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Tag: 4.5 stars

Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Cemetery of Forgotten Books (Book #1 of 4)

Genre: Historical fiction, Mystery

Pages: 506 pages (US Kindle edition)

Translated Edition Published: 2004 by Weidenfield & Nicholson, Orion Books (UK) & 2004 by Penguin Books (US)


An astonishingly engaging story within a story type of novel; the passion for books and reading introduced in the first chapter was just an appetizer before all the interconnecting twists and turns.

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Audiobook Review: Blight Marked (Ethereal Earth, #3)

Audiobook Review: Blight Marked (Ethereal Earth, #3)

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

Blight Marked by Josh Erikson

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Ethereal Earth (Book #3)

Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Published: 11th March 2020 by Josh Erikson (self-published ebook) and Audible Studios


Josh Erikson has utterly upped his game in Blight Marked. A heady concoction of compelling character development, interesting worldbuilding, exhilarating action scenes and great humour, the only thing that made it even better was Erikson’s stellar self-narration.

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Book Review: The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

Book Review: The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

My rating:  4.5 of 5 stars

Genre:  Science fiction, fantasy, magic realism, dystopian

Published:  March 2016 by Gallery/Saga Press (US) and Head of Zeus (UK)


I’ve been meaning to read Ken Liu’s first collection of short stories for a quite a while. His translation for two of Cixin Liu’s books in the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy was excellent and I’ve heard a lot of great things about the titular short story of this collection.

In my opinion, the preface alone warrants at least a 5-star and an award. Liu’s writing is utterly beautiful and profound, and one can clearly see how talented and intelligent this author is just from reading his preface to the collection. I’ve highlighted at least half of it because it was so well-written.

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Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical fiction, Mythology, Retelling

Pages: 389 pages (UK Kindle edition)

Published: 5th September 2011 by Bloomsbury (UK) & 6th March 2012 by Ecco (US)


Beautifully heartbreaking and tragic, Madelline Miller’s first novel burst with palpable emotions.

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Book Review: City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Book Review: City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert


City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I don’t know why I decided to pick up City of Girls. Historical fiction isn’t one of my go-to genres. I don’t care all that much about fashion. I’ve never read anything by Elizabeth Gilbert. But something drew me to this book and I decided to give it a whirl because I was in the mood for something outside of my norm. Thankfully, I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading it. City of Girls was definitely delivered the “something different” I was craving.

“You must learn in life to take things more lightly, my dear. The world is always changing. Learn how to allow for it.”

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Book Review: Camelot by Giles Kristian

Book Review: Camelot by Giles Kristian

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

Camelot by Giles Kristian

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 450 pages

Published: 14th May 2020 by Bantam Press


It is not easy to re-lit the fire of hope when everything feels bleak.

I’m a HUGE fan of The Warlord Chronicles trilogy by Bernard Cornwell and Lancelot by Giles Kristian himself; I consider these four books the holy grails of Arthurian retelling novels. I won’t lie, these books are so incredible that I have pretty much settled with the thoughts that there won’t be a better Arthurian novel than them, even if that book is a new novel written by either Bernard Cornwell or Giles Kristian. And I am very confident in this bold claim. But please don’t let this statement steer you into thinking that I wasn’t excited for Camelot. This follow-up sequel to Lancelot is one of my most anticipated books of 2020, and Giles Kristian was able to deliver another beautifully melancholic Arthurian retelling that I’m sure will captivate fans of Lancelot.

“There is still a flame and that flame can become a fire which will wake the gods.”

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Book Review: Uncrowned (Cradle, #7) by Will Wight

Book Review: Uncrowned (Cradle, #7) by Will Wight

Uncrowned by Will Wight

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Cradle (Book #7 of 12)

Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia

Pages: 336 pages

Published: 26th September 2019 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


Uncrowned is filled with emotional weight, and it showcases my favorite duels in the series so far.

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Book Review: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Book Review: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid


One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

One True Loves wrecked me in the very best way. I loved Daisy Jones and The Six, but I wasn’t sure if any other books from Taylor Jenkins Reid would click with me, since I picked up the aforementioned book solely because it was about musicians. I am so very happy that I was wrong. There’s just something about the way Reid writes that entrances me. I don’t know what drew me to this particular book, because that cover looks like it houses a light, fluffy romance, which is exactly the opposite of what I’m currently craving in my reading life. While there is a lot of sweetness, there was nothing light and fluffy about this story, and I’m so very glad I read it.

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Book Review: The Fold (Threshold, #2) by Peter Clines

Book Review: The Fold (Threshold, #2) by Peter Clines

The Fold by Peter Clines (Narrated by Ray Porter)

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Threshold (Book 2)

Genre:  Science fiction, mystery, Lovecraftian horror

Published: 2nd June 2015 by Crown (US)


The Fold is yet another utterly absorbing and entertaining genre-bending novel by Peter Clines, which was impeccably narrated by Ray Porter.

I didn’t even realise that I’ve read the first book in the Threshold series, 14, almost exactly a year ago. It must be something related to this bizarre universe that Clines have created in his series of connected stand-alone novels which triggered such a coincidence. The Fold is the second book in the series, with a completely different story and new cast of characters in the same universe.

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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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