storytimewithbuffy

Posts Tagged ‘Fantasy’

Whispers Underground

In Book Reviews on July 13, 2014 at 6:00 am
Gollancz 2012

Gollancz 2012

Practically the whole point of being police is that you don’t gather information covertly. You’re supposed to turn up on people’s doorsteps, terrify them with the sheer majesty of your authority, and keep asking questions until they tell you what you want to know.

If these books had been around when I was a teenager, I would have totally wanted to be a cop in London. I would have been super disappointed in my career aspirations to find out that there was no supernatural department of the Metropolitan Police Department, so it’s probably best that these books only came out a few years ago.

Nutshell blurb: Peter Grant is back for another adventure. This time he’s investigating the murder of the son of an American diplomat which means that the FBI gets involved. Hijinx and hilarity ensue.

I read The Rivers of London back before I started this blog, so I haven’t done a write-up on that but if you would like to read my thoughts on Moon Over Soho, please feel free to do so.

I loved this book as much (but maybe a teensy bit more because I adore Lesley) as the last one. They actually do seem to get better as you go along. The characters are all so unique and well thought out. They could be real people for all I know. They certainly seem like it.

I want to read them all again, one after the other because sometimes I forget events or names of people from previous books if I’ve left too much time in between them.

Also, Mr. Aaronovitch has such an engaging style of writing that I get so caught up in the narration that I don’t concentrate on what’s actually happening.

Does that even make sense? Maybe not, but it happens, people. It’s probably not the best thing when reading a crime novel as you need to pay attention to the details in order to keep up with plot twists and such.

It doesn’t really matter, though. The sheer enjoyment I’ve gotten from reading these books so far is worth it. And I’m sure that I’ll pay more attention to the facts during my second pass.

I said it in my post for Moon Over Soho and I’ll say it again now: Ben Aaronovitch is a genius. I hope that he keeps on writing these books forever.

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Light of the Kerrindryr

In Book Reviews on November 24, 2013 at 9:46 am
H. Anthe Davis 2013

H. Anthe Davis 2013

I would like to start off this post by stating that I hate living in England in November. December is ok because it’s Christmas and I’ll be taking some time off for that, but November sucks. I don’t mean to be so negative but unfortunately, I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. This will be my ninth winter in this country so I know what signs to look for and it makes it easier to deal with, but it’s still painful. I’m not lying when I tell you that I wish I could just hibernate during this month. January is fine even though it’s colder. It’s the dark I have a problem with. It gets dark at 3.30pm.

This is totally relevant to this post, believe it or not, because it’s affecting my reading schedule. I spend 40 minutes on the underground every morning which means that I can read 60 – 80 pages easily. I should be tearing through books! However, I keep falling asleep on the damn train.

I know it’s not a race, but I like reading books in large chunks because otherwise I feel that the story becomes fragmented. Not through any fault of the author, but this is how I digest books the best.

I guess I just want to say that I won’t be tearing through books this month because I just can’t keep my eyes open.

Anyway, on to the book.

Nutshell blurb: Cob is a slave who is months away from freedom when his bff decides to free him only to later chase and try to kill him.

This is a damn good book, people.

Let me start with the things I had problems with first, though.

I love reading fantasy and sci-fi (this book is fantasy, but I mention sci-fi because sometimes they suffer from the same problems) but sometimes I’m put off by long, unpronounceable names. I am less likely to read a book if I see that it has a bunch of strange names in it. I don’t know if you remember, but in a couple of my posts I’ve mentioned that I like to read books aloud sometimes. That’s my benchmark for good names. They don’t have to be one syllable, but they have to have some form that I recognise that won’t twist my tongue in a knot trying to pronounce. This book has some great names in it: Cob, Lark, Darilan, but equally there were a few names that I would have no hope of saying out loud. I’m not even sure how to pronounce the word in the title. In fact, I would say that most of the names are pronounceable, there were just a few that had me frowning as I tried. (Because yes, I always try to pronounce things. I don’t just skim over the words and hope that they go away.) So, in this book, it’s not a huge problem but it is just a bit distracting at times.

The other problem I had was another problem that I see in sci-fi and fantasy is that I can’t always picture what the author is describing if it’s something that doesn’t exist in our world. This may be a problem with me, however, and not as a result of any deficiency of the author. For example, I couldn’t fully comprehend what an eiyenbridge was. It seemed like some sort of portal, which was fine, but then at one point it had teeth? I couldn’t really wrap my head around it.

