The Year So Far…

I have seen some other blogs that have done a sort of reading wrap-up for the first half of 2012, and that got me thinking about my own year so far and what I have read/liked/discovered.  I have to say, this has been a pretty great year for me book wise, with some old favorite authors continuing to make me love them and some new ones really getting me hooked.  So, out of the just over 80 stories I have read, here is my year so far…

Top 5 Books…

These are in absolutely no particular order, and all of them are old favorites.  Part of the enjoyment comes from the anticipation of finally getting a new book from a favorite series, part comes from getting a chance to go back into those worlds, part comes from just great writing.

  • Kresley Cole – Lothaire
  • Nalini Singh – Tangle of Need
  • Jeaniene Frost – Once Burned
  • Gena Showalter – The Darkest Seduction
  • Ilona Andrews – Gunmetal Magic

Top 5 Series…

There were/are quite a few series I have been meaning to get to, or made a New Year’s resolution that I would finally read.  These are the series I started reading and couldn’t stop until I had finished them all.

  • Patrica Briggs – Mercy Thompson
  • Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games
  • Jeaniene Frost – Night Huntress
  • Cassandra Clare – Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices
  • Jennifer L. Armentrout – Covenant/Lux

Top 3 New Authors…

Or, should I say “new or new to me”, since I am still playing catch-up to where I should be in terms of must have authors.  I didn’t actually dive into too many new ones this year – they are all waving at me from TBR hell.

  • Jennifer L. Armentrout – Covenant/Lux
  • Coreene Callahan – Dragonfury
  • Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games

Most Read Author…

This is the author that I read the most of in the first half of the year – and was never disappointed in at all.  It is great when you can say that.

  • Patricia Briggs – 7 Books

Biggest Surprise Return…

I hate it when a former favorite author starts to put out sub-par work.  Loyalty and involvement in that world demands that I continue reading, but annoyance and sometimes boredom demands that I cut my losses and go on to something else.  But there was one author that after a few really dull books, came back with a good one that grabbed my attention all over again.

  • Christine Warren – On the Prowl

Biggest Game Changer…

Ever been faithfully reading along with a series, enjoying it but pretty sure you know what is going to happen?  And then – holy sh…crap.  They didn’t just do that, did they?  There was one series for me that sort of broke the mold of how an existing series can take a total direction change, and still stay true to the previous story-arcs.  And I have to say, I am excited to see where this is going.

  • Lara Adrian – Darker After Midnight

Best Book With An Ugly Cover…

Good Lord, I do mean ugly.  Seeing on a shelf I would’ve just pointed, laughed, and walked away.  But a recommendation from Nalini Singh goes a long, long way, and I ended up really liking this one.

  • Wen Spencer – Tinker

Top 3 Little Series That Could…

We all have those books that we really, really like, but it seems like no one else ever mentions.  I have a few, actually, that I would love to see get more mainstream recognition.

  • Shannon K. Butcher – Sentinel Wars Series
  • Jennifer Ashley – Shifters Unbound
  • Alexandra Ivy – Guardians of Eternity

Most Popular Series I Am Not Quite Feeling…

Well, not feeling yet, anyways.  I am only a couple of books in, but I am not getting the instant “wow” factor that I was expecting.  Good, but not blowing me away, I guess.  Hopefully things pick up soon.

  • Chloe Neill – Chicagoland Vampires

Looking Ahead…

There is still 5 months left in 2012, and still things I need/want/plan to read.  Things I have already and must get off of the pile, or things that I am counting down to the release date for.

Top 5 Must-Be-Read Series…

Some of these are on this list because there are movie adaptations in the works, and I want to be caught up before they are released.  Or spin-off books are coming.  Or they are just considered staples and I haven’t gotten there.  Yet.

  • Karen Marie Moning – Fever Series
  • Ilona Andrews – The Edge Series
  • Kami Garcia – Caster Chronicles
  • Sherrilyn Kenyon – Dark-Hunter (I know, I know…so far behind)
  • J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter Series (but…but…I have the movies.  In Blu-ray. Ha.)

Top 5 Anticipated Books…

These are my “threaten and glare at the mailman until he brings the damned book” books.  I do give him a bonus at Christmas, but I still don’t think he likes me.

  • Nalini Singh – Archangel’s Storm
  • Kresley Cole – Poison Princess
  • Larissa Ione – Rogue Rider
  • Gena Showalter – Last Kiss Goodnight
  • Christine Feehan – Dark Storm (I need something to erase Dark Predator from my mind.  Blech.)

Top 5 Characters Who Need Their Stories Told…

God, there are some stories that are just begging to be written, some characters that now deserve their turn to get a HEA.  These would be mine.

