About this Blog

I am a Senior Reviewer for Great Minds Think Aloud Independent Publishing. I specialize in Fantasy, Science, Realistic and Mythology Fiction, but enjoy reading all types of literature. My favorite authors include Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and Devon Monk. I am currently writing my own Fantasy Fiction book hoping to one day join the ranks of published authors. The books I have reviewed can be found on this site. The links to the right will take you to the blogs of my fellow reviewers.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

St Viper's School for Super Villains - Kim Donovan

St Viper's School fo Super Villains - Kim Donovan

This children’s book will be an exciting adventure for any elementary – junior high child. I feel Kim made an excellent merger of the X-Men and an evil version of Sky High. This is the first book of Demon’s adventures at St Vipers and even as an adult I would like to see how his Super Villain life turns out.

Demon Boy is the son of famed villain Demon King and finds he has a lot to live up to when he starts as a first year at St Viper’s. He soon learns that Super Villains enemies are not only Super Heroes, but also older Super Villain students. Chill, a senior at St Viper’s, takes an interest in making Demon and his friends his slaves so of course Demon has to get revenge.

When Chill and his cronies steal a rocket ship from the International Space Centre, Demon decides it would only be fair if they stole if from Chill. This brings on a wild space adventure for Demon and his friends that will be joy for any child to read, or to listen to as a bed time story.

I, for one, can’t wait to find out just how Demon manages his second year at St Viper’s and if he can top the amazing journey he went on this year. This is definitely the sort of book that brings out this readers inner child and I think that anyone else that reads this will come to the same conclusion.

Good writing Kim, keep it up and please hurry with Demon’s next adventure. I shall follow his career with interest.

2:32 am - Emily Ford

2:32 am - Emily Ford

I found the first book of the Djinn Masters Legacy series to be very riveting and I would throw it into the Fantasy Romance category. This is a YA book about a 17 year-old girl who gets her world turned upside down when she finds out that genies are real.

Cat has moved with her family across the United States following her father’s work, although no one exactly knows what he job really is. Cat has been having realistic dreams for as long as she can remember and seeing a dark man sitting on her bed when she wakes in the middle of the night… at 2:32 am…every night.

Cat starts out as a normal teenage girl hanging out with her friends, reconnecting with and dating the high school quarterback and her 3 brothers who play football and 1 is a budding rock star. This all changes when she is informed she has the chance to become a real life genie, with all of the magical powers it entails. However she also gets all of the problems that would accompany an all-powerful genie.

The plot starts out very mysteriously as we don’t know who the black man is, or the handsome blonde man, or the woman who looks like Cleopatra and causes Cat some pretty extreme nightmares. As the plot unfolds we slowly learn of these people and what roles they will play in Cat’s final decision of wither or not to accept Finnegan’s (black man) powers. At this point Cat’s life takes a turn for the worse as her nightmares increase as well as the disruption it’s causing with her home, school and social life.

Cat and all of her supporting characters fill the plot in nicely and Emily wrote each one of them incredibly realistically. Each has many noticeable traits and mannerisms that could apply to almost any person in real life. I found it very fun to read as Cat went through each situation and not only gained insight into the magical world, but also insight into who she is and what she wants to do with her life.

As a romance you expect the drama, and you get it, but it’s not so much that it pulls from the Fantasy portion of the storyline. It has the regular teenage angst of a YA novel intricately woven with the adult feelings of loss and regret. I wouldn’t call it a sappy romance novel, but more of a light hearted coming of age type of romance where Cat learns there is way more to life then high school and summer camp.

The ending was left open and I am waiting to see just what happens in the second book of the series. The major plot lines were all tied up, but as in real life, the romantic aspect seems to be a constantly changing aspect of Cat’s life. Will the next book hold the answers to the questions Cat still has? I can’t wait to find out!

The Lost Prince - Julie Kagawa

The Lost Prince - Julie Kagawa

This is the first book of “The Iron Fey – Call of the Forgotten” and even though I haven’t read the rest of ‘The Iron Fey’ series, it was very easy to follow. I think, however, that I will add Julie’s Iron Fey series to my ‘Must Read’ list.

