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IF you've read my book, stop by and see what I thought of these. If not, read my book then come back. :)

Healer's Ruin

Healer's Ruin

3.0 out of 5 stars Don't fight it, Ride it!, August 20, 2016
This review is from: Healer's Ruin (Kindle Edition)
This novel intrigued me because its approach is totally unique.
But if you think it isn’t, ask your self: Have I read a work of fantasy where the lead isn’t a warrior, but a healer? No? You should.

Healer’s Ruin follows Chalos Garuma-Latharan, Slinger of the Black Talon in the army of the Ten Plains King, whose focus is healing magic and if you’ve ever read some Old School High Fantasy or are a fan of RPGs (table top or video game) you know the importance of your healer. I know I do: “Protect the medic!” always followed any battle-cry when I was still playing.

What makes this story fun is Chalos’ position with the ranks, his need for them and their need of him, which often comes at odds with the violence of the day. And the violence can get a bit crazy given the power level and scale of O’Mara’s battles.

The style is modern, fast, a little rough and quick, very very quick.
Honestly, sometimes too quick. Maybe less would’ve been more in this case.

Now, this story isn’t for the uninitiated into the world of High Fantasy. The concepts are assumed, the terms/titles loose and the classic Sword and Sorcery/D&D style is fast, so a word to the wise least you be lost or worse, confused and overrun by the deep end of the pool you are so purposefully thrown into.

If advanced Fantasy is your thing, think World of Warcraft, Dragon Lance or the works of R.A Salvatore, than I think Chris O’Mara will be a great add to your collection of vast worlds with truly expansive histories and legends.

Overall, I enjoyed it and look forward to what O’Mara has yet to show me.

And for $.99—I mean, come on :)

The Lion of Cairo

The Lion of Cairo
by Scott Oden
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Shhhh....the Dead can hear you in the Desert, July 22, 2016
This review is from: The Lion of Cairo (Hardcover)
As a huge fan of desert settings, Middle Eastern culture and what’s often considered “exotic” fantasy simply because it’s not done enough, I was easily attracted to The Lion of Cairo, which, before I get started, is a pretty good book.
Now, there are some caveats to why I enjoyed this book: If you think this is straight up Historical Fiction, you’re wrong; if you think there’s a lot of fantasy here, you’re also wrong. Really, it’s a good blending, but leans towards Action Adventure with a firm Historical foundation and some unique Fantasy/Supernatural flare.

The tale follows the journey of Assad “The Emir of The Knife”— an assassin turned bodyguard whose asset is the Caliph in the mysterious and exotic city of Cairo. Now, the plot is straight forward: someone close to the Caliph is trying to kill him and take power & there’s also another faction of assassins for Assad and his female allies to deal with, not to mention some in-fighting political intrigue.
Overall, the baddies are clear, the action is rich and the story is adventures and engaging. The only downside, nothing really surprising happens; if you’ve read this genre enough, you can kind see what’s coming. Nevertheless, it’s still a good book.

Actually, it’s more like a competing Block Buster setup to rival Assassin’s Creed; this could turn some readers off if they think this is more of a dramatic Historical Fiction novel. Which it isn’t—unless you consider Conan and Tarzan Historical Fiction?

I’m excited to see what happens next.

Drake (The Burned Man)

Drake (The Burned Man)
by Peter McLean
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take A Walk On The Dark Side, July 19, 2016
Don Drake is a glutton for punishment and self-inflicted abuse to-be-sure. And though this is a trope of many urban fantasy takes on the demon-dealing street wizard who confronts all sorts of nasties that go bump in the night, Drake’s entertaining draw is the fact he’s truly forced to ask for help, which only complicates matters and already strained relationships; thus the “Rob Peter to Pay Paul” construction gives the story of a supernatural hit-man a particular flair, making the author’s voice unique.

The one issue I had: I don't like mixing and matching different creatures, religious beings, monsters and so on, without a grounded explanation for it. The Greek myth existing alongside the Christian mythology was tough to get through. But that's just me.

Nevertheless, if Dark Fantasy and Urban Magic are your thing; If you enjoy a spin through the sketchier sides of London splashed with mystery and a dash of sexual noir, then maybe you should walk in Drake’s shoes. He could use a friend, a normal one.

