2014…A Year in Review

2014-Happy-New-Year-Free-HD-Picture-1As we head into another year, it is time to take a look back at what stood out in 2014. Most of my choices will surprise no one, since I have my favorites and I am not shy about going on, and on, and on about them, but it never hurts to give a shout out where it is due.

I am looking forward to seeing how my choices stack up with yours, too, and if there was any that I missed. For today, let’s just do the look back at 2014.

What was the best new series that started in 2014?
  • For me, hands down, it was Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews. I had high, high hopes, and it met every one. No one else even came close.
Best new-to-me series in 2014?
  • Kelley Armstrong‘s Women of the Otherworld. Loving the Cainsville series made me start it, but I like it now in its own right.
What second book in a new series was as good or better than the first?
  • This one is a tie between Visions by Kelley Armstrong and Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop. Sometimes the second book of a great series can be a bit of a let-down, but if anything I thought that these two both took things up a notch.
Best series finale?
  • As much as it sucks to say goodbye, a great finale is a bit of a consolation. My vote for best finale was City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare, from her Mortal Instruments series. Loved that one, huge monster that it was. I like young adult, but it usually doesn’t rate as high as my adult books. This one did.
Most read author overall?
  • Mine was Kelley Armstrong, with 11 books (and still going). Ilona Andrews was next, since I re-read all of the Kate books for the character guide (and loved every minute of it).
Favorite authors of 2014?
  • Still the same – Ilona and Nalini. With Kelley Armstrong steadily moving up the list.
Best change of pace read?
  • I wasn’t going to do it, since I am not a huge New Adult fan, OR a fan of books where the main character is a famous musician (actor/athlete/model, etc), but because it was Nalini, I gave her new Rock Kiss series a try and liked it. Now, to be fair, I think my favorite part was the build up for book two featuring T-Rex and Charlie, but it still was a pleasant surprise.
Top 5 books of 2014?
What book did you find the biggest let-down in 2014?
  • I never thought Kresley Cole would ever, ever end up on the bad side of a list like this, but I found my biggest disappointment was Dark Skye. I didn’t find it was a terrible book, but it was just something I couldn’t get into. And after waiting years for the story, I went in planning an A+ read. It just didn’t happen. Runners up were The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost and Night’s Honor by Thea Harrison.
What author/series did you finally give up on, if any?
  • Mine was Lara Adrian. I was never a huge Midnight Breed fan (except for Darker After Midnight, which was epic), but I had even less interest in the new arc. I tried for years to make myself get more into them, but then I decided that it was time to let it go.

My reading goal was 150 books, and I fell quite a bit short of that. Like, way short. I also got way behind on the Character guides, which is a bit of a pain in the ass since I am now playing a major game of catch-up, but I have higher hopes for 2015. All in all, though, I can’t complain. There was a lot more good than bad, and even the bad might look better this time next year.


14 thoughts on “2014…A Year in Review

  1. dougmeeks says:

    Well I can’t argue with most of what you listed since I agree with them (especially 2 best authors) but for someone like me who reads 200+ books a year I have never read anything (that I remember) by Kelly Armstrong.

    Sadly I have to agree on the big letdown and the series to give up on (but I might try it again in a different moods)

    I DID totally enjoy Night’s Honor but for it it was as a PNR/UF mix it was really NOT part of the Elder Races series as we know it since pretty much none of the usual characters showed up or were even really mentioned pretty much. I thought it was a great romance so I gave it 5 Stars


    Now my Best Series Finale was not not the same but I thought the Blood Princes series was exceptional but to be honest they were pretty short novels bordering on novellas which did nothing to lessen my enjoyment.


    Otherwise we are in agreement and maybe if I had read Kelly Armstrong we might agree more 🙂

    Just so I can brag a bit since I seldom brag about ARCs since the author/publisher (or her PR people) are the ones decide if my efforts are worthy or not I have a copy of this and with Anne Bishop being different we were told NOT to publish any reviews or info before release day (which is like the exact opposite of what ARCs are for usually but I own a copy of this 🙂 (what I don’t know is whether this is the last Others novel or not). I have not read it yet but am saving it for closer to release day so I don’t accidentally spoil anything since something is up with those odd instructions.

    2014 was a great year for readers IMHO

    • kaleigha says:

      I really, really wanted to hit 150 this year, but I just couldn’t do it. I will set that as a goal for next year, and here’s hoping.
      I am surprised you are giving up on the Midnight Breed, too – thought I was alone in that. It isn’t that I hate it or anything, it is just that for some reason I try and try to make myself get into them and I can’t. I think you nailed what bugged me about Night’s Honor, and I didn’t clue in until you said it – it read like a stand alone. I didn’t mind the story at all, it just didn’t fit into the Elder Races like usual.
      I have to admit, you have control on the ARC front – not reading it would be a major workout. The good news is that there are at least two more to come after Vision in Silver. The bad news is that they are due in 2016 and 2017.

      • dougmeeks says:

        I really love the Midnight Breed series but even though she did an masterful job of rebooting the series (possibly the best I have seen) I am just kinda tired of the whole idea. I am sure if I sat down and started reading I would like it but the idea just does not appeal to me.

        I can’t wait to read Vision in Silver if for no other reason to see if there is some big thing to happen because asking reviewers NOT to write a review before the release date is just mind boggling. The whole PURPOSE of ARCs is to get reviews out and create “buzz” about your book. I am glad to hear there are going to be more books

        Just to state my opinion, I still think the Midnight Breed is a much more entertaining series than Black Dagger Brotherhood. The first 3-4 books of BDB might have been slightly better but then it started to go off the rails, hell I got so tired of V’s self loathing that I was ready to kill him just to get ME out of my misery of reading about him.

        • kaleigha says:

          I am no ARC expert, by any stretch, but that whole not reviewing thing seems very odd. I have been toying with the idea of trying some of her Black Jewel books, especially the first three, but I’m not sure if they sound like my thing. MIght just have to break down one day and give them a try.

  2. Alyssa says:

    Love this end of year wrap up 🙂

    I’ve not started any new series this year, I was tempted to read the new Ilona Andrews but I read some reviews and I really didn’t like the sound of the hero, or the heroine for that matter for lusting after the crazy hero who tortured her.

    Visions was the second book/sequel for me as well, I love Kelley Armstrong’s books.
    Best series finale was Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor, it was great. CoHF was entertaining but nothing special, I much prefer TID to TMI.

    Kelley Armstrong was my fave author of the year. Nalini Singh’s books on the other hand went way, way downhill for me – I hated Ash/Janvier’s story and Bastien’s novella, there were so predictable and had such vanilla heroines.

    I think I’m done with Jennifer Estep, her books have become too formulaic and predictable, there are no twists or turns at all.
    I’m still holding out hope that I’ll enjoy Nalini’s next few books.

    Top 5 for me were :

    1. Visions by Kelley Armstrong.
    2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthiny Doerr
    3. Dreams of Gods and Monsters,
    4. Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
    5. Undivided by Neal Shusterman

    • kaleigha says:

      I have to admit, I do love the Mortal Instruments, but The Infernal Devices was my favorite. Now, the last book of THAT series? I actually cried during the epilogue. Ugly cry. Might’ve wailed a bit, too, but don’t remember. I still have Dreams of Gods and Monsters left to read, but I am planning a month-long series wrap up reading binge, where I break down and finally read the last book in a bunch of series I follow. My logic is that if I don’t read the last book, then the series isn’t really over. Not quite logical, but works for me.

      Glad to see another Kelley fan. I did hit a slump with Haunted (WotO #5), but things picked up again right after that. I am even reading all of the short stories, too, and really liking them.

      Too bad about Nalini – I loved Ash and Janvier, but I think that getting so much of Naasir helped that along. Loved, loved, loved Naasir. Total scene stealer.

  3. Charry says:

    I agree with most of what your choices. I do have a few differences….

    Best new-to-me series in 2014? Meljean Brooks, Iron Seas series. I read the Kraken King and fell in love.

    Best series finale? Kim Harrison’s Hollow series. A strong finish to a series that faltered a bit in the middle.

    Favorite authors of 2014? Ilona Andrews hands down! Can I say that the free serial Innkeeper series is better than most people’s books that I pay for?

    Top 5 books of 2014?
    Magic Breaks – Ilona Andrews
    Broken Soul – Faith Hunter
    The Kraken King – Meljean Brooks
    Murder of Crows – Anne Bishop
    Night Broken – Patricia Briggs

    What book did you find the biggest let-down in 2014? Probably the Elemental Assassin. Used to be one of my favorite series. The last few have been a let down.

    • dougmeeks says:

      “Best new-to-me series in 2014? Meljean Brooks, Iron Seas series. I read the Kraken King and fell in love.”

      I have to add to my comments that I might have to add this because I read The Kraken King and it was possibly the best romance in PNR I have ever read, it was at the very least one of the top 5 ever 🙂

    • kaleigha says:

      I read a novella in the Iron Seas series, and I even bought the first book, but never got there yet. Not sure steampunk is really my thing, but from what I have heard the story is so good that it might not even matter. Definitely one to try. The Hollows is on the list to read, too, after I get Women of the Otherworld and about 127 more done. Ugh.

      • dougmeeks says:

        Not a huge steampunk fan myself but with The Kraken King it won’t matter and the fact that it has possibly the most romantic scene (when he was leaving the ship) since I read the end of Angel’s Blood by Nalini Singh you really should grab it and read it. There is some history referred to but it is not important since I never read anything but a short story of hers before The Kraken king.

        • Charry says:

          Steampunk is starting to finally grow on me, and this book is one of the reasons why. If you read the Hollows be prepared for that mid series slump. It started out great and then there are a couple of books that don’t feel like they move things forward much (new characters are introduced and then killed off…felt like going in circles) then I think she figured out how she wanted the series to end and the pace picked up and there was a real direction to things.

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