Saturday, February 25, 2012

Corvis Rebaine makes Batman look like a nun.

Last week I picked up The Conqueror's Shadow by Ari Marmell and I really enjoyed the book. There were times where it seemed to drag a bit, especially with all the flashback scenes, but they did a great job of filling the reader in on the significance of a lot of the details.

I loved the way Marmell wrote his hero in this book. He was truly a dark anti-hero. The story begins near the end of a war that Rebaine had waged against the land and suddenly decided to abandon.

Rebaine, a man known mostly as The Terror of the East, was indeed a ruthless, frighteningly, downright dark as hell warlord. While his name alone, well actually the title he was given, was enough to send many a brave man running to the darkest hole they could find to hide in, those left to face him found themselves trembling at the sight of him. Standing tall in his black steel armor, plated with bone, with a helm that look so much like an evil skull atop his shoulders and a magically enchanted battle axe at his side, I believe many a foe surely died from fright alone.

After he abandons the reign of terror he had inflicted on the land, we next find him 17 years later, a simple man, with a wife, 2 children and a small garden that he farms to feed his family. A man of peace and quiet, he has long forgotten his dubious past. Well, he had pushed the memories aside..until his family is attacked and threatened. There's a new warlord, with his own style of terrorizing armor and magically imbued weapons and skills that is picking up where the Terror left off. He follows Rebaine's example so well that some even wonder if it is him. Even after 17 years of silence, the thought of the Terror of the East marching the battlefield still drives men mad with fear. Corvis wants no part of this new war, but the new warlord needs him to fight. So, to protect his family, and also the nation he tried to conquer, Corvis, now a simple farmer nearly 2 decades past his prime, must dust off his armor, don his terrifying helm and once again wield his magic axe.

As he sets out to build an army, he must first reacquaint himself with old allies. He hunts down a vicious ogre, a maneating witch(by maneating, I don't mean seductress), and he must also pair up with a demon he had used in the past to augment his powers.

While Rebaine is most definitely the "hero" of this tale, he is far from a good guy. I really enjoyed the way he was written. He was the guy that you want to succeed. You understand his reasons for what he does and you can appreciate the lengths he will go. If killing someone, just because they might recognize him from his past is needed, he does it. If he needs to slaughter a small village just to feed his demon, so that he can get the power he needs to defeat the new evil afoot, he will not hesitate. He is the good guy, that just isn't good. Definitely a darn good story in my book

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Book Read Along Announcement

In celebration of Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid's fourth installment being released in April the lovely ladies over at Geeky Blogger's Book Blog are doing a "Kiss me, I'm Irish" read along. They'll be going through a set of chapters each week, and sending out question. We will be participating, so tune in each week starting March 02, for our participation.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Picked up a new book

First I just want to apologize for the couple of weeks without a review. The sister and I both have been crazy busy with stuff going on. I picked up a book by an author I've never read before and tonight is my last night to work for a couple of days, so I should be able to knock it out and share my modest opinion.

In the meantime, I'll just share a semi-humorous tidbit about my visit to B&N yesterday morning.

I decided that I wanted to stop and pick up The Conqueror's Shadow by Ari Marmell. I was reading Kevin Hearne's blog and saw a link over to Mr Marmell's page and that particular book struck my interest. Anyways, I stop by the local B&N on my way home from work yesterday morning and mosey on back to the fantasy section to locate my newest read. Well, just as I'm about to step into one of the rows that contain all kinds of great fantasy books, one of the guys that work there stepped in front of me with a half amused, half curious look on his face and engaged me in some customer service based conversation.

guy: "ummm, sir, can I help you with anything?"
Me: "nope, I pretty sure I know where I'm headed, but I appreciate the offer."
guy: "eh, you sure?"
Me: "pretty sure, but I'll give ya a holler if I need ya."

So, I go over and start my search, I find all kinds of great books I want to pick up, but I'm on a mission here. I came for a specific book and that is the book I want. Well, I'm thwarted by all of the George R.R. Martin books, (I really like his books, I just don't have time to read the latest one right now..its way too long ) they are everywhere, and soooo alluring and keep me from being able to locate my book. So, I swallow my male, don't ever need help, pride and go and hunt down that book store feller.

Me: "umm, ok, I was wrong. I need help!"
guy: "no problem, what are you looking for?" (with an, I knew you were in the wrong area, smile on his face)
Me: " The Conqueror's Shadow, by Ari Marmell"
guy: "ok, let's see....OH! It's supposed to be in the fantasy area. Hmmm, you were in the right area. It says we have 1 copy, let me see if I can help you find it."

So, the very helpful young man accompanies me back to the same row, and we resume my search. Again, this guy is occasionally giving me a puzzled look, like I'm some kind of oddity. Like he was surprised that the book I came specifically asking for was in fact, a fantasy book.

We find my book, I go up front, make my purchase and exit the store. As I approach my truck and notice my reflection in the window, it dawns on me why this young man was a bit puzzled with me. He probably doesn't have very many extremely large men who pull up in an oversized truck and get out with blue jeans, boots, and a big white Stetson cowboy hat atop their head, and then head straight to the fantasy section.

Don't know if I ever mentioned I'm a country boy. :) Hope everyone is well and having a terrific week! Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Not a book, but I'm really into this dudes story.

So, there's this guy named Andy Weir and he has a website, , where he posts his writings. He has several stories on there, some complete, some not. I actually encountered this guy through a link provided by one of the members on an off-roading forum I am a member of that is dedicated to full size broncos and guns and all kinds of manly stuff.

While I've read a few of his listings, the one story I am keeping up with (I check daily for updates) is The Martian. Sometimes he drives me nuts because he only updates every 6-8 weeks. I know he has to write everything and get it ready for public eyes, but hey, I'm needy with my reading! This past week was another example of my grrrness about his page. I saw an update, my heart swelled with happiness, then I realized it was not an addition to The Martian, but a new little short story. I say all this lightly by the way. I really do look forward to reading new installments, but I am actually very understanding about time constraints. Anyway, I digress, back to The Martian.

The Martian is technically an Earthling. He is the left behind, believed as dead and lost to his crewmates, astronaut. The story outlines how he was stranded, how he survived and how there was NO way possible for his crew to have any idea whatsoever that he might be alive.

It shows his determination, his intellect and survival skills put to the test to preserve his life. At times you almost want to cry and at times you will actually laugh out loud at his thoughts and his interactions with NASA and eventually his crew.

Weir does an great job of making you "feel" this character and his circumstances. The ordeals he goes through, the bureaucracy involved in trying to recover him and the emotions his crew, his supp port on earth and he himself are going through. He writes all this without making you go, "no way, that's bull malarkey" I highly recommend checking it out, if you can stand the suspense of waiting for further installments. Currently there is quite a bit of content there, so its not like you'll only get a half hour of reading entertainment.

btw, grrrness is MY word, but feel free to use it yourself!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Driving Mr. Dead

Miss Harper writes with the kind of wit and charm that one often searches for, but rarely ever finds in this genre. She subtly weaves a sense of intelligence and humor in to her stories. Thus allowing a character to grow into something more than you may have at first expected. Her characters are personable, her writing is paced well. You never pick up one of her books to find yourself wishing it would just go someplace, in her books you're already there.

I give this book a solid B


Friday, February 3, 2012

Hunger Games are over, but my appetite was not completely sated

Well, I finished up the Hunger Games trilogy a few days ago with the third installment, Mockingjay. It did a good job of wrapping up the story, but not a whole lot more.

I don't have much negative to say, but there's not a terrible amount of great to say either. Don't get me wrong, I liked the story, really liked the story and I still recommend all three books. Mostly because the first book was really good and you HAVE to get some closure.

I can't say a great deal here, because I do not want to toss in spoilers for those who have yet to finish all three books, but I'll do the best I can, and say........POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT AHEAD!

Mockingjay wrapped up the story with a semi-happy ending but felt a bit lethargic to me. My favorite part of the tale was the message the story sent about blindly following an oppressive government and the dangers of depending on "the state". It made a good point about sticking to your beliefs and not sacrificing who you all costs. Book 3, threw in another spin on the same theme about government being corrupt and having too much control, and I really liked that spin.

My problem was mostly with the pace of the story. Not that it was particularly slow, it just wasn't as quick moving as the first two books. Also, it seemed like Katniss(the main character) was not acting up the the character that had been established in the first 2 books. Yes, I understand that she had been through proverbial hell, and that it would take a big toll on the spirit, but I just don't think she would have sunk to the level that she did in the books. Of course, this was not my character to write, and I do respect the authors right to dictate these things. I guess it just wasn't what I expected of her.

When there was action, for most part it was pretty good, even riveting at points. It just seemed to me that there was a lot of unneeded hanging around. Almost like there was too much character building going on that never really developed into anything pertinent to the story.

All this being said, I still really liked the story. It has all the good things needed for me. A good plot about government control and the following plan to subvert that government, a tragic hero that overcomes diversity, some good action/fight scenes and closure. One thing I can say is, she wrapped up the trilogy with almost perfection. The final line of the final book was a perfect closing statement in any trial of literature. I definitely recommend all three books.

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I review for BookSneeze®

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Fate's Edge- Ilona Andrews
Tricked- Kevin Hearne (IDC 4)
The Doors of Stone (King Killer Chronicles) Patrick Rothfuss
Whatever Jim Butcher writes in 2012
Bear meets Girl- Shelly Laurenston
Biting Cold- Chloe Neill
Sacrificial Magic- Stacia Kane
Molly Harper- Jane Madison Nice Girls don't Bite Their Neighbors
Patricia Briggs- Omega #3
more, but that's a good start for now.