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Petrik Leo’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2018)

Petrik Leo’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2018)

Time really flies huh? Another year is coming to an end soon! This year I’ve read and reviewed 129 books. It’s been another fantastic reading year. Considering the high amount of 4.5 and 5 stars books I’ve rated this year, I’ll even say that this year miraculously ended up being my best reading year so far. There will be four rules I set in this list in order for me to give appreciation to more authors rather than having only a few authors hoarding this list.

  • Rereads don’t count
  • One book per author
  • The book listed here are not exclusively published this year.
  • Outside of the two top spots (for good reasons), none of these are in particular order. All have merit, and most have different strengths that make them stand out from each other; putting a rank on them feels odd to me, especially when every book in this list now resides on my ‘favorite books’ shelf.

All the books listed below received a rating of 4.5 or 5 out of 5 stars from me. Without further ado, here are the top 20 books I’ve read in 2018! (All full reviews of these books can be found on my Goodreads page; some are already available on this blog.)


The Ace of Skulls (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #4)

The Ace of Skulls (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #4)

The Ace of Skulls by Chris Wooding
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Ace of Skulls gave mostly a satisfying ending to the Tales of the Ketty Jay but as a volume, this was a slight step back in quality.

Tales of the Ketty Jay has always been consistently good from the first book; the third and penultimate book was a huge step up for the series in which almost every element from the previous books was improved efficiently. That’s why it saddened me to say that even though I still loved this one, I didn’t enjoy reading the majority of this book as much as I did before with the previous three books.

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The Iron Jackal (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #3)

The Iron Jackal (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #3)

The Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The Iron Jackal greatly built upon the foundations that have been well-established in the first half of the series.

Despite having enjoyed the first half of the quartet, I was getting a bit scared that the fun and enjoyment of the series would start to dwindle in the third and penultimate installment of the series. I’m so glad to be proven wrong, The Iron Jackal ended up being the most fun book in the series so far. Unlike the storytelling structure in the previous two books, The Iron Jackal progressed a bit differently and it’s something I immensely appreciate. Where the first two books were about getting a mission to gain wealth, this book was more of a race against time to save Frey’s own life. It was more intense, more action-packed without neglecting the crucial and great characterizations, and I highly enjoyed reading the book. Don’t get me wrong, as far as predictability, the story was still highly predictable despite the higher stake; no argument from me there. However, everything was just so well-written and well-executed that I just want to continue reading regardless of knowing the outcome.

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The Black Lung Captain (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #2)

The Black Lung Captain (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #2)

The Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was more or less on the same quality of fun and entertainment of Retribution Falls; except that it was imbued with great characterizations right from the start.

The Black Lung Captain is the second book in the Tales of the Ketty Jay quartet by Chris Wooding. A year since the events of the last book has passed and the plot began with Frey being offered a mission that will make him extremely wealthy and as usual, the mission immediately went completely wrong. Sounds familiar? Yup, I practically copy pasted my plot description of the first book. In terms of storytelling structure, there was close to zero differences with the first book. This doesn’t mean that the book wasn’t entertaining or fun to read, because they were. However, if you’re binge reading the series as I did, you’ll notice even more just how similar the structure of the story was and at times it can felt a bit draggy. The plot and actions were still engaging overall but moving forward, I really hope Wooding offers something new to the series rather than just similar storytelling structure rehashed with different names and places.

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Retribution Falls (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #1)

Retribution Falls (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #1)

Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An entertaining and fun beginning to a steampunk fantasy series filled with great characters.

A few months ago when I finished Wooding’s newest book, The Ember Blade, my review was flooded with comments along the line of “I can’t wait for this one. I loved his Tales of the Ketty Jay series!” and because I absolutely loved The Ember Blade, knowing that there’s so much love for Wooding’s previous series immediately seal the deal that I MUST give this series a try; and I’m glad I gave it a go.

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Petrik’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2018-July 31st, 2018)

Petrik’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2018-July 31st, 2018)

Between January 1st, 2018 and July 31st, 2018, I’ve read and reviewed 82 books, and so far it’s been another fantastic reading year. Considering the number of books I’ve read and reviewed this year, there will be four rules I set in this list in order for me to give appreciation to more authors rather than having only a few authors hoarding this list. The rules are:

  •  Rereads don’t count.
  •  One book per author.
  • The book listed here are not exclusively published this year.
  • Number one spot aside, none of these are in particular order. Why? Because I spent two hours of staring at my computer screen and I still can’t firmly decide on the ranking!

All the books listed below received a rating of 4.5 or 5 out of 5 stars from me. Without further ado, here we go! (All full reviews of these books can be found on my Goodreads page; some are available on this blog.)

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The Ember Blade (The Darkwater Legacy, #1)

The Ember Blade (The Darkwater Legacy, #1)

ARC provided by the publisher—Orion Publishing Group (Gollancz)—in exchange for an honest review.

The Ember BladeThe Ember Blade by Chris Wooding
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Wooding strikes a magnificently fine balance between classic epic fantasy and grimdark fantasy, making this a new amazing start to a new trilogy.

To be honest, I feel like the love for classic fantasy has started to dwindle these days and has been replaced with a thirst for grimdark or fantasy with darker tones; most likely due to the fame garnered by the Game of Thrones TV show. This isn’t actually a bad thing, and I have to say that I kind of feel the same. The reason behind this is that classic fantasy is starting to feel too familiar with the majority of books following the same kind of good versus evil structure that’s getting more and more predictable. Reading classic fantasy now is in my opinion like coming home to something incredibly well known; it’s always comfy and you’re highly familiar with it. Readers want new adventures, something unpredictable and fresh, not the same kind of adventures they’ve already experienced time and time again. This is where The Ember Blade will come in and change your mind. Rooted heavily in classic epic fantasy but imbued with the element of the morally grey character found in grimdark Wooding has created a hybrid in this book and the result was amazing. Imagine coming home and there are pleasant surprises to be found; you open your fridge, crack open an egg and you get two yolks instead of one. That’s how it felt reading this book.

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