The W00T List, 2013

Woot 2013

[W00T: a expression of joy after a triumph (or an obvious victory)]

So this is how I break it down: there’s the stuff I like, the stuff I love, and then the stuff that makes me so fan-freaking-happy it’s ridiculous. It’s a hugely subjective distinction, there’s no denying it – but we’ve all felt the sublime difference between a “hey, that was great” and a “HELL YES!” And so, here are the things that for me were the latter in year 2013 – here are the things that amped me up, geeked me out, and brought on a tsunami of fan joy. And so I give you, The W00t List.

Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Written in Red

Like a chocolate covered strawberry, this book is urban fantasy dipped in epic fantasy, and damn did I love everything about it. From the world-building, with its strange magical past to its wonderfully alien (yet familiar) present, to the awesome Other-ness of the Others, to the wonderful character relationships that make up the heart of this story – this book just KILLS it. And yes, I have re-read it five times already. No lie.

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist

This, this is the fun adventure story I’ve been waiting for. With mystery, menace, magical shenanigans and even a dab of steampunk, this book is just utterly, entirely, and effortlessly entertaining. Plus the magic system is delightfully unique – how Sanderson makes diagrams and angles and defensive and offensive chalk lines so interesting, I have no idea, but HE DOES. And the fact that this story doesn’t take the easy, rosy, tie-it-up-with-a-bow way out – and it could have, so easily – only makes me love it all the  more. So yes, I have to admit it: this is now my favorite Sanderson book.

Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

Lockwood and Co UK

With stories of this type (of the ghostly haunting variety), it’s hard to be surprised – but Stroud got me on every level with this one. I wasn’t at all expecting the fun of the world, The Problem, or Lucy’s sarcasm, and I definitely wasn’t expecting the bloody excellent rapier-wielding or the sheer spooky-ness of the specters, but happily this book had it all. This really is ghost-busting at its best – and while I wasn’t expecting to love it, I absolutely did.


Psycho-Pass cast

This show easily, by far, hands down, delivered my favorite female character of the year in the form of Akane Tsunemori, who is the most brilliantly unexpected kind of badass. So while I did start out a bit worried, as the first episode begins with Akane as the stereotypical rookie (doe-eyed, naive, and eager to please) on her first day of work, in short order Akane just starts KICKING ASS, and even better, it has nothing to do with physical strength. No, Akane kicks ass because of her integrity, intelligence, and goddamn resolute cheer – and I just about fell out of my chair with how much I loved watching her STAND UP FOR HERSELF, and face down the toughest of choices. And before long, AKANE is the one holding everyone together and keeping it all from falling apart, and it made for such a freaking awesome character arc, I can’t even find the words. On top of which, her relationship with her partner is so brilliantly understated – aaaaaahhhh, I just loved it. I loved it ALL.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief cover

So I know, I know, I’m a few years late to the party – but it was this year, with the movie coming out, that I finally sat down and read The Book Thief, and…wow. It really is that good. Such a lovely, surprisingly hopeful tale of terrible times – but damn it all if this book didn’t still make me cry…



Now this show was less of a fist pump and more of a stunned silence, because it was just that kind of brilliant. The freaking talent that underpins this show – from the writing to the acting to the cinematography, this show is a master class, and all of American crime TV should be taking notes. I literally watched this series over a weekend, because I HAD to know whodunit – but what on earth are they thinking, making an American remake of this? Because it will never, ever be this good. This one is really all you need.

And there you have it, my Woot List 2013! So what made your year?