I read or listened to over one hundred books in 2017. I did a similar take to this last year about the books I read in 2016 for the first time. I have reviewed three of these books separately in their own take and I will review the other two best on their own as well. They are not in the order of best to least best just listed below.
1. The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian Mckinty
The Cold Cold ground is the first in a noir series about a Catholic officer in the RUC during the troubles named Sean Duffy. Sean Duffy has to deal with bigotry towards himself and his religion, police corruption, being shot at by machine guns, the fact that both the people he works for and the IRA hate his guts for being catholic, the former out of blatant bigotry, the latter as they view him as a traitor and he still has to deal with a serial killer running around killing gay people.
2. The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan (The last of the Powder Mage Trilogy)
The Age of kings is dead and Field Marshal Tamas has killed it along with every member of his countries nobility aged 18 and over and the entire royal mage cabal he used his own powder mage powers and the rest of the powder mages to do it. Take the french revolution make it a little less grey and grey and make it more like light grey and black morality with the revolution being light grey, set in a fantasy world filled with regular mages, and mages who can control gunpowder and can use it as a way to augment their power by snorting or eating it. Give it multiple points of view, make the largest two protagonist the Fantasy version of the Marquis de Lafayette name him Taniel and have him return from the fantasy American Revolution, the other largest protagonist being his father Field Marshal Tamas. Add evil gods and the only good god being the god of cooking. Then you'd get the powder mage trilogy. I loved this book series and the third was definitely the best of them. I am looking forward to the sequel trilogy set in the fantasy version of early America.
3. Retribution Falls, Tales of the Ketty Jay number 1 by Chris Wooding
The best description of this book series is steampunk fantasy firefly, its got anti-hero sky pirates with hearts of gold, its got sword fights, gun fights, dogfights (the awesome aircraft battles not the evil criminal practice.) magic users, heart, humor, and a nomination for the Arthur C. Clarke award for best science fiction novel. This book series kicks utter and complete ass.
4. Thieftaker by D.B Jackson, the first book in the Thieftaker series.
This book series is about a wizard who works as Thieftaker in Boston during the years leading up to the revolution. Throughout the series he slowly goes from being a misguided Tory to a Patriot. Its got action, mystery, historical figures and the book series is pure awesome.
5. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
This book is the odd one out here, the only book that is not a work of fiction and the only one that is not fairly recent. That's an understatement this book dates back over a thousand years. It was never meant to be published and was really just the musings and reminds of one of the greatest leaders in history. It really did effect me. Its a rather remarkable work of philosophy and to be honest if you take away one thing from this book take away this,
You can't always be happy but you can always be just so let us pretend that as long as we are just that we are happy.
To sum up, you can't always be happy, sometimes you will be angry, sad, depressed, bored, but you can always do the right thing and that is enough.
And the book I was slightly disappointed in
Monster Hunter Vendetta, Monster Hunter International #2 by Larry Correia
Here's some advice if you make a book series about people fighting monsters here are things not to do,
A. Fill it with half baked political ideas.
B. Kill off a character so cool that he deserves his own book in the first book he appears in.
Larry Correia did both of those things.
First even if you don't agree with his politics (I don't) you can't argue that filling a book like this with them kinda erodes the experience, like I can read and enjoy books that have differing politics than me, I.E starship troopers. Monster Hunter Vendetta had them to the point where they took away from the story.
Now THE BIGGEST PROBLEM I HAD WAS THAT HE KILLED OFF THE CHARACTER SO COOL HE DESERVED HIS OWN SERIES, G-NOME THE GNOME GANGBANGER.
G-nome was so utterly and completely cool, he stole every scene he was in and then Larry Correia goes and kills him in a way thats a little humiliating, and even then G-Nome steals the scene with his last badass line before he dies.
If you are for some reason reading this Larry Correia, I WANT TO KNOW WHY YOU KILLED OFF G-NOME!