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Book Review: To Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu

Book Review: To Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu

ARC received from publisher, Tor, in exchange for an honest review.

To Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Genre: Science fiction, short stories

Published:  1st October 2020 by Head of Zeus (UK) and 20 Oct 2020 by Tor Books (US)


True to his form as seen in his most renowned science fiction series, The Remembrance of Earth’s Past, Cixin Liu’s imagination in this short story collection, To Hold Up the Sky, was truly remarkable.

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TS’s Top 20 Books Read in 2020

TS’s Top 20 Books Read in 2020


2020 has been such a strange, stressful and complicated year.  I took a one-year sabbatical leave from work from mid-2019 and managed to do quite a bit of travelling for about six months before the world got completely turned upside down.  I’ve read/listen over 120 books this year, 73 of which was completed during the first half when I wasn’t working and the entire world was on lockdown.  Getting back to work during the second half in the midst of a global pandemic and a new challenging role did affect my ability to read and also write reviews on a regular basis.

Despite 2020 being such a watershed/dumpster year, it’s been an incredible one for my reading as I’ve completed a lot books ranging from great to masterpieces.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve added so many books onto my favourites shelf (many of which were from the same series).  If you’re curious/interested, you also 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 five.  The rest, I’ve listed them in the chronological order of when I’ve read them this year.  Almost all of these have been reviewed by me on Novel Notions and Goodreads, albeit some are quite brief.

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Book Review: Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2) by Tamsyn Muir

Book Review: Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2) by Tamsyn Muir

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

Cover illustrated by: Tommy Arnold

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Locked Tomb (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fantasy, Space Opera

Pages: 512 pages (Hardback)

Published: 4th August 2020 by Tor.com


Harrow the Ninth was insanely confusing, and I am both annoyed and impressed at the same time.

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Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

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This is my 500th review!

Cover designed by: Eric White

The Martian by Andy Weir

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Sci-fi

Pages: 384 pages (Hardcover)

Published: 11th February 2014 by Crown (US)


I have to admit, I didn’t expect I would have such a great time reading this book, but The Martian, somehow, became one of the most enjoyable sci-fi books I’ve ever read.

“I guess you could call it a “failure”, but I prefer the term “learning experience”.”

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Book Review: To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

Book Review: To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

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To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Sci-fi, Space Opera

Pages: 176 pages (US Kindle edition)

Published: 8th August 2019 by Hodder & Stoughton (UK) & 3rd September 2019 Harper Voyager (US)


This may surprise you, but unlike The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, I actually enjoyed reading To Be Taught, If Fortunate.

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Book Review: Tiamat’s Wrath (The Expanse, #8) by James S.A. Corey

Book Review: Tiamat’s Wrath (The Expanse, #8) by James S.A. Corey

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Cover Illustration by: Daniel Dociu

Tiamat’s Wrath by James S.A. Corey

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Expanse (Book #8 of 9)

Genre: Sci-fi, Space Opera

Pages: 560 pages (UK paperback)

Published: 26th March 2019 by Orbit


Wow, I take back what I said before. Tiamat’s Wrath surpassed Caliban’s War and Nemesis Games as the best installment of the series so far.

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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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