So, after a good day and a half of thinking, umm-ing and ah-ing, a bit of a headache, lots of music and a little bit of reading too, I whittled down all the amazing books released that I read this year into this, the Empire of Books Top 10 Books of 2010! It took a lot of hard work but I am very happy with the final outcome!
10. VAMPIRATES: Empire of Night by Justin Somper.
Unleashed upon the UK in March, Empire of Night is the fifth addition to Somper's hugely successful, and very impressive, Vampirates series. It's the penultimate adventure taking Connor and Grace deeper into their past than ever before. With new alliances, and new enemies, Empire of Night sets things up pretty nicely for an explosive finale. Look out for the final book, Immortal War, out June 2011!
9. Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide by William Hussey.
Released in March, this horrific beauty is the first book in a terrifying trilogy that will make your teeth chatter, your spine tingle and your toes curl. Perfection all in a neat little package. Brilliant writing that will draw you right into the heart of the story! I have the second book, Gallows At Twilight and cannot wait to read it! Look out for the remaining two books in the trilogy, both published this year! Gallows At Twilight is out 6th January and what is sure to be a stunning finale, The Last Nightfall is due to land in September! Brilliant! (And this series has such beautiful, eye catching artwork! Check out the cover art for the remaining two books below!)
8. Angel by L. A. Weatherly.
Published in October, Angel is another introduction to a trilogy from author L. A. Weatherly. It takes angels and completely re-imagines them as horrific, merciless beasts, and I for one LOVED it! I am quite simply chomping at the bit to read the second book, Angel Fire out Summer 2011!
7. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.
With a Hollywood film adaptation already filming before the book was even published, expectations were high for this book when it was published over the Summer and I for one was not disappointed. I was sent a beautiful review copy from Penguin/Puffin and once I started reading I did not want to stop! I was a bit sceptical - it is about aliens that are living amongst us after all, but it's not what I expected at all. It's the first in the Lorien Legacies series, with the second book, The Power of Six due Summer 2011. And with the film out in Feb/March, I cannot wait to see just how far this series really can go!
6. Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne.
Noah Barleywater Runs Away has to be one the most beautifully written books I have ever had the fortune of reading. It takes fairy tale and real life and blends it all together so brilliantly. I love the themes, and the story as a whole. The way this book deals with death is quite simply genius. I wish this book had been around before I experienced the death of a loved one. In my opinion it has brilliant morals and every child should read this book. If not to learn or understand, to read a blooming good story!
5. Birth of a Killer by Darren Shan.
Released in October, Birth of a Killer is the first of four in The Saga of Larten Crepsley, a prequel to Shan's The Saga of Darren Shan, this book was a must read for me! I am a big Darren Shan fan and was delighted to get a proof copy and devoured it in a day. Brilliant book and it sets things up brilliantly for the next book, Oceans of Blood, due May!
4. Dark Matter by Michelle Paver.
I am a massive massive MASSIVE fan of Michelle Paver and could not wait to read this! And luckily for me, that wait was cut short thanks to the amazing people at Orion! And what a book! A slightly terrifying read that chills to the core, it's the best ghost story I have ever read (I believe it's only the second or third, but who's counting?) and only continues to prove what an immense talent Michelle is! And that cover!
3. Boy's Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman
As soon as I heard the concept for this book, I just knew it'd be a brilliant read. And it was! Malorie Blackman took the concept of teenage pregnancy and flipped it completely, looking at it from the point of view of the father, and that is something I actually haven't seen or heard of before in teen literature! A stunning read, the tale of Dante - discovering and coming to terms with the fact that he is a father - and his brother Adam - coming to terms with his sexuality - run alongside each other. I cannot recommend this book enough. Read it, read it, read it! You'd be mad not to!
2. Almost True by Keren David.
I really really REALLY want to include both Almost True, and the first book in Ty/Joe's journey, When I Was Joe into this list but didn't want to leave out any other amazing books, so I went for my favourite of the two. This ground-breaking book isn't just my second favourite of the year, it is among my Top 5 books ever. I just love it so much. The writing is perfect. It feels exactly like a fourteen year old boy talking. And although Ty/Joe does some stupid things, you can't help but love him and sympathise for him. He's just a brilliantly thought out character! Keren has done amazing things with these books! Tackling the knife culture of today, these books are stark, often quite horrifying reads that will leave a MASSIVE impression on you! Do NOT miss out! Please!
And so we come to Number 1. My favourite book published this year... it was a hard decision, but I've made it and I am confident that it's the right one! I even read last few chapters again just to be sure, and I am... so... My Number 1 book of 2010 is...
1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.
It just had to be Mockingjay. I know quite a few people were disappointed with this book when it was published in August. And yes, it is a heavily depressing and draining read - I was exhausted when I finished it - but it takes a true talent to make you feel real emotion and to have that sort of effect on you. I just thought it was brilliant, epic. I am something of a relative newcommer to The Hunger Games, only reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire about 2 or 3 months before Mockingjay came out, but I could not wait to read it and it did not disappoint. It had the biggest impact on me since I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows back in 2007 and for that reason alone it was already a front runner. But combined with the plot, and the overall feel of the story, the characters, the cover design, it won by a country mile!
So that's it folks. Those are my Top 10 Books of 2010! Look out tomorrow for my Top 10 Covers of 2010!