Dragon's Lair

Dragon's Lair
Picture is from Marc Adamus

Michael's bookshelf: currently-reading

Pandemonium
0 of 5 stars true
tagged: currently-reading

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Monday, September 24, 2012

The Last Grimm

The Last Grimm: Red's HoodThe Last Grimm: Red's Hood by H.L. Wampler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really did like this book, though it seemed to be more of a chick book then I am used to reading. This book did seem to be generic as an overall theme of the last Grimm who needed to save the real world from the fairy tale world. There is a television show about that subject but I do think that this gives the tale a very good presentation. The story is presented through the eyes of the last Grimm, Abbigal Grimm. She learns of this after an attack on a coworker and learning that the eye candy she has at her office is actually from the Fairy Tale world and is here to help her stop the evil that is spreading. In my opinion it really is this perspective that helps to save this story from being bland and cliche. The struggles of being a freshman in college, having a full time internship, dealing with a relationship, trouble-ish at home, all the while having to save the world, make for a very tense situation but Abby does very well at handling all of these things. Though she grows as a person and a character she does not change her attitude or her personality. This was refreshing to me because I know that in many cases the person would crumple and become someone that they are not, instead of growing as Abby does.

The writing style is also very good, with plenty of humor, action, and suspense. The language that is used is that which an eighteen year old would use, particularly the language that is used when describing Abby's thoughts. This was another aspect that helped the book to be better than what it could have been.

The characters on the other hand, didn't really seem that real to me. The relationships were real but the characters themselves did seem to be more generic: snooty assistant replaced by the bubbly one, the jealous best friend who ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the hot guy that everyone wants but only wants the MC, the estranged mom struggling to come to grips with reality.

I hope that in the next book the characters do evolve and become more real and they gain a "flesh" you could say. As for the story I do want to see where the author takes this story and see how the tales will be entwined and how the real world will be effected.

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Within the Shadows

Within The Shadows (Shadow World, #1)Within The Shadows by Julieanne Lynch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is in the air for me. There were many parts of it that I liked but there were also many parts that I did not like.
Pros
I liked the idea behind the book, that there are multiple types of Vampires in the world. That there are those that are humans who were turned, there are those who were born with a Vampire “gene” I think it said, and then a new breed that is the focus of this novel. At least for me this is a little different and gives life, pun intended, to a genre that is starting to get very stale very fast. Probably the best part about this is that the new breed is a group of vampires that maintain their soul, so they are in a sense humans with vampire powers and curses, and they must feed on not only the blood of a victim but also the soul, which is a new concept for me. I found the writing was very good, the action flowed from one event to another quickly and keep the reader guessing as to what was going to happen next, but more on that later. I did think that there was adequate detail for the events that occurred and I could envision the events clearly. I also liked Giselle, I liked the development that she underwent, even if I thought she made some drastic jumps in choices, but given the circumstances and information available to here I don’t blame her in the least. I also liked Antione, he was the mental relief for me in this book. By that I mean I could always rely on him to be up front with Giselle even though you could tell that he was still holding information from her. I felt he interacted with Giselle the best out of every character in the novel and that he was probably the best character.
Cons
Ok, there are roller coasters that have highs and lows, twists and turns, excitement and heart break. ………. Not this one. This novel starts at the top of the lift hill and drops you, quite literally into a free fall for about 60%, gives you another hill to go up and you start to think, things may get better. Then after about 5-10% the bottom falls out worse than at the beginning. This is my main problem with the novel, Giselle is thrown from one bad situation to another with not one chance for her to make her own choice in anything save what happens at 60%, granted reading on my kindle so I can’t really give you a page number. One, like most I suppose, she is forced into becoming a vampire while under the “pretext” of choice. The same happens for her innocence, which made me very upset personally. Then she is forced to become a test tube for the vampires and sees how much of a traitor her “friend” was and is to her. She gets out when she learns that she can go home and you think things may start to look up for her. Nope, she is caught up in the drama again, after being home 24 hours. She then has one night to do what she wants and then is taken back to the vampire drama, where she is forced, again under the pretext of choice, do be a pawn in the vampire’s schemes. After that she tries to get out and be on her own and quite literally goes to hell, which she does escape to go back to a figurative hell. Then a random parallel world is thrown in with no real explanation as to why, and even there she is followed and attacked. The book ends with her being knocked out and probably kidnapped. So you see this plot does not let up for one second and that rubbed me the wrong way, granted it may not for others but I would have at least liked a little more of a light at the end of the tunnel ending. As for the characters, pretty much hated their guts by the end save for Giselle, Antione, Leonid, and Marc. Every other character is either a backstabber or just a devil with no real redeeming quality.
So I can’t say that you will not like this book, but I do believe that if you read this novel be ready for a very large drop that doesn’t really stop till the end.


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Monday, September 10, 2012

Within the Shadows Blog Tour

~sorry for no images, blogger is being stupid atm for me~

Within the Shadows By J.A. Lynch

Published July 18th 2012
Vamptasy
ASIN: B008MZJB3W

“Living on the razors edge, Giselle Burgman's life is torn apart by her cheating boyfriend. Little does she realise that he is the least of her worries when her long term friend Alex introduces her to his family and a new, darker world. A world of lies, deceit and corruption. Thrown from one problem straight into another, the razors edge gets thinner and sharper, testing Giselle's sanity and vitality. Not even she can hide when living within the shadows.”

