Featured reader reviews: Page 5

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.

It by Stephen King

9 stars

I preface this by saying I am a huge Stephen King fan and have been since 10 years old. I recently read IT as an adult in my 30's and here we go...This story is an undertaking to read at over 1000 pages, but I don't feel like the details are "filler" as some feel or too much. Stephen King is super detailed in all of his stories. IT was a beautiful story about childhood, facing fears, life long love and friendships, and finding inner strength and courage. There were so many parts of this story that I reread because of how beautiful it is. King's ability to remind you of feelings associated with childhood - fear, awkwardness, love, lonesomeness, best friends, bullies, etc - is amazingly relayed. I too feel that I know Derry and could draw a map of it. I feel now familiar with the Barrens, the library, Kansas Street - I feel this because he writes descriptions the viewer feels they can see. The picture is painted for you and it's a masterpiece. I will say I agree that the particular scene was jarring to me, but not enough to ruin the story for me. I've been reading King so long, you would think I couldn't be shocked anymore, however...but all of that aside, I fully recommend it, it's a fantastic read. It took me a month and I am an avid reader, reading to the detriment of all other things, so..but while this book is a commitment, I don't think the reader will be dissapointed.

United States

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

9 stars

This make me reflect with morality and mortality. Life is short, but it is not a reason to ignore what is right. But ironically, humans can love unconditionally. It's not how long we have to live, but how we spend our life with the people we love and care, regardless of our gender, status, physical abilities, capabilities, etc. We can be selfless and naive at the same time. The book have the same feel with the twilight series, with the aspect of POV story telling. But, I think this is more mature and in-depth with the characters. There is neither a pure evil or better person with the characters. Every one have a personality and each of them defy stereotype perspectives. The pacing of the story is easy to follow, since I think it is nice to concise some parts so we can get the effect for the surprise at the ending. In general, I adore this book. I always think about it when I'm away from it, always have an itch to read more. I'm also curios with wide possibilities if the story continues, since the end is really a cliffhanger. But, as with the intended ending, I am happy how Ian and Wanda are together. I am hoping for a sequel, tho.


The Unspoken Name by A K Larkwood

10 stars

AK Larkwood debuts with one of the most original fantasy books I've read in a long time. Our heroinne is a young orc girl, Csorwe; a sacrifical virgin, who gets rescued by a travelling wizard, Belthandros Sethennai, on the day of her death. He becomes much like a father to her, albeit one she hero worships and she will do anything for him, becoming his bodyguard/weapon, with no wishes or dreams of her own. All this would probably have continued for eternity, if not for one thing; while on a mission for Sethennai, along with her frenemy Talasseres Charossa, Tal for short, the unthinkable happens; Csorwe meets Shuthmili and falls in love and loyalties are put on trial. The world in which the story takes place is a vast array of paralell worlds, all with gate portals opening onto a huge dimension called the Echo Maze, from where you can enter other worlds. You weave your way from world to world, through the maze in floating maze ships, which gives a kind of steampunk or scifi feeling. Gods are both real and powerful as Csorwe will find out soon enough. I had so much fun reading this book, at first I was a bit unsure if it was YA, but it is definitely written for adults. There's no sex, but some focus on love, but more as a plot driver as that is what makes Csorwe question her life and gets the whole storyline on a different track. And did I mention the names? They're are just brilliant! This is an absolutely amazing fantasy book, I absolutely loved it and I absolutely believe it will be "the talk of town" in 2020! And I can't wait for the next book!! I was lucky enough to receive an E-ARC from @Tor/Forge, via the good people at @Netgalley.

Helga FJ

Swan Song by Robert McCammon

10 stars

Read this book for school and book club and I loved it. I really am not a fan of horror or dystopia or any stories of the sort yet i really did love this book. It pulls you in and gets you involved with each perspective and how the all come together. In book club, I heard from everyone that while it was a little explicit, it was a favorite of theirs as well and they loved the storyline. One person even said they loved the fact that it could lead to political discussions without fighting being involved and it leading to a debate. Overall, it really is a great book and now one of my favorites!

United States

Skulk by Rosie Best

10 stars

I'm writing on behalf of my daughter, Eden who is 11. She LOVED this book, devoured it. She tells me there was meant to be a second book, but it wasn't published?? Yikes. It should be published. My daughter, is not the only one who loved it. We have leant it to 5 other friends and they loved it too. Could we please have the second book Stranger Chemistry? Jennie - Eden's mum


Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

10 stars

I loved this book, and loved the conclusion to the series. I can't remember the last time I have been so moved by a book, a movie, or anything else - but the end of this really got to me.


Master of Sorrows by Justin Call

10 stars

This book is a work of art. Reading it imersed me into the world of annev and made me think about the book more. Justin has done a great job and every author has there mistakes but this book just isnt a mistake. Its ,if you want to call it, Magic!

United States

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

10 stars

I honestly can't think of where do I put this book in comparison with the other two. This book easily has the best collection of goosebumps moments. The best and longest climax. Actually there are two. And the best charecter work I've seen in fantasy, or in general. Ignore a few odd dialogue choices and pacing problems and epic fantasy doesn't get any better than this. "If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man." 9.6/10


The 10,000 Doors of January by Alix E Harrow

10 stars

This book is as beautiful as they say. I have added it into my collection. I could not put it down. It so amazingly came to life with each word. I completely escaped into this story. I felt as if I was that small child walking through the Wardrobe into Narnia once more. From the first page the story just pulled me in. It is a must read!


