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Month: May 2019

The Wolf’s Call (Raven’s Blade, #1)

The Wolf’s Call (Raven’s Blade, #1)

ARC provided by the publisher—Ace Books—in exchange for an honest review

The Wolf’s Call by Anthony Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Wolf’s Call is Anthony Ryan’s best work since the release of his incredible debut.

First of all, because a lot of people have asked me on this matter, do not read this book if you haven’t read the first trilogy. Although technically you can understand the main story in this book, it will be impossible to understand the depth of the characters’ background and recollections of their past if you haven’t read the Raven’s Shadow trilogy. In my opinion, one of the greatest parts about the book lies in Vaelin’s and the other characters’ reminiscences of their bittersweet pasts and how war has harshly affected them; the events being recalled will definitely lose their emotional weight if you jump into this with no knowledge of the previous trilogy. Reading The Wolf’s Call without reading Raven’s Shadow trilogy is equivalent to reading Robin Hobb’s Tawny Man trilogy without reading her Farseer Trilogy or reading Pierce Brown’s Iron Gold without reading his Red Rising trilogy first. At the very least, if you’re really pressed on time and just want to dive into this ASAP, make sure you read Blood Song and Tower Lord; these two are must reads if you want to fully immerse yourself in this book, and then maybe read a summary of Queen of Fire on the net.

“An old love, born in youth, but now stained by bitterness and regret. The wounds left by betrayal never truly heal.”

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Cover Reveal: Wisdom Lost (Pandemonium Rising, #2) by Michael Sliter

Cover Reveal: Wisdom Lost (Pandemonium Rising, #2) by Michael Sliter

Hi everyone! Petrik from Novel Notions here. You’re here for the cover art, I’ll keep this introduction very brief.

Today, we’re here to bring you a beautiful cover reveal for Wisdom Lost, the second book in the Pandemonium Rising series by Michael Sliter. I’ve read the first book in the series, Solace Lost, a few months ago and I’ve been repeatedly saying that this is seriously an underrated grimdark book. Joe Abercrombie is one of the main inspirations behind the author’s work, if you love grimdark reminiscent of First Law trilogy, I strongly suggest checking this series out! Without further ado, here’s the cover reveal to Wisdom Lost.

Cover art: Rene Aigner

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
My rating: 6 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Orbit/Redhook) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

“Listen, not every story is made for telling. Sometimes just by telling a story you’re stealing it, stealing a little of the mystery away from it.”

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is quite possibly the most achingly beautiful novel I’ve ever read, and I find it mind-boggling that anything this lovely could possibly be a debut novel. There are a scant handful of novels I’ve experienced in my life (The Name of the Wind, The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, and The Night Circus come to mind) that were breathtaking debuts of this caliber, and they remain my very favorite books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I’m so incredibly happy to add Alix E. Harrow’s novel to that list.

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Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book way more than I actually did. There were elements that I really enjoyed, don’t get me wrong. The premise was great, and the writing was masterful. It just didn’t land, unfortunately. While I didn’t hate this book, neither was I able to love it. It wasn’t bad; it was merely forgettable.

“We are so brief. A one-day dandelion. A seedpod skittering across the ice. We are a feather falling from the wing of a bird. I don’t know why it is given to us to be so mortal and to feel so much. It is a cruel trick, and glorious.”

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The Gods of Men (Gods of Men, #1)

The Gods of Men (Gods of Men, #1)

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

The Gods of Men by Barbara Kloss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been having the most awful reading streak in my favorite genre—adult fantasy—this month, The Gods of Men is a new adult fantasy that might have just saved me from an encroaching fantasy slump.

Thank you, Barbara Kloss, for offering your book to me. If you’ve been following my reading progress for this month of May, you’ll probably notice that I’ve been having one of the worst reading months of my life; only one book I finished—that isn’t a reread—this month was able to earn a 4 stars rating, and this was for a sci-fi novel; all my fantasy read ranged disappointingly between the rating of 1-3 stars. The Gods of Men by Barbara Kloss recently just won the runner-up spot in this year’s SPFBO (Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off) competition that’s held annually by Mark Lawrence. That being said, I didn’t actually expect to read The Gods of Men this soon, not when there’s already a stack of ARC/review requests I haven’t finished yet. However, finishing the prologue immediately made me want to continue reading and I ended up finishing the book within two days.

“I take people as they are,” Tolya had always said. “Not who they’ve been or who they want to be. The pat and future are for the Maker. The present is for us.”

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Queen of Fire (Raven’s Shadow, #3)

Queen of Fire (Raven’s Shadow, #3)

Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan
My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars

I’m in utter disbelief, I can’t believe this…

Queen of Fire is the third and last book in Anthony Ryan’s Raven Shadow trilogy that began with the incredible Blood Song. By now, if you’ve heard about this trilogy, you’ll most likely have heard from several readers that the series didn’t end as good as the first book. I, unfortunately, have to agree with them completely. Anthony Ryan himself is great as an author and person, it seriously pains me to give this or any of his book a low rating but I really have to be honest that I didn’t enjoy reading Queen of Fire at all. I’m not angry at this book, but I’m genuinely sad and disappointed. How is it even possible that a series that began so brilliantly can derail this much? Even coming into this with the lowest of expectation, I still found myself disappointed at the final product of this tome.

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The Passage (The Passage, #1)

The Passage (The Passage, #1)

The Passage by Justin Cronin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Passage has been on my TBR list for years, but for some reason has always been pushed to the side in favor of something newer and shinier. Which is strange, because it contains a lot of elements that I really enjoy, or at least enjoy reading about, like vampires and the world spiraling into a dystopian apocalypse. Better late than never, I suppose. Once I finally picked this up, I was engrossed.

Before she became the Girl from Nowhere—the One Who Walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years—she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy. Amy Harper Bellafonte.

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Children of Ruin (Children of Time, #2)

Children of Ruin (Children of Time, #2)

ARC provided by the publisher—Pan Macmillan—in exchange for an honest review

Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Children of Ruin retained everything that’s great about the Children of Time by following its predecessor’s footstep really closely.

Although Children of Time worked absolutely well as a standalone, please do not read Children of Ruin without reading the previous book first because this isn’t a standalone sequel. Tchaikovsky builds upon the foundation and ending from Children of Time to expand the universe within this series further. I really don’t want to spoil anything from the series so I’ll refrain from talking about the main plot and I’ll try to keep this review as concise as possible.

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Conversations with Oscar Wilde: A Fictional Dialogue Based on Biographical Facts

Conversations with Oscar Wilde: A Fictional Dialogue Based on Biographical Facts

Conversations with Oscar Wilde: A Fictional Dialogue Based on Biographical Facts by Merlin Holland
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I received an electronic copy of this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

“Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth.”

I’ve adored Oscar Wilde for most of my life. My parents used to buy my six Great Illustrated Classics every Christmas, and my favorite of these when I was about eight was The Picture of Dorian Gray. I can’t even count how many times I read that little abridged classic, but I would say that number is in the literal dozens. In fact, I loved it so much that I was afraid of reading the unabridged classic as an adult, for fear that it wouldn’t measure up to the book I had loved so much as a child. I couldn’t have been more wrong, while the illustrated classic of my childhood gave me the story, it didn’t deliver Wilde’s prose. I had no idea what I was missing. Today, Wilde’s original, unabridged novel is one of my very favorite classics I’ve ever read.

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Tower Lord (Raven’s Shadow, #2)

Tower Lord (Raven’s Shadow, #2)

Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

On its own, Tower Lord is not a bad book. But as a sequel, it was disappointing.

The first time I finished reading Blood Song, it was in 2017. Since then, I honestly haven’t mustered the courage to continue past it due to the infamous negativity—I honestly never see the last installment of a series being called disappointing as often and widely as Raven’s Shadow trilogy—surrounding the sequels. I love Blood Song very much, I just finished rereading it a few weeks ago and I still think of it as one of the best fantasy debuts of all time; the idea that the sequels have the potential to ruin it scared me. Now that I have an ARC of The Wolf’s Call in my hand, I’ve decided to finally take the plunge and continue reading the series. If I ended up being disappointed by Queen of Fire, at least I know there’s a continuation after it that could—hopefully—bring the glory of Blood Song back.

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