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Thursday, 29 December 2011

Review: TOUCH OF POWER

Touch Of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Book 1 of the Healer trilogy

Genre: fantasy
Publication Date: 6th January 2012

About Touch Of Power:
The Fifteen Realms is in a state of turmoil, reeling from a ruthless plague that has ripped through the lands killing thousands. Now the realms are on the brink of war as potential leaders vie for power, using whatever horrific means possible.

At one time revered for her healing abilities, Avry of Kazan is in hiding from those who wish to manipulate her powers to further their own cause. But when Avry heals a sick child, she is captured, facing the guillotine for using her forbidden magic. That is until she is rescued by the mysterious Kerrick and his band of men, who need Avry to save their dying friend, Prince Ryne. Having heard of Ryne’s various atrocities, Avry is more than reluctant, but with a bounty on her head, she needs their protection. In a quest across the Nine Mountains, encountering man-eating ufas, armies of the undead and gangs of mercenaries, the group battles to reach Ryne before the armies of the power-hungry Tohon and the evil Estrid can capture any more land.

With Kerrick promising that Ryne is the answer to peace for the Fifteen Realms, Avry must make the ultimate decision. Either way she faces a certain death – but should she trust Kerrick and heal Ryne, or die a martyr to a lost cause
Source: Info in the About Touch Of Power was taken from the blog tour press release.

Review:
I thought that this would be another series in the Yelena Zaltana world just like the Opal Cowan trilogy was. But no, the Healer trilogy is a totally different world from the Yelena Zaltana one. Still of the fantasy genre though, but totally different worlds. Although I find the magic system is somewhat similar.

Having read the previous work of this author, I knew that she has a real weakness in the plot building, i.e., Opal Cowan trilogy (I blame it on the weak plot anyway). So even before I started reading this book, I was kinda dreading what kind of plot this book might have. But I worried for no reason! The plot is good and the story ended with a satisfying resolution. Although the ending also made room for more in the story, but we know already that this is gonna be a trilogy. However despite that, the ending did a good job of resolving the main dilemma in the story.

Maybe it's just me, but I seem to be developing a fixation for bad guys. Tohon is sounding like an anti-hero I could like... I think Alexander Skarsgard would make a good Tohon... for those of you who've read this book, don't you think so?

Another thing I can say about this book is that it retained the wonderful story telling quality that I've come to know with Maria V. Snyder. It made the reading time whiz pass and before I knew it, I was at the ending and I wanted to read more! Unfortunately I have to wait until next year for the next book. Next year!!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Plot = 4
Cover art = 4
Pace = 4

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries


Author Link(s):
Maria V. Snyder

Book Link(s):
www.touchofpower.com
GoodReads

Publisher Link(s):
Mira Ink
Mira at Facebook

Thank you to the publisher/PR team for the review copy of Touch Of Power by Maria V. Snyder received.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Review: MAGIC GIFTS

Magic Gifts by Ilona Andrews
Book 5.4 of the Kate Daniels series

Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook

Synopsis:
A dinner date after a hard day at work sounds heavenly. Of course, when that date is between the Beast Lord and Kate Daniels, things don’t go as planned. Before you know it, undead are running amok, heads are being chopped off, lawyers are deployed and used with extereme prejudice, and drunk vikings are calling people out.
Source: Info in the Synopsis was taken from the author's website at http://www.ilona-andrews.com/magic-gifts/ on 25/12/2011.

Thank you to Ilona Andrews for the Christmas gift of this wonderful Kate Daniels novella!!

My Thoughts:
In this story we meet a new character, Ivar... Could this be a new ally? Looks like its shaping up to be another fascinating personality... The image I have here is not really accurate, but close.

The story telling quality is 5 out of 5, as per usual! And I love the humour and banter between the characters! I think the humour between the pages is one of the most endearing feature in all the books of this husband and wife author. It sure makes any work by these authors very easy to read. The same with the world building. But then again I always found the world of Kate Daniels fabulous! I am a rabid fan after all!! So I understand the world and the nuances of it's culture, but I am not sure that a non-follower of this series can, just by reading this book. So to anyone new to this series or if you have not yet started reading this series, I don't recommend that you start with this book. It probably is not a good idea for you to read this book. I would suggest that a reader go into this series or start with Magic Bites, book 1. Keep in mind that this is a short story. Not much room for world building. However I am not objective enough to tell you for certain that the world building in this book alone is enough or not to be taken as a stand alone book.

Like I said this book is a short story, that means I got done reading this book in no time at all. That it actually felt like it was just a few minutes of reading pleasure! Pace? Quick. And the problem with that is, I wanted more and I have to wait for spring for the next one!!

Short quick read for Kate Daniels series fans.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = 5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

Freebie Link:

Books In The Kate Daniels Series:


FTC Disclosure:
This short novella ebook was downloaded for free from the author's website at http://www.ilona-andrews.com/magic-gifts/ on 25/12/2011. No money received for this review.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Review: DRAGON BONES

Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs
Book 1 of the Hurog doulogy
Read by Joe Manganiello
Format: audiobook
Genre: high fantasy

About Dragon Bones:
Riding into a war that's heating up on the border, Ward, the new lord of Herzog, is sure he's on the fast track to glory. But soon his mission takes a deadly turn. For he has seen a pile of magical dragon bones hidden deep beneath Hurog Keep. The bones could prove to be dangerous in the wrong hands, and Ward is certain his enemies will stop at nothing to possess them.
Source: Info in the About Dragon Bones was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/123408.Dragon_Bones on 17/11/2011.

My Thoughts:
Okey, so I bought this audiobook because I wanna listen to Joe Manganiello's deep-timbred voice. Can you blame me? Anyway, I like his voice so that makes the narrator a 5 out of 5, right? Well, the thing is I had to buy the paperback as well because there were parts I couldn't quite understand and had to replay them a few times before I get it. Having the book to read as well makes it easier for me. But I am pretty sure this is a fault on my part rather than Joe Manganiello's narration. And besides he is not really a professional audiobook reader like Johanna Parker and Jenna Lamia, now is he? He is a model, for Christ's sake!! Look at him! -->

However, Patricia Briggs' story telling quality is masterful! As per usual. And since I am a long time Patricia Briggs fan, that is biased as well. I am just disappointed that there isn't much dragons in this book. When I first encountered this book, I was expecting a dragon or two, by it's title. But more like just dragon remains, i.e., dragon bones. And if you are like me, a dragon freak, then that is a downer, because I like to see dragons flying. Anyway, Patricia Briggs' world building makes up for it because it is simply fabulous!! As you might have surmised by now that I really loved listening to this book... so I'd give it a 4.5 out of 5.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 3
Pace = N/A
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries


Other Book In The Hurog Doulogy:
Click image to go to GoodReads.

 
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