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Recursion

Recursion

Recursion by Blake Crouch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Recursion has become the first sci-fi standalone to be included in my favorite shelves.

As many readers probably did, my first experience with reading Crouch’s work was for Dark Matter. I was super impressed by it and after hearing that the author has a new sci-fi thriller that’s highly recommended for readers who loved Dark Matter gave me so much joy; it would be insane for me to not take a look at Recursion. Do note that taking a look at Crouch’s novel can be surmised as reading the novel non-stop until completion. This book was undoubtedly exceptional; it was so good that it made Dark Matter—which I loved and rated 4.5/5 stars—felt like a practice novel so that Crouch has the skill to unleash the full capacity of his brain towards the creation of this cleverly crafted insanity.

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The Martian

The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Life is amazingly tenacious.”

Science fiction isn’t usually my thing. There are exceptions; I loved Dark Matter and the Red Rising series and the Illuminae Files. Ender’s Game remains one of my favorite books from my childhood. But usually with science fiction I have to love the characters and plot enough to look past the science, or science has to be barely present. In The Martian, science and math have starring roles, and the book would’ve been less without them. Because in Mark Watney’s situation, science and math were the greatest tools he had with which to ward off death. And Watney’s story is quite possibly my favorite science fiction novel I’ve ever read.

“Astronauts are inherently insane. And really noble.”

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Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne, #1)

Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne, #1)

Priest of Bones by Peter McLean
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Peeky fookin bloindah with a powerful one more chapter syndrome.

A confession first, I’m not a fan of the TV show Peaky Blinders. Despite the well-acted performance of the casts, I gave up watching the TV series in the midst of season 2 because I was insanely bored with the snail-pacing. Yes yes, heresy right? Feel free to mock me with no fighting no fooking fighting meme. Hearing that Priest of Bones is inspired by the TV series was honestly the main reason why I haven’t given this book a go until now. Don’t get me wrong, what they’ve said about this being similar to Peaky Blinders is true; the similarity and inspirations were myriad and some elements did felt a bit too similar, especially in the first half. However, Priest of Bones, to my mind, has a significantly superior package compared to what I’ve seen so far in Peaky Blinders.

“When people have run out of food, and hope, and places to hide, do not be surprised if they have also run out of mercy.”

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The Killing Light (The Sacred Throne, #3)

The Killing Light (The Sacred Throne, #3)

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

The Killing Light by Myke Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A compelling read that offers a satisfying conclusion to The Sacred Throne trilogy.

I won’t be talking about the plot at all; there’s nothing about the story that I can say without spoiling something from the previous two books. As for what worked for me, there were many. I found the start of this book to be significantly better than the beginning of The Queen of Crows. This doesn’t mean that The Queen of Crows began horribly, but in my opinion, that book requires readers to binge-read the first two books or at least read them not too far in-between; the story continued immediately with no refresher on who’s who and it took me a long time to care about Heloise again. However, The Killing Light is not inflicted by the same situation; it started by efficiently refreshing reader’s memories on the characters and most importantly, allowing me to reacquaint myself with Heloise Factor because Cole elaborated on her characterizations first.

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Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2)

Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2)

Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged.”

I am astonished by how much I loved this book. I went from thinking that grimdark wasn’t for me to being an unapologetic convert to the genre. Whatever the cause for my change of heart, I’m insanely glad it happened, because Before They Are Hanged is absolutely fabulous. Brimming with humor and overflowing with compelling characters, the second installment of The First Law quenched a thirst for high stakes and long odds that I didn’t even know I had.

“Honour, eh? What the hell is that anyway? Every man thinks it’s something different… The more of it you have the less good it does you, and if you’ve got none at all you don’t miss it.”

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The Monster of Elendhaven

The Monster of Elendhaven

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

The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This starts out promising but overall it’s really just not for me.

The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht is a debut that I’ve heard great things about. It’s been advertised as a compelling dark fantasy about revenge, murder, and magician. For what its worth, it did started out that way; strongly atmospheric and dark. However, once the romance started, I found that the twisted relationship and unrealistic progression in their romance (though, maybe that’s kinda the point of the relationship) that constantly hangs in a weird status throughout the book became more of the main focus than everything else.

