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Book Review: Locklands (The Founders Trilogy, #3) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Book Review: Locklands (The Founders Trilogy, #3) by Robert Jackson Bennett

ARC was provided by the publisher—Del Rey—in exchange for an honest review.

Locklands by Robert Jackson Bennett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Founders Trilogy (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Science Fantasy, Urban High Fantasy, Science Fiction

Pages: 560 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 28th June 2022 by Del Rey (US) & Jo Fletcher (UK)


Locklands is a truly inventive, emotional, genre-blending, and reality-defying finish to The Founders Trilogy.

“We’re all the result of countless actions and choices made throughout the centuries, and the odds of those actions and choices going the exact same way again are basically nil.”

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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: Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1) by Dan Simmons

Book Review: Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1) by Dan Simmons

Hyperion (Simmons novel) - Wikipedia

 

Hyperion by Dan Simmons

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Hyperion Cantos (Book #1 of 4)

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

Pages: 483 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 26th May 1989 by Spectra


My 600th review goes to Hyperion, an imaginative and magnificent classic science fiction novel.

After years of having Hyperion by Dan Simmons on my TBR, I can finally say that I’ve read this beloved classic sci-fi novel. Before I started reading this novel, I didn’t know much about the premise or the content of the Hyperion except that there’s this creature called The Shrike in it, and also this book or series is one of the most beloved and highly praised sci-fi novels of all time. I’m actually pretty shocked that Hyperion was first published in 1989. This felt like a book written way ahead of its time, and I’m not surprised this has become a classic now. Hyperion has been on my TBR pile for almost 6 years, and because I’ve been missing sci-fi a lot lately, I thought I might as well read this series now, and I’m definitely not disappointed by the first installment of the series.

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Book Review: Upgrade by Blake Crouch

Book Review: Upgrade by Blake Crouch


Upgrade by Blake Crouch
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this novel from the publisher, Ballantine Books, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

When I received an email announcing not only the galley release of Upgrade, but my randomly pre-approved status for it, I was ecstatic. I legitimately squealed. Dark Matter and Recursion were both instant favorites for me, so I couldn’t wait to read whatever Crouch had written next. Then I read the synopsis, which immediately brought to mind the movie and subsequent tv series, Limitless. I loved both iterations of the story, so my excitement swelled even larger. But Upgrade took that basic premise and encompassed not only the radical expansion of the mind, but of the workings of the body, as well. Even more amazing!

“The greatest threat to our species lies within us.”

However, whether due to my irrationally high expectations and excitement or the fact that I might not have been quite intelligent enough for this book, Upgrade left me feeling vaguely disappointed. While still a good story, it didn’t pack the same punch for me as its two predecessors. Subjectively, at least. Remember that this is strictly my opinion from my own experience with the book. No doubt this will be on several Best of 2022 lists. It just won’t be on mine.

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TS’s Best Reads of 2021

TS’s Best Reads of 2021

This is my journey in books for 2021!

Hi everyone, TS here!  Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge that I’ve been inconsistent in my blogging/reviewing on Novel Notions this year.   I couldn’t find the energy or will or brain-power as I found myself in a new expanded role at work that has a challenging learning curve, and discovered that I enjoy cooking and baking (even embarked on sourdough) so much that I started spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

I did manage to meet my reading challenge of 100 books this year regardless, and it’s probably the most diverse year of reading that I’ve had in my entire life.   While fantasy remains my favourite genre for its sense of wonder, I found myself gravitating a lot towards mysteries this year, and also reading a lot more non-fiction.

I’ve decided to organise my best reads of 2021 a bit differently from prior years, somewhat thematically instead of the usual parameters and rankings.

And we’ll start with….

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Book Review: Leviathan Falls (The Expanse, #9) by James S.A. Corey

Book Review: Leviathan Falls (The Expanse, #9) by James S.A. Corey

Cover Illustration by: Daniel Dociu

Leviathan Falls by James S.A. Corey

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Expanse (Book #9 of 9)

Genre: Sci-fi, Space Opera

Pages: 543 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 26th March 2019 by Orbit


My last review of 2021 is for the conclusion to the first big space opera series of novels I’ve ever finished to its completion, and I’m glad it’s The Expanse.

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Book Review: Cytonic (Skyward, #3) by Brandon Sanderson

Book Review: Cytonic (Skyward, #3) by Brandon Sanderson

Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson

My rating:  4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Skyward (Book 3 of 4)

Genre: Science fiction, young adult

Published: 23rd November 2021 by Gollancz (UK) and Delacorte Press (US)


No surprises, Cytonic was a superb read filled with brilliantly creative worldbuilding and compelling characterisation that I’ve always expected, and received, from Sanderson.

It all started with a novella that he wrote and submitted to a magazine way back before he was even published. That piece of work received an honourable mention at the Writers of the Future contest in 2003, and after substantial re-editing in 2008 won first place in the UPC Science Fiction Award in Spain, and was published in the Oct/Nov 2008 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction.  However, for the most of the past decade, most readers have only known Sanderson as a bestselling fantasy author as aside from a few short stories, he had not really written a science fiction series.  That is, not until Skyward came about – and it was just as fantastic as his fantasy writing. The fact that it’s YA took away nothing from his ability to spin the most incredibly engaging stories set in the most imaginative settings.

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Book Review: Blacklight Born (The Combat Codes Saga, #3) by Alexander Darwin

Book Review: Blacklight Born (The Combat Codes Saga, #3) by Alexander Darwin

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

Cover art illustrated by: Felix Ortiz

Cover art designed by: STK.Kreations

Blacklight Born by Alexander Darwin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: The Combat Codes Saga (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Science fiction, Dystopia, Martial Arts

Pages: 379 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 14th July 2021 by Insight Forge Press (Self-published)


To my own bafflement, I finally finished reading a series for the first time this year.

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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: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Book Review: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

ARC provided by Goodreads & the publisher—Scribner—in exchange for an honest review.

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical fiction, Science fiction, Literary fiction

Pages: 656 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 28th September 2021 by Scribner


Cloud Cuckoo Land is more ambitious and complex than All the Light We Cannot See in every possible way.

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