OpenBytes book of 2014

images2014 has seen some great releases.  It’s impossible to read every great work and the fact that I only managed to read 25 titles in 2014 means that I’ve not even come close to scratching the surface.

For those who have not seen the book of the year award on OpenBytes, I’ll make a few things clear.  The books that are considered for the award are the ones I selected to read during the course of the year.  They are not necessarily new releases.

Laurel A Rockefeller’s works had to be removed from consideration.  This is due to a friendship myself and my family have formed with this talented author and I feel that any award article (and her works certainly rank in the shortlist) would not be looked at as impartial.  With that in mind though, please do check her work out.  Her attention to detail, her passion for her subjects and her engaging writing style are all reasons why you should make 2015 the year you experience her work.

The 22 books up for consideration are as follows:

The Unremembered Empire – Abnett, Dan

Eternal Knight – Heppe, Matt

Gods of Mars – McNeill, Graham

Vulkan Lives – Kyme, Nick

The Slow Regard of Silent Things – Rothfuss, Patrick

Mark of Calth – Goulding, Laurie

Lords of Mars – McNeill, Graham

Priests of Mars – McNeill, Graham

Moth – Arenson, Daniel

The Wise Man’s Fear – Rothfuss, Patrick

The Name of the Wind – Rothfuss, Patrick

Wand of the Witch – Arenson, Daniel

Coffin Dodgers – Marshall, Gary

Eye of the Wizard – Arenson, Daniel

Omnilingual – Piper, H. Beam

The Forge of Mars – Balfour, Bruce

At the Gates of Darkness – Feist, Raymond E.

The Voyage of the Space Beagle – Vogt, A.E. van

Ship of Fools – Russo, Richard Paul

Dark Matter – Ahmed, S.W.

Naughty – Chester, Mark

Betrayer – Aaron Dembski-Bowden


So what title failed to impress last year?  I think top of the list has to be “The Slow Regard of Silent Things” and at the time as I wrote in a review, this easily rates as the weakest title I read in 2014.

There were some great discoveries over 2014 – Wand of the Witch is a quirky, fun and entertaining fantasy piece which I thoroughly enjoyed.  This led me onto other titles from Daniel Arenson, (Moth) which again impressed.

The Magician series still poses a struggle.  I’m trying to finish the series but for me, there is no better example of a series stretched well beyond its “sell by” date.

The Horus Heresy series still continues too.  It’s around 30 titles and with no end of the series in sight, it’s getting a little silly.  I can’t see 2015 having many Warhammer 40,000 titles in my reading list.  If it keeps going the way it is, it will be the year 40,000 before the series completes.

So who gets the award?

It’s ironic that the author who produced (for me) the weakest title of 2014 (Patrick Rothfuss) also produced the one that wins the title.  “The Name of the Wind”  with its mix of 1st/3rd person, it’s attention to detail and it’s ability to create characters which the reader can really care about has it as a worthy winner.  It was a slim win though, as I was very close to giving the award to Daniel Arenson’s “Wand of the Witch”.


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