Category Archives: Books

Book Review: Archer: Book One of The Long Game by Richard Rohlin

The second story I'm reviewing for the #GreatIndieRe­view­Pro­ject is Archer: Book One of The Long game by Richard Rohlin (and edited by Benjamin Feehan). It's a pulp styled super­hero novella full of costumed heroes out for justice. It's also the first part of a larger series and as such there are a fair number of unre­solved elements, but the story as told here does feel reason­ably complete. Basi­cally what we get is the origin story of Roger Fitzooth and how he changes from a spoilt playboy into a costumed hero driven to bring his father and his company down. Cliches vs. Tropes [amazon template=image&asin=B00DE1A4MQ]Archer leans very heavily on familiar super­hero and pulp tropes.  The idea of the super­hero whose public iden­tity is that of a playboy is a trope for example, as is the type of hero that Roger becomes, an Archer.

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Book Review: The Evolutionary Void by Peter F. Hamilton

I really love Peter F. Hamilton's stories. I've read most of his books and even his short story collec­tion A Second Chance at Eden. So it's prob­ably fair to say that I am a biased reviewer of his books. It's also not a surprise that I enjoyed The Evolu­tionary Void. But the book (and the trilogy) had some prob­lems. The Evolu­tionary Void is the final part of a trilogy of books that Hamilton has written about what's referred to as the Common­wealth Universe. This following on from a duology where he intro­duced the setting.

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Book Review: Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon

I'm pretty much going to spend this review telling you every­thing wrong this book and the whole genre. Because if ever there's a book that embodies the genre Show Your Work is it. Despite that, you may want to consider buying the book. Because while Austin Kleon really doesn't offer a single new idea, it is possible that his amiable presen­ta­tion of the ideas will trigger you to act on them. In short, the emperor has no clothes, but it may not matter. It's a Quick Read Which trans­lates to, this is a small book. Don't let the 224 pages full you, the book has a lot of illus­tra­tions so the pages fly by. I read it in three days in between reading parts of three other books.

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Book Review: Beastheads by Mike Reeves-McMillan

This is the first review in my year long #GreatIndieRe­view­Pro­ject. The idea is simple. I'm going to post honest in depth reviews of a variety of sci-fi, fantasy (and related genre) books in the hope of bringing them to the atten­tion of people who may enjoy them. Not every book is for me. Not every book is going to be for you.  If you just want to get a quick feeling if this might be your sort of thing then skip down to the end and check out the sections labeled Is This For Me? and Did You Like It? Then click through to read the blurb and other reviews on Amazon.

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DragonLance Re-Read: Dragons of Autumn Twilight - Part 5

Well how about that? We've reached the halfway point in the re-read covering chap­ters 17 through 19 and taking me just past the 50% marker in my Kindle copy of the book. The Story So Far So having survived, with more than a bit of luck, an encounter with a Black Dragon, the Heroes of the Lance now have a quest to under­take. They need to get deep into Xak Tsaroth and retrieve the Disk of Mishakal. A task that is compli­cated by the pres­ence of the previ­ously mentioned Black Dragon Khisanth, large numbers of Draco­nians and Gully Dwarves. The chap­ters mainly consist of Tanis and co blun­dering around rather inef­fec­tively in the tunnels, managing to kill a few Draco­nians, run away from more of them and be helped by comedy dwarves. What, More Comedy Dwarves? Yes, you may have thought that Flint Fire­forge was the desig­nated comedy dwarf for this partic­ular book, and he defi­nitely gets his moments here, but Gully Dwarves take this to a whole new level.

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Book Review: Designers & Dragons — A History of the Roleplay Game Industry

Shannon Appel­cline orig­i­nally published Designers & Dragons as a 300 page book in 2011 via Mongoose Publishing. However since then he has been working on an updated version. The new Designers & Dragons published by Evil Hat has been split into four volumes to cover the decades of the 70's, 80's, 90's and 00's. Presum­ably once the 10's are finished we can expect a further volume. Each volume offers encap­su­lated histo­ries of the compa­nies that were founded in that decade with, detail depending on their level of signif­i­cance, infor­ma­tion  on their games and other prod­ucts. Since reviewing each volume sepa­rately would be largely redun­dant and repet­i­tive I'm going to review them as a complete set. Honestly I'm not sure why someone would only buy one of them and not get the rest. Either you are inter­ested in the history of tabletop RPGs or you are not.

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Book Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

This was an insanely large book. It's some­thing like 1,000 pages in length and appar­ently the first of ten! Which puts The Way of Kings up there with the likes The Wheel of Time when it comes to ridicu­lously large fantasy series. It seemed like the never ending fantasy trilogy had finally gone out of fashion and I'm really not sure why Brandon Sanderson, a man who can write a whole story in a single book (if not a short one) feels the need to bring it back. Because as good as some of this book was, I'm really not sure I need a series that may last longer than the rest of my life. Putting The Epic Into Fantasy [amazon template=image&asin=0765365278]There's no doubt that The Way of Kings, Book 1 of The Storm­light Archive is epic fantasy. It's not just that the word count is big, the story is huge too. There are so many char­ac­ters that I lost track several times.

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