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review 2018-01-18 18:35
My Review of A Tide of Shadows by Tom Bielawski
A Tide of Shadows (The Chronicles of Llars) (Volume 1) - Tom Bielawski

A Tide of Shadows by Tom Bielawski is the first book in the Chronicles of Llars series. Carym of Hyrum finds he has powers that he didn't know he had, and embarks on a journey with his friend, Zach.

 

A Tide of Shadows has the good vs evil trope, which I love, but for some reason I just couldn't get into this story. There were many details given, but not the details I wanted.

 

These details may be included in future books, however, I didn't care for the flow of the story enough to read future books. With that being said, I felt it a decent enough read for passing the time.

 

Purchased on Amazon.

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review 2018-01-16 23:45
"Year One - Chronicles of the One #1" by Nora Roberts
Year One: Chronicles of The One, Book 1 - -Brilliance Audio on CD Unabridged-,Nora Roberts,Julia Whelan

Year one is sort of urban fantasy twist on "The Stand". It tracks the path of groups of survivors of "The Doom", a virus which kills anyone who is not immune. As billions die, some of the immune discover latent magical powers and find themselves drawn to The Dark or The Light.

 

It's an easy to read entertainment that effortlessly manages the large number of characters and multiple initially parallel but eventually converging plot lines. The good guys are clearly drawn and instantly likeable. There are babies and a lab-cross dog. The bad guys are irredeemably evil and everyone else is either dead or consumed by fear.

 

Nora Roberts' accomplished writing kept me reading, in much the same way that high production standards make it easy to watch "Chicago Fire" or "Rookie Blue" but the good guys didn't become people I cared about and the bad guys seemed more like comic-book demons than people.

 

About halfway through, I realised that, although "Year One" was entertaining enough for me to stick with it to the end, something was preventing me from immersing myself in the story. It took me a while to isolate the cause: my lack of empathy with middle-class America. Most of the main good guy characters in this book come from privileged, sometimes very privileged, backgrounds. The Doom has destroyed their bright futures and now they have to adapt to survive.

 

It turns out that the secret to surviving the apocalypse is to band together with skilled people who embrace middle-class values, choose faith over fear, work together as a team and focus on "doing what comes next". Of course, emergent magical powers are also pretty useful.

 

There's nothing wrong with this. It might even turn out to be true. It's also not so far from the message of "The Stand". What spooked me about it in "Year One" is that Nora Roberts wraps such positive emotions around these values that they slid into my imagination already tagged as a Good Thing. Then I thought about the scale of loss, of the billions dead, of cultures across the world extinguished, of losing everyone you ever loved, of having the value of your previous life challenged or eroded and it seemed to me that the main characters react almost as if they're on medication. Their ability to focus "on what needs doing" is certainly a survival skill but the ease with which they do it, the unthinking adoption of the "I'll protect Us against Them" mindset and the strong link Nora Robers makes between this stance and The Light made it difficult for me to empathise with or care about these people.

 

Later, I struggled with Nora Roberts' obsession with the idea that some things are "meant", that they're part of a "destiny", that it isn't enough for people to be attractive, privileged, educated and have magical gifts, they also have to have some kind of pintable-tilting agents of fate on their side. This began to feel like the dystopian urban fantasy version of meeting Mr Right.

 

At about the same time, we got the sex scene between the Alpha witch couple, Max and Lorna, the two "good guys" that I liked least, and it surfaced everything I disliked about the book: the sex was glossy, the sentiment was saccharine and the allegedly spontaneous vows that followed were so cliché filled and delivered with such self-absorbed seriousness that I felt I'd dropped into the middle of a romance novel. I have less trouble accepting a world-ending-virus and the emergence of latent magical powers than I do believing that people actually talk to each other like this when there's no camera crew present.

 

I liked the end section of the book well enough, setting aside the drumbeat message about "doing what needs to be done". I disliked that fact that not one of the bad guys was given any motivation other than fear, ignorance or just being born that way. The idea of a Messianic "One" sent to save the world doesn't do it for me so I won't be bothering with book two in this series.

 

If this book appeals to you, I recommend the audiobook version. It's skillfully narrated by  Julia Whelan. You can hear her work on the SoundCloud link below.

 

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/378462590" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]

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text 2018-01-14 12:21
Wracam?

Po bardzo nieczytelniczym roku 2018, wracam do książek. Dzielnie czytam ostatni tom "Sagi Księżycowej". Czas na powrót do bardzo książkowego mini-bloga, czyli tutaj.

 

 

 

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review 2018-01-14 02:45
Book Review: A Dark and Twisted Heart
A Dark And Twisted Heart (The Dark Heart... A Dark And Twisted Heart (The Dark Heart Chronicles Book 1) - Merrie Destefano
*I offered to read this book for an honest review.

William is a young man that loves yet struggles with more. He's done something he shouldn't have done. And having that ghost with him may push him to do something again.

Wow, this is one quick read. An hour at tops. (Really, I'm a slow reader and it didn't take me that long.)

Katrina is a ghost, and she's haunting her love. William. The story is from William's mind as he's the one alive and doing things he shouldn't.

We get to see an evening with William. We meet Katrina, his love, as he's walking through the woods. Katrina is a constant reminder of his love for her and what he did to her. But he's been spending time with Adelle too.

Merrie has created a story in one moment of a person's life. This moment is one that will change his life forever. The details of the forest aren't given as you know what it is from what the forest is named and believed to be. It's called Dead Man's Wood. Just the name alone lets you know people don't normally visit this part and what they believe, it is a ghost story. The story is in what William lives through this evening...

William gets what he deserves in the end. And Katrina and her friend seem to enjoy it. You can tell from Katrina's actions she is up to more than what she's saying. The girls have left me a bit curious as to the world they live in and what they are thinking.

A quick story with ghosts and a warped love for the Halloween season. This is the first in a series of short stories, and I'm looking forward to where they go.
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review 2018-01-13 18:19
Moonlight and Mechanicals
Moonlight & Mechanicals (Gaslight Chronicles, #4) - Cindy Spencer Pape

This is Wink and Liam's story. Wink has been in love with Liam since she first meet him. If memory serves, she was around 15. As she grew up and he got to know her, he fell in love with her too. Wink is a prodigy inventor. Liam works for Scotland Yard and also happens to be a werewolf. 
I really love Wink and was looking forward to her story. I love how unconventional she is. I love how her family loves and accepts her just as she is. I love the concept of family. There is the family you are born into. Then, there is the family of choice. 
Wink's brothers have a conversation with Liam about family that hits home for him. Liam was a decent character for Wink, even if I wanted to slap him a time or two. Overall, less "I want you, but I can't!" would have been nice. A little more on the mystery and the final outcome would have been welcome. It's over and done with too fast. But I did like it and feel this is the best so far. I have the next, Cards & Caravans, and will be reading it soon I hope.

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