Jade C.

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Jade C.

  • Melody and the Pier to Forever: Book One on April 21, 2011

    Finally ... the Official Release!! I've been waiting for part six of this book to come out for what feels like ages! I took advantage of the offer to read the first five parts free and Melody and the Pier to Forever quickly skyrocketed to the top of my list of favourite genre books. To give you an idea, my favourite kinds of books are epic fantasy and sci fi sagas like Dune, His Dark Materials, Hyperion, and Winter of the World. Melody and the Pier to Forever has all the scope of these books and a great ensemble cast. I don't know who I'm most fascinated with ... the quiet teenage girl who turns out to be a powerful mage called a Mathematician, her best friend who's really an angel who can travel between worlds, or the exiled king Conor who broke all allegiances to rise up against a tyrant. Perhaps my favourite character of all is Maggie. At the start of our book, Maggie is a single mom living in the suburbs, and afraid of everything and everyone. By the end of this first book, she has witnessed the destruction of an entire world, a heroic uprising against a soul-eating monster, and the rise of a terrible empire. She emerges from all of this ready to do whatever it takes to defeat that evil. This book is really about people finding themselves within the context of an epic fantasy adventure. This book ends on a major cliffhanger, but to my understanding it is the first of a trilogy. You will also like this book if like me you are a fan of mythopoetic writers like CS Lewis, George Macdonald, Charles Williams, JRR Tolkien, etc. There is a lot of philosophy and metaphysics in this book, which just makes it even more awesome! There is something for everyone here--if you like action and adventure, you'll find plenty of it, if you like character driven novels, this is one the best there is. Download it today, you won't regret it!!!
  • Sole Survivor: The Story of Kaza of Theseus on March 20, 2013

    I read this book after reading Melody and the Pier to Forever (Book 1) while waiting for the next book in Montaigne's series to come out. This is a side story about another character, Kaza, who has to flee the invading armies of Necrolius. If you've ready Melody, then you know I'm talking about an event that forms part of the backstory for Melody and takes place on the oceanic world of Aquanus. My favourite part of Melody and the Pier to Forever was Book 5, which was the closest we got to seeing the actual invasion from a firsthand perspective. One of my pet peeves with fantasy novels has always been books where the heroes are going up against unspeakable evil ... only you never actually see that evil. It is faceless, nebulous, and ultimately feels more like a set prop than an actual obstacle--much less something truly terrifying and vile. This is almost ubiquitous. But I don't read fantasy for escapism (well, not purely for escapism). I enjoy the reflections of real life, and I like to be inspired by stories about people who overcome real adversity. Like part 5 of Melody - and even more than part 5 - this book puts a face on the evil that has taken hold of Aquanus. If you've read Melody and want to see WHY it is so important for our heroes to succeed in the next book--this gives you a firsthand look at the invasion and the devastation that evil has caused. It is a harsh, stark impression, sparing no details, however unsettling, and it won't appeal to those with weak dispositions. But if you like to see life in ALL of its facets--beautiful and devastating, you will appreciate the candid nature of this book. It also introduces you to some wonderful characters--Kaza, Aubrey, Tray, and their wonderful conscious ship, the Arilyceum. And to my understanding we'll see all of them again later in series. If you HAVEN'T read Melody, I strongly suggest reading that first, but you could still read this and enjoy it. While you won't understand the background of the conflict, you won't have to--Kaza didn't either, which didn't make his journey of survival and vengeance any less compelling. You will probably be confused as to the nature of a Dreamcatcher, and may find some other details of the world puzzling. There is a helpful glossary. Those gaps will be filled in fully if you read Melody. My favourite thing about this book is probably the fact that it fills something which to me, is a major gap in genre writing. A lot of academics and critics struggle to take genre writing seriously, and part of the reason for that is that a lot of genre writing fails to make a serious comment on the human condition. This book makes a very serious statement, and does so by showing, not telling. The events in these pages hearken to many familiar and terrible atrocities in the 20th century. Events which should never, ever be forgotten or brushed aside. If you want to read fantasy which celebrates the power of the human spirit to overcome great adversity, then you'll enjoy Kaza, and Melody.