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Category Archives: Did Not Finish

“The Legend of Nightfall” – M. Z. Reichert

nightfall

This is a review of “The Legend of Nightfall” by Mickey Zucker Reichert.

He has been known by countless names and terrifying deeds throughout the lands, yet though Nightfall has always escaped his pursuers even the cleverest of beings must occasionally slip. And when this master of the night falls prey to a royal trap, he finds the consequences beyond even his ability to evade. Bound by magic Nightfall will need all his talents to keep himself and his new charge alive and avoid the hands of unknown betrayers.

Good world-building and a vast world to explore. The focus of the book is more lighthearted even though it deals with the potentially heavy themes of slavery, free will and greed. The only way the sorcerers of the world can gain powers is incredible, and it is incredibly fun to read Nightfall’s sarcastic thoughts about his charge and the way his life is currently going.

Nightfall is an amusing character to follow as he scrambles around trying to keep them all alive and get rid of a spade, while Edward is utterly set on his grand mission and totally misled by his faithful servant. Being hounded by both evil sorcerer and binding magics, the story that follows is a delightful romp of misadventures and frantic plotting.

But for being such a completely feared thief and assassin Nightfall is incredibly stupid at times. At the start this could be attributed to such a large and sudden change in occupation, but it simply persists throughout the book. And for all his many fears and amusing thoughts about all the trouble the prince will get them into, it is in fact Nightfall himself who creates the most trouble for them.

Prince Edward was, at the very start of the story, a bit too stupidly naïve to be believable even with his sheltered life. Then there is Keryn. I had sincerely and fervently hoped that she would be what Nightfall thinks her to be initially, and that she was no tortured damsel in distress.

The last thing I have to complain about is that in a book of almost 500 pages, 350 of said pages are spent on nothings. Amusing as they are, those 350 pages have very little to no actual bearing on the rest of the plot, and there is only so many times one can read a funny anecdote or Nightfall’s sarcastic thoughts without starting to wonder when we will get back to the plot. And as for the plot, well, 150 pages are hardly enough to deal properly with the problems and enemies built up throughout the rest of the story.

All in all, though this is most definitely an amusing book to read, it isn’t anything really special.

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Posted by on February 18, 2016 in Books, Did Not Finish, Fantasy

 

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“The Thorn of Dentonhill” – M. R. Maresca

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This is a review of the book “The Thorn of Dentonhill: A Novel of Maradaine” by Marshall Ryan Maresca.

Veranix Calbert leads a double life. By day he’s a struggling student at the University, by night he’s a vigilante destroying the drug trade of Fenmere – the crime boss of Dentonhill. When Veranix disrupts the delivery of two magical artifacts and uses these two items in his fight he soon becomes a real thorn in Fenmere’s side. So much so that soon not only Fenmere, but powerful mages, assassins and street gangs all want a piece of “The Thorn”. Add to this the professors and prefects at the University on the verge of discovering his secrets, and Veranix’s life is about to get even more difficult than before.

It is a vast city-world that wer are introduced to. The streets and the different districts of the city have been imagined excellently by the author. It is obvious that he took his time with that and the world around the city from what little is mentioned throughout the story. The same with the life in the city even if most of it is focused on the street gangs and what Veranix does or sees.

The characters are varied and many. The students of the university, the prefects, the many members of the various street gangs, the doxies, Fenmere himself, the mages of the Blue Hand Circle, Veranix’s cousin and friends and dorm-mates. There are a lot of them even if they are very much on the periphery of everything. Sometimes a bit too peripheral. There were several people that I wanted to knowmore about.

There are a couple of things that pull this book down, however, one big and one small.

It is rather difficult to actually get to like the main character. His cockiness and hypocricy, his rash actions and apparent lack of things or people to lose despite the very opposite, and the mystery surrounding him all conspire against him. Veranix isn’t a bad character, he just lacks the little extra to make him truly likable. In fact, the secondary characters are more likable than him because they accept and show that they have things to lose.

None of this is helped by the second failing of the book: failing to attain a certain gravitas. Despite being light romps of adventure other books have managed to gain the little extra that makes the reader invested, but this book doesn’t. Especially not when it comes to the main character’s life.