This book is the story of Ethan Chase, half-brother of the fey Iron Queen Megan. Ethan has a gift; the gift of sight. He is able to see the Fey in their true forms while they are in the Earth Realm. He has been able to see them since he was 4 years old. Of course this has gotten him in to quite a few problems forcing him to keep relocating schools. Ethan has done all he can to protect himself and his family from the Fey but gets dragged into another twisted plot in Faery land.

Ethan is an excellently written character and I feel that Mackenzie is a perfect character to offset him. Ethan tries to be the type of student that kids usually want to avoid. He puts up a front as a street punk, clothes inside out, hair unkempt and a surely attitude. Mackenzie is one of the most popular girls at school and makes it her mission to get an article on this mysterious new kid that has a past filled with criminal and violent acts. These two are definitely polar opposites on the outside, but turns out that she is just what he needs to turn his life around.

The plot is a simple one; a friend has been kidnapped by the Fey and now that the Fey are aware Ethan knows, he is a target. Ethan has to try to survive the Fey attacks long enough to find his half-breed Fey friend. With is being a simple plot it is expertly written with some unforeseen twists, however there are few that are expected.

After the first few chapters the action picks up and flows pretty steady from there. With a fantasy novel such as this one would expect lots of magical battles, but that doesn’t happen. It’s mostly confined to close quarters, hand to hand combat. With that being said, the lack of magical wars don’t detract from the storyline at all, as Ethan and Kenzie are human and therefore have no magical way to battle.

The scenes are wonderfully written to where I could immerse myself in the story as if I were really there. There are no bad sections that ‘kick’ me out of the story. The author truly did her research on the geographic areas of her book and I could see myself standing in the middle of central park, even though I have never been there.

I find some books very hard to start, but it was not the case with this one. The ending was tied up neatly, with all minor and most major plot lines closed, but it still leads enough to the second book without being a cliff hanger. I eagerly await the next book ‘The Traitor Son’ to see what life brings for Ethan and Mackenzie.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Crewel - Gennifer Albin

Crewel – Gennifer Albin

This is a debut book from Gennifer and I must say it’s a fresh perspective in Fantasy Fiction.

The story line about a world that is woven like a tapestry and all of the elements of the world are the strings… highly original. Just imagine the person who controls the weaving, controls the world.

The character development in the book is excellent. I grow with Adelice as she lives the experiences that take her from an innocent sixteen year old girl and transform her into a Spinster that controls the destiny of the entire world they live in.

The plot flows perfectly from one twist to the next. Up until the end of the book I thought I had a pretty good take on who was on whose sides…. Boy was I surprised. The pace flowed fairly fast and was easy enough to follow. The action started somewhere around chapter 2 and stayed fresh the rest of the way through. Generally when I think of Fantasy novels I think of sword fights, laser fights, Magik, that sort of action, but this book was exciting and different. There was no need for violence when someone could simply remove your thread from the weave and poof….. gone. With that being said, this was more a mentally exciting book that keep you thinking and trying to figure out the ending.

The world Gennifer built was realistic enough, but the thing I liked about her storyline was that if something was missing or wasn’t quite right, it could be easily manipulated by just moving a few threads from one place to another and you had what you needed within seconds.

I have to say there is quite a bit of a cliff hanger at the end of the book…. I think I have figured out what is going to happen in the next book, but every time I have thought that so far I have been generally wrong. I guess I will just have to wait until the next book from the Crewel World series to see how good of a guesser I am.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Hounded - Kevin Hearne

Hounded - Volume 1 'The Iron Druid Chronicles' - Kevin Hearne

This is the first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles and I would say its shaping up to be a wonderful Fantasy Fiction series. I would say there is not a lot of character development, but the action and the twists and turns in the plot more than make up for it in this readers opinion.

