Thoughtful Thursday: Best book you read in December 2012

fantasy and science fiction book reviews

It’s the first Thursday of the month, which means it’s time to report!

What is the best book you read in December 2012 and why did you love it? It doesn’t have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don’t forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from our stacks.

Next week: Our favorite books of 2012.

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JOHN HULET (on FanLit's staff July 2007 -- March 2015) is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of. John retired from FanLit in March 2015 after being with us for nearly 8 years.

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  1. This one is easy for me. It definitely has to be ‘The Name of the Wind’ by Patrick Rothfuss. My review:

  2. An easy one this month. “The City and the City” by China Mieville. I’m not a huge fan of some of his other novels, but this one was fabulous.

  3. SandyG265 /

    Prince of Bel-Aire by Stuart Woods

  4. Cheryl /

    Envy by Olsen Gregg

  5. Melanie Goldmund /

    Hmm. Probably “To Say Nothing of the Dog,” by Connie Willis, just because the entire plot is so brilliant, and the humour is so sly. I’m just thinking of the seance scene where Ned Henry sees a face pushed up against the glass of the window. A face with jowls. The subtext is that this is the face of the dog, Cyril, but the reverend is certain he saw a seraphim, and Mrs Mering exclaims, “I have seen the face of my own dear mother!”

  6. The Last Wish and Blood of Elves by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski.
    These two are part of a fantasy series called the Witcher. The Last wish is a collection of achronological vignettes, which are cleverly composed to provide a background about the main character the witcher Geralt of Rivia and others. The Blood of Elves is a straightforward novel. These books suffer occasionally from translation related problems, imperfect world building and pacing. But IMO read as an absorbing fantasy work.
    A word of warning about the series though. There are four more novels left in the series, finished long time ago and translated in several other languages since . But the English release has been bogged down almost from the start due to issues with the translator and publishing rights. The next book has been delayed for two years now. The latest date is now I think set for the end of this year.

  7. Kevin B /

    Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor.

    It’s the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which is one of my favorite books I read last year. It was a beautifully and intelligently written story of discovery and wonder with a whimsical touch. My only complaint was that near the end it was in danger of deteriorating into a sappy romance with a typical cute UF couple.

    The very end of the book put a stop to that fear however, and Blood and Starlight continues where its predecessor left off. Meaning there is a lot more blood than starlight. It is a good deal darker than most of Daughter was. There is war, and suffering and self doubt and shame and crushing guilt, but also strength and resolve and, every now and then, a bit of whimsy that calls back to happier times for our enduring protagonists.

    The beautiful writing, which made the first book such a breeze to read, is still there. So are the intricate plotting and pacing, making it so that every time you think you’re just about recovered from the previous punch to the gut yet another is perfectly lined up and delivered.

    This got a lot longer than I planned… If it wasn’t clear yet: I really liked this book. :p

  8. April /

    December was a good reading month for me. I read many four and two five star books throughout the month.

    Best Audio book was In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson – witty and informative and very enjoyable.
    Others: Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks – I just love this original world even though I have logical problems with the concepts.
    A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan – yes, this one doesn’t come out until next month but got an early copy and enjoyed the heck out of it.
    Scent of Magic, Maria Snyder
    No Money Down, J. Moffett
    Perilous Journey, Trenton Lee Stewart
    Cordelia’s Honor, McMaster Bujold [getting some oldies back into my toread list]
    Wicked as they Come by D. Dawson [I overcame my utter horror over the icky cover and enjoyed it for what it was, a fluffy romance/fantasy/steampunk pastiche]
    Frog Princess, E.D. Baker [children’s story VERY well written]
    and for the re-read of the month: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I finally got a Kindle version so had to devour it right away ;-)

  9. Has to be the Raksura trilogy by Martha Wells (Cloud Roads, Serpent Sea, Siren Depths).

  10. I’m going to say… Farthing, by Jo Walton. Though really, I loved her whole Small Change alt-history trilogy and read then back-to-back-to-back in a week.

  11. Re-read Lyonesse:Suldrun’s Garden, by Jack Vance, and enjoyed it just as much as the first time I read it circa 1983 when it first was published. I love reading everyone’s recommendations above though! All sound interesting, but especially the books by Patrick Rothfuss, China Mievelle, and Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog.

  12. Sf/f pick would be Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb.

    I really enjoyed The Blackhouse by Peter May which is a crime/mystery story about a Detective Inspector from Edinburgh who returns to his birthplace, the Isle of Lewis to investigate a murder.

    Also loved Hellboy, vol. 2:Wake The Devil by Mike Mignola.

  13. RedEyedGhost /

    The Rise of Ransom City by Felix Gilman – it was very atmospheric (as all of Gilman’s books are) and unexpectedly different from its wonderful predecessor.

  14. Cheryl, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks. Please contact me (Tim) with your choice and a US address.

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