Category Archives: Book Reviews

Hob’s Review of A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne

A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings #1)

by Kevin Hearne

ebook, 624 pages

Published October 3rd 2017 by Del Ray Books

 

 

I have been a fan of Kevin’s for years and it’s not just because he is a home town hero. I love his Iron Druid series on so many levels. and so, I admit I had some preconceived notions of what to expect with this new series. Well I was completely mistaken. Don’t take that wrong I enjoyed it but it was nothing like what was expecting.  This takes place in a whole new world created by Kevin, unfortunately that means no talking dogs or Irish goddesses. That is not an entirely bad thing though.  While not as strong of a book as the Iron druid it has some fresh ideas that give it a lot of promise.

Usually when a book is told in first person there is only one POV and that is kind of how this one works except not at all. The POV we see through is from Dervan, a widowed historian of a country called Brynt. He has the task of writing down the story a bard named Fintan is telling of the Giants War.  That is where the other POVs come in, when the Bard tells each part of the story he uses magic to take on the appearance of the person that part of the story is about. So the “voice” of the book changes frequently. I have to say Kevin did a very good job with that. Each one has its own personality and Idioms. That really brought the different characters to life. Some of them were boring at first but luckily it never stays on one person for too long and they all got better as time went on.

The book as a whole has plenty of blood and violence   I would almost classify the book itself as Grimdark. But the moments that are in the present are more lighthearted and it seems as if most of the war is over.

The magic system was particularly interesting. It is called a Kenning and there are 7 distinct types, each with its own subtypes that have different abilities.  The first is fire and then water air and so on. To be able to use this power you must go to the location for that kenning and it just so happens that each one is in a different country. To try and gain the power you have to risk your life. Brynt’s Kenning is water and if you wanted to gain this ability you must dive down in to an underwater cave as the tide is strongest and swim to the bottom. Of the people that attempt to gain a kenning at least 9 out of every 10 die in the attempt. We don’t find out why people are chosen, but the lucky ones will have powers that are pretty fucking awesome afterwards. It is said that each Kenning was discovered by someone that was suicidal in just the right place at the right time. I said before that there are 7 of them but that is just what everyone believes there is only 5 known Kennings. As with all magic there is a cost though and to use your Kenning ages you. The more power you use the faster you age.

That is all really cool! The thing I didn’t like that much are the Giants. No, not because they are the bad guys. Wait, well yes, they are the bad guys but that’s not why I don’t like them.  I actually liked some of the fire Giants. But I am getting ahead of myself again. There are 2 different kinds of giants. First is the Fire Giants (whom I liked sometimes) that live on the southern islands and have a history of trade with most of the other nations. They have the Kenning of fire (hence the name Fire Giants) and are known for the glasswork they produce.

Then we have the Bone Giants. They like to kill things and they wear armor made of bone. (Hence the name Bone Giants) That is about all we learn of them. We never find out if they have a Kenning. We never even really see why they sent armies across the ocean to attack. I am sure we will find out more as the series continues but I would have liked to know a bit more of their motivations.

Final Thoughts

I loved the magic system and how each land had mixed their idioms with the kenning they have. It was a fast-paced tale and Kevin told it very well.  I would have liked to learn more about the bone giants but hopefully that will come in the next book. I am going to give A Plague of Giants 4 out of 5 stars

 

I do think a Plague of Goblins would have been more fun though

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Hob’s Review of The Core by Peter V. Brett

It is always hard to write a review for the later books in a series without giving spoilers, yet still having the review make sense. So be forewarned this review might give a few subtle hints away. OK now that the warning has been given………

 

Can you fucking believe when Inevera gets killed in book 3? I thought that was a brave but strange move by the author. Even more so to have her die from falling over her shoe laces and breaking her neck while she was about to have a baby? ! I mean wow I did not see that coming.

 

What? Was that not subtle? I am just joking of course everyone knows that right? No? Well I was kidding about the death and the pregnancy. Speaking of pregnancy though, I really want to know how much of the Core was written while Peter’s wife was pregnant. In the book three characters are pregnant and the subtle ( About as subtle as I just was) jokes about eating and temper had me laughing out loud. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they had him sleeping on the couch.

