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Tag: 2.5 stars

Book Review: Of Darkness and Dawn (The Elder Empire: Shadow, #2) by Will Wight

Book Review: Of Darkness and Dawn (The Elder Empire: Shadow, #2) by Will Wight

Cover illustration by: Micah Epstein

Of Darkness and Dawn by Will Wight

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Elder Empire: Shadow (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 364 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 10th August 2015 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


This review is an unpopular opinion; please feel free to ignore this if you’ve read and enjoyed the first book, but in my opinion, Of Darkness and Dawn was a huge downgrade from its predecessor.

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Book Review: Abaddon’s Gate (The Expanse, #3) by James S.A. Corey

Book Review: Abaddon’s Gate (The Expanse, #3) by James S.A. Corey

Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Expanse (Book #3 of 9)

Genre: Sci-fi, Space opera

Pages: 560 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 4th July 2013 by Orbit


This was underwhelming; my least favorite novel in the series so far.

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Book Review: The Iliad by Homer

Book Review: The Iliad by Homer


The Iliad by Homer
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Hallelujah. It’s over. Well, at least The Iliad is, though the story continues in The Odyssey. I had forgotten how much the beginning of this epic sounds like a giant group of toddlers fighting over toys. These toddlers just happen to command warships and armies, and the toys happen to be women they view as war prizes. Frankly, it’s disgusting. If these idiotic “heroes” would just view women as actual people who can make their own decisions instead of pretty toys over which to wage war, every single event in this story could have been avoided. Had they just asked Helen who she wanted to be with and respected that decision, hundreds of lives would have been saved. The amount of bloodshed over the “taking” of this woman is just insanely wasteful, even if it’s fictional.

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Book Review: The Copper Promise (The Copper Cat, #1) by Jen Williams

Book Review: The Copper Promise (The Copper Cat, #1) by Jen Williams


The Copper Promise by Jen Williams

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Copper Cat (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy

Pages: 544 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 13th February 2014 by Headline (UK) & 5th July 2016 by Angry Robot (US)


The Copper Promise should’ve been classified as a collection instead of a full novel.

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Book Review: The Ranger of Marzanna (The Goddess War, #1) by Jon Skovron

Book Review: The Ranger of Marzanna (The Goddess War, #1) by Jon Skovron

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

The Ranger of Marzanna by Jon Skovron

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Goddess War (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 496 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 23rd April 2020 by Orbit (UK) & 21st April 2020 by Orbit (US)


Atmospheric, slow-paced, and well-written, but I have mixed feelings.

I haven’t read the series, but I’ve heard many great things about Jon Skovron’s Empire of Storms trilogy. When I saw that Skovron’s newest book, The Ranger of Marzanna, is a Russian inspired fantasy that has Magali Villleneuve as the cover artist—look at that cover art, it’s stunning—I immediately put this book on my radar. The result of the content, however, isn’t as likable as I hoped. I’ll keep this review briefer than usual; there were several factors that I enjoyed reading and parts that didn’t work for me in almost equal measure.

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Book Review: Golden In Death (In Death, #50)

Book Review: Golden In Death (In Death, #50)


Golden in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

I think I let my expectations run a little too wild in regards to this book. Because it’s book 50 (which is crazy, right?!) in a series, I was anticipating something mind-blowing for this installment; instead, I got fairly run-of-the-mill. And I’m so disappointed about it. In case you didn’t know, I absolutely adore Nora Roberts. She’s my ultimate comfort read. I’ve read literally everything she’s written, and I can’t think of another author so prolific (she’s written well over 200 books) that I can say that about. There’s something about her books that feels like coming home from the very first page. This is doubly true for the In Death series. Following the same characters through FIFTY books is a wild experience. Eve and Roarke and Peabody and so many others feel like members of my family that I get to catch up with a couple of times a year. If I’m being honest, these characters often feel more real to me than real people in my life. Or at least, they usually do.

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Book Review: Angel Mage by Garth Nix

Book Review: Angel Mage by Garth Nix

ARC provided by the publisher, Gollancz, in exchange for an honest review.

Angel Mage by Garth Nix

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars.

Series: Stand-alone

Genre: High fantasy

Publishing date: 1st October, 2019 by HarperCollins, US and 17th October, 2019 by Gollancz, UK.


Angel Mage is a stand-alone fantasy novel that engages with its fascinating magic, but less so in its plot and character development.

I’ve enjoyed Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy and was particularly impressed with the worldbuilding in that series of books. Similarly, I found the premise of Angel Mage to be intriguing as magic is bestowed by the ability to call upon angels with the use of icons. To make it even more interesting is the cost of magic, i.e. the lifespan of the person who employs angelic magic. The more powerful the angel which was called upon, the more life is literally sucked out of the caller. The lore is also fascinating where different regions or countries are governed by different Archangels and their respective pantheons – from Cherubims to Seraphims, and Principalities, to name but a few.

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Book Review: Dragonslayer (Dragonslayer, #1) by Duncan M. Hamilton

Book Review: Dragonslayer (Dragonslayer, #1) by Duncan M. Hamilton

Review copy provided by the publisher—Tor Books—in exchange for an honest review.

Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: Dragonslayer (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 304 pages

Published: 2nd July 2019 by Tor Books (UK & US)


Dragonslayer is a typical and straight-forward dragon-slaying tale that’s been done countless times before.

There isn’t anything wrong with Dragonslayer. The book is well-written, the prose used was simple, the narrative flows well. However, everything about it seemed to not reach its maximum potential; every element lacked something crucial to elevate the book to be memorable in the current SFF market. To sum up my point easily, Dragonslayer played it way too safely by telling the same kind of overdone story without offering anything new in it that the content ended up being okay at best.

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Book Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Book Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone, Middle-Earth Universe

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Classic Fantasy

Pages: 322 pages (75th Anniversary edition)

Published: September 21st, 1937


The Hobbit probably would’ve been more enjoyable if I were reading it at least 15 years ago.

I have an odd relationship with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings due to my feelings of the movie adaptations. For Lord of the Rings, I haven’t been able to finish Fellowship of the Ring because I loved the movies so much and I ended up finding the book incredibly boring; I will try again next year. As for The Hobbit, I was reluctant to read the book because I disliked the movie adaptation. After finally reading this for the first time, I can safely say that I still dislike the movies, and I felt more or less indifferent about the book.

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Empress of Forever

Empress of Forever

Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Praise-worthy imagination and world-building, but sadly, it’s time to admit that Max Gladstone’s books aren’t suitable for me.

Empress of Forever has been on my TBR ever since I first heard about it. Judging from the blurb alone, I was immediately intrigued. Just read the blurb, seriously, it sounds so cleverly insane and my god, Gladstone delivers completely on this; stunningly original and cool world-building to witness. That’s exactly what I found to be brilliant from Gladstone’s books, his world-building, action scenes, prose, and ideas always feel refreshing and unique. I’ve read only two books in his Craft Sequence series and the things that worked for me there is even more evident here. I won’t lie that there were a lot of moments from this book that made me truly flabbergasted because it’s extremely imaginative. Time travel, an ancient Empress that could destroy a planet with a single thought, character literally sitting on a freaking comet flying through space, sentient machines, dead planets, and many more insanity that’s crazier than the one I just mentioned; there’s no shortage to Gladstone’s ambitious imagination in creating this novel.

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