For reasons I can't recall, it hasn't been a banner reading year. That's 100% depressing and I mean to change it this year. Woman cannot live by writing alone. I seriously need some great binge reads in this coming year. Fortunately, I already have several to look forward to.
Of the books I did read this year, these are the ones that stayed with me - a couple of them actively haunt me. That's the mark of a great story. A few of these names will be familiar to you. :D
Dark Alchemy (and Mercury Rising) by Word-Whore alum Laura Bickle - this is a fun series that also seems determined to kick me in the heart, thanks so much. Not that I'll tell you why I'm being kicked in the heart, naturally. Suffice it to say this has plenty of creepy without extraneous gore. The heroine, Petra Dee is a geologist who goes looking for her missing father in the odd little town of Temperance, Wyoming, only to find it populated by a some guys who might not be entirely human and a dude called The Alchemist who's cooking up something much worse than meth.
Talon of the Hawk by current Word-Whore Jeffe Kennedy. I adore the Twelve Kingdoms series. But I love this one because Ursula is such an emotionally stunted (for good reason) and fun heroine - I use fun in the sense that she had lots of room to grow and lots of dreadful secret to uncover. Maybe she grew in leaps and bounds. Maybe she didn't. You'll have to read it yourself to find out. I don't intend to get all spoiler-y but it's possible I also love this story because it sets me up for another trilogy and that makes me happy.
Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar. This book came out in 2013 but it only hit the top of my TBR pile this year. You may be familiar with the tragedy: a group of young hikers venture into the wilderness in the middle of a Russian winter. They are subsequently found dead - their tent ripped to shreds, the fabric cut *from the inside*. None of them are found wearing shoes or sensible clothing. Some of the injuries suggest great violence. Reports of elevated radiation readings in the bodies suggest something sinister. The government is accused of a cover up. Conspiracy theories are born. Up to and including ALIENS! This book recreates the trip, introduces you to the actual human beings who died on that mountain, and looks for a rational, scientific explanation for what happened to the group of promising university students. Compelling argument for what precisely drove these experienced outdoors people to their deaths.