Book Review: The Legacy – Fate

Book Review: The Legacy – Fate

 LX (or Alex for us Earthlings) is a Navigator. From the moment of his birth until he became of age, he prepared for his calling. On a routine exploration mission that shouldn’t have taken more than a few months, an incident propels his spaceship light-years away from his destination, leaving him stranded on the third planet from a star called Sol.

The laws of survival are strict; he must not fraternize with the natives. However, an encounter with Mellie changes everything. She has speed and strength unknown to Earthlings yet strangely similar to his own species. This new discovery compels him to learn more about her and those who call themselves vampires. For her, he will break rules, his people’s rules, until there is no turning back.

Meanwhile, mysterious storms are devastating cities. When they learn of their origin and the humans fail to see the threat, he, and his new friends, might be their only chance, but to save them and the one he loves, he may have to break his primary Oath: the vow never to take a life.

 

This is a massively overdue read/review, and I’d like to take a chance to extend my sincere apologies to GG Atcheson for the delay.

 

World Building

  • Reading through the story, there were many times I felt as if I were walking through the tale, rather than just picking up the words from a page.  In between those times, I was lost in admiration for the rich tapestry GG wove with the blend of natural and medical facility.  Part of the world she builds up one delightful layer at a time is the physical world, another part is the political world, and yet another part is the internal world.  Each layer added is a delightful addition to the ones that come before, and add a vibrant texture for the story to exist within.

Character Development

  • From the first words, the characters begin to develop into their own people.  There are a few places where things become a touch too stilted for the main character, but that is more from a well developed lack of knowledge how English is spoken in the modern world than a fault in the writing.  GG does a wonderful job presenting Alex’ trouble with modern English without making the story hard to follow.The growth of the characters has a natural ebb and flow, with some of the support cast providing their own humor relief.  Even with the “other side” there’s a nice organic growth, though the motivations aren’t quite as clearly defined (and considering the little you DO learn about them, I’m not sure I’d WANT to have those motivations more defined.)There’s also a few unexpected twists and quirks to the development as well.  Won’t say too much more, or I’d likely wind up adding in spoilers – can’t have that, now, can we?

Pacing

  • The pace of the story is spot on.  Even with the touch of fantasy included (it can also be explained as ESP if you just can’t stand the thought of fantasy in a sci-fi book) the organic feel to the story keeps the pages turning and the interest high.  Personally, I’m looking forward to reading more of Ms. Atcheson’s work, but I’m going to have to remember to start earlier in the evening – these aren’t long (for me), but if I don’t get an early start, I wind up being up much too late because I can’t put them down.

Overall score?  If you guessed 5 of 5 paws from this pukah, you’d be right.  GG Atcheson managed to hit the main writing elements perfectly for me, and do it in a wondrously new twist on an often overworked character type.  Nicely done!  (Now, where’d I bury that other book?)

 

If you’re intrigued by the review, and would like to pick up a copy of Legacy: Fate you can find it Here over on Amazon.

 

If you’d like for me to consider your book for a review, please stop by my Offered Services Page and fill out the simple submission form.

Book Review: The Sword and the Flame: The Forging

Book Review: The Sword and the Flame: The Forging

The Sword and the Flame: The Forging by [Bialois, CP]

 

In a world where magic and the sword rule and dragons are forgotten, a band of friends find each other but can they overcome their own fears and trials in time to fulfill their destiny? Their adventure begins in The Sword and the Flame: The Forging. Before a weapon can be used, it must be forged in the fires of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expectations

I’d picked this one up during last year’s Virtual Fantasy Con 2016, and haven’t had a chance to read it yet thanks to life getting in the way.  By the time I managed to read through, I knew it was fantasy, but couldn’t remember exactly what had attracted me to pick it up.  So, this was a blind jump.

