Smashwords book reviews by crpgnut

  • The Battle of Verril on March 06, 2012
    (no rating)
    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: The Complete Story 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Sword Bearer on March 05, 2014

    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.
  • Darkness Rising 1: Chained on March 06, 2014

    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.
  • Magic of Thieves: Legends of Dimmingwood, Book 1 on March 06, 2014

    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.
  • The Circle of Sorcerers: A Mages of Bloodmyr Novel: Book #1 on March 09, 2014

    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.
  • A Sword Of Wrath, Book I: Blood And Dust on March 09, 2014

    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.
  • The Queen of Mages on March 12, 2014

    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.
  • Strange New World (Artifice: Episode One) on April 10, 2014

    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.
  • Storm of Prophecy, Book I: Dark Awakening on May 12, 2014

    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.
  • Island Shifters - An Oath of the Blood (Book One) on July 17, 2014

    I agree with everything that Sadie said.This is a well told story, although you'll not find anything new here if you've read more than 20 fantasy novels. I had downloaded this several months ago, but read it today in about 4 hours. The first book is a little short, but it's free. It's too bad the rest of the books in the series are even shorter, yet the author wants more and more money to read what is basically a few novellas and not full books. I'll read these when there is a sale.
  • The Last Inn on Oct. 07, 2014

    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.
  • Shifted on March 03, 2015

    Well, I gave it a shot. If you want to read a book about a person's personal taste in music, then this is the book for you. After about 40 pages, I was bored to tears and gave up. The author does do a good job of describing items and locations, but it wasn't enough to keep me going. Somebody with more patience might get past all the background blah-blah and find a good book. To the author I would suggest getting all of the introductions done within 15 pages. You waste too much time talking about things like playing with your phone, combing your hair, changing clothes. That is super boring stuff that needs to be edited out of the book. Nobody cares. Same with the music.