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Mr. N. J. Hixson (Wales)

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Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices Book 1)
Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices Book 1)
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY Interesting Start to a Series, 3 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've seen a few reviews on here laying into the "Americanisms", fact checking and the like. I only noticed one or two, and it in no way dragged me out of the book.

The fact is that this is "speculative fiction". Given that the story presupposes that steam is the predominant power (over and above what it would have been capable of at the time) and (slight spoiler) that the combustion engine is close to a non-starter, we can also assume a few other differences.

In fact I can't recall if in this timeline the America's ever achieved independence...if they did not then it is likely that we would be seeing further cross-pollination of speak than actually took place, and thus more Americanisms.

But that is speculation by me. The main thrust is that on the few times I noticed it, it wasn't enough to "take me out of the story" so to speak.

From what I can tell it was pretty much self published (I'm not sure if the small press that published it is a self run business). If so it is among the top percent of self published books I have read.

The characters are believable (or as close to it as you can get in steampunk, which isn't usually my cup of tea), the storyline so far interesting, and the world is fascinating.

I immediately went and bought the Omnibus Edition on Kindle which contains the first 4 books. There have been very few (2 I think) of these "Freebie" entry books into a series which have grabbed me enough to buy another, this has just added to that list.

There is the problem that many of these freebie first books suffer from - specifically not giving you the right ending for it to feel like a complete book, but then that's how they get you buying into their series and whilst I'm not a fan of the tactic, I can understand it - and when the story is as interesting and as well written as this I can forgive it.

All in all I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading the next few books in the series. I can say that about very few other "free" books.

The Light Of Eidon (Legends of the Guardian-King Book #1) (Legends Of The Guardian-King Series)
The Light Of Eidon (Legends of the Guardian-King Book #1) (Legends Of The Guardian-King Series)
Price: £2.84

4.0 out of 5 stars Why the Bad Reviews? A Quality Story imo, 1 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not sure why this is getting such bad reviews, I've just finished it and loved every minute of it. Yes there are a few painful moments of it - the obvious god and jesus/Eidon and Tersius parallels are a little jarring, and as someone who is a steadfast atheist it wasn't that comfortable - but this is a fantasy setting and so long as we remind ourselves that these are fantasy Gods, not the ones we know, then I see no issues.

It is well written, well paced and shows some good imagination. A fair few cliches, but then what fantasy book doesn't have them?

Easily one of the better free books I have read, and I would recommend anyone else takes a look at it. It takes good fantasy concepts, some quality characterization and interesting relgious ideals that are only let down by being too easily related to christianity, but I'm not going to hold that against the author.

I'm certainly going to be buying the next in the series.

Psion Beta (Psion series #1)
Psion Beta (Psion series #1)
Price: £2.16

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 22 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I don't know about you, but so often I feel let down when I buy a 'cheap' kindle book by an unknown author. Poor English, massive amounts of typos, massive plot holes, etc. Thankfully none of that is here.

Set in the near(ish) future it's a World not as we know it, with twin dueling Governments fighting a hidden war via operatives. We get introduced to one of them, who, like the others, has powers through genetic anomalies.

It's a well thought out vision of the future, and very well delivered. It focuses on life in training to be an operative, but you get enough glimpses of the outside world to know there is an over arching theme going on.

Well written, believable characters, interesting concepts - I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this to anyone. I'm off to buy the 2nd book in the series now...

Price: £0.00

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Free Book I've Found so Far, 30 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Voidhawk (Kindle Edition)
I got my Kindle at Christmas and have enjoyed browsing through the various freebies out there. Most have been woeful, some good, and some better. As a Fantasy/SF fan this is probably the best one I have found so far.

The bad first. You're going to need to suspend your disbelief a fair bit. Air bubbles around everything? Ships in space? Hmmmm. It also wheels out a fair few fantasy tropes, including half elves, stuck up elves and Dwarves with a miners accents (though this time it was Welsh rather than Scottish. I imagined him with the voice of friends as I'm Welsh, it entertained me).

But don't hold any of that against it! It is easily one of the most entertaining reads I have read, paid and free combined, and is far better than any other free Kindle book I've found.

It is strikingly similar in concept to Firefly (it even has some enemy ships in it that are called firefly). With plenty of episodes based on jobs that you could easily imagine the Firefly crew doing.

In fact it reads as a series of episodes. Whilst there is an undercurrent of a plot (that presumably gets increased in later books), for the most part the action is in a series of episodes that build on the feeling of the crew.

And it works. I tend to prefer 'epic fantasy', with nations against nations. There are hints of that going on, but these episodes grip and entertain you.

This is not a book without flaws, but it is a book that is great fun, gives you interesting characters and is well worth a read. Personally the technique of hooking you with book 1 has worked on me, I'll be buying number 2. But even if you have no intention of it, this book is well worth a read. And for free, you can't go wrong!

Darkwar (3) - Wrath of a Mad God
Darkwar (3) - Wrath of a Mad God
by Raymond Feist
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A let down, 26 April 2008
First let me say I am a huge Feist fan, his work with Janny Wurts on the Empire series is probably the most reread books I own, and Magician and the serpent war saga are all huge high notes.

But he can be hit and miss, and when he misses his characterisation is usually the culprit, and for me he has failed here again. What I like most about Feists imaginings is how cleverly can bring on characters, Jimmy, Erik, Roo, Mara, Nakor are all excellent examples. But some of the new ones, Magnus especially are just cardboard cut outs of any basic fantasy plot.

Another usual plus with Feist is his impressive set up of magic, especially its limitations. The last few books have had the slowly deteriorate and now its a joke, magicians are far too powerful. I don't want to give details away but for those that have read it they will understand what I mean.

So all in all I just found this a typical fantasy setting romp of overly powerful magicians wandering around hitting things, which from a writer of Feists calibre is even more disappointing.

So i ask Feist, please, please, please stick to what you are good at, colourful descriptions of nations, political machinations and charcters with real flaws and depth. leave teh all powerful magicians to the mid level writers, you have too much talent to be caught up in a magical arms race... take your own advice and listen to nakors description of magic's place in battles in the first of the serpent war books!

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