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Month: April 2019

Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Thanks, Mr. Levin. I hate it.

I had so many problems with this book. Because I feel the need to vent about said problems, there will be an abundance of spoilers in the review below. I’ll try to keep things as vague as possible, but yeah. Spoilers. If you’re unfamiliar with the story and have any desire to read it without prior knowledge, please skip reading this review.

You have been warned.

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The Blackest Heart (The Five Warrior Angels, #2)

The Blackest Heart (The Five Warrior Angels, #2)

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Blackest Heart by Brian Lee Durfee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m absolutely stunned by this 960 pages marvel.

Seriously, The Forgetting Moon was awesome already, but The Blackest Heart triumphed over its predecessor in every possible way. I don’t even have words to express how grateful I am that the author sent me these two books, which weren’t even on my radar, to review; it’s truly serendipitous that I found a new ongoing favorite series because of it.

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Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries, #2)

Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries, #2)

I received an advanced reading copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

An awesome sequel to All Systems Red, Artificial Condition pumps up the fun and action.

Before I continue, I maintain that our genderless robotic main protagonist sounded female in my mind and hence, I will refer to it as she. Our sardonic SecUnit decided to return to the mining planet where a prior incident culminated in her self-christening as Murderbot, with the intention to investigate the real cause of the said incident. In the course of attempting to hitch a ride there without being caught, she managed to bribe her way through by offering the transport bots her treasure trove of media, books, serials, and music downloads. I don’t know about other readers, but this cracks me up so much!

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Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz, #1)

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz, #1)

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Is anyone else hesitant to read a favorite author’s work outside of their usual genre? I’ve loved Brandon Sanderson for years, but I’ve been extremely reluctant to try his young adult or middle grade offerings. I know that he writes addictive, immersive adult fantasy and was afraid to find out if that carried over into other genres intended for radically different audiences. I shouldn’t have doubted him. Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians was my first foray into Sanderson’s middle grade books, and it definitely won’t be my last.

“If you don’t believe what I’m telling you, then ask yourself this: would any decent, kind-hearted individual become a writer? Of course not.”

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The Forgetting Moon (The Five Warrior Angels, #1)

The Forgetting Moon (The Five Warrior Angels, #1)

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Forgetting Moon by Brian Lee Durfee
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A severely underrated epic fantasy debut.

The Forgetting Moon is Brian Lee Durfee’s debut and it has been published for almost three years now. Honestly, it’s quite sinful that this book has less than 500 ratings on Goodreads at the moment; not only this is THE biggest fantasy debut I’ve ever read so far, The Forgetting Moon is also one of the strongest beginnings to an epic fantasy series I’ve come across. I’m truly flabbergasted by how underrated this debut is. Gorgeous cover art by Richard Anderson, a beautifully drawn map by Robert Lazzaretti, high-quality floppy paperback (yes, this is a plus), and most importantly, amazing content. Why is no one talking about this book!? I seriously wish someone had recommended this book to me; I never heard about this series until the author himself sent a review request to me and I’m gratified that he did.

Picture: My signed copy of The Forgetting Moon (I have to share this. Check out the badass signature!)

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Last Bastion (FFO, #2)

Last Bastion (FFO, #2)

I received an advanced reading copy from the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Last Bastion by Rachel Aaron and Travis Bach.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Bastion was supposed to mean safety.”

It seemed, however, that Rachel Aaron and Travis Bach decided that safety will be a bit boring for the fictional characters and the readers. Hence, they gave us a heart-pounding, fast-paced, action-packed and dangerously addictive MMORPG-style adventure in the world of Forever Fantasy Online with a great cast of characters.

The story picked up immediately from the ending of the first book. Our main characters, James and Tina, arrived at the city of Bastion to seek refuge and find some answers after the world of FFO was suddenly released from the Nightmare. A term used by the NPCs who are supposedly real people to describe their entrapment in the game environmen, the Nightmare is so named for the dreadful never-ending cycle ofreliving the quests the players undertake, oftentimes dying a painful death over and over again. What greeted the player characters, however, was a city on fire and laden with corpses. Not exactly their idea of a safe haven from the constant danger and fighting they’ve encountered in the past few days.

