Published: 2nd November 2021 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)
Will Wight keeps on upping his game; Reaper is the best book of this series so far for me and delivers one hell of a payoff!
You would think that the tenth book in a not yet completed series might be prone to losing some steam, and in many cases, you might be right. Regarding Reaper, the book that takes the Cradle series into double digits, you would be wrong. This is of course only my opinion and is greatly influenced by the spotlight being shone on my favourite character throughout, but that is just one aspect of the story. What makes this better than any other for me, is how much the story focuses on teamwork, and just like this plot, Wight has made all the different parts work together to result in what I believe to be the strongest Cradle entry to date and also the most revelatory.
The featured image above was specifically designed by Felix Ortiz for Novel Notions. We are ever so grateful for the opportunity to showcase his talent on our blogsite.
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.
Published: 1st March 2019 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)
The release of Underlord last year marked the exact moment I decided I have to read Cradle this year, and I can agree that this is the best of the series so far.
To elaborate upon what sparked my curiosity further, Underlord has a consistent and insanely high rating ever since its publication day. During the time of posting this review, the average rating of Underlord on Goodreads sits at 4.69 out of 6,450 ratings; on Amazon (US) it has an average rating 4.9 out of 1,049 ratings, and no one rated it below 3 stars on Amazon. These numbers and the barrage of personal recommendations from other readers were the two sole reasons why I ended up giving this series a go earlier than planned. What made Underlord even more awesome? A lot, but if I were to narrow it down to one main feature, it’s the significant characterizations and development given to the main characters.
“The baby squirrel had finally left the nest and grown into a…well, squirrels never turned into anything scary. Call it an ancient sacred squirrel.”
Published: 31st May 2018 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)
Started a bit stale for me but it ended up being a gripping and entertaining story with Dungeon Crawl element.
For this review, let’s start with why I haven’t given any books in the series a full 5 stars rating, shall we? If you want to know what the premise is about, read the official blurb at your own risk. Ghostwater is the fifth book in the Cradle series, and it didn’t start off as smoothly as I hoped. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the series very much and I continue to do so; my rating for each installment pretty much speaks for themselves. However, I want to love it more, if I were to be brutally honest, Cradle has been missing one crucial aspect that’s, more often than not, is very necessary for me to love a book even further: an empathizing main character. Up until now, the side characters—Yerin, Eithan, Orthos, Jai Long, Little Blue—were the characters that made the series shine for me. This notion of mine was proven even further with the inclusion of a new character in Ghostwater, an A.I named Dross which I loved ever since its first appearance. I don’t think I need to explain further how much I loved Eithan, Yerin, Mercy, Orthos; I have enjoyed reading about all the side characters more than I enjoyed reading about Lindon.
“And I can see your face so much clearly now! It’s…well, at least you have a wonderful spirit. Yes, indeed. That spirit of yours, wow.”