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My First Blog Post

2020 will be a fun year exploring, reviewing, and enjoying as many Fantasy and Science Fiction Books (and their authors), as is possible here @ OllieSpot Book Review!

I’m still new at this, and finding my way slowly, but will keep working on and improving things as I go.

Thanks for checking it out.

I love that feeling and wonderment of reading something that blows your mind. The writing community is producing amazing work right now, especially in the scifi and fantasy community and I’m eager to be supportive of the authors that deserve the recognition that seems to be lacking.

“SFF writers are my heros.”

Spit and Song by Travis M. Riddle Book Review

Storytellers on Tour Book Tour – Day 2

***On the ribroad*** A glimpse into the fantastic and unusual world created by Travis M. Riddle

Self Published: November 19, 2019
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Age Group: Adult

Click here to check out the rest of the tour schedule: Storytellers On Tour

Book Links

Goodreads
Amazon
Book Depository

Book Blurb

Kali is a merchant who yearns to leave the harsh deserts of Herrilock and travel across the sea, trading goods and soaking in the sights and cultures. With a new potion on the market undercutting her profits, though, her seabound dreams are put on hold indefinitely.

Failed musician Puk hits rock bottom after yet another catastrophic performance. Wandering the city streets in search of any sip of booze or whiff of fire-spit he can get his hands on, he resigns to the fact that he’s stuck in the desert with no way back home to Atlua.

Until one day, their paths cross with an illicit job opportunity. With its hefty payday, Kali and Puk could afford to finally escape the desert heat and set sail across the gulf.

The black market job would see them travel endless dunes on a road made from a massive dead beast’s ribs and out to a mythical city in the sea, scuffling with monsters and thugs in search of a long-lost book that might be the most dangerous object in the world.

How hard could it really be?

My Review

Welcome to Day 2 of The Spit and Song Book Tour, hosted by Storytellers On Tour. This is the fourth time i’ve been fortunate to have a place on an event, and I want to express how awesome they have been to work with. I appreciate how genuine they are in their appreciation and love for fantasy, as well as the community as a whole.

I also want to state that I participate with the understanding that I will post an honest review of the book. That is important to me, just as a person, trying to make my way through our world and trying to be better than the day before.

When this tour was announced, I felt excited to see this book on spotlight and to have the opportunity to read it, and have fun with the review. I had already downloaded a copy from Amazon a few months before on my wife’s Kindle, but never got back to it. Anyways, the blurb, as well as other reviews grabbed me.

To compare this to anything, although the writing is different, the feel and style brought to mind One of my favorite series, The Bas Lag Books from China Mieville. It has that dark weirdness and otherworldly odd characters, yet still relatable and unique with a bit of a positive vibe.

This book definitely brought up some comparisons, however, where Mieville’s writing can be “heavy” and uncomfortable (in a good way, if that makes sense), Spit and Song breathed the adventure through the storyline with such ease and enjoyment.

The main characters allow us to follow along with them in alternating perspectives. The Flower. Kali, she is the young entrepreneur. She loves to travel, finding items she can purchase in one city, and then sell to another for a profit. The cities are all inhabited by varying, and unique species, so there is the possibility of being successful. She has not made it yet, and after some early events in the story, she is coming to the realization that she needs to expand further, and to take more risks if she wants to really feel successful.

And then there is The Frog. Puk, who is so entertaining and his character growth throughout this book were unexpected and so friggin’ satisfying to me. I really related to some of his struggles, and thought the writer excelled at translating the emotional turmoil that drug use, and the addiction, puts one through. Fire-Spit is the most important thing to Puk as the story begins, he’s 66, which is like middle age for his species. He’s a minor player in a traveling entertainment troupe, it was like the Saturday Night Live of thus world, and Puk is like the Jim Belushi. He finds himself kicked out of the group and hitting that low point in life, stuck far from home with no money, and no friends.

