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Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

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Rebecca Yarros is an award winning author for several YA themed books - and Fourth Wing is her latest being touted as NA (New Adult) Epic Fantasy. Which I felt frankly, was just license for perhaps a little bit more explicitly wilder romance elements and maybe some more grimmer action. But all that aside, Fourth Wing is every bit the hyped TikTok sensation that it claims to be. A rip roaring exciting epic fantasy set in a war school featuring a sassy heroine, some broody criminally good looking and certified badass boys and tons of fire-breathing dragons. What is NOT to love.  Rebecca isn't looking to reinvent the genre but she brings in a refreshing twist to the tropes like war school, dragons and the sizzling romance that are the basic themes on which the story is built. The main reason you will love this book is Violet Sorrengail - our plucky heroine, who was supposed to be joining the Scribes quadrant and definitely not the riders quadrant, unlike her whole family before her.

The Hunters by David Wragg

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The Hunters is actually the third book by David Wragg that I am reading and am happy to say, with each book, David's been upping his writing game. The Hunters, first of a proposed trilogy called Tales of the Plain is something of a western adventure set in a fantasy world, a departure from his debut duology ( Articles of Faith which was excellent stuff, by the way!)  First things first, that cover. By Gods, what a beautiful beautiful cover. Done by Gavin Reece, the very distinctive art work really stands out ( Reminds you of the rollicking Nicholas Eames' debut Kings of the Wyld!) and accurately gives us the picture of the ‘hunters’! So the Hunters is the first book in the trilogy called Tales of the Plain following the adventures of the duo - Ree and Javani, living out their boring mundane lives in a dustbowl of an outpost tucked away from the ruthless politicking of kingdoms and empires. But as we start the book, we understand that Ree has secrets from her past, that she'

Nettle & Bone by T Kingfisher

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Nettle & Bone that released last year, is my first book by T Kingfisher. And I am so thrilled to have discovered her amongst the many other new authors, I am slowly discovering. [ On an aside, having made a conscious decision to make sure I go back and pick up acclaimed books that I missed out on from last two years, I can claim this has turned out to be such a liberating and happy coincidence for me!]  There are at least 2 more T Kingfisher books in my back-burner list that I am immediately bumping to the top of my TBR, after the marvellous find that Nettle & Bone turned out to be. This turned out to be an epic fantasy that mixed up dark fairy tale with your typical hero quest, albeit with a nice twist. Nettle & Bone is an adult dark fantasy book I never knew I wanted.  Told from the first person point of view of Marra, an unassuming thirty-year old who has spent the majority of her formative years in a monastery, away from the politicking mess that is her own minor royal

Episode Thirteen by Craig Dilouie

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A haunted house horror story based on found footage and epistolary evidence didn't seem like it would stick the landing. I mean, horror is meant to be an immersive experience right? Right in the thick of things, the juddering shadows, the slow-building tension and the nerve-jangling screams?  Think twice - In Episode Thirteen , acclaimed horror writer Craig Dilouie has rewritten the rules of this genre giving us a fantastic view of the horror that consumes the lives and work of this TV Filming crew; Paranormal investigators who are shooting at one of the most famous haunted locations in America - an old ramshackle building known as the Foundation House, where in the early 60's a bunch of scientists had conducted experiments in order to prove the existence of ghosts and also, use this to help with their hypotheses on expanding the human mind potential.  As an idea, this premise sounds almost ridiculous but Craig pulls it off spectacularly well, in giving us an intimate deeply d

The Wind Through the Keyhole (Dark Tower) by Stephen King

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The Wind through the Keyhole ( Dark Tower series) by Stephen King is a late addition to the fabulous Dark Tower series - an alternate-fantasy quest by the King of Storytelling, started as his own version of a story influenced by the LOTR long years back. This book would nicely slot itself in between Book 4 (The Wizard and the Glass) and Book 5 (Wolves of Calla) and is a welcome addition to the cannon for sure.  I have always enjoyed the stories about the earlier days of Roland Deschain, the young gunslinger's formative days and his share of conflict, turmoil and the guilt that consumed him all through his adult life. And yes - this story takes us back to those days of young Roland sent on another important mission that would shape his days to come. It was a pleasure once again to reunite with one of my favorite Ka-tet, say true sai. The Wind Through the Keyhole was a book I bought as soon as it released (a decade back I think!) but never got around to reading. I admit - The Dark

All The Dangerous Things by Stacey Willingham

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All The Dangerous Things was my second book by Stacy Willingham and true to her form and expectations, her sophomore effort is once again, a runaway winner for me. Another dark psychological thriller with twists and turns galore, in All The Dangerous - Stacy gives us a heart wrenching story about guilt & grief . This is the story of Isabelle Drake, a mother whose eighteen month old baby has been kidnapped. While this is definitely one of the most high profile cases of this Southern city, a year after the incident, there are still no clues about this crime. It remains unsolved and Isabelle, racked with inconsolable grief and guilt at having lost her baby, has insomnia now. She hasn’t slept a wink during the last 364 nights, even as we open the story. The story cleverly applies a dual storyline plot device, frequently flashing back to her childhood spent in the South Carolina city of Beaufort and her tight bond with her younger sister Margaret and her childhood condition of Sleepw

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

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I think I found my favorite novel of the year already. Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton, released in 2019 Aug is a beautiful, breakneck romp through a zombie apocalypse as seen through the eyes of pet crow named S.T (Shit Turd. Yeah Beat that for originality!) with a confounding identity crisis and an unnatural love for Cheetos.   Yes, it is as wildly unexpected as it sounds and this sense of zany originality is the soul of the whole implausible story. As grim and terrible as the premise sounds - where the humanity is now extinct, turned into mindless zombies through a virus that spreads through iphone/ipad screens - Kira's assured writing gives us exacting visuals of a world gone crazy but also subtly and cleverly touches upon the subtext that is beneath all this drama. That the world or rather Mother Nature needs balance. About how all the animals or the species need each other in this world.  So ST, a domesticated crow is living in blissful ignorance with his master Big Jim