Well, I'm a tad bit late to the game here, but better late then never, right?
Once again, I looked over a great deal of outstanding fiction over the past year, and here are my top 15 (well, sort of 16) in ascending order.
(Disclaimer: All of this is according to me, of course. Obviously there are many books I haven't read.)
#15 - Spirit Storm by E.J. Stevens (4.5) - Lighthearted but meaningful, the second book in Stevens's Spirit Guide series came this close to being much higher on the list.
#14 - The Stasis: Powerless book 3 by Jason Letts (4.6) - The best book of the Powerless series, full of despair and dark emotion.
#13 - The Miracle Inspector by Helen Smith (4.7) - A fantastic literary exploration of dystopian Britain. Darkly comedic and unsettling.
#12 - Draculas by Blake Crouch, Joe Konrath, Jeff Strand, and F. Paul Wilson (4.7) - Quite simply, this was hilariously gory fun.
#11 - Anomaly by Thea Atkinson (4.7) - Heartwarming and disturbing at the same time, a fascinating (not to mention revealing) look at addiction and the nature of sexuality.
#10 - Freeze by Daniel Pyle (4.8) - A short, powerful story that left me breathless.
#9 - The Gods of Dream by Daniel Arenson (4.8) - This hallucinatory look at the world of our sleep is meaningful and full of wonderful description.
#8 - The Ryel Saga by Carolyn Kephart (4.9) - A work of epic fantasy that is almost poetic in its prose and pace.
#7 - Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan (4.9) - In the first book of his Paranormals series, author Bryan creates a work that very much stands up to the likes of Carrie and Weaveworld.
#6 - A Dance of Death and A Dance of Blades by David Dalglish (5.0) - Okay, so I'm cheating a little, but since these two books are the 3rd and 2nd in a trilogy, and are both now available in an omnibus, I figured I'd combine them here. Let's just say that Dalglish's Shadowdance books are so well-written and plotted that he'll have a hard time topping them in the future.
#5 - Dismember by Daniel Pyle (5.0) - A truly compelling journey of horror into the broken mind of a man who only wants his family back.
#4 - Cadman's Gambit (Shader Book I) by D.P. Prior (5.0) - With a compelling mix of science fiction and hard-boiled fantasy, this book captured me from the first sentence and wouldn't let me go.
#3 - The Infection by Craig DiLouie (5.0) - I'm a sucker for zombie fiction, and let's just say that DiLouie's opus is a new take on the end of the world and just about as good as it gets.
#2 - A Sliver of Redemption by David Dalglish (5.0) - Sure, his later series may be tighter and more refined, but as far as emotion goes—and I'm a sucker for emotional threads—Dalglish has never been better than in the final novel of his Half-Orcs series.
#1 - Burying Brian by Steven Pirie (5.0)
My favorite author over the last 20 years doesn't disappoint with his follow-up to Digging Up Donald. It's a hilarious and poignant journey of one inept man's attempt to save humankind, and heaven, from themselves.
And that's it, folks! Here's to a great 2012, to great books and great writers, so go out there and read!