Author Archives: Ala

Review: Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake

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So here’s the thing.

I’m a Dresdenite. I love me some Dresden Files. It was my first real taste of Urban Fantasy and it is the reason I read so many others in the genre in hopes of finding something just as good. It’s lead me to some good series and to some really, really bad ones as well. Every other UF I’ve read gets measured against the entirety of the Dresden Files, which is probably unfair but pfft, nothing says I have to be fair.

So how does this book compare?

Well, not badly really.

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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

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.

“The Lost Tales of Power” should have stayed lost

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The Enemy of an Enemy by Vincent Trigili

Take a fan of Star Wars and Star Trek. Allow them to marvel at the space battles and force powers and phasers and technology. Give them the chance to embrace the geekiness of both universes. Then never let them anywhere near a writing class or even let them read a good book.

Then ask them to write their own story.

This book? This is the result.
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Amalahs Destiny? The Trash Can.

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The Destiny of Amalah by Thandi Ryan

I recieved this via an author submission to this blog. I didn’t seek it out nor pay for it nor recieved any form of recompense for reading it. Though, honestly, I feel like I deserve to be paid for having read what little of it I managed to get through.

An epic fantasy novel about the city/nation of Amalah, its Empress, the evil sorceror bent on their destruction and the pantheon of Gods that do… well, god-like things, I suppose.

I don’t really know how the Gods play into it as I didn’t really get that far. A mere quarter of the way through was all I managed before giving up. Before being forced to give it up, really. Icouldn’t go any further in the book. It was so bad it had become almost physically painful to keep reading.

A bit much, you say?
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Review: The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach

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Imagine spending your entire life devoted to the creation of one thing, just one item.

Your every moment spent hunched over, toiling away on it every single day. Every aspect of your life, your wife and children, all are dedicated to this one single endeavor. Your town, your nation, your entire planet geared towards this undertaking.

And when you’re done, when you’ve completed this lifelong task, you give the item to your son to sell. The money he makes from that sale go towards his own lifelong quest to do the same thing you’ve done and create his own lifetime-spent masterpiece.

And this goes on for untold generations. Never changing, never varying, never getting easier. Day in and day out, toiling away the hours and devoting an entire life to a single item.

All in the name of your God-Emperor, for what you create is for his glory and happiness.

The item in question? The one you and your ancestors for generations have each spent entire lifetimes creating? What magnificent masterpiece could ever require such a devotion of each persons entire existence?

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I don’t think this is what Nietzsche meant…

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The God Killers by David Simpson

The story of a rag tag band of resistance fighters who know the truth about God and the afterlife. That the former is a soul-consuming dick and the latter isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. We follow along as they attempt to Kill God.

Yep. That’s the story. Seemed interesting at first glance.

The good? It was a short read. Really short. I finished it in a few hours.

The bad? Everything else, everything else, is stupid.

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