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Mr J Mc Stravick

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The Buried Symbol (The Runes of Issalia Book 1)
The Buried Symbol (The Runes of Issalia Book 1)
Price: £4.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden gem in sea of great fantasy books, 29 Jun. 2016
When I first started reading “The Buried Symbol” I thought I was going to be reading a take on the Harry Potter trope but as the book developed it became very unique in its own right.
I found the characterisation in “The Buried Symbol” intriguing and very enjoyable as from the outset not only does it make you feel emotionally attached to some of the characters but within a few chapters you are hooked and intrigued about the main character Brock. At the outset Brocks character seems like an everyday run of the mill person but after an incident occurs his story unravels into something of darker and purposeful proportions that will always leave you wanting more. As the story goes on we are introduced to some characters that are loveable from the outset and some not so much. It was nice to read a book for a change that gives you characters that have personalities you will clearly love or hate without complicating the matter to much, also without going into too much detail I loved how Jeffrey L Kohanek wasn’t afraid to give the story a darker twist as I feel this made the book seem more grounded.
The world developed in and around those marked with a rune and those not was fantastic to read about as the author clearly shows a divides between them, I somewhat felt it was a nod towards society toward when people are marked for greatness from their birth due to the family they are born into and what one person become if they set their mind to it. One thing I enjoyed especially about the story was the classes Brock and his classmates took at the academy as they were always so interesting to read about especially the engineering and combat classes. This became all the more apparent when delved more into how you progress in the school and how it fits into the classes taken by the students.
At the moment we don’t seem to have a clearly defined “bad guy”, this was a breath of fresh air as usually within the first book we are introduced to a character that will clearly become the main focus of evil within the series but Jeffrey L Kohanek moved away from and I believe this is one of the aspects that made it all the more interesting as it left the story open for what is to come in future books.
When I first started reading this book I was unsure as to how I was going to feel about it but as the story progressed developed I became increasingly intrigued and found it an extremely enjoyable read. What I will say is that once get a feel for this books and its world you will always be left wanting more as I constantly found myself trying to find time to read more as I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I hope as the books go on we delve more into the runes each characters has and possibly we they were marked with this runes they were and why Brocks is so significant.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I think it is a hidden gem amongst an array of great fantasy books. If you are lover of fantasy then I would highly recommend you read this book as you will not regret it, Jeffrey L Kohanek is a fantastic reading and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Price: £1.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and Intriguing Scifi, 21 Jun. 2016
This review is from: Titanborn (Kindle Edition)
Titanborn reminds me very much of two of my favourite sci-fi novels “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” and “Leviathan Wakes” but even with these similarities it stills remains completely unique in its own way to make it a great read.
At the start Titanborn seems like a simple detective novel set in space but we soon find out that there is more to Malcom Graves than meets the eye and there is a lot of mystery hidden within his past, none more so than the story of his daughter. At the very start of the book we find out very little about Malcom’s daughter but as the story progresses we find out more bit by bit, this aspect always kept me guessing as at times I found myself thinking are we going to come across his daughter at some stage or when we least expect it.
One other aspect I found extremely intriguing is the help that Malcom is assigned by a group of people that very little is known about and as the book progresses we find out a lot more about them and one person in particular. It is this one person in particular that is the most intriguing of all because as the book progresses we see them grow beyond where you might expect them to and their origin will completely shock you.
At times I did feel the pace of the book did slow a bit during the political set up scenes but thankfully these were few and far between and didn’t really hurt the pacing of the book. But as well as experiencing some intriguing and mystery in “Titanborn” we also get some great gun slinging action scenes which I think were done very well and always came about the right time in the story.
When it comes to the titanborn themselves we learn very little about what and who they are but we learn enough to help build a base knowledge about them and make us want to learn more about them in the sequels.
From reading this review you might think that I have told you very little but this is completely intentional as there are a lot of intrigue and mystery that I don’t want to spoil therefore it is very difficult to say too much about this book.
With all of the above in mind I would highly recommend this book particularly to fans of sci-fi books such as “Leviathan Wakes” and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”. This book will always keep you guessing and leave you wanting more and I always found myself wanting to read more. If you want to know more about what goes on in this book then I severely recommend picking this up.

I Ink, Therefore I Am: A Critical Analysis From A Criminological Perspective
I Ink, Therefore I Am: A Critical Analysis From A Criminological Perspective
by Vikki Patis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and Thought Provoking, 10 Jun. 2016
I'm usually not one for reading research papers/dissertations but when I came across this I was immediately interested as I do believe there is also a lot of criticism and prejudice towards people with tattoos. The authors take on why people with tattoos in today's society are treated differently is very intriguing and thought provoking. I also felt it was written extremely well and I thought it was put across in a very well controlled prospective as it never felt like the author was trying to push you towards a resolution. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and with it only being 64 pages I found it extremely easy to pick up and read in one sitting.

