Category Archives: 5 Stars

Song of the Beast by Carol Berg

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Aidan: the most talented bard of his generation, beloved of gods, follower of dragons and cousin to the king, is imprisoned and tortured for 17 years.

Why? Aidan is clueless.

Song of the Beast follows Aidan as he struggles to live after 17 years of torture and abuse. It also focuses on Aidan’s journey to learn why he was imprisoned.

I didn’t expect to like this book. When I read the blurb I thought, “Sounds sad, not for me.” (I’m a wussy. No dark and gritty for me) The only reason I read this one was because it was the Fantasy Aficionados book of the month pick. As a Mod…I’m sorta supposed to participate. 😉

After jumping through hoops galore to borrow this book from my library…I still put off reading it for a day or two. Finally, I sat down one day to thumb through it…and I looked up several hours later. Finished.

Carol Berg is a wonderful storyteller. The way she crafts her words are something to stand up and notice.

I was right…this is a sad story. Aidan is a ruined wreck of a body when he gets out of prison. His triumphs – for the most part – are far and very small. The story itself is rather bittersweet…and there’s some major betrayal going on. And that’s what makes Berg so powerful an author: I HATE everything I just mentioned in a book! Seriously, I am very much a wussy reader who hates sad stories. But I could not put this book down. I doubt that I’ll reread the entire book but I did reread a few sections and the end already (thus the 5 stars).

Spoiler Below. Highlight the words to read the spoiler – but be warned! This will spoil the entire book for you.

The way that Narim stalked and set up Aidan throughout his life was simply disgusting to me. Someone should done the world a favor and stuck a knife in his back.

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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.

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.

Quickie: Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell

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Straight from the heart of romance blogger Wendell, this inventive gift book provides the best wisdom about love that the romance genre has to offer. Laced with signature witty commentary and peppered with thoughts from bestselling romance authors and avid readers, these pages reveal that while romances are certainly steamy, they have more to offer than just a sexy hero.

It took me forever to finish this book, but I really enjoyed myself!

EIKAL (as it is fondly called) is a love letter (essay style) to romance books and their readers. It’s very much preaching to the choir but it could also (possibly) persuade non-romance readers as to the benefits of reading romances.

I would also find this book to be highly educational for a romance reader to give to a non-romance reader who is clueless as to why people love romances so much.

For me, I felt that the book forced me to seriously think about what draws me to romance books. I often find myself reading romances when I’m sad or stressed or depressed. I never understood or even questioned why – I just did.

Written in SB Sarah Wendell’s typical upbeat, comical and chatty style, EIKAL is very easy to read and rather funny.

Another great thing about this book is the enormous amounts of recommendations to be found here. I started reading this book forever ago but just finished. Why? Because I constantly found myself being side-tracked by new (to me) authors.

I lay my current Jennifer Crusie addiction squarely at SB Sarah’s feet.

As much as I loved this book, I can’t see someone who does not already read romances picking this up. I do see people who read romances buying this for someone who doesn’t understand.

Review: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

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Confession time! The Princess Bride. Everyone has seen it. Everyone who loved the movie has read it. Right? Right? Not quite. You see…. I may have to turn in my geek card for admitting this, but I’m just going to come clean. I’ve seen approximately half of the movie, and I didn’t even know there was a book. And to be honest.. When I found out there was a book I never planned to read it. I don’t even know why I decided to pick it up now, I just had a random urge to read it, so I went with it. And holy shit.. So glad I did. I absolutely loved this book! It was so damn funny, and so damn good. I just loved it.. I loved every single minute of it.

There were so many good sections.. So many good quotes. Now that I’ve read it, I can’t wait to try the movie again. I have a feeling I’ll like it so much more now that I’ve fallen in love with the story.

Seriously.. If you haven’t read it, and you like good, quick, funny, fantasy.. This is your book. Read it, you won’t regret it. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite lines from the book. No, not “Inconceivable!” And no, not “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.” My favorite line was something a little more simple, that really hit home for me.

“But I also have to say, for the umpty-umpth time, that life isn’t fair. It’s just fairer than death, that’s all.”

And coming in a close second…

“I love you […] I know this must come as something of a surprise, since all I’ve ever done is scorn you and degrade you and taunt you, but I have loved you for several hours now, and every second, more.”

I LOL-ed a lot at that one.

Seriously.. Good shit right here. An instant favorite.

Review: Shadow’s Edge by Brent Weeks

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Holy mother, this book was good. I thought The Way of Shadows was good, but it was nothing compared to this one! Weeks really hit his stride in this volume of the story, and I absolutely loved every minute of it.

It’s been a long time since I got really emotionally drawn into a good old fashioned fantasy trilogy. I don’t know when exactly it happened, but this series definitely broke that dry spell. I don’t remember feeling quite so emotionally attached to the characters while reading The Way of Shadows.. And I’m not quite sure when exactly I became attached to them. I didn’t even realize I was attached to them until… Well I can’t say what it was, because that would spoil it, and I’d determined to make this a spoiler free review. But the thingy thing I’m talking about? I did not see it coming at all, and my heart was instantly broken. That’s when I realized this characters had become real to me, and there was no turning back.

And damn. The twist in the epilogue? Did not see that coming either. There was just so much good in this book.. I want to gush and gush about all of the things I loved about it, but I don’t want my review to be full of spoilers, so I’m forcing myself to hold back.

Bottom line – if you liked the first book, you won’t be disappointed by this one. In fact, I think you’ll be pretty damn impressed by it. It’s not often that I end up rating the second in a series higher than the first in the series, but it’s happening with Night Angel. Five stars…. And now I have to wrap this up, so I can get to reading book three!

Review: Monster Hunter Vendetta by Larry Correia

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Oh yeah baby, it’s on like Donkey Kong… Yes, I just said that. Sorry, I’ve been playing Nintendo all afternoon, it seeps into my skin. But the book, I should probably talk about the book now.

Loved it. Love love loved it. I realized something while I was reading this… I’m not usually a huge Urban Fantasy fan, I’m more of an Epic Fantasy gal. But this series? I love it. And I think the reason is that while the story line is definitely Urban.. It’s pretty damn Epic at the same time. It’s Epic Urban Fantasy. Holy wow. I just invented a new genre! Or rather, Mr. Correia did. Actually he probably didn’t, I’m sure the term has been thrown around before. But it’s new to me, so damn it, I’m allowed to be excited!

Seriously though. It’s Urban action, on an Epic scale, and it rocks. This book doesn’t suffer at all from the second-in-a-series-curse, it’s just as good as the first, maybe even better in some ways. You get to learn more about the characters, some of their mysterious histories are revealed, it’s pretty awesome non-stop action.. And it’s fucking funny. I’m allowed to say “fucking” in this review because “fuck” was used often and well in the book… Just saying. Wait… What was I saying? I got distracted. Oh yeah, it’s fucking funny.

Honestly.. I don’t have any complaints. Five stars all the way. I can’t wait to start Monster Hunter Alpha!