The Immortals: Part One: Shadows & Starstone

The Immortals: Part One: Shadows & Starstone

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars IN A WORLD OF GODS AND DARKNESS...., July 10, 2016
If you love Mythology. If you enjoyed the movie Clash of the Titans. If you every played a table-top RPG or spent some times behind a controller or keyboard casting spells and deciding on armor choices...THEN THIS MY FRIEND, is the book for you.

This is a great example of a quick, action-packed Dungeon Crawl adventure.

Immortals, each with theirown aspect of nature’s most powerful forces, created by The Four to protect an item from being taken by the evil Dro-Aconi set the stage for a fun Young Adult Fantasy—which is only the taste of a much greater world.

Now, this being a prequel, it did pretty well setting the stage for later books.
However, be ready to not know everything and given the rather direct plot, it’s got alot of action; and that should kinda be assumed.

Overall, it was good.
I think older readers might like it less than younger—some of the action is very “300”ish, but it’s for YA readers and this is the author’s style. And it seems to be working for Zack Snyder :)

Lastly, and more importantly, the best compliment is seeing fans of the later book(s) say they wish they’d read this first—always a good sign.

I look forward to watching the series grow.

Mountain of Daggers (Tales of the Black Raven) (Volume 1)

Mountain of Daggers (Tales of the Black Raven) (Volume 1)
by Seth Skorkowsky
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Swashbuckling Gothem-style Sword&Sorcery Hero fit for a late-night run on Toonami's Adult Swim., June 19, 2016
Like many NOW renowned troubled heroes of fantasy born in pulp comics and magazines, the tales of Ahren “The Black Raven” are brought to us in short bursts of epic deeds and flashy escapes with constant bloody action and speed. Truly, this was a fun collection to long as you know that’s what you’re reading. These stories aren’t exactly linked and plenty might be left unanswered, but it’s the adventure that’s important, not the larger world.

The only detractor is, and it should be obvious, is the high use of nostalgic tropes.
And while a fan of Sword and Sorcery, I wish certain things I kinda hadn't seen coming so much. If when reading this character every few months or so in magazines or w/e, you might not see them, but, one after the other they become clearer.

Goes back to: Know What You’re Reading. I knew, but was hoping for a little bit more given Skorkowsky's skills.
What can I say, I’m greedy; always want to be surprised.

I sense something greater in the works for The Black Raven, something beyond the short adventures AND because of this, my greed, I look forward to diving again into The Black Raven’s world and learning the secret use of his horde, the depth to his purpose...

Seven Princes (Books of the Shaper)

Seven Princes (Books of the Shaper)
by John R. Fultz
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars No Elves, Dwarves or Orcs need apply..., June 10, 2016
Seven Princes, breakout novel by John R. Fultz, beings with a bit of grim-style tragedy—the murder of King Trimesqua at the hands of Emhathyn, a powerful necromancer, followed by the escape of young Prince D’zan, thus setting of the classic quest of vengeance and political maneuvering.

So, if you like epic Howardian fantasy, grim/Lovecraftian content & GoT style politics, you’re in for a treat.
Also, and let’s just be honest...who ISN’T a fan of blood-magic, am I right? This was a treat :)

First, going from short stories to epics is challenging, but Fultz seems to take in stride.
His vast world is rich and full filling. His prose, poetic and yet sharp—even if at times they’re a bit long or maybe some names and places were uncomfortable to pronounce. Nevertheless, this is a tome you could easily re-read and continue to find little hidden gems, which at first were simply fun filler, but given later knowledge, reveal just how in-depth Fultz has planned his fantastic world of lore and legend.

I recommend this novel, though it got a little YA at moments, but overall, I’m interested to see where Seven Kings is likely to go given the tease you get at the end of 7P.

Fans of Fantasy, this should be on your TBR list NOW!

Champions of Aetaltis

Champions of Aetaltis
by Elizabeth A. Vaughan
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let me tell you of the days of High Adventure..., May 28, 2016
This review is from: Champions of Aetaltis (Paperback)
If you're looking to dive into a classic world of wizards and warriors, this is your read. Each author brings their own unique take on such a vast and awesome landscape that you'll simply burn through the book and want for more. One in particular was the story "A Whole Hearted Halfling" by Melanie Meadors—classic fantasy with a great moral and a dark twist; something all readers should take the time to checkout on their way through the epic world of Aetaltis.

