Tag Archives: Fantasy

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

jar

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!

Hob’s Review of Circle of Reign by Jacob Cooper and a giveaway

Circle of Reign

I first came across Jacob Cooper back in August of 2015. I had a job that I could listen to books most of the day, so I went through audio books fast.  For that reason I was searching Audible one morning before I went to work for something new, I only had 2 requirements. First that it was read by someone I liked already. And second that it was long. When I  search for a new book I usually do a search of my favorite narrators first. I searched Luke Daniels  and didn’t see anything new. Then Michael Kramer and what do you know, I saw Circle of Reign a bit over 20 hours long. I was in a hurry so i didn’t even read the description, I just started downloading it to my phone and left for work.

I know what you’re saying right now. You are saying “How the hell can he remember doing a search for a book over a year ago?” Well I have a pretty good memory when it comes to what happens in books. But not names, if I ever meet you in person save us both some awkwardness and tell me your name at least 10 times over the next hour or two. I am almost as bad with book titles and even worse with Song titles.  But if we had met at a book store and we walked down the aisles I can point to every book I have read and give a synopses of what it’s about.  That is a lot of books, but let’s get back to the one I am reviewing, whatever it’s called.

I usually start my reviews with the Physical aspects of a book. But we need to go about this one differently.  See  this book Is not  the same one I downloaded over a year ago. Well that’s not actually true. Since I first listened to it till now it has undergone a lot of changes. No I don’t mean like puberty. Jacob was approached by a guy you might have heard of named  David Farland and if you don’t recognize him from his Runelords Series, you might know some of the people he taught while a English professor  like Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull, James Dashner, and Stephanie Meyer. (You shouldn’t hold that last one against him.) David had read CoR and enjoyed it but thought this self published first time author could make it even better with some coaching. So together they cut about 35,000 words and then added  around 70,000. The result is not really a new book but I will admit a better one.

Now let’s get to the Physical part. The cover is pretty cool and shows a part out of the book well. But it is not very eye catching. I listened to the audio book again excellently narrated by Kramer.  And while the first version was a nice long AB this version is even longer at  24 hours 37 min. But you don’t have to take my word for it. You can pick the eBook up free on Kindle Unlimited and one of my lucky readers will get a free audible download code. More about this at the end.

Now a bit about the book itself.  The story takes place in a rather Grimdark world,  where the land seems to be dying. The country is called Senthara, and it is one of the last bastions of humanity. But on occasion people looking for farmable land  come with their whole civilizations but that is the plot for the prequel  Altar of Influence: The Orsarian War.   Also free as of now on Kindle Unlimited.

One of the things I love the most about this book is the action POVs. Like in the graphic below there are 3 people 2 fighting and one watching.  Well you as the reader are not bound to one POV you are bound to the action. During this fight you will see out of each one’s eyes and here their thoughts. It is so cinematic you can’t help but picture a movie in your head as you read. If you click the preview button at the bottom then click part one you can read this scene.

co1r2

The blade on the right was actually made from a description in the books by Fallen Oak Forge. Here is a better picture.

sword

I wouldn’t actually classify this series as Grimdark, but it is a near thing. The only reason  holding it back is no one really knows how screwed they are. The main character is Reign A Wood dweller of the Western Provence known as Arlethia.

map2

What is a Wood dweller?  Well they are not long lived like elves but they do have the ability to sense vibrations of anything moving close to them through the tree roots and are blessed with an almost super hero level speed . We see that right from the start in the battle I pictured above.

Do yourself a favor and read the preview Here

 

 Final Thoughts

A few things didn’t really fit smoothly for me but they will probably be resolved in book two. There is quite a bit of in world language used that did get a bit confusing at times but not enough I didn’t know what they were talking about. I loved the original and rated it 4.5 stars. This one was even better and it gets a full 5 stars out of 5. Keep reading to find out more about the giveaway.

circl21e

 

Win a free Audiobook version of Circle of Reign!

