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Month: February 2020

Book Review: Golden In Death (In Death, #50)

Book Review: Golden In Death (In Death, #50)


Golden in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

I think I let my expectations run a little too wild in regards to this book. Because it’s book 50 (which is crazy, right?!) in a series, I was anticipating something mind-blowing for this installment; instead, I got fairly run-of-the-mill. And I’m so disappointed about it. In case you didn’t know, I absolutely adore Nora Roberts. She’s my ultimate comfort read. I’ve read literally everything she’s written, and I can’t think of another author so prolific (she’s written well over 200 books) that I can say that about. There’s something about her books that feels like coming home from the very first page. This is doubly true for the In Death series. Following the same characters through FIFTY books is a wild experience. Eve and Roarke and Peabody and so many others feel like members of my family that I get to catch up with a couple of times a year. If I’m being honest, these characters often feel more real to me than real people in my life. Or at least, they usually do.

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Book Review: Black Stone Heart (The Obsidian Path, #1) by Michael R. Fletcher

Book Review: Black Stone Heart (The Obsidian Path, #1) by Michael R. Fletcher

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

Black Stone Heart by Michael R. Fletcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Obsidian Path (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy

Published: 1st April 2020 by Michael R. Fletcher


Insanely brilliant. Fletcher did it again. Black Stone Heart is one of his best works so far, and Fletcher has finally crafted something as good as his Manifest Delusion series with this one.

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Book Review: We Are the Dead (The Last War, #1) by Mike Shackle

Book Review: We Are the Dead (The Last War, #1) by Mike Shackle

Review copy provided by the publisher—Gollancz—in exchange for an honest review.

We Are The Dead by Mike Shackle

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Last War (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy

Pages: 496 pages

Published: 8th August 2019 by Gollancz


So much bloodshed and actions, Shackle’s debut is fast-paced, grim, and unputdownable.

I’m very eager to recommend this debut to readers of The First Law World series by Joe Abercrombie and War for the Rose Throne series by Peter McLean. We Are the Dead is the first book in The Last War series by Mike Shackle, and it leans towards the grimdark sub-genre rather than heroic fantasy. “No More Heroes” is put at the top of the cover art, after all. I honestly thought I was super late in joining the party for this great book because it has been six months since this debut was first published, but I must say that I’m surprised that not many readers have read this yet. I hope more readers will give this book a go.

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Book Review: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Book Review: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata


Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t remember the last time I read a book from cover to cover in a single sitting. I found Convenience Store Woman such a compelling mix of heartbreaking and enraging and delightful. Keiko Furukura is a woman in her late thirties who is completely fulfilled by her part-time job as a convenience store worker. However, everyone in her life is deeply concerned by the fact that she has no relationship to speak of, much less a marriage, and no real career. Keiko isn’t quite normal and, though she tries her best to mimic those she believes she should emulate, it never seems to be enough.

“You eliminate the parts of your life that others find strange–maybe that’s what everyone means when they say they want to ‘cure” me.”

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Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

 

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Published: 2nd April 2020 (Bonnier Books UK)

 

Chris Whitaker is one of those authors whose every release makes me wonder just how much better he can get. He’s only on book 3 and I’m wondering if this time he might have created something unmatchable. Honestly, I’ve been sitting on this review for ages because I can’t seem to write anything that’s not offensively superlative. We Begin at the End is a triumph. Spectacularly plotted, gut-wrenchingly genuine, and memorable in that way that sits heavy on your heart.

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Book Review: The Shadow of What Was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy, #1)

Book Review: The Shadow of What Was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy, #1)


The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Shadow of What Was Lost is one of those books that has been sitting on my shelf for years. Islington is an author highly recommended not only to Sanderson fans but by Sanderson himself, so I picked it up on Kindle when it was still self-published and ended up purchasing physical copies of the entire Licanius trilogy before ever reading the first page. Not the smartest way to buy your books, I grant you, but it worked out this time! The Shadow of What Was Lost is a throwback to classic fantasy in the very best way. There’s a brightness and coziness to it even when the plot goes in dark directions. The characters and tropes are comfortably familiar without ever feeling derivative or tired. Best of all, Islington manages to take these tropes and characters and do some shockingly original things with them. I’ve heard this trilogy called ambitious and risky and, by the end of this first book, I could definitely see some of that ambition.

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Book review: The Last Smile in Sunder City (The Fetch Phillips Archives, #1) by Luke Arnold

Book review: The Last Smile in Sunder City (The Fetch Phillips Archives, #1) by Luke Arnold

Last Smile in Sunder City

The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Fetch Phillips Archives

Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Published: 6th February 2020 by Orbit (UK) & 2nd February 2020 by Orbit (US)

 

ARC provided by the publisher, Orbit in exchange for an honest opinion. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and the quotes included may have changed in the released copy.

The Last Smile in Sunder City is a UF mystery, imbued with a unique personality, a moody atmosphere and a deep wistfulness.

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Book Review: The Shadow King (The Raveling, #3) by Alec Hutson

Book Review: The Shadow King (The Raveling, #3) by Alec Hutson

The Shadow King by Alec Hutson

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Raveling (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 506 pages

Published: 21st November 2019 by Alec Hutson (Indie)


A thoroughly wonderful classic fantasy story with a modern narrative.

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Book Review: The Light of All That Falls (The Licanius Trilogy, #3)

Book Review: The Light of All That Falls (The Licanius Trilogy, #3)

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

The Light of All That Falls by James Islington

My rating: 6 of 5 stars

Series:  The Licanius Trilogy (Book #3 of 3)

Genre:  Fantasy, Epic fantasy, High Fantasy

Published: 12th December 2019 by Orbit (UK) & 10th December 2019 by Orbit (US)


A breathtakingly audacious masterpiece of epic fantasy, The Light of All That Falls is an emotionally satisfying and flawless conclusion to the phenomenal Licanius Trilogy.

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Book Review: The Unspoken Name (The Serpent’s Gate, #1)

Book Review: The Unspoken Name (The Serpent’s Gate, #1)

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

The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Serpent Gates (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy, Science fiction

Published: 20th February 2020 by Tor (UK) & 11th February 2020 by Tor Books (US)


The Unspoken Name is a commendable fantasy debut with fascinating worldbuilding ideas.

With so many fantasy debuts cropping up every year, it is not an easy task to differentiate oneself from the rest. In this respect, Larkwood has created an interesting setting that blended old-world god worship that bestows magic, and science fiction or technological elements such as skyships and a dimensional plane called the Maze of Echos through which these ships travel via portal gates. Technology aside, the setting still feel very much like most classic fantasy, mainly because of the prevalence of gods and magic.

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