book review, fiction

Best book of the half year goes to…

I’ve seen a lot of these posts floating around recently, and since I’ve just finished reading my 100th book this year, and it’s a little over half way through 2020, I thought I’d join in.

I’ve read twelve 5 Dog books so far this year. Listing them in order of completion;

1. Dead Meat: Day 0 by Nick Clausen.

Available only as a free download to the author’s newsletter subscribers, Dead Meat: Day 0 shows fans of the series how the zombie apocalypse got started in Denmark.

2. Gods of the Black Gate by Joseph Sale.

A science fiction serial killer detective thriller, with some cosmic horror thrown in for good measure. While the next two books in the trilogy veer into different tonal territory, this is a pure fun introduction to the characters.

3. Crowman by David Rae.

Any book that concerns a world where the sun is literally held in a box that’s only opened for one day a year is going to pique my interest. Rae doesn’t disappoint with his blend of magic, world myth, and the nature of humanity.

4. Carpe Glitter by Cat Rambo.

This Nebula award winning novella features stage magic, difficult family relationships, and a hearty dose of the occult. At the age of five I toured my school with a magic show, and most recently performed with Biggest Pup at a family birthday party, so anything to do with stage magic interests me. Rambo hits a home run with the other elements too.

5. After the Change by Michael J. Moore.

If you took my favorite parts of The Walking Dead and Z Nation tv shows and combined them, you’d get After the Change. An exciting zombie book with surprisingly deep characters. I’m chomping at the bit for the release of the sequel.

6. Return to the Black Gate by Joseph Sale.

What can I say about this book? You have to experience it to understand. Breathtaking.

7. The Girl Who Wasn’t There by Nick Clausen.

A terrifying story about abduction and how the loss of a child changes a family. Clausen hits all the right notes in this paranormal thriller.

8. Thornhill by Pam Smy.

I’ve never read a book like this, and probably never will again. Told through illustrations and diary entries, this children’s book packs an emotional punch. My first 5 dog buddy read with Jonny from Jaunts and Haunts.

9. An Untoward Bliss of Moons by Terrie Leigh Relf.

A beautiful collection of science fiction poetry, where each poem is a complete story. I don’t know how the author managed to pack so much imagery and imagination into so few lines. Wonderful.

10. Lake City Ninja Girl by Cait Moore

A superhero story with a difference. Realistic, tragic, and with moments of heart, I look forward to the sequel.

11. Swashbuckling Cats edited by Rhonda Parrish.

Cat pirates. Enough said. If you don’t agree, I’ll make you walk the plank. Mearrrr.

12. Dead Meat Day 4 by Nick Clausen.

This zombie horror series goes from strength to strength. A lot has happened in the four days since zombies appeared in Denmark, and things are getting decidedly hot for those who have managed to survive.


The best book of the half year goes to…

I’ve read so many great books this year, and I love every single one of these 5 dog reads. It’s very difficult to choose one that stands out above the rest.

So I haven’t. I’ve chosen two (well, technically four, because there are three books in The Black Gate Omnibus).

Two very different books, but both spoke to me because the characters faced great hardship and darkness, while never losing sight that there is more to this world than the material, that we are not alone, and what we do matters.


Have you read any of these books? Have you a favorite book for the first six months of the year? Let me know in the comments. I’m always looking for new books to read and authors to discover.

Click on the book covers above to visit the relevant goodreads page.

If you’d like to read my reviews of these titles, visit the Book Review page and click on the book covers to be taken to the corresponding review.

21 thoughts on “Best book of the half year goes to…”

      1. Hi Iseult – I have indeed, and actually being so impressed by your reviews and consistency, was going to offer you a complimentary copy for a fair review. I am awaiting delivery of a few copies but that should be within next few days – let me know if you’d like me to send you one. Send me your postal address and I’ll get it off to you. thanks in anticipation – james

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m really honoured and grateful, Iseult. Thank you so much for choosing BLACK GATE: OMNIBUS as one of your top books! I shall have to check out some of the other books on this list; it is nice to be in such esteemed company. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your work, Joseph. I am looking forward to the time I can share my book from Richard’s class with you, because I think there is a compliment in themes that’s makes the Black Gate Omnibus resonate so much with me, and I’d love to get your take on it. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG, 100 books?! Dang, you are on fire! Congrats!

    I just checked and I’m at 64 including short stories. Um, when did I become a reading addict? Haha!

    I’m definitely going to check out these reads of yours since the only one I know of is the one we read together and The Girl Who Wasn’t There (on my kindle).

    Liked by 1 person

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