“The story is a page turner. I had to keep finding out what happened next and normally, I don't like vampire novels. Ms. Lynch has given me a new love for vampire stories with this gem.” Erin Miller

“It is not your average vampire story and brings a refreshing new take to the world of vampires. The characters are well developed and intrigue from the word go and the story doesn't stop for you to catch your breath. It will astound, amaze and bewitch you.” Stacem

“I would recommend this book to everyone that enjoys a great book with the ability to keep you guessing. I will have to say this is one of my favorites!” Gale Nelson

About the Author:

Fiery Librian Julieanne Lynch is an author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Julieanne lives in Northern Ireland, where she works on her Shadows Trilogy and other series full-time. Before becoming a writer, she considered a few different career paths, a rock star being one of them. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at The Open University, and considered journalism as a career path. However, she decided writing was the way for her and believes all of her education and reading prepared her for it.

An avid reader, Julieanne has always had an encompassing fascination with folklore. When not writing, she enjoys crime series such as Criminal Minds, CSI, NCIS and Cold Case, and loves anything with Vampires, listening to metal, meeting new people, drinking lots of green tea, and sharing her dreams with her children. She is a self-professed goth wanna-be, and is happy when left to write into the early hours of the morning.

Julieanne's YA series, The Shadows Trilogy, is published by Vamptasy Publishing and thus far contains In the Shadows. It follows the war between vampires and shadow creatures. Giselle Bergman, an 18-year old human girl, falls victim to a scheme by one of her closest childhood friends, and embarks on a journey that sees her become the centre of a battle between good and evil.

Find Julieanne online:

http://www.julieannelynch.co.uk

http://www.julieannelynch.blogspot.com#

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJulieanneLynch

Where to purchase Within the Shadows:

http://www.amazon.com/Within-Shadows-Shadow-Novels-ebook/dp/B008MZJB3W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1345464957&sr=1-1&keywords=j+a+lynch

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008MZJB3W

http://www.freewebstore.org/storepage1218883.aspx

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hunger, Rider of the Apocalypse

Hunger (Riders of the Apocalypse, #1)Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is honestly very intense. With that said, I am glad to say that there is light at the end of the tunnel for this novel. As Lisa grows as the Horseman Famine she also grows as a person and is able to make choices that she probably should have made earlier but were still good for her to make. I like the interactions between the horseman, and each one does have his or her own personality that goes with what they are in charge of. This book is very short, only 180 pages, but the author addresses all of the needed plot elements to make this a great story. She could have extended this book a bit and added more periods of growth for Lisa, but the way it is is more than sufficient for the book.

I enjoy the way that Lisa has mental arguments with herself, and how the author portrays them to the reader. Not only does it literally get you into Lisa's head but it does also allow you become more attached to Lisa, and if you are like me, you will just want to hold her and help her in whatever way you can.

My only problem with the story is that I, probably wrongly, went into this book thinking that it was during the apocalypse or at least bringing it in. Now this book is not but i think that it is a great format to allow the character to grow and become a better person. So with this said, I do not think that this is a christian fiction book in any way. Yes the horseman of the apocalypse is a Christian concept but there is no mention of the horsemen being sent out by the Christian God. Instead they are seen as gods in a way as they are simply entities in charge of their respective domains.

I can't wait to read the rest of the books in this series and see what the author does with the other horseman.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Goddess Test

The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book, and was mildly surprised with how good the book was. The writing style was the first thing that caught my eye, there was the right balance of detail and drama to ensnare you in the story from the beginning. The plot flows from one event to another without having the snags that occur in many YA, or NA books. (NA is New Adult for those who don't know or haven't heard of it.) The premise of the book was very good, though I did catch on before the end of the story. Granted many of the Gods were very transparent, Ava for one. But most others I was not able to determine who they represented, and that is good, at least to me. I was also intrigued by the varying stages of death there were presented in the book, and the concept of death presented. The book presents death as that which the person believes in, so a person who thinks that death is a field of daisies then that is what you will experience when you died. I also enjoyed how the gods were presented, that they are immortal beings that can also have physical mortal bodies that can die. If their physical bodies die then they spend time in a semi-death until they chose to retake a physical form or they pass into true death.

Now for the setting, the book takes place in Eden, which is clearly stated to be a reference to the Garden of Eden. This is not portrayed as the Biblical Garden, as it has direct references to the entryway of the Underworld from Greek Mythology, mainly the river Styx. Along with the actual underworld being the beauty the person believes it to be, this Eden is very beautiful and the author relates this beauty to the reader very well. But Eden plays a role in the plot, aside from what it represents. This Eden is the sight of the tests for Kate, and the Gods, through the author, make the town very real, despite what Kate believes, though clues are given from the beginning of the story.

Now for the tests, I do think that incorporating the Biblical into the story here was a very good touch. This brings the polytheism of Greek Mythology into a unity with the morals and beliefs of Christianity. I think the test was very well done, and as it was not revealed till the end of the story it was not forced on the reader as a religious view they must follow to understand the story. I think having a background in Christianity as well as a good understanding of Greek Mythology help to understand the story and to allow the reader to catch the subtle messages present in the story.

As for the characters, I really enjoyed reading about each and everyone of them. They were all clearly gods and goddesses but for many the ones that they were was unclear. The only ones that I was able to discern were Diana, Walter, James, and Ava. Many I had switched, while others I had no idea. As for their characters i enjoyed seeing and learning more of them and can't wait to find out more about each and every one.

I greatly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs a quick read, or wants to read a book that deals with Greek Mythology

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Seraphina

Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ok this was one of the better Dragon books that i have read, I enjoyed the differences between the dragons and the humans, especially in their mentalities. The dragons are much more mathematical and scientific in their thinking, liking themselves to the great intellectuals of the world. The humans are on the other end of the spectrum, expressing a love for the arts and abstract ideals of philosophy. Granted when Seraphina begins to express those Dragon traits the reading does become tedious, and there are not that many action scenes early in the book to get you through the tediousness of the writing. That isn't to say that the writing is not rich with detail, but to me there needed to be more action in the early parts of the book to help the reader get into the action. But that may also be because the book plays out like a mystery in many ways as opposed to most fantasy novels where the villain is clearly seen from the beginning and the story is the build-up to the final conflict. So with that said, this was a very good mystery. It provided many twists and turns, some I did expect, some I didn't; and the ending twist was one that came out of left field, the author did a very good job of leading you away from the "culprit". Even though the reader has to assume that is the overall culprit of the murder before the start of the book, and is something that i may like to hear or read more about in the next book, though that seems unlikely as how this book ends.

