The Mid-Year Freak Out Tag 2021

Hey everyone!

It’s just over halfway through the year and that means it’s time for The Mid-Year Freak Out Tag! This is a tag I do every year, so here we go again. I saw it the other day over at Stephen Writes and really enjoyed reading his answers, so do go check them out – and thanks for reminding me to do this post too, Stephen!

Yes, I know that it is July. I know I am therefore a little late on this, but you guys will forgive me, right? Right!?!

Anyway, let’s get to the questions!

How much have you read?

According to Goodreads, I’ve read a total of 34 books this year. Which I feel is great going! However, a good chunk of these have been short stories, so I’d say it’s actually 25 full length books. Still decent though!

What have you been reading?

As usual, I’ve mostly read fantasy this year. Though, there is the odd smattering of science fiction. Though, I have managed to get in a good chunk of non-fiction (mostly history) through audiobooks on my commute to work. Good to branch out a bit.

Best Book You’ve Read So Far In 2021

What a choice to make! I’ve read some great books this year, but two standout for me and I can’t pick between them. This is going to both A Fool’s Hope by Mike Shackle and Requiem Infernal by Peter Fehervari.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021

Bit boring to go for the same book two answers in a row, but A Fool’s Hope by Mike Shackle is a sequel and one of the best books I have read this year. So there you go.

Most anticipated release for the second part of the year

The Wisdom of Crowds by Joe Abercrombie. Longtime readers probably won’t be surprised by this at all. I love me some Abercrombie.

Biggest disappointment

I’m not going for a single book here, but a whole series. I’m, unfortunately, giving it to the Siege of Terra series. Now, I love me some Warhammer stories, but this hasn’t quite delivered the enjoyment I expected here. I will say, though, this is possibly more a case of my expectations being too high. I came in excited and loved the first book, The Solar War by John French, but I feel there have been too much inconsistency in quality throughout the books. The First Wall especially was just very, very ‘meh’. For me, anyway.

Biggest surprise

Of Honey and Wildfires by Sarah Chorn, for sure. I read it on a bit of a whim, and I have to say I loved it. Such a beautifully written, emotional book that definitely caught me off guard.

New favourite author (debut or new to you)

Peter Fehervari. I went on a bit of binge of his short stories and read another of his novels straight after reading Requiem Infernal. There are a few more to get around to, still, and I can’t wait. Perfect blend of prose, tension and horror that sticks him right in contention as one of the top of Black Library/Warhammer authors for me.

Underrated gems you’ve discovered recently

Gonna give this to Mike Shackle and his Last War books: We Are The Dead and A Fool’s Hope. Fantastic, gritty, grimdark fantasy! I can’t recommend them enough and can’t understand how they have so few ratings on Goodreads.

Rereads this year

I don’t think I have any, I am afraid. Though, I do plan on rereading A Little Hatred and The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie before the final book in the series, The Wisdom of Crowds, drops in September.

Newest fictional crush

I don’t really do fictional crushes. Sorry, not sorry. I might just drop this question in future years.

Newest favourite character

Oooh, a hard one. Can’t I pick a whole bunch? No? Damn. Considering an earlier pick, this may look like a weird pick, but I really want Katsuhiro from the Siege of Terra series to make it through unscathed. 100% chance he won’t now I’ve said that though!

Book that made you cry

Of Honey and Wildfires by Sarah Chorn is a real tear jerker. Make sure you have tissues on hand! You’ve been warned.

Book that made you happy

The Gatewatch by Joshua Gillingham is a classic fantasy adventure story, just like The Hobbit. As a fan of the genre, and having read a lot of grimdark recently, this made me smile and captured the magic of the more traditional stories in the genre. Plus, it has riddles. Riddles! I had great fun trying to work those out as I went.

Favourite book to film adaptation

Hmmm… I don’t know if I have seen any new book to movie adaptions this year. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who hasn’t even seen the Shadow and Bone adaption on Netflix. Sorry!

Most beautiful cover you’ve bought (or received) this year

There have been a couple that really jump out to me. A Fool’s Hope and Of Honey and Wildfires are honourable mentions, but in the interests of not always picking the same books, I’m gonna give it to The Reverie by Peter Fehervari. Just look at it! It’s a bit busier than my usual style, but it really captures the mood of the story and catches the eye.

Favourite posts you have done this year

Erm, I don’t know. I kind of started a new series of posts called Five of the Best. Kind of. I’ll write another one soon, I promise! Here are my links for the Prologues, Friendships and Atmosphere ones. Enjoy!

So there you go. Answers all done. I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I did writing them! I’m not going to tag anyone though. For two reasons: everyone has probably already done the tag, and I reckon anyone who wants to do it can anyway.

Anyway, let me know what your favourite books of the year have been. Or have you had any particular disappointments? Let me know in the comments and happy reading!


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