Had I know what the true premise of the novel was, which not even the Amazon sample alluded to, I would not have picked this novel. I believed it to be about a girl who got magical powers from a tattoo. While that did happen, it certainly wasn't the type of power I had envisioned. Aside from that, since it was what the author had in mind, Rustin definitely succeeded when he wanted to create his own spin on werewolf origins and stereotype. I appreciated his back stories and how he tied it in throughout the novel, the twists with villains, and the concept of the Knights with their Mage partners.
Had this book been solely about the mages and knights, it would have appealed to me more. But that's just my personal opinion, since I tend to avoid werewolf, vampire, or angels/demons in literature.
The author could have used a bit more description. While it made this book a quick read, the way he told the story, instead of showing it, didn't give the reader much to dig into beyond the surface. I do believe the characters could have used a little more depth. Though it was his intention, how characters seemed to change from the readers' first impression of them was a bit off-putting. I must say Kendra accepted things so quickly, considering only a day or 2 had passed, that it was a bit unrealistic.
Yet for those who enjoy this genre of literature, this novel is worth a read. As the epilogue shows, it definitely sets itself up to become an interesting series.
I quite enjoyed this book. I liked the setting, the characters, but I especially loved Edwin's ability. It fascinated me to no end. The author described it very well, allowing the reader to visualize it easily. I do wish there was a bit more physical description, world building, and more back story as to why there was a war, but considering how one of the last chapters reads, I'm sure future books will expand on that. Though for most of the book things aren't very suspenseful for a city being at war, it's understandable since Edwin was in training. The last third of the novel makes up for it, showing this series' potential.
My only real complaint is the cover. Many people might pass this by based on looks alone. This book deserves a great, eye-catching doorway to Edwin's world. If the author would consider investing in one, I believe more people would be drawn to this intriguing story.
I eagerly look forward to Edwin's future missions and where his gift takes him.
Dragon is quite the compelling novel. Like an AU Romeo and Juliet. The blend of science-fiction and fantasy, futuristic and old world, high tech and natural, within its pages is well-done and will appeal to readers of both genres. I really enjoyed the aspects of the nano machines as well as being able to shape-shift. The characters were likeable, and each had their own voice. I also enjoyed Mr. Petrae's very nice twist with the plot, and a certain immense character.
While Dragon has a lot of good points, it does have its flaws, which can be easily fixed. There are a few grammatical/spelling errors. The omnipotent POV shifts mostly without transitions. It's not too disorientating, thankfully; but while it has perks, there are downfalls as well. The reader gets to see into the minds of each of the main characters, allowing them to be in all the key locations. Yet, because of this, scenes can become repetitive. Towards the end, we see the same exact scene 4 times from 4 different POVs. There could have been a bit more eloquent descriptions, especially in the action sequences. I understand action scenes are tough to write, but "beating the crap out of him" and "a neat twist in the air" is just being lazy, in my opinion. Thankfully, these were the only 2 lines I noticed like this. The rest of the novel more than makes up for it.
All in all, I quite enjoyed this book. I look forward to reading and seeing where the rest of this quartet goes.
Tears of Min Brock is an enjoyable fantasy novel. The world is expansive; the concept of storytellers being powerful really intrigued me. Lowder's writing style is pleasant to read. He's descriptive, and uses comparisons and a variety of sentence types, so the reader can see his world and characters. Each character had their own voice and objectives. The creatures throughout the novel are interesting and creative. I haven't come across their like before.
However, there was one thing I did dislike about the novel - the fact that it is so allegorical. A lot of "tales" and events sounded like biblical references or inspirations. When I first came across this novel, I had no idea this would be the case. However, upon pursuing his website in search for a map (which every good fantasy novel needs), it appears this was part of his inspiration for writing. Personally, I tend to avoid Christian lit or novels with Christian overtones or undertones. So that aspect was a bit off-putting for me. Had it been strictly fantasy without any hidden meanings or interpretations, I'd have enjoyed it more. But as each began more and more obvious, I sighed.
