Monthly Archives: July 2012

Review: The Hammer and the Blade by Paul S. Kemp

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If Locke Lamora and Indiana Jones had babies together, it’d probably be really weird and hella awkward.

But after the awkwardness faded you’d end up with some quick talking, ass-kicking, trap defying, grave robbing mofos.

And they shall be named Nix and Egil. The heroes of our tale.

These two characters have a bond and camaraderie that makes them feel more real than your usual fantasy hero. And they are what gives life to what could have been just another fantasy story. Their wisecracks and wit make for an enjoyable read.

The story itself is fast-paced and action packed with fights aplenty. Add in the tomb robbing and a bordello brawl and you’ve got the makings of an excellent adventure.

There are a couple of downsides though. First is a pretty flat villain who seems more like a generic stand-in, rent-a-baddie than a real character. The second is the ending which seemed really abrupt. I expected maybe a page or two of winding down but nope, it just ends.

Ah well, it was still a fun ride.

I can’t wait for the next adventure.

Four Damned Gewgaws

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Review: Geekomancy by Michael R. Underwood

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So, you know the usual Urban Fantasy book?

The one that(probably) has a woman in strange, uncomfortable and maybe even physically impossible pose on the cover? Wearing little in the way of clothing and perhaps even holding a weapon of some kind? You know, the one with a main character full of snark, who flings magic and kicks asses in a world hidden beneath the ‘real’ one?

That Urban Fantasy book? Get that book.

Got it? Ok. Good.

Now drown that fucker in a vat composed of the pure essence of geekdom: Firefly, ST, SW, Gaming, TCG’s, D&D, Doctor Who, The liver of Joss Whedon, etc.

What do you end up with? An Urban Fantasy with so much Geek you can smell pizza grease, mountain dew and acne medicine through your screen. In other words, you get this book.

The story centers on Ree, our snarky heroine, who is a screenwriter(read: barista) that stumbles upon the secret world of pop-culture fueled magic and struggles to figure out just how one becomes a Big Damn Hero.

Y’know, the usual UF story.

Just with Geek ™.

There’s enough snark and ass-kicking to keep me entertained and it has a magic system that I wouldn’t mind exploring in more detail. Then there’s the Geek references which, while almost too much at times, were mostly enjoyable.

The ending leaves a lot to be desired, which takes away a star in my book, but I’m satisfied enough as a whole that I’m still looking forward to future installments in this series.

Four Gorram Stars.

Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

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What can I even say? It took me a while to get up the courage to even start this book. It’s long.. But that’s ok, I like bricks when they are done well. But it’s also part of a projected 10 book series. 9 more bricks… That’s just sort of intimidating. I love long series, but taking the leap to start one is always a little nerve wracking.

But based on my five star rating, you can probably tell that I’m so glad I finally took the plunge.

This is just so damn epic. Seriously. I have no idea where the the story is going to go in nine more volumes, but damn. I’m so there for the ride.

It’s definitely a little slowly paced.. There’s a lot going on and a lot of buildup, and not a lot of explosive edge of your seat action.. But as I was reading it, I didn’t mind. I savored it, amazed at the sheer epicosity of it all. Slowly getting to know the players, the world, the magic, the culture.. I love the amount of detail that goes into Sanderson’s world building. He doesn’t half ass anything, he’s fricken amazing.

Everything in this book.. Just everything.. It was so good. It laid a perfect foundation for what I know will be some truly epic fantasy. This is epic done right. I haven’t said epic enough yet. Epic epic epic.

EPIC.

5 stars.