Book Review: The Comet’s Curse by Dom Testa

This is the first young adult book I have read since.. well since I was a young adult I think. Ok not really, but it’s been at least a year or so, as I tend to hover around the epic fantasy books.  I have to admit, I was a little hesitant at first. It is just not very often you find a book written for teenagers that can entice a more seasoned adult reader.

So let me just start off with I was pleasantly surprised. There are stories that lend themselves to being towards a certain audience. Some stories just can’t be anything but a story for children because the lack depth, and character development. That is not the case for The Comet’s Curse. This is a young adult book, because the author chose to write it that way, but the plot is sufficient enough to be appealing to anyone.

the main story behind The Comet’s Curse (which is the first book in a series known as the Galahad series), is that the earth has been poisoned by particles from a rouge comet. This particle infects people over the age of 18 and eventually within a few years leads to their death. No one knows why. No one knows how. What I really hate about stories in generally, be it movies, or books, or tv stories, is when the writers try to over explain something to make it seem more plausible, and end up only ensuring that it sounds completely impossible.  Not in this book. Mt. Testa gives just the right amount of explanation (mostly including the fact taht they just don’t know) and moves on. It is only a catalyst for the main story, and nothing more.

As far as the rest goes, the story takes place just enough in the future for the technology needed to be feasible, but still unsure. It let’s you concentrate on the real story here, and that is the story of the children placed on a ship, to leave behind Earth, and their families, to give them a chance at life free of the killer particle.

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Just got a new book in I won on Goodreads!

Also included was an inscription and a couple of bookmarks, AWESOME! look for the review soon.

Short Story Review: The Old Scale Game-Tad Williams, Unfettered

Tad Williams. A name I know, but have never had the opportunity to read.

This story, is a very familiar one. Not the story itself but the plotline. In the intro the author admits to taking the idea from an old movie. But more then that the idea I have seen in other movies and stories. Don’t let this detour however, because the story is still well written and cute. 

It is the story about an aging retired dragonslayer, needing money, and hatching a scheme with an aging dragon, both tired of the rote behaviors, slaying dragons, and eating knights. So they hatch a scheme to fake a fight, rake in some money, and move along. They do it repeatedly and eventually take on even more monsters to help in their rouse. 

It’s quick, it’s short, and well worth the read. I recommend it.

Short Story Review: How Old Holly Came to Be-Patrick Rothfuss, Unfettered

I would like to start off this review by shaking my fist at Patrick Rothfuss. This man has quickly wormed his way up into my top authors list (you can see my previous reviews on his books “The Name of the Wind” and “A Wise Man Fears”)

Mr Rothfuss also writes the foreword for this collection, in his typically amusing yet deep self.  This short story however, in my opinion more resembles a poem. I have to be honest, at first I was thrown off by the style and tone of the work, but it did not take long before I was captivated.

I hesitate to summarize the plot here because I feel to do so would be to take away from the work itself, but since that is part of reviewing a story I guess I must. 

The story is essentially from the perspective of a Holly tree, outside some stone tower, where a lady comes to live. There is a relationship between the lady and the tree, it follows as the lady meets a man, falls in love and leaves, only to come back years later to rekindle the friendship with the tree. You get the sense that she is some sort of sorceress of druidess, as she brings the tree to life and it helps fight off monstrous men intent on destroying the holly grove and tower.

In the end the lady, now old, leaves again, and the tre is left to guard over the area, and await her return for all eternity.

It’s both a sad and happy story, and it leaves me wanting to know more, but like the tree itself, you too will be waiting for all eternity.

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Short Story Review: Imaginary Friends-Terry Brooks, Unfettered

So I finally started the short story anthology “Unfettered” edited by Shawn Speakman, and published by Grim Oaks Press. If you have been following this blog you know the story behind this already so I won’t repeat my self. If you haven’t then I suggest you go back a few posts and check it out.

I still to this day remember the very first book I ever read by Terry Brooks. It was entitled “Magic Kingdom for Sale: SOLD!”  I read it when I was in 7th grade, 19 years ago. It is sitting just to the left of me on my book shelf. I loved it so much that I am keeping it for my son to read when he is old enough.

  That being said I have not read any of his books in quite a number of years, and so I began reading this story with great expectations, and I am happy to report I was not disappointed. The story is about a young man, battling cancer, and an imaginary friend that helps him through his struggle. 

in typical Brooks style, the story blends reality with fantasy, the boy living in modern times is given a glimpse behind the curtain into a magical world that exists behind his house in a large park. While the story is not filled with magics and action, it has just enough to make it a true fantasy story. The ending was not terribly unpredictable, but pleasant in it’s familiarity. It is easy to picture anyone, even ourselves as a child living this out.

All and all I think this is a very nice short story, that starts of this collection wonderfully, tieing in the reality of what  the collection is for, with a bit of magic and wonderment along for the ride.

Got the replacement from Mr. Speakman! Lookin good, excited to read it!

Good News!

Shawn Speakman responded to my email, and will get me the correct version of the book when he gets back from Comic Con!

Always good when people make things right.

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Unfettered and The Dark Thorn

Hey Book peeps,

just received two new books in the mail. The first is The Dark Thorn by author Shawn Speakman. For those of you who do not know this guys story, He was diagnosed with Stage III non-Hodgkin’s lymphomia in both sides of his neck, chest, and spleen. As an Author he did not have health insurance, and so he created Grim Oaks Press, which currently has released three books of which one is The Dark Thorn. He did this in order to help pay for his treatments. You can read more about it and how to support him here:

http://grimoakpress.com/about-grim-oak/

Now I have to start off with a little bit of a Negative. I paid $75 for a leatherbound, signed and numbered, first edition copy. What I received in the mail was the standard $35 trade Hardback. This was disappointing, but mistakes do happen so I have emailed them, and hope to hear back from them soon with good news. 

Never the less, once I finish reading it, I will not let that sway my honest review of the book and it’s content.

The other book I received, (and the second one published by Grim Oaks) is a collaborative effort. It contains short stories written by Terry Brooks, patrick Rothfuss, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Jacqueline Carey, Tad williams, R.A. Salvatore, Naomi Novik, Peter V. Brett, and a few others. Now if you don’t recognize at least some of those names, then you need to read more books. 

It is my understanding that all the stories were created specifically for this publication, and can not be found anywhere else. This is Unfettered. I definitely look forward to reading it and giving it a proper review.

The last book published by Grim Oaks, was actually an E-book by Terry Brooks, which you can check out at the above aforementioned link. I don’t know where I stand on e-books yet, so not sure if I will be giving that one a read. 

Anyways, these should be coming out as soon as I can get through them!

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Book Review: In the Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss was a refreshing read. I found the style to be interesting. Most books in this genre tend to be 3rd person narrative lets go off and kill things with magic and swords. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love that too. In this book however, Rothfuss takes a different approach. All the action has already happened. You meet the main character after he has already retired, living in a small town, hiding his identity, playing the role of a tavern owner.

The story unfolds slowly as he (Kvothe) tells his full history to a chronicler for the first time ever. It has very interesting characters, and while sounding like it is slow is actually very intense, and attention grabbing.

After reading this book I get the feeling that Kvothe’s adventures might not quite be over as we hear slowly about whats going on in the world currently.

This isn’t just a book about a hero mind you. This is a book about THE hero. This is the Hercules of their world. The King Arthur and Merlin rolled into one. No one doesn’t know his name, thus the hiding out in an attempt to find peace.

If you are looking for a new author, I strongly recommend Patrick Rothfuss. The Name of the Wind is the first book of a trilogy  in which the second book is already out and the third in process. A very good distraction while waiting for the next George R. R. Martin book to come out, without having to dip back down into the atrocious writing of some of the less known Forgotten Realm and Dragon Lance writers.

All in All I give it a 9/10 for Creativity, inventing a new kind of magic, and not relying on the standard story telling methodologies. 

Also as you can see I got mine signed. You can send your own books to be signed, or buy them from the authors foundation outright here:

http://www.patrickrothfuss.com/content/index.asp Official Author Page

http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2007/08/faq-if-i-mail-you-my-book-will-you-sign-it/ His interesting thoughts on sending him books, and how to do it.

And for those of you interested, the author also hosts a writing workshop 1 Tuesday a month called Storyboard, which you can find on Geek and Sundry!

geekandsundry.com

Edit: Apparently the show is currently on Hiatus, but you can check out the first 7 episodes here!

http://storyboard.geekandsundry.com/