Jasper de Joode profile
Place of birth: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Now living: Zevenbergen, The Netherlands
3 favourite authors
- Stephen King
- Steven Erikson
- David B Coe
- Brandon Sanderson
- Scott Lynch
3 favourite books
- The Dark Tower Book 3: The Waste Lands by Stephen King
- Malazan Empire of the Fallen Book 4 House of Chains by Stephen Erikson
- The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
- Children of Amarid by David B. Coe
- Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
3 favourite films
- Reign over Me
- The Matrix
- The Bucket List
The Rook is definitely recommended. As far as debuts go, this is an amazingly rich and well though-out story. Having an amnesiac as the main protagonist who has to rediscover herself from scratch was an excellent idea. Additionally, there is the weird and wonderful set of characters from both from the Chequy and the Grafters that make this story even richer. The Rook brings a new and refreshing story to urban fantasy.
Rogue Clone is a stunning sequel to Clone Republic. Steven L. Kent writes his narrative in a very addictive way, forcing you to stay up late and keep on reading. Rogue Clone delves deeper into the inner politics of the Unified Authority, but also shows off some flashy space battles on-board the Doctrinaire. If you’re a Sci-Fi fan, The Clone Rebellion is a series to add to your list.
Babylon Steel, the first book in the series, revealed a more than rich universe where worlds/planes are connected to each other via portals. Different races likes weres (like werewolves), fey and lizards. Magic that is limited on each plane where it can be deadly on one, it can be just a small tingle on the other. Everything for the setting to the heroine Babylon, herself an ex-avatar of the Goddess Babaska produced a great debut and very enjoyable story. There was a nice ending towards it but due to a clever way of telling there story Gaie Sebold already introduced some interesting concepts to go on about.
It is completely deserved that Homunculus won the Philip K. Dick award. The universe is marvellous, the characters even greater. Just a small stress again: Langdon St. Ives and Ignacio Narbondo’s character are just so grand in the way they display the gentlemanly English fashion and the stereotypical good guy / bad guy behaviour. This series is great stuff.
The Truancy series is action-packed, exciting and with the last book, unexpected from start to finish. The whole Truancy series really holds a promise, the plotting already started in the first book and was greatly kept up as the story progressed, in the end there is really a nice curve ball that keeps you tense in reading this book until the final page. What Isamu Fukui managed at young age with creating the idea of the Truants and Educators is only further built up in the other two books that follow it up. Truancy is a great series for teen boys, all the action and I think the Oriental inspiration behind the book will appeal to many. The series has a great build up in the story itself and I must stress to read it in the order (I did it with the prequel in the middle), it will be much more satisfying!
All in all After America delivers a similar punch as Without Warning, be it a bit more reigned in. Without Warning showed the global extent of the Wave hitting North America in the first book. In this book there is zoom and focus on some of the consequences and the problems associated with re-establishing America. Having the real narrow focus on the urban warfare that rages around New York and where Kip is trying reassert everything but again John Birmingham broadens the story with Caitlin and the Echelon special ops in different counties. After America shows what John Birmingham does best, delivering a powerful and often times explosive story and it does make you think “what if this would happened to us” question!
Seraphina is a truly enchanting and magical story. Just the main protagonist, Seraphina, alone is shown as a great heroine in the story she has depth, smartly intelligent, brave and funny at times. Her character in combination with the past between the humans and the dragons AND the way the dragons are shown make Seraphina an enjoyable read. Take the time to immerse yourself in the musical and colourful filled world of Seraphina!
Sword of Fire and Sea is a great starter for a new series and shows what is possible by just nudging the term epic fantasy in a different way. This first book shows a lot of promise, though a still a bit roughened. The world of Andovar is, what I could quickly glimpse of it intriguing having a fancy magical system, alluring societies and with a world on the verge of loosing its magic who knows what can happen. And I forgot to mention the gryphons?
I was browsing for new YA books to read and I came a across The Last Minute, I for one am a bit of a sucker for a catchy cover art (sorry). So with a explosion being shown on it, I read the synopsis and as you can read above it is actually quite catchy. Trying to show the ordinary lives in a England shopping street as they unconsciously live their last minute. I did believe this book to be quite a daunting task in writing up. Especially when taking into account that every single chapter only displays a single second and that as a writer you have to been on top of your game in writing up what happens each second and have a clear overview on the whole as well. You also cannot take the story to fast because, what can happen in a second? What can happen in a minute? This was a greatly executed.
Ack-Ack Macaque shows just what is possible by combining new idea and creating a unique world and a set of characters, a monkey, who would have guessed! Gareth L. Powell will be an author to look out for.
With Wingheart Luminous Rock, Benjamin Gabbay shows that he is on the right track to become an aspiring author. Having the ability to create this story at an age of 16 really shows what he has in store. From the beginning you can see that the story is bit more held back but as you get further and further into the magical world of Arkane and the journey of Magnus, the story become more confident as well. Wingheart Luminous Rock shows a great amount potential to grow out into a fine series.
Clone Republic is a top SF title for me. I still havent got that much material to compare it with, but this book is written in a great way and is a very nice display of what is possible in this genre. Steven L. Kent produces with this first book a diverse introduction to The Clone Rebellion universe, going from space battles between Destroyers and Frigates, to Marines fighting rebels on different planets, to a nice intermezzo private leave, and to Galactic politics. Clone Republic had a nice overall pacing and enough twists and turns to keep me wanting to find out what happens next.
Scourge of the Betrayer is a rather short read with only 253 pages. In these pages Jeff Salyards does manage to put down a great story. The story of Scourge of the Betrayer goes about sowing discord, and although I havent yet seen much of the political influences in the world surrounding Scourge of the Betrayer, I do get the feeling that it is slowly building up towards a clash between kingdoms. As a whole this first book feels really like an introduction to the characters Braylar and Arki, along with a bit of the Syldoon empire and their goals. I think that Jeff Salyards has created a solid first entry in a new series. There is much richness hidden within this book that I am not going to tell you about you will have to experience it for yourself.
Writing a prequel was a great decision, it adds a lot of information that you previously had to guess at. There is much information about the two boys and how they came to be how they were in Truancy. This is a book that you simply have to read after you have read Truancy itself.
