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Book Review: Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse, #1) by James S. A. Corey

Book Review: Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse, #1) by James S. A. Corey

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Expanse (Book #1 of 9)

Genre: Science fiction, Space opera, mystery

Pages: 592 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 15th June 2011 by Orbit (UK) & 2nd June 2011 by Orbit (US)


Leviathan Wakes was so good; a character-driven space-opera that combines sci-fi, noir, mystery, and a slice of horror into one.

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Book Review: The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu

Book Review: The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu

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

The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Dystopia

Pages: 432 pages

Published: 25th February 2020 by Head of Zeus (UK) & 25th February 2020 by Saga Press (US)


Ken Liu is incredibly good at writing short stories.

I’ve been waiting for The Dandelion Dynasty to be completed for years now so I can binge read the epic fantasy series. During my waiting time, I have read The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories and also some books Liu has translated: The Three-Body Problem and Death’s End by Cixin Liu. I loved them all; The Paper Menagerie, in particular, is one of the two best short stories I’ve ever read so far. The Hidden Girl and Other Stories is the second collection of short stories published by Ken Liu, and as expected, it’s another wonderful collection of stories. I think of this as something wondrous because I’m not even a fan of short stories; I avoid this format more than I avoid novellas. However, this is Ken Liu, and this collection goes to show how good he is at writing short stories. Just try reading the beautifully written two-page long preface; I highly doubt you’ll be able to resist reading this collection after reading this.

“As the author, I construct an artifact out of words, but the words are meaningless until they’re animated by the consciousness of the reader. The story is co-told by the author and the reader, and every story is incomplete until a reader comes a long and interprets 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: Golden In Death (In Death, #50)

Book Review: Golden In Death (In Death, #50)


Golden in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

I think I let my expectations run a little too wild in regards to this book. Because it’s book 50 (which is crazy, right?!) in a series, I was anticipating something mind-blowing for this installment; instead, I got fairly run-of-the-mill. And I’m so disappointed about it. In case you didn’t know, I absolutely adore Nora Roberts. She’s my ultimate comfort read. I’ve read literally everything she’s written, and I can’t think of another author so prolific (she’s written well over 200 books) that I can say that about. There’s something about her books that feels like coming home from the very first page. This is doubly true for the In Death series. Following the same characters through FIFTY books is a wild experience. Eve and Roarke and Peabody and so many others feel like members of my family that I get to catch up with a couple of times a year. If I’m being honest, these characters often feel more real to me than real people in my life. Or at least, they usually do.

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Book Review: Stormblood (The Commons, #1) by Jeremy Szal

Book Review: Stormblood (The Commons, #1) by Jeremy Szal

ARC provided by the author and publisher—Gollancz—in exchange for an honest review.

Stormblood by Jeremy Szal

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Common (Book #1)

Genre: Sci-fi, Military sci-fi

Pages: 432 pages

Published: 4th June 2020 by Gollancz


Milestone achieved: This is my 400th review!

A captivating military sci-fi debut. Stormblood tells a splendid story about two brothers divided by war that is full of comradeship, actions, and conflict.

Here’s an ugly truth, I haven’t been reading a lot of sci-fi lately. I was able to read 115 books in 2019, and only eight of those books were sci-fi novels. For this year’s priority sci-fi TBR pile, I have only ten sci-fi books on my list; nine of them belong to the entirety of The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey, the other one is Stormblood, Jeremy Szal’s debut. I came to know about this book because the author—same as me—is a huge fan of Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown and Mass Effect video game franchise, and after reading this book, I can say that both inspirations are evident in his novel. I definitely would suggest anyone who’s a fan of either one of them, even better if both, to check this debut out.

“People compare overcoming addiction to climbing a mountain, but that assumes there’s a peak to climb towards. Stormtech was more like swimming in an endless, churning sea. You never truly beat it. You just found temporary ways not to drown.”

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Book Review: Skyward (Skyward, #1)

Book Review: Skyward (Skyward, #1)

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

“Claim the stars.”

