Monday, December 9, 2013

Review of The Iron Wolves Book 1 of The Rage of Kings by Andy Remic

The Iron Wolves: Book 1 of The Rage of KingsThe Iron Wolves: Book 1 of The Rage of Kings by Andy Remic
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 for overall enjoyment

Writing 4/5
Imagination 5/5
Plot 4/5
Setting 4.5/5
Characters 5/5

As with this authors other series The Clockwork Vampire Chronicles Kell's Legend, I loved this book. Very violent and dark, fast paced, with a hugely imaginative world and creatures. There were also major plot twists and turns which were enjoyable as so many fantasy books don't use this element. Great cast of characters who were all very interesting and unique and several were able to make me care about their stories and what happens to them. Tons of ultra powerful magic and sorcerers and a great backstory is weaved in throughout the book which will appeal to readers who enjoy these elements as do I. The writing was excellent and right to the point, in classic sword and sorcery style. At times I got a bit lost in this book and also one part of the ending was a minor disappointment but I can't reveal anything specific for the sake of avoiding major spoilers. This book is highly recommend for sword and sorcery fans (in a way it reminded me of Robert E Howard's The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian and Karl Wagner's Darkness Weaves works) as well as Grimdark fans. I eagerly await the next book in this series The White Towers: Book 2 of The Rage of Kings and hope that Andy Remic will write more in this world as he has set up a very fascinating world I want to read more about!

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Review of Emperor of Thorns (Broken Empire Book 3)-Mark Lawrence

Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #3)Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is mostly praise; small part review. After 1 month of false starts, using all my willpower to hold off because this is the last book in my all time favorite series The Broken Empire, I finally finished it. Not since I was a teenager (20 years ago) and read The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings for the first time have I loved a book/series so much! Apart from that, the The Dark Tower Series and The First Law Trilogy were my favorites and I rank The Broken Empire Series above both. This book was a 5/5 in every area of measurement including writing, character and world building(Imagination), plot, and pacing. Emperor of Thorns is so beautifully written and imagined that it is inconceivable to me that any fantasy reader could not find something about it to enjoy. This book is so well written and has so many lines and paragraphs of astounding beauty, clarity, and grace that I had to put it down many times just to absorb what was written and enjoy the moment. Some of these passages can compete with the best I have read in the field of classic literature as can the book on a whole.

I planned a reread since the day I finished Prince of Thorns and even more after King of Thorns, but upon completing Emperor of Thorns I would actually reread this series rather than read anything else; and I have a lot to read! The only thing stopping my reread is what stopped me from immediately reading Emperor of Thorns the day it was released; the knowledge that once I read it, I won't have it to look forward to again in the same way. So I am putting it off for now and plan to read it probably in the spring right before Mark Lawrence new book Prince of Fools comes out. If you plan to read The Broken Empire trilogy, prepare for an adventure. An experience.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Review of The Seven Forges-James A. Moore

Seven ForgesSeven Forges by James A. Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall 3.8/5

Writing 3.5/5
Imagination 4/5
Plot 4/5
Setting 4/5
Characters 3.5/5

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Angry Robot for this ARC. I really enjoyed this book. The cover is excellent; it caught my attention enough to read the synopsis. After reading the synopsis, I was even more excited to read this book. Basically, The Seven Forges is about a mercenary who is sent by a wizard to map out The Blasted Lands, an area that was devastated by some unspecified cataclysm thousands of years ago. The book starts off relatively fast, with the main characters battling monsters and then subsequently saved by a mysterious lone rider. The Seven Forges follows multiple plot lines about the Fellein Empire's emperor, the wizard, the mercenary company, and the unknown race called the Sa'ba Taalor from which the previous mentioned lone rider hails from. There is religion, political intrigue, magic, monsters, mystery, and romance. The world building is extremely good. The character building is good. There is some interesting lore about the aforementioned cataclysm as well as the gods, one for each of the seven forges scattered throughout The Blasted Realms.

This book is well written and the plot is easy to follow. I read this in 3 sittings over the course of 2 days. A lot happens in 320 pages and this is a high point for me because I don't like books that go on and on and on. I like my fantasy to get to the point in the style of Glenn Cook and Michael Moorcock, and not beat around the bush. There were very few places I was bored which is another plus as I don't last long with books which bore me for more than a few pages. Most of the locations and characters are easy to remember which is great. Too often fantasy authors use outrageous sounding names and happily here most people are easy to remember.

