Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Profile for Mr. Kevin P. Futers > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Mr. Kevin P. F...
Top Reviewer Ranking: 101,671
Helpful Votes: 87

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mr. Kevin P. Futers "Who's afraid of the Billy Goats Gruff? Not this troll!" (Northumbria, Great Britain)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
pixel
The Battle of Rislind Plateau (Darkin Short Story Series Book 1)
The Battle of Rislind Plateau (Darkin Short Story Series Book 1)

3.0 out of 5 stars A fragment of Darkin's history, 14 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I read this after reading Darkin: A Journey East (The Darkin Saga) and before reading the sequel, Darkin: The Prophecy of the Key (The Darkin Saga). Although in the main books I occasionally had problems with the language, here it was even more obscure. The author warns of this in the preamble, so I stuck with it.

The story is an account of the last stand upon Rislind Plateau in the war that brought down Vesleathren, and we meet Flaer again, as he is crucial to the outcome. There is an account of a battle that has been reduced to a handful on both sides; everything depends upon the deeds of these few.

Personally I would liked to have learned a bit more about the background of the conflict and how the rest of the battle had proceeded. I would also like to have seen Flaer's companions as being meaningful to the outcome rather than cannon fodder. If the text is meant to be an extract from some heroic poetry, I would have liked to have some pondering of the sacrifice of each companion.

So, it is flawed. It does add something to the Saga of Darkin that is developing, and I think that I read it at the right point in the sequence to get the most from it. However, I do worry that if you read this as a taster for the Darkin books, you would proceed no further.


Darkin: The Prophecy of the Key (The Darkin Saga Book 2)
Darkin: The Prophecy of the Key (The Darkin Saga Book 2)
Price: £2.24

4.0 out of 5 stars New twists and turns in the Darkin Saga., 14 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Moving on from Darkin: A Journey East (The Darkin Saga), there is a clear change of pace and of focus. Given the way that the action is spreading, I believe that this was the right thing to do, especially as our hero, Adacon, has done a Luke Skywalker and headed off to find a guru, taking him out of a lot of the action.

Instead we find the drunkard gnome Remtall off in a quest for a magic staff, we meet some new characters from the village of Rislind, we follow Flaer, Slowin and Erguile at the forefront of battle, and the dwarves and elves are on their way. And there are also some new kids on the block who add a new sci-fi dimension to the swords and sorcery fantasy.

The forces of evil are now mobilised across the western continent, taking cities in their stride. Only the fortress city of Wallstrong stands in the country of Hemlin, and it guards the pass into Arkynshyr. Here in this key location, new battle lines are drawn.

Throughout this book, the ideas about magic (Vapoury for the forces of Good, Wizardry for the forces of Evil) are complemented by a third type of magic, that of the Welsprin, who hold a more neutral position, but seems to be more on the side of goodness. There is also the subtle defensive magic of the warrior druids of Hemlin, which seems to surprise the leader of the Feral Brood. The revelations in the last chapter tell of more revelations in store about magic.

The sci-fi element sits a little awkwardly, but the incongruences are handled well. The technology of the aliens baffles and defeats the natives, but the magic of the natives baffles and defeats the aliens, but only in certain circumstances. Their part in the story cuts across the book as they have only their own mission to perform and that has nothing to do with barbarian armies. Unfortunately it does impact on the story line in very deep and personal ways.

The third book, called The Academy of Gaigas, is due out later this year.


The Island of the Mist
The Island of the Mist
by N A Roy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.75

4.0 out of 5 stars A strong sequel to The Stone in the Sword, 14 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Island of the Mist (Paperback)
Having read The Stone in The Sword, I was pleased to get started on this, the second in the Kingslayer series.

Charlie, heading now for his 17th birthday, is introduced to the Isle of Skye, where he meets a new teacher. He is also aware that a new force is rising in the world of the sidhe. Unlike the malevolent Dark Ones of the first book, this is a more enigmatic threat, if it is a threat at all. What is certain is that Charlie is in danger, for Beara, the Cailleach, used to own the Stone, and she wants it back.

