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Audiobook Review: Ever Winter by Peter Hackshaw

Audiobook Review: Ever Winter by Peter Hackshaw

I received a copy of the audiobook from the publisher, Monolith Books, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Ever Winter by Peter Hackshaw (Narrated by Dan Stevens)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars/

Genre:  Dystopia, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi

Published:  9th Jan 2020 by Monolith Books, & 26th Jan 2021 by Podium Audio


Ever Winter is a great revenge story that starts slow, but engages with the gritty realism of its wintry post-apocalyptic dystopian setting.

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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: Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

Book Review: Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher (Flatiron Books) and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Migrations is a beautiful, heartbreaking, defiant literary fiction debut. While McConaghy has written SFF in the past, this work is something entirely new for her, and you could feel the passion and anger pouring off of every page. I’ve never read any of her SFF novels, but I might have to give them a go. Because the woman can really write.

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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: The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

Book Review: The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

My rating:  4.5 of 5 stars

Genre:  Science fiction, fantasy, magic realism, dystopian

Published:  March 2016 by Gallery/Saga Press (US) and Head of Zeus (UK)


I’ve been meaning to read Ken Liu’s first collection of short stories for a quite a while. His translation for two of Cixin Liu’s books in the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy was excellent and I’ve heard a lot of great things about the titular short story of this collection.

In my opinion, the preface alone warrants at least a 5-star and an award. Liu’s writing is utterly beautiful and profound, and one can clearly see how talented and intelligent this author is just from reading his preface to the collection. I’ve highlighted at least half of it because it was so well-written.

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Book Review: Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

Book Review: Wanderers by Chuck Wendig


Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really want to like this book. I tried so hard. But I just ended up actively disliking it, which makes me sad.

Wendig bit off something really vast with this novel, and he actually executed it very well. It’s been billed as an epic saga, and that’s a fair description. Wanderers is as large in scope as the novel it is most commonly compared to, Stephen King’s The Stand, and mirrors the novel in other ways, specifically in its inclusion of an apocalyptic epidemic, its varied cast of characters, and its cross country journey on foot. However, Wanderers was far more hopeless, to the point of nihilism. The elements that should have been hopeful ended up being among the darkest and most disturbing. Don’t get me wrong; there were moments of loveliness. But overall it ended up leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth. I also deeply hated the ending, and that further impacted my view of the book.

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Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book way more than I actually did. There were elements that I really enjoyed, don’t get me wrong. The premise was great, and the writing was masterful. It just didn’t land, unfortunately. While I didn’t hate this book, neither was I able to love it. It wasn’t bad; it was merely forgettable.

“We are so brief. A one-day dandelion. A seedpod skittering across the ice. We are a feather falling from the wing of a bird. I don’t know why it is given to us to be so mortal and to feel so much. It is a cruel trick, and glorious.”

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The Passage (The Passage, #1)

The Passage (The Passage, #1)

The Passage by Justin Cronin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Passage has been on my TBR list for years, but for some reason has always been pushed to the side in favor of something newer and shinier. Which is strange, because it contains a lot of elements that I really enjoy, or at least enjoy reading about, like vampires and the world spiraling into a dystopian apocalypse. Better late than never, I suppose. Once I finally picked this up, I was engrossed.

Before she became the Girl from Nowhere—the One Who Walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years—she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy. Amy Harper Bellafonte.

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Of Blood and Bone (Chronicles of the One, #2)

Of Blood and Bone (Chronicles of the One, #2)

Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am completely blown away by Nora’s newest venture. Chronicles of the One is a perfect blending of post-apocalyptic dystopia and epic fantasy. The fact that Nora, after decades of writing romance laced with tendrils of the supernatural, would take such a giant leap into writing a radically different story, is commendable. The fact that she not only pulled it off by absolutely nailed it commands respect. She has mine.

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Year One (Chronicles of the One, #1)

Year One (Chronicles of the One, #1)

Year One by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You had me scared there for a while, Nora, but you came through. Just in a way that was different from what I was expecting.

Have you ever picked up a book by an author you love and when you start reading it you keep having to remind yourself that said author wrote it? That was what I struggled with at the beginning of this book. Yes, the writing style I had come to love was still undoubtedly present. There’s just something about Nora’s prose that always resonates with me. As I’ve stated in previous reviews of her work, Nora’s novel’s are like a bubble bath for my brain; they’re what I turn to when I’m stressed or sick or just in the mood for comfort.

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