Now for the characters, all of them work and blend together perfectly to tell this story and make it rich and real. Few of the characters are one dimensional and as such the reader can see the growth and development of the main characters through the story.

Of all the characters my favorite would have to be Lucian Kiggs, probably because he is the most like me: both intellectually as well as parentage. He is someone who is in the pursuit of truth, no matter how much it will hurt him to discover it. He is loyal to those that he loves and will do anything for them. With that said he does have his faults, that anyone in his place would make, as i have made many of them myself.

The main character that I did not like was Lady Corongi. maybe it was her elitist attitude or maybe there always seemed to be something wrong with her that caused me to not like her, but I did enjoy her final twist, and needless to say that made me very happy, but you will have to read the book to figure out what it is :).

Well that is all that i have, so I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dragon novels, but also i warn you that if you do not have a very very very orderly, scientific, logical mindset you may have trouble reading this novel.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Empyreal Fate

Empyreal FateEmpyreal Fate by Rachel Hunter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok I loved and hated this book. I loved it because the plot engrossed me from the start even though it took time to get into the main plot and how everything tied in together. Everything about the story was real to me, the characters were real, the events were real, the twists were real, everything was real. That is also why I hated this book, i am sucker for having a good ending or at least a decent ending for the main character, and you do not get that in this book. I will not divulge what happens but I will say i was left screaming at the book as I finished. Now with that said, and as i said before this is one of my favorite books now, and I am very glad that I was able to read this book. I felt that the writing style fits perfectly, even if in many ways it is archaic. Also the length of the stor is perfect, I honestly am not sure i could have read much more than the 244 pages without having to walk away from this book. But I think that makes this a great book, that it is effecting me so much and I am having such a reaction against the characters goes as a credit to the author. Now granted not all books that make me hate the characters are 5 stars, but because this one made me want to keep reading and figure out what was going to happen next instead of just put the book down and walk away as other books have.

As to the setting and races present in this story, I think all are well done and express the prejudices and insecurities of all the races involved, granted the reader only really sees the interactions of the elves and humans. I think the limited landscape allows the actions to flow well and quickly especially when the two races do interact. This also helps with the reduced size of the book, the author does not have to spend a great amount of time explaining where the characters are going and why they are doing what they are doing. And actually this author provides all of the needed back story and scenery needed for the rest of the story, which is something that is very rare in the novels that I have read.

Now for the characters, this will not be pretty so I am going to spoil this part, granted this is for the characters that i DID NOT like. spoiler contains some severe language (view spoiler)[ Ok i had my severest reaction against Laervyen. The main reason for this is that he is a bastard and a rapist. I can not respect him as a character no matter how much i have to respect that the author has him fill the role he is playing perfectly. So for the character that he is supposed to be he fits it, but as a character i still do not think I could ever like him because of the actions that he takes, he has no redeeming value. I also have problems with Drevon but i also understand that he is simply misguided in what he thinks is right, even if he believes that he is right with all that he has, but he does what he does to help his family. Laervyen on the other end does all that he does for pure ambition and doesn't care for anyone other than himself. (hide spoiler)]

I found that i loved both Darrion and Amarya, and wanted them to come through at the end so much that i was screaming about the ending. I love that even though there was a love at first sight aspect to them, I still think it works given that she is an elf, and is supposed to possess supernatural beauty. All in all I loved both of these characters and hated what happened to them in the end, I only hope that the author can find a way to not have it end the way that it did.


So i highly recommend this book to any reader of fantasy novels, and it is a very quick and easy read that will refresh you when you are getting bogged down with the 500+ page epic, not that i am complaining about them, lol.

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dragon's Teeth

Dragon's TeethDragon's Teeth by Suzanne van Rooyen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ok, I am posting this a day early, hope that will be fine with all of you :). First off, this book definitely starts out a little differently than I expected it to. We do follow the story of Cyrus, but it seems as if we should be following the story of Benji, at least from how the prologue plays out. Even with that little shift I think this book does very well in explaining the events that are going on, why they occuring and giving the back story as to how they got to the point they are at. The book is separated into three parts, which I think helps group the content of the book better, but I do think that the way in which the story was told could have been more linearly, as well as allow you to focus on a single character, as opposed to jumping between the three that it does. The way the parts are told though does help with the mystery aspect of the story, but does give away the ending revelation if the reader is paying close attention. With that said, the author does very well in keeping the story consistent and flowing. She could easily have gotten caught up in any part of the story and neglected the overall plot but does well not to do that. I did think that some of the plot twists were a little transparent and were easily discovered many many pages before they were revealed while others were concealed very well and as such gave the reader a shock when they were revealed.

The actual plot of the story interested me very much as I am a biologist so the genetic modification and manipulation was very cool to me. I felt that the views on the modification were fairly limited in this novel, and possibly showing a side that was more against the the modifications would have interesting, but that does not detract from the overall plot as that isn't a main theme of the novel, more like a general subject a story is set in. I think that split between the northern Theocratic dictatorship and the southern-ish capitalistic society has interesting points. I do think that more of a conflict between the two would have been good, as it was you really get the feeling that they are two separate worlds and have no real connection to one another. Granted there are a few instances where the reader is reminded that they are existing in the same world and time, to me it was lost amid the rest of the story. As a whole i thought the story was very good but I think the author could have done a whole lot more with it and am curious if she chooses to do so.

