Cherry Mischievous

for the love of SciFi/Fantasy

THE TROLL KING

 

The Troll King by Trevor H. Cooley
Book 9 of The Bowl Of Souls series
Read by James Foster
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About The Troll King:

The Jharro Grove Saga: Book Four

He was born a king. Half troll and half man, he crawled from the womb of a god and found himself leader of a deformed but powerful race. As he struggles to lead his people Mellinda slithers into their midst. She wields the Rings of Stardeon and she has her own plans for his people.

A prophet has been taken. A demon army joins the enemies of the grove. Will Justan’s might and Tarah Woodblade’s powers be enough to help Jhonate’s people protect the Jharro Grove? It may all depend on the choices made by The Troll King.

Source: Info in the About The Troll King was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26577313-the-troll-king on 13/03/2017.

 

My Thoughts:

This series has taken on the multiple thread kind of writing style. The book tells the stories of the different protagonists in their own different journeys each in their own thread. The book jumps from thread to thread every couple of chapters or so. Say I have been reading about Fist in the Trafalgar mountains for the last couple of chapters. Then the next chapter talks about Justan in Malaroo. While immersed in my favourite ogre, Fist‘s, story, I have forgotten what had happened to Justan and had to go back and read about Justan‘s thread before I could continue reading the next chapter. This slowed the pace of this book right down to a crawl. Not only that, it disrupts the continuity of the story flow which is really annoying. The previous books in this series had used this kind of writing style before but not as prevalent as in this book. This brought the rating of this book right down despite me being an old fan of this series already. And then of course there is the cliffhanger ending…. Safe to say that I wasn’t very happy with this book… but it gotta be read if I want to continue reading this series…. **pout**

I really didn’t like the way Qenzic treated Lyramoor at the jail cave in the Thunder People territory. Let Qenzic go through what Lyramoor had gone through in his slavery days and see if Qenzic would still be sane! The fact that Lyramoor is still a highly functional individual and loyal to a fault to Qenzic who flipping doesn’t deserve any of that loyalty at all, is a blinking miracle!… So there are issues in this book that I am quite passionate about… or really, really do not like… or riles me up….

I don’t know whether it is the author’s magic that is waning or it is me getting disenchanted… either way, this book is not the best in this series.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 3
Writing Style = 2
Ending = 2
World building = 4
Cover art = 3.5
Pace = 1
Plot = 3
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Bowl Of Souls Series:
 

Book 1: EYE OF THE MOONRAT   Book: 1.5: HILT'S PRIDE   Book 2: MESSENGER OF THE DARK PROPHET   Book 3: HUNT OF THE BANDHAM   Book 4: THE WAR OF STARDEON   Book 5: MOTHER OF THE MOONRAT   Book 6: TARAH WOODBLADE   Book 7: PROTECTOR OF THE GROVE   Book 8: THE OGRE APPRENTICE   Book 9: THE TROLL KING   Book 10: PRIESTESS OF WAR   Book 11: BEHEMOTH

 

The Author
Trevor H. Cooley

Since putting out his first book: Eye of the Moonrat in May of 2012, Trevor H. Cooley has sold over 200,000 copies of his books in ebook and audio formats.

He was born in South Carolina and has lived all around the United states, including Utah, New Mexico, Michigan and Tennessee.

His love of reading started in the second grade with Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series. He couldn’t get enough and continued with David Eddings, Tolkein, Robert Jordan, Stephen King, and many others. Since then, all he wanted was to become a published writer.

The characters and concepts that eventually became the Bowl of Souls series started in his teens. He wrote short stories, kept notebooks full of ideas, and generally dreamed about the world constantly. There were several attempts at starting a novel over the years.

Not long after he was married, his wife told him to stop talking about the story and write it down. Many years and rewrites and submissions and rejection letters later, he finally put the books on Amazon. In August of 2013 he quit his day job and started writing full time.

 

The Narrator
James Foster

James Foster was born in Björk’s house in Iceland and grew up on Easter Island, where his parents were giant stone heads. He has the ability to fire beams of tacos out of his hands and he can turn his legs into tigers. On Sundays, James enjoys reading Family Circus and traveling through time. His favorite color is greenish-transparent and his favorite movie is the one you just watched. James is in charge of uploading the staff bios to the website, and no one has checked over his work.

