Joe Abercrombie is the reason why I have started reading fantasy novels again. I stumbled into his Shattered Sea series and now find myself at the whiJoe Abercrombie is the reason why I have started reading fantasy novels again. I stumbled into his Shattered Sea series and now find myself at the whimsy Father Yarvi and the embattled people of Gettland. It is a works populated with salted characters and in this one we are treated to Heroine's journey. However, it is not so simple or straight forward. It yes full of espionage and intrigue. Even though it is lite on the bloodletting, it more than makes up for it when fighting breaks out and the moments in-between are more than worth it. Spoilers ahead!
Father Yarvi knows that the High King And Grandmother Wexon are trying to provoke a war between Gettland and Vesterland. This would weaken the last two major that's too her control and severely diminish Gettland's control over the shipping and trade. So, Father Yarvi takes a trip to find some new alliances. Along the way, he hopes to train Thorn Bathu into an assassin and hopefully gain the trust of the Empress of the South. They make some friends, pull a boat between two tickets over several miles of land, kill some enemies and make new alliances. By the end of it all, Father Yarvi has his femme fatal a grand alliance to begin a war, and Thorn Bathu gets to become a warrior in song with a new sword, axe and two blades...more
I've read my fair share of fantasy. Joe Abercrombie is quietly writing his way into a great fantasy world of independent stories. To be fair this is nI've read my fair share of fantasy. Joe Abercrombie is quietly writing his way into a great fantasy world of independent stories. To be fair this is no Game of Thrones, this is better.
Along The Shattered Sea, is a collection of kingdoms dominated by The High King who is old and not entirely popular. He has asked that all of the smaller kingdoms not wage war until he has finished his Temple to the One God. This request is ignored and war in sues. During a raid party, a king is killed along with his son; therefore, the second in line must be installed. This feeble young man, Prince Yarvi, is studying to be a political minister not a king for battle. He is too small to wear armor. Too weak to carry a shield, born with only one good hand, and too dumb to know that his loving Uncle wants the crown. After a failed raid against their enemies is taken prisoner, sold into slavery and begins to plan his revenge. With the help of his oarmates, and some dumb luck, he gains his freedom and begins the long journey home.
The book is a great look into a broken world full political distrust, slave trading, sea merchants, and kings bent on glory not leadership. What is not here is the epic battles on open fields with orcs and sorcery. No this is a story about living in a harsh world full of greed and anger. I looking forward to the next one in the series.
At its crux, this book is a time traveler yarn about a young boy who loses his boring sheltered life in rural Minnesota. Tucker Feye, son of preacherAt its crux, this book is a time traveler yarn about a young boy who loses his boring sheltered life in rural Minnesota. Tucker Feye, son of preacher and organ player, finds himself disheveled the day his father disappears from the roof of the house. When he arrived later in the day with a blonde-haired girl. Within months his mother loses her mind, his father loses faith, and Tucker loses both his parents. Then comes Uncle Kosh and the crazy journey begins. Spanning the top of a burning building, a pyramid for sacrifice, a big black barn and more.
In the end its like a young version of Back to the Future because Tucker the time traveler and his Uncle Kosh are all confused about what is happening to them. The learned reader will find this to be a fun and quick opening read for a new series; whereas, the novice will be introduced to a new idea of Klaatu Diskos, alternate realities, causality rifts, and the possibility of history and unknown futures.
This is my second Audiobooks book and it was different. Having a single vibrant reader is a great listen in the car or during chores. ...more
What a great additions to the Fantasy genre and right in the wheelhouse of the GRR Martin explosion on HBO and in the public. The best part is that heWhat a great additions to the Fantasy genre and right in the wheelhouse of the GRR Martin explosion on HBO and in the public. The best part is that he tends to be PG/PG-13 version of the Fantasy genre troupe. Patrick W. Carr has developed a new world with fantasy at its core. Errol Stone is a boy lost in a world consumed with magical myth and Echoes the likes of Martin, Brooks, and Pratchett. This long but quick read takes us on the journey of discovery as Errol finds his abilities and and begins to define himself. The interesting part is that Patrick W. Carr separates himself from Lawhead, Stephen, the other major christian fantasy writer from the past decade. Instead of moving back and forth in time. This story is rock solid in the medieval period. This is the first in a series and I look forward to more from him in the future.
I read this book as a part of a review for NetGallery....more
**spoiler alert** Let's be honest and say the good before the bad. For the first book, not bad and it really speaks to the current YA market. The main**spoiler alert** Let's be honest and say the good before the bad. For the first book, not bad and it really speaks to the current YA market. The main character, Tris, is a heroine struggling with identity and personal clarity. Tris is an interesting antagonist in that she not perfect, she whines alot and is fairly self-centered throughout the book. Four, her love interest and trainer, is another emotionally crippled male side-kick who is believable to a point. Additionally, the premise of a divided culture rings true but lacks a clear explication for the more seasoned reader. The only information we are told is that at some point a disaster of epic proportions destroys the ecology and landscape of the American Midwest; thus a generation turns to "utopian" divisions to sustain am brittle peace. With all these elements, on the surface this looks and feels like a promising successor to The Hunger Games, but it is not.
