Kings of Paradise (Ash and Sand #1) by Richard Nell

Publishing Date: 2017

Genre: Light Fantasy

Rating: 4.6/5

Review:  This was an awesome read from start to finish. Epic world building that spans the continents and the unique sides of humanity on display.

Some minor hiccups were Rukka’s transformation that begged for more depth in order to be believable and the process by which Rukka’s time in the isles is revealed in the next novel. Retro-story lines are lame unless they merge into the present, quickly.

I am on to the next and am sure I will be wildly entertained.

The Heroes (First Law World #5) by Joe Abercrombie

 

Publishing Date: 2011

Genre: Military/Fantasy

Rating: 4.3/5

Review: This was sure to follow in the Bloody footsteps of the ‘Nine”, causing all sorts of nausea via graphic presentation. But alas, no. A war with a hefty infusion of plotting characterization overlaid upon a covert magical battle.

A deftly written inter-lude that begs the continuance of a few characters story lines. Although you can guess, if you have followed this series, what is Bayaz’ ultimate goal? Therein lies the future construct.

An accomplished writer creating a world that is believable and entertaining.

Battle Ground (The Dresden Files #17) by Jim Butcher

 

Publishing Date: 2020

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Rating: 3.4/5

Review: This is the battle royale’ between the opposing forces in the magical realms. Harry is central to the theme and delivers in spades. So why not a higher review score, you ask? Not much new under the sun in what should be a progressive series. The deaths of characters are not a surprise and the story line unfolds in predictable fashion.  I get what the author is trying to accomplish with those deaths yet the end result is contrivance.

I will still buy the next and the next and the next cause I’m a sucker fish.

Peace Talks (The Dresden Files #16) by Jim Butcher

Publishing Date: 2020

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Rating: 2.6/5

Harry is back, with a hat. Again.

Ah backstory, where is thy sting? Once again we go wading through all the story lines that came before to catch up latent readers to the show (insert me screaming). Short of calling up the author and telling him to go f**k himself for implementing the pedantic extreme, I must flippy do dah until I see the quotations that signal dialogue. Feels like a rip-off when you pay for pages that you have read in 16 prior novels.

Negative points for calling an AR and assault rifle (Armalite Rifle Co.) and predicating the physical size of a gun with power (Desert Eagle) as caliber matters.

Mostly a filler novel that sets up the next.

Skin Game (The Dresden Files #15) by Jim Butcher

Publishing Date: 2014

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Rating: 3.2/5

Review: Finally a decent cover with the hat that doesn’t exist.

Why is the better than most that have come before? It’s not. About the same with some interesting new characters that fail to be. No depth makes Jack a dull boy.

This excels in the “weird creature/being” department what with a menacing bigfoot and the Fomor’s creations. As usual the story line zips along so you never reside in dullsville.

Cold Days (The Dresden Files #14) by Jim Butcher

Publishing Date: 2012

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Rating: 3.0/5

Review: Dresden is back…sort of. All the women are still hot, objectified and willing. Alfred Demonreach might have been expanded upon if even in subjective format. I liked the Outsiders and Mab’s ever critical eye. Everything within is easy to figure you just have to turn a blind eye for a fun ride.

Ghost Story (The Dresden Files #13) by Jim Butcher

Publishing Date: 2011

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Rating: 2.2/5

Review: Wow, this was bad compared to others that have come before. The constant (and lengthy) unneeded backstory wears you down throughout most of this series. In this installment is the added bonus of introspection and then BAM! Subitism.  Additionally a dead Harry is not that interesting to follow. There must be some inside joke I am missing with the hat on the cover art thing.

This novel is mostly ‘catch you up’ filler with some good moments of mystery. A big doorstop in a good series.