In spite of that, it was still an interesting concept and world. I look forward to reading the sequel and seeing how their adventure continues against the Cauldron and towards finding Claire.
Note: I received a free copy from the author for a fair and honest review.
Martyr's Moon picks up right where Tears of Min Brock ends. I enjoyed the continuation of all the characters' adventure, as a few clear minded ones prepare for the oncoming war with Ebon and others continue to war with themselves. There is still an allegorical tone, but wasn't as heavy as in the first book. That or I got used to it and started overlooking it.
As I mentioned in my review for the first book, the author is very creative with his creatures and landscape. His characters' struggled with themselves, as humans do (though a times a bit overly dramatic.) It was interesting to see their growth or their descent. I do wish there was a map, so the reader can better visualize the terrain. But the locales were interesting and unique; the creatures, terrifying or beautiful. Hands down, my favorite thing about this novel was the Worms. So creative and painted such an awesome visual image!
However, it felt like there were some inconsistencies, or at least things that needed further explanations in my opinion, throughout the book. For example, in the first book, they mention only the 'true whisper' can say their names, yet at least twice in this book the Cauldron says their names I also wish the author explained who or rather what the King of Claire is. I understand who he's supposed to "represent" but in their world, is he human? A god? A sorcerer? How does he have all that power?
A lot of references and descriptions to tulips were made throughout the book. It made me wonder the significance of the flower, whether there was a reason the author chose it to signify Claire. Yet, no explanation was given as to why a tulip, and not some other flower.
There are more spelling, italic, and quotation errors than in the first book, but only a handful thankfully. A synonym for cadence would have been a great help, since towards the end of the book, its use becomes a bit repetitive.
All in all, it was a good sequel. Lowder is a talented new writer with a pleasant voice, "like a lark in spring." I'm intrigued as to where the story will go in the final 2 books. 4.5 stars
Note: I received a free copy from the author for a fair and honest review.
The Promise is a sweet romance, with bits of action and quipping wit. The characters were likeable. Each had their own voice and reason for acting the way they did. They were human, with strengths and weaknesses. I enjoyed how they spoke so properly, as befitting their station and the setting. I liked how the romance progressed between Rafe and Adele, from appraising observations to feeling something deeper stir within. It was a bit jarring to be in both of their heads at any given moment, with an omnipotent POV at times, but it did help us to see their true feelings. I just would have preferred breaks or a visible transition.
As for the actual plot, it was a tad confusing. The suspense over who was chasing Rafe and Adele, and why, lost a bit of its oomph as quite a bit of time passes in-between attacks; some of which come from other people before the main villain's attempt. The ending disappointed me in that there was no real conclusion regarding the villain. It just ended sort of abruptly. Thus, I was happy to read that a sequel is in the works.
The writing is pleasant, aside from comma overload and abuse (aka commas where period should be, and sometimes no commas were commas should be.) This results in a galore of run-on sentences. There were apostrophe and spelling errors, such as interchanging its/it's, and even your's instead of yours. These issues seem a trend of the authors. As I am currently reading another of her works, I notice the same issues of commas and apostrophe errors are present.
Despite this, The Promise is a clean romantic read. Those, who like medieval settings, befitting dialogue, women characters who are meek as well as strong, will enjoy this book.
Broken City had an interesting world concept, but for the mystery fell flat. I did like Tom, though he was hot/cold at times or absent; as well as Deeta's sister, Jan. She acted more mature & in control than her "older sister" most of the time.
I wasn't fond of Deeta's conversational manner with the reader. It's like she's telling us everything while it's happening. For example, at one point, to the reader: "Did I tell you? No, I don't think I did..." To me, it's jarring and detracts from the story.
There were grammatical and spelling errors throughout, comma misuse, run-on sentences, as well as it's/its and possessive/plural mistakes - like Marshall's when it should just be Marshalls; even a few odd ones like take's instead of takes. Family positions were unnecessarily capitalized, like my Mother, or their Uncles.
