So 2020, am I right? What else can be said about the year that hasn’t already been spoken?
I’m going to do it a bit differently than I did it last year. I found a template that I created but never used so this year I decided to remedy that.
I haven’t reviewed this yet, so I don’t want to say too much, but I knew this had the highest chance of being my GOAT for 2020. A bold claim, I know, since I finished reading it in February, and indeed, there was another book that almost edged it out, but I’m a sucker for fantasy/sci-fi with realistic emotional impact, and the female MC is so 2020 it hurts. We all know the 2020 attitude of *shrug* “Yeah that might as well happen” regardless of what batshit crazy thing occurs, and after surviving literal pestilence, Sarah would react just like that to our own.
I have so far completed the second book of this series, but it’s still my favorite for 2020. I mean it’s a paranormal romance series about ANGELS ffs, so easy sell. Anyway, per the the third book’s blurb, the main angel’s evil mom shows back up to drive him into wrathful insanity so that’ll be a totally new thing for me to read about *nods* EXCITING.
I honestly have to thank my friend for throwing this into my path even though it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be a retelling of the Norse myths as opposed to an examination of the themes, symbolism, and historical context behind them, but I feel like that was better. The notes I gathered from this volume will be invaluable to my research. So take heed of that if you’re interested. It is not retelling the myths, but rather talking about their influence.
Favorite Comic/Manga/Graphic Novel
I read sadly few graphic novels/manga last year (something I hope to remedy this one), and I only read the first two of this one before watching the series. I love Captain Picard, love the show, and absolutely adore Sir Patrick, so it’s a win all around.
This year, I do want to have more to pick from though 😉
This was a contender for favorite/best book of 2020, and I’m honestly still not sure, which is why I made a Favorite Standalone category lol. There’s always a way around things. This is one of those books that’s terrifies you with how real it seems, yet leaves you laughing your ass off with how the characters deal with it. It has a similar vibe to Pestilence in that latter regard.
I also recently found out Arthur Machen, the author of The White People, which this is based on inspired H. P. Lovecraft, so…yeah, there’s that.
She doesn’t have a picture of herself so I used the image she has on Twitter. Author of Her Pitiless Command, a series that retells the story of the Snow Queen but with lesbians (and therefore better). Definitely the best author I discovered in 2020. I follow her on Twitter and have actually had some interactions with her. She has a bunch more books out that are mostly sci-fi, and they’re all LGBTQ+ with an emphasis on the “L.”
Foxy from The Twisted Ones is the greatest fucking character ever written. This bitch was running from monsters in spiked heels while reloading her gun looking like a badass punk grandma. She’s an original hillbilly, ride-or-die chick and friend for life. You can’t survive what her and Mouse did and not be friends forever, sharing that experience and a secret. The only other “person” who knows (more or less) is Mouse’s dog Bongo, and what’s really morbid is she’ll outlive both hound and Foxy. Seriously this book is glorious.
I had three contenders, so this one was tough. I could technically argue against all of their villain statuses, but…that shouldn’t come as much of a shock.
I had to go with the Winter Queen from Mirrorstrike. I think that’s her on the cover, though I’m still not sure. Based on artwork the author has shared of Lussadh, I don’t think the image is her, which is what I initially assumed, but rather the queen herself. She’s not your boring “For the Evulz” villain at all, but that doesn’t make her any less menacing or her actions, the world she’s built around her winter, any less cruel.
For obvious reasons I can’t talk about it, and some other reviewers disagree with me on this, but I loved this book and its ending. It’s about cherishing the past brought into the future, tying together seemingly impossible coincidences through friendships, hardships, and love.
Least Favorite Book
This is one of those books that had so much potential like Never Never, but the author showed his hand WAY too early to the point it became painful to read because you were just watching the main character slogging through the mess he created while you knew exactly what was going on. I think this would’ve worked better as a longer novel. Though now that I’m saying that I’m not sure. Since Jones wasn’t able to keep from revealing the twist in this short story too soon, a full length novel with the same problem would’ve been unfinishable. I think if he’d kept the reality of the situation under his hat, Night of the Mannequins could’ve been a great mind fuck narrative. He’s a bestselling NYT author with 20-30 books under his belt, too, and this was released in 2020, so I’m not sure how it missed the mark so badly.
Least Favorite Character/Least Favorite Couple
Sparks Dawntreader Summer. Was there ever a man more useless? And they’re the canon couple of this book!
Moon could do so much better than her stupid cousin. I was hoping she’d realize he was trash and get with BZ who literally risked everything for her (even if he was a cop), but love makes people stupid. Usually I adore the half-human/half-alien love interest, but in this case, nah.
Total Number of Books Purchased: 54
Money Spent: $536.51 ($376.80 more than I spent in 2019…yikes)
Average Price per Book: $9.94
Most Expensive Book: $83.80
Least Expensive Book: $0.00
Number of Fantasy/Fiction Books Bought: 36
Number of Classic Books Bought: 4
Number of Non-Fiction/Reference Books Bought: 12
Number of Graphic Novels/Manga Books Bought: 2
Number of Kindle/eBooks Bought: 35
Number of Physical Books Bought: 19
- Hardback: 7
Total Number of Books Read: 23
Longest Book: 589 pages
Longest Reading Duration: 217 days
Shortest Reading Duration: 1 day
Total Number of Pages Read: 5830
Highest Number of Pages per Day: 56
I’m sure you’re all bored with the minutiae of my details now, so how about you? Did you do a 2020 reading challenge? Did you succeed? How many books did you read and what were your stats? Feel free to borrow this format if you’re a devil for details like I am!