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My Familiar Stranger (Knights of Black Swan, #1)

My Familiar Stranger (Knights of Black Swan, #1)

My Familiar Stranger by Victoria Danann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is not a book I would have ever picked up on my own. First of all, the cover just was not appealing to me. It’s a chick’s face. There is wind coming from somewhere, blowing said chick’s hair across her face. She would probably benefit from a hair tie or a headband. And that’s all there is to the cover. Bland, right? Also, it sounded like a really weird blend of commonly used tropes, such as the combination of vampire hunters and inter-dimensional travel. Furthermore, it involves one of my least favorite tropes: the dreaded love triangle, or in this case, a love square.

So, if I was so opposed to various aspects of this book, why on earth did I pick it up? Because my mom told me to.

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The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, #2)

The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, #2)

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The man who called himself Petrik will now review The Great Hunt, the second book in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.

Everyone who’ve read the first book most likely knows what the title of this installment implies. The Great Hunt continues immediately from where the first book left off. Allow me to mention how ridiculously repetitive—and hilarious, I guess—the prologue of this book was. It starts with “The man who called himself Bors,” and within a single prologue, the exact phrase “the man who called himself Bors” was mentioned literally 34 times. The man who called himself Petrik could be wrong, but the man who called himself Petrik THINK that the man who called himself Bors, is in fact, the man who called himself Bors *gasp* *suspense* *CPR the man who called himself Petrik out of this SHOCKING revelation* The man who called himself Petrik was amazed by Jordan’s way of increasing his word counts by 170 words. Jordan could’ve just written “Bors” instead of “the man who called himself Bors” but he won’t, that 170 words is a matter of Light and Dark! The prologue became a firm reminder to the man who called himself Petrik that this will be a series—despite all the greatness—that is full of repetitive phrases; so far the man who called himself Petrik hasn’t been proven wrong.

Picture: The Great Hunt by Kekai Kotaki

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Guest Post: On the Shoulders of Jötnar by Ian Stuart Sharpe

Guest Post: On the Shoulders of Jötnar by Ian Stuart Sharpe

Hi y’all! Today we have a guest post by Ian Stuart Sharpe regarding his reasons for choosing Norse mythology as the main inspiration behind his Vikingverse series. Check it out, it’s a great read! Thank you Outland Entertainment for approaching us, it’s an honor and we look forward to working with you in the future!


On the Shoulders of Jötnar

Ian Stuart Sharpe

“A myth or legend is simply not made up out of a vacuum. Nothing is -or can be. Somehow there is a kernel of truth behind it, however distorted that might be.”

ISAAC ASIMOV, Foundation’s Edge

I read Asimov’s Foundation series long after they were published: the original trilogy of novels was originally a series of eight short stories published in Astounding Magazine between May 1942 and January 1950. According to Asimov, the premise was based on ideas set forth in Edward Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and was invented spontaneously on his way to meet with editor John W. Campbell.

But that central notion – that all myth is just a distorted version of the truth – stuck with me for years afterwards. History is written by the victors, and we demonize the vanquished. And given that thought, I always wanted to write stories with Norse mythology as my own foundation, if you’ll excuse the pun  –  to tell the stories of an imagined world where the Vikings won.

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A Pilgrimage of Swords

A Pilgrimage of Swords

ARC provided by the publisher—Subterranean Press—in exchange for an honest review.

A Pilgrimage of Swords by Anthony Ryan
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Anthony Ryan is back with a brand new novella in a completely new world.

It’s been two hundred years since the Kingdom of Alnachim was destroyed by The Mad God. Alnachim, now called the Execration, has become a wasteland full of monsters and terrors. For decades, pilgrimages to reach the center of the Execration were made by desperate people so they can meet the Mad God and have their wish granted; none ever returned. The story follows Pilgrim, a veteran warrior with an unknown past, and his six companions as they attempt a pilgrimage to have his wish for redemption granted.

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