Esoterrorism: From the Secret Files of the Red Room

Esoterrorism: From the Secret Files of the Red Room

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smartass Magician-Monster Hunter/Spy...did you get all that?, May 16, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First: The Solid Cover is what caught my eye. Yes, I window shop books.

Second: Derek Hawthorne, agent of the Red Room—a family operated Occult-based agency overseeing all manner of nasty monster and mythological creature THE WORLD OVER—seems to always be having a s*** day; he’s the type of guy who complains about his job, but could never do anything else and that Love Hate relationship makes it fun to follow his daily grind.

Infact, at first I felt he was a sarcastic Constantine/Bond hybrid, but I quickly realized he wasn’t either and the assumed weak attempt at combining the two was kinda annoying....but then I realized he’s not JAMES BOND, nor is he as dark as CONSTANTINE: He’s Sterling Malory “ARCHER” yes, the same Archer from the FX show, with a huge lump of Urban Fantasy thrown in for good measure.

Sound good? It did to me. This is about the time my reading picked-up speed.

And it gets better. How?
Do you like gadgets and gizmos? Strange magics and wonders?
Now, you don’t get a lot about that stuff, even less about the overall world, but that didn’t bother me because massive info-dumps to explain everything would’ve killed the flow of this pretty action-paced story and remember, this isn’t in-depth Fantasy of SciFi; not to mention, plenty of these cool things exist in the ether of the narrative, serving to only tease a massive world for the author to draw from in the future. So strap in.

For me, Esoterrorism by C.T Phipps is the kinda F/SF mashup which got the genre(s) started, but to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the direction most in “Urban Fantasy” have gone, however, I did enjoy it enough to finish it—mostly because of my fondness for Derek “Archer” with magic—which says a lot.

Let me point out, Derek breaking the 4th Wall was A PLUS for me. Plenty of witty banter to make you smile. But I can also see why some purists might not enjoy it; some readers are easily distracted, or need Dialog Tags and some just aren’t fond of the on-going gag of cliche jabs and/or other seemingly out-of-place remarks.

However, once you except it, it blends and becomes part of the author’s creation. Bravo.

I enjoyed the WMD and Evil Corporation plot enough not to be bothered, but not the “Secret Enemy Agency” which counters the Red Room. Feels like this trope within a trope has been done to death, but because of other gems along the way—unknown creatures from diverse backgrounds, some feared by veteran DnD players like myself—this is easily enough smoothed over.

Summary Thoughts:
It took me awhile to settle on giving it a 3 instead of a 4 and it mostly comes down to This: You’re either a Big Fan of Urban Fantasy, or someone like me, who really isn’t for the most part, because of things like Charmed, Buffy, Angel and Supernatural have ruined it for you...I tend to walk a darker, grittier path and while this adventure did get closer than most, I can’t give it a four because it’s not something I’d likely read again.

Everything being equal, I think any fan of the genre should check it out. Also, I bet there’ll be plenty of readers who consider themselves on the fence, who just might end up falling in love with this series.

Happy Reading

Storm and Steel (The Book of the Black Earth)

Storm and Steel (The Book of the Black Earth)
by Jon Sprunk
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Web has yet to reveal the Spider, beware the warning of Mulcibar!, March 6, 2016
Black Earth, part Two:
The Akeshian Empire is falling apart. The Cult of the Sun is everywhere looking for vengeance. And great armies are on the march.
Who will stand against such threats?
From Death to Slave. From Servitude to Politician. From mourning husband and father to royal concubine, we continue the epic tale of Horace, savior of Queen and Country. But the world has become ever so much more complicated since the events of "Blood and Iron" and perhaps some actions have only made things worse—
Jirom and Emanon’s righteous slave rebellion spreads; Alyra finds herself further from Horace and his ideals, as all around her difficult questions with painful answers grow; even Horace, his power and place within the destiny of the Empire hang in the balance, for darker things are waiting just beyond the night...

Quick Thoughts:
Positives—Spurnk, through his entertaining yarn of sword and sorcery, has woven an exciting and richly diverse web of struggle and doubt at the heart of nobility. I love heroes you can cheer for, even if they piss you off at times. Also, parts of this story had a very CLASSIC feel to it, something you’d find in the Iliad. Another plus, I love politics in Fantasy, so the intrigue was fun.

Minor Detractor—Much of the book follows the rebellion, which is cool, but, maybe a little too much war/battles? Could’ve streamlined the details some, given the last battle was really set apart from the others.

