Showing posts with label Fantasy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fantasy. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Review: Artful by Peter David

*I received this book free of charge through the First Reads giveaway program*
I admit, I've avoided the popular classical literature x paranormal crossover until now.  However, Artful by Peter David seemed really interesting and I was very happy to win a copy of it from

The book starts out with a little bit of background explanation of who the main character is and how his story relates to Dickens' Oliver Twist.  The main protagonist of the story is the Artful Dodger and this book delves into his paranormal adventures after the end of Dickens' story.  I actually really enjoyed the story, although the story telling could become a bit convoluted at times.  I was also slightly confused by the pace of the story because it seemed like it took a long time to get to set up any "real" action but then after the action started it was extremely fast paced.   I would have enjoyed the story more if much of the background information had been integrated into the entire plot instead of packed into such a long and drawn-out beginning.  I also would have liked to seen more development of the vampire mythology instead of just a few paragraphs discussing the origins of the vampires.

Overall, I would recommend this book to readers who like the fantasy/paranormal genre. It would probably be a good read for high schoolers and older readers who have already read Oliver Twist, but reading Dickens is not necessary to enjoy this book.

Artful on

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Review: Dragon's Debt by HL Burke

*I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own and I never commit to a positive review prior to reading*

As much as I thought that the first book in The Dragon and the Scholar series was fantastic, this book was even better.  HL Burke continues to fine-tune and polish her craft to excellent results.
Much of this book focused on Ewan and Edmond and their relationship as brothers of different species.  It was very interesting to see Ewan grapple with the guilt he still feels about Edmond's injury. Shannon's story is almost a side-plot in this book, as she is still figuring out her relationship with Ewan and must also deal with new romantic interest from the new character Prince Ryan of Westshire (brother of Edmond's love interest, Brighid). I still enjoy how well-developed Shannon is as a character. She is loyal, steadfast, intelligent, and brave, and she also happens to be a woman. I love that the author doesn't make Shannon's character remarkable because of her gender, she is simply a good person who happens to be female.  HL Burke does a really good job of weaving the increasingly complicated relationships between all of the characters. The characters all seem very real; at times I was as frustrated with their actions as I would be when a friend does something incredibly stupid.  

The dialogue in Dragon's Debt was superb and believable; it read as much more natural and less tongue-in-cheek than the diaglogue in Dragon's Curse.  This book did a good job of fleshing out the existing characters and introducing  few interesting new people, although I would have liked the focus to have been more on Shannon.  I also would have liked more drama. I believe this series has great potential as an adventure story as much as a romance if there was just a little bit more "edge of your seat" action at the climax.  Overall, though, this was another great read and I give it 4.5/5 stars. 

Dragon's Debt on

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Book Review: A Lonely Magic by Sarah Wynde

I received a copy of this book for free as part of a promotional giveaway.
4/5 Stars
Once again, Sarah Wynde excels at creating a mystical alternate realty where magic and fantasy reign. This book opens with intense drama and mystery and has enough plot twists and intrigue to keep all but the most jaded of readers happy. When you first meet the protagonist of the book, Fen, she is being threatened with her imminent murder.  At the last minute a mysterious stranger appears and stops her from being killed.  Things only get weirder for Fen after her attempted murder and subsequent rescue when she meets her rescuers family. She is forced to abandon the life she knew for a sort of private "witness protection program". Fen is soon completely ensconced in a new, exotic world, but not everything is as it seems.  Once she learns that her family had hidden some secrets of it's own from her, she must face the biggest choice of her life.  

A Lonely Magic
I really enjoyed this book; the writing was superb and the drama was fast paced.  The little bit of lust/romance thrown in was entertaining, but not too overwhelming to the central plot.  As with all of Wynde's work, it was very easy to become completely immersed in the writing.  My only complaint is that the "last of the species/tribe/line" theme that pops up towards the end is a little too cliche in fantasy writing.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Book Review: Dragon's Curse by HL Burke

I received this book free of charge in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own and I never commit to a positive review prior to reading.
Dragon's Curse on

I thoroughly enjoyed Dragon's Curse (The Dragon and the Scholar vol. I)  by H.L. Burke. I kind of accidentally stumbled upon this book when I was searching for other bloggers with similar interests. As I've said before, finding a good, talented, upcoming author is a bit like mining. You get a lot of dirt and junk, but occasionally you find a real gem. H.L. Burke is one of these rare gems, and I would give Dragon's Curse a solid 3.5/5 rating. (Not that this book is bad, I just have extremely high standards to give a 4 or 5).

If you enjoy fantasy novels and tales about magic, dragons, and a bit of romance, this is a good book for you.  The main protagonist, Shannon, is an adorable and stubborn scholar whose first assignment out of the academy (which is basically college) is to treat a neighboring king's poisoned dragon wounds. Although slightly nervous, Shannon is confident in her ability as a healer and is determined to prove her worth to her mentor at the Academy, a man named Martin. Shannon quickly discovers that all is not well in the kingdom of Regone and finds herself allied with a dragon to overcome some unexpected challenges, including an over-zealous would be suitor and an evil witch.

I personally enjoyed the strong fantasy plot of this novel.  While not exactly a brand new story, Dragon's Curse is told in a fun and inventive way.  I liked that Shannon is strong willed and mostly unafraid from the very beginning. Her intelligence and natural curiosity are her main strengths and not merely personality quirks.  I found the dialogue to be overall fairly good, although some of the conversations between characters felt almost too tongue-in-cheek or trite at times and I was unsure if what I was reading was supposed to be serious or not.

I definitely recommend this book for anyone who likes epic fantasy and dragons.  It is also a good book for fans of romance novels, although romance is not the main theme of the book.  I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Dragon's Debt, and the third book, which is set for release later this year.

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