Monday, April 30, 2012

The Wise Man's Fear Review

Title: The Wise Man's Fear
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Series: Kingkiller Chronicles #2
Genre: Epic Fantasy, Magic, Assassins, Action, Adventure, Fae, Martial Arts


The Wise Man's Fear is basically a continuation of Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind, the first book of the Kingkiller Chronicles trilogy. "Wise Man's Fear" continues to employ the first person-third person view switching of the story as Kvothe continues to tell his story to the Chronicler his adventures and exploits in the University as well his adventures to another place called Severun, his unfortunate time at the hands of the fae and to his desire to follow the mystical path of righteouness and learn the Ketan martial art and the Lethani.

As with the Name of Wind, Wise Man's Fear still has the presense of J.R.R Tolkien (deep fantasy words and languages) and George R.R. Martin's influence (switching reader views) and some Harry Potter (the University). Rothfuss takes to the the protagnis't journey with a passion and depth that routinely turns the trite into the transcendent.

Overall, this sequel carries the first book’s ideas and wild exuberance further. Wise Man's fear is a great addition to your fantasy reading list as the series itself is a breath fresh air for the epic fantasy genre.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Preview of Elemental Assassin Book 7: Widow's Web

Fresh from reading By A Thread, I was excited to know that seventh installment to the  Elemental Assassin series will be entitled "Widow's Web". Jennifer Estep posted on her blog with short preview of what's in store for us fans.

My name is Gin, and I kill people. It’s something I’ve been doing for years as the assassin called Spider, but now, it’s turned into a necessity on my part just to survive all the lowlifes in Ashland who are gunning for me. The underworld is still in turmoil, and I seem to be on everyone’s hit list these days.
To add to Gin’s problems, her lover Owen’s ex is in town. Salina is back in Ashland to reclaim an old family legacy — and she thinks that Owen is hers for the taking. Also in the mix is Phillip Kincaid, a casino owner and all-around shady character who has a mysterious connection to both Owen and Salina.
Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but there’s more to her than meets the eye. Her water elemental magic makes her a dangerous enemy — and someone who can go toe-to-toe with Gin’s Ice and Stone power. But Gin is determined to get to the bottom of Salina’s deadly scheme, even though it just might cost her everything … including Owen.

By A Thread Review

Title: By A Thread
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #6
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Elemental Magic, Assasins, Vampires, Giants, Dwarves

I was surprise after I learned that Jennifer Estep released the her first official novella of the Elemental Assassin series which the story took place days after the final events of  Spider's Revenge. I considered Threads of Death to be somewhat of a "prequel" to a second arc of story in the series since Gin still has to deal with Jonah McAllister. 

Upon reading By A Thread there are still the 'patterns' similar to the previous books (the first chapter fight scenes, a lot of "coincidences" and of course the signature Gin Blanco phrase "Sloppy, Sloppy Sloppy"). 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Threads of Death Review

Title: Threads of Death
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assasin #5.5
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Elemental Magic, Assasins, Vampires, Giants, Dwarves, Novella.

Threads of Death was the very first novella ever written by Jennifer Estep which took place several days after the final events of Spider's Revenge which is Mab Monroe's funeral. 

The funeral was attended by Gin Blanco and most of her "family" so as to say their final "farewell" to the Fire Elemental. Also in attendance was Jonah McAllister as well as other major players in Ashland's criminal underworld like Phillip Kincaid.

What's interesting about this novella there are two other POV's (point of view) ala George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice & Fire book series. The other POV's are of Jonah McAllister and of Phillip Kincaid. Threads of Death will serve as a "prequel" to the second arc of story in Gin Blanco's life which will continue on with the 6th book "By A Thread". 

Threads of Death is a must read for all hardcore Elemental Assasin fans as you will enjoy the action and the upcoming trials in Gin Blanco's life.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fuzzy Nation Review

Title: Fuzzy Nation 
Author:John Scalzi
Version: Audiobook
Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
Genre: Science Fiction, Alien, Adventure, Humor


Fuzzy Nation is the second sci-fiction book I ever listened in Audiobook narrated by Wil Weaton (the first was Ernest Cline's Ready Player One). 

Fuzzy Nation is a reboot of a classic science fiction book Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper. Scalzi basically wrote the "new version" of the Little Fuzzy giving it a more modern approach. Despite the minor changes, Scalzi was able to stay true the original story. 

If this was turn into a movie, my impression would it would be a mashup of John Grisham's The Client and Total Recall

If you have not read the original version, it does not really affect which version you have read or listened first as Fuzzy Nation alone is a science fiction story an I personally liked this one better because of Scalzi snappy, sarcastic style of writing on which you will enjoy. 

It is highly recommended that you get the Audiobook version of Fuzzy nation as Wil Weaton did a great job of narrating the story.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spider's Revenge Review

Title: Spider's Revenge
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assasin #5
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Elemental Magic, Assasins, Vampires, Giants, Dwarves, Bounty Hunters.

Spider's Revenge is practically an arc finale as finally, Gin Blanco will get to kill Mab Monroe. But the stories gets some twists which bothered me early on as Gin embarked in a "solo" mission of killing Mab which practically failed (we can read several times that Fletcher Lane will surely be disappointed with her if he was still alive). She barely escapes but was able to fallback and planned the next attack with her companions.

Another twist that came out was involvement of bounty hunters which made this book so exciting which will make this book the most action packed book ever written by Jennifer Estep. Before the final showdown, Gin was able to get some assistance from his companion as they clear the area from any distraction setting up the final match between Gin and Mab.

A lot of revelations are being unveiled: Bria Coolidge has finally realized who Gin really was; Owen Grayson finally asserted his intentions to Gin and her reciprocating his love and revealed her true feeling to him and finally Jojo Devereaux's talk that Gin's magic will only get stronger as she goes on.

