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Tag: 3.5 stars

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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Book Review: The Two-Faced Queen (The Legacy of the Mercenary King, #2) by Nick Martell

Book Review: The Two-Faced Queen (The Legacy of the Mercenary King, #2) by Nick Martell

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

Cover art illustrated by: Richard Anderson

The Two-Faced Queen by Nick Martell

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Legacy of the Mercenary King (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy

Pages: 592 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 25th March 2021 by Gollancz (UK) & 23rd March 2021 by Saga Press (US)


Overall, The Two-Faced Queen a good sequel. Similar to its predecessor, the first half was a bit of a struggle for me, but the second half was great.

“To be forgotten feels more like death than death.”

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Book Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Book Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins


The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I received an audio copy of this book from the publisher, Macmillan Audio, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Wife Upstairs is an updated, reimagined Jane Eyre. It’s an interesting twist on a classic story, and I’m loving how many such novels have come out recently and how many more are scheduled for publication soon.

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Book Review: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Book Review: The Guest List by Lucy Foley


The Guest List by Lucy Foley
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Mysteries are one of those hit-or-miss genres for me. Sometimes I’m able to guess the big twist or outcome or both within the first 100 pages, and then lose my patience with the rest of the narrative and the cast for not getting there faster. Sometimes the author includes wild twists for the sake of sensationalism that come out of left and field couldn’t have been predicted. Both types of mystery novels drive me a little crazy. The Guest List was neither of those. Told in a way that leaves you guessing without the sensationalism and populated with an interesting group of characters, I was invested through the final pages.

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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: Tower of Mud and Straw by Yaroslav Barsukov

Book Review: Tower of Mud and Straw by Yaroslav Barsukov


Tower of Mud and Straw by Yaroslav Barsukov
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I received a galley of this book from the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

There’s something about the novella as an art form that is so different from its bookend siblings, the novel and the short story. Not as sharp and snappy as a short story, but without as much room for deep dives into development as novels, it can be a difficult and strangely unwieldy medium, for both author and audience. That being said, novellas can also pack an incredible amount of power into a scant few pages when done correctly. It’s a medium full of both promise and pitfalls. In the case of Tower of Mud and Straw, I think that the promise is that Barsukov himself shows a lot of promise as an author, and the main pitfall is the lack of development that would have deepened the story he penned.

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Book Review: Insomnia, by Stephen King

Book Review: Insomnia, by Stephen King


Insomnia by Stephen King
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This isn’t my favorite King novel I’ve ever read, but it was a fun, very interesting ride. If you’re planning on a journey to King’s Dark Tower, this one is absolutely essential. Not only are the concepts of ka and ka-tet integral to the plot of the novel, the Tower itself makes brief appearances. And while I didn’t look it up for fear of having important future plot points spoiled for myself, I’m almost positive that two important new characters in the main series were introduced in this book.

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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: 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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