Jacob is a sucker for poetry. But only likes the kind that begin with Roses are red . So the best Roses are red poem of at least 30 words but no more than 100,000 wins. I am joking of course many of you know about my aversion to poetry. But I bet you didn’t know I am a published poet. Yes, sadly that is true but I don’t even remember the name of the book. ( I mentioned I am bad with names) And while the first 2  results of a Google search of Trevor Sherman poetry  will be links to something I wrote thankfully it’s not actual poetry.  No for a chance to win a free Audiobook just comment below. While you are at it you should comment on my other giveaway here. But don’t forget to comment below first! Good luck And if you lose you can always buy the book at the links below. One winner will be chosen Randomly from the comments below on this post. The drawing will take place on January 27 around 4 pm eastern. Any questions feel free to contact me 

Audible

Barnes and Noble

ISBN-13:

9780692246733

Publisher:

Jacob Cooper

Publication date:

12/27/2016

Series:

Dying Lands Chronicle , #1

Pages:

798

Hob’s Review of Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

 

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor)

by Mark Lawrence

 

  • Publication date Apr 2017
  • Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
  • ImprintHarperVoyager
  • Publication City/Country London, United Kingdom
  • ISBN100008152306
  • ISBN139780008152307

 

Wow where to start? I am kinda at a loss for words. That might be because it is 7:15 am and I was reading for the last 6 hours straight and I am exhausted. But I think it’s more likely that my brain just can’t contain all of the awesome that I read in that 6 hour stretch.

Well I guess I will start like I always do with the Tactile and visual parts of the review.  I love the cover It is a great visual description of the book without giving anything away. Plus it’s just some damn good art. It could have been improved a bit, but I went a head and fixed it.

red-siste2r

There were 5 or 6 Grammatical things I noticed. But all small things like bought her hand down instead of brought and in in instead of it in. I did have an ARC not the Final version of the book. I am just mentioning it so that in the unlikely event they haven’t been fixed already they will be before its published, I am not taking any points off.

“I have been too young to know, and I have been too old to care. It’s in that oh so narrow slice between that memories are made. So enjoy it.” – Sister Pan

I love Marks writing because on a almost subconscious level there is a meter or tempo to it. It’s not like a rhyming poem or anything, and it’s really hard to put a finger on what “it” is. I think “it” is the sentence structure its self. He writes like a great Orator speaks. The cadence of the words pulling you in to his stories  almost hypnotically. It has taken me reading 7 books by Mr. Lawrence to actually come to that conclusion.  I am probably wrong and its just a compulsion spell.. And while I am not accusing him of witchcraft or sorcery, per se. His prose has definitely cast its spell on me.

1

You would not believe the amount of times that I have read a series by an author then read their new series, and it felt like…. well like the same books almost. At the very least, many authors fall in to old speech patterns using new mouths.  I have actually thought about this way too much in the past, and I came up with an explanation for it. The characters from the old books are in the FBI’s (Fictional Body Importation) Protagonist Protection Program.  (Rolls right off the tongue doesn’t it?) Their names have been changed for their own safety and they have been moved to a new world to start over. But just like Steve Martin in My Blue Heaven they soon get up to their old tricks again.

hob-heaven

In Mark’s first two trilogies he managed to make the protagonists so completely different from each other I was amazed. And Yes he did it again with Red Sister. I know I know, the protagonist in this book starts out as a 7 or 8 year old girl and yes it takes place on a completely different world. So it sounds like it would be easy to make them unique. But even the Narrative flow in Red Sister was different from the Broken Empire books. While still having the Orator’s Tempo I talked about before. It really did amaze me.

