2018s Top Reads

by | Dec 31, 2018

For 2018, I set myself a goal: 365 books (It’s not unheard of for me to read more than this in a year), 52 reviews, 52 author interviews. As with all well-laid schemes, they gang agley.

I did read 343 books. Of those, 270 got five out of five stars from me, four got 4.5 stars, and most of the rest got four stars. But there were four that were so good, so wonderful, so much of what I needed when I read them, that they broke the star system and got a hundred. Yes, a hundred. Because, of course, my personality doesn’t do anything halfway; if I’m going to go above the five stars, it can’t be a mere six. So this post is a summary review of those four books. There are two categories: two books I waited for for forever because they were wrapping up a series of a favorite author of mine, and two books that were totally unexpected, but I’m very glad I took the advice of a friend and read them.

The Taliesin Affair by Steve Turnbull 

I don’t normally post reviews for authors that I work for. And, I’m not going to tell you too much about Taliesin. Except to say: I really, really loved working with Steve on the Maliha Anderson series. And this prequel was everything I’d hoped it would be, plus more. Truly. I loved every second of it. So much, that I’ve read it twice since I finished editing it.


By Darkness Forged by Nathan Lowell

Nathan specializes in trilogies with shorter story arcs across them, but those trilogies fit into a much larger story. I’ve posted about his Solar Clipper world before. This year, I read both the Seeker’s Tale trilogy and the Smuggler’s Tale trilogy. I loved both, especially the introduction of the new characters Nats and Zee. But finally getting to By Darkness Forged was incredible. This was an excellent wrap-up to the arcs of those two particular trilogies. I cannot wait for the next trilogy to begin.


My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows 

Specifically the audio version narrated by Katherine Kellgren. This book is hilarious, and would be without the audio. Enough that I added the rest of the series to my audible (My Plain Jane with My Calamity Jane in the works). But Kellgren breathes life into it that’s SO worth the extra expense of the audio verses just the ebook. I really wasn’t expecting this book. It was in a list that a friend had recommended, buried along with romances and business books. I thought it looked vaguely interesting and downloaded it. But days later, when I was looking for something new to listen to, it no longer sounded interesting (I was restless that day). Until my friend said, “Oh, yeah, it’s got shifters in it.” And my brain screeched to a halt. Wait! I thought this was a historical retelling…shifters?!?! So I listened. And by the end of prologue, I was laughing hysterically and declared it my favorite book of the year, no matter what happened in the rest of the book. And it did not disappoint at all. I’ve listened to it twice in the last month. I’ve even let my kids listen to it, so you know it’s clean.


Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

This too was a surprise. I laughed all the way through it even having figured out where it was going by the end of the first letter, and then told my brother (who doesn’t read if it’s not the sports section of the news) that he had to read it. Yes, my non-reading brother. And my mother. And my husband. And my kids. And, really, everyone in my life. Because Ella Minnow Pea is just as hilarious as My Lady Jane. But it’s visual. So order the paperback. Let’s just say that while totalitarian governments and civil unrest are most definitely not funny topics, when handled in the proper way, the situation can be really funny. This has been added to my “read every year” library. 


While the first two books probably won’t interest you too much if you’re not already following Maliha and Ishmael (which you should be), go ahead and pick up the last two. They’re well worth the cost, even if you’re not normally a reader.


I only post reviews for books I am not connected with. If I beta read or edited the book, or work as a virtual assistant for the author, I do not post a review. However, authors occasionally send me books to review.

Projected* schedule for Book Reviews for 2018:

1st Monday: Fantasy or Sci-Fi (what I read the most)
2nd Monday: Random book (could be anything, but expect a lot of mysteries)
3rd Monday: Romance (might have sex, but will not be any relationship that is not MF)
4th Monday: Non-Fiction (inspirational, biographies, instructional)

*Due to LIFE being a factor in my life, this schedule might not actually happen.
Adriel Wiggins

Adriel Wiggins

Owner, Adriel Wiggins Author Services and Consulting

Hello! I’m Adriel Wiggins, wife, mother of three, bibliophile, art geek, and all around student. I’ve been on a quest all of my life to learn as much as I possibly can about everything I possibly can. This has helped me tremendously in what eventually became my life’s purpose: to help other people become the best version of themselves. It is in that line that I became an assistant.

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