The Beginning, Book 1, Part 1

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The Beginning, Book 1, Part 1 of the McKinnon Legends, by Ranay James tells the story of a duchess named Morgan Pembridge who escapes her abusive uncle. Disguised as a boy, she encounters a night named Nick McKinnon, and together they flee her uncle.

It is hard to give much more of a synopsis without giving away the plot, but I’m sure if I tell you that this feels more like a romance story than a time-travel story (which is what it claims to be), you can figure it out.

Honestly, I think this is one of the hardest reviews I’ve written. It’s very easy to write reviews when you obviously love something or obviously hate it. This book was sort of in the middle. The story was not strong, but was promising. I didn’t want to put it down . . . until the last 1.5 hours (I listened to the audio book). In that last 1.5 hours, I found myself rolling my eyes and saying “Oh, come on! We are really going to do this again?!” (Imagine a tone of sarcasm and exasperation as you read that sentence.)

It is hard to justify why I believe events in the story were unrealistic and drawn out without actually giving away spoilers. So, you will either have to trust me, or read the book yourself. 🙂

If you want a very thorough review, you can check out Hayat’s review on Goodreads. Please note, that my review is only of Part 1. Apparently, parts 1 & 2 were published as separate books but have since been combined into one book. Hayat’s review is of part 1 and 2.

Also, I will say this book is probably PG-15 for some sexual references. Not enough to warrant my “sensitive reader alert” but enough to caution parents about letting their teens read it. 

P.S. And no, if you are wondering, I will not continue to read this series.

Plague of Shadows by Michael Wisehart

PlagueofShadowsHow long do I have to wait for the next one?

I can say with certainty that I enjoyed this book far more than the first one, probably because there is significantly less torture. (The torture in the first book made me squeamish.)

In the last book, my favorite storylines were ones involving Ty and the Weilder Council, but in this book, I really enjoyed Ferrin, Rae, and Ayrion’s storylines.

I will say from a reader’s standpoint, the book could have benefited from a synopsis of the first book, The White Tower, along with a character list and short bio of each. It has been a long time since the first book was released (approx. 3 years), and I’d forgotten some major plot details and supporting characters, some of whom have a larger role in this book. After reading 12 chapters of Plague of Shadows, I decided to re-listen to the first book to refresh my memory. Once I did that, I was able to truly enjoy Plaque of Shadows.

In conclusion, this series is still in my top-10 list and is definitely worth reading. (I’m even thinking about buying the audio version. Tim Gerard Reynolds is an AMAZING narrator!) But, if you have not read The White Tower recently, you will want to do so before starting this book (unless you are one of the lucky few with a photographic memory).

I received an advance copy of “Plaque of Shadows” by Michael Wisehart in exchange for a review.

Authors, Artists & Artisans!

Had a nice time at the Higher Ground Books & Media‘s “Authors, Artists & Artisans!” event.

I spent way too much money, but hey, I got some Christmas gifts! (Thanks Michael Fehskens and Meaghan Fisher: Children’s Author)

Met some authors that I’ve read (J.Kevin Earp) and several that I’d like to read (Mina R Raulston, Parker Stevens, and Carolyn Williams). My reading list just got longer!

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Gods of Blood and Powder, Brian McClellan

SingsofEmpire.jpgNothing is more infuriating than reaching the climax of a book only to discover that the story is OVER! At least until the release of the third book in December. (Yes, I have to wait 5 months to find out what happens. I’ve never been a patient person.)

Anyway, I have been enjoying the series Gods of Blood and Powder by Brian McClellan. (Sins of Empire is the first book in this series.) He is the author of the Powder Mage Trilogy which I reviewed a couple weeks ago. (Read my review of that series here.)

Gods of Blood and Powder takes place about 11 years after the Powder Mage Trilogy. While you probably don’t have to read the Powder Mage Trilogy first in order to enjoy Gods of Blood and Powder, it would be helpful if you did. I know I enjoyed coming into this series knowing the history between the characters and their origins which were developed in the Powder Mage Trilogy.

Due to language and violence, I would say this book is PG-13. It had a little more profanity than the Powder Mage Trilogy. However, the F-word is NOT used at all.

This series, like the Powder Mage Trilogy, will be added to my “favorites” list for adults.

Now, what am I supposed to read until December?!?!

 

The Powder Mage Trilogy

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I want to cry. Nothing is worse than finishing a great book series and realizing you have nothing to take it’s place. It is like saying goodbye to close friends. 😦

Recently I finished listening to the Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan. It was one of those series that I didn’t want to end. I have found myself a new favorite author and a new favorite narrator. (Christian Rodska narrates the trilogy, and he does a stellar job with all the characters. He really brings the story to life.)

I don’t really know what to say about the series other than I really enjoyed. The best way I can describe the plot is: French-Revolution-meets-magic. (No, the book is not set in France, but the situation is similar to that of the French Revolution.)

The plot moves at a reasonable speed, so you don’t lose interest, but you don’t feel rushed. Compared to other books I’ve read, the plot is pretty unique. . No princess being saved. No dragons or elves or dwarves. Yes, their is magic, but it’s a different kind of magic, and it’s a magic that has limitations. Just because someone is a mage, doesn’t make them invincible. Just for fun, here is a promo video from Brian McCellan’s website.

 

The characters are very well developed, and very human in that they all have flaws. The characters experience fear, hope, jealousy, despair, self-loathing, and anger; they demonstrate honor, courage, perseverance, mercy, forgiveness, love and loyalty. Each character is very real; no one person is perfect and no villain is simply a monster (even though some behave like one.)

The story does follow the path of several different characters. Unlike other books I’ve read, however, the transition from one character’s story-line to the next feels natural and smooth. It is not disruptive like it is in other books I’ve read.

I definitely recommend this book. Their is humor, fighting, magic, intrigue, courage, and so much more.

This book will be added to my “Favorites” list for adults. (Due to violence and some adult references, I would say this book is PG-13.)