reviews
Onslaught of Madness (The Madness Wars #1)
31, Jan

Having read a couple of Jesse Teller’s Perilisc novels, I picked up Onslaught of Madness figuring it would be a good continuation of narratives I was already familiar with, and I was glad to find that the case. The other books I have read in Teller’s world have taken place at various locations and timelines in Teller’s expansive universe, and the more I read, the more different aspects of the world of Perilisc start to solidify and take shape. This novel seems to fit right in after Mestleven, continuing the story of certain characters that figured prominently in that book, along with introducing some I had not met before. There is an extensive cast, and the narrative weaves their stories expertly.

Brightblade (The Morgan Detective Agency #1)
24, Dec

 

I’ve never been a big fan of UF books, but the United States of Monsters universe by C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus has always been an exception. I found Brightblade just as enjoyable as Straight out of Fangton and I Was A Teenage Weredeer. In fact, I think I enjoyed it more.

Ashley Morgan runs the risk of being a Mary Sue character. As the book description mentions, she is a “psychic, telekinetic, empathic superhero, spy, detective, bounty Hunter and private investigator.”  What saves her is that she does none of these successfully. Because of her penchant for failure, she doesn’t take herself or situations around her too seriously. Her punchy internal monologue is what really holds this book together.

A private investigator and New Detroit, Ashley learns that her brother, long thought to be dead, is alive-- kind of. She comes upon a magical sword which has an angel imbued with and it that becomes something of her Jiminy Cricket, keeping her in check and going down the right path toward inevitable disaster.

Ashley, who has always been extremely prejudiced against vampire types, has an opportunity to reevaluate these prejudices when she finds out her brother is now a vampire. Then suddenly she ends up on a quest to raise an ancient vampire that can turn vampires back into humans. All the while Ashley is up against a ticking clock in a fight not go full vampire herself.

Just like all of the novels by these two authors, Brightblade nothing but fun. Just like the main character herself, the novel never takes us all too seriously. It is full of pop-culture puns, word plays, sarcasm, and good old fashion Mel Brooks-type wit (which might explain why I love these books so much). Ashley is a great strong female character. It’s interesting to see the story of this world told from the perspective of human. While it’s not necessary to read any of the other books set in this universe, knowledge of the other novels certainly makes Brightblade more enjoyable. There are so many little nuances that you will only get if you read the other books. Lots of characters cross back and forth between the two of them, such as female weredeers and magical ex boyfriends.

If you’re looking for a light read is impossible to put down, the story is for you.

 

The Raven's Mark Series
23, Jul

 

I found The Raven’s Mark trilogy by Ed McDonald to be an enthralling and expertly rendered tale, possibly the high watermark in grimdark fantasy fiction. McDonald is a vastly gifted author; as I was reading, I almost wore out the highlighter function on my Kindle. There were so many compelling quotes that could be lifted from the text. I could imagine them posterized and framed, plastered to the walls of homes, workplaces, pubs; some perhaps even more suited to bathrooms. The world building is intricate, well-composed, and original, the characters soulful and human in all their gristly faults. The plot is gripping from beginning to end, and the stakes could not be higher—for the world and, perhaps more importantly, for the characters themselves.

Wraith Lord (Wraith Knight #2) by C.T. Phipps Book Review
27, Jun

 

With Wraith Lord, I plunged back into the world created by CT Phipps that I was introduced to in Wraith Knight. Wraith Lord continues the story of Jacob Riverson, a former knight turned wraith turned wraith knight turned Lord of Evil. Only, it seems that his continued progression from lowly mortal to King of all Shadowkind only spells bigger problems for him. The story kind of follows the old adage “be careful what you wish for,” even though Jacob didn’t wish for any of this.

Seraphina's Lament (The Bloodlands #1)
27, Apr

 

Seraphina’s Lament is a dark and gritty tale that follows six would-be saviors of the world in an interesting take on the Chosen One theme. Seraphina and her twin brother Neryan were born with elemental talent. Seraphina wields the gift of fire, while Neryan commands the gift of water. Both have been enslaved in a kingdom ruled by the ruthless Premier Eyad, a sociopathic revolutionary who has come into his own. But while Neryan escaped years ago, Seraphina has continued to be the slave of Eyad and suffered greatly at his hand, both in spirit as well as body.

 

Cthulhu Armageddon (Cthulhu Armageddon #1)
23, Feb

Captain John Henry Booth, United States Remnant Recon and Extermination Ranger, murdered his entire squadron while assaulting the Black Cathedral in the Great Barrier Desert. Because of this catastrophic event, Booth was found guilty of treason and executed. His wife was reassigned to another spouse and his children were re-purposed other families. Only…

The Shadow of the High King (The Weaving Shadows #1)
28, Jan

I’ve been a fan of Frank Dorrian for a while now—ever since I read his novella To Brave the End. I vowed over a year ago to read his full-length novel The Shadow of the High King, but things kept popping up and getting in the way. So I finally got everything off my plate and sat down to read something I figured I’d enjoy. And, thankfully, I was right.

Loved it.

Mestlven
17, Dec

Mestlven. I’ve avoided writing this review. For months, I wasn’t really able to put what I felt about this book into words. I’ll try. I have no idea if I’ll succeed.

First, I’ll put it right out there: I had to read this book twice to “get it.” The first time, I didn’t take it seriously enough. I read it like I would any novel that slips into my hand for entertainment. I skimmed through the pages and, by the end, put it down with a cold shiver and a “Hmph.  Interesting.” Mestlven  was unlike any fantasy book I’d ever read before, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I wasn’t ready for it. 

100 Miles and Vampin
02, Dec

 

I found 100 Miles and Vampin’ a worthy sequel to Straight Outta Fangton. As always when opening up a novel by C.T. Phipps, I found myself in good hands. There’s just something about Phipps’ saucy voice and pop culture references that I find immediately comforting, like warm chicken soup. A dash of sarcasm there, a pinch of  80’s nostalgia there, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a truly entertaining read.

Straight Outta Fangton
04, Nov

4.5/5
Reading Straight Outta Fangton is like being in a Mel Brooks-induced vampire coma with Buffy and Blade repeats looping in your dreams. I started laughing on page one and didn’t stop until the end.

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