Atticus O’Sullivan, a seemingly college-aged man running an occult book store, is really a 2100 year old druid; the last druid to be exact. Atticus, being a druid and deriving his powers from the tattoos on his body connecting him to the earth, hasn’t had an affinity for witches since his friend was killed by one early in his life.

Atticus he has been chased by the god of love – Aenghus Óg. Aenghus wants a sword that he claims Atticus stole sometime around 150 A.D. Since this time Atticus has been chased by different creatures ranging from Faeries to Demons, each unsuccessful in their attempts to kill him and retrieve the fabled sword Fragarach, ‘the Answerer’. The latest attempt by 5 Fae happened outside his shop.

After learning from the Gods (yes they are real…. ALL of them) that he has once again been found and Aenghus is on his way, Atticus decides 2000 years of running has been enough. Enlisting the help of his Lawyers, the werewolf and the vampire, Atticus makes a plan to finally rid himself of the god of love; however in doing so he also unwittingly enters into a pact with the local witch coven.

Nothing goes to plan, as usual, and his wolf lawyer and his faithful Wolfhound Oberon are kidnapped by the head witch and held for ransom, only to be exchanged for the sword. The queen of the Druidic gods and the queen of the hunt each visit Atticus in turn promising him assistance and gifts to defeat Aenghus. In his travels around town setting things in motion, he gets an offer from a witch with split personalities, one a long dead Indian witch, the other a young girl anxious to become an apprentice Druid.

The book is full of action, cover to cover and twists and turns in the plot keeps the story extremely interesting. You will have to read to find out if Atticus’ plans work or if the god of love will finally get his revenge. However the best laid plans of Druids never take into account the deceit cloaked in the honeyed words of beautiful goddesses.

My biggest question at the end of this magical tale still remains unanswered. How soon can I make it to the store to purchase Hexed, the second volume in the Iron Druid Chronicles?

Colonization - Aubrie Dionne

Colonization - Volume 1 Paradise Reclaimed – Aubrie Dionne

In this Sci-fi novel, the romance portion sneaks up on you before you have the chance to realize it’s a romance novel. This is Volume 1 of the Paradise Reclaimed series and I feel it’s an excellent way to start the series.

Andromeda, “Annie”, is a member of the 8th generation on the colony ship New Dawn. Earth’s sun was failing and the residents constructed 21 of these ships to continue the human race. Each ship headed to a different world with the hopes that one would survive and thrive into a new civilization.

Annie lives life hoping that things will continue on as they have. She prays they never reach Paradise 21. She enjoys the life she has lived with her best friend, Sirius. Annie dreads the finality of Paradise 21. Each generation has lived by ‘The Guide’, a computer program that assigns everyone what they need to continue surviving. When they arrive at Paradise 21, the Guide will assign Annie a job and a life mate. She fears she will fail her school tests and get a low level job, and she dreams that she gets Sirius as a mate. She decides her job as a Species Integration Specialist isn’t so bad, but her mate is Corvus, someone she has always referred to as ‘the oaf’.

She begs her grandfather to change her mate but he refuses. While trying to do her best to cope with the situation she has been forced into she starts to see alien life forms, but the catch is she’s the only one that can see them and no one else believes her. After being frightened out of her mind several times by the encounters she realizes they are trying to tell her something.

Soon the head of security is found in a coma and all Annie’s focus is bent on trying to find the cause of his coma. She wants to prove to everyone she can do her job as she tries to make up for what she considers recent failures. After the head of security dies from an alien virus Annie finally discovers her true gift.

The character development in this book is true to life as the plot twists and turns in the final chapters. During her experiences on Paradise 21 and living the role she has been forced into Annie finally realizes where she belongs. But is it too late? Will Annie be able to do what her grandmother told her she was destined for? Has her determination and resolve grown enough for her to save the colony? What will happen to her if all of her new dreams come true? What if they don’t?

The story is an action packed plot with enough twists and turns to keep you turning the pages. As all of the plot lines are finished with the ending of the book I am not quite sure where the next volume will go, but I do know I can’t wait for it to come out and find out how Paradise 21 is treating Annie. Or should I say how Annie is treating Paradise 21?