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review 2017-03-11 01:07
Sinners (Monster Hunter Memoirs #2)
Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners - Larry Correia,John Ringo

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: Sinners
Series: Monster Hunter Memoirs #2
Author: John Ringo & Larry Correia
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 270
Format: Digital Edition





Synopsis:


Gary Stu bangs an underage Elf [she was only 45] and when her vengeful trailertrash relatives chase him down, he requests a transer to the New Orleans MHI office.

 

Once there, the action is non-stop, the monsters relentless and the MCB are the good guys too. Magic is on the rise, for no reason anyone can tell and even two-bit sorcerers can suddenly raise powerful elder beings.

 

But even Gary Stu can't kill ALL the monsters. Shackleford the IV and Earl come into town with the Happy Face group to help out. But Mardi Gras is coming and things are going to go apocalyptic.

 

 



My Thoughts:


This was MUCH better than Grunge. Most of it was that Chad, otherwise known as Gary Stu, is just too busy to do anything else except narrate MHI adventures. Which means that there was only one theological reference [which was sketchy as all get out] and two cockhound stories about girls.

 

The rest of the book was totally focused on saving New Orleans from a huge influx of monsters. It was the type of story that I expect when I read an MHI book. Guns, carnage and death abound. Agent Franks gets involved near the end and I've always liked stories that included him, even before reading Nemesis (MHI #5). The end, where MHI, MCB [Monster Control Bureau] and even some civilians fight a horde of monster crawdads and just about everybody dies except Chad, Agent Franks and one or two others, was tough to read. It's never enjoyable reading about the destruction of the good guys.

 

I do hope the 3rd book comes out soon, as there are several instances of burrows appearing, people disappearing and vague references to some new power arising. The local Vampire Lord calls it a “tourist” and it is apparently what is causing the influx of power. But we don't get to that part of the story yet. It is referenced but the full implications and the real action concerning it haven't come about. Honestly, that is what I wanted to read about.

 

Looking at Correia's website however, it doesn't appear that the third book, entitled Saints, will be ready any time soon. He just turned in his parts of it to the editor and now the fitting together must commence. But after this book, I am looking forward to it. Unlike after the first book where I really questioned if I wanted to read this one at all.

 

To sum up. Good MHI book, lot less bad theology, lot less boinking of chicks and the inclusion of Agent Franks. Good stuff.

 

 



 

 

 

  1. Review of MHM #1: Grunge

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-09 23:53
Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1)
The Way of Shadows - Brent Weeks

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 Way of Shadows
Series: Night Angel #1
Author: Brent Weeks
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 659
Format: Digital Edition





Synopsis: Spoilers


Azoth becomes apprenticed to Durzo Blint and becomes Kyler. Magic, politics, love and death all roll into one super messy ball.

 

Kyler becomes the possessor of a magic ball that gives him extraordinary powers. And just as he's gaining them, he's forced to kill his master and watch his city fall to invaders. Throw in a prophet, some other magic balls, a complete godking of evil, best friend becoming king and teen love and you have this story in a nutshell.

 

Oh, don't forget the violence. Lots and lots and lots of violence.




My Thoughts: Spoilers


I had forgotten just how brutal this book was. It was heart wrenching to see everything falling apart for Kyler. Yes, he's successful in apprenticing under Blint, but by the end of the book, all Kyler has is his life and the life of the girl he loves. He sees, and we experience, everything else going to the pit. Friends? Dead, killed, imprisoned. Mentors? Poisoned, paupered, destroyed. It is all torn away.

 

The book ends on a slightly hopeful note, as the city nobles and craftsmen flee and destroy everything to deny it to the invaders. Kyler is alive, even though he died. The legend of the Night Angel has taken seed and the invaders know “something” walks the shadows. The prophet has set things in motion to stop the godking from total domination. The War has Started.

 

The writing definitely shows that this is Weeks' first book and is not nearly as polished as his Lightbringer series. Nothing stood out as wrong, but some things weren't just as “right” as they could have been.

 

To end, I thoroughly enjoyed this book again and both cheered and groaned at the triumphs and tragedies woven throughout this story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Previous Review from 2009

 

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review 2017-03-05 16:34
Night of Knives (Malazan Empire #1)
Night of Knives - Ian C. Esslemont

 

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 by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Night of Knives
Series: Malazan Empire #1
Author: Ian Esslemont
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 308
Format: Digital Edition





Synopsis: Spoilers


On the night of a Shadow Moon, when the division between our world and the world of the Warrens thins, Kriska and Temper have an adventure.

 

Kriska is a young thief who wants to join the Claws and get off of Malaz Isle. But nobody takes her seriously and even her aunt wants her to stay inside this night. Getting caught up in the battle between Kelenved & Dancer and Surly. Also involved in the mix is Tayschren, master mage, Surly's cadre of Claws and a group of cultists dedicated to Kelenved as a god. Kriska has to survive the night and all the terrors it holds.

 

Then we have Temper, a former soldier of the Malazan Army who has deserted. The desertion saved his life, as he was one of the Shields of the Swords, a might warrior protecting Dassem Ultor, the First Sword of the Malazan Empire, the mightiest warrior alive. The problem was, Surly doesn't want heros in her army and she has begun to purge them. Temper runs to Malaz Isle to become a lowly guardsman to survive. But others know his secret and on this night of Shadow Moon, Temper will be used once again, just as he was before.




