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Team – BWG Favorite Reads of 2022

Taylor’s Top Book

When BWGB decided to put together this list, I had a really hard time narrowing down my favorite book from the 12 I had compiled as part of my end-of-the-year video series. In the end, I decided to go with the one that I not only thoroughly enjoyed, but the one that surprised me the most; and that would be Death Rider by Zamil Akhtar. Not that I am surprised that I enjoyed Akhtar’s work as I have loved all the books I’ve read by him, but the staying power of this tiny prequel novella is incredibly impressive. We follow the perspective of a death rider that has been put on the front lines as fodder for the opposing enemy which drew me into the story from page 1. The cosmic/Lovecraftian horror element that Akhtar loves to play with is amped up to 100 and the plot twist is something you could never imagine in a million years. I find myself still thinking about it to this day, and can see myself re-reading it many times in the future. Thus, I feel it definitely deserves to be on this list of Best Books of 2022.

Death Rider by Zamil Akhtar

A disgraced warrior seeks an honorable death on the battlefield, but an eldritch god has other plans for her.

Steve’s Top Book

I have read so many good books in 2022 it was hard to narrow my favorite down. That is until I read The Dark Frontier Adventures: Dango. When I saw the cover for Dango, I thought it had the kind of vibe I was looking for, something off the beaten path. A lot of weird west is just cowboy stories with magic tacked on, making it seem like old west urban fantasy. Dango takes a different approach, taking some elements of the old west, but making wholesale additions and subtractions to the various lore and tropes to create a whole new type of weird west universe.

There are so many elements that make this a great book. You can see the inspirations for various parts of the story and characters. But these inspirations are just that, and the story is never derivative. The characters are fantastic, and they go through some great character development as the story progresses. The setting is just so well done, and you are drawn into this at once familiar and strange world, and you can only hope to see more.

The Dark Frontier Adventures: Dango by Jack Long

Beth’s Top Books

The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu

“An epic fantasy ode to martial arts and magic about what happens when a prophesied hero is not the chosen one after all—and has to work with a band of unlikely allies to save the kingdom anyway, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lives of Tao”

I loved this story, it had all the trademarks of an engaging fantasy, speckled with incredible characters and kick ass fight scenes. It was just a joy to read.

The Maleficent Seven by Cameron Johnston

Black Herran was a dread demonologist, and the most ruthless general in all Essoran. She assembled the six most fearsome warriors to captain her armies: a necromancer, a vampire lord, a demigod, an orcish warleader, a pirate queen, and a twisted alchemist. Together they brought the whole continent to its knees… Until the day she abandoned her army, on the eve of total victory.

40 years later, she must bring her former captains back together for one final stand, in the small town of Tarnbrooke – the last bastion against a fanatical new enemy tearing through the land, intent on finishing the job Black Herran started years before.

Seven bloodthirsty monsters. One town. Their last hope.

I have never cheered for the bad guys so much!!! If you like a little darkness in your fantasy you can’t go wrong.

Buy from Amazon

A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor

“The debut short story collection from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man, featuring ten bone-chilling and mind-bending tales

Timeslips. Doomsday scenarios. Killer butterflies. C. J. Tudor’s novels are widely acclaimed for their dark, twisty suspense plots, but with A Sliver of Darkness, she pulls us even further into her dizzying imagination.

In Final Course, the world has descended into darkness, but a group of old friends make time for one last dinner party. In Runaway Blues, thwarted love, revenge, and something very nasty stowed in a hat box converge. In Gloria, a strange girl at a service station endears herself to a cold-hearted killer, but can a leopard really change its spots? And in I’m Not Ted, a case of mistaken identity has unforeseen, fatal consequences.

Riveting and explosively original, A Sliver of Darkness is C. J. Tudor at her most wicked and uninhibited.”

Without a doubt one of the best story compilations I have ever read. They are riveting and terrifying and often surprising to the point I was saying “holy shit.” All you would have to do is read the first story and know exactly what I am talking about.

 

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