In Memoriam of all the Series that Ended in 2016

In the tradition of award shows every way, we at Stacks would like to recognized those series that are no longer with us.  They have ended.  They and solved all their mysteries and tied up any loose ends.  We were said to see them go but they will always be remembered for the joy that brought to our lives.

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My Top 10 Books I read in 2016

I will say this about 2016, I read a lot of good books this year.  It was hard to narrow it down to just 10.  So without further ado and in no particular order.

  1. hammer-of-thorHammer of Thor by Rick Riordan – So it was hard to pick between this one and his other book Riordan wrote, The Hidden Oracle, but I choose this one because of the characters.  I love that Rick has added diverse characters to his worlds.  Not to mention his characters get sassier with every book.
  2. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir – A cross between historical fiction and dystopian novel.  It’s quite a thrill ride and it left a real cliffhanger as to how the series is going to end.
  3. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – After a so-so first book this one was a real game changer for the series as a hole.  It delved into matters trauma and emotional abuse but still keep the story flowing.
  4. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater – It’s Maggie and It’s Gansey, Blue, Ronan, Adam and Noah.  It’s the perfect ending to a perfect story.
  5. Half LostHalf Lost by Sally Green – It was as beautiful as it was heartbreaking.  Nate didn’t have an easy life and nothing about this book was easy too.  It was very true to life.  It doesn’t always turn out the way you expect and in war there are always painful loses.
  6. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – Now this is a fun series.  It’s a dystopian fantasy with X-Men qualities.  Mare is not perfect.  She’s complicated and conflicting but she means well and the writing only gets better with each book.
  7. Pyromantic by Lish McBride – This book doesn’t actually come out until next year so I’ll wait to tell you about it but let’s just say you are going to love it.
  8. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – It’s a crime caper and a fantasy.  You root for the the thieves and the con men to win.  It’s wonderful.
  9. Ms. Marvel No Normal by G. Willow Wilson – likable and charming, Kamala Khan is worthy addition to the Avengers.  She proves that it doesn’t matter where you come from and what you believe, you can still be a superhero.
  10. The Midnight Star by Marie Lu – Another great ending to well thought out series.  I may have qualms about who the real villain was but I think it was heartbreaking as it was beautiful.

Our Top 5 Posts of 2016

2016 was a mix bag of a year but let’s focus on the positives,shall we?   This year was a banner year for us at Stacks.  In the last weeks of the year we are going to take a look back of some of our highlights.  So here are our most viewed posts of the past year.

  1. Review: Half Lost by Sally Green Who knew this was going to be such big crowd pleaser?  This book really broke my heart.  The ending was so beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.  I originally reviewed this back in January but we are still getting views.
  2. Preview of the Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan So this post is originally from 2015 but the excitement over Riordan’s new book carried over into 2016.  It’s views more then doubled my review of the book.  I’ll try not to read too much into that.  😉
  3. Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 1 My excitement over the The Raven King was subtle.  Okay, not so subtle.  This was the first of a week long celebration of Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle series.  I examined different aspects of the series and tried to predict what was going to happen in the final book.
  4. Review: Endure by Sara B. Larson Another surprising addition to the list.  This review from January about the final book in Sara B. Larson’s book was a pretty good series.
  5. Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 2  and rounding out our top five is Part 2 of my The Raven Cycle love fest.

2016

Diverse Stacks, Diverse Lives Reading Challenge Update Part 2

bookchallenge2016image

Since Kate posted her update, I figured I should do mine.  I’m doing much better on the Meduim/Genre/Industry Sub-Challenge then the other 2.  So far I have read Captain Marvel for my Graphic Novel with a superhero, Nimona for Graphic Novel without a superhero.  The Hidden Oracle for a book meant for Children and Cravings a cookbook by Chrissy Teigen for a book from a genre I’ve never read.  Half Lost, a book with a Queer Character. To All The Boys I’ve Loved, a book with an Asian American Character. And finally Endure by Sara b Larson for a book by a  Woman author. To be honest, I could have picked almost any book I’ve read this year for that last one because so far I have only read 3 books written by a man.

So that brings my total up to 7 out of 30. Yikes, that’s not great but it’s 1 better then Kate. ;-).

Review: Half Lost by Sally Green

Half Lost

I don’t even know where to begin with this review.  After finishing this book I said this on Twitter.

So yeah.  That ending.  I can’t say what it is because that would be an obvious spoiler but damn.  I’m still in tears thinking about it.  This series has been very surprising.  Sally Green did not hold back in the finally. It was chaotic and tense and painful.  I’m heartbroken for so many characters, Nathan and particular.  He is a boy who his whole life has been told he is bad for because of who he’s father is.  He is not and has never been.  Yes, he has done bad things. Some forgivable and some quite questionable but not a bad person.  He has from a young age been tortured and manipulated.  Used for one groups goals for another.  He had few people who truly cared about him and betrayed by one he truly cared about.  Only to find his true love, his soul mate.  The one person who truly believed in him and that is Gabriel.  I spent most of the first half, hoping that Nathan would look up an see Gabriel for who he really is and see that his love wasn’t just one way.  Gabriel questioned Nathan, he challenged him not because he didn’t believe in him but because he did.  He wanted what was best for Nathan and willing to go along with him no matter what.  It was a beautiful love story.  Nathan is not in a good place at the beginning of book but works his way through.  He may have thrown himself with the Alliance because it was best chance for revenge but by then end he understood that the Alliance was the best way to get his freedom.  As long as Soul and his White Witches continue to rule, he would always be watching his back.  So he does what no one else can.  He leads the fight.  War is hard.  There is always a price and the price Nathan paid may have been too much.  I know it was for me.  I felt a little broken like Nathan was by the end.  The ending was nothing buy heartbreaking and tragic but happy endings don’t always happen in real life either.

Half Lost unexpectedly helping me with my Diverse Lives, Diverse Stacks Reading Challenge by being a book with a Queer Character.  In the previous books, Gabriel’s feelings for Nathan were pretty clear but besides a kiss and some hints in Half Wild I didn’t think that Nathan would return Gabriel’s feelings.  I hope he would.  There was no confusion.  No pronouncement, I am Gay or Bi or Queer.  Just this was the person he wanted to be with and that was it.  I do believe that Nathan did love Annalisse but not in love with her.  She was first person outside his Grandma and siblings that treated him like he could be good or was good and he so desperately wanted but that wasn’t love.  There was nothing fake or forced about his relationship with Gabriel it was true.