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Book Review: Fairy Tale by Stephen King

Book Review: Fairy Tale by Stephen King


Fairy Tale by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“That much is true about songs (and many stories) even in my own world. They speak mind to mind, but only if you listen.”

Fairy Tale has been one of my most anticipated reads of the 2022 since it was announced. I preordered it in February, the day it first became available. So to say my expectations were sky-high would be an understatement. Reading anything you’ve been looking forward to for that long with your hopes for it residing somewhere in the clouds is always a tenuous undertaking. While Fairy Tale didn’t disappoint, it couldn’t quite live up to the hype in my head.

“it’s the stories of our childhood that make the deepest impressions and last the longest.”

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Book Review: Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution, by R.F. Kuang

Book Review: Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution, by R.F. Kuang


Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.”

Every once in a while, you read a book that you can tell is something special. Not just because the story or characters are exceptional. Not just because the pacing is perfect and the prose is exquisite. Not just because it covers important topics in new ways. No, sometimes the book you’re reading is special because you know that it will go beyond standing the test of time; it’s destined to become a classic. You can see this book not only still being read a century from now, but being discussed in a classroom setting. Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translator’s Revolution is such a book. It tackles some truly weighty material, specifically colonialism and racism, in profoundly eye-opening ways. It houses a discourse on etymology and translation that is absolutely fascinating. And even while balancing all of these dense topics, Kuang still manages to create an incredible cast of characters that experience a phenomenal among of growth, as well as a perfectly paced, page-turning plot where the stakes are high and the emotions wrought in the reader are even higher. I can’t think of a superlative strong enough to adequately convey how powerful and nigh-on perfect Babel is as a piece of art.

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Book Review: The Jade Setter of Janloon (The Green Bone Saga, #0.5) by Fonda Lee

Book Review: The Jade Setter of Janloon (The Green Bone Saga, #0.5) by Fonda Lee

ARC was provided by the publisher—Subterranean Press—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Charis Loke

The Jade Setter of Janloon by Fonda Lee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Green Bone Saga (Book #0.5 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Urban Epic Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Pages: 144 pages (Hardback edition)

Published: 30th April 2022 by Subterranean Press


The Jade Setter of Janloon is an exhilarating and heartfelt appetizer or dessert to The Green Bone Saga, depending on when you start this novella.

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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 Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

Book Review: The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd


The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Cartographers is one of those books that I added to my most anticipated list as soon as the cover and blurb were released. A literary mystery revolving around maps and map-making, with a dose of magical realism to boot? That sounded so very much up my alley that I snatched it up as soon as Book of the Month announced it as a March pick, and have been very much looking forward to it. The fact that it was only in my house for a couple of months before picking up is saying something, as even highly anticipated have my massive TBR to compete with before I manage to get to them. But unfortunately, I think my experience with The Cartographers is a case of letting anticipation spoil whatever is being anticipated, because it fell quite flat for me.

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Book Review: Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: an Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang

Book Review: Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: an Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang

ARC was provided by the publisher—Harper Voyager—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Nico Delort

Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: an Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Dark Academia

Pages: 560 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 23rd August 2022 by Harper Voyager


Babel was absolutely impressive, ambitious, and intelligently crafted. As unbelievable as it sounds, R.F. Kuang has triumphed over The Poppy War Trilogy—which I loved so much—with this one book.

“Language was always the companion of empire, and as such, together they begin, grow, and flourish. And later, together, they fall.”

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Book Review: Elektra, by Jennifer Saint

Book Review: Elektra, by Jennifer Saint


Elektra by Jennifer Saint
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nothing reeks of trauma and death and shattered dreams quite like a Greek tragedy. Even the more heroic epics, such as The Iliad, often see the heroes victorious but slain among their enemies. But what of those left behind, those doomed to pick up the pieces in the aftermath? What of those stepped on and over by these so-called heroes on their path to glory? What of their “prizes,” those they claim as trophies after their victories? In other words, what of the women?

“Can’t you see that it just goes on, over and over? The gods demand their justice, but we suffer for it, every time.”

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Book Review: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Book Review: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry


The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is another of those books that’s been sitting on my shelf for years, but news of an upcoming adaption made me finally pick it up. I didn’t expect to love The Essex Serpent. I bought it at a library sale because the cover is stunning, but it sounded more than a bit slow, and I’m not a huge reader of historical fiction. However, when Tom Hiddleston was cast as one of the leads in the television series, I knew I had to finally dust it off and read it. I’m so incredibly thankful that I did, because this novel was gorgeous. I was incredibly surprised by how much I ended up loving it.

“If love were an archer someone had put out its eyes, and it went stumbling about, blindly letting loose its arrows, never meeting its mark.”

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Book Review: Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree

Book Review: Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree

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

Cover art illustrated by: Carson Lowmiller

Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Slice-of-Life

Pages: 318 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 22nd February 2022 by Cryptid Press (Self-Published)


Legends and Lattes is the wholesome and cozy fantasy you didn’t know you need.

For those of you who don’t know, Travis Baldree has been well known for his role as the audiobook narrator behind Will Wight’s Cradle series. And many other series, really. Legends and Lattes is his debut novel, and I do think Baldree should now be known for his fantasy novel, too. I wouldn’t have known about Legends and Lattes if it weren’t for Twitter. Most of you probably know already, almost all of my favorite novels and stories are intense, emotional, dark, and serious in tone. But I do love slice-of-life as a genre as well. When I saw the cover art—illustrated by Carson Lowmiller—to Legends and Lattes on Twitter, with the premise indicating this is a high fantasy novel with low stakes, I knew I couldn’t go wrong with my expectations entering this book. I knew immediately I should read this when I’m in the mood for something short, cozy, and wholesome. Despite loving slice-of-life in other storytelling mediums such as manga, anime, and TV shows, I seem to struggle to find a terrific slice-of-life fantasy novel. But I got what I wanted here. Legends and Lattes is the slice-of-life fantasy novel I craved and received.

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