I laughed out loud at times, and you will too reading some of Puk’s misadventures. And Kali has the right spice of personality to make a really entertaining duo that we get to see take off on an adventure to steal something for a lot of money, or crescents. Although at times it becomes more of a mis-adventure, the organic world building along the way, as well as the colorful dialogue kept this story moving for me and felt satisfied and happy at the end. Feelings that are harder to maintain right now in our crazy human world.

Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate the time you took to read through this. It means a lot.

Author Information

Travis M. Riddle lives with his pooch in Austin, TX, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University. His work has been published in award-winning literary journal the Sorin Oak Review.

Author Links

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
Goodreads

The Faith Machine By Tone Milazzo Book Review

Welcome to my stop on the amazing Storytellers On Tour Book Tour! As always drinks are complimentary, there is no curfew, so stay and have fun as long as you’d like. Please check out my cohorts events on this tour here!

Here’s all the links to buy the book for you and your friends!

Here’s Storytellers On Tour website. Go check out what they’re up to and planning in the coming weeks

Book Blurb (Tonight’s opening act)

Welcome to the dangerous, clandestine world of ESPionage. Welcome to The Strip, where operatives on the fringe command teams of ‘Cards’: Agents cursed with subtle, specialized, and sometimes sloppy psychic powers. Dr Ken Park, Korean-American psychologist and spy, dares to lead six of these Cards. Together, they tackle esoteric threats the Department of Homeland Security cannot.

Park takes his team to Africa to retrieve the Faith Machine. Built by the Soviets to turn prayers into suffering, the psychotronic device fell into the hands of a demented warlord. Tragically, the mission fails and the madman slaughters hundreds of innocents while the machine burns.

They return to the States in disgrace, and into an ambush by the mysterious and brutal Casemen. Cut off from command and each other, the scattered agents rush to their safe house in the west. While spy agencies from around the world want retribution for the catastrophe in Africa. Park’s team outplays enemies left and right, while uncovering the true threat. There’s another Faith Machine, one destined to bring hell on earth. 

While the headliners are making their way to the stage, a few impotant notes:

I was provided an electronic copy of this book by the author and Storytellers On Tour in exchange for an honest review.

I want to thank SOT for including me on this tour. You guys are so cool and continue to promote some awesome books and their unique writers!

Finally, my review (The Main Event):

This will be more of a feel and free-form review.The blurb does a great job of giving you the story, but it was the characters differing personalities along with the strange events that occur along the way, that i hope to praise.

I really had fun with The Faith Machine, and almost missed this opportunity to read it. My life has been extremely hectic and busy lately. Finding time to read is a lot like finding my daughter’s barbie shoe she lost “somewhere” in the house, but ends up being found under a pile of stuff in the car.

However, I took the time to read the blurb in Justine’s last call for this tour and could not resist. From the great cover, showcasing a brain in a case, along with a variety of  religous and spiritual symbols. To the blurb about the story itself with sloppy psychics, spies and the mix of genres was calling to me. Im glad I bit, too.

This story probably has more action in the first quarter of the book than you normally get from a Jackie Chan movie. I’m not a big action sequence or action film kind of guy but the way these characters and the unique abilities come into conflict with the bad guys is a blast. Sometimes, it’s punctuated by humor that could only come from someone with a truly unique sense for what’s funny.

I love weird and out of the way ideas, and Tone fills this book with them. There’s no genre it will easily fall into and the unexpected happens constantly. In fact, there’s almost a Carl Hiassenesqe genious in the writing that resulted in a fun book that kept my interest all the way through.

I loved that the chapters were short, as my attention span has been reduced to the level of my hyperactive 8 month old bloodhound. But it was the characters with the special abilities, or “Cards” that steal the show. We get to view a short, top secret document that details each person on the team, and what their Card is. Dr. Park, as their boss, comes to them, one by one, until his team of unusual spies are briefed, and ready to undertake a mission to recover a machine leftover from the cold war that allows Faith to become a weapon.

The skills these people have would seem to be more suited to performing at a circus, or making big bucks running a YouTube channel. But the writer weaves the skills to the situation and it all comes together with perfection.

