Jonathan Craig

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Jonathan Craig

  • The Adventurer's Guild: #1-Jaikus and Reneeke Join the Guild on April 03, 2009
    star star star star star
    Fun adventure. Two guys looking to join the Guild. Jaikus being the reckless, impetuous, go for what he wants and damn the consequences fellow. Reneeke is more the level-headed, and though he wants nothing more than to remain on the farm, he tags along with his friend in Jaikus' bid to join the Guild. This story made me laugh. The scene where Jaikus tries to "snooker" an old lady backfires. Completely loved that part. I have an aunt that is exactly like that. When Jaikus tries to get a sword is pretty good, and of course the encounter with the trolls. What really sold me on this story was the interaction between the two main characters. Theirs is a friendship that endures all hardship. The supporting cast: Charka, Lady Kate, and the ever-in-a-bad mood Seward are true to themselves throughout. Lots of action, dungeon crawling, and treasure. I'd love to throw back a mug of 'kult with Charka and hear tales of daring do. Great story. Hope there's another coming out shortly.
  • Underground: A Dungeon Crawler Adventure on April 05, 2009
    star star star star star
    Another enjoyable Adventure. For a dungeon crawler, this one was all right. I like fantasy, spent most of my time in the Forgotten Realms of late and decided to try this one. Got hooked on Pratt's writing with Adventurer's Guild (see my review posted there) then came to this one. The main character is a farm girl named Breya. She, along with three others, awake in an room with no doors or windows. Pratt devised a totally unique way to get them out. Believe me when I tell you, it took me by surprise. From there, Breya and the others work their way out along dark corridors and long abandoned rooms. They haven't a clue who brought them there, each comes from very different backgrounds and places. It's the usual fare in that there are traps, treasure, monsters(rather licked the ones that 'clacked'), and puzzles to figure out. But it was the way Pratt got them from point a to point b. Some of the most mundane actions turn out to have great significance. Who would have thought baking bread could accomplish so much? About twenty pages in, the action starts and doesn't let go until the end. Fun, action, sword fighting, I found myself cheering them on. Okay, maybe not but you get the idea. A good book for the price. His website claims another is on the way, hope so. About the only thing negative to say about it is that it was too short! --Terry
  • The Unsuspecting Mage: The Morcyth Saga Book One on April 07, 2009
    star star star star star
    Action, more action, and then add a bit more action, and that’s what you got here. From the getgo, about chapter 2, the action starts and other than a few minor interludes, never stops. James went for a job, but finds himself on another world, one in which magic works. Sounds like a dozen other books written along the same vein, yes? But no. Pratt gave this one a new angle. You see, James is a role-player and fantasy reader. Once in this new world, he puts his experience d-ming and other stuff to good use. He’s a babe in the woods at first, knows nothing about nothing, Upon first arriving, he’s told three things. He can’t go home Magic works on this world And to make his way to Trendle, which turns out to be a village. That’s it. From that point on, his life is in constant turmoil, first with pursuit by wolves, then even worse nasties. Every chapter has something going on, something interesting. The battle scenes were pretty good, though Pratt does like to describe some rather mundane details like eating at an inn and haggling, but I think it added to the ‘flavor’ of the book. A few items of note that might put some people off. First off, it’s written in present tense. For me it took some getting used to, but after that, it went fine. Secondly, there are a few misspellings, improper syntax, that sort of thing. Thankfully, the story was sufficiently intriguing that after a while I stopped noticing. If you come at this book as a fun, exciting adventure; a way to wile away the afternoon, you’ll love it. If you are after a dark, deeply convoluted story with a cast of thousands, you’ll not care. The story follows James throughout. Basically, what James knows, the reader knows. Descriptions are at a minimum. For those burnt out by Jordan’s Wheel of Time, this might be a good alternative. This really should have a four and a half star, but as I couldn’t give that, I’ll give it a five. He needs an editor to go through it before it gets a whole five. Liked the story, enjoyed it throughout, and am recommending it. --Jonathan 'Terry' Craig