Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. This week, we’re celebrating authors we read for the first time last year.
2018 was a good year for reading authors for the first time: I enjoyed the work of 27 new-to-me authors (excluding authors whose short stories I’d read previously) – and they were responsible for nearly half of my favourite reads of the year! My top tips (in no particular order):
I fell head over heels for Caruso’s fast-paced plot, generous characters and rich world-building in The Tethered Mage. Follow Caruso on Twitter for regular discussions of writing, world-building and the finer points of how yes, actually, you can fence in ballgowns.
I was deeply impressed (and slightly traumatised) by The Poppy War, which I expect to see on lots of awards ballots (and if it doesn’t, I shall fear the Phoenix’s wrath). I’ll be watching out for anything she pens (and going to see her at cons; she’s a brilliant panellist).
From the body horror of The Murders of Molly Southbourne to the psychic fungal first contact of Rosewater, Thompson is all about big ideas. I’m not sure his fiction will ever make me anything but uncomfortable, but it’s intriguing enough to keep me reading it.
Shannon Chakraborty twitter | website | Goodreads
Another debut author who knocked my socks off, Chakraborty won my heart with her djinni fantasy The City of Brass. For bonus storytelling goodness, sometimes she settles in on Twitter for retellings of tales from the 1001 Nights.
I’m late in ‘discovering’ Gareth Powell, but I loved Embers of War and over the course of 2018 found him engaging on panels, thoughtful in person and extraordinarily kind on Twitter. All-round lovely person who writes interesting books? Yeah, that pretty much sums him up.
On the one hand, I love Khaw’s evocative use of language and the way she leavens horror with humour. On the other, I’m pretty sure that a full-length novel (and oh, I want to read one) might drive me gibbering mad. Her imagination is immense. Her prose is fabulous. But oh gosh, tentacles.
Metronome was the surprise star of Subjective Chaos last year – a gorgeous underdog turned real contender in what had looked like a sure-thing category. I’m yet to read his first novel, Dark Star, but I intend to get on that.
Christo took a fairytale I’m not too fond of and turned it into a bright, bold debut novel of murderous
mermaids sirens and pirate princes that I raced through in an afternoon. To Kill A Kingdom is outrageously engaging and I’m looking forward to her magical crime caper Into the Crooked Place later this year.
Gailey took a sliver of history that never was and turned it into the least likely crime caper ever to feature hippos in the Mississippi in River of Teeth. They also host the best cooking tweetstorms when the mood takes them. I’m looking forward to Magic for Liars, their full-length debut.
Last but not least, I’m giving the nod to Anna Stephens for writing an unapologetically grimdark fantasy that I liked in spite of myself (I don’t like grimdark). Godblind was one of my big surprises of 2018, and I’m trying to armour my heart enough to tackle Darksoul.
Who did you discover last year?