Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Prince of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence (2011).

Prince of Thorns has been an amazing whirlwind adventure, games of chance, and total madness! It’s been a thrilling opening novel to a series that is set to bring further mayhem and destruction to an already war ridden land where 100 kings and their bloodlines fought to become emperor. Jorge, honourable Prince of Ancrath, is set to be the first man to succeed.

This thrilling tale follows Jorge through his adventures from his torturous youth, to the present mayhem of teenage hood. As an adult King Jorge is set to become formidable. With his band of “brothers” Jorge sets off after the death of his mother and brother, at the ripe old age of 9, causing havoc amongst the lands with his main target the murderer lord Renar his overall game end. However, Jorge doesn’t accomplish his tasks single handed, there are many memorable characters, such as Sir Makin, and some of whom are felled along the way such as the Nuban.

Jorge manages the impossible along his journey, defeating his foes in ways that are surprising and unique, and I found myself glued to each page. There is a surprising likeness to Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, with the obvious “game of thrones” being played as an underlying storyline to the main plot. But no matter the similarities, Prince of Thorns remains unique in plot and framework, and the story itself feels much more “raw”, for lack of a better term!

Overall I have to admit to loving this novel and first of The Broken Empire series. I would recommend this novel to adults who enjoy the secrecy, plotting and battle that royal families play to remain or gain the throne. I have given this book a rating of 9/10 stars and I can’t wait to read the following title.


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Book Review: Aaru, by David Meredith (2017).

Aaru Cover

What comes after Death? It is the age-old question that has never been answered as no one has ever returned from death to tell the tale. Is there something more? Or is death the end? The novel Aaru, by David Meredith, is a book that looks at what could happen if we had the technology to be able to upload our conscience selves into a database so that in death one could live on in this virtual world. But not only are they able to continue to exist, they can also communicate with the world they have left behind. Loved ones still living their everyday lives can speak with those they have lost to death using the equipment Elysian Industries provides, in the program Aaru, while those uploaded into this virtual world live out their lives in their own ways. The concept is great, right? But if it really works, is it safe? Aaru looks at what can happen when it all goes wrong.

The novel begins with a young girl sapped of life by a terminal illness that had all but taken her precious and brief, 16-year-old life. Her sister Koren, devastated by the form her sister is reduced to, spends the final week of Rose’s life at her bedside. A new doctor visits during this time and places a strange piece of equipment on her head. And then Rose is gone. There is a funeral and a burial.

Naturally Koren, 13 years old rebels during the grieving process at the loss of her sister, and for months tries to learn to deal with life without her. At what seems to be her lowest point, she is delivered the opportunity to have her sister back alive and in her life once more. But what begins as a grand new technological advancement soon goes dreadfully wrong in ways that no one could have foreseen. Koren begins life as celebrity, the face of Aaru, the place where there is life beyond death. At 13 and a half years old she is dressed up and coached to perform in front of crowds and camera’s all in the name of promoting Aaru, which also brings in more money than her and her parents could have possibly dreamed. But no one thought about the fanatical fan response Koren would receive, least of all did they think a stalker could be a problem.

The storyline of Aaru is great. I have enjoyed the general story plotline, and I think it has its own uniqueness that sets it apart from other life after death stories. This is most likely due to the stalker plot interwoven into the story of a girl trying to deal with the physical death of her sister. I do feel however that the writing is not of the standard of the author’s last novel Reflections of Queen Snow White. It seems rushed somehow. Although admittedly the characters themselves are well thought out portrayed in a way that really appeals to the readers imagination, projecting vivid images of the scenes in the minds eye.

Overall, I enjoyed the book Aaru, by David Meredith. I would recommend it to young adults up, and give it a rating of 7/10 stars.

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Book Review (re-edit): A Clash of Kings, by George R. R. Martin. 1998. Book 2 in the Game of Thrones series.

A Clash of Kings, by George R. R. Martin, is a fantastic second instalment to the Game of Thrones series. It begins with Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark dead; the crown resting with King Joffery. However, Robb Stark, Stannis Baratheon and Renly Baratheon all lay claim. The comet in the sky is seen as a sign of war and incest, fratricide and murder discolour the landscape. Winter is coming and the undead and Others are beginning to stir. Into this, from across the sea, comes the daughter of the Dungeon Kind to add her name to the list of pretenders to the Throne. With the disastrous and literally heart breaking conclusion to its predecessor, this book only continues the strife raging across Westeros, providing a total lack of end in sight.
The Seven Kingdoms have been plunged heavily into civil war. Five are vying for contention and naming themselves King, with none abiding the others. Stories and alliances are fracturing alike, and the reader is helpless before the onslaught of new characters, new plot lines, and revelations. As well as cliff-hangers that leave the mind reeling with the desire for more. The characters allotted chapters is increased to 9, promoting only one supporting character from book one to a fully-fledged lead, and introducing an entirely new character to introduce us to the inner workings of an entirely new plot thread.

