Cherry Mischievous

for the love of SciFi/Fantasy

SHANNARA CHRONICLES Season 1

The Shannara Chronicles
 

A television series adaptation of the Shannara books by Terry Brooks
Genre: post-apocalyptic fantasy
Format: dvd box set

 

About The Shannara Chronicles:
 

The Shannara Chronicles roughly follows the storylines set out in The Elfstones of Shannara, set in the fictional Four Lands. As the series opens, demons start to return after being banished from this world to a place known as the Forbidding — locked by an ancient tree called the Ellcrys. The series chronicles the journey of Wil, Amberle and Eretria who, with the guidance of the last druid Allanon, must go on a quest to protect the Ellcrys from dying and releasing all the banished demons back into the Four Lands.

Source: Info in the About The Shannara Chronicles was taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shannara_Chronicles on 29/05/2017.

 

Book Trailer:

 

ALLANON

Allanon

My Thoughts:

For some reason I kinda imagined Allanon to be Gandalf-like, not that I’m complaining about Manu Bennett, mind. 🙂

The main reason I stopped reading the The Sword Of Shannara, four chapters in, is that I got annoyed with the “too stupid to live” (TSTL) element in it. I was kinda hoping that this would get lost in the translation from the book into TV series. That, was wishful thinking… *sigh*… With our heroes/heroines being TSTL, it’s a good thing that our villains are such incompetent, eh?! Otherwise the fight of good versus evil is lost. As if that is not enough, Poppy Drayton can’t act… *another sigh*… But anyway, the world building is beautiful. The cinematic effects are great and almost flawless. The plot is not bad. And, I really, really like the premise! **says the fantasy geek in me** Hopefully season 2 will see less TSTL and more kick-ass fantasy! By the way, is season 2 really happening??

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Cinematography = 4.5
Acting = 3.5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Plot = 4.5

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 


 

FTC Disclosure:

This box set was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

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05/06/2017 Posted by | 4 cherries, Cherry's reviews, dystopian, fantasy, review, Shannara, TV series review | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: THE VAGRANT

 

The Book

 

The Vagrant by Peter Newman
Book 1 of the The Vagrant series
Read by Jot Davies
Genre: post-apocalyptic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About The Vagrant:

Years have passed since humanity’s destruction emerged from the Breach.

Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape.

As each day passes the world tumbles further into depravity, bent and twisted by the new order, corrupted by the Usurper, the enemy, and his infernal horde.

His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war.

What little hope remains is dying. Abandoned by its leaders, The Seven, and its heroes, The Seraph Knights, the last defences of a once great civilisation are crumbling to dust.

But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.

Source: Info in the About The Vagrant was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23559647-the-vagrant on 25/03/2016.

 

Buy Link(s):
    Audible Books   Buy from Google Play  

 

My Thoughts:

This book is a slow start for me and it didn’t really pick up until about two-thirds through. The slowness is not because of the story telling quality (which I like), but more of me having issues with some of the protagonists’ actions than anything else. Some authors can carry insensitiveness and idiocy through with aplomb. This one hit a bit of a snag. Not big, mind. But a snag none-the-less. That brought the character development a few points down. But on the plus side, a factor which made me plod on with this book is the tantalizing idea of Vesper as hinted at in Book 2. I want to read more about Vesper but to do that I gotta read Book 1 first. Thus this book got read through. Now, post-apocalyptic worlds are not my kind of thing, but this one was woven beautifully. That brought the rating of this book up considerably.

I like Jot Davies‘s narration, but I think his reading is just a tad bit slow. No problem! I can set the reading to go faster in the audible app. Problem solved! Do I like the app? Heck, yeah!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 3.5
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4
Cover art = 4
Pace = (13 hrs and 25 mins listening time)
Plot = 4
Narration = 4

 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Vagrant Series:

 

The Author
Peter Newman

Peter Newman lives in Somerset with his wife and son. Growing up in and around London, Peter studied Drama and Education at the Central School of Speech and Drama, going on to work as a secondary school drama teacher. He now works as a trainer and Firewalking Instructor. He sometimes pretends to be a butler for the Tea and Jeopardy podcast, which he co-writes, and which has been shortlisted for a Hugo Award.

 

The Narrator
Jot Davies

Jot Davies is a television and voice actor who recorded dozens of audiobooks, including Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma and multiple works by Charles Cumming and Paul Strathern. In reviewing his narration of A Foreign Country, AudioFile magazine praises, “Davies’s narration ushers you in” and his “pacing fits the narrative,” calling his voice “a steady presence through the disparate events from the beginning to the satisfying conclusion.” Outside of narration, his acting credits include television shows Casualty, New Tricks and Hotel Babylon and the video game Haze.