 


 

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

 

15/04/2017 Posted by | 3 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, kindle ebook, reviews | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: NIGHT STUDY

 

Night Study by Maria V. Snyder
Narrated by Gabra Zackman
Book 2 in the Soulfinders series / Book 5 in the Study series / Book 9 in The Chronicles Of Ixia series
Genre: fantasy

 

 

About Night Study:

Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear. Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he’s quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he’s been keeping secrets from Valek… secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander’s mysterious plans, they realise it’s far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.

Source: Info in the About Night Study was from the press kit from the publicity team.

 

Buy Link(s):

 

My Thoughts:

The worldbulding and character development are still great! But the story telling style is also the same “multiple threads” chop shop which drives me up the wall. And cliffhanger ending. I reckon that this book is better read when you already are in possession of the third book of the Soulfinders series. This book is also so not good to read before Shadow Study or you will get royally lost.

I find Night Study the most emotional of all the books in any of this book’s serieses. So keep a box of tissues in hand.

When the first book, Poison Study, came out some ten years ago, I remember that I loved it but naught else. So when this book mentions some past character or event which appeared or happened in previous books that I’ve read ten years ago, I couldn’t remember him/her/it anymore, which was a bit frustrating. I should have re-read the previous books in this series before I started reading Shadow Study and this book.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 2
Ending = 3.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 3.5
Pace = 3
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books in the Study series:
Book 1: POISON STUDY   Book 1.5: ASSASSIN STUDY   Book 2: MAGIC STUDY   Book 3: FIRE STUDY   Book 3.5: POWER STUDY   Book 3.6: ICE STUDY   Book 4: SHADOW STUDY   Book 5: NIGHT STUDY   Book 6: DAWN STUDY

 

About Maria V. Snyder
Maria V. Snyder

Meteorologist turned novelist, Maria’s been writing fantasy and science fiction since her son was born. Maria has won numerous prizes for her writing including the Golden Leap Hall of Fame, Wirral Paperback of the Year Award, Compton Crook Award and the Salt Lake County Library Reader’s Choice Award. She’s been on the New York Times bestseller list and earned her Master’s degree in Writing from Seton Hill University. Traveling is one of her biggest distractions from writing and Maria hasn’t said no to a trip yet. She has visited China, Dubai, Malaysia, Europe, Central America, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada — all provided wonderful fodder for her stories. Maria lives in Pennsylvania with her family.

 

w | t | f

Thank you!

Thank you to the publicity team for the review copy received.


t | f | g+

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
The paperback review copy of this book was received for free in exchange for an honest opinion. The audiobook copy of this book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

30/03/2016 Posted by | 3 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, review | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: THE DESERT SPEAR

 

The Desert Spear by Peter Brett
Book 2 in The Demon Cycle series
Read by Colin Mace
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobook

 

 


About The Desert Spear:

The sun is setting on humanity. The night now belongs to voracious demons that arise as the sun sets, preying upon a dwindling population forced to cower behind ancient and half-forgotten symbols of power. These wards alone can keep the demons at bay, but legends tell of a Deliverer: a general — some would say prophet — who once bound all mankind into a single force that defeated the demons. Those times, if they ever existed, are long past. The demons are back, and the return of the Deliverer is just another myth . . . or is it?

Out of the desert rides Ahmann Jardir, who has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia into a demon-killing army. He has proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer, and he carries ancient weapons — a spear and a crown — that give credence to his claim. Sworn to follow the path of the first Deliverer, he has come north to bring the scattered city-states of the green lands together in a war against demonkind — whether they like it or not.

But the northerners claim their own Deliverer. His name was Arlen, but all know him now as the Warded Man: a dark, forbidding figure whose skin is tattooed with wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. The Warded Man denies that he is the Deliverer, but his actions speak louder than words, for he teaches men and women to face their fears and stand fast against the creatures that have tormented them for centuries.

