I was a huge fan of Nicholas Eames' KINGS OF THE WYLD and wasn't alone in my fandom. The combination of a traditional Dungeons and Dragons' esque high fantasy story with THIS IS SPINAL TAP was such an electric combination that it topped a lot of the "Best of 2017" lists, including my own. About it's only competition that year, in my opinion, was THE GREY BASTARDS and KINGS OF PARADISE.
DEVIL'S NIGHT DAWNING by Damien Black is a dark fantasy story set in a European-esque setting afflicted by demons, a generational blood feud, and a young woman who discovers running away from an arranged marriage is not as easy in the story books. This was a highly entertaining read and I found it to be one of my favorites of 2018. The book did have some criticisms but it's a solid piece of fantasy straight from the independent circuit.
THE CAMARILLA (sourcebook) is an incredibly flawed book that would have otherwise been a 4/5 if not for one incredibly ill-conceived chapter (plus many editing errors) that I think needs to be removed. But we'll get to that. Actually, no, it's probably best to get it out of the way before anything else. The Camarilla (sourcebook) contains a chapter devoted to describing Mordor meets Latveria. There's a murderously evil little country ruled by a vampire dictator which is rounding up all the gays and other innocents to be vampire snacks. Here's the problem, it's a real country. You know, you can describe Montreal as a Satan-worshiping hellhole, that's actually funny. It's considerably less funny when it's a real country.
THE ANARCH (SOURCEBOOK) is the first supplement for Vampire: The Masquerade's controversial but awesome Fifth Edition. Anarchs have always been something of the middle child of the setting due to the fact they get almost no respect from people who assume they're either part of the Camarilla but whiny poseurs or they're Sabbat-lite in that they're against the Elders but won't go to the extremes necessary to affect real change.
NEMESIS GAMES is the fifth book in the Expanse series, which is about humanity 200 years in the future when we've managed to colonize the rest of the solar system. Humanity is divided into Earthlings, Martians, and Belters with varying degrees of oppression. A mysterious alien object called the protomolecule has changed the balance of power between them and opened up new possibilities to visit other star systems.
BONE CROSSED is the fourth novel of the Mercy Thompson series, which is one of my favorite urban fantasy series along with THE DRESDEN FILES and THE HOLLOWS series. However, whereas I have some issues with the latter two, I have to say the Patricia Briggs novels are consistently one of the most entertaining urban fantasy on the market today.The books aren't without flaws but they serve as mental comfort food when you just want to sit down and enjoy a story of a clever protagonist versus this weeks' monster. Mercy Thompson is a relatively weak superheroine with minor powers and that makes encounters with more dangerous supernaturals all the more intense.
HARRY STUBBS is back and fighting the Great Od Ones again! The adventures of a early 20th century London boxer and amateur detective remains one of my favorite Cthulhu spin-offs. It's a series of well-researched detective stories which are more interested in the occult secret societies, weird history of London, and cultists versus the actual supernatural weirdness so many other stories deal with. In simple terms, it's more The 9th Gate versus Friday the Thirteenth in how it compares to most stories.
INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and its sequel THE VAMPIRE LESTAT remain the two best vampire novels ever made, IMHO. I know the series continues on for a dozen books afterward but, I'll be honest, with the exception of MEMNOCH THE DEVIL I don't think any of them ever rises above "good" while the first two will always be great. Far be it me to criticize one of my all time favorite authors but at some point, Anne Rice forgot that being a vampire was ultimately tragic. Given the third book had them fighting a millennia old omnicidal Pharaoh, I think we can say that was when the series lost its way (but still had some cool bits).
Warning - The following book deals with religion and vampirism in a serious way. I know David Niall Wilson from previous collaborators but this review has been conducted with no bias.
Jesus gets a lot of vampire jokes made about him. I say this with dead seriousness. "JESUS THE VAMPIRE: Jesus gave his blood, now he wants it back - coming to a theater near you" is a T-shirt I've seen before. This is a in part because the 19th century vampire (and later Hammer Horror's depictions) is a creature which incorporates many elements designed to exist in blasphemous opposition to God. They rise three days after death, they are repulsed by the cross, they drink and share blood to provide immortality, and so on. The vampire is the ultimate enemy of Christ beyond sin itself because it is living death versus eternal life.
SUNGLASSES AFTER DARK by Nancy A. Collins is the first of the Sonja Blue novels that I have been recommended multiple times but haven't gotten around to reading until now. I actually know Nancy Collins, first, from her Vampirella comics that were quite entertaining and sadly cut short. I also knew her to be an author who had briefly put her characters in the Vampire: The Masquerade universe but I had never read her signature Sonja Blue series.