Have you ever loved an author so much that you’re actually afraid to read anything outside of the series by them you’ve come to adore? That’s how I feel about Brandon Sanderson. I love everything about his Cosmere, and all of the series that comprise it. From Mistborn to Stormlight, from Elantris to Warbreaker, he’s crafted some of the most unique magic systems I’ve ever witnessed, and I love that such wildly different series all tie into a bigger picture that is still being woven. Because of my deep adoration of the Cosmere, I’ve been hesitant to read Sanderson’s other works. I read the first Alcatraz book and thought it was fun and cute, but that’s as far as I’ve been able to go. His young adult works, The Reckoners trilogy and Skyward, gave me even more pause, because young adult is a genre that is very hit-or-miss for me. There are so many tropes that have been done to death in the YA genre: love triangles and a special girl who refuses to realize she’s special being among those most often used and happen to be my least favorites. Thankfully, neither of those were present in Skyward. Actually, there wasn’t any real romance. Which I found very refreshing for a young adult book.

“You find a way, and you defy them. For those of us who don’t have the courage.”

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Book Review: Alexander X (Battle for Forever, #1)

Book Review: Alexander X (Battle for Forever, #1)


Alexander X by Edward Savio
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had never heard of Alexander X or its author before picking this up. It’s not something that would have ever come across my radar. My decision to purchase it was twofold. First, it was an Audible Daily Deal. It’s hard to pass up a less than $4 audiobook, no matter what it is. Second, Alexander X is narrated by Wil Wheaton. In my opinion, narrator really matters when it comes to audiobooks. If you’re going to have someone talking in your ear for 6, 13, 27 hours, it needs to be a voice you like. No matter how wonderful the story, if I don’t jive with the narrator I’ll abandon an audiobook in a heartbeat, promising myself that I’ll try it again one day in a visual format. I have a list of narrators I love, and Wheaton is a name on that list. On the flip side of this, the best narrator in the world can’t save a lackluster story. Happily, Alexander X was a fun, addictive, and pretty darn original story that was paired with a wonderful narrator.

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Book Review: Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1) by Tamsyn Muir

Book Review: Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1) by Tamsyn Muir

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

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Locked Tomb (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 448 pages

Published: 10th September 2019 by Tor.com


Gideon the Ninth is a damn fine example of why readers’ reviews are incredibly important.

If you have been active on bookish social media, you should know by now that Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir’s debut and the first installment in The Locked Tomb (or The Ninth House in the past) Trilogy, has been tor.com’s most hyped book of the year. The buzz and praise for Gideon the Ninth has been immense to say the least. Knowing nothing other than the fact that “Lesbian necromancers in space” was stamped on the front of the gorgeous cover art (illustrated by Tommy Arnold), I gave the ARC a try a few months ago only to find myself disappointed by how much it didn’t work for me back then. If I may be brutally honest, I DNFed the novel around 120 pages in on my first read-through. Since then, readers’ reviews have started pouring in, usually resulting in absolute love or disappointment; there’s almost no in-between. But there’s one common consensus shared by both factions: the second half improved significantly. After receiving another copy of this book, a limited edition with black sprayed edges and many goodies, it was only fair that I give it one more try. The result? I enjoyed it remarkably more than I did on my first try. I truly believe that knowing the right things to expect out of this book ahead of reading it will improve the reader’s enjoyment so much more.

Picture: The book and the goodies I received!

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Book Review: Vendetta in Death (In Death, #49)

Book Review: Vendetta in Death (In Death, #49)


Vendetta in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

After reading four dozen books with the same characters, you’d think I’d be tired of them. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Vendetta in Death is the 49th(!) book following Eve Dallas, a Homicide detective in New York City in the near future. By this point, Eve and Roarke and every person in their lives feel tangibly real to me, and every new installment in this series feels like a chance to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while.

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Book Review: The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut, #1)

Book Review: The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut, #1)


The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Calculating Stars was such a fun, compelling story. But though it was compelling from page 1, it didn’t start out fun. Having an apocalyptic event occur that wipes out your family and the city you call home, and having to come to terms with the fact that your entire planet will become uninhabitable within a matter of decades is understandably a difficult situation for our perspective character, Elma York. She is a mathematics savant and a killer pilot, and is married to a legit rocket scientist. The couple find themselves at the core of the International Aerospace Coalition, earth’s response to the disaster that struck in the book’s early pages. If the planet will soon be inhospitable, then the only option is to find a way to get mankind into space and colonize other heavenly bodies. Elma and her husband, Nathan, are working night and day to make that plan become reality. But Elma wants to do more than compute equations; she wants to become the first female astronaut.

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