Here are our favorite books from 2012.
Let us know which books were your favorites from the past year!
Chasing Magic, by Stacia Kane, is my favorite book of 2012. After four books of seeing a drug-addicted, hopeless and self-loathing Chess, we see a glimmer of hope. Stacia Kane has written a book that delves into the chaos that is Chess' dark and damaged soul. She leaves us with hope that Chess will eventually come to terms with her past, and that Terrible will be along for the ride.
Kiss of Steel is a gritty story about defeat, survival and love in the 1880s alternate world London that Bec McMaster excels in creating. This is my favorite adult steampunk book of 2012. It offers a big serving of romance, action and intrigue set in a dark, alternative London. I can't wait to read the next book in this series in 2013.
Insurgent takes us further into the story of Tris, Tobias and the factions in this dystopian world. This is a dark and complicated world with a twisting and turning plot that will keep you guessing. Torture, both mentally and physically, violence, death and betrayal are elements that make this book stand out. This YA book is edgy enough to keep anyone interested.
This is an addictive, angsty, emotional and lovely read from beginning to end, and I can't tell you how much I adored it! Jake is everything you would want in a bad boy hero. He's gorgeous, cocky, passionate, witty and talented. And he's a rock star. This story about first love lost and found, obsession and addiction kept me turning the pages and wishing for more.
The Prince is the third book in Tiffany Reisz's Original Sinners series. Really, any of her three books thus far could have made my top 10 list for 2012. Full of dark and damaged characters, The Prince continued the story of BDSM royalty Nora and Soren. This book is not for everyone, but if you like dark erotica and plot twists, you will find yourself lost in this world that Reisz has created.
The final book in the Vampire Empire series, The Kingmakers brings an end to the epic story of Prince Garreth and Empress Adele. Set in a dark and gritty steampunk world, we are treated to grand action sequences, sweet love scenes and an exploration of loyalty and duty. Although tagged as a YA book, this series has one of the most compelling romances I have read. The inclusion of vampires, magic and war are what makes this story in a class of its own.
Iced is the beginning of the Dani O-Malley trilogy from Karen Marie Moning's Fever world. This story is very dark, from the world in which it's set to the relationships between the main characters. Dani shows that she is capable and intelligent in this book. The addition of Ryoden, Christian and Dancer set up an interesting dynamic that will be explored in future books.
The Shattered Dark is an action-packed tale filled with love, betrayal, rebellion and heartache. It is an intense, well-written book that will have you shouting for more when you read the final page. Aren is one of my favorite heroes and he shines in this book. Sandy Williams writes a brilliant story that I couldn't put down. If you are a fan of fae, PNR, and expertly written fantasy worlds, you need to read this series now.
Intelligent, witty, edgy, intriguing, articulate, crisp, eloquent and stylistic. A main theme that is explored in this book is trust and loyalty. I love the damaged, addicted Annabelle Lee and the way she looks at life. She’s tough, yet vulnerable. Mouthy, yet insecure. Intelligent, yet untrusting. She drinks a bit too much, and pops a few sleeping pills, but she is constantly trying to become the person that she wants to be. My only regret is that this series will not continue.
In this first Kate Daniels world book, we are treated to the story of Andrea and Raphael. The world that Ilona Andrews has created is dangerous and ever changing. Magic and technology continue to fight for dominance. The world is filled with shifters, magic, vampires and anything else the Andrews' imagination can dream up. This story focuses on a hot romance, and includes a dark and frightening plot.
I never thought I would find a vampire that could rival my love for Bones. And I never thought he would come in the form of a charismatic gypsy king sporting a top hat and punting bludbunnies across the moor. I was amazed by this author's ability to create a world that is so wildly imaginative and vivid and full of non-stop entertainment. Delilah S. Dawson is hands down my favorite debut author of 2012.
This is another new series that blew me away. The Taken has a unique style and setting, a feisty and very likable protagonist, along with a hot, brooding angel that kept me glued to the pages. The sequel, The Lost, is definitely my most-anticipated 2013 release.
If I had to choose a number one from my list of favorites this year, it would be Blood on the Bayou. It's a unique urban fantasy with imperfect characters, evil blood-sucking fairies, and a touch of dark humor. Everything about this story and its protagonist is fascinating. I highly recommend it.
Third Grave Dead Ahead is the only book on my list that I've read twice this year. It's hilarious and is a huge turning point for Charley and Reyes, one of the most dynamic couples I have ever come across. Their relationship is so hot and intense and I can never get enough of them.
Succubi Are Forever was a perfect ending to a smoking hot series. It was dark. It was funny. It was sexy. I absolutely loved it! I'll miss spending time with Jackie, Zane, Remy, and Noah. If you love paranormal romance, I suggest you give the Succubus Diaries a try.
Chasing Magic is the fifth installment in the greatest series ever created. Each and every time, Kane manages to deliver a book that is even better than the last. Chess is a dark, disturbed protagonist that I find utterly fascinating and I love every second we experience with her in Downside. I hope this series continues for a long, long time.
The only story I've read this year that I found so emotional that I was actually tearing up is Kate Avelynn's Flawed. It's intense, heartbreaking, and incredibly moving. Any fans of dark young adult romance should experience this story.
Another must-read for dark urban fantasy fans is Rowland's White Trash Zombie series. This second installment provides dark humor, great character growth and development, and a unique explanation for the creation of zombies, which I loved. Angel is one of my favorite protagonist and I can't wait to get my hands on White Trash Zombie Apocalypse in 2013.
Masque of the Red Death was a fantastic dystopian novel with great world building and a unique young adult protagonist. There was a light steampunk element, a love triangle, and an overall gothic feel that I absolutely loved. Dance of the Red Death can't come soon enough!
The Infects is hilarious zombie fiction with smartass teenagers, vividly-detailed carnage, and a perfectly twisted ending. Beaudoin does a fantastic job of creating a witty, likable protagonist that you can't help but to root for. If you're a fan of humor and zombie survival stories, then The Infects is a must-read.