To give one example is the girl who chews on a page of her Bible and suddenly becomes Thor, well, Thor without the muscles, the hammer, the godlike presence….what is left, you ask? The electricity of course, that she wields with mastery. Also the one who makes people around her stuck in place by the power of language, is used so fantastically in the story and was so funny at times.

After they survive a mission together in Liberia, they all go their separate ways back in the states. As each of them is caught off guard by men, with cases, Casemen, who are now hunting them, and seem to be wielding unique powers of their own. The rest of the story needs to be read, but I really enjoyed The Faith Machine, and look forward to the next book!

4 out of 5 Stars

Get to know the writer here

The Jealousy Of Jalice By Jesse Nolan Bailey – #1 Disaster Of Dokojin series Book Review

The Jealousy Of Jalice Storytellers On Tour Link: https://storytellersontour.online/2020/04/20/tour-schedule-the-jealousy-of-jalice-by-jesse-nolan-bailey/

About the Book:

The Realms have split apart, the Stones of Elation have been hidden, and warnings of dokojin drift among the tribes.

The land and its people are corrupted. The Sachem, chief of the Unified Tribes, is to blame.

It is this conviction that drives Annilasia and Delilee to risk their lives. Afraid of the aether magic he wields, they enact a subtler scheme: kidnap his wife. In her place, Delilee will pretend to be the chieftess and spy on the Sachem.

Unaware of this plot against her husband, Jalice is whisked away by Annilasia. Pleading with her captor proves futile, and she rejects Annilasia’s delusional accusations against the chief. After all, the Sachem has brought peace to the land.

Yet a dangerous truth hides in Jalice’s past. As she and Annilasia flee through a forest of insidious threats, they must confront the evil plaguing the tribes and the events that unleashed it.

The Review

I want to thank NetGalley and the author, Jesse Nolan Bailey, for providing a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Here we are folks, on day two of another amazing Blog Tour set up by Storytellers On Tour. This is my second time participating in one of their events, and I want to thank them as well for giving me the opportunity. The timing was perfect as I had just started reading it upon noticing it was available on NetGalley, a site that I have almost altogether stopped requesting books from as I have so many incredible books that I want to read overwhelming my sense of reality. I’m pretty sure that if you’re reading this, you understand the predicament.

Now for my thoughts on The Jealousy Of Jalice…

To begin with, the cover is a doozy. That was what initially piqued my interest. The lone figure, ominously walking toward some sort of entrance, inside an almost futuristic ancient pyramid, or structure. It just begged me to read it to find out who Jalice was, and why she is so jealous?

I was able to see, enjoy, and appreciate the darkness underlying the writing. There are aspects of horror, fantasy, and a layered twisting of genres that could not have been written even a few years ago, that shape the unveiling that was “The Jealousy Of Jalice.”

As the story gets going, we are seeing from the perspective of Annilasia. She is on a personal mission to abduct the “Tecalica” (Jalice) who is essentially the ruler of the realm’s wife.

In order to abduct her, she enlists the Tecalica’s body double, Delilee, who has agreed to have magical wards placed on her, and to partake of very dangerous, and addictive substance to ensure the plan succeeds. The substances, magically speaking, help her appear as Jalice, but being addictive, also have almost horrifying withdrawal symptoms. By doing this, Annilasia hopes to take Jalice away from her protective bubble, to get her far enough away, to find out why the ruler has done the  aweful things he has done, and how Jalice has remained by his side through all of these atrocities. There is more to this story as all the main players share history from their childhood.

The story from there mainly follows Annilasia and Jalice as they escape and then attempt to work out, and resolve the big “why” of the world’s situation. There are so many interesting things happening…There are hidden “aethertwisters” residing in the forest. I loved the Magic used in the book, without giving too much more away, magic that separates you from this reality, and plunges you into a deeper reality that at times was completely freaking scary. Beasts in the forest clothed in – actually, you don’t want to know what. Just do what the end of this next quote says to do:

““Drain that parasite until it crackles with black!” the dokojin screeched. “Pollution to the chaos. Get the book. Read the book. Get the book. Read the book.””

