I'd give it that extra half star if I could, but it's not up to 4 star material. We know why we come to King's books, and he delivers. Like many of KiI'd give it that extra half star if I could, but it's not up to 4 star material. We know why we come to King's books, and he delivers. Like many of King's works that were adapted for the screen, don't watch the show and expect to find that story here. In that regards, stick with the book, it makes more sense while still having definable beginning, middle, and end. ...more
Book three of the Dagger and the Coin - it rises up like Ouroboros writ in words, the ending is the beginning and the beginning is the ending. This thBook three of the Dagger and the Coin - it rises up like Ouroboros writ in words, the ending is the beginning and the beginning is the ending. This third installment brings us back to the world of Marcus and Kit as they go looking for a magical sword to kill a Spider goddess with. Meanwhile, in the sexy world of moneylending, Cithrin continues her struggle and education in service to the Medean Bank.
Orbiting like a love struck puppy - with a cadre of killer priests and a warring nation at his command - Geder Palliako continues down his self destructive path, the ridiculed, chubby nerd that now wields more power than he knows how to handle or deal with. Meanwhile, working her wily ways to bring all that Geder stands for down, Clara continues her secret campaign with the street urchins and disheveled of Camnipol.
While the book is not for newcomers - there is simply too much background to explain, about a book and a half to be exact - it is a worthy addition to the series on whole. The pace is fast, the action is tight, and the world, as always, teeters on an unseen precipice ready to dip even further into chaos. As the midway point in the series, I think it’s sometimes hard to see the events that happen as the turning points they really are.
Recommended for epic fantasy readers, but don’t start here....more
Like many Koontz books, this one had a great hook that gave a lot of promises, most - but not all - fulfilled. Bartender Billy finds himself trapped aLike many Koontz books, this one had a great hook that gave a lot of promises, most - but not all - fulfilled. Bartender Billy finds himself trapped as a madman begins leaving him notes, suggesting that Billy is in control of choosing to take action and cause a grisly death, or side with inaction and still be responsible for something an equally horrific death. I don't think Koontz quite delivered on that promise, but he made a good run at it....more
Folks that get here by way of the TV show Haven will be sorely disappointed - like many of King's work turned into film, the names are the same, the pFolks that get here by way of the TV show Haven will be sorely disappointed - like many of King's work turned into film, the names are the same, the places are the same, but little else runs the way you expect it to. This book is a mystery - if the imprint didn't give that away - but it's less about solving the mystery than learning what makes it so mysterious. A fun quick read, told mostly like a ghost story (third person narration)....more
Tough call with this one - I actually wavered between 3 and 4 stars. It's good, not always great, but good. I think it would be more fair to say it waTough call with this one - I actually wavered between 3 and 4 stars. It's good, not always great, but good. I think it would be more fair to say it was inspired by Wells' Time Machine than as a direct reboot, but with honest focus that was more on the character and his place in a far future society than on the technology that got him there (a mistake too often made). There is rarely room to doubt in this novel as to which direction the lead character is going to jump, a fact that makes the story comfortable and familiar and occasionally predictable. Having read through most of the Riyria books, I know from experience the author takes some time to ramp to full throttle, which is I think the what left this book a bit lacking. Without the breadth of pages to gain full speed, the book fell a little short for me.
I'd still be happy to recommend the book, especially if you were looking for a fun quick read with a faintly science fiction bend....more
My first reaction when I finished this book: Imagine Brent Weeks had channeled Brandon Sanderson and you're halfway to knowing what kind of book thisMy first reaction when I finished this book: Imagine Brent Weeks had channeled Brandon Sanderson and you're halfway to knowing what kind of book this is going to be. McClellan has developed a magic system that is very reminiscent of allomancy - powder mages snort or consume gunpowder much like a cocaine addict, endowing them with powers physical and metaphysical. We also see magic in the more traditional sense (hand waving wizardry so to speak), Knacks (people with one off powers, X-menish but without the flair), all resting in a world we can almost recognize as being modeled after late 18th/early 19th century Europe. And like so many books I've stumbled into recently, a B plot centered around religion and gods.
The initial hook for this book is the calling in of a retired investigator to solve a riddle left by a dead sorcerer at the end of the coup that brought down the King, spiraling out from there to include rogue magi, betrayal among the coup's conspirators, and a civil war. Good stuff, to say the least, and where McClellan might be faulted for a lack of depth, he more than makes up for by keeping the novel at a brisk and relentless pace that hurtles the reader to the conclusion of the first volume far too quickly. A little cliche, but a lot of fun to read, and yet another author/series to add to the queue....more
A curious entry in the autobiographical material of Asimov's life. If you have no other resources, or your only other resource is the slim "I, Asimov"A curious entry in the autobiographical material of Asimov's life. If you have no other resources, or your only other resource is the slim "I, Asimov", then you may find more enjoyment in this book. Personally, I found it to be a somewhat disjointed collection of excerpts from the longer autobiography that he wrote (I've read "In Memory Yet Green" and "In Joy Still Felt", which covered 1920-1978). Unfortunately, this is about the best you're going to find these days, especially if you're looking for a digital book. Ye olde paper books are rare and out of print as near as I can tell, so this is the best of what you can find, but don't think you've found the best....more
Readers of Ovid looking for something with a little more sex and magic would do well to dwell in these pages. Like A Guile of Dragons, Wrath-Bearing TReaders of Ovid looking for something with a little more sex and magic would do well to dwell in these pages. Like A Guile of Dragons, Wrath-Bearing Tree is a book whose mood implies it is best savored on a stormy summer afternoon, or from the comfort of a stuffed chair on a cold and bleak autumn night. Continuing the early adventures of Morlock Ambrosius, Wrath-Bearing Tree begins by giving us a taste of life in the kingdom of Kaen and how easy it is for one of the many city gods of this continent to be replaced by an usurper. It stands to reason, then, that when Morlock is thrust into the middle of this, his only way out is to kill a god and return home to the Graith.
