Saturday, 23 June 2012

The Stone of Arveqtuit

Title: The Stone of Arveqtuit
Author: Thomas Albert


Score: 7/10
Chart Entry Point: 12


The Stone of Arveqtuit (pronounced Ar-vek-too-it) does not feel like your standard fantasy book. Indeed, when I first began reading the book I compared it in my mind as being somewhere between Indiana Jones and the Da Vinci Code. Although I could use those comparisons for almost the whole story, when I finished reading the book I couldn't compare it to anything I've read before...

Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain (Book One)

Title: The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain
Author: Oldman Brook

Series:The Wizard of Crescent Moon Mountain (Book One)
Succeeded By: ???


Score: 5/10
Chart Entry Point: 29
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: I'd like to see where this goes...


I was a little confused when I first opened this book and saw how it was written. Instead of the normal past-tense narrative of most fantasy books, this was written in the present tense. As a well-practiced reader of this first-style, it took some getting used to, but after a while I found it almost as natural to read for the most part.

What was immediately clear when I was reading this book is the theme of brotherhood. The three dwarves are brothers, the two shapeshifters are brothers, the two elves are brothers - although they all seem to have a different relationship with their siblings.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Sacrifice (Embraced by Darkness Book One)

Title: Sacrifice
Author: Tarah L. Wolff

Series: Embrace by Darkness (Book One)

Succeeded By: Stricken


Score: 1/10
Chart Entry Point: 48
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: I won't be


I started reading this book slightly apprehensively - the title was reminiscent of the vampire romance books that seem to be everywhere these days. But the blurb looked more interesting, and suggested that the book had potential, so I wasn't too worried.

Perhaps I should have been.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

The Hunting of the Bubblenuff

Title: The Hunting of the Bubblenuff
Author: Joshua Goldfond

Score: 6/10
Chart Entry Point: 32


The Hunting of the Bubblenuff was possibly the most inventive book that I've reviewed. It has a certain feel to it that lingers from reading the title to the final chapter, and one that suits it well. It's got a fairly frivolous plot, but some of the ideas in it are truly unique, and still remain interesting. I almost surprised creatures such as the Somnabulent Sheep don't exist in reality.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Life Descending (Cry of Havoc Book One)

Title: Life Descending
Author: John Hennessey
Series: Cry of Havoc (Book 1)


Score: 4/10
Chart Entry Point: 43
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: Unlikely


    I was looking forwards to reading this book when it was first given to me. The things that the blurb mentioned were all very interesting: the familiar idea of war in a different world, a man reborn into a new one, and a search for the unique sounding artifact known as the "Impermeable Suit". The blend of common and new aspects of the genre looked like the perfect read for a fantasy reader. I did however, have some problems with it. Beginning with the fact that all the interesting things I was looking forwards to finding out about were barely hinted at in the first half of the book...

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Conviction (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi - Book Seven)

Title: Conviction
Author: Aaron Allston
Score: 4/10
Chart Movement: 22 → 21 (Down 1)


This series seems to have it's ups and downs, and if I'm honest this is one of the downs. Not a lot happens, and the stuff that does is either completely new, unrelated, or almost contradictory to the previous books. Because the plot is what I'll be commenting on mainly, there are some quite major spoilers in this review, so if you hate that kind of thing, look away now!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

King's Wrath (Valisar Trilogy Book Three)

Title: King's Wrath
Author: Fiona McIntosh
Score: 8/10
Chart Entry Position: 19/45


In my experience of reading McIntosh's previous books, the endings have been fairly weak and anticlimactic. If it wasn't for the fact that the first two and a half books of her trilogies are generally extremely good then she wouldn't be one of my favourite authors. This series however, and particularly this book, was the exception. The majority of the series was, while still well-written, loose and unfocused. But the ending was possibly the most exciting one that McIntosh has written.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Vortex (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi - Book Six)

Title: Vortex
Author: Troy Denning
Superseries Star Wars
Series: Fate of the Jedi
Preceded By: Allies (Christie Golden)
Succeeded By: Conviction (Aaron Allston)


Score: 8/10
Chart Movement: 22 -> 21
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: Definite.


I had no idea where this book was going to start. The last book, Allies, pretty much finished off every storyline except for the Trial of Tahiri Veila. With four more books to go, I began this one a little apprehensively. But that problem is quickly resolved. We found out pretty much straight away that Abeloth has a little trick up her sleeve that means that she could indeed be the main antagonist for the rest of the series, and we also see that the conflict between the Jedi and Admiral Daala is still going strong.

In short, there's plenty to read about in this book. But there was another reason that I was apprehensive. For me, Denning's contributions to the Legacy era books have been going downhill since his spectacular first entry in the legacy of the force series. But fortunately, while not matching the level of writing he had with Tempest, was considerably more engaging than in Abyss. He still used one or two awkward metaphors every now and again, but overall the writing was smooth, enjoyable, and most importantly, easy to read.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

NEWS: Posting begins again next Friday


Some of you will have noticed that the last couple of weeks, ever since my optimistic post about how I would be posting regularly, there has been no posts on the site. This is for personal reasons beyond my control, as well as several reasons partially in my control - the latter being Jury Duty, Moving House and returning to University all in the space of a month.

This message is to let people know what's going on, at least vaguely, and to assure everyone that I will continue to review books, and will resume posting reviews next Friday (17th) . However, because I will be back at university - studying, I will be reducing the post rate to one post a week.

Unless I'm procrastinating.

Sorry for the lack of posts, and hope the future reviews are helpful to you.

Thanks for reading,

Adam Bourke

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Tyrant's Blood (Valisar Trilogy Book Two)

Title: Tyrant's Blood
Author: Fiona McIntosh
Series: Valisar Trilogy
Preceded by: Royal Exile
Succeeded by: King's Wrath


Rating: 8/10
How likely I am to read the next book: Very Likely


Regular readers of this blog will realise that some stuff I normally put around this review is missing (such as a picture of the cover). This will be corrected later today. They may also notice that there was no posts last week.The reason for both is that I have been summoned to sit on a jury - while in the house moving process and don't have the time to read as much. But I expect to review regularly from now on, but it'll generally be on the bus - so less info for a week or two. Anyway - the book:

I was worried when I started reading this to be honest. It had been over a year since I read the fieat in the trilogy, and there was a curious message at the beginning almost apologising for the story, and that it was written without prior planning. But McIntosh is one of my favourite authors so I read one.

And if I'm honest, that directionless style is quite clear in the plot - but surpised me by being interesting. At the end of book one, the position was clear. King Leo wanted his throne back from the invader. But by the end of this one I'm losing track of who the bad guys are, and I have no idea what's going to happen in book three. However, there are a couple of downfalls of the aimlessness I think. One character from the previous book doesn't appear until near the end of the book, and happens to chance upon an event, taking something which makes half the planning in the book seem a bit pointless. But for the most part I enjoyed the story.