My Musings

The Tattooed Book Geek Top Ten Books of the Year!!!


Welcome to my first books of the year post, it’s hard to believe that I first started blogging way back on March 5th and we are now near the years end, thank you to everyone for making me feel so welcome and for allowing me to be a small part of your community.

I’ve unfortunately been unable to start and/or finish a few books due to time constraints and the general busy time of the year recently that I’m sure would also have been included on this list, then it would have had to have been a top 13 instead of a top 10 though so no harm done but shout outs to The Mirror’s Truth by Michael R. Fletcher – I’ve heard nothing but great things and I’m anticipating an awesome deluded read. Dead Man’s Steel by Luke Scull, the conclusion of his quality grimdark trilogy The Grim Company. And, The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin and the what should be epic finale to his Passage trilogy of books – I’m currently reading it and it’s great, The Passage is one of my favourite ever books and I’m hoping for a fitting conclusion to the story.

Also, mention needs to go to Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawdon, it is definitely one of my “must read” books of the year. However, it was first released in 2015 and isn’t on the list as it’s not actually a 2016 release but it thoroughly deserves your attention and to be read. My review can be found below:

I read 56 books this year, though both to and for me that’s a good total, about a book per week. But since blogging I feel that I should write “I’ve only read 56 books this year” as I have seen that some of you can read upwards of 150 + books per year, some even breaching the 200 mark so I realise it’s a lacklustre attempt, but I’m a slow reader and I read for enjoyment, so I guess I shouldn’t feel to disenchanted over it.

Anyway, without further ado, I give to you my top 10 books of the year, 9 in no particular order and the last book on the list I am deeming to be my book of the year!


Bite contains all the good things that are own inner raider requires for a fun-filled time. Violence, gore, action, swearing and guns, guns and more guns but also some lighter moments to. While the crew aren’t sentimental there is the odd occasion of some slight semblance of emotion to be found thrown into the mix and humour, there’s plenty of laughs strewn across the wasteland in this action packed read.

While I do like losing myself in big and heavy tomes, being a fantasy and post-apocalyptic fan it’s part of the genre that most of the books are huge and hefty chunks of time and reading. It’s nice to occasionally kickback and read something that’s simply fun. That’s what Bite is, big, bold, brash, loud and unashamed fun! It’s a wild ride that I thoroughly enjoyed from the first page through to the last.

Bite is Merbeth’s debut book and deserves to do well. It’s a full throttle blast that left me wanting more! Sequel please!

My full review can be found below:


Now the question is, if you haven’t already joined The Greatcoats then why the hell not?!?! This series is a must read and well deserving of your time!

To sum up how much I enjoyed the book, I shall give you one sentence of my infinite, all-knowing, manly, benevolent wisdom:

‘With Saint’s Blood, Sebastien de Castell has created an outstanding book that is a masterpiece in storytelling and modern fantasy’.

My full review can be found below:


And, while A Plague of Swords fails to live up to the high standard Cameron set with the previous three books in the series (The Red Knight, The Fell Sword and The Dread Wyrm) it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable, engrossing and welcome addition to The Traitor Son Cycle that deserves to be at the forefront of fantasy. Leaving you waiting in eager anticipation for the final instalment and what is sure to be an epic conclusion.

And, for The Traitor Son Cycle itself, well, yes, I most definitely would recommend this series. It’s a truly stunning epic fantasy series that in this humble bloggers opinion deserves to be listed as one of the top fantasy series and for me is a guaranteed must read.

If you’re not already part of The Red Knight’s Company then sign up now and let Gabriel and his bunch of colourful characters lead you on an epic journey, highly recommended.

My full review can be found below:


I have to admit that while the cover ‘sold’ the book to me as something I wanted to read I was in-fact slightly concerned when I started the actual book as I couldn’t help but think that on the surface what a strange amalgamation the two worlds would make, delving deeper however and as the story progressed they fitted together surprisingly well and with what in the hands of a lesser talented author could have been a disappointing mash-up ruining two beloved classic franchises, alienating the fans of both in the process. In the hands of Kane turns into a respectful tale embodying elements of the original works that deftly incorporates aspects from both into a delightfully glorious and stunning read making Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell one of the surprise books of the year!

By Jove! It’s highly recommended.

My full review can be found below:


As stated earlier in my review, there’s popular culture references strewn within Poison City and it seems only apt to use one myself to help describe the book. The first one that springs to mind is from the classic 1980’s cartoon series Transformers.

Poison City: more than meets the eye.

Poison City is well written with great characterisation making for an entertaining read, that rewards you with becoming a far deeper book than it at first appears to be. With a satisfying conclusion that ties up the story in the book nicely, while also hinting at more to come in the sequel, it’s a great captivating read.

