Diane Lang

Smashwords book reviews by Diane Lang

  • Decrypted on March 07, 2013

    Set in the Emperor's Edge universe, Decrypted follows the further adventures of Rias and Tikaya after they return to Tikaya's home on Kyatt. As usual, the pace is fast with plenty of unusual twists and turns to keep the reader engaged. It is fascinating to watch how these two handle the prevailing prejudices against Rias and Tikaya's relationship as well as an ancient mystery involving Tikaya's family. We learn more about the history of the three nations - Turgonia, Kyatt and Nuria - and how what happened centuries ago affects the current situation. And why Tikaya's people are so disturbed by Rias's plans to build a submersible. Now I'm really looking forward to the next installment in the Emperor's Edge series where threads from all the books set in this world begin to come together. Will we find out if Rias and Tikaya had children? What will happen when these two geniuses combine forces with Amaranthe and Sicarius? How will Sespian deal with all these powerful personalities? The mind reels at the thought . . . :-) I am a huge fan of Lindsay Buroker's writing and will read anything she writes. Her ability to tell an exciting story with humor and great characters reminds me of another favorite author of mine, Lois McMaster Bujold. Both of them make me laugh out loud when reading their stories . . . causing my family to wonder about my sanity.
  • Forged in Blood I (The Emperor's Edge Book 6) on May 26, 2013

    Best yet in a great series! Loved finally getting a peek inside Sicarius's head. Fast paced,well written dialogue with plenty of suspense and humor. But Lindsay wasn't kidding about this one having a cliffhanger ending, in part because she needed to divide the final book in the series into two parts. She promised to have the final book available late July-early August and her fans are going to hold her to it . . . including me! I sure hope she sees fit to bring Amaranthe's gang back together early in the final book. Lots of loose ends to tuck into place including getting a chance to meet the Starcrest family. Fun! I highly recommend the whole Emperor's Edge series including various short stories. :-)
  • Blood and Sand: An Elemental World Novel on June 01, 2013

    This has to be the best book yet from Elizabeth Hunter. Learning more about Baojia is so much fun. I was intrigued with his character in the Elemental Mysteries series and loved him even more in this book. It does help if you have read the previous books in this series because she brings in characters from those books. This is not a hardship because ALL of Elizabeth's books are wonderful! Her dialogue is witty, her characters have depth and her world building is very good. The very first book, "A Hidden Fire", is a free ebook. If you get sucked in, don't say I didn't warn you! :-)
  • Forged in Blood II (The Emperor's Edge, Book 7) on July 18, 2013

    I loved this book!It is the last one in the Emperor's Edge series and the best one yet. This book, along with Forged in Blood 1, include events as seen from Sicarius's POV, adding a whole new very enjoyable dimension to these stories. Lindsay is a first rate story teller and her ability to create characters one can get very invested in is phenomenal. Reminds me of Anne McCaffery and Mercedes Lackey's knack for creating wonderful characters. Grab a copy of Forged in Blood 1 & read both books as one because Forged in Blood 1 ends on one heck of a cliff hanger! It was painful to wait until this book came out to find out what happened next.
  • Torrent (Rust & Relics, Book 1) on Sep. 22, 2013

    irst off, Delia, Simon & Temi have a very different feel than Amaranthe and her gang. Took me while to get used to them but I ended up liking the story and am looking forward to the next book in the series. The motorcycle riding elves definitely got my attention. This book lays the groundwork & asks more questions than answers them.
  • The Final Formula (The Final Formula Series, Book 1) on Sep. 29, 2013

    I loved this book and am hoping it was the first in a series! Becca Andre has created a very interesting world where magic has returned and alchemy works. Addy (short for Addled Alchemist) has lost her memory and is desperately seeking to get it back. Her best friend, James, is a Hellhound as well as a budding alchemist. There are Elementals, necromancers, zombies and plenty of others to keep things lively. Fast pace keeps the reader from getting bored. Main characters are well drawn and the writing is quite good. Did run into one formatting weirdness where one scene ran into another in a confusing manner. Otherwise very professional effort for a first book. :-)
  • The Scribe: Irin Chronicles Book One on Oct. 16, 2013

    First off I have to agree with those who are saying The Scribe is Elizabeth Hunter's best work to date. It have a smashing romance, plenty of suspense and a fascinating cast of characters. The heroine, Ava, is a wonderfully complex character who is smart yet vulnerable and her love interest, Malachi, is a delight - strong, caring & utterly honorable. There are hints thrown out in this book that the bad guys may come in shades of grey, always fun. The worst thing about this is the wait for the next installment! *grin* When I discovered Elizabeth's books last year, she had already written most of her Elemental Mysteries series so I didn't have to wait before moving on to the next book in the series. Not the case now.
  • Balanced on the Blade's Edge (Dragon Blood, Book 1) on March 31, 2014

