Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
Every year, I select the best book I’ve read to receive my Book of the Year award. Note that this could be some time after it’s been published.
The 2015/16 year saw a record 50 books independently reviewed (+2.0% on last year). They ranked an average 3.46 out of 5 stars, an increase of 2.1% on the previous year.
This year also saw a record number of 5-star reviews: 9, an increase of 80% on last year. They accounted for 18% of the overall total, +76% on last year.
There was also an increase in poor reviews (1- or 2-star), which also came to 9, +29% on last year. That meant, overall, 18% of titles received a negative review which was a 26% increase on last year.
There were 12 series which continued this year, and 4 of them beat their 2015/16 score, while 2 matched it. Unusually, 6 of the 12 series saw a ratings drop: Left Behind, Agatha Christie Collection, Artemis Fowl, The Lost Books, Thursday Next and The Choosing all missed their previous rank in what was a hugely successful year for stand alones.
Gillian Slovo’s debut, political thriller Ten Days was a masterpiece, while George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones was reviewed for the first time, to huge acclaim. The first recipient of the BOTY Award, Ted Dekker’s Thr3e, was reviewed in December 2015, the 10th anniversary of its first read, and naturally gained 5 stars. Detective dramas The Concrete Blonde and Broken Skin saw Harry Bosch and Logan MacRae earn five-star accolades, for the first and second time respectively.
Honourable mentions must also go to Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects, Patrick Ness’s More Than This and new series debut Cinder – the first of The Lunar Chronicles – for strong reviews.
The 12th annual Book of the Year Award goes to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. The seventh and (sort of) final book in the series has the tough task of bringing the epic to a close. With warmth, pathos, action and tenderness, Rowling ends a truly unique series that will hold a place in history for Potterheads the world over.
2015: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
2014: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
2013: Cold Granite by Stuart McBride
2012: The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
2011: Last Known Victim by Erica Spindler
2010: Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown.
2009: The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly.
2008: Good News, Bad News by David Wolsencroft.
2007: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.
2006: Black by Ted Dekker.
2005: Thr3e by Ted Dekker.