Latest Book Reviews
This book opened my eyes to a whole new way to view inanimate objects and brought upon a deeper appreciation for everything in my care
Scott Lynch has thoughtfully created a fascinating, original world. His talent to carry the story is natural. And the story is fast-paced, full of action, chicanery and tension. The characters are a colorful group of believable persons.
But what makes Lynch so exceptional as a writer is his way of weaving dialogue. The story is dialogue-oriented, and at least I enjoy it as it is. Oh, how thrilling it is to follow the conversations, especially between Locke and Jean, and Locke and Sabetha. They are juicy. They are hilarious.
The story of Locke Lamora was complex in the first place, and this third book made it even more complex. It is a fantasy book, but not very light or easy read, especially if you - like me - are not fluent in English. Anyway, definitely worth it.
I LOVED this book—and I don't say that very often! Until All Curses Are Lifted, by Tim Frankovich, is about magic—and society—gone horribly wrong. The magic system is incredible, unusual, and mangled. That is to say that the magic has been twisted in an effort to make life "fair," but (as with nearly all good things) people have contrived a way to abuse the system. How does one get around a system that curses the innocent and punishes good deeds? Worse, this broken magic is breaking the world…
I really enjoyed the character development; no cardboard figures here! The world-building was good, but not great, though the characters and fast-paced plot were so strong that it was not problematic. We're introduced to various countries, societies, religions, and history without being deluged by information. The author weaves some serious and unexpectedly deep issues into the adventures.
There are a few places where the prose is weak, but they are few—and the worst part about the book was reading the last page. I want more. Right now!
Anyone who likes good old-fashioned fantasy reads and complicated characters is sure to love this.
When I first heard about the book The Last Lumenian, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it because it was from a new author that I hadn't heard about before. However, S.G. Blaise has created an incredible story that keeps the reader interested from beginning to end. After reading a few pages in, I knew I would have to limit myself, or else I would have finished the whole book in one day. The fast-paced writing style and descriptive scenes make you feel like you are part of their world. Following Lilla's journey made me recognize that when we believe in ourselves, we can discover an inner power and strength we didn't realize we had before. She follows her heart and fights for what she believes in during a time when that seemed difficult to do. The story was a wonderful blend of adventure, fantasy, science fiction, and a splash of romance. Although this story might seem like it is for a younger audience, everyone can find something to love about it. I hope there are many more books to the series coming out soon!
I highly suggest checking out this book. You will not be disappointed!
I loved the book but the ending is the only thing keeping me from giving this book 5 stars. Even tho it was heart breaking it also didn't make any sense. I mean, he loved the girl (witch or not) so how did he just kept living with the human one like nothing happened?
I just finished this book and all I can say is it's one of the best Sherlock/Watson fanfics out there. I hadn't heard of wingfic before now, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Katherine Addison managed to follow the stories of Sherlock while also making John an original character that can actually solve problems on his own. Plus! He's a she! I wasn't expecting it in the least! I thought the secret was him (I still think of him as a guy instead of a girl) being a hellhound, which was wonderfully portrayed. I just really liked this book.
I loved this book. I read it all in one sitting and I felt like I knew everything I needed to know about surviving in space on my own. This is one of the best books I've ever read, I think.
I really liked this book. Ernest Cline managed to build a post-apocalyptic world that actually felt new, rather than just a re-do of an old idea. Cline managed to hook me from the start and I felt like I was following along the clues with him. But, whatever you do, do not watch the movie. It didn't do the book any favours, just sayin'.
Wonderful storytelling, as always. I was blown away by the dark humor and realistic, well-developed characters. Everyone's scared and no one's a hero unless by accident of course.
This book takes place after a couple of decades from the ending of the First Law Trilogy on the brink of an industrial revolution. Many of the old characters have gone back to mud but we get to glimpse some old ones. Can't say that I don't miss my favorite characters from the First Law Trilogy. The main characters are young fighters (of war or politics) of the next generation in a changing world. They have little to no combat experience, which sets a different atmosphere, compared to having mainly veterans. As a result, there's less action than usually in Joe Abercrombie's books but still plenty. The storytelling jumps from one character to the next and even some very minor characters get to have their say.
This novel is brilliant. What sets it apart is how truly realistic everything is, although it is not a surprise for anyone familiar with Abercrombie's other work. Events, thoughts, and relationships feel as though they could be real. The world is not softened or simplified as it often is in many books. The cold truths can be found from the pages of this novel. One would expect that from a fantasy book, even if the fantasy aspects are very subtle.
