Book Haul – 22 November 2022

I have been having an absolutely fantastic week for book, as I have been lucky enough to receive several incredible and amazing new novels from some of my local publishers.  These novels include some truly awesome new releases, some of which rank amongst my top books of 2022.  I am extremely keen to check out all of the books below and they should make for some amazing reads.

Death to the Emperor by Simon Scarrow

Death to the Emperor Cover

The first book I recently received was the latest historical epic from the master of Roman historical fiction, Simon Scarrow, with Death to the Emperor.  The 21st book in his amazing Eagles of the Emperor series (which has previously featured such awesome reads like The Blood of Rome, Traitors of Rome, The Emperor’s Exile and The Honour of Rome), Death to the Emperor puts Scarrow’s long-running protagonists in the middle of Boudica’s rebellion in Britannia.  I have actually already read this amazing book and it proved to be particularly captivating and action-packed.  Review to follow soon.

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Retribution by Sarah Barrie

Retribution Cover

Next up is the outstanding Australian thriller Retribution by Sarah Barrie.  A sequel to Barrie’s dark 2021 read, Unforgiven, Retribution presents several intriguing, interlocked cases that tie into the events of the last book and sees her maverick protagonist once again try to take down the deadly antagonist from Unforgiven. I have already started reading this fantastic novel and I can’t wait to see how the various cases unfold.

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Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 37: Crossroads by Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo - Crossroads Cover

I was exceedingly happy to receive a copy of the new Usagi Yojimbo volume, Crossroads, this week.  As most readers will know, I am a massive fan of Stan Sakai’s outstanding Usagi Yojimbo comic series, and I was extremely happy that Sakai released a second volume this year.  Crossroads, which I read the second it was delivered, is another amazing read with two epic stories to them.  Loaded with action, incredible artwork and fantastic characters, this was another impressive outing from Sakai that I had a wonderful time reading.

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Silver Queendom by Dan Koboldt

Silver Queendom Cover

The next book I was lucky enough to receive is the fantastic and fun fantasy novel, Silver Queendom by Dan Koboldt.  I absolutely love the sound of Silver Queendom which sees a scrappy group of conman attempt to pull off an impossible heist to save their skins.  There is nothing about this book’s plot that I do not love, and I am very excited to see how this fantasy heist novel pays off.  I already know I am going to have an awesome time with this book, and I am hoping to check it out next.

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The Resemblance by Lauren Nossett

The Resemblance Cover

I was also lucky enough to receive a copy of a fantastic new debut novel with The Resemblance by Lauren Nossett.  Set in a college town, this book will see a police detective dive into the corrupt world of fraternities and sororities as she attempts to solve a curious murder of a college student run over by someone who looks exactly like him.  This sounds like quite an intriguing read, and I look forward to diving into this elaborate case, which will no doubt provide some interesting insights into the crazy world of elite university students.

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Private Beijing by James Patterson and Adam Hamdy

Private Beijing Cover

I have been getting a few James Patterson books recently, and the latest is the compelling Private Beijing, which Patterson cowrote with Adam Hamdy.  This is the 17th book in Patterson’s The Private series which follows a group of private investigators, and his latest book will see the Beijing office of the agency come under attack, forcing Private’s leader, Jack Morgan, into action.  I haven’t had a chance to check out this series before, but I am very keen to try now, especially as this sounds like quite a fun spy thriller.  I look forward to getting through more of Patterson’s books this year and I am sure I am in for an excellent time with Private Beijing.

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Judgement Day by Mali Waugh

Judgement Day Cover

The final book I received a copy of is the awesome 2023 Australian thriller, Judgement Day, by new author Mali Waugh. The debut novel from Waugh, Judgement Day will see a detective investigate the murder of judge, which will bring her to the dark heart of the local legal system.  I am already quite intrigued by this upcoming novel, and I am very excited to already have a copy of this Australian crime fiction debut.

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Well, that’s the end of this latest Book Haul post.  As you can see I have quite a bit of reading to do at the moment thanks to all these awesome books that have come in.  Let me know which of the above you are most interested in and make sure to check back in a few weeks to see my reviews of them.

Book Haul – 13 November 2022

I have been having an absolutely fantastic weeks for book, as I have been lucky enough to receive several incredible and amazing new novels from some of my local publishers.  These novels include some truly awesome new releases, some of which rank amongst my top books of 2022.  I am extremely keen to check out all of the books below and they should make for some amazing reads.

Star Wars: The High Republic: Convergence by Zoraida Cordova

Star Wars - Convergence Cover

The first book I recently received was the awesome Star Wars novel, Convergence by Zoraida Cordova.  The first adult book in the second phase of The High Republic sub-series, Convergence looks set to be one of the major books of this franchise, providing a major introduction to the wider galaxy in the prequel era while also showcasing some of the key new characters and concepts. I only just finished the very first book in this second phase, Path of Deceit, and it has gotten me pretty excited for the upcoming High Republic offerings.  I can’t wait to see what happens in Convergence, and I have a feeling it is going to be quite an impressive read.

