Author Anthony Avina Presents: The Best Books Of 2016!

What’s up my friends? As the holidays quickly approach, so too does the new year, and with that comes a time of reflection over the past year’s
events. One thing I thought I’d do for this blog is talk about the best books I read in 2016, from YA and dark horror to memoirs and more! So
without any further delay, here are my tops books of 2016! Not all of these books were released this year, but I read them all the same and
really enjoyed them. I hope you will enjoy my few thoughts on these, and if you want to read my full reviews of these books and more, be sure
to follow me here on my blog.

1) Saint Odd by Dean Koontz:

The final installment of the Odd Thomas series was such an emotional one. The final battle between good and evil took place, and the book marked
the most heroic character development of the series. The character of Odd Thomas has quickly become one of my favorites, and Dean Koontz fans
will recognize the incredibly powerful story that has been told over the course of several books. Fans of the series will not be disappointed in
this final installment as story lines will close, and the ending will bring a smile to your face as you read the final thoughts of Odd Thomas.

2) The Night of Elisa (Illustrated Edition) by Isis Sousa:

This beautifully Gothic story was brought to life beautifully by author Isis Sousa. The story follows a young girl running away from her past, and
the young man who fears she’ll discover his own dark past. Set in a Victorian era setting, this story is equal parts horror and historical
fiction, and this book quickly became an instant classic that horror fans will not want to miss.

3) Lady Midnight: The Dark Artifices Book One by Cassandra Claire:

The first book of author Cassandra Claire’s The Dark Artifices series brought the world of the Shadowhunters to Los Angeles, advancing the story
years after the events of the Mortal Instruments series. Fans of the original will love returning to the mythology of the original series, while
also loving the new characters that are explored in this story. The book involves forbidden romances, brutal murders and shocking revelations
that promise to bring about a new and intriguing threat to the Shadowhunter world.

4) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins:

The spiritual successor to Gone Girl, this book by author Paula Hawkins was one of the best thrillers I’ve ever read. The psychological thriller
focused on a woman struggling with an alcohol addiction and a traumatic past, who involves herself in a missing persons case and discovers that
some secrets are darker than anyone could imagine.

5) You’re Never Weird On the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day:

This incredible memoir from creative genius Felicia Day was a fantastic way of telling the story of her life. It was a humor filled memoir that
spoke to the creative and geek-loving people of the world, and told of how it’s possible to not only be yourself, but to be yourself and succeed
in life doing what you love. It’s a great memoir that everyone should read.

6) the girl who couldn’t come up with an original title by the Behrg:

One of the more impactful and thought-provoking stories I read this year, the book from author the Behrg was an emotional roller-coaster that
deserves to be read. While I do urge you to read the review since there is a trigger warning for this book, I think this is a fantastic story
about a young girl who traverses the realm known as The Lines. Filled with emotion, heart and an incredibly creative story, this is definitely a
must read book.

7) Zenith: The Androma Saga Part 1 by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings:

This story from authors Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings was a breathtaking new science fiction adventure that explored a brand new galaxy
and characters that all settled into moral shades of grey. The story is fast paced, action packed and does a great job of setting up the larger
story that is set to be told in the coming full novel in 2017.

8) Tales from Alternate Earths Anthology from Inklings Press:

This amazing anthology from Inklings Press featured some amazing works from a group of  fantastic authors that explored one of my favorite
scientific theories and their respective literary genre: alternative universes and alternative history. This anthology was fantastic, exploring
worlds where the Cuban Missile Crisis wasn’t averted or where Dinosaurs didn’t become extinct, but rather evolved and grew into the dominant
species. This was a fun read that was insightful, entertaining and fun to read, and I highly recommend you guys read it.

9) A Life of Death (A Life of Death #1) by Weston Kincade:

This emotional YA story from author Weston Kincade follows a young man who recalls his time as a teen, when he discovered an incredible
gift, but at a time when he was at his lowest. This story explores the ramifications of abusive family lives, and the impact that death has on
our lives. It’s a fantastic read that people will not want to miss.

10) Satan’s Beckoning by Michael K. Foster:

This sequel to The Wharf Butcher from author Michael K. Foster was an incredible read, and delved deeper into the world of DCI Jack Mason and
David Carlisle. The hunt for a serial killer becomes personal as Carlisle begins to get into the mind of the killer, and discovers a dark world
filled with deceit and untold horrors. This is a thriller worth reading, and one of the best thrillers of 2016!

11) Red Death by Jeff Altabef:

This YA dystopian novel explores the impact of religion and the way cultures interact in this futuristic world where a plague known as the Red
Death has impacted the world, dividing the land into tribes and following a group of people from the various tribes who come together and discover
a world shattering secret. Setting up a world filled with action, romance and heart, this is a must read first book in an exciting new series.

12) Where The Dead Ones Play by Kyle M. Scott:

This exciting and dark horror thriller was one of the best stories I read in 2016. The story told by author Kyle M Scott was dark, intense and
incredibly powerful. The imagery used to describe the setting, along with the amazing character development that helped change the story constantly
until the last page, was fantastic to read. The shocking conclusion haunted me as I visualized the outcome, and fans of dark horror will not
want to miss this incredible read.

Special Mention to “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars” by Ian Doescher, which was a fantastic read! This early Christmas gift was so fun to get
into, filled with amazing inner monologues from fan favorite characters, and the combination of Shakespearean language and Star Wars mythology
was so incredibly powerful. I definitely recommend this literary classic!

That was my list guys. I hope you guys enjoyed this, and I hope you will not only check out my reviews, but will get these books for yourselves
and check them out. These ranged from big name releases to small, independent publishers and authors, and I’m happy I got the opportunity to
read all these amazing books. Thanks for an incredible year of books, and I look forward to building up this blog and reading even more books next year!
If you haven’t yet, I’d love it if you guys could follow this blog and share this post. I appreciate your support, and look forward to providing
even more book posts next year! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone!

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Lady Midnight: The Dark Artifices Book One by Cassandra Clare Review

The enchanting world of the shadowhunters returns with as much powerful storytelling and riveting character development as one might expect from legendary YA author Cassandra Clare in the first in a new trilogy, Lady Midnight. The first in The Dark Artifices trilogy brings readers back into the complicated battle of good versus evil and even more complicated romantic entanglements.

Blending new and returning characters from The Mortal Instruments series, the story follows Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorn family in the Los Angeles Institute. No longer children and grown Shadowhunters, Emma and her parabatai Julian Blackthorn continue to battle demons, keep the peace between downworlders and protect mankind. However, Emma is still investigating the deaths of her parents during the Dark War, and Julian is desperate to hold his family together after his father’s death. When a series of murders resembling the murders of Emma’s parents brings a faerie convoy to the Institute, they see an opportunity to get answers and get Julian’s brother Mark back, after spending years as a prisoner of the Faerie Courts. Their investigation will bring them into the darkest corners of Los Angeles and the secret world full of dark magic, murder and blood, and will slowly uncover more secrets both from outside forces and from within.

The book does a marvelous job of continuing a rich story full of history while keeping it fresh and intriguing with a new setting and complex family dynamic. What is great is that the story seems to mature, as do the characters, which reflects the growth of the audience who has spent years reading the series. The characters get into more adult situations both personally and professionally, and getting to know characters who were born into the shadowhunters world rather than coming into it as a newcomer speaks volumes about the fresh perspective the story takes. This is such a great read that sparks a great new mystery and this reader and writer looks forward to the next book in the Dark Artifices series. Pick up your copy today!

Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy: (1-10) By Cassandra Clare

The story of everyone’s favorite former vampire and hero, Simon Lewis, continues in a collection of ten short stories from Cassandra Clare and
other amazing YA authors. The collection, titled Tales From Shadowhunter Academy, follows Simon as he travels to the famed Shadowhunter Academy,
recently reopened to train hopeful shadowhunters after the losses they recently had to endure in the recent wars. In an effort to remember the
boy he once was and become something more, Simon agrees to train, and faces the challenges that come with it, from the social classes that
divide the students, to the stress of trying to live up to a person he doesn’t remember being, to the demons and other creatures they have to
face while training. Throughout these ten stories, not only will fans be able to see the story of Simon Lewis continue, but will get a glimpse
into the vast history of the Shadowhunters and Downworlders, from the tales of Tessa Gray and the London Institute, to the early days of Valentine
and the Circle and more.

These stories are incredible pieces of fiction that will make everyone glad to see their favorite characters continue to grow and evolve in the
story, and while the focus is rightfully on Simon, everyone’s favorites from the original books make their presence known. Getting to know
some of the characters in the coming Lady Midnight book and the children who will make up the new generation of shadowhunters makes for a fun
read, and the vast history that is written and explored in just 40 pages a story is just amazing, and makes this reader believe that this world
is so open and great that the number of stories Cassandra Clare and other authors could tell is limitless. If you haven’t yet, read these incredible
stories today, and be glad that you did, because they are sure to be a big help when you read Lady Midnight, which this writer is set to do next.
The shadowhunter world is addictive to read, and one I never want to stop exploring.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire Review

The Dark War reaches it’s climax in The Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire. Clary Fray’s demonic brother, Sebastian, is attacking
Institutes around the world, either killing or turning Shadowhunters into his Endarkened warriors. After the latest attack on the Los Angeles
Institute leaves children orphaned and others kidnapped, the Clave brings the Shadowhunters from around the world back to Idris, where a plan is
to be made to defeat the evil Sebastian. When Clary is forced to flee with her mother, Luke, Jace and the Lightwoods to Alicante, Simon is left
behind with Maia and Jordan, his bodyguard and friend from the Praetor Lupus. When the mentally unhinged Maureen, the new head of the New York
Vampire Clan, kidnaps him, Simon must turn to an unlikely ally for help. Soon, Clary and Jace, along with their friends, must go to an unimaginable
place in order to stop Sebastian once and for all, and they will have to sacrifice greatly if they are to stop him from turning the world to
ash.

This book is the final chapter in the story of Clary Fray and her friends and family, along with the twisted tale of her brother, Sebastian. The
grim tale of the Shadowhunters being torn apart as their friends and family are either murdered or turned into demonic, inhuman versions of their
former selves is incredibly addictive to read. There are some deep emotional stories in this book, as the prospect of death and apocalyptic
battles lead the main characters to seek refuge with one another, and shed their barriers in order to gain clarity before their most harrowing
battle yet. The writing is superb, and with some of the most dramatic, emotional scenes yet in the series, this is the perfect ending to the
Dark Shadowhunter story line, and the introduction of new characters is a perfect way to set the story for the next series. With shocking twists
and turns throughout the book, this reader and author is hard pressed to find a better example of powerful storytelling, and I for one am looking
forward to the next part of this incredible world created by the wonderful Cassandra Claire. Everyone should pick up their copy of this book
today!

The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Claire Review:

SPOILER WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!

The fight for Jace’s soul wages on in the fifth book in Cassandra Claire’s epic YA series, The Mortal Instruments. After the cliffhanger ending
of the fourth book, Clary finds herself being investigated by the Clave after Jace disappears, as does the body of her brother, Sebastian. With
Isabelle, Alec and Clary frantic to find Jace and Magnus, Simon, Maia and Jordan eager to help, Clary soon learns the devastating truth behind
the disappearance. Sebastian is alive, and the ritual that raised him has tied him physically to Jace. Worse yet, Jace has become a pawn, controlled
and made into an obedient partner to Sebastian’s powerful will. Soon Clary finds herself forced to become a double agent, infiltrating Sebastian
and the mind-controlled Jace’s secret hideout in order to figure out their plan, while the rest of the group goes on a dangerous mission to
find a weapon capable of separating Jace from Sebastian.

The forces of heaven and hell become much more involved as the plot of Jonathan Morgenstern come to light. The son of the deadliest Shadowhunter
to ever betray the Clave is even more evil than anyone could have imagined. The scenes between Clary and Jace, and Clary and Sebastian, are
incredibly powerful narratives, while the development of both Simon and Isabella is a welcome addition to the story itself, and serves as a
reminder of the vast array of characters the Shadowhunter universe really is, and the mythology of the series is heavily explored throughout the
novel. By book’s end, a bloody war will loom ahead, as the final book of this series will bring an end to the vast saga of Clary Fray and her
journey. Will Clary find a way to stop her demonic brother? Will she and her friends and loved ones survive? We’ll find out in the final book,
City of Heavenly Fire.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Claire Review

SPOILER ALERT: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Mortal War is over, and life has gone on for Clary, Jace, Simon and the rest of the group in Cassandra Claire’s fourth Mortal Instruments
book, City of Fallen Angels. Weeks after the bloody battle in Idris, the Shadowhunter home, Clary is back in New York, starting her training
to become a Shadowhunter. With the knowledge that they are not in fact siblings, Clary and Jace pursue their romantic relationship for the first
time, but soon Jace starts pulling away, and Clary is left to figure out what is haunting the boy she’s falling in love with. Meanwhile, Simon
is adjusting to life as not only a vampire and Daywalker, but as the bearer of the Mark of Cain. Wrestling with his vampiric nature and trying
to maintain a normal “human” life, (as well as an unexpected love triangle), Simon soon learns that there are new, powerful players interested
in him, and soon he learns just how powerful the Mark truly is. With dead Shadowhunters being found around the city, a new conspiracy threatens
to tear apart the happiness and peace they all thought they could enjoy with the death of Valentine.

Rather than leaving the fate’s of these incredible characters up to the imagination, fans will be delighted to delve deeper into their stories,
and it is quite a refreshing take on a story in which the battle continues for these naturally bred warriors and protectors. Multiple new enemies
are introduced, while this book does an excellent job of taking the reader through the viewpoints of multiple characters this time around. By
the book’s end, the book will have lain the groundwork for a brand new trilogy and a darker mystery than ever before imagined. The intricate
details lain in this book make for an addictive read, and the fifth book is sure to continue that addiction.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Glass by Cassandra Claire Review

WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS POSSIBLE!

War is coming for the Shadowhunters. With Valentine in possession the Mortal Cup and the Mortal Sword, all Shadowhunters have been called back
to their home of Idris, namely the famed city Alicante. Having learned the secret to saving her mother rests in the hands of a powerful warlock
named Ragnor Fell, Clary sets out to travel to Alicante, but Jace Wayland, her recently revealed brother, refuses to let her come, and decides to
take off before she can tag along. However things take a complicated turn as Jace and his family depart, and soon they are portaling through to
Alicante with a reluctant guest, Simon, Clary’s best friend and recently turned vampire. Things get even more complicated when Clary finds a way
to portal herself to the Shadowhunter home, and meets some complex problems in the process. She soon becomes steeped into the political storm that
is The Clave, and her arrival comes just as Valentine prepares to wipe out all Shadowhunters who oppose him. With their very lives at stake,
truths will be revealed, and shocking events will lead Clary to take a crucial war in the impending war.

With the very world of the Shadowhunters on the line, the stakes have never been higher in Cassandra Claire’s epic fantasy YA series. The history
of both the larger than life Shadowhunter mythology will be explored, as will the complicated family drama of the various Shadowhunter clans,
including Clary, Jace and Valentine’s connections to one another. Bringing a very real sense of gruesome horror to the fantasy series, the themes
of morality, the definition of a true monster and love are all clearly brought to life in this third entry in the series, and the strong
emotional archs given to each character is addicting and palpable to read. This book makes it easy to see why The Mortal Instruments has become
a worldwide phenomenon, and although there are plenty more books in the series, this is a satisfying conclusion to the Mortal War trilogy. Be
sure to read The Mortal Instruments: City of Glass today!