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TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : June 2022

TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : June 2022

Hello everyone!   I did wonder if I should keep up with my monthly wrap-up for June or do a half-year recap of best books read so far.   I decided with stick with the wrap-up in the end as I thought my Books of the Month will end up being on the half-year list anyway.

I can’t believe half of 2022 had passed by already.  Hope that all of you have been reading great books so far this year.    Before I start, can I just say that Stranger Things Season 4 was absolutely phenomenal!  I still can’t stop thinking about it, and that ending.

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: The Last Stand of Mary Good Crow (The Crystal Calamity, #1) by Rachel Aaron

Book Review: The Last Stand of Mary Good Crow (The Crystal Calamity, #1) by Rachel Aaron

ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review

Cover Art by Luisa Preißler.

The Last Stand of Mary Good Crow by Rachel Aaron

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Crystal Calamity (Book 1)

Genre: Fantasy, historical fantasy, alternate history

Published: 1st June 2022 (self-published)


The Last Stand of Mary Good Crow was another effortless winner from Rachel Aaron, brimming with imagination, wonderful characters and captivating magic. 

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Book Review: Spirit’s End (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #5) by Rachel Aaron

Book Review: Spirit’s End (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #5) by Rachel Aaron

Spirit’s End by Rachel Aaron

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Legend of Eli Monpress (Book #5 of 5)

Genre: Fantasy, high fantasy

Published: November 2012 by Orbit (UK and US)


Easily one of the most addictive and fun fantasy series I’ve read in recent memory, The Legend of Eli Monpress concluded most satisfactorily in Spirit’s End, and now occupies my list of favourites.

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Book Review: The Spirit War (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #4) by Rachel Aaron

Book Review: The Spirit War (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #4) by Rachel Aaron

The Spirit War by Rachel Aaron

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Legend of Eli Monpress (Book #4 of 5)

Genre: Fantasy, high fantasy

Published: June 2012 by Orbit (UK and US)


A new-found favourite, The Spirit War was a fantastic penultimate volume in The Legend of Eli Monpress, a series which just kept getting better. 

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Book Review: The Legend of Eli Monpress (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #1-3) by Rachel Aaron

Book Review: The Legend of Eli Monpress (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #1-3) by Rachel Aaron

The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Legend of Eli Monpress (Books #1-3 of 5)

Genre: Fantasy, high fantasy

Published:  February 2012 by Orbit (UK and US)


Rachel Aaron’s debut fantasy series, The Legend of Eli Monpress, was so addictively entertaining and fun that I blasted through all three books in the first omnibus in just four days.

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One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers, #2) by Rachel Aaron

One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers, #2) by Rachel Aaron

One Good Dragon Deserves AnotherCover art by Anna Steinbauer

One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron

My rating5 of 5 stars

Series: Heartstrikers (Book 2 of 5)

Genre: Urban fantasy

Published: 1st August 2015 (Aaron/Bach, self-published)


One Good Dragon Deserves Another is simply a sublime sequel.

I thoroughly enjoyed book one in The Heartstrikers series and was eagerly looking forward to more of the same with Rachel Aaron’s follow up book, One Good Dragon Deserves Another. Lucky for me, the author not only delivered on this expectation, but she also blew it out of the water! This book has every chance to be in my top ten at the end of the year! I LOVED IT.

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Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1) by Rachel Aaron

Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1) by Rachel Aaron

Nice Dragons Finish Last cover

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron

My rating4 of 5 stars

Series: Heartstrikers (Book 1 of 5)

Genre: Urban fantasy

Published: 13th July 2014 (Aaron/Bach, self-published)


Nice Dragons Finish Last is a delightful start to what looks like a very promising series.

I might love the fantasy genre, but urban fantasy has ever been my least favourite of its sub-genres, making this latest foray of mine a rarity. Despite my reservations, I am impressed though. Once again, my friend, TS, has proven that the title I have bestowed upon her – Queen of Recommendations – is not a ceremonial one in the least. I am confident that this series is going to be one of my favourites.

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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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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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Book Review: Night Shift Dragons (DFZ, #3) by Rachel Aaron

Book Review: Night Shift Dragons (DFZ, #3) by Rachel Aaron

Night Shift Dragons by Rachel Aaron

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: DFZ (Book 3 of 3)

Genre: Urban fantasy

Published: 5th May 2020 (Aaron/Bach, self-published)


Night Shift Dragons delivered a spectacular and hugely emotionally satisfying conclusion to Rachel Aaron’s follow-up urban fantasy series set in the insanely cool, quirky and vibrant free city of the DFZ. 

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