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review 2016-06-07 12:28
Fantasy Review: Bloodbound (Pathfinder Tales) by F. Wesley Schneider
Pathfinder Tales: Bloodbound - F. Wesley Schneider

I must admit, I cracked the spine on Pathfinder Tales: Bloodbound with no little trepidation. It was to be my first exposure to the Pathfinderuniverse, and I had no idea what to expect. While I have fond memories of cutting my genre teeth on the old TSR novels,Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms haven't stood up well over time. That said, I find I actually appreciate their Ravenloft horror/fantasy world more now than I did back then, so entering into the Pathfinderworld with vampires and clerics seemed like a good choice.

Having closed the book on my first Pathfinder journey, I'm pleased to say F. Wesley Schneider put together a pretty solid novel that incorporates some of the universe's overall world-building, but which is still accessible to a new reader. I feel like I came out of it understanding at least one corner of the world, and definitely curious to know more.

As for the story itself, this is largely a gothic horror story, within the setting and time period of a pseudo-medieval fantasy. There are so many little elements here that make it all work. The settings include including drafty old castles, sprawling places of worship, and an altogether chilling asylum; the characters include vampires, half-vampires, priestesses, and Inquisitors; and the plot lines involve exorcisms, possessions, family secrets, and betrayals. I'll be honest, I wasn't thrilled about the idea of a half-vampire heroine at the start - it's a tired old trope - but Larsa is sharp enough in terms of edge, wit, tongue, teeth, and blade to make it all work. Jadain, the conflicted priestess, was intriguing to me right from the start, and I really like the way Schneider explored the conflicts in her loyalties and her faith.

If the book struggled in one aspect, it's in the absence of a truly fearsome villain. This is a dark tale, set in what I understand to be one of the darker corners of the Pathfinder world, with some really dark acts taking place. While there are a few villains lurking about, none of them were strong enough or malevolent enough to be worthy of the plot. While the narrative structure is a bit weak early on, and kept me from really getting into a flow, this confusing/awkward changes of POV do eventually get smoothed out - and the rest of the narrative, especially the Gothic feel of the descriptions, is actually a cut above your standard tie-in fantasy fair.

I can't speak to its fan appeal, but as an introduction to the world, Pathfinder Tales: Bloodbound is a solid read, and one that ensures I'll make time in the reading schedule for a return to the world with Pathfinder Tales: Hellknight.

Source: beauty-in-ruins.blogspot.ca/2016/06/fantasy-review-bloodbound-pathfinder.html
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review 2016-04-05 16:30
Review: "Blackfin Sky" by Kat Ellis
Blackfin Sky - Kat Ellis

Hey you! …?...Yes, you! The one reading this. Are you looking for a book full of mysteries and plot twists? If the answer is yes, then "Blackfin Sky" is perfect for you.

What I liked about this book is that it kept me guessing until the end. After a long search, I’ve finally found another book, with an extremely well thought and very unpredictable plot! I couldn't put this book down! Warning: I’ve made the mistake to start reading this while I’ve been through an extremely busy period at school, so I had to stop reading it for two days and believe me that meant a great suffering for me. I’ve wanted so bad to find out what was going to happen next and if Sky would get all the answers in the end (what is she, what happened to her and so on) that I couldn't wait to restart my read. So before starting "Blackfin Sky" make sure that you have the possibility to read it without interruptions because it is a real page turner. There are lot of questions since the first pages of the novel and just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, the author adds another twist to keep you turning the page because in Blackfin, nothing is as it seems.

A little description:

Skylar (I have to mention that I find her name to be quite awesome) falls from the pier and drowns on her sixteenth birthday, everything seems normal until now but the weird part comes when she shows up after 3 months like nothing happened. She’s trying to find out what happened with her in the night she was supposed to have died and where she was this whole time. As she works to unravel the mystery surrounding her death, she discovers some pretty strange happenings around the town of Blackfin, a town filled with secrets just waiting to be unearthed.

