Category Archives: Book Reviews

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.

 

Hob’s review of Faithless by Graham Austin-King

Faithless
by Graham Austin-King

34023133

The Blurb

The temples of the Forgefather have fallen. The clerics and defenders that could once be found across the nine lands are no more. Priests huddle in the great temple, clinging to the echoes of their lost religion. But the Father has fallen silent. There are none who still hear his voice.

The mines of Aspiration lie far below the temple’s marble halls. Slaves toil in the blackness, striving to earn their way into the church and the light. Wynn has been sold into this fate, traded for a handful of silver. In the depths of the mines, where none dare carry flame, he must meet his tally or die. But there are things that lurk in that darkness, and still darker things within the hearts of men.

When the souls bound to the great forge are released in a failed ritual, one novice flees down into the darkness of the mines. The soulwraiths know only hunger, the risen know only hate. In the blackest depths Kharios must seek a light to combat the darkness which descends.

 

Let me start by saying this is a fantastic book in every aspect, from the wonderful cover (Designed by the equally wonderful Pen Astridge) all the way to the last page. But I am getting ahead of myself again. 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. Well I am sure you will share them with me after you read it but you know what I mean.

OK now about this book. It is told through 2 POV’s. The First one is Wynn, a young farm boy who is basically sold to the temple by his father. The second is Kharios, a young man that has made it out of the mines and become a Novice in the temple. Now I know what you are thinking…. Well no that’s a lie. If I knew what people were thinking I would probably be doing something other than blogging, but stop trying to side track me.. What you should be thinking is, what kind of temple buys little kids and what are these mines I mentioned.

Well the answer to one explains the other. I will start with the Temple. It is the Temple of the Forgefather. Basically, a god of fire and metal.

ax2e

 

Not that kind of metal.  More like this kind of metal.

goblin_blacksmith_by_hrtc

So yes, he is the god of the forge. And the mines are where the metals and other ore is …. Well mined.

They need people to work down there so they take anyone they get their hands on. Sounds like a pretty bad God, right? Well we can’t really blame him he has been missing for a few hundred years.

So, anyway the book starts with Wynn getting sold to the temple. He starts out thinking he will be training to become a priest. That is the goal of everyone down in the mines, but one not reached very often. The book started out at a slow pace, but with some absolutely fantastic writing. I was comparing it to Rothfuss in my head for about half the book. Beautiful Prose, not a whole lot of action. But then Oh MY GOD all hell breaks loose. I was on the edge of my seat saying stuff like oh shit and no way for half the book.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I was blown away by this book. Faithless was one of the best books I have read so far this year. It is an awesome story told remarkably well. I read it in one sitting, I literally could not put it down. I highly recommend it and wish I could give it more than the 5 stars out of 5 that it received.

 

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Hob’s Review of Dragonship A Short Story by J.P. Ashman

_dragon__d_by_shiprock-d98lqpj

I have to apologize I made the graphic for a different review but it just fit so perfect I had to reuse it.  This is the second short story by J.P. that I have read. I think this one is even better, and the first one Black Martlet   earned 5 out of 5 stars.

Oh yeah I should mention 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, while completely awesome and undeniably correct, are completely my own.

Now this story is short enough that all I really should say is that it is awesome go read it, But I also want to add that it is a awesomely original take on an Epic Fantasy classic.

So Go Read It!

 

Dragonship by J.P. Ashman easily earns 5 stars from me.

Hob’s Review of Valley of Embers (The Landkist Saga Book 1) by Steven Kelliher

Valley of Embers (The Landkist Saga Book 1)
Aug 12, 2016
by Steven Kelliher

The Blurb
For hundreds of years, the flame-wielding Embers have been the last line of defense against the nightmare creatures from the World Apart, but the attacks are getting worse. Kole Reyna guards Last Lake from the terrors of the night, but he fears for his people’s future.

When Kole is wounded by a demon unlike any they have seen before, the Emberfolk believe it is a sign of an ancient enemy returned, a powerful Sage known as the Eastern Dark.

Kole has never trusted in prophecy, but with his people hanging on the precipice, he reluctantly agrees to lead the Valley’s greatest warriors in a last desperate bid for survival. Together, they will risk everything in search of a former ally long-thought dead, and whether Kole trusts him or not, he may be the only one capable of saving them.

This is one of those books that sat, well definitely not lonely but I guess you could say neglected on my virtual TBR pile for way too long. I have so many EBooks on my Kindle that at times it feels a bit overwhelming. But enough about my problems let’s talk about this book. First of all, I love the cover. It tells us a bit of the story without reveling too much. Plus, I think it is pretty. As far as the editing goes it was very polished for a self-published debut book. I am actually reading book 2 that was just released right now.

Now let’s discuss the meat of the book. Or if you are a vegetarian the tofu? Hmmm… would the Characters be the meat and the plot the bread? What would be the lettuce? Now I am just hungry and confused……. So how about we just talk about the characters.

I liked the main ones and was glad they were all experienced in battle at the beginning. Even though most of the actual POV’s are from young people they were living in a world where fighting for your life is a normal thing. So you don’t have to worry about the young boy becomes sword master in a day trope. The author did a great job of portraying extremely competent fighters that are still kind of dumb when it comes to other things. I guess what I am trying to say is that they felt realistic.

Now lettuce…. Errr let us talk about the lettuce? The writing style is good my only complaint would be some of the dialogs, when a group of people are talking I sometimes got confused about who was saying what. Other than that, I really enjoyed the style.

Finally let’s talk about plot. It starts out as a typical epic fantasy story. With the big bad living on a far-off mountain peak sending his evil minions to kill the good guys. But by the end I am not sure if the big bad even knows that the good guys exist, and he is not the one living on the mountain peak.

FINAL THOUGHTS
A refreshingly original take on the old Epic Fantasy story. Written with a great style and including great characters. This is a book definitely worth your time to read. I give Valley of Embers 4 stars out of 5.

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