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Saturday 5 November 2022


Blood Is Thicker by Orlando A. Sanchez
Book 3 of the Montague & Strong Case Files series
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook

About Blood Is Thicker:
A Broken Pact. An Ancient Enemy. A Bitter Betrayal.

What does a vampire fear more than sunlight? The Cazadoras Sangrientas — Blood Hunters.

Michiko Nakatomi has led the Dark Council for over a century, maintaining the uneasy truce between humanity and the supernatural. But when an ancient enemy returns the delicate balance is shattered and vampires start dying.

Now, Michiko must fight for her life and the survival of the Council. She has no one to trust. Her inner circle is destroyed, the Council is on the verge of collapse, and her only hope lies with Simon and Tristan.

Join the Montague and Strong Detective Agency as they face off against the Blood Hunters to prevent them from destroying the Dark Council and plunging humanity to its doom.
Source: Info in the About Blood Is Thicker was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36300773-blood-is-thicker on 30/06/2019.

Buy Link(s):

My Thoughts:
In this book we acquired a Gandalf! (Not literally, but metaphorically speaking.) It remains to be seen if this Gandalf character is going to be a positive addition to the series or not...

The plot has kind of slide down a little bit. It seems to me that Simon and Tristan are just running around chasing their tail in the story... What is that all about?! At least Peaches got his priorities straight!

This is the first Montague & Strong Case Files book without an audiobook version at the time I read this book. I was annoyed about that... Even though... with all that moaning, I still enjoyed this book. Very much! So this book gets a four with me.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 3.5
Plot = 3

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Books in the Montague & Strong Case Files series:
Book 0.1: THE WAR MAGE   Book 0.5: NO GOD IS SAFE   Book 1: TOMBYARDS & BUTTERFLIES   Book 2: FULL MOON HOWL   Book 2.5: THE DATE   Book 3: BLOOD IS THICKER   Book 4: SILVER CLOUDS DIRTY SKY   Book 5: HOMECOMING   Book 6: DRAGONS & DEMIGODS   Book 6.5: A PROPER HELLHOUND   Book 7: BULLETS & BLADES   Book 7.5: HELLHOUND BLUES: A BREW & CHEW ADVENTURE   Book 8: HELL HATH NO FURY   Book 9: REAPING WIND   Book 9.5: A PERFECT CUP   Book 10: THE GOLEM   Book 10.5: SAVING MR K   A Montague & Strong Short Story Collection   Book 11: DARK GLASS   Book 12: WALKING THE RAZOR   Book 13: REQUIEM     Book 15: STORM BLOOD Book 16: REVENANT Book 17: BLOOD LESSONS

Meet The Author

About Orlando A. Sanchez:
Orlando Sanchez has been writing ever since his teens when he was immersed in creating scenarios for playing Dungeon and Dragons with his friends every weekend. An avid reader, his influences are too numerous to list here. Some of the most prominent are: J.R.R. Tolkien, Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, Lee Child, George Lucas, Andrew Vachss, and Barry Eisler to name a few in no particular order. The worlds of his books are urban settings with a twist of the paranormal lurking just behind the scenes and generous doses of magic, martial arts, and mayhem. He currently resides in Queens, NY with his family and can often be found in the local coffee shop where most of his writing is done.

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Tuesday 1 November 2022


Shattered Gods by Chris Fox
Book 1 in the Shattered Gods series
Narrated by Ryan Burke
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

Fated to destroy the world. Determined to save it.

My name is Xal and I live in the dims, a walled prison where my people are kept by our cruel masters, until we are needed to fight once more. One member of every family must answer The Call, for our blood bears the magic of a demonic god, and all the terrible power that brings.

We march to war against the Fomori, an unstoppable army of giants, and their behemoths. If we do not, then our families are put to death. The Hasrans use us as cannon fodder, and worse. They used up my father, and he never came home. Die resisting. Die fighting. My choice isn’t if it happens, but rather how I sell my life.

If by some miracle I survive I will be granted entrance to the Imperial Academy, where every noble house will vie to architect my end. They cannot allow the void-blooded to live. They cannot allow us to thrive, or to gain more magic from the bodies of other dead gods. They cannot allow us to win. They fear the rise of another dreadlord. And they are right to fear. I will pull down an empire, and that is just the beginning.
Source: Info in the "About Shattered Gods" was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57725133-shattered-gods on 16/10/2022.

Buy Link(s):
  Audible Books

My Thoughts:
Most fantasy formulaic route starts with a farm boy who went on to become great and saves the world. This story puts a little twist on that by starting with a prison community instead of a poor farm. So there is a tiny bit of originality in it at least.

The kindle ebook and the audible audiobook are whispersynced. However, there are parts where the two do not match. Like for example, in location 334 of 710 of the ebook, the line reads, "...but the one next to that was Zaro, I thought, a fierce warrior with a weapon in either hand." But the audiobook says, "...but the man next to that was Dalanthar, the very same steward emblazoned where I trained under Caw." No, some parts are not the same and some parts are inconsistent. The book sometimes call a god by different names, i.e., as Dalanthus and sometimes as Zaro, and/or used the names of two gods interchangeably. WTF!?! Consequently, the gods, temples, and characters are kinda confusing. On top of that there are clerical errors, i.e., "processor" instead of "professor" (loc 490 of 710 of the kindle ebook). Annoying! This kind of errors are peppered all throughout the book. The editor needs his/her pay docked.

Luiz, a GoodReads reviewer, said that the Academy ways do not make a lot of sense and I agree with him! That put a lot of holes in the plot/story building. In fact the story has so many plot holes in it that if it were a sheet, it would look like it had been striped with a machine gun!

Circle of Eight
I like that the ebook has some art in it, like the sigil of the Circle of Eight and the Hasra City map. It substantiate the imagination. Adds a dimension to the reading experience that wouldn't be there if the images were not there. Or maybe it is just me because I have the type of brain that is a visual learner.

I like Ryan Kennard Burke's voice. It is not aggravating to the ears. And I like the way he gives life to some characters!

Quantitative Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 3.5
Character development = 3.5
Story itself = 3
Writing Style = 4.5
Ending = 3
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (19 hrs and 51 mins listening time)
Plot = 2.5
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Hasra City map

Books In The Shattered Gods Series:

Meet The Author

About Chris Fox:
By day I am an iPhone developer architecting the app used to scope Stephen Colbert’s ear. By night I am Batman. Ok maybe not. One can dream though, right?

I’ve been writing since I was six years old and started inflicting my work on others at age 18. By age 24 people stopped running away when I approached them with a new story and shortly thereafter I published my first one in the Rifter.

Wait you’re still reading?

Ok, the facts I’m supposed to list in a bio. As of this writing I’m 38 years old and live just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in the beautiful town of Mill Valley. If you’re unsure how to find it just follow the smell of self-entitlement. Once you see the teens driving Teslas you’ll know you’re in the right place.

I live in a tiny studio that I can cross in (literally) five steps and don’t own an oven. But you know what? It’s worth it. I love developing iPhone apps and if you want to work in San Francisco you accept that rent for a tiny place costs more than most people’s mortgage.

If you and about 2 million other people start buying my books I promise to move out of Marin to a house in the redwoods up in Guerneville. No pressure. Wait that’s a lie. Pressure.

The Narrator

About Ryan Kennard Burke:
Ryan Kennard Burke is a narrator/voice-over artist, audiobook director, and a Canadian. His parents and extended family are Australian and he lives in America pursuing a career in entertainment. His eclectic background is reflected by his career. Having worked in both Canada and the US as an actor, producer and stuntman he is now working in VO and Audiobooks. During his years of study abroad he has earned both a BFA from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and an MBA from Argosy University. Ryan is an award winning producer, actor and is a current top seller for Audiobooks. You can find his titles by simply browsing his name on Audible.

FTC Disclosure:
The ebook and audiobook were bought with private funds.
No money received for this review.

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