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Book Review: The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

Book Review: The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams


The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Dictionary of Lost Words is a beautiful book. But I was not prepared for the levels of heartbreak that were going to be present. I kept having to put the book down to try to find my way back into a more positive headspace. Had I read the book in any other stage in my life, I think I would have been able to divorce myself more easily from it and enjoy it more. However, everyone knows this year has been horrendous, and for some reason I was just unable to cope with the relentless hard knocks suffered by the poor protagonist. There was something about the bright tone of the book that made those blows even more terrible, and that’s what kept the novel from being a five star read for me. It was emotionally draining.

“Words define us, they explain us, and, on occasion, they serve to control or isolate us. But what happens when words that are spoken are not recorded? What effect does that have on the speaker of those words?”

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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

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

Cover illustration by: Quentin Trollip

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Thriller, Magical Realism, Historical Fiction

Pages: 464 pages (US Hardback)

Published: 10th March 2016 by Head of Zeus (UK) & 8th March 2016 by Gallery / Saga Press (US)


The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories is an intimately powerful and beautiful collection of stories that encompassed some of the most relatable themes to our society, and some stories contained in this collection felt personal and evocative to me.

“Every act of communication is a miracle of translation.”

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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 Angel’s Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2)

Book Review: The Angel’s Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2)

The Angel's Game
The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (translated by Lucia Graves)
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

For close to a decade I’ve thought that The Shadow of the Wind was one of the most brilliant novels I had ever read. I had no idea that it was a preamble, setting up for an even bigger story. And I truly believe that The Angel’s Game just scratched the surface; I can feel in my bones that there’s far more to come. I’ve also been reliably informed by TS and Petrik that all of the questions I found left frustratingly open at the end of this book will indeed be answered later in the series, which does nothing but add to my excitement.

“Poetry is written with tears, novels with blood, and history with invisible ink.”

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Book Review: The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

Book Review: The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

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

Cover designed by: Lisa Marie Pompilio

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Pages: 528 pages

Published: October 15th, 2020 by Orbit (UK) and October 13th, 2020 by Redhook (US)


Similar to The Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Once and Future Witches will be a big hit among many readers.

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Book Review: The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

Book Review: The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

The Once and Future Witches

 

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Stand-alone

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Published: October 15th, 2020 by Orbit (UK) and October 13th, 2020 by Redhook (US)


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

Witchy as HELL! The Once and Future Witches was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and Alix E. Harrow absolutely, unequivocally, brought the magic.

I first picked up The Ten Thousand Doors of January earlier this year (2020) and loved it beyond description. In fact, that book now occupies a space on my favourites shelf. It is unsurprising then, that The Once and Future Witches was one of my most anticipated book releases of the year. Luckily, I have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to read this book before the official release date. The icing on the bookish cake is that I have had the privilege of reading not just one, but two of Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding stories in less than seven months and both have filled me with an unbridled sense of wonder.

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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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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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