Hi everyone, as promised, I am going to be posting my reviews here on this blog. So, here is my first review after the move! I know it has been a really long time, but I am back to reviewing books now.
Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle by Vickie Johnstone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Please read this first: The story of this book draws a lot from the stories of the first three books. So, it is possible that spoilers will creep into my review. If you haven’t read the first three books, please don’t read any further.
I have to start by saying that I have loved each of Kiwi’s previous adventures, and this one is no different. Vickie’s books have grown in scope and complexity, which is something I really like. The kids, at whom this series is aimed, can now grow along with the books.
The latest instalment of the Kiwi series is slightly different. For one, this is definitely not a stand-alone book, or something which can be read out of turn. The story in this book draws on plotlines from previous books, and a number of minor characters from previous books return now. Secondly, this book can clearly be divided into two distinct parts. Although, these parts are intricately linked, with one progressing effortlessly from the other, you can clearly see where one part ends and a new one begins.
A World without Compromise
by David Brown
I was seventeen and studying at college when I first came up with the idea of Elenchera. The previous year I had discovered the RPG series, Final Fantasy, on the Playstation and I found the games to be remarkable. They blended sci-fi elements into richly adorned fantasy worlds, they had compelling characters both good and bad, epic storylines and they offered a memorable visceral experience as well, though that was the least important factor to me. I didn’t realise at the time that these games would change my life.
Final Fantasy allows the user to summon gods to aid their characters in battle and it was from this array of deities that I first discovered Odin. I assumed most of the gods in the game were invented but some were familiar from religious education at school so I delved deeper. I found that not only was Odin an actual god, he was the principal deity of Norse mythology, the faith embraced by the Vikings who launched relentless raids throughout Europe beginning in the late 8th century and only coming to an end around the 11th century. In that time the Vikings, led by Leif Ericsson, discovered America in 1100 AD, not Christopher Columbus as many may believe.
I began to read the mythology in-depth as well as branching out and reading the Sagas of the Icelanders, narratives from the descendants of Vikings, which told tales of their harsh lives and the many battles fought. Norse mythology is not colourful and romantic like the Greek stories or romance at court as you find in the Arthurian myths. The Norse tales are often gritty and the story of Ragnarok, where the world ends leads to a cataclysmic battle between good and evil where Odin is killed at the very start! I was drawn to Norse mythology because it had this uncompromising nature about it. Yes, there is great beauty amongst the gods, such as Freyja, but in essence this is a harsh world and I wanted that for my own work. It would mirror our own world which I don’t need to tell you is a difficult place to survive for far too many of us.
Posted in Fantasy, Guest Posts
Tagged A World Apart, arthurian myths, Christopher Columbus, David Brown, Elenchera, Fezariu, Fezariu's Epiphany, Final Fantasy, leif ericsson, Norse mythology, Odin, Vikings, World without Compromise
A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Buy on Amazon
Let me start off by saying that this is the first paranormal and the first paranormal romance book I have read, so my review is going to be shaded by that. You can think of this as a guy’s first impression of the PNR world. Also, the reason I am reading this book is because a dear friend recommended it to me to start researching the world of paranormal creatures. With that out of the way, let’s get to the review.
A Hunger Like No Other has two characters I disliked a lot right from the start. Lachlain is the epitome of an alpha male, who thinks he is a gift to the world and women in particular. He is a Lykae (werewolf) leader who has been imprisoned in hellish conditions for 150 years by vampires, and escapes from there when he scents his true mate. Also, he is over 1,200 years old, just keep this in mind. I actually liked how the author described the pain and anguish that Lachlain had to face while being held there. What I did not understand was why he did not attempt to get out sooner, if he was in such pain that the only thing keeping him sane was thought of revenge. I think revenge is a huge motivator, which should have given him the incentive to break out. But … moving on.
Posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy
Tagged A Hunger Like No Other, Emma, Immortals After Dark, Kresley Cole, Lachlain, Lykae, paranormal, Paranormal romance, The Lore, Valkyrie, Vampire, Werewolf
The Five Elements by Scott Marlowe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Buy on Amazon
Shanna and Aaron are best friends who like nothing more than being in each other’s company. The relationship between the two was wonderful to read about. They seemed to be at ease when they were with each other and relied on each other completely. There was no competition to outdo each other, nor was there a feeling of superiority in Aaron, even though he knew so much more than Shanna and was a sorcerer’s apprentice. Their carefree life is soon turned upside down when an elemental attack on their home leaves it devastated and throws them on two separate paths, with both running away from the attackers.
The mystery of why the city is attacked, by whom, and what they are after is closely guarded by the author until much later in the story. The attack on the city has been perfectly choreographed by the author. The devastation was portrayed in such a stark manner that I could feel it happening. Each part of it is clearly thought out and it sets off, both Shanna and Aaron on their separate quests. This is also a moment in which both characters get developed immensely. The way in which they escape, the things they do to help others in need and their reactions to the tragedy define how they will react to situations they will face later in the book. This part is what helped me understand the characters and their motivations at the end of the book, when the time comes to make the tough decisions.