2012 Flushies: Best Book

woolI’m a bit crunched for time with Christmas coming up, so I don’t have the time to really sit and doodle up a cool graphic for this year’s award ceremonies here at Bio Break.  I haven’t even really thought it through past today, but I’d hate to break a tradition.  So take these as an award or just a “things I recommend that I saw/played/read/enjoyed this year.”

Today’s topic, best book I read in 2012.

Winner: Wool by Hugh Howey

Wool is a series of (currently) seven novels and novellas centering around a post-apocalyptic society that lives in a giant underground silo.  It’s a fascinating idea that’s coupled with cool characters and lots of surprising twists.  Books 1-5 are the core story, with 6-8 designed to be a prologue series of sorts.


  • Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron — Good light-hearted fantasy in a quite imaginative world where every object has a living, thinking spirit attached.
  • Prince/King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence — A dark fantasy series with a completely rotten character as the protagonist.  Yet you come to root for him, and that’s the amazing part.
  • Pines by Blake Crouch — A “what the heck is going on in this weird small town” story.  Kind of brutal and a little confusing, but worth it for the payoff.
  • The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks — Weeks is a heckuva author, and it was great to return to his series where characters use color as their magic.
  • The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King — Just a side story to the whole Dark Tower series, but still it was like coming home to return to this series for it.
  • The Rook by Daniel O’Malley — Buffy crossed with the X-Files crossed with Harry Potter crossed with awesomeness.
  • Zero Sight/Zero Sum by B. Justin Shier — Probably my most favorite series written by a medical doctor and starring a vampire.
  • The Anathema by Zachary Rawlins — While I don’t care much for the main character (or, heck, many of the characters), it’s a ridiculously imaginative, intricate, and labyrinthine setting where characters with superpowers are trained in an academy and then sent off to join cabals that fight against each other.
  • Leviathan Wakes and Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey — Great space opera stuff with a goody-two-shoes war hero, a depressed private eye, and a horrible threat that may just end everything in the solar system.
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline — If you love 80s culture, MMOs, and a pretty neat look at what the future may hold in store, here you go.
  • A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin — Way better than Feast of Crows, A Dance with Dragons continues the Song of Ice and Fire saga in a way that we’d expect: with lots of blood, surprises, and deaths.
  • The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss — Not quite as good as The Name of the Wind, Rothfuss’ follow-up is nevertheless good reading with one of the most compelling main characters of modern fantasy fiction.

4 thoughts on “2012 Flushies: Best Book

  1. bhagpuss December 20, 2012 / 4:21 pm

    I was asked to do this for work a couple of weeks back and I was quite surprised to find I didn’t have a single fantasy or SF title in my dozen favorite adult novels of the year. Top by a margin was Dana Spiottta’s enigmatic and haunting “Stone Arabia”, closely followed by a a pack of mostly American contemporary fiction from the likes of John Dee, Chad Harbach, Nell Freudenberger and so on.

    I had been extremely keen to read Rothfuss’s follow-up to the brilliant “The Name of the Wind” but I didn’t manage to get a freebie and word-of-mouth from several people I know who’d read it and were disappointed put me off laying down actual money. I’ll get to it eventually.

  2. Triski December 21, 2012 / 10:38 am

    One of the previews shown at my theater before The Hobbit was a post-apocalyptic setting that had a few survivors in it, and hinted at some kind of secret goings-on being kept from the hero. There was a shot of a woman in a bio-suspension tube-type device, and it ended with the hero screaming at a different woman “What did you do??????”

    I don’t remember the name of the movie, but my first thought was “Hey, that looks like a lot like “Wool”!

    I have Pines on the Kindle ready to go, and just got The Rook based on your review. Now if I could only find a way to read and get my LOTRO dailies done at the same time! (I know – audio book, but I like the game music too much to replace it.)

  3. Xerb December 21, 2012 / 7:52 pm

    Ordered about half of these. I look forward to breaking into some new authors/stories.

  4. John January 7, 2013 / 3:37 am

    The Twelve by Justin Cronin came out shortly before the end of the year. It is the 2nd part in a series with The Passage being the first part. Incredible post apocalyptic tale! Think The Stand crossed with I Am Legend.

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