The downfall of the book is in the writing. The sustainabilry of progressive conflicts is based largely on the teenage patchwork and their illogical impulses. Some would say, "they are after all teenagers," but they are paper thin characters. Random choices are made without explanation; whereas, other moments and choices are brooded over for an entire chapter. Another flaw is that it's resolution happens entirely too quickly when compared to the rest of the pacing of the book. It took almost 100 pgs for Tris to really get going, another 200 pgs for the major conflict to be revealed, and finely another 100 pgs for a third antagonist to be introduced. This was almost three stories in one book. ...more
**spoiler alert** In all, this is an excellent ending to an epic series. It is difficult to find a fitting end to all those we fall in love with but M**spoiler alert** In all, this is an excellent ending to an epic series. It is difficult to find a fitting end to all those we fall in love with but MS does a great stab at the tough end of it all.
The final installment concentrates on two storylines, the fall of Danu Talis and the Battle of Alcatraz. With the twins of legend now in the hands of Isis and Osiris we find out the real story. Now this is semi-predictable for anyone who has been reading. What is truly shocking, and I wish that I got to see more of this story unfold, is the real purpose of Virginia Dare. For someone who was placed as semi-minor antagonist, she really shines in this story. I would go so far to say that she is the namesake of the novel. Sadly, Sophie is relegated to bit of a dimwit in this novel. Her and Josh patch things up so quickly it was hard to believe, especially since Coatlicue had such a strong pull on him. In addition, Josh, taking the heavy-handed warrior role, was a bit hard to believe considering his weaknesses in the presence of Dee before this story. The complete absence of Sophie and Josh's parents int the past books made meeting them awkward and left a lot of the guess to the kids instead of the reader.
If you are happy to have wild and gruesome finale fights the payoff is given at Alcatraz. In fact, if it were not for that story's actions intertwined with the other, the Danu Talis story would have been too boring. I constantly found myself wanting to skip parts of the twins' story and get back to SF. That being said a lot of major characters die in this book and their deathsongs can come off a little overworked. Billy the Kid, Black Hawk, and Machiavelli were a real treat and play most comedy parts. One new Elder is introduced but doesn't do much beyond monologuing and then dies. And a new evil beast is here to scare you all, but just sounds ridiculous when explained by Flamel. I had to look it up but sure enough man-eating poisonous unicorns are actually a real myth.
Overall best book of the Second Codex, but not the best of the series. Good ending but a poorly written and semi-confusing epilogue by Marethyu left me disappointed. Wish I could get more of the adventurers of Virginia Dare and the Humans after the fall, but I guess that is what fan fiction is all about. ...more
James Rubart is starting to hit his stride in the Christian supernatural fiction genre. What ideas he started with in Rooms continues to build. Even tJames Rubart is starting to hit his stride in the Christian supernatural fiction genre. What ideas he started with in Rooms continues to build. Even though the two stories are unrelated )e is starting to create a solid vote of the world and the possibilities of God's grace and compassion. This book also tend to be much darker than Rooms but is lined up in the same way with his new Soul's Gate series.
In this story we follow Corin Roscoe, an antiques store owner with a broken past and a spirit that is sorely lacking. We found out that a series of events form ten years before left his brother paralyzed and Corin emotionally scared permanently. Then we are introduced to the chair, a mystical device that may have been created by Christ himself with the ability to "heal people." Add in the a strong willed anti-religion karate instructor and love interest, a MMA training concrete laying best friend, the strange old lady and previous owner of the chair, a radically obsessed pop culture mega-church preacher and a wide old crank to round out the cast.
As the story tumbles forward, we get a good view of how each of these people is broken and in need of some kind of redemption and grace. It takes a while to build up steam because Rubart takes his time showing the pain in Corin's life and how his choices have rocked his soul. Not to give any spoilers away but some of the things that happened were expected but the twist ending was completely unexpected. My only gripe is that I wish I got more of Mark Jefferies and his personal struggles. He is so well constructed early in the book and then left alone to become a straw man character till the end. That is probably my only real beef with the story and the main reason I gave it 4 stars. I would have gone more for 3.5.