Now for the characters, all were good but none were really spectacular save the twin sister. She was the one character that really stuck out to me and made me cheer for her. I don't know if it was that she was the first to step out or if it was just the way that she did it, but i was hoping that she would have a good ending, which she did and didn't in the same way. Again I think the author could have done a lot more with this character and am curious to see how the archetype will be used in her future works.

As with a character to like, i didn't really have any character that i just despised. It isn't that there aren't characters to despise, it was just that there wasn't that constant evil or negative presence, instead it was the concepts and ideas the people followed/were forced to follow. I guess the closest thing that there was to an evil character was the priests of the northern religion that ordered the heinous actions to be carried out.

So all in all, I do think the book is good, with a very good writing style and story progression, I think the characters are a little lacking but it is not so much that it takes away from the story. I recommend it for any sci-fi dystopian reader.

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Dragon's Teeth Blog Tour


Please check out this blog tour, I am going to be posting mine on August 12th

Monday, August 6, 2012

Vortex

Vortex: Return of the Effra Vol. 1Vortex: Return of the Effra Vol. 1 by Lindsey J. Parsons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this book. I love the take that it gives to everything, you start in the fantasy, go to the real and then back to the fantasy which in some ways is more real than the real world. The writing style hooked me right away, though i did have to get used to the British grammar. I liked how the author meshed the two worlds together while focusing only on one at any given time. That is another aspect of this book that I enjoyed, though there were two worlds you are only in the world that the main characters are in at any given time, you don't see what is going on in the other world. In some books this gets annoying as it makes you wonder what is going on and how things are changing but the author gives you enough information in the characters' story that tells you what is going on in the fantasy world, which drives you to see how events unfold there. And once they do start to unfold, things get heavy quickly and with plenty of action sequences. And as the action scenes go they are very well done, with the right mix and depth of description as well as dialogue. There was one thing that made the book slightly less in my opinion and that is that the story takes place in the course of a little more than 2 weeks, and that seems to be way too little time for all that is shown to have occurred, though it is probably expected that some events have happened before the current story even if they are not expressly stated to have been in the past. And one thing in particular that i don't think should have happened as fast as it did was how the love between the two characters was built so rapidly, granted it developed slowly over the course of the book but when examined it only took about a week for some things to start happening between them.

Now to my analysis of the characters, I did like both Sam and Damian though I can't say that either popped out of the page at me. Damian did a little more than Sam but I think that is because he has a mysterious back story that i would like to know more about, but other than that he didn't have anything that made him seem over the top, which in many ways i liked, it made him seem more real that way. The same can be said for Sam, she does have an intriguing back story but aside from her expertise with weapons there isn't anything really extra-ordinary about her, and again that is what makes her seem so real. So it is their ordinarity, i know that isn't a word lol, that makes them so good as the hero and heroine of this book. (side note, I know Damian is far from normal but take away that aspect and look at his personality and he is very normal and low key)

I didn't really have many characters that i didn't like save for the elves in this novel. That has to deal with how they interact with Damian even though the audience knows they are not being fair to him. All of the other characters, save for the villain who I am supposed to not like, I like and see how they play the role they are designed for.

The setting of the story is interesting. As I stated before it is a split world setting, with one taking place in a fantasy kingdom while the other taking place in modern England, at least that would be my best guess. Another part that I like is the alternate POV that the story is told in, switching between the two characters and allowing the reader to see each's reaction to the events that are transpiring. I have only read one book like this book and it is everything that I the other was.

So i would recommend this book for any reader of fantasy and of an older young adult audience.

View all my reviews

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn

Eon (Eon, #1)Eon by Alison Goodman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I wish I would have read this book when it first came out. It has absolutely everything that I have wanted in a book, at least recently. First off the story is about Dragon spirits based on the Chinese Zodiac, and the culture is very Chinese, which is amazing to me. There is the complexity of court intrigue as well as the double standards of men and women that was present in the ancient cultures. This book flows very well, and very quickly, I was able to read this book in less than 3 days, which was refreshing as I haven't been able to read a book like this in that fast in a long time as I have been working. I love the writing style and the imagery that is used. It is used very well and while it gives you a sense of what is going on around the characters it does not take away from the characters. The characters also play their roles very very well. Each one has a specific niche that they fit into and they fit into that niche very well. All of the characters feel very real, as if they are literally jumping out of the page and playing the book out for you right in front of you. The twists and turns in the book at times made me mad as they didn't always go the way I wanted but they kept me reading and kept me interested. Some of them were predictable but they were exactly what I wanted them to be, an that made the book so much better. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading Dragon Literature or even Chinese literature. I can't wait to read the next book and I believe the Author should work on some prequels about 500 years or so prior to this story.

Now for my favorite Character, Definitely Eon/Eona, but I also like Rilla. I like that she is devoted to her son Chart, as well as to her masters, even after she is freed. Both Rilla and Eon/Eona are strong female characters in a male dominated society. Even though they are strong they do have their weaknesses and that makes them all the more real, which I have noticed is a common trend in modern novels.

For my least favorite Character, Ido and Dillon. I don't like Ido because he is the villain and just someone that you want to hate if you like the main character as he is the perfect foil to Eon/Eona. While she is soft, kind, and learning, he is brash, angry, and full of himself even though he does not have all of the answers. I didn't like Dillon because of how his character changes through the book, granted he was being drugged but at the same time i think his ending could have been better.


So I highly recommend this book for someone who likes dragon novels or novels set in China or Chinese like cultures.

