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Tag: 2.5 stars

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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Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book way more than I actually did. There were elements that I really enjoyed, don’t get me wrong. The premise was great, and the writing was masterful. It just didn’t land, unfortunately. While I didn’t hate this book, neither was I able to love it. It wasn’t bad; it was merely forgettable.

“We are so brief. A one-day dandelion. A seedpod skittering across the ice. We are a feather falling from the wing of a bird. I don’t know why it is given to us to be so mortal and to feel so much. It is a cruel trick, and glorious.”

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Tower Lord (Raven’s Shadow, #2)

Tower Lord (Raven’s Shadow, #2)

Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

On its own, Tower Lord is not a bad book. But as a sequel, it was disappointing.

The first time I finished reading Blood Song, it was in 2017. Since then, I honestly haven’t mustered the courage to continue past it due to the infamous negativity—I honestly never see the last installment of a series being called disappointing as often and widely as Raven’s Shadow trilogy—surrounding the sequels. I love Blood Song very much, I just finished rereading it a few weeks ago and I still think of it as one of the best fantasy debuts of all time; the idea that the sequels have the potential to ruin it scared me. Now that I have an ARC of The Wolf’s Call in my hand, I’ve decided to finally take the plunge and continue reading the series. If I ended up being disappointed by Queen of Fire, at least I know there’s a continuation after it that could—hopefully—bring the glory of Blood Song back.

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Relic (Pendergast, #1)

Relic (Pendergast, #1)

Relic by Douglas Preston
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

My introduction to Preston and Child was unfortunately lackluster. I found Relic to be solidly okay, the literary equivalent of tuning into a television show just to let it serve as background noise. While the premise was interesting and isn’t something I’ll be forgetting anytime soon, I just couldn’t make myself care. There were two main contributors to this lack of interest: poor characterization and an overabundance of science.

Let me start with the science first. This is very much a personal preference thing. Anytime a book begins getting very scientific in its content, I just start tuning out. It’s why I stay away from hard science fiction. I know that many people love when there is science present to back up a wild claim that is central to the plot, as it helps readers suspend their disbelief in the moment.

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Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You

Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You

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

Your Favorite Band Cannot Save YouYour Favorite Band Cannot Save You by Scott Alan Moore
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You would’ve been a better novella if I was the right audience for the genre.

I’ll keep this review very brief. If it weren’t due to the fact that I was given an ARC for this book, I honestly wouldn’t have read it. It’s not that the novella sounds bad but more because it’s totally outside of my usual SFF read. In fact, it was so different from my reading preferences that I don’t even know what genre this novella actually belongs to; maybe thriller and supernatural but you might want to take my review for this book with a grain of salt. However, despite me being the wrong audience for the novella, I still had quite a good time with it.

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