Wednesday, February 15, 2023

My Favorite Reads of 2022

Okay, I admit that I’m a little behind this year. Usually these kinds of lists show up in late December or early January. Fortunately for me, a good book doesn’t cease to be good simply because I’m running late. Nor there’s really a bad time of year for a book recommendation, is there? If you aren’t looking for a book for over the holidays, then you might be seeking one for spring break. Or summer vacation. Or for back to school. In which case, I might not be late. I might be early or even right on time.

So whether late or early or on time, I now offer you some of my favorite reads that I read in 2022, listed in no particular order:


Title: Recorder and Aberration  

Series: Children of the Consortium #1 and #2

Author: Cathy McCrumb

Genre: Adult Science Fiction

Synopsis: A neurally-enhanced woman is sent to observe and record the investigation of an isolated science station gone dark.

What I Loved: The broad and complex character cast, the mix of hard and soft science fiction, and the multilayered plot.

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Title: Wolf Soldier

Series: Lightraider Academy #1

Author: James Hannibal

Genre: Teen Fantasy

Synopsis: In this Prince Warriors meets Ranger’s Apprentice, a shepherd boy seeks to save his father from goblin poison and becomes an initiate in the dying Lightraider Order.

What I Loved: The interwoven spiritual allegory, cool world building, and fast-paced plotting.

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Title: The Debutante’s Code

Series: Thorndike & Swann #1

Author: Erica Vetsch

Genre: Adult Historical Mystery

Synopsis: A debutante searches for clues concerning her missing parents while a Bow Street Runner suspects her of art theft.

What I Loved: Codes and secret passageways, ballrooms and beautiful dresses, great humor and an intriguing mystery that kept me guessing, the reappearance of favorite characters from past books.

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Title: When Your Dragon Is Too Big for a Bath

Series: Standalone

Author: C. E. White

Genre: Picture Book, Magical Realism

Synopsis: A boy needs to wash his dragon who hates bathes.

What I Loved: The whimsy and the message about the sometimes unexpected ways God answers prayer.

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Title: Between Stairs and Stardust

Series: Standalone

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Adult Historical Romance (Novella)

Synopsis: In this Cinderella retelling, a disgraced illustrator hides at the Biltmore and falls for a millionaire whom she mistakes for a gardener.

What I Loved: The whimsy, the humor, the fun take on the old fairytale, all the feels perfect for a sappy romantic.

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Title: A Dragon By Any Other Name

Series: Standalone

Author: S.D. Grimm

Genre: YA Magical Realism/Dystopia

Synopsis: In this gender & creature swapped retelling of Beauty and the Beast, a dragon hunter becomes life bonded to a dragon.

What I Loved: The completely unique reimagining of my favorite fairy tale, the incredible character arc of the heroine, and the fast-paced plotting.

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Title: The Lost Property Office

Series: Section 13 #1

Author: James Hannibal

Genre: Midgrade Supernatural Suspense

Synopsis: A thirteen-year-old American searches modern-day London for a magical object to exchange for his hostage father.

What I Loved: Intellectually intriguing plot (perfect for the geeky mind), the hero’s synethesia-like abilities, cool gadgets, the Sherlock Holmes head nods, and the hint of espionage.

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Title: When the Day Comes   

Series: Timeless #1

Author: Gabrielle Meyer

Genre: Adult Time Travel (with a Dual Time feel)

Synopsis: A time-traveller must decides whether she’ll remain in 1774 or 1914 before her twenty-first birthday

What I Loved: The surprise ending, the beautiful picture of God’s sovereignty, the beautifully drawn historical periods, the creative premise.

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Title: To Treasure an Heiress

Series: The Secrets of the Isles #2

Author: Roseanna M. White

Genre: Adult Historical Romance

Synopsis: A lord with a passion for archeology and a treasure-seeking island lass search to find a buried treasure before harm comes to those they love

What I Loved: Sheridan (the hero). The laugh-aloud humor.

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 Title: Man of Shadow and Mist

Series: Of Monsters and Men #2

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Adult Historical Romance

Synopsis: A rumored-vampire baron returns home to care for his dying mother, sparking gossip among the townsfolk and love with a progressive-thinking librarian.

What I Loved: The characters. Their journey. Their struggles. The echoes of Beauty and the Beast.

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Title: The Bandit of Ashley Downs

Series: Trailblazers

Author: Dave and Neta Jackson

Genre: Midgrade Historical Fiction

Synopsis: A boy is sent to live at the same orphanage from which he stole money.

What I Loved: The wrestling of the protagonist; the faith of George Müller.

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Title: Hidden Current

Series: The Dancing Realms #1

Author: Sharon Hinck

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Synopsis: A dancer escapes a cult to seek the Maker of her world.

What I Loved: The beauty—the beauty of the prose, the beauty of the spiritual truth woven in, the beauty of the character’s growth, the beauty of God’s character. The way the story leads you to a place of worship.

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Title: Drawn in Ash

Series: A Legacy of Ink #1

Author: John W. Otte

Genre: Adult Science Fantasy

Synopsis: An Esther in a Star-Wars world, a king makes queen a woman from a subjugated race suspected of possessing magical writing powers.

What I Loved: The slightly unpredictable characters, engaging plot, complex world-building, laugh-aloud moments.

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