Sunday, December 29, 2013

POV Book Review


Chris Bosnahan

HarperCollins UK, Digital

Pub Date: Sep 26 2013

3/5 Stars

               Writing this review of POV, has been really difficult.  I found myself belaboring the fact that the book was very short but also inexpensive.  The book was a product of National Novel Writing Month(Nanorimo) in which participants are set to write 50,000 words in a month.  Most professional, published writers use this as a kind of exercise, never publishing what comes out of it.  Or they use it as a way to generate some cool ideas that they MAY use.  But this book wasn’t self published it was published by HarperCollins UK, so who am I to judge it based on that.

               So I decided to judge it for what it was only and not take any of those of considerations into account.  That’s all I can do as a reviewer…  So here we go;  the main story POV, is very short, but well paced.  The characters are somewhat well fleshed out except that the two or three changes in perspective can be a little jarring in a story that short.  But again, the story is paced very well, giving the reader the feel of watching a movie or a television episode rather than reading a book.  I would have liked to see the middle of the sotyr developed more as it stands it seems like the story he wrote for the contest with no additions.  People don’t do that with their stuff for Nanrimo and I hope this author didn’t either.  But the brevity of the entire work certainly hurts it.

              The other three stories; Warning, Happy Pills, and The Knight in the Library were good short stories.  But a strange inclusion here as they had nothing to do with the main story whatsoever.  So being bonus content they were a nice addition.  However, having one reasonably long story that seemed like more than a novella, would have also been nice.  If you’re interested in POV, it’s very reasonably priced, so go a head and give it a try.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Reaver the Sundering Book IV Book Review

The Reaver

Richard Lee Byers

Wizards of the Coast

Pub Date: Feb 4 2014

5/5 Stars


               Reaver is an incredible book.  Not so much for the story, although I did really love the story.  But the way that the author takes great pains in bringing the point of view of all of his main characters to bear throughout the work.  I was often delighted and surprised by it the frequency at which the point of view character changed.  Sometimes only for a chapter, sometimes for more than a chapter.  Obviously Anton was the main character of the book, but the way that the perspective shifted the reader might think that Stedd or even Umara might be main characters.  The reason, that this was important was that the motivations and certainly the off stage actions of these point of view characters were essential to the story and made the entire narrative much richer for having them.

             This was a very well written work with an interesting plot and some wonderful characters, I was also happy to see that some evil gods were finally added to the Sundering’s reveal of Chosens.  It was getting rather boring with just the good aligned gods being represented.  Also, speaking of boring if I never read about the Morning Lord again it will be too soon.  I will be very happy if that particular god is no longer represented in this series or it is simply explained why he is being represented so often.  He is not a deity I remember from the pre-Spellplague Faerun and therefore seems completely trivial to me.  Except that this is the second book to  cast him as the main deity.   One was enough, two is starting to make me think there is more to this than simple coincidence and that’s fine as long as there is.

             The only things that annoyed me about this book were it’s slow start and the use of, “Spell and sword.”  And “Magic and blade.”  These are both used too often(more than once) and I found the phrases incredibly annoying.  The slow start might have been necessary for some characterization but I felt the first 20% or so of the book could have been tightened up a little.  Otherwise, I really loved this book and hope that the rest of the books in the series of the same quality you will find here.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Fiddlehead Book Review


Cherie Priest

Tor Books

(November 12, 2013)

4/5 Stars

            The first book that I’d read of Cherie Priest’s like most people, was Boneshaker.  I found it a pretty good read, the end was a bit rushed and the middle was a bit long.  But for an author’s first book it was amazing.  This book, Fiddlehead, is the final book in the series of the Clockwork Century and it is the second book of Cherie Priest’s I’ve read.  Which I thought was both ironic and kind of crazy.  It also took me almost a month to read this 348 page book.  Which usually means that the book is terrible and I’m having trouble getting through it.  But actually, it was because the book was so good that I had to take my time reading it.  I usually rush through the good books at lightning speed to find out how they end.  But not in this case, from the first chapter sample I was able to read.  I knew I would enjoy this book.

            Unfortunately, the book had some issues.  Pacing being the chief among them.  I was a little put off by some of the beginning and almost all of the middle.  I felt that the book moved unnecessarily slowly.  But that the story that it was ultimately telling was interesting and compelling.  I would venture to say that around the 60% mark the book falls into it’s own and I was completely riveted.  Also trying to prevent myself from reading the rest too quickly simply because I knew that this was it.  I would never be able to read about Gideon Bardsley and his wonderful machine.  I loved Gideon and while in the beginning of the book he seemed like a character of unresolvable discrepancies;  in the end he came together and became one of the strongest characters in the book.  Again the beginning and the middle of the book could have been a bit better.

              Finally, I would like to suggest to any fan of the Clockwork Century series that this is an excellent book and if you haven’t already read it to do so.  For those, like me who have only read Boneshaker… Perhaps reading the other books in the series first will give a new gravity to this one.  You certainly won’t be lost; but then, that isn’t always the only reason to read the previous books in a series.  There are certainly characters from other books in there.  So it is well worth really knowing who these people are before reading this book.  But if you really don’t want to take your chances on the other books or for some reason you can only find this book; you will still love it.  Certainly, Fiddlehead is the best Steampunk book I’ve read this year and I read Boneshaker this year.  So Cherie Priest has certainly done a fair job of outdoing even herself, with this book.

This is Embarrassing… I think?

       So in an effort to create for a you a timely experience.  I’ve been reading some newer books as well as older ones from the year.  The older is obviously easier to get a hold of and the newer sometimes can be a little expensive.  By this time tomorrow or before there should be a new review from Cherie Priest’s book Fiddlehead.  This book has taken me almost a month to read and I’m sorry it has taken so long.  Also, I’ve had some technical difficulties(my computer died) but those have been resolved as well.  So I’m sorry this has all taken so long but we will be getting our mess cleaned up shortly.  And expect this to not be the normal course of business around here.  Thanks…

                                 Timothy Pecoraro

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sword and Laser Author Interviews FTW!

            So I know you guys are really interested in content.  So here is some.  It's not mine.  But hey, Sword and Laser needs your love and they do a REALLY good job!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Celebromancy Book Review


Michael R. Underwood

Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books

Pub Date: Jul 15 2013

3/5 Stars

           The problem I usually have with Urban Fantasy(Dresden aside of course), is that it seems entirely unbelievable.  It seems like everyone would be running for the hills or people would just find out.  Because that kind of thing would definitely have a way of being found out.  In the world of Celebromancy there is the “Doubt.”  Which keeps people from believing the impossible things are happening.  Especially as time goes on from those impossible things.  Which seems like a great way of handling it.  I wouldn’t argue with Michael Underwood’s world building, but I might with his storytelling.  Celebromancy is a very short book to seem as long as it did for me.  Having not read the previous book in the series I was pleasantly surprised that I was caught up pretty quickly.  Unfortunately, this seemed more to do with the lack of depth on the story’s part rather than any actual catching up a new a reader.  The book is shallow, badly paced, and had a final 25% that made up for the rest of the book.  Yes, I said it, I liked the book just because of that last 25%.  The rest of the book was just a long, boring, dance waiting to get there.  I can put up with a lot of world building, tension building, characterization, etc… But when you simply wander around for the majority of the book and them come out with an excellent final act.  It makes me believe that rather than a novel this should have been a novella or a short story.