One aspect I thought was really cool was how some of the characters were neither fully male, or female, at least from the other characters perspective. The writer used terms for he/she that were extremely creative and fit the story so well for those characters. The writing was fantastic and even poetic at times, which was unexpected for a dark fantasy with frightening moments that made me think of some of those cult horror films.  This was the first time I kept track of  quotes along the way that I really loved. Heres one while we’re at it:

“I miss my Realm, starborn,” Elothel said softly. “It’s too quiet here. I listen for the Music, but the rocks and fires that hover in the sky are lifeless in your Realm and out of reach.”

The last quarter of the book was on freakin’ fire. There are dropped revelations, a new character called a “Mirijin” with total control of this aether magic joins them on the quest. Maniacal craziness ensues inside their minds, a magical book driving Annilasia insane, as well as other facets coming together.

The story really comes together in the end, it’s tense, unexpected, scary, and left me in awe, with the hope for a book 2, which I believe will happen. The book also made me a bit introspective as well. It is a great example, to the extreme, of what jealousy can do to someone, and the impact a selfish attitude and actions can have not only on those close to you, but on the world as a whole.

I’m hoping for a little more detail about this world in the next book. Talk of the great war, and these tribal peoples being able to seek out the stars really left me excited to hear more about this world’s past and history. As well as answers to other questions that were intentionally left unanswered, I’ll be excited to get answers to in the next boom.

9 out of 10 stars!! Great book.

For this to be a first novel is surprising. I hope that Jesse keeps his drive to write in his own way and that this book ends up in the hands of other lovers of dark fantasy. Speaking of, below is a giveaway, so make sure to enter!

Click to enter **Giveaway ** for Cool Book Swag http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e832e9886/?

Website https://jessenolanbailey.com/

TBR hopes and plans for the month of May – Part I

I’ve been gathering an awesome group of independent and self published books to read, and it look like this will be the month I get to finally read some of them. Heres a cool list of some interesting books and their fascinating authors that wrote them.

First up, I’m currently reading a digital ARC of The Jealousy Of Jalice, by Jesse Nolan Bailey. I spotted the cover on a Twitter post around 2 months ago and was immediately interested. I’ll be participating in a Blog tour, presented by Storytellers On Tour, between May 24th and May 30th. I’m already enjoying the book and can’t wait for my day on the tour

I’m also in the process of reading a book I purchased on its release date by the Heavy Metal guitar playing master, Michael R. Fletcher. Its called Black Stone Heart, and is another dark journey into a fantasy world that I’m really enjoying. I loved another one of his books called Smoke and Stone and was excited to read this the moment it was released.

Purchase Black Stone Heart here on Amazon if you’re cool.

Also on the horizon, I have a lot of interest in reading Sarah Chorn’s “Of Honey and Wildfires.” This is more along the lines of a speculative fiction, and her writing is described as “darkly beautiful.” The cover is beautiful as well.. I have a good feeling about this, and I was offered a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. I could not say no, as I was about to buy it anyway. I really hope I like it and can provide an honestly good review.

Buy here on Amazon

Next up, is Stephen Zimmer “Heart of a Lion” which was sent and personally signed to me recently. This is the third in a series and has a lead female called Rayden Valkarie, in a magical, dark fantasy type setting. Stephen has been incredibly nice and has all kinds of projects that are fantasy related, including movies, book tours, helping writers, and of course books.

I’ve got another group of self published, and indie books I’m desperately wanting to read, including a group of five darker type fantasy books I won from Fantasy Book Critic during the #socialdistancinggiveaway about a month ago. I will write another post with all those titles, and more. I just wish I had two of me, one to work and stay busy with the kiddos, and one to read all day.