Characters

I wasn’t too attached to the characters at the beginning. I’ve needed some time to get accustomed with them because there where so many mysteries and questions surrounding them, especially Skylar, but through the end, after I’ve started to find out more about their stories and understand them better, I grow to like them more and more .

Skylar was ok. That’s all I can say, I don’t hate her but she don’t fall into my favorite heroines category.
As for the main couple, Sean seems to be a good guy and he and Skylar really match with each other. I like that the romance between them is natural and never forced.

One thing that had bothered me was the fact the Cam and Bo didn’t really make any contribution to the plot, so their existence seemed unnecessary. I was expecting more from them because they were supposed to be Skylar’s friends, even though they didn’t react like her friends, especially when she returned from the death.

The ending was a good one but I think there is always room for a sequel because Blackfin and Sky's family seem like they have many more mysteries inside of them.

Unpredictable, FULL of mysteries, original plot, a little bit spooky (maybe), fast-paced, some paranormal stuff, that’s what "Blackfin Sky" has to offer to you. So what are you waiting for? Go find a nice nook, make sure no one interrupts you and start reading it! ^.^

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review 2015-12-28 02:15
Ratfolk have a rich culture
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Monster Codex - Jason Bulmahn,Paizo Publishing

A monster reference book focusing on humanoid monsters, designed as a resource for game masters to supplement their campaigns with more details about Orcs and Goblins and such. Lots of flavor text with backstories and trivia about the creatures. Apparently Lizardfolk only want to be left alone to live in peace, but the far more evil Serpentfolk worship a dead god. There are some surprising inclusions in the book like two undead races; I tend to think of the undead as their own category of monster and not as humanoids. Frost and Fire Giants are also included, and although Giants are humanoid I also think of them as a unique category of monster.

 

Given the popularity of the Horde among World of Warcraft players I am surprised that Dungeons & Dragons and its imitators have not explored more options of humanoid monsters as player character races. I know there are some options in supplemental works but they have never been part of the core game.

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review 2015-06-05 02:33
Pathfinder by J.A. Jaken
Pathfinder - J.A. Jaken

Shai has special abilities and is a precious commodity, for which different fractions of this futuristic city are willing to go into serious confrontations with each other.

Shai has been through many kinds of personal freedom restriction institutions and places.
- His life started at an orphanage, from which he escaped to the brutal life on the streets after the death of his older friend.
- After a few miserable years of being homeless he found a job as a waiter at a night club that offered speculative safety to its employers.
- However, that didn't last long and he was soon taken against his will to live and work at a government research facility. It offered many comforts limited to an ordinary citizen, while keeping its subjects under lock and key and exploiting their paranormal abilities.
- Finally, he was kidnapped by one of the most violent gangs and suffered a terrific physical and sexual abuse at the hands of genetically engineered soldier/gangster.

In the end, the Outsiders (Outriders) who roam free beyond the city limits take him in and become his new family, but this is all we are left with: Shai is safe for now.

Rounding up to 4 stars for all the abuse =)~ and because "Pathfinder" was at one point a free read and I am sorta kinda partial to the authors who take their time to write and share their fantasies with us for nothing (even if they eventually publish).

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review 2014-10-10 16:22
PathFinder by Angie Sage
Pathfinder - Angie Sage


I received a copy of Pathfinder from the publisher in return for an honest review.

It took me a while to get into this one at first. I enjoyed it from the start but it didn't grip me till the point where magyk came into it, at that point I was hooked and couldn't flip the pages fast enough.

There are a lot of characters in this book, there may be too many for some, but for me it was no problem. The main character Tod is really likeable and I loved joining her in her journey, good parts and bad. I can honestly say there wasn't a character I didn't like, well apart from the ones I wasn't supposed to like, and I enjoyed reading about them all and getting to know them.

The world building was well done, so vivid and full of imagination. I can picture kids totally engrossed in this story, lost in a world of magyk and adventure. This is definitely a book I would love to share with my younger reading group and I'm keen to experience this story through their eyes.


Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
You can also find me on:Goodreads

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