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Book Review: The Failures (The Wanderlands, #1) by Benjamin Liar

Book Review: The Failures (The Wanderlands, #1) by Benjamin Liar

This review is a copy of the transcript of my video review on The Failures

ARC provided by the publisher—DAW Books—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art by theBookDesigners

The Failures by Benjamin Liar

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Wanderlands (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Sci-fi, Post-apocalypse

Pages: 544 pages (Hardcover edition)

Published: 2nd July 2024 by DAW Books


The Failures is an extremely ambitious, mind-bending, and meticulously constructed debut novel.

“If we are truly just cogs, and part of some great machine, then it must run poorly indeed.”

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Book Review: The Fangs of War (The Blood and Steel Saga, #1) by E.J. Doble

Book Review: The Fangs of War (The Blood and Steel Saga, #1) by E.J. Doble

Cover art illustrated by Diego Spezzoni

The Fangs of War by E.J. Doble

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Sun Eater (Book #1 of 5)

Genre: Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 575 pages (Hardcover edition)

Published: 11th January 2022 (Self-Published)


It is an impressive feat that a young 21-year-old writer wrote and published a grimdark fantasy debut the like of The Fangs of War.

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Book Review: Winter’s Heart (The Wheel of Time, #9) by Robert Jordan

Book Review: Winter’s Heart (The Wheel of Time, #9) by Robert Jordan

Cover art illustrated by Scott M. Fischer

Winter’s Heart by Robert Jordan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Series: The Wheel of Time (Book #9 of 14)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 705 pages (Kindle edition)

Word Count: 238,000 words

Published: 7th November 2000 by Tor Books


This was so damn rough. Winter’s Heart is easily the weakest book in The Wheel of Time so far.

“A man who trusts everyone is a fool and a man who trusts no one is a fool. We are all fools if we live long enough.”

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Petrik’s Top 19 Books of the Year! (2023)

Petrik’s Top 19 Books of the Year! (2023)

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 (2023)

Between 1st January 2023 and 31st December 2023, I read 80 books + 177 manga/manhwa volumes (76.8k pages).

Please read this first. There will be three rules I set in this list 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 this year.

  • Rereads aren’t included.
  • One book per series.
  • The books listed here are not all exclusively published this year; the list consists of the top books I read for the first time this year. Non-2023 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. Honorable mentions are for two best novellas and two short stories I read this year. Without further ado, here are the top 15 (or 19) books I’ve read this year! (All full reviews of the books listed can be found on Novel Notions and my Goodreads page.)

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Book Review: The Prophet of Edan (The Edan Trilogy, #2) by Philip Chase

Book Review: The Prophet of Edan (The Edan Trilogy, #2) by Philip Chase

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by Kyra Gregory

The Prophet of Edan by Philip Chase

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Edan Trilogy (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 610 pages (Paperback edition)

Published: 21st June 2023 by Philip Chase (Self-Published)


For better or worse, The Prophet of Edan is a heavily action-packed sequel to The Way of Edan.

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Book Review: The Heart of What Was Lost (The Osten Ard Saga, #3.5) by Tad Williams

Book Review: The Heart of What Was Lost (The Osten Ard Saga, #3.5) by Tad Williams

Cover art illustrated by Michael Whelan

The Heart of What Was Lost by Tad Williams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Osten Ard Saga (Book #3.5 of 7)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 222 pages (Kindle edition)

Word Count: 78,000 words

Published: 3rd January 2017 by DAW Books


The Heart of What Was Lost is the action-packed epilogue to Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy, and it is also a great setup to The Last King of Osten Ard.

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Book Review: The God is Not Willing (The Witness, #1) by Steven Erikson

Book Review: The God is Not Willing (The Witness, #1) by Steven Erikson

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

Cover art illustrated by Steve Stone

The God is Not Willing by Steven Erikson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Series: The Witness (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic fantasy, Military Fantasy

Word Count: 191,000 words

Pages: 496 pages (Hardcover edition)

Published: 16th November 2021 by Tor Books (US) & 1st July 2021 by Bantam Press (UK)


The God is Not Willing made me sad. It might be time for me to admit everything in the Malazan universe beyond Malazan Book of the Fallen is not for me.

“Longing. Look for it, in every crowd, and you will find it. Paint it any colour you choose: grief, nostalgia, melancholy, remembrance, these are but flavours, poetic reflections.”

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Book Review: A War to End All (Manifest Delusions, #3) by Michael R. Fletcher & Clayton W. Snyder

Book Review: A War to End All (Manifest Delusions, #3) by Michael R. Fletcher & Clayton W. Snyder

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

Cover art illustrated by Andrew Maleski

A War to End All by Michael R. Fletcher & Clayton W. Snyder

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Series: Manifest Delusions (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 535 pages (Kindle edition)

Publish date: 18th September 2023 (Indie)


A War to End All is a philosophical and tepid conclusion to a brilliant grimdark fantasy series.

“The Old Gods were broken by wars and plagues of the mind, left reeling like the most bloodied veterans. Infected with horror at the cost of their actions, they retreated into dementia. Insanity as escape. Seeking to free themselves, they fled to a world of delusion, a world uncorrupted by jealousies and psychoses. And yet, in the end, even this they would pollute. So deep their need, so desperate their flight from their bitter past, they ignored the one truism all must bow before. Belief defines reality.”

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Book Review: The Silverblood Promise (The Last Legacy, #1) by James Logan

Book Review: The Silverblood Promise (The Last Legacy, #1) by James Logan

This review is a copy of the transcript of my video review on The Silverblood Promise.

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

Cover art illustrated by Jeff Brown

The Silverblood Promise by James Logan

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Legacy (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Word Count: 163,000 words

Pages: 544 pages (eBook edition)

Published: 25th April 2024 by Jo Fletcher (UK) & 7th May 2024 by Tor Books (US)


Next year is not even here yet, but the potential of The Silverblood Promise becoming, at least, one of the best fantasy debuts of 2024 is guaranteed.

“You can’t escape the past, Lukan. It’s our lifelong companion, always at our side.”

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Book Review: The Sunlit Man (The Cosmere) by Brandon Sanderson

Book Review: The Sunlit Man (The Cosmere) by Brandon Sanderson

This review is a copy of the transcript of my video review of The Sunlit Man.

Cover art illustrated by Kudriaken

The Sunlit Man by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Cosmere

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic fantasy

Word Count: 103,000 words

Pages: 447 pages (Kindle)

Published: 1st October 2023 by Dragonsteel Books (Kickstarter) & 10th October 2023 by Tor Books (US Ebook)/Gollancz (UK Ebook)


The Sunlit Man is a detailed exhibition of the bright future of Sanderson’s vision. Sooner or later, fans of the Cosmere must not miss reading this dedicated tribute novel from Brandon Sanderson to his readers.

“Ideals are like statues in the wind. They seem so permanent, but truth is, erosion happens subtly, constantly.”

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