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Book Review: The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower, #4.5) by Stephen King

Book Review: The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower, #4.5) by Stephen King


The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The stories we hear in childhood are the ones we remember all our lives.”

The Wind Through the Keyhole is a story within a story within yet another story. It’s a Russian nesting doll of a book of the highest class. No, the highest caliber is a more fitting description, I suppose, for this gunslinger’s fairytale. I loved it in the same way I loved The Eyes of the Dragon, but perhaps even more fervently. Actually, I did something I don’t recall ever doing before; I left a bookmark right at the beginning of the fairytale portion when I re-shelved the book, so I could flip it open and read just that section whenever I choose.

“Sometimes I feel the world has come loose of its moorings.”
“It has,” I said. “But what comes loose can be tied tight again…”

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Book Review: Krampus: The Yule Lord, by Brom

Book Review: Krampus: The Yule Lord, by Brom


Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Picking up Krampus: The Yule Lord started out as a bit of a joke. I was reading A Christmas Carol, which has been my Christmas tradition for about a decade now, and decided to balance it out with something completely different. I went into Krampus fully expecting a horror novel that ripped Christmas apart. What I got was wildly different and infinitely more powerful. This book was profound and though-provoking and so much more emotional than I anticipated. Strangely enough, Krampus ended up being one of my favorite books of the year, providing a depth and nuance to famous and infamous figures that surprised me, as well as giving me a cast of new characters to root for. I have never been more pleasantly surprised by a book with such a disturbing cover. Which was also done by Brom. The man is an incredible artist.

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Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire, #1) by Jay Kristoff

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire, #1) by Jay Kristoff

Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been looking forward to Empire of the Vampire since the day it was announced. I pre-ordered it as soon as the link to do so went live. So to say that my expectations for this book were high would be a drastic understatement. Which makes it all the more impressive that I found those expectations not only met and surpassed, but completely blown away. I loved everything about this book, and after having loved the Nevernight trilogy fervently, Kristoff’s adult fantasy is something that I will immediately and always purchase.

“We are hope for the hopeless. The fire in the night. We will walk the dark as they do, and they shall know our names and despair. For so long as they burn, we shall be flame. So long as they bleed, we shall be blades. So long as they sin, we shall be saints.”

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Book Review: Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

Book Review: Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

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

Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Horror, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 432 pages (US Hardcover edition)

Published: 2nd October 2012 by Ace (US)


A bleak historical fantasy/horror about life, death, faith, and hope.

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Book Review: Black House (The Talisman, #2) by Stephen King and Peter Straub

Book Review: Black House (The Talisman, #2) by Stephen King and Peter Straub


Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For some reason, I wasn’t expecting much from Black House. While I really enjoyed The Talisman, the first novel in this duology, I feel like I’ve heard a good bit of negative commentary about this particular book in the past. Can I actually pinpoint any of said comments? Nope. Not a one. Maybe I was thinking about a different book. Because Black House was everything I should have expected: scary, moving, and vital to the Dark Tower.

“I must not be so bad if I have a friend like that.”

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Book Review: City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Book Review: City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett

(This is a repost of an old review I wrote in May 2018)

Cover art illustrated by: Sam Weber

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series:The Divine Cities (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Urban fantasy, Post-apocalyptic, Horror

Pages: 452 pages (US paperback edition)

Published: 9th September 2014 by Broadway Books (US) & 2nd April 2015 by Jo Fletcher Books (UK)


A truly wonderful start to a trilogy and one of the most original world-building I’ve ever had the chance to experience in a novel.

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Book Review: Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King

Book Review: Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King


Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I read this book and wrote big portions of this review while ill. So if it doesn’t make a ton of sense, that’s why. In my defense, the book made less and less sense as I read it, the stories flowing less effortlessly and feeling more forced. Which is common with King. Sticking the landing just isn’t his strength.

Out of all of the Stephen King books I’ve read, this one is by far the strangest, at least in terms of set-up. It’s not a novel, per se, nor is it a collection of short stories. These interconnected novellas become more and more dependent on one another as they progress, telling different facets of the same story in a way.

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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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Book Review: Hellmouth by Giles Kristian

Book Review: Hellmouth by Giles Kristian

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

Cover art designed by: Stephen Mulcahey

HELLMOUTH: A novella by Giles Kristian

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical fiction, Horror

Pages: 52 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 19th February 2021 by Giles Kristian (Self-Published)


Hellmouth is a bloody terrifying blend of historical fiction and horror.

“In the absence of light, darkness prevails”

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Book Review: From a Buick 8 by Stephen King

Book Review: From a Buick 8 by Stephen King


From a Buick 8 by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From a Buick 8 was way more interesting than I expected. Honestly, this is one of the few novels in King’s backlist that I would have had no qualms skipping if it hadn’t been on the suggested expanded Dark Tower reading list I found here. I had no desire to read about a supernatural car. Freaky inanimate objects don’t really do it for me. Most of the time, anyway. I should’ve remembered the topiaries in The Shining. Because this unnatural Buick ended up being pretty darn creepy. I was expecting Christine or James Dean’s Little Bastard. That’s so not what was delivered.

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