“But be warned, young Nona: a book is as dangerous as any journey you might take. The person who closes the back cover may not be the one that opened the front one.” – Sister Kettle

Ok Like I just mentioned, Red Sister takes place on a completely new world. New to us that is. Its actually so old it is dying, really in fact it is the Sun that is dying. Causing the slow formation of a Ice Planet like Hoth from  StarWars. The only glacier free area of the planet is a 50 mile wide strip that goes all the way around the planet. I Picture it just like Beggar’s Canyon back home.  Only wider obviously.

And the only Reason that 50 miles is still open is because of a moon…… “That’s no moon kid” That’s a focus lens! Every night it gathers the light from the dying sun focusing it in to a single beam that sweeps over the area with enough heat to keep the glacier from closing in on them. If that’s not bad enough, the “moon” is in a decaying orbit and will soon return to the planet and then the ice will close on the people like a giant trash compactor.. “C-3PO come in C-3PO where are you C-3PO OH where could he be?” Sorry can you tell I went and saw Rogue One again today?

Final Thoughts

It is not only a great story, but beautifully written as well. I loved the ending but at the same time I wish I hadn’t gotten to it yet. It was by no means a small book but I read it in three sittings, and that only made me want more.

Mark Lawrence has been the author of my choices for book of the year for the last 2 years in a row. Red Sister was the first book I finished this year but it is possible he might get my vote a third time. Red Sister gets a Outstanding recommendation from this goblin with 5 stars out of 5

P.S. if you’re a Mark Lawrence fan don’t forget to enter my free drawing to win a Broken Empire themed book cover! A $90.00 value for free! Just go to my blog post  here and make a comment and you will be entered.

To Pre- Order Red Sister click below

Amazon

Book Depository

 

Hob’s REVIEW of The Last Sacrifice (Tides of War) by James A. Moore

The Last Sacrifice (Tides of War)

by James A. Moore

Jan 3, 2017

length 320 pages

I received a free E-copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way changes how I rate this book.

The start with the Facts of the book. just the Facts ma’am. I received an ARC that was not the final version so I won’t take off points for the Typos. However I do hope they get fixed before the final release January 3rd of 2017. There was hardly any errors in the first half of the book. Then around the halfway point I started seeing a few,  just little things like smile when it should be smiled. But as the end drew near I started seeing more and more.  Now the cover, well the cover  is fricken awesome. It really captures what the book is about even though you won’t understand that until  you are in to the book a bit.

Now we talk about the story. Well it was, as we say in a Facebook group I am in, “It was GDAF” or Grimdark as fuck!  So in a word “GREAT”.

Thanks for coming. See you later! Hope you enjoyed the review…….

For your enjoyment, here is an Undying Goblin lets call him Dowru-Hobs  and he just wants a hug.

goblin-movie-syfy-2010-cloak

.

.

Okay Okay I was just kidding. I am a Dad. I have to tell a certain amount of bad jokes a day. If I don’t hit my quota I could lose my Dad Card and you wouldn’t want that on your head now would you?

No, really it was a great book.  Even though we never really get to know the characters all that well, you can’t help but feel for some of them. That’s because James…er the Gods in the story are mean and petty. James  really is a nice guy, he even wished me a happy birthday while I was writing this review.  It literally just popped up on my screen now. Thanks James! Not very Grimdark of you though…… No we will never be happy with anything you do…….  Where was I before I was so rudely interrupted? oh hey interrupting isn’t very nice so I guess it was Grim if not very dark, to wish me a happy birthday. But what is Mark Lawrence’s excuse?

What? No I am not bragging! I had a perfectly good reason to tell you all that i got birthday wishes from some of my favorite authors. It’s not like I went out of my way to say Richard Knaak and Peter Newman . and many others wished me a happy birthday geez!….Let’s get back to the review….

This story is told in third person, and for the smallish size of the book, there are a lot of different POVs. That’s why we never really got to know anyone that well. But I have to admit the starting POV was done really well. I almost felt a few tears welling up and I didn’t even know what the hell was going on yet.  When I figured it out I was really upset. I remember thinking what a fucked up world these people live in.  And it is a Grimdark setting . I am not going to go into the plot but I will say you would not want to live in this place.

