My top 10 books of 2016

I only gave three books 5 stars this year. But, happily, I gave seven books 4.5 stars which means I can do a top 10!

I read and reviewed 117 this year. Only three of them got 5 stars. I think I may be getting pickier with my 5 stars as I get older!

There were also seven books which came very close to those elusive 5 stars, so I’ve included them here too.

Click on the book title for my full review. Click on the book cover to go to Goodreads.

Here we go!

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WWW Wednesday 23rd November 2016

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

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Review | Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

An excellent second installment in an ambitious, creative series. 4/5.

gemina-the-illuminae-files-2-by-amie-kaufman-and-jay-kristoff

The short blurb to avoid spoilers for book 1 in the series: Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

My take:

This is a difficult book to review without including spoilers for book 1 of the series, the terrific Illuminae. If you’d like to know about that, please read my review here. The short version is that I only gave five books 5 stars in 2015, and Illuminae was one of them.

Though I can’t say much, I’m delighted to say I enjoyed Gemina almost as much as book 1.

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WWW Wednesday 19th October 2016

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WWW Wednesday 10th August 2016

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Review | Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff

Uncompromising entertainment. 4.5/5 stars.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Thank you to Harper Voyager and NetGalley for giving me an e-copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Nevernight is published in the US today, August 9th, and in the UK on August 11th.

The blurb: Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death. Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.

My take:

I’ve been quite surprised by how Nevernight appears to be dividing readers into clear “hate it/DNF’d it” vs. “loved it” camps. So, what did I think? Well, I loved it. This book is very, very good. In fact, it’s “stay-awake-past-2-in-the-morning-willing-your-eyes-to-stay-open-so-you-can-finish” good.

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WWW Wednesday 3rd August 2016

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Review recap: my top five books of 2015

In a happy coincidence, I gave five books 5 stars in 2015.

Top five books of 2015 Claire Huston

I reviewed 70 books on this blog this year. Only five of them got 5 stars. I don’t feel able to say any of them is “better” than the others. However, I will rank them according to how wide an audience I think would enjoy them (my total guess here… other opinions are available!).

Click on the book title for my full review. Click on the book cover to go to Goodreads.

So here we go. Counting down…

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WWW Wednesday 23rd December 2015

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Review | Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Nail-biting book-crack told in an innovative and entertaining way. 5/5 stars.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff book cover

What it’s about: This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

My take:

I’ve done my very best to make this review spoiler-free, so forgive me if I’m vague and cryptic!

I hemmed and hawed a while about whether to be stingy and give this 4.5 stars or give it 5. In the end, I asked myself whether I would forgo food and/or sleep to read the next installment in the series if someone were to give it to me right now. And I would. So 5 stars it is.

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