Month: June 2015

Book Review: Tower Lord (Raven’s Shadow #2) by: Anthony Ryan

I gave this book five out of five stars for amazing characters, a hearty dose of action, and a beautiful balance of fantastic and reality. The focus of Tower Lord expands from the unified realm to cover the different people around the realm as well as a terrifying invading force. It’s an epic journey, and one so interesting you hate to see it end.

What I loved:

1) Strong female characters, they are not troupe laden, and they are not without faults. I feel Ryan takes great care in presenting all of his characters, but it was so refreshing to see the women in his cast were not overlooked.

2) Vaelin Al Sorna’s story continues, and everything gets bigger. I liked the meshing of Vaelin’s narrative with three others. Ryan had a mountain of political and fantastic information to convey and it’s a wonder he pulled it off so well with only four narratives. What happened to Frentis at the end of Blood Song broke my heart, and I was immediately taken by his story when he was reintroduced. Princess Lyrna became an even greater force to be admired and reckoned with, and it was wonderful to see her wits pitted up against physically overpowering situations. Reva had a beautiful character arc and it was lovely to see the connections she made with her family after being forcibly estranged from them.

3) Some of the mysteries from Blood Song are revealed. Of course a few more are added, but Ryan’s proven to his readers that the wait is worth it. I thought I planned better by reading this book right before the release of book three Queen of Fire. I did, the release is only a few weeks away, but it’s going to be a long few weeks for me. I can’t wait to read the third book.

Book Review: The Z Chronicles by Ellen Campbell (editor), Samuel Peralta, Hugh Howey, Jennifer Foehner Wells, David Adams, Christopher Boore, Angela Cavanaugh, Peter Cawdron, Ann Christy, Stacy Ericson, Deirdre Gould, Kris Holt, Theresa Kay, Lesley Smith, Will Swardstrom,and Geoffrey Wakeling

Reading most of the short stories in this anthology twists and tears apart the standard zombie troupe’s. I gave this anthology four out of five stars for the range of places, emotions, and the various takes each story had based on zombie mythology. The following were my favorite:

  • Vindica by Ann Christy had vivid characters and I was quickly drawn into the post apocalyptic crisis. I liked how Christy’s exploration into social hierarchy in a small community and lengths some will go to stabilize or change their position.
  • Six Day’s by Theresa Kay was horror done in a heart-wrenching manner. It was easy to relate to the protagonists dilemma and root for her success.
  • The Fall of Percedus by: Jennifer Foehner Wells was a suspenseful nail biter. I was into the story very quickly and could not read it fast enough. I loved the inception of the zombie transition in this story.
  • Z-Ball by: Will Swardson. Be prepared, to be amazed by this short story. It takes talent to make the protagonist, antagonist, and two supporting characters come to life in so few words; a feat many authors can’t pull off in a full-blown novel. You need to buy this anthology just so you can read this short. I really enjoyed the layering of political intrigue, money, fame, fortune, and what is tolerated in sports franchising verses the rest of the modern world.
  • Gloria by: Hugh Howey. Horrifying, and I left the read feeling very disturbed.
  • Hybrid by: Geoffrey Wakeling. I was hooked instantly by the action and the need to know what was happening in the story. This was a page-turner with lots of scary moments watching the protagonist trying to get down dark hallways where a zombie could be waiting. I also liked the suspense of waiting to see if the cure was really a cure or an impetus to spark something else.
  • Free Fall by: Peter Cawdron-I’m going to buy his novel after reading this short. This story had everything I love about the science of traveling to and from space. I really loved how Cawdron explored some of the emotions and human needs that might connect us or breaks us a part during conflict and stress.
  • The World After by: Angela Cavanaugh. You want to buy this anthology so you can read this short story. Cavanaugh has a beautifully balanced narrative style that relates complex cultural information while still pressing the action of the story forward. All the things that took place in this short amazed me: there were surprise discoveries, love lost, betrayal, battles, new allegiances formed, a rescue mission, lovers reunited, and a heroic escape. It left me wanting to read more.

 

Project Life Album, Week 25-2014

  • Cards: Insta scrap ATC Cards from Leeza Gibbons for Prima Marketing; Cut & Paste Edition from Amy Tangerine for Project Life
  • Stamps: One Little Bird, Little Everyday Moment from Studio Calico
  • Ink: Cotton Candy from Close to My Heart
  • Embellishments: Wood Buttons from American Crafts; Elemental Stars White from Close to My Heart
  • Markers: Pine Needles from Distress Markers By Ranger Ink

Project Life Album, Week 26-2014

  • Cards: Insta scrap ATC Cards from Leeza Gibbons for Prima Marketing; Kiwi Edition from Project Life
  • Embellishments: Wood Veneer from Studio Calico
  • Markers: Pine Needles from Distress Markers By Ranger Ink
  • Adhesive: Liquid Glass from Close to My Heart