reviews
Charles' Reviews

Charles' Reviews (16)

The Court of Broken Knives (Empires of Dust #1)
18, Aug

4.5/5

THE COURT OF BROKEN KNIVES is the debut novel of Anna Smith Sparks and one of the best new works of dark fantasy I've seen. I'm intrigued by these new characters, her world, and how they play off of one another. Having just finished this book after finishing Deborah A. Wolf's THE DRAGON'S LEGACY and Anna Stephen's GODBLIND, it's difficult to say which is the best of the three debut novels this year. I did have some issues with the book and its characters but they were balanced out by how unexpected the directions their stories went.

Darklands (The Rhenwars Saga #3)
16, Aug

DARKLANDS is the third volume of the Rhenwars Saga by M.L. Spencer, a series I've very much enjoyed. I've referred to it as "The Anti-Wheel of Time" and I think that's a fairly good description of it. It's a series which takes a typical battle between good and evil, epic romances, Chosen Ones, and Forsaken wizards then turns it all on its head. The fact the Wheel of Time did some of this itself doesn't prevent the Rhenwars Saga from serving as an effective critique. I also appreciate the books don't take forever to each their conclusion.

Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson #3)
16, Aug

4/5

IRON KISSED is the third volume of the Mercy Thompson series about a Volkswagen auto-mechanic living in Washington State with her oddball collection of supernatural friends. Mercedes Thompson is a great character as she represents the best in what I consider to be "working class heroines." Characters who remain grounded enough in the quote-unquote real world that you can imagine them as real people in addition to their "normal" adventures.

Faithless
11, Aug

4/5

FAITHLESS is a story which has already been reviewed on this site a few times but I feel the need to add my own two cents regarding. It is a short self-contained fantasy novel which tells a story of religion, corruption, faith, lack of faith, and greed. I'm familiar with Graham Austin King's work from his excellent Riven Wyrde Saga, which is a story about how corrupt evil fairies invade a fantasy world in order to enslave us as breeding stock as well as slaves. I really enjoyed that trilogy so I was a first day buyer for this one. I should mention I received a free copy of the book for my first review of it but purchased and re-read it for this review.

Darkmage (The Rhenwars Saga book #2)
05, Aug

I reviewed the first novel of the Darkmage and found it to be an enjoyable epic which told a complete story from beginning to end. Despite this, it very is a "saga" and that means more books in the series with new characters and groups. This is an interesting way of doing a series and one which intrigued me even as I also felt the absence of several characters I loved from Darkstorm.

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson #2)
03, Aug

4/5

BLOOD BOUND is the sequel to Patricia Briggs' MOON CALLED and the second volume of the Mercy Thompson series. I've mentioned this is not a series I'm reading for the first time but, in fact, have read this series three or four times. It's not my favorite urban fantasy series, that remains THE DRESDEN FILES, but it works as mental comfort food. Whenever I need a short easy ready, I can always turn to the world of Mercedes and her band of weirdo friends.

The Immorality Clause (Easytown novels #1)
01, Aug

4.5/5

THE IMMORALITY CLAUSE by Brian Parker is a cyberpunk novel about a burnt-out cop working the worst district of New Orleans in the latter half of the 21st century. It's not so far in the future things have changed dramatically but it's changed enough there's sex bots, advanced new weapons, and a society that's struggling to keep peace with the changes brought about by technology.

Fade Rippers (Galefire #1)
01, Aug

4/5

FADE RIPPERS by Kenny Soward is the story of Lonnie, a drug-addicted runner for the 8th Street Gang. The 8th Street Gang are petty criminals and minor players in Cincinnati's underworld. They're pathetic, which is surprising since all of them are powerful supernatural beings. Lonnie sacrificed his wife and child to be part of this gang and this is his story.

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1)
28, Jul

4.5/5

Reviewing the Mercy Thompson series feels a bit redundant as it remains one of the more popular urban fantasy series out there and is still going strong after a dozen books. That's the kind of success to aspire to rather than turn more people onto them for. As a result, this review is going to be more about what the book series has meant to me and a recommendation for those people who haven't tried it to give it a go.

The Secret King: Lethao (The Secret King #1)
28, Jul

4.5/5

THE SECRET KING: LETHAO is the first book of Dawn Chapman's THE SECRET KING series. It is a epic science fiction/space opera series which eschews the hard science realism of many stories in order to fully embrace a colorful 1970s Flash Gordon aesthetic. There's action, intrigue, romance, and lots of twists in a story set against the near-extinction of a race.

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