Black Feathers is a unique take on horror and it was for a me a story that did not turn out the way I expected. The narration of the book was great and it felt like the myth surrounding the Crowman is being read to me, being handed down to the next generation.
The Doctor and the Roughrider is the third installment in the Weird West tales, the first books being The Buntline Special and The Doctor and the Kid. My first encounter with this series was very much out of curiosity and looking back to the first book of the series I must say that the second and third books are moving towards a different approach and trend.
The Tragedy Paper shows a great interconnection of two story lines. They are both about finding love but also on how difficult it sometimes can be and how hard when it is all of a sudden over, on how you try to do your best and it may still not be enough and a journey of getting to know yourself. The Tragedy Paper is a great debut and shows an amazing forte for writing this utterly unique and compelling story.
In short The Grim Company offers a more that great reading experience. There are so many different things happening in this book that it is hard to get everything told in a review, it is just something that you have to experience for yourself! So far in 2013 I have read only great books and happy to put The Grim Company in my shelves of one of the better overall books that I have read until now. It shows a great combination of many fantasy elements that are all worked out in nice details and leave nothing to be desired. Though some of the introductions might have been a bit hasty and lacked a bit of finesse, The Grim Company series will make a name of its own with Luke Scull great and addictive writing style and how he uses the fantasy elements to its fullest to produce a great story, he is definitely an author to watch in the future and if he continues in these lines he will, grow to be a top author. The Grim Company leaves you craving for more. Its just that awesome!
All in all, SEAL Team 666 is a great dark-supernatural read. Showing, I think, a great glimpse of realism within in the team itself, a thrilling dark setting of the introduced demons and the threat they pose but also a bit of the camaraderie and humour of a team. I also found out that the movie rights of the book have already been sold to MGM and looking back at the book I do think that this can turn in quite a great action movie. But moreover I hope that this isnt the last SEAL Team 666 book that Weston Ochse is planning to write. The setting of this book and the direction that this first book went really proves that this can grow into a great series. I just hope that some of the team members will have a longer longevity.
Seizure is truly an adventurous story cleverly written towards the younger readers (but also enjoyable for oldies alike). Where Virals focussed on a more scientific lay-out, Seizure becomes more and more gripping and adventurous, Indiana Jones/National Treasure style, by the page. This was for me nicely done, I did like the science part with the DNA and genetics since I am a lab tech, but Seizure did show on how you can use a great backbone produced in Virals and using that the plot an amazing sequel. If you have a son or daughter who is not likely to pick up a book, get this series and I reckon you will have them glued to the pages in no time.
I do have to restrain from telling about too much of the story, it is quite a comprehensive story that reads away easily. But that does show a bit the plainness of the story, though this is not a bad thing at all, it actually makes this book 100% suited for the younger audience. Morgan Rhodes has with Falling Kingdoms definitely made a solid entry into this genre producing a very interesting epic fantasy book that will appeal to younger and older readers alike. It is filled with both action and compelling scenes that truly make the pages of this book come to life.
All in all, Without Warning is a gripping, edge of your seat stuff that you can easily read instead of going to the cinema to watch an action movie, it is delivered right there in front of you. This book never goes dull for a moment and actually puts you to thinking What if? The thought experiment of John Birmingham has paid out fully. And it leaves you on quite the cliff-hanger, another great book to be recommended.
The Age of Ra is just what I have come to appreciate of James Lovegrove and his stories, it simply delivers an action-packed, straight to the point story, mashing-up the classical Egyptian pantheon with a heavy military theme. This combination did produce a slightly weird story but you just have to open to it and just let it guide and you will discover that this is a truly unique and fresh take on fantasy.
The Blood of Ambrose is a truly rich story, incorporating nicely an Arthurian legend theme and showing some nice displays of classic Sword and Sorcery novel with a great main protagonist, but not solely focussing on the heroics of Morlock alone however. Taken on the whole there is a great level of detail towards not only the surrounding but also the intricate character relations of the Ambrosii. This is a book for everyone who favours a well calculated and plotted story.
All in all The Noise Within was for me a great book to start of the New Year. This being one of the few space opera book that I have read so far, it did have a great premise and I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Showing on one side the sophisticated technology, introducing an advanced alien concept all in a greater whole, but also paying enough attention and highlighting the small things like the surrounding of the characters that you follow throughout the story. The Noise Within leaves you on two sort-of cliff-hanger moments, one being with Leyton and the other with an somewhat altered Philip The Noise Within is definitely worth to read!
The Aylesford Skull is for me a piece of art. James P. Blaylock has created a truly magical story, where most authors who write steampunk go for a direction of a more bold and brash steampunk setting he takes on another route by writing a more or less common story but elevating it with hints of steampunk and a supernatural aspect into it. For me it is truly magnificent display of how to elevate a story to the next level. It is a great story fully accented by enough hints of steampunk and magic.
Isamu Fukui was just 15 years old. The setting and the writing style of the book will appeal to many younger readers. There are more than enough fighting scenes featuring ceramic swords, guns, helicopters and RPGs, and all in all they are a great pleasure to read. This non-stop action was not overshadowing the book for me at all. Next to the action there were entire paragraphs dedicated creating a scene around Tack and his coping within this harsh world and how he perceived both sides, The Educators and The Truants. And these two combined made Truancy a great book. And I am really looking forward to start on the prequel Truancy Origins and the sequel Truancy City as soon as possible.
In short, this first omnibus of the Nightside series is pretty cool, providing lively and eerie action but also a rapidly growing plot-line centring around John Taylor. Being away from the Nightside for a few years, he is now back in business finding the lost things but also his urge to find out who his mother is and what he is is a nice broadening of The Nightside series. For everyone who likes urban fantasy, this is a winning series.
In summary; The Forever Saga: Flash is a diamond in the rough. It shows, like many self-published authors, great promise, inventiveness and creativity. And this was seen in both storyline - the Vaucans and Jasons both - but in the end they just did not quite add up for me. There is a nice ending to the book wherein Jason will probably make a great entry in the sequel to come. I do somehow get the feeling that Brians part was a dual role, that he both kept the family apart but on another level also together. Now with a pretty interesting ending I do have high hopes for the sequel to come and what will happen with the Renney family as a whole.