 

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

 

11/05/2016 Posted by | 4 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, review | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: THE DAYLIGHT WAR

 

The Daylight War by Peter Brett
Book 3 in The Demon Cycle series
Read by Colin Mace
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobook

 

 


About The Daylight War:

On the night of the new moon, the demons rise in force, seeking the deaths of two men both of whom have the potential to become the fabled Deliverer, the man prophesied to reunite the scattered remnants of humanity in a final push to destroy the demon corelings once and for all.

Arlen Bales was once an ordinary man, but now he has become something more—the Warded Man, tattooed with eldritch wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. Arlen denies he is the Deliverer at every turn, but the more he tries to be one with the common folk, the more fervently they believe. Many would follow him, but Arlen’s path threatens to lead him to a dark place he alone can travel to, and from which there may be no returning.

The only one with hope of keeping Arlen in the world of men, or joining him in his descent into the world of demons, is Renna Tanner, a fierce young woman in danger of losing herself to the power of demon magic.

Ahmann Jardir has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia into a demon-killing army and proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer. He carries ancient weapons–a spear and a crown–that give credence to his claim, and already vast swaths of the green lands bow to his control.

But Jardir did not come to power on his own. His rise was engineered by his First Wife, Inevera, a cunning and powerful priestess whose formidable demon bone magic gives her the ability to glimpse the future. Inevera’s motives and past are shrouded in mystery, and even Jardir does not entirely trust her.

Once Arlen and Jardir were as close as brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity’s enemies rise, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all–those lurking in the human heart.

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

 

My Thoughts:

I went into this book with a lot of prejudice. That didn’t help any. So yes, this is a slow read, audiobook or not. And just like Book 2, it’s just another chapter of a bigger book. Which makes this series, obviously, not a trilogy. This series seems to be becoming an ongoing thing so much like Robert Jordan‘s Wheel Of Time series. Hopefully, unlike the Wheel Of Time, the author won’t die before the final book is published! **fingers crossed** …And also unlike the Wheel Of Time, there would be less padding… hopefully…

Also like the previous books, The Daylight War also has the same story telling style. 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… And another reason why this book is a slow read. And then it ended in a whoopping, big-ass cliffhanger….

However, even after all that moaning, it still has a masterful world building! So much so that no matter how I dislike the story telling style, I could not, in all honesty give this book a less than 2. Well, 2, is not exactly the sum of its parts when broken down in the Empirical Evaluation, but that is what I give this book anyway. Cliffhanger endings is sooo not to my liking.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 3.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 1.5
Ending = 1
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 1.5
Plot = 3
Narration = 4.5

 

Overall Rating: 2 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   Book 5: THE CORE

 


 

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

 

13/04/2016 Posted by | 2 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, review | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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.

 

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Thank you!

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


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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: WINDS RISING

 

Winds Rising by B. A. Silverman
Book 1 of the Windriders Saga
Genre: fantasy YA
Format: ebook

 

 

About Winds Rising:

Taken in by the Patriarch of the Sleeping God sect upon the death of his mother when he was 6, Tamsen Fairchild, at 14, sees little in his future except being groomed as one of the Patriarch’s Watchers, whose sole purpose is to make sure that the Godder community adheres to the strictures of their religion — no sounds above a whisper, and no inventions of any kind. But Tamsen yearns to make music, like the lullabies his mother used to sing. His greatest joy is to escape for a mark or two into the forest and try to imitate the music of the birds on his forbidden hand-made whistle.

An unexpected crisis takes Tamsen’s Patriarch to consult his counterpart in the river city of Savia and it is Tamsen who is chosen to accompany him. While the two religious leaders confer, Tamsen sneaks away to explore the city, where “noise” is allowed – even encouraged! But his attention is suddenly torn from the sights and sounds of the city by a wisp of – something more – something wondrous – something like, and yet unlike the lullabies he remembers and the birdsong he struggles to imitate. He is drawn forward, across an open court, unheeding of the dray that nearly knocks him down and the angry shouts of the carter, to an open doorway. As he steps through, his focus narrows until all he sees is the man at the center of a crowd and the strange instrument he holds, from which pours those amazing sounds. Compelled to capture the tones for himself, he pulls out his whistle, closes his eyes and tries to recreate them.