Those were my only problems with it. Hard-core sci-fi and fantasy fans will probably not have the same problems so it’s entirely possible that they are subjective.

On to the good things.

Ms. Davis’ imagination is phenomenal and she has crazy super world building skills! I found out about this book because I am a follower of her blog. She puts so much detail into her world. When I see that she has done a blog post, I have to make time to read it. It’s not something that I can just read on my phone. I want to have her posts on my computer screen with no distractions because I know that it’s going to be something really good. She plans her world down to the smallest details. Religion, politics, races; she has even created maps detailing the agriculture of each area. Not all of this information goes into her story but you can feel it there beneath the surface. It makes the world feel real and very rich. I don’t think that some of the ideas in this book would have worked if not for the sheer level of detail that went into the planning. I can’t emphasise that enough. Details are so important!

The characters in this story are fantastic as well. Many of you already know that that’s a deal-breaker for me. If I don’t engage with the characters, I don’t enjoy the book. I like that there isn’t a good side and bad side. The characters fit in various stages between light and dark. Their beliefs and perceptions are constantly challenged and you can see their growth. You might not agree with some of their actions (and you certainly won’t) but you can see how they came to their decisions.

I love a good action scene and there were plenty of them in this book. It was really fun and really tense. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next one!

 

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

In Book Reviews on November 10, 2013 at 6:00 am
Constable & Robinson Ltd 2012

Constable & Robinson Ltd 2012

‘If you don’t mind my asking, Sir Wind,’ said September after a respectable time had passed, ‘how does one get to Fairyland? After a while, we shall certainly pass India and Japan and California and simply come round to my house again.’

The Green Wind Chuckled. ‘I suppose that would be true if the earth were round.’

‘I’m reasonably sure it is…’

‘You’re going to have to stop that sort of backward, old-fashioned thinking, you know. Conservatism is not an attractive trait. Fairyland is a very Scientifick place. We subscribe to all the best journals.’

This book has been on my tbr list for quite some time now. I saw in the online catalogue that the Barbican Library had it so I looked for it every time I went but could never find it. I looked in all of the children’s sections, even the 10+ section, cringing as I did so. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t care if people see me perusing the children’s section. There are some really good children’s books that adults can enjoy. However, for obvious reasons, they become a lot simpler by the time you get to the 10+ section and I was wondering if I would consider a book to be good that is written for that young of an audience.

Because I’ve been looking for it for such a long time, I decided to ask the librarian in the children’s section if he could please help me find it. ‘Oh yes,’ said he. ‘It’s in the 5+ section.’

Me: ‘…’

Now things were just getting silly. Am I open-minded enough to read books from the 5+ section? I tried to ignore his amused look. He got the book for me and, thankfully, declared that it shouldn’t have been filed in that section.

I walked out of the children’s library and immediately picked up a Stephen King novel to balance out the awkwardness.

Nutshell blurb: 12 year-old September catches a ride with the Green Wind to Fairyland. There she has many adventures because she decides to meddle in other people’s affairs. It’s helpful, well-meaning meddling, but meddling all the same.

For those of you who are well past the age where you would consider looking for books in the children’s section, don’t let this deter you from reading this book. It’s a trippy, charming, mental story that enchanted me from the first few pages. It’s quite similar to Alice in Wonderland in that nothing makes sense, yet at the same time it does. There were so many strange and wonderful things that happened to our heroine and her companions. She befriended a Wyverary (a wyvern whose father was a library) and a marid whom she rescued from enslavement. There was an island of antique household items who were bitter about not being treasured and a herd of wild bicycles.

There was no way to even begin to predict the things that would happen to September. The book takes us from one mad situation to another with no way of knowing how she’s going to handle it.

The cover is gorgeous and that is part of the reason I was drawn to it. Yes, I do judge books by their covers.

There’s not much else I can say about this book without spoiling it. If you enjoyed reading Alice and Wonderland, this might just be the book for you. If you have read it, I would love to know what you think about it.

I shall definitely make my way to the children’s section to get the next one.

