Reviews by Writer Dan

Review

Revelation Space

Revelation Space

Alastair Reynolds has been in my top five favorite authors essentially since the first novel of his that I ever read. Want to say that was House of Suns (Amazon), back before I ever started writing for EBR. He handles the mix of science and character better than just about any other science fiction author that I’ve read to date. Thus, this series has been on my radar and in my TBR pile for what is now way too much time. Because this book is fantastic. Absolutely mind-smashingly fantastic, in point of fact. It’s sort of warping my brain a little that this was the guy’s debut novel. So yeah, this book has been around for a while, and I just couldn’t put off reading it any longer. If you haven’t read it yet… well you shouldn’t put off reading it any longer either. Want to be convinced? Here we go.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Chains of the Heretic

Chains of the Heretic

A while back I decided to finally listen to our reviewer, Nick, and picked up SCOURGE OF THE BETRAYER (EBR Review). His review of that one (forever ago) was blisteringly positive, but for whatever reason I didn’t immediately put it on my list of books to read. When I got the book in the mail, I was somewhat bemused and slightly disappointed by its apparent size. Quite small. But then again, the book had been relatively inexpensive to begin with… in fact, as of the writing of this review, the paperback is only $5. Whoa. If you haven’t read this book yet, you totally need to go out and buy it. Like now. For five bucks, it’s worth taking a chance on an author that you’re sure to enjoy, if you’re a fan of the authors we praise here at EBR. Link at the bottom of the review.

For those of you that already know the greatness of the first, read on.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City

Posted: April 18, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: K.J. Parker, Fantasy, Humor
Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City

It’s been a good long while since I last read a K.J. Parker book, and he’s one of my favorites; so that’s kind of annoying. The most recent spate of story he pumped out prior to this book was the Two of Swords trilogy, which was originally released as a serial novel — meaning a small section at a time with oodles of sections. I wasn’t much into paying the exorbitant amount of money that serial novel would have cost me to get them all as they were e-published, so I put off purchasing them until they’d been happily compiled into three “books”. But, unfortunately, I’ve never gotten back to them. Need to rectify that, I know, but who has the time? Seriously. Maybe after Dark Age is finally out and my reading queue has settled down a bit.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Holy Sister

Posted: April 4, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Mark Lawrence, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy
Holy Sister

Endings are hard. In a way, endings can make or break a story, whether that’s referring to a chapter, a book, or even an entire series. Unlike some, I’m not one that ascribes to the opinion that the ending of a book will largely determine your opinion of a book. I’ve read plenty of great books with weak endings that I still enjoyed overall, and no matter how “awesome” an ending is, if the story up to that point is drawn out and boring… the ending won’t make up for the fact that everything else was drawn out and boring. But endings are still important. This book gave me a chance to not only finish consuming my first “Mark Lawrence” series, but also to look back on the series as a whole and decide what I thought about it. Honestly, I was a little surprised at what I found. As such, if you haven’t read the first two books in the series, you should probably do that instead of proceeding any further.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Tiamat’s Wrath

Posted: March 21, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: James S.A. Corey, Science Fiction
Tiamat’s Wrath

When I received the eARC of this book, it came with a request that reviews not go up more than two weeks before the publication date. The book is slated to be released on March 26th, and so this review is absolutely within that deadline. I was curious though as to how many people listened to the request of the publisher, and so I went searching for any sign of preemptive book reviews. And you know what I found? Pages up with “reviews” from both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. I’m not going to link them because I’m kind of perturbed by both of them right now. Not only did they post their “reviews” better than two months early, but their “reviews” consist of what amounts to a book-cover blurb and two sentences of something that might be vaguely interpreted as a “review”. Honestly? This is what EBR has to compete against in the SEO world? I can’t say that I’ve ever actually read a review from either of those sites before, and now I doubt that I ever will again.

But no worries. The actual book is absolutely smashing fantabulous! Here we go!
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Grey Sister

Posted: March 15, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Mark Lawrence, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy
Grey Sister

This is another one of those books that got buried a little too deep in my TBR pile last year and got lost. I am ashamed. Thankfully, I have awesome friends that remind me about missing out on books like this and then telling me that I’m running out of time before the sequel is released. You just can’t put a price on friends like that. Because seriously, if you start doing things like that, pretty soon all your friends are six feet under and no one new wants to be your friend anymore because they know what happens to those that happen to say the wrong thing…

Okay, maybe that got a little dark, but after all, what good is a book review about an awesome dark fantasy novel without a little morbid humor to kick us all off in the right direction. 🙂
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Dead Moon

Dead Moon

So, despite what Goodreads might seem to imply, this isn’t the third book in any kind of connected series. It’s a single novel that may or may not be the first in a series, and that might be in the same loosely bound universe as other books that the author has written. But that’s about it. I spent the entirety of my time listening to this one believing that this was the third book in a series and wondering what story might have been told in the first two books. It’s not written like the follow-on to any kind of other story.

Now I guess I know better than to blithely accept the information I’m given on Goodreads.

This is also another one of those books that doesn’t look like it’s going to get a dead-tree release any time soon, if at all. <<sideways glance>> I just don’t get that. Part of the book market, I guess, that doesn’t include me. Still, I was more than happy to give the thing a listen, as I had a hole in my audiobook schedule.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Wrath of Empire

Posted: March 5, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Brian McClellan, Epic Fantasy
Wrath of Empire

Here’s another one of those late reviews that totally should have been up last year, but that I just didn’t make it to. On the whole I’ve kind of been a late-comer to the Powder Mage world. What I found in this series was fun, and interesting, and engaging to say the least. Was hoping to find more of the same, when diving into this one. Especially after mentioning that we expected goodness from the short list of missed reviews in 2018 and being so disappointed in the first one of those books that I got to.

Thankfully, I found that this book was just as good as I had expected.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Blood of Ten Kings

Posted: February 21, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Edward Lazellari, Fantasy
Blood of Ten Kings

This is one of the books on our makeup list from last year that I just didn’t have the time to get to. Actually, it kind of took me by surprise. The most recent book in the series, THE LOST PRINCE (EBR Review) came out more than 5 years ago, and I guess the possibility of seeing this sequel had completely fallen off my radar. Still, I was really excited to finally see it. THE LOST PRINCE was an absolutely brilliant book, and I was so looking forward to seeing how it would all come together for the Guardians from Aandor.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Zero G

Posted: January 31, 2019 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Dan Wells, Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Audible
Zero G

I don’t read a lot of middle grade books. Last ones I got to were probably the Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket (Amazon), which are brilliant good fun, especially when they’re read aloud. I was trying to remember what books I was reading around that age and realized that at 11 I was pretty deep into the Dragonlance Chronicles series by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman (Amazon), thanks to my good friend Scot. It might be because of this, that I don’t remember reading an awful lot of funny, goofy, adventure romps like this one. There’s a part of me that thinks I might have missed out, but another that can’t help but remember how much I enjoyed reading back in those days. So I can’t have missed out on too much, can I?
Read the rest of this review »