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Friends Like These by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

Friends Like These Cover 2

I was very excited to receive a copy of the intense young adult thriller, Friends Like These by Jennifer Lynn Alvarerz.  I had an absolutely wonderful time reading Alvarez’s 2021 novel, Lies Like Wildfire, which was one of my favourite debuts of last yearFriends Like These will contain another intriguing narrative around teenagers making terrible mistakes that lead to murder. This time centered around the consequences of a beach party where a viral video prank gets everyone in trouble, Friends Like These promises to be an exceptional read, and I reckon I’ll try to dive into it next.

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The Prisoner by B. A. Paris

The Prisoner by B. A. Paris Cover

One of the more intriguing books I recently received was the compelling psychological thriller, The Prisoner by acclaimed author B. A. Paris.  Set to follow a woman who knows plenty about survival, The Prisoner will see the protagonist kidnapped by mysterious captors, who lock her in a pitch-black room.  However, as the ordeal continues, the protagonist finds herself feeling safe, especially as it keeps her away from her husband.  I’m very, very curious about this book, mainly because I’m not entirely sure how it is going to unfold.  I am imagining that this is going to be a super-twisty read, and I look forward to seeing just how dark and complex it turns out to be.

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The Warrior by Stephen Aryan

The Warrior Cover

I was very happy to receive a copy of The Warrior by Stephen Aryan in the last week, which will continue an excellent narrative from a talented author.  The sequel to one of the more entertaining fantasy books of 2021, The Coward, The Warrior will see the protagonist, traumatized hero turned reluctant king, Kell, travel off on another lethal adventure, this time to help a friend. I loved the first book in this clever duology last year and I have no doubt that Aryan has another exciting and heartfelt adventure waiting for us in this cool sequel.

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Dead Man’s Hand by James J. Butcher

Dead Man's Hand Cover

Out of all the books I have recently received, the one that I am particularly curious and excited for is Dead Man’s Hand, and that is mainly because of its author, James J. Butcher.  Butcher is the son of legendary fantasy author, Jim Butcher, and he is breaking into the family business by starting his own urban fantasy series.  Dead Man’s Hand is a very cool sounding book that sees a mediocre witch forced to investigate a murder of one of his powerful peers in order to prove his innocence.  Featuring a very interesting narrative and a cool cover, I have a feeling that I am going to enjoy Dead Man’s Hand and I look forward to finding out how Butcher’s first book turns out.

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The Perfect Assassin by James Patterson and Brian Sitts

The Perfect Assassin Cover

The final book I recently received is the awesomely titled novel, The Perfect Assassin, written by the fantastic team of James Patterson and Brian Stills.  I have been having an incredible time with some of the recent novels Patterson has cowritten, such as 2 Sisters Detective Agency and Death of the Black Widow, and I am looking forward to reading this next one, especially as it has quite an intriguing plot to it.  Connected to classic pulp character, Doc Savage, this book will apparently follow a university professor who is kidnapped by a mysterious woman, who seeks to mold him into something very different.  I am very intrigued by this interesting novel, and I have a feeling The Perfect Assassin is going to be a very entertaining, if slightly bonkers read, and I can’t wait to see how it connects to the old-school adventures from the 1930s.

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Well, that’s the end of this latest Book Haul post.  As you can see I have quite a bit of reading to do at the moment thanks to all these awesome books that have come in.  Let me know which of the above you are most interested in and make sure to check back in a few weeks to see my reviews of them.

Top Ten Tuesday – My Favourite Horror Novels (Updated – 2022)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics.  In this latest edition of Top Ten Tuesday, readers get a Halloween Freebie, meaning that they can list whatever topic they want, although a horror or Halloween theme is encouraged.  So, with that in mind, I thought I would take this opportunity to update a previous list where I highlighted my favourite horror novels of all time.

Back in 2020 for Halloween, I came up with a list where I looked at my top ten favourite horror novels.  While horror is not my favourite genre, I ended up producing a rather interesting list with some unique entries that I was pretty happy with.  This list got a bit of interest, and I decided I would make a bit of effort to come back to update this list every Halloween, especially if I had some new horror novels to add to it.  I did an update last year with several awesome novels, and I have decided to come back to it again in 2022, especially as I have had the opportunity to check out some excellent and intense horror reads.

To sort out this update, I took a critical look at the previous version of the list and made some hard decisions about whether any of the horror novels I read in the last year might fit in better.  I ended up making a few changes, with new entries replacing some of the existing books (all new entries in red).  While I was sad to see some of the previously featured novels removed, I honestly felt that the new entries are better horror novels.  This resulted in a fun new version of this list, and I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

Honourable Mentions:

Later by Stephen King

Later Cover

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The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

Sandman Act 1 Cover

I had to include the audiobook version of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman here, as it has some great horror elements to it.  While more of a fantasy/comic story than a pure horror comic, The Sandman did have some amazing horror sequences in it, which are really enhanced in the full-cast audiobook.  The Sandman features several great horror scenes, but the most disturbing would have to be the infamous diner scene.  Contained within the sixth chapter/issues, 24 Hours, this epic extended sequence shows a group of customers in a diner slowly driven insane and then brutally killed by the villainous Doctor Destiny using Dream’s stolen ruby.  This entire chapter is masterfully portrayed and you cannot help but shudder at every atrocity the innocent patrons experience during the worst 24 hours of their lives.  This trippy diner sequence was recently adapted in the recent The Sandman television series, and while that was good, especially with David Thewlis playing Doctor Destiny, I felt that the version in the comics was even darker and creepier.  This, and a several other dark scenes, ensure The Sandman an honourable mention on this list and this comic and its audiobook adaptation are highly recommended for all horror fans.

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A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. Villareal

A History of the Vampire Uprising Cover

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Death of the Black Widow by James Patterson and J. D. Barker

Death of the Black Widow Cover

Another entry that is not a full horror book, but which features amazing horror elements is the recent novel by James Patterson and J. D. Barker, Death of the Black Widow.  Following a young cop who becomes obsessed with a mysterious woman he encounters on his first day on the job, Death of Black Widow is a twisty and intriguing read that takes the protagonist on a dangerous journey to the edge of sanity.  Initially portrayed as a compelling thriller story, this book eventually develops some excellent horror elements, which led me to include it as an honourable mention.  Extremely addictive, I loved this thriller/horror blend and I look forward to reading more books from this excellent team of writers.

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Top Ten List (unranked):

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Into the Drowning Deep Cover

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Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry

Patient Zero Cover

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The Dark by Jeremy Robinson

The Dark Cover

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Warhammer 40,000: The Bookkeeper’s Skull by Justin D. Hill

The Bookkeeper's Skull Cover

One of the more recent horror books I had the pleasure of reading was The Bookkeeper’s Skull by Justin D. Hill.  Part of the intriguing Warhammer Horror subseries, The Bookkeeper’s Skull is a haunting and brilliant tale that makes full use of the grim Warhammer 40,000 setting.  The book follows a planetary enforcer as he investigates a mysterious and cursed agricultural community plagued by a series of gruesome murders.  Hill creates a spooky and malevolent atmosphere, and you are constantly left wondering who is going to end up dead next.  Tightly paced and featuring some brilliantly dark examinations of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, The Bookkeeper’s Skull was an amazing read and I look forward to exploring more Warhammer Horror books in the future.

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The Anomaly by Michael Rutger

The Anomaly Cover

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Code Zero by Jonathan Maberry

Code Zero Cover

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World War Z by Max Brooks

World War Z Cover 2

After years of hearing how awesome it was, I finally got around to enjoying the iconic zombie novel, World War Z by Max Brooks.  One of the more unique zombie books out there, World War Z recounts the history a devastating, world-wide zombie apocalypse and the various people it impacts.  Told through a brilliant chronicle method where multiple interesting characters recount their distinctive personal stories, you get an impressive, multifaceted narrative that covers the beginning, middle and end of the zombie wars.  Epic in its scope and filled with some great stories and characters, it honestly does not take long to get extremely addicted to World War Z.  While the focus is more on exploring the impacts a zombie apocalypse would have on the world, World War Z does have some pretty creepy moment.  The darker tales of underwater zombies, massacres of modern armies, and the mental turmoil suffered by zombie survivors, are excellent horror material that makes this an easy book to include here.  An epic and outstanding book that lived up to all the hype surrounding it.

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Star Wars: Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber

deathtrooperscover

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Devolution by Max Brooks

Devolution Cover

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Ink by Jonathan Maberry

Ink Cover

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That’s the end of this latest Top Ten Tuesday list.  I think that the new horror novels were great additions to the list, and I think this new version of the list turned out really well.  Each of the above novels, both new inclusions and existing ones, are outstanding reads that come highly recommended to all horror fans.  I look forward to seeing how this list evolves once again this time next year, especially as I am sure some amazing and spinetingling horror books are likely to come out in the next 12 months.

Book Haul – 1 September 2022

I have been having an absolutely fantastic couple of weeks for books, as I have been lucky enough to receive several incredible and amazing new novels from some of my local publishers.  These novels include some truly awesome new releases, some of which rank amongst my top books of 2022.  I am extremely keen to check out all of the books below and they should make for some amazing reads.

Blowback by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois

Blowback Cover

The first book I was lucky enough to receive was Blowback by the wonderful team of James Patterson and Brendan DuBois.  A clever and interesting new thriller about a power-hungry US president who uses his position to launch an insane course of action against the rest of the world. This was an excellent and action-packed book that takes the reader on a very wild ride. I have already finished it off and I will hopefully get a review together for it soon.

