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The FTN Top 10 books of 2013

January 2nd, 2014 by Amy Williams Comments

Well, the new year is here! Yay! And our girl Amy is looking back over the literary delights of the year and picking here favourites… so, without further ado…

10 – Allegiant (Divergent Series)
by Veronica Roth (October 22, 2013)

What if your whole world was a lie?

The thrillingly dark conclusion to the No. 1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy. What if a single revelation – like a single choice – changed everything? What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered, fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature, and of herself , while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love. Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by Number One New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

RRP: £12.99

9 – The Panopticon
by Jenni Fagan (July 23, 2013)

Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car, headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can’t remember the events that led her here, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and there is blood on Anais’s school uniform. Smart, funny and fierce, Anais is a counter-culture outlaw, a bohemian philosopher, she is also a child who has been let down, or worse, by just about every adult she has ever met. The residents of the Panopticon form intense bonds, heightened by their place on the periphery, and Anais finds herself part of an ad hoc family there. Much more suspicious are the social workers, especially Helen, who is determined to force Anais to confront the circumstances of her birth. Looking up at the watchtower that looms over the residents, Anais knows her fate: she is part of an experiment, she always was, and it’s a given, a liberty – a fact. And the experiment is closing in.

RRP: £7.99

8 – The Darwin Elevator
by Jason M Hough (July 26, 2013.)

New York Times Bestseller Jason M. Hough’s pulse-pounding debut combines the drama, swagger, and vivid characters of Joss Whedon’s Firefly with the talent of sci-fi author John Scalzi. In the mid-23rd century, Darwin, Australia, stands as the last human city on Earth. The world has succumbed to an alien plague, with most of the population transformed into mindless, savage creatures. The planet’s refugees flock to Darwin, where a space elevator, created by the architects of this apocalypse, the Builders, emits a plague-suppressing aura.

Skyler Luiken has a rare immunity to the plague. Backed by an international crew of fellow “immunes,” he leads missions into the dangerous wasteland beyond the aura’s edge to find the resources Darwin needs to stave off collapse. But when the Elevator starts to malfunction, Skyler is tapped along with the brilliant scientist, Dr. Tania Sharma, to solve the mystery of the failing alien technology and save the ragged remnants of humanity.

RRP: £7.99.

See our review here

7 – Star Wars: Frames
by George Lucas (October 29, 2013).

After George Lucas finished work on 2005’s Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, he wanted to look back on the now-completed Star Wars Saga through an entirely new point-of-view: isolating stills, or frames, from each of the six Star Wars films, focusing on them intensely as works of photography and design and reproducing them in a book. For two years, Lucas went through more than 200,000 frames per film, eventually editing more than a million frames down to the 1,416 images that now comprise Star Wars: Frames, an essential part of the Saga and a testament to the hard work, craftsmanship and dedication evident in every frame of every film. Within the pages of Frames, iconic and unexpected moments from each film reveal abstractions and deepen appreciations of the films’ artistry. Star Wars: Frames, previously available only as a $3,000 limited edition, presents these stills in a new, lower-priced edition, bringing together Lucas’s personal shot-by-shot selections from all six Star Wars films into a lavishly designed two-volume hardcover set–one volume for the Original Trilogy and one volume for the Prequel Trilogy. For collectors and fans, Star Wars: Frames is a more affordable edition of this grand project devoted to the art and craftsmanship of a cinematic phenomenon–an essentially photographic and yet filmic, look at the cinema of George Lucas, printed with the highest production values–the ultimate Star Wars book and collector’s piece.

RRP: £100.

6 – The Golem and the Jinni
by Helene Wecker (April 23, 2013)

New York, 1899. Two strangers, one destiny

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.

Ahmad is a djinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free – an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.

The Golem & The Djinni is their magical, unforgettable story; unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures – until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

RRP: £10.00.

5 – The Bone Season
by Samantha Shannon (August 20, 2013)


The Bone Season is the first book in a seven- part series of dizzying imagination. Welcome to Scion, no safer place.

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

RRP: £12.99.

4 – Joyland
by Stephen King (June 7, 2013)

Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published. ‘I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts. That combo made Hard Case Crime the perfect venue for this book, which is one of my favorites. I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book,’ Stephen King.

RRP: £7.99

See our full review here

3 – NOS4A2
by Joe Hill (April 30, 2013)

NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.” Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

RRP: £11.11.

See our full review here

2 – Dangerous Women
by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (December 3, 2013)

George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois have put together a towering anthology of specially-commissioned stories from the most stellar names in the genre, set in a number of readers’ favourite fantasy worlds. George R.R. Martin is the bestselling author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the inspiration for HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones. The collection will also feature a new and unpublished 100pp novella by George R.R. Martin set in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire – now the award-winning HBO show, Game of Thrones. The novella, entitled ‘The Princess and the Queen’, will reveal the origins of the Targaryen Civil War, otherwise known as ‘The Dance of the Dragons’, a war that split a then-fledgling Westeros in two, pitting Targaryen against Targaryen and dragon against dragon.

The Dangerous Women anthology also contains contributions from the following worldwide bestselling authors:

• “Some Desperado” by Joe Abercrombie – A Red Country story

• “Nora’s Song” by Cecelia Holland

• “Bombshells” by Jim Butcher – A Harry Dresden story

• “Wrestling Jesus” by Joe R. Lansdale

• “Neighbours” by Megan Lindholm (who also writes as Robin Hobb)

• “Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson

• “A Queen in Exile” by Sharon Kay Penman

• “The Girl in the Mirror” by Lev Grossman – A Magicians story

• “Virgins” by Diana Gabaldon – An Outlander story.

RRP: £20.00.

1 – Doctor Sleep
by Stephen King (September 24, 2013).

An epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon. King says he wanted to know what happened to Danny Torrance, the boy at the heart of The Shining, after his terrible experience in the Overlook Hotel. The instantly riveting Doctor Sleep picks up the story of the now middle-aged Dan, working at a hospice in rural New Hampshire, and the very special twelve-year old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless – mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the ‘steam’ that children with the ‘shining’ produce when they are slowly tortured to death. Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him and a job at a nursing home where his remnant ‘shining’ power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes ‘Doctor Sleep.’ Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival…

RRP: £19.99.













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Amy is a founding member of the psychopathic clowns and the women who love them society. From the mystical land of dragons and druids also known as Wales, she can often be found buried under a pile of books in her own personal bat cave. However her lifelong ambition is to gain entrance to Arkham Asylum either as a doctor or patient (more likely the latter). Although like her alto ego Harley Quinn she is a qualified criminologist with a penchant for homicidal personalities.

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