Book Review: Hell Bent by Eden Hudson

 

Publishing Date: May 2015

Publisher:The River Pirate Alliance

ISBN: (ASIN:B00YFVLRFM)

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.9/5

Publisher’s Description: Finally free of his sadistic captor, the holy champion is now trapped in a much darker hell—his own mind. His only hope is a vampire he can’t even remember. She loves him, but can she save him?

Review: This is the second installment of the “Redneck Apocalypse” series. This novel largely follows that paths of Tiffani and Colt with a dash of Desty and Tough. The novel seesaws back and forth through their pasts while creating a cogent whole.

As I have read the whole box set, I can say that Halo, Shannon in the Lion’s Den  and God Killer run a close second to Hell Bent. Why? I guess the way the story line weaves in and out of the past to create this depth of characterization that is seldom visited in the genre. This flow of deep darkness, hope and redemption in the face of dire circumstances that transcends death via faith and loyalty is, to say the least, compelling.

So far I am having a lot of fun, and that has got to be the point, right?

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Book Review: Shannon in the Lion’s Den by Eden Hudson

 

Publishing Date: April 2014

Publisher: The River Pirate Alliance

ISBN: (ASIN) B00K0W5QWA

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.8/5

Publisher’s Description: At just twenty-two years old, Shannon Colter has everything she’s ever wanted. She’s an international rock star, her guitar playing is better than it’s ever been, and she never has to worry about going hungry again.

Review: Well, here we go again…down the rabbit hole. Er, not a rabbit’s hole butt rather it’s den.  Want to know how the Whitney clan was hatched and why the current players seem so integral to the story line? Well then this is the book for you.

I thought this was a great read and if you don’t fall in love with the constant angst that is Shannon then you are a sociopath that tethers frogs with dental floss next to water in the hot sun. Eden Hudson creates a great hook at the beginning and continues to do so through intense movement. This beguiling writing style keeps you entrenched, and strangely, rooting for our anti-hero as she sleeps her way into your heart.

What is weird is that as the story unfolded around Shannon, I kept getting the distinct feeling I was reading about the author’s alter-ego.  I find that Tough, Shannon’s son, is crafted in much the same way….with this intense fervor.  Or the author sits around all day crafting lace doilies.

Get the box set. I am halfway through and enjoying an author that provides solid entertainment.

Book Review: The Reign of the Departed by Greg Keyes

Publishing Date: June 2018

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

ISBN:9781597809375

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.4/5

Publisher’s Description: Errol Greyson hadn’t intended to commit suicide. Or so he told himself. But waking up after his “cry for help” trapped in the body of a wood-and-metal construct magically animated by Aster—the strange girl from school—was not a result he could have imagined.

Review: What a surprising find…in a good way. This novel starts in the realm of normalcy and quickly descends into the favorably bizarre and surprising. Errol is definitely emo (not the punk/rock music genre) in that he is depressingly inverted. He is recovering from a first love disaster and his Father’s death. His mother is dis-interested in well, mothering and traipses around with her drunk boyfriend. Things come to a head when Errol takes sleeping pills and whisky and wakes up as an automaton.

The movement is non-stop and walks hand in hand with ALL of the characters development. Even characters firmly established, like the Sheriff and Dusk, have their pasts come to the fore in a sudden reveal. Really, there was not one character that was uninteresting. The world building is epic. A magical realm that mirrors earth while residing under a curse was not only inventive but enthralling.

“So why you no give 5 stars!?”. The sudden inclusion of love triangles, sudden love interests with a YA bent derailed this novel for a bit. It settles out and moves on in glorious form but the after-taste lingers.

I will say that the story line takes you to a place you want to go…….another novel in the series!

Book Review: Daughter of War by S.J.A. Turney

 

Publishing Date: April 2018

Publisher: Canelo

ISBN:9781911420620

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 3.8/5

Publisher’s Description: Europe is aflame. On the Iberian Peninsula the wars of the Reconquista rage across Aragon and Castile. Once again, the Moors are gaining the upper hand. Christendom is divided. Amidst the chaos comes a young knight: Arnau of Valbona. After his Lord is killed in an act of treachery, Arnau pledges to look after his daughter, whose life is now at risk. But in protecting her Arnau will face terrible challenges, and enter a world of Templars, steely knights and visceral combat he could never have imagined. She in turn will find a new destiny with the Knights as a daughter of war… Can she survive? And can Arnau find his destiny?

Review: Strange title for the novel as the main protagonist is Arnau with Titborga getting very little play. The action is centered around opposing forces seeking to abduct or kill her for her fathers wealth, but really the whole story is about Arnau’s development as a Templar Knight under siege/war like conditions.

I found this novel pretty riveting as the movement interleaved with the character development in subtle fashion. For instance, Arnau struggles with letting go of a life as a lower noble to embrace the Templar Order. Events transpire to edge him in a direction that is more noble than the life he once lead.  Redemption? Not really, just a way out of a current predicament.

The story line’s culmination was expected, as in you could see it coming from the beginning of the novel. A shame really, as there were parts of this novel that took you by surprise. The villain was a little too “villainy” and not real believable as were the ruffians fighting on his behalf. A bit contrived but entertaining.

Pick this up, you will have a good time transporting back into the life of a Templar.

Book Review: Wulf by Set Sytes

 

Publishing Date: December 2016

Publisher: ?

ASIN: B01NBLPFZF

Genre: SciFi Western

Rating: 4.9/5

Publisher’s Description: What would you do if you woke up on another planet, in someone else’s body, with a gun to your head? Jay Wulf (as people keep calling him) is having a bad day. Rescued from imminent execution by the fiercely independent Savvi, he soon finds himself left alone to understand and survive the frontier perils of a savage new world.

Review: Eden Hudson, famous author and all around renaissance woman, recommended this novel to me. Let me just say that you know when you have a great novel when you don’t want it to end and subsequently it goes by in a blink.

So what has got me all hot an bothered? Character development. Wow. Coupled with the constant movement and character interaction made for a riveting experience. Throw in impeccable world building and intense scene progression and….amaze-balls.

The world building is starting to remind me of Jack Chalker’s, Well of Souls series. I cannot wait to find out for sure.