World Building

I’ve long admitted to being a Dungeons and Dragons fan, so I’m not sure how well the world building is actually done.  For those familiar with the RPG game, it’s all familiar territory which may cover any minor gaps.  However, with that said, there’s enough sketched in up front to help the reader quickly get an idea what’s around them as well as a basic understanding of the political system in place.  Nothing too unusual in this area.

Character Development

This is where CP Bialois shines brightest.  A quick sketch of the main cast of characters, so you know who everyone is.  Felt similar to sitting down for a new campaign with freshly made characters – a few basics to let everyone get acquainted, then the action starts to develop the characters from there.  Even though this felt heavily influenced by the game system, there was no obvious gaps as the characters developed, like you’d see in a normal game.  Each of the characters learned, or drew from previous training, as the story progressed which was a refreshing change.  (I’ve run into a few other tales that draw from a game system, and you can tell when the characters “level up” – personal pet peeve of mine.)

Pacing

The pace of the tale is steady to fast, though not completely breathtaking.  Again, it felt like a well planned campaign – each sequence of events had a naturally engaging ebb and flow, a little tweak of tension here or a touch of down time there.  I did run into a couple of minor jumbles where a scene slightly overlapped view points – once was a night scene and one set of characters played through the entire scene, then the second set came upon the scene slightly before it “ended” for the first.  I distinctly remember that one because I had to go back and re-read a page or two to figure out who was where doing what.  (Of course, I could also have been getting lost due to being tired – though this was early on, so I doubt that.)

Overall Rating

I’m an admitted gamer geek, yet there’s a few things here that pull the overall rating down.  As such, a solid 4 out of 5 paws is what I’ll give this book.  I don’t know if I’ll go back and re-read or not, which would be about the only thing to push the rating up.  However, I do look forward to finding the next book in the series and reading through it.

If you like Dungeons and Dragons, or the newly emerging LitRPG genre, then you’ll very likely enjoy this story.  All the familiar, and expected, RPG elements are present, which is a lot of what leads me to knock the final star – for me, the story’s too predictable.

 

If you enjoyed the review, and are interested in reading further, you can find The Sword and Flame: The Forging on Amazon Here.

 

If you enjoyed the review and want me to review one of your works, please stop by my Offered Services Page and fill out the simple submission form.  I’ll contact you soonest to discuss details.

Until next time, keep the pages turning.

Book Review: Chronicles of the Diasodz (book 4) The One Revealed

Book Review: Chronicles of the Diasodz (book 4) The One Revealed

The One Revealed by Yvette Calleiro

 

Rafe has successfully rescued Sofia from his enemies and has brought her home. He is excited about Sofia meeting their father and joining the Raizyns in their fight against the Diasodz. Unfortunately, bringing Sofia home does not have the effect he had hoped for. In the process of trying to bring his family together, he may have discovered a reason to tear them apart.

When Sofia awakens, she discovers that her life has been uprooted once again, and this time she is in more danger than she has ever been. Sofia’s only focus is on finding a way to escape and get back to Ar’ch, but leaving Rafe becomes more difficult when she realizes that not everything is as it seems.

Damiana is furious when she learns that her daughter has been brought home. Her plans to use Sofia as a secret weapon within the Diasodz compound is destroyed with Rafe’s meddling. Despite the setback, Damiana knows that she still has the upper hand, but her control is tested when even more secrets are exposed.

Each of them believes that she/he knows who the true savior of their people is, but when the truth is revealed, how will they handle it? And whose side will the savior support? The stakes have never been higher for the Raizyns, and Damiana plans to make sure that the savior is on their side no matter what it takes.

Expectations

Since The One Betrayed wound up being such a repeat of The One Enlightened I really expect this one to push forward in time.  The battle lines appear to be drawn, and the stage is thoroughly set.  My question now is:  Can Ms. Calleiro deliver on the tension she’s built up?