The Uncrowned King is a valuable addition to the series and shows a great broadening of the initial storyline, where Byren, Piro and Fyn all think that they are left alone and that the rest of their family is dead. The setting up the three remaining family members with their own adventures and perils is very interesting and will allow, I hope, for a climactic standoff. Just as with The Kings Bastard, this book is definitely recommended.
All in all I found that this specific combination of supernatural and forensic science worked to it fullest in Virals producing a very engaging, unique and interesting story. This unique blend did greatly appeal to me and I know that it will appeal for a broad younger audience. Now that the Virals have truly grown into their powers... anything can happen.
Redlaw: Redeye is a good book but compared to the first book, there was just a bit less magic to it. Though the action, the battle and the persona of John are still great as well as the introduction of Tina to the story was very cool and gave on certain scenes a light-hearted and laugh aloud moments. It did fall to notice that the book was not as carefully constructed as the first book. Showing a bit more rash and a bit unexplained moments, that could have used with some more elaboration. But I do think that the goal is achieved with delivering another sensational action-filled volume to the Redlaw series. The Redlaw series for me is just in your face door kicking down good!
Similarly to Phoenix Rising, the steampunk element is not to be missed, from lococycles to automatons, ornithopters and cyborgs with firearms hidden in prosthetics. I did feel the shift from focusing on the character more towards the vivid world in which the story took place, this might have been due to the build-up of the characters in the first book which allowed both authors to explore the world more to its rights. The ending is again a bit closed, all well ends well ending but Dr. Sounds does have a new task which I hope will prove again a jolly ride for our daring heroes. The Janus Affair is truly a most shocking and electrifying ride through Victorian London.
City of Glass upon reflection is a great addition to the growing series of Mortal Instruments, for me it would only have been better is the first 2/3 of the book would have been skipped. Cassandra Clare created an interlude with letting fall in place many of the puzzle pieces and on top of this there is a nice climactic battle and confrontation with Valentine in the end. City of Glass ends with an all good ending. With several threats eliminated, Cassandra Clare can now start, the fourth book City of Fallen Angels anyway she wants.
Halo: Glasslands was a great introduction for me into the Halo series, though I did have some knowledge of the franchise prior to reading the book, there were still a few terms that I had to catch up with. After doing that the book picked up pretty fast. There is great combination between the storylines and the action in all three of them. Karen Traviss introduced a great ending that will possibly see the universe at the brink of war again. But added to this.. Dr. Catherine Hasley is now presumed dead there is still a lot plotting going on also from the good guy perspective...
Bitter Seeds shows a great feat of combing a very strong narration, complex characters and several cool elements like the warlocks and psychics. Everything in the storyline from Raybould and Will daily doings to the concepts of the German psychics and English warlocks was worked out in detail. See the British Intelligence reverse engineering the mysterious batteries and creating the pixies to try to get the better hand over the Germans for example. These small additions really made me feel the story as a whole. On top of this some of the character left an impact on me in particular Will, Klaus and Gretel. The ending might have felt a bit abrupt for me, showing more or less the English side with their new found allies. It did leave a great introduction for the second book. I have high expectations of the sequel because with what happened in the end and overall in the storyline, I think that the sequels will have a more darker and sinister aim to them, what is really happening in the basement of the Admiralty and why is it needed now that the war is over?? This book really takes you to the edge of the seat!
With MetaWars: The Dead are Rising, Jeff Norton continues the great MetaWars series. The second book in the series focuses more on the consequences that were set in motion by Jonah actions in the end of the first book, producing again a fast pacing and action filled plot but with a side-line. Jeff Norton took, to my pleasure, enough time to add an emotional tinge to the story between Jonah and his father. And in the short time that they got to spend together there was a great mind teaser: Jonahs father said that the Guardians did not kill him... but then who did? Many questions, got answered but more were raised.
The Doctor and the Kid continues the alternate USA created in The Buntline Special very neatly. The alternate side of the Weird West Tales was more or less done in the first book but there are more characters introduced in the book, again showing a great feat of researching on the historic characters. Next to this the book is full of action, witty dialogue and humorous moments. With a reference placed in an earlier chapter saying that it is far from over for Doc Holliday, and with again a closed story. The third book The Doctor and the Roughrider can pick up anywhere, but it is definitely on my to read list.
There are a lot of things going on in Blood and Feathers that I can continue for quite some time still. Like the division of hierarchy in Heaven with the Choirs and awesome powers that they have, but then this would be too lengthy. Blood and Feathers is a great start to a series having a great writing style that got me through this book in an afternoon. Next there is a cast of likeable characters bolstered by their own personalities and a dose of humour, last is the action that forces you to read this book in one sitting.
All in all Hazardous Goods is a good debut novel, still a bit rough around the edges but the idea very unique and new. If John A Mackie can polish some off the edges I do think he is onto a good thing with his series.
All in all I am more than pleased with the great continuation of the Books of the Order series that Philippa Ballantine has shown in Spectyr. Spectyr is a everything that was present in Geist but felt better in terms of using the characters and using the storyline and idea behind the book. There is a careful planning going on that looking back at Geist can be a great plot twist. In the end of Spectyr you are left in a very interesting position that really urges me to pick up the third book in the series, Wryath.
The Falling Machine is the debut book written by Andrew P. Mayer and the first book in the Society of Steam series. I have always found steampunk a very interesting genre and when I found out that The Falling Machine combines two of my favourite elements; steampunk AND superheroes, I just had to read this book.
Gridlinked is a great book that I can recommend to anyone who likes to read some deep space science fiction. The extensive world that Neal Asher creates, with AI, androids and augmentations was neatly put together, providing a great backbone for the characters to rely upon.
In summary Crusher is a good debut, it has a great writing style. Several aspects were greatly used in setting up the storyline of Crusher. Finn is a really complicated character, that on some levels shows naivety and on others determination. The plotline left me in the dark until the last chapter but upon revealing who the murderer was I must say it wasn't something that I expected but it was too sudden and felt out of place.
