Whew! This book starts off running and doesn’t let you go until the last page!
I am a gamer, so I was very excited to get into this story about a player who can go into his game world – but this is such a fresh take on that idea. The players and avatars are “reflections,” and I am trying not to say too much because I’m really bad at avoiding spoilers. 🙂
From the book description: Stephen’s existence has become a wash of malaise, from the job he despises to the life that somehow has spun out of his control. He has grown apart from his wife, her respect for him having faded many years ago. As an escape, once a week, he and his friends get together to play The Game, exploring the magical world of Taerh through role play. Stephen soon learns there is more to Taerh than he ever imagined.
The Game, which he thought to be a construct of imagination, was actually based on visions of a world beyond his perceptions. In his dreams, Stephen sees the world of Taerh through the eyes of his ‘reflection’, Hollis, who lives a life which Stephen could only imagine. When tragedy strikes, Stephen must work with his reflection to unravel a mystery that spans both Taerh and Earth. New comrades in both worlds offer to aid them; although some are true allies, others are motivated by their own selfish desires. As Stephen draws closer to Hollis, he must track down the murderers of his closest friends before he joins them in death.
The world is well fleshed out as are the characters in this novel, and the action is just fast paced enough to keep you hanging on without burning you out too quickly – just like a good DM in a captivating campaign. This was a fun book, and I would highly recommend it. Also, the author is a pretty nice guy – I can’t wait to see what comes next for/from S.L. Harby!
Okay, I will be the first to say that while I love a good space opera on the telly (Battlestar, Firefly, Star Trek!!), I’ve not been one to read them because sometimes the tech part is too much for me. I like my Sci-Fi more on the Fi end than the Sci, if you get me?
Well, that was the case until I found this amazing trilogy by Maria A. Perez. I follow her on Twitter and was captivated by the snippets from these novels that she wove into her Very Short Story (VSS365) posts, so I gave the first two a try on KU. Other than the fact that I had my Alexa read it to me, I was hooked almost instantly.
Mina is an Earthian that has been implanted with the DNA of an evolved alien race, the Sotkari Ta. There are others like her all over the galaxy, and an evil empire known as the Lostai are rounding up all of these super-charged beings to activate the sleeping genes and build them into a military force to rule the galaxy. In an escape attempt, Mina is brought together with Montor, another Sotkari Ta from a different planet. He is arrogant, rude, and everything that Mina doesn’t want in a partner…yet.
Oh, y’all I have to stop there because I am so very bad at spoilers, but let me just say that the journey that Mina and Montor undertake has so many twists, turns, heartbreaks and redemptions that I was absolutely dizzy each night when I’d finish reading to head to bed. In fact, there were nights when I stayed up to get through just one more chapter! This book has love, hate, war, spice, family dynamics – the struggle between found family and family of origin. Strong characters and a main character who is a force of nature in Mina. Have a read – you won’t regret the time spent, I promise!
I discovered this author on Twitter, and that discovery has changed my writing and appreciation of fantasy storytelling forever. That’s it! That’s the review!
I’m kidding. Well, kidding about that being all I can say about this story world – because that could go on for days. I got the first book in the trilogy, The Frost Eater, after following the author on Twitter and enjoying what I saw. I don’t know how long it had been since a book grabbed me like that one did, but I was in it for the long haul and quickly bought the rest of the series.
The characters are engaging and the plot is genius – I mean seriously, the kind of genius that has you laughing, crying, and A-HAing out loud as you read it. I became so invested in the story that when I disagreed with a plot twist it made me genuinely angry/confused/eager to figure out why that happened. As a reader, that’s the best kind of angst. The world contains a unique magic system in which magic users require components to be able to use their magic. In book one, Nora is a Frost Eater which means she can conjure amazing frozen things…but she must eat ice as fuel. This way there are high stakes from the very beginning and the author has avoided the overpowered tropes seen in other fantasy worlds.
The Seer’s Sister is a prequel only in that it is set in the time before the beginning of the Frost Eater. Do yourself a solid and wait to read it until you’ve finished the trilogy. There are things that I discovered in that book like answers to questions from the trilogy. It makes the whole story world even more vivid. Trust me on this one, read it last.