 

But back to the review. I read a lot of books so I couldn’t remember off hand who was alive or pregnant or anything else so in preparation for The Core the fifth and final book of the Demon Cycle series, I did a complete re-listen to the Graphic Audio versions of the first 4 books. I have got to applaud the epic fucking awesomeness of all GA books but this series just blows me away with the quality of the voice cast and recording.  I can’t wait to get the Core in GA so I have the whole series. I did however think that Pete Bradbury did a great job with the regular AB. The recording would get louder and softer sometimes like the microphone was moved, but it wasn’t jarring or anything. https://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/The-Core-Audiobook/B06Y6G8NZW

But for those that haven’t just caught up like me and those sad, sad people that haven’t even started the series I will do a bit of a recap by posting the blurbs for each book and then once we are caught up I’ll talk about book 5.

The Warded Man

As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise—demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards—symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night.

The Desert Spear

 

Legends tell of a Deliverer: a general who once bound all mankind into a single force that defeated the demons. But is the return of the Deliverer just another myth? Perhaps not.

Out of the desert rides Ahmann Jardir, who has forged the desert tribes into a demon-killing army. He has proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer, and he carries ancient weapons–a spear and a crown–that give credence to his claim.

But the Northerners claim their own Deliverer: the Warded Man, a dark, forbidding figure.

Once, the Shar’Dama Ka and the Warded Man were friends. Now they are fierce adversaries. Yet as old allegiances are tested and fresh alliances forged, all are unaware of the appearance of a new breed of demon, more intelligent—and deadly—than any that have come before.

The Daylight War

Arlen Bales was once an ordinary man, but now he has become something more—the Warded Man, tattooed with eldritch wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. Arlen denies he is the Deliverer at every turn, but the more he tries to be one with the common folk, the more fervently they believe. Many would follow him, but Arlen’s path threatens to lead him to a dark place he alone can travel to, and from which there may be no returning.

The only one with hope of keeping Arlen in the world of men, or joining him in his descent into the world of demons, is Renna Tanner, a fierce young woman in danger of losing herself to the power of demon magic.

Ahmann Jardir has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia into a demon-killing army and proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer. He carries ancient weapons–a spear and a crown–that give credence to his claim, and already vast swaths of the green lands bow to his control.

But Jardir did not come to power on his own. His rise was engineered by his First Wife, Inevera, a cunning and powerful priestess whose formidable demon bone magic gives her the ability to glimpse the future. Inevera’s motives and past are shrouded in mystery, and even Jardir does not entirely trust her.

Once Arlen and Jardir were as close as brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity’s enemies rise, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all–those lurking in the human heart.

 

The Skull Throne

 

The Skull Throne of Krasia stands empty.

Built from the skulls of fallen generals and demon princes, it is a seat of honor and ancient, powerful magic, keeping the demon corelings at bay. From atop the throne, Ahmann Jardir was meant to conquer the known world, forging its isolated peoples into a unified army to rise up and end the demon war once and for all.

But Arlen Bales, the Warded Man, stood against this course, challenging Jardir to a duel he could not in honor refuse. Rather than risk defeat, Arlen cast them both from a precipice, leaving the world without a savior, and opening a struggle for succession that threatens to tear the Free Cities of Thesa apart.

In the south, Inevera, Jardir’s first wife, must find a way to keep their sons from killing each other and plunging their people into civil war as they strive for glory enough to make a claim on the throne.

In the north, Leesha Paper and Rojer Inn struggle to forge an alliance between the duchies of Angiers and Miln against the Krasians before it is too late.

Caught in the crossfire is the duchy of Lakton–rich and unprotected, ripe for conquest.

All the while, the corelings have been growing stronger, and without Arlen and Jardir there may be none strong enough to stop them. Only Renna Bales may know more about the fate of the missing men, but she, too, has disappeared…

notesOK so for those of you not taking notes I did a casting call and found a few goblins to fill the rolls of the main characters. We have Arlen Bales 34

who is Married to RennaRenna

and Ahmann Jardir

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who is married to Inevera, (and like 15 other wives)

Inevera

Rojer Inn and his wivesmusicgoblin-singing_full

and Leesha Paper  Leesha Paper

And I couldn’t help myself from casting this last one even though she is not a major character. sexy

ALL CAUGHT UP NOW?

