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Month: January 2019

You

You

You by Caroline Kepnes
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I turn on my Kindle and there you are. Waiting for me. Teasing me with your lovely cover and interesting premise. Taunting me.

“I’m a show on Netflix now,” you say. “I’ll understand if you just want to watch me instead of reading me first.”

But you know I won’t do that. You read me as clearly as you know I’ll be reading you. You tease me because you know I can’t help but give into you.

Dirty, compelling, popular

You.

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Hero Forged (Ethereal Earth, #1)

Hero Forged (Ethereal Earth, #1)

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Hero Forged (Ethereal Earth #1)Hero Forged by Josh Erikson
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

A solid beginning to an urban fantasy series.

I’ll first start this review by saying that urban fantasy is a rare hit for me. In fact, other than The Divine Cities by Robert Jackson Bennett, Heartstrikers by Rachel Aaron, Paternus Trilogy by Dyrk Ashton, and Jade City by Fonda Lee, I’ve been mostly disappointed with what I’ve read so far. Hero Forged is a new rising urban fantasy that’s well-loved by some reviewers I know. However, knowing my hit and miss statistics with the sub-genre, I was actually going to decline the request to review this book. The author then told me that the main character resembles Vash the Stampede from Trigun; there’s no way I would decline reviewing the book after hearing that and I’m glad I gave it a go.

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia, #2)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia, #2)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen of Narnia.”

This book has always been so special to me. I know that a lot of people read it as children without knowing about the allegorical aspects, and that some of these people feel tricked or even betrayed when they learn of those elements as adults. These readers were there for the fantasy of the story, and for it alone. I came to Narnia for wholly different reasons.

This review is really going to be more of an exploration of my faith and how this book impacted it. While I definitely am not trying to preach at anyone, you might want to avoid the rest of this review if you’re triggered by or sensitive regarding overtly Christian topics.

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Blackflame (Cradle, #3)

Blackflame (Cradle, #3)

Blackflame by Will Wight
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

I think I am completely in love. Blackflame is an amazingly fantastic continuation of the Cradle series.

Integrating the fascinating Eastern-inspired worldbuilding and magic-martial arts system with better characterisation, Blackflame was easily the best book in the series so far. Even though I’m still not wild about the main protagonist, Wei Shi Lindon, I was growing more invested in what his future may bring. At the end of Soulsmith, Lindon found himself being given one year to train and advance in his sacred arts in order to fight an opponent that is way more powerful. Lindon seemed to be the typical underdog character who kept defying the odds through a combination of sheer drive, ambition and a bit of providence. Notwithstanding, one can’t help but be curious to see how his story will pan out.

“Sometimes the game is rigged against you, and your only option is to flip the board.”

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A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Merciless and brilliant.

This was unbelievably amazing. A Storm of Swords could actually be the height of George R. R. Martin’s writing career. I know I haven’t read A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons, or the extra books of the series yet, but realistically speaking, it would be bloody difficult for Martin to top what he has achieved in this book.

Picture: A Storm of Swords by Marc Simonetti

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Never Die

Never Die

Never Die by Rob J. Hayes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In honor of its impending release, we wanted to remind everyone about Rob Hayes’ new standalone, Never Die. What better way to do that than reviewing it again?

Never Die is hands down the best book Rob Hayes has written to date, and this is coming from someone who has really enjoyed everything I’ve read from him. It’s been a while since a book was so addictive that it kept me up late into the night because I needed to read just one more chapter, and it was an experience I relished with this book. It’s undoubtedly one of the best Asian-inspired fantasies I’ve read, as well as one of the best self-published works I’ve come across. His title as winner of SPFBO (Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off) 2017 is well deserved.

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Soulsmith (Cradle, #2)

Soulsmith (Cradle, #2)

Soulsmith by Will Wight
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

A worthy sequel that expands on the worldbuilding and magic system, Soulsmith delivers on the promise of an engaging and fascinating story of epic powers inspired by Far Eastern martial arts.

Outside of the Sacred Valley in pursuit of advancement, Lindon came face-to-face with his destiny as he encountered powers beyond his imagination. The most powerful amongst the clans and Schools within the Valley are mere children compared to the dime a dozen Golds that can be found in the Desolate Wilds. As expected, and I don’t believe it to be a spoiler to say so, Lindon did manage to level up in his powers. How that happened, though, is the part where I will not deign to reveal.  Safe to say, it was far from painless.

“The sacred arts are a game, and your life is the only thing you’ve got to bet. You want to move up? This is what up looks like.”

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Sir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of Less Valued Knights (Less Valued Knights, #1)

Sir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of Less Valued Knights (Less Valued Knights, #1)

You can get this great book for FREE by subscribing to the author’s newsletter here: http://liamperrin.com/free-sir-thomas/

Sir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of Less Valued Knights by Liam Perrin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A break. We all need a break from our daily activities once in a while; I got mine from this book.

Let me elaborate on this. If you’ve been following my reviews, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that adult fantasy/sci-fi/historical fiction is my favorite books to read. Most of the times, the plot surrounding these books are full of war, magic, violence, death, politics, betrayals; overall, complex and serious in tone. I wouldn’t trade it any other way. No matter what the genre is, these are my favorite kind of books. However, I will have to take a break from it once in a while. As I always said, anything that’s too much is never good. Sir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of the Less Valued Knights by Liam Perrin gave me the needed break from my usual read.

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Grim Solace (The Chasing Graves Book #2)

Grim Solace (The Chasing Graves Book #2)

GS

Grim Solace by Ben Galley

My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars

Thanks to Ben Galley for providing an ARC of Grim Solace, in exchange for an honest review.

Spoiler-free review. Please note that the quotes in this review are taken from the ARC edition and may change in the published edition.

Grim Solace is a brilliant second book in this original and grim trilogy. Ben Galley wove a brutal tale of murder, treachery, greed and deception in a world that mastered death and bent it to the whims of the living. 

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Kings of Ash (Ash and Sand, #2)

Kings of Ash (Ash and Sand, #2)

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Kings of Ash by Richard Nell
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Kings of Ash triumphed over its predecessor in almost every possible way.

Kings of Ash is the second book in Richard Nell’s Ash and Sand trilogy. It’s the sequel to the highly praised Kings of Paradise, but the fans of the previous book don’t need to worry about stumbling into the infamous middle book syndrome here. Kings of Ash surpassed the previous book’s quality and it can all be boiled down to one reason: this is Ruka’s book. I mentioned this in my review of Kings of Paradise: “Ruka’s POV was easily one of the best anti-heroes POV I’ve ever read in grimdark fantasy,” and I stand by my words, even more so after reading this installment. Kings of Ash is a different kind of book from its predecessor; it’s much more character-driven. Almost the entire narrative was told from Ruka’s POV and I’m incredibly satisfied by this decision. Nell offers a deep exploration of Ruka’s character and it makes the storyline feel more intimate. More importantly, this storytelling style shows Nell’s greatest writing strength as an author – his characterizations.

“A lioness cares nothing for the shriek of jackals, old woman. Now hear this, and hear it well—if she had raised me to hate, I would kill you and all your kin, and no man or god could stop me.”

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