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review 2017-03-14 14:05
The Reluctant Swordsman (The Seventh Sword #1)
The Reluctant Swordsman - Dave Duncan

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot,, Booklikes & Librarything and linked at Goodreads & Mobileread by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Reluctant Swordsman
Series: The Seventh Sword #1
Author: Dave Duncan
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 321
Format: Digital Edition





 

Synopsis:


Wallie dies. The End.

 

Ok, not really. In fact, he wakes up in the body of a magnificent warrior who is a Seventh Sword, the highest rank possible. He also wakes up into the middle of a power struggle between corrupt warriors, priests and some “gods”. Specifically, Wallie has been chose by a goddess to be the divine instrument of her will in the current game.

 

Forced to recognize tht he is in a different world, in a different body and that the gods are real, Wallie must play along or die.

 

 



My Thoughts:


This had the same fingerprints as Duncan's The Great Game trilogy. As such, there is a lot of mocking of religion in general and very not-subtle jabs at Christianity. This type of thing might not bother you at all, so your mileage is definitely going to vary from mine.

 

The story was great, the setup very good, the action was fast and furious and overall I really enjoyed my read.

 

But just like going on a picnic in a beautiful field with my wife, if I place the blanket over an ants' nest, those little buggers are going to bite me and cause some annoyance and that's what I'll remember instead of the good time I had. Duncan's jabs were like little pin pricks and it made it very hard to just sit there and enjoy my time. I've read enough of Duncan's various works to know that he doesn't always take potshots at religion and I've truly enjoyed those books. Therefore, it's deliberate on his part and that just makes it all the more unpleasant.

 

I'm going to give the second book a chance when I cycle around to it, but if it has the same smug dismissive attitude as this one, I'll be stopping there.

 

 



 

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-04 14:11
Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy #1)
Out of the Silent Planet - C.S. Lewis

Out of the Silent Planet

 

 

 

 

On a side note, I haven't seen any hiccups here at Booklikes in the last month. No more disappearing reviews or database resets that I can tell.  That being the case, I'll start posting my full reviews here again starting with the next review.

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review 2017-01-03 14:21
Grunge (Monster Hunter Memoirs #1)
Grunge - Larry Correia,John Ringo

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Grunge
Series: Monster Hunter Memoirs #1
Author: John Ringo, Larry Correia
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 320
Format: Kindle digital edition

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

Oliver Gardenier, aka Gary Stu, is a boy wonder with some seriously messed up parents. He joins the marines in defiance of his mother and ends up talking to St Peter and given a mission back on Earth: to hunt Monsters. Joining up with Monster Hunters International, Oliver details his adventures.

 

He also details his seriously messed up theological thoughts on Jesus and God. And just in case you forget, he also states, over and over and over, how successful with women he is.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

If this had been just an MHI story, it would have been awesome. 4stars easy, pushing 4 1/2.

 

First thing that pushed it down was Gardenier’s continual references to his womanizing. He justifies it by saying he doesn’t want to leave a widow and orphans behind when he inevitably dies on the job, but that is so much BS. He’s probably leaving a trail of byblows who are growing up without a dad and string of woman who wanted more than a night. Those excuses lead into the second, and bigger, reason.

 

Theology. Ringo, and he is the author of this book, not Correia, presents sin as something just kind of ‘meh’ and that Jesus is our Dude who tells God to chill out on our behalf. In fact, Ringo/Gardenier states that you have to do something REALLY bad to go to hell now. Ringo threw around enough biblical names, terms, etc that it is obvious he’s at least familiar with Scripture but simply choosing to twist it to allow him to do whatever he wants.

 

Once past those, like I said,  it is a tremendous MHI story. I’ll be reading the next book but with some serious reservations.

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-12-23 21:29
Spiderlight
Spiderlight - Adrian Tchaikovsky

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Wordpress, Blogspot, Booklikes(maybe) & Librarything by  Bookstooge's Exalted Permission.
Title: Spiderlight
Series: ------
Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 304
Format: Kindle digital edition

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

A new dark lord has risen in the land and it is up to one intrepid group to fulfill the prophecy. Unfortunately for these said servants of the light, the means of their salvation is a servant of darkness, a spider transformed by arcane magics into a humanoid form.

