3rd Runner Up
I actually compiled my lists right after I posted my last 2007 review. If I was compiling it now, Josh Lanyon would probably be higher. I’ve just finished reading and reviewing two of his three Adrien English mysteries (to be posted the week of 1/7/08), and with the completion of those, he’s now officially an autobuy. I love his spare, fluid prose. I love the noirish feel to his worlds, both in his real noir and his contemporary settings. I love his flawed characters. He makes me smile, he makes me think, he makes me feel. As a reader, I can’t ask for anything more.
2nd Runner Up
Michelle L. Levigne
Probably not a surprise to see this author here since her book was my favorite non-erotic book of the year. I have the entire Bainevah series, and when I see her name, I know it’s going to be quality writing. She writes lush prose with fantastic otherworlds, painted in vibrant colors that make them leap from the page. I’m not sure why she hasn’t been enticed away by print publishers yet. She’s certainly better at fantasy than a lot of the other stuff I’ve read.
1st Runner Up
This one probably shouldn’t be a surprise, either. I’ve only read one of this author’s books, but I have a recently re-released book on my TBR pile, and I’ll be tackling that in January, most likely. This book was the most pleasant surprise of the year for me, and I sincerely hope that the promise it showed pays off in subsequent books. Flawed characters, tight action, all good.
Ms. Dean’s books are on my autobuy list. I read three of her stories this year, and while I enjoyed all of them – one quite a bit more than the other two – they’re not the reason I adore her. Her voice is the single most distinctive, most entertaining, most literate voice I read online all year. Hands down. Even when I don’t necessarily care for a character, she keeps me hooked in the story by her clever phrasing, her colorful dialogue, and more. She’s moving into print now, and I have her book, Grimspace, pre-ordered. I didn’t even read the blurb. I just know I want it.