I cringe when most authors have a made-up language that is used a lot in their books. In this series there is the Krasian language and yes, I suppose I did cringe at first with this series but Peter did two very important things to make it not only easy but fit the story perfectly. First Before a single Krasian word is said we are invested in the characters. It’s not until book 2 that much is said   Secondly, he made it sound familiar even though it is made up. It has a strong Arabic taste to it so it was easy to pick up on.

There are however, 2 words I think he kind of messed up with Ala = the name of the planet/dirt. I thought they were talking about god for the longest time.  The one that really confused me was Inevera. It translates to gods will/fate or something Inevitable. So, if you knew a thing would happen you might say it was Inevera. That part is fine it even makes sense, but it is also the name of Jardir’s wife. When Inevera says its Inevera or someone says it’s Inevera to Inevera, the first few times I was like what the fuck?

 

I made this animation to demonstrate how awesome Graphic Audio is and so you can hear a bit of the Krasian tongue. This is the story of creation told in book 2 The Desert Spear.

Here is a link to the GA series.

Now let’s talk about The Core. You know the book I am supposed to be reviewing here. (Just trying to remind myself) This one had a pretty grim feeling to it. Like humanity could be wiped from existence at any moment. That’s fitting since in the book …… humanity could be wiped from existence at any moment. Yes, the plan to go down to the core leaves the people up top in a pretty bad position and a lot of people die. I liked the tension that brought on and for about 9/10ths of the book I didn’t see how the series was going to be able to be finished in this book. That brings me to the one thing I didn’t like. The ending felt a bit rushed. Don’t get me wrong I actually liked the way it ended but it just felt like it happened to fast. How can a book that is 29 hours and 22 minutes long feel rushed, you may ask. It’s hard to explain but you will understand it when you read it.

 

Speaking of people dying there was a death at the end of book 4 that I had convinced myself for over a 2 years that it was faked. The person was being held as a prisoner and the faked death could have gotten him out of the city. I had convinced myself that was what had happened. But I was wrong. So, with such a long time assuring myself they were still alive the funeral was pretty emotional for me. What? Don’t look at me that way. I know it wasn’t a real person but….. fuck you it was like I lost a friend.

 

Give me a sec I need to collect myself now.

 

OK where was I? Oh yeah. One character that I didn’t like in the previous books was Briar. But his parts really stood out in the end and he became one of my favorites.  I think that’s one of the things I loved about this whole series. How just about everyone grows so much. From the days when people had to hide in their homes behind the wards every night terrified they would fail to the bad ass warriors we see in this book is just awesome. Then at the end we see the worst of them (you will know who I mean when you read it) risking and/or giving their lives to save those they would have happily watch die before, is inspiring.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

While the very ending could have had a bit more detail I think the series as a whole, ended pretty spectacularly. The Core was almost 30 hours of action that I finished in about 40 hours after starting. I couldn’t put it down. or turn it off whatever. While not quite the best book I have read this year, I will say this series as a whole is in my top 10 I have ever read. So, you should definitely pick up book one if you haven’t already, and if you have I really don’t need to say anything else. Once you know The Core is now out I am sure you will want to go get it. I give The Core by Peter V. Brett 5 out of 5 stars. This was truly a great series and I not only recommend it, I insist that you go read it!

Hobs Review of I Was a Teenage Weredeer (Bright Falls Mysteries, #1) by C.T. Phipps

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I Was a Teenage Weredeer (Bright Falls Mysteries, #1)  by C.T. Phipps

Kindle Edition, 262 pages

Published September 21st 2017 by Crossroad Press

If you have been HUNTING for something good to read, then you MUSK check out I Was a Teenage Weredeer.  Now I am not usually one to FAWN over books of the Urban Fantasy genre, but this one really hit the mark. …….. OK OK I know my little puns are not that punny but the book is full of them that are. So I will try to REIN myself in and LEAF (They eat leaves right?)  WERE was I? Oh yeah. The BUCK stops here and I will leave the puns to the professionals because I CARIBOU what you think of me.