View all my reviews

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dragon Fate

Sorry for the time between posts, will try to be more consistent Dragon FateDragon Fate by J.D. Hallowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I would say this book is a 3.5. The reason for that is that it is a really good book, the characters are well developed and the interactions between the characters are awesome, but as for actual story there isn't much of one. I mean there is an overarching plot with some very good twists thrown in but at the same time the story did seem a little generic to me. Maybe i have just read too many dragon books, lol. This would be a very good book for the first Dragon book someone reads as there are many good ideas presented but for someone who is used to reading more detailed and innovative dragon novels I don't think it would be for you, but that is just my opinion. The characters work very well together, and I don't mean that in how they interact but in that their styles work together well. I do like the concept of magic that is presented even though it is a fairly common view of it, there are some new ideas that i liked, primarily the correlation between prayers and chants to magic. I do also like the writing style of the author, he allows the reader to get used to the characters slowly and learn with them. The downside to this is that the progression is fairly slow. The main action scenes of this book are well done even if they are typically short. The chapters of this book are short also, max being about 10 pages, that is no problem to me as it does keep the story flowing.

My favorite character in this book is definitely Delno and his dragon Geneva. They are both strong lead characters and they are very respectable individuals. I also like how Delno uses his brain over his brawn in many ways. I did like Rita, but that may just be that I am a guy, read the book to find out why. And on that topic there are actually none of those scenes but that fits this book, though the book does say that the scenes occur.

The characters i had the most contenpt for was definitely Brock. The main reason that I don't like Brock is that he assumes that Delno is as learned as he is in being a Rider while he tries to teach Delno to not assume anything. I just wish that this didn't come out in the book i wish that it had. I didn't like Simcha but i liked him more than Brock for the reason that he was for the most part logical in his actions, though his reasons are not logical at first their reasons are eventually shown.


So I would recommend this book to get people into dragon books but i am not sure how much i would recommend this for an avid dragon reader.

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wolf Interview

Here is an Interview with Katie Ross, author of In a Wolf's Eyes, the book you can buy on amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Wolfs-Eyes-Saga-Black-ebook/dp/B007XXQWZ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341074545&sr=8-1&keywords=In+a+Wolf%27s+Eyes   You can check my review of the book on my blog at : http://dragonslairbooks.blogspot.com/2012/05/in-wolfs-eyes-by.html

Now here is the interview


1.      What was the basis for your world: Being a history buff, I’ve always been enchanted with the sagas of medieval Europe, England especially. While feudalism isn’t and wasn’t the greatest system ever created, I sure found it fascinating. So my fantasy creation had to be built around feudal Europe of the early middle ages. There’s just so much that’s interesting, to me, of that time period and so much of actual history I might borrow and incorporate into my stories. I watched the History Channel avidly and jotted down notes, things that I might use that actually occurred, even if they weren’t medieval. We can learn so much from history, even if it plays into a fantasy story.
2.      What was the basis for your idea to do split POV: I wanted Ly’Tana to be an integral, and equal, partner in the story. My first efforts had Raine/Wolf the lead character, Ly’Tana second, and so on down the line. So many writers write from one POV, or third person narrative so they can bounce from one character to another. I tried a stint at writing from the third person and I found it awkward.  Thus, I wondered how I might actually make two characters first and foremost. Of course, at first, I worried, can I write in two different voices? My readers can say for certain, but I believe I spoke with two very different individuals with two individual personalities.
3.      Why do you think that method was more effective in telling the story: I believe it because then my readers will all find someone they like, and can identify with. They may like Raine/Wolf better. They may fall in love with Ly’Tana. I know that when I read, I like a character I can really feel for and with. This way, my readers get a look inside the heads of not one but two distinct personalities. They can see events from two different perspectives. Just like a shrink. Or a schizophrenic. ;-)
4.      Is a sequel in the works: Oh, you betcha. It even has a title, “To Catch a Wolf.” You can read an excerpt on my author website, www.akatierose.com. It should be out sometime next spring.
5.      There are many things that could be the title, what is your explanation for it: That’s a tough one. Since Raine/Wolf has some very unusual eyes, I wanted ‘eyes’ in the title. I obsessed over titles with ‘eyes’ in the name for months. I also have a thing for the eyes being the window to the soul quotation. Raine/Wolf essentially, to me, is the soul of the story, I finally settled on this one.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Talented

Talented (Talented Saga #1)Talented by Sophie Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed they book more than what I expected. I initially thought that it was be another fad book, a YA coming of age story about a young girl who meets her dream guy in trying times. Surprisingly this did not happen in this book. She started out with a boyfriend and the book follows their romance. There was a love triangle in the book and that did detract from it, but I will say this, the love triangle was well done. The author didn’t make it overt but you could feel the tension in Natalia through the entire novel, not only about her love life but about her abilities and just her life in general. I think the author portrayed the history of the society very well, it was rich and vibrant and seemed like it could be a very realistic future, which made the novel all the better. I enjoyed the dichotomy of the story, where there are two forces waging war against each other and as the story progressed you see that either side may not be the pure good that they try to portray. Normally I enjoy having a pure villain that you can hate and despise all the way through but that this is a political intrigue novel in some ways I am glad that the author made the two sides’ complex and having both good and bad sides to them, just like any real organization. I also enjoy how the author portrayed the Talents of the people, She did it in a way that made them seem normal, and it didn’t seem to be X-men esque as the ending of Shatter Me did, at least to me. There were many similarities to X-men but the limited number of powers and varying degree of strength was interesting to me. I think if you enjoy the X-men story then you should enjoy this story also.


My favorite character would have to be Penny and Erik. I knew that Erik would be the love interest of the story from the very beginning and I was glad about how he handled the entire situation with Natalia. I also love his power because of its usefulness to his lifestyle. I hope to learn more about him in the future works of this series. Penny I liked because she served as the foil to Natalia and worked to help bring Natalia out of her shell and helped her to grow into the woman that she is at the end of the story.