Later on, when Ryder is introduced, certain things he says come off as odd to me. Him using modern slang like "heck" or "what's up?," and his initial interactions with Deeta feel forced to me. He blows up in her face for no real reason and doesn't trust her at first, but is completely fine with her sister, just because he's attracted to her. It makes no sense.
To me, it feels like a bulk of the plot is wasted on dressing up, and having family members pointed out to them. I think this point was when my opinion of the novel turned a tad sour. If I were in their situation, I'd be more worried about my family and friends, and the fact that a lot of people were killed, than playing along and accompanying a stranger. What action there is, we never really get to experience it because Deeta either isn't present or passes out conveniently...
Also, from Chapter 26 is where things get a bit strange. Up until this point, we've only ever been in Deeta's first person present tense POV. From there on, it switches from the villain's 3rd person pov, to Tom's 3rd person pov, and then back to Deeta's 1st person pov, sometimes without a transition. The reader just flows back into her mind from his, which is weird.
In my opinion, if this book was solely from Tom's POV, I would have enjoyed it more. Still, I must give the author credit for having a unique imagination and creativity. Practice makes perfect.
I thought the world concept was interesting - how changed our earth had become. I found it very interesting how the societies got their names - something that was gradually revealed to the reader. Not sure how the world got this way, but I'm sure later book will expand on that.
I also liked Astra and Kai. Both were mysterious and then showed their humanity. Most of the characters in this novel were likable. Even if they weren't initially, there was some understandable reason behind it, except for the villainous ones of course.
Some plot points were quite repetitious. Some bits were awkward or out of place - like how Ben seemed to understand Astra better than her sister of fifteen years, and how Petta for an instant went from scared doe to judo master (an action more befitting of Leda I think.).
There were a few cases of modern slang creeping in, lingo you'd think would be outdated - "heck," "not cool," and "well duh." Thankfully, they only appear a handful of times. There was an omni pov often with no break for transition between minds (a common trend of the author's.) There were it's/its mistakes, capitalization errors, and misspellings.
Thankfully, in this novel, the author shows noticeable improvement from her last two works, at least grammatically. She has definite potential as an writer, with unique world ideas and interesting characters.
I was disappointed by the ending, or rather lack thereof. It was never explained why it was so terrible for Ben to know about Astra's situation in Tula. Everyone in Tula knew about it. If you flaunt her in front of a senator, of course he's going to notice this girl who dresses differently and doesn't eat. It's no real secret. Also, if a certain person wanted to put on a good face for the Free Nation, he should have kept her in private. Another disappointment was they kept dangling this secret about Astra and Kai, something that went deeper than the surface reason. I expected a big reveal in the last quarter, but nothing. There was no real climax either. I guess it's like that to make you read the sequel to find out how everything gets resolved. Still, I wish I had gotten a bit more than a tease.
Note: I received a free copy from the author for a fair and honest review.
2:20 had a interesting premise. However the execution was slightly lacking. The beginning was a bit dull, but things did pick up after the halfway point. Julia's interaction with the characters was odd. She believed Frank & Isabella too quickly to be realistic. As for Simon, she trusted him and felt way more comfortable around him than an aquaintance should, even to the point of kissing. I understand why, but at that point, she didn't have her memories back, so that scene could have waited, even if it 'felt right.' Julia said on more than one occassion that Simon spoke in an old-fashioned way. I didn't see that in what I read. He just didn't use slang, is all. The twist I didn't see coming, surprisingly, which intrigued me. The clues given, with no preconceived notion on the readers' part, really didn't make the truth obvious. Those few factors could have belonged anywhere, anytime. It was good as far as surprises go, but as for trying to figure out the mystery while reading along, they didn't help much. The story ends rather abruptly, laying way for the sequel I suppose.
All in all, 2:20 was a very interesting idea. With a little more work it could be amazing.
I received a free copy from the author for a review.