I strongly recommend reading the First Law Trilogy before starting this one. Otherwise, you won't understand many references. If you enjoyed reading any other books set in the World of the First Law, you'll like A Little Hatred too.
I fell in love with this author by the second paragraph. Here is a delightful satirical writing style, full of humour and eloquent in its execution. It’s clear right away if you are going to connect with the dry wit and the prose so beautifully crowded with lighthearted potshots at humanity.
The first of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, this novel plays with conventional ideas about the world, especially mythological archetypes and their use in the sword and sorcery fantasy genre. His tongue-in-cheek physics adds a pinch of Sci-Fi to the mix. The Color of Magic is often compared to Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for its humour but is written with more finesse.
It lightened my heart to read this book. Surges of delight from the clever turns of phrase alternated with laughter as I read along. I particularly enjoyed this satire of fantasy because I am fascinated with the concept of reality and all its interpretations.
Here is a snippet of Pratchett's description of a wizard appearing out of thin air, an effect you might experience in a movie:
“Now the turning wizard was half man-size. At that point the growth was faster, there was a sudden crowded moment, a rush of air, and an explosion of sound. Rincewind tumbled out of the air, screaming. He hit the floor hard, choked, then rolled over with his head cradled in his arms and his body curled up tightly."
Birds are shown to carry messages, and a few pages later a man about to dispatch a message approaches a cage of white doves. But there are other cages there, and, “From one cage he removed a glossy coated rat, rolled the parchment into the phial attached to a hind leg, and let the animal go. It sniffed around the floor for a moment, then disappeared down a hole in the far wall.” The image of rats scurrying through underground tunnels with notes tied to their rear legs fits well into this city in a world of scoundrels.
Terry Pratchett obviously had a great time writing these books. He was a masterful writer and it's easy to see why so many have had fun reading the Discworld series. I thoroughly enjoyed The Color Of Magic and am on to read The Light Fantastic.
I mentioned this review in a blog post here: https://habyrd.com/blog/important-message.html
Well-loved Sci-Fi/Fantasy author Patricia A. McKillip released this book in 2005. Alphabet of Thorn is a story about the magic of words, about obsession, and about love.
An orphan has been raised by the librarians of a great castle. At sixteen, through her job as translator, the magic of a book tangles her life with that of the young queen and others of the realm. This history written in a language of thorns unveils secrets that will change everything.
The story is reminiscent of Arthurian tales, and Le Guin, with a touch of Harry Potter.
Soon after I began reading, I felt a fondness for the author. Her language is beautiful, but I found the strange word order and her use of pronouns confusing. As this is the first book of McKillip’s I’ve read, I’m not sure if she wrote this way on purpose or not. The story does, after all, center on a brambly language.
I like McKillip’s patterns of thought, and the timing of her plot elements. Plenty of well-paced hints lit the way to the outcome. There are gems among her phrases, and interesting metaphors such as the enormity of night with its eye at the window, spying on comfort and fragile peace.
My favorite line is, “. . .even in the long, tumultuous history of Raine, the rulers had never had to go to war with their librarians.”
The final chapter or two make me feel that the author was already busy in her mind with her next book. The structure is there, but primary characters have oddly melted away and the writing has lost its flow. There is a beautiful resolution, but it was a tricky one that needed a little more care to make someone’s transition believable.
I've blogged about my process in creating this review. https://habyrd.com/ Baby Sees Its Shadow For The First Time, Again.
Authors are warned not to expect literary fiction to succeed commercially. Yet one of the most popular fantasies ever is a beautiful example of literary fantasy. I read The Last Unicorn recently for the first time.
No story is the same for every reader. We shape our own version with our widely varied personal memories and perspective. This is especially true with literary fiction, which relies on the audience's interest in such things as allusions and undercurrents of meaning.
If one approaches The Last Unicorn with expectations of a cheesy 1960s romance in the back of their mind, there is a danger that this is what they will experience. As the story points out, when people come across a unicorn they often can’t see what’s right there in front of them.
At some point in the book, though, the reader must make a choice. Is this story to be read with a modern and critical eye, peeved and scoffing over this and that? Or is it better to plunge into the magic, to enjoy every nuance and smell every flower of the language? There is much to experience in the warp and weft of Mr. Beagle’s writing, constantly reminding us that there is more to our world than we can see.