December-10-2012-20-12-11-61851310094279099942183677218n

 

Let me be serious for a second and say it is a great story. In a world much like that of the TV show/book series TRUEBLOOD (With less BUCKSKIN on display) The protagonist is a teen Weredeer named Jane Doe (yes really) that works at her parents’ CALFITEREIA (that one is no good um..) her parents’  BEASTRO called the DEERLIGHTFUL DINER (that one wasn’t me)  When her brother is arrested for the MURDEER of her best friends sister who also happened to be the granddaughter of the head of the local Werewolf pack things get a bit WEREd (Help I can’t stop!)

 

Jane has the ability to Psychically read objects and see who has touched them recently. So it would only take a second to touch the body and case closed right? Well not quite. But it is a fast paced series of events that ANTLER ….I mean branch out from that point all the way to the end. With some really great side characters, a few that even threatened to push Jane out of the HEADLIGHTS .  You know, in HIND sight this isn’t even punny anymore.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

A fast paced MURDEER mystery that starts at a fast lope and never slows down. While there is plenty of humor and teen/deer angst it also deals with some complex subjects both real and paranormal, and it DOEs it well. Jane is a great character and in all honesty, I have never met a character quite like HERBiVORE. (Admit it that one made you laugh) I highly recommend I Was a Teenage Weredeer and give it 4.5 stars out of 5

 

 

Hob’s Review of Blackwing by Ed McDonald

Blackwing (Ravens’ Mark #1)

by Ed McDonald

Paperback, 336 pages

Expected publication: October 3rd 2017 by Ace Books

I received an E-ARC of this book from Netgally in return for an honest review.

THE BLURB

Nothing in the Misery lasts…

Under a cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, created when the Engine, the most powerful weapon in the world, was unleashed against the immortal Deep Kings. Across the wasteland, teeming with corrupted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies are still watching—and still waiting.

Ryhalt Galharrow is no stranger to the Misery. The bounty hunter journeys to a remote outpost, armed for killing both men and monsters, and searching for a mysterious noblewoman. He finds himself in the middle of a shocking attack by the Deep Kings, one that should not be possible. Only a fearsome show of power from the very woman he is seeking saves him.

Once, long ago, he knew the woman well, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything they hold dear and end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he’s spilled and the gods he’s supposed to serve.

I goblinized the cover a bit to add Crowfoot, one of the nameless..

3391

 

OK that is some Blurb but let’s delve in to what it is saying in a bit more depth. First off the Misery. Well the Misery is when your number 1 fan kidnaps you and… oh wait wrong one. This misery while also being like hell on earth was created by one of the nameless as a kind of buffer zone between kingdoms. Oh, the Nameless are like Demi-Gods and so are the Deep Kings but they go about things a bit differently. But back to the Misery It is a buffer zone of hell on earth that has the annoying habit of trying to kill everyone that walks in to it. A place where you need a navigator with an astrolabe to find your way out. And that leaves you sick for days after you leave like you are going through heroin withdrawals. That is if you are not killed right off the bat by some of the beasties roaming around.

And this wonderful setting is where this book begins. This is written in first person. But while most First Person POV’s are the narrator telling their own story. This one is more like being in the mind of a man that is a drunk and borderline insane. A man that is haunted by so many ghosts of his past that this unreliable narrator goes back and forth between telling the story to some really weird places and random thoughts, and I absolutely loved it. Ryhalt Galharrow has a way about him that made me like him from the start. The pacing is steady throughout and by that, I mean it starts with action and never slows down.

The thing I really liked about this book was its originality. I mean yes, the writing style is extremely original. But what I am talking about is the originality of the story elements. Everything from the magic and monsters to the setting and style, they are all wonderfully new. I should warn you this is a pretty GrimDark world with plenty of death and carnage, but it is not gratuitous. The gore is part of the story not just there for shock value.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you are tired of the same old thing in every fantasy book that you read, then this book is a must. Blackwing is not only a magnificent story that is brilliantly written, but it is also outstandingly original. A truly remarkable debut book. I give Blackwing By Ed McDonald 5 out of 5 stars.

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Hob’s Review of White Trash Zombie Unchained (White Trash Zombie #6) by Diana Rowland

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Yes I Goblinized the cover lol

White Trash Zombie Unchained (White Trash Zombie #6)

by Diana Rowland

 

Paperback, 336 pages

Expected publication: September 5th 2017 by DAW

 

This is the sixth book in the series so it will have some spoilers. You have been warned!

