Best of 2018 and the Year in Review

It’s once again that time of the year where I look back at the last twelve months and round up my favorite reads! As always, my methods are going to be rather haphazard, but as you know I read a TON of books and having to narrow it down to just “Top 10” or even “Top 20” is a difficult (if not impossible) task. That’s why I’ve opted not to do a traditional list, and instead I’m going to be breaking this post down into different genres/categories to highlight all the books that 1) were my favorites of the year, 2) I thought were most memorable, or 3) I think should be getting more love and attention. The one thing they have in common is that I loved them all.

You can see my reviews and more information about the books by clicking on the images and following the links.

Fantasy

  

  

Fantasy is typically my biggest category, though this year there were fewer contenders for top spots, or maybe I’ve just gotten pickier. Still, 2018 saw some epic releases, including The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang, which is also notable for being my favorite debut of the year. There were some great sequels, including Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames, as well as King of Assassins by RJ Barker which capped off a phenomenal trilogy. A couple of my favorite authors also dazzled with new projects like Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett and Starless by Jacqueline Carey, and one of the year’s biggest surprises came in the form of Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven, a swooningly scrumptious romance fantasy.

Science Fiction

  

  

This was also a decent year for science fiction. My favorite sci-fi read of 2018 was probably Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. Other standouts include Before Mars by Emma Newman, Artificial Condition (as well as the other novellas in the Murderbot Diaries) by Martha Wells, Head On by John Scalzi, as well as a backlist book by Andrew Mayne called Station Breaker that I was really glad I got to read. I also got to sneak in one great sci-fi read before the end of the year, in the form of Outpost by W. Michael Gear.

But wait, there’s more! This year The BiblioSanctum once again participated in the month-long Sci-Fi November event, so if you’re interested in seeing a more detailed list of all my favorite sci-fi reads this year, be sure to check out the Top Ten post I put together for the wrap up!

Horror

  

I did not read as much Horror in 2018 compared to previous years, but I did love The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell, and I also enjoyed Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey and The Chrysalis by Brendan Deneen.

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

  

  

2018 was a good year for me when it comes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, or just fantastical spec fic that doesn’t really fit neatly into either the high fantasy or science fiction categories. Speaking of being hard to categorize, The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri was one of my most memorable reads of the year. The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller was also one of my biggest surprises. An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris and Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse were both gifts to post-apocalyptic UF, and if we’re talking more traditional urban fantasy, we have Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovich closing out the first major story arc of the Rivers of London series. Finally, King of the Road by R.S. Belcher was a book I only finished a few days ago, but it might just be my favorite paranormal read of 2018.

Young Adult

  

  

Like most years, there were a number of highly anticipated Young Adult releases that fizzled for me in 2018, but thankfully there were also a number of amazing reads that balanced out those disappointments. Among them are books by a couple of my favorite authors like Skyward by Brandon Sanderson and Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell. I also discovered a couple gems from new-to-me authors, including Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf, and The Hazel Wood by debut author Melissa Albert. In terms of sequels, I had a blast with The Defiant by Lesley Livingston, and Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff was a worthy finale to the Illuminae trilogy.

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

  

  

2018 was the year I made a real effort to read more Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller – and it shows. There were quite a few books I loved in this category, including debuts like Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman and The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor, sequels like Looking Glass by Andrew Mayne and This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong, as well as a couple of awesome reads by new authors I discovered like Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier and The Winters by Lisa Gabriele.

Overview: Books Read in 2018

We still have a few more days left in the year so these numbers aren’t going to be final, but the below charts and statistics taken from Goodreads should provide a good general overview of my 2018 in books. It would be cool if I could reach 200 books read for the year!

Goodreads Ratings:

On My Shelves…

By a Male Author: 49.2%
By a Female Author: 47.7%
Unknown/Male & Female Co-Authored: 3.1%
Audiobooks: 21.8%
For Review: 95.4%

Genres (some crossover):
Fantasy: 42.1%
Science Fiction: 29.9%
Thriller/Suspense: 16.2%
Horror: 13.1%
Urban Fantasy and Paranormal: 17.3%
Children’s and Young Adult: 22.8%

More on The BiblioSanctum:
Mogsy: Best of 2014 and The Year in Review
Mogsy: Best of 2015 and The Year in Review
Mogsy: Best of 2016 and The Year in Review
Mogsy: Best of 2017 and The Year in Review

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43 Comments on “Best of 2018 and the Year in Review

  1. Wow! Ok I loved Phoenix Unbound and I need to read The Poppy War and that “Sanderson guy” that everyone seems to live LOL. ILluminae, Gemima and Obsidio are now on my shelves waiting for me to read them. Congrats on reading nearly 200 books!

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  2. I see a few here that I plan to read like the Kings of the Wyld books, Station Breaker, Outpost, the Becky Chambers books and of course I loved Murderbot! I’m planning to read The Chalk Man in January!

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  3. Nice numbers there! I’m really impressed with your pages read. You only read 25 more books than me but your pages are 25K more. You must have done some hefty lifting to get those numbers so high 🙂
    Congrats!

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  4. Pingback: Out of My Comfort Zone Book Tag – Siobhan's Novelties

  5. Fantastic list! I see many on here that also made my list, which will be up Monday. I also see lots of books I want to read but just didn’t have time for. And wow, congrats on reading almost 200 books! You’ll probably hit that number since there are still 5 days to go😁

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  6. So glad to see King of assassins, poppy war and foundryside on here cos I want to read them all 😀 And I definitely want to check out the book of hidden things 🙂 And I’m psyched for Skyward! I really enjoyed Obsidio and loved Hazel wood!! And Chalk man sounds great. Looks like you had an incredible reading year as well!! 😀 Awesome wrap up!!

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  7. It was indeed a good reading year! I’ve read a few of your listed titles and there are several that I’d like to read as soon as possible… Having just finished Obsidio myself, I can agree with your comment about feeling bereft by the end of the series… 🙂

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  8. I did something similar, but I don’t read nearly as much as I so I only did my top one in each category. I got The Poppy War for Christmas, and I can’t wait to read it. I have several on your YA list to read as well!

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    • Yeah and sometimes I find it hard to come up with a certain number of favorites books in each category, since some genres have some real standouts while others not so much. So I just threw all my favorites up there, haha! 😀

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  9. Yay for Starless and Trail of Lightning! 😀 A few others on here are ones I’m interested in. In fact, I’m hoping to borrow at least one book from my local library per month next year, and I’m already thinking about making Skyward my January pick…

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  10. Yea, the Book of Hidden Things will most likely make it on my top books list too. I keep telling people about it. I’m curious to see what Dimitri writes next.

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  11. What a great year!! Ah! I haven’t heard of any of the books on your horror list, I’ll have to check those out!!

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  12. Station Breaker I think is new to me, I don’t recalll seeing that one before. The cover has me intrigued though. I agree about Record of a Spaceborn Few- that was probably my favorite SF read too- and ditto for Before Mars and the Murderbot stuff. Those were all excellent.

    Trail of Lightning and Bring Me Their Hearts are on my TBR and I’m looking forward to those. I need to get to them soon.

    This Fallen Prey was so good- i love that series.

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  13. Wow, great list and I love that Andrew Mayne has two books on here – what an achievement. Plus, just shy of 200 – although I suspect you’ll squeeze a few more in in the next few days? Hope you had a great Christmas.
    Lynn 😀

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  14. Yay for ‘Skyward’ 🙂 I’m happy to see that it gets lots of love, it deserves it!

    Got a sample of ‘Foundryside’ after hearing so many good things. And I STILL have to read ‘Bloody Rose’ and ‘Starless’

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