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All of Our Demise by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

All of Our Demise Cover 2

I was also lucky enough to receive a copy of All of Our Demise, which I have just started reading.  The sequel to last year’s fantastic All of Us Villains, the team of Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman have done an excellent job of continuing the narrative here, expanding on the death tournament concept and taking the compelling, damaged protagonists on an even darker journey.  I can’t wait to see how this epic book comes to an end, and I am very confident this will turn out to be one of the best young adult novels of 2022.

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Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Nona the Ninth Cover

I was extremely happy to receive a copy of Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir out of the blue.  The third book in The Locked Tomb series, Nona the Ninth continues the excellent storylines about spacefaring necromancers started in the previous two novels.  I have loved the outstanding and elaborate first two entries in the series, Gideon the Ninth (one of my favourite debuts of 2019) and Harrow the Ninth (one my favourite books and audiobooks of 2020), and I cannot wait to see how this complex series continues.  I have very, very high expectations for Nona the Ninth and I know I am going to have an exceptional time reading it.

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The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman

The Bullet That Missed Cover

There are few books in 2022 I am as excited for as The Bullet that Missed by comedian Richard Osman.  The sequel to The Thursday Murder Club (one of my favourite debuts of 2020) and The Man Who Died Twice (one of my favourite books and audiobooks of 2021), The Bullet that Missed promises to be another exceptional and captivating mystery novel with some amazing characters and a fantastic sense of humour to it.  I have no doubt that this will be another five-star book and I will hopefully read it soon.

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Star Wars: The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis

Star Wars - The Princess and the Scoundrel Cover

There have been some great Star Wars tie-in novels coming out this year but one of the ones I have been most interested in checking out is The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis.  Set immediately after the events of Return of the Jedi, The Princess and the Scoundrel will show the wedding and honeymoon of Han Solo and Princess Leia, all set to the backdrop of the formation of the New Republic.  I can’t wait to see what happens in this awesome sounding book and I reckon it will be one of the top Star Wars novels of 2022.

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Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris

Act of Oblivion Cover

I was very happy to also receive a copy of the new Robert Harris book, Act of Oblivion, which I reckon is going to be really interesting.  Harris has been tearing it up with some fascinating historical fiction novels lately, including the 2020 release V2, and I really like the sound of Act of Oblivion.  Based on real historical events, Act of Oblivion will follow two of the men responsible for the death of Charles I as they attempt to hide from the English in the American colonies.  I love this impressive concept and I am very excited to see Harris’ take on these historical fugitives.

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Lion by Conn Iggulden

Lion Cover

I was in the mood for some awesome historical fiction, so I went out and grabbed a copy of Lion by Conn Iggulden.  The follow-up to Iggulden’s last two novels, The Gates of Athens and Protector, Lion will continue to tell the story of ancient Athens, this time showcasing the rise of Pericles. I have had an exceptional time reading the previous books in this series and I cannot wait to see how Iggulden continues it.

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No Country for Girls by Emma Styles

No Country for Girls Cover

I was extremely intrigued by one of the cool books I received in the last week with the Australian thriller No Country For Girls by Emma Styles.  Set in the Australian outback, this awesome sounding book will follow two strangers who get thrust into a deadly situation and must flee into the wild bush to survive. I really love the sound of this book’s amazing story and I am very curious to find out how this fantastic novel goes.

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The Killing Code by Ellie Marney

The Killing Code Cover

Another compelling novel I received was the young adult, historical murder mystery, The Killing Code by Australian author Ellie Marney.  Set during World War II, this book follows several American codebreakers as they attempt to find out who is murdering their colleagues.  The Killing Code has a fantastic and very appealing narrative, and I am very keen to check out Marney’s writing style.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Volume One by Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, Dan Duncan and more

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Volume One Cover

The final book I recently grabbed was the awesome first volume of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IDW comics.  I have been a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise for a long time, primarily the television series, and I have been meaning to check out some of the comics for ages, especially considering how much I enjoy the related Usagi Yojimbo comics. As such I splashed out and grabbed volume one of the IDW run on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is the current version of the comics.  Including Issues #1-12 of the series, as well as a couple of character-focused issues, this proved to be an excellent introduction to this current series.  I had a brilliant time getting through this comic, and it was interesting to see this new take on the characters and the universe.  Featuring a great writing team in Kevin Eastman (one of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creators) and Tom Waltz, as well as art from Dan Duncan, this was an excellent and impressive comic, and I will try and do a Throwback Thursday post about it soon.

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Well, that’s the end of this latest Book Haul post.  As you can see I have quite a bit of reading to do at the moment thanks to all these awesome books that have come in.  Let me know which of the above you are most interested in and make sure to check back in a few weeks to see my reviews of them.

