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.)
15. The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Publisher: Orbit (US) & Tor (UK).
“The Doors of Eden is an imaginative, wonderful, and cracking adventure filled with hope and excitement.”
14. Ravencaller (The Keepers, #2) by David Dalglish
“There is no lull moment in Ravencaller, this action-packed sequel brings well-written morally grey characters and bloody macabre into one package.”
13. Blight Marked (Ethereal Earth, #3) by Josh Erikson
Publisher: Josh Erikson.
“Blight Marked has established Ethereal Earth as one of those PLUS ULTRA rare urban fantasy series where each new installment receives my high anticipation. During several sections in the last 30% of the novel, I honestly thought that Blight Marked was going to be the final book of the series, it is good to know that there will be more to come after this, and I will be anticipating its arrival.”
12. We Are the Dead (The Last War, #1) by Mike Shackle
Publisher: Gollancz. First published in: 8th August 2019
“So much bloodshed and actions, Shackle’s debut is fast-paced, grim, and unputdownable… Bloody, gritty, and relentless; I’m sure that enthusiasts of The First Law World series by Joe Abercrombie and War for the Rose Throne series by Peter McLean will have a great time reading this one.”
11. Black Stone Heart (The Obsidian Path, #1) by Michael R. Fletcher
Publisher: Michael R. Fletcher (Indie)
“Insanely brilliant. Fletcher did it again. Black Stone Heart is one of his best works so far, and Fletcher has finally crafted something as good as his Manifest Delusion series with this one.”
10. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Publisher: Ecco (US) & Bloomsbury (UK). First published in: 5th September 2011
“Guard your heart and mind carefully; there’s a prophecy conjured that they won’t remain unscathed after you read the breathtaking lyrics written in The Song of Achilles.”
9. The Crimson Queen (The Raveling, #1) by Alec Hutson
Publisher: Alec Hutson (Indie). First published in: 28th November 2016
“An incredibly captivating debut with an intricate world-building and a meticulously beautiful writing style . . . The Crimson Queen feels like classic epic fantasy with a modern epic fantasy voice.”
8. Underlord (Cradle, #6) by Will Wight
Publisher: Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie). First published in: 1st March 2019
“Underlord is powerful, emotional, and visceral. I can personally understand why Underlord receives such unanimous praise from its fans, it is the best of the series so far, and Wight will have to do a lot of improvement if he wants to top what he has written here.”
7. The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire, #1) by Andrea Stewart
“Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames in 2017, The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang in 2018, The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan in 2019; other than The Poppy War, all of these books are published by Orbit. The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart will be the best fantasy debut of 2020. Don’t miss it.”
6. Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy, #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett
Publisher: Del Rey (US) & Jo Fletcher (UK).
“Shorefall is an absolutely spellbinding sequel that blew my mind with its compelling plot progression, sympathizing characters, thrilling actions, and clever inventiveness in its manipulation of reality, time, and souls.”
5. Paternus: War of Gods (The Paternus Trilogy, #3) by Dyrk Ashton
Publisher: Paternus Books Media (Indie)
“War of Gods is urban fantasy at its utter best. If you love massive battles, mythology, engaging narrative, and a satisfying conclusion, you have to read this book.”
4. The Burning God by (The Poppy War Trilogy, #3) by Rebecca Kuang
Publisher: Harper Voyager
“The Burning God is indisputably one of my favorite books of all time, and more than ever now, the completion of The Burning God earn R.F. Kuang her rightful crown and throne as one of the queens of modern fantasy.”
3. The Light of All That Falls (The Licanius Trilogy, #3) by James Islington
Publisher: Orbit. First published in: 10th December 2019
“The Light of All That Falls is an absolute marvel, a prodigious finishing touch to an ingeniously plotted series.”
2. The Labyrinth of the Spirits (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #4) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Publisher: Weidenfield & Nicholson, Orion Books (UK) & Harper (US). Translated to English in: 2018
“This novel is a brilliant masterwork that every reader must read; Zafón has concluded The Cemetery of Forgotten Books terrifically. I’ll even go as far as claiming that The Labyrinth of the Spirits is my number one favorite non-SFF novel at the moment.”
1. A Time of Courage (Of Blood and Bone, #3) by John Gwynne
Publisher: Orbit (US) & Pan Macmillan (UK)
“A 5 out of 5 stars rating won’t do this book justice. Just like Wrath, A Time of Courage is epic fantasy at its best; it’s a masterpiece that deserves a 6 out of 5 stars rating, simple as that.”
2020 has been a rough year for humanity, but reading-wise, depending on the second half of the year, 2020 is on its way to becoming my best reading year. I’m genuinely gratified that I found so many amazing books this year. Seriously, choosing the books to include in this list was not an easy task.
It will be difficult for me to find a better book than A Time of Courage this year, but considering how incredible my reading year so far has been, we’ll never know for certain. I mean, I’m sure there’s still a LOT of both published and soon to-be-published books—The Trouble With Peace by Joe Abercrombie, The Burning God by R.F. Kuang (I’ve read this one but still super excited for its release!), The Fires of Vengeance by Evan Winter, and Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson, to name a few—for me to read this year! I’m so PUMPED to read them all!
Alright, that’s it from me for now! If there’s a book on this list that you haven’t read yet, please get to them as soon as you can! There are still approximately 60 books I plan to read before this year concludes; definitely expect the list to expand by December. Thank you again to every author who let their stories out in the world for me and every other reader to read! I consider art essential to the sanity of my life, and your novel is a part of it! 🙂
Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing!
My Patrons: Alfred, Devin, Hamad, Jimmy Nutts, Joie, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas.