I was disappointed when Harry Connolly’s Twenty Palaces series was discontinued, and I was shocked to find out that he couldn’t find a publisher for hI was disappointed when Harry Connolly’s Twenty Palaces series was discontinued, and I was shocked to find out that he couldn’t find a publisher for his new epic fantasy trilogy, The Great Way. He’s such an engaging writer and receives such glowing reviews, it was hard to believe they weren’t all competing for it. So Connolly turned to Kickstarter to self-publish the series, and it became one of the top projects ever in its category–so much so, that he was able to offer several extra incentives beyond the original ones.
First off, let me say that this does not look like any self-published book I’ve ever seen. The covers are done by the same artist who did his Twenty Palaces novels, and they are kick-ass. It also has a gorgeous map and some really nice drawings for the chapter headings to distinguish which of the two main characters’ point of view that chapter is from. In fact, the only thing I noticed at all that set it apart from a book released from a publisher was that there were a few more typos than usual, but it wasn’t to the point of distraction or even close to what most of the self-published books I’ve read contain.
What you’ll read in almost every review of these books is that Connolly promised an epic fantasy “without the boring bits.” And, man, did he deliver. It’s a fantastic blend of thriller-paced writing with epic fantasy world building that’s right up my alley. As someone who has spend the past decade and a half reading and writing more screenplays then novels, my attention span has dwindled, and I have to admit I have little patience for descriptions of every morsel of food served at a banquet or every blade of grass growing from the ground. When I tried to read The Hobbit to my kids, I couldn’t believe how little I remembered about one of my favorite books, and how bored I started to get at the excessive descriptions of everything. Unfortunately, Connolly has been dinged in some reviews I’ve seen from people who revel in that type of storytelling, but I have a feeling most modern readers can appreciate that, with all of the films, TV shows, and video games we’ve consumed, it’s no longer necessary for an author to paint a detailed picture of every single thing with words.
As for the story itself, I found it riveting, and I had difficulty putting it down. In fact, I fell asleep reading it late at night many times, which is not as negative as it sounds. It wasn’t for lack of excitement in the book, but the fact that I was so tired and yet still tried to pry my eyes open until my body just wouldn’t allow it any more. I’m not big on spoiling any aspects of a story, but I will say that this is an engaging tale of the fall of a great empire from the point of view of a middle-aged soldier and a teenage magician-scholar.
I can’t wait to read the rest of the series....more
As someone who has been a fan of comics for decades and worked on both the industry and retail sides of the business, I found this well written and reAs someone who has been a fan of comics for decades and worked on both the industry and retail sides of the business, I found this well written and researched look at Marvel behind the scenes fascinating....more
In the interest of full disclosure, the publisher provided me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and balanced review. Having said that, I wasIn the interest of full disclosure, the publisher provided me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and balanced review. Having said that, I was enjoying reading it so much that I ended up paying for the Kindle version so I could read it on my electronic devices as well. When I saw that the author of the Twenty Palaces series had a new book coming out, I had to check it out. However, Evil Hat also sent me the previous book, Khan of Mars, so I read it first to get some background. I've never played the games, but I had no problem following the story and the characters.
Khan is a great character, and I've been a sucker for talking apes since seeing the original Planet of the Apes movies when I was a kid. Combined with one of my favorite genres and in the hands of such a good writer, this book is a fun read. If you like talking apes, pulp stories, Harry Connolly, or any combination of the three, this book is for you....more
I resisted reading this book for years because it seemed like a kid's book (even though I knew it really wasn't), but I finally gave in to see what thI resisted reading this book for years because it seemed like a kid's book (even though I knew it really wasn't), but I finally gave in to see what the big deal was. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, and at some points didn't want to put it down. But there were other things about the book that I didn't like, including subplots that seemed to be shoved in and underdeveloped, and sequences that were very long and detailed followed by a few paragraphs that glossed over major events. Overall a good book, though....more
This book was a fun read, and I'd give it 3.5 stars if I were able to, but it's not quite four (just a caveat: Spirit of the Century sent me the bookThis book was a fun read, and I'd give it 3.5 stars if I were able to, but it's not quite four (just a caveat: Spirit of the Century sent me the book to review). I think I may have enjoyed the book even more if I had been more familiar with the Dinocalypse series, from which this is a spin-off. Even so, I've always loved pulp stories, and I've been a fan of the John Carter of Mars series since I was young, so I was ready to like this from the beginning. It took me a little bit to figure out what was going on and who the characters were, and I think I may go back and read the Dinocalypse trilogy to find out more about the Centurions now. Professor Khan is a great character, and I can't wait to read King Khan, the sequel by Harry Connolly....more
As usual, I rated this book as a Star Trek book, not in comparison to other sci-fi, or books in general. I've never been a big fan of Dr. McCoy, so IAs usual, I rated this book as a Star Trek book, not in comparison to other sci-fi, or books in general. I've never been a big fan of Dr. McCoy, so I wouldn't normally have bought this book. However, I originally picked it up because I had been told on a message board that it explained how McCoy's going back in time and saving Edith Keeler in "City on the Edge of Forever" created the violent Mirror Universe in "Mirror, Mirror." There's actually no indication of this being true that I can see, although I can see how someone could extrapolate the story and come to their own conclusion.
It was interesting to see what happened to McCoy after saving Edith's life, and how that eventually led to a delay in the US entering WWII, although that timeline moved a little slow at times. I also thought it was interesting to see what was going on in McCoy's head during some pivotal moments from the Original Series and the films. I just wish the author had stuck to McCoy's POV during those scenes. I realize this is part of an interlocked trilogy, but since Kirk was a minor character here, it didn't make sense that we would occasionally see the story from his view (and others'), such as when he saved the whales from drowning in the Klingon ship at the end of STIV (especially since it basically just went through what we already saw in the movie). I would have much rather read what was going on with McCoy at that time, and stuck with the one perspective. Other than that, I don't have any complaints. I highly recommend this book to fans of TOS, especially if you like good doctor....more