World Building

This is the fourth book of the series, and so I did not expect much world building to occur.  There is a continuation of the political aspects of the worlds Ms. Calleiro created, as well as a large leap in the refinement of our understanding of how the magic system works.  Beyond that, the world building for this series has been completed (unless new areas are introduced – which the hints provided through the narrative may come to pass.)

Character Development

With the overall developments, twists and turns in the genealogy, along with the betrayals and tests of loyalty, the amount of character development is immense in this installment.  The story style shifts from a plot driven story line back to the character-driven story, which really highlights the growth each of the characters undergoes, even though much of the growth happens in extremely unexpected ways.  Especially with the amount of broken trust, exposed lies, and general soap opera feel to the story line in general.  It is still an engaging read as we see the characters start to really come into their own and begin thinking independently and analytically.

Pacing

Overall, the pacing in this installment is very well done.  Though it remains a slow burn, there are several places where it simmers and pops properly, making the book hard to put down.  To me, the pacing fit the events much better than the previous two installments, which really enhanced the read.

Overall Rating

An enthusiastic 5 of 5 paws from this pukah.  Many unexpected twists and turns; plenty of pop and sizzle; and enough tension and mystery to make it a very satisfying read.  Now I just want to know how it ends – there’s at least one more book due in the series, just not sure when it’ll come out.

 

 

If you would like to read The One Revealed for yourself, you can get a copy from Amazon Here.

If you would like for me to read and review your book, please stop by my Offered Services page and fill out the simple request form.  (Please note – I do not guarantee a time frame to finish reviews, however if I accept it, I WILL  get it reviewed as quickly as I can.)

Book Review: Chronicles of the Diasodz (book 3) The One Betrayed

Book Review: Chronicles of the Diasodz (book 3) The One Betrayed

Chronicles of the Diasodz (Book 3) - The One Betrayed

 

When Sofia chose to leave Rafe to live with Ar’ch in another world, Rafe’s system shut down and sent him to an early death. But Rafe didn’t die, at least not permanently. Rafe is a Diasodz, and his death simply freed him from his human shell so that he could become the powerful Diasodz that he was meant to be.

He awakened to a completely new reality, a reality in which he was the prince to a kingdom of powerful beings. His parents, Drake and Damiana, were the rulers of the Raizyns, a group of Diasodz who were determined to take their rightful place in the world. And Rafe would be the savior who would lead them on their quest.

Rafe wanted to please his father, especially since he had just met him. To do that, he needed to learn how to fight like a Raizyn and how to master his newfound skill. He needed to become stronger, faster, and more powerful. Rafe needed to become the savior they all expected him to be. That was what was required of him.

But there was one thing that was more important than everything else. One person. Sofia. Rafe was going to find a way to get her back, even if it cost him his life. Again.

 

Expectations

Having read the previous two books, this one should be a wonderful continuation of the story.  Things are coming to a head, and I’m really looking forward to what happens next.

World Building

While the physical world building is not needed because this is the third book in the series, the new areas that come up are not neglected.  Ms. Calleiro does another beautiful job in bringing them to life.

What proves to be the main focus, however, is the political aspects of the world.  In this, things are a bit hazier – very probably because this installment is a repeat of events already put into play in the first two installments.  However, it is through a different point of view, so we get to see the flip side of the political coin, which keeps it interesting.

The only niggling thing I ran into is the “white is good/ black is bad” trope.  Even though the entire series is based on common story tropes and themes, this one really glares, which made me sign a touch in resentment – not enough to ruin the story, but enough to dim the enjoyment a notch.

Character Development

Unlike the previous two books, we now have a mostly new cast of characters providing the framework.  This definitely shifts a lot of the “this is bad” towards the “this is moral” (though not good) as we work through the events presented in The One Enlightened.  Not only do we gain and thorough understanding of what motivates our new cast, we also get to see how, and why, they react the way they do.

With this being a YA series, I can understand the clear cut prophecies that are equal, but opposite.  What makes this installment really shine is the fact that more of the genealogy comes into play – and there are enough twists and turns to make a mole dizzy!