City of Ashes is a great sequel and addition to the The Mortal Instruments series where Cassandra Clare manages to use the previously created world to the fullest. For me there was not a slack moment in the whole storyline, some chapters read away easier than others. As for the characters, they do continue to develop and as the plot moves, the destinies of both Jace and Clary are slowly revealed - what are they truly and how did they come to be special? But more over, City of Ashes ends with a very cool cliff-hanger, of which I am eager to find out what will happen in City of Glass
In the end Redlaw really made my day. Showing again a nice take on vampire fiction but with a full-tilt action (Cindermakers, aqua sancta grenades and Allium sativum bombs, any takers?) and bloody violence backing it up. But also offering more. In Redlaw, James Lovegrove has created a great concept showing an vampire invaded and contained London that both has supporters and rebels to the rights of the vampires, a stronger than ever main protagonist John Redlaw, and to top it off a great fast paced and engaging and movie-like writing style. Recently the second book has come out Redlaw: Redeye and I cannot wait to start on it.
All in all I was more than pleased with Babylon Steel, and it is these types of book that give me a great pleasure in reading. Authors that dare to go outside the box and combine - in a great way - existing fantasy genres to create something new. And in this Gaie Sebold has more than succeeded. Using a great narrative behind the strong character of Babylon, interweaving the past and present , which in the end came neatly together, and all this in a carefully constructed world, which will allow in the books to come more exploration of this great universe. I can only say that this is worth a hearty recommendation.
All in all I found a great pleasure in City of Bones, Cassandra Clare managed to hit the right snares to introduce a new series, showing a interesting world and likable characters, and a plot that can go any which way.
With Phoenix Rising, Phillipa Ballantine and Tee Morris have created a great addition to the growing steampunk genre and have given a new take on fighting crime. For me, the authors demonstrated a good grasp of the steampunk theme, although centering this story more around the characters rather than the setting meant that a true Victorian setting was not exactly represented. The focus on Eliza and Wellington allowed for funny and witty dialogue and action sequences, often leading to explosive conclusions. Lets see what the sequel has to offer.
The Siege is good book showing an unlikely Roman officer forced into doing something that he was not fully trained for. The Siege has an engaging and unique writing style that allowed a nice build up from the preparations to the final clash between the Romans and Palmyrans.
If you love Terry Pratchett novels you will love this, if you haven't read any off Terry's works before and want to start, you can't go wrong here.
Touched by an Alien is great, a humorous, action packed science fiction book that gives you a thrilling and fast-paced story. Now that Kitty has joined up with the Alpha Centaurians, I can only imagine what she has in store for us!
Tomorrow the Killing is a great addition to the Low Town series, and I was more than pleased to see the past of Warden and that is pretty gruesome and dark. The continuation of the dark and gritty scene was greatly put together and creating again a very unique story. Although there were already a few revelations of the Wardens past in Tomorrow the Killing I hope that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Showing that the Warden was part of a Special Operations and made right-hand in the first year but in his third year he had his fall from grace? I want to know what happened in between those! I was hoping for just this sequel.
The Dead of Winter nails the supernatural part and produces an unique story. With the vivid descriptions and the town and the monsters you get to meet allows a nice visualization. Using both common and uncommon monsters frequented in the supernatural gave again more to The Dead of Winter. And with Cora being a great main protagonist this is definitely a series for me to watch.
Insurrection is a great book, even if youre not aware of the historical underlay of the story. It features betrayal, family feuds, great battle scenes and a very engaging writing style. It shows how Robert the Bruce as a young man grew to be a guardian of Scotland. First having a burden on his shoulders, making wrong decisions and trying to better them and as a higher motive do everything for the betterment of Scotland. As mentioned in the back of the book Robert the Bruce remains more of a grey area and his history is not black and white. Using Robert in this way showed a great versatility in his character and did not require to keep him as he is shown in history. Just to say it again, Insurrection is a great read
Breed is a unique story that fits well onto the supernatural thriller shelf. Using a new background for the introduction of why Alex and Leslie became what they were, it was good to read that it was not yet another science experiment gone wrong. A nice thing in the end was how Leslie actually tries to get back together with her children but what Dr. Kis has said previously turn out to be just empty words... Breed is gripping, fast-paced thriller that will only allow you to take a breath after you have finished it.
The Adventures of Nana Barb: Lost in Time is a great starter of series and even more impressive as a début from John Auckland. Combining nice proven sci-fi elements with an interesting storyline and an even greater narration done by the funny and with Web-spinners. Using input given by the reading community this story can go any which way.
The Wolf Age is the third book in the Morlock Ambrosius series written by James Enge. When I first encountered this book I thought it was a stand-alone book. However, even though The Wolf Age is part of series featuring Morlock Ambrosius I could easily read this book and understand it clearly although I might not have gotten the full dark background of Morlock. It felt like The Wolf Age does not narrowly focus on Morlock per se but that he is woven into the storyline, and this combined with the details of the werewolves produces an illustrious story.
In Maria and the Devil, Graham Thomas managed to create a very strong story featuring many elements that come greatly together in the beginning as well as in the end. There was a very strong tone of a dark and sad theme but on occasion giving a light-hearted moment. Maria is shown as a very strong character and all what she goes trough reflects well in her character. And with this edition to the current repertoire of Graham Thomas he shows that he can write great stories, funny and witty as well as dark and gritty.
Gods Eye has great, well developed characters, great writing style and an even better setting, using supernatural, thriller and romantic themes to enliven the story in a nice way. But the focus, in my opinion, is not on any of these three. Instead for me you she how Katharine is struggling in her changed life and how she is tackling some off the new introduced problems, which are caused by the above mentioned themes. In the end there are a few plot twist and the last pages really marks it a nice and well rounded story. Recommended.
It should be said that The Buntline Special is a humorous take on an alternate Wild West and with this Mike Resnick has proved to be successful. The rewriting of the original events and characters produced a lively tale. This Wild Weird West invites for more exploration.
Besieged is a great showcase of both intricate character relations on a small scale like between Imoshen and Vittoryxe as well as showing struggles of a hated and despised people on a greater scale with the True-men against Ten, this greater scale is also shown between the sisterhood and brotherhood. Similarly as The Kings Bastard the writing style is great and neat and reads away easily. All the events that occur in Besieged lead up to a nice ending with a good link to the second book. A solid plot, both betrayal on small and large scale, great likeable characters make Besieged a great starter.
