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Author: TS Chan

Book Review: Paternus: Rise of Gods (The Paternus Trilogy, #1) by Dyrk Ashton

Book Review: Paternus: Rise of Gods (The Paternus Trilogy, #1) by Dyrk Ashton

Paternus: Rise of Gods by Dyrk Ashton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Paternus Trilogy (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mythology

Published: July 2017 by Paternus Books Media (Indie)


An excellent new take on urban fantasy, Paternus: Rise of Gods was fascinating, fun and simply fantastic.

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Book Review: Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon

Book Review: Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon

Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Genre: Historical fiction, magic realism, horror, mystery

First Published: 1991


Boy’s Life is a beautifully written and captivating coming-of-age story.

I would like to highlight first of all that while this book might have won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1992, I would say that it was more akin to magic realism with a dose of horror in historical and fictional setting of a small town named Zephyr in Alabama.

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Book Review: The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho

Book Review: The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho

ARC received from the publisher, Tor.com, in exchange for an honest review.

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Genre: Fantasy, wuxia, novella, Asian-inspired

Published:  23 June 2020 by Tor.com Publishing


The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water is a Malaysian-based fantasy with a semi-wuxia flavour that was an absolutely delightful slice of home.

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Book Review: Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

Book Review: Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

Review copy received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Genre: Science fiction, space adventure, novella

Published: 5th February 2020 (self-published)


Dust & Lightning was an enjoyable science fiction adventure that packed just enough character development and worldbuilding to make the plot work in novella form.

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TS’s Top 11 Books Read in 2020 So Far (1st Jan to 30th June)

TS’s Top 11 Books Read in 2020 So Far (1st Jan to 30th June)


2020 has so far been a truly strange, stressful and complicated year, but reading wise it has been pretty incredible for me.  I’ve read/listen to 73 books during this first six months of the year and quite a sizeable chunk of these garnered 4-stars and above.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve added so many books onto my favourites shelf in the same period of time.  If you’re interested, you can see my year in books for 2020 right here.

Similar to my previous list, I do not limit this to only books released this year.  There are simply too many great books that have been published prior and that I’ve yet to read, so there will always be older books included.  Below are the parameters that I’ve set for the list.

  • Rereads don’t count
  • One book per author
  • Not limited to books which are released this year.

None of these are ranked except for the top three, of which two are tied for first place.  The rest, I’ve listed them in the chronological order of when I’ve read them this year.  All of these have been reviewed by me on Novel Notions and Goodreads.

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Book Review: The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison

Book Review: The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison

ARC received from the publisher, Tor, in exchange for an honest review

The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Genre: Historical fiction, mystery

Published:  23rd June 2020 by Tor Books


The Angel of the Crows was a decent and fun read, though not at all what I was expecting from the blurb. This book is Sherlock Holmes fan-fiction written in the subgenre of wingfic, where some of the characters have wings (in this case, they are angels).

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Book Review: The Labyrinth of the Spirits (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #3) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Book Review: The Labyrinth of the Spirits (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #3) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Cover illustration by: Matt Duffin

The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

My rating: 6 of 5 stars

Series: The Cemetery of Forgotten Books (Book #4 of 4)

Genre: Historical fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Translated Edition Published: 2018 by Weidenfield & Nicholson, Orion Books (UK) & Harper (US)


The Labyrinth of the Spirits is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It has it all – evocative history, engrossing mystery, atmospheric setting, compelling characters, incredible emotional depth – wrapped up in writing so beautiful that it moves your soul.

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Book Review: Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9) by Steven Erikson

Book Review: Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9) by Steven Erikson

Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book 9 of 10)

Genre: Epic fantasy, grimdark fantasy, fantasy

First published:  2009 by Bantam (UK) and 2010 by Tor (US)


The denouement of the Malazan Book of the Fallen is so long that it had to be written over two enormous books. Dust of Dreams is the first act of this grand finale and it was glorious!

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Book Review: The Kingdom of Liars (The Legacy of the Mercenary King, #1) by Nick Martell

Book Review: The Kingdom of Liars (The Legacy of the Mercenary King, #1) by Nick Martell

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

The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: The Legacy of the Mercenary King (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 608 pages (US hardcover edition)

Published: 7th May 2020 by Gollancz (UK) & 5th May 2020 by Saga Press (US)


Kingdom of Liars was one of the most hyped up debuts in 2020, and I believe it’s partly due to Sanderson’s blurb.   It is a commendable debut, but while I’m not disputing what Sanderson said about this book, the enjoyment I derived from reading it was a whole lot more mixed than his blurb would suggest.

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Book Review: The Prisoner of Heaven (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #3) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Book Review: The Prisoner of Heaven (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #3) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Cemetery of Forgotten Books (Book #3 of 4)

Genre: Historical fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Translated Edition Published: 2012 by Weidenfield & Nicholson, Orion Books (UK) & by Harper (US)


The Prisoner of Heaven was another captivating entry in The Cemetery of Forgotten Books that provided a more balanced tone of light and dark.

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