Sixty-One Nails

In Book Reviews on October 20, 2013 at 6:00 am
Sixty-One Nails

Angry Robot 2009

The tiny motes left hiding there were consumed almost incidentally as the flood of dark power swept through the the debris, the dark-spore sparking tiny flares in the roiling darkness as it was consumed. In those flares, I heard the echoes of distant screams as they boiled away.

It made me smile.

Nutshell blurb: Niall Peterson collapses on the London Underground and is revived by a woman who goes by the name of Blackbird. She is one of the Feyre and he must help her ensure that an ancient ritual is performed in order to prevent all of humankind from being enslaved by the Untainted.

I’m following Ben Aaronovitch on Goodreads and I saw that he read this book and gave it 5 stars so I thought I’d check it out. I can totally see why he did. This was an engaging read that kept me gripped. Anything that keeps me reading during times when I’m not meant to be doing so can only be a good thing.

There were a couple of things that kept me from giving it 5 stars (I gave it 4). I felt like there was a lot of exposition in this story. One character in the book gave us complete histories of the Feyre and various aspects of this other world and I just felt that it happened way too often. Sometimes it felt as if this woman was talking through the entire book and it got a bit tiresome.

I guess the question is: how do you convey the finer points of your world to your readers without straight out explaining every detail? (If you know, please tell me because I’m world-building in my own writing.)

There was another point that made me scratch my head. When Niall and Blackbird first met, she gave him the name Rabbit because names have power and the Feyre and Untainted don’t give out their names for fear of giving others an advantage over them. However, throughout the book she constantly calls him by his given name but it never really seemed to have any consequences.

Those were a couple of things that bothered me. Nothing too earth-shaking.

On to what I liked.

The hidden world and the folklore of the Feyre and Untainted were really well thought out and completely absorbing. It is really rich in detail which is hugely appealing. The characters are interesting and believable. I loved that the main character is a forty-two year old man with an ex-wife and daughter.

What I really loved is that it’s set in London. As with Moon Over Soho (if you haven’t read my post about it, you can find it here) I totally dig the mixture of fantasy with modern day London. There were so many places that I ‘recognised’. The story starts on the District Line which I take every day to work. I love reading about various places and picturing where they are in my head. It adds an extra level of detail that makes it even more charming.

Definitely a great read. Unfortunately, Goodreads doesn’t allow 1/2 stars or I would have given it 4 1/2. I’ll just have to settle for giving it 4 1/2 stars in my head.

I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for the second book.

Moon Over Soho

In Book Reviews on October 9, 2013 at 6:00 am
Moon Over Soho

Gollancz 2011

For a terrifying moment I thought he was going to hug me, but fortunately we both remembered we were English just in time. Still, it was a close call.

I would like to start off this post by saying that if you haven’t read Rivers of London (aka Midnight Riot in the US, the first book in this series), do that before you read my thoughts on this book.

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Great, you’re back. Here’s my Nutshell Blurb: London is recovering from Peter Grant’s last case as he starts into the next one. Someone has been going around London killing jazz musicians and leaving traces of magic behind. Obviously, this is a job for a PC who also happens to be a wizard.

Can I just say, I looooooooove me some Peter Grant. He’s intelligent, funny (in a dry, self-effacing way), resourceful and a bit of a smart-ass. He’s perhaps a bit bloke-ish, but it’s more endearing than caveman-esque.

The book is written in 1st person, so I don’t really remember reading much about the way he looks.

But that’s ok. Ladies, you know I’ve got this covered. I remember reading in the first book that he’s of a mixed background and there was a line in this book about his preference for the villain not being called a black magician because he (Grant) could technically be considered one. So my brain has filled in the blanks and this is what I’ve come up with.

This...

This…

...with a dash of this.

…with a dash of this.

OH. YES. PLEASE. I actually don’t care what anyone says after this point. This is what’s in my head and no one can change it for me. Apparently, Rivers of London will be made into a tv show but I don’t know who will be in the cast. All I can say is that they’d better get it right.

Ok, I’ll stop fan-girling now and get on with what I thought about this book.

It’s amazing. Obviously, Ben Aaronovitch is a genius. (Sorry, just a bit more fan-girling, but I’ll stop now. Promise.)

