31 October, 2012

What's the Deal With... Goodreads Choice Awards

An internet rant is a beautiful thing, I mean, why even be online, with all the anonymity that brings, and even attempt to contain all that angst. It's why we have comments on everything from blogs to Youtube to news stories. People need to complain! We have things on our chest and we've got to get them off...and our significant others are just plain tired of hearing the same thing over and over again. 

In light of this, I decided to institute a new feature on the blog where I can bring up whatever's on my mind, be it terrible book covers, titles, ideas, bloggers (okay, probably just one blogger), you name it and have some fun with it. 


Anyone who reads the blog regularly already knows that I'm a huge fan of Goodreads. You can literally spend (definitely not waste) hours and hours on the site organizing your books, reading reviews, finding out stats, comparing books, and more. 

If I had to choose between keeping Google and Goodreads, it wouldn't even be a contest, Goodreads all the way.

But no one's perfect, not even the inimitable Goodreads.

For some reason, they've decided to start the voting for their "Choice Awards" in October of the same year. Says their announcement:
The Opening Round lasts until November 10. Vote now to make sure your favorite books make it into the Semifinals.
I don't know about you, but last time I checked there are still a couple months after October. Okay, so I guess technically you could read a book that comes out in November during those first 10 days and vote for it, but that's probably not really going to happen right?

Other awards (Hugo, Nebula, DGLA for instance) seem to function just fine having the voting after the year has a chance to take it's toll. I'd chalk it up to worry about the Mayan end-of-the-world scenario if this didn't occur each year, but what's the deal?

After a bit of research, I found out that books released after the voting begins are included in the next year's awards, but doesn't that just seem like an unnecessary complication? I can possibly see Butcher's Cold Days (Nov. 27, 2012 release date) making next year's cut (maybe), but I can't help thinking this is just silly. 

Please, someone with better sense than me explain this to me.

Ps. Happy Halloween!

26 October, 2012

eBook Deals, or Books I Bought Recently

Just another reminder, I don't always buy the eBooks, the title was just handy to keep in place. I do tend to buy most of them anyway, but I also already own a number of them and will probably not buy them again unless I'm in the mood to relieve some shelves. I also try not to post about books I wouldn't read or don't plan on reading.

But, just to make the entire title less misleading, I'll add a section of those books I did order/buy during the week whether electronic or paper.

eBook deals:

Taliesin (Pendragon Cycle #1) by Stephen R. Lawhead [$0.99]
The Best of Michael Swanwick by Michael Swanwick [$2.99]
Inside Job (Novella) by Connie Willis [$2.99]
Seed by Ania Aulborn [$2.99]
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova [$2.99] - If you missed it above, I will not link books I canNOT recommend, although it has been read sadly.

Books purchased (paper, no electronic):

Stone by Adam Roberts (Amazon)
The High House by James Stoddard (Amazon)

Note: These purchases are directly related to this post.

25 October, 2012

Review - Blade of Tyshalle (Acts of Caine #2) by Matthew Woodring Stover

I got a Kindle and guess what was my first purchase? You guessed it, Atlas Shrugged! Okay, no, it was this one, Blade of Tyshalle [US] [UK]. I was looking forward to it, but it's all but impossible to get in paper form unless you want to pay out the nose.

Because I had such a long wait time between this book and the first in the Acts of Caine, Heroes Die (which I was inordinately hard on for some reason), I had lots of time to read reviews and such and opinions are actually quite divisive.

On one side, you have those who absolutely adore the book and yet acknowledge how different it is from Heroes Die. These people tend to like Blade more than the Heroes. On the other side, you have those who just hated it, hated that it was a completely different book with a simple premise. I found myself in the former category (hence the 5 stars I guess).

I went into Blade not really knowing what to think, but having this idea that it would be a completely different book than it was. I had this picture that it would be a philosophical treatise almost. I was wrong. Not completely wrong, but very wrong nonetheless.

The thing is, Blade of Tyshalle is everything you would expect in a sequel to Heroes Die. It's easily one of the bloodiest, action-filled, killfests around. This was, for some reason, a big surprise to me. There is constant action.

At the same time, Blade is a very introspective book (this is where the philosophy comes in). There are lots of ideas thrown around about life and about living. I didn't even necessarily agree with all of them, but it got me really thinking.

Stover's "about the author" in some of his books reads something like, "Matthew Stover believes everything you need to know about life can be found in his books." I always thought that was pretty conceited, but now I'm starting to see why he believes this way.

One of the main arguments he puts forth here in Blade of Tyshalle is that you can really do anything you want. If you want it, do it. It's that simple. This kind of thinking really jives with me. I very much believe that life is what you make it, even as cheesy as that sounds. If you want to be rich, you can do it, you just gotta work your butt off to get it. Same goes for fame, for anything.

I think most of us fall in the category of 1) having multiple passions, which means all suffer and/or 2) getting comfortable where you are (or lazy in my case), which is why we're not rich or famous, but probably a lot happier. I'll stop before this takes over...

Anyway, tangent aside, the world that Stover has created is incredible. If the fact that his world contains a futuristic caste-based society that sends "actors" to a medieval fantasy-type world to reek havoc and practice magic purely for entertainment doesn't make you want to read a book, I don't know what would.

Seven years after the ending of Heroes Die, the first in the Acts of Caine, Caine finds himself it a bit un-Caine-like situation. He no longer has the use of his legs, what with that whole magical sword, Kosall, running him through to his spine. In fact, he hates when people remind him he's Caine.

His best "friend" (i.e., not really his friend at all, but worst enemy), Tan'elKoth, formerly known as Ma'elKoth or the bad guy from Heroes Die who found himself "transcended" to Earth, is the only one he can really talk to.

While "Caine" (or Hari now) pines for his old life, he now lives with his wife, Shanna, and daughter, Faith. He was even bumped up a caste to Administrator. So really, he's got it made. Well, not really at all because then we wouldn't have this fun story here.

Being Caine, Hari ticked of his share of people on both Overworld and Earth and that doesn't bode well for a nice, peaceful life of luxury. With a mix of old grudges and dark powers arising, Blade of Tyshalle ups the ante from Heroes Die in so many ways.

Not only does Blade deal with a medieval world that can be accessed from Earth, but the ideas Stover presents are epic themselves. Is it worth saving the world when you can't save a loved one? Is the world even worth saving? Is it worth saving one world while damning another? What if the first world has billions of more people, and especially children? These are just a couple of the questions that really had me thinking.

If there's anything I hate, it's plot-lines where the main protagonist, the hero even, loses his powers. This didn't work for me in Spider-man 2 (movie) or in Batman Returns (graphic novel). Although I still enjoyed the latter, I didn't love it because of this aspect. In this book, that seems to be the case, that Caine has lost his Mojo. It could be argued so, and I was definitely of this opinion for most of my read, but it's really not the case. Is it really the physical parts of you that make you you?

While at the limits of my gag reflex, Blade of Tyshalle comes highly recommended. It has EVERYTHING you could ever want from a fantasy and more. The pages turn themselves, the writing's spectacular, the world is insane and fully fleshed out (much more here than in Heroes Die too), and the action is the best you'll find. This isn't just puffery, I challenge you to find better action.

As bloody and brilliant as you would expect from the awesomeness that was Heroes Die and yet Blade of Tyshalle takes everything up a notch. Action-packed mayhem and ideas that make you think? Yes, you can have it all. Bloody brilliant.

5 out of 5 Stars (Best. Book. Ever.)

Note: This review may have had a hand in getting me to finally make time to read this book.

20 October, 2012

Great Moments As A Proud Fantasy Nerd Dad

And this isn't even his Halloween costume ... but the dragons must be slain.

Side note: He's not just afraid of monsters in his closet, he's afraid of dragons as well. I can't help but feel a little proud and happy to go slay them with him. :D

18 October, 2012

My Guest Post on Urban Fantasy

You can find a guest post of mine over at Bastard Books where I explain why Urban Fantasy is probably my least favorite of the fantasies. I don't hate it, you just won't see me going out of my way too far to read it.

17 October, 2012

Review - Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds

My preferred genre is fantasy and the more epic the better for me. Shoot, the more volumes the better (okay, I draw the line at some point). But at the same time, I like variety. I'm the type of person who tries everything on the menu at a restaurant (not at the same time of course). 

This doesn't change when it comes to my reading preferences. I don't stray too far from genre, but there's lots of variation from fantasy to science fiction, steampunk to urban fantasy, elfpunk, space opera, scifi-fantasy hybrids, etc. While I have been reading a lot of fantasy lately, it was high time I jumped into some science fiction.

