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dancrossbookblog

Reading books. Reviewing books. Talking books.

Month

June 2017

*Short Story Review* The Forever Project by Charlotte L R Kane

*Short Story Review* The Forever Project by Charlotte L R Kane

The blurb;

‘The Forever Project. A group of test subjects from 2017 are cryogenically frozen and defrosted in 2067. They are introduced to the New World, The Cybernetic World. The Age of Technology. Computers control every aspect of a life. Antonio ‘Tony’ Andrews is unfrozen and struggles to understand this ‘new life’. A short 2100 word story in first person of waking up 50 years in the future and having to adjust.’

So the repercussions of this are bloody frightening; poor Tony. I like the idea of a future that you aren’t born into but are thrust into it, warts and all, and have to fend for yourself. The author does this quite well and in such a short space of time (pages, words?) manages to encapsulate this quite well. There is swearing here but fuck, I’m sure I would be as well.

There is a very visceral feel to the story and the first person style really helps to bring this to life. Now, I’m not usually a fan of first person storytelling but over such a short period and when used correctly, it actually helps to make the story what it is.

This is promising start to what I hope will be the beginning of a series of stories from 2067. Here’s to hoping.

Where to find The Forever Project;

Smashwords

Where to find Charlotte L R Kane;

Smashwords

Website: http://charlottekane.wordpress.com
Twitter: @charlottelrkane
Facebook: Facebook profile

 

This was  a very short review but is something that I am hoping to continue to do in the future; reviewing shorter stories and finding some little hidden gems. I feel that there is a quality to shorter stories that I haven’t really appreciated up to now and so i want to shed a little light on them if I can.

Let me know what you thought of the review and if you have any recommendations for what to read next. Also, because they are so short, I can read any genre , I mean there’s no way I can manage a full historical romance novel – no offence meant to any historical romance authors, it’s just not for me – but over 2000-5000 words? Hell yeah!

As always, thanks for reading/browsing/perusing/pretending 🙂

*BOOK REVIEW* Battlemage (The Age of Darkness Trilogy #1) by Stephen Aryan

*BOOK REVIEW* Battlemage (The Age of Darkness Trilogy #1) by Stephen Aryan

‘I can command storms, summon fire and unmake stone,’ Balfruss growled. ‘It’s dangerous to meddle with things you don’t understand.’
‘BALFRUSS is a battlemage, sworn to fight and die for a country that fears his kind.
VARGUS is a common soldier – while mages shoot lightning from the walls of his city, he is down on the front line getting blood on his blade.
TALANDRA is a princess and spymaster, but the war will force her to risk everything, and make the greatest sacrifice of all.
Magic and mayhem collide in this explosive epic fantasy from a major new talent’

Battlemage tells the story of the war between the mad king Taikon of Zeccoria (with aid from the dark wizard, The Warlock) and the people of Seveldrom, led by Princess Talandra; through the eyes of the aforementioned trio of key players. The novel is set around the fight itself and the various manoeuvrings of the armies both on the front lines and behind the scenes.

First of all, I will point out that this is a book that I bought before I’d finished reading the blurb; it just had everything that I would want form a fantasy novel; magic, battles, gods, blood, and guts. My hopes were high.

The parts of the book I enjoyed most were those with the characters that operate behind the scenes and that is rare for me; usually I’m a sucker for a balls-out all-action warrior! but in this case, it was the various spies being deployed that really hooked me. The way they went about their business and influenced with subtle societal shifts was a great touch to the story and helped to paint the bigger picture.

There are also other great parts of this story; the action scenes were good, with some ‘close ups’ of the battles in little snippets and some interesting characters. The biggest problem I had with this novel was the lack of depth to the characters. Now, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was missing from this novel and i had to consult various people in Facebook groups and found that I agreed with the criticisms; it’s just a bit… shallow.

