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.

 

 

Book Review: Along the Razor’s Edge (The War Eternal #1) by Rob J. Hayes

Publishing Date: 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 1.5/5

Review: This opening novel flowed quite smoothly from scene to scene and although the story line was not complex, the progression was logical and worked to an accomplished build. The characters were presentable but not riveting with a lack of depth hard to deny.

 

Eskara Helsene is not real believable, which does not bode well for a main character. Her emotional repertoire is based on revenge and anger yet she finds the time to have the hots for a dungeon guy. While she is only 15 years old, covered in filth and starving, these base emotions don’t play very well in the environment in which she resides.  As life is extremely harsh (torture, starvation, slavery) the expectation is not one forged into hardness but beat down while fondling a meagre serving of hope. What we get is an angry, emaciated fighter whom thumbs her nose at the people that have complete control over her, risking her own life in the process.

 

The foretelling within the body of the narrative plays out like a constant spoiler and gains in annoyance. The story line and plot are as boring as a bag of hammers and slower than a snail in peanut butter.  I liked the writing style and that may be what brings me back into this series. For now I am a bit ‘meh’.

Book Review: Dungeon Eternium (The Divine Dungeon #5) by Dakota Krout

Publishing Date: 2019

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.1/5

Review: This was a whole lot better than #3 and #4. Good movement that embraced the characters in their various quests. The world building was better in terms of visualization ease and dungeon development was, once again, interesting.

For a finale’ to the series, this was a bit weak in that the individual progression failed in terms of a  visceral payoff. You root for characters throughout the series and their rewards do not marry with the gifts of dungeon completion. Additionally, the ending is all over the place with story line threads failing to resolve and the final movement truncated and ineffective.

This was so far removed from the brilliant “Completionist Chronicles” series that it often felt like a different writer.  The main problem with this finale’ was the lack of a determined and fulfilling ending. The characters held some bright spots but generally became diffuse in presentation.

A strong pass on this series if you are considering it.

Book Review: Dungeon Calamity (The Divine Dungeon #3) by Dakota Krout

Publishing Date: 2017

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.5/5

Review: This was a hard slog through to the end. This installment was WAY too involved in the magical pathways of Essence, Mana, Chi and aura infusion. At the end of the day it is all make believe and attempting to gain validity through justification is pure nonsense.

I looked forward to reading about Dale and his cohorts, mainly because they were in constant movement and developing with interest. Cal is kind of an arsehole and weighs the story line down to a crawl.

Here is hoping it picks up a bit.

Book Review: Dungeon Born (The Divine Dungeon #1) by Dakota Krout

Publishing Date: 2016

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.3/5

Review: This was an interesting turn from all of the other LitRPG novels out there where a player interacts within a role playing game and seeks to advance within. While Dale fills this role admirably, the focus is on the development of a sentient dungeon.

Dakota is one of my favorite writers. He is inventive, creative and his characters leap off the pages in all their snark and circumstance. The world building is descriptive enough to visualize but not over-bearing to the point the story line is lost.  The magic makes connective sense and helps ground the novel as players and dungeon progress.

A bit short in length for the money, but I will continue to pay.

Book Review: The Shadow of What Was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy #1) by J. Islington

Publishing Date: 2014

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.5/5

Review: Well I am way late to the party on this series what with the plethora of good reviews out there.

I thought that this was some solid bit of writing that often swayed into back story/flashback-ville for too long a stretch. The characters are varied but the theme is YA which drove it a bit into the dirt at times. The “Hey we know better than people twice our age because we are on a quest” shtick was not too believable.

The world building is epic and the story line a bit confused, lacking a sense of progression. The quest, although great in the visual department, made no sense whatsoever. You go North, pick up a guy, then another, keep going into hostile country, pick up 3 more people, lose 2 and back to where you started. I was waiting for something to be achieved under the premise that an augur box would create this wonderful reveal. Nope.

The next in the series is a fence sitter for me. Not sure I would spend the coin for the same drawn out story line. Great cover art though.