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Audiobook Review: The Original by Brandon Sanderson & Mary Robinette Kowal

Audiobook Review: The Original by Brandon Sanderson & Mary Robinette Kowal

ARC received from the publisher, Recorded Books, in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Original by Brandon Sanderson and Mary Robinette Kowal

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Genre: Science fiction

Published: 14th Sept 2020 by Recorded Books (in collaboration with Mainframe)


The Original is a fascinating yet chilling look into a possible future where a person can be cloned into a replicant used to hunt down his or her ‘original’. This science-fiction collaboration between Brandon Sanderson and Mary Robinette Kowal thoroughly engages and satisfies with its solid characterisation and worldbuilding in a novella spanning just over 3hrs long of audio 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

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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: Persepolis Rising (The Expanse, #7) by James S.A. Corey

Book Review: Persepolis Rising (The Expanse, #7) by James S.A. Corey

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Cover Illustration by: Daniel Dociu

Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Expanse (Book #7 of 9)

Genre: Sci-fi, Space Opera

Pages: 576 pages (UK paperback)

Published: 7th December 2017 by Orbit (UK) & 5th December 2017 by Orbit (US)


This was another good volume in The Expanse, but I must say that the series is starting to overstay its welcome to me.

“I actually read history. It’s like reading prophecy, you know.”

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Book Review: Babylon’s Ashes (The Expanse, #6) by James S.A. Corey

Book Review: Babylon’s Ashes (The Expanse, #6) by James S.A. Corey

Cover Illustration by: Daniel Dociu

Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Expanse (Book #6 of 9)

Genre: Sci-fi, Space Opera

Pages: 543 pages (UK paperback)

Published: 6th December 2016 by Orbit


A good sequel that feels like a long wrap-up to Nemesis Games.

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Book Review: Nemesis Games (The Expanse, #5) by James S.A. Corey

Book Review: Nemesis Games (The Expanse, #5) by James S.A. Corey

Cover Illustration by: Daniel Dociu

Nemesis Games by James S.A. Corey

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Expanse (Book #5 of 9)

Genre: Sci-fi, Space Opera

Pages: 535 pages (UK paperback)

Published: 4th June 2015 by Orbit (UK) and 2nd June 2015 by Orbit (US)


It’s all about the crew of Rocinante, and that’s the main reason why Nemesis Games is the best book in the series so far.

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Book Review: Ashes of the Sun (Burningblade & Silvereye, #1) by Django Wexler

Book Review: Ashes of the Sun (Burningblade & Silvereye, #1) by Django Wexler

ARC provided by the publisher—Head of Zeus—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover illustration by: Scott M. Fischer

Ashes of the Sun by Django Wexler

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Burningblade & Silvereye (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Post-apocalypse, Sci-fi.

Pages: 593 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 21st July 2020 by Head of Zeus (UK) & Orbit (US)


A captivating start to a series; if you’re worried whether Ashes of the Sun will be as good as The Shadow Campaigns or not, feel free to incinerate those doubts away now.

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Book Review: Rebirth (Divinity’s Twilight, #1) by Christopher Russell

Book Review: Rebirth (Divinity’s Twilight, #1) by Christopher Russell

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

Cover illustration by: Chris McGrath

Divinity’s Twilight: Rebirth by Christopher Russell

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Divinity’s Twilight (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Sci-fi, Steampunk

Pages: 498 pages (US Paperback edition)

Published: 2nd June 2020 by Morgan James Fiction (Indie)


This was good, an ambitious SFF debut to what I foresee will be a large series.

Due to my TBR pile that continues to exponentially grow uncontrollably, I have to say that I rarely accept an ARC/review copy from an unknown author these days. My gut, however, told me to accept the request to review Christopher Russell’s debut, Divinity’s Twilight: Rebirth, and I’m glad I gave this one a go. I mean, how could I say no when Russell himself said that he’s a huge fan of The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson; the inspirations from that epic series was evident in his debut.

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Book Review: Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

Book Review: Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

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

Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Genre: Science fiction, space adventure, novella

Published: 5th February 2020 (self-published)


Dust & Lightning was an enjoyable science fiction adventure that packed just enough character development and worldbuilding to make the plot work in novella form.

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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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Book Review: Cibola Burn (The Expanse, #4) by James S.A. Corey

Book Review: Cibola Burn (The Expanse, #4) by James S.A. Corey

Cover Illustration by: Daniel Dociu

Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Expanse (Book #4 of 9)

Genre: Sci-fi, Space Opera

Pages: 587 pages (UK paperback)

Published: 17th June 2014 by Orbit


Cibola Burn brings The Expanse back to its good form.

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