Summer Knight (The Dresden Files #4) by Jim Butcher

 

Publishing Date: 2002

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Rating: 4.2

Review: Ok, I am addicted……

This was the best one so far, and having read a third of the next installment as of this review. I can say it keeps getting better.  I have always been a fan of characters that grow and Harry moves through a time line that molds his character in various ways.

I look forward to finishing this series.

Fool Moon (The Dresden Files #2) by Jim Butcher

 

Publishing Date: 2001

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.0/5

Review: In this installment Harry is mired in magic and at odds with the law…….er, like all of them?

Again, not much character development but the movement was really good and the world building, meh. I have a feeling all the ratings will be a flat 3.0, much like novellas that I rate.

I won’t continue on too much longer unless I am unable to find other books to read.

Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher

Publishing Date: 2000

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.0/5

Review: I think I read some of Harry Dresden’s escapades quite awhile ago before I took up reviewing. Hardened gumshoe with a magical twist.

In this installment (the first) the Harry gets caught up in a cult of intrigue and the bodies start to pile up. Only the intrigue is easy to fathom from the beginning so the reading becomes entertainment filler. I don’t know about you but I think mysteries should envelop a sense of surprise or make you work through the process of figuring out “whodunnit”. There were some continuity issues but nothing that detracts.

I like the character that is Harry yet see no room for his development. He just is what he is. At the end of the read I can say I had a good frivolous time.

 

 

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff

Publishing Date: 2017

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Rating: 1.4/5

Review: Something inverted happened on the way to the publisher with this installment of the Nevernight Chronicles. The inventiveness and brilliance of the first novel was tossed in the shitter in favor of writing that favors broad audience appeal. Gone are the unexpected turns in the story line and characters. Gone are the funny asides in the footnotes. Gone is the character development that encompassed every person introduced. Gone is the introspective guile and surprising perspective of Mia.

What we fuking get is patterned slop that most fantasy writers churn out to make a fast buck. Throw in a fair amount of YA lust (Quivering thighs at the sight of him/her/it….) and the recipe is set for disaster. The story line is no longer inventive as it follows a well tread path to culmination. Mia behaves like a love addled darkin? that goes all moist when Mr. or Mrs. Hunky is around. Back story? How about back stabbing as the constant referral to the prior novel as a means of catching lazy readers up is sublime in it’s careless use. This process exists solely to sell more novels to those that came late.

The additional disappointments include the sudden sickness when she shadow steps and the constant nagging plot hole where if she used her shadows to destroy, why can’t she now? The whole “secret assassin-deadliest blade” shtick has worn off as now she gets her ass kicked by gladiators. The author covers a major plot hole with some rushed insertion about factions within the hierarchy seeking to eliminate the Red Church, but it comes off clumsy and bent.

The author tries to gain traction by randomly killing off characters that you might grow to like, but since you didn’t give a shjt about them in the first place their deaths are a relief. There are a few continuity issues as well.

The world is still interesting as ever as is the inventiveness of the creatures that reside there. Ash has become more followable than dumb Mia yet the shadow twins constant bickering wears thin and is anything but comedic relief. At about the 70% mark, the story line picks up with good movement sans humping/licking.

I will leave with one quote of many that disappoint. “Even the skies will know my name….”. Huh?

Out.

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff

Publishing Date: 2016

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Rating: 4.7/5

Review: Reviewers either loved this novel or hated it.

Me? I loved it. Brilliantly executed. It is at once poignant, funny, visceral and surprising. The footnotes are an added bonus in that they purvey this surprising sense of humor from that narrators perspective. I did not see the ending coming, and dam it, I should have.

I will say that the next novel in the series (Godsgrave) is mostly pure shit. Get this and go no further.

 

 

The Wheel of Osheim (The Red Queen’s War #3) by Mark Lawrence

Publishing Date: 2016

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Rating: 4.4/5

Review: Jalan is still a coward yet manages to lead the defense of Vermillion in stalwart fashion. What we have waited collectively for (character development) has finally appeared in a constrained delivery. Just when you think he has risen above his base motivations, he trends back into the mundane quicker than a hiccup.  Following an endlessly flawed character proved more work than I bargained for, yet was strangely compelling and oft outright entertaining. The shift in this installment was the subtlety in which Jalan was presented. Was this the development I had hoped for? Perhaps. Just a different twist on a self-centered template.

The world building excels over the previous novels and the variety of interactions, coupled with a fast pace, made for a read worthy of 1 am and dam the consequences. The magic is interesting in what and how it evolved from, as are the cultures that have formed out of prior destruction.

Get this series even if #2 is a letdown.