Archive for April, 2016

The Bands of Mourning

April 4, 2016 - 4:27 pm No Comments

Title: The Bands of Mourning
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Gollancz
Page count: 447 pages
Release Date: 28 January 2016
Reviewer: Andy Angel

Brandon Sanderson cannot be human, or not completely so. He churns out books at such a pace that he must be, at least partially, a machine. Okay, this is said wholly in jest but really his output is astonishing and it is all of a consistently high standard that it wouldn’t surprise me to find he has cloned himself.*

For review today is The Bands of Mourning. This is the sixth book in the authors’ Mistborn series and the third to feature his Wax and Wayne characters. The first three Mistborn books were set in a fairly standard fantasy world, with the next three (and I believe there will be a fourth) the setting is the same world but ‘moved on’. The trope here is more Steampunk meets Wild West – and although I am not a big fan of westerns this actually works well for me.

The magic system throughout the series is one based on metals and their properties with new ones being introduced when needed to move the story on. The metal/magic here is the titular Bands of Mourning, a ‘metalmind’ that may or may not even be real but is alleged to have belonged to The Lord Ruler (way back in the original series). When a researcher returns to the city of Elendil with possible (indecipherable) clues to their whereabouts it is Wax and co who set off for the city of New Seran to investigate.

With the cast moving out of the city more of the world is revealed (and there are maps to accompany this which made me happy as I do like a good map). The character development was more for the ‘second string’ characters (especially Steris who I grew to like more).

As with a lot of Sanderson’s own work (of which I’m not including his books to finish off Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series) the interaction between characters is what drives the narrative and although this was not too ‘infodumpy’ I did feel at times the story did get bogged down a little. It could maybe have done with being trimmed a little but once things picked up again the race to the end was quite satisfying.

This is certainly not a book to be read on its’ own as although you don’t need an in depth knowledge of the previous books and the world/ magic system without at least a basic clue you will be lost.

Also, interspersed throughout the books in the Wax and Wayne series are illustrations featuring Newspaper sheets that really open up the reader to the world of Scadrial (in which the books are set, obviously) and make for a fun added diversion from the story.

I wouldn’t say that The Bands of Mourning was my favourite Sanderson novel to date but it’s certainly good enough to be ‘up there’. I’ll be interested to see what he does with the characters if there is a fourth book and how he will develop the magic system (and the world) for the third phase – which I believe is to be a sci-fi setting.

So, in short, an entertaining, if at times slightly overlong, addition to the Mistborn series which I will give a worthy 4/5 stars

*Through reading Mr Sanderson’s website I do actually know how he keeps turning out the books at such a pace and can confirm that no cloning of the author took place at any time 😉

The Running Game

April 3, 2016 - 1:13 pm No Comments

The Running Game by LE Fitzpatrick

Published by Creativia; 2 edition (1 Jun. 2016)
200 pages
Reviewer: Yvonne Davies

 

Charlie and John are brothers who are men for hire. At one time they were top of their game, but since Charlie’s accident which resulted in his wife getting murdered and his daughter kidnapped, they have not had much work. So when they are offered a simple job of gaining information on a woman called Rachel, they jump at the chance, not realising what trouble they are getting themselves into.
Rachel is a doctor living a regular life in S’aven, just outside London. What she has kept a secret even from her cop boyfriend is that she is a Reacher. Due to their mind control powers Reachers are wanted by everyone government and criminals alike. One important advice she got off her dad was check the exits and always be ready to run.
Once the brothers realise she is one of them, they soon go out of their way to protect her whilst getting the money owed to them.
Added to this a low life called James Roxton or Roxy to his friends, who whilst looking for the man who injured his mom, joins up again with his old friends, but has he got his own agenda?
This is a solid start to the reacher series, and as each character has their own individual traits, you will easily find one to suit you. John the strong, silent brooding type, Charlie the broken man and Rachel a strong-willed woman, all determined to survive. But who will you choose?
From the moment you start this book you know that you are in for an adventure. There is a 2nd book coming out soon in this series and I for one cannot wait.
This book is for dystopian, thriller and paranormal lovers.

Blaze of Magic

April 2, 2016 - 12:29 pm No Comments

A Blaze of Magic by JL Clayton
Published 29th December 2014 by Outskirts Press Inc
272 pages
5*
Reviewer: Yvonne Davies

This is the 2nd book in the Chosen Saga series. If like me you have read book 1, reading this will answer quite a few of your questions.
The story concentrates on Charlie and her upcoming birthday. Charlie and Jace with their Guardians take a trip to Callamose, a magical place where as a small girl Charlie would go there with her parents. To get there they must travel via leylines, which can be hard to master.
When she arrives she meets member of the council including Jace’s real parents, a Dragon shape shifter called Zeb and their leader Eli.
As her 16th birthday arrives Charlie gets given powers and finds out that she is the chosen one and has a much bigger task ahead. Along with her powers she also gets her memories of Callamose back, explaining why she has a close relationship with Jace.
Unbeknownst to them someone is plotting against them and working very close with Crispin, who is still stalking Charlie in her dreams.
Whilst kidnapped with other supernaturals, Charlie really needs to learn her powers quickly so she and the others can escape. To add to the confusion, she is introduced to a gorgeous vampire who has an attraction to her.
This a fast past book and is supernatural overload. There are twists in this book which were not expected and you will have a tear in your eye when you are nearing the end of the book.
What is a pleasant change is that unlike most books Charlie although gets her powers, hasn’t a clue how to use them and there are some comical moments whilst she is learning, especially the amount of times she looses her clothes.
If you were a Tru or Jace fan in book one,you may change your mind when you are introduced to the other guys.
Now time to read book 3