Be on the lookout for part Three of the Black Earth Series. I know I will.

Beyond Redemption

Beyond Redemption
by Michael R. Fletcher
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars If an inmate of Arkham were to write a fantasy, Beyond Redemption could be it., January 22, 2016
This review is from: Beyond Redemption (Paperback)
When I first began reading Mr. Fletcher’s epic, I was immediately filled with a sense of familiarity, for the opening salvo reminded me of Neil Gamin’s fondness for playing with dreams and nightmares. Except, of course, the beauty was quickly replaced with morbid madness and the vibrant colors were instead hacked into shades of dirt and gory violence. And the crux of it all, here we find a world that may or may not even truly exist. Because in such a place born in the aftermath of delusional Gods and Reality Wielding Wizards, the focus and contemplation required to definitively answer the question of One's Existence, could very well destroy a city, a nation, if not the world.

To be clear, this is a Grimdark novel; all the rotten muck and rusty violence and more are woven into ever page. It’s also, a horror, because madness of this scale is terrifying and really that’s the uniqueness of this meticulously crafted world. The other uniqueness is that, this is a world without heroes and that might be one of two points which caused me to LIKE it and not LOVE IT.

FIRST: The German—
Awesome! Creative! I'm not sure I’d ever seen it before. So, congrats to the Author for having the GUTS to do hisown thing; but, yeah, I quickly either shortened the names of people/places or just memorized the “look” of the words so I could otherwise ignore them, which is what I would’ve also done with excessively Fantasized names/terms. I will say, if the writing wasn’t so clean, a few of the characters so horribly fascinating despite my revulsion of them, I might’ve been tempted to pause my reading. So, bravo Mr. Fletcher.

SECOND: No Heroes—
Ummmm, so, I’m all for baddies becoming anti-heroes, even if only by the slimiest margin, but in this story, at the end of the day, everyone could die (the Washed-up Warrior, the Swordsmen, the Thief and the God Maker) and the world would be that much better for it. But, it also made sense that they Were Who They Were, because there’s no hope or point in trying to be something you’re not. That being said, the most human character, not GOOD but conflicted, is the equivalent of a Professional Torturer, which is terrible, yet somehow appealing for a single story line of this nature...kinda in the same way a standalone movie works sometimes better than series. As for the series going for, I’d have to consider the lack of heroes. Maybe in that way I’m still too much of an old school fantasy reader.

Final Notes—
My favorite thing about this novel were the Doppelgangers. When you read it, you’ll know why.
2nd is the investment in Madness. Some of you will question yourself after reading certain sections.
3rd is the immense amount of World Building...makes you wonder if Mr. Fletcher hasn’t fallen prey to madness himself.

Even if it’s because its something totally new, or for some sick, twisted curiosity—because you’ve just got to know what EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT—Beyond Redemption is definitely worth giving a spin. Who knows, maybe the madness will capture you. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll willingly find yourself on one helluva ride into a world where nothing is what it seems.

Blade of the Destroyer: The Last Bucelarii Book I (Volume 1)

Blade of the Destroyer: The Last Bucelarii Book I (Volume 1)
by Andy Peloquin
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Demonic Hack'n'Slash!, August 28, 2015
First, let me say, I struggled between 3 and 4 stars, but settled on 4, because I feel the next installment will be between 4 and 5.
That being said...
If you enjoy a well written, highly descriptive character, struggling with his inner demon, who’s also a master of brutality—almost to an anime fashion—this is your book and Mr. Peloquin has done you proud.

In Blade of the Destroyer, we follow The Hunter: no real name, no history, living in/around Voramis. And what you quickly learn is, don’t be scummy enough to draw his murderous attention, though it’s kindof a give-in, considering the vividly detailed shit-hole he tromps through when on the hunt. But that’s also the appeal. This isn’t the kindof story that tricks you into thinking it’s something other than what it is, which was kinda where I got lost.

Mr. Peloquin has clearly done his research, because Hunter is an extremely skilled POD contract killer and this book is filled with gore left in his wake, which at times made it more like a thriller/horror than a fantasy, despite a crazed soul-stealing dagger and quasi magical humans. I feel the fantasy elements, beyond the demonic, will grow as the briefly elaborated outer world of Einan does.

