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review 2017-04-02 15:00
Bound Review
Bound (Alex Caine) - Alan Baxter

Bound wasn’t an easy book for me to read. I had some initial reservations about it, but as I do love the occasional dark fantasy book, I decided to give it a shot. Alas, Bound and I never quite bonded. It is the perfect dark/urban fantasy read for readers who love the Chosen one spiel. It is also absolutely absent of even a whisper of a love triangle.The epic quest is, indeed, epic, and the evil guys are very evil. The Chosen one, as one might expect, does have trouble coming to terms with his powers, but eventually begins to master them. Soon he is a force to be reckoned with, but you know everyone’s going to try.


Alex Caine is the macho man with the dark past that he doesn’t talk about. His companion is a feisty, sexy female who attaches herself to him for non-epic reasons. Actually, most of the men portrayed in Bound come across as strong/macho characters except for a few bit-player parts. Sex and sexuality play a large role in Bound. If you like your ‘adult interactions’ to be on the violent and/or demeaning side, you’re sure to be pleased. Unfortunately, sexuality is part of the problem with Bound. All the female characters ooze sex appeal and/or seek validation through it. That, combined with Caine’s macho-man persona, give the story a ‘teenage boy fantasy’ air that is not particularly appealing.


But, Bound is not awfully written and I don’t want to give the impression that is. While I do think the author has some more skill development to do, it’s obvious the talent is there. Bound is held back by a bit too much introspective weight around its middle, and a cup full of ‘struggle for control and temptation’ where periodic dashes would do better instead. However, mostly this is simply not a book that appealed to me. I prefer, when I dabble in fantasy, to deal in ghosties, ghouls, and things that go bump in the night. My urban fantasy needs wise-cracking anti-heroes that you want to smack even as you can’t help but root for them. Bound is a more traditional fantasy read in an urban/modern setting.


Still, I have no doubt that there is a large market out there that would enjoy Bound. The action sequences were fun to read and easy to visualize. Alex Caine is the book version of the on-screen action hero. As the series develops and Alan Baxter has a chance to refine his writing and flesh out his characters, I think there’s a pleasant surprise awaiting. (There are two other books out in the series as of the time of this review, but I obviously have not read them, so I can only guess.)


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review consideration

Source: www.scifiandscary.com/bound-review
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review 2012-12-13 00:00
Reincarnation: Fact or Fallacy (Quest Books)
Reincarnation: Fact or Fallacy - Geoffrey Hodson Weak, weak, weak. Unsupported logic with amazing leaps of the fanciful. It seeks to provide an answer to why things are as they are - injustice, suffering, inequity - by claiming it's due to reincarnation, cause and effect, karma and the lack of harmonization. We each must strive to perfect ourselves through successive lives, and thus perfect the one human Spirit. It can't explain human evil, however.
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review 2012-01-02 00:00
Wren's Quest - Sherwood Smith Orphan Wren is bff with the princess and doing well at the magic school, but she can't help but wonder if she has any family somewhere in the world. She sets out to find them, with Prince Connor at her side. Meanwhile, Princess Tess is having trouble adjusting to court life after growing up in the orphanage.

I actually liked this better than the first book, [b:Wren to the Rescue|193770|Wren to the Rescue (Wren, #1)|Sherwood Smith|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41sEsNoEVzL._SL75_.jpg|187397]. I think Smith trusted herself more, and let the personalities and dialog flow a little more naturally. The tinges of forced characterization are gone. The two plots come together well, without feeling like one was short-changed. And I really liked the development of Connor's skills, and that it doesn't feel like the book is forcing either him or Wren toward any one particular career. Generally someone is completely talented and interested in one subject, and it's obvious that they're meant to become a magician or writer or whatever--but Smith gives her characters a smattering of gifts and a wide range of interests, and they feel more realistic for it.

Definitely an enjoyable adventure--so much so that I extended my workout in order to finish it!
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review 2011-01-22 00:00
Wren's Quest - Sherwood Smith A fun sequel to "Wren to the Rescue". I did not feel it was quite as strong as the first one, but there's no real 'complaint', either. Another fun adventure with a good ending. :)

Looking forward to the third one.
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review 2010-03-01 00:00
"Thinking about Teressa's future reminded Wren of her own plans. Feeling a jolt inside, she thought of what awaited her at noon the next day--"
Wren's Quest - Sherwood Smith

This is an in between story. It just passes time from Wren to the Rescue to Wren's War. It was a good read, but the story was more about Connor then Wren's quest. Don't get me wrong, the information that was delivered in this book is really important in understanding what is to happen in Wren's War. It also gives you a glimpse of what is to become of the four friends and their friendships.

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