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Saturday, December 28, 2019

2019 Review/2020 Preview - Rob J. Hayes


Favourites from 2019

Since making the decision to be a full time author, I’ve actually been reading a lot less than I used to. It’s a struggle to find the time, and also a struggle to find the will to stare at pages full of words after spending a day staring at pages full of words. But thanks to audiobooks I’ve actually managed to read/listen (consume?) more books in 2019 than ever before. I like to think I’ve levelled up with the use of my ears. Getting a puppy certainly helped as well, as the little monster regularly demands I step away from the computer and take her for a walk. Perfect time to get my audiobook on. So here’s a few of my favourites of 2019:



- The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang. Going into this book I’d heard a lot about it from some friends so I had high expectations. It did not disappoint. It’s a true emotional rollercoster that really sucked me in. It had a bit of a slow start, but after about 40% or so it was rivoting and heartbreaking and empowering. It really grabs you by the feels and doesn’t let go.

- The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan. The depth of imagination on display in this book is awe inspiring. From the get go we are bombarded with fantastical monsters, intriguing lore, and hints at a world far larger and more dangerous than we realise. And it’s all wrapped up in such a bizarre bow. I have never before experienced a chapter from the point of view of a building.

- Wrath of Gods by Dyrk Ashton. I love Dyrk’s Paternus series because it breaks all the rules and does it so well that you don’t even notice. Be it odd tense, mind-hopping points of view, or expositional info-dumps, Dyrk handles it with such ease and grace it makes it a joy to read. Wrath is the 2nd book in the series and it ups the game by giving us a war between gods that would make Michael Bay explode.

- The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter. This one took me completely by surprise. I picked it up on the cover, and because I thought the narrator was excellent. DAMN! It’s a breakneck paced epic fantasy about a young man willing to sacrifice everything to be a warrior beyond peer, dismantling a caste-based society along the way. It’s emotional. It’s powerful. And it’s chocked full of awesome stabby fightyness.

Looking to 2020


There’s a lot coming in 2020. I’m definitely looking for to The Shadow Saint (the sequel to Gutter Prayer), and War of the Gods (the last book in the Paternus trilogy). The Girl and the Stars, Mark Lawrence’s new series starter. More than anything, though, I’m looking forward to catching up on my TBR a little. It’s getting out of hand.

On the Horizon for Rob Hayes

I actually have four books releasing in 2020. Along the Razor’s Edge is the beginning of an entirely new series for me. It’s my first attempt at first person perspective in fantasy and I think people will find the voice quite fresh.

The second and third books in the trilogy, The Lessons Never Learned and From Cold Ashes Risen will be releasing in March and April, so the trilogy will be complete before Summer rolls around.

I’ll also intending to release Pawn’s Gambit, which is a sequel (not a sequel) to my 2019 release Never Die. That will be coming in Winter 2020. So lots to look forward to.

About the author

Official Author Website

Rob J. Hayes was born and brought up in Basingstoke, UK. As a child he was fascinated with Lego, Star Wars and Transformers that fueled his imagination and he spent quite a bit of his growing up years playing around with such. He began writing at the age of fourteen however soon discovered the fallacies of his work. After four years at University studying Zoology and three years working for a string of high street banks as a desk jockey/keyboard monkey. Rob lived on a desert island in Fiji for three months. It was there he re-discovered his love of writing and, more specifically, of writing fantasy.

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