The bottom line is, I love reading and I get so much out of every book I read, and I feel obliged to do my part to help by providing fun feedback that might serve as positive publicity for the creator. The writing community, especially the SFF group is so much fun to engage with, and I’m fortunate to get the opportunity to have my time place in it.

Leviathan Wakes By James S. A. Corey – Physical/Audiobook -Narrated by Jefferson Mayes-

  • Publisher Orbit
  • Publication date June 15, 2011
  • Book length 592
  • ISBN-100316129089
  • ISBN-13978-0316129084
  • Audiobook released by Hachette Audio

Book Depository

Publisher Description

Two hundred years after migrating into space, mankind is in turmoil. When a reluctant ship’s captain and washed-up detective find themselves involved in the case of a missing girl, what they discover brings our solar system to the brink of civil war and exposes the greatest conspiracy in human history. 

The Expanse
Leviathan Wakes 
Caliban’s War 
Abaddon’s Gate 
Cibola Burn 
Nemesis Games 
Babylon’s Ashes 
Persepolis Rising

The Expanse Short Fiction 
The Butcher of Anderson Station 
Gods of Risk 
The Churn 
The Vital Abyss 

My Review:

Finally, A modern day scifi and space opera MUST has been checked off my list. I enjoyed this read for another reason too. It was part of a buddy read I did with a couple of my bookfriends, who are fantastic and accomplished bloggers/reviewers. Natazha and David. I will include their links at the bottom, as they wrote some great reviews as well that are definitely worth checking out.

Its hard to not be familiar with The Expanse series these days. It is a show with 4 seasons that has garnered a pretty big fan base. I haven’t watched it yet, so I had no preconceptions about the story before I read it.

The story grabbed me right from the start, with a prologue setting the stage for some twisted stuff happening on a space ship. I was not expecting it, and the friends I was doing the buddy read with all agreed it was an eye opener of an intro. From there, we move into the story which is told from 2 chapter-alternating perspectives, Holden and Miller.

The big space opera feel starts with Holden, a middle aged “Belter” serving on board a massive mining ship that gets mixed up in a series of events leading to some not so good circumstances for the ship and almost the entire crew. Holden and a small group take off on a smaller ship to inspect an abandoned craft. Without giving anything extra away, Holden and his new crew must go on the run, setting in motion a chain of events that will impact and change the future of all people living in this futuristic, and already divided solar system.

Miller is the Detective working on an inhabited space station and totally jaded after years of catching criminals, but not getting any joy from his job. He’s pretty much miserable, which I can 100% relate to. I’m at that point in my life where I’m stuck in a job that doesn’t really fit, but need the paycheck and the benefits so have to suck it up and do the work. Life is full of choices, even seemingly small ones, that can impact the direction your life will go.

Miller is given a case, to find a missing girl. She is the daughter of a family with money and influence, and Miller takes ownership of finding her and bringing her back to her family, against her will if necessary. Miller uncovers some leads that indicate the girl might actually be in trouble, and in over her head, and it’s interesting to see the way Miller sees this as an opportunity to redeem himself in some way.

You know, as the chapters sway back and forth that these two men will run into each other. The two stories are bound to cross, its just a matter of when, and if it will be a disaster, or will they get along and work together in some way.

I really just hope to provide a feel for the book. Giving you a recap doesn’t do this book justice, you can get that on Amazon. The journey these characters are wrapped up in is epic, and life changing. The political turmoil they’ve become forced into is flat out scary. It will take humanity into a new direction. The good guys get some heart wrenching help along the way, there is loss,, and bad stuff is going to happen to them. Seeing how they survive it, and how they change their own behaviors in order stay alive, and work together, to basically stop a tidal wave with a rowboat and a middle finger is what kept me in awe of this SF space opera.

Since a lot of this book was listened to using Libro FM, I want to make sure and give kudos to one excellent narrator, Jefferson Mayes provided a professional and well executed job. Voices were all distinct and clear, and emotion was conveyed perfectly. He is most certainly a Rockstar.