  • Derek Gaunt – Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
  • Thronos/Lanthe – Immortals After Dark by Kresley Cole
  • Dane Vanderale – The Breeds by Lora Leigh
  • Illium – Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh
  • Dallas Gutierrez – Alien Huntress series by Gena Showalter

Do any of these match up with your favorites so far this year?  What did you love, obsess over, or find on the meh side in 2012?  What is still to come that has you excited?


15 thoughts on “The Year So Far…

  1. Chinyere Ezinwanyi says:

    Lethal Rider was definitely a Top 3 book for 2012. I can’t believe you didn’t even give it an honorable mention.
    Also Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane. Once I started that series, i read all 4 of them straight through. Sacrificial Magic was a top five mention as well.
    Sorry but Vlad’s book was not a top 5 book for this year. Maybe top ten…maybe. Once Burned wasn’t as entertaining as i expected

    I do agree with you that Rogue Rider is one that I am impatiently waiting on.

    • kaleigha says:

      Trust me, the top five was the hardest one to put together. Thanatos is my favorite Rider, and Lethal Rider was definitely top 10, along with Lover Reborn, a couple of Patricia Briggs’ books, and a couple of others. I can’t wait to see how Reseph gets redeemed, though – that should be interesting. I haven’t hit the Stacia Kane books yet, but everyone I have heard so far has really loved them – another one to add to the pile, I guess.

      I enjoyed Once Burned a lot, but it was different than I expected. It is almost like Twice Tempted is less book two and more a continuation of book one. You know the Happily Ever After is coming – but I am not sure how it is getting there. I love that.

  2. Chinyere Ezinwanyi says:

    I don’t know how Ione is going to do Reseph because i know we are supposed to blame Pestilence…but come on! She is going to have to work some serious magic because Pestilence was sooo evil. Loss of memory isn’t going to cut it for me.
    I read Stacia Kane’s Unholy Ghost because I need a “U” for my A-Z Book Title challenge on goodreads and it was .99cents. It was weird to have such a flawed heroine. It wasn’t until almost the end of book 2 that I started getting into the series. But I was like that with Kate Daniels. I was actually lost in the first 1 1/2 books. The end of Book 2 is when I felt like I finally came up from under water.

    Once Burned is a victim of too much publicity and hype for me. My expectations were too high. Plus, i was expecting the witty guy, the way he was with Cat. I should have waited a little bit. Maybe I will read it again in a couple of months and see if my feelings change.

    BTW, I love your blog!

    • kaleigha says:

      That is what has me wondering, too…you know Reseph isn’t technically Pestilence, but still…dude was eeeevil. Like end of the world evil. It is so great when you get a random book, and boom…a favorite. I was the same with Kate Daniels – the first book I was so into trying to keep all of the magical details and Order this and Mercenary that straight that I got lost in the book, but part way through book two things clicked and I was hooked. I forgot to add that I had a hard time not adding Showalter’s The Darkest Seduction, too, since it was a forever wait for Paris’ story. The anticipation alone made it a must read.

      I do re-reads for the character guides (when I can get off my butt long enough to do one. Heh), and I find that sometimes I really do like the book more the second time around. Funny, but it is like little things that I was speeding through the first time sort of fall into place.

      Glad you like the blog. I need to get busy and update a bit, so things are a bit behind, but I keep trying. Much appreciated.

  3. Lydia says:

    I agree with almost all on your lists; the only one I’m not anticipating is the new Dark by Christine Feehan; it’s more like I’m dreading it. But you know what really surprised me this year is how much I’m looking forward to J R Ward’s new Fallen Angels. At first I had a hard time getting into this new series but I must say that I really like it now and am anxiously waiting for September and the newest release.

    • kaleigha says:

      I think the new Dark is going to be make-or-break for me, which is a shame. It has always been a guilty pleasure – up until Dark Predator. The total let-down that one was was quite the kick in the pants. I figure this one will either make me forget Predator, or make me give up on the series altogether. I think it is half anticipate, half dread, to be honest.

  4. Melliane says:

    Yay so many books and authors. I confess I still need to read some. Thanks for sharing your tops with us! Waaah you haven’t read the Harry Potter series. I’m so surprised!

    • kaleigha says:

      I know, right? I bought all of the Potter books, then gave them away. Then ordered the first two again, and they came as the kiddie version, so I donated them to the library. Then I ordered the whole series again, in adult hardcover british edition, and there they sit on the shelf. Unread. They do look pretty, though…

  5. Douglas Meeks says:

    Well I was tempted to send you this list via email but decided you had enough to do and I did not cover all your categories but here are a few of mine, we do agree on many (and I cheated several times)

    Top 5 Books…
    These are in absolutely no particular order, but mine are here mainly based on entertainment value to me and include books that may be older but that I read in the last year:
    • Kresley Cole – Lothaire
    • Lexi George – Demon Hunting in Dixie/Deep South
    • Jeaniene Frost – Once Burned
    • Grace Draven – Master of Crows
    • Ilona Andrews – Gunmetal Magic

    Top 6 Series…
    These are the series I started reading and couldn’t stop until I had finished them all. If I write these 6 again tomorrow it might be different, 5 is such a low number.
    • Patrica Briggs – Mercy Thompson *
    • Elizabeth Hunter – The Elemental Mysteries *
    • Jeaniene Frost – Night Huntress *
    • Ilona Andrews – Kate Daniels / Edge *
    • Ann Charles – Deadwood Mystery Series *
    • Eileen Wilks – World of Lupi * (actually read 7 of 9 in a row)

    * = (actually I read these on release day but I felt my addiction qualified)

    Top 3 New Authors…
    “new or new to me”, covers it for me also. – I loved them all and they are all new addictions
    • Elizabeth Hunter – The Elemental Mysteries
    • Ann Charles – Deadwood Mystery Series
    • Lindsay Buroker – The Emperor’s Edge Series

    Most Read Author…
    This is the author that I read the most of in the last year – and was never disappointed in at all. It is great when you can say that.
    • Eileen Wilks – World of Lupi – 9 Books and at least 1 Novella

    Biggest Game Changer…
    This one I agree and it isn’t even close.
    • Lara Adrian – Darker After Midnight

    Top 3 Little Series That Could…
    We all have those books that we really, really like, but it seems like no one else ever mentions. I have a few, actually, that I would love to see get more mainstream recognition.

    • Dicey Grenor – The Narcoleptic Vampire Series
    • Elizabeth Hunter – The Elemental Mysteries
    • Sierra Dean – Secret McQueen Series

    Top 5 Must-Be-Read Series…
    Most of these have been cursing me from my TBR stack Yet I still buy new books ….
    • Karen Marie Moning – Fever Series (kill me now, I really don’t want to)
    • Alyssa Day – Warriors of Poseidon (these may crumble from age if I don’t hurry)
    • J.D. Robb – In Death Series (more like SF/PNR and I have about 30 still to read FML)
    • Sherrilyn Kenyon – Chronicles of Nick (Read one and it is good if you can forget everything you knew about the Dark-Hunter’s)
    • Shannon K. Butcher – Sentinel Wars Series (read book 1 and MEH , everybody says I gave up too soon)

    Top 5 Anticipated Books…
    These are my “threaten and glare at the mailman until he brings the damned book” books. I do give him a bonus at Christmas, but I still don’t think he likes me. (I feel your pain)
    • Nalini Singh – Archangel’s Storm
    • Eileen Wilks – Mortal Ties
    • Larissa Ione – Rogue Rider
    • Ilona Andrews – Steel’s Edge
    • G.A, Aiken – How To Drive A Dragon Crazy

  6. Jean says:

    Favorite new authors (qualified with new to me)
    Thea Harrison – I used to read her harlequin presents books, no kidding
    JT Geissinger – reminds me of Shanna Abe, awesome
    JC Daniels – blade song book, good work from Shiloh walker
    MJ Scott
    And Darynda Jones – for the rediscovery

    • kaleigha says:

      I didn’t even know Thea had done Harlequin books. Huh. I have been hearing good things about the JT Geissinger books, I am definitely going to have to check them out. I haven’t heard of the next two, but Darynda is great – it is nice to get a bit of humor without things getting ridiculous.

        • kaleigha says:

          Hey Rosa! Thanks for the update…sometimes you figure if you like one thing an author writes you will like it all, but that is not always the case, is it?

  7. shannon c says:

    Kaleigha, very good Year So Far summary! I agree with a lot of the books you mentioned.

    I know you liked Briggs’ Mercy Thompson books. Have you read the spin off Alpha & Omega books? The newest release Fair Game was in my top 3 fav new releases this year.

    I’m glad to hear Christine Warren is back on her game. I’ll check out her new release now that you suggested it. 🙂

    If Chicagoland Vamps isn’t hooking you after the first couple of books, it might just not be to your taste. I thought the first three books were good but books 4-5 went downhill. I heard book 6 gets better, but I’m reading it now so we’ll see!

    I love the Andrews’ Edge Series, so I’m glad to see that on your ‘to read’ list. The first book was very good and later ones even better.

    • kaleigha says:

      Hey Shannon…I actually did things ass-backwards and read the Alpha and Omega series first, which made Mercy a must try. Both series are really great, but man, we do need Samuel’s story. Now. I skipped a couple of Christine Warren books and jumped right to the latest one, but not sure if I want to tempt fate and go back for the TBRs. Might see if she can pull off another good one before I try.

      I am half way through book three of Chicagoland, and I can say I am now definitely interested – but I have heard the same thing about a drop off and horrible plot twist coming up. That does suck, though.

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