHARACTER
Ok. Hold up! ✋Where do I even begin with this. I know the question is for one character, but if you know me, then you already know I hate choosing and I so I have compiled a list of few of my favorites. Other than the previously mentioned characters, I enjoyed Orthos, Little Blue, Eithan, Mercy, and Dross so much from Will Wight’s Cradle Series. Orthos is a giant talking turtle who is a descendant of the black dragons. He was so much fun and his characterizations and interactions were really entertaining. Dross is an AI equivalent and is one of the most talkative characters in the series. He is amazing with his commentary and observations. You can never know what Eithan is upto and how he is going to do things. Bob and Mouse from The Dresden Files. Bob is our spirit being who reminded me so much of Dross in terms of personality and quirkiness. The humor and fun all of these characters bring to the stories are just amazing. Mouse is a special breed of dog and he is awesome. I am forgetting so many more from The Dresden files because the character list in this series is never-ending one. Brighty from The Raven And The Dove Series by Kaitlyn Davis. Not that others were not my favorite, but Brighty sure was a bright spot ?in the series. Binabik, Qantaqa, and Duke Isgrimnur from The Dragonbone Chair. Vesli, Spert, Breca, Varg, Svik, Rokia and Einar from The Bloodsworn Saga. Corban, Cywen, Storm, Shield, Brina, Heb, Craf, Fech, Dath, Farrell, Verdis, Alcyon, Camlin, Maquin, and so many more from The Faithful And The Fallen Series. I am sure I have missed out on many more. Again with this series the character list is quite extensive, annnnd… I love it!!
10. A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY
I haven’t bawled my eyes out or anything, but I got a bit emotional with both The Bloodsworn Saga and The Faithful And The Fallen series (Malice and Valour). The death count is high in both of these series, so it was obvious we were going to lose some of our lovable characters.
11. A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY
I have had fun with The Dresden Files, as it’s high in action, but if you ask me for a happy-happy book, I don’t have one. I have read only fantasy this year and so while I was happy with the endings and sequels and so on, I can’t say they have made me happy or giddy. There were characters who brought happy in the book, but that’s about it.
12. MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR
I have The Burning God, the third book from The Poppy War series by RF Kuang that I bought and it has a stunning cover. I also received two books from our book fairy at Goodreads. It was the paperbacks of Master Of Sorrows and Master Artificer from The Silent Gods series by Justin T Call. How beautiful are these books????
13. WHAT ARE SOME BOOKS YOU NEED TO READ BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR?
I have got a long list of books to finish. My TBR has a lot of ARCs from Netgalley. Because so many of the books I received were very close to the publication date when I requested them(I didn’t think I would be getting them tbh)?,so I kind of left it to read later. There was no way I would have been able to finish some of these big fantasy books for the publication dates. So I have got these and a few other new ones as well. I am hoping to make progress with all of the series I mentioned above that are not yet completed and all the ARCs I have gotten.
14. FAVORITE MOVIE/SERIES ADAPTATION OF THE YEAR?
I am not much of a TV person and so I haven’t watched any shows or movies this year. I was excited for the Season 2 of The Bridgerton series. I have read all of the books long back and enjoyed them. They are super fun and quick and definitely worth bingeing if you enjoy Historical Romances.
So how have your reading year been? What were some of your highlights of this year? Let me know in the comment section.