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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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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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Book Review: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

Book Review: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby


Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book, y’all. Razorblade Tears broke my heart and kept me on the edge of my seat in equal measures. It’s a superb piece of crime fiction with powerful messages about racism, sexuality, and accepting your loved ones for who they are, no matter how different they might be, before you run out of chances. It’s about vengeance and justice and learning that you can still grow even when you’ve been set in your ways for longer than you can remember. It’s about family, both that which you’re born into and that which you build for yourself along the way. It’s about grief and how, sometimes, you don’t even feel like you deserve to feel it. Above all, this is a story that felt honest and real and true at its core, despite being a work of fiction.

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Book Review: The People We Keep by Allison Larkin

Book Review: The People We Keep by Allison Larkin


The People We Keep by Allison Larkin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those times when I’m really thankful for Book of the Month. For some reason, The People We Keep isn’t a book I’ve really heard mentioned anywhere else. If it hadn’t been one of BotM’s options, I might have never heard of it, much less picked it up. I’m so incredibly thankful that I did, though. The People We Keep is a heartbreakingly beautiful story that perfectly balances sorrow and joy. With a diverse cast of larger-than-life characters and a protagonist that I not only rooted for but wished I could pluck from the pages and adopt, this book filled my heart to the bursting point and gave me an even greater appreciation for all of the wonderful people in my own life.

“We have people we get to keep, who won’t ever let us go. And that’s the most important part. That’s what’s true.”

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Book Review: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Book Review: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles


A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Gentleman in Moscow is a book that has been on my shelf almost since its publication in 2016. I’ve heard remarkable things about Towles’s style and characterization. However, I had also heard that it was a quiet book, a slow story softly told, so I decided that I would have to be in just exactly the right mood to pick it up. I was so wrong. While I understand the quiet description, as the plot follows our protagonist after he is sentenced to a life of house arrest within the walls of Moscow’s Metropol Hotel, it was by no means slow. Yes, the story was obviously constrained in setting by our main character’s confinement, but his life was still so tremendously full that I never felt like that pace wasn’t being propelled forward quickly enough. A Gentleman in Moscow is a beautiful, moving, utterly charming story, with characters who won my heart completely and prose that I wanted to sink into and live inside forever.

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