OK first spoiler zombies are real. Psst don’t tell anyone! Angle ….er I mean Angel is a poor white trash girl with lots of potential that just wants to use brains, for the betterment of society. But the brains she uses are not always her own. Yes, Angel is a zombie that works as a morgue tech and is just starting her first year at community college.  She is also a member of the Tribe a zombie organization working for the safety of all zombies.

 

That should be enough to get you up to date on Angel. And where I am coming from with the review. For this book, I received an E-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I love the covers for all the books in this series but this is my favorite so far. Even though going with the title the gators should be unchained. For the first 5 books I listened to the audiobook and I loved the narration. But I don’t know if it was me actually reading this one or if the author has just gotten better but the quick joking dialog with some of her friends both ones in the know about her “Z” situation and ones that don’t felt more natural and flowed better than in previous books.

 

That dialog is also just great dialog plain and simple. As for this story, the threat of a real Zombie breakout amped up the tension to a much greater scale than previous books which I liked. I won’t actually give any spoilers for this book but the tension gets pretty high. It’s not that hard to figure it all out but it was fun to ride along even though I could see many of the reveals coming early. And I have to say it was a warm fuzzy ending.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Great Dialog really brought out the personality of Angel for me more than in the previous books. And what a great personality it is. I admit I would love to meet a girl like her, well maybe one that ate less brains. But my fictiophilia suffering aside it was a fun read. I am going to give White Trash Zombie Unchained 4.75 stars

 

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Hob’s review of The Land By Aleron Kong books 1,2, and 3

This is a combined book review of the first 3 books in a series The Land: Founding: A LitRPG Saga: Chaos Seeds, Book 1   The Land: Forging: Chaos Seeds, Book 2 and The Land: Alliances: A LitRPG Saga: Chaos Seeds, Book 3 as always I wont give spoilers.

Congratulations! You have found Padded Word Count. Item weight 50.07 kilograms. Item Durability 28,0000 out of 345,612 Item class Common. Item quality superb.  Traits makes a short book even easier to write, by filling 10 to 15 percent of the pages with item descriptions. Cooldown 1 second.

For those not familiar with the concept of LitRPG. It is a genre of scifi and fantasy novels where the protagonist is in a game world of some type. This can be a virtual world or an actual other world Unfortunately, a lot of times it feels kind of like reading the logfile of a game with childish dialog added in.

This series is actually pretty good I would say it’s in the top 10 LitRPG series I have read so far but it has some major flaws that I will point out.

First of all, this is one of the human sucked in to game world forever kind of litRPG, and so far we don’t know much about how that happened. But what we do know is so generic I would say at this point it is the worst getting to the game scenarios I have come across. Once our hero is in the world the story is pretty unique though. With a major focus on building a town instead of just raiding dungeons and stuff.

The main character was a Medical student back on earth but we would never really know that if it was not said flat out.  Even in his own thoughts when he is injured he never even remotely thinks anything technical. And in this third instalment of the series he seems to be turning ever more in to the obnoxious teen with his yelling out Fuck Yeah and using Rick and Morty references and worst of all, when referring to large loot drops screaming out give me the Cheddar.

Congratulations! You have found the word Cheddar. Item weight 0.05 kilograms. Item Durability 13 out of 62 Item class all too Common. Item quality subpar.  Traits makes Protagonist look like a stupid douchbag teen Cooldown five minutes.

I will admit I may be geting a bit sick of LitRPG in general. So many of them have the same faults. For this series, I have been listening to the audiobooks read by Nick Podehl and if it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t want to continue this series.  That being said I am vaguely curious to see where it will go. If it goes anywhere that is. In the second and third books not much happens to move the plot along.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The excellent narration and the fact that the main story arc is original is enough to keep me coming back. But somehow the shortest book, book 1 at just over 9 hours had more stuff happen then the combined 22 hours of books 2 and 3. Hopefully more will happen in the next book and the progression of the protagonist to a teen hipster will stop or at least slow down. I give The Land: Founding: A LitRPG Saga: Chaos Seeds, Book 1 4 stars and both  The Land: Forging: Chaos Seeds, Book 2 and The Land: Alliances: A LitRPG Saga: Chaos Seeds, Book 3 get 3 stars

Congratulations! You have found an awesome Book Review. Item weight 1.5 kilograms. Item Durability 15 out of 15 Item class rare. Item quality superb.  Traits hopefully lets you know what you are in for if you pick up a book, while at the same time making you smile or even laugh just a bit.

