Smashwords book reviews by TheSFReader

  • Dead Dwarves Don't Dance on Jan. 09, 2011

    Great Book. I knew from the excerpt (and Dead Dwarves Dirty Deeds) that it was quasi "Shadowrun"esque (ie. Fantasy/Cyberpunk mix). It was, delightfully. Quick/Good read, just what I needed. Thank you !
  • The Hidden Institute on May 07, 2011

    (Non native english reader here hence short review) While I had quite liked "Tumbler", I find "The Hidden Institute" a much better book. I quite often read "Young Adults" novels (although I don't know if I can pretend to be one of them), and this Hidden Institute has some common points with the 3-6th Harry Potter's Hogwarts school : discovering a school, that is at the same time "Fantastic" and "Disconcertingly dark". From the middle of the read though, I started to think tha author wouldn't be able to close all the "plots" he had opened. I should have trusted him, as he masterfully managed it. I however feel he could have produced some more "in depth exploration" of that world he created, and think he maybe should write (not a pre/sequel) an other book in the same settings. This may be my only point, explaining the "not 5 star" rating. Surprises, a few memorable characters, romance ... Nothing really is missing for this book.
  • The Unfinished Song: Initiate on Aug. 24, 2011

    Such a nice book, greatly written, with a captivating story. What's more, it's world is quite refreshing for me, a mix of "tribal" cultures. The only problem is that it leaves me wanting for more. I now can't wait for the next part.
  • Empire (In Her Name, Book 4) on Feb. 26, 2012

    The human race is under attack, fighting for survival against the ferocious Kreelan warriors, lead by their priestess caste. Reza Gard, a young orphan, is taken prisonner during a Kreelan raid and lead to their home planet. Considered soulless, he's given to be trained like an animal to a young warrior, Esah-Zhurah. To survive, Reza will have to learn the ways of the Kreelans, to prove his worth to Esah-Zhurah, to the other warriors, to the priestesses, and to the Empress... Starting like some old-school Military SF, it diverts quickly to a more "Sword and Planet" book, in the straight line of E.R. Burrough (Barsoom/Mars), Jack Vance and his Tschai quadrilogy, or in France Ayerdhal's Mytale and Balade Choreïale. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness, Cherryh's Foreigner, Andrea K Höst's Touchstone... I'm not sure I've yet talked about my love of such books, where someone is sent straight into an unknown culture, but here again, it works for me, guiding the reader's discovery of an entirely different world. It works well, really well...
  • The Swordsman of Carn Nebeth on May 01, 2012

    The Swordsman of Carn Nebeth was recommended to his blog readers by Nathan Lowell, whose "Solar Clipper" books I've recently reviewed. I quickly followed his advice and read this short story quickly after. Yesterday, looking for books I had liked but not yet reviewed, I got back to it. Since it's a short work, I won't disclose much about it, since it could spoil your reading. Suffice it to say it's a coming of age medieval fiction, where a farmer's son meets an old soldier. It shares quite a few common points with an other completely unrelated text I read recently (French ahead) : Baby-Foot by Thierry Crouzet. It shares the same coming of age, the same centering on an object, the same male-centered narration. While Baby-Foot's really "compact" writing style was really perfect with the contemporary story, the longer (yet still short) format and more "lazygoing" style was also a good choice with the medieval adventure. Well, all in all, it shares a lot, even the "grade" : 4 stars Nathan was right, I liked it, and started and read the other ebooks in the "Wandeirng Tales"
  • The Emperor's Edge on May 06, 2012

    The story is well written, with lots of witty and humorous situations and dialogues. Action doesn't miss either. The gallery of characters is well depicted, and I had great pleasure getting to know them and see their by-plays. The setting, more "late Renaissance" than Steampunk, is interesting too, with some magic to boot. All in all, a good book, clearly not (for me) worth 5 stars, but well worth not only the time reading, but also buying the three follow-up books.