The ending of The Seven Forges was excellent and very surprising! I can't wait for the next Seven Forges book to be released. I look forward to the events to come and also learning more about the main characters, the gods,the Sa'ba Taalor, and what happened to The Blasted Lands. Highly recommended to fantasy readers. I wouldn't consider this Grimdark (my favorite genre) but it definitely walks that line. Fans of Glenn Cook, Joe Abercrombie, and Mark Lawrence will most likely enjoy this! Give it a try.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Review of The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1)-Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1)The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I thoroughly enjoyed this book; I believe it mostly lived up to the massive hype surrounding it. It's a large mix of fantasy genres including, historical, paranormal, dystopic, urban as well as science fiction. There are swords and guns and being from other dimensions. There is alternate history dating from the middle 1800's until the time this story takes place which is the year 2059. There are secret societies made up of the clairvoyants, of which there are 7 categories/types. The main character is a young woman who is relatively well developed as is a major secondary character, The Warden who I liked best. The book is primarily driven by dialogue rather than narration which usually irritates me but I thought it was well done in this book. The writing is well above average and also easy to read. The main character is a late teen girl and I read in several places this was considered an adult fantasy novel however this book definitely has crossover appeal for YA readers. At times this book has a lot of jargon to learn specific to its world and at times I was a bit confused about certain plot elements and powers of certain characters. I do believe some things could have been better explained. This may make this book a bit difficult for less advanced YA readers but not for the advanced readers.

To me, this book was very fresh, highly imaginative, and fun to read. I can't wait for the next in this series. Highly recommended for all fantasy readers, especially if you liked The Hunger Games which this kind of reminds me of in terms of pacing and imagination. Give this a try; its well worth your time!

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Horus Rising (The Horus Heresy #1)(Warhammer 40k)-Dan Abnett---My Review

Horus Rising (The Horus Heresy, #1)Horus Rising by Dan Abnett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent book and introduction to the Warhammer 40K universe! This book seemed very dense and took me longer to read than some books almost twice this size (in this case this is not a bad thing because it was well worth it); perhaps I needed time to absorb all of the characters and races, the history, and new concepts of warfare in this distant future world. While I am primarily a fantasy book reader, this book is one of my all time favorites and should be classified as primarily science fiction. This book is so well executed in every area including plot, action, pacing, writing style, world and character building. While the main character is Loken (an excellent character)this book is full of larger than life characters every reader will want to follow up with after reading this most notably; Warmaster Horus; the Mournival, made up of Little Horus, Abaddon, Torgaddon, and Loken; Fulgrim and several other Primarchs, as well as the elite unites such as the Word Bearers, Blood Angels, Emperor's Children, and Luna Wolves. This book made me care about the characters and what happens to them and their world. Highly recommended for all fantasy and Science fiction readers, especially anyone who has not read Warhammer 40K books. This is the best introduction book I have read to any huge series to inspire a want to continue with a series.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch ---Review

The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastards, #3)The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall a strong 4.5/5

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch-ARC from Netgalley

Writing 5/5
Imagination 5/5
Plot 4/5
Setting 4.5/5
Characters 4/5

I really liked this book. It has much of what I loved in The Lies of Locke Lamora and was much better to me than Red Seas Under Red Skieswhich I did not finish. The Lies of Locke Lamora is one of my favorite fantasy novels and while I did not like this as much as that one, I was very satisfied with it. All Gentleman Bastard series fans will love this book. We get a closer look at Locke's past and follow along on his and Jean's newest adventure.

The writing again is superb! At times gritty and dark and at times light and humorous, I could read Scott Lynch prose all day. For the most part the plot was easy to follow even with a relatively large cast of characters and more are continuously added throughout. The dialogue is excellent as is the narration. The world and its characters are all so vibrant it's easy to imagine being there. Scott Lynch has created a very believable world highly imagined and it is very unique and thrilling to learn more about. The plot advanced very well and at times was ingenuously written. I remember several times being consciously aware of how well a plot point was handled/resolved with such creativity and imagination. The magic system is one of my favorites in all of fantasy and I would love to see it expanded on. I love the Bondsmagi and would love to learn more of the history. Furthermore, we learned some more about the Eldren race and I anticipate learning more in the future. Lore is one of my favorite parts of fantasy stories and there is some here and a lot to work with if the author chooses in the future.

Toward the end of the book we learn some things about Locke's past and that is a high point of this book for me. I always thought there was more to the character and while it is starting to come out, we are still not sure by the time the book ends. I am totally hooked and the next book in the series The Thorn of Emberlainis one of my most anticipated future fantasy books.

For me there are only 2 things that make this less than a 5 star book and they are tied closely together. This is the length and sub plot. This book is not necessarily too long for the story(s) it gives but I favor work that is under 500 pages, preferably 300 or under. At 800 pages this was a bit overwhelming for me. Although I have read many 1000+ page books, most of my all time favorites are on the short side. I have a very high rate of "did not finish" books and also books I start but put aside to read later cause they just did not hook me. Thankfully, this was not the case with this book. I admit to skimming a few parts of the interlude sub plot story which was not a bad story but I just wasn't wowed as with the main story.

Highly recommended!

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Companions (The Sundering #1) by R.A Salvatore---A review

The Companions (The Sundering, #1)The Companions by R.A. Salvatore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Received as an ARC through Netgalley from the publisher Wizards of the Coast.

The Companions by R.A Salvatore, the first book of the new series The Sundering, is excellent in almost all areas of measuring a book including action, writing, plot, and character building. The writing was top of the line! Having read several R.A. Salvatore books in the past, this shows extreme maturity as a writer, not saying at all his other works were not good (they were very good) but I was extremely impressed with his writing here. This book took about 75-100 pages to really pull me in but once it did I couldn't put it down. I read it almost straight through in a few hours finishing the last 40 pages the next morning. The different plots were woven together expertly. The Drizzt monologues were beautifully written and my favorite parts to read. The pacing was great throughout the book and the action and dialog scenes mixed and flowed perfectly. The characters were all highly developed, even though we know a lot about them from the previous books. The ending was shocking in a way but it makes me crave more books about the Companions of the Hall. Also, the cover is amazing!

The Companions is a must read for all fans of The Forgotten Realms, especially of R.A Salvatore's Drizzt series Homeland. I believe all followers of Drizzt would love this book! For those not familiar with Drizzt, this is a great jumping off place to spark interest in other Realms books. All fantasy readers should try this book. I can't wait to read the next book in The Sundering series called Godborn by Paul S. Kemp Godborn

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond---My Review

The Woken GodsThe Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


This was a decent book but not something I loved. Well written, interesting plot, nice work including Gods from all over mythology, some decent suspense. However nothing really got my attention and it was difficult at times to continue reading. The characters seemed to lack development as I didn't really care what happened to them which in turn caused me not to care that much about the outcome of the book. Some may really like this book, especially YA readers. I don't much care for my fantasy set in modern day and on earth with the exception of The Iron Druid books. If you like that type of book, you should like this since it was in no way a bad book.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles Book 1) by Michael Sullivan--Review

The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles #1)The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Thank you to Netgalley and Orbit Books for the ARC of The Crown Tower by Michael Sullivan. The last 6 months or so I am getting caught up on all the fantasy books I haven't read which is difficult with the thousands of great ones to choose from. I am relatively new to giving reviews as I usually just rate what I read. However, it has been a privilege to receive a copy to review and I rely moderately on reviews for choosing my next book. This review for The Crown Tower is the first review I am giving for a book from Netgalley. My review style may not be for everyone as many reviews I read are not for me but I usually find a review(er)that works for me. I hope that someone may get something from my reviews to help them in selecting a book to read or not.

Overall, this book was good, but not great. I finished it, which to me makes it at least a 3/5 but there was a lot to enjoy apart from just making it through which I don't for many books no matter how well written, imaginative, or renowned they may be. I am familiar with this authors work having read the first 4 books in his Riyria Revelations before holding off to read other things before finishing. The first one was a 5/5, second 4/5, third 3/5 and forth 3/5 but was closer to a 2.5/5 mostly because I don't like sea adventure type books. I am hesitant to recommend this to readers unfamiliar with the Riyria Revelation series because it seemed slow, and without my knowledge of the background I most likely would have stopped. If you don't mind a slower moving plot with less action and more dialogue this would be fine to start with. I enjoyed many of the Easter eggs here relating to what I know from the previous books. The book moves by dialogue rather than narration which makes for a quick read but somewhat unsatisfying to me. Sullivan writes well, no need to consult a thesaurus or backtrack to understand what you just read. The place and character names are not distracting which is a major plus and there is not an overabundance of either. The plot was easy to follow and the characters each had a relatively unique voice which is appealing to a reader who likes character development, especially a reader familiar with Royce and Hadrian. I am all about lore and magic in my fantasy books but these were very minimal in this book. However, there was a "loremaster" character and it looks as if these elements will start to become more prominent in the next book. Bottom line: Highly recommended! For YA readers and adults. If the reader starts this and does not like it, try The Crown Conspiracy, Book 1 of the Riyria Revelations, which was excellent and may give the reader incentive to go back to this. I will definitely read the next book!

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The Hitman's Guide to HousecleaningThe Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning by Hallgrímur Helgason
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It has been awhile since I really enjoyed an action/thriller/mystery novel. This was very good and had my attention from the first page. Very good combination of violence and humor which in my experience is hard to do and not often seen. I laughed out loud several times while reading this. The author has a very unique voice as well that made this a pleasure to read. Highly recommended!

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