There are river spirits, jazz vampires, cat girls, wizards and spell casting. All in modern day London. I love how much Mr. Aaronovitch loves London. It seems as if he’s familiar with every part of it. As a Londoner, it’s especially fun to recognise the places he describes. Also, this quote from the book:

My dad says that being a Londoner has nothing to do with where you’re born. He says that there are people who get off a jumbo jet at Heathrow, go through immigration waving any kind of passport, hop on the tube and by the time the train’s pulled into Piccadilly Circus they’ve become a Londoner.

Indeed.

The thing I like most about this book (besides the characters, which are always my favourite part of any book) is the author’s whimsical writing style. It seems so effortless and there were so many lines that gave me a giggle throughout the story.

There were a few things that I didn’t think were explained in this book, like who the heck the Pale Lady was. There are two more books after this one so hopefully there will be some explanation. I tore through this book, so it’s altogether possible that I missed something in my speed reading. That’s ok, though, because I didn’t get this one from the library. I treated myself to it (it’s all MINE! Mwahahaha!) so I’ll read it again sometime. These books definitely have a high re-readability factor to them.

I’ve got nothin’ but love for this book and am really looking forward to reading the next two.

A Blight of Mages

In Book Reviews on September 15, 2013 at 9:43 pm

A Blight of Mages

Orbit 2011

Or perhaps what I’m hearing is the rest of my life ticking into oblivion, into obscurity, into nothing but eventual, echoing silence.

Nutshell blurb: Barl Lindin is an unranked mage who longs to be more than society will allow her to be. She wants to attend the College of Mages but is denied entry due to the low standing of her family. Thus thwarted, she sets into motion a series of events that will rip apart her country and create a new one.

I would like to start by saying that if you are interested in this book, you should probably start with the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series. (The Innocent Mage and The Awakened Mage. I originally bought these books because I liked the covers and thought that they would look good on my shelves. I don’t know why that’s relevant. Anyway, they’re awesome.) This book is the prequel to those and you might get a bit confused at the end which would be pretty annoying.

So, back to what I thought about it.

This book left me breathless and did not disappoint.

The characters are so well written. The main character, Barl, was insufferably arrogant and self-assured, but she was written in such a way that I wanted her to succeed. I loathe arrogance, so it is a testament to Ms. Miller’s writing skill that she was able to make me feel sympathetic toward this person that I probably would have hated if I knew her in real life. In the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series (which takes place several hundred years after this story, and no, this isn’t going to be spoilerific) Barl is worshipped as a deity, so it was interesting to read her story and find out how un-goddess-like she actually is.

One thing that makes Ms. Miller’s writing so appealing (at least to me) is that she isn’t protective or precious about her characters. She puts them through hell. ALL OF THEM. No one is safe in her books. She’ll let you spend time with a character and get to know him or her. You’ll read a bit of back story and think, Oh cool. A new character that is going to be integral to the conflict resolution. And then she’ll kill them off or have them transmuted into some kind of monster and you’ll never hear from or about them again. At first you’ll be angry and scream “Why Karen? Why did you do it?” but then you’ll realise that it’s for the greater good and that the story is better because of it.

My one criticism of this book is that I think that it should have been split up into two books. This book was an eyebrow-raising 660 pages and I felt that some of the details were left out. For example, two of the central characters fall out with each other, as in ‘I never want to see your stupid face again’ falling out, but then we flash forward a couple of weeks and their friendship is semi-mended with no explanation of how that came to be or who caved. There’s also a really harrowing journey through some mountains where people get mauled by bears, bitten by snakes and fall off steep ledges but we’re told about it in flashbacks. It’s a pretty important journey and I felt that more attention should have been given to it. Given Ms. Miller’s love of the two book series, this would have been perfectly acceptable.

At any rate, I loved it and will eventually buy this book. I also plan to read her Fisherman’s Children series (The Prodigal Mage and The Reluctant Mage) that is a sequel series to her Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series (that I also plan to reread).

As an aside, I’ve also read the first book of her Godspeaker series, Empress, and well…hated it. I’m only saying this because if you’ve read and disliked any of the books in that series, don’t let that deter you from reading her Mage books. They are written in a completely different style. If I had read Empress before the Mage books, I would never have picked up anything else by her and would have missed out on some really great stories.

As always, I would love to know what you thought of any of her books.

Take care and see you next time!

Alif the Unseen

In Book Reviews on August 14, 2013 at 7:18 am

Alif the UnseenGrove Press 2012

I’m pleased to tell you that I have a book to talk about today. Wooo! It means that I blew off studying last night to finish this book, but considering how tremendously craptacular my day was yesterday, I chose to read instead of study. So there.

