The Iron Gods

Download eBook This review may contain some spoilers. This is an intriguing fantasy novella crafted by an author obviously full of passion for the genre. It’s rough around its edges and reads like an early draft in places, but there is something here. We’re thrust into a fantasy world tempered with science fiction elements. Although nothing in this book struck me as being daringly original or unique, it carries a certain charm that helps get the ball over the net in so many places. The journey feels rushed. Character exploration is fleeting. We head-hop between characters endlessly, and while there is great care undertaken to consider a larger fantasy world at play here, we are merely flung from one stage to the next. The villain is passable, the writing ranges from striking to tepid, and then back again. Yet despite its shortcomings, there is talent here that will only bloom with the right practice, care and attention. Action is plentiful, and the dialogue shines in places. There are some twists and turns to keep you turning the pages. As for presentation, the cover is well illustrated, but needs color to capture the eyes of buyers. There were a handful of typos, but they did not ruin my reading. This snack should satisfy the appetite of fantasy fans between their main-course tomes. This is just one opinion. Don’t forget to leave your own rating below! The Iron Gods 6.5 Total Score Users Score - (0 votes) Leave your rating Pros * Full of passion* Rough stone that needs polishing Cons * Pacing needs work* Suffers from head hopping Story Characters Writing Presentation Story...

The Grand Bible

Download eBook This review may contain some spoilers. The Grand Bible offered an excellent premise and enough intrigue to keep this reader turning the pages, but it needs some more meat on its bones. The story begins far into the past, in a time when Earth was held by the Gods – an arrangement of mystical beings from various cultures and mythologies. After a great battle between the Gods and the humans that they created, the Gods decide to leave the planet. Many years later, Earth has long since forgotten who the Gods were, and its people can no longer see the footprints that they left behind. But far above the human world, in the Heaven realm, a young boy is beginning a journey that may turn everything on its head again. Perhaps the most promising angle of the story is that there were once multiple Gods ruling the Earth, and working in unison. It would be good to see some greater conflict between these characters as the story progresses. Our main character is a young boy who is curious about the Godless humans deep down on Earth. Apparently technology has advanced significantly since the Gods disappeared, and he wants to see it with his own eyes. So begins his journey. The Grand Bible is full of imagination and sparkle. There are great ideas at play here, but I think story and character need to be focused in the next editions. This first volume served well in building the world and setting the stage. For my taste, going forward I would like to see more character building. I want...

Miss Landon & Aubranael

Download eBook This review may contain some spoilers. A fantasy romance with vivid color, an earthly realism and the sparkle of magic, but it could not hold this reviewer’s attention. But don’t get me wrong, this is a well crafted book and will find a happy home with many readers, but for one reason it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. While the language is pleasant, and the grammar exceptionally delivered, the writing feels overbearing at times. When making a point, the author often takes the scenic route. As a result, the book feels overly long, especially for such a simple, although entertaining, tale. Often I found myself hurrying the author along, because I felt several steps ahead, and eager for the pleasant prose to cease waffling on, and just bring me from point A to point B. The story is well crafted. Miss Landon has been unlucky in love, but when she travels to the faraway land of Aylfenhame, she encounters Aubranael, a disfigured man who dares to try win her heart. With a helping of magic, he dons the guise of a handsome and well-to-do gentleman and enters Miss Landon’s world of England and seeks to woo her. But will she discover the truth before the spell wears off? Characters are memorable, and the dialogue is rich and breathes life across the pages, however, for this reader, the author remained far too long inside her characters’ heads, processing thought constructs over multiple pages, when simple action would suffice. Perhaps the upright, well mannered, overly patient writing style is equally to blame. Genre lovers will find a lot to enjoy here;...

He Who Wields The Sun

Download eBook This review contains some spoilers. A short fantasy story telling one man’s quest to obtain a legendary sword that he will use to preserve peace throughout the world. Told by the protagonist himself, the book moves at a swift pace, hitting the necessary story beats in quick succession. In short, man learns of sword, man hunts sword, and man … well you’ll have to read the book. It’s a simple tale, but I’ve seen other authors extend such a yarn over 500 plus pages, relying on environmental descriptions and meandering side stories to fill out their paper. What this author does well is work with the plot that he has, and then delivers it in a swift and succinct style. Character exploration is thin, but the author still manages to make our main character and narrator, Jal’Derren, a force of his own. While he is the typical rogue you’d expect to find in such a daring adventure, his absence of humbleness at times still does bring a smile to the face. After all, it’s usually a winning formula. Yet, we do not get to see the cracks, the darkness, or what truly makes the man tick. But, again, another curse of the short tale. In the case of Derren, such a character works well here because he is also telling this tale, and of course we wonder how much of it is accurate. What scenes has he manipulated to paint himself in a good light? Indeed, this unreliable narrator opens the story with a creed, promising that what he says is the truth, and the whole truth. Well, words to...

Demonic Awakening

Download eBook This review contains some spoilers. Merriweather’s first volume of the Devil Hunter Isawa Chronicles crackles with energy; this Japanese inspired fantasy romp is filled with sword fighting, demons, possession, wise masters, reckless students, and the flames and fury of an ongoing war between humans and devils. The story begins with Chaka Isawa, ‘The Beast’, a young swordsman who has already risen to high ranks within the Imperial Army. After holding back the latest wave of darkness charging the land, Chaka leaves the army and becomes a nomad. Hunted by his former commanders for desertion, Chaka must stay one step ahead in order to avoid the mandatory death sentence. But when Chaka almost loses his life, he makes a pact with three demons who take over his body in order to complete their own goal. Now surging with demonic energy, Chaka becomes a true force to be reckoned with. His journey leads us to Jurou, a devil-hunter monk who takes it upon himself to free Chaka from the demonic grip. Perhaps the strongest element of this work is the world that the author has created. The sheer effort that has been put into establishing the terminology and various factions is impressive. The author gratefully explains these aspects in detail for the appendix – it was proving difficult for this soul to keep up with the vast array of terms. However, upon finishing the novel, I was left wishing that the author had poured as much energy into the story as they had establishing the various aspects of the world. The tale begins promising enough, with some enjoyable character...

Hammers In The Wind

Download eBook This review contains some spoilers. Hammers in the Wind is an exciting fantasy novel, boasting an intimidating roster of characters, none of which I ever grew to truly care for, and a story that starts strong but weakens as it progresses. The opening is gripping, as our journey begins in the middle of action where we find Chadra Keep under siege, and King Badron, ruler of Delranan, will soon discover that he has lost both of his children in one night. His son has been murdered, and his daughter kidnapped. Badron believes that an ancient race known as the Pell Darga are responsible, and soon sets plans in motion to gather a band of mercenaries with the task of taking back the princess. However, there are many twists and turns ahead, and more dark forces that are waiting to be unleashed. The setup is woven tightly. Bahr, a famous sea captain and lord of the waters, takes up the mission to recover Badron’s daughter. Here we meet a whole host of mercenaries, all taking up the challenge for various reasons. Hints of magic begin to creep to the surface as more faces with strange powers muscle their way into the tale, and I start to fear that the author may spread himself too thinly. Unfortunately, once the mercenaries arrive at their destination, the book failed to hold my grip as it once had before. The reality of what lay beyond the water, and what possibilities and character movements awaited, failed to live up to my own wonder.  As new enemies moved through the background, I wondered why the...