Browsed by
Month: July 2019

Book Review: Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Book Review: Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading a book about books are among the coziest experiences a bookworm can have, in my opinion. Even if you don’t share all or many or any of the author’s views on books at all, there’s something about the knowledge that this person took the time to write an entire book for the soul purpose of expressing their fervent love for the medium that produces instant camaraderie between writer and reader.

“I have never been able to resist a book about books.”

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Book Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone, Middle-Earth Universe

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Classic Fantasy

Pages: 322 pages (75th Anniversary edition)

Published: September 21st, 1937


The Hobbit probably would’ve been more enjoyable if I were reading it at least 15 years ago.

I have an odd relationship with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings due to my feelings of the movie adaptations. For Lord of the Rings, I haven’t been able to finish Fellowship of the Ring because I loved the movies so much and I ended up finding the book incredibly boring; I will try again next year. As for The Hobbit, I was reluctant to read the book because I disliked the movie adaptation. After finally reading this for the first time, I can safely say that I still dislike the movies, and I felt more or less indifferent about the book.

Read More Read More

Interview with Rebecca Kuang

Interview with Rebecca Kuang

Hi everyone, Petrik from Novel Notions here. Today, I’m bringing you an interview with Rebecca Kuang, the author behind my favorite debut of 2018, The Poppy War, and soon to be released sequel, The Dragon Republic. I’m incredibly honored to have the opportunity to read The Dragon Republic early and for the fans of the first book, I can assure you that it WILL live up to your high expectation; brutally. 

Now, without further ado, here is my interview with Rebecca Kuang!


  • Hi, Rebecca! It’s been a year since our last interview. Thank you for doing another one with me. Please tell us about your newest book and its main theme. Any message you want to leave for readers?

“Brace yourself” – Fonda Lee.

  • The Poppy War was heavily inspired by the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Rape of Nanking. What would you say is the main inspiration behind The Dragon Republic?

The Dragon Republic spans more historical territory than The Poppy War, which was quite narrowly focused on WWII. You’ll find shreds of more recent episodes like the Chinese Civil War and the Opium Wars in addition to old old battles like the Battle of Red Cliffs. So in that way TDR is more of an original story, because it stitches together stories from so many different eras into an independent narrative, as opposed to TPW, which grafted quite heavily onto events from 1937-1945.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Part-Time Gods (DFZ, #2)

Book Review: Part-Time Gods (DFZ, #2)

Part-Time Gods by Rachel Aaron

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: DFZ (Book 2 of 3)

Genre: Urban fantasy

Published: 11th June 2019 (Amazon, self-published)


Rachel Aaron’s talent in creating effortlessly enjoyable and engaging character-driven stories with fascinating worldbuilding is yet again evident in Part-Time Gods, the second book in the DFZ trilogy.

I probably sound like a broken record by now, but Rachel Aaron is my go-to author whenever I needed a pick-me-up. There is just something inherently comfortable and engaging about her writing and her stories that allow me to immerse myself into an intriguing world with its compelling characters right from the start, and it doesn’t let go until the end. I’ve pretty much devoured every single book she’s written in no more than 2 to 3 sittings and over a couple of days at the most, depending on the length.  As Part-Time Gods is not a long book, by fantasy standards, I finished this in a day. And it was a great sequel.

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Dry (Aaron Fawk, #1)

Book Review: The Dry (Aaron Fawk, #1)

The Dry by Jane Harper
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

If I were asked to describe this book in one word, I would reply with a single syllable: meh. The Dry is a lauded debut with a respectably high rating, but I was obviously missing something. It wasn’t a bad book, I just couldn’t quite manage to connect.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Blood of an Exile (Dragons of Terra, #1) by Brian Naslund

Book Review: Blood of an Exile (Dragons of Terra, #1) by Brian Naslund

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

Blood of an Exile by Brian Naslund

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Dragons of Terra (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 416 pages (Hardcover edition)

Published: August 8th, 2019 by Tor (UK) & August 6th, 2019 by Tor (US)


Blood of an Exile has dragons and dragonslayer, if you love a great fantasy debut with dragons, I doubt you’ll be reading the rest of this review.

And yet I will still write one. Blood of an Exile is Brian Naslund’s debut. It’s the first book in the Dragons of Terra trilogy. The story follows the Silas Bershad the Flawless, an exile who was supposed to die after he was caught trying to assassinate a noble. Bershad, the most famous and successful dragonslayer in the world, receive a task from the man who exiled him in the first place. The mission is to kill a king and save an innocent child in captive, only then he’ll be pardoned from his crime. With that kind of nickname, the premise led me to believe that this would be an ultimate Gary-Stu story but what I got was something more in-depth and empathizing. Without giving spoilers, there’s a rule to Bershad’s rumored “immortality” and “strength”; he’s not always immortal and full of strength 24 hours, and I found the mystery behind his power to be one of the main driving force of the narrative.

“Heroes and villains morphing out of the same people based on rumors and reputations and the simple passage of time.

Read More Read More

Books review: Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews

Books review: Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews

This post includes reviews of the 3 available books of the Hidden Legacy series. All 3 reviews are spoiler-free.

What is it with Ilona Andrews‘ books that keeps me awake until dawn or makes me steal a few precious minutes here and there every time I have a break? I can think of multiple reasons, including amazing female characters, flowing and funny writing, original magic systems or imaginative worlds but I honestly can’t settle for one that makes their books stand out this much in the Urban Fantasy genre! Since reading and obsessing over absolutely loving Kate Daniels (the best UF series I’ve read to date), I kept looking for a new UF series that would make me feel the same pleasure and the same level of immersion. But here I am, for the third time in two years, coming back to basics!

Read More Read More

Blog Tour: The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

Blog Tour: The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

Hi everyone! Petrik from Novel Notions here. We, the team at Novel Notions, are very thrilled and honored that we were asked by Orbit to kick-off the massive blog tour for The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter. I loved this novel. It’s been four months since I finished this African-inspired epic fantasy debut and I must admit that once in a while, this work of magnificent still sneaks up on my mind. If you haven’t read it, I strongly urge you to give it a go. Without further ado, here’s my interview with Evan Winter.


Read More Read More

Book review: Jade War (The Green Bone Saga, #2) by Fonda Lee

Book review: Jade War (The Green Bone Saga, #2) by Fonda Lee

ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

Jade War by Fonda Lee

Petrik’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

TS’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Green Bone Saga (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Pages: 624 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: July 25th, 2019 by Orbit (UK) & July 23rd, 2019 by Orbit (US)


Petrik’s Review

Absolutely amazing; Jade War was a brilliantly compelling sequel filled with skillfully-written characterizations and tension-packed action scenes.

I buddy read this novel with four other readers of different ethnicities—TS, Emma, Jenia, and Nils—living in different parts of the world and all of us pretty much agreed that we were both in love with and terrified by the events in Jade War. I find it equally satisfying and astonishing that Lee was able to create a sequel that outshone the stunning quality found in Jade City, which won many readers’ hearts and the World Fantasy Award trophy last year. But Fonda Lee did it spectacularly; Jade War was unbelievably better than the first book. The fantasy genre needs more urban fantasy as refreshing and great as this series.

Read More Read More

Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)

Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Revisiting a famed story over 35 years after its original publication has to be terrifying for any author, even the King of Horror. However, King handled this with great aplomb and, though I was skeptical in the beginning, I feel that he did right by Dan Torrence. In his author’s note King said that this story spawned from two questions: “Whatever happened to that kid from The Shining?” and “What would have happened to Danny’s troubled father if he had found Alcoholics Anonymous instead of trying to get by with what people in AA called “white-knuckle sobriety”?” Through Doctor Sleep, we get answers to both of these questions, but with Danny himself standing in for Jack Torrence in the alcohol department.

“There are other worlds than these.”

Read More Read More

%d bloggers like this: