With the holidays over, I imagine that many of my fellow bookworms have gift cards and Christmas cash burning a hole in their pocket. With that in mind here are the ten best novels, I've read this year minus a few of the bigger names that the vast majority of genre fans have purchased long ago. I made the decision not to include some novels that were all but sure things simply because, there are lesser known novels that are just as good and could definitely use some publicity, no matter how small. But rest assured, though you may not see a King, Gaiman, Butcher or Brett in residence here, these authors are in no way less worthy simply because they don't have the benefit of decades in the business of a successful franchise to their names. 2013 was a year of discovery for me, and I'd like to share the very best of those with you all. Happy Holidays and I hope you find a novel you've not yet read in this list.
8. The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu: Another type of novel I rarely read is the comedy, but Wesley Chu's uproariously funny debut was an welcome exception. This sci-fi thriller/comedy reminded me of all the best parts of television's Chuck with an engaging premise reminicent of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Add in the coming of age tale of the slacker extraordinaire Roen Tan and the pitch perfect and often laugh out loud action sequences and it's easy to see how this debut has catapulted Chu to rising star status. The sequel, The Deaths of Tao may have deviated heavily from the formula of it's predecessor but it showed off a completely different set of writing chops that guarantees I'll be reading Chu's work for the foreseeable future.
6. The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig: If I were going to crown an author of the year it would be Chuck Wendig. I've read three very different novels from him this year and each of those has been a cut above the crowd. The Blue Blazes is simply the best of these. With an unforgettable protagonist in the larger than life and yet tragically broken Mookie Pearl, bombastic action sequences that literally chew up the scenery, and richly bizarre world building Wendig delivers plenty of punch per page. But it's the emotional core of dysfunctional family values that makes it stick in your mind long after the last page is turned.