Hob’s Review of Revenant Winds by Mitchell Hogan

The Blurb.

In a world devastated by a series of cataclysms over millennia, where the followers of different gods vie for ascendancy, mankind carves out a precarious existence among the remnants of a desolated past. Cities and civilizations are built atop mysterious and ofttimes menacing ruins, and the unforgiving wilderness beyond is filled with inhuman creatures and races from before the dawn of history. Sorcery is seen by some as a gift of the gods, and by others as their curse. And the demon-ravaged past has all but been forgotten.

As a secret cabal schemes to awaken an evil thought defeated millennia ago, the lives of three unlikely heroes are fated to converge:

Aldric, a veteran priest and sorcerer, who seeks acceptance from the church that shuns him. On the brink of their approval, he receives a mission that brings him face to face with a long-buried evil.

Niklaus, master swordsman, and slave to his goddess, who plots to split the veil between life and death and ascend to become her equal.

Kurio, the runaway daughter of a noble family, now turned to thievery, who stumbles across a disturbing secret that binds her future to infernal designs.

Drawn toward a horrifying endgame by an unknown force, Aldric, Niklaus, and Kurio find themselves in a battle not only for their lives, but for the beliefs that have come to define them.

A wrong decision, an overreaching ambition, or the failure of an already tormented faith, is all it will take to plunge mankind into an eternal dark.

 

I received an E-ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences what I say. As always, my opinions are completely my own.

I love the cover although it might not fly with some people, but only if they are fools. Ok that was a pretty bad joke even for me, but just let it pass. Sorry not sorry.

Gandalf_confronts_balrog

The truth is that is not the Balrog on the cover. Who it is though I am not sure. I believe it is supposed to Nysrog. The mega demon that almost ended humanity a few hundred or thousand years ago. But as he never actually makes an appearance in the book that is just a guess. The book is self-published and I must say it was extremely well edited as far as grammatical errors go, but it could use a bit of continuity tweaks. We all know that time is a wibbly wobbly thing. but there are 2 or 3 parts where it gets stretched and warped a bit confusingly to me. It’s not that big of a deal but each time it kind of threw my out of the story.

Revenant Winds takes place in a world of Gods and Demons magic and monsters. We experience this tale vicariously through 3 remarkably different POVs.

First is Aldric, a priest blessed by his god with healing powers but also blessed (or as he sees it cursed with Arcane magic ability and he hates that he must use his magic. He would rather work at the church using his god given healing ability. But even in a church that sees wizards as marginally better then demons he is forced to use his magic to safeguard ancient catacombs and burial sites from looters that might just bring demons out instead of gold. His introspection and self-pity made him unlikable at first. It took about 3/4th of the book before I started to like Aldric but he won me over in the end.

Next, we have Niklaus. He was my favorite character in the book by far. He is the chosen sword of a goddess and pretty much immortal. He has been roaming around running errands for his goddess for a very long time. How long is unclear but somewhere between 400 and 4,000 years. He is in love with his goddess (who is a total tease) and is looking for a way to become a god so they can be together.

 

Kurio is an interesting one. Born in to a noble family but abused by everyone she ran away and has been living as a thief making a decent bit of gold.

Now let’s look at the magic. Every sorcerer has a dawn and a dusk well of power. They will leak if not used but slowly and they are not usually the same size, so you might have to only fill the dawn well once a week and dusk every night.  To fill them they must be outside and meditating at sunset or sunrise. That part is well thought out and logical (if you can use that term for a fictional power) The actual using of the magic is pretty vague.  It is explained as a kind of mental math using equations as spells. They have little totems they carry with some of the equations on them to speed the process. That part just felt like a bit too much or not enough Handwavium. Other than that, I really liked the idea of this magic system.

