The Best and the Worst of 2014

The year 2014 ended with 17 books read, which was way off my intended goal of 30 books.  Again, the problem is that I read some very long books.  In fact, the number of pages was almost as many as 2013.  However, I will challenge myself with 30 books again this year.  But this time, I’ll be reading every night before bed.

In 2014, I was a bit harder on books in terms of ratings, though it may be because I didn’t read many really great ones.  I only gave 2 books 5 stars.  I gave a 4 1/2 and some 4s, though.  I also rated a book that was only 2 stars.

I think that’s where we’ll start.  Let’s look at the worst book I read this year, down at number 17.  After that, the top 5.

Worst of the Year

#17 – The Somali Doctrine

I got this book as a freebie from Amazon, and noticed it had some low ratings on Goodreads.  I went into it with an open mind, though.  I like things like James Bond, and this was somewhat reminiscent of 007, but there weren’t many similarities.  It was filled with improbably situations, like the hero getting captured many times, only to escape each time somehow.  The villains were completely one-dimensional with very little in the way of depth.  I was glad when it was over.

Top 5 of 2014

annihilationofforeverland#5 – The Annihilation of Foreverland

This was my pleasant surprise of the year, and also the first time I’ve included a self-published indie novel to my top five.  It was imaginative, quite well-done, and filled with interesting characters.  There were so many twists to this story, it had me guessing what was going to happen.  I thoroughly enjoyed this science fiction offering.

wizardsfirstrule#4 – Wizard’s First Rule

Despite my somewhat negative review, I did give this 4 stars and I did actually enjoy reading it.  This epic fantasy novel opened The Sword of Truth in a good way with some good world-building, interesting characters, and a completely surprising Wizard’s First Rule.  I couldn’t believe it.  In general, it’s left a more positive memory now, and I want to get back into the series and read more.  I liked it.

angelfireeast#3 – Angel Fire East

The Word & the Void became dark and serious! It was the best of this Shannara prequel series, and has me excited for The Genesis of Shannara, which I hope to start reading this year.  Terry Brooks usually doesn’t get such acclaim, but I think this was one of his better works.  I’m a fan of Shannara.  In this book, we get to read about the effects of drug abuse and see some of the darkest deaths I’ve seen Brooks write about. Great ending.

theriseofendymion#2 – The Rise of Endymion

The truly epic Hyperion Cantos ended with this novel, and in my opinion, it was the best of the four books.  I was pulled in and enjoyed the roller coaster ride that this book put me through.  Incredible characters, beautiful and wondrous worlds, and lots of mysteries were tied up.  This was going to be number one choice until I read another book later in the year.  More on that soon.  This book was very difficult to predict.  I had no idea where it was going.  But one thing had me hooked, and it was the characters.  Endymion and Aenea’s relationship was wonderful, and there was an amazingly touching moment later in the book.  Truly a great book.

astormofswords#1 – A Storm of Swords

George R. R. Martin returns to the top after being #2 in 2013.  Things in Westeros really picked up in this book, and while the first part of the book was a bit slow, it blew me away so many times in the rest of the story, I couldn’t wait to see what happened.  He kills a lot of characters again, of course, and changes the course of the story drastically.  And shockingly, Jaime Lannister has become my new favourite Lannister.  Sandor Clegane is also very interesting.  There are so many twists that I can never figure out what’s going to happen next.  Incredible! And this is why it’s my favourite book of 2014.

Agree or disagree with my choices?  Let me know in the comments below. And what was your favourite (and least favourite) book in 2014?

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5 thoughts on “The Best and the Worst of 2014”

  1. I crit and review a lot of self published and in-progress books, so I read a LOT of terrible books. However, I also read a lot of great books that I would never have found otherwise. I was really happy to see an independantly published book in your top five. There are a lot of bad ones out there, and I think that overwhelms the wonderful ones in people’s minds. It certainly makes them nervous about trying new things. May I suggest that, once it comes out in February, you try “The Forth Descendant.” I have read part of it for the author, and if she finishes as strongly as she started the story, it will be amazing.

    1. I’ll check it out. I don’t think I’ll get to reading it right away, though. My backlog is huge.

      I’m a big supporter of indie authors, and I’ve always got one indie book going and one traditionally published book going.

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