 

Beset by fears and doubts within and without, what will this group do once they confront the dark lord and find out the secret of the ages.

 

 

My Thoughts: Spoilers


This was a greatly written book. If you want to try Tchaikovsky's writings without dipping into his Shadows of the Apt Decalogue, this would be a great way to experience what he has to offer.

 

This is a very biting satire on the "Righteous" & the "Evil" tropes in fantasy and Tchaikovsky really turns things on their heads.  More than that, he seems to be trying to advocate for a completely grey world, where there are no standards and no Law Giver. That might amuse, entertain and be in line with a lot of his reader's thoughts, but for me, I hew to a different line.

 

God exists. All standards are set by what He has revealed in the Bible. They are not arbitrary but aspects of His character.

 

Now, some might be thinking "Goodness, Bookstooge, it is JUST a book" and I concur. But ideas are where the battle for this world are fought and won or lost and as such when an idea sets itself against God, I take it very seriously.  This is obviously not some Theological Tome but neither is it just an Escapist piece of literature. I know I'm not conveying this very well and I'm struggling to quantify the "Why".  I think that it comes down to the Idea that there is No Perfect Being, not just in humanity, but in any Supernatural form either.  Which means that God is just a big meany with lots of power and THAT is what I take exception to. That debate is for another time and place and probably not on a post online. Face to face.

 

With all of that being said, I didn't hate this book. If I just took it as satire on some fantasy tropes I probably would have enjoyed this much more and rated it higher and not given it the Theological tag. But it pushed a wrong button for me. It has not dissuaded me from reading any more by him however and I look forward to see what other Ideas he puts on paper in his other books.

 

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review 2016-12-14 00:08
The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer #4)
The Blood Mirror - Brent Weeks

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Wordpress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge's Exalted Permission.

Title: The Blood Mirror

Series: Lightbringer #4

Author: Brent Weeks

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 704

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

The Chromeria is under attack by the White King, the former Color Prince. Andross Guile and Kara, the Iron White, unite in the face of satrapies falling away. Kip is married and besides leading attacks on the White King and learning to be a leader, he is dealing with some serious marital issues.

 

Gavin/Dazin [I've given up by now trying to figure it all out, he's Gavin to me] is captured by Andross and kept in the same prison he kept his brother in. Lots of things about magic, and theology, are revealed.

 

Teia, now playing a triple role as Blackguard, the Iron White's assassin AND as a double agent in the Broken Eye group, comes ever closer to her breaking point.

 

And so much other stuff that a synopsis is pointless. Just read these books.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Much like the previous books, I had a hard time getting into this one. I didn't feel like I WANTED to read this book. That lasted for until about the 10% mark and then a switch flipped and wham, I was racing along again. This exact same thing has happened in all 3 other books, so something about how Week's writes is the culprit. When I do my re-read of his Night Angel trilogy next year I'll see if happens with that as well.

 

I was all over the place while reading this. So the good first.

 

This is epic fantasy with some hardcore action. Battles, invisible assassins, magic prisons, people growing up, people realizing that they're not done growing up, tying this into a Christian world view. If you aren't looking for that though, I don't know if one would see it. Weeks uses a Bible verse or two. He also ties Orholam, and mythical fallen creatures, to God and the devil in our world. I thought it was quite cleverly done and not all shoving preachiness down the readers' throats. Kip and Tisis growing together as a married couple. It was wicked nice to see them CHOOSE to love instead of letting their feelings set the tone. Feelings do follow, but they make that choice and it impressed me. You don't see that much nowadays, with all the teen/YA angst romance crap.

 

Unfortunately, that leads me into the less than good.

 

Tisis had some sort of condition that prevented her from having sex. Weeks actually addresses the condition in an afterward, but I didn't want to read about it. I'm a pretty private person about some things and intimate matters definitely falls into that area. So to read about those issues just made me very uncomfortable. It really added to the relationship but I didn't like it.

 

The other thing was the continued profanity. It has bugged me since Book 1 and it will until the end.

 

The final problem is that now I have to wait who knows how long until the next book. Thankfully, I've got a boatload of good books to keep me distracted. Weeks tells the kind of stories I like to read and I trust he'll keep putting out good stuff for years to come.

 

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