I also want to include a thank you to Orbit. I won one of the monthly loot giveaways they do. It included the first three books in the series, all hardcover. A signed poster from the actors on the show, a cool Expanse lanyard, which I wear for my job at the bank, and some Expanse pins to boot.

I would give the book a solid 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

As of now, I’m dying to see the show, but will hold off until at least one more book is read.

Thank you for checking out my review, and hop you all stay stay healthy and sane right now. Feel free to check out a couple other reviews from the Buddy read below:

Part of my Orbit Loot!

James S. E. Corey Author Website

Under Ordshaw by Phil Williams

Welcome to the Storytellers On Tour stop at Olliespot. No security, and the show will go on as late as the band decides to play, So have a great time!

We are here to celebrate the Audiobook release of Under Ordshaw, so check it out you audiobook addicts!

Series: Ordshaw (#1)
Published: May 29, 2018
** Audiobook Release: April 7, 2020
Genre: Urban Fantasy Thriller–Contemporary Fantasy, British Contemporary, and Horror subgenres

Welcome to Ordshaw.

Don’t look down.
Pax is one rent cheque away from the unforgiving streets of Ordshaw. After her stash is stolen, her hunt for
the thief unearths a book of nightmares and a string of killers, and she stands to lose much more than her
home.
There’s something lurking under her city.
Knowing it’s there could get you killed.
This blend of urban fantasy and contemporary thriller takes you on a journey into the heart of Ordshaw, in
the company of such richly imagined characters that you won’t want to leave.

Get it now.

Buy the Book:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40092074-under-ordshaw

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/under-ordshaw-phil-williams/1129205591

https://www.bookdepository.com/Under-Ordshaw-Phil-Williams/9780993180866

My Review

I’m not the biggest Urban Fantasy reader, but I have a read a few, most recently was The Last Smile In Sunder City by Luke Arnold. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this genre, as well as how much flexibility there is for a writer. Although I loved Sunder City, Under Ordahaw was a complete blast. I had a lot of fun reading it, and glimpsing the monsters, and the unstable, and angry fairies that live under the city of Ordshaw in The Sunken City.

We get the story from multiple perspectives. We have Pax Kuranes, she is a serious loner, and a badass poker player. Her goals are paying rent, and gathering enough money to enter the upcoming local stop on the World Poker Tour. She has an unlucky run in with a young man connected to the world of monsters, and the Fae (the biker clad, attitude of anarchy, pistol pointing cute little fairies), and in the process, loses the cash she just won, that would have her financially set for a time.

Then, the perspective from Letty, the Fae that wants to retrieve an artifact made and hidden away by a human. She is a pisser, entertaining, and in charge of her own little group determined to get the artifact and kill if necessary to get what they want.

There is also a shadow government department responsible for watching the underworld, and maintaining diplomatic relations with the Fae, mainly through the Fae leader. The main government dude, who we get the perspective of is Casaria. He would love nothing better then to show Pax “His” world and then watch as she falls head over heels for his shadowy tough guy life.

Lastly, there is Citizen Barton. A man who became aware of what’s under Ordshaw years ago and has been trying to forget about his nightmare ever since. Unfortunately, he is pulled back in, and his story is probably my favorite. His wife has never known what really happened all those years ago. Now, he’s involved again, and she is hell bent on not letting him out of her sight. Things get complicated, to say the least.

I don’t want to give too much away, I’ve left out the monster descriptions intentionally. That part should be left to the author, as the creatures are brought into the story perfectly, and it’s worth the read just for the glimpses we get into what really lies, crawls, flies, rolls, glows, and drags beneath Ordshaw.

The writing is fantastic, and fast-paced throughout. The interconnecting stories are played out with expertise and as hard as it was to believe, I get the feeling I’ve only gotten a glimpse into what’s really happening. There are plenty of morsels dropped that indicate a bigger story is happening and book 2, is sure to shed some additional light into the purpose of The Sunken City, and what it is that has caused it, as well as what it wants. A number of interesting mysteries were left unsolved as what was written occurs in only maybe 3 days I believe.

