Author Archives: Dawn

Review: Cold Days by Jim Butcher

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I honestly didn’t think anything would be able to top Changes. It was just so emotional and… Full of change (yep, I went there). But damn. Just damn. Cold Days didn’t just top it for me, it blew it out of the park.

All of those little things in the previous books that didn’t make sense? The things I just kind of went with assuming I had missed something? Those questions are all starting to be answered, and on a totally epic scale. I feel like this entry in the series just took Dresden from and bunch of semi-related stand alone Urban Fantasy novels to one huge Epic Urban Fantasy tapestry. Yeah, tapestry, I know. I squeezed reading this into a Wheel of Time re-read, deal with it.

I love Butcher’s sense of humor. I love how I can go from tense and on the edge of my seat, to laughing out loud, and then to getting a little misty eyed all in one page. I love that he teases my stupid squishy romantic side a little, without the story turning into a another lame paranormal romance (sorry PNR fans, it’s just not my thing). I just plain love this series.

What else can I say? If you’re considering picking this book up, I’m hoping you’ve read the other thirteen books in the series first. And if you’ve read all thirteen, I’m guessing you’re enough of a fan to want to continue. And if you’re a fan, you won’t be disappointed.

No doubt about it, five stars. Hell, make it six for that matter. Loved it!

Damn it… Now I have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next.

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Review: Under the Dome by Stephen King

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Hot damn this was good. Long? Yes. Clocking in at over 1,000 pages it was really, really long. But despite that, it didn’t feel long. I really enjoyed reading it, all the way through.

Enjoyed.. I’m actually surprised I can call what I got from this enjoyment. It was sad.. And depressing.. Hopeless at times. Not to mention the fact that I have issues with claustrophobia. Reading a book about people stuck in a dome? Oh. My. God. So anxious. Seriously, I feel anxious right now just thinking about having read it. But! Despite all of that, I still wanted to be reading it, still kept picking it up and turning the pages and wondering what was going to happen next.

This probably ranks up there at the top of my King favorites list. Granted, I still haven’t read that much by him, but I have a feeling this will stay towards the top. Part of it was timing. I read this in October, for Halloween and such, and had no idea when I started that the book was also set during Halloween. Part of it was the concept.. It’s fascinating. What would happen in something like this happened for real? How long would it take people to panic? And part of it was just that Eau de King. That special something that King has.. His amazing story telling ability.. The way he has of making characters come alive and jump off the page.. King just pain rocks.

4.5 stars. Loved it. Highly recommended!

Review: World War Z by Max Brooks

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I’m not really a fan of zombies, but I figured since it’s October I might as well try something different. I’m really glad I did! This turned out to be pretty awesome. I really liked the style it was written in (as a series of interviews with survivors of the zombie war). It made info dump sections feel less info dumpy, and kept me interested from beginning to end. I think for some people this will come across as really slow and dry.. But I don’t know, that didn’t really bother me at all. I liked it just the way it is.

I will say this though.. This book screwed with my dreams. I don’t know what it was about it that did it, but while I’ve been reading this I’ve had seriously messed up dreams every single night. It’s not even a scary book! I have no idea why it gave me bad dreams. I mean hell.. The first night that I picked it up I only read about 10 pages, just to get a quick feel for it before bed. I don’t even think there were any zombies in those first 10 pages. But what did I dream about that night? Axing zombies in the head. There were zombie killing dreams, being eaten by zombies dreams, chasing zombies and being chased by them… Everything. Hell, there was even one night that I dreamed I was laying in my bed sleeping, but when I opened my eyes there was either a child or a little person standing beside the bed staring at me…… Wearing a big white bunny head. Like the cheerful type, a costume bunny head. I tried to scream, couldn’t, couldn’t move.. Just sat there with bunny person looking at me, screaming silently in my head. I mean come on! That one wasn’t even about zombies! But I still blame this book. Ridiculous.

Anyway… Good book. Bad dreams. 4 stars.

