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
Format: Digital Edition
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.
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.
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.
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.
Series: Monster Hunter Memoirs #1
Author: John Ringo, Larry Correia
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Format: Kindle digital edition
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.
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.
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.
Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Format: Kindle digital edition
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.