Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Top ten new-to-me authors for 2013

The Broke and the Bookish started this one: Top Ten Tuesday, which I basically never remember to do, but this is a good one.

Now, Diana Peterfreund is the only author on my current TBR list that I share with The Broke and The Bookish. I really do want to try her books next year, though. LOTS of links over to other posts on this meme at The Broke and the Bookish, btw, including Maureen and Chachic, whose taste I know I share, so I did check those out.

Maureen’s list over at by singing light has a TON of authors I love on it — Terry Pratchett! CJ Cherryh! For me, the Flavia de Luce series was only okay when I listened to one earlier this year. I suspect those may work better in print vs audio; I found I AM HALF-SICK OF SHADOWS rather slow, and I honestly couldn’t decide whether I liked Flavia as a protagonist or not.

And, no, Maureen, you are not the last person in the world to read Kirsten Miller’s Kiki Strike books, which I hadn’t heard of. Plainly I should look those up.

Chachic’s list is heavy on contemporary romances, and so far I haven’t found any that really grab me except for those by Laura Florand — but I definitely need to try Eileen Wilks. I have her first book on my Kindle now.

I also checked out Ellie at Book Revels, because hey, Ellie had the superb taste to put me on her list in 2012. : ) You librarians, you do have excellent taste in books. I haven’t read a single author on her list this year except for Elizabeth Wein, though some are on my TBR list. I definitely need to check the rest out.

Okay, for me, some of my picks are super easy. Then they get more difficult, because this year I read a LOT of books by certain authors and relatively few by new-to-me authors. Let’s see if I can pick ten:

Andrea K. Höst. That was easy. Very obvious choice.

Laura Florand. Another obvious choice.

Sherwood Smith. Yes, I know, another obvious one for those who have been following along this year.

Elizabeth Bear — despite the fact that I’ve still only read one of her books. RANGE OF GHOSTS made me a believer.

Cassandra Clarke, for THE ASSASSIN’S CURSE and THE PIRATE’S WISH. A bit angsty, but snappy and fun.

Greg Stolze, for SINNER, which was excellent, and I would like to see more in this vein from him.

Theresa Romain, whose Regency romance IT TAKES TWO TO TANGLE was delightful — I have two more of hers on my Kindle now.

Margaret Maron, whose Deborah Knott mysteries I enjoyed quite a bit.

Okay, that’s eight and I’m out. I sure have a huge number of new-to-me authors on my TBR list, though, including PLENTY who appear on others of these top-ten lists this year. I could easily provide a top-ten list of new-to-me authors I would really like to read next year. In fact, I will:

Sage Blackwood. I’ve heard great things about JINX.

Diana Peterfreund. ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA is supposed to draw on THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL. I must read that.

Leah Bobet. ABOVE was the first book I put on my Kindle, and have I read it yet? No.

Eileen Wilks. Chachic has persuaded me I really have to try her World of the Lupi series.

Beth Bernobich. I’ve heard great things about PASSION PLAY.

Jonathon Howard. I really want to try KATYA’S WORLD.

Stephanie Burgis. I keep hearing about her STOLEN MAGIC.

AC Gaughen. SCARLET draws on the Robin Hood story. I really want to read it.

Amanda Hocking. Just because I never have read anything by her and I’m curious.

Susan Jane Bigelow. People keep telling me she’s fabulous. I have THE SPARK on my Kindle right now.

I could do a top twenty for this list with no trouble, but I guess I’ll stop there.

Have any of you got a particular new-to-you author you’re really looking forward to trying next year?

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5 Comments Top ten new-to-me authors for 2013

  1. Maureen+E

    I have the same problem with contemporary romance!

    And I really need to read Andrea Host, given the other people who love her. And I’ve read Bernobich’s FOX & PHOENIX, which is YA, but I want to try some of her other books.

  2. Kristina

    I tried both Maggie Stiefvater and Merrie Haskell this year on your recommendation, and haven’t regretted it. THE SCORPIO RACES remains one of my top reads of 2013.

    I’ll add myself to the list of those saying good things about both Burgis and Peterfreund. In Peterfreund’s case I enjoyed RAMPANT and ASCENDANT, which offer a fresh new take on unicorns.

  3. Rachel

    One problem for me is that contemporary settings need to be handled extra well or I’m not likely to be as interested; plus in contemporary romances the problems are so limited in scope (will the boy get the girl?) that I often don’t really care about the outcome. I’m all like, please can we go save the world now?

    So that’s tough enough. But then modern contemporary romance is an especially tough sell for me because I really, really would prefer more discretion with the bedroom scenes. “Hot and steamy” to me is a turnoff, not a draw. A writer has to be much better than average to get me to tolerate that. Hence, Laura Florand.

  4. Kristina

    Peterfreund really seems to have put in the time to study all the unicorn folklore, but she combines it into something uniquely her own. I loved the various unicorn species based on the myths from different cultures. My only quibble with the series is that she hasn’t said anything about #3 yet, and while ASCENDANT didn’t quite end in a cliffhanger there is still much unresolved.

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