On the front cover of the book it says ‘The war is coming’ well after reading this book, where’s the Delphic Division job application form because, I want in, sign me up!

For fans of urban fantasy, fantasy and booklovers/readers simply looking for something different to dabble in and try, this book would be a great addition to your TBR lists and library.

My full review can be found below:


The Wall of Storms has everything you could want in a book from the fantasy genre, a huge cast of well-developed and engaging characters, a complex world, ingenious creations and inventions and finally to hold it all together a multifaceted story full of emotion, betrayal, philosophy, political machinations, meddling gods, war and change that spans years with an ending that leaves you yearning for the next book in the trilogy as you want to see where Liu next takes his story.

Winter is coming – yes, I went there! But, with the changing seasons, it’s getting colder, darker, the nights are drawing in and becoming longer. Meaning it’s the perfect time to pick-up an epic tome and lose yourself in a sweeping and majestic engrossing fantasy world.

My full review can be found below:


There’s alot to like in The Wolf Road and I feel that it’s a book that transcends an individual genre, you have the post apocalyptic element albeit slight, a western feel, thriller type moments and strong characterisation that makes it a very gritty character driven read. For anyone looking for something abit different or just a great read in general then this is the book for you.

This is an exceptional debut from Beth Lewis and a cracking good read. The book just like one of Elka’s snares, traps you and doesn’t let go until the final page.

My full review can be found below:


Turner’s writing is again top quality as he pulls you into his story from the first few pages through to the last, great characters, settings, story arcs, plot twists, deadly magic, sea dragons, action dark humour and emotion Red Tide has everything that you could want and more in an Epic Fantasy book and is by far Turner’s best work so far.

With Red Tide, Marc Turner has written his best book yet. It’s a book that should propel him to the forefront of modern fantasy allowing him to stand alongside his peers and cementing his reputation as one of the must read authors in the genre.

My full review can be found below:


In my review of The Liar’s Key I wrote that Mark Lawrence had done himself proud with that book, well……The Wheel of Osheim far eclipses that as I feel this is his best book to date. To end the trilogy Mark Lawrence has crafted an outstandingly complex and engrossing book and now that it’s over I can write that just like The Broken Empire trilogy before it, with The Red Queen’s War Mark Lawrence has created yet another fantastic fantasy series that fully deserves to be added to any and every best of fantasy series list out there for many years to come.

My full review can be found below:



As Wrath, well, Wrath is my book of the year, it is the perfect storm, poignant, emotional, humorous, perfectly paced and a gripping climax to what has been an epic battle of good vs evil. Gwynne takes you through a range of emotions as you find yourself feeling sad, happy, laughing and even shedding a manly tear along the way towards that final page. A masterpiece in modern fantasy and a breathtaking finale to what is my all-time favourite fantasy series.

And, with its conclusion, I can say that in my humble opinion John Gwynne’s The Faithful and the Fallen fully deserves to be read by all fantasy fans, standing alongside other finished fantasy series as an outstanding achievement in the genre and recognised as a modern classic.

If you haven’t started this series yet or say that fantasy isn’t your genre and “isn’t for you” then do yourself a favour and give this series a go, highly recommended!

My full review can be found below:

Well, that concludes my top ten books of the year, I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading the list.

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97 thoughts on “The Tattooed Book Geek Top Ten Books of the Year!!!

  1. I do love reading your reviews and recommendations, Drew:). Huge congratulations for a storming, passionate advocacy of your favourite books of the year. And I MUST get around to reading Wrath – how could I not do so with such a strong recommendation? Have a great 2017 – and please don’t worry about the fact you read more slowly than some reviewers. What matters is quality and enjoyment – I’m constantly battling against my instinct to skimread, a really bad habit I adopted at college – as it kills my appreciation and love of reading stone dead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, for me reading is a hobby and it’s about the enjoyment and escapism that a good book brings. 🙂

      Ah, yes, Wrath and the three previous books, I’d be repeating myself if I mentioned how great the series is yet again! 🙂

      Thank you, I hope you have a great 2017 to. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Also,

