Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan
4.5 Stars , Reviews / June 29, 2014

So, I would imagine the big question for people is going to be: Is this book as good as Blood Song? Blood Song was one of my top reads last year, and definitely one of the most addictive reads (you can read my gushing review). Problem is, this book is different enough, I am having a hard time comparing them. And honestly, I don’t know that I much feel I need to. Here it is, I’ll say it early for anyone with a short attention span: this is great book in its own right. For me, it didn’t have quite the same addictive quality, the kind that keeps me reading way too late at night, and compels me to pick right back up early in the morning, that I had with Blood Song, but honestly, I read maybe two books a year that achieve that. Not to say I don’t stay up too late reading with many others (this one included), it’s just not quite as furtive of a need.  And I don’t know if I have ever had it happen with a book that has multiple POVs. That’s right. If you haven’t already heard, the book is not centered on Vaelin. He’s…

Tough Traveling – Minions of the Dark Lord

Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the mastermind of Tough Traveling. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, it’s a weekly feature on Thursdays where we dig around to come up with examples of common tropes in fantasy, using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. Nathan has invited one and all to join in the fun, so feel free to come up with your own lists and add the link on Nathan’s weekly post, which will also contain (unleash) the next weeks theme. So let the fun begin … This weeks theme? MINIONS OF THE DARK LORD MINIONS OF THE DARK LORD are all over the place. The DARK LORD has been busy planting them for years. They can be either male or female. All will be carefully supplied with the means to slaughter …. OK, there’s lots of options listed here. You know what a dark lord is. You know what a minion who serves them is. My job was to find some for you.Well, some of my choices may be a bit different this week. Not sure, but here they are: (And I have to mention, doesn’t everyone need some minions? I could certainly use a team of…

King Rat by China Miéville
3 Stars , Reviews / June 25, 2014

King Rat is festering with atmosphere and drowns you in a cacophony of Jungle Bass and Drum. It takes you to London’s underside, it’s stinking bowels, and gives life to the world below. It does all this in a very good way. I swear. King Rat is my first taste of Mieville and I’m still not sure if it was the best place for me to start, but it certainly isn’t a bad place to start. This is his debut novel and does not seem to be as widely read or recommended. I have also heard that it is a bit different from the rest of his novels. Since I obviously have not read the others, I can’t comment on that myself. But I can share what I thought of King Rat. The story is intriguing. Our protagonist, Saul, wakes up to find himself in the middle of a nightmare; One that he is being blamed for. He doesn’t know it yet, but he is about to find himself as a central figure in a war he knows nothing about within a world previously unknown to him. He is still in London, but now he sees the previously unseen. And…

Waiting on Wednesday – Traitor’s Blade
Waiting On Wednesday / June 25, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.  It gives an opportunity to share our excitement for upcoming releases (share the love and anticipation for those books we can’t wait to read) I have heard  just about nothing but praise for Traitor’s Blade by Sebastian de Castell. It was released early this year in the UK, and I was very excited to see that there is a US release date set for July 15, 2014. And I was even *more* excited to get my hands on a copy of it this week. So, I think I am starting this one ASAP.   With swashbuckling action that recall Dumas’ Three Musketeers Sebastien de Castell has created a dynamic new fantasy series. In Traitor’s Blade a disgraced swordsman struggles to redeem himself by protecting a young girl caught in the web of a royal conspiracy. The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded, and Falcio Val Mond and his fellow magistrates Kest and Brasti have been reduced to working as bodyguards for a nobleman who refuses to pay them. Things could be worse, of course. Their employer could be lying dead on the floor while they are forced to watch the killer plant evidence framing them…

Ebook Deal: NOS4A2 and Horns by Joe Hill
Book Bargains / June 24, 2014

I really need to write reviews for NOS4A2 and Horns (here’s a hint for what I think. I gave them both 5 stars). If you are a fan of haunting, creepy stories, you have got to check them out. And since I noticed that NOS4A2 is only $1.99 right now Nook and the Kindle versions, I thought I would give everyone a heads up. These are amazing books. Joe Hill may be Stephen King’s son, but he has definitely earned his place on the merit of his own writing. Oh wait, did I mention Horns? Yes, this one is also only $1.99 for the Nook and Kindle versions.   NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate….

Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman
5 Stars , Reviews / June 21, 2014

Holy Hell. This book. I’m not even sure where to begin. I found this in my library’s audiobook selection. Gave it a closer look as it seemed to be neither YA nor PNR. That’s quite an unusual (and desirable) find given my library’s more typical offerings. I went to check out what others thought of it on Goodreads. And. NONE of my 100+ genre reading Goodreads friends have read it. Seriously? This made me have some doubts. Surely if it was worth a read, someone would have read it by now. I mean, I think I read a lot, but I don’t even come close to going through books like some of my pals on Goodreads. But, it sounded interesting, and it cost me nothing but a bit of time to check it out. I figured if I didn’t like it I could just find something else, no harm done. But I never lost interest. Instead I was pulled in to what I first thought was going to be more of a Historical Fiction type of book with just a bit of Fantasy bend to it.  And it definitely is a historical fiction setting/feel with beautifully crafted prose that flows easily. The…

POLL: Book Discussions and Author Involvement
Polls / June 20, 2014

First, I just want to say that I LOVE how accessible so many authors are in this digital age. But I also am curious if some of that accessibility can impact reader involvement in discussions under certain situations. So, what better way to try an find out than to run a poll? Where do you like to interact with the authors of the books you are reading? [socialpoll id=”2207173″] [socialpoll id=”2207175″]

Tough Traveling – Mentors

  Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the mastermind of Tough Traveling. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, it’s a weekly feature on Thursdays where we dig around to come up with examples of common tropes in fantasy, using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. Nathan has invited one and all to join in the fun, so feel free to come up with your own lists and add the link on Nathan’s weekly post, which will also contain (unleash) the next weeks theme. So let the fun begin … This weeks theme? MENTORS MENTOR.  A tour official who will be at your service until halfway through the tour, when you will unexpectedly lose him. This was a fun one! And one of the easiest yet. It’s nice to spread a little love to the mentors that made all our favorite characters who they are. Father Chains from Lies of Locke Lamora – Yes, the mentor who brought together the Gentleman Bastards and set the path for the bastardly, conning and thieving ways. There are few characters that have achieved setting up such an enjoyable group of characters with such exciting to stories to read. I am forever in the debt…

Waiting on Wednesday – The Magician’s Land
Waiting On Wednesday / June 18, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.  It gives an opportunity to share our excitement for upcoming releases (share the love and anticipation for those books we can’t wait to read). The Magician’s by Lev Grossman is definitely a marmite book, and one that I feel clearly on the the LOVE LOVE LOVE side of. I think some readers weren’t expecting the darkness in it. I quite often hear it referred to as Harry Potter meets Narnia, but in college. I think maybe you could throw in a bit of Catcher in the Rye as well. I still really enjoyed The Magician King, but not quite as much as the first. That seems to happen with middle books sometimes and I can’t wait to read the final installment and see what is in store for Quentin and crew.     The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman Expected Publication:  August 5, 2014 by Penguin Group The stunning conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. Everything he had fought so hard for, not to mention his closest friends,…

Unwept by Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman
2.5 Stars , Reviews / June 13, 2014

Sometimes I’m in the mood for something different from my normal reads, something outside of the books I know are telling stories I want to hear in a style that I enjoy. Sometimes this results in a huge payoff as I read and enjoy something quite different. So, I will admit this is the mindset I was in when I decided to read Unwept. That, plus the gorgeous cover. The story intrigued me. A girl wakes up with complete amnesia, remembering nothing before a train ride that has brought her to be reunited with her friends and life from before her “accident” (whatever that may have been) that resulted in her memory loss. Imagine suddenly becoming aware of everything and everyone around you with no recognition or familiarity. A part of you has to ask if you should trust these people. That was my hook. The potential for a story that makes you question everything and everyone. What if these are not her friends? What caused her memory loss? What other possibilities exist? Those questions are why I chose this book. There could be some seriously suspenseful creepy things going on, and so I wanted to find out. I did…