WWW Wednesday – 31 August 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where bloggers share the books that they’ve recently finished, what they are currently reading and what books they are planning to read next. Essentially you have to answer three questions (the Three Ws):

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

All of Our Demise by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman (Trade Paperback)

All of Our Demise Cover 2

I just started reading All of Our Demise today, one of the most anticipated young adult releases of 2022.  The sequel to last year’s epic All of Us Villains, All of Our Demise serves as the conclusion to the events of this previous book and continues to follow the unique, magical death tournament taking place. I haven’t made a lot of progress on this book yet, but the first 50 pages are pretty entertaining.  The authors are doing an excellent job of continuing the complex and captivating story from the previous book, and I am already pretty hooked, especially as each of the point of view characters have their own compelling storylines.  I cannot wait to see how this book turns out and I am expecting a lot of heartbreak and betrayals before All of Our Demise comes to an end.

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Glacier’s Edge by R. A. Salvatore (Audiobook)

Glacier's Edge Cover

I am still going with the latest fantasy novel from R. A. Salvatore, Glacier’s Edge.  The sequel to last year’s excellent Starlight EnclaveGlacier’s Edge is the second book in The Way of the Drow series, which falls into Salvatore’s larger collection of Drizzt Do’Urden books (such as Timeless, Boundless and Relentless). I am currently over halfway through this audiobook, and I am really enjoying its complex and addictive narrative.  Glacier’s Edge has a pretty wide focus and is following a range of great characters that Salvatore has introduced over his career, each of whom have their own unique plot threads.  Everything looks set to come together extremely well and I am very curious to see what final note Salvatore leaves everything on.  It wouldn’t surprise me if there is a fun cliffhanger towards the end, especially as one of the main storylines is gearing up for a full-on Drow civil war.

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What did you recently finish reading?

Blowback by James Patterson and Brendan Dubois (Trade Paperback)

Blowback Cover

I managed to finish of Blowback on the weekend, and boy was it a very fun read.  Containing an impressive story about a US President who goes mad with power and decides to destroy the world, Blowback was really intense and action-packed, and I loved its entertaining and unique thriller narrative.  One of the more exciting novels of 2022, this was an excellent read that you can really sink your teeth into.

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Upgrade by Blake Crouch (Trade Paperback)

Upgrade Cover

I also managed to get through Upgrade, the latest science fiction thriller by Blake Crouch.  I had some very high expectations for this book, especially after loving Recursion, and Crouch really did not disappoint me.  I loved its captivating tale about genetic engineering gone mad, and the elaborate and extremely compelling thriller narrative written around it was extremely good.  I had an outstanding time with Upgrade, and it was one of the better science fiction novels I have read this year.  Review to follow soon.

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What do you think you’ll read next?

Dark Rooms by Lynda La Plante

Dark Rooms Cover

Based on my current collection of books, I think that the novel I will try to check out next is Dark Rooms by leading crime fiction author Lynda La Plante.  The latest book in the bestselling Tennison series (which has included awesome reads like Murder Mile, Blunt Force and Unholy Murder), Dark Rooms looks set to contain another fantastic and thrilling murder mystery which I know I will get very wrapped up in.  I have no doubt that I am going to love Dark Rooms, as La Plante’ captivating writing style has never disappointed me before.

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That’s it for this week, check back in next Wednesday to see what progress I’ve made on my reading and what books I’ll be looking at next.

WWW Wednesday – 24 August 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where bloggers share the books that they’ve recently finished, what they are currently reading and what books they are planning to read next. Essentially you have to answer three questions (the Three Ws):

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

Blowback by James Patterson and Brendan Dubois (Trade Paperback)

Blowback Cover

I just started reading a particularly fun and captivating novel with the impressive Blowback.  Written by the team of the legendary James Patterson (author of such great recent books as 2 Sisters Detective Agency and Death of the Black Widow) and Brendan Dubois, Blowback is a very fun read that sees two CIA agents attempt to stop the evil machinations of an insane and brilliant American president.  I am about 50 pages into Blowback and the moment and so far I am deeply enjoying its intriguing and elaborate spy thriller plot.  I am extremely curious to see how this story develops, but this is already turning out to be a particularly awesome read.

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Glacier’s Edge by R. A. Salvatore (Audiobook)

Glacier's Edge Cover

I also recently started the new fantasy epic from the iconic R. A. Salvatore, Glacier’s Edge.  The sequel to last year’s excellent Starlight Enclave, Glacier’s Edge is the second book in The Way of the Drow series, which falls into Salvatore’s larger collection of Drizzt Do’Urden books.  Glacier’s Edge follows on from the previous book which ended with several of the protagonists in mortal danger, with help very far away.  Now it will fall to their one surviving member to recruit a new force of adventurers to rescue them, while a civil war brews deep underground in the Drow home city.  I haven’t made a lot of progress with Glacier’s Edge yet, but it is shaping up to be a pretty classic Salvatore fantasy adventure.  I am deeply intrigued to see what happens to the long-running characters in this book and I am expecting some amazing things from this cool book.

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What did you recently finish reading?

The Unbelieved by Vikki Petraitis (Trade Paperback)

The Unbelieved Cover

Wow, I finished off The Unbelieved a little while ago and I am still impressed with how amazing and moving it turned out to be. Featuring an extremely powerful and addictive crime thriller narrative, The Unbelieved was one of the best Australian novels I have read this year, as well as being one of the most distinctive and captivating debuts of 2022. Vikki Petraitis wrote something particularly special with The Unbelieved and it comes very highly recommended.  Review to follow soon.

