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review 2018-04-14 15:42
Phaethon Review
Phaethon - Rachel Sharp

Source: Rosie's Book Review Team

 

Phaethon was one of the better books I've read this year. It's a simple, uncomplicated story. The main characters are friendly, caring, relatable, and pleasingly snarky. Even the bogle. (Maybe especially the bogle?) What can I say? I love an honest smartarse. It's also fast-paced, contains an interesting adventure, and doesn't require anything from the reader except enjoyment.


I loved the easy mixing of fantasy and science fiction in Phaethon.I was able to very easily suspend disbelief and sink into the story the author was wanting to tell. When certain LED-laden individuals got introduced into the story, I might have had a small flash of Transformers. (However, considering I rather like them, that wasn't exactly a bad thing.) 

Rachel Sharp has a way of putting things that states the truth and makes you snicker at the same time. Like the following statement about horses.

"People could be assholes, too, but when horses were assholes, one had roughly a half a ton of asshole to contend with."



Of course, her insults in Phaethon could be pretty good too.

"Get with the times, you bloody nuisance fish-hags! The iron bastards will make calamari out o' ye! CALAMARI!"





I actually recommended this book to one of my best friends shortly after I finished it. (She's a fantasy fan and hates dark stuff and most sci-fi, so we often don't have any books to mutually adore.) It was nice to be able to toss another book recommendation her way. As I told her: "Phaethon is so light, it's practically floof. BUT it's entertaining floof with a side of good versus evil!"

I will say that while I might be willing to read more in this series, I don't see a lot of potential in it. It was a fantastic stand-alone novel, but I'm not sure how it would work if she tries to draw it out. Still, she's obviously talented, so if anyone can make it work, she can. 

If you're looking for an undemanding read that will entertain you and lift your spirits, look no further than Phaethon by Rachel Sharp.


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the author as part of Rosie's Book Review Team.

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review 2018-04-14 15:32
Oy Yew Review
Oy Yew - Ana Salote

Source:  Rosie's Book Review Team

 

Oy Yew has a slow, special magic to it. It’s not a book that immediately draws you in, but gently ushers you in the story’s direction. The world Ana Salote has created has a sense of richness to it, though not much is seen in this first book. The main character, Oy Yew, is a gorgeous soul. The type of soul that you never have to worry about going bad, or getting spoiled by the meanness in the world. Fiercely loyal, with an innate ability to make the best of everything, and bring out the best in every one, Oy worms himself into your heart.

This story felt, strongly, as if it could have been the story of the House Elves from Harry Potter. Take away the magic, and make the elves a bit more human looking, and you’ve got it. That subservient attitude with the occasional free-thinker bucking the trend. The ridiculous punishments and gets-on-with-its. Even Master Jeopardine brings to mind a slightly more insane acting Lucius Malfoy. It’s very much it’s own story, but if you’ve read Harry Potter and felt even the tiniest flicker of sympathy for Dobby, you’ll make the connection to this book. This is not a light and fluffy story. It’s dark, sometimes disturbing, and filled with sorrow but ultimately rewarding.

Oy Yew is aimed at 8 to 12 year olds, and I think hits that pretty well. However, it feels a bit long. It took me a good while to read through it on my own. I think it could have been cut down by about 30 pages, and still been just as good. Easily distracted readers will probably have problems with it. I’d highly recommend making it bedtime read, where the kids can just relax and listen to the story. Oy Yew is the first book in the Waifs of Duldred series and is available on Amazon. It’s worth the money and the time to read it.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

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review 2018-04-14 15:22
The Dead Lands Review
The Dead Lands - Dylan J. Morgan

Source: Rosie's Book Review Team

 

Oh, I wanted to love this book. It looked perfect. Mutants, science-fiction, post-apocalyptic setting… I’d seen great reviews, too. Unfortunately, The Dead Lands was a dud for me. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate it. I just didn’t feel anything for or towards it. It evoked no emotions. It never aroused my curiosity, never made me think.

It was technically a science fiction novel in part because it was based on a different planet, but it wasn’t really based on a different planet. Apart from the advanced weaponry and cryogenics, the worlds that are featured in this novel (mutants aside) are disturbingly mundane. There’s nothing in them that suggests an exotic location. None of the characters appealed to me. They’re not cardboard characters, exactly, but they’re so typical that with the mundane setting and other issues they were almost irritating.

However, and here’s the interesting thing, this would make a great movie. The more I read it, the more that occurred to me. All the little bits and bobs , the occasionally gruesome images and odd character tics, etc, are at best mildly interesting in the book. If it was a movie, though? Hah! It’d be freaking awesome! Filled with shoot-em-ups, last stands, and plenty of gore. You’d probably have to pay me to get me to read the second book in this series. But I’d be there on opening night in the theatre, saying “Shut up and take my money” to see this on the big screen.

My favorite part of the book was near the very end. The author killed off a character I was expecting to live. It was completely unexpected, so I’ll happily admit I did a little internal cheer. I love it when authors go against the grain and do something unexpected. Overall, The Dead Lands was an okay read. Morgan knows how to put a story together, but he needs to refine his writing a little bit. I know that lots of people think a lot more favorably of it than I do.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
 

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