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Month: December 2018

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“It’s not until you’re broken that you find your sharpest edge.”

Upon rereading both the novel and my review of it, I stand beside every word written below. This is a phenomenal story that has catapulted itself into the company of my very favorite books.

I was late to the Mark Lawrence game. And I was missing out. Red Sister is Lawrence’s seventh full-length novel, and the first in a new series entitled “Book of the Ancestor.” Reading his other trilogies has definitely made its way onto my agenda, because this book was fantastic. I am so insanely excited to continue reading Nona’s story.

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Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3)

Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3)

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My review probably won’t be able to do this book justice. Well, justice is dead but I’ll see what I can do.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that my expectations regarding Oathbringer were extremely hard to contain. I had heard a lot of fantastic things about this series the first time I went through The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance last year, but I read through them many years after their original release dates. Oathbringer is a different experience in terms of environment and surrounding hype; this time I’m actually in the midst of all the hype, praises, and excitement everywhere. Because of this my expectations were Skybreaking high; especially after reading one of my favorite books of all time: Words of Radiance. Despite my irrational expectations, I’m gratified to say that Sanderson managed to meet my expectations because Oathbringer ended up being another masterwork installment in The Stormlight Archive series.

“This book, the third in the Stormlight Archive, is the most intimate, most tightly woven, and most eclectic book I’ve ever written—all wrapped up into one… I like this book. I really, really like this book.” –Brandon Sanderson

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Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2)

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2)

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, this is finally happening. I’m ranking The Stormlight Archive as my number one favorite book series of all time, overtaking the throne previously held by Mistborn trilogy, and I don’t think this will change anytime soon. The Gods of the Cosmere knows how much I love the original Mistborn trilogy but Brandon Sanderson really raised the bar for the epic fantasy genre sky high with this series.

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The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1)

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1)

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Incredible, impressive or fantastic, all these words are an understatement to the quality this book holds. The Way of Kings is the beginning of a masterpiece series in epic fantasy. It is now my life goal and a new addition to my bucket list to obtain and read the entire series of The Stormlight Archive, which will probably take at least another 20 years from now to complete.

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I Hate Fairyland: Book One

I Hate Fairyland: Book One

I Hate Fairyland: Book One by Skottie Young
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I laughed so hard while reading this. And grimaced. And laughed some more.

Imagine that, as a six-year-old girl (work with me here, guys), you stumble into a portal leading to a magical realm called Fairyland. It’s a marvelous world of cuteness and candy, and the residents are pleased to share it for a little while as you complete your quest. What quest, you ask? A quest for a key, the only way to unlock the door back to your world. There’s only one problem:

You really suck at quests.

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Of Blood and Bone (Chronicles of the One, #2)

Of Blood and Bone (Chronicles of the One, #2)

Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am completely blown away by Nora’s newest venture. Chronicles of the One is a perfect blending of post-apocalyptic dystopia and epic fantasy. The fact that Nora, after decades of writing romance laced with tendrils of the supernatural, would take such a giant leap into writing a radically different story, is commendable. The fact that she not only pulled it off by absolutely nailed it commands respect. She has mine.

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A Ladder to the Sky

A Ladder to the Sky

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A brutally dark and realistically gripping book about stories, writing, publishing, and ambition.

I wouldn’t have stumbled upon this book if it weren’t for my Goodreads friend—Manju—who recommended it to me saying: “I know this is farthest from what you usually read but do give this a try. You won’t regret it. :)” And word by word she’s right. I haven’t heard of the name John Boyne until a month ago, I’m not a reader of contemporary or literary fiction; I usually end up putting them in my DNF pile or rating them lower than 3 stars but this book was an exception, it was simply brilliant and it worked really well for me. The next two paragraphs isn’t a spoiler from the book but an unfortunate event that happened to me years ago. In my opinion, this will give you a general idea of the kind of story you’re getting in this book.

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The Silmarillion (Middle-Earth Universe)

The Silmarillion (Middle-Earth Universe)

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

With a new interest and determination, I have finally finished reading The Silmarillion.

I have failed this book twice and I was so sure that I won’t attempt reading it again. However, I have just finished re-watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy extended editions and reading the Three Great Tales of Middle-Earth that’s edited by Christopher Tolkien. I know this is not the recommended reading order but it’s only because of doing these two activities that I found a new interest, knowledge, and motivation to actually persevere and finish this book.

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Petrik Leo’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2018)

Petrik Leo’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2018)

Time really flies huh? Another year is coming to an end soon! This year I’ve read and reviewed 129 books. It’s been another fantastic reading year. Considering the high amount of 4.5 and 5 stars books I’ve rated this year, I’ll even say that this year miraculously ended up being my best reading year so far. There will be four rules I set in this list in order for me to give appreciation to more authors rather than having only a few authors hoarding this list.

  • Rereads don’t count
  • One book per author
  • The book listed here are not exclusively published this year.
  • Outside of the two top spots (for good reasons), none of these are in particular order. All have merit, and most have different strengths that make them stand out from each other; putting a rank on them feels odd to me, especially when every book in this list now resides on my ‘favorite books’ shelf.

All the books listed below received a rating of 4.5 or 5 out of 5 stars from me. Without further ado, here are the top 20 books I’ve read in 2018! (All full reviews of these books can be found on my Goodreads page; some are already available on this blog.)


Interview with Ben Galley

Interview with Ben Galley

Hello everyone, this is Haïfa and today I have a special guest at Novel Notions. 

On the occasion of the release of his unique and dark tale of bound ghosts, unsanctioned murderers and dead gods, we are hosting Ben Galley on the blog today to chat about Chasing Graves, his inspirations, self-publishing and his future projects. After deeply enjoying Task’s original and gripping story in The Heart of Stone, and after hearing Chasing Graves, was an Egyptian mythology-inspired fantasy, I knew I had to read it as soon as possible. I’m very glad I did because Chasing Graves was atmospheric, unique and both dark and funny! I can’t wait to explore more of the Far Reaches and see what fate Ben is planning for his characters.

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