Now let’s get back to Nysrog. He was a Demon that led armies to destroy humanity but he had his own human mages on his side. After he was sent back to the hells he came from, the human bad guys went into hiding vowing to re summon Ol’ Nys again. This is one of the wibbley wobbly timey wimey things I am not sure of. in the book the earth has been hit by 5 or 6 Cataclysms. And after each one humans rebuilt and then forgot what had caused it and even somehow managed to get new Gods. And I am pretty sure that the Cataclysms happened after Nys was here to party like it was 1999. Unless humans are able to build from the ground up then forget what made the world almost end really fast, Nys would need to have been gone a really long time. There are a few reasons that just conflict each other about the time line here but I don’t want to give spoilers as to why so I’ll just say I don’t think he has been gone that long.

The other main thing that made time seem to flow weird was when it took 4 days to get the horses and equipment ready to leave on an urgent mission to save a village. When they had the full backing of 2 churches the town guard and unlimited funds. That just seemed strange to me. I could literally go and gather a dozen horses, tack and gear for a week IN MY TOWN today in 2 hours tops. And although I do live in Payson, Arizona the town that is home to the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo (132 years) I wouldn’t think it would be much harder to get horses in a fantasy town

FINAL THOUGHTS

I really enjoyed the book It had some fresh ideas and good dialog and I look forward to the next one in the series. It may seem like kind of a harsh review but I am just nitpicking. I think the more inexperienced reader, or maybe just people that read less fantasy than I do wouldn’t be bothered by the strange movement of time or lack thereof. In the end, I am going to give Revenant Winds 3.75 stars.

Hob’s review of The Bound Folio by Rob J. Hayes

The Bound Folio (The Ties That Bind #3.5)

Paperback, 226 pages

I really enjoyed this one. It is a bunch of short stories each one from the POV of a different Character. Some I already had met in Where Loyalties Lie some were new to me. Well that’s not true All of the POV’s were new to me but some of the Characters I had met as non POV characters before.

Each story was fairly short but damn can Rob pack a whole lot of emotion in to a short story. I would not have believed how much until I read this. Seriously, at one point I was wishing I could have entered the book and ripped a guy named Kav’s balls off and made him eat them. Too much you say? A little violent? Well read the book, when you get to that part you might well want to do worse and you will most likely be crying while you think about it. But just because almost all of the stories are guaranteed to make you feel strong emotions, not all the stories were on the bad end of the spectrum. No, you will feel just about every emotion possible at one point or another while reading this book. If it were possible to see emotions I would have probably looked like this while reading.

emotions

Actually I may very well have looked that way anyway but that’s beside the point……

My only complaint would be that it was too short. Well that and there is no time scale other than the first story shows someone as a young boy, and he is in his late 20’s to early 30s in Where Loyalties Lie, and the last story shows someone entering the town they had just arrived in at the beginning of that book.  I take it that its planned to be that way and it’s not that big of a deal but this being only the second book of Rob’s that I have read I wanted more. So, I ended up starting The Heresy Within (The Ties That Bind, #1) right after I finished this one to try and figure out the timeline. And I have a huge TBR pile of other books I should be reading. Curse you ROB HAYES!!!

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I just don’t know how a book of short stories could make me feel such strong emotions. But it did. So, I am going to leave you with a warning. Beware this book will make you emotionally unstable! In the space of a few hundred pages your heart will swell with pride for the squires and Burn with anger at the street toughs. You will weep with the merchant and cheer on the assassin.  And if you are like me you will shake your head in disbelief that you still can’t decide if you love or hate the pirate. So I give The Bound Folio 4.75 stars and a tribute to Browny.

browny2

 

Zombie Bigfoot (Creature Quest Series Book 1) by Nick Sullivan

You probably think the lifestyle of a Fantasy Book Blogger is nothing but charactonym* wishes and calligraphy** dreams. But I am here to tell you that no matter what you may have heard, Goblin Leach has never Visited my cave for a spot of Tea.

ich_&_Famous

*a name given to a literary character that is descriptive of a quality or trait of the character.

**fancy penmanship, especially highly decorative handwriting, as with a great many flourishes:

 In point of fact the only thing we get (other than enjoyment obviously) would be the Occasional free book that we accept in exchange for an Honest review. I am all for free stuff, who isn’t? But my TBR pile is a mile high and I get a lot of review requests. So many in fact that I had to add 2 notices to my Contact page, and they are as follows.

****NOTICE****

I am kind of open to review requests at this time.