When the tones abruptly cease, he looks up — and meets the eyes of the man who is about to change his life. Jon, the minstrel, is convinced that Tamsen possesses a Bardic Gift, and insists upon getting him directly to Citadel, the Magicka school in Lenhold, where his Gift can be nurtured. To avoid recapture by Tamsen’s Patriarch, Jon intends to call upon a Windrider friend to fly Tamsen there on kirback. Tamsen’s excitement is almost more than he can bear. Not only will he leave behind the intolerable restrictions of the Godders and be given the opportunity to learn how to produce the music in his heart, but he is going to fly there with a Windrider, on a magical winged beast! Surely he must be dreaming! His entire world seems to be expanding beyond his wildest hope. Little does Tamsen realize just how very large that world will be.

Source: Info in the About Winds Rising was taken from GoodREads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13563017-winds-rising on 27/02/2016.

 

Buy Link(s)

 

My Thoughts:

The worldbuilding is wonderful! It is intricate and stays with you long after you’ve read the book. And I really like sentient flying unicorns! Can’t beat that! Plus the bad guys are bad and the good guys are good. Simple. Straight forward. No twisting your emotions into a pretzel. The story telling style has a middle grade tone, which I guess is kinda tolerable in YA, but the characters are growing up fast. I imagine Book 2 would no longer be YA. While the story plot ended, the book is distinctly just a first chapter of a bigger book. Meaning the book ended in a cliffhanger. Bummer! I didn’t like that.

 

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

 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

 

About B. A. Silverman
B. A. Silverman

B. A. Silverman doesn’t do things by halves. Her fascination with fantasy, fueled by such stellar literary names as Marion Zimmer Bradley and Mercedez Lackey, soon led to a prolific outpouring of story ideas – many of which, she tells us, “thankfully never saw the light of day.”

But soon, she says, “I began constructing whole worlds in my head. There was nothing to do but get them on paper.” And into print, as she sold short fantasy to such magazines as Alfred Hitchcock and to the anthology “Prom Night”, edited by Nancy Springer.

Two such forays into short fantasy ended up forming the basis for the intricacies of the varied geographies and civilizations that populate the landscape of her trilogy, “Windriders Saga”.

facebook | goodreads | amazon

 

Books In The Windriders Saga:

 

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

 

23/03/2016 Posted by | 4 cherries, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, kindle, 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: SHADOW STUDY

 

Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder
Narrated by Gabra Zackman
Book 1 in the Soulfinders series / Book 4 in the Study series
Genre: fantasy
 

 

About Shadow Study:

Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.

Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands — and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job — and his life — are in danger.

As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked.And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.

A CHRONICLES OF IXIA NOVEL

Source: Info in the About Shadow Study was from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16130758-shadow-study on 03/02/2016.

 

Buy Link(s):

 

My Thoughts:

Like any other author, Maria V. Snyder has her ups and downs. I love the Yelena Zaltana trilogy! The Opal Cowan one however… not so much. In fact, that one was a disappointment. But, it seems that the author has gotten her groove back, because this book is a very good start to a fresh new trilogy in the Yelena Zaltana world!

So the world building and the chracter development had been established long ago. And those books were such a success that Maria V. Snyder decided to write this new trilogy, to the joy of all her fans! (including me!) And this book has the same of that fantastic world building and character development. I liked reading about old characters I loved in the previous serieses in this world. It’s like meeting old friends again. Had I had a chance, I would have re-read my old copies of the Yelena Zaltana trilogy and the Opal Cowan trilogy before reading this book. As it is, I had to pause for, like, a minute or two to remember who Fisk was. Anyway, it all came back to me eventually, and the world of Yelena Zaltana bloomed once again in my mind’s eye! Wonderful reading experience!

 

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

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 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.

 

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Thank you!
 

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

 

t | f | g+

 


 

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

 

15/02/2016 Posted by | 4 cherries, book review, Cherry's reviews, review | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: THE PAINTED MAN

 

The Painted Man by Peter Brett
Book 1 in The Demon Cycle series
Read by Colin Mace
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: paperback, ebook, & audiobook

 

 


About The Painted Man:

As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise—demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards—symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night.

Source: Info in the About The Painted Man was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3322866-the-painted-man on 03/01/2016.

 

 

My Thoughts:

It took me a bit of time to get into this story. The first couple of chapters were hard going. But the worst thing about it is the story telling style of the book. 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. I really didn’t like it! It also drags down the reading pace despite the convenience of the audiobook format. However, I like this author’s story telling quality and the world building. It is just simply beautiful! I also do not agree with all of the narrator’s interpretations, but I can live with it. All in all, I enjoyed this book and, of course, am now reading Book 2.