Anderson’s writing is tight – there is nothing there that shouldn’t be. She lets you discover the world organically as you meet and get to know the main players, and leaves you wanting to know more…did I mention leaving the prequel until last? Yeah, do that.
Overall, with my fondness for spoilers, I’m going to stop there and just say go read these books. They are fantastic. There…THAT’S the review.
I don’t know where to even begin with this must-read novella. Seriously, I don’t. It is set in an established universe which is normally off-putting to me, but the author has put so much time and care into creating the world of this particular story that it didn’t matter.
Someone or something is turning the gnomes to stone when all they are trying to do is live alongside the others in the world. I mean, that should be enough, but this tightly written tale packs so much into its 79 pages that I felt like I’d read an entire series by the end. The characters are engaging and I really felt for Agent Raines…what a whopper of a case for her first solo misson!
Grab this as soon as you can. You won’t be disappointed.
Well, it finally happened. After six years of “Have you read the Iron Druid?” “Is your IW named Oberon?” and various other questions from patrons at the three renaissance festivals where I work (with the Hounds of East Fairhaven), I have finally started this series and NOW I GET IT.
I found it hard going at first because urban fantasy is not usually my jam – I’m more into elves and dwarves and dragons that live in the magical forest than I am ancient Irish gods and monsters and druids that live in Arizona. Sticking with it, though, was one of the best decisions I’ve made in awhile. If you are a fan of American Gods by Neil Gaiman, this series is for you – though it’s a little easier to focus, since it is only one pantheon, more or less.
There are also werewolves and vampires as well as witches – but our main character is Atticus O’Sullivan, a 1000 year old druid currently hanging out in the guise of a 20-something owner of a book and tea shop. But let’s get to the most important character – that amazing wolfhound, Oberon! He and Atticus communicate with each other in a way that I wish I could communicate with my girls!
Atticus has made an enemy of the Irish god of love, Aengus Óg, and this novel deals with the fall out from that misunderstanding. You almost need to be familiar with the Tuatha Dé Danann, the first folk of Irish mythology, or at least be ready to google. I might recommend Mythopedia – it is one of my go-to references these days. (Or if you are a language nerd like me, you will want to stop every time you have a name like this to find out how to pronounce it and then you’ll get waylaid saying it out loud over and over…but I digress). There are other fantastic characters that are lesser known, such as Flidais and Bres who will be easily recognized by those familiar with Irish mythology.
Atticus is a likeable enough character – but he is also very well written. There are times that I would forget that he was really over 1,000 years old, and other times that it was very clear. The entire novel is a tight, raucous ride that will leave you breathless and wanting more. Now, if you’ll pardon me, I need to grab my wolfhounds and go get the next book in the series.
I actually finished this book before Heir to Chaos, but I had to really spend some time thinking about it before I could review it. Unlike The Thief, which I found to be formulaic and containing characters that didn’t peak my interest, The Savior was about a character I had forgotten but grew to love, Murhder.
Murhder, the only Brother ever expelled from the BDB, returns in this book after seeing an image of a woman that he feels compelled to help. This need leads him along familiar paths to places and relationships better forgotten from his past, and exposes cracks in the BDB that need attention. This book felt like a return to the old days – maybe just because Murhder is from that era of the BDB timeline – and I highly recommend it.
I’m trying to learn to avoid spoilers, but if you have read along with the BDB until this point, you know who Murhder is and why he is important. I think that this book really spoke to me, though, not because of the vampire character but because of Sarah, his love interest. She is brave, she is smart, and she breathes new life into the dark corners of the Mansion. She reminds us that the Brothers’ mates are forces of nature unto themselves, and she is a character that has stuck with me long after I finished the book. She is who we all need to be, putting the needs of the many ahead of her own. I was glad to see this return to strong characters and a brilliantly interwoven plot after being disappointed in The Thief.
If you have read my reviews for The Caged Kingdom or Ivloch, then you know what a fan I have become of M. A. Price’s Brodanna universe and the Unforgiven series. The second book in the series, The Heir to Chaos, is no exception. I tried so hard to read it slowly but that just wasn’t to be. Once the action kicks in you just have to hang on and go with it.
