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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Saint Odd by Dean Koontz Review

The final adventure of everyone’s favorite fry cook who can see the dead has arrived in Dean Koontz final Odd Thomas entry, Saint Odd. The story
finds our hero, Odd Thomas, returning to his home of Pico Mundo. Yet this isn’t a happy reunion, but a mission to save his home and the people
he loves in the town, as a powerful cult has set it’s sights on the city, and the destruction they plan to unleash can only be stopped with the
help of Odd. Having faced and overcome the cultists before, he knows the power they wield and the chaos they are capable of sowing, and so he
must gather his strength and will to save the town one final time, even if it means sacrificing himself as well.

The book is a beautiful story artfully captured to detail the final Odd Thomas adventure. What stands out is the fact that Mr. Koontz has included
throwbacks to the series with characters established throughout the entire book collection, and yet gives the story fresh life by exploring the
mental state of our hero after years battling uncounted evil in all its forms. The fast-pace of the story makes the story fly by, and yet you
can’t help but reminisce during certain moments in the story about the deep emotional bonds between Odd and the friends he’s made. This is a book
made for character development, and fans of the series will love the direction Odd’s character takes throughout the novel.

What will Odd Thomas do in this final adventure? You can find out by picking up your copy of Saint Odd today! This is one of my top books of 2015,
and I feel satisfied that this final entry gave the Odd Thomas series a satisfying conclusion.

Best of 2015!

Best of 2015:

Hello there citizens! It’s the end of 2015, and that means that as the year closes, we are all reflecting on what this year brought us. For
me, there were a lot of great things in the world of entertainment, my career and personally that made 2015 a great year, so I am going to share
with you all now some of my favorite things from 2015!

Movies:

Jurassic World: 2015 was the year big blockbusters returned from their long slumbers in limbo and gave audiences the world over a new, fresh
adventure into the massive worlds they created. The first one was this past summer’s Jurassic World, an incredible thrill ride in which we found
out what would happen if the park were to actually be opened to the public. Years after the Jurassic Park incident, the island has become a
tourist destination that mirrors a lot of similarities to the real world antics of places such as Sea World. With shareholders seeking a rise in
sales, the park’s scientists have created a genetically altered, gene spliced Dino that has a desire to kill anything and everything. When it get’s
loose, it’s up to a few survivors to get off the island and prevent the creature from escaping.

Star Wars The Force Awakens: The long awaited seventh episode of the most popular space saga in cinema history arrived at the close of 2015.
The film beautifully captured the magic of the first film, while bringing about some incredible new characters, great special effects, and
brought the original cast into the new story in a logical and fun way. In all honesty, I thought this film deserves to be included as a nominee
in some awards this year, and not just for special effects and costume stuff, but for musical score, supporting actor, best actress and best
film. It is the best film I saw in all of 2015!

Television:

Marvel and Netflix=Awesomeness: 2015 was the year television got even better, and eclipsed the movie theater industry overall. Netflix was a
pioneer for television, having introduced some great shows that defied the standards set by network television. Yet two series stood out this
year, and those were Marvel’s Daredevil and Marvel’s Jessica Jones. Both shows introduced the dark, gritty side of the Marvel Cinematic
Universe, and gave us two richly complex, badass heroes. With these new heroes came some great supporting characters the gave depth and
heart to the universe, and two villains that redefined what evil can look like. Bloody, action-packed and an emotional roller-coaster, not since
Breaking Bad have I been so obsessed and captivated by a television show. If you haven’t yet, watch these shows and be prepared to be amazed!

A Breathtaking Year in Horror: Horror took a predominant step in shows like The Walking Dead, it’s companion series Fear The Walking Dead, and
the final chapter of NBC’s Hannibal. The performances of the actors in these shows was emotional, chilling and rich to devour, marking a breakout
year for horror television. As an author/writer who loves the horror genre, this year inspired me and my writing with the groundbreaking
character development and plots introduced in the horror genre.