WTF does that mean?

Well If your book is a Fantasy book or has strong “Fantasy” elements in it, feel free to ask. If your book is Sci-Fi you can ask but I probably won’t take it. If your book is an Old Adult Paranormal Romance Mystery Biography about a CIA agent trying to save the world from an unknown threat. The threat is unknown because he forgot it when he got Amnesia experimenting with BDSM for the first time. Will he remember that he was the villain in the first place, before time runs out? Or will he forget about the rest of the world and run away with the only person he can remember. And the real reason he was going to destroy the world…..  The love of his life and his greatest shame, His best friend’s wife and secret gun runner/ Sparkly Vampire/ Were-platypus Margret Thatcher!!  Will they find happiness or will the world be destroyed? Can he find love in the form of a Sparkly gun running platypus and live happily ever after?  Read and Find out!!!!!

If that is your book or if it has any of those elements please don’t ask. You still can, and I know you will.

But …..I said Please!

****END OF NOTICE****

*******Notice #2 *******

If Someone actually writes that book I still won’t read it but I want my cut of the Billions it will make.

******END OF NOTICE #2 ******

 

I wrote that to dissuade people from trying to give me books I would say no to. It doesn’t work really, but it does point out people with a good sense of humor. In a way, I guess it is kind of like a test.  A test that Nick Sullivan passed with flying colors by sending me the following e-mail.

 

“I’ve got a book that is completely devoid of fantasy elements… though I do love fantasy and as an audiobook narrator I’ve recorded Goodkind, Weber, Kurtz, and Lackey. Why dare I darken your digital door? Because you clearly enjoy humor, judging by your own writing (and the fantastic blog name). So, if you feel like taking a little side trip into the woods of Idaho, please consider “Zombie Bigfoot”. It hit #1 in Horror Comedy on Amazon (for about three days) and has sci-fi, adventure, and action elements as well as the horror (and horror spoofery).”

For one thing, he actually read the notices and had a look at the blog.  Plus, I am a sucker for stupid comedy. You probably already knew that. (Goblin Leach that’s fucking golden) And it was available as an audiobook so I said yes. I am one smart goblin because it truly is a good book. The audio was done by the author, who I have heard before doing a few other books. He did a fantastic job. Really bringing the characters to life. Well until they died but more about that in a minute.

So lets talk about the story. Now the title Zombie Bigfoot might put a lot of people off from reading it. and in essence that is what it’s about, but there is so much more to it. Like an Iceberg or the Loch Ness Monster there is so much more hidden beneath the surface.

ggg

 

Now lets talk about the people the story is about. First we have the billionaire owner of everything from a record label to a space airline. He is  named Cameron Carson.  After his first space ship crew get stuck heading towards the sun he needs to do something to fix his image. What better way than to capture a live Bigfoot!  Right? I kind of picture him looking like this.

richard-branson-virgin-mobile-0528-002

Well He got a hold of primatologist Dr. Sarah Bishop. Her father had been hurt on a camping trip and was rescued by a Bigfoot. When he gets home and tells his story some people go out to the area and never find anything. He becomes obsessed with Bigfoot. After losing his job and all his friends thinking he was crazy he killed himself leaving his journal of everything that had happened with the friendly fuzzy with big feet. No it’s not what you are thinking , you sicko.

bigfoot_786_poster

Dr. Bishop knows they will need a guide so they hire Less … I mean Russ. I pictured him looking like this.

Survivorman-Bigfoot-Mystery-of-Bigfoot-Mountain

He has been doing a survival show for the last few years. Going out by himself hauling all his camera gear and then some guy that drinks his own piss comes on TV and starts stealing his ratings. In a effort to revitalize his show he agrees to be the guide. So those 3 along with a bunch of others hired by Carson set out looking for Bigfoot.

300px-Big_foot

Not that Bigfoot.

This Bigfoot.

BIGFOOT-630x481

But when they get to the forest they find this Bigfoot.85913-6200224Fr.

 

Final Thoughts

I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this Audiobook. The real surprise was the reading of the Journal. That part was especially well written. There are some pretty gory parts, so beware of that.  but all in all a really good way to pass 7 hours and 55 minutes. I give Zombie Bigfoot by Nick Sullivan 4 out of 5 stars.