But no sooner is he home than he is sent back to Kaen. Something more is going on on that scary continent, and more information is needed about the Two Powers, believed to be behind the fall of many of the city gods of Kaen recently. While readers of A Guile of Dragons will remember the role of the Two Powers in the return of the dragons, this second volume was still approachable as a stand alone novel. Before the novel ends, Morlock and his companion will face warring gods, living machines that grant apotheosis, and a wintry father figure named Merlin driving a sleigh led by eight tiny demons.
Morlock and his companion's journey reads like a medieval travelogue, cataloging the strange customs and unusual creatures and beliefs found along the way. I enjoyed the book, though it was a bit more graphic (NSFW) than expected. Enge again delivers a well written story set in a mythos that is so familiar to us, painted with the elements that have defined the landscape of fantastical stories for centuries, and yet delivered in a fresh and entertaining story. ...more
Enjoyable, but not quite memorable. Other reviews on Goodreads go into deeper details, but the short of it was that although it wasn't a bad story, itEnjoyable, but not quite memorable. Other reviews on Goodreads go into deeper details, but the short of it was that although it wasn't a bad story, it wasn't a world I want to return to find out what happens next. A little disappointed since I really enjoyed the Summoner books by Gail....more
Where to begin with the second volume of the Dagger and the Coin? This is still the story of a brazen girl turned banker and a bookworm too afraid toWhere to begin with the second volume of the Dagger and the Coin? This is still the story of a brazen girl turned banker and a bookworm too afraid to know when to stop. It's still the story of a mercenary and an old defunct priest as they head out to deal with a goddess whose priests have spiders for blood.
But it's also so much more.
The second volume is no place to start the series, but it is definitely a good place to continue it. Some of the elements are almost reminiscent of Martin's Ice and Fire series - empire in turmoil, dragons, and (SPOILER - can't tell you that bit). The execution, though, is completely different, and where Martin draws a long, deep story out, Abraham punches you in the stomach runs away laughing maniacally.
It's books like this that make Daniel Abraham such a force to be reckoned with in the fantasy genre. I read this book on an e-reader, and more than once I found myself flailing with my free hand to find a bookmark before I remembered it would do me no good. The King's Blood is an engrossing novel that seems slow to suck you in at first, then races all the way to the finish line. ...more
The fourth Lukien novel John Marco has published, "The Forever Knight" is a break from the format and story of the previous books, giving new readersThe fourth Lukien novel John Marco has published, "The Forever Knight" is a break from the format and story of the previous books, giving new readers an excellent opportunity to dip into this saga. Cursed with immortality by the spirit living within his sword, Lukien begins this novel restless and aimless. He's a man who lives a life without consequence. When the ancient spirit in your sword can heal you of any wound, mortal or benign, what challenge is there in living?
Despite the teaser for this book, this book does not dwell on the Inhumans or Lukien's roll as their protector. With the usual grace of a fantasy novel, Lukien is cast out into the world on a quest, sword in hand and companion at his side. While the stated goal of the quest is to find answers to his companion, Cricket's, past, it's obvious what is really the objective - to find a purpose and challenge to satisfy an immortal knight.
In my mind, two things set this novel apart from many fantasy novels. The first was the decision to present this tale in the first person. For new readers especially, this can be daunting in second world fantasy, where there is no frame of reference for understanding the environment and cultures around the POV. Marco succeeds here by painting with broad strokes, sketching a world and people we can almost see, without lingering on the details that aren't relevant. Not a common choice, but the first person worked well for this story.
The second factor that set this novel apart from so many other epic fantasy novels these days was breadth. At 282 pages, it's a relatively light contender compared to other tomes available. I would continue to argue that this isn't a bad trend to see in books these days. Presenting readers with a single, well drafted adventure can be so much more satisfying than a collection of adventures sewn together for the sake of bulk.
In both efforts I think Marco succeeded with "The Forever Knight." An entertaining adventure story that was extremely accessible for a first time reader, and a well written introduction to a new chapter in this character's journey. ...more
To be fair, I thought Part One of this book was fantastic. 5 stars, 6 even. It was very reminiscent of King in his early days, a pulpy thriller with gTo be fair, I thought Part One of this book was fantastic. 5 stars, 6 even. It was very reminiscent of King in his early days, a pulpy thriller with government conspiracies and hidden horrors.
Then the world ended and Part Two began, and I lost all faith in the book.
Take heed, reader, this book is not for all, for here there be vampires. And then a convenient 100 year or so gap, and a gaggle of new characters we don't have as much vested interest in or really a complete comprehension of the world they live in. This works for some people, I'm just not one of them. ...more
There is a certain ineffable quality to Neal Asher's books. They are first and formost high tech, far future adventure stories. The rare scenes of anThere is a certain ineffable quality to Neal Asher's books. They are first and formost high tech, far future adventure stories. The rare scenes of an idyllic worldscape are usually shattered in moments by explosions, nanomanipulating alien technology, or the occasional AI trying to make the world a safer place. Line of Polity carries that burden well. Following shortly after the events of Gridlinked, Line of Polity continues to follow Ian Cormac, along with a small cast of characters working with and against him. Outlink station Miranda has been destroyed in a way that hints at Dragon, and if anyone is going to go after something related to the moonsized alien, it's Ian Cormac. Asher writes an action packed story well, and this book is no exception. There is a point about 3/4 of the way through that the action began to feel repetitive, but the last 1/4 of the book elevates the crescendo - and the stakes - bringing the book to a most satisfactory conclusion (read: couldn't put the book down for the last 100 pages, really dissapointed it was over).