Welcome to the 6th annual Angry Angel Books Best Books of the Year post! For 2022 I read so many good books that this year’s list is going to be stuffed to the gills with awesomeness. I also read across genres, so no matter what you like to read you can’t go wrong with these recommendations.
Past years Best Books end of year lists (there’s some real gems in here guys, take a look):
BEST FANTASY NOVELS: PART ONE
The covers alone are works of art but it’s hardly even fair that Daughter of the Moon Goddess is Sue Lynn Tan’s debut novel and it is also one of the best fantasy novels I’ve ever read. On top of that its sequel and the conclusion of the duology Heart of the Sun Warrior came out in the same year! And was just as amazing! HOW DARE SUE LYNN TAN DO THIS TO US?!?! This much beauty and heartache and elegance and duty and love – the decadence of these novels is unmatched. (Titles linked in the description.)
BEST THRILLER/MYSTERY NOVEL
I will fight anyone who says a single bad word against Louisa Luna and her writing. Two Girls Down (2018) was just good, but The Janes (2020) was amazing and Hideout (2022) was sensational. Hideout actually arrived without me asking for it. I just opened my email and there it was, ready to download from NetGalley. I was honored. Very few thrillers have the perfect balance of character development and story pacing, but Luna has both in spades. If you are a mystery/thriller fan you must read this trilogy (so far!). (Titles linked in description.)
BEST FANTASY NOVELS: PART 2
In the spirit of fairness neither The Bone Shard Emperor (#2) nor The Bone Shard Daughter (#1) were published in 2022, but I did read TBSE (#2) in 2022 to be ready for The Bone Shard War (#3) due in 2023. I was worried that I wouldn’t remember the story and information from TBSD (#1) because I read #2 almost a year and a half later, but the world was built so well, the characters were so memorable, that it all came back to me immediately. This is the perfect fantasy series if you like your characters to have animal companions – if you don’t love Mephi by the end of the second book I need to know what your deal is. Epic fantasy at its finest; you cannot miss these books.
If you’re looking for romance novels that are big teases with their anticipation buildups and super hot with their sex scenes then have I got some top books for you! You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty was the absolute best romance I read this year, followed by the absolutely adorable Weather Girl (which has body positivity AND empathy wrapped up in it which only made it cuter and hotter).
Honorable mention: Book Lovers (the only other book I’ve read by Emily Henry is Beach Read, and what both these books suffer from is unrealistic and contrived plot lines. The romance was good, but I couldn’t ever quite immerse myself in her stories like I could with the other two.)
BEST SCI-FI/FANTASY: ROMANCE EDITION
If you like a little sci-fi or fantasy in your romance then you’re in luck! Erin Sterling (aka Rachel Hawkins of The Wife Upstairs and The Villa) has a delicious romance trilogy in the works with witches, warlocks, and generational curses that feels very in the style of Practical Magic. The romance is steamy and the magic is fun. I enjoyed The Ex Hex more than I enjoyed the second installment (The Kiss Curse) but together they are heading in a fun and sexy direction.
Take a trip to space with Everina Maxwell into Winter’s Orbit and lose yourself in an arranged-marriage-turned-actual-lovers story that put consent and care front and center. This simple act makes everything about this story relatable, believable, and lovable. I cared about what happened to the characters. Again I enjoyed this first book more than the second book in the same universe (Ocean’s Echo), but both are amazing.
I never would have guessed I’d be leaning into horror in my late thirties, but it turns out that my love of historical fiction was a gateway drug into this year’s horror favorites: The Fervor and The Hacienda.
This year’s theme is women taking control of their own lives and the world around them. Whether it’s resisting societal expectations, fighting Nazis, or being friends with an octopus, Shelby Van Pelt (Remarkably Bright Creatures) and Erika Robuck (Sisters of Night and Fog) will have you covered. Found family, sisterhood, and the power of independent women – everything we love.
Are you a Democrat that’s been screaming at your tv or into the endless void about why nothing is happening that you would expect to be happening when Democrats have control of the White House and Congress? Do you want to understand why that is? Read my review of Chaotic Neutral by Ed Burmila, and then go buy it and read it for yourself. You’ll still be depressed but at least you’ll understand why, and it’ll make you angry which means you should come on back here for more recommendations! Angry Angels are always welcome, and after the past 6 years there should be plenty of you.
Congratulations to all the picks and authors! Happy Holidays and best wishes for a Happy New Year in 2023.
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