Charles' Reviews

Charles' Reviews (127)

Hack/Slash Omnibus volume 1 (Hack/Slash #1)
25, May


I should make a confession before I begin this review that I love slasher films. I have a somewhat twisted perspective on them, though, which is the fact they're actually quite intelligent when done right as well as proto-feminist. They are, after all, among the first movies where the heroine can and does kick the ass of the monster. Jaime Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, and Linda Hamilton all got their start taking down a monstrous killer that had backed them into a corner. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was based on Joss Whedon's desire to have the usual victim of a monstrous stalker rebel and kill the creature attacking her.

Melokai (In the Heart of the Mountain #1)
24, May


MELOKAI is a novel which I was surprised by in more than one way. I was intially attracted to the book by the cover and was even more interested once I read the synopsis. It claimed to be inspired by Game of Thrones and Kushiel's Dart, both series which I was familiar with. They had very different feels, though, and I was curious where the story would take me.

The Sword of Destiny (The Witcher #2)
20, May

4.5/5 noticeably made a big screw up when they decided to release Andrzej Sapkowski's The Witcher series stateside. While they did a decent enough translation of the text, taking cues from the video game, they made the mistake of assuming the anthologies were not actually part of the saga. They released the first anthology, The Last Wish, but then skipped to the third book in the series The Blood of Elves because they didn't realize its story picks up directly after the events of this book. As such, The Blood of Elves confused a lot of fans who read it as it refers to events and characters we haven't read about.

Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th
20, May


FRIDAY THE 13TH is one of the most successful horror franchises of all time. It dominated the 80s horror movie phase and was one of the first series to become a staple of video stores (which for younger viewers were magical places to get movies before Amazon or streaming delivered them straight to your house). It began as a shameless cash-in on the success of John Carpenter's Halloween but gradually evolved into a more successful spin-off that pretty much all slasher films imitate to this day.

The Blood of Whisperers (The Vengeance Trilogy Book 1)
19, May


Non-Medieval fantasy is something which remains as rare as rooster teeth. Despite the fact we love samurai, kung fu heroes, and ninjas--the simple fact is we mostly set our stories in the High Middle Ages rather than deviate from that practice much. Steampunk and urban fantasy have somewhat alleviated it but we're still dominated by stuff which takes place in variations of Europe. This isn't bad, mind you, but it's nice when someone breaks the patterns and sets a story in mythological China. Well, what seems to be a mythological China which conquered Europe as there's a lot of mashup going on.

The Black Witch (The Black Witch Chronicles #1)
11, May


THE BLACK WITCH is a novel which I wanted to read earlier and wish I had since I would have liked to have thrown my thoughts on the book into the ring when it was suffering a surreal controversy regarding its content. For those unfamiliar with it, basically it was accused of being extremely racist by Goodreads reviewers who created a Twitter war regarding it with those who believed it was an anti-racist book. People on the sidelines viewed the entire controversy as silly because, to outsiders, it looked like a harmless YA novel. Somewhat removed from the controversy, I've decided to give my own review.

The Grey Bastards (The Lot Lands #1)
09, May


I struggled for a long time to figure out how to describe THE GREY BASTARDS in a way which really managed to explain what is so great about the book while also warning people of what they're going to do. In the end, the best way I could figure out how to do it is to compare it to Unforgiven or The Searchers to fantasy. Grimdark is a genre which pulls no punches with language, sex, racism, classicism, violence, and more. This is grimdark, friends.

Orconomics (The Dark Profit Saga #1)
04, May


The original DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS was a game which didn't stand up to much scrutiny. You were a group of adventurers who headed into a pre-created maze of tunnels, castles, and sewers to kill the monsters inside in order to steal their treasure. Sometimes, gamers noticed that they were the invaders and a few even made the joke that it was Hate Crimes: The RPG.

Wearing the Cape: Special Edition (Wearing the Cape 1#)
30, Apr


WEARING THE CAPE is one of my all-time favorite superhero prose novels. It's up there with SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE by Austin Grossman and ORIGINS OF A D-LIST SUPERVILLAIN. I even like it more than some of my supervillainy books. It's a great contrast ot most superhero prose books that star antiheroes or supervillains, instead starring the idealistic and fundamentally good Hope as Astra.

The Elder Ice (Harry Stubbs #1)
25, Apr


I don't normally write reviews of novellas. There's so much to write about with longer form works that it seems like a waste to do a review over something under a hundred pages. However, sometimes I find myself reading books which I think deserve reviews despite this and lead into larger more interesting categories. One of these books is The Elder Ice by David Hambling, which clocks in at just under a hundred pages. It is the beginning of the Harry Stubbs adventures and that is a series which I think of as some of the best Lovecraft inspired novels currently available.