Rating:

I would give 4.5 out of 5 stars. I have a feeling the next book will be even better. Thank you for stopping by and checking out the review!

Blog Tour link for your viewing pleasure: https://storytellersontour.online/2020/03/11/tour-schedule-under-ordshaw-by-phil-williams/

Author links:

Website https://phil-williams.co.uk/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/fantasticphil

Small Time Reviewer/Big Time Thanks!

It’s been a few months since I’ve started OllieSpot Book Reviews. Although it’s been a complete blast, and I could go on and on about all the cool memories of the past few months, I really want to say Thank you. To all the amazing, and incredible people I’ve been lucky enough to interact with, and learn from, I am oh-so humbled that you have taken even the smallest interest in my little reviews. You have made me feel like the support I try to provide, actually equates to anything meaningful. That not only makes it worth it, but enriches my life in ways I was I never expected.

The last few years of my life I discovered how much I love to read and more importantly how great it is to friends who love reading the same types of books.

Thank you for reading this!

The Lost Puzzler by Eyal Kless Audiobook narrated by Michael David Axtell

  • Audiobook published by Harper Audio
  • Publisher Harper Voyager
  • Published January 8th, 2019
  • ISBN-100062792431
  • ISBN-13978-0062792433

Author website https://www.eyalkless.com

The Lost Puzzler: The Tarakan Chronicles https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062792431/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_yc2LEb6BC1YNC

From the publishers website:

About the book

“About a year has passed since I completed this book. At the time I was just starting to write brief reviews, I didn’t appreciate the value of a good review for the author and/or publisher. Books like this one though, really keep my fire burning, and are a great example of why I started putting time and effort into writing reviews. I feel fortunate doing a review blog, as some books are just so unique, that I want to do everything I can to help. Even if one person gives the book a chance, i’ve accomplished my goal, where as maybe they wouldn’t have before.”

Here’s my review

The title itself had this book on my Audible wish list and radar the day it was released. It just pulled me with it’s description as well. There’s a eclectic mix of fantasy,, and scifi, which I’m guessing is a hard balance to succeed at as a writer. 

The ruined, post apocalyptic world has remnants of fascinating, futuristic technology that is very hard to obtain, and harder still, to maintain. Most of it is locked up in mountains where, puzzlers are used, people with a unique ability to unlock the bunkers, assumed to contain said lost tech.

The story follows a scribe, a bit of mystery there too. He seems to be closing in on a young boy, Rafik, who is thought to be a highly gifted puzzler that previously had disappeared. It’s very exciting from there, with a unique cast of characters, action, adventure, leading to a grand twisty finish that blasts open the level of intrigue into the next book.

Eyal Kless has a very natural style of writing, and absolutely shines, in a genre that seems especially stuffed and watered down. I’ll say this though, this was a wonderful, speculative, and dystopian mix of a book with fascinating world building. When you consider this is a first novel for him, its even more impressive. I cannot wait to get into book 2, and I hope you give this book a chance.

Credit shall also be given to the narrator, Michael David Axtell. He did a very professional job, and truly brought the extra dimension needed to make this an all around outstanding audiobook.

Thank you for a few minutes of your day, and again, hope you’re staying sane and safe right now.

5 of 5 Bright burning stars.

The World Maker Parable By Luke Tarzian

Link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B084MMNNM3

  • Publisher LukeTarzian.com
  • Publication date April 1, 2020
  • Book length 151
  • ISBN-101734519827

Summery from the Author’s Website: https://luketarzian.com/books/the-world-maker-parable/

About the Book

Guilt will always call you back…

Rhona is a faithful servant of the country Jémoon and a woman in love. Everything changes when her beloved sets the ravenous Vulture goddess loose upon the land. Forced to execute the woman she loves for committing treason, Rhona discovers a profound correlation between morality and truth. A connection that might save her people or annihilate them all.

