Cavallaro's Cavalcade of Carnage
Remember how last month I set a personal record for books read in a month (18)? Well, it only took a hurricane to get some time off of work to accomplish this, but I already broke that record. I read 27 books this month (!), with 6 of them receiving A grades. There will be some serious competition for the top spot this month. Lets meet the contestants:

1: BETTY, by Tiffany McDaniel. Disturbingly emotional. Grade: A
2: LONG LANKIN, by Linsey Barraclough. Classic slow burn horror story. Not for me. Grade: D
3: HELLBOY: SEED OF DESTRUCTION, Omnibus Vol 1 by Mike Mignola. Origin story. The series got better later, in my opinion. Grade: C
4: SEQUELLAND, by Jay Slayton-Joslin. Collection of horror sequel directors. Grade: C
5: THE PARASITE FROM PROTO-SPACE & OTHER STORIES (collection), by Brett Peterson. Bizarre, but unengaging. Grade: D
6: HELLBOY: STRANGE PLACES, Omnibus Vol 2 by Mike Mignola. Liked it more than Vol 1. Grade: B
7: DARK MOONS RISING ON A STARLESS NIGHT (collection), by Mame Bougouma Diene. Some bright spots, but ultimately disappointing. Grade: D
8: MANEATERS Vol 2 (graphic novel), by Chelsea Cain, Most fun I've had with a graphic novel in a long time. Grade: A
9: THE MUMMY OF CANAAN, by Maxwell Bauman, Gory fun. Grade: C
10: WHERE ALL LIGHT TENDS TO GO, by David Joy. What a debut! Grade: A
11: THE DREAM-QUEST OF VELLITT BOE, by Kij Johnson. Inspired by Lovecraft's THE DREAM-QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH. Grade: C
12: THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH, by Philip K Dick. I guess PKD isn't for me. Grade: D
13: MANEATERS Vol 3 (graphic novel) by Chelsea Cain. Not as good as first two volumes, but still great. Grade: B
14: FRAGILE THINGS (collection), by Neil Gaiman. Decent collection. Grade: C
15: THE SUMMER THAT MELTED EVERYTHING,by Tiffany McDaniel. Wow. Grade: A
16: A MEMORY CALLED EMPIRE, by Arkady Martine. Nothing sticks in my memory about this book. Grade: D
17: NIMONA (graphic novel), by Noelle Stevenson. From the writer of LUMBERJANES! Fun stuff. Grade: B
18: GOOD OMENS, by Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman. Witty, but I tired of it around halfway through. Grade: C
19: SWIFT TO CHASE (collection) by Laird Barron. Decent stories, but the writing style turned me off. Grade: C
20: MIDDLEGAME, by Seanan Mcguire. Great plot, but felt myself bogged down by the writing. Grade: C
21: THE LINE THAT HELD US, by David Joy. Not quite as good as his debut, but solid. Grade: B
22: LOST GODS, by Brom. Wildly inventive, but too long. Grade: C
23: PALISADES PARK, by Alan Brennert. So well written that I felt nostalgic about places I've never been. Grade: A
24: THE SYNTHETIC MAN, aka THE DREAMING JEWELS by Theodore Sturgeon. Quirky, classic sci-fi tale. Grade: B
25: CHALLENGER DEEP, by Neal Shusterman. The guy just doesn't write bad YA novels. Grade: B
26: DODGING AND BURNING, by John Copenhaver. Good for a first novel, but a little clunky to me. Grade: C
27: EVERY LAST ONE, by Anna Quindlen. Intense family drama. Grade: A

Worst of the Month: A MEMORY CALLED EMPIRE by Arkady Martine

I'm normally very selective about adding science fiction novels to my to-read list because my experiences with sci-fi have been polarizing in the past. I went into this one confident because of the recent Hugo award win. Coincidentally, I read Seanan Mcguire's MIDDLEGAME this month too, which was on the same ballot (which I thought was a better book than Martine's). Ironically, I have no memory of reading A MEMORY CALLED EMPIRE. Nothing stuck for me. There is better sci-fi out there than this.

Best of the Month: BETTY by Tiffany McDaniel

There were three other books that I read this month that probably would've won "best of the month" on any other month this year, if not for BETTY. Tiffany McDaniel's writing is like 1988 Mike Tyson, and your emotions are the opponent. I mean this in the best way possible. BETTY will break your heart, but she will also sneakily repair it. This really is masterful stuff, and it's only her second novel (yay for us).

Congrats to Tiffany, and see you guys next month!

Reviews by Jason Cavallaro
Twitter: @pinheadspawn

No comments

The author does not allow comments to this entry