reviews
The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard #3) by Scott Lynch Book Review
23, Jan

4.5/5

The third volume of the Gentleman Bastard series threatens to change the entire course of the series. It is a book which contains a shocking revelation about Locke Lamora's past which, potentially, could alter everything we know about the character. I'm not a big fan of this revelation and the only reason I'm not upset about is due to fact that, being a book about con games, it's entirely possible everything revealed was a lie. So, of course, I'm going to have to purchase the next book to find out if it's true. Clever.

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastards #2) Book Review
14, Jan

3.5/5

The Lies of Locke Lamora was a breath of fresh air on the fantasy scene. It was dark, edgy, and imaginative with a unique hero. In the sea of high fantasy based on Middle Earth or Westeros, it was a magical Renaissance Italy with a con man and master thief hero. The story was an epic tragedy with unexpected deaths, twists, and turns. Scott Lynch had a big job ahead of him, living up to the standard set by the first book. So does he? Eh, mostly. Red Seas under Red Skies is a fun novel with a great story but it doesn't have the level of drama the original does. The first book had Locke Lamora personally invested in the destruction of the Gray King. This book, by contrast, has Locke and his partner, Jean, under pressure from far less interesting opponents.

Seraphina's Lament (The Bloodlands #1) by Sarah Chorn Book Review
14, Jan

4.5/5

SERAPHINA'S LAMENT is one of those books that is very difficult to describe because it doesn't fall into traditional fantasy tropes. If I had to describe its tropes by analogy to other fantasy works then I would just sound insane. Don't believe me? The closest thing I can think of is, "Stalinist Russia meets Avatar: The Last Airbender." If that sounds like something hard to picture, that's kind of my point. The fact it's not a re-tread of Tolkien, Conan, or even George R.R. Martin gives this automatic props, though.

Anarchs Unbound (Vampire: The Masquerade) by Onyx Path Publishing Book Review
08, Jan

4.5/5

The Anarchs are my favorite faction of Vampire: The Masquerade. The angry resistance to the corrupt Camarilla and yet still moral enough to not give in completely to the Beast like the Sabbat. I fell in love with them in Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines and have been eager for new content regarding them. For those unfamiliar with the Anarchs, they're based on such rebellious modern vampires as Kiefer Sutherland's David in The Lost Boys and Deacon Frost in Blade. Unfortunately, the Anarchs have not really been treated all that well by the setting.

Ex-Isle (Ex-Heroes 5#) by Peter Clines Book Review
07, Jan

3.5/5

The Ex-Heroes novels by Peter Clines are one of the best high concept series out there. "What would happen if the zombie apocalypse happened in a world with superheroes?" I've also seen it described as "Land of the Dead meets The Avengers" and that's not a bad description. A bunch of low-powered heroes based loosely on popular archetypes are in the midst of the zombie apocalypse and do their best to save as many people as they can by creating a safe haven in a Los Angeles movie studio.

Ex-Purgatory (Ex-Heroes #4) by Peter Clines Book Review
04, Jan

3.5/5

Ex-Purgatory is the fourth novel in the popular Ex-Heroes series. It's been fun watching the survivors of a comic book universe deal with a zombie apocalypse and try to slowly rebuild civilization. Likewise, it's been nice seeing a lot of classic comic book plots reinterpreted for a post-apocalyptic zombie-filled world. The premiseis a reinterpretation of the classic Superman plot by Alan Moore, "For The Man Who Has Everything." Basically, that superheroes are trapped in a dream-like state and live lives where they don't have to deal with the responsibilities of being a superhero (or at least its downside).

The Time of Contempt (The Witcher #4) by Andrzej Sapkowski Book Review
22, Dec

4.5/5

The Time of Contempt is a really hard book to review which is ironic because, really, when I say that, I just mean it's a really hard book to review because of the last twenty pages or so when things go from a really-really well done book and my favorite in the series to super-super uncomfortable. Still, it is a dark and fantastic book that deserves all the credit it gets and one of the best of the Witcher series that is now being adapted to Netflix.

Lords of Asylum by Kevin Wright Book Review
21, Dec

4.5/5

LORDS OF ASYLUM by Kevin Wright is a book that I picked up on the recommendation of Grimdark Magazine and the Bookwyrm Speaks. As anyone who reads my reviews would know, I'm a huge fan of grimdark fiction and think it's more than edgy tryhard fiction. For me, it is a burgeoning genre that combines noir, horror, and fantasy fiction into a dark existentialist exploration of antihero protagonists in amoral worlds.

The Fall of London (Vampire: The Masquerade) by Modiphius Entertainment Book Review
18, Dec

4.5/5

THE FALL OF LONDON for Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition is a chronicle that details one of the most important events of the latest edition of the tabletop game: the destruction of every vampire in London at the hands of the Second Inquisition. London has always been one of the pillars of the Camarilla and while very little was actually written up for the city, it was long considered a fan favorite due to its stature in the real world as well as its rulership by 4th generation Methuselah Mithras (the in-universe inspiration for Roman mystery cult god).

Violya (In the Heart of the Mountains #2) by Rosalyn Kelly Book Review
11, Dec

4.5/5

VIOLYA by Rosalyn Kelly is the second volume of IN THE HEART OF THE MOUNTAINS, which is a feminist dark fantasy series that deals with a multitude of societies undergoing deep social changes. I really enjoyed the previous volume, MELOKAI, and eagerly picked up this book the moment that it came out.