Final thoughts

It wasn’t that short of a book but it did feel that way because there was a lot of action. A lot of POVs but done well so it wasn’t confusing.  The ending came abruptly and without coming to much of a conclusion. But the way the ending summed up what everyone was doing and where they were at  was a nice touch, and that made up for the lack of a firm resolution  As it is I can’t wait for the next book and this one isn’t even out yet. Definitely a wild ride and I can’t wait to ride it again. I give The Last Sacrifice 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

Buy at Amazon

 

Buy at B&N

Hob’s review of The Malice by Peter Newman

Look its a goblin riding a demon goat while Juggling bombs! I made it just for you.      Merry  Christmas.

hob-and-goatI know what you are thinking….. Well I have no clue what you are thinking but I am sure that while you are thinking it you look like this.

images

The Malice

By (author)  Peter Newman

 

 

  • Format Hardback | 464 pages
  • Dimensions 159 x 227 x 43mm | 698g
  • Publication date 19 May 2016
  • Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
  • Imprint HarperVoyager

 

 

 

 

First off this book was a pain to get. I guess it is not available in the USA yet. I would have liked to get the Audiobook as I listened to the first book but again not available in USA.  Amazon has the HB for sale by a 3rd party for $75.00 and no thanks I wanted it but not that bad.  So I went to the source Peter Newman himself and asked what was up. He pointed me to the book depository where I found a HB copy for $15.00 with free shipping. I love that site now by the way.  The cover is great, the art really captures the story without actually giving anything away.

 

The story starts some years after the first book, and like in The Vagrant there is a baby at the start of the book. but this time we see it born into the cruel world. It is spurned by its mother and taken in by someone who will care for the poor Kid. I meant to use a capital K in kid. Because that’s the name of the son of a Goat. I meant to use a capital G in goat because that’s the name of ….well you know about Goat.

It was no surprise that Goat was a bad mother. It was kind of a surprise she ever found herself in a motherly way in the first place though. But the now young woman Vesper stepped up to be a mom to Kid.  Vesper is just as precocious as ever and is chosen by the sword Gamma to go on an adventure because it was being ignored by the Vagrant.

14639880_1398578973502880_21042044261845187_n

My daughter has actually called me Smelly goat for the last 10 years since onetime at the zoo a goat ate part of my shorts. And I insisted on leaving the zoo. Totally not related I call her Smelly Cow she wouldn’t want me to tell you why…..

OK where was I? …oh yeah

a

Vesper and Kid go on an adventure. You all should know by now I don’t like to just tell the plot I tell how i felt while reading the book.

So how did I feel?  Book one had some pretty big shoes to fill but The Malice did a good job filling them. I don’t know how the author made me like a mute character like the Vagrant without ever actually being in his head., but he did. And at the start of the book I felt that would be missing and make the book much the worse for it. But the sword Gamma eventually filled that role quite nicely. The kid was not the Goat but did a good job of comic relief. I actually liked the cast more this time around, even though it took me most of the book to come to that conclusion.

Final thoughts

It was hard to get so I am taking some points off for that. but that is the only reason it is not getting 5 stars. It is a much different book than the Vagrant But again I found myself really loving these characters for their flaws as much as for their strengths. A fun read with tension and loss but also humor and self sacrifice. Also I loved how the kid was Narcoleptic! As someone who suffers from Narcolepsy myself I thought it was hilarious. I give The Malice 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