Now, given how much of a monster struggling between humanity or accepting the pleasures found when sticky red flows between his fingers, you can easily assume the event(s) that plunge the story into conflict: He’s either double crossed (clearly a No-No) or people close to him are hurt. If you guessed both, you’d be correct and likely a lover of Iconic Action Movies. So what does he do? Yep, he goes on a killing rampage. And while maybe a bit predictable, shorter routes ignored for the sake of greater action to come, it felt classic, only because it seems that was Mr. Peloquin’s point.

The combat scenes. They’re fantastic! Easily the clearest opinion of every reader. You experience every action and reaction, as well as the crushing, bloody consequences. But, I’ve to admit, I wish he wasn’t so quick to kill; would’ve been fun to expand upon other tools in his toolbox for getting the job done. We see bits of this when Hunter is creating disguises, but the easiest option seems to always be bloodshed. Mostly though, I wish he wasn’t so unstoppable. That’s the crux of it. Characters like this eventually get caught in a “Wolverine Loop”—No matter how many times he gets beat down or seemingly critically bloodied, you know it’ll never be enough to put him down for good. Because of this, the sense of danger doesn’t truly exists. I hope in later novels this issue is addressed. Maybe there's a Kryptonite we don't know about yet?

For fans of this genre, Mr. Peloquin has delivered a satisfying first splash of blood and vengeance and I think he's earned a loyal following.

The Night It Got Out

The Night It Got Out
by Patrick James Ryan
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ryan attacks the Monster Genre one deliciously bloody page at a time knowing you'll come back for more., June 20, 2015
This review is from: The Night It Got Out (Paperback)
Mr. Ryan sinks his teeth into you in....*spooky voice* The Night IT GOT OUT"
As it often happens, the Government created something it shouldn’t have and once it’s free, a horrific rampage ensues; everyone in its way is reduced to being both a tasty treat and further opportunity to refine it’s killer instinct. What is're not sure, but it's both familiar and new.
Now, while the public at large have no chance (Meat Bags with legs at every opportunity) two unlucky heroes with troubles of theirown are forced into the hunt: Chief Girard and Green Beret Colonel Harmon—as a side note, their sweet sweet banter reminded me of all the great action movies and TV shows of the 70s and 80s.
Now, I’m not going to spoil it, but while this appears to be yet another Werewolf story, it's origin is interesting and unique. It might be One Of A Kind. The best part is the real history woven throughout, which makes it more realistic, kinda making it a “What if this happened” story, instead of a straight-up, on-the-nose bloody monster hunt. Also, following the creature’s perspective every few chapters or so was fun. Doing so made it more a character than simply a threat to be eliminated, which also made it a page-turner.

Now, admittedly, I don't read this genre, so some of the tropes, while fun, did eventually make me want more of the uniqueness put into the creature's origin. However, I know fans of this sub horror genre live, eat and breath this, so to you I say: If you enjoy books that create splatter sounds in your brain and the sensation of wet meat between your toes; If you enjoy reading how monsters rip their way through every vengeful page, you’ll have a smiling good time with this one.

I look forward to more of Mr. Ryan’s work.

Tomorrow, the Killing: Low Town 2

Tomorrow, the Killing: Low Town 2
by Daniel Polansky
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Warden almost bit off too much this time., May 16, 2015
Tomorrow, The Killing is the sequel to The Straight Razor Cure—a must read if you've not already.
While the Noir of Low Town wasn't so fresh this time, the expanding city-scape made up for it. However, if you're like me, it's a double edge: you want to know more and more about the greater world, and yet you want the story to remain clean and tight to the daily grind of Low Town.
The flashbacks into Warden's war-time exploits were a much needed treat. The vile, brutality of it, coupled with the no-win tragedy forever imbedded in those who survive such things allows the reader to fix facts to WHO The Warden is and WHY.
Offered new places to see and characters to visit while Warden unravels the newest murder he's caught up in, I really enjoyed Mazzie of the Stained Bones and Adisu the Damned; when you get there, you'll really enjoy them too. Through them you'll learn that while Warden is most certainly a person of position—though usually high, drunk, bleeding or freshly blooding someone—he's not the only threat in the dark and more to his credit, he's hashing it out against some real crazies and killers.
To put a point on it, what makes Daniel's writing so good, at least for me, is first and foremost the dialogue. More often than naught, poor dialogue will ruin a story for me, but yet again the citizens of Low Town deliver.
Now, to be fair, the reason I didn't Love this book is because there wasn't enough magic. In the previous story, I very much enjoyed that terrible moment in the alley where Warden caught up with his mark only to find a truly frightening predator...again, when you read it, you'll know. I wish there was a moment like that here.
Nevertheless, I really enjoyed it and if not for other books needing to be read, I'd move directly to Daniel's next work: Those Above.

