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TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : Sept 2022

TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : Sept 2022

Hello all, and welcome back to my monthly wrap-up.  As real-life work pressures crank up for the final quarter of year, I found myself reading a bit slower for the month of September.   It’s also getting harder and harder for me to even come up with short reviews.  Thankfully, I was still able to write a bit more for the Book of the Months, as it felt right to do so.  And yes, it’s Books of the Month as there were two which both scored 5-stars and earned a spot amongst my favourite books.

NB. Books are rated within its genre.  For avoidance of doubt, rereads are not considered for Book of the Month.

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TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : Aug 2022

TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : Aug 2022

Hi everyone!  The month of August had been incredible, and not only from the perspective of the great reads that I had as you will see from the ratings of the books below.

What made this month phenomenal for me was The Sandman TV adaptation on Netflix, which is now one of my all favourite adaptations of all-time.  It’s been almost a full month since its release on 5th August, and I’m still obsessed with the show ( and especially with Morpheus, Dream of the Endless, King of Dreams and Nightmares, etc etc).  I loved the audiobook which came out a couple of years ago, but I’ve to say TV show was better.   It was as faithful an adaptation as it could be to fit the medium, and I personally found that the changes that were made served the story better in current times.  I also couldn’t believe that I would ever say I found a better Morpheus than James McAvoy, but Tom Sturridge was simply sublime and beyond perfect for this role.  I’ve rewatched the entire show at least once, and Morpheus’ scenes countless times.

I could keep rambling on and on about The Sandman, and perhaps I might write a post about it later this year.  For now, let’s get back to my bookish monthly wrap-up shall we?

NB. Books are rated within its genre.  For avoidance of doubt, rereads are not considered for Book of the Month.

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Book Review: Speaking Bones (The Dandelion Dynasty, #4) by Ken Liu

Book Review: Speaking Bones (The Dandelion Dynasty, #4) by Ken Liu

Cover art illustrated by: Tony Mauro

Speaking Bones by Ken Liu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Dandelion Dynasty (Book #4 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Silkpunk

Pages: 1047 pages (Hardcover Edition)

Published: 21st June 2022 by Saga Press (US) & Head of Zeus (UK)


I am labeling Ken Liu as a genius. Speaking Bones has launched The Dandelion Dynasty to become the best series of 2022.

“What did that goddess-like lady say? If you do not like the stories you’ve been told, fill your heart with new stories. If you do not like the script you’ve been given, design for yourself new roles.”

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Book Review: The Veiled Throne (The Dandelion Dynasty, #3) by Ken Liu

Book Review: The Veiled Throne (The Dandelion Dynasty, #3) by Ken Liu

Cover art illustrated by: Sam Weber

The Veiled Throne by Ken Liu

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Dandelion Dynasty (Book #3 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Silkpunk

Pages: 1008 pages (Hardcover Edition)

Published: 7th December 2021 by Saga Press (US) & 11th November 2021 by Head of Zeus (UK)


The Veiled Throne is a marvelous story. It is a unique and superbly-written first half to the concluding installment of The Dandelion Dynasty.

“Though each individual mortal experiences life for but a score of years, they can draw upon a store of stories left by all their forbearers. The race of humankind grows toward infinity, even as the nature of each individual is limited. Nature may describe tendencies and circumscribe potentialities, but it is within the power of each soul to nurture itself for another life, to imagine a course not taken, to strive for a different view. Through that yearning by the finite for the infinite, the portraits painted by all the mortal eyes may yet piece together a grander truth than our divine understanding.”

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Petrik’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (1st January-27th June 2022)

Petrik’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (1st January-27th June 2022)

 

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 (2022)

Between 1st January 2021 and 27th June 2022, I’ve read 39 novels + 55 manga/manhwa volumes (31k 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-2022 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: The Wall of Storms (The Dandelion Dynasty, #2) by Ken Liu

Book Review: The Wall of Storms (The Dandelion Dynasty, #2) by Ken Liu

Cover art illustrated by: Sam Weber

The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Dandelion Dynasty (Book #2 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Silkpunk

Pages: 880 pages (Hardcover Edition)

Published: 4th October 2016 by Saga Press (US) & Head of Zeus (UK)


A mind-blowing masterpiece. The Wall of Storms is the best second book of a series I’ve read since Words of Radiance.

“Hope was the currency that never ran out, and it was the fate of the poor to toil and endure, wasn’t it?”

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Book Review: The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1) by Ken Liu

Book Review: The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1) by Ken Liu

Cover art illustrated by: Sam Weber

The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Dandelion Dynasty (Book #1 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Silkpunk

Pages: 640 pages (Hardcover Edition)

Published: 7th April 2015 by Saga Press (US) & 4th June 2015 by Head of Zeus (UK)


This debut is super underrated. Ken Liu’s reimagining of the birth of China’s Han Dynasty is nothing short of epic, complex, thrilling, and heartbreaking.

“Read a lot of books and try a lot of recipes…When you learn enough about the world, even a blade of grass can be a weapon.”

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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: The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

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

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

Cover illustration by: Quentin Trollip

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Thriller, Magical Realism, Historical Fiction

Pages: 464 pages (US Hardback)

Published: 10th March 2016 by Head of Zeus (UK) & 8th March 2016 by Gallery / Saga Press (US)


The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories is an intimately powerful and beautiful collection of stories that encompassed some of the most relatable themes to our society, and some stories contained in this collection felt personal and evocative to me.

“Every act of communication is a miracle of translation.”

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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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