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The Best of 2013

Posted by Steve the Bookstore Guy On Friday, January 10, 2014

Well then. 2013 is done. While I'm not a huge fan of the "Best Of" lists, I've been asked enough (by readers, authors, and even my own reviewers) that I figured I should give it a go. I'm not going to number them, as usual, and there will likely be more than 10. Why? Because I can do what I want! And stuff!

Seriously though, this was a great year. We had fantastic original, non-sequels, mixed with a ton of amazing follow-ups. 

Also a disclaimer: this might not be a complete list, nor have we gotten around to writing the reviews for everything ON this list. There are a couple of novels that either I or my awesome reviewers have that just haven't been read yet. People whom I trust completely have said these particular books are completely incredible, so I tend to expect that to be true (if not, I will be so angry. LOOKING AT YOU JUSTIN!). So take this list as EBR's long-list for what we will considering for Hugo nominations. 'Cause it's that time of the year!

AMERICAN ELSEWHERE by Robert Jackson Bennett
NECESSARY EVIL by Ian Tregillis (EBR review)
EMPEROR OF THORNS by Mark Lawrence
IMPOSSIBLE MONSTERS, Edited by Kasey Lansdale (EBR review)
WARBOUND by Larry Correia (EBR review)
THE SECRET OF ABDU EL YEZDI by Mark Hodder (EBR review)
GRAVEYARD CHILD by MLN Hanover (EBR review)
THE FORGOTTEN GODS TRILOGY by Sarah Pinborough (This is totally a cheater pick. Not only is it three books, but they were all released prior to 2013. BUT NOT IN THE US! HA! I said, cheater pick...EBR reviews of book 1, book 2, and book 3)
TWO SERPENTS RISE by Max Gladstone (EBR review)
THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE by Neil Gaiman (EBR review)
THE RED KNIGHT by Miles Cameron
FIRE WITH FIRE by Charles E. Gannon (EBR review)
NEXUS/CRUX by Ramez Naam (EBR Review) (a bit cheater, since NEXUS came out at the VERY end of 2012)
FIEND by Peter Stenson

HONORABLE MENTIONS (This is quite the impressive list by itself):
RED COUNTRY by Joe Abercrombie (EBR review)
ABADDON'S GATE by James SA Corey
TYRANT'S LAW by Daniel Abraham
THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES by Scott Lynch (EBR review)
PROMISE OF BLOOD by Brian McClellan (EBR review)
PHOENIX ISLAND by John Dixon (EBR Review)
GENERATION V by M.L. Brennan

MOST ANTICIPATED OF 2014 (Not even close to a full list):
PRINCE OF FOOLS by Mark Lawrence
MAYHEM by Sarah Pinborough
WORDS OF RADIANCE by Brandon Sanderson
THE WIDOW'S HOUSE by Daniel Abraham
CIBOLA BURN by James SA Corey
RUINS by Dan Wells
FALL OF LIGHT by Steven Erikson
ASSAIL by Ian C Esslemont
RIVER OF SOULS by Robert McCammon
THE BROKEN EYE by Brent Weeks
CITY OF STAIRS by Robert Jackson Bennett

Well, that's it.  This is the part where you tell us how wrong we were, or berate us for not picking your favorite novel. This is also where you remember "Oh! I can nominate EBR for a Hugo Award for Best Fanzine!"


  1. tchls1 Said,

    Great, great list! I agree with most everything, except I think you're missing one from the Most Anticipated of 2014 (one that's gone under most people's radar): Robin Hobb's The Fool's Assassin!

    Posted on January 14, 2014 at 10:11 AM

  2. Anonymous Said,

    How come you didn't review some of the books in your top list?

    Posted on January 14, 2014 at 12:23 PM

  3. @tchls1: As for Robin Hobb, I'll give it a chance, but her last series was extremely disappointing, as was the Soldier's Son series. Hopefully her newest will be a return to form!

    @guessingo: It's there in the third paragraph. We just haven't published them yet. The last few months of the year were rather busy for everyone.

    Posted on January 14, 2014 at 12:44 PM

  4. tchls1 Said,

    I definitely agree about Robin Hobb's recent series being disappointing. The entire story of Fitz ranks in my all-time favorite stories in all forms of storytelling, and it'll be interesting to see how she handles it, I'm exciting to see here return to Fitz and the Fool but for that same matter, I'm highly skeptical...

    Posted on January 15, 2014 at 8:05 AM

  5. Anonymous Said,

    So are these Steve's choices? How do you guys vote on these?

    I read 2 of the 3 daniel abraham books. I really liked Tyrants Law. So do you think his urban fantasy is better? I generally don't like urban fantasy. When I read fantasy, I generally want to be taken away to a new world. However, if you think his urban fantasy is better I might give it a try.

    wonder how long abraham can maintain his 3 book/year pace. The James SA Corey Pseudonym is doing a star wars book next.

    Posted on January 17, 2014 at 12:21 PM

  6. These are a combination of all our choices. Not just me (Steve). I'm hardly a one-man-show. Without my reviewers, this place wouldn't exist. Some of the choices are specific to a reviewer, while some have significant overlap.

    As far as Abraham, everything he does is awesome. To say his Fantasy is better than his SF, or his Urban Fantasy is better than his regular Fantasy is like picking a favorite kid. They are all so different, yet have some similar traits which are just amazing.

    From a business standpoint, if he can keep this pace up he definitely should. Having your name in front of people (regardless of pen-name) is one of the single biggest contributors to sales and longevity.

    Posted on January 17, 2014 at 1:25 PM


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