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Short Story Review: Hounds by Clayton Snyder

Short Story Review: Hounds by Clayton Snyder

Hounds by Clayton Snyder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Grimdark
Pages: 15 pages (Kindle Edition)
Published: Grimdark Magazine #30, 22 April 2022


Short stories are tough to review, especially in the case of Hounds. There’s a very limited amount of real estate you can work with, and Snyder tips his hand at many new ideas and characters that we barely get to spend time any time with. Before we know it, the story is over, and I’m left wanting more – which is a good thing! On the flip side, why introduce certain elements if they’re never going to be dug into? Not that every detail must be explored, but I felt that a lot of potentially interesting ideas were just barely touched upon and then dropped entirely, be it an allusion to power, a relationship status or history, a mention of ancillary characters, or important world-building elements. In some cases, less is more, but I would have appreciated more being more, here.

Onto the story itself.

Hounds is about making tough choices while raising children out in the wilds of a plague-infested land. In this world, the morality is so grey that our narrator must consistently remind himself to take the higher ground. But as the story progresses, what constitutes the higher ground keeps changing for the worse. When there’s no easy choices left, at what point should survival be considered optional?

It is a bleak story with a dark ending, and Snyder’s writing is powerful and effective at conveying the hopelessness of the narrator’s journey. But without knowing more about the surrounding circumstances, I couldn’t fully relate to the decisions of the narrator. There was a bit of a disconnect in understanding his motivation and reasoning. However, the experience of reading the story itself I very much enjoyed; Snyder has a knack for quickly creating effective atmosphere in his stories and Hounds brings this in spades. If you’re a fan of creeping dread, walls-closing-in tales of paranoia, then this is a story for you.

Petrik’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2021)

Petrik’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2021)

This list is also available on my Booktube Channel if that’s what you preferred: https://youtu.be/wZY-JG9HUgQ

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 (2021)

It’s that time of the year again, y’all. 2021 is ending in a week. This year, I managed to read 130 books. This number includes 72 traditionally published books, 21 self-published/indie books, 37 manga volumes (I’ve read so many more manga volumes but I’ve decided to only include 37 here.)

In comparison to the previous years, whether it’s by pages count or the number of books, this is my lowest reading performance so far. There are details behind this reason, but really when it comes down to it, it’s because this is the first full year I became a Booktuber. In addition to reading and writing reviews, now I also record, edit, and upload videos to my YouTube Channel. My reading “performance” definitely suffers because of it, but not going to lie, I’m happy to make that sacrifice. As for the quality of the books I read, this is another incredible reading year, so let’s get to it immediately. As usual, I will be applying a few rules into this list:

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-2021 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 20 books I’ve read in 2021! (All full reviews of the books listed can be found on Novel Notions and my Goodreads page

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Book Review: The Wisdom of Crowds (The Age of Madness, #3) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: The Wisdom of Crowds (The Age of Madness, #3) by Joe Abercrombie

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

Cover illustration by: Tomas Almeida

The Wisdom of Crowds by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Age of Madness (Book #3 of 3), First Law World (Book, #10 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Pages: 529 pages (UK Hardback)

Published: 14th September 2021 by Gollancz (UK) & Orbit (US)


Joe Abercrombie is a genius storyteller. The Wisdom of Crowds is one of the best books of the year, a masterfully crafted conclusion to The Age of Madness trilogy.

“What is the point of gathering knowledge if one does not pass it on? What is the point of growing old if one does not try to shape the future?”

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Petrik’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (1st January-30th June 2021)

Petrik’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (1st January-30th June 2021)

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 (2021)

Between 1st January 2021 until 30th June 2021, I’ve read and reviewed 51 books (25k 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-2021 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 10 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.)

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Read-a-long for Joe Abercrombie’s The Age of Madness Trilogy (A Little Hatred, Chapters 10-18)

Read-a-long for Joe Abercrombie’s The Age of Madness Trilogy (A Little Hatred, Chapters 10-18)

Hi everyone,

Petrik and Eon here, we’ll keep this introduction brief. We’re so excited that we get to be the second-in-line to host the read-along event for A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie. It’s truly an honor for both of us to be given this opportunity, especially because Joe Abercrombie’s books are some of our favorite books of all time. Today, we’ll be discussing Chapter 10-18 of A Little Hatred. There will be heavy spoilers for these chapters, so if you haven’t read the book, please go read them first!

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Book Review + Cover Reveal: Dark Sea’s End (Beyond Ash and Sand, #1) by Richard Nell

Book Review + Cover Reveal: Dark Sea’s End (Beyond Ash and Sand, #1) by Richard Nell

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

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

Cover art illustrated by: Felix Ortiz

Cover art designed by: STK.Kreations

Dark Sea’s End by Richard Nell

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Beyond Ash and Sand (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy

Word count: Roughly 80k words

Published: 1st June 2021 by Richard Nell (Self-Published)


Dark Sea’s End is a heart-pounding return to the world of Ash and Sand, and I’m sure the future of it will be as brilliant.

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Book Review: Priest of Gallows (War for the Rose Throne, #3) by Peter McLean

Book Review: Priest of Gallows (War for the Rose Throne, #3) by Peter McLean

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

ARC provided by the publisher—Jo Fletcher—in exchange for an honest review.

Priest of Gallows by Peter McLean

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: War for the Rose Throne (Book #3 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy

Pages: 384 pages (Paperback edition)

Published: 27th May 2021 by Jo Fletcher


Priest of Gallows was addictive and instantly immersive as ever.

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Book Review: Red Country (First Law World, #6) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: Red Country (First Law World, #6) by Joe Abercrombie

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

(This is a repost of an old review I wrote in July 2017)

Cover art illustrated by: Didier Graffet & Dave Senior

Red Country by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: First Law World (Book #6 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy, Westerns

Pages: 452 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 18th October 2012 by Gollancz (UK) and 23rd October 2012 by Orbit (US)


Say one thing for Abercrombie, say he knows how to make me love his book even when the setting is Western.

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Book Review: The Heroes (First Law World, #5) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: The Heroes (First Law World, #5) by Joe Abercrombie

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

(This is a repost of an old review I wrote in July 2017)

Cover art illustrated by: Didier Graffet & Dave Senior

The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: First Law World (Book #5 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Pages: 664 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 27th January 2011 by Gollancz (UK) and 7th February 2011 by Orbit (US)


The Heroes depicted an unforgettable three days of intricate battles; Joe Abercrombie has once again proved himself to be my shining star in grimdark fantasy.

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Book Review: Best Served Cold (First Law World, #4) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: Best Served Cold (First Law World, #4) by Joe Abercrombie

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

(This is a repost of an old review I wrote in July 2017)

Cover art illustrated by: Didier Graffet & Dave Senior

Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: First Law World (Book #4 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Pages: 664 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 5th June 2009 by Gollancz (UK) and 29th July 2009 by Orbit (US)


A magnificent tale of vengeance filled with bloody actions, betrayal, and humor.

“One cannot grow without pain. One cannot improve without it. Suffering drives us to achieve great things.”

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