The Reader of Acheron (The Slaves of Erafor Book 1)

The Reader of Acheron (The Slaves of Erafor Book 1)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good foundation for a world that can only get bigger and bigger, March 8, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Walter Rhein’s The Reader of Acheron blends elements of a post-apocalyptic scifi and a dystopian fantasy into something all his own. It’s a story of survival, bleakness and harshness as seen through the eyes of Kikkan, a slave (a pov underutilized in fantasy) and the dynamic duo Quillion and Cole, who are the best part of the novel for me because of their classical relationship. What can I say, some tropes are just always going to be good fun to read.
The plot is presented in such a way you can easily blow through the pages:
The Rich get Rich. The Poor stay Poor. Don’t question Your Betters. And finally, No Reading or Writing and Offenders are To Be Hunted and Punished—In the simplest terms, that’s why the world has gone to hell.
To that end though, I was a little disappointed in two areas:
1) I would’ve enjoyed more tidbits here and there for the reader to piece together what may have happened to the planet despite characters remaining ignorant. Maybe that’ll come in Book Two? 2) Too many times it felt characters were better educated than the plot suggested. Again, Book Two could flush this out.
All-in-all, I enjoyed the depth of conscience Walter Rhein sprinkled through this journey where many are a little hero and villain, because ignorance and the fear of knowledge are forever the true enemy.
I look forward to the next chapter and so should you.

To the Towers of Tulandan: A Lays of Anuskaya Novelette (The Lays of Anuskaya)

To the Towers of Tulandan: A Lays of Anuskaya Novelette (The Lays of Anuskaya)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Patriot/Terrorist High Fantasy. :), February 19, 2015
Do you like rebellion? Do you like politics? Do you like a mixture of early technology and magic in a non-English/Western European setting?
Do you like characters that muddy the water between good and evil as a consequence of real human conflict?
If so, Than This Is For You.

Reading this, I was quickly immersed in a story on the move. No speechifying. No drawn-out narration. No history of the world that "You've just got to know." Boom: STORY! Yes, I see how for some it might be a little off-putting, given the magic plus the terms and how they are interchanged...but that's High Fantasy. Also, it suggests the depth and thoughtfulness behind the setting, which this is but a 50+ page shot of. As an Example of the time put into the world: the Elemental *Spirits* aren't just remanded to being the standard Elemental (Race) found in most fantasy, but each given their own name and purpose—which is yet another layer built into the exotic people and places of this world.

I'm not going to tell you what happens. Why? It's not long. Check it out. It'll be worth it.

As for me, I haven't read any of Mr. Beaulieu's books yet, but after this little taste, now they'll all be on my To-Read List.

Betrayal's Shadow: Book One: Mahaelian Chronicle

Betrayal's Shadow: Book One: Mahaelian Chronicle

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complexity is a Blade that sings Fast and Loud!, October 30, 2014
Fortune favors the Bold!
It's not prefect, but effort and scope takes it from a low 4 to an overall 5 for me.

Specifically inspired by Erikson’s epics, it's no wonder De Burgh brings a vast cast of characters. Something I admire. Pay attention to the Court, cause with his style, there's no sleeping in class. Sword or Pen, everyone is looking to get ahead.

The thing I liked most about this story, is every action and reaction matters somewhere along the way and if not here, than stay tuned. The secrets and violent politics amass like a tight ball of's a story we've all been told, but with characters new, fresh, fun and did I say magically violent?
The second thing I liked about it was the speed. Detail what I need to know. Assume I can follow along with things I should be able to pickup or already know. That's how I like to write, so that's how I like to read. For me, this makes his writing very easy and quick. Again, you've got to pay attention, cause the story is moving and you're often right in the middle of it...or in this case, after the decimation of a race.

Keep you're eye out for this one.

Fae - The Wild Hunt (The Riven Wyrde Saga Book 1)

Fae - The Wild Hunt (The Riven Wyrde Saga Book 1)

4.0 out of 5 stars Mild Flavor, but Burns in the Belly!, October 30, 2014
I'm not going to outline the details, that's why you're going to read it.

