By Carol Lischau
This one has been on my list ever since I finished her Darker Shade of Magic series right before starting graduate school. It had to wait until this summer, but it was worth the anticipation. Schwab writes both YA and Adult fantasy fiction and Vicious is the first in her Villains series. What I loved most about this book was that each character felt like either an anti-heroic protagonist or an empathetic antagonist. Even by the end of the book, I wasn’t sure whom I most despised (or supported for that matter). A good set of complex characters can make a great novel. Rumor is still out on whether or not she’ll turn the duology into a trilogy….but we’ll see.
Best book of poetry I’ve read this year. Or I guess I should say, best poem I read this year, as it’s considered 1 book-length poem. The writing is haunting and folkloric and magical and surreal and heartbreaking and curious and transformative. Read it and you will not be disappointed.
The beauty of this book is hidden in the prose. It is about the magic of language and is driven by the magic of language. Hagy builds a post-apocalyptic world made up of barters, traders, and survivors. If you enjoy poetic prose and a good southern tale, this is the book for you.
This comes in as the number one book I’ve read this year because it blew the top of my head off. Krug’s part-graphic novel, part-memoir, part-investigation unravels her familial history during the time of Nazi Germany. Every page is ruthlessly collaged with images, drawings, musings, research, and thoughtful prose. Being married to a German man myself, I found this book entirely beautiful in its heartbreakingly honest exploration of what it means to hold within us a lineage.