Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!

Twenty-fifteen is nearly past, so everybody and their cousin are creating list of the best things of the past year. I too am jumping on that band wagon. Below, 2015 in reviews.

Two small caveats, first.

This is my list, so you might disagree. Feel free to say so in the comments – but keep it civil. That doesn’t mean I’m going to change my choice, since it’s mine. That’s also why I’m not presenting it as the best novels, video games, movies, or television shows. They’re my favourite novels, video games, movies, and television shows.

Secondly, some of these things came out before 2015. I just read, played, or saw them for the first time this year. A lot more comes out each year than I have time to read, see, or play. Also, I tend to read series of books only when the series is finished, and watch series only after they’ve been running for a while. So, I just call ‘m as I see them, and when I see them.

Onward to the list.

My favourite novel

I’m going to fudge this a bit, right off the bat. You see, I read a lot of really good books this year, but two stand out. The first is a fantasy novel, the other a scifi one. I’m creating two categories so I don’t have to choose.

My favourite Fantasy novel of the year is Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I was really impressed with this one. I’ve been burned a bit by overly long and grimdark fantasy and Way of Kings was a good counterpoint. I loved it.

My favourite Science Fiction novel was Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. A page-turner sci-fi adventure with some fresh ideas. Especially the use of the female pronoun was an eye-opener for me.

My favourite video game

A lot of great video games came out this year. I’d been waiting for the Witcher III for years, and DragonAge 3 was a pleasant surprise after two -in my opinion – mediocre predecessors. However, when I think about it, the game that had the biggest impression on me was the Blackwell series.

I spent some 250 hours playing the Witcher and DragonAge 3, but I think the 10 hours I spent on the Blackwell were more precious to me. Time is one of my most previous goods these days, and spending more on a game doesn’t make the game better. Beyond a certain point it starts to make the whole experience a grind, actually worsening the experience. That said, the Witcher 3 and DragonAge were also awesome.

My favourite movie

Just got the Blu-Ray of this one, and I think I’m going to watch it again soon, the new Mad Max: Fury Road. SimpleĀ  story, but well written, with great characters and a constantly engaging plot. This movie worked where a movie like Avengers 2 fell flat on its face.

One small caveat here, I haven’t seen the Force Awakens yet. I will watch it in a few days, and I might change my mind then, but well, screw it; for now, Mad Max is king.

My favourite television show

This is a bit of troublesome one. I loved Daredevil, but I’m also loving Jessica Jones. I haven’t finished season one of the latter one, so I might change my mind, but for now Jessica Jones is in the lead.

The dark atmosphere of the show, the great premise, and the terrific performance by both Krysten Ritter and David Tennant make Jessica Jones an awesome show. I’ll do a review when I finish watching the season.

Honourable mention: worst television show

I have read and seen things this year that were not very good, but none warrant extra mention. Except, that is, for the pile of dung that is Sense 8. I won’t rant about it again, but I hated that show and you can follow the link for an in-depth analysis of why.

Closing remarks

Well, that was my list. I hope it rounds out the gazillion other lists on the Internet nicely.

Have a great Christmas, and a happy New Year!

Martin Stellinga Written by:

I'm a science fiction and fantasy author/blogger from the Netherlands