I read this book as a reviewer for NetGalley.com...more
So here is my problem with Ross Lawhead, he has some really big shoes to fill. Fantasy, especially the cross period type, is an exploding and popularSo here is my problem with Ross Lawhead, he has some really big shoes to fill. Fantasy, especially the cross period type, is an exploding and popular genre. If this is your first fantasy novel it will be a wonderful place to start, especially as a young reader. It compares to The Chronicles of Narnia, Nicholas Flamel's First Codex: The Alchemyst, The Magician, The Sorceress, and The Paradise War. However, that is the real problem. There are many other choices in the same vein and they tend to be better for the adult crowd. Young adults would love this book because the main characters relate their experiences in mythic England from their youth and how those travels affect them now as college age adults.
The chase scenes and mythos built around a "medieval" England are wonderful and spot-on but again the major sticking point is that the genre is crowded and may leave readers of fantasy a bit short. I felt like it was reaching for Tolkien John Ronald Reuel or even Joe Abercrombie but never really gets to feel of a full blown fantasy. It also borrows heavily from the work created by Lawhead's father but this is only in style the story is still unique and different. I would rate this a borrow not a buy for anyone interested.
(view spoiler)[It is a classic modern couple finds themselves accidentally a apart of a fantasy quest. It takes place in a mythic based medeival England and follwos the journey of a homeless young man, Daniel Tully, and an Oxford University student, Freya Reynolds. One of Freya's stongst mometns is early in the novel were she openly challenges a lectureer at Oxford about a missing history of England. She would make for a great starting point of analysis in the view of women in current fantasy literature. I really wanted to worry about their escape and success but it just falls short for me. (hide spoiler)]...more
I came to this book, and the series, after watching the movie. That being said, how in the world did this get off the ground and transformed into a brI came to this book, and the series, after watching the movie. That being said, how in the world did this get off the ground and transformed into a brilliant screenplay. The book itself is long but comparable to Stoker length; however, in no way adds or builds on the mystic of vampirism. In the end it became a cumbersome task to finish the book and I only continued on to Lestat and Queen because I had no other gothic prose to read at the time. I do not recommend to anyone who enjoys good literature because this is simply vampire pulp. ...more
By far, the best collection on the market before the millennials appeared on the shelves. If you are looking for a good starter reader begin here andBy far, the best collection on the market before the millennials appeared on the shelves. If you are looking for a good starter reader begin here and then move into either Bradbury, Heinlein, or Asimov next. They are all in the anthology with good core pieces to read. This was the core text of my SciFi lit class at Marshall. Really opened me view up beyond the 1990s pulp SciFi that I had been reading. ...more
Not my favorite Arthur story but definitely second best. I tell students to only read the sword and the stone segment and compare them to our readingsNot my favorite Arthur story but definitely second best. I tell students to only read the sword and the stone segment and compare them to our readings and the Disney classic. Makes for a fun project. Newt is a great character and Merlin is a hoot. ...more
Much better second-half. Less action this time but more development within the plot. Overall good read but recommend waiting to read this one shortlyMuch better second-half. Less action this time but more development within the plot. Overall good read but recommend waiting to read this one shortly before next year's final part in the series is released. I wonder after finishing it if the intent was to create an elongated series or if the publishers pushed the books out. A lot of the action in the last book would have worked well blended more with this one. Of course when selling to a YA audience you have to think about who's buying and the willingness to read. Taking a big chance in the realm of Harry Potter can be a bit overbearing; thus, smaller first parts and then keep within roughly 100 pgs of the first book's length.
(view spoiler)[Again a great start to the book, with just enough backstory to remind you of the journey already taken. Nicholas is dying, Prometheus is not too good either, and Dee has Josh confused and sided with his crazy plan to destroy the Elders. At least Coatlicue is stuck in her Shadowrealm again; while, Mars is being awoken for what appears to be a final battle it's just a question of timing now.The description and story of the warriors in Danu Talis is where most of the action takes place while the current events seem a bit slow and mostly character driven. Josh is given another Magic as well as Sophie as they begin to move towards each other in an unexpected fulfillment of the prophecy. Have the two siblings become enemies, for the most part was foreseeable but have their "aunt" be one of the ancient keepers of knowledge is a great surprise as well as the introduction of Sophie and Josh's parents. (hide spoiler)]...more
This was the slowest read of them all for me. Scott's storyarch style is repetitive and easily missed at times. I found his addition to the human creaThis was the slowest read of them all for me. Scott's storyarch style is repetitive and easily missed at times. I found his addition to the human creation myths was a unique take and furthered my enjoyment. It didn't hurt that Prometheus played a strong role. He is my favorite Titan. I will say that josh's character did become too whiny and I am beginning to wonder why Sorceress didn't contain more of Perenelle's back story as revealed in this one.
I would give it a five but it was just darn slow. Really would like to see a companion book of Myths created and reshaped for the series after he was done. It would be a great start for fanfic pieces in my World Lit class. ...more