I loved the description of the Isle of Skye, as I am well aware of exactly the same feeling of connection with the place that Charlie feels. The only thing that was missing from the book was the pang of loss that you feel when you leave.

Do not be fooled by the size of this book; a lot of story is packed within this slim volume!


The Stone in The Sword
The Stone in The Sword
by N A Roy
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... and Arthur thought it was all about the sword ..., 11 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Stone in The Sword (Paperback)
I was not too sure what to make of this slim volume when it arrived, but I soon settled in for what turned out to be a very good read indeed. It helped that I was familiar with the Gaelic mythology (both Irish and Scottish) which this story draws upon, but even without it there was enough information in the book to pick up the details.

The hero of the story is sixteen, with a thirteen year old brother. Both are dragged across to Scotland from California by their mother, who was born in the Highlands and wants to reconnect with her family (among other things).

I loved the way that (early in the book) we are presented with the "typical" Highlands, grey and under constant rainfall and a real downer for two Californian boys, then a few days later the sun comes out and reveals a cheery Ullapool, bright and vivid in the sunshine. I know and love the Highlands, and for the occasional visitor it can seem as if it does nothing but rain, but a few days of sunshine can reveal a completely different place.

I suppose that this should be considered as a YA book, although the tone of the book is such that it could be read by younger readers and as an adult I did not feel that I was in any way excluded from the book, so it is a good all rounder.

The world of the sidhe is well presented and they are shown to be suspicious, contrary, full of doubts, yet at the same time they are well meaning, loyal and supportive. In general they are neither morally superior or inferior to humans, nor much different in appearance. They have sickness and arthritis and appear to be mortal. The chief difference seems to be that they have magic.

I am looking forward to the next installment, The Island of the Mist


The Song of Brian
The Song of Brian
by Bob Milton
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Apocalyptic yarn, 5 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Song of Brian (Paperback)
I launched into the Song of Brian and almost regretted it when, before I was half-way down the page, I read the lyrics of the opening theme for the Life of Brian. This was one of numerous cultural references that were more or less obvious as the book went on, but do not despair, this is far from being a "Life of Brian II: The Apocalypse" After all, there would be no room for a Life of Brian III, and nobody does a series of two in anything.

So what is the Song of Brian? What can you expect? It certainly carves its own path and makes up its own rules, so be ready for some very unusual twists in the book. It is a book about the Apocalypse, if that helps, so if you haven't read the Book of Revelation, then at least a passing knowledge of the Omen would help. If you are religious, conservative and easily offended, this may not be the book for you. You may even consider it blasphemous.

I don't think this book can be reviewed without reference to religion, and Christianity in particular. It presents a cosmological view that is not far removed from the Gnostics, who believed that the God of the Old Testament was replaced by the God of the New Testament and that the two were foes, a little bit like the rivalry between Tiamat and Marduk in Persian mythology. Religions are seen in terms of polarity between the good bits that make sense and the baggage of the centuries that come to define the different religions.

The divine characters (as depicted on the cover) are The Ram Headed God and Gabrielle (not Gabriel) who is a woman with the head of a rabbit, horns of a deer and (optional) wings of an eagle. The Ram Headed God is driving forward the Apocalypse, Gabrielle is responding to it. Her response is low key; recruiting Brian to a rather indeterminate role, whereas the Ram Headed God is very definite in his instructions to the Four Horsemen and various other agents.

The style of the book is confident and the prose is good. The one thing that bothered me was the Senator's southern drawl being written phonetically. I think that a written reference to it and the odd cultural reference would be enough, but I found it distracting. Nobody else is portrayed as having an accent, so it does not sit well. It got particularly bad during his conversation with Brian about the history of the Bible, when he almost loses the accent altogether in order to talk about details of Biblical development that I found did not sit well with the character.

The author's medical knowledge comes through, and there are some very authentic military references too. He also knows and has affection for the nerds who enjoy comic book shops and those intricacies of collectable card games, which he both parodies and demonstrates an intimate understanding of. I had to laugh at a description of the typical clientele of such shops when I was sitting on the bus, as I was wearing knee-length shorts, sandals and a t-shirt that said "'Twas a rough night (W Shakespeare, MacBeth Act 2 Sc iii). Unfortunately that did not mean I was off to the Android Dungeon, but I have been known to visit its equivalents.


