Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Return of Santiago

Today's post is 'The Return of Santiago' by Mike Resnick. It is 464 pages long and published by TOR. This is a sequel to Santiago also by Mike Resnick. If you have not read either Mike Resnick before or Santiago stop reading this right now and get to your library. Go get some of his stuff, read it and thank me later. I am going to be putting in some changes to my reviewing because I got a professional to read one of my reviews and give me some help. A very big thanks to Angela Leonard from http://darkfaerietales.com/ for taking the time to read and critique my review. So on to the review.

Santiago is a myth of the Far Future. In the year 3407 the democracy is as greedy as ever. More and more of people's rights are being taken in the name of safety.  Danny Briggs is just a thief with a forgettable face. But he is on the run from the law. He takes refuge in an abandoned house. In the attic there a treasure just waiting for the universe to remember it. The poem by Black Orpheus the poet who wrote about everyone who was anyone in the Inner Frontier. Briggs grew up on his tales and legends and the biggest one of all was Santiago. As Briggs reads all of the poem he realizes that Santiago was more than just an outlaw he was a revolutionary, out in the darkness to make the democracy remember that it was to help people not just take from them. So Danny decides that it is time for Santiago to return to the Inner Frontier, time to give the people someone to believe in, someone to fear and more than anything something to hope for again.

Resnick's style is as always wonderful to read. He is a poet not just with the four lines that start each chapter but with the characters in the story. They all come alive as you read them. I loved watching Briggs become Alighieri then into more than he ever dreamed. He is the only one who really changes over the course of the story but he is main character so he is the only one who really needs to change. That said other characters do appear to change but as you read the story you will understand that they are not changing but just revealing parts of their personalities that we did not see before.

Rating five of five stars, ten out of ten, this is another wonderful story from Resnick. Please feel free to tell me what you think about the new review style, what you like, don't like and everything else.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Mage's Daughter

Today's post is on The Mage's Daughter by Lynn Kurland. It is 378 pages and it is published by Berkley Sensation. Ms Kurland is normally a romance author, to warn any real romance readers this is not a romance there is a love story and it is important to the main story but the main characters just share kisses in this book and only hand holding in the first one that is all, but this is the second in her fantasy series. The first one is 'Star of the Morning' by the same publisher. There will be spoilers in this review because it is the second in a series. If you have not read the first one please do so because it is an excellent series.

The characters are the same as this one is a direct continuation of the story. Morgan and Miach are separated by miles and my heart. Morgan is recovering from the poison that Lothar give her at the end of the first book. Miach gave her to her uncle to care for while he continued to try and discover what is source of evil magic that is destroying the kingdom. Morgan is weakened by more than just the poison but by the revelation of who her parents were. Her dreams drive her to go back to a magic sink by Weger, who trained her in the sword arts, so Miach loses his sense of her. Fearing that she has died he flies to her uncle Nicholas' home. There he is told that Morgan is fine but she is running from all magic and is enraged with Miach( because of the events of the first book). Miach follows her to Weger's island. And that is all in the first three chapters. The evil is really evil, the bad guys are not going to let Morgan and Miach have an easy time of it neither are Morgan's relatives. The ending has a great sense of hope that is very nice with all the darkness that the characters and the reader go through.

I cannot do this wonderful book justice. The writing is fun, the characters all have unique voices and the world is just so easy to see in your mind. I cannot wait to read the last one in the series which is out but I have a reading cycle and other books must come first. The only thing, and I am not sure if this is a bad things, is that I believe that everything will turn out for the good. I just believe that Morgan and Miach will be able to defeat the evil, get married and have a good life from there. Like I said I am sure that is a bad thing and that is just the way I felt was I was reading this book.

Rating is 4 and 1/2 stars.

See you next week.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Grave Robbers' Chronicles- Angry Sea, Hidden Sands

Today's post is The Grave Robbers' Chronicles Volume 2 Angry Sea, Hidden Sands by Xu Lei and translated by Kathy Mok. It is published by ThingsAsian Press and it 237 pages long excluding author's info and preview of the next book at the end. In my post about volume one I had some problems with that I thought was the translation style but now I think differently. Volume one was the first novel that Xu had written and the second volume is much better. It is easier to read, the action is more exciting and in general all in all just better. The language is still coarse but not as bad as in the first one.

The plot of volume starts right where one left off with Wu opening the box he found in the tomb of dead warriors. Inside there is a fish with eyebrows that are shaped like fish. His uncle Three pulls another one out of his pocket that looks just like the one Wu has. His uncle takes off without telling Wu anything> At first Wu is not concerned but when a week goes by without hearing anything from his uncle he is starting to get worried when he is called by a rental company. Uncle Three rented a boat with a full crew to find an underwater tomb which is a story that Wu has heard about all his life. Over the course of the story Wu ends up with two of his companions from the first Fats and Poker-face whose name we learn is Zhang Qilin The plot twists in this volume are more unpredictable then in the first one. I am looking forward to the next one because of the way he ends this one. Once again if ancient Chinese lore is your thing then definitely is a story for you. The third book is still being translated in English but I hope so see it soon.

My rating is 4 stars.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Today's post is on 'Bitterblue' by Kristin Cashore. It is published by Dial an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. It is 547 pages long not including the maps at the end of the book. The story is told in five parts and over six months. This is the third in a series to really enjoy this book you need to read Graceling the first novel but the second is not necessary to understand what happens in the book. The intended reader is YA but an adult can enjoy this series as well.
The main character is Bitterblue the queen of Monsea and is 18 years old. When she was 10 her father was killed in front of her but that was a good thing because he was insane and powerful. In this fantasy world there are people born with special abilities called graces. Graces can be anything from never losing your balance to telling lies that will be believed as the truth no matter how bad the lie. That was the grace that Bitterblue's father Leck had. He was destroying the kingdom with his lies and manipulation. Now he had been dead for 10 years and Bitterblue's people are not healing. She is allowed to leave her castle so she sneaks out to see her city for herself. I don't want to ruin the plot because it kept me guessing but Bitterblue is surrounded by lies, lairs, thieves and traitors. Who she can trust changes with each chapter expect for the characters that we have met in Graceling. I must warn you if you read this series it is for older YA and adults. There is talk about torture, both to animals and people, rape and murder. In addition to there things that I do not want to tell because they are major plot points but you are warned. All in all it is an excellent series, book, and I am looking forward to the next ones because Cashore set up for the next in the series very well in this one.