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Death Masks by Jim Butcher (Audiobook)

Death Masks Cover

I finished Death Masks very quickly last week and it turned out to be just as epic and fun as I thought it would be.  An essential early entry in Jim Butcher’s iconic Dresden Files (check out my reviews for Storm FrontFool MoonGrave PerilSummer KnightBattle Ground and The Law), I had an absolute blast with Death Masks‘ outstanding and compelling story that saw wizard protagonist Harry Dresden caught between demons, vampires, holy knights, gangsters and more as he attempts to recover a holy artifact.  I have already reviewed this epic book (check out the link above) and ended up giving a full five-star review.  A must read for all fantasy readers and fans of this exceptional series!

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Blood Rites by Jim Butcher (Audiobook)

Blood Rite Cover

I was having such an incredible time with the Dresden Files series last week that the moment I finished Death Masks I immediately started listening to the next book in the series, Blood RitesBlood Rites was another outstanding entry in this great series and featured an amazing and layered narrative I had an exceptional time getting through.  This time the protagonist has to investigate a dangerous curse on an adult movie set while also opposing the machinations of two deadly groups of vampires, all the while dealing with some major family issues.  This was another ultra-impressive Dresden Files book and I swiftly got sucked into its epic tale.  Another book that is going to get a full five-star rating from me, Blood Rites is a fantastic and clever read that I cannot hype up enough.

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What do you think you’ll read next?

Upgrade by Blake Crouch

Upgrade Cover

The next book I am planning to read is the intriguing science fiction thriller, Upgrade, by acclaimed science fiction author Blake Crouch.  Following a man who is genetically modified against his will, Upgrade has an awesome story behind it, and I am extremely eager to see how it unfolds.  I already know that Crouch is an exceptional author, and I am exceedingly curious to find out what happens in his latest book.  I have a feeling that Upgrade is going to be one of the better books of 2022 and I am very excited to get into it.

Amazon     Book Depository

 

That’s it for this week, check back in next Wednesday to see what progress I’ve made on my reading and what books I’ll be looking at next.

WWW Wednesday – 17 August 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where bloggers share the books that they’ve recently finished, what they are currently reading and what books they are planning to read next. Essentially you have to answer three questions (the Three Ws):

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

The Unbelieved by Vikki Petraitis (Trade Paperback)

The Unbelieved Cover

I haven’t made a lot of progress with The Unbelieved since last week, although that’s mainly because I’ve been too busy to get much reading done.  Despite that, I am still enjoying this intense Australian thriller, which has an amazing and powerful story to it.  Petraitis is achieving a lot with her debut novel, and I am getting really drawn into this intense tale about sexual violence in smalltown Australia.  I will hopefully finish The Unbelieved off in the next couple of days and I am intrigued to see how it ends.

Amazon     Book Depository

 

Death Masks by Jim Butcher (Audiobook)

Death Masks Cover

I was in the mood for something fun and exciting this week, so I naturally dived back into Jim Butcher’s iconic Dresden Files series by finally checking out the fifth book, Death Masks.  I have been having such a good time getting into this series over the last couple of years (check out my reviews for Storm Front, Fool Moon, Grave Peril, Summer Knight, Battle Ground and The Law), and I knew I would enjoy Death Masks a lot.  This outstanding read sees wizard protagonist Harry Dresden caught between demons, vampires, holy knights, gangsters and more as he attempts to recover a holy artifact.  I have actually made quite a bit of progress with this audiobook, and I am currently about halfway through it.  Death Masks is an extremely good read and I love its complex and entertaining narrative and the cool new fantasy elements it introduces.  I will probably finish this off by the end of the week, but I can already tell you it is going to get a full five-star rating from me.

Amazon     Book Depository

 

What did you recently finish reading?

Hide by Kiersten White (Audiobook)

Hide Cover

I managed to finish off one book this week, and that was the intriguing Hide by Kiersten White.  A horror thriller that sees a group of competitors attempt to survive a bizarre game of hide and seek in an abandoned amusement park, Hide was an exciting read that I rather enjoyed.  An excellent book to check out, make sure to read the linked review above.

Amazon     Book Depository

What do you think you’ll read next?

Blowback by James Patterson and Brendan Dubois (Trade Paperback)

Blowback Cover

I’ve received a ton of epic books in the last week or so, but the one I just have to read next is Blowback.  Written by the team of James Patterson and Brendan Dubois, Blowback is a very fun read that sees two CIA agents attempt to stop the evil machinations of an insane and brilliant American president.  I love the sound of this impressive thriller plot and I know that I am going to have an amazing time with it.  I have been really getting into some of Patterson’s latest books, such as 2 Sisters Detective Agency and Death of the Black Widow, and I cannot wait to see how Patterson’s collaboration with Dubois turns out.