Hob’s Review of Thieftaker by D.B. Jackson

Audiobook

Thieftaker: Thieftaker Chronicles, Book 1

UNABRIDGED

As usual lets start with the technical side of the review. I listened to the Audiobook narrated by Jonathan Davis. You might not recognize the name but you have probably listened to at least one Audiobook read by him. He has done most of the  Star-wars books including The truly fantastic  William Shakespeare’s Star Wars  By Ian Doescher . He has also done books like The Black Company: Chronicles of The Black Company, Book 1 By Glen Cook  and The Shadow of the Torturer: The Book of the New Sun, Book 1 by Gene Wolfe. Just as in those books he did a great job here. Although I would assume a guy born in England and living in the Colony of Boston just before the Revolutionary war would have had a British accent. But other than that it was great. The cover is ok nothing special  It did not grab me. It actually was the reason it stayed on my TBR pile for so long. I don’t like to judge a book by its cover but they sure can make me want to listen/read to them Sooner rather than something else…It was a decent length at a bit over 13 hours.

 

The book takes place in a way underused setting and time period  for Alternate History/Fantasy books. The American Colonies pre-Revolutionary war. Actually just before the war. Samuel Adams is an important figure in the book and the book pretty much starts during the Riots caused by the Stamp act which lead eventually to the Boston Tea Party and the War.

Thieftaker is in a parallel world. Although I only noticed 2 differences, so very close to ours.. The main difference is that magic is a real thing but kept in the shadows because things like the Salem Witch trials had still happened.

We see through the eyes of Ethan Kaille a magic user of no small powers he earns his living as a Thief Catcher. He kind of felt like he was created from the end game screen of Sid Meier’s Pirates!  maxresdefault

He was a British sailor and engaged when something happened and he was charged with mutiny and somehow outed as a wizard but  instead of death he was sent to work on a sugar plantation for many years where he gained a limp. When he came back his Fiancée had married had children and been widowed. She still wanted nothing to do with him though because he is a witch. If you ever played Pirates you will understand my point.

Don’t get me wrong I liked the book it was well written but that part was just so generic to me. It might be better if /when it is explained in the rest of the series.  

OK the second thing that was not like our world was when they talk about both a man and woman being hanged.  The Richardson’s had been found guilty of  “miss treating their children” and hung. I was pretty sure there wasn’t such a thing as child abuse  then. So I did a bit of disturbing research and scanned through about 100 cases from 1700-1792 involving child deaths only 2 went to trial in both the suspect was black or Indian and the child was a illegitimate half white newborn. like the case bellow.

  • Rutland Sup. Ct. files, v. 2: 587
  • Accused:                     Dinah              
  • Race: b
  • Gender: f
  • Age: adult    “negro girl”     
  • Occupation: fugitive slave
  • Town: from New York State              
  • 587: INFANTICIDE — Dinah, 1784:  d.:  2/21/1784:  on body of negro child in Arlington, VT.  Found near house of Elnathan Merwin Jr.  CORONER JURY VERDICT:  murder.  In case of FREEMAN v. DINAH.
  • SUSPECT(s): Dinah
  • VICTIM(s): her newborn illeg. child
  • Weapon: [physical]
  • Circumstances: near the house of Elnathan Merwin, Jr.
  • Inquest: d. 2/21.  Verdict:  murder.
  • Indictment: yes, murder
  • Term: 2/1784
  • Court proceedings: pNG

Yet in cases like the next one the person was released and actually became more  prominent after beating his half black Illegitimate 7 year old son to death with a stick

 

  • Class: probable
  • Crime: HOM MANSL
  • Rela: HHLD CHILD [SERVANT by MASTER]
  • Motive: ABUSE
  • SUSPECT(s): [Elnathan] Strong
  • VICTIM(s): a young boy (his servant)
  • Weapon: wooden rods [club]
  • Circumstances: beat the child with wooden rods for refusing to follow orders.  2.5 hours later.
  • Inquest: verdict: 
  • Indictment: no
  • Term:
  • Court proceedings: none
  • 1784, Feb. Arlington, BEN

 

Yeah I wasted a lot of time reading what ass holes our founders were not that I needed to be reminded.  But anyway lets get back to the review.  So other then the back-story that felt like a bunch of bad things that might happen to a person had been written on strips of paper and then randomly selected out of a hat, it was a very interesting read. A lot of real history thrown in to a real place and magic was added.

