Archive for the ‘Books that are Mediocre’ Category

It feels like I’ve been reading a lot of short fiction lately. Well, more than usual anyhow. There’s something about the quick in and quick out that’s attracting me right now for some reason. Perhaps it’s because I’ve run into a dearth of new novels from my favorite authors and I need to find some new sources for brilliant storytelling. It’s kind of a disquieting feeling for me to not have something in my queue that I’m ridiculously excited to read. This anthology definitely fit the bill, and it was science fiction to boot, which is a genre I’m always looking to fill with new favorites. And this time around, I think I might have found one or two. Praise.

lyre-theifHer Serene Highness Rakaia, Princess of Fardohnya, is off to Hythria to marry a brute of a Hythrun Warlord she’s never met and escape the inevitable bloodbath in the harem when her brother takes the throne. She is not interested in marrying anyone and has a plan to save herself if she can just convince her baseborn sister, Charisee, to play along. These two best friends/sisters, though one has been a princess and the other her handmaiden, embark on an adventure of switched identities complete with love triangles and meddlesome gods. Rakaia is rescued by none other than the demon child, R’shiel, who is on her own quest to free her beloved, Brak. Charisee first acts the part, then truly becomes the princess she was never meant to be, which draws the attention of the God of Liars, who is rightly impressed and even helpful.

…And in far off Medalon, someone has stolen the music.

Their quest for the tiny stolen lyre containing the essence of the God of Music will eventually touch all their lives, threaten everything they hold dear, and prove to be far more personal than any of them can imagine. (more…)

wdsc_ebr Hey, how’s it going, Barbara? Sorry it’s been a while since you sent us this novel, and I’m only now getting to a response for you. Life, as they say, has a way; what with SPFBO-round-twos, vacations to Hawai’i, and other such takers of precious time. Anyhow, thought I’d drop you a line because I was really quite excited to read the next story in your Dying World series. Hope this format is okay as well. I know you might get the feeling that a few others are reading over your shoulder, and you’re totally right. They are. 🙂 But you should be used to that by now, what with having so many of your stories out in the wild. So, here you go.

A Borrowed Man

Posted: September 20, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre
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ABM_EBRI was first introduced to the works of Gene Wolfe through the Books of the New Sun and the torturer Severian. Found the first of those on one of the random, wandering trips I took through the college library during my graduate school years. There were lots of those, and now it seems like they were longer ago than they actually are. I got through the first book in that series and then half of the second from what I remember. They were interesting enough, but didn’t really keep my interest, so I moved on to something I liked a little better. Funny enough, this book obviously included a library and I hadn’t read any Gene Wolfe in a while, so I was fairly excited to dive into it.

Good Girls

Posted: July 29, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre
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goodgirlsDo you remember when the movie Wrath of the Titans came out? It was a sequel to a remake of Clash of the Titans, made back in ’81, which didn’t have a sequel. I remember seeing the trailer for Wrath that first time and having that moment of temporary disorientation–as if the world had just tilted on its end and sent my head spinning–thinking that this movie shouldn’t exist. The first one was a remake after all. I almost felt the exact same way when I saw this book in my lineup. Just hadn’t expected it, I guess. After taking a quick glance back at the first book though, I realized that there was the beginnings of a slightly-larger story that the author had been setting up, and so a sequel–nay, a TRILOGY!–actually made perfect sense. Now, if only we can get someone to make a third Titans movie…

Picture 1 I was in the mood for a straightforward, uncomplicated fantasy story and voila! There on my to-read shelf was THE THORN OF DENTONHILL. I was prepared for tropes and predictability and was even determined to be O.K. with magic system/plot inconsistencies because, really, I rarely notice those details if the characters are engaging and the pacing and story is good . . . but there is simply no margin for error when the writing is poor. Too bad, because this was potentially as good as early Harry Potter and might have satisfied Rowlings fans in search of something similar and good. Except it’s not. (more…)


Posted: June 28, 2016 by criticaluniverse in Books that are Mediocre
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28336913Continuing my Horus Heresy binge I have another review for you! This time we have PHAROS by Guy Haley, Book 34 in Black Library’s massively successful tie-in series. It’s a bit of a leap from my last review given that ANGEL EXTERMINATUS is Book 23, is set in an entirely different theatre of the galaxy spanning civil war, features a completely different cast of characters, and even delves into different themes. There exists some Horus Heresy novels that can be read out of their numerical publishing order but if you haven’t been following along with the series I would not recommend starting with PHAROS. It’s essentially a sequel within a sequel within a series. It’s sequel-ception! That said, I’ll try not to reveal too much about the book in case you’re intrigued by the Horus Heresy but uncertain about jumping into a series that is currently 38 books long. (more…)