Anyway, on to the book.

Nutshell blurb: Alif is a computer geek who is given a mystical book that takes him in between two worlds. He has to fight forces seen and unseen as he tries to get his life back and get the girl.

Overall, I loved this book. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads. It was enchanting and well worth blowing off studying for.

There were a few things I didn’t like so I’ll start with those.

“These are not the banu adam you’re looking for,” he said.

I’m totally ok with references to other works (as long as they’re nice) and I feel that it’s ok to give djinn the power to perform Jedi mind tricks. However, I feel that if one is going to do that, one should do it with a hint of irony and at least reference the source. When I read that line, I acknowledged that it was there and read on to see if the characters would. One of them giggled, but it was unclear if it was at the Star Wars reference or the silliness of the situation.

This is a small thing, but I am always very aware of the authorial voice as it has the power to rip me out of my immersion. If I think for a moment that the author is taking him/herself too seriously, it jars me right out of the story.

Consider this excerpt:

“…I mean, look at all the eastern writers who’ve written great western literature. Kazuo Ishiguro. You’d never guess that The Remains of the Day or Never Let Me Go were written by a Japanese guy. But I can’t think of anyone who’s ever done the reverse – any westerner who’s written great eastern literature. Well, maybe if we count Lawrence Durrell – does the Alexandria Quartet qualify as eastern literature?”

“There’s a very simple test,” said Vikram. “Is it about bored, tired people having sex?”

“Yes,” said the convert, surprised.

“Then it’s western.”

This little conversation made me stop reading the book in order to sort out my feelings here. The characters in this exchange are basically saying that people aren’t meant to be adaptable and shift from one culture to another, but that people from the east do it better than people from the west. I read in the front that Ms. Wilson is a westerner, from New Jersey, but she’s writing a book that takes place in the Middle East.

Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but what is she saying about her own work? Is she being incredibly humble and self-deprecating and including her work into the category of not being adaptable and well-written or is her ego soaring into the heights and she’s trying to let us know that she’s the one western writer who has accomplished what others haven’t? Perhaps this is something that my mind fixated on and that I’ve made something out of nothing. The point is: I stopped reading the book to think about it. 

So, on to the things I loved about it.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that it’s a tricky thing when an author writes a main character who is the opposite sex. It’s very noticeable when it’s wrong, not to mention extremely offensive. There are a few writers whom I have in my sights because of their shocking portrayal of women. I’ve read a few horrible portrayals of men at the hands of female authors as well, so ladies, you aren’t exempt.

In this book, I felt like the author was spot on with the main character, Alif. The mistake that women seem to make when writing men is that they idealise them; they make them either flawless or horribly evil and there doesn’t seem to be much in between. Alif is definitely flawed and not always brave, but he’s loyal and determined to fix his mistakes. I found him to be quite likeable and sympathetic.

My inherent femaleness prevents me from being the best judge of whether or not he’s an authentic character. But I liked him, so that’s good enough for me.

The female characters were interesting as well. My knowledge of Middle Eastern women is pretty much non-existent so I have to believe that Ms. Wilson has done her research in this department. I know that we westerners tend to have a view of Middle Eastern women as being meek, submissive and without voices. That they are forced to cover themselves in veils by domineering men. Living in a multi-cultural city with a huge Middle Eastern population, I’m learning that a lot of what I thought about people from that part of the world is wrong. It was nice to see strong women who weren’t being pushed around by men, but who were culturally different from me. I always seem read about the bad parts of Middle Eastern culture, but rarely have I seen anything that celebrates it.

One thing that I didn’t like was that there is a character in the book, known as ‘the convert’ and that is how she is referred to throughout the book. I was a bit annoyed that she was never given a name. It wouldn’t have been bad if she had been a throw away character that had a small part, but she was in a large part of the book and played a pivotal role.

I like that this book made me think about so many different things. I had actually read a review about it on someone else’s blog and she didn’t like it. I almost took it back to the library (twice) because of the things she said about it. I’m really glad that I didn’t and that I decided to read it because it was different from anything else I’ve ever read.

Have you read this book? If so, please tell me what you thought of it. I would love to know!