A butterfly speaks in a flittering gibberish of overheard songs and phrases. His life is only a blip in time. And yet he holds the truth. A wicked witch uses the public’s fears and gullibility against them for profit, only to be eaten by her own deepest forebodings. A wretched king lives in a prison of stale magic and his own dour imagination. Characters are the backbone of this book. The personalities are based on archetypes, and the heroes of the story blossom into a satisfying modernness.
Beagle’s lyrical flow-of-thought style of writing pulled me right into this fairy tale, despite my preconceived ideas and wariness. Before I read the story, I had been put off by the saccharine image of the unicorn which comes from the film. The creature with oversized human eyes has a head shape which disturbs and offends me and my idea of a unicorn. It’s a cultural thing, I realize.
Despite all this, I watched the film a few days ago. The animation has a simple but lovely artistry, and the unicorn moves enchantingly like a real horse. The beauty of the film opened my mind about anime-style unicorns. Although the screenplay was done by Mr. Beagle, the film is toned down and less thought-provoking than the book. For example, in the movie it is not implicit that the cause of the people’s sadness and pathetic blindness to the world is the fact that the unicorns have gone. I recommend the film, but read the book first!
For me, The Last Unicorn is a story about facing our humanity. It’s a reminder to live life with joy.
I don´t really think Science Fiction and porn is a good match. The story was readable, but the sex scenes totally ridiculous and unnecessary. Does it make science fiction that someone is trapped in a laser cage? Full of cliché really. A romance novelist just placed the story in space. I don´t know if that makes it science fiction. Maybe I rated it too high… but I don´t like to give mean scores. After all, someone has spent a whole lot of time and trouble writing this.
I like the world, I like the premise, good imagination and rather good writing. On the other hand, so many characters (who may have many names) that I got lost at times. This is written to be a Book 1 of a series, a setup for an upsell. That I don't really like. Things are left unsolved mainly. I don´t know if I´m going to buy the sequels, but I would definitely like to know how this all ends. Maybe my library can help me when the time comes. Mr. Gonzales is a great writer in my opinion, I hope to see a lot of new work from him. Maybe the problem with this novel was caused by the publisher. I still recommend this one. You can buy it for 5 bucks online, delivered. Worth it 100%.
I like Mr. Reynolds´ writing, he is good. This book has maybe a little thin plot and the events maybe happen a little too easy for the characters, but it is a good book and worth reading. I like the World especially in this one, and the characters, and of course will read the sequels in time. I´m a fan! Good job.
This book was a surprising treat. I bought it because of my interest in Irish folklore. I loved the way the author used this idea as a backdrop for a very unusual, but believable romance. If you want a good laugh, cry and a little bit of magic, I highly recommend!
An eclectic collection of stories some of which are ridiculous by today's standards but are worth reading just to appreciate how ideas have changed.
The stand out story is"Dead Centre" by Judith Merrill which concentrates on the heroes family but worthy contributions are also made by Edmond Hamilton, Paul Ernst and Gordon R Dickson.
Mike Ashley's Introduction is also very good and clearly well researched
Wow, to compare this to a Culture novel is an affront. I tried so hard to like this book but just couldn’t connect. Please avoid unless you want to read something to fall asleep to...
I absolutely loved this book! I had been tempted to wait to read it, but I am so glad that I didn't! It was wonderful to be with Richard and Kahlan again, and I was thrilled to see how intricately he wove so many previous story-lines into this fresh and haunting new plot. I was thoroughly hooked by chapter two. One new character has me almost as intrigued as the ending, and both have me happily anticipating the next book in the series already.
A great many Sherlock Holmes stories have been written since the passing of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but very few authors have managed to capture his style happily David Stuart Davies has done just this. Both stories are extremely well written and could very easily pass for the work of Conan Doyle were it not for the fact that they contain a supernatural element, in “The Shadow of the Rat” Holmes encounters a European Baroness with psychic powers and in “The Tangled Skein” he crosses swords with the Prince of Darkness himself. Stuart Davies has written several other Holmes stories including “The Scroll of the Dead” which despite the promising title the antagonist proves to be no more spectral than the Sussex Vampire or the Hound of the Baskervilles.
Recommended to anyone who just cannot get enough Sherlock Holmes
This was the book that got me into this series. Found it on my mom's book shelf about 20 years ago. I enjoyed the conflicts and the characters. Honestly if you like space operas, star trek and cats you'll like this series. It is broken into parts and takes place immediately after the first ends. I enjoyed getting to know more about the Sholans and their Talents.