My Thoughts:


Man, I had forgotten, or never realized, just how much foundational information Esslemont packs into this book. There is a lot about Dassem that I didn't realize was important but will definitely impact my read of future Malazan Book of the Fallen books. Chronologically this comes before Gardens of the Moon but I wouldn't recommend reading it before unless you're doing a re-read of everything Malaz.

 

There are some great battles here. Hounds of Shadows everywhere, monsters springing out of various Warrens, magical assassins fighting magical cultists, a hidden group of people trying to protect the whole Isle from some underwater threat, it all weaves together into one night of blood the likes of which the Isle has not seen in ages.

 

This was a short book, clocking in just over 300 pages. For a Malaz book, that is practically a short story. But as I was reading, it was dense. It had so much packed in that I felt like I had read a 500 page book by the end. I didn't mind that feeling at all, but others might and it is something to keep in mind if you decide to delve into this universe.

 

One downside, which is typical of the Malaz books, is that there are no real answers to any of your questions. Inferences, asides, round about explanations of Subject X which reveals bits about Subject Y. Nothing direct, nothing concrete. It is building a bridge in your mind. Esslemont gives us the materials and a rough architectural plan but it is up to us, the readers, to actually build the bridge and succeed or fail on our own. Some will see that as a weakness and others as a strength of the writing. I'm ok with it but have to admit, I'd prefer a bit more concrete facts baldly stated. Oh well, I'm not going to get it and neither will anyone who reads these books.

 

.

 

 

  1. Previous Review from 2010

 

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review 2017-02-12 20:42
Gridlinked (Polity: Agent Cormac #1)
Gridlinked (Agent Cormac) - Neal Asher

https://bookstooge.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/gridlinked-polity-agent-cormac-1/

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-03 11:43
Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen #1)
Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson

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: Gardens of the Moon
Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen #1
Author: Steven Erikson
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 688
Format: Kindle Digital edition



 

 

Synopsis: Spoilers!

 

The Malazan Empire, now ruled by Empress Laseen, is on the path of expansion through total war. The last Free City on the continent of Genabackis, Darujhistan, is the next city in the sights of the Empire. Wracked from within by politics and threatened without by armies and mages, Darujhistan doesn't stand a chance.

 

Enter Rake, Lord of Moonspawn, a floating city, sorcerer supreme. Having allied with the Crimson Guard, might mercenaries and mages, Rake allies with the lords of Darujhistan to fight the Empire, but for his own reasons.

 

To counter this threat, Laseen has set into motion several plans, one of which is to find and unleash an ancient terror, a Jahgut Tyrant, a veritable god of power. Laseen means to pit the Tyrant against Rake and then to take down the weakened winner.

 

Enter the Bridgeburners. Loyal servants to the Empire and the old Emperor, who Laseen assassinated to become Empress. The Bridgeburners are meant for extinction, as Laseen can't have anyone around who isn't loyal to her. But the survivors are crafty, powerful and full of tricks of their own. They are meant to take Darujhistan and die, but they have other plans, plans of their own.

 

Unfortunately for everyone, there is a veritable cornucopia of gods, ancient powers and beings so old and so powerful that they might as well be gods. When humans can become gods, gods can become extinct and power is all, nobody can predict what will result.

 

My Thoughts:  Spoilers!


(For clarity's sake, I read this in June 2008 and again in December 2009. That link contains both my reviews in one review as Goodreads didn't have a re-read option and when importing to Booklikes I didn't feel like going through my 2000+ reviews and fixing "little" things like that.)

 

That synopsis barely scratches the surface of this book. In the forward Erikson tells us straight out that he will not be spoon feeding his readers anything and that he purposefully wrote things so as to make the readers work for connections. There are no obvious connections or explanations, there is Unexplained History of both nations and individuals and you are forced to hold on for your life or be thrown off the ride.

 

And what a ride this is! With this 3rd read I feel like I've finally got a little bit of a handle on this world. Since I have read the whole series, now I can begin to cobble it together. It helped that this time around I wasn't expecting all the threads started here to ever be finished or to connect. I have also finally accepted that this is The Book of the Fallen, which means that this is about people dying, not people winning or overcoming insurmountable odds. And even if they do win and overcome those odds, odds are they are still going to die.

 

At just under 700 pages, I believe this is the shortest of this decalogy. In one way it is the hardest of the books, as you have to sink or swim in terms of the world. Everything is new and unfamiliar and you simply don't know what is going on. In another way I found it the easiest of the books, as the action is relatively straight forward, the plot only slightly convoluted and the scope is kept pretty focused. When reading this for the first time you simply don't know how big the world is that Erikson has created nor do you know that the various narrators are only telling you what "they" know. Semi-unreliable not because they're trying to lie to you but because they have a very limited knowledge. Everything you learn in Gardens of the Moon is not necessarily true.

 

I added the "favorite" tag because this is the 3rd time I've read this and I still enjoyed the heck out of it while reading. It was a joy to read Erikson's prose, because while he is not sparse in his writings, nor is he turgid and bloviated. He walked that razor thin line of not writing to much or to little.

 

One thing to note. The kindle edition that I read had several noticeable OCR errors. There was a character named Coll, whose name came out as Coil more than a handful of times. Same for a guy named Toc the Younger. He became Toe the Younger half the time. I checked my hardcover and those errors were not there. I also don't know if those errors exist in the current kindle edition. I bought these when they first came out and promptly de-drm'd them and stuck them in calibre, so any updates would not have touched them. A potential issue if you're buying digital copies.

 

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