17 June, 2016

Brilliance (Brilliance #1) by Marcus Sakey

This book is up for sale on Amazon so often I honestly wonder how the author makes any money. And it's not like it's up for sale so that you'll have to buy the sequels at full price, no way. The sequels are up for sale as much as anything else.

And I honestly hope this guy makes some money. I had a great time with the first of the Brilliance saga. He's created a very real world, well, a real consequence of people turning out with extreme gifts that make them leaps and bounds above the average human.

Take our protagonist, Nick Cooper, called "Cooper," who can read patterns so well he can even track fellow brilliants (the name of these gifted people) knowing nothing other than their movements to escape him. He can read lies, he can even read thoughts spelled out as plainly as if spoken.

There are others, one in particular who have devastated the country because they can read the stock market. One in particular, John Smith, strolled into a diner and murdered everyone in it and Cooper wants nothing more than to see justice.

One of the reasons I say this book is realistic for its subject matter is because Cooper actually belongs to a government group that tracks down his own kind. He believes because he's trying to keep the country together. His kind have shown their powers of destruction, but it's brilliant (get it) because is he right? Is this the way to achieve those goals?

I thought this was a great concept that was also extremely well put together. That's often hard to do and often you get one without the other. I know he earns his pay, but I hope some day it grows larger ... at least as far as my calculations go.

4 out of 5 Stars (highly recommended)

17 March, 2016

Review - Black City Saint by Richard A. Knaak

I've been meaning to read Richard A. Knaak for ages, especially his Dragonrealm books. He writes a whole slew of the WarCraft books as well and I've only heard good things. He did not disappoint.

From what I know, Black City Saint is a bit outside Knaak's normal wheelhouse, opting for Urban Fantasy instead of Epic Fantasy and he proves he can handle this genre quite deftly.

We start out with your typical exorcism where Nick Medea's got to get rid of some paranormal problems from a lady's house. I was instantly drawn in when he mentions that only people with an actual magical problem, someone who's been touched by magic, could even contact Nick.

He does the deed and we quickly find out he's actually a 1600 year old gatekeeper between the realms of the real world and faerie. He received this position by slaying the dragon, but the problem came when the dragon fused with him in the process leaving Nick with a constant companion ... who is always trying to control him and pretty much destroy everything.

I thought the dragon was a really great touch, though at times it almost focuses too much on how the dragon needs to be kept in check. Nick is constantly fighting him, especially in the most difficult moments, and often gives in only to have to real him back.

As if Nick doesn't have enough problems, but the gate is open and the darkest part of Faerie, the Wyld, is making its way into the real world.

Oh, and did I mention this was all set in the prohibition era where rival gangs lead by the likes of Al Capone are thriving?

But Nick is not alone, he has companions, outcasts from Faerie who owe Nick their lives to assist. A lycanthrope named Fetch, a fawning almost-human exile named Kravayik, and a few more and some ghosts too.

The action really gets going when a new job comes in and the client happens to be the reincarnation of his love, Cleolinda, who happens to die horribly each and every time she is reincarnated. Nick would prefer that not happen this time.

With this eclectic cast of characters and almost-constant action, Black City Saint was an absolute blast to read from the very first page. I knew it was going to be good when I was glued to that first scene where Nick was casting out the Wyld in his first client's house and it only got better from there.

Black City Saint is the Dresden Files meets The Great Gatsby. The setting is perfect for a supernatural battle amidst bootlegging underground bars and rival gang shoot-outs. What could possibly be better than that?!

4 out of 5 Stars (highly recommended)

16 March, 2016

eBook Deals - Collins, Moorcock, Pinborough, Kay, Dickson, Clarke, Moore, Posey, Newman, Marmell

Wow, where did the time go. I had all these plans at one point to at least put up crappy reviews and I haven't even been able to accomplish that much. What does that make me now...not that we need to go there...

Anyway, here are some deals I found. I'll work on some reviews soon, totally. yeah, everyone believes that.

[$0.99] Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins - Great YA book, will review soon.
[$0.99] The Eternal Champion (EC Sequence #1) by Michael Moorcock
[$0.99] Poison (Tales from the Kingdomes #1) by Sarah Pinborough

[$1.99] Sailing to Sarantium (Sarantine Mosaic #1) by Guy Gavriel Kay
[$1.99] On the Run by Gordon R. Dickson
[$1.99] Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
[$1.99] A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
[$1.99] Three (Duskwalker #1) by Jay Posey
[$1.99] Anno Dracula by Kim Newman
[$1.99] Hot Lead Cold Iron (Mick Oberon #1) by Ari Marmell

18 January, 2016

Review - Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson [and Update]

Steelheart (Reckoners, #1)

So I've been quiet of late and there are a number of reasons for that. First, I tend to be lazy in general, so that's not gonna help anything. Second, we just had a baby in November, which was preceded by buying and moving into a new house in October and followed by a change of jobs (really firms, same job) in December. I'm worn out to say the least.

I've found, and this is usually around 2-4 a.m. holding a screaming child who is so tired she refuses to sleep (which of course makes perfect sense), that I can't really handle a really complicated novel at the moment. I need something light, fast, and 100% fun. I've found a couple that hit the nail on that head and Steelheart is one of those.

Steelheart was a blast from the very first page. It's hard to draw someone in that quickly and Sanderson does it here. That opening scene is great and the whole concept behind superpowers being used solely for evil is just brilliant. The Reckoners has a great start and I can't wait to keep reading to see how this pans out. I'm already so invested in these characters, I don't even really know how that happened.

4 out of 5 Stars (highly recommended)

P.s. Yes, I'm leaving you with this short, crappy review. But no fear, there will be more short, crappy reviews to come (as if "crappy" only describes these types of reviews).