This was my first ever Kindle Serial. I enjoyed the book quite a bit, although there were some issues with the characterization that kept me from giviThis was my first ever Kindle Serial. I enjoyed the book quite a bit, although there were some issues with the characterization that kept me from giving it more stars. I have to admit though, I was jonesing for each episode as soon as I finished the previous episode, so the serial format worked well to keep me interested and engaged in the story all the way through....more
Paranormal Romance in 1800s Brighton, where magic exists, as do "vampyres", "rogue mages", and apparently, "goblin invasions". SFree Kindle download.
Paranormal Romance in 1800s Brighton, where magic exists, as do "vampyres", "rogue mages", and apparently, "goblin invasions". Sorcerer/Aristocrat Marquess Kendall Lake is directed to investigate a mysterious paranormal occurrence plaguing the niece of his magic Order's most powerful sorcerer. He discovers a surprisingly [to him] attractive, and [coincidentally] single young woman photographer plagued by a curse [the subjects of her photos keep dying, oh my!]. Magic and mystery ensue, with enough Victorian-era romance thrown in to appease those who are seeking out such prose.
If you can't tell from my summary above, I wasn't overly impressed with the book. Obviously I am not the intended audience for this work, as I'm not a Romance novel fan (usually). I have enjoyed certain classical and modern romance novels (e.g. Lois McMaster Bujold's Sharing Knife series) which have a little more heft and may be considered more equal parts fantasy and romance, but this just wasn't my bag. In spite of my decision to this effect after a few chapters, I finished it since at 3 chapters in I was already more than halfway through the book and since it wasn't going to take more than a couple more hours to finish, I went ahead and read through to the end to satisfy my curiosity as to whodunit, which kept me going more than any of the magic or more "amorous" passages in the book....more
I was getting into this and then found out that the serialization ended with an incomplete novel back in 2000, and had no desire to read any further oI was getting into this and then found out that the serialization ended with an incomplete novel back in 2000, and had no desire to read any further on a story that had no ending. I liked the concept and the characters though - good classic King....more
A lighthearted set of whimsical short stories set in the Old West but involving fantasy-like elements with the mythical "Mountain Man" known by the naA lighthearted set of whimsical short stories set in the Old West but involving fantasy-like elements with the mythical "Mountain Man" known by the name of "Mad" Amos Malone. Fun, but probably more suitable as beach/vacation reading. The stories remind me of Paul Bunyan-like tall tales with more fantasy elements.
Foster adds his usual panache to the stories, and the Malone character actually reminds me a lot of his protagonist from the Carnivores of Light and Darkness series. I think fantasy fans, especially those that don't mind a Western here or there, will really enjoy. Others should probably take a pass....more
I enjoyed these shorter tales from the Dresden Files series, but it's clear they're not quite up to the same level of quality of Butcher's full-lengthI enjoyed these shorter tales from the Dresden Files series, but it's clear they're not quite up to the same level of quality of Butcher's full-length novels. That said, they're still quite a fun read, and I am glad I picked it up. If you're a Butcher/Dresden fan, you'll enjoy these, but it's probably better if you've read most of the books in the series (everything up to Book 13 [Ghost Story]) before starting this collection, or else you will most likely have some fairly significant plot points spoiled for you as mentions-in-passing during some of these stories....more
Enjoyed this 2nd novel in the series as much (if not more) than the first. Green continues to entertain with this second case of John Taylor's foraysEnjoyed this 2nd novel in the series as much (if not more) than the first. Green continues to entertain with this second case of John Taylor's forays in the Nightside, and has penned out a fast-paced and intriguing mystery into a fairly-short and quick-to-read story. As with the first novel, I burned through this in about a day and it left me wanting more. I'm definitely hooked on this series, and can't wait to get my hands on the next one!...more
I enjoyed this first-in-a-series novel quite a bit, and look forward to reading more of John Taylor's adventures in the Nightside.
The biggest thing II enjoyed this first-in-a-series novel quite a bit, and look forward to reading more of John Taylor's adventures in the Nightside.
The biggest thing I noticed about this book was how fast-paced (and short) it was. I burned through the book in about a day. Part of that was my enjoyment of the world and capabilities of the various residents of the Nightside that Simon Green has introduced in this first novel. The characterization of the supporting cast was just average, as if Green was attempting to cram in a lot of players into the book in preparation for their larger roles in a later story, but I enjoyed the plot and really identified with the protagonist. Between Taylor and the fantastic and intriguing world of the Nightside, this will definitely be a series I'll be looking to explore further....more
What a ride! Definitely my most favorite of the Dresden novels to date. Non-stop action, great additional depth to the characters, difficult choices aWhat a ride! Definitely my most favorite of the Dresden novels to date. Non-stop action, great additional depth to the characters, difficult choices and tantalizing possibilities....more
Steppe, originally published in 1976, was apparently one of Piers Anthony's earlier attempts at incorporating history into a science-fiction/fantasy nSteppe, originally published in 1976, was apparently one of Piers Anthony's earlier attempts at incorporating history into a science-fiction/fantasy novel, and one that succeeds moderately well. Fans of history and/or Anthony's flair for game-systems will enjoy the innovative way ancient history of the Asian continent is brought to life in a manner that even the casual reader can follow.
Alp, a chief of a nomad tribe from 9th century AD (think Huns or Mongols), is transported into the future seconds before death by four members of a futuristic society that hope to capitalize on his real-world experience with the events and history of his time period to get an edge in The Game. The Game, a re-creation of the historical events of the warring tribes and cultures of Asia, has participants "play" the role of historical figures, from kings and chiefs all the way down to servant girls, and earn 'points' (wealth and status) as a result of how successful their lives are. However, in this futuristic society, literacy barely exists and the true path of history is known only to the Game Computer, and of course, in part, to Alp. In an attempt to evade being arrested and sent back to his own time (and the demise that awaits him there), Alp joins the Game and hopes to use his nomad fitness, training, and cunning to best the rest of the Galactic participants and earn enough points to buy a pardon for his "illegal alien" nature.
The story, told from the perspective of Alp, simplifies a huge expanse of the history of Asia into game form. Civilizations are portrayed as "giants" and smaller tribes as "dwarves", and the time scale accelerated so a day of Game time corresponds to 1 year of history. In this way, Anthony is able to very quickly cover the rise and fall of Chinese dynasties, along with other Asiatic tribes, such as the Huns and Mongols.
Although the characterization leaves a lot to be desired, Anthony uses his knack for innovative game-systems to keep the reader guessing as to what will happen next. The concepts and true history behind the novel make it a worthwhile read for sci-fi fans, but it's probably not going to be considered a great novel by anyone. It's also a pretty quick read, and kept me wanting to cover "just one more chapter" all the way to the end.
In the Afterward, Anthony explains how he thought this book would never be published due to the educational aspects "hidden" within. He hoped the response from its single US publishing would be favorable, and would spawn another series of history-as-games novels (e.g. one about Ancient Egypt, or the vikings of northern Europe, or the obvious Roman Empire). However, since I've never heard of any of these other history-as-games novels, I expect people were not quite as enamored with the concept as the author. I can see this appealing to SciFi-fans-who-are-also-history-fans but it probably missed a big segment of the SciFi/Fantasy market that just isn't interested in that stuff.
If you're looking for something a little different, and think you might want to get something educational out of it, give Steppe a go. It's not a huge investment and I'd say worth checking out....more