 

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

 

Overall Rating: 4 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 paperback, ebook, and audiobook copies of this book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

09/01/2016 Posted by | 4 cherries, book review, Cherry's reviews, review | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ARALORN: MASQUES & WOLFSBANE

 

ARALORN: Masques & Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs
Books 1 & 2 of the Aralorn series
Read by Katherine Kellgren
Genre: fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About ARALORN: Masques & Wolfsbane:

After an upbringing of proper behaviour and oppressive expectations, Aralorn fled her noble birthright for a life of adventure as a mercenary spy. But her latest mission involves more peril than she ever imagined.

Agents of Sianim have asked her to gather intelligence on the increasingly popular and powerful sorcerer Geoffrey ae’Magi. Soon Aralorn comes to see past the man’s striking charisma – and into a soul as corrupt and black as endless night. And few have the will to resist the sinister might of the ae’Magi and his minions.

So Aralorn, aided by her enigmatic companion, Wolf, joins the rebellion against the ae’Magi. But in a war against a foe armed with the power of illusion, how do you know who the true enemy is – or where he will strike next?

This omnibus edition contains the two titles MASQUES and WOLFSBANE.

Source: Info in the About ARALORN: Masques & Wolfsbane was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16074463-aralorn on 26/04/2015.

 

My Thoughts:

I was in an “In-Between-Good-Books” funk and looking for something to read. Since I am an old Patricia Briggs fan with the Mercedes Thompson series, I went looking for more of her work to read. Thus this book got bought and read. I was a bit apprehensive going into this one because I came across polarized reviews about this book/series. Plus, there was the intro by Patricia Briggs where she went on to say that this was her first work and did not sell too well back then. However I was hoping I won’t be too disappointed given that she has edited it extensively since then. So I went into this book “hopeful” but not with raised expectations. Which was good! Because if I went into this book with high expectations, I think I would have been disappointed. As it is, I enjoyed the book just the way it is, with no disappointments. I would say that this book was not as good as the Mercedes Thompson series but not a disappointment either. In fact, it was more than just a “not a disappointment”, it was good! The storytelling quality is the same Patricia Briggs good. The plot however tend to meander a bit which was not her usual style. The world building was also not as good as I would have expected of this author either. However, the narration was bang-on. I like Katherine Kellgren‘s interpretation of the book. The voice quality is not as pleasing as Johanna Parker but I agree with her interpretation. Overall, I would give this book a 4 out of 5.

 

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

 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

 


 

16/06/2015 Posted by | audiobook review, book review, kindle review, review | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: UPROOTED by Noami Novik

 

UPROOTED by Naomi Novik (UK cover)

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: paperback

 

 

About Uprooted:

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. An when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him.

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

 

Buy Link(s):
            iBook Buy  

 

UPROOTED by Naomi Novik (US cover)

Narrative Evaluation:

The cover, although it has lots of meaning and is very appropriate to the story, does not ping my book buying radar. In fact I had this book for two weeks before I finally picked it up to read. I keep coming up with excuses like, I’ll finish this book first before reading that one. Or, I’ll watch the eclipse first before I’ll start with that… etc… Loved the eclipse, by the way. All due to the fact that the cover did not appeal to my fantasy reader’s eyes. This being the first book I’ve read of Naomi Novik, the author’s name on the front did not even help in drawing me to pick up this book. However, the fact that somebody spent the time and effort of sending me this book, it got read, by hook or by crook! And so I entered the world of Agnieszka of Dvernik… and what a wonderful world!! The world building along with the story telling quality are both compelling and masterful! However, there are some loose theads that was left hanging which I didn’t like very much. Like where exactly did the stick men come from and how they came about? The ending also, while closed the story nicely, was not the big bang I expected. Having said that, I would still give this book a 5 out of 5. It was just that good that I finished the book in a day and a half with a fervent hope that Novik would write a book 2!

 

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

 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

 

About Naomi Novik
Naomi Novik

An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, when she first made her way through The Lord of the Rings, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular interest in the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen. She studied English literature at Brown University, and did graduate work in computer science at Columbia University before leaving to participate in the design and development of the computer game Neverwinter Nights: Shadow of Undrentide. Over the course of a brief winter sojourn spent working on the game in Edmonton, Canada (accompanied by a truly alarming coat that now lives brooding in the depths of her closet), she realized she preferred writing to programming, and on returning to New York, decided to try her hand at novels.

Naomi lives in New York City with her husband and six computers. Her website is at naominovik.com

www.naominovik.com | facebook | twitter | tumblr | goodreads | google+ | pinterest

 

Thank you!

 

Thank you to macmillan for the review copy received.

 


FTC Disclosure:
This book was received for free from macmillan.
No money received for this review.

25/03/2015 Posted by | book review | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment