Review – The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan

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Hero meets anti-hero in a fast paced tale of action and adventure.

Hadrian is our hero, a somewhat naive… killing machine? Turns out his father taught him to be a fantastic swordsman capable of amazing killing efficiency.

Royce is our anti-hero, a jaded thief who finds the simplest solution to any problem is to kill it dead, twice over.

Together they embark on an adventure – to settle a debt each owes the same man.

Of course, nothing is ever as it seems, and the adventure is nothing more than a ruse to make the two “opposites” learn about each other, in the hopes both turn out somewhere in the middle at the end of it all. There is the hint that they will be needed in the future, and both will need to improve their skills to face the challenges that lie ahead.

Aside from the obvious issue of the “naive hero” being a ruthless killing machine, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

It does a good job of introducing the major characters with enough left to the imagination to keep you wanting more.

I had a hard time putting this book down, its very well paced and well written, and left me wanting more.

5/5 stars

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Review: Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl, by David Barnett

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Reading this book reminded me of reading an older, golden age comic book – but not the kind full of heroes with wondrous powers. Instead, it conjured memories of The Phantom, The Lone Ranger, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. In fact, many of the heroes we meet are of the famous (and infamous) variety.

While not always featured in the book, several characters are introduced that awaken your imagination of the era in which the story is set.

Bram Stoker (and Dracula). Jack the Ripper. Einstein’s father. Indiana Jones’ grandfather!

Together with the young protagonist Gideon Smith, a strong willed fisherman’s son, from a fishing village out in the sticks, the author weaves a quick-paced tale that reads like an old pulp fiction.

Its a fast paced tale that intertwines magic and steampunk themes, and it does it fairly well.

Gideon finds himself on a mission to find help from a renowned adventurer, Captain Lucian Trigger. Along the way he befriends allies and adventurers alike, learning about himself and what it means to be a hero.

Its a very quick read, but it was throughly enjoyable.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Thanks for reading!

Review: The Companions by R.A. Salvatore

16142151As a disclaimer I was given a review ebook copy of this book in return for an honest review.

I grew up reading about the adventures of Drizzt and all of his friends. They were probably some of my first fantasy genre books, and then over time I fell out of love with the writing style of R.A. Salvatore, and I stopped reading his work. I think The Companions was the perfect book to read to get re-acquainted with all of the characters, their histories, and the world in general.

If you’ve never read any of the Drizzt books before you may think that this book isn’t for you – but not so. I think the explanations are pretty clear even for a new reader and you don’t feel as though you’re dropped into a world without knowing what is going on. It may even entice a few people to read some of the older books so that you can see how the characters used to be portrayed.

*slight spoiler*

Things start out easily enough, Catti-brie, Regis, and Wulfgar are sent back once more to help out Drizzt in a time of need. The story follows them as they are reincarnated as younger versions of themselves (way younger, they actually start out as infants) and then grow up in their “new” lives until they are of the appropriate age to help. You follow each character through their new trials, tribulations and amazing adventures, while they are conscience of the fact that they’ve been reincarnated – I found this a particularly neat aspect of the book. Lots of people get reincarnated but how many times are they aware of it without some branch knocking them on the head and restoring their memories and the like.

Because of this unique perspective there was tons of humor interspersed throughout and it reminded me so much of R.A. Salvatore’s earlier writing style that I couldn’t help but fall in love with the book. I’m not going to give too much more away, but I highly recommend people check it out when the book releases August 6th 2013.