To tell the truth, I couldn’t finish the book. I stopped 100 pages from the end, but it isn’t a bad book. It is a quick read and doesn’t demand much from the reader. It has a workable plot. It was just that the main character annoyed me too much to actually finish the book.

It is an okay book, and I suppose that I do recommend it.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Books, Did Not Finish, Fantasy

 

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“Hunter’s Oath” – M. West

HuntersOath

This is a review of the book “Hunter’s Oath” by Michelle West.

There is a nice world built up in this book, a world of magics and gods and demons walking amongst men and demanding tithe for their help. The hunter-ways of the stationary Breodanir is fascinating and well thought out, with a nice simplicity that is perhaps a bit idolized but still charming. The dark side of life isn’t forgotten, and the dark side of their God is always present.

I love the idea of the Hunter God and that in order to provide plentiful bounty for the year He actually hunts his own devotees. I love how the hunters have a special bond with their dogs and need a hunt-brother in order to keep them from being overwhelmed during the hunting. That these human hunters hardly ever cared about politics and whatnot was a nice touch, and I like the way their wives and daughters have been given a role in the story. There was so much that could have been done with this, but wasn’t, and that was disappointing.

And that was kind of what the rest of the story was like. There was so much that could be done with the presented ideas and threads in the tale, but wasn’t. The characters king of fell flat all over the board and there was nothing really special about any one of them. No, that is not true. There were special ones but they died pretty soon in the story so they don’t really count.

The Time-Travelling-Sorceress-Who-Can’t-Do-A-Thing-About-Anything(TM) was just annoying. A few glimpses of her here and there would have been interesting, but she took up so much of the story and time for someone who’s story isn’t supposed to happen until the second book of this duology! Her attempts at being mysterious and small attempts at meddling only made it painfully obvious what was going to happen and took away the surprise of it actually happening. Although, it has to be admitted, when she is actually allowed to fight Evayne a’Nolan is kind of cool but it is not enough to save her.

The language was rather flowery. Not to excess, but certainly noticeably and it got a bit annoying at times. The book also kind of drags on in certain parts, and I don’t even want to start in on the demons who want to take over the world (again).

If the book had stuck to the Hunter God, Stephen and Gilliam with the occasional odd happening later (in the second book) explained to be Evayne’s meddling, I would have loved this book. As it is I just couldn’t bring myself to finishing it.

Since I couldn’t even finish this book, I am most certainly not going to read its sequel – “Hunter’s Death”.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Books, Did Not Finish, Fantasy

 

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“The Scar” – S. & M. Dyachenko

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This is a review of the book “The Scar” by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko

Brash, confident, and an egotistical philanderer, Egert is the perfect picture of a young man of his town. But when an innocent duel ends up in an accidental death his troubles have barely started. Cursed with a scar and cowardice, Egert must now set out on a quest to rebuild himself and perhaps even save the world.

I love that Egert Soll started out as a completely cocky bastard and that he became an utter coward. He was truly smashed to bits and had to build himself up again throughout the story. He learns in a rather painful way just how insignificant that he truly is in the big picture of things. The girl who causes all of Egert’s troubles, Toria, really does hate him and doesn’t fall for him the second he does something good, and “The Wanderer” is a mystery that I would have loved to learn more about.

I loved the idea presented in the book, however, there were a few things that annoyed me.

The start of the book where they humiliate Egert Soll was a bit too long, just a bit, and they keep on referring to him as ‘lieutenant’ in various variations as if we would ever forget that. Also, despite everything that actually happens in the story, the only thing that truly happens to Egert Soll is the curse of cowardice and a minor happening of having pebbles thrown after him and being chased away from a village by the local hedge-witch. Everything else, the truly serious stuff, happens to the people around him. That is really annoying.

The omniscient writing felt a bit preachy, and then there was the pacing of the book. It was thoroughly annoying. Something happened and you sit at the edge of your seat because it really is interesting, but then for a long while nothing new happens at all and the excitement trickles off into nothing. This happens again and again and again, and the slow portions of the book were just too slow to actually grab my attention.

Usually I have no problems finishing a four-hundred page book, but in the end I just couldn’t finish this one. Maybe I will try again at a later point in time.

It is a good book, and I do recommend it, I just also recommend that one has a lot of patience with the pacing.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2014 in Books, Did Not Finish, Fantasy

 

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