The pacing of the book was great from the beginning you're in a linearly phase where everything is explained with the help of a private eye. As a soon as Zak finds a certain schematic while cleaning out the attic the story goes on a roller-coaster ride. Having achieved what was impossible. He becomes the Master of Machines... but with this new title there are certain consequences which he did not know. The ending of the book leaved nothing to be desired, it is a story where everything turns out for the better. On top of this there is nice lead into a possible sequel in the last two sentences of the book. Zak Corbin: Master of Machines is a great book, isn't tinkering and creating robots any boys dream?
The Eyre Affair shows a great combination of humour thriller, sci-fi, detective and fantasy, in my opinion this book really takes the fantasy fiction genre further. I know I am going to repeat myself but this book is how Thursday would have said it mad as pants. It combines some great elements that truly make this book comes to life in more than one dimension. Combining funny and witty dialogues but also numerous literary ideas with the bookworms and names of several of the characters make this a terrific read and should be compulsory for everyone. You wont regret this.
Alexander Outland: Space Pirate is written by Gini Koch, author of the Katherine Kitty Katt series under the pen-name of G.J. Koch. Though both books feature a science fiction theme, they are completely different. One thing that they do have in common is the right humorous setting. Featuring a highly enjoyable main character.
As far as a debut goes, this is one of the better that I have read so far. I was pleased with how everything was just enough; the descriptions and actions of the inhabitants of the House of Darkling could have been overdone but this was reined in and just enough to keep up the curiosity. The book is well written and reads away easily. Although Michael Boccacino tries to steer you in the book, there was no force pushing me, and did not at all feel limited in indulging me into the book.
For a conclusion I must say that Metawars is a phenomenal read that challenged me to think and re-think about escaping reality. Again I want to stress the fact that using this dystopian setting with the escapism theme was just brilliant gave a very, very fruitful and enjoyable story. The characters were great and felt relatable. Using opposite factions The Guardians and the Millenials, with both bad and good arguments as to why their cause is better than the others. The plot line itself shown a few twists and turn. MetaWars: Fight for the Future was more than I expected and is definitely a world that I would like to plug into again.
Blood Zero Sky is a magnificent addition to the already growing dystopian genre. It has everything that is needed to create an alternate world feeling, people being oppressed and forced taken with a well designed world just brilliant. And with the sketched world it might just happen to us in the their future... you never know.
There is so much more The Kings Bastard, that if I would continue I would reveal too much of the story. So in short. The Kings Bastard is in my opinion a must read for fantasy fans. It shows a great world, a country in struggle, magical creatures, great characters and brawling action.
The Rise of Nine is great addition, featuring funny and witty dialogue between Four and Nine. Full-tilt action in India with Six, Seven and Ten. And with the revealing of a the Mogadorian Setrákus Ra, there are enough aspects to keep the story lively and enjoyable. I only hope that in the books to come, now with most of the numbers as a team, that Pittacus Lore will steer away from the hiding->fighting->running cycle and shows what the Numbers are truly made off!
A most interesting feature which caught my attention early on in The Sundering is the combination of being introduced to the flooded world and the way the story is told from Harrys perspective using a first person narration. This worked wonders in portraying the devastated and flooded world.
All in all I found that Breaking the Devil's Heart was a very unique book. And I'm glad that I had the opportunity to read and review it. The whole concept was well thought through and the scenes in Hell were vividly told. Goodman really sets himself apart with the unique story and throwing most of the religious and political views out of the door, I somehow feel that this won't be the last that we heard of Goodman. And finally... Hell as a corporate bureaucratic institution... brilliant.
In Temptress of the Flame Wade Kakoschke has managed to create a very rich story. Going for a High/Epic fantasy theme he got it right from the start. There is a nice quest, he introduces a very magical world and even more magical races. This makes Temptress of the Flame more that worth the time reading.
Overall this is a sequel worth of the Lorien legacies, offering more insight into the Lorien world and characters, while adding and mixing the story telling around to create a new kind of novel, this is an engaging story that stands out as one of the best sci-fi novels I have ever read.
I Am Number Four breaks new ground in fantasy/alien/sci-fi fiction and while aimed at a young adult audience, all ages will find something here. The story is gripping and addictive and with enchanting characters that evoke empathy and understanding it is hard not to fall in love with this universe.
The writing style was very good, I just flew from page to page. The pacing overall was great, in certain scenes there was a nice climax and in other scenes revelations that gave more insights into how everything happened in the first place. A nice twist on A Quarter of Magic was the plot line. I came to think that the Terramangs were the sole evil do-ers, and to a certain degree they are. But in the end there is a big revealing of how the imbalance came to pass, which was interesting.
A lot of the ideas of the Haunting Duet unfortunately made a sudden introduction and left more than something to be desired instead of providing enrichment to the story line. I hope that in the sequels there will be of a more sedated pace, taking time to both highlight the general outlay as well as keeping up the lively fighting scenes. There is much too like but the book was sometimes overwhelming and rather chaotic.
The Bane of Yoto is a well rounded story, it is planned for a trilogy, but the first already produces a closing storyline. In terms of plot line and character development The Bane of Yoto is simple and this can be improved more in the following books. This does not take away that it is quite an enjoyable book. With a pretty strong ending, Im curious of what the Arbitrators have in store for Yoto. Will we revisit the planet Neos? Or will Joshua provide more insights on the whole universe of the Numah. Olokun and maybe other alien races?
The Enlightenment of Abigail Brown adds much to the already existing world of Nousidia in terms of world building. I found the character development a bit lacking, and I hope that this will continue in the books to follow. There were many places visited and many new characters introduced that I felt that the overall plot line lost its focus. I also hope that there will be a better constructions in the next book with a strong plot line.
I can say that Runelight is an awesome book in which Joanne Harris really has proven herself a fine author once again. I was already pretty pleased with Runemarks but with Runelight she has really raised the bar. A very strong and unique plotline, hefty fight scenes, dramatic revelations and witty, funny and compelling dialogue make this a highly recommended read.
The Enchantment of Abigail Brown is enjoyable read and most likely the young readers will not notice the above mentioned criticism, they will see Abby, female heroine, savior of Nousidia, and princess to be. And with this Mark Waters HAS created a really enchanting, rich, and magical story with very solid world building.
