The Snobbery’s Naughty and Nice List 2012 Edition (Part IV)

Now that my Rant Engines have been re-engaged, I’m having a hard time getting it together enough to talk about the things I loved this year.  AND THERE WERE SO MANY!  I might have to split this Nice post into two.  One for NEW things and one for things that were NEW TO ME.  Or I might just mix them up and put everything in neat little categories.

Sound good?

Honestly, I really don’t care if it sounds good because that’s how I’m doing it.  So there.


Mrs Claus with the Naughty List


sj’s Favourite Books of 2012

Best SF

The Deacon’s Tale by Arinn Dembo (reviewed Mar. 18)

Really, I shouldn’t have liked this as much as I did.  As you can see right there on the cover, this is a Sword of the Stars novel.  I don’t play, nor have I ever played Sword of the Stars (but it appears to have a decent following, I just don’t play many computer games anymore).  It’s set in an established future universe that should really only appeal to SotS gamers.

But I loved it.  No tedious infodumps for newbs, just good story telling.  And the best part?  There were these detailed Appendices at the end, that were really supposed to be for the players, but that I found incredibly helpful.

If you like space operas, give this a try.  As I said up there, you don’t have to’ve played the game to fall into this one.

Best YA

I have a few choices for this one, so just hang tight.

best ya 2012

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde (review haiku May 14), Debris Dreams by David Colby (reviewed Oct. 15) and Katya’s World (reviewed Oct. 1) by Jonathan L Howard

So, here we have 2 sf novels and a fantasy novel.  Other than the genre aspect, the only thing in common is how very SMART they are.  These are books that don’t assume young readers are stupid.  These are books that don’t act all condescending to their readers, just because they MIGHT not be adults.  I’ve already talked my 13 year old into reading the Fforde, but I’m still WORKING on getting him into sf, so the other two might be a bit of a struggle.

These are books that make me wish I knew more kids in their target age group so that I could hand them a bundle of awesome reading material this holiday.

If you have teens that like reading and you want to get them something that isn’t full of icky love triangles and stupid girls that need to be rescued every five seconds, buy them these books.

Best MG


How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell


  1. I haven’t reviewed these here, only on goodreads.
  2. I haven’t actually finished the series, I have only read the first six books (but I do have the next 2, I’m just missing 9 and 10).

So, forgive me for that, but ZOMG WHY HAVEN’T YOU READ THESE YET?!  I know you’ve probably all seen the Dreamworks movie that claims to be based on the first book, but they ARE NOTHING ALIKE.  And, as my husband informed me last night, I’m not allowed to talk shit about the movie retroactively since I saw it before I read these, but…

I’m kind of going to anyway.

Sorry, husband.

It’s really unfair to compare the two.  They’re both set in the same place, and the characters (some of them) have the same names, but other than that they really don’t have a whole lot in common.  The books are a lot funnier than the movie was, and you won’t LOVE TOOTHLESS in the books like you did in the movie…unless you love him for being a little asshole all the time.  Because he totally is, but it’s hilarious.  Instead of getting Hiccup OUT of trouble, he’s usually the CAUSE of the trouble, and he shows zero remorse for it.

Adults, you’ll like these if you still retain your childish whimsy.  Parents, get them if you have little boys and girls that like Vikings and dragons and can appreciate a well-told fart joke.

Best Urban Fantasy

best uf 2012

The Collector series (reviewed June 19 and Aug. 26) by Chris F. Holm and the Miriam Black series (reviewed Jul. 16 and Jul. 23) by Chuck Wendig

Oh, look!  We could easily call this “sj’s ZOMG FAVOURITE Covers of the Year” or “Angry Robot Really Outdid Themselves With These Titles” or “Just Take My Money For The Next Twelve Books Already.”

I don’t know if there will be that many more with either of these series, but a girl can hope, yeah?

Anyway, the only thing these books have in common with each other (other than the things mentioned above) are their publisher and that they’re awesome.

The Collector series follows Sam, a basically good guy who made a few bad decisions and now works collecting the souls of the damned.  Both books are great, but I like the second a bit more.  It expands on the first (it’s not really necessary to read both, but you’ll catch cool little references if you read them back to back), but doesn’t get mired in further backstory than is necessary.  They’re both incredibly fastpaced and difficult to put down.  I really can’t wait to read The Big Reap in July.  CAN’T WAIT.

Miriam Black is not for the faint of heart.  If you’re adverse to swearing, or…well, just some gross out imagery, you should skip these.  Seriously.  There are a ton of really bad reviews by people who went in thinking they were getting another YA UF novel with a pretty cover and hated it because this wasn’t what they were expecting.  Kate told me after she read Blackbirds that she wanted to take a bunch of showers, and that’s pretty accurate.  You’ll feel a little dirty after finishing.  Carpet Noodle.


Next time, I’ll talk about my NEW FAVOURITE AUTHOR and a new book by one of my CURRENT FAVOURITES.  In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves.  What did you lovelovelove this year?

25 thoughts on “The Snobbery’s Naughty and Nice List 2012 Edition (Part IV)

  1. Oh wow, this could get long. I’m going to do a “best of 2012″ blog post soon, with lots and lots of this year’s favorites. The Bells, by Richard Harvell, was probably my overall favorite. But lots of others were really good. Bloodline, by James Rollins. The Bestseller, by Olivia Goldsmith. The Dark Half, by Stephen King. I’ve Got Your Number, by Sophie Kinsella. I’d better just stop there.

    • OH! I loved the Dark Half the first time I read it, but it has been years! I found a first edition of it at a thrift store for A DOLLAR!

      Heather and I are re-reading ALL THE STEPHEN KING next year, so I’ll get back around to reading it again.

  2. Miriam Black is indeed brilliant! As is Fforde. :D
    I haven’t read Holm’s ‘Dead Harvest’ yet, but I’ve got a copy sitting on my shelf. And may I agree: the covers are brilliant. It’s like those old style books. Love it!
    I read a book called ‘Middlesex’ last year, and read it again this year (I used it for a school assignment) – it’s one of my favourites. I don’t often read a book twice, but when I do… Except you’d probably classify it as literary fiction, so it mayn’t appeal to you :S
    And I read some Octavia E. Butler short stories. They were amazing!!! The best sf I’ve read in a while. And there were the first two books in the ‘Point Four’ series by Mike A. Lancaster…gah, now you’ve got me going!

    (And I’m going to sound like an idiot, but what’s ‘MG’ stand for?)

    • I am probably wrong, but I feel like we’ve had this discussion before. :p

      MG is Middle Grade. Not early chapter books, but not quite YA. Like, for 9-12 year olds.

  3. Soon I will read the Miriam Black! Sooooon! As soon as I finish all these plays I have to read! Which, if they don’t get read, my theater won’t have a season next year, so they’re kind of important! *sigh*

  4. Pingback: The Snobbery’s Naughty and Nice List 2012 Edition (Part V) | snobbery

  5. Pingback: Teen Book Review « TeenGirlsthatWrite

  6. Pingback: Arinn Dembo » “The Deacon’s Tale” Wins “Best SF Read” of 2012!

  7. Pingback: Dead dead. Real dead. Double dead. | snobbery

  8. Pingback: “As petty and mercurial as a poorly socialized toddler.” | snobbery

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