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Smashwords book reviews by crpgnut
- The Battle of Verril
on March 06, 2012
I was very impressed with the unique heroes that Mr. Lallo created. Ivy and Ether were especially welcome changes from the standard cast in fantasy novels. I thought the villains were under-developed as a whole and hope that future novels will address this. Epidime was somewhat fleshed out but the rest were caricatures of the standard tripe. The books could also use more time where something catastropic isn't happening. The Entwell chapters were the most interesting.
- The Attic Door: Book I
on July 23, 2012
This is a pretty decent fantasy, targeted at younger readers. Typical story of a young teenager whose family are hereditary guardians of a magical world. While the story is theroretically fantasy, most of the book takes place in the real world and deals with the issues of a young girl.
- The Attic Door: Book II
on July 23, 2012
Book two has our young heroine, Serena, slowly start to use her powers and deals with how various members of her family and frieds circle react to the changes going on in the young worman. There is an almost there romance that is in the background, but this isn't about romance. The book focuses a lot on the relationship of Serena and her grandfather, who is the current guardian, but is handing the reins over to her. At no point does the author go in depth on any particular area, but grandpa gets the most detail. Again, this is very light fantasy, suitable for kids.
- The Attic Door: Book III
on July 23, 2012
Serena is slowly coming into her own with her powers. Her friend William is finally coming around, realizing he'll have to help his budding girlfriend if she is to stay alive. Serena has made enemies and some of them are starting to fight her in both worlds. The three novellas add up to about one real book and while the story is very slow to take off, the plot is solid and the writing is good enough to keep interst.
- The Running Girl (Kaunovalta, Book I)
on Aug. 02, 2012
Running Girl is a pretty good debut novel. The book starts off at a nice pace with lots of action and many things happening. There is quite a bit of magic in the early going and some nice combat also.
Unfortunately, the author sometimes get so caught up in describing scenery that he forgets to tell a story. There are paragraph after paragraph of descriptive prose, wherein no action is taking place. This gets dull and sometimes drags his story to a halt. Once the protagonist, who has half a dozen names throughout the book, gets to dwarf land, the book basically stops so that the author can lovingly describe a typical steampunk setting.
However, the book is redeemed through cheerful banter between the various party members and some amusing word play in certain sections. My hope is that further novels limit the descritpive prose while the main character is basically inactive and gets on with telling the story. The book has made me interested enough to try one more book in the series. I have a concern though because the author wants to make 15 books in the same world. Unless he vastly, vastly upgrades the action, boredom will set in long before a satisfying conclusion is reached.
Let me point out that I've read thousands of fantasy novels. I'm a bit jaded. Those who read a handful of fantasy novels a year should enjoy this book even more.
- Bakkian Chronicles, Book I - The Prophecy
on Aug. 08, 2012
Wonderful story! This is a story of a married couple, living a typical life in Idaho. They inherit a mansion from the husband's estranged grandparents, which contains a portal to a world of fantasy. There is absolutely nothing new in this book. If you've read over 50 fantasies in your life, then you have read this book.
However, it is well told and from a slightly less than normal perspective, so I didn't mind in the least that the format was predictable. Steve and Sarah love each other deeply, and that's kinda nice to read for a change. Their marriage is at the root of many of their successes in the book and leaves this married reader feeling good.
Kudos, Jeffrey, I look forward to purchasing the next book in the series.
- Bakkian Chronicles, Book II - Insurrection
on Aug. 10, 2012
I was a little disappointed with book two. In book one we got to experience people from our world discovering their powers and meeting lots of new friends. Book two is basically a rehash of book one, but with a differently named enemy. While Steve and Sarah's powers grew a bit, it was still the same powers and almost completely the same cast. We did learn more about the magic system in book two, but I felt it didn't make up for all the parts that were nearly the same.
Another huge missing element was the lack of story connecting the time between visits. No explanation about what Steve and Sarah are doing for income on Earth, a hard to accept romance between a medieval soldier and a modern woman, little said about the vast differences between living in the US and Lentari, etc.