    Very entertaining steampunk read from Lindsay Buroker with a strong romantic element, a pleasant surprise for those of us who enjoy a little romance with our action/adventure. Sardelle is another of Lindsay's strong female characters with a lively sense of humor . . . something she needs for her sanity's sake having been in stasis for three hundred years. Her survival depends on concealing her abilities as a magic user in a time when those deemed witches are killed. Thankfully she connects with Colonel Ridge Zirkander, who is in charge of the prison mine built on the site of her people's home. He is an airship pilot who insulted the wrong important personage and has been grounded as a result. How Sardelle manages to find her sentient soulblade while the mine is under attack by another sorcerer plus find an odd moment here and there with Ridge makes for a great story. My only complaint is it was too short. I would love to see Lindsay revisit this world and tell us more about what it means to be dragon blooded for instance. It was easy to get drawn in this book and I read it in one setting. More please!!
  • The Blood Alchemist (The Final Formula Series, Book 2) on May 22, 2014

    I devoured this book because I was so curious about how Addie was going to redeem herself in her eyes, Rowan's eyes and her friend, James's eyes. Becca did her usual excellent job of building suspense with a marvelous cast of unusual characters from zombies and necromancers to alchemists and elementals. I ended up alternately grinning and wincing throughout the whole book . . . loved it! Please read The Final Formula and The Element of Death BEFORE you read this one. It will make much more sense that way. Great reads all. :-)
  • The Flash Gold Boxed Set, Chronicles I-III on June 15, 2014

    When I found out Lindsay Buroker was writing a fourth Flash Gold story, I promptly sat down to reread the first three stories, now nicely bundled in this boxed set. They were just as entertaining this time around! Kali is smart, feisty and an exceptionally gifted mechanic living in the cold Yukon. She teams up with Cedar, a bounty hunter, in order to earn enough money to build an airship to fly away south. They both have secrets and neither are very trusting. There are plenty of very bad people to evade and outwit, lots of amazing action, air ships and other wonderful steampunk devices to enjoy. Lindsay creates wonderful characters which she proceeds to test to their limits. There is humor, a touch of romance and the occasional trademark Buroker explosions to keep things interesting. If you like steampunk, these stories are great examples of the genre.
  • Blood Charged (Dragon Blood, Book 3) on July 20, 2014

    This series just keeps getting better and better. Sardelle and Ridge are back again and this time they are off to Cofah with a small group of flyers on a mission from Iskandia's King. Tolemek and Ahn are among them as well as Jaxi, Sardelle's sentient sword. Tolemek hopes to rescue his sister with Sardelle's help. It is becoming more challenging to prevent others from learning about Sardelle's ability to use magic, in part because those abilities are all that stands between their group of allies and certain death. Ridge needs every bit of his skill as a pilot and as a leader on this expedition into the mountains of Cofah. In between fending off attacks from Cofah airships and searching for the source of dragon's blood, Ridge does his best to encourage the other pilots to accept Sardelle and Tolemek as the valuable people that they are. Naturally there are explosions, near misses and plenty of the excellent non-stop action and adventure those of us who love Lindsay Buroker's writing have come to expect. Getting to know this group of characters better is a real pleasure. Can't wait to find out what comes next . . . and there are solid hints there will be a "next". Please keep writing, Lindsay!!
  • Destiny Unchosen (Rust & Relics 1.5) on Aug. 18, 2014

    I swear when Lindsay hits the second book/novella in one of her series, she really begins to rock her story telling! Destiny Unchosen picks up where Torrent left off and tells us what happens to Temi when she goes off with the elves on motorcycles. She is being intensively trained to use her sword on a strange world with plenty of nasty predators in exchange for healing her shattered knee. Loved it and can't wait to read the next installment. By the way, a great way to read Torrent is in the Nine by Night collection which is a terrific buy at .99. :-)
  • The Alchemist's Flame (The Final Formula Series, Book 3) on Feb. 12, 2015

    This series has turned into one of my favorites. I love Addie! She is a refreshingly unique character who is turning out to have a great deal of heart. Her sidekick, James the Grim, is back with his partner in crime, Elysia, as well as Rowan and the other Elements. We learn more about Ian and his long lost family in this book. Necromancers, both evil and good, play a big role too. Addie's quirky sense of humor and independent spirit are challenged again by the machinations of some very unpleasant types . . . all very entertaining! Becca's books are very well edited with a nice, tight plot line running through all of them. This adds to the pleasure of reading them. I highly recommend reading the three books and two novellas in the order they were written. Great reads!