Brom is almost distressingly talented. Not only is the man a brilliant artist, he has a deft hand and quick wit when it comes to storytelling. Krampus was the first book I had ever read by him, and it was one of my top reads of 2021. This book didn’t hit me quite as hard, but it did prove to me that Krampus was definitely not a one-off. Slewfoot is an exploration of control through religion, the subjugation of women under the patriarchy, the dangers of suppression when mingled with superstition, and the near mystical ability of nature to heal herself from wounds inflicted by man. And on top of all that, it’s just a fun, if brutal, story.
“Angels must often do dark deeds in the name of the Lord.”
At last, 2021 is drawing to a close. Or, as I like to call it, 2020 part 2. While the year wasn’t the best, I did have a pretty great reading year. According to Goodreads, I read 110 books this year. According to my own spreadsheet, I read 192. That 82 book difference is comprised largely of various long, spicy romance series that I didn’t want to have to review because I was consuming them so quickly, so I made the decision to not include them on Goodreads. But I wanted to acknowledge them here. This was the year of the romance novel for me. Romance has never been my genre of choice, but I found so much solace in it this year. For the first time, I truly understand why there are so many dedicated romance readers out there, and now I happily consider myself one of them. Four novels on this list are romances, in fact.
While I read a metric ton of romance, I think I read fairly widely this year. This list includes fantasy, mystery, thriller, horror, sci-fi, and literary fiction. One of the biggest common denominators on this list is actually Greek mythology. I’ve always loved mythology, and this year I read some amazing books retelling some of those myths in fun and refreshing ways. This is something I hope to find even more of next year.
As always, I’m following Petrik’s example here. – One entry per author. (But not always only one book. I’m cheating this year. You’ll see what I mean.) – Rereads aren’t included. – The books on this list were new to me, not necessarily new. They might not have been published this year, but this was my first time reading them. – All of these books were either 4.5 or 5 star reads for me.
Links to my Goodreads reviews of each book will be included below. And now, without further ado, here are my favorite books of 2021!
Picking up Krampus: The Yule Lord started out as a bit of a joke. I was reading A Christmas Carol, which has been my Christmas tradition for about a decade now, and decided to balance it out with something completely different. I went into Krampus fully expecting a horror novel that ripped Christmas apart. What I got was wildly different and infinitely more powerful. This book was profound and though-provoking and so much more emotional than I anticipated. Strangely enough, Krampus ended up being one of my favorite books of the year, providing a depth and nuance to famous and infamous figures that surprised me, as well as giving me a cast of new characters to root for. I have never been more pleasantly surprised by a book with such a disturbing cover. Which was also done by Brom. The man is an incredible artist. …