I know, that was way too much of an intro for something so pointless. At the same time, I think people like a personal touch, I know I do. You be the judge.

I've had Revelation Space [US] [UK] on my radar for a long time. Reynolds and Hamilton are the two big go-to names for space opera and until now I hadn't read either of them. Reynolds may possibly be known more for being hard sci-fi, but to be honest, I barely know the difference. Sad, I know, especially with how much I just learned I've been missing out on. 

In earth's distant future, the galaxy is full of different factions of humanity, the Stoners, the Ultras, and the Conjoiners among them. There are alien races such as the Jugglers and the Shrouders.

Dan Sylveste is a Stoner who is on an archaeological dig on the planet Resurgam where they have found artifacts belonging to an ancient alien civilization, the Amarantins. Something caused their distruction, termed The Event, and Sylveste is willing to do what it takes to find out, he is one of a smaller faction who believes understanding The Event is absolutely necessary to prevent it from happening to humanity as well.

At the same time, the crew of the Nostalgia for Infinity enter the picture. The Nostalgia is a lighthugger vessel, kilometers long, full of all manner of technology, weapons, agriculture, and with the ability to almost reach the speed of light due to its Conjoiner engines. 

Volyova is the weapons officer in need of a new gunnery officer since she had to kill the last one who went insane. Then comes Khouri, and this is the part that really got me sucked in. Due to a clerical mistake, she was sent to another system, lightyears away from her husband, after the war on Sky's Edge. Any chance of coming together puts one of the pair 40 years older at best.

While the timeline is vast and the distances lightyear-spanning, the story really only centers around a few characters, or rather groups of characters. There's Sylveste and the various peoples he associates with (mostly unwillingly) and then there's Volyova and her crew. Khouri is at first a third party, but quickly jumps in with the lighthugger crew.

I'd like to say I could begin to describe the technologies and peoples and interconnectedness of the whole thing, but I just can't get close. The technology is very believable, even to the point that you can see it as a logical development. Hence why this is known as hard sci-fi, I guess. The factions of humanity is also completely believable, from those who love all the gadgetry and implant it all over themselves (Ultras), to those who enhance their minds so much with machinery that they reach enlightenment (Conjoiners).

At times I was purely in awe of Reynolds' imagination. I could see the neutron stars (or not see them), the wonder was just captivating, it was like being in space in my mind. I loved that we're dealing with kilometer-long ships that have machines that can manufacture anything you need, guns, ship parts, etc. in a matter of seconds.

At the same time, it can be slow going at times and I think that's the reason I can't quite go to five stars on this one. It's a great read and one I would definitely recommend, but I think I was expecting more after this long of a wait (nothing of which Reynolds could do anything about of course). I know, "manage expectations," but I've been building up to this one for years. The fact that it didn't completely disappoint is actually pretty impressive if you think about it.

I also think the limited characters actually tended to diminish the vastness of the story. With only so few being the focus, it was hard to really think of this as a story with heavy implications for humanity. It felt too closed-off, too intimate for anything to really be at stake.

At the same time, the plotting was quite exceptional, tying in almost everything that's introduced throughout the novel. As you can see from this review, I haven't even begun to discuss it. Chalk that up to a combination of laziness and honest incapacity. 

While I had a few reservations, I will definitely be reading more from Reynolds, I already own Chasm City (more of a prequel), so that will probably be next before I finish this trilogy. I'm happy to have finally read this king of space opera/hard sci-fi (depending on who you talk to) and I feel like I can finally enter the club, almost. Reynolds is a king of this genre for a reason, his imagination is vast and his characters compelling

4 out of 5 Stars (Highly Recommended)

Revelations Space trilogy: (Read in red)
Revelation Space (Amazon)
Redemption Ark (Amazon)
Absolution Gap (Amazon)

Same universe
Chasm City (Amazon)
The Prefect (Amazon)
Galactic North [collection] (Amazon)

10 October, 2012

What's the Deal With... The Library Spine Label for Fantasy, Unicorns?!

An internet rant is a beautiful thing, I mean, why even be online, with all the anonymity that brings, and even attempt to contain all that angst. It's why we have comments on everything from blogs to Youtube to news stories. People need to complain! We have things on our chest and we've got to get them off...and our significant others are just plain tired of hearing the same thing over and over again. 

In light of this, I decided to institute a new feature on the blog where I can bring up whatever's on my mind, be it terrible book covers, titles, ideas, bloggers (okay, probably just one blogger), you name it and have some fun with it. 