The Dragon's Blade: The Reborn King
The Dragon's Blade: The Reborn King
Price: £3.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for fantasy lovers, 3 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
“The Dragons Blade: The Reborn King” is Michael R. Millers first published book, in comparison to other first books I have read in the past “The Dragons Blade: The Reborn King” certainly doesn’t read that way. It has been written in a manner that would make you believe the author has been writing for many years and I think Michael R. Miller has done an exceptional job with this book.
“The Dragons Blade: The Reborn King” is one of the most enjoyable books I have read in months and I don’t think words can do justice to how good it is but let’s give it a try.
When you first step into the world of the “The Dragons Blade” you are given a small prologue that helps set up the mysterious character of Dukoona, this not only helps build an intrigue earlier but also helps set the pace of the book.
One of the most exceptional parts I found with the book is the characterisation, this is due to the characters personality being so diverse and acting how we would expect people to behave and react to certain situations. One of the characters this rang true this most for me is Darnuir. Darnuir is the prince of Aurisha and at first I found myself not liking him but then an incident occurs and leaves his future in the balance, it was from here I found myself liking him more and more as not only does he struggle to find himself but deals with vary circumstances from a new perspective.
As we follow Darnuir over the course of his life after the incident we are introduced to new POV characters and secondary characters. Sometimes this can bog down a characterisation and the book itself. Michael however manages to avoid this pitfall by only giving us what we need to know about the secondary characters and making the POV the star. I felt overall Michael’s method of characterization helps keep the pace of the book very fluid but also leaves you wanting to learn more about the characters.
The story has been beautifully crafted into something that not only gives us a great pace with great action scenes but also pulls you into its world with intrigue and mystery. The different character POV’s each hold their own air of mystery and as the story progress you are drip feed pieces of an already bigger mystery, this alone had me constantly at the edge of my seat and always wanting to know more. The story alone will grip you from the beginning and always leave you wanting to know more, this is especially true when it comes to Dukoona and the elusive guardian who has been missing for quite some time.
One aspect that intrigued me the most is the magic system as I have never came across one like it. Having magic in this world is a source of great power but with this power comes grave consequences as it can be addictive as it deadly. As you read the story you will come across many consequences where a user has become addicted to the magic or have suffered at the fate of overusing magic and this is what truly makes it so interesting to read about.
With all of the above in mind I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and there was many occasions where I wanted to keep reading, it will truly grip you and always leave you wanting to read more. This has been one of the most enjoyable books I have read in many months and I am already eagerly awaiting the second book in this series. I would highly recommend you read this book as Michael R. Miller has produced something of great measure and you will thoroughly enjoy reading it.

In The Blood (The Witchbreed Series Book 1)
In The Blood (The Witchbreed Series Book 1)
Price: £2.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing first foray into Epic Fantasy, 25 Mar. 2016
In The Blood is the first book in R.L. Martinez’s The Witchbreed Series, this is also her first foray into Epic Fantasy.

When I first heard that this was an epic fantasy series I was sceptical, this is due me believing that epic fantasy is one of the harder fantasy sub genres to write in but what I got was something that from the first few pages had me intrigued and interested in its world and characters.

In The Blood has us follow four main characters the sisters Ottilde and Oriabel, Hito and Wilder. I don’t want to say too much about Hito and Wilder as I believe finding out for yourself more about these characters is part of the joy I experienced when reading this book. So all will say is that Wilder is a Prison Chief and Hito is a Lord from another land.

With regards to the sisters Ottilde and Oriabel what I can say is that from the outset it is very clear that they are very different when it comes to how they treat people and view their actions.

Ottilde is a disgraced prisoner of war who is being held at the same prison where Prison Chief Wilder resides. Ottilde has a very aggressive personality towards most people apart from her sister, this is shown in many scenes when you see her going to great lengths to return to her sister.

Oriabel is a Lady who is loyal to her subjects and likes to help people in any way she can but at the same time she harbour’s a magical secret that would have her entire city turn against if it was ever discovered.

Even though Ottilde and Oriabel are very different they are book very strong people but in their own way and this becomes more evident as you progress through the book.

One reason why this book had me so intrigued and interested was the characterisation as we are always left wanting to learn more about the characters and their history. The emotion that has been put into these characters is very clear and over the course of reading this book I too grew emotional bonds towards the characters.

There isn’t a great deal of world building but this helps towards the books progression as I sometimes find that books can do too much world building and in turn it can do more damage to the book than good. But this book I find has the perfect balance as it only occurs when the characters are in a new area and you experience what they see.

The only downside I found to this book was that I wanted to learn more about the magic in the world but it could be this will touched on in future books. As well as that I feel that this book could have done with more actions scenes, that’s not to say it didn’t have any as it certainly did and I feel they were done very well, but in my opinion more drawn out action scenes or more of them could helped towards the excitement of the book.

It could be that this series of books isn’t going to be that type of fantasy and if so I have a lot of respect for the author for trying something different in a genre that is usually filled with action. With all of the above in mind I feel this is a very enjoyable book that holds your interest and intrigue throughout and would highly recommend it.

Skeleton Run
Skeleton Run
Price: £4.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great and Intriguing book, 3 Mar. 2016
This review is from: Skeleton Run (Kindle Edition)
I’m not usually one for reading books like this, but the summary really intrigued me, so I wanted to pick it up.

As soon as I read the first chapter, it had me hooked. As the book progressed it became increasingly interesting to hear about each characters’ perspective and situation. There were some characters, such as the Grangers, that I grew to dislike the more I read about them, but aside from that I generally liked most of the characters.

I felt particularly drawn towards the Dawsons (Jim and Michelle), and grew emotionally attached to their situation. The only gripe I had with Jim Dawson was that, towards the end of the book, he made a decision that seemed unbelievable to me, as I don’t think anyone would make a life or death decision like that so easily or willingly.

The book delved into a few medical concepts; it was clear that the author had a lot of knowledge and experience in this field. I also enjoyed how the book dealt with some difficult circumstances when it comes to some medical conditions, as well as how the characters felt about it and how they dealt with it.

Ultimately, the story was very well-written, and generally its pace was steady, apart from a few pacing issues during the middle, as I sometimes I felt the political proceedings were overly drawn out, and some scenes seemed slower than the overall pace of the book. Even with these and other issues previously mentioned, I still thoroughly enjoyed the book, and liked how it always had you on the edge of your seat. I thoroughly recommend it to other people who enjoy this genre.

The Desert Spear (The Demon Cycle, Book 2)
The Desert Spear (The Demon Cycle, Book 2)
by Peter V. Brett
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome edition to Demon Cycle series, 9 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I started on this book straight after I finished The Warded Man and due to the high octane finish The Warded Man have I initially found it difficult to get into this book. This was also due to the fact that approximately 25% of this book tells you about Jardir’s history as well as part of The Warded Mans story from his perspective. Initially I didn’t like reading Jardir’s side story as I really hated him after reading what he did in The Warded Man (don’t wanna give any spoilers), but once I got to know his back story and his versions of the above mentioned events I grew to like him and what I was reading.

One them I continue to enjoy about these books in this inclusion of more demon types and learning about them in the process. In this book we may only get introduced to two new demons but they are the most interesting so far as their abilities are very cool and it allows they to become very deadly when used in cooperation with one another.

This booked flushed out the characters more and helped learn more about them, this is especially true when it comes to Jardir who as I said before I never liked but after reading this book I have some what grown to like him. The same can also be said with regards to Gared because I also hated him in The Warded Man and was hoping he would die but after seeing him grow in this book I am growing to like him more and more.

One of the biggest surprises of this book for me was the development of Renna’s character, as initially I kind of thought okay so where are they taking this character and as things developed certain parts of her story made me kind of angry to see her develop into the person we have at the end of this book was fantastic especially seeing her adjust so well to the world of demon fighting.

This book really steps up the pace of the series with the start of the war between the Krasian’s and Thesan’s and how that develops. While reading this book I expected to see some massive fight scene between the two nations but to have it go more of a diplomatic route intrigued and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing this development over going straight into an all out war.

Like The Warded Man this took me a while to get into this book but once I did it had the seem effect on me as The Warded Man did and I found it very hard to put down. This book is absolutely fantastic and I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoy reading The Warded Man and if you didn’t get hooked on this series from the first book then this book in my opinion will definitely do just that.

Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles
Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing read, 3 July 2014
I have been putting of reading this book for a while due to my to be read pile and because I have 6 books to catch up on but I now completely regret not starting it sooner because this book was amazing. I think the characterization is really good, I especially like Oberon in my head he is like a mixture of scooby doo and eric cartman, I also found his fascination with poodles very funny. One thing I really liked about the book is that Atticus has alot of power and has very powerful sword that he can wield yet he chooses not to fight unless its necessary. This book was amazing on so many levels and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books.

Prince of Fools (Red Queen's War, Book 1) (Red Queen's War)
Prince of Fools (Red Queen's War, Book 1) (Red Queen's War)
Price: £1.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Continuation of greatness, 1 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book takes what was great about the broken empire trilogy and gives us a main protagonist that has a completely opposite personality. Some may not like him but I for one think love the new character as he shows that no all main protagonists in a book have to be a cocky hero with the guts and strength to conquer anything. But instead here we have the unlikely pairing on a coward/hero and a gutsy fighter with a fearing physique. I thought the story was very well driven and had the perfect pace with regards to back story, action and the main story itself. This definitely continues Mark Lawrence's continuation of great books and writing so I cant wait to read the sequel.

Promise of Blood: Book 1 in the Powder Mage trilogy
Promise of Blood: Book 1 in the Powder Mage trilogy
Price: £5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Flinklock Fantasy, 16 Jun. 2014
We find here the recently award recipient of the Gemmell Morningstar Award and I can clearly see why this won as it is a fantastic book and will definitely by recommending it.
It has a great starting pace, characterization and world building. This book delivers on the newly arrived flinklock fantasy genre and makes me want to not only read the sequel to this book but also other books in the same genre. I definitely cant wait to get started on the sequel to this.

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