Featured reader reviews: Page 8

Listed below are the latest featured reader reviews on the site. Some are positive in praise, some are negative in criticism, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are well written and explain their reasoning. We can never have enough reader reviews as they add to the quality of the site, making it ever more useful for visitors.

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

8 stars

Bitten is a story about a female character trying to forget her past. Which cannot be nipped in the bud as the bud as already been nipped. Literally, by a werewolf. What makes this book interesting is that Elena is the only surviving female werewolf. To date, no female has ever been born a werewolf and no female has ever survived the change. Which makes her a commodity. Awkward for a women who is just trying to pretend that she is a normal human. Once the story rolls on, we find that Elena was betrayed and the hiding makes sense. Unfortunately, this is where the book starts to get predicable. It also fits oddly with the introduction of the character, as Elena just drifts back into her old life that she was trying to escape. I did like the writing of this book, but the inconsistency of the main character struck me as strange. This did not stop me from reading all the Women of the Other World series. As the series develops, Elena move on to be a more independent character. Overall, this book is an 8 as a paranormal romance with a werewolf thriller backstory.

Lauren
United States

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

6 stars

Reasons to read this book: 1) you are newcomer to vampires or 2) are between the ages of 12-17. Twilight is to vampire lore as fairytales are to Grimm's tales. Far from the real, abet mythological, truth. This is a land not far away from our reality, where vampire's roam about not dying in the sun, but sparkle like a diamond. They live among us hiding in plain sight, avoiding bright spots? The main protagonists of the books are smitten in awkward teenage love. One confused about the other's strange behavior. The other worried about prohibited interspecies co-mingling and associated other issues. This book devolves into an emotionally abusive rollercoaster. Unless you really like drama, the following books are better for newcomers to vampire lore: Robin McKinley's Sunshine, PC Cast's Marked, or Darren Shaw's Cirque de Freak. Overall, when I was a teenager, I read this and never thought about it again. I'll give it a 6 for some creativity about the lore, but only a 6 because of the plot line.

Lauren
United States

The Children Of Hurin by JRR Tolkien

10 stars

I had been wanting to read this book since a while and when I saw a library had it, I was extremely happy. I was so excited while readingI had to close the book for a few seconds every now and then to just calm the sheer joy I was having reading and get into the more serious mood of the book. As you can tell, I was already a Lord of the Rings/Hobbit fan before, so I can't tell you if you will like it if you have never read Tolkien before. However, I think you might truly like it anyway, since it stand on its own and is not obviously linked with LotR and tH : it is set in the first age in Beleriand, a suken part of Middle-Earth by the third age when those two others books take place. I was a mild fan of Tolkien before, but this book really made me appreciate and understand his work better. I had already tried to read the Silmarillion twice but reading Children of Hurin made me went to try again, I think it might a really good gateway to the Silmarilliom, as it is between this book and the Lord of the Rings in term of writting style. P.S: I was going to give it a 8 or 9 but because of Ollie, I am giving this a 10 to raise the rating, because this is not a 6 ! I reccomend it.

Alma
England

Weaveworld by Clive Barker

10 stars

Great character introduction and description... felt like I was there the whole time... watching, participating not sure who I wanted to find the carpet. I had a sympathetic feeling for evil sometimes during this read. Cannot say enough about this book.

David
Sussex

Sabriel by Garth Nix

10 stars

I picked up this book thinking that Garth Nix sounded like a cool author name 15 years ago in 2002. I did not expect to have picked up one of the best reads of my adult life. Sabriel is a book different than most fantasy offered. A story of a girl with a gift in the afterlife magic, without demons, but involving the of gates of hell. Abhorsen is a faster paced story, but Sabriel sets the stage. Honestly, Sabriel is akin to Harry Potter meets Dante's Inferno. Read it. This series holds as #6 on my list, which is topped by the Hyperion Cantos.