With Runemarks Joanne Harris has written a great addition to the fantasy books that integrate mythology. Norse mythology is something that I was not that familiar with but I was pleased with how everything came together in the end. In Runemarks you are invited to travel between the Nine Worlds from the World above to the Netherworld.
I enjoyed every part of Fire City, the storytelling is strong, engaging and dark and gritty at some points. The part where Jonah, Mace and Tyrell went into the cellar in a town nearby Fire City just gave me the creeps. Fire City is how I like my teen/YA fantasy. It is just great stuff. I hope to see more of Bali Rais work in the future and with the alluring ending I do sincerely hope he is going for a sequel.
Tera Lynn Childs is no stranger to mythology-based fantasy with previous works Oh. My. Gods. and Goddess Boot Camp having both drawn inspiration from the same rich source and her fans will certainly enjoy Sweet Venom. Although comparisons are being made to Buffy the two are not as similar as you might at first expect. Yes, they both have urban settings and involve much slaying but by having monsters from Greek mythology rather than vampires Childs makes the two unquestionably different. The narrative revolves around three girls: Grace, Gretchen and Greer. Each is imbued with special powers thanks to their direct ancestral link to Medusa, who is not quite what you might expect and the authors altered mythology is adeptly handled, providing a rich backbone to the story.
The Woman Who Died a Lot was first published in July 2012, number one best-selling author Jasper Fforde's seventh book in his Thursday Next series. A blend of alternate history and comic fantasy it is grand reading material, combining excellent writing and great inventiveness with more great jokes and groan-worthy puns than you could shake a stick at.
Stories featuring immortals can, in my opinion, go one of two ways. They can either be funny, focussing on the humorous side of being immortal or be played completely straight and serious. This book falls into the latter category.
There was one thing that was unexpected. No technology. From the synopsis and the front I actually thought there would be a hint of high-tech technology in there: computers, cell phones and the likes. But there was none... And this allowed the story to become that bit more original, a crime solving novel set in a world where magic, referred to as Art, is the thing to be feared. It was fresh to read about this concept in a book. Straight Razor Cure is a great combination of crime-thriller and fantasy, containing violence, strong language and a very dark setting but all are all well balanced and not over the top.
Circus Maximus is a great race through time, albeit at a slower pace than found previously in The Storm Begins. But this was not a let-down, actually quite the opposite as I found the more sedate pace brought the characters and their surroundings to life even better. The revisiting of historical events was again nicely done and this is what makes these books such a great adventure tale. The History Keepers is a great series for young and old alike; with agents, double-agents and spies, you never know where Jake will end-up as he attempts stop those who would change history!
The intentions of Wreckers Gate, and of portraying a god rampantly seeking revenge were achieved and I enjoyed the first and the last parts of the book the most. In the middle there was less pace to the storyline and a sudden introduction (that I think the author put there to enliven the story) didn't work for me at all. The switching of the character's perspectives (from Rome to Netra) could have been done with more fluency and the ending of Wreckers Gate just wasn't what I'd hoped for (it was more an introduction to the second book).
The writing style itself was okay - although it was a bumpy ride to begin with illogical sentences, this was later corrected - and suited to its target audience. Blood of the Revenant could have been better, there was a lot of potential but what was written felt cramped within the book's 200 pages.
I would recommend reading this book if you do enjoy stories involving other worlds and ghouls but I would reluctantly recommend that you read it all the way through. If anything I would say read it for the relationship between Merrick and Sorcha but story wise, it begins to fail once you pass the mid-point of the novel.
The Dirty Streets of Heaven isn’t the basic battle between Heaven and Hell. Yes, it has angels, Yes, it has demons, but there is more to it. It is a great and awesome book, totally different from the other books Tad Williams has written but he will attract an even broader audience than before due to this. The book is a light and simple read but that doesn’t take away any of the depth normally seen in his works. From its great introduction to its full-tilt gun action and great character/world building The Dirty Streets of Heaven is rock(ing)-solid! All I can say is, “How many nights do I have to tick off for book 2 to be released?”
The History Keepers should prove to be an interesting series and the first book is undoubtedly a highly enjoyable read. So fasten your seatbelt because you're in for one hell of a ride! Roll on August and the release of book two, Circus Maximus!
If you like Holmes you will enjoy this no matter what the setting. This is deftly handled and despite all the madness and chaos surrounding Holmes et al, Adams never loses sight of his main characters traits and he avoids compromising Conan Doyles original vision just to fit his own. This is a must read for all fans of adventure and fantasy literature.
In summary I would say that the problem I found with Avalonia was that it is neither an adult fantasy book nor a childrens fantasy book, it fluctuates between the two and as such is problematic for both audiences. I think that if Simmons aimed the book purely at either camp then the result would be a major improvement as the world of Avalonia certainly has potential.
London, 1815 The Roxy Playhouse is in trouble! The Roxy Playhouse Irregulars, those libertine artists and dreamers, are up to their necks in debt Pay up in one month or its curtains for you all. Dark times lead to drastic schemes and so the Irregulars decide to reinvent themselves as performance thieves, infiltrate High Society and Robin Hood their way through it. However, getting embroiled in a dark and deadly plot to destroy the Monarchy was never part of their script. The Roxy Irregulars will have to stage the performance of their lives if they want to save the day and make it home in time for last orders.
"Hats off to Brandenburg is a stunning piece off work with a well-structured storyline and characters that are more than likable. The jump from one plot to a much bigger plot was brilliantly done. Hats off to Brandenburg is a worthy addition to anyones bookshelf and I know it made an entry into my top 10 all time favourites! All I can say is: Sit back, relax and enjoy the show. I hope the Roxy Irregulars are here to stay!" Fantasy Book Review
I think that in Blood Oath Farnsworth has added a new theme within the vampire genre which I very much enjoyed. Instead of focusing on romance he instead took a popular present day theme, war on terrorism, and built a fantasy-thriller around it. I hope that Farnsworth can keep up the pace and keep the story as interesting. Blood Oath is suspenseful, thrilling and action-packed novel, an awesome book and a recommended read.
When I put the finished book down I felt it was too short. I was really into the story and would have like to have read more. The ending was, for me, a little to open as in the last few chapters there are so many exciting thing happening that I would have liked there to have been more of a climax, or a cliffhanger ending. I checked out the authors website and was excited to see a that a new book will be released in October. Land of Hope and Glory was definitely a worthwhile read and I heartily recommend it to fans of alternate history and steampunk.
