Best Debuts of 2014

Best Debuts of 2014

Debuts are important. For publisher to bring new material to the readers and for new authors to break through in the densely populated writing world. Every year there are loads of new books coming out and too be honest some do fall into repetition but other are really genre bending and breaking. When I look for a new author I always truly to find authors that dare to go the limit, as a first book can make you (and unfortunately also break you). This year I read a lot of solid debuts. The books below are all books that featured something different from the gross of the genre books out there. The Emperor's Blade was my first debut of 2014 and as promised Brian! The Emperor's Blade is in essence Epic fantasy but with a definite twist. The Incorruptibles by John Hornor Jacobs featured a most interesting world building and some very cool protagonists. Edward Cox' The Relic Guild brought something completely new to the saturated fantasy genre, just awesome. A Kill in the Morning by Graeme Shimmin was just plain awesome, great characters and a most interesting setting, didn't see that coming and finally Traitor's Blade by Sebastian de Castell a rip roaring swashbuckling quasi Italian inspired story, full of action. 

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- The Emperor's Blade by Brian Stavely, Tor

Brian Staveley writes up a very strong opening in a new and exciting series and the fact that this is his debut makes him even more of an author to watch out for! The Emperor's Blades is an awesome book that is already a heavy contender for a best of 2014 list come this December. it has everything that you seek when you read and Epic Fantasy story, from great, relatable characters all throughout the solid storyline, interesting environments and a lot of pretty darn cool action! It has in some parts relation to young adult storyline but i think it is more suited for an older audience. I was hooked from the first page and I hope to see the release of the sequel soon, this is one of those books that leaves you needing more.  

Read the full review here

- The Incorruptibles by John Hornor Jacobs, Gollancz

Did I like The Incorruptibles. Hell yes! I often mention that I like to see author going into new directions with their books and this is definitely what John Hornor Jacobs is doing, mashing up several genres, in a terrific way (mashing up genres often goes horribly wrong), to create a completely never before seen setting. This is one of a kind, in a bestest (i know it isn't a word) way possible. From the world down to the characters, John Hornor Jacobs has a great way of highlighting the bigger picture, keeping enough obscure to be explored in the possible sequel, as well as showing the minor details that make the character tick. Though The Incorruptibles might start of slow for a lot of readers, for me this was just a great build up of tension, getting grips on the richly imagined world that features ever vividly be it in a grimdark setting in The Incorruptibles. The same count for the characters, it might be a lengthy introduction but it readily establishes a baseline for the remainder of the story. And that remainder is a rapid dash to the ending of the book, too bad it is over to soon. The Incorruptibles is a great opener to a new series, you will learn a lot, some questions are answered but a lot more raised. I am already a big fan of this series and am looking forward to see just in which direction John Hornor Jacobs will take his story next.

Read the full review here

- The Relic Guild by Edward Cox, Gollancz

The Relic Guild is an awesome book and that doesn't even come close to describing it. In the saturated fantasy genre as an author you really have to bring your A game if you want to break through and for me Edward Cox has delivered this. The whole setting of The Relic Guild and here I mean mainly the world building with Labrys Town and the way it is all described is very provocative and Edward Cox leaves enough for you to think about it for yourself. Then you have the interesting magic system and a great bunch of characters that really make the story come together and alive. Each and every character is different and it feels like Edward Cox invested a lot of time and effort in them to let them come out the way they did, very humane and natural and you will grow attached to them. I must urge you to read The Relic Guild, it highly enjoyable and has some great bold idea's that Edward Cox brings to the front. It's is by far a standard fantasy story, so if you are looking for a something refreshing to read pick it up, if you are looking for a next read, pick it up. Well, make sure this book is the next thing that touches your hands, you don't want to miss out on it! BRING BOOK TWO!

Read the full review here 

- A Kill in the Morning by Graeme Shimmin, Bantam Press

A Kill in the Morning is one of the best debuts that I read so far this year, the synopsis promised a lot of action and intrigue but this is only the tip of the iceberg as Graeme Shimmin pulls out all the stops to write one terrific story. In building the world and setting up the characters it comes to show that Graeme Shimmin did his homework and by this created a very intriguing scene, the alternate setting of Europe in the 1955 where England and Germany reached a stalemate when it comes down to the Second World War and where Churchill died down to the enigmatic lead character, the nameless British assassin that you follow along the story. I hope that this is only the first of many stories that I will read of Graeme Shimmin, he shows that he has a very imaginative and creative mind, I am eager to see with what he will come up with next. Make sure you do as well! Don't miss the release of A Kill in the Morning!
  
Read the full review here

- Traitor's Blade by Sebastien de Castell, Jo Fletcher

Traitor's Blade is just to put is simple: a terrific read. I enjoyed reading it very, very much. Sebastien de Castell directly places himself upfront to many of my favorite authors. What makes Traitor's Blade a solid read for me was the combination of the narration and the main protagonist. Falcio is well developed character, he isn't a rookie but has gone through a lot of rough patches in life and you can really see this in his character. He is seeking redemption but life isn't working in his favor at the moment. Added to this is the more original setting of the rapier fighting and slicing musketeers, I haven't encountered it in such a dose in fantasy as far as I can remember so it was great to read about it. Sebastien De Castell makes this theme work wonders, I forgot to mention the delicate and well written swordfights that feature in Traitor's Blade, they are a bit like a fencing match, plan plan plan snap and it's over. They are what you want to read in a downright, no dragging going on about but not to short just perfect. So yes, I absolutely loved reading Traitor's Blade, get reading guys!

Read the full review here

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