Lauren
United States

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

7 stars

Setting the stage: Friend begs you to open your fantasy world to Robert Jordan's epic series. Offers to loan you the books. Tells you interesting snippets that eventually get you to commit to a FOURTEEN book saga. Challenge accepted, it can't be worse than trying to read the highly segmented Game of Thrones. Even knowing that you tapped out of Lord of the Rings after reading the superior Hobbit. Wheel of Time: Book 1 reels you in on a, rather predictable, adventure. Basic tale of: Pharaoh forgot to kill all the babies, boy will undue his legacy. (sound familiar?). You persist to Book 2 which stays on par with The Eye of the World. About this time the appendix is needed to keep all the players in the story correct. Book 3 is largely the same. Now, don't get me wrong, there is fantasy: creatures, magic, mysterious abilities, kingdoms, spirits. The fantasy is what keeps you going. Onward to Book 4. Now things get cooking, story turns Dune-esque until Book 5. Now slow down to a marginally exciting pace and chomp through the next books feeling like death warmed over until Book 11. Robert Jordan starts to realize, he might die before finishing this unwieldily epic tale. Interviews for a writer to finish, landing Brandon Sanderson on the scene. Book 11 is not the pace grinding books of 6-10, this books is back to the jovial entertainment one can expect of Jordan at his prime. Books 12-14 by Sanderson are by and large the best. He wraps things up quickly, keeping an even better pace. You don't care about Rand anymore, the books main protagonist. He is an idiot anyways and how he had three (!) women lording over him, I've no idea. No no, Matriam (Mat) is the character you have to know what happened to. He is, by far, the most developed character in the whole series. Review: This book is an 7 in my opinion since it is so unoriginal. Take the bible's tale of Moses add Tolkien. Meshing two of the most read stories does not equal a masterpiece. Series is an 8 only because Sanderson finish. Now give the books back to your friend and only mildly agree that it was "awesome." Then commence you search to the better writer: Sanderson.

Lauren
United States

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin

10 stars

I'm grateful beyond words that this book exists. I finished it, found myself tearing up with absolute joy, and then read it again.

Lills
USA

Hope and Red by Jon Skovron

10 stars

I'm 76 years old and usually like mystery books. I ran across Hope and Red at my library here in Clearlake, California. I truly enjoyed reading this book even though it had some spicy speech. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel Bane and Shadow. One thing I've found out in reading material is, to always reach out to other writers and material your not usually interested in because you surely will miss out a good read and a fine author.

Gigi
America

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

9 stars

Echo all the sentiments previously. You can take from my 9/10 rating that I agree with all the favourable comments about this book. Insofar as the very slight problems, the constant misspelling as story as 'storey' occurs in the hardback version as well, so I can only take it to mean this is a choice. If it is, it's a very jarring and annoying one. If it is a typo, I apologise. Also, Sabetha. She doesn't live up to the hype and it reduces Locke's love of her to that of a childhood crush. I was constantly wondering why he ever loved her and why he couldn't get over her. She was cruel as both child and adult. Other than that the book is absolutely first class, the plotting and dialogue being as masterful as we've come to expect from this author and I can't wait for the next one!

RZA
36th Chamber

Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw

8 stars

As someone who's familiar with Yahtzee's sense of strong negativity towards everything, I was sort of expecting that in his first novel, Mogworld. After reading it, I can definitely say that it's a stronger novel than the one that proceeded it, Jam (which is OK in a strange and silly way but has a weaker plot and characters overall). Mogworld takes place in a world titled, well... Mogworld. Its story follows an undead mage named Jim as he goes on a Journey to find a way to die once and for all. What will make Mogworld stand-out, but also even confuse, some is the fact that it's more than just a novel: it's a satirical piece on Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, such as World of Warcraft. While people who have little to no knowledge of what those games are or what is in them can read this easily, for the most part, some language gamers (and also people close to being considered 'gamers') are used to (NPC, for example - which means Non-Playable Character) may allude them. Regardless, the story is a perfect blend of intrigue and unusual, and though some of it is predictable, it has many twists and turns and also sports one of the greatest endings to a novel I've ever seen (so much so that I don't want to spoil it even to people who ask for spoilers). Its characters start out weak but grow stronger overtime, with the main character, Jim, being a great example. The adventure in Mogworld is an interesting one that will hold your attention for sure. It also gets more awesome points because of the author, Yahtzee Croshaw, who read the audiobook in a brilliant way that matches the tone of his writing to a pitch.

Anon
USA

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