The Long Price Quartet is a marvelous set of books. The first two were a little rough but since this is Abrahams début it is somewhat expected. But he more than makes up for this in the last two books, which were simply superb. And his ending for the Quartet was simply spot on, not overly exuberant but simple, subtle, beautifully idyllic. Abraham really stepped up his game as the series progressed and showed that he is an author to be reckoned with and I hope to see, read and enjoy more of his work in the future.
Forging of a Knight is one of the better young adult books that I have read recently, with it setting of high/epic fantasy being not over the top and nicely done. And as a self published AND début novel it is a very impressive achievement indeed with the plus points being the rousing of your imagination by Negrons storytelling and his usage of his characters. Although written in a linear way the sub-plot and plot itself was not at all obvious at all featured more than enough variation to keep things interesting.
To summarise, Shadow and Betrayal is strong story about an empire struggling to maintain control and power. Abrahams writing is excellent all I can say is that I wished I had picked it up sooner.
Inside Straight was, for me, above expectations, It was a great read, very original with all the storytelling being plain brilliant. If you are looking for a superhero story that is highly original this is one for you.
Seven Princes, is an epic tale that shows much diversity, military battles and ramies that clash, vivid sorcery and brash action scenes. It did deliver on some fronts but on others it let down. On the back cover it is mentioned and blood will run Well you bet your socks it does!
The Time Weaver shows potential as a debut novel but there were just too much things going on. This meant that dialogue and events ended too suddenly or just occurred without due reason. Using fewer ideas and building a solid story around those could have led to better structured story. Hopefully the background of the characters will be further revealed as the trilogy progresses. The Time Weaver shows potential in action and ideas but lack the finesse that put the dots on the i.
Dragonforge proved to be a enjoyable read. Maxey keeps his fast-paced, action filled storyline interesting by combining unseen plot twists, although I must say that Bitterwood had more humor in it (Mr. Hey You) was brilliant. I still don't know how to fully enjoy the science fiction aspects of The Dragon Age series. I like the concept of a world which reverted back to the medieval era due to the cause of the downfall of the human race itself but for me, if Maxey would have just stuck with Burke the Machinist from the get go as the only technological advancement, it would for me have been better acceptable (and the story might have been more livelier still).
There is never a dull moment in Bitterwood, if there is no action Maxey throws in a plot twist that you didnt expect. I got a certain vibe after reading Bitterwood and I think that this is the message the author intended: Here you have it, you either like or you hate it. Bitterwood was for me enjoyable enough, and is in itself a well rounded story with a nice start and finish. Maxey continues The Dragon Age Trilogy with Dragonforge and Im curious to find out where the story will be picked up from. Bitterwood is ideal for readers who like fast-paced sword and sorcery action combined with a totally unexpected science fiction setting.
Again there were scenes that made me grin from ear to ear and the humour that Aaron puts into Elis actions and dialogue is spot on and fits perfectly with the story. Eli is now one of my favourite characters in the fantasy genre. There are many questions being answered but even more being raised and Im very curious to see how the author will maintain the suspense in the last two books and what the climax will be. Rachel Aaron has created an excellent and solid foundation in the first three books and I hope that she keeps up this high standard - using her excellent writing style and witty dialogue - to create that one big final job for Eli. The Legend of Eli Monpress is a top series, one of the very best I have ever read and The Spirit Eater is a must read.
The Spirit Rebellion is a worthy sequel to The Spirit Thief. Aarons writing style matures well while maintaining her light-hearted touch. There is plenty of action complemented by witty dialogue and I am very curious to see how the events unfold in the following books. Aaron definitely has talent.
I have read many books recently that focus more on the darker aspect in fantasy, so The Spirit Thief was a nice change of scenery. The Spirit Thief does has its dark moments, where there are battles between swordsman and magicians, but there was none of the gruesome/gore scenes. Instead, the use of spirit magic makes for a lighter tale that I found extremely enjoyable. The Spirit Thief's storyline feels natural and not at all forced, the dialogue and action scenes move along nicely, and Aaron throws in the unexpected that makes things that little bit more exciting. The Spirit Thief is a great opening to a new series, the character are well thought through and their backgrounds interesting. If Aaron keeps this standard up in the books that follow then the series will be sure-fire winner!
The Men of the Sea is a worthy addition to The Astreya Trilogy and is a must read for everyone who read the first book. Like in The Voyage South I could not detect a strong plot line but more a course of events that took Astreya and his company to several places, each chapter led to new discoveries and the story flowed further. Hamilton manages in his Astreya trilogy to highlight both the extraordinary as well as the ordinary in a brilliant manner, definitely recommended.
Astreya isnt like the other boys in his remote fishing village. When Astreya leaves home, his widowed mother gives him his fathers knife, a riddling notebook, and a bracelet with a mysterious and powerful green stone. He sails south with an adventurous fishing boat skipper, hoping that in the world beyond, he can find out who his father was, what the three enigmatic gifts mean, and whether there is any value to the looks, skills and talents that have set him apart from everyone he has ever known.
All in all The Griffin Mage Trilogy is an enjoyable series which displays, once you get into it, a good storyline. Im happy that I did continue reading, although I did have the feeling that it just took me too much effort to get into it (counting pages till the book ends is not a good sign). Neumeier uses in her descriptions of scenes, characters and events that occur enough detail (sometimes too much) to really make the scenes come to life and give you a front row seat. The best book of this series was the second book which balanced deep and vivid story telling with enough suspense to keep you glued to the pages. The Griffin Mage Trilogy is recommended to anyone who enjoys a fantasy story that focuses on vivid storytelling with more emphasis on interaction instead of bold fighting.
The Sounding is a well thought-through novel that really pays off in the end, it is a great read and a debut novel that shines. Carrie Salo has a real gift for storytelling. Recommended.
Michael Belmont and the Tomb of Anubis proved to be a lively and very enjoyable story I would definitely recommend it for children aged 8 and upwards. I hope that Erway can keep this up in his upcoming novels and I will certainly add his second book to my to-read list.