The characters aren’t fleshed out enough for me and because of that I found it really hard to buy into them. I found myself not caring whether they died, and that’s bad! there are a congregation of Battlemages from various parts of the world and they had the potential to be awesome, hell, they were ALMOST awesome but they just didn’t quite get there. The regular battles between the magical Battlemages and the enemy were not detailed enough, I wanted loads more action but I just didn’t get it.

Also – and this is a weird aside – I think that the personalities of Balfruss and Vargus aren’t suited to their names; I would have switched them around (how arrogant and crass of me). That is the most subjective thing I’ve ever written but screw it, in my head, they’re in reverse!

This being said, I think the potential of this world is huge, and for that reason, I have bought the next two books in the trilogy.

The writer’s style is easy and fluid and he has created a world full of dying magic that has got me interested…just. If the books in this trilogy improve with every instalment, then Chaosmage will blow my head off!

Where to find Stephen Aryan;

Website: https://stephen-aryan.com/

Where to find Battlemage;

 

I really hope this was a balanced review as I have thought about this for a few weeks since I finished it.

Anyway, thanks for reading 🙂

*BOOK REVIEW* Bane and Shadow by Jon Skovron

*BOOK REVIEW* Bane and Shadow by Jon Skovron

‘A killer adventure fantasy follow-up to HOPE AND RED, set in a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, where two young people from different cultures find common purpose.
Red is being trained as a cold-blooded assassin by the biomancers. As he becomes increasingly embroiled in palace politics, he learns that even life among the nobility can be deadly.
While terrorizing imperial ships as the pirate Dire Bane, Hope stumbles onto a biomancer plot of such horrifying scope that it makes even the massacre of her childhood village seem small in comparison.
With the biomancers tightening their grip of fear over the empire, Hope and Red struggle to fill their new roles and responsibilities, but the cost will be greater than any of them realize’

Bane and Shadow picks up almost immediately where Hope and Red left off (you can read my review of Hope and Red here); Red is with the biomancers after giving himself up to free Hope, who is now sailing the high seas under the name of Dire Bane, an infamous pirate.

First off, I’ll be honest, I LOVED Hope and Red,  it had a freshness about it and the world built by the author was outstanding; so I opened up Bane and Shadow with a lot of expectation. Luckily, there was not let down in sight!

In Bane and Shadow we have the same trope of characters – some are in rather unexpected places – with a few small additions, all of whom offer something to the story (thank God!)

Rixidenteron (or Red as he is or commonly known) is living it up with the aristocracy, ribbing shoulders with the future King, and being trained/experimented on by biomancers in the meantime. There is a nice little side story within Rixidenteron’s arc, as he  is troubled by a ‘shadow demon’ that is finding small pockets of resistance against the biomancers and is slaughtering them. Rixidenteron makes it his mission to  find this shadow demo and out and end to it. The author also sets up the court politics within this story and introduces other lands and other cultures, something that could make this a world that could be expanded and expanded (which i hope it is!).

Hope – sailing under the fearsome name of Dire Bane – with her crew (new additions of Red’s inventive cousin, and a complicated biomancer, Brigga Lin), are sailing the high seas and capturing vessels with links to the biomancers. Hope was the one part of this story that didn’t do everything for me; she was tough as hell in the first novel but we never quite see her specialist skills put to use here. I mean fine, she has lost a hand, but come on, she still could have swung something about, ell, it would ave been cool to see her lose and then do something to re-hone her skills.

Bane and Shadow  is a good follow-up novel to Hope and Red and introduces the pecking order of the biomancers and their e’er so devious plots. What the author does well is to give us an insight into the biomancer culture and their lifelong goal of total domination, as well as their ever increasing influence over court politics. There are also some fantastic little twists throughout the story and some characters that really steal the show; the author pulls back the curtain on some of the loftier parts of society and damn! it’s awesome!

This is the most fun book I have read in a long time! Piracy, world-building, and damn fine characters; this is a swashbuckling fantasy-fest that will not disappoint!

Where to find Jon Skovron;

Website: jonskovron.com

  

 

Where to find Bane and Shadow

 

 

 

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