The free book was much better than the cheap book, but it was still an okay story. Perhaps because the author wants to target a young audience, the story didn't have the depth that I, as an adult reader, would expect.
- Demon Gates
on Sep. 07, 2012
Robert Day, the author, seems like your average D&D player or computer role-playing game enthusiast, who actually took time to write down bits and pieces of his favorite books and games and make a story out of them. There is absolutely nothing in his whole novel that is new or even noteworthy, but he tells the familiar in a very charming way and the pages just fly by at breakneck speed. I read the whole book in two evenings, after work. The main character is extremely likable and he meets many new characters along the way, keeping both companions and enemies fresh. He spends just enough time with each, to make you feel like you know who they are, and what motivates them. This is important in keeping up interest. I'll happily purchase the next book and be ready for another wild ride.
- Daughter Of The Wind --Northern Wind
on Feb. 18, 2013
This is the first book of the series that I was truly disappointed with. Very, very, little action takes place in this book and there is almost no character advancement either. The enemy is still mostly shapeless and the whole book felt like delaying tactics. I would tell any potential readers to avoid this particular book, as not enough happens in it to make it necessary in the cycle. The rest of the series is much better.
- The Blaze Ignites
on March 25, 2013
Okay, finished book two a few minutes ago. The editing is much better this time, though it could have used another pass with someone actually reading the words. A word can be a correctly typed but be used wrong in context.
I'm going to review it twice:
As a romance novel:
Book two feels like almost the same story as book one. We still have Azrel and Otheldo madly in love but unable to talk to each other. Her brother has a new love too and he can't talk to her either. All the main characters are super good-looking and have no non-mental faults.
This book is mostly a Christian teen romance book with fantasy trappings. No sex, though the author believes that seeing naked bodies is the ultimate, as this happens more than once in the two books. It's just a quirk though, and doesn't really detract. I'd highly suggest this book for young teen females who have or dream of having a high moral standard. If you like unrequited love stories, this book should be 5 stars for you.
As a fantasy:
If you are wanting an epic fantasy novel, the book isn't as good. There is still some magic; but the details are very slim. Combat scenes are generally told in a paragraph or two; in contrast to the copious amounts of characters worrying about what everyone thinks of them. Males do not think the way that the author supposes, which makes this book easier to get through if you are a younger female as opposed to a middle-aged man :) As a fantasy it's 2 1/2 stars.
I have high hopes that the author will mature on the fantasy side of things as she gets more experience. If she could balance the fantasy so that it equals the romance, that would be a wonderful next step. I'll give 3 stars as the author has a lot of promise.
If you like magic and romance together, try Sharon Green's Blendings series and Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses series too. Those authors are a potential future for this young lady.
- Seeds of Virtue, Dark Descent, Book I
on March 28, 2013
I agree with thiotes, although it's word usage errors more than spelling. An example would be fare instead of fair or whether instead of weather. Editors need to actually read their books instead of scanning them.
The story is fine though, with a likeable main character and an interesting cast surrounding him. The various magic encounters are entertaining.
- First Comes The One Who Wanders
on April 21, 2013
This is a wonderful novel full of very good writing. It follows the travails of a young mage, (crafter),as she tries to understand the prophecy that surrounds her life. There are many friends, enemies, and those that the mage, Leilas, can't decide is which. Not all dark is evil and not all light is pure. The magic has great variety and is fun to read about. There are many factions and Mrs. Jones does a wonderful job of keeping us informed as the story moves along. Great job!
- Pure Phallusy
on Oct. 04, 2013
Outside of the silliness about phalluses, this is a very decent book. Brett is too shallow and his being allowed to follow is detracting from the story, but the rest of the characters are well thought out. The book has good pacing and you're never waiting long for something new to happen. Hopefully magic use becomes much more prevalent by Charlie, as that is when the book is most interesting. Better spelling and grammar than most of the offerings by indies.