Disclaimer: I recieved an advance copy of this book in exchange for a review once it is published. I accepted, because I would have bought and revieweDisclaimer: I recieved an advance copy of this book in exchange for a review once it is published. I accepted, because I would have bought and reviewed the book anyways.
More important: this is the second book in a series that in itself has its start with a YA trilogy of novels introducing not only the main setting (lands, countries, societies, issues therein) but also the main characters and their dynamics. The trilogy in question is of course, Swords and Salt - The Complete Series, a lovely, comparatively quiet (for Lindsay Buroker books) coming of age story that jump-starts the Chains of Honor series, which is less YA in feeling and more along Buroker's outstanding Emperor's Edge series. So if you haven't picked up at least Warrior Mage, the first book in the "Chains of Honor" series, a lot of things may appear disconnected. Frankly, this is not the book to start reading this series, start with "Warrior Mage" or even better "Swords and Salts" and progress from there.
Knowing the earlier book(s) of this series however, makes "Snake Heart" an engaging read with characters I came to care about, the occasional weird sidekick, technology, magic - both nicely limited in what is possible and what isn't - and a plot that boils down to a breakneck treasure hunt for something that a lot of people have a (more or less justified) claim on. However, as with the first "Chains of Honor" book, I found the side characters more interesting than the "official" main lead. The book gets a solid 4 stars from me, because it kept me entertained, had me laugh out loud a couple of times on the train, and made me curious about what happens in the next installment. ...more
I had read 7 % of the book when I mentally summarized it as "Steampunked Korean history drama on a foreign planet" - and yes, given my love for KoreanI had read 7 % of the book when I mentally summarized it as "Steampunked Korean history drama on a foreign planet" - and yes, given my love for Korean history dramas, science fiction, and steampunk that's a sure recipe for me to love the plot to pieces (and then some). I still do. It has the right feeling and flow of the history dramas that I mentally added a lot of the tropes and designs seen there, which - at least for me - added to the experience. The additional elements of steampunk technology, alchemy, alternative life styles and various religions (or lack thereof) made the plot lovely complex and surprising without too many surprise leaps. Discounting one at the very end, which I hope will be explained in the hopefully soon published sequel. A book I totally intend to get as soon as it's available. The plot truly has me!
However, as much as I love the plot, there are a few issues with style and formatting that kept the book from getting a straight five stars rating from me. First, the plot is told in various 3rd person perspectives. A style that I love and that works well in the active, action-filled parts. However, when it comes to the described feelings and internalizations of the characters the inner monologue is rather told. While this is effective for keeping those parts short and the reading speed up, it always separated me from the character, effectively pulling me mentally out of the story. And second, there were a lot of simple typos, the kind of typos a properly used spell checker would have caught, for example switched letters in the character names (Amrstad instead of Armstad, was noticeable often in the first half of the book).
Still, I so want to know how this plot and this world continues. And if there ever is a better edited version of it out there, I'm sure going to be one of its first buyers! :-)...more
Blood Charged is the third installation in Lindsay Buroker's ongoing Dragon Blood saga of light steampunk novellas that increasingly turn into fullfleBlood Charged is the third installation in Lindsay Buroker's ongoing Dragon Blood saga of light steampunk novellas that increasingly turn into fullfledged - fullwinged? - novels. We meet again a gaggle of beloved characters from the previous two books, Balanced on the Blade's Edge and Deathmaker, as well as get introduced to three new characters(view spoiler)[, not all of which make it through to the end (hide spoiler)]. The book is fastpaced, albeit more action- than character driven this time, and combines elements of fantasy, steampunk, quest, and military scifi with a whiff of romance and Ms. Buroker's trademark brand of humor and technological quirks. It is a fast reading, entertaining book. However, also the first book in this series that clearly is part of a series, as in a lot of threads are left to continue and quite some events and characterization quirks esp. in the first half of the book have yet to be picked up and put to use. Or at least be explained somehow. (view spoiler)[I don't want to believe that Col. Thugly is that much of an unbalanced ass without a reason beyond that readers ought to dislike him soundly! (hide spoiler)] So, if you liked the previous books in this series: Go. Grab it. It'll be a nice way to spend a weekend. If you don't know the previous books: You'd like to start with them, otherwise you're going to have a lot more question marks in your head than needed to enjoy the story. ...more
I got a free copy of this book because I reviewed some of Lindsay Buroker's books before. Quite a few of her previous works are on my "favorites" shelI got a free copy of this book because I reviewed some of Lindsay Buroker's books before. Quite a few of her previous works are on my "favorites" shelf. These facts won't alter my opinion about Balanced on the Blade's Edge. However, that Linnea Sinclair's An Accidental Goddess is also an all time favorite of mine does alter it, because - frankly - for a little more than half the book I felt as if reading the same story. Get me right, this is in no way a case of copycat or even plagiarism. Balanced on the Blade's Edge is sufficiently different from An Accidental Goddess. One is steampunk, the other is space opera. One heroine risks being burned as a witch, the other risks being worshiped. One plays in a mining prison, the other on a deprecated space station infested by parrots. But the flow of the plot, the plot evolving events, even the characters' dynamic are similar to a T, resulting in me having a hard time remembering what version belonged into which book until the plot started separating at around 70% into the ebook.
That doesn't mean Balanced on the Blade's Edge is a bad book, judged on its own it's a solid four stars, fun, entertaining, and a great way to spend a rainy weekend if you like steampunk and/or romance with a good dose of action and believable characters. :) However, if you also know (and love) Linnea Sinclair's An Accidental Goddess, you might feel more familiar and precognizant of the developing plot than you'd like. For me, I frankly like "Fix-it" Mak and Simon, the crystal ship from An Accidental Goddess better than I like Ridge and Jaxi, the juvenile sword in Balanced on the Blade's Edge. Also, if An Accidental Goddess had been Lindsay Buroker's inspiration for it, a line of acknowledgment would have been nice, so that readers knowing both books might expect the parallels....more
What a finale! I followed this series of seven since book 1 (The Emperor's Edge) and if you like action, adventure, humor, intriguing (and developing!What a finale! I followed this series of seven since book 1 (The Emperor's Edge) and if you like action, adventure, humor, intriguing (and developing!) characters in a detailed world with unique steampunk/scifi flavor, these are your books! I especially liked how the two book finale (Forged in Blood I and II) touched on most if not all the important plot-defining tropes from the previous installments (and even the short stories in between them). A fulfilling closure for a breathtaking ride of seven books with just enough sadness filled in to avoid any sticky sappiness feeling from marring the experience. I seldom use the words "perfect" for a book series, but The Emperor's Edge series deserves it. Perfect!...more
Superb as always. The Encrypted universe (not only as predecessor to the Emperor's Edge novels) is an all-time favorite. Two smart heroes, believable aSuperb as always. The Encrypted universe (not only as predecessor to the Emperor's Edge novels) is an all-time favorite. Two smart heroes, believable action, witty banter... the only qualms I have with this short story is that it makes waiting for Encrypted's sequel all the more difficult. Anyway, if you liked Encrypted, you definitely won't want to miss Enigma....more
A worthwhile finish to an exhilarating trilogy, ending the tale at a perfect point (and yet much too early). Alek and Deryn are characters I'm going tA worthwhile finish to an exhilarating trilogy, ending the tale at a perfect point (and yet much too early). Alek and Deryn are characters I'm going to miss in my daily reads... at least until rereading Leviathan, Behemoth and Goliath!...more
Perfect. The middle book of a trilogy is oftentimes weaker with an unfinished feel to it. This is not the case here, though the series is really of coPerfect. The middle book of a trilogy is oftentimes weaker with an unfinished feel to it. This is not the case here, though the series is really of connected books. Behemoth clearly keeps you glued to your reading chair for the last part of the series!...more
An unexpectedly joyful and captivating read! Given that this is a YA book, the language was expectedly easy but Mr Westerfield perfectly pulled off poAn unexpectedly joyful and captivating read! Given that this is a YA book, the language was expectedly easy but Mr Westerfield perfectly pulled off portraying the different perspectives and social backgrounds, both with the wording and the descriptions. In addition, Leviathan is overflowing with ideas ranging from walking steampunk war machines to genetically engineered jellyfish for airtransport! If you like historical science fiction and/or steampunk, this book is not to missed! I'm starting on the sequel right now!...more
Lindsay, that's not a cliffhanger, that's the K2 equivalent of a cliffhanger! I'll review this and the upcoming Forged in Blood II in one go. Luckily,Lindsay, that's not a cliffhanger, that's the K2 equivalent of a cliffhanger! I'll review this and the upcoming Forged in Blood II in one go. Luckily, it's not that far off, because... *phew* no chance to convey even a whiff of that suspense without giving away crucial details. Such a dense plot!...more
The fifth installment of Lindsay Buroker's The Emperor's Edge novel series is as fast-paced, action-filled and character driven as the previous ones.The fifth installment of Lindsay Buroker's The Emperor's Edge novel series is as fast-paced, action-filled and character driven as the previous ones. Blood and Betrayal sees a good deal of character development and a holds several crucial moments for the plot, notably a cathartic experience for the main couple and a critical step with the Imperial family conundrum (Note: Amaranthe and Sicarius-shippers do not want to miss any of this!). However, be warned that some serious dark matters, including violent interrogation, only ever hinted at in previous books are put into the spotlight in this one. Ms. Buroker certainly pulls no punch here. The aftereffects, while shown, are less prominent than I would have liked, given the severity of the experiences described before, making me wonder if they are going to spill over into book 6. Luckily, Blood and Betrayal does not end with a cliffhanger like the previous book Conspiracy, but it will certainly keep me at the edge of my seat wanting to know what comes next!...more
I bought Steam Sorcery on a whim a few weeks ago, put it on my reader, and pretty much forgot about it due to work load, family stress, and taking upI bought Steam Sorcery on a whim a few weeks ago, put it on my reader, and pretty much forgot about it due to work load, family stress, and taking up writing myself. This Friday I found myself tied down with a severe case of pollinosis and flipped through the unread content of my reader to find something to take my head off my running nose, the itchy red eyes and raw throat. To make things short: not only did Steam Sorcery drag my mind off the pollinosis with its funny characters, entertaining plot, and good-natured humor, it also had me reading more or less in one go from Friday midday to Saturday afternoon (I guess, if the book didn't end on page 211, I'd still be reading now). Yes, there are other steampunk romances with vampires and werewolves about. Some with more poignant humor, some with darker plots, but following the trope of five (!) magically gifted urchins together with her fae-descended governess turning the life of a knight of the realm upside-down was just a perfect, spellbinding feel-good read (desperately needed, too). And now I'm off to acquire book two of this series......more