Character I hated from the get go was Donovan. He rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning, just didn’t seem right to me, and I was honestly glad that things happened the way they did for him. I also didn’t like his dad, Mac, because of the controlling manipulative director mentality that he had. To find out more you will just have to read the book.

All in all I think it was a great book and I am eager to read the next novel in the series.


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Friday, June 1, 2012

Shadow Interview


What was your inspiration for Arkuun-Marl?

Arkuun-Marl just seemed to come along on his own. I was almost as surprised as Jindor when the android appeared in the back of his new ship. Perhaps, as Jin Li points out, no adventure is complete without a robot sidekick! Or maybe I put them in the wrong ship. As for his ‘humour’, that came about by itself too. I never try to find something for him to say; he just says it.

He is capable of learning and adapting which, combined with his original programming, means that he basically has his own unique personality. He believes himself to be entirely unique – as displayed by his simple desire to be referred to as ‘he’ rather than ‘it’ – and to anyone who didn’t know better, he might very well come across as a true intelligence, rather than a programmed, limited robot.

Why do you have three levels of computer intelligences?

The three levels are Virtual Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, and Synthetic Intelligence. Some robots (a general term for all forms of machine with these intelligences) don’t need the kind of intelligence Arkuun-Marl, for example, has. It made sense, therefore, to create different levels of intelligence.

Virtual Intelligence is installed in mechs, drones and most ship computers. They have a basic level of interaction with organics, such as speech recognition and limited responses.

Artificial Intelligence is what Arkuun-Marl has. Androids and more expensive, sophisticated computers have this intelligence. It simulates real intelligence such as possessed by organics. AIs have the ability to think for themselves and learn to a degree, therefore sometimes developing unique personalities. A lot of blocks are present in their programming to prevent them becoming SIs.

Synthetic Intelligence is illegal across the entire galaxy. It is highly dangerous, unpredictable and raises problematic moral questions no species is willing to deal with. No SI exists in the time Shadow of the Wraith is set. Synthetic Intelligence is true, synthetic life. They think, perhaps feel, and can learn at an exponential rate. The first SI humanity created started a war and was well on the way to wiping life from the planet.

Why did you decide to have so many characters as opposed to just two or three?

The Star Wraith is thought to be some kind of ghost ship – but that’s just a name. Nobody knows what’s aboard, and so sending Travis Archer alone would be unwise. He is told to put together small team that can deal with anything they find aboard, and so he calls on some old friends. Each of them has a particular skill that makes them valuable to the mission, or a vested interest in discovering what the Wraith is doing.

When they discover that the Wraith is not quite what they’ve been told, none of them have any real thoughts of leaving Archer alone to deal with what comes next.

So it was more a result of story development than a decision. I don’t think it is difficult to keep up with who’s who or anything, so I didn’t try to cut the team size down. Eight team members to take down a homicidal ghost ship, battle assassins and terrorists, and end a war.

Again, things like this tend not to be my decision. I don’t plan, therefore things just happen and I let them. At the start, I had the Star Wraith, and nothing else; not even Archer. Then he stumbled into the story, and the others followed. Like the stray kitten sitting on my windowsill this morning.

How do you think this book relates to other space operas?

I don’t know.

I once had a comment on Authonomy telling me, ‘…I love Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, and that’s the feel you’re aiming for. You’re not in that league just yet…’ This annoyed me a touch, because in no way whatsoever was I, am I, or will I be, trying to emulate either of those (brilliant) writers, or anyone else. Nor do I pay any attention to other works in relation to my own.

So I really have no idea how it relates to other space operas. I simply get on and write what I want to write , and take no notice of anything else.

It also wasn’t my choice to call it a space opera. That, too, came from Authonomy. Several people referred to it as such, and I realised that it probably was. Again, I don’t think in terms of ‘I am going to write a science fantasy space opera targeted at 23¾ year olds’, or whatever. I just write what I want to write, and then deal later with the little problems that throws up. Other than that it was set in space, I had no thoughts of what genre it was. It was obviously sci fi, and that was about it. It later turned out to be science fantasy, and space opera. I’m sure people could categorise it as something else, too.

So in short, without the off-topic rambling, I don’t know.

Why did you use footnotes as opposed to just putting the content into the story.

Ah, well…coming straight out of saying I don’t pay attention to other works… I think I got the idea mostly from Terry Pratchett. I like the idea of sticking in the odd comment or bit of information that simply wouldn’t fit in with the main narrative. None of the footnotes will ever be vial to understanding the story or anything like that, so anyone who doesn’t like footnotes can ignore them. When I published the hardback and went onto the forum for the customary ‘hooray for me, I’ve achieved my dream and published my book!’ post, the first reply was, ‘those footnotes don’t work’. Okay, it was slightly more than that, but he complained about the footnotes being irrelevant. Kind of the point, actually, but it shows that not everyone will like them. So I’m saying now, you don’t need to read them!

What encompasses the “known universe”?

The majority of our galaxy was charted by two species called Horisians and HÅ­ntrath. These two species share a planet, and when they finally attained space travel, they discovered themselves to be vastly inferior to other species. They gave up their initial thoughts of war and domination, and turned instead to science and exploration. However, they weren’t very good at either.

Because of the haphazard, short-sighted way they explored the galaxy, some areas remain uncharted, while the occasional area outside the galaxy was charted. So, the ‘known universe’ refers to the majority of our galaxy, and a small amount beyond.

Exploration is no longer in the front of any species’ mind, and so the still-unknown parts of the galaxy are only being charted slowly. The job has been taken on by private explorers, who then charge inordinate sums of money to each species for the charts. So although the technology now lends itself much better than ever to finishing off the exploration of the Milky Way, it’s slower than ever.

