Posts that have been categorized as: "Books that are Mediocre"

Review

What Dreams Shadows Cast

Posted: October 21, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Tags: Barbara J. Webb, Science Fantasy
What Dreams Shadows Cast

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.
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Review

A Borrowed Man

Posted: September 20, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Tags: Gene Wolfe, Science Fiction
A Borrowed Man

I 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.
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Review

Good Girls

Posted: July 29, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Tags: Glen Hirschberg, Horror
Good Girls

Do 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…
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Review

The Thorn of Denton Hill

The Thorn of Denton Hill

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.
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Review

Pharos

Pharos

Continuing 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.
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Review

Hollow City

Posted: June 21, 2016 by Vanessa in Books that are Mediocre Tags: Fantasy, Ransom Riggs, Young Adult
Hollow City

HOLLOW CITY starts right where MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN leaves off, our hero children on the run from the horrible hollowgasts and wights. Their main concern is for Miss Peregrine, herself, who needs help returning to her human form, but they need to find another of her kind to perform the magic. So off they travel in search of help, all the while being pursued. The exciting beginning events teach us the reality of their situation and what they must do to find help, and…

…yawn.
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Review

Champions of Aetaltis

Posted: May 13, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Tags: Anthology, Fantasy
Champions of Aetaltis

Whilst in the midst of reading this anthology I was reminded of a concept that is occasionally important for me to revisit. That is the idea that my opinion is not everybody’s opinion, AND (a twofer for the masses…) there can frequently be a wide range of goodness separating multiple stories written by a single author. Thus, as a reviewer, it’s my job to give an honest review of what is given to me, and, quite honestly, to enjoy what is given to me as a reader, plain and simple. For it is when I forget that I am a reader that I lose the view of who these stories were meant for. Maybe a little deep for an everyday book review intro. I seem to be on a kick lately though. So, if you must, TLDR; this bit and jump straight into the good stuff.
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Review

INCI

INCI

After seeing my most recent review of a Mike Resnick book, you might be surprised that I’d pick up another so quick. The fact of the matter is that I actually read this one before that one, but there’s a condition that most reviewers have where if they really love or really hate a book, it’s oh so easy to drop everything else, forget the queue, and just bang that one out first. The fact that this happened with my previous Resnick review should probably tell you that there wasn’t much to this book, and you’d be mostly right, but let’s be complete and get all the details, because it wasn’t all that bad…
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Review

Heart of Stone

Heart of Stone

Faith has a secret. Years ago she was forced into an impossible choice: use her powers to kill or hand them over to her husband to use. Rather than kill those she thought innocent, she fought against her husband and accidentally killed him. It’s more complicated than that, however.

You see, Atlantis existed, and there were survivors, and they all had one of three kinds of magic: Seer, Channeler, and Warrior. But the survivors blame each other for its demise and are convinced that killing each other off is the only way to ensure future survival. Faith is a channeler, with the rare ability to manipulate stone, and now everyone wants her to use the three Atlantian stones of power to wipe out their enemies.

Darius is a seer, gifted with empathic abilities. His family has one of the stones of power and need Faith to use her magic and heal it of the impurities it’s collected over the years. After a run-in with people who want to force her to help them, Faith decides to accept Darius’ offer of safety and money so she can get back on her feet.
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Review

The Unnoticeables

Posted: January 15, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Tags: Robert Brockway, Urban Fantasy
The Unnoticeables

This book immediately caught my attention when I first saw it. The bright colors and dark, almost rorschach-testness of the images were immediately arresting, and the summary on the inside cover did even more to get me excited about reading this one. The impression as a whole was one of weird stuff in the modern world, which falls into the category of Urban Fantasy, although I don’t know if it really fits into that subgenre wholesale. Regardless, this book like any other had a job to do when it landed in front of me:

  1. Catch my eye
  2. Get me to open the cover and read
  3. Catch my interest with its premise
  4. Start me reading Chapter 1

And it absolutely succeeded on all those levels. If I had been a regular schmoe, bumming around the book store, looking for the next good read, this book would have had some serious mojo for me to try and ignore for it to not end up in my hand when I got back into my car. But past that point, what is it’s job? And how did this one stack up where it really matters: inside the content of the book. Check it out.
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