Amazon     Book Depository

 

That’s it for this week, check back in next Wednesday to see what progress I’ve made on my reading and what books I’ll be looking at next.

Top Ten Tuesday – My Favourite Books from the First Half of 2022

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics.  The official topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday involved listing your favourite upcoming books for Winter 2022.  However, as I had already done this list a few weeks ago, I thought I would instead take this opportunity to celebrate the fact that we are already nearly into the second half of 2022.

2022 has already proven to be a pretty fantastic year for books, and I have already read some incredible 2022 releases, including impressive standalone books, amazing new entries in established series and fantastic debuts.  Because of this, I thought that I would take the time to work out what my top ten favourite books from the first half of 2022 were.  To be eligible, a book had to be released in the first half of this year in some form.  I have also excluded any books released during this period that I have not so far read, although a couple of releases I have my eye on might have appeared on this list if I had read them in time.

Coming up with this list proved to be a rather bigger task than I originally intended, as I ended up amassing nearly 20 different releases, all of which I consider to be some pretty outstanding reads.  I ended up being able to eventually whittle this down to an acceptable Top Ten list, although I did include my typical generous honourable mentions section.  I am rather happy with how this list turned out, although I am surprised at some of the great recent books that ended up being excluded.  Still, the entries below represent what I considered to be some of the best books from the first half of 2022, and I would strongly recommend each and every one of them. 

Honourable Mentions:

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone Cover

A clever and hilarious take on the classic murder mystery story from a talented Australian crime fiction author.

 

Her Perfect Twin by Sarah Bonner

Her Perfect Twin Cover

An impressive debut by Sarah Bonner that imagines a woman murdering her twin and impersonating her.  Featuring a very twisty story that goes in some surprising, but fantastic directions, this was a very awesome read that sets Bonner up as an amazing new talent.

 

Warhammer 40,000: Steel Tread by Andy Clarke

Steel Tread Cover

A captivating and powerful Warhammer 40,000 tie-in novel from the start of the year that was an excellent piece of sci-fi military fiction.  Following the crew of the tank, Steel Tread, on a hellscape of a battlefield, this was an intense and action-packed story that I quickly flew through.

 

Master of Furies by Raymond E. Feist

Master of Furies Cover

Raymond E. Feist finalised The Firemane Saga (previously featuring King of Ashes and Queen of Storms) in a big way this year.  This was a great read that featured an addictive classic fantasy adventure with some very interesting surprise elements.

List (no particular order):

The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne

The Hunger of the Gods Cover

Let us start this list off with the book that has the best cover, The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne.  Following on from Gwynne’s epic 2021 novel, The Shadow of the Gods (one of my favourite books and audiobooks of 2021), The Hunger of the Gods perfectly continues the dark fantasy masterpiece, pitting men, gods and monsters against each other in a brutal, Norse-inspired fantasy world.  Featuring some outstanding new character perspectives, a bunch of great twists, and a ton of action, this sequel was a worthy addition to this fantastic series, and I had such an incredible time reading it.

 

Desperate Undertaking by Lindsey Davis

Desperate Undertaking Cover 2

One of my favourite historical fiction authors, Lindsey Davis, continues to shine with her long-running Flavia Albia historical murder mystery series.  This latest entry, Desperate Undertaking, features a complex and entertaining new mystery in ancient Rome when a troupe of actors start getting murdered in brutal, theatrical ways.  Easily one of Davis’ best stories, Desperate Undertaking grabs your attention right off the bat and refuses to let go.

 

A Practical Guide to Conquering the World by K. J. Parker

A Practical Guide to Conquering the World Cover

One of the very first novels that I read in 2022 ended up being one of the very best: the hilarious fantasy novel, A Practical Guide to Conquering the World by K. J. Parker.  Set in the same universe as his previous connected releases, Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City and How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with It, A Practical Guide to Conquering the World follows a scribe and translator who uses his scholarly knowledge and skills at manipulation to conquer the entire world.  Containing whip-sharp satire and a brilliant story, this was such an addictive and fun read I honestly could not put down.

 

Usagi Yojimbo: Tengu War! by Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo - Tengu War!

My love affair with one of my favourite comics, Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo series, continued this year with the latest volume, Tengu War!  Containing several epic new stories, loaded with cool art and impressive world building, Tengu War! was another amazing volume that got a full five-star rating from me.  I loved this new volume so much and I can’t wait to get my hands on Sakai’s next release, Crossroads, later this year.

 

Sierra Six by Mark Greaney

Sierra Six Cover

Bestselling thriller author, Mark Greaney, is having a great year in 2022, with both the upcoming film adaptation of his debut novel, The Gray Man, and two awesome books coming out.  The first of these, Sierra Six, is one of his best, following iconic protagonist, Court Gentry, the infamous Gray Man, on another intense mission connected to one of his earliest assignments for the CIA.  I had a brilliant time with this new Gray Man novel (the 11th in the series), as it featured an impressive, split-time narrative with some great characters.  Another impressive book from Greaney that is really worth reading. 

