2014 is coming to an end, and I was looking back over the books I read this year and I realized that not many of them were published this year. As a 2015 New Year resolution, I am going to make more of an effort to read books published in 2015; I feel like it makes me more relevant as a blogger and reviewer.

Here’s my list of 2014 published books, in no particular order:

The Outbreak by Colin M. Drysdale

While The Outbreak is a sequel to author Colin M. Drysdale’s first post-apocalyptic novel, For Those in Peril on the Sea, he has given us a whole new group of characters to connect with, as well as a closer look at just how overpowering this virus has become. The story is told from the point-of-view of Ben, a seasoned sailor. We experience the virus raging through the city of Glasgow, beginning with a single infected person who flew in from Miami. Within the course of a few hours, the military is forced to take drastic measures to try and control the spread of the virus. A small band of survivors end up together on Ben’s boat, first battling just to sail out of the city, and then to find a safe place to harbor and survive.

Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

I read this as a book club pick. It’s my first Sandra Brown novel but will definitely not be the last. Dr. Emory Charbonneau’s marriage is on the rocks and she loves to run, so she plans a solo marathon training session in the mountains of North Carolina. Unfortunately for Emory, someone has other plans for her. When she wakes up in the cabin of a stranger, she fears the worst about him and his intentions. I am usually pretty observant and can figure it out, but author Sandra Brown’s whodunnit shocked me.

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind by Zack Whedon and Georges Jeanty

I have been a huge Firefly fan for years, and finding this official installment in the ‘verse by Joss Whedon’s brother Zack was quite a thrill. This graphic novel takes place a few months after the sci-fi cult favorite movie, Serenity. Wanted by The Alliance, Captain Malcom Renolds and his surviving crew are forced to come out of hiding to save a life, finding that there is an organized resistance group also looking for him.

First Wave by JT Sawyer

JT Sawyer currently has three books out in his First Wave series about a biogenetic virus that was released from a lab and quickly infected much of North America. Those lucky enough to survive the infection are completely unaware that this is only the first wave of the virus. Ex-military specialist Travis Combs is on a three-week river trip when the sh*t hits the fan and he must help his travel group figure out what is going on and show them how to survive in this new world. Sawyer has filled his books with fast-paced action scenes and educational survivalist skills.

People of the Morning Star by Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear

This is the 21st installment in this husband and wife archaeological team’s North America’s Forgotten Past series which began with People of the Wolf. Each of these books is absolutely magical to a history buff, and this one is no different. This time, the duo depict the mistrust and panic that rocks the strong and flourishing Cahokia Empire when an assassin targets their spiritual leader. These authors are able to bring to life a people and their culture that has long been forgotten, and make them matter in a world of television and instant gratification.

Star Wars: Tarkin by James Luceno

Grand Moff Tarkin is best known for giving the coldblooded order to destroy the defenseless and peaceful planet of Alderaan in the Star Wars movie A New Hope. He was also arrogant to the point of death, underestimating the Rebel Alliance’s ability to find a weakness within the Death Star. This book takes a closer look at this Imperial agent: where he came from, what made him tick, and how he rose through the ranks.

Forgetting To Be Afraid: A Memoir, Wendy Davis

This filibustering hero spent 13 hours on her feet, with no break, to stand up for women’s rights in Texas. It takes great strength and fortitude to take a Democratic stand in Texas politics, and Wendy Davis has vast amounts of both. In her memoirs, she shares how her life experiences led her to where, and who, she is today.

A Vision of Fire by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin

Yes, it’s THAT Gillian Anderson, Dana Scully from The X-Files, and she has coauthored a sci-fi thriller. How utterly exciting! Child psychologist Caitlin O’Hara is brought into an extreme emergency case involving a teenager suffering from violent visions and self-mutilation. When teenagers around the world begin to suffer similarities, it becomes obvious something is happening on a grander scale. This is the first in a series, and will leave you eager for answers.

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes and Joe Laden

The movie The Princess Bride is one of the great fantasy movies from my generation, and will remain timeless for generations to come. Actor Cary Elwes shares his personal experiences before, during, and after his life as “The Dread Pirate Roberts.” Elwes, along with anecdotal cameos by various cast and crew members, brings a warmth and humor to his stories that make the movie that much more magical.

So what about you? What looks did you read that were published this year?

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