Pacing

The pacing for this installment is very slow.  Nothing really lags, but it just feels sluggish to me.  Because of this, many of the scenes that should pop and spark just don’t quite make it.

Overall Rating

A nice 4 out of 5 paws from this pukah.  The pacing, the blatant color trope, and the rehash of previous events are what knocked the paw off for me.  There is enough forward progress in this installment to salvage back the overall enjoyment, but those three pieces really did make a dent in my overall enjoyment.

 

If you would like to read The One Betrayed for yourself, you can get a copy from Amazon Here.

If you would like for me to read and review your book, please stop by my Offered Services page and fill out the simple request form.  (Please note – I do not guarantee a time frame to finish reviews, however if I accept it, I WILL  get it reviewed as quickly as I can.)

Book Review: Kind of Like Life

Book Review: Kind of Like Life

Kind of Like Life by [McMullen, Christina]

Just because it’s happening in your head doesn’t mean it isn’t real…

All Renee Ward ever wanted out of life was two things: Good friends to share her love of fantasy and fairy tales, and for magic to be real. When her family moves to the quaint coastal town of Waterside, it seems as if her dreams have finally come true. But after a visit from the mysterious Blake Carter, Renee’s new utopian life suddenly turns into a never-ending nightmare.

With the line between fantasy and reality blurred, the teens find themselves the unwilling pawns in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Their very survival now hinges on Renee’s overactive imagination. Unfortunately, that’s also what got them into this mess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expectations

I’ve read almost all of Christina’s other books, so I knew going in that this one would likely be a fun, exciting read.  I also suspected she’d find some way of turning the normal boundaries between genres into pretzels while the tale took you on a roller coaster ride of fun.  Beyond that?  This is Christina McMullen we’re talking about here folks – you never know what to expect from her.

 

World Building

The first thing that comes to mind is “Yowza!”  Even with the warning in the description, I was stunned when things took the right turn for Strangeville, rather than having a more mundane explanation offered up.  Each time the setting changed, Christina developed the new setting quickly and with enough sensory information I could experience where the characters were with all my senses.  Typically, even when I get “lost” in a book, I don’t experience that level of immersion.  It’s usually more like a movie, rather than a personal experience.

Character Development

In all of her work, Christina is an expert at bringing her characters to life.  I don’t mean just making them sound realistic, rather I mean along the lines of making the characters (good and bad) your long-lost friends whom you’ve missed horribly or have blessed the seconds they’ve been out of your life.

Throughout the tale, until things started resolving, telling who the real bad guy was proved to be an intriguing missed after missed educated guess.  You knew it had to be a person, yet discovering who that was proved to be as elusive as figuring out if the tale was happening in reality or not – you kind of hope you don’t find out, yet you really want to finish the dimensional view of the characters you keep glimpsing.

Pacing

The pacing of this book is really why I think it fits into so many categories.  (OK, the settings help, but not for ages.)  It’s fast enough to keep Millennials reading, yet not so fast older generations would find the read exhausting.  Even though the opening scenes may appear to be a touch on the slow side, they don’t stay that way long.  These scenes are merely the loading ramp for the roller coaster you have embarked upon as you enter the exciting, enthralling ride trapped between the covers.

Overall Rating

Need you ask?  An enthusiastic 5 of 5 paws from this pukah.  Even when I put time between me devouring this book in a night and the review, not only does the story stick with me, leaving behind a warm glow of a temporarily sated mind-belly, but I can still remember the essence of individual scenes.  Definitely a memorable book, and one I highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a read suitable for the entire family.

 

If you are intrigued, and wish to read the book, then hop over to Amazon and pick up your own copy of Kind of Like Life today.  Something tells me, you won’t be disappointed.

 

If you enjoyed the review and want me to review one of your works, please stop by my Offered Services Page and fill out the simple submission form.  I’ll get back to you soonest to discuss details.