Music:

PMJ Brings Retro Back: One of the great things about music for me this year was the way the group Postmodern Jukebox brought a sense of retro
style music back to the modern age. Singers such as Casey Abrams, Haley Reinhart, Maiya Sykes and more brought some flare to current hits with
20’s, 30’s, 40’s and more amazing retro styles. Personally, I (and everyone else who loves PMJ) loved Haley Reinhart’s “Creep” and “Seven Nation
Army” covers. These songs were eloquent, theatrical and powerful, and brought some of the style and iconic music of past generations back into
the spotlight.

Ten Second Songs: Another great artist from YouTube, rocker and singer Anthony Vincent brought his incredible range and style to an original
idea for a channel called Ten Second Songs, in which he takes a popular song, and sings in 10-20 different styles of singers, from Frank Sinatra
to Skrillex. The creative force of each performance really inspired me to take risks and go for my own creative niche, and I’m excited to see
where he takes the channel in 2016!

Games:

Fallout 4: Welcome to Post Apocalyptia today! That’s right, I along with the rest of the world found myself back into the fabled world of Fallout,
with the epic release of Fallout 4. Taking us into the shoes of another Vault dweller who must go on a journey into the wasteland, there were
some great improvements to the new engine and system. I love the customization factor, whether it’s the facial features, the fact that people
address you by your custom name in the game, that your character talks finally, and that you can create settlements and strongholds in the game.
There are multiple radio stations, and the seamless integration of systems like VATS and dialogue choices is easy to use. It’s a strong game
I cannot wait to play more of.

Star Wars Battlefront: After nearly a decade, it was time to travel to a galaxy far, far away…

That’s right guys. Star Wars gained even more attention with the highly anticipate release of Star Wars Battlefront. The fun of taking part in
famous Star Wars battles was felt as it was in the original two games, yet the graphics and FPS aspect of the game made for welcome improvements,
and of course who could pass up an opportunity to fight Darth Vader as Luke in a game? That spells fun right there. Actually, it doesn’t, but
anyways…

Assassins Creed Syndicate: I’m a history buff, so I’ve always enjoyed the historical aspect of the Assassin’s Creed series, even though a lot of
historical figures and events were altered for the games story. I love the setting and being able to see the ways people lived throughout human
history. So when AC Syndicate was released, I fell in love with the industrial, Victorian era London that was brought to life before my eyes.
Getting to see the start of technological advancements, as well as getting a sense of wonder and excitement that surely helped inspire a lot of
steam-punk style projects over the years. It’s such a fun game that I cannot wait to delve into more in 2016.

Batman Arkham Knight: The most fun I’ve had playing the Batman games so far, Batman Arkham Knight was super dark, creepy and realistic. The
gameplay was enhanced by the addition of the Batmobile, plus the incredible voice cast of legends Kevin Conroy, John Noble, Jonathan Banks and
more made this one of the best experiences I’ve had stepping into the shoes of Batman. After the story that was told and the finality of the
game, it makes me excited to see what kind of games the studios develop with the Batman brand in the future. I hope to see some more interaction
with the broader DC universe since most of Batman’s story has been explored and told in these last few games. It’d be interesting to see Batman
take on Justice League level issues in an open world environment. This is a must play game from 2015 for sure!

Books:

Saint Odd: The final chapter of the incredible Odd Thomas series came this year. Everyone’s favorite fry cook and heroic medium returns to the
town he left behind, Pico Mundo. The evil cultists he helped stopped time and time again are ready to unleash a catastrophe that’ll eclipse the
one that claimed someone he loves years earlier, and after all his adventures, Odd is ready to face one final challenge, hoping to stop the
unspeakable evil at any cost, even his own life. I’m half way through this book right now, and the fast paced action of the story is rich and
compelling, and I cannot wait to see how this final story unfolds for one of my favorite Dean Koontz characters of all time. Let’s hope 2016 brings
some new info from Mr. Koontz on the third book in the Moonlight Bay/Christopher Snow books!

YouTube Memoirs: So many great memoirs came out from our favorite YouTube stars this year. I read quite a few, from Joey Graceffa’s “In Real Life”
to Shane Dawson’s I Hate Myselfie, (as well as Justine Ezarik’s I, Justine: An Analog Memoir, Joe Sugg’s Username: Evie and more). These were
amazing reads and not only great to get to see the personal journey of each of these stars, but I thought it was great to see these stars use
their connection with their young fans to encourage more reading and introduce them to the power of literature. I hope to read the hilarious
books Selp-Helf from Miranda Sings and Binge from Tyler Oakley in 2016, and look forward to more YouTuber books in the future!

YouTube:

The Year of Coming Out: It was a great year for the rights of LGBT members everywhere. As a supporter of equality for all, I was happy to see
things like marriage for everyone legalized, and it also warmed my heart to see stars taking a brave step forward to come out to their fans
and use their platform not only to take a personal step forward in their life, but to help encourage and inspire others to be themselves. Stars
like Joey Graceffa, Shane Dawson, Ingrid Nilsen and many more took that pivotal step, and I am so glad to see people able to be themselves in
what I hope is an evolving, caring and loving world.

Savvy Sexy Social: One of my favorite YouTube channels I began watching in 2015 was Amy Schmittauer’s Savvy Sexy Social. This channel has given
me hope and inspiration in 2015 to help me go for my dreams and helped me gain some ideas and insight into what goes into marketing in the
social media age. I’ve watched several videos of hers this year, learning about so many different aspects of marketing that I hope to put into
practice in 2016, and her podcast was also a huge help this year as well. If you are serious about not just YouTube, but any business or image
you want to convey and you want to know how to best market yourself or your business, go watch her channel and look for some great advice from
her.

Her Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/savvysexysocial

Vloggers Take Over: I have to say, I noticed a huge rise in popularity with vlogs. For a long time I enjoyed more scripted or structured videos
such as sketches or music videos, but this year I saw the official take over of the vlogger. Family vloggers, travel vloggers, young disabled
authors in their second year of daily vlogging (shameless self promotion, youtube.com/GunslingerPimp or Avina Vlogs!), 2015 was a great year for
viewers to connect with people who shared their lives, making for a more personal, intimate viewing experience.

Personal:

The 500 Sub Club: Thanks to you guys, I passed 500 subscribers on my YouTube channel, Avina Vlogs. I finally got a set schedule with my videos,
got my official podcast started and got more interactive with you guys, and now we’ve gotten to about 530 subscribers at the end of 2015. I hope
to continue with my progress and get to 1000 subs soon, and more by the end of 2016. You guys are great and have made me feel like I’m doing
something great with this channel, so thank you for all your support this year.

Local News: I put myself out there finally for my writing, and did a phone interview with my local paper, and was featured on the front page
of the paper itself. The article was written about my biggest release in 2015, VOID, my drama/contemporary romance novella available in paperback
and eBook formats now, (shameless self promotion #2). Not only that, but the news caught onto the local Spanish Newspaper as well, and I was on
the front page of that one as well. It was a great confidence boost that is inspiring me to go for my dreams more in 2016!

Reviews A Plenty: I had a lot of positive reviews come out this year, both for my short stories and my novella VOID. The positivity in my reviews
is showing me that my writing is improving and getting better as the years go on, and is giving me the confidence I need to go forward with my
work in 2016!

Thank you guys for reading this post. It was a breakout year for me in 2015, but I think it was but a stepping stone for 2016. So many great
projects inspired my own personal stuff, but I think we are on the precipice of a truly stellar year of creativity, personal growth and amazing
projects that will launch us into a whole new platform. What were your favorite things about 2015? Leave your comments below and also tell me
what you hope to see happen in the coming year.

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