Note: Novels were ones I read in 2009, not necessarily published in 2009.
- City of the Dead by Rosemary Jones. Zombies! Ghosts! A family of mildly eccentric gravediggers and the plucky wee daughter. Nefarious plots! Midnight melees! Enchanted balls of yarn! Wholly believeable logic trains! Fun for the whole family!
Myemaw threw her black ball of yarn toward Stunk's bullies. The yarn wound up the legs of the thin man who was always complaining, entangling him from ankles to hips. He tipped forward and crashed to the ground, yelping as he fell.
With a quick click of her knitting needles, Sophraea's grandmother summoned back the yarn and directed it toward another thug.
- The God Eaters by Jesse Hajicek. Steampunk Old West romance of the year. A romance in the true and perfect sense of the word, complete with prison breakouts, betrayals, acts of god(s), and damn fine leather pants. I will never look at cooking oil the same way again.
Ash felt the weight of the gun, the heat of Kieran's body at his back, his own anxiety and arousal, the chemical reek of the river, the last rays of sun on his cheek; it all melded into one thing. Frighteningly real and beautiful. I always pick the strangest times to be happy, he thought, and tightened his finger.
The gun roared.
- Drawing Blood by Poppy Z Brite. Two broken boys find each other through unlikely, somewhat homicide-soaked means in the strange, cursed little town of Missing Mile, North Carolina. Just so utterly right and perfect and broken.
The quicksilver eyes flickered; then Trevor's lips moved. His voice was deeper than Zach had expected, and very quiet. 'You must think I'm crazy.'
'Well--' said Zach, and stopped. Trevor tilted his head. 'Well, it would help if you put the hammer down.'
- Saugus to the Sea by Bill Brown. The lost secret history of Los Angeles, as told by one of the people who fell into the cracks, and the people who all stay up at night, watching sprinkler systems. Also known as the great grownup Snarkout.
It's dark when we walk out to the parking lot. We're talking about the earthquake ride at Universal Studios. When you take the studio tour, you ride through the backlot on an open-air tour bus. At one point, the bus pulls into a building, just an oversized garage, really. The door closes behind you. Inside it looks like a subway station, and the tour bus is parked on the tracks like a subay train. Then everything starts shaking. The rumble is deafening, a THX polyphonic roar. The roof collapses and water starts pouring into the station. Electrical wires snap and spark. Flames shoot up. Fire and water. Then it's over and you drive out the other end, back into sunlight and a warm breeze. It turns out we both were thinking the same thing during the simulated earthquake: what happens if a real earthquake hits right now? Would anyone notice?
- Natural Disaster by Chris Owen. What happens after happily ever after. Surprisingly moving, sweet and hella hot sequel to Bareback. As if they didn't have enough to deal with, Tor and Jake just inherited a teenager. And they still have Elias. So perfect and beautiful.
Elias kicked their butts.
Even when Tor abandoned him and teamed up with Jake, Cath, and Jacob, Elias kicked their butts. The four of them would play the hole, take the best score, and match it against Elias'. In the first nine holes, they beat him on one. On the second nine, they didn't even come close, and Elias managed to get a hole in one four times.
"Want to explain to me how a ranch hand got so good at mini-golf?" Jake asked when they were returning their putters.
Elias grinned and winked at Cath. "I've always been good with my hands."
"Oh that's nice," Cath said sweetly as Jake's jaw dropped open. "I've always been pretty good with a shotgun."
- The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. Yup. That book that ripped my heart out through my nose and lived to tell the tale. Such a great read. Oh terrible, beautiful book.
The sky was a fading red, and nothing remained of the day save for a line of molten gold slowly lowering on the western horizon. Locke Lamora trailed in the long shadow of the Thiefmaker, who was leading him to the Temple of Perelandro to be sold. At long last, Locke had discovered where the older children had been disappearing to.
- Long Son by Peter Bowen. In Toussaint, Montana, fiddler/agricultural inspector Du Pre is on the hook to solve mysteries as they appear, and this one's a doozy.
Van Den Heuvel grinned. He was in this remote posting because while teaching in a seminary, he remarked to an entire class of would-be priests that the Bible was a wonderful piece of literature, and no more than that. His superiors wished it was still possible to burn heretics at the stake, but it wasn't, so they sent Father Van Den Heuvel to deepest Montana. He loved it, and when asked by his superiors if he had had a spiritual awakening and therefore a better take on the Testaments he always assured them he had not, and that further, heaven was full of Muppets.
They left him alone after that.
- What We Do Is Secret by Thorn Kief Hilsbury. I can't even describe it to you.
Desoxyn. Pure methedrine in convenient tablet form. He says he took four earlier waiting at Bill's.
No wonder he jumped me afterwards. Everyone calls it the sex machine drug. Gerber always says she'll do anything on Desoxyn.
But she'll do anything on Wednesday too.
I have to hope 2010 brings me more of the same. Anyone read anything great this year?