The Dark-Eyes War is one of the better third books of a trilogy, the storyline throughout never got boring and there were always new twists that urged me to continue reading. It does not solely focus on the armies marching to war and battling but also focuses on the interactions between the characters. The ending of The Dark-Eyes' War is final and does not leave many open questions - it really seals the Blood of the Southlands series. I do hope to read more of David B. Coe in the future, maybe using the Forelands/Southlands settings (with a fresh set of characters) or in a whole new world. He really is a author to be reckoned with.
The Horsemens Gambit is a great sequel to The Sorcerers Plague and Coe really takes his time in creating a rich and complex plot that fully rewards the reader. I cannot wait until the third and final book, The Dark-Eyes War, comes out.
The first book of the Blood of the Southlands is a good book and a fun to read story. It is not for everyone however, as there are no epic scale battles and fights and the book focuses more on the interaction and politics of the various races in the Southlands. And this is something which Coe manages wonderfully.
When I asked to review Galaxy Trotters I had a good feeling that it was going to be a funny book and an enjoyable read. And now, after reading it, I can safely say that my assumption was correct - Galaxy Trotters is a great childrens book.
I hope that The Lord-Protector's Daughter is just and minor set back and that Modesitt changes some aspects in the books still to come - there were exciting possibilities in the book but Modesitt failed to grab them. The Lord-Protector's Daughter is a mediocre addition to the Corean Chronicles.
The Scar was a total delight to read and really had me enthralled from page 1 to 578! The Bas-Lag universe that is just magnificent, and this, combined with his engrossing way of story-telling, really makes The Scar a must read. His genre weird fiction is just wonderful.
All in all Honor Among Thieves is good story that connects well with the other two books. The Ancient Blades Trilogy is in itself definitely worth reading. The motivation of the actions of the characters and the plot that Chandler uses make this trilogy highly enjoyable. I hope to read more fantasy books written by David Chandler in the future.
Escapement is a good addition to the Mainspring Universe created by Jay Lake in his first novel Mainspring. He continues with its world building and the elaboration on certain events and the factions from Mainspring makes some pieces of the puzzle come together. Escapement has a good plot and solid - and occasionally funny - characters. I recommend it highly.
All in all, Mainspring has a marvellous and highly original world, and the story was great to read. Lake has a good writing style that really involve you in the novel. An original blend of science fiction and fantasy set in an alternate 19th century Earth.
James Bartholomeusz lives in Hertfordshire, England and is currently studying English Literature at the University of Exeter. His first young-adult novel, The White Fox, will be published in December 2011 by Medallion Press, with two more in the same series to follow. James is the first author of the YA-YA (Young Adults writing for Young Adults) line of Medallion Press.
When I first requested this book for review I had only read the back and thought that Tancredi would be comparable to Stephen Baxters Flood or Arc books. But when I read the first few pages of Tancredi I was surprised to find that it was a whole different ballgame.
The plot of A Thief in the Night is just like Den of Thieves and not at all predictable. Chandlers writing makes you form a mental conclusion for the end of the novel but manages to leave you with mouth open forming an I didnt expect that to happen. Still, I was a let down by a thief novel turning into a more Indiana Jones style adventure. But A Thief in the Night still kept me excited to find out how the end of the story unfolds in book 3, Honour Among Thieves.
Den of Thieves is a good book for anyone who likes epic fantasy, I especially liked the manner in which magic and the demons were used and of course the Ancient Blades - who doesnt like a sword with magical properties that slay demons!
When I first requested this book to review I had mixed feelings about the story. The text on the back cover can either make or destroy the book. I must say that I still have mixed feeling about the book, in my opinion there is just too much fighting in the book and hardly any character depth/build-up in the book. If Wood could add more detail to the characters and their surroundings I think it would have made for a better book. I do like the language used in The Saviour,: it makes the book easy to read and understand. In one sentence: The Saviour is an action packed hack n slash novelization that could do with more story build-up. The last page ends with Not The End..., for any sequel I do hope there is more character depth and less fighting scenes.
When I arrived home one evening from work, I found something unusual waiting for me that the Postman had delivered earlier that day. Holding the blank postcard with a single black moustache printed on the front I began to wonder if I had some sort of strange, hairy stalker. I then received two more of the postcards; one with a tooth on it and one with a feather later on that week. So with curiosity baiting me, I hunted down some information about the postcards on the internet and realised that they were a marketing campaign for a book I was about to receive. To this day Im not sure whether the marketing campaign was successful (judging by my confusion), but the book on the other hand definitely deserves to stand up in its own right.
Here at Fantasy Book Review we have been giving Tim Marquitz quite a bit of love and publicity lately. For good reason too, this guy really knows how to write an entertaining story that appeals to a range of people on a number of different levels. This time around Marquitz has decided to move out of the Urban Fantasy / Horror genre to write epic fantasy, and while the the story is not without a few notable issues, this is his first attempt at the genre and on the whole it is an impressive one.
The level of detail within Watchers - though plainly written - makes this novel a highly enjoyable book for both young and older readers. If you think you would enjoy C.S. Lewiss Chronicles of Narnia or J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series mixed in with a bit of detective and alternate history then this book is a must read for you. Watchers is a nice twist on standard fantasy and I can assure you that in the end you will be surprised by the subtlety of the tale that Essi Tolling writes. I, myself, cannot wait to start on the next part of the series.
Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger, encounters three doors which open to 1980s America, where he joins forces with the defiant Eddie Dean and courageous, volatile Odetta Holmes. And confronts deadly serial killer Jack Mort. As the titanic forces gather, a savage struggle between underworld evil and otherworldly enemies conspire to bring an end to Rolands quest for the Dark Tower... Masterfully weaving dark fantasy and icy realism, THE DRAWING OF THE THREE compulsively propels readers toward the next chapter.
Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects the book of Abraham the Mage. Its the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world.
The Dark Tower boasts some of the best characters in fantasy and the first instalment introduces to us the obsessive and lonely gunslinger, Roland of Gilead, and the innocent yet world-weary Jake of New York. And as we read they form a tender and loving relationship that is pivotal to all that follows. From the beginnings in the desert and through events and flashbacks we then visit the doomed town of Tull, visit Gilead, see the New York of Jake's when and finally travel through the mountains to the moment when Roland faces the most difficult decision of his life.