The Ritual

In Book Reviews on June 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm

The Ritual

I feel that I have to tell you something about myself before I tell you my thoughts on this book. I hate romance books. I really do. I went through a rebellious stage of my life when my parents told me not to read them. This, of course, ensured that I would. My taste in books has changed over the years and since I started writing I’ve learned to read with a very critical eye. Story, characterisation and motivation are all very important things to me and I’ve read very few romance books which embrace those elements in a way which holds my interest.

I’m certainly not opposed to a bit of romance or even sex in a story. I just don’t like it when they dominate the story.

Love makes people stupid (in real life too). People make decisions that they wouldn’t make if their brains hadn’t turned to mush. I definitely had mushy brains when I met my husband, but I certainly wouldn’t make people sit through pages of description detailing my every little thought.

I don’t like it when everything in a story exists purely to drive forward the romantic entanglement. It’s usually pretty formulaic. Girl meets boy, they hate each other instantly but by chapter 7 they’re in bed. Then it all goes wrong, somebody saves someone’s life and they live happily ever after. Usually these types of books are riddled with angst-ridden thoughts of the protagonist. “Does he like me? Why won’t he be nice to me? Why won’t he tell me his feelings?” I find it all very cloying. I’m a woman of action. I want interesting things to happen. I don’t want to read pages and pages of details of the best orgasms these characters have ever had.

So, now you know.

I bet you think that I’m telling you all of this because I’m going to say some really horrible things about this book but am just trying to soften it. Shame on you. I would only write a negative blog post if the book was offensive. I’m actually telling you this so that you can understand why I only liked this book rather than loved it.

Nutshell blurb: Twin sisters Rin and Shani meet twin brothers Zash and Mior and embark on an adventure to find items for a mysterious ritual.

The writing in this novel is superb. I was actually shocked to find out that this was Miss Dakin’s first book. She clearly has a love for words and uses them effectively. I felt that the copious use of the f-bomb was a bit much, but perhaps that’s just my personal preference.

People who self-publish frequently get a bad rap. I’ve read quite a few self-published novels and in many cases I’ve noticed that the content is good but the delivery is clumsy. That is definitely not the case with this book. Flawless sentence structure and no typos. The writing was clear, concise and elegant.

This author also has some mad world-building skills. She created a believable world which had enough detail to be authentic but not so much as to be confusing. This is a very delicate balance which is difficult to get right. But she nailed it. The world contains humans, elves and half elves. The protagonist was a half elf who are considered the lowest of the low (which kind of made me think of Dragon Age, for those of you gamers out there).

I would really love to see this author write a story which focuses more on the fantasy aspect than the romantic one. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for her other work as I think that she’s quite talented.

The Last Wish

In Book Reviews on June 13, 2013 at 9:42 pm

The Last Wish

Gollancz

English Translation 2007

This was a pretty good read. It contains a series of short adventures or quests on which our anti-hero embarks as he fights his way across the land.

Nutshell blurb: A witcher, Gerault is resting in a convent/nunnery/temple and flashes back to the adventures which brought him there.

I’m going to start with the negative things about this book. The first thing is that I didn’t realise he was flashing back to his adventures until I happened to read it in The Witcher wiki which I looked at to find which came first: The Witcher or The Last Wish. (Incidentally, it was The Last Wish.) I don’t feel that it was made clear in the writing, unless I’m just super unobservant and wasn’t paying attention. Through the entire book. I thought that he just really liked this temple that he was staying at and kept going back to it. I would almost count that as a cardinal sin. Mysterious = good. Vague = not so good.

The second thing that I didn’t like was that all of the stories were told as flashbacks. I don’t mind a flashback here and there, but I want peril. I want to find out at the end whether or not our hero/anti-hero survives. I don’t want to know that he’s relaxing with some hot chicks through the entire book while the action is going on in his memory. There’s no sense of immediacy. No threat of something really bad happening to him.

On to what I did like. I was pleasantly surprised that this book contained re-tellings of various fairy tales. I think that I might have told you in a previous post that I’m becoming more fascinated by re-tellings and although they weren’t the focal point of the stories, they made it interesting. I liked reading the author’s take on these fairy tales and how they could fit in with a dark and gritty story. They certainly weren’t inspired by Disney.

The characters were interesting and the action was action-y which is always a plus for me.

Overall, it was pretty standard fantasy fare but I found it fun to read.

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