Rockslide by Michael Wisehart

Rockslide2Michael Wisehart is one of my favorite authors, alongside Michael J. Sullivan, John Bierce, and Brian McClellan. So, I was extremely excited to be part of the “review team” for Rockslide, the third installment of the series Street Rats of Aramoor.

In this book, Ayrion finds himself responsible for a group of outcasts from the various street tribes of Aaramoor. Starving and harassed by the other tribes, the outcasts are struggling simply to survive. Feeling the burden of leadership, Ayrion and his friends Reevie and Sapphire endeavor to save the outcasts as well as the members of Hurricane by earning entrance into the Guild. However, nothing is ever easy, and several members of the Guild are eager to see the demise of Ayrion and the Hurricane tribe, so they ask an impossible price, one that Ayrion cannot pay without extreme risk to his life.

If you have not already done so, I suggest re-reading Hurricane (the second book in the series). It has been a long time since I read it, and consequently, when I started reading Rockslide, it took me a while to recall who the various characters were and how they related to one another.

As I said before, Michael Wisehart is one of my favorite authors. I enjoy the way he writes. Personally, I thought Rockslide was a little slow, but that may be due to the fact that I know where the story is going. I have read, and truly love, The Aldoran Chronicles and know the role that Aryion plays in that series. Consequently, I am very eager (one might say impatient), to see how he gets there. However, Rockslide, like the other Street Rats books, primarily still deals with Aryion’s life on the streets of Aramoor. So, I guess I will just have to learn to be patient while I wait for Aryion to grow from being a street rat to the character he is in The Aldoran Chronicles.

A little bit of waiting never hurt anyone….right?

Street Rats of Aramoor by Michael Wisehart

streetratsofaramorWhile I enjoyed Michael Wisehart’s first book, The White Tower, I found I enjoyed his newest series – Street Rats of Aramoor – far more. It was simply less violent and more fun.

This series, so far consisting of two books – Banished and Hurricane, takes place before Wisehart’s The White Tower. It follows a 13-year-old boy named Ayrion, a character you meet as an adult in The White Tower, and tells of his life before he ended up serving as the king’s protector. You learn where he came from and how he ended up in Aramoor.

While the series at this point stops short of telling how  Ayrion first meets the king of Aaramoor, I would not be surprised if there are more books to follow, and if there aren’t, as it stands now, the ending of the second book will leave you satisfied.

This is definitely a book worth reading (or listening to if you prefer audio books), and it will be added to my “favorites” list.

The White Tower

The White TowerThe White Tower by by Michael Wisehart is the first book in the series The Aldoran Chronicles.
This is now one of my favorite books. Below is my review that I posted on Audible.
Would you consider the audio edition of The White Tower to be better than the print version?

I’ve only listened to the audio version. I will say that as much as I love the narrator, I’d probably prefer it in hard back. This story switches between A LOT of characters, which I find frustrating at times. I like to follow the character arcs of only one or two characters at a time. The print version would allow me to follow one character and then go back and read the stories of the other characters (or skip the character’s I don’t care about). It is too hard to do that with the audio book.

What other book might you compare The White Tower to and why?

This is my favorite book since Michael J. Sullivan’s “Riyria Revelations” (also narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds). I consider both books a “page turner”, and I have a hard time putting either of them down.

I will say this book is more violent than the Riyria Revelations; it is not really graphic in its violence, but the torture instances make me a little uncomfortable, so very sensitive readers might get a bit squeamish, again not graphic, just the description of the pain that the character’s face is kind of uncomfortable.

Have you listened to any of Tim Gerard Reynolds’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I’d actually even say this is his best narration yet, but then again, I’ve never listened to a bad narration of his. There are a lot more characters in this book than in others he’s narrated, and he does a superb job making each of them unique.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The torture scenes make me a bit squeamish when the pain the people are experiencing is described. The scenes aren’t graphic like rated-R films; there is no graphic blood or extreme description of torture techniques, but the thought of the torture and the people’s pain still makes me uncomfortable (as it should).

I will say that during heightened intense moments, the author knows how to throw a bit of humor in there. So, there are definitely some nice laughs along the way.

Any additional comments?

I think the author does a great job of capturing the human person, showing a wide range of emotions from all characters. The character’s are human despite being set in a fantasy world. I think this is one of the first books I’ve listened to/read that you really connect with and empathize with the characters, even those that make questionable decisions. (Not so much the truly evil characters; they are evil, but some that border evil or simply make questionable choices – those you really get to empathize with or at least understand why they did what they did.)