Well folks, it's that time of year again. 2022 has been a decently filled year for me in regards to the stories I've taken in. They've appeared to me in numerous forms, from books to movies to tv to games.
I shall share my top picks of said stories, and I hope you find something here you can then discover for yourself!
5. THE CURSE OF THE WENDIGO (Monstrumologist #2) by Rick Yancey
- Published 2010. This entire series was so well written, but book 2 I felt rose above them all. The characters, the setting, and the sheer hopelessness of the situation kept me wrapped up in the tale.
4. LEGACY (Event Group #6) by David L. Golemon
- Published 2011. I'm a sucker for UFO conspiracy stories, and this one does not disappoint. Golemon does a great job of weaving different world theories and conspiracies to build a thrilling series. I look forward to discovering what has happened to Matchstick.
3. LEVIATHAN WAKES by James S.A. Corey
- Published 2011. I'm only half through the series, but it sits at the upper echelon of space opera I've ever read. Leviathan Wakes starts that ball rolling. Stellar warfare, inter-planet conspiracies, and great characters. What's not to like?
2. SUMMER OF NIGHT by Dan Simmons
- Published 1991. Often compared to Stephen King's IT due to the group of kids facing an ancient evil within a small town, this book stands on its own. I cared about all these kids, and was invested to discover the nature of the supernatural evil permeating the town.
1. THE GREEN MILE by Stephen King
- Published 1996. A truly emotional ride. I can count on one hand the number of books that affect me as deeply as this one did. John Coffey is one of King's greatest characters (and possibly connected to the Dark Tower as well.)
- I went into this movie with no preconceived notions of what it was supposed to be. I'm so glad I did that, as what followed was one of the more clever and originally approached tropes in horror I've seen in years. Really enjoyed it.
4. TOP GUN: MAVERICK
- One of the few sequel reboots in the past years that actually works. Tom Cruise continues to bring his all in this action packed and heart filled movie. Excellent dogfight sequences, and a lovely nod to the legacy of the movie that came before.
3. WEREWOLF BY NIGHT
- The only 'phase 4' MCU movie I've actually enjoyed, and the amount of enjoyment I had for it outweighs all the disappointment of the others combined. A fresh and bold movie in an otherwise increasingly boring franchise. They weren't afraid to get weird, and serves as a love letter to the classic horror genre.
2. THE BATMAN
- I was shocked at how good this movie was. Maybe the best detective movie since Seven, and it happens to be Batman. A fabulous iteration of Riddler, and I really hope the quality continues with the next one.
1. THE NORTHMAN
- This is filmmaking. Not weighed down by franchise influence, we have a powerful stand-alone film based on one of the earliest stories ever told in the western world. Acting, cinematography, the visceral fight scenes, this movie has it all.
5. ARCHIVE 81
- A superb psychological horror, the show has twists and turns and an ever-present sense of dread that won't leave you. It just sucks that it was cancelled after one season.
4. MOON KNIGHT
- Like Werewolf By Night, Moon Knight dares to take things down a more welcome, and darker, path. Not sure how he'll fit in to the MCU as a whole, perhaps along with Blade or similar.
- I actively approached this show thinking it was going to be stupid. It very much is stupid, but in a fun way. I'm not a big fan of the two suicide squad movies, but this show makes me enjoy the character far more, and I can't help but love that opening theme song.
2. LOVE, DEATH & ROBOTS: Season 3
- Another season of amazing animation from this series. I hold this show to a high calibre, and this latest season more than reached it. Even the couple of 'worse' episodes are still amazing achievements. Highly recommend.
1. THE BOYS: Season 3
- Jensen Ackles is a masterful add to this show as Soldier Boy. The Boys continues to be the best comic book project on screen right now, hands down. The continual descent into madness that is Homelander is going to eventually come to a head, and I'll be right there with popcorn.
Like i said last year with God Of War, it will take a mold-breaker of a game for me to include in this list as I really feel games are a different approach to story, where you yourself become the protagonist instead of reading/watching the protagonist in books or on screen. But occasionally a game comes along that breaks that barrier.
ALAN WAKE (remastered)
I never played the original release of Alan Wake, and I sure missed out. This game plays out like a great supernatural novel, and stars an engaging protagonist in Alan Wake; a writer trying to make sense of what happened to his wife during a lake vacation years prior. I'm a sucker for writer protagonists, but even aside form that I really enjoyed this gaming experience. Check it out.
So there we have it! I hope there is something on this list that you can discover for yourself, and be sure to let me know what you thought of it, or of any of these you may have previously experienced.
Cheers, and here's to more stories in 2023!