Darkin: A Journey East (The Darkin Saga Book 1)
Darkin: A Journey East (The Darkin Saga Book 1)
Price: £2.10

4.0 out of 5 stars The enemy of my enemy is also my enemy., 27 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The world of Darkin seems a little bewildering at first, and we have to piece together a picture of it along with our hero, whose experience of it is limited by a life of slavery in one place. He emerges from this, intent on bringing vengeance to the dark lord who rules the whole land and imposes slavery upon the majority of the population.

Oh, if life were only that easy! As he sets out to find allies in the cause, he discovers that even dark lords have powerful enemies, and that the old adage that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" can be very, very misleading.

This twist definitely elevates this story above the humdrum of fantasy books, as our hero finds himself diverted from the straight path of vengeance by conflict with new enemies, who turn out to be old enemies as far as his allies are concerned.

I will have to wait to read further books in the series to give my overall opinion. The cliff-hanger ending seemed a little too abrupt, but I will forgive the author if he can pick up the pace as quickly in the next book.


Look Not Unto The Morrow
Look Not Unto The Morrow

5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent insights into the life of a Vietnam veteran, 18 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was not expecting this book to be as good as it was, although I had been encouraged by the author's biography that this would be full of insight.

Roger and Pam are the All American Couple; they met at high school, go to the same university, have pretty much mapped out their lives in terms of marriage, career and children. Nothing really dramatic happens in their first year at college apart from Roger's friend Matt dropping out and becoming a peace activist.

Roger gets drafted and is destined for Vietnam. I thought at that point that the author had shifted all of the focus onto Pam, but in fact the lives of both characters are chronicled throughout the time that Roger is in Vietnam.

I won't go into the plot any further, even though the blurb seems to give enough spoilers anyway. I have to admit that the ending was a real eye-opener, as I had no idea that Agent Orange had that effect.

Highly recommended.


The Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus (Forgotten Books)
The Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus (Forgotten Books)
by Saxo Grammaticus
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.32

4.0 out of 5 stars Quasi-historical account of early Denmark, 8 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent source, even if some of the accounts of the legendary period are somewhat garbled and mixed up when compared to the same accounts in other sources


Hrolf Kraki's Saga
Hrolf Kraki's Saga
by Poul Anderson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Good blending of sources; seamless account, 8 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Poul Anderson shows how to take a patchwork of different legends about the same mytho-historic figure (Hrolf Kraki, aka Hrothulf from Beowulf) and blend them into a seamless account.


The Golden Acorn: Book 1 (UK EDITION) (The Adventures of Jack Brenin)
The Golden Acorn: Book 1 (UK EDITION) (The Adventures of Jack Brenin)
Price: £0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting start to a series, 8 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not a bad book at all. Obviously its target audience is young - more child than YA. It does not really compare to Harry Potter, as there is very little development of the magical other world that sits alongside our own. I think a better comparison would be with the magical world of Alderly Edge in Alan Garner's books (The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath). I feel that there is a real local geography that is being described to us here, but I miss the attention to detail that I would get from Alan Garner.

Character development is poor but you do learn some things about even the minor characters. What is lacking is any real sense that the characters (other than Jack) are learning anything along the way. Nell is too all-powerful and is never out of her depth, whereas even The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings's Gandalf is confronted by situations that he cannot get out of. Challenge is required for growth, but perhaps Nell has just been around too long.

I usually find something small to niggle about in any book, and the one here is in the chapter with the party. We are told that some mice (or was it rats?) are singing in Welsh and that Camelin cannot understand it because they are singing in Welsh. However, Camelin was originally interacting with Britons, who spoke the ancestor of Welsh. As he appears to be living in Shropshire, I cannot see that he would have been away from the same people until c.AD700, by which time most of the big linguistic changes that differentiate Welsh and Brythonic had happened. Even if the rest of the time had been spent exclusively with English speakers, he should still have a decent understanding of Welsh.

Would recommend to young independent readers, 8-12 or as a bedtime reader.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7