Mysteries are one of those hit-or-miss genres for me. Sometimes I’m able to guess the big twist or outcome or both within the first 100 pages, and then lose my patience with the rest of the narrative and the cast for not getting there faster. Sometimes the author includes wild twists for the sake of sensationalism that come out of left and field couldn’t have been predicted. Both types of mystery novels drive me a little crazy. The Guest List was neither of those. Told in a way that leaves you guessing without the sensationalism and populated with an interesting group of characters, I was invested through the final pages. …
Published: 1st October 2020 by Raven Books (Bloomsbury Publishing, UK), 6th October 2020 by Sourcebooks Landmark (US)
Atmospheric as hell and brilliantly crafted, Stuart Turton’s sophomore release, The Devil and the Dark Water, was one of the best mystery novels I’ve ever read, and it solidly cemented his status as a must-read author for me. …
The Devil and the Dark Water is a wonderful spin on a nautical mystery in the style of Sherlock Holmes. Featuring a stellar cast, a rich and atmospheric setting, chilling brushes with the supernatural and a grippingly paced plot, this was everything one could possibly hope for from a mystery novel. I found it incredibly clever, satisfyingly twisty and deliciously suspenseful. And it had an ending I didn’t see coming. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for more.
“Questions are swords and answers are shields… I’m begging you, armor yourself.”
I received an audio copy of this book from the publisher, Blackstone Publishing, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This time of year, all I want to do is cozy up with a book that’s going to suck me in and keep me distracted from the cold. And there’s nothing cozier in my opinion than a literary mystery. Any time a book or an author takes centerstage in a plot, I’m excited. That excitement often leaves me disappointed, as I tend to expect too much of these books for some reason. But sometimes I get my hands on a book that delivers. Escaping Dreamland is one such book. This is the first Charlie Lovett novel I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be my last. …
Published: 26th November 2020 by Bantam Press (UK) & 1st December 2020 by Tor Books (US)
An incredibly well-polished and absorbing sequel; out of all the books and series I’ve read this year, Hollow Empire is quite likely THE sequel that has the most significant improvement in overall quality over its predecessor.…
Boy’s Life is a beautifully written and captivating coming-of-age story.
I would like to highlight first of all that while this book might have won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1992, I would say that it was more akin to magic realism with a dose of horror in historical and fictional setting of a small town named Zephyr in Alabama.
For close to a decade I’ve thought that The Shadow of the Wind was one of the most brilliant novels I had ever read. I had no idea that it was a preamble, setting up for an even bigger story. And I truly believe that The Angel’s Game just scratched the surface; I can feel in my bones that there’s far more to come. I’ve also been reliably informed by TS and Petrik that all of the questions I found left frustratingly open at the end of this book will indeed be answered later in the series, which does nothing but add to my excitement.
“Poetry is written with tears, novels with blood, and history with invisible ink.”
The featured image above was specifically designed by Felix Ortiz for Novel Notions. We are ever so grateful for the opportunity to showcase his talent on our blogsite.
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.
The Angel of the Crows was a decent and fun read, though not at all what I was expecting from the blurb. This book is Sherlock Holmes fan-fiction written in the subgenre of wingfic, where some of the characters have wings (in this case, they are angels).