Limbo by Thiago DEvecque

8 stars

The author of Limbo, Thiago d’Evecque, approached me after reading about how much I loved Never Die and asked if I would like a copy of his book for an honest review. Thiago’s description of Limbo was very alluring.; ‘The book has a lot of mythology and references to games, RPGs and nerd culture in general, from Lovecraft to Final Fantasy’ So I flew over to Amazon to have check if there was a ‘Look Inside’ which would help me to get a quick feel for the book myself … I’d read just a couple of lines, was absolutely hooked and scurried back to my emails firing off a reply which I tried to make sound more civilised than the ‘SEND BOOK NOW PLEASE’ my heart was screaming. Limbo opens fantastically with the, as yet, unnamed protagonist being restored to consciousness with no knowledge or awareness of their surroundings. -’Some habits returned simply because they were difficult to forget, such as breathing. Thiago does a great job in the first chapter of making a connection between the the reader, the protagonist and the mysterious, baroque environment which is going to be our home for the next 162 pages. It was the language and its structure that really excited me when I read the preview. Short, dramatic sentences roll into one another creating a heavy cadence that pulls you along in the strength of their wake. Taking artistic license, if the sentences are undulating waves then there is a midnight glitter of spray in the form of lyrical and descriptive touches. -’There was only darkness, faint glitters, and shameless flashes, blinking around unbidden in disgusting glimpses.’ Our protagonist is a mysterious and engaging character throughout, tasked with ‘recruiting’ a host of mythological characters who need to return to a pre-apocalyptic Earth. This isn’t, however, a fantasy Earth this is very much our Earth desperately in need of saving. -’I saw political wars using religion as a pretext. I saw religious wars using politics as a pretext. I saw ethnic cleansers disguised as democracy. I saw genocides disguised as military defense. I saw support for genocide aiming profit.’ The protagonist is not quite human, standing a little distant to us but loving us and respecting us in their own way despite the horror we sow. Their other-worldliness and ineffable belief in our redemption definitely gave me Morpheus/Sandman vibes. There are multiple themes layered throughout Limbo, religion and theology prime amongst them and particularly how freedom of choice and freedom of will aren’t quite ‘free’ within certain institutions and structures. This myriad of themes wrap themselves around and suffuse themselves into Limbo’s two main plot devices. The plot initially is quite linear with the protagonist moving from character to character and dispatching them to Earth. This is a thankless task and quite frankly a painful experience for them - literally. They frequently fight suffering painful and un-healable wounds, sure they want to save Earth but what is in it for them? What Thiago has done is very creative, each character who is ‘convinced’ to return to Earth, restores a part of the protagonist’s memory. This creates a hook for both the protagonist and the reader to both care about the journey and to root for their success. Beyond this it also expands Limbo into another two genres, romance and mystery. As much as I enjoyed the forward moving plot I think I enjoyed the backwards revelations more, the eventual reveal of the main character is done so cleverly and with a surprisingly deep, bittersweet back story. Limbo’s crowning glory though, has to be the diverse and inclusive use of mythological characters. It would have been so easy to take the most well-known players of mythology, creating a cast which was very white and very male. Not on Thiago’s watch. Yes we have characters from Greco-Roman, Norse and British history but we also have them from Indonesia, Africa and the Middle East and there’s a healthy mix of male and female. It’s obvious that a lot of respect and care has been afforded each character that we meet. They exist within culturally appropriate environments and all feel unique and different. They speak, and where necessary fight, in a way that feels true to their myth they’re not just cookie-cutter characters. Special mention has to be given to the ‘Cosmic God, the Great Ancient One, the Destroyer of Worlds, the Corruption of the Abyss, the Breath of Death, the Emperor of Madness…’ otherwise known as Chuck. He’s such an awful character in the greatest of ways and I’m a sucker for a talking sword, ever since I first picked up Lilarcor in Baldur’s Gate II. -’I warned you didn’t I? Gormless Bastard.’ Pacing wise I would have to say that Limbo is a slower more meditative read focusing more on thoughts, ideas and dialogue than out-and-out action and with a liberal sprinkle of dark humour that is genuinely funny and never feels forced. The action scenes that there are written well with all of the frenetic force and bloody violence you’d expect. There are some minor issues with Limbo. Inconsistencies with the protagonist such as stating they know how to fight dirty, and doing so, but to then chastise a target for doing likewise in a later chapter. Immersion breaking references to social media and children putting pictures on fridge doors when I don’t think the main character would actually be aware of these things. There were also some minor issues with sentences not reading quite right and the incorrect use of her and him. But I do have to acknowledge the fact that Limbo was translated from Portuguese and they are very minor issues. Errors such as these don’t detract from the story and can be found in every book ever written. Overall Limbo is an exciting and unique read which crams an obscene amount of mythology and entertainment inside its slender form. The cake may be a lie, but to say Limbo is fantastic … isn’t. Who would I recommend this to? The thoughts and concepts in Limbo wouldn’t I think look out of place in a Sandman arc and so I’d certainly recommend it to anyone that enjoys dark, intelligent fantasy. Readers who enjoy history and mythology would also find a lot to love in Limbo’s pages. as most of the characters we meet are from countries whose mythology isn’t quite as well known and so it has the potential to really enrich their knowledge. Referring back to Thiago's comparisons I would also suggest its a good fit for fans of RPG & DnD. The humour, particularly from Chuck, had a very DnD feel while the setting and writing style made me think of Planescape: Torment and Torment: Tides of Numenera.

United Kingdom

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