A unicorn? Really? On EVERY single fantasy book in the entire library? Do librarians really think that everyone who reads fantasy is an eight year old girl?

At least the science fiction spine label is often a cutsie little rocket ship, or planets (or mystery with it's detective dude).

Come on! Where's the humanity? Fantasy book covers are already embarrassing enough, but why can't we even be safe with just the spine pointed outward?

I get the reason for these handy spine labels, it makes it so easy to spot the good books, especially in a library without a section devoted solely to science fiction and fantasy.

But honestly, I'll take no label to one like this, without a doubt. Please, let's start a petition to change this important thing that I'm temporarily passionate about!

09 October, 2012

eBook Deals, or Books I Bought Recently

I really think it's genius to discount eBooks like publishers have been doing, even if it's not the first in a series. Do you realize how many more books I buy now that I'll never have the chance to read, but yet I keep buying them...because it's so cheap! It may not be best for the authors, but the publishers have got to be seeing some nice rewards.

Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress [$0.99] - The original novella won the Hugo and Nebula Awards and this novel was nominated for both.
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill [$1.99]
The Whitefire Crossing (Shattered Sigil #1) by Courtney Schafer [FREE] - I absolutely loved this book last year. (review)
Dawn of War (Blood War Trilogy #1) by Tim Marquitz [FREE]
The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks [$1.99]
The Killing Moon (Dreamblood #1) by N.K. Jemisin [$1.99]
Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey (with The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham included) [$1.99]
Feed (Newsflesh #1) by Mira Grant [$1.99]

08 October, 2012

Review - Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, edited by Tim Marquitz

I picked up this anthology not only because it was an ARC given to me by a favorite author of mine, Tim Marquitz, but also because I felt like it would be some fun to read ... and the story by Mark Lawrence may have helped as well. 

Anthologies, for me, are going way out of my comfort zone. I'm typically a lazy person and can only take so much "new" at a time and anthologies are always filled with "new," each and every story in fact. But, I love a good monster story, be it zombies, vampires (maybe not as much), or other ghoulies, but I had no idea what I was in for.

Fading Light [US] [UK] blew my mind in terms of monsters. This anthology covers them from small ones to large ones and even sometimes asks the question about who the real monsters are, is it us? Humans can easily fall in the category all too easily. 

I don't think I can really describe how good this anthology is. It kept me up at night and not only because I was shaking under my blanket, it had me constantly thinking, and it was oh so easy to come back to. I can't praise this anthology enough, just go read it, you won't regret it.

Short reviews:

“Parasitic Embrace” by Adam Millard - What a great start to the anthology. It had me from the very beginning as a mysterious volcanic cloud sweeps the world. What could it be bringing? (4.5/5)

“The Equivalence Principle” by Nick Cato - This was a very interesting story with a great protagonist who seems to be a paranoid schizophrenic who things that gravity is about to give out any second. He races from his home to his car with an actual rope tied between just to get to and from work. Great story, but I didn't quite "get" the monster all that well. (4/5)

“A Withering of Sorts” by Stephen McQuiggan - So far, this was the most atmospheric and scary of the bunch. A guy walks into a bar (this is not a joke) with his wife and kid outside in the car. He's then told why strangers aren't welcome in these parts, especially children. (4.5/5)

“Goldilocks Zone” by Gary W. Olson - This was an all-out, everyone's a monster story. It quickly jumps into the premise that everyone starts becoming a monster from a mysterious such-n-such. While good, I don't know if I got this one all that well either. (3/5)

“They Wait Below” by Tom Olbert - This was a creepy story of an ancient monster slowly taking over the crew of a deep sea oil rig. I thought the monster was great although the story seemed to take a few leaps and bounds in logic that I wasn't willing to go to. Still a great story. (3.5/5)

“Blessed Be the Shadowchildren” by Malon Edwards - This story was both impressive and entertaining. There's a TON of world-building about how this particular being left his home on/in the sun and became a god. In the end it all works. (4/5)

“The Beastly Ninth” by Carl Barker - Barker takes us back to the 19th century where Napoleon is a sorcerer for the French and wages war against the English. The entire story is one battle with all kinds of undead monsters. It was enjoyable but not quite my favorite. (3.5/5)

