Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Favorites

On this, the last day of the year, I thought I'd reflect on the debuts that I read since I started Fantasy Debut. Rather than attempting to rank a list of favorites, I came up with some stand-outs in several areas. Several debuts appear more than once.

Best Laugh
Let's face it: it's hard to write humor. Many authors don't even try. Therefore, special kudos to for this memorable scene.

The Condom Scene in Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep

Best Cry
Movies and books that make me cry are always my favorites. I blubber like a baby in the goodbye scene in Pollyanna every time. This particular weepy scene was even more special since it was completely unexpected. It sent me for tissues and turned a good novel into a great one.

The Stepmother Goodbye Scene in You Had Me at Halo by Amanda Ashby

Best Kiss
A good fictional kiss, in my mind, is the kind that is not immediately followed by a sex scene. A kiss needs to stand alone, in my opinion. Sex should come much later, if at all. Yes. I'm a bit of a prude. Anyway, who could forget this kiss?

Tam's Kiss in Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin

Best Sense of Wonder
A sense of wonder is important to me in fantasy, which is why I veer away from the dark and gritty stuff. However, even though I don't read a lot of gritty or dark stuff, the wonder still tends to be missing from most fantasy. Here is where I found it in this year's debuts.

The Cloak in Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet
The creatures in Thief With no Shadow by Emily Gee

Most Original Setting
Two authors in particular deserve special kudos for coming up with truly original settings for their fantasy debuts.

Wind Follower by Carole McDonnell
The Princes of the Golden Cage by Nathalie Mallet

Best Villain Group
Two villain groups stood out this year for originality and ruthlessness.

The League in Acacia: The War With the Mein by David Anthony Durham
The Pilot-Masters in The Hidden Worlds by Kristin Landon

Best Villain
We all love a villain. I particularly love villains with whom I can sympathize a bit. I really only had one favorite for the year.

Hanish Mein in Acacia: The War With the Mein by David Anthony Durham

Overall Favorite Characters
Who did I just plain like the best? Well, that was easy. Here are my female and male favorites.

Favorite Female
Raine in Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin
Favorite Male
Joby in The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari

Most Difficult To Put Down
Although these are not necessarily my favorites, I found them the most impossible to put down.

The Hidden Worlds by Kristin Landon
Thief With No Shadow by Emily Gee

Overall Favorite
If I had to pick one to name as my favorite, I simply must go with the one that made me cry. The ironic thing about this one is, for the most part, the book is pure humor.

You Had Me at Halo by Amanda Ashby


Anonymous said...

Brilliant take on the yearly round-up!

Carole McDonnell said...

Hey there, woman!

Thanks for including me in on the round up. -C

Kimber Li said...

Okay, now I've got to get the halo one.

Nice job, Tia. The only one I've read so far is MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND by Lisa Shearin. I did have PRINCES OF THE GOLDEN CAGE on my list though.

Kimberly Swan said...

What a terrific idea! Magic Lost, Trouble Found is the only one I had a chance to read as well. Sounds like I had better broaden my horizons in reading. *grin*

Tia Nevitt said...

Lisa really has some great buzz going for her next novel, Armed and Magical. I may even do an advance review (which I almost never do)! I have a bookmark right here next to me that makes me just itch to read it.

Lucy said...

I love, love, LOVED you had me at halo by Amanda Ashby. It's up there with my all time favorite books. Great choice. :-)

David Anthony Durham said...


Thanks for the mentions. Villains! I'll have to remember to always emphasis the villains...

Amanda Ashby said...

Wow, Tia, you've left me a bit speechless (can you bottle it? my husband has just asked). Anyway, thank you so much because you've totally made my day!!!!!!

Tia Nevitt said...

David, I liked Hanish because I understood the reasons why he did the things he did. I didn't approve of his methods, but of course that's why he was (is??) such a great villain.

Amanda, I'm glad I made your day, but you deserve all the credit for writing such a wonderful story.

Chris, The Book Swede said...

Like Gav said, really interesting post! I've still got to get hold of Acacia -- gonna buy it this afternoon :D

Thanks for your post on my blog, by the way, I'll be posting again soon, and I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and have a very happy New Year!

The Book Swede

Tia Nevitt said...

I hope you enjoy it, Chris!

Lisa Shearin said...

Thank you for the mentions, Tia!!

Tam is especially appreciative. ; )

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Estep said ...
Cool! I'm on somebody's best of list! Thanks, Tia. :-)