Fury of a Demon is the perfect conclusion. There, I said it. But what more do you want in a final book? There’re dragons; an enemy so warped in his own wicked image he seems undefeatable; a cannibal with a vengeance; Simeon and his wind, and a lot more. All of it wrapped in a fast-paced plot, full of answers, intrigue and as many twisted creations as Osyrus Ward can pump from Floodhaven Castle. I LOVED every word of this – not a single one misplaced. This book is John Wick and terminator’s love child on steroids, riding upon a dragon.
I am so happy to review my second book of spooky season! I want to read more horror/thriller this year, and The Last House on Needless Street is a super creepy book that really hits those Fall vibes right on the head.
I think this book is more thriller than horror, maybe a combination of both (thorror?), though it is more eerie than violent. Which, in my opinion, is much harder to do. Do not get me wrong, I am 100% down with a good slasher (and writing in that styles comes with its own set of difficulties), but making the hairs stand up on someone’s arm with just a description of a scene or person is much more challenging, I think. Catriona Ward does an amazing job of bringing those feels to this book, and that is not surprising. While this is my first of the author’s books, Ward is an award-winning horror author who has several published novels already out in the world.
I am actually not going to talk too much about the book, because I am in super non-spoiler mode on this one. It is such a trip that you really have to experience it yourself, but know this: I heard the hype pretty loudly before reading, and I am always skeptical; but, guess what? It definitely lives up to fanfare. It is just as chillin and thrilling as is its billing. The plot, the characters, the setting… it all comes together in a near-perfect combination that had me on edge until the last word.
I mean that literally, because one of the aspects of this book I was really impressed with was the fact that it felt like it just kept on going. I often watch shows or movies, or, more often, read books that I just do not want to end. This book, while not long by any stretch, left me completely fulfilled, and I think that is due to the way the author unravels everything at the end. The reveals felt very systematic, which I really enjoyed. Not everything was resolved at once; it came a piece at a time. Completing the story in this way allowed me to ruminate on each fragment and chew it 28 times before taking the next bite. This method also gives the reader a cascade of information, one after the other, at the end versus what could have been more of a data dump.
By the way, not to sound like a cliche, but, yeah, Olivia is my favorite character. I know, everyone loves the cat. Olivia is sassy and smart and weird, and really levels up the story with her spunky attitude. You could read this book for Olivia alone and not be disappointed.
The only reason I am not giving the book a perfect rating is that there was one character whose story I would have liked to see go a little differently at the end. But, you are going to have to read it to find out.
It’s spooky season, y’all! Set it off! If you are looking for a great thorror (I have said it twice now, so that officially makes it a thing, right?) to get you in the mood, read The Last House on Needless Street. It has definitely set the tone for me.
The book follows the exploits of Bel (isarius), a Homo quantus (genetically engineered human quantum computers who crave knowledge about the fundamentals of space/time). Due to a ‘flaw’ in his engineering, he chose to abandon his people and lives as a con-man in outer edges of space. He gets an offer to move ships across a wormhole where both of its ends are protected by a species called the Puppets. To do his he recruits a team of genius people with diverse talents, each having their own agenda. What happens next makes for the plot of the book.
In the authors note at the very beginning Nina Allan talks about her journey as a writer, and about the stories that are within the book. She lets you know that the first three are very early stories, and that she has mostly left the stories untouched, except for some minor edits and clean up. The first three stories are definitely different to the rest, they show huge potential and give you a lot less answers than the rest of the stories. They’re ones that leave you wondering just what was going on, and to be honest it wasn’t my favourite. However, where they really shone was to show just how much Allan’s writing has grown and developed over the years.
Activation Degradation is well-known author Marina J. Lostetter’s latest published novel, and I found it to be a really interesting story. Dubbed as “The Murderbot Diaries makes first contact…”, I only found a tertiary connection to the famous cyborg. Honestly, though, it does not need the comparison, as the story is able to stand on its own two feet.
I was surprised that a book with such an unassuming title could be this good. It’s not any kind of satire or play on tropes, but an epic fantasy that draws the reader in and doesn’t let go. You find yourself invested in these characters within the first chapter, and it will hold your attention throughout. If you are a fan of fantasy, this book should appeal to you. Check it out today!
Cold from the North begins in Broadheim, a Nordic inspired land, that is suffering from a much colder winter than usual. We’re quickly introduced to Ogulf a young viking and his friend Melcun who posses some interesting abilities that are rather frowned upon. A rather mysterious and dangerous enemy is lurking on the horizon, flattening everything in it’s path. This causes the main characters to quickly be thrown into the deep end, deciding it’s best to run and regroup rather than fight an unknown enemy. Now, some of this might sounds familiar, which it is, but the plot was driven forward at a perfect pace and I felt myself easily drawn into the world and its characters. The Nordic/Viking theme was also never lost in the book and at times I felt that cold that the characters felt.
The writing was amazing, and each time I felt something new was going to happen, it did. This novel is not predictable, and that’s a good thing. There’s always something new happening, and I cannot wait to see what happens when Vera and the group travel to see the lands beyond Taggerstan. There’s so much story brimming here, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the entire series here.
While LitRPG might not be for everybody, I would like to challenge people to expand their horizons. This book has so many cool fantasy and sci-fi elements that the LitRPG elements shouldn’t distract. This is not a harem kind of wish fulfillment book, either, so no worries on that account. Its just a solid, fantasy based book that should appeal to fans of both LitRPG and fantasy alike. I highly recommend it, because book two is due to be released later this month, so you won’t have to wait for your next fix.
Sometimes it seems like a series can start to run out of steam after the first trilogy of books. That is definitely not the case with the Demon Squad. The characters keep evolving, the world building gets better with every book, and you become seriously invested in where the story is going. Echoes Of The Past is an excellent addition to the series, and I hope more people discover Frank and company as well. Everyone needs some snark in their lives. I will highly recommend this book, and this series as a whole!
Pieces of Eight was a nearly perfect sequel to Bloodlines and I am so excited to see what the Guardian of Empire City must confront next. Hartog’s character work is so well done that choosing a favorite character is almost impossible. While parts of the ending fell a little flat for me, my overall enjoyment of the book was not affected. The Guardian of Empire City series has become one of my favorites and I can’t wait for the next entry.
I’m typically not a big fan of reading Novellas and prefer longer formats and this month I read 3, and Hard Reboot was a good one. I would have preferred to read this premise in a longer format to get a better picture of the world, characters and main storyline, but Django maintained my interest and kept me turning pages despite the shorter format.