“Late Night Customer” by David Dalglish - This was my first taste of Dalglish although I own a couple of his other books. I have to say I'm impressed and looking forward to the rest. I was sufficiently creeped out in this story about a waitress at a diner who serves a customer who's at his wit's end. All I can say is, "Don't look!!!!" (4.5/5)

“Rurik’s Frozen Bones” by Jake Elliot - You had me at Vikings, sailing, and Kraken. This was really a story within a story. Rurik, a Viking who looks exceptionally haggard is asked his story. The story itself was great and the main bulk, but it was dimmed a bit by the outer story, which ending didn't seem to fit these rough and tumble Vikings. (3.5/5)

“Wrath” by Lee Mather - I'm pretty sure I should suffer some type of damnation for liking this story, but it was really good. A priest starts going crazy, Biblical stuff goes down, nobody's safe. (4/5)

“Friends of a Forgotten Man” by Gord Rollo - Leaning more toward the gross-out horror for me, a man is unjustly imprisoned and conditions are just barely enough to keep him alive. He makes some...friends while contemplating his revenge. (3/5)

“Altus” by Georgina Kamsika - A woman attempts to dive the deepest any human has dived, doing so aboard the Altus. Maybe there's a reason we're not meant to dive so deep. (4/5)

“Angela’s Garden” by Dorian Dawes - This story definitely has a place among my favorites in the anthology. A woman in a retirement home sees things that others can't, dark things that only bode poorly for anyone in the vicinity. (4.5/5)

“The Long Death of Day” by Timothy Baker - Another story that tops my list of favorites, a comet comes close to Earth only to miss it...and completely destroy Venus. I thought the cover of this anthology was just some random monster, but turns out that's from this story. (4.5/5)

“Out of the Black” by William Meikle - The world's gone cold, only a few survivors live underneath the frozen surface. But the ore's running out and must be replenished. "Out of the Black" is another favorite in this anthology that's full of favorites. What great setting and atmosphere in such a small package. Loved it. (4.5/5)

“Degenerates” by DL Seymour - Set in the 60's amidst racial segregation, the town of Dunwich is looking to come back to its former glory. I really didn't expect this story in this collection, it's quite the deviation, but still good. It almost doesn't belong, until we find out about Dunwich's disturbing secret. (3.5/5)

“Dust” by Wayne Ligon - There's kind of a theme of dust or particles being the cause of some type of apocalypse for the earth. It provides a good setting for some monsters to come out of the closet and each one of these types of stories takes the concept in a different way. "Dust" really takes the concept in a whole new direction and inserts some really interesting ideas about space and aliens. I'm a big fan of this one. (4.5/5)

“Der Teufel Sie Wissen” by TSP Sweeney - I was really looking forward to this one - you had me at the German. Set during WWII, some Hitler Youth are assigned the simple task of taking out an enemy. Just one guy, it's almost too easy...right? The monster in this was great the story entertaining. Great work. (4/5)

“Born of Darkness” by Stacey Turner - Another of the "Dust" variety, a man is able to prepare his family for the ending of the world in a dream. They're doing okay until they take on a mute girl and suddenly they have another visitor at the door. A preacher who the mute girl obviously dislikes. Who can you trust at the end of the world? I enjoyed this one and it seemed like it could become a bigger project, at least from the setup at the end. (4/5)

“Lottery” by Gene O’Neill - I know Stephen King tells me it's juvenile to want things wrapped up nicely, but I really wanted a lot more information in this story. It was good, but then I had no idea why things happened how they did. (3/5)

“Where Coyotes Fear to Tread” by Gef Fox - I didn't know what to expect from his one at first, but I really liked it in the end. The Moon and the Sun are gone and monsters have taken over. The Moon has a plan to destroy them and a dangerous mission for Coyote and Eagle. (4/5)

“The Theophany of Nyx” by Edward M. Erdelac - I had to look up the title to see how it actually fit the story. Yes, it does. In this one, the moon is being colonized by earth, but the colonists may have gone too far and put the earth in big trouble. (4/5)

“Double Walker” by Henry P. Gravelle - If your shadow is killing people how do you make someone believe? It's not easy. Another good one. (4/5)

“Light Save Us” by Ryan Lawler - I was not expecting this ending. Great story, I'll say no more. (4/5)

“Dark Tide” by Mark Lawrence - This story, by the author of the excellent Prince of Thorns, did not suffer for my lack of anticipation (since I jumped ahead to read it). Wow, what a powerful story. I was up late and could not put it down, talk about creepy. I will say no more for fear of ruining it. (5/5)