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Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

“Let everyone else call your idea crazy.. just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where “there” is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop.”

In other words, Just Do It!

Nike is the ultimate American dream. And it all started when a twenty-four-year-old Oregonian suddenly had this Crazy Idea of bringing Japanese running shoes, specifically the Onitsuka Tigers, into the country way back in 1962, just less than two decades after the United States of America bombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

There had been some unauthorised biographies or stories about how Nike came to be, but this is the first time we have been graced with the words from the creator himself, Philip H. Knight. Shoe Dog is a well-written, captivating and candid account of how Knight’s Crazy Idea came into fruition and eventually metamorphosized into the most recognizable name in the athletic shoe and apparel industry.

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NOTHING TO HIDE (DC CONSTANCE FAIRCHILD, #2)

NOTHING TO HIDE (DC CONSTANCE FAIRCHILD, #2)

Nothing to Hide by James Oswald

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A cracking second investigation for DC Constance Fairchild, promising a hit for James Oswald’s new series.

DC Constance Fairchild is back in London… and back in trouble. Or maybe still in trouble, it’s hard to tell. It’s bad enough that her suspension’s not been lifted, that she’s on the receiving end of serious attitude from other police for rocking the boat, and that the gutter press won’t leave her alone, but now there’s a crime scene right outside her flat. She’s been told to leave it, to keep a low profile, but after finding some poor boy dying beneath the rubbish, she’s not about to let that stand. Especially when she discovers that he’s far from the first. But she has no idea that this is an investigation that’s going to take her to the darkest of places, a fight for her very survival…

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The Poison Song (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #3)

The Poison Song (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #3)

The Poison Song by Jen Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Poison Song was truly an outstanding conclusion; someone needs to find an antidote to cure the severely underrated state of this series ASAP.

After twelve books in a row, I’m gratified that I finally finished a new book that I can rate 5 stars easily. Here we are, the third and last book in The Winnowing Flame Trilogy. Now that I’ve finished binge reading this trilogy within a week, I can safely say that Jen Williams seriously deserves a much larger readership. C’mon, this last book was a bloody amazing read; it’s easily one of the best concluding volumes I’ve ever read. Even though this is the last of the series, there was still new content—such as Noon’s past, the Fell-witch’s background, the winnowfire’s origins—for the readers to learn about. It has all come down to this installment; the past two books and the first half of The Poison Song were preparations for the heart-hammering second half of this book. I honestly don’t think I’ve read many fantasy series that are as cleverly crafted and imaginative as The Winnowing Flame Trilogy. Williams made sure that each installment has its own main conflicts to resolve and, at the same time, she was able to stealthily build solid foundations for the searing conclusion of this series. The plotlines, the characters and their motivations, have been fully established and Williams was able to utilize them properly to deliver a glorious and unforgettable book; I found myself completely enthralled by William’s storytelling ability.

“What you brought back, darling, was the truth. Which is rarely comfortable and never painless, but often, ultimately, worth knowing.”

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The Bitter Twins (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #2)

The Bitter Twins (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #2)

The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think it’s insane that Jen Williams still doesn’t have a US publisher.

The Bitter Twins is the second book in The Winnowing Flame Trilogy. I enjoyed the first book, The Ninth Rain, very much, and although admittedly I loved the first book more, The Bitter Twins didn’t disappoint in delivering another great installment with high focus on characterizations, discovery, explorations, and revelations. The story picks up immediately from where The Ninth Rain left off. I’ve mentioned that in the first book it took me 25% to find myself fully engaged with the book, this one—unfortunately—took me even longer because the pacing felt even slower. The first half of the book was mostly setup sections as Williams introduced new characters and establish their distinctive voices. This new setup was necessary in order to expand the scope of the world and to have more variety of casts to the series, and the first half pays off wonderfully in the second half. Connections, family, and bonds were some of the many important themes that can be found in this installment.

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