I initially though that this will be final book yet I learned that there will be two to three more books in the series and rumors that an official novella will be released to serve as a "transitional prequel" to the newest arc in the series.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tangled Threads Review

Title: Tangled Threads
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assasin #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Elemental Magic, Assasins, Vampires, Giants, Dwarves.

Tangled Threads the 4th installment of the Elemental Assassin series as usual follows the some "sequential patterns" as with the previous. The books start when Gin and Finn where on a job to kill a dwarf who handling a shipment of illegal items for Mab Monroe which was later revealed to be a trap to lure "the Spider". The trap was setup by Mab's newest hire the electric elemental Elektra LaFleur.

It was later reveal that the one who spread the info about a shipment of illegal stuff was Vinny Volga an ice elemental who work as a bartender for Roslyn Phillips in Nothern Agression. It was reveal later on that Volga was coerced by LaFleur to spread the rumors about the trap or else she will kill her daughter Natasha. Volga attempted to escape but was caught by LaFleur's giants. As usual, Gin rescued Vinny from the giants and set her sights on rescuing her daughter from LaFleur (another pro Bono job for our heroine).

A twist in the story came when Jonah McAllister visited the Pork Pit along with LaFleur for a meal which in reality, LaFleur was scouting the place as she plans to kill Gin at the behest of Jonah McAllister as he still suspect Gin was the one who killed his son. It was later revealed that LaFleur plans to kill Bria Coolidge too as part of Mab Monroe's plan.

Gin gets to kill LaFleur in a showdown between two elemental on the same train yard where Natasha was held captive.

Gin finally reveals to Bria that she was her long-lost sister as well as the "Spider" who killed Elliot Slater, etc. The revelation did not initially did not bode well to Bria because of her principles as a cop.

On the romantic side of the story, Gin has finally accepted Owen Grayson as his boyfriend.  It was also reveal that Bria was also smitten with Gin's foster brother Finnegan Lane.

Overall this book is great penultimate to the series as arc as I feel that this feud will come to an end very soon.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Side Jobs: Stories From The Dresden Files Review

Title: Side Jobs: Stories From The Dresden Files
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files Compilation of Short Stories
Genre: Detective, Private Investigator, Urban Fantasy, Wizards, Faeries, Demons, Vampires, Norse Mythology

Side Jobs is a collection of small stories set from the universe of the Dresden files . Many of them have appeard in anthologies ahead of but Aftermath is exclusive for this collection.

A Restoration of Faith:
A young Harry Dresden can be tasked with tracking down the particular runaway daughter of the rich couple. The pair then decide that everything is too embarrassing and also call the police declaring Harry and his partner possess kidnapped the girl. Features the initial meeting of Harry and also Karrin Murphy. Slightly rougher writing than we are accustomed to from Butcher but in no way as bad as he helps make out in the release. Tidy and heart-warming history.

Changes Review

Title: Changes
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files #12
Genre: Detective, Private Investigator, Urban Fantasy, Wizards, Faeries, Demons, Vampires,


Even though "Changes" is only the 12th installment of the Harry Dresden series, but as the title suggest as there are lot of "changes" that affects the flow of the story the revelations AND the war is coming to an end in a very ironic way. For some if the was a TV series "Changes" is considered a season finale. In a typical Jim Butcher fashion, this book has lots of action and its humourous sarcasm (you'll get to read the funny side of Lea here too).

Among the major plotpoints in the story were (Major Spoiler Alert):

  • Harry has a daughter name Maggie and is being held hostage by the Red Court; 
  • Harry reluctantly agrees to become the Winter Knight so that she can use the power to save his daughter; 
  • Ebenezer McCoy is reveal be his grandfather from his mother side;
  • and among others.

"Changes" goes to the top of my most favorite Dresden Files book every written by Jim Butcher (heck what's not to like in this book as this is what every fans would like to read) and of course you will get the best experience when you read while listening to the audiobook version as James Marster did a great job narrating.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Venom Review

Title: Venom
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assasin #3
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Elemental Magic, Assassins, Vampires, Giants, Dwarves.


Like I mention on the Web of Lies review, the third installment of the Elemental Assassin series Venom starts with Gin in "action" specifically Gin getting beat up by Mab Monroe's enforcer Elliot Slater and his giants with Jonah McAllister trying to beat the information who killed her son Jake. By this time also Gin knows that who was the one responsible for the deaths of her mother and eldest sister as Gin discovered the files that Fletcher Lane gathered information about their deaths and that's why Fletcher also took her in and train her as  an assassin.

Another twist in the story is the arrival of Bria Coolidge which we later learn that she Gin's long lost youngest sister who now works as a detective in Ashland (she replaced Donovan Caine in the police department). She comes to her rescue when  followed Eliot Slater who coincidentally is under orders from Mab Monroe kill her as she suspect that Bria is really Bria Snow the youngest daughter of her rival Eira Snow.

Venom is not short on Gin's "probono work" as this time she helps Roslyn Phillips, the vampire who owns Nothern Aggression club from Elliot Slater who took a sick, sadistic obsession to Roslyn. At this time also it is reveal that Roslyn is in love with her giant bouncer Xavier WHO coincidentally (there's no short of coincidence in the series like I said before) is Bria Coolidge's partner at the police department. Elliot Slater was eventually killed by Roslyn using at his mansion when Gin and company attempted to rescue Rosalyn. Gin leaves her Spider rune mark for Mab Monroe to know that it was "The Spider" not Roslyn who was responsible of the death of her enforcer.

On the romance front, Owen and Gin's relationship has slowly progress as he continue to woo for his love, yet Gin was still unsure if their relationship would work in the long run.

I'm glad that Venom show some great progress despite some similar aspects as with the previous books.
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