Tyrion Lannister is once again one of the books highlights of the book providing a much needed breath of humour, as well as an intelligence that is not hindered by personal greed, ambition or idiocy. This in no way means that any of the other characters are a chore to read, but rather act in ways that leave the reader entirely certain they deserve to be smacked upside the head with a shovel! The sheer bastardry of some of the characters both introduced and returning is horrific at points. The loss encountered by some of the characters rends the heart stricken. Danerys Targaryen, who figured so powerfully in the first novel (especially in its astounding finale)gets little play in the book, occupying not much more than 100 pages of its nearly 1000. But her brief moments are crucial and point toward much more to come in future volumes.

This has to be one of the best written pieces I have had the pleasure of reading in a long time. George R. R. Martin is an author of note and promise of creative journeys ahead. I give the clash of Kings, by George R. R. Martin a 10/10 rating.


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Book Review: Deadlocked, by Charlaine Harris. (Book 12 in the Sookie Stackhouse series 2012).

Deadlocked, by Charlaine Harris begins with a young girl losing her life at a vampire party – and it looks as though her lover, Eric, might be responsible. Eric swears he didn’t do it, the police don’t believe him, and even Sookie isn’t so sure. Nor is she inclined to take his word for it, not having caught him enjoying the victim’s blood minutes before she was killed.
But something strange is going on. Why had Sookie been asked to come to the fateful party a few minutes early – just to catch Eric in the act? And why had the victim spiked her own blood before approaching Eric? Was it simply because she wanted to be irresistible, or was it something more sinister?

Sookie will have to find out but it’s the worst moment to investigate, as her Fae family are having troubles of their own and Sookie is, inevitably, drawn in. And there is one last complication. The cluviel dor her grandmother left her. It will grant her one wish, which could fulfil Sookie’s heart’s desire. The only problem is, she still doesn’t know what – or who – her heart truly desires.

Deadlocked, the second to last book of this series is full of complications and has made life so difficult for Sookie that it is becoming almost ridiculous. However, Charlaine Harris has written in such a way that readers know there will be a light at the end of the tunnel somewhere. Even if it isn’t what they hope or expect! I give Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris a rating of 7.5/10.


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Book Review (re-edit): Dead in the Family, by Charlaine Harris. (Book 10 in the Sookie Stackhouse series 2010).

If you think your family relationships are complicated, think again! You haven’t seen anything like the ones in Bon Temps, Louisiana. Sookie Stackhouse is dealing with a whole host of family problems, ranging from her own kin (a non-human fairy and a telepathic second cousin) demanding a place in her life, to her lover Eric’s vampire sire, an ancient being, who arrives with Eric’s ‘brother’ in tow at a most inopportune moment. And Sookie’s tracking down a distant relation of her ailing neighbor (and ex), Vampire Bill Compton. In addition to the multitude of family issues complicating her life, the werewolf pack of Shreveport has asked Sookie for a special favor, and since Sookie is an obliging young woman, she agrees. But this favor for the wolves has dire results for Sookie, who is still recovering from the trauma of her abduction during the Fairy War.

It’s almost just too much! How does one person continue to function normally when their world continues to be so dysfunctional?!?! Between Weres and Vampire’s Sookie is torn a thousand different directions and most of them lead her to a rock and hard place. Hopefully things will look up for her in the next installment. But for now I score Dead in the Family, by Charlaine Harris 8/10.


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Book Review (re-edit): All Dead Together, by Charlaine Harris. (Book 7 in the Sookie Stackhouse series 2007).

In the 7th book of the Sookie Stackhouse series, All Dead Together, authored by Charlaine Harris, Sookie finds herself beginning to get used to being surrounded by all varieties of undead, changeling, shapeshifting and other supernatural beings – but even she has her limits. She’d really like to take a while to get over being betrayed by Bill, her long-time vampire lover, and get used to her new relationship with the sexy shapeshifter Quinn – but instead, she finds herself attending the long-planned vampire summit, the destination of choice for every undead power player around, as a sort-of human ‘Geiger counter’ for Sophie-Anne Leclerq, vampire queen of Louisiana. But the job is fraught with difficulties. Sophie-Anne’s power base has been severely weakened by Hurricane Katrina, and she’s about to be put on trial during the event for murdering her king. Sookie knows the queen is innocent, but she’s hardly prepared for other shocking murders: it looks like there are some vamps who would like to finish what nature started. With secret alliances and backroom deals the order of the day – and night – Sookie must decide which side she’ll stand with, and quickly, for her choice may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe.
This the 7th novel in the Sookie Stackhouse series, adds to the storyline and sheds some light on some unanswered questions, such as who the Queen of Louisianna is, and how powerful she is to Bill. Also we see what looks like some form of relationship between Eric and Sookie. Could it be that Eric truly does have feeling for Sookie other than just that of a sexual nature? The next installment should give us some idea. I rate Charlaine Harris’ novel, All Dead Together 7.5/10 stars. Suitable for anyone over 15 years of age.