Review: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

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This is so close to a 5 star review. So so close. I loved this book, couldn’t put it down. I usually don’t read on weekends (at least not during the summer, I try to get out and enjoy it while it lasts), but I stayed in all weekend finishing this. Yeah, a whole weekend. I’m a slow reader, so sue me. I savor the words. Why not 5 stars then? I don’t know.. There were some slow sections that took a little effort to push through (not much, but still a little), things like that. Overall, it just wasn’t a perfect home run for me… But it was damn close.

Apparently this book is something King has never tried before, Alternate History. I wouldn’t know whether he’s tried it or not, I’m still a King newbie. I’m slowing making my way though his repertoire, but it will be a while before I can call myself a veteran reader. But if this was his first time with Alternate History.. He did damn good. The premise of the story didn’t intrigue me at all at first glance, but King drew me in anyway. What it comes down to is that he’s a damn good writer and a damn good story teller. Sitting down to read some King feels like sitting down to be told a story by a master story teller. Sometimes a really disturbing story.. But that doesn’t matter, you couldn’t stop listening even if you wanted to. It’s hypnotizing.. Seriously.

I really don’t want to say anymore than this, I don’t want to spoil anything about the story. I could tell you how the ending made me feel, but that would be a clue to its content. I could tell you what some of my favorite things about the story were, but that would be a dead giveaway. I’ll just leave it simple.. This book was good. Really good. Read it. You won’t regret it.

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.

Review: The Way of the Black Beast by Stuart Jaffe

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Disclaimer: This was read and reviewed at the request of the author, who provided me with a free digital copy of the book in order for me to do so.What can I say about this book? In short.. It wasn’t all that great. The plot was bland and repetitive, the bad guys were very stereotypical and weak, and the main character.. She wasn’t interesting at all. No personality, nothing to make me either like or dislike her. The side kicks all felt very interchangeable, you couldn’t really differentiate one character from another. They all felt the same; very one-note and boring.

As for the world building… It hit on one of my pet peeves. The story reads like it’s set on earth.. But it’s not earth, it’s some other place. I can’t even recall the name of this other planet/place, because it was only mentioned once. But for all intents and purposes, it was earth with a new name and a couple new words/terms thrown in along with a couple of invented creatures. This annoys the shit out of me. For the love of God, if you don’t want to invest some real time and energy into world building, just call it earth. It was supposed to be post-apocolyptic anyway, why does it need to be PA on another planet? It just feels lazy.

Back on the plot.. Bland. Repetitive. Yes, I used these words before, but I feel like they needed to be used again. It was just the same thing over and over.. Tracking down the bad guys, a plot point hurdle to jump, an anti-climatic battle scene, rinse and repeat. And talk about anti-climatic.. The final battle? Really lame. Just saying.

The only reason this is getting two stars instead of one is that it was actually written pretty well, all things considered. Any time I read a self published author, I go into it expecting typos galore and awkward writing.. I didn’t see much of that at all in here. There were a few typos here and there, and a couple of sections where the writing made me cringe, but overall it was much better than I expected.

Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

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I can’t tell you how many times I considered starting this series, but put it off because of the God awful covers. Likewise, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from friends that I should read it, that despite the God awful covers it really is a great series. Well, I finally bit the bullet and dove in…

And I’m really glad I did. The cover of this book isn’t a good indicator at all of the content within. It’s not about some trampy PNR chick being all bad ass and dark and shit, it’s about a smart and competent woman doing her best to help her friends and those in need. She’s still bad ass.. I mean she’s a mechanic, how hot is that? I’m a mechanical engineer and I can’t even work on cars. I can change a tire, do my breaks, change my oil (although I’d need a refresher for that one, haven’t bothered doing it myself in years), but that’s about all I have in my secret arsenal.

Just a side note.. I still can’t believe I’m reading and enjoying books like this. A year ago a scoffed at it all. Werewolves and vampires and other paranormal crap? No thanks. But I don’t know.. It’s just entertaining. It’s a great genre to use to break up all of the Epic Fantasy I read, and I’m glad I gave it a chance.

As for how this series compares to other Urban Fantasy out there.. I don’t know. I’m still young in my UF adventuring, having only conquered Dresden and Kate Daniels thus far. Still, I really really really enjoyed this story, and I’m very excited to check out the next book in the series.