I’m so bad at spoilers, but I have to at least try to talk about some of my favorite moments – one of them even led me to tweet to the author to tell her that I FELT the gut punch that Mara takes when she works out… uh oh, I was about to do it again, but let’s just say she figures out something that is integral to getting her up and moving after the events of The Caged Kingdom.
The story is tight, there are no unnecessary twists or turns, every character you meet you will fall in love with – even the baddies! If you’ve read my Nature Walker Trilogy then you know that the idea of mind control is fascinating to me and so I found myself pouring over the description of the Unforgiven and Mara’s struggles with Xave, just to see how Price handles this. The answer? Beautifully. Seamlessly.
This is a story world that holds me, spellbound, and this installment has a twist that I did NOT see coming. If you haven’t yet read the prequel, Ivloch, then do yourself a favor and read it before this one. It adds another dimension to his character and to the story as a whole, and you will find yourself thinking, “Oh, that’s why….happened! I see the link to …. now!” And that, my friends, is a hallmark of truly gifted writing.
My ONLY complaint is that the next book isn’t out until January!
It seemed like one of the cruelest twists of fate that this man wouldn’t get to say goodbye to the one he loved so desperately. A punishment Ivloch couldn’t even begin to imagine.
Once again, author M.A. Price has kept me GLUED to my e-reader. Ivloch is a prequel to The Caged Kingdom series but it is SO. MUCH. MORE. THAN. THAT. Y’ALL! I feel like I need to be even more careful than normal because me = spoilers, but I have been reading this book for a lot longer than it would normally take to read a novella because I KNEW THINGS and the way I feel about those things – and the characters that Price has created, and the amazing and interesting world that she has made for them to inhabit – I just did not want to get to the end, but I did and…well, [SPOILERS] but it was perfect and awful and beautiful and heart-wrenching and…I’m about to do it again, so I will be quiet.
Ivloch tells us the backstory, if you will, of the events that happen in The Caged Kingdom. We meet the titular main character, Ivloch, and watch as he gets swept up in the events that gave birth to the Guild that was such an integral part of The Caged Kingdom. I was not expecting to like this as much as I did, honestly, because while important and necessary, backstories sometimes end up as information dumps. But this – this was beauty. This was like pulling back the curtain to watch the sun rise, just for a moment, before the day gets started. Read it AFTER you have read The Caged Kingdom. Now, I mean now. Go. Click here and get your copy.
I must admit, I am not sure where to start to review this book. It came to me as prep material for a job I was doing, and I started reading it as I do all prep material – skimming.
That did not last long. This story is one of love and loss and the very essence of what makes us who we are. The author’s gift with word choice, pacing, character development and plot twists would be enough to keep me intrigued, but it is so much more than that.
This novel follows the story of Axl and Beatrice, two ordinary people in a completely extraordinary situation. No one in their world can remember anything that has taken place in the past – everything is in the moment, and a thick mist or fog has fallen over their land. As they start out on a quest, they discover the reason for the memory loss at the same time that they are rediscovering themselves and each other.
UGH! I’ve said before that I am one of the WORST with spoilers, and as with so many of the books I’ve read I am afraid to tell you too much – you MUST go into this book knowing very little about it, and let Ishiguro whisk you away and tell you his tale.
I just finished this debut novel from author (and Twitter Friend) M. A. Price and y’all…I am blown away.
When you spend as much time as I do living in your novel world, it is sometimes hard to get your head around someone else’s universe, but the world of Broadanna immediately pulled me in and held me, spellbound and curious. Price has created characters that not only made me care but saw me expressing surprise, sadness, and even support – vocally – as I read.
Please take a moment here to feel sorry for Mr. Dunne, as I often read at night in bed while he is trying to sleep.
The pacing of the story is fast and tight – I had to make myself put the book down on several occasions because I needed sleep. I also very much appreciated the multiple POV format of the book – it only adds to the story, for me, to know what other characters are thinking and what they make of the action of the plot. I write in multiple POV so this book felt familiar from the start.
I know that I am not discussing much about the plot, but that’s because I have EPIC LEVEL problems with spoiler revelation and I don’t want to ruin anything about this book for you. Please, do yourself a favor and grab a copy today on Amazon. You will NOT be sorry!