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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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Petrik’s Top 15 Books of the Year So Far (1st January-30th June 2020)

Petrik’s Top 15 Books of the Year So Far (1st January-30th June 2020)


Click here if you want to see the list of all the books I’ve read so far this year: Petrik’s Year in Books (2020)

Between 1st January 2020 until 30th June 2020, I’ve read and reviewed 71 books (35.7k pages).

Please read this first. There will be three 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. These rules allow me to highlight more authors, and at the same time, I’ll also be able to include both new and older books (many of them still need attention) that I read within this year.

  • Rereads aren’t included.
  • One book per author.
  • The books listed here are not all exclusively published this year; the list consists of the top books I read for the first time within this year. Non-2020 published books on this list will have their first date of publication included.

Do note that although there’s a rank to this list, I HIGHLY recommend every book/series listed below because I loved all of them immensely, and they received a rating of 4.5 or 5 out of 5 stars from me. Without further ado, here are the top 15 books I’ve read this year so far! (All full reviews of the books listed can be found on Novel Notions and my Goodreads page.)

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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: Blight Marked (Ethereal Earth, #3) by Josh Erikson

Book Review: Blight Marked (Ethereal Earth, #3) by Josh Erikson

ARC provided by 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

Pages: 390 pages

Published: 11th March 2020 by Josh Erikson (Indie)


This series is pure entertainment, get on this as soon as you can!

“Deep down we all believe we’re frauds. But it’s only when we stop believing that it actually becomes true.”

Hero Forged was good, Fate Lashed was incredible, and thankfully the second book wasn’t a fluke. Blight Marked, the third book in the ongoing Ethereal Earth series by Josh Erikson, retained the overall quality displayed in Fate Lashed. At the same time, Erikson also managed to include more of the fun and entertaining dialogues from Hero Forged into this book. Several readers have said that Fate Lashed was relatively more serious in tone, although I grew to loved the series because Erikson did that, there were times where I missed the fun and, at times, hilarious dialogues in the first book. One out of many examples, you can’t say that you don’t like good banter with a pun like this right? RIGHT?

“I feel like you’re setting yourself up for some kind of elevation pun, and I’m not really—“
“Though I suppose it’s more of a ladderal move,” he cut in.”
She nodded sadly and bent to start down the hole. “Yep. Good lord.”

Ehem.

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Fate Lashed (Ethereal Earth, #2)

Fate Lashed (Ethereal Earth, #2)

I received a copy of the audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Fate Lashed by Josh Erikson
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Josh Erikson does it again with his stellar narration in Fate Lashed, and this time with a faster-paced, action-packed and riveting plotline.

In the previous book, we got the origins story of Gabriel Delling – how he became intertwined with supernatural entities and ended up as a human with the ability to use magic (well, just somewhat at this stage). After losing the evil God from his head and spending time hiding out in a remote cabin to ruminate, he returned to civilization and in no time landed himself into trouble again. As fate would have it, the powerful inner circles of the Umbras are now contending to seek a ‘Key to the Universe’ which has revealed its existence just about the same time that Gabe got himself unwittingly embroiled in the affairs of these creatures from the Ether. That he survived what he did in Hero Forged, Gabe became a wildcard that fate has neither a read nor a hold on. In other words,  he is now the key much sought-after player in this quest for the Key, for better or for worse.

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Hero Forged (Ethereal Earth, #1)

Hero Forged (Ethereal Earth, #1)

I received a copy of the audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Hero Forged by Josh Erikson
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Hero Forged is a rare achievement for an indie urban fantasy debut, both in terms of its compelling characterisation and excellent author-narration.

I cannot claim to have a wide repertoire of urban fantasy under my belt, but I have read some of the more popular ones such as The Dresden Files, Kate Daniels, and The Iron Druid Chronicles, and my favourite, the Heartstrikers.  I’ve not come across such in-depth and engaging character development of the main protagonist in the first book of a series. Save for perhaps another self-published title called The Never Hero – also an origins story of a reluctant hero.

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Hero Forged (Ethereal Earth, #1)

Hero Forged (Ethereal Earth, #1)

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Hero Forged (Ethereal Earth #1)Hero Forged by Josh Erikson
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

A solid beginning to an urban fantasy series.

I’ll first start this review by saying that urban fantasy is a rare hit for me. In fact, other than The Divine Cities by Robert Jackson Bennett, Heartstrikers by Rachel Aaron, Paternus Trilogy by Dyrk Ashton, and Jade City by Fonda Lee, I’ve been mostly disappointed with what I’ve read so far. Hero Forged is a new rising urban fantasy that’s well-loved by some reviewers I know. However, knowing my hit and miss statistics with the sub-genre, I was actually going to decline the request to review this book. The author then told me that the main character resembles Vash the Stampede from Trigun; there’s no way I would decline reviewing the book after hearing that and I’m glad I gave it a go.

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