You are a lie…

Varésh Lúm-talé is many things, most of all a genocidal liar. A falsity searching for the Phoenix goddess whom he believes can help him rectify his atrocities. Such an undertaking is an arduous one for a man with missing memories and a conscience set on rending him from inside out. A man whose journey leads to Hang-Dead Forest and a meeting with a Vulture goddess who is not entirely as she seems.

My review:

Thank you to the Author, Luke Tarzian, who provided me a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for a fair, and honest review.

My personal blurb:

“Luke has written a visually stunning, and mind-spinning dark fantasy. I was swept along on it’s unique, myth buiding, puzzler of grand proportions!”

What a book, I had been looking forward to Luke’s book called Vultures, for sometime now. His self-deprecating humor, as seen on his social media is right down my alley, and many of my friends have had outstanding reviews of his writing. I was so excited to get the opportunity to read this, as it is very new, and book 0 in his Vultures series.

I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit hard writing a straight forward review for this book, as it deals with dreams of Gods, dreams within dreams, and characters that are shifting around. I was enthralled though, by the dark and broken hearted world Luke has created. The world building is outstanding, and the characters are a part of that, as they are the Architect-Gods responsible for managing this world and creating the harmony that is supposed to exist. Something has gone terribly wrong though, and there is more darkness then light in this world of theirs. There is heart wrenching guilt that bleeds from the pages at times. I’m so eager to read Vultures now as well, as I feel like some things might be made clear to me.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys darker fantasy that ventures into more abstract territory. I’m all for straight forward adventure, but, every once in a while, it’s good to remember that writing is an art form and each writer has their own view on reality, and fantasy is a great medium for venturing into ones creative vision.

Thanks for checking out my short review, and I hope you are hanging in there right now, another world itself is turned upside down.

5 of 5 Stars!!

Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

  • Winner of the 2017 Locus Award
  • Publication date: September 20, 2016
  • Publisher: Orbit

Description from Amazon:

Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest crew members of the legendary Captain Rackamore’s ship, using their mysterious powers as Bone Readers to find clues about their next score. But there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen, in particular.

My Review

When I read this, soon after it’s release, I had previously gone through all of the Revelation Space and Prefect Dryfuss Emergency stuff, as well as Century Rain, and Pushing Ice. All of it far reaching, mind expanding, highly imaginative scifi. After reading the majority of Peter F. Hamilton’s work, I found Alastair Reynolds to satisfy my scifi craving and was well sated.

The bar was set very high, to say the least, but I really like to take each book for what it’s worth, as it is a form of art. I noticed a number of Reynolds fans that didn’t appreciate the incredible writing, and the unique world building that takes place in, not only Revenger, but in the whole series.

I found it so hard to understand fans who just labeled it as YA, nothing wrong with young adult type books. Generally, YA is just a long ways from the Hard Scif he’s typically known for. I ran into highly critical Reynolds fan that were snubbing their noses at it. Are the main characters young women? And is the story told from their perspective? Yes. And it was awesome.

His writing is so complete. To imagine a time when humans are surviving on what seems to be the remains of a fractured solar system, living on small artificial and natural worlds, in ships that are more steam based tech than the insanely developed electronic/digital tech that a lot of scifi has at the forefront. Communication devices are just called “squaks” and the ships use “bone readers” who use “alien” skulls with “glowy, sparkly stuff” on the inside, to get into the minds of the bone readers on other ships.

This is all done so naturally though. Then you’ve got mysterious, killer space pirates, a currency based on the qoines. Currency that is retrieved from “baubles” that are orbiting,  moon-like gravity wells full of old tech and other forms of wealth. The baubles were fascinating, they were only accessible for short periods of times, hours or days at most, and were full of traps and dangers that made bauble cracking a business for most crews serving on their solar powered steam space ships. I though it was genious, and fulfilling. I found the story was fast paced and easy to follow.

5 Stars, all the way.

Buy on Amazon

Revenger (The Revenger Series Book 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXW2IUQ/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_aKaJEbP068N5B

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