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Book Review: Dark Theory (Dark Law, #1) by Wick Welker

Book Review: Dark Theory (Dark Law, #1) by Wick Welker

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

Cover art by: Damonza

Dark Theory by Wick Welker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Dark Law (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Science Fantasy, Post Apocalyptic

Pages: 796 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 17th April 2022 by Wick Welker (Self-Published)


Dark Theory is an ambitious and imaginative blend of fantasy and hard science fiction.

“You get a little older—either wiser or dimmer, not sure—and you realize the questions don’t matter. It’s what you do with the mystery that matters.”

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Book Review: Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1) by Octavia Butler

Book Review: Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1) by Octavia Butler

Cover art illustrated by Paul Lewin

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Earthseed Duology (Book #1 of 2)

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic

Pages: 356 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: October 1993 by Del Rey


Parable of the Sower is hard to put down, harrowing, and much darker than I expected.

“There is no end
To what a living world
Will demand of you.”

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Book Review: Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

Book Review: Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang


Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sometimes you need to read something that stretches you. Or at least, I do. Because reading is such a vital part of my life, and something to which I give such a large portion of my time, I try to read things on occasion that push me to think outside of myself. It’s been a long while since I found a book that did that as successfully as Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others. I felt as if I were trying to keep my head above water the entire time I was reading it, but in the best way possible. Chiang raises some truly profound moral, theological, and philosophical questions, and he does so in a way that doesn’t lead you to any specific conclusion. Sometimes it’s enough to think and to question, and Chiang’s stories give readers the freedom to do just that. It was completely unclear what type of worldview he was writing from, which I actually loved. More than one of these stories had some heavy religious connotations, but felt neither like proselytization or a subtle ridicule of believers. That is a very difficult balance to strike in one story, let along an entire collection. I am in awe of Chiang’s mind, and was equally awed by every single story housed in this book.

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TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : July 2022

TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : July 2022

Hi everyone, can’t believe that I’m back for another monthly wrap-up so soon.  I’ve been getting back in the groove with some high/epic fantasy books in July, although I did feel a need to switch gears a bit after reading a pretty darn big one, which was none other than the massive sixth book in the Wheel of Time series.

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: Foundryside (The Founders Trilogy, #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Book Review: Foundryside (The Founders Trilogy, #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett

 

Foundryside

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Founders Trilogy (Book #1 of 3)

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

Pages: 512 pages (Hardcover)

Published: 1st August 2018 by Crown (US) & Jo Fletcher (UK)


Thrillingly fun and highly imaginative, Foundryside is one of the most promising starts to a series I have read.

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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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