    I wouldn’t be too worried about the ‘only managing 56 books’. You and I read at about the same pace from what I remember so you will at least have some company in the 50 or so book tally per year 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Stephen King in general! Sometimes less is more. I have been reading a few shorter reads and feel you often get more from them. Who needs 6 pages to describe a meal or the way a gown is cut from a certain type of cloth (George R.R. Martin …)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great list! Saint’s Blood, Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell, The Wall of Storms, Red Tide, and The Wheel of Osheim all made my year-end 5-star list as well. One series here I have yet to read is the Traitor Son Cycle, but it’s definitely one I want to get into.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great list. I haven’t read any of them, but I think my next book will be the first one of The Faithful and the Fallen. That book has been sitting on my shelf for about a year now. And thx for the recommendations. I add Bite and Marc Turner to my wish list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wolf Road and Bite are two books I had planned on reading but just couldn’t get to. Maybe I can catch up with them, because you’re not the only one who lived them, I’ve read lots of enthusiastic reviews. And don’t worry too much about the number of books you read. I’m in the same boat, I read just a few more than you, and I do get jealous seeing bloggers who read 100s of books a year, but my life is so full and busy that’s just not possible for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you enjoy them when you get around to them, The Wolf Road is awesome and Bite is pure fun which is just what you need at times. 🙂 It would be nice to know how they read 100s of books per year, I know skim reading but for me reading is all about the enjoyment and if I thrashed it through book after book I couldn’t see me enjoying it anywhere near as much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, Drew. I savor every word, I’m a pretty slow reader. I can’t imagine how you could retain or enjoy anything by speed reading or skimming!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wait, you haven’t been blogging for years?! I feel like you have, haha. Congratulations on all the books read, that’s such a good amount already. I read hm, 69 books this year I think, and…I have no idea how I read so much. I don’t think I’ll ever figure out HOW some people read 200 books a year haha.
    I don’t read too many fantasy books, but I’m glad I read your top and I’m curious about some of these, especially Poison City and The Wolf Road, basically, books with good characterizatino, as you mentionned. I think that’s what I look for in any books, when I come to think about it now ahah 🙂


  7. First off, let’s get the (light-hearted) objection out of the way. “Oi, I read for enjoyment, too! I just happen to read very, very fast! (Technically my Goodreads books read is over 360, but if you took away short stories, it’d be more like 325.)

    These look like some great books 🙂 I always have this urge to go out and buy the #1 book on everyone’s list because regardless of if you’ve read 50 or 500, if it’s topping your list, you’re saying it’s something special. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I think most of us read for enjoyment, didn’t mean any wrong in my comment, it’s more a personal thing that at times I wish I could read faster as there’s so many good books out there and even more I don’t know about to!😂

      Oh, Wrath is definitely something special, the final book in the series and a great conclusion to it.😀


  8. If you consider yourself a slow reader , than Drew I must be a snail . 56 books is a lot , I have read 256 books but out of those only 32 are actually fantasy books rest are all Graphic novels . Fantasy books are thick when it comes to pages . Graphic Novels are like 15 minutes a book . I insist you to reconsider the term “only” associated with 56 books a year. That’s a huge achievement , specially since it’s 56 thick fantasy books

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I just found out about the Traitor Son Cycle and it sounds great! I can’t wait to pick it up next year. I also can’t wait to read Wall of Storms and The Red Queen’s War! I’m currently reading The Faithful and the Fallen. I’m on book two now and I think the series may be put on my all time favorites list! Great Post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.😀 The Faithful and the Fallen is my all-time favourite fantasy series, it’s just great. The Traitor Son Cycle is great, the last book in the series is released next year to. Red Queen’s War is great as is The Wall of Storms and I didn’t even finish the first book in that series!😂


  10. Yay Sherlock Holmes made the list!!
    I have been wanting to try Ken Liu for a while now, someone recommended his book of short stories to me and now Im just waiting for it to come in at the library. Have you rad much of his work?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No I haven’t, The Wall of Storms is the second book in his fantasy series, I didn’t finish the first one, read about 200 pages last year and wasn’t enjoying it but then absolutely loved the second book.😀 I’ve seen lots of good reviews for his short story collection.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. they all sound amazing, definitely lots of add to tbr pile (does the tbr pile ever end!) I love Sherlock Holmes novels so much and looking forward to the new series in the new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is a great list! I know almost all of the authors, which makes me feel proud. I 100% blame you.
    While reading through it, it seems like the only standalone book is Bite. Or the Sherlock might be standalone? It’s hard to tell where in the series these other books fall without reading all your individual reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You have done a good job educating your readership about the authors you are reading in your posts, which is one of the reasons I like reading your reviews. Plus, all the lists and tags are only reinforcing this. You are a rock star.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I just love reading all the “Best Books of 2016” posts! I added The Wolf Road and Bite to my TBR. I think 56 books is a huge accomplishment! Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t fantasy books tend to be on the thicker side? Maybe everyone else is just reading 200-300 page books 🙂 I hope you have another great reading year in 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Despite having never heard of any of the books on your list, I really enjoyed your post. I think, I shall have to explore more of your blog and get some really good books that I don’t see myself reading often.
    Happy New Year! Wishing you a wonderful year of reading and blogging 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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