The magic system itself was interesting but pretty much based on what Charlatans of the 18th and 19th centuries spoke of.. Using a spirit guide or ghost, basically to help focus energies to do mostly Illusions and small things. But it did require some type of sacrifice like using part of the life of a tree or grass. But what was most common was the castors own blood. Towards the end it did get really cool to see how many simple things where combined to make more powerful spells.

But I have to mention the real hero of the book. Trevor Pell the priest that discovers he has magical talent. He saves  Ethan’s life 4 or 5 times and he has a cool name to boot. I think he should leave the priest hood and become an apprentice or something. But we will have to wait and see.

Final Thoughts

A standard plot was helped tremendously by the interactions of the characters. Some of the motives (especially the bad guy’s) felt strained as to the whys of it. But then when I sat back to actually think about it and the politics of the time it made a bit more sense. Its not YA but I would have been ok letting my kids read it way back when they were 12 or 13 years old. All in all a little bit better than average read but with much potential for the rest of the series. All topped off with good narration  I am going to give Thieftaker 3.75 stars out of 5

Hobs review of Reign of Madness by Kel Kade

Reign of Madness: King’s Dark Tidings, Book 2

UNABRIDGED

 

OK this review will be shorter than most. No that doesn’t mean I should be done now, shut up Bob!

It will be kind of short because I just reviewed book 1 a few days ago. and Much of what I liked or didn’t like is the same.  I listened to the Audiobook Narrated by Nick Podehl. He is the reason I picked up this series in the first place and he did a great job as always.  This one was a bit longer than the first coming in at a respectable 19 hrs and 20 min. It is rare that a series gets longer each book instead of shorter, But it’s almost always a good thing when it does.

I did like this one more than the first as far as plot goes. Relationships had kind of firmed up and some of the characters had matured in this second installment.  One of the group  dies though and of course it’s a woman’s  fault. Wait I didn’t mean that the way it sounded,  the women are not written that well they are all lovesick teeny boppers  that do stupid things for men..  I was in no way saying women are at fault for things usually just in this book. Seriously I love you!!!! Don’t hurt me…….

The action scenes where really good again but even more one sided. Most of this book took place at the dueling contest that the group had been traveling too in book  1. but he didn’t even break a sweat taking out every blade master in five kingdoms and that is just a bit too much  disbelief to try and suspend.  Rez actually did get hurt once. It was at the same time when the one guy died but it was because of ….. Moving on….

Final thoughts

There was plenty of action consisting of great fighting scenes. even if it did feel like Rezkin was playing with God mode on. A lot of good one-liners and running jokes kept me amused.  Still I don’t know why this book has “This book is intended for adult readers” warning on it. The plot makes it a teen book  at best and I didn’t notice anything that would make it deserve more. But you will need to judge that for yourself. Reign of Madness is going to get 4 out of 5 stars from me.

Hob’s Review of Treachery’s Tools: Imager Portfolio Series, Book 10 By L. E. Modesitt Jr.

Treachery’s Tools: Imager Portfolio Series, Book 10

UNABRIDGED

I listened to the Audiobook Narrated by William Dufris. He has done some great books and I think he is underrated, His work on Old Man’s War by John Scalzi was one of my favorite audio books, and once again he did a great job.

