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review 2017-11-13 16:36
A light, silly read - The Half-Assed Wizard by Gary Jonas
The Half-Assed Wizard (Volume 1) - Gary Jonas

This was a fast-paced, fun, and snarky wizarding tale. Brett Masters is way more interested in sleeping, attempting to make music with his band, and drinking than he is in family wizarding politics. He comes from a rich and powerful family and has never had to work for his keep. Things are about to be upended!

I could totally picture Brett. I’ve known a few people like him stuck in that place of not contributing to anything so it was easy to get a feel for this main character right away.  The entire story, I was rooting for him, hoping he’d get his feet under him and finally save the day.

His cousin, Sabrina, showed a polar opposite to Brett. She hails from the same rich and powerful family, is an accomplished wizard herself, and is a motivational power, constantly pushing Brett to do something… anything, really. While she’s not our only female character, she is the main one. More than once she has to be rescued but she also spends a third of the time kicking butt.

The shark men! Ack! These guys were a bit creepy. No one wants to tango with shark men… unless you’re a half-assed wizard that is pretty drunk and out of good options (like running away and hiding for half a century).

There’s also Brett’s band. Michael was the one that stood out the most to me. He has dreamy vampire eyes that can melt the panties off of almost anyone. Unfortunately, his charm doesn’t work on powerful wizards like Brett’s dad or his main adversary. Michael does give Brett some much needed advice about living in the real world, but I think Brett was too drunk to take much of it in.

There’s plenty of rock and roll references. I only caught some of them. I’m sure others will recognize songs, musicians, and the like. The enchanted guitar pick was a fun little tidbit.

Overall, this tale is enjoyable. There’s not much character depth and the plot is pretty straight forward but the characters make it excellent brain candy. I look forward to the sequel! 4/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: Joe Hempel makes an excellent slacker Brett Masters. He has this perfect don’t give a flip attitude for this character. I also really liked his drunk Brett voice. His female voices were sometimes feminine and sometimes needed a little boost to sound like a woman. All his character voices were distinct. 4.5/5 stars.

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review 2017-10-21 13:14
Review: "Battle Dawn" (The Chronicles of Arden, #3) by Shiriluna Nott & SaJa H
Battle Dawn - SaJa H.,Shiriluna Nott


~ 4 stars ~


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review 2017-10-11 18:50
Review: "Nightfall" (The Chronicles of Arden, #2) by Shiriluna Nott & SaJa H
Nightfall - SaJa H.,Shiriluna Nott


~ 4.5 stars ~


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review 2017-10-07 17:09
Review: "A Call to Arms" (The Chronicles of Arden, #1) by Shiriluna Nott & SaJa H
A Call to Arms - SaJa H.,Shiriluna Nott


~ 4 stars ~


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review 2017-09-03 21:00
A Wizard of Mars (Young Wizards #9)
A Wizard of Mars - Diane Duane

It was never going to be easy to follow up Wizards at War, so I can cut Duane some slack for the unevenness of this book. It takes a long time for the central conflict to show up, and then the climax is a bit rushed. The expanding role of Carmela into this world felt forced and she nearly veers into Mary Sue territory. The whole thing with Nita and Kit maybe starting to have feelings for each other didn't exactly come out of nowhere but since they've been kept apart for most of the previous few books, it felt unearned. There was a great deal of telling versus showing when it comes to their friendship. Plus the fact of them not talking and comparing notes as a way to get all this stuff to happen on Mars in the first place just didn't feel authentic if they're supposed to be such tight friends. 


Still, even if this wasn't up to her usual standards, it still has all the things that have made Duane's other books in this series such good reads: imaginative settings, lush descriptions, personal conflict and stakes, and more background into a newly discovered alien race packed into a couple of hundred pages than most tv shows can manage over their entire runtimes. She makes the Shamask-Eilit real, and the use of the LP here is certainly unlike any we've seen in the previous books too, which is something I've been asking for for awhile.


This is far from my favorite, but once things started picking up, it made up for the somewhat slow and uneven beginning. 

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