- 41 2022/current year releases plus 1 2023 release
- 29 reviews posted to SFFWorld
- 41 can be considered Horror
- 34 can be considered Fantasy
- 12 can be considered Science Fiction
- Some books like S.A. Barnes's Dead Silence falls into multiple genres
- 31 books by authors new to me
- 41 Books by women
- 13 total debut
- 17 audiobooks
- 5 books I DNF'd
(My Favorite Overall Novel Published in 2022)
(My Favorite Horror Novel Published in 2022)
Sometimes when you are reading a book, you know you’re getting into something special. This feeling usually happens in the early chapters, a growing sense that the book is the writer’s Opus. Recently, I felt that way when I read Chuck Wendig’s The Book of Accidents and Seanan McGuire’s Middlegame. I also felt that way while I was reading Delilah S. Dawson’s The Violence.
(My Favorite Fantasy Novel Published in 2022)
When matriarch and Guildmaster Rosamon sends her children,
youngest son Fulren, daughter Tyreta, and eldest son Conall far away, the
action R.S. Ford’s Engines of Empire begins. … Ford does many, many things very
well in this novel, which launches The Age of Uprising trilogy. He’s nailed the
character portion of the novel, each of the Hawkspur family members came across
as believable and empathetic. One of Fulren’s driving forces was to see revenge
against Lancelin Jagdor, the man he sees as murderer of his father. To be fair,
Fulren’s father challenged Lancelin to a duel and lost, but the outcome was the
same – Fulren’s father was killed. The death of their father also weighs on
Connall, but he’s caught between devotion to his family and the duty placed
upon him as military man. Tyretta finds herself embroiled in a conflict far
from the borders of her home, but affected a great deal by her homeland.
Perhaps my favorite element of this novel is the world-building. The way the magic of the pyerstones powers the technology, like airships and engines, is borderline steampunk. In fact, I’ve seen the setting described as “aetherpunk,” a term I surprisingly (having been reading this stuff for a few decades) wasn’t aware of before reading this book, even if I was familiar with the definition. Anyway, it is a fun setting and “-punk” varietal. Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass comes to mind, as does Tad Williams’s War of the Flowers as standout novels that sort of fit in this descriptor.
For the remaining favorites, some of these books were published prior 2022
What makes this novel so enchanting is how it is everything an Epic Fantasy novel should be, but has similarities to so very few Epic Fantasy novels I’ve read. The closest two novels that come to mind for me are Alastair Reynolds’s Terminal World and Gregory Frost’s Shadowbridge… Title character Thomas Senlin takes his wife Marya to the Tower of Babel for their honeymoon. The tower is an enormous, continuously growing structure with each vast level, or "ringdom," essentially a world unto itself… Bancroft’s prose is elegant, it lulls you in like a comforting blanket, but the stories it reveals over the course of Senlin’s journeys through four of the forty "ringdoms" are harrowing, enchanting, and often dark. The fourth and final novel published November 2021, so I may have to binge the three remaining books I’ve yet to read.
This happens to snag the “Best Debut” of 2022 spot for me.
When his old friend Chris suggests he spend some time at Alexander House, allegedly the “Most Haunted House in Virginia” for his next book project, David acquiesces. Dave becomes friendly with his neighbor, Ralph Hooper and much to his chagrin, kids whose parents are absentee parents, all of whom reside on the banks of the Rappahannock River. He also hears and sees things in the house and the area surrounding it. …and like many haunted house stories, David is haunted by his past and brings ghosts of his own when he arrives at Alexander House. …. A couple of days into reading the book I had a nightmare. I’m not saying reading The Siren and The Specter caused the nightmare, but I’m not saying the book didn’t cause the nightmare. Correlation…the only two books I can directly say gave me nightmares are Stephen King’s The Shining and Dan Simmons Summer of Night and what caused those nightmare were what I previously called the “edge of your senses” creepiness. Janz, in The Siren and the Specter, excels at the “edge of your senses” horror, as I said.
Kagen the Damned by Jonathan Maberry