The following are bonus stories, available only for NOOK and Kindle:

“Torrential” by Regan Campbell - Wow, I'm so glad I have the Kindle version because this story blew my mind. Great stuff. An obviously exhausted mother and son enter a diner with an unusual request. (4.5/5)

“Roadkill” by CM Saunders - Taking place with a couple of amateur ambulance drivers in Brazil, they find a motorcycle accident that no one could survive...or could they? Another solid entry. (4/5)

“Night Terrors” by Jonathan Pine - Not one to read in the wee hours of the night, this took me back to my childhood frights and that's a good thing. "Night Terrors" also reminded me a bit of Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz, but way scarier. (4.5/5)

“Final Rights” by Peter Welmerink - In a future earth, giant wolves and bears roam the earth and civilization is barely keeping it together. Lots of action and lots of bloody monsters. (4/5)

“Evensong” by Alex Marshall - I would be very interested to read a full novel based on this world where civilization has moved under the earth and is solely governed by The Seers. Great read and great ending. (4.5/5)

If you're looking for a great Halloween read, it would be hard to find better. If you're looking for an excellent anthology in general, you've found it. Fading Light is easily one of the best anthologies I've ever read, second only to Songs of the Dying Earth.

4.5 out of 5 Stars (Very Highly Recommended!)

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher

03 October, 2012

Review - Rise of Empire (Riyria Revelations 3 & 4) by Michael J. Sullivan

Rise of Empire [US] [UK] is the second omnibus of The Riyria Revelations, containing books three and four, Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm, in the six book series.

These two books step things up to a new level and I'm excited to see how this will all end. I still can't believe these were independently published and then republished by such as Orbit. They are definitely deserving as this series is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

Nyphron Rising

At the end of Avempartha, the Nyphronian church decided that the "heir," and therefore emperor (or empress as is the case) would be decided by the person who slayed the monster, the Gilarabrywn.

Instead of actually following their plan, the church decided instead to put up a pawn who could easily be controlled. That's just easier right?

Nyphron Rising takes us directly from Avempartha and into the life of the now Empress (and almost mute) Modina who was formerly the girl Thrace, who we saw in Avempartha.

This book does a lot of setting up for the novels to come. While it is a stand-alone and has a great and exciting ending, the majority of the book is filled with character development and a number of answers to the mysteries presented in earlier volumes.

Now, that may sound like a bit of a downer, Sullivan's writing is the same fast-paced style that keeps you turning pages. Admittedly, this will not be known as my favorite in the series, it continues to be a solid installment in an great series. Nyphron Rising is a necessary book that takes the series to a whole new level and I'm sure it will pay off in the long run.

4 out of 5 Stars (Highly Recommended)

The Emerald Storm

Our favorite thieves, Royce and Hadrian, are considering calling it quits, but with the discoveries Hadrian has made, there's no way he can give up just yet. And we all know Royce can't keep his hand out of the cookie jar either.

The Emerald Storm was the right book at the right time for me. We just had the twins, moved a couple states away, and I was tired to say the least. This book was amazing and my favorite in the series so far.

A note is intercepted from Royce's arch-nemesis, Merrick, who is working for the church and their allies. This leads them on a voyage on the Emerald Storm where Royce and Hadrian have to convince the crew to even let them on...and they are not sailors in any way, shape, or form.

I have to admit, my favorite parts involved Hadrian and Royce on the ship, I just can't resist a good nautical-themed story. (I still have nautical-themed birthdays...I wish).

Again, Sullivan's writing keeps you turning the pages. I did start to notice something that I was able to ignore in earlier volumes, but that started to niggle a bit during this one. The dialogue can, at times, be a bit awkward when a character is filling in information or world-building. I'd say it works most of the time, but sometimes it's pretty obvious what's going on.

The Riyria Revelations are not as immersive as some books I've read and usually prefer, but it's the perfect style for lots of good fun. And sometimes you get tired of being immersed all the time. When you do, this is the type of series that just hits the spot.

As I said above, The Emerald Storm was my favorite in the series so far, this series has stepped up its game and I'm looking forward to more.

4 out of 5 Stars (Highly Recommended)

The Riyria Revelations: (read in red)
Theft of Swords (review)
Rise of Empire 
Heir of Novron

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher