Hello my 27.6 readers!
Happy New Year. I plan on making a year in review post, but I consider this a special category. What new book in 2012 did I feel was the best?
I read a considerable amount this year, despite my terrible Goodreads updates. Most of this goodness was on my Kindle, and the Kindle Paperwhite has accelerated my book reading with its pure design awesomeness. At $119 + cover and some unobtrusive, actually useful ads, this is a reader’s device and I am a reader.
But, I digress.
Out of all the books I read, one stands out as the winner and yes, you can rank books from the best to the worst.
Ken Kiser’s Fifthwind is the clear winner of 2012. From a storytelling standpoint, it’s a throw-back to the Sword and Sorcery days of yor before everything got pretentious, message-y and emo. As epic fantasy, it is a stunning debut. The novel also has great pacing, obviously edited with loving care and delivers across the board on action, world-building and best of all, a refreshingly masculine but not arrogant protagonist. Check out the reviews on Amazon.
And it is here I depart my normal book recommendations for a bit of meta. I rarely do this, letting commentary stand on its own without looking behind the scenes. I dislike when other book bloggers do this, because 99% of them suck at it.
But I can’t help myself.
When I purchased Fifthwind, I was expecting not to like it. I head read some of it earlier on Ken’s defunct (but resurrected) writing forum, a place that I had run screaming from and was actually shut down at one point for various reasons. In the sample, the characterization seemed off and the prose had passive voice errors.
Wow, was I surprised at the pure quality jump in the finished product!
I also find it telling that the best book I read in 2012 was from a privately formed imprint. The only thing missing is a graphics designer for the cover and I also find it interesting that on my Kindle, I don’t see the cover unless I go look for it.
Food for thought.