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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Okay, I had to delete my earlier review because it was a little harsh. I can see after finishing the first book, what the 5 star people like in it. To me, who has read thousands of fantasy novels, the book is simplistic. But, if fantasy is just one of several genres of books that you like, this book is one of the better free books available.
Here is what is good:
The author is female and writes mostly from a female point of view. This is still somewhat rare in fantasy and it makes the lead more believable.
The main characters are all decent people. The males could use more character flaws, to make the books deeper, but again this is a young female author and she does a decent job.
There is a very nice flaw in the main character that makes for some very interesting situations.
Read this book if you like good main characters and a female protagonist who is Supergirl with mental hangups :)
Here is the major negative of the book: The author doesn't know the difference between bare and bear, there, their, and they're and many, many other pseudonyms. I'm not sure if she has a learning disability, but if so she plods on and it becomes a quirk after awhile and doesn't detract so much from the story. I had a hard time getting over it at first and it is a valid complaint. She needs a proofreader badly, but don't give up on her book because of it. It's a decent read.
My original review was a two but this is a 3 and maybe even a 3 1/2 from this jaded reader.
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.
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.
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!
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.
First things first, this isn't a novel. At the most generous, it's a novella. A short story would be a fairly apt description. I read this book in about 2-3 hours.
The book is as generic as you can get for fantasy. If the author himself isn't a teenager or young adult, he writes like one. That doesn't mean it is bad. This story is well told, even if familiar. The criticism from Alysa about the girl being "beautiful" is a little off base. The female is more mature than the boy "chosen one" and she helps guide him to better decisions.
Hopefully, the author and the protagonist will both mature and get over the pimple fixation that he had in the first book.
I agree with the other reviewers. This is a well told novel and all of the characters have real feelings that sometimes conflict. There is an interesting use of typical monsters in slightly atypical roles. A spellcasting ghast, an undead ogre-mage, etc. Lots of neat ideas.
This is 1/4 of a full length novel broken into four pieces and being sold for $9. That's pretty expensive for a new author. You will not get to read a full book, but a sample.
Outside of this, the little novella is fine. It takes a couple hours to read and not a whole lot goes on except a teenage girl with a tiny bit of magic makes a bunch of stupid decisions because of immaturity and pays the consequences. No romance to speak of, in case that interests some readers.
Why read this? This book has a lot of magic use, so this book is best for those who love spells being flung around and can forgive the main characters falling in with just the right people, every time, to make their quest succeed.
Pretty good book, although strangers seem to trust everyone way too quickly in the book and there isn't enough struggle between acts. It's not easy to get a ship, for instance, when a war is about to start, yet the first ship boarded is the perfect one, the fastest at the harbor, etc.
The female, Val, at the end of the book is falling for the main character, with almost zero reason to do so. While the book is fantasy, there really is no sense of building a relationship at all. Extremely weak in almost all areas of emotion but very strong in action scenes.
The book was free though and based on the cost this is 4 stars. 3 stars if you have to pay anything. Might be a good candidate for the $1.99 bracket.
Well, that was a mess. Okay, first the good. You will never get bored with a lack of action. This book constantly has something going on and it moves at a very fast pace. The story is basically the fall of pseudo-Roman empire, with a Nero type as Emperor.
Second, the bad. There are so many characters, none of which are fleshed out and so you don't have anyone to grow attached to, except maybe Tacitus. I'd say there are 20 or more names to try to keep track of, most with very little personality. It was a nice try, but the author needs to pick some main characters and focus on them. It seems like she wants to make the story about the Empire itself and those never work.
Finally, a book that deserves the 5-star rating. This book has all the right stuff for a good fantasy novel. You've got lots of magic, battles, romance, political turmoil, everything. You've got flawed heroes who make several mistakes but keep trying even when knocked on their butts.
This book is not for young audiences. There are a few scenes of sexual encounters with all the words that go along with that. 13+ would be my guess, but I don't have kids.
The book has a unique idea for the magic of the world so that was a pleasant surprise as well. Download this book and enjoy some truly good writing.
This is a happy little story. It is told very similar to a fairy tale, where the danger doesn't seem very dangerous and chock full of innocent romance between the two mains. It is not a deep story, just a little light reading fare, suitable for young readers.
Normal boy meets magic girl in his world and travels to hers. The Ice Queen prohibits him from returning to Earth and magic girl and her friends help him to escape. It's that simple, but well told.
This book offers a very refreshing twist on the magic vs commoners/tech genre. In Ascendancy, magic users are reviled as mutants and they are basically treated as slaves or as a power source for failing tech. The history of the world has a technologically superior race conquering the mages and then basically harvesting them for magic. The story begins with a handful of mages and their supporters rebelling against the status quo with devastating results. Great read with a ton of action.
This is one book broken into 4 parts, with the first two parts being free. As far as I know the book isn't even complete yet. This is a sci-fi, dual world novel where someone from here ends up on a world with a different type of technology than earth. The reason that this one person was chosen, out of all other humans, was not explained in the first 100,000 words and so it's hard to give the book a decent review since the story isn't complete. What has been written so far is very slowly paced, but okay.
This is a review of the whole series: This book tells the story of another world's Merlin or Gandalf. Brighton starts out as a young man who falls in love with a girl. Her father is a powerful wizard that manipulates energy in a negative way and Brighton learns to manipulate energy in a positive way to combat him. In the 2nd book Brighton has to deal with the tempation of his power and in the 3rd book, Brighton finds out who his father is and has to deal with the repercussions of that. This is as much a story about relationships as it is a fantasy novel and the author does a very good job of keeping the stories moving. Readers who love having animals in their stories will love meeting Mischief as well.
The only negative is that Brighton is basically Superman and his kryptonite is his love. He's too powerful and good to be related to as a human and so that part of the story is lame, but made up for by the rest. Good series.
The Good: It's free
The Bad: The English is broken, completely.
I tried to read this but gave up eventually. It has a bunch of grammar, spelling, and tense errors and is too distracting after a while. Also, the story takes absolutely forever to get going and is pretty dull. I didn't care about any of the characters at all after 100 pages or more. It could become good if the author becomes more proficient in English. I believe it might be a second language for him.
Don't read my review, start reading the book. Why waste time on my words, when you could be reading this wonderful story instead. There are a few wrong words and misspellings, but don't let that distract you from a very well told story. I've read thousands of fantasy novels and the best compliment I can give is that I will remember this tale. Come fall in love with Sheba.
This book is pretty dull and the main character is a wuss. Not really anything here to bother reading through. The book has basically one action scene in the first half and the next several chapters are people discussing the ramifications of that scene. I finally stopped reading after the action slowed to a crawl.
Nice little book. It isn't very ambitious, just tells a story in a fairy tale like manner about a cursed being and the people and creatures that try to harm or help him with the curse. It has many of the fantasy tropes everyone is familiar with, and this story is light enough to be told or read to children. It is short enough to be covered in a few nights of reading. There are a few twists in the tale to keep things interesting.
I tried. I was bored to death by page 40. Does it ever become a story instead of disjointed vignettes? I didn't have the patience to find out. I had no idea what story was trying to be told but I sure didn't care. Maybe it becomes wonderful for the super patient.