Friday, November 22, 2013

Heaven's Fate

Rating:  3 stars

I received a copy of Heaven's Fate from the author for an honest review.  The first thing that grabbed me, on the Kindle copy, was the formatting issue.  I know, being an author myself, that there can be some difficulties in converting a paper copy to kindle format.  That being said, though, the format made it a little difficult to read.  I tend not to give descriptions of my books on an amazon review; you know the description, which is why you're reading it, right?  The writing style itself was a little disjointed and strange, and I felt the story was rushed.  Instead of trying to do so much in the first book, I think the author could have done much more justice by putting more into the backstory and focusing more on the conflict between his father's killer and himself.  As it was, I felt I knew the characters less at the end of the novel than I did at the beginning.

As the story unfolded, I became intrigued with the story created with Thame, his "aunt", and the other characters that began to make their appearance.  They were well-rounded, all with their own flaws and circumstantial strengths and weaknesses.  For that, I commend the author.  It made for a much more enjoyable read.  The storyline was an interesting one, and the blending of two genres that are related, but traditionally separate from each other, made this book a unique one to read.

The fusion between fantasy and sci-fi for me, though, began to pull away from the story.  In my own mind, and as a fantasy writer and avid reader, to blend the two genres is a taboo, and a risky thing to try unless it's done right.  I thought that the fusion took away from the story; the las-pistols mixed with the magical incantations, the technology vs the prophecy and magical swords, all twisted into a confusing blend.  I think the story would have been much more fantastic if the author had stuck to one genre, either placing the novel entirely into the realm of fantasy or entirely into the realm of science fiction.

Overall, I think that Andre did very well on this novel.  It is a read I would probably pick up again, and I am looking forward to seeing his next book, to see what mischief Thame can get up to, and to hopefully get to know more about the characters and the drama that is unfolding within.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Chocolate War

Rating:  3 stars

The book started out well, the descriptions were vivid and the characters were interesting.  I found myself drawn into the world that Archie, Goober, and Jerry created, and then the author left me feeling almost cheated at the end of the book.  The same story and the same scene kept being repeated over and over again, which made me lose a little bit of interest.  Don't get me wrong, it's a very quick read--I finished it in two hours.  But, with it being a quick read, I felt that the plot just...ended.  The moral of the story, one that was targeted towards young adults, was a pretty depressing one, to be honest.  I read this book for a book club at work, and I'm afraid it fell short of what I wanted it to be. I remembered reading it in high school as an assignment, and now, rereading it as an adult, I'm just not impressed.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Trouble With Spells

Rating:  5 stars

This series is a truly addicting one.  I got the first book for free long ago, and then I subsequently bought every other book that followed because I couldn't get enough.  Lacey's ability to weave a story and to create characters that are not only memorable, but enjoyable as well, is a true testament to her skill as an author.  The storyline never stopped moving, and the action didn't stop, even up until the final page.  Looking for critiques on the book, I can't even really find any, to be truthfully honest.  I enjoyed the book from cover to cover, and this is the third time I have read it through!  For anyone who is a fan of magical novels, and of characters who you never want to let go, then this is the book for you.  I especially liked the way she addressed the darker aspect of magic--very interesting, and ingenious!