Let me start by saying I love this series but the time line is confusing. The first few  books are about Rhentyll a young artist that learns he is a Imager and has to go to the Imager school.. Then book 4 goes back in time 700 years to see Quaeryt  help with the founding of Solidar, the most powerful nation on Terahnar and the imager school. Quaeryt annoyed me at first but by the end of book 4 I liked him a lot. By the end of Rex Regis (Imager Portfolio, #8) he was one of my favorite characters ever. Then this book was 400 years in the future but still 300 years before the first book… . I think

Anyway I was disappointed when Madness in Solidar (Imager Portfolio #9) started a few hundred years after book 8 with the school already falling apart from bad leadership and Quaeryt all but forgotten. Books 9 and 10 are more about political intrigue than all out battle. While I like both types of books I prefer the dagger you see in front kind of action to the invisible dagger in the back that you see with politics. Metaphorically speaking of course. Literally speaking I would prefer if no one tried to stab me with anything anywhere.. OK now that we have that cleared up let us move on to other things.

The magic system is one of my favorites. I think of it as 3D mind printing. Need a mug of Ale? Image one in to your hand. Need a shield to protect you from those daggers we just talked about? Image one on your arm. Cool right? Well it’s not that simple obviously. Just like a 3D printer  uses plastic, Imaging uses materials around you. If you tried to make that shield and there was no Iron in the ground near you the best you could hope for is that nothing would happen. But it is possible that you might pull all the iron out of your own blood and die instantly. Oops! Now If you tried to Image the Ale into your cup the bartender would get pretty pissed off when he sees he is out of Ale and you bought one cup last week and have been drunk ever since. Not near a tavern but you have water and hops and stuff? Well unless you actually know how to make Ale it will still taste like … ummm… something that tastes bad.  I could go on about this magic system for hours but I know you have things to do so let’s get to my actual review of Treachery’s Tools:

 

This book starts only 13 years after  Madness in Solidar. Alastar has settled in as head of the School and is now married with a daughter. The daughter was a great character and it was a nice change to have children in the story more. I know Quaeryt had kids but they were never more than names on a page really. Like I said before this one has more political wrangling but there was plenty of action in the last half or so..The only problem I had was the same problem I have with many fantasy books. That is the bad guys are SO STUPID. I mean  think about it for a second. Does “let me start killing kids at the magic school so the king thinks they are weak and will stop listening to the guy that can image my heart into his hand if he gets pissed” sound like a good plan? If it does I have a evil hideout for sale that I know you will just love..

 

Final thoughts

The character development and interaction was great. There was plenty of humor throughout the book and some serious feels at the end.  Even with a weak plot line it was still a fun listen. Great narration and good characters kept me going through the slower parts. All in all it was one good book that is in a great series. . I am going to give it 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Book Giveaway Winners

We have a winner !!!…  two of them.

We ended with 32 people entered and the 2 winners were chosen randomly by a computer program. They will recieve a free autographed copy of Paternus the multi-award wining first book by Dyrk Ashton. Screen shots of the winning names will be at the bottom. The winners are Once again, My fellow blogger, Danielle from Books, Vertigo and Tea and Ghibli. Congratulations to the winners! I want to thank you all for playing and helping me spread the word about my blog I started this blog On October 8th 2016 and with your help I have received just over  900 visitors and had almost  1,700 page views in less than 2 months. That is truly amazing to me, and I sincerely thank you all.

I will send each of the winners a email telling them that they have won and asking for a mailing address. If they do not respond by Monday 12/05/16 I will pick a new winner.

Here is a list of all the people that entered.

  1. Tom
  2. The Royal Polar Bear
  3. The Imbalance
  4. Susan Price
  5. smans001
  6. Rebekah Teller
  7. Readinginthemorning
  8. R B Watkinson
  9. Pia Roos
  10. ObservantRaven
  11. Noelle
  12. Minna Mononen
  13. Mia C.
  14. Meghana
  15. Lynn
  16. Liam
  17. Leini
  18. ladyvampire
  19. Kelsy
  20. Kameo Yarrow
  21. Jennifer Scott
  22. Jay
  23. Jason Parrish
  24. Ghibli
  25. fabiano
  26. Devon
  27. darkmondaysblog
  28. Christopher Cardenas
  29. Bryan
  30. Books, Vertigo and Tea
  31. bloodygrim
  32. Ashley Melanson