I’ve only been doing Shana’s Top 5s for the last few months or so but it’s been a really great opportunity to dive into a post project with other bloggers. Book bloggers are my people because they love to read and shout about it, too. So it’s really awesome to collaborate with other book bloggers.
This week’s topic is Top 5 Surprising Reads of 2019. This was a much easier topic than last week’s because lots of books surprised me this year and all in a good way. So there’s lots to talk about! Here are the top 5 books that surprised me this year:
**Mind the spoilers on your way down!**
1. The Rise of Kyoshi
I’ll make no bones about looking forward to this book like crazy but it still surprised me. The Rise of Kyoshi was a lot darker and grittier than I was expecting. A prequel book to the Avatar: The Last Airbender TV series which is light and fluffy, this book was pretty dark in comparison.
I reviewed The Rise of Kyoshi and – spoiler alert – I gave it a stellar five-star review. Check out the review here. It’s just an amazing book and full of surprises:
Nobody realises Kyoshi is the Avatar until a fair way into the book. Kyoshi ends up falling for her female companion. (I wish characters being gay wasn’t a surprise but it still is, for now!). Kyoshi’s family may not have loved her? It’s a minefield of surprises in this book.
2. Wicked Descent by Scarlett Kol
This is another book that earned a five-star review (check out the review here). I loved this book, about a girl who believed she was normal discovering powers she didn’t know she had.
So the surprise with this book is actually a huge plot twist so if you want to read this one without having the whole thing spoiled for you, skip ahead! The magical tutor of our main protagonist is actually her evil father who recently escaped his confinement in a magical bauble.
What a plot twist!
3. The Daemoniac by Kat Ross
One of my new favourite authors, Kat Ross is a master of originality and, naturally, this book of hers also has a five-star review. Check it out here.
The first big surprise for me in this one was that the presence of magic wasn’t really confirmed until much later in the book. So the fact that magic was involved was a surprise, but a pleasant one! The sequel to this book, The Thirteenth Door (check out the review for that one here), has a lot more magical certainty.
In truth, the whole book was full of surprises because Kat Ross does such a good job of keeping us guessing in this supernatural murder mystery. We don’t know who’s killed who and sometimes, we don’t even know who’s dead or not!
It’s a great book and chock full of surprises.
4. Sorceress Awakening by Lisa Blackwood
Beware this one has some spoilers because again, it’s a big event that was pretty surprising. This one got four stars in it’s review, which you can check out here, but the surprise in this one did make me feel a little bit weird.
Here’s the big surprise and it’s the spoiler so skip ahead if you don’t want to know!
The main protagonist is a druid with a gargoyle companion who has some animalistic qualities – and they end up in a romantic relationship. Oh boy, that made me uncomfortable to begin with. In the end, it turned out OK but to begin with it was a huge shock!
Still, this one is a really good read, too.
5. Captain Hook: Villain or Victim?
This book re-writes the entire history of Peter Pan and Captain Hook in a way that I didn’t take to entirely. I gave this one a three-star review which you can check out here.
Again, watch out for spoilers in this one.
So a journalist goes looking for Captain Hook, who is apparently real, and finds him captaining a ship to Madagascar and transporting fairies. That was a pretty huge surprise because on a whim, the journalist looks for Captain Hook and finds him without even trying. But another surprise is that in the captain’s story, Peter Pan is actually the bad guy. Wha?
It’s quite a short book and it’s a fairly entertaining read but the surprises are pretty off the wall and unbelievable.
Thanks for reading!