Once the Shar’Dama Ka and the Warded Man were friends, brothers in arms. Now they are fierce adversaries. Caught between them are Renna, a young woman pushed to the edge of human endurance; Leesha, a proud and beautiful healer whose skill in warding surpasses that of the Warded Man himself; and Rojer, a traveling fiddler whose uncanny music can soothe the demons — or stir them into such frenzy that they attack one another.

Yet as old allegiances are tested and fresh alliances forged, all are blissfully unaware of the appearance of a new breed of demon, more intelligent — and deadly — than any that have come before.

Source: Info in the About The Desert Spear was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8176879-the-desert-spear on 03/01/2016.

 

My Thoughts:

In this book we are introduced to a more sinister kind of nemesis. This time around the demons are not just mindless but strong, fast, with sharp claws frightening beings. We get to know a higher kind of demon with vicious cunning. Can fly and command vast armies. Mankind has no chance! Aha! And then we read on….

Like The Painted Man, this book is also a slow start despite the convenience of the audiobook. I think the other reason for this book being particularly slow start is because it openned with the story of Jardir whom we met in Book 1. I didn’t like him. And that dislike colored my views about reading his side of the story. Thus it took a great deal of perseverance on my part to plod through his story. Consequently, it dragged the pace of this book down considerably. Usual fantastic world building. Masterful story telling quality. And the dreaded “jumping-through-multiple-threads” style of telling the story. **sigh**

The story has multiple threads and jumps from thread to thread every couple of chapters or so. Like for example I was reading about Arlen for the last couple of chapters. Then the next chapter jumps to Leesha. I have to go back to the last chapter where Leesha left off because I had forgotten what had happened to her last while being immersed in Arlen‘s story. The continuity of the story is broken. This story telling style feels jarring to the reading flow. And this is the very reason why I stopped reading Ian Irvine

No, it’s not graphic sex that tacked the “Parental Advisory” sticker on this book/series. It’s the rape, incest and other issues. This also contributed to this book’s slow pace. Although the author kind of glossed over it.

The narration – by now I am already used to Colin Mace‘s reading. I still don’t agree with all of his interpretations of the book, but, it is easier for me to just let it go now.

But here is the real kicker, the book ended in a big whooping cliffhanger! This book is just a chapter of a bigger book. The story didn’t start nor ended in this book. At all. Just a chapter.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 3.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 3
Ending = 1
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 2
Plot = 3
Narration = 4.5

 

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 cherries

 

About Peter Brett
Peter V. Brett

Raised on a steady diet of fantasy novels, comic books, and Dungeons & Dragons, Peter V. Brett (“Peat” to his friends) has been writing fantasy stories for as long as he can remember. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Art History from the University at Buffalo in 1995, and then spent over a decade in pharmaceutical publishing before returning to his bliss. He lives in Brooklyn.

www.petervbrett.com | facebook | facebook author page | twitter | goodreads | pinterest | instagram | google+

 

Books in The Demon Cycle series:
Book 1: THE WARDED MAN   Book 1.5: BRAYAN'S GOLD   Book 1.6: THE GREAT BAZAAR AND OTHER STORIES   Book 2: THE DESERT SPEAR   Book 3: THE DAYLIGHT WAR   Book 3.5: MESSENGER'S LEGACY   Book 4: THE SKULL THRONE  

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
The ebook and audiobook copies of this book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

09/03/2016 Posted by | 3 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: FOXGLOVE SUMMER

PC Grant book 5: FOXGLOVE SUMMER

Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch
Read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Book 5 of Peter Grant series
Genre: urban fantasy, police investigation
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About Foxglove Summer:

In the fifth of his bestselling series Ben Aaronovitch takes Peter Grant out of whatever comfort zone he might have found and takes him out of London – to a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children. But while you can take the London copper out of London you can’t take the London out of the copper.

Travelling west with Beverley Brook Peter soon finds himself caught up in a deep mystery and having to tackle local cops and local gods. And what’s more all the shops are closed by 4pm…

Source: Info in the About Foxglove Summer was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20499240-foxglove-summer on 03/01/2015.

 

My Thoughts:

It took me a lot of time to get into this book. But it did pick up about halfway through the book.

I understand the summer bit in the title as the events in the book occured in the summer. But what does the foxglove got to do with the story? Just becuase it was mentioned twice in the book? With no connection to the plot whatsoever at that. WTF?! On top of that, the foxglove mystery was never explained. This was just one of many loose threads left hanging. Just like the ending that stopped abruptly. Although there was resolution to the main dilemma, the book ended so abruptly that it’s like running headlong into a dead end wall when you are still expecting a mile of road ahead. My nose hurt in sympathy. However, because of the humour in the telling of the story this book can never be a less than 3. Foxglove Summer showed the same fun story telling quality that I like so much about this author!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 3
World building = 5
Cover art = 2
Pace = (10 hrs and 45 mins listening time)
Plot = 4
Narrator = 4

 

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Rivers Of London
Series
/ Peter Grant
Series
:

 

Thank you!Thank you to Audible and the publicity team for the audiobook review copy of Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch received.
 


 

FTC Disclosure:
The kindle ebook copy was purchased with private finds. The audiobook was received for free from the publicity team.
No money received for this review.
 

16/01/2015 Posted by | 3 cherries, audible.co.uk, audiobook, audiobook review, book review, review, review copy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES

Book 1: THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES audiobook

The Care And Feeding Of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper
Book 1 of the Half Moon Hollow series
Read by Amanda Ronconi
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback & audiobookSamsung Galaxy Note audiobook
 

PARENTAL ADVISORY: This book contains adult material.
About The Care And Feeding Of Stray Vampires:

Iris Scanlon, Half-Moon Hollow’s only daytime vampire concierge, knows more about the undead than she’d like. Running all their daylight errands – from letting in the plumber to picking up some chilled O neg – gives her a look at the not-so-glamorous side of vampire life. Her rules are strict; relationships with vamps are strictly business, not friendship – and certainly not anything else. But then she finds her newest client, Cal, poisoned on his kitchen floor, and only Iris can help.

Cal – who would be devastatingly sexy, if Iris allowed herself to think that way – offers Iris a hefty fee for hiding him at her place until he figures out who wants him permanently dead. Even though he’s imperious, unfriendly, and doesn’t seem to understand the difference between “employee” and “servant”, Iris agrees, and finds herself breaking more and more of her own rules to help him – particularly those concerning nudity. Turns out what her quiet little life needed was some intrigue and romance – in the form of her very own stray vampire.

©2012 Molly Harper White (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Source: Info in the About The Care And Feeding Of Stray Vampires was taken from http://www.audible.co.uk/pd?asin=B008PEACE2 on 24/06/2013.

 

Book 1: THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES paperback

Review:

I am, by now, an old audiobook listener and I have heard many kinds of narrators in my time thus far. Some I swore I would never ever listen to ever again. Some I tolerated but would, maybe, rather read the paperback than listen to. (And that is not complimentary in the audiobook industry.) Some I became a die hard fan of and is an auto-buy for me, just like the authors I read. However, this is the first audiobook I’ve listened by Amanda Ronconi and I have to say that I am fast becoming a fan. Her words are clear and distinct. The diction perfect. And the quality of her voice is not aggravating to the ears. In fact it was sampling her reading in audible which lead me into buying this book! So I bought this book because I liked the what I heard in the audible sample. And plus the fact that this is in the urban fantasy genre. However if this book was presented to me on it’s own as a paperback and not as an audiobook sample I don’t think it would really ping my book-buying radar because the premise is very ordinary. True BloodAs in, it has been used a few times too many around the block already. Namely, True Blood series. So the audiobook sampling was, really, a good marketing strategy! The bad news is, like True Blood‘s Sookie Stackhouse, our heroine is also too stupid to live (TSTL). However I blame the plot rather than the character development here because it is pretty obvious that the character(s) deliberately acted stupid to create a dilemma in the story so that our heroes could show off and save the world. Pretty weak plot. Not to mention that it also has the annoying “character inconsistency” issues! But me being an urban fantasy geek, likes the vampires and the world building in the story! But even that wouldn’t make me spend money on a book in this series again. If ever, I would borrow it from the library.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 3
Character development = 2
Story itself = 2
Ending = 3.5
World building = 3.5
Cover art = 3
Pace = (8hrs and 55mins listening time)
Plot = 1
Narration = 4

 

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Half Moon Hollow Series:

04/07/2014 Posted by | 3 cherries, Amanda Ronconi, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, Half Moon Hollow series, Molly Harper, review, urban fantasy, vampires | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: VENOM

VENOM audiobook


Venom by Jennifer Estep
Book 3 of the Elemental Assassin series
Read by Lauren Fortgang
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback & audiobook

 

About Venom:

What kind of assassin works pro bono?

It’s hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you. Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My current mission is personal: annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family. Which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my powerful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most.

To the public, I’m Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland’s best barbecue joint. To my friends, I’m the Spider, retired assassin. I still do favors on the side. Like ridding a vampire friend of her oversized stalker—Mab’s right-hand goon who almost got me dead with his massive fists.

At least irresistible Owen Grayson is on my side. The man knows too much about me, but I’ll take my chances. Then there’s Detective Bria Coolidge, one of Ashland’s finest. Until recently, I thought my baby sister was dead. She probably thinks the same about me. Little does she know, I’m a cold-blooded killer . . . who is about to save her life.

Source: Info in the About Venom was taken from http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7614747-venom on 05/04/2013.

 

Review:

The world building is still beautiful albeit still has those pesky tiny little holes which I choose to ignore given the wonderful reading time I had with the books in this series. Another good thing about this book other than the beautiful world building is the fact that the main protagonist is not TSTL (too stupid to live) this time around. In fact Gin is not only kick-ass but out-wits the bad guys! I think this author is getting better as she writes along! The narrator though seems to take a bad turn compared to the previous two books which is kind of strange. Anyway, I could distinctly hear her struggling with Detective Bria Coolidge‘s lines. Lauren Fortgang just couldn’t strike the right note between soft spoken Bria and the hard cop that she is suppose to be. Nothing major. I could easily ignore that too! The plot is rather straight forward. The reader is told what the story is going to be from the get go and that is exactly what happened. Not much of a twist or surprises. Bland in a predictable sort of way. Not too bad but not great either.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4
Story itself = 3
Ending = 3
World building = 4
Cover art = 4
Pace = (12 hrs and 9 mins listening time)
Plot = 3
Narrator = 3.5

 

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Elemental Assassin series:

23/05/2014 Posted by | 3 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, Elemental Assassin series, Jennifer Estep, Lauren Fortgang, review, Samsung Galaxy Note Audiobook, urban fantasy | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE

Book 1: DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE paperback (UK 2012)

Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor
Narrated by Khristine Hvam
Book 1 of the Daughter Of Smoke And Bone series
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback & audiobookAudiobook

About Daughter Of Smoke And Bone:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Source: Info in the About Daughter Of Smoke And Bone was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8490112-daughter-of-smoke-bone on 30/08/2013.


[Image Credit: Wes-Talbott]

Fav Quote:

“Never repent for your own goodness, child. To stay true in the face of evil is a feat of strength.”
(Brimstone [from the book: Daughter of Smoke And Bone. 2012] p.406)

My Thoughts:

Another take on the “War In Heaven” christian mythology. Another spin on a tired old tale. But I read it anyway… because there’s so much publicity about this book and I wanted to see for myself what the fuss was all about. And I do not have any aversion to the “angels and demons” mytho. And I’m glad that I did because the world building was beautiful even though it took ages for the author to get to it. And even though it was not very original, Laini Taylor managed to make it interesting. Kudos to her for achieving that in what is, by all rights, a congested playing field! However I wasn’t very fond of the way she told the story that almost always hints that Karou is stupid. What was that all about??! Well, I blame it on the story telling style rather than a character development flaw. And it is majorly annoying! And is the main reason why I stopped reading this series with this book even though I already got Book 2 in my TBR (to be read) shelf. Maybe for a more tolerant reader, this book would be a better and faster read, but it was too annoying. However what really clinched it for me is the cliffhanger ending. Sooo not fond of cliffhangers!

I like Khristine Hvam. The words are clear and I couldn’t hear any slurring. But she reads a little bit too flatly for my liking. Not much inflections to anger lines nor sad lines. But the words are clear so can’t give her a less than a 3. It’s not her fault that I find the author’s story telling style annoying.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 2
Character development = 3
Story itself = 3.5
Ending = 0.5
World building = 4
Cover art = 3.5
Pace = 2.5
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 3.5

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Daughter Of Smoke And Bone Series:

16/05/2014 Posted by | 3 cherries, angels, book review, Cherry's reviews, christian mythology, Daughter Of Smoke And Bone, Laini Taylor, review, urban fantasy, war in heaven | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: THE CHAOS CODE

The Chaos Code by Justin Richards
Narrated by Russell Boulter
Series: (standalone)
Genre: YA
Format: hardback & unabridged CD audiobook

About The Chaos Code:

Matt Stribling is stuck spending another vacation with his brilliant, yet scatterbrained archaeologist father. His dad’s house is often a mess, so when Matt arrives to find the place turned upside down and his father missing, he’s not immediately worried. But a cryptic message and some strange sandy footprints quickly persuade Matt that all is not right. With the help of some unusual family friends, Matt discovers that his father had been searching for an ancient code, one rumored to have brought down the Mayans, and maybe even the fabled civilization of Atlantis. Now in the hands of a madman using high tech computers to decipher it, the code is being readied for new and sinister uses. Matt and his friend, Robin, will traverse the globe, battling terrifying sand creatures and mercenaries alike in their efforts to stop the chaos code from being fully reactivated–and dooming the modern world to a catastrophe not seen since the days of Atlantis.

Source: Info in the About The Chaos Code was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8062623-the-chaos-code on 18/06/2012.

Narrative Evaluation:

The story tells about the adventures of a 15-year-old boy trying to find his absent-minded archeologist father. Then ofcourse there has to be a girl, Robin Venture. Blue eyes, black hair, pretty. So there is an element of teen romance in the story, but not too obvious that it overuns the book, just enough to spice it up.

Throughout, the story is peppered with indications of paranormal elements mixed with known scientific facts. Titillating readers about hidden mysteries and possible plot twists. At the start, it made the story very interesting indeed! However, by the end of the book, all these paranormal elements felt flat. The book is trying to convince the reader that there is magic which enables control by association. A magic which controls bigger things by having a representation of it, i.e., voodoo dolls. However, the book explaining this magic away by technology of some other advanced civilization does not compute. It didn’t tally. The book failed to convince me that there is a relationship between magic and this technology. The leap between magic and advanced technology somehow did not mesh. Did not gel. It wasn’t explained satisfactorily enough to me. There is a huge gaping hole between the two which the book failed to gap. The “just because it’s magic” explanation didn’t cut it either.

But, I like the use of logical deductions in coming up with the answers from the clues. That made the book interesting to follow. However for some strange reason, these same brilliant characters who seems able to decode the German war code, could not comprehend the danger right in front of their noses. It seems to me like, this is the author’s way of creating a situation so that the heroes could show off and save the world. Pretty weak plot. This book has a lot of promise but still needs a lot of work to make it a bit more consistent.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 3
Story itself = 3.5
Ending = 2
World building = 2
Plot = 1.5
Cover art = 3.5
Pace = (approximately 8.5hours listening time)
Narrator = 4.5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

Thank you to the RCT Library for letting me borrow this book!!

FTC Disclosure:
The audiobook and hardback copies were borrowed from the library. No money received for this review.

08/05/2014 Posted by | 3 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, Justin Richards, RCT Library, review, Russell Boulter, The Chaos Code | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: WOULD-BE WITCH

Southern Witch #1: WOULD-BE WITCH

Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost
Book 1 of the Southern Witch series
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback

About Would-Be Witch:

The promising debut of a hot new voice in paranormal romance — and the first of the Southern Witch novels.

The family magic seems to have skipped over Tammy Jo Trask. All she gets are a few untimely visits from long-dead, smart-mouthed family ghost Edie. But when her locket — an heirloom that happens to hold Edie’s soul — is stolen in the midst of a town-wide crime spree, it’s time for Tammy to find her inner witch.

After a few experiences with her dysfunctional magic, Tammy turns to the only person in small-town Duval, Texas, who can help: the very rich and highly magical Bryn Lyons. He might have all the answers — and a 007 savoir faire to boot — but the locket isn’t the only heirloom passed down in Tammy’s family. She also inherited a warning: stay away from Lyons.

Source: Info in the About Would-Be Witch was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4703905-would-be-witch on 14/09/2013.

Mercutio

My Thoughts:

First off, I love the world building! There are vampires, werewolves and witches. The cover art might be cartoonish but it triggered my book buying radar so as a marketing tool, it has done it’s job. The plot… what plot? There wasn’t much of a plot. It’s fluffy at best. Like cotton candy. Not much of a substance but delicious non-the-less. And the story telling quality is compelling enough for me to read the book in a reasonable pace. What helds up the pace slow, is my need to have breaks from the “stupidity” of the heroine. I mean, she’s as stupid as Sookie! The very quality which finally made me stop reading the Southern Vampires series even before Dead Ever After (the finale) came out, no matter how good a story teller Charlaine Harris is. Now I like my heroine kick-ass and not stupid. Like Kate Daniels for example, of the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. Not all the characters in this book is stupid however, take for example Mercutio. He got his head screwed on right! It’s only the main protagonist who is stupid. And I find that really annoying! The pace of this book is inversely proportional to it’s annoying-ness. The book therefore is not a fast-paced one even though the story telling quality is good. And that is also the main reason why I probably won’t be reading any more books in this series or of this author.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 2.5
Story itself = 2
Ending = 3
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 1
Plot = 1.5

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Southern Witch Series:

02/05/2014 Posted by | 3 cherries, book review, Cherry's reviews, Kimberly Frost, review, urban fantasy, Witch | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Re-Read Review: THE RITHMATIST

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Book 1 of the Rithmatist series
Read by Michael Kramer
Genre: urban fantasy | steampunk | YA
Format: paperback & audiobook

About The Rithmatist:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson: his debut novel for the young adult audience.

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings — merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing — kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery — one that will change Rithmatics — and their world — forever.

Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson brings his unique brand of epic storytelling to the teen audience with an engrossing tale of danger and suspense — the first of a series. With his trademark skills in world-building, Sanderson has created a magic system that is so inventive and detailed that that readers who appreciate games of strategy and tactics just may want to bring Rithmatics to life in our world.

Source: Info in the About The Rithmatist was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17454731-the-rithmatist on 15/07/2013.

Re-Read Review:

I had trouble with the audiobook version of this book but was pressed into listening to it quickly because it was a free review copy and the publicist was emailing me about my review so I rushed through it the first time around. And here is my review. I still enjoyed it at the end thus the 3 cherries rating, but I was very conscious that I skipped on a lot of the finer details of the story. So I borrowed the print copy from the library. I still stand by my claim that this is not the kind of book which translates well into an audiobook because of the very technical and too detailed magical system of this world. Brandon Sanderson obviously poured a lot of brain power into creating the world building and thus it is intricate. However I think Brandon Sanderson got too carried away and went at it too much. I like intricate world buildings. But I am not fond of a physics lecture, for example, the Rithmatics diagram inserted after every chapter. It disrupts the flow of the story which induces me to stop reading. I needed a break from the info dump after every single chapter! This contributes to making the pace of the book quite long. Therefore can’t call this book a page turner. So I think that the world building should be intricate enough to substantiate the story, but not too much that it overwhelmed the entire book, overshadowing the characters and the plot. And that is the main reason why this book would never be a 5 out of 5 for me. However if you take the info dump away, it is quite a fascinating read! And that is also the reason that this book would never get a less than 3 rating.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 2
Character development = 4
Story itself = 3.5
Ending = 3
World building = 3.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (10hrs & 26mins listening time)
Plot = 3.5
Narrator = 3.5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Rithmatist Series:

macmillan audio

RCT LibraryThank you!Thank you to macmillan audio and audible for the audiobook review copy received and to RCT Library for lending me the paperback copy of this book.


FTC Disclosure:
No money received for this review.

18/04/2014 Posted by | 3 cherries, audible.co.uk, audiobook, book review, Brandon Sanderson, Cherry's reviews, macmillan audio, Michael Kramer, Midas PR, review, YA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment