3.5 stars. The story took a weird turn, so it's not my favorite. I also grew tired of Elspeth's obsession with Rushton, and saving him, even if I do l3.5 stars. The story took a weird turn, so it's not my favorite. I also grew tired of Elspeth's obsession with Rushton, and saving him, even if I do like the idea of them being together....more
Bad Wizard is a sort of sequel/retelling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, featuring some characters from the other Oz stories as well. Dorothy Gale is nBad Wizard is a sort of sequel/retelling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, featuring some characters from the other Oz stories as well. Dorothy Gale is now a grown up young woman and working as a journalist for the Kansas Ear publication. She is on a mission to expose Oscar Diggs, better known as The Wizard of Oz, as he plans to take his army of airships to reclaim his throne in the Emerald City. Dorothy finds herself back in Oz once more accompanied by old friends and new in their fight to stop Diggs once and for all.
I enjoyed reading this book and I was already a fan of the Oz books, so you could say I know the lore and I'm not just familiar with the movie with Judy Garland. It serves as a nice little expansion on the universe. The theories about what Oz may represent spiritually were interesting, as well as the way magic worked in this reimagined world. It touches a little on some philosophical subjects too.
I suppose this was mainly a sequel only to first book in the Oz series, while ignoring the rest, since I know Dorothy definitely met characters like Ozma and Mombi before. You don't necessarily have to have read any of the Oz books, and know the universe to understand this one, but you might miss out on a few references. It might even make you want to read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz for yourself.
Of the new characters, I really liked the family oriented Esau and the interesting and fun take on the "flying monkey." Clever.
Diggs was a really nasty villain. He lived up to his status and often wouldn't hesitate to kill anyone who tried to get in his way. He was not remorseful about it either. He might even be too extreme. Even hearing about his back story, I had a hard time sympathizing with him. He is much more powerful than he was before.
Dorothy is still likable, but has changed since she last left Oz. She struggles with her own identity and place in the world and has become more of a skeptic.
I found the resolution a little cartoony. Things start to get really crazy and out there, but it was a good read. I was entertained by this new take on the universe. I liked it more than Wicked even, but that was something totally different and you can't really compare the two.
A personal analysis of probably the epitome of Michael Jackson's musical legacy, the Dangerous album. I liked the author's take on this album, which rA personal analysis of probably the epitome of Michael Jackson's musical legacy, the Dangerous album. I liked the author's take on this album, which reminded me somewhat of Willa Stillwater's M Poetica. She even quotes her within the book, and that's just one of the many references she uses to support her analysis. I also enjoyed how she calls out the many critics who refused to look at Jackson's artistry with integrity. It's a short read and feels more like a long essay. While what was written here was good and thought provoking, I'm positive she could have gone into even more depth as well. It would be great to see more books like this on his other albums. Jackson's albums beyond Thriller are certainly underrated and it's worth it to take another look at them. ...more
This was a good start for a debut novel. I only wish the majority of it wasn't devoted to Valyn's training as a Kettral and Kaden's training as a ShinThis was a good start for a debut novel. I only wish the majority of it wasn't devoted to Valyn's training as a Kettral and Kaden's training as a Shin, and that Adare was a better character. Most of the plot points were left under the surface, subtle, not in your face, while world building took more of the center stage. But every so often you are reminded, "Hey, there's an assassination plot here." The cliffhanger left me wanting more. I liked the Asian influences in the setting and characters too. This is really only the beginning of the story, but it's a good one....more
While I would have loved to have given this book four stars, there were a few glaring editorial errors in this Kindle edition, which threw me off in aWhile I would have loved to have given this book four stars, there were a few glaring editorial errors in this Kindle edition, which threw me off in a bad way. The content itself is fine. I mainly wanted to read it for the superstitions section, which I thought would be interesting, and it was. The trio of subjects Baxter chose to write on seems a little odd, but they do kind of go hand-in-hand. If you're familiar with Craig Baxter's material on body language analysis, then there is not going to be much new territory covered here. A simple book, but not bad. It read more like an essay....more
4.5 stars. Everything's better with vikings...and zombies...err...perhaps not that so much. There is a great story in there too. Snorri is a towering4.5 stars. Everything's better with vikings...and zombies...err...perhaps not that so much. There is a great story in there too. Snorri is a towering viking, (I pictured "towering", and think gentle giant until you get on his bad side) looking for vengeance on behalf of his family or to rescue them, whichever comes first. Jal is of royal blood, a prince who would rather run and lie his way out of a fight if he can help it. The two are tied together by a powerful magic, and they dare not separate because it could spell certain doom.
I really enjoyed this book, which is good because I was very mixed about the Broken Empire series. This had the darkness of that series, but it was also heartwarming too with lighthearted moments and a sprinkle of humor. Jal and Snorri are now my favorite pairings for 2014. I did think it kind of slowed down once they reached the end of their journey, so that's the only reason I would take off half a star. The action slowed up a little.
I'm ready and excited to see where this trilogy goes next....more
This book is full of the usual cliche things you might find in a fantasy novel. The plot was ok. A little slow to start, but it did grab me in the begThis book is full of the usual cliche things you might find in a fantasy novel. The plot was ok. A little slow to start, but it did grab me in the beginning. The characters are like stereotyped caricatures. You have the handsome priest, Damion, the wise old woman Ana, Jomar, the macho chauvinist guy, Lorelyn the tomboy, and Ailia who is the Mary-Sue of the story. They don't really have a whole lot of depth, and mostly stick to the stereotypes they were assigned. Gag me. I didn't care much for the plot twists that neither surprised me nor were very interesting.
It might sound like I didn't like this book, but that's not true. I did enjoy it enough to want to continue the trilogy. I would almost put it in the "so bad it's good" category, but it never really reached that terrible level. It came close at times. There is some cringe-worthy dialog for sure. I also admit to having a weakness for dragons. Dragons automatically make a book cooler for me. The dragons in this don't show up until near the end, but they are pretty cool, so points for that. There are also other mythical creatures that show up, but they really seemed to serve no purpose other than to say "hey, here's a magical creature blocking your path." It's good if you like that sort of thing like I do, but they have to be there for a reason.
A flawed book, but not a bad read by any means....more
This is the story of how a bunch of cos players go back in time to prehistory to live out their dreams.
No, that's not what it's REALLY about, althoughThis is the story of how a bunch of cos players go back in time to prehistory to live out their dreams.
No, that's not what it's REALLY about, although some of the characters are in costumes. A gateway of sorts has opened up to earth's early history shortly before the Ice Age. Some who decide to travel there are hoping for a more simplified life. They're not happy with the current future they are living in, so the Pliocene Exile seems like a great deal for them.
One would have thought they would know what the word "exile" means, but personally it seems like they were tricked. Their new life turns out to be horribly not what they expected, and they find themselves in a fight for their lives and freedom. This book is only half of the story. It is based off of Celtic mythology and it was pretty good....more
I first stumbled upon Craig Baxter by watching his body language analysis videos of Michael Jackson on YouTube. I was reluctant at first in watching tI first stumbled upon Craig Baxter by watching his body language analysis videos of Michael Jackson on YouTube. I was reluctant at first in watching them because I was worried the videos would be some quack with biases twisting Michael Jackson's body language to prove him guilty. It's something you come to expect when anyone wants to offer up their opinion on Michael's behavior. Having watched the videos I was pleasantly surprised that they are objective, fair, and unbiased. Baxter is very professional and an expert in his field.
This book covers several Michael Jackson interviews that the author analyzed, including some information not found on his YouTube channel. The body language of Michael Jackson in each interview is thoroughly examined and backed up with factual research by renowned body language experts around the world.
I see this book as humanizing the superstar Michael Jackson. I also see it as vindication as proof of his innocence, but as the author says, it's up to the reader to come to their own conclusions. I hope everyone will read it, fan and non-fan alike. You'll also learn a thing or two about body language you probably wouldn't have known before.
This was an improvement on "Prince of Thorns." Jorg seems to have developed an ounce of morality once he becomes king, but it's really only on the surThis was an improvement on "Prince of Thorns." Jorg seems to have developed an ounce of morality once he becomes king, but it's really only on the surface. Deep down he's still a ruthless killer who won't let anyone stand in his way when there are kingdoms to be won. The shift between past and present is more clear this time. Jorg faces a new foe in the Prince of Arrow and his army. Then there's an interesting character Sageous, whom I think is worse than Jorg in some ways. All in all I enjoyed this book more than "Prince of Thorns." I almost wasn't going to read this book because I didn't care for the first book a whole lot, but I'm glad I chose to read it. The last few pages were awesome and a perfect summation of Jorg as a character. Do I love this series yet? Not quite, but it's getting there....more
Dan Sturges decides to make a time machine and travel into the future hoping to find a cure for his cancer, but what he finds in the future is not allDan Sturges decides to make a time machine and travel into the future hoping to find a cure for his cancer, but what he finds in the future is not all what he's expecting.
It was kinda funny reading the description of Dan's makeshift time machine of milk crates and powered by batteries. Implausible as that is, I forgive it for being a short story. The future he arrives to is pretty interesting. It's a typical dystopian/utopian world depending on how you look at it. The story reminded me of a Twilight Zone episode. I liked it....more
This is the start of a prequel series to the Sword of Truth. It is self published and about the life of Magda Searus and how she became the first ConfThis is the start of a prequel series to the Sword of Truth. It is self published and about the life of Magda Searus and how she became the first Confessor. However it takes the entire book for it to finally get to the Confessor part. There's plenty of dialog, but little action. There's more conversation about taking actions that take forever to actually occur. So it dragged on for me, but it's not bad. Sort of a repeat of Wizard's First Rule in a way. I hope the next book is better balanced between the plot progression and action elements....more
Rogan is living on a frozen planet called Frostbite. He is part of the remaining descendants of humans forced to live in remote places in the universeRogan is living on a frozen planet called Frostbite. He is part of the remaining descendants of humans forced to live in remote places in the universe after the alien race known as the Flense defeated the human colonies known as the Cluster during the last war. Rogan receives a message from someone out in space asking him to join him in an opportunity that may finally allow humans to get away from the Flense for good. Rogan has to make a choice to leave his close knit community on Frostbite and join up with another.
This book is not half bad, it's just that there was too much sex talk and orgies for my tastes. I cringed at the use of the word "sexed" or "sexing." It just took a step out of the plot for me, which I disliked. All in all, I would say this book is 90% about relationships and 10% about plot. I did feel for Rogan and his conflicted emotions about leaving his community behind. That was believable. The romance wasn't so much as believable for me, and it has nothing to do with homosexuality or bisexuality, it just came on too fast IMO. Perhaps Rogan was just sexually frustrated. Again this is just my personal preference, where the less sex there is in fiction, the better. So it took me by surprise with that first scene, especially after the breathtaking beginning of the novel. I really felt I was there on Frostbite.
I don't necessarily regret reading it, except for certain off-putting parts. I just thought the plot could have been so much more than it was and I was let down by that....more
This story had its icy grip on my heart, and if that wasn't enough, my heart gets stomped on a number of times. It's rough going, probably the most deThis story had its icy grip on my heart, and if that wasn't enough, my heart gets stomped on a number of times. It's rough going, probably the most depressing book I've ever read, and yet it's well written and I found myself dreaming along with Rachel for her happiness and her desires. She suffered so much loss in her life. It pulled me along this roller coaster of her life. The characters were easy to fall in love with, which is sometimes unfortunate when you get attached to characters that don't always have a good fate. The book is fairly short, but it felt like I had been reading it for decades. The ending is touching and thank god for that. You can also see the author put a lot of time and effort into researching this era, the culture of Hawaii and how leprosy affected the Hawiians' lives back then. I have to admire the compassion and tenacity he put into this novel....more
**spoiler alert** This may look more like a summary than a review. Four books later and the wall is still not mended. By now there are a handful of su**spoiler alert** This may look more like a summary than a review. Four books later and the wall is still not mended. By now there are a handful of subplots and I have no idea where they are leading to. This time Karigan ventures back again into the Blackveil forest along with a group of other Riders and Eletians. However, this doesn't occur until over half way through the book. Before all of that, there is a lot of relationship drama. Too much IMO. The relationships are not really going the way I wanted them to either. I prefer Karigan had fallen in love with Alton instead of King Zachary. Because Karigan failed to see the potential, Alton decided to hit on her friend who conveniently makes an appearance because her musical talent may be of some use in repairing the wall. And Karigan's mad about this why?
Meanwhile, back at home base in the kingdom, Zachary is suddenly severely compromised, which some of his advisers see as the perfect opportunity to take advantage of...naturally. Estora has to deal with all the corruption and blackmail surrounding her and Captain Mapstone gets the short end of the stick.
Flashforwarding ahead (or backwards actually) Karigan beats Mornhavon once more, and also changes the past. None of this actually fixes the wall for good and we're left with yet another cliffhanger. So now I'm officially on the "waiting for the next book" bandwagon.
*Hummingbirds will never look the same way to me again (and I quote Karigan)
*Ben is one of my favorite lesser known characters. I'd like to see more of him because I really like him.
*Yates's death was very sad
*Relationship drama/love triangles, there needs to be less of it
*I don't usually like time travel as a plot device
And I still really enjoyed the book, but the series is starting to get a tad frustrating.