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Book Review (re-edit): Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris. (Book 1 of the Sookie Stackhouse series 2001).

Originally before writing this review I had begun this series after purchasing “True Blood Omnibus”, which contained the first three novels of the series. After re-hashing the beginning of this post several times, I realized why I was having such a  difficult time writing. I just can’t heap these books together and review them. It just doesn’t do it justice. Not only have I found the first book of this series to be extremely entertaining, but I have found the subsequent novels do not fail to keep me enthralled for hours when technically I should be sleeping! Thus I have decided to review each of the Sookie Stackhouse series individually, the way they were originally intended, even though I have the Omnibus. If nothing else I feel it respectful to the author.The first novel of the Sookie Stackhouse series is – Dead Until Dark, and is authored by Charlaine Harris. In this novel, Charlaine introduces the idea that the supernatural could one day wish to “come out of the closet” so to speak, and join main stream society. A world where the impossible becomes the possible, and something as insane as Vampires join the human race. Dead Until Dark establishes such a phenomenon with the simple creation of – “True Blood”. A synthetic form of blood which allows Vampires to feed and sustain themselves whilst not requiring Humans as “live prey”. With this in mind, the whole story begins with Sookie Stackhouse and her first meeting with a vampire.

Sookie Stackhouse is an ordinary 20 something girl, or so she would like to have you believe, with a secret. A curse as she calls it. She works in the local bar and lives with her grandmother in the house her father was raised in. She doesn’t have a boyfriend, and she doesn’t often date. That is mainly due to one reason. She is able to read people’s minds. She is telepathic. Which turns out comes in handy when there is a serial murderer in town killing women who have been known to fraternize with Vampires. Especially considering she meets her first Vampire who also becomes her boyfriend!

Dead Until Dark, has been an experience in it itself. Reading this roller coaster has been so entertaining I have honestly devoted way too much time to it! The idea of Vampires becoming public and existing on synthetic blood has put an entirely new spin on the supernatural stance. It really is a fantastic twist, and has opened a huge range of possibilities. The murders kept the story flowing at a rapid rate, and gave fate to pull twists and turns on young Sookie’s love life, which also kept me glued to each page throughout the book.

I would recommend these books to anyone who is interested in Vampire’s and Werewolves. Those who enjoyed – “Supernatural” and “Vampire Diaries” on TV may also find this series interesting. This is a book for young adults, though does contain a lot of older material which could also be offensive to some people. However, I think that it would be suitable to anyone aged 15+. Out of 10, I would rate this book a definite 8.

So far so good. I am getting into the story. Charlaine Harris has really let her talent shine with this book, and I am looking forward to some time to read more.


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Book Review: Fate and Fury, by Quinn Loftis. (Book 6 of the Grey Wolf series).

The sixth instalment of the Grey Wolf series gives us all the answers to our unanswered questions from the last book as well as opens up more by the end. Quinn Loftis has woven supernatural disaster beautifully, and has not disappointed readers, giving them a battle to remember
Jacque, Jen and Sally, as always, are in the thick of the drama, and after rescuing their mates fall victim to a spell of revenge dished out by their enemy Desdemona. The males, although no longer suffering the torment of the in-between, still suffer from what they have seen, and it’s affecting the bond with their mates. So much so the she-wolves take drastic measures that causes all kinds of issues when Desdemona’s spell strikes. 

Meanwhile Lilly and Cypher manage to wrangle assistance for the battle with the witch from an unlikely source, the elves. The Fae too become involved, after being chastised by the great Goddess Luna herself, use the moonstone presented to them to call all of the packs together for war.

The battle itself is ferocious and devastating and both sides are injured. But when the battle is over the right side find themselves still standing, only to come face to face with an even greater threat being Cypher’s own brother. This could lead to all kinds of trouble in future novels.

Overall Fate and Fury is a impressive book that keeps readers hooked with all the action and adventure. Again this book is recommended for early to mid teens. This book receives a rating of 7/10 stars.