 

Against All Gods by Miles Cameron

Against all Gods Cover

The always inventive Miles Cameron continues to shine brightly with a bold and compelling start to a new fantasy series with Against All Gods.  Set in a bronze-age inspired setting, Against All Gods follows a group of mortals who attempt the impossible and declare war on their violent and selfish gods.  With an addictive, over-the-top story, Against All Gods was a ton of fun, and it ended up being a truly amazing novel.

 

The German Wife by Kelly Rimmer

The German Wife Cover

Last year Australian author, Kelly Rimmer, produced a very impressive and extremely moving historical drama, The Warsaw Orphan, which really stuck with me.  As such, I was very excited to receive her new book, The German Wife, which ended up being a truly incredible read.  This fantastic novel follows two intriguing protagonists up to the 1950s as they traverse some of the worst parts of world history.  With a particularly intense focus on the rise of Nazism in Germany and the subsequent recruitment of German rocket scientists by the Americans, The German Wife is a captivating read that contains powerful emotional hit after powerful emotional hit.

 

Amongst Our Weapons by Ben Aaronovitch

Amongst our Weapons Cover

One of the leading authors of urban fantasy fiction, Ben Aaronovitch, returned with another superb entry in his Rivers of London series.  Featuring another exceptional fusion of a police procedural story with unique fantasy elements, Amongst our Weapons was a fantastic addition to the series.  Slick, clever and constantly entertaining, Amongst our Weapons once again showed off Aaronovitch’s talent and is an outstanding book to check out.

 

Ghazghkull Thraka: Prophet of the Waaagh! By Nate Crowley

Ghazghkull Thraka - Prophet of the Waaagh! Cover

I have been having so much fun reading Warhammer fiction over the last few years, and 2022 has already produced some amazing reads.  My favourite of this year so far had to be Nate Crowley’s outrageous and amusing Ghazghkull Thraka: Prophet of the Waaagh!  Following the most iconic ork in the Warhammer canon, this was an excellent retelling of Ghazghkull Thraka’s life from a unique source.  Filled with non-stop laughs, explosive action, and a real appreciation for the ork faction, this was a wildly appealing book that I had to feature here.

 

Death of the Black Widow by James Patterson and J. D. Barker

Death of the Black Widow Cover

The final novel I want to highlight is Death of the Black Widow, written by the superstar team of James Patterson and J. D. Barker.  A crime thriller with an intriguing horror twist, Death of the Black Widow was a surprising hit for me, and I really was drawn into its terrific story.  One of the more memorable and enjoyable books I have so far read this year, I had a lot of fun with Death of the Black Widow, and I deeply enjoyed its compelling tale of obsession, mystery and death.

 

 

I have already read some amazing and epic books so far in 2022 and we are only halfway through the year.  I am pretty happy with how this list turned out, and it features some extraordinary reads that all come highly recommended.  It will be interesting to see which of these books ends up being amongst my top reads of 2022, as there is some impressive competition coming out in the second half of the year, not to mention some outstanding current releases I need to check out.  Still, all the novels above come very highly recommended, and you are guaranteed to have a wonderful time reading them.  Let me know what your favourite releases for the first half of the year are in the comments below, as well as which of the above books you liked the most.

WWW Wednesday – 4 May 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where bloggers share the books that they’ve recently finished, what they are currently reading and what books they are planning to read next. Essentially you have to answer three questions (the Three Ws):

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

Nine Lives by Peter Swanson (Trade Paperback)

Nine Lives Cover

I have been having a bit of fun this week reading the fantastic crime fiction novel, Nine Lives by Peter Swanson, whose work I previously enjoyed on Rules for Perfect Murder.  This intriguing read sees nine strangers each receive a letter with nine names on it, including their own, and before long, the people on this list start getting killed off.  This is a really cool concept for a mystery and I cannot wait to see how it resolves.  I have already made some good progress on Nine Lives and should hopefully finish it off soon.

 

World of Warcraft: Sylvanas by Christie Golden (Audiobook)

World of Warcraft - Sylvanas Cover

I also just started listening to the new World of Warcraft novel, Sylvanas, by tie-in fiction author extraordinaire Christie Golden. This excellent novel follows the life of one of the games most complex characters, Sylvanas Windrunner, and shows how she went from respected hero to notorious villain.  Sure to be one of the better World of Warcraft tie-in novels, I am having a great time with this audiobook and will hopefully finish it off in the next week or so.

What did you recently finish reading?

Death of the Black Widow by James Patterson and J. D. Barker (Trade Paperback)

Death of the Black Widow Cover

 

The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne (Audiobook)

The Hunger of the Gods Cover

What do you think you’ll read next?

Wake by Shelley Burr

Wake Cover

 

 

That’s it for this week, check back in next Wednesday to see what progress I’ve made on my reading and what books I’ll be looking at next.