To Let you all know, if you want the book it is on sale.  The book is down to $2.99/£1.49 until Friday 8th, and free on Saturday 9th.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Shadow Review

Shadow of the Wraith (Nexus)Shadow of the Wraith by Ross Harrison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very good book and I am very glad that I was able to read it. This book starts out a little slow but as soon as all of the characters are introduced, the action picks up rapidly. That isn't to say that the book does not have action from the beginning but more the frequency increases after the characters are introduced. The characters are very full and vibrant, with rich deep back stories as to how they are all interconnected through Archer in some way, and how he comes to decide on them. The characters also aid in the progression of the plot by playing pivotal roles in the storyline that push it along. There are many twist and turns present in the book and this helps to keep the reader guessing as to who the villain is and what is going to happen next. Be that as it may I did find the ending to be a little bit foreshadowed early on in the novel, but that doesn't mean the ending isn't good, but it is definitely ironic in many ways. Another aspect that makes this novel great is the rich and lush universe that the reader is introduced into, we only get to see a couple of the planets of this universe but those are shown in such a light that you want an entire book written on just the history of each planet. The author weaves the planets', characters', and events' back stories all together seamlessly and in such a way that you do not get bogged down with any one element of the story

Of all the characters that are present in the book, my favorite would have to be Arkuun-Marl. The mix of humor and serious moments give him an aire that has only been seen in the beloved HK-47 protocol droid of the KoToR series. Marl does not have the same beloved homicidal tendencies as HK but I think there are many aspects about Marl that make him my favorite character in the novel. One in particular being that even in the most tense and dangerous situations nothing seems to faze him, or he will crack a joke at the most inopportune moment but still make you laugh.

All in all this is a must read for sci-fi fans who enjoy the massive worlds and galaxies like in Star Wars and Dune. Also readers who enjoy the Dragon Lance novels because of the number and uniqueness of the characters will greatly enjoy this novel.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Shadow Pre-post


I will be the first stop on the tour and the links to the other blogs on the tour are as follows, as well as what you will be able to find on each blog

June 2: http://bookishlydevoted.blogspot.co.uk - Review and Interview
June 3: http://sammyhksmith.wordpress.com - Interview
June 4: http://zigzagtl.blogspot.com - Interview
June 5: http://tea-and-text.blogspot.ca - Review and Interview

Sunday, May 20, 2012

In a Wolf's Eyes

In a Wolf's EyesIn a Wolf's Eyes by A. Katie Rose
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book, it engrossed me right from the beginning and didn't really let up until I was able to read the last words on the page. This story is a great work of High Fantasy, with a rich and enveloping world that would rival any that I know of in depth and grandeur. There seem to only be humans in this world, but the different nations and cultures present make it seem as if each nation is a different race of beings, and that adds even more to the story. The author alternates POV between the two main characters, and I believe does so very well, even though the book is written in first person. I think this adds to the book because you will get to see/read the thoughts of the two main characters as they go through each event. She also goes back in time in order to explain what is going on with both characters during a given time frame, which is important for me so that I can find out what is going on and how each event in the novel has a relation to both stories. They do eventually meet and travel together, and it is then that many secrets are revealed, and many bonds are formed.

I really enjoyed reading this book, and whenever I felt that a little back story would be good to have the author had one within one to two pages that allowed me to understand the scene that was occurring. I found that the story flowed naturally and well from one scene to another, and this is accomplished by the use of flashbacks as well as some rather comedic moments of the book, that had me laughing many times. These moments are what make this book so hard to put down, even though there are times when I just wanted to put the book down because I was upset that something had happened or that I thought something was going to happen. And on that note, this book was not very predictable, I found myself wrong about a lot of the predictions that I was making and that kept me interested in the book also, because most things that I was wrong about turned out to be better than what I had expected to happen.

I think the language and details of the scenes are appropriate for this book and an adult audience. There are not many instances of swearing or other foul language but when they are present they are done in a very tasteful manner. As for the battle scenes, they are well done also. The actions flows very well from one encounter to another and gives you the feeling that it is a fluid battle instead of a choppy and forced one. The details given of the battles are also well done, giving the reader enough information to know what is going on while not giving so much grotesque details to make a reader shy away. As for other adult scenes, there are not that many, actually there are only lead up scenes, and never any actual actions are taken. This is good because I don't think this book would have worked with adult scenes in it, the next story I am not sure as much but this book had the feeling of a getting to know the world and characters, and in the next book we would be able to see the personal lives and interactions of the characters in greater detail.

As for the characters, I absolutely loved Wolf, he reminded me so much of myself, that I was able to put myself into his shoes for much of the book. Granted he is much more imposing than I am, but I felt that the cunning and intelligence that he showed were similar to qualities that I posses, only he possesses them on a much greater scale. I found that many of the questions I had at the beginning about him were answered by the end of the story, but I was still left with the hunger for more about him.

For the Character that I hated, definitely Brutal, but as he is the main villain I find that I am supposed to hate him, and that makes it even easier to hate him honestly. As a villain he is very good at what he does, even though I don't like or agree with what he does, but that is how a villain is supposed to act. He is also a great foil for Wolf as they are the complete opposites of each other and the reader can see how they may have been able to be a lot more alike had their upbringings been different.

All in all I greatly enjoyed this book, and I honestly cannot wait to read the next book in the series as the ending has be greatly intrigued, but to find out why you will just have to read the novel yourself. I would like to thank Mrs. Ross for allowing me to read and review this book and I hope you all will read this book and enjoy it as much as I have.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Weeping Empress

The Weeping EmpressThe Weeping Empress by Sadie S. Forsythe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this book, but only because I was able to understand a lot of the Japanese concepts of the Samurai that are present throughout the book. This book is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for readers who like a rich and vibrant back story to give them insight into what is going on in the story. This book starts very sharply and not a lot of explanations are given for the actions that occur. The reader doesn't find out about any of the real back story until about chapter 3 or 4 of the book, and even then you don't have a really good grip of what is going on until about 50% of the book. I think that this book is much more of a following the character book as opposed to presenting a world and the people in it. By this I mean that this book is very linear and one cause leads to one event and on and on; where as world books are ones that give you an event, and then explain how that event works into the overall story of the world and how that effects the people in the world. Some people may like the more linear story lines, I don't as much. With that said as a story I think the book is good, there are some things that I think the author could have done to make it better but as it is I think the story is good. The writing style is very descriptive, with very little dialogue present for most of the book. The description that is given is very vibrant and well done but I think that it makes the book thicker and more dense than it would have to be.

One thing about the story that I did enjoy about it was the realness of it. Aside from the Goddess angle and everything involved in that, this book is a Historical Fiction novel, and I good one at that. The characters are very real, and by this they become effected by what they do, which is to honestly kill people, there is no way to get around that. It also shows how even the most innocent of characters at the beginning are not as innocent as the reader believes they are at the end and the most vile and evil villians have a reason for what they do and they feel that with their whole being that they are doing what is right. That makes the reader have to take a step back and figure out who really is the bad guy in this book, is there a bad guy in this book or are there no real good guys in the book. This element of realness does make the book better but does not redeem it completely in my mind.


With all of that said, if this book were considered Historical Fiction and placed in an actual historical setting then this book would be a 4 or a 5 imo, but with that said, I don't think that it is. I think this book is a Historical Fantasy novel, going light on the Fantasy here, and as such I believe that more background would need to be given in the story itself. I understand the linear plot structure and I think that it could have worked very well had only the author given reasons for what was going on in the story, or given more of a lead up story instead of just getting thrown into the book.

Out of all of the characters the one that had any real connection with was Muhjah, as he was along for the ride in most parts and did his best in his situations. That isn't to say that he is helpless or that he is to blame for everything that happens, but I do think that he would have been perfectly fine had he not been apart of the events of this story, particularly the growth and maturation of Chiyo. My reason for this is that even though he accepts her into the group first, his feelings for her never change, he is always the outside observer and does not get to connected with her in case she were to become missing and or happen to slow them down. All the other characters I couldn't connect with them, they seemed too distant and as one of them says, doesn't really care about anything that is going on except for living to see the next day. Not that that notion isn't important in the story but I think the author could have made them a little deeper than they were.


So, all in all this book was good, it has a lot of ways that it could improve but as it is I think it is good for people interested in Samurai fiction novels or simply Samurai stories

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Monday, May 14, 2012

The Crimson League

The Crimson LeagueThe Crimson League by Victoria Grefer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off, WOW. Did not expect this book to be as good as it was, but it outshines all of my expectations. When I say that this book is an adrenaline rush every chapter I mean it. There is some sort of drama or action scene each chapter that keeps you on the edge of your seat while reading. Whats more is that the author introduces plot twists enough to keep you guess but not so much that you don't know what is happening or are unable to predict some of the stuff that is going to happen. This novel is very refreshing, it is not superficial in any way, and it does not go into tedious detail about what is going on in the story. That isn't to say that the book isn't slow at parts but the author mixes up the detailed sections and the actions sections. Another thing that is refreshing is that there is no true love triangle, nor is there any "true love" back story, it is a direct story about the main character. The love triangle that is present is such that the reader can see it coming but the author does not push it on the characters. This is interesting to me particularly how the book ends, because it does not happen how the reader would expects the book to end, that isn't to say that the ending is bad. Instead I think the book ends very well and the author finishes with tying up all of the loose ends as well as give the reader a little insight into the future of the world that has been created.

This book is incredibly realistic in its depiction of events, more so that most other fantasy war books that I have read. By this I mean that even though there are magicians present they are not given miraculous powers like they are in other novels of this type. Instead they have very clear limitations that they have to deal with. Also this novel gives the villains attributes that makes you want to hate them as well as makes it difficult to hate them. I enjoyed this because it lets the reader decide which side to pull for, though as a reader we understand which side is going to come out in the end. Also the main character, Kora, is portrayed very wells in that she isn't completely innocent and heroic, as is true with all true heroes.

There was only one true problem with this book and that is that the author would occasionally speed the storyline up and make it seem that there was nothing for the characters to do. But then the author would introduce a seemingly random tangent that would introduce a new plot line that was eventually brought back into the main plot or it was wrapped up at the end. Another aspect that was detracting from the story is that there were sometimes that the story would become drawn out for a bit when the author may not have needed it but there was always some way that it would come back to the main story.

Ok, now for the characters.

The main character that I liked the most was a tie between Kansten and Lanokas. I liked Kansten because of her attitude toward the leaders in the Crimson league as well as her desire to take Kora under her wing and protect her as they both grow as characters. I also find myself wishing that Kansten and Kora could become sisters in some strange way so that they would have a reason to stay connected, but of course that cannot happen, but they do stay connected in a unique way. I liked Lanokas because he was a true gentleman, even in the face of adversity and all that he had gone through as a child. He truly cared about those around him and would do anything to help them survive the war.

The main character that I did not like was Menikas. i understand why he was the way that he was, due to what happened to him as a child also, but I felt that his character was a foil for Lanokas as well as Kora. I think the main reason that I don't like him is that he is too focused on his job, and while that is beneficial it still causes problems within his group. Had he been more lenient in his leadership I think the major rift that forms could have been prevented.

The main reason that I only rated this book a 4 instead of a 5 is not that I didn't enjoy the book enough but that I was able to put the book down. I know this is weird but the book did not have that engrossing factor that made it where I couldn't put it down, but that may have just been because of the intensity of the story.

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