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.)

TombQuest by Michael Northrop

Recently, I have been enjoying TombQuest by Michael Northrop. I started it a couple of weeks ago and am on the last book now. The story is sort of like Percy Jackson meets The Infinity Rings.

The story centers around Alex, a boy with a mysterious illness who is suddenly cured when his mother uses an ancient Egyptian artifact to save him. Unfortunately, while Alex is saved, his mother’s actions open a rift (for lack of a better word) that allows an old Order to return and gain strength. Before he knows it, Alex is and his friend Ren are in a fight to save the world, battling beings from ancient Egypt as well as human foes.

There are several aspects of this story that I like. First and foremost, I love the relationship that Alex has with his mother. He really respects her and loves her; he appreciates the sacrifices she makes for him. Second, I like Alex and Ren’s relationship. While they are good friends, they do have disagreements (in one book they have a pretty big argument.) Most of the time in stories, you find that best friends get along perfectly. This story shows you that you can be best friends, have an argument, realize you were wrong, forgive each other, and move on. Third, I like the emphasis on forgiveness. I can’t really say much about this without spoiling something. But not only do Alex and Ren forgive each other when they disagree, there is betrayal in this story and forgiveness. Fourth, I like how Michael Northrop infuses humor into the serious situations. I think it is cleverly done. By just adding a word or phrase, Mr. Northrop breaks up the tension just enough to take the edge out of the situation.

I am adding this to my list of “favorites” for pre-teens and adults with a childlike heart. I will caution that the author does not hesitate to kill characters in his book. (Mini Spoiler: so far, he hasn’t killed any main characters, but there are minor characters that die.) So, if you have a child who is particularly sensitive to death in stories, you might want to steer clear of it until they are older.