Overall, it was a good story, though not at all what I was expecting. For instance, when I was learning about Devin's abusive home life, while well written, I was starting to wonder when the Fantastically Dark Fae would get the plot moving in the direction I assumed we'd be going. Like a few others, I felt there were portions where the story was too descriptive. Maybe less would've been more with Kloss? Anyway, I started breezing through pages, stopping for character interaction/development and the like. Thankfully, these bursts of mythology and dialogue kept my interest enough to get to The Fae where we learn Graham's fun take on the Wild Hunt.

For me, the ending made the book. It was great!
I hope book two follows much of this style and speed.

Odd Men Out

Odd Men Out
by Matt Betts
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Anyone else doing Civil War/U.N Flying Zombie Killers? Didn't think so., September 25, 2014
This review is from: Odd Men Out (Paperback)
First, I picked it up because of the cover. It's great. Right away BOOM!
Second, I read the back and learned it was Steampunk meets Civil War meets Zombies.
Third, thumbing through it, I learned there were Pirates, Circus folk, Apocalyptic themes and....wait...B-Movie type LIZARDS!
*Money then magically appeared in my hand and it was mine.*

In The Park Four-Bagger! Yes, C.J Spencer is kinda like Han Solo, but, remember, I said there were Pirates—so this is to be expected. And did I mention the LIZARDS! Ok, yea, I didn't see that coming. The Circus parts were nice and I'm a fan of Bad Guys being explored because they're often easily overlooked. I enjoyed the Giant Walking Ship more than the actual Air Ships.

Personal NOTE: Upon discovering Mr. Bett's term for Zombies (Chewers) I remember laughing and smiling. I came to a somewhat similar thought early into the Walking Dead Craze when seeing Zombies on TV and realizing how "Chewy" they looked. So, it's always fun to know you're not alone in the dark. :)

Humble Opinion—There might've been better use of dialogue, character direction; some scenes might've been more flushed out, slowed down or sped up to improve flow and I think the History could've been used to better advantage, but all-in-all, this being his first time out, I say WELL DONE! And when can I read the next one?

Night Shall Overtake

Night Shall Overtake
by Michael R. Collins
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you can burn through "pulp," pause here and savor the bloody fun. August 28, 2014
This review is from: Night Shall Overtake (Paperback)
Michael R. Collins does a great job with this supernatural detective adventure and did I mention the M.C, Twila Matthews, is a Shapeshifter?
I'll admit, this isn't a book I'd buy for myself, but I'm glad I read it. And not because this noirish horror/fantasy is filled with classic tropes—making it fun the same way Old Monster movies are fun—but because of witty lines like "Alarm clocks are The Devil's ass trumpet" and "Dealing with some pissant hell spawn just seemed like less of a pain than throwing myself on the mercy of the geek lords of cellular service" and "Last week, I was almost eaten by a green boogeyman, and afterwards, he gave me his number. Sad thing is, I almost called him, but luckily my phone talked me out of it. Score one for the phone spook."
Trust me. This is a fun and quick read that'll make you smile.

 Neverland's Library: Fantasy Anthology

Neverland's Library: Fantasy Anthology
by Jeff Mariotte
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Lost Boys have great taste!, August 26, 2014
As anthologies go, this one is high in the ranks. Filled with heavy-hitting writers, readers will find exactly what they're expecting from this collection of gritty bards: magic, darkness, death, chance, dragons and more. I especially enjoyed the short by Tim Marquitz; it's always fun to find authors you've been missing out on.

Rusty Nails, Broken Glass

Rusty Nails, Broken Glass
by S.C. Hayden
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Come get it!, August 18, 2014
I'm not a horror fan, but I liked this book. Shorts work best for me as nasty campfire nightmares and any one of these fits the bill. They're well written. To the point. I enjoyed every creepy page. S.C Hayden should be proud of the fluid eeriness with which his stories spill from one telling to the next. Well done!

American Nightmare

American Nightmare
by Tim Marquitz
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Do you like classic TV, July 19, 2014
This review is from: American Nightmare (Paperback)
Do you like classic TV: Leave it to Beaver; The Honeymooners; Father Knows Best and so on?
Do you like Black'n'Whites centered around places like Mayberry? Would you like all those things even more if...well...they weren't anything like what they seemed? Maybe the Twilight Zone with a kick——iconic style storytelling, but born of the occult and blood and all things to make your hair turn gray?


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