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Month: November 2018

The 49th Mystic (Beyond the Circle, #1)

The 49th Mystic (Beyond the Circle, #1)

The 49th Mystic by Ted Dekker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ted Dekker will always have a very special place in my heart. His stories have inspired me and shaped my faith since I was a teenager, and I’ll always be grateful to them for the way they revealed truth to me in new and vibrant ways. His books will always have a shelf in my house. I can’t tell you how excited I was to hear that Dekker was returning to the world of the Circle, the series that impacted my faith more than anything else outside of the Bible I’ve ever read.

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The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s no place like home. As long as that home isn’t trying to eat you.

This book proved true the idea that, sometimes, fact is stranger than fiction. I had no earthly idea before last week that this was (billed as) a nonfiction book. Seriously?! I’ve always had this fascination with the macabre and the unexplained, so I would’ve read this book long ago had I known that it wasn’t entirely fictional. (Yes, I’m aware that the book has since been proven to be only loosely based on the truth, but it’s way more fun to pretend that it’s true while reading it!) I think there’s a reason the fictional horror genre is so successful and draws so many readers and viewers; horror speaks to the fear we have of the unknown and the unexplainable. We like the thrill of watching or reading worst case scenarios while knowing that we are safe from them.

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Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1)

Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1)

Jade City by Fonda Lee
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Incredible, the multiple nominees and awards this book has won are all well deserved.

Jade City, the first book in The Green Bone Saga series is also Fonda Lee’s adult fantasy debut. Ever since I knew about the existence of this novel, it has always been a book I wanted to read. As usual, the unbeatable TBR pile delayed me and I was so sure that I won’t be getting into this one until next year. However, after seeing the non-stop praises that Fonda Lee and the book constantly received, as an Asian and avid adult fantasy reader I knew that I couldn’t delay this any longer. I’m really happy that I gave this a read now because lately, I’ve been craving a fantastic Asian-inspired fantasy and Jade City delivered a spectacular Asian-inspired urban fantasy debut.

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Planetside

Planetside

Planetside by Michael Mammay
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Planetside was a very impressive military sci-fi debut.

I’m actually surprised that so few people I know (close to zero) are talking about Planetside this year. Seriously, Harper Voyager and reviewers really should’ve advertised this book more, it’s a fantastic debut and if it weren’t for my friend, Niki Hawkes, I wouldn’t have heard about this gem at all.

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Night Shift

Night Shift

Night Shift by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Night Shift is exactly what I have always expected to find in Stephen King’s work, but which I have only experienced sporadically in his novels; it was genuinely scary. Short story collections are generally pretty hit or miss for me. Even those I’ve enjoyed aren’t usually overwhelmingly successful, giving me a handful of stories sprinkled liberally with mediocre tales. Not so here. I honestly enjoyed every single story in this collection.

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Boy’s Life

Boy’s Life

Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A coming-of-age standalone masterpiece.

Fantasy and sci-fi will always be my favorite genres to read. I’m not ashamed to say that I haven’t read a lot of novels outside SFF; mainly because I found the popular and the highly acclaimed non-SFF books to be mostly disappointing or just not satisfying enough. However, there will always be that rare occurrence where I pick up a random book outside of my favorite genre and realized that I have been transported by a magical portal. Boy’s Life was that kind of book; it grabbed my full attention since the prologue and it still dazzled me after I finished it.

Picture: Boy’s Life by David Ho

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Two Serpents Rise (Craft Sequence, #2)

Two Serpents Rise (Craft Sequence, #2)

Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Two Serpents Rise was a huge downgrade from Three Parts Dead.

Two Serpents Rise is the second book in Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence series but chronologically, this takes place before the event of the first book; look at the number in the title of each book, that’s the chronological order of the story line. Because Craft Sequence is a standalone series, almost every book featured different main characters and story in a different locale.

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Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence, #1)

Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence, #1)

Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence, #1)Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Imaginative and unique, think of City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett with a little touch of Sanderson’s magic system and you’ll get Three Parts Dead.

Three Parts Dead is Max Gladstone’s debut novel and it’s the first installment in his Craft Sequence series. Ever since I finished and loved The Divine Cities trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett, I’ve been craving for a similar kind of urban fantasy series to read. Readers and reviewers have directed me towards this series and I’m really glad they did. Three Parts Dead reminded me a lot of the vibe I found in City of Stairs and I highly enjoyed reading this gem.

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Gates of Stone (Lord of the Islands, #1)

Gates of Stone (Lord of the Islands, #1)

ARC provided by the publisher—Berkley Publishing Group (Ace)—in exchange for an honest review.

Gates of Stone by Angus Macallan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An Indonesian-inspired epic fantasy accompanied by Chinese, Japanese, and Indian influences; I’ve never read an epic fantasy with world-building like the one in Gates of Stone.

Angus Macallan is a pseudonym for Angus Donald, a historical fiction writer most well-known for The Outlaw Chronicles series. Gates of Stone, the first book in Lord of the Islands series marked his first foray into the fantasy genre. When I first stumbled upon this book on Twitter, I was utterly filled with joy and disbelief that someone actually wrote an epic fantasy inspired by my home country. And it’s real and not a joke; Macallan cleverly utilized his skills as an author of historical-fiction into creating a powerful beginning of an Indonesian-inspired epic fantasy series.

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