Jimmy and the Crawler: Plugging a plot hole

Jimmy and the Crawler by Raymond E. Feist

In May 2013 Magician's End, the final book in Feist's long running RIFTWAR series, appeared. It was the final chapter in a series that had been going for over thirty years. Earlier that year, Feist published the novella Jimmy and the Crawler to tie up a loose end in the series. As usual with Feist, I read it in Dutch translation. One of the earlier translators of Feist's works, I think translator Mat Schifferstein is the fourth to have a go at RIFTWAR material, and has decided to rename the character Jimmy the Hand, hence the Dutch title Robbie & de Kruiper.

This novella is part of the RIFTWAR LEGACY subseries, which is tied to the PC games Betrayal at Krondor (1993) and Return to Krondor (1998) whic... Read More

Dark Shadows: Heiress of Collinwood: Perfect for fans of the cult TV series

Heiress of Collinwood by Lara Parker

Heiress of Collinwood (2016) is the fourth DARK SHADOWS novel written by Lara Parker, who happens to have been an original cast member on the gothic horror soap opera Dark Shadows, which ran on American television from 1966 – 1971 and has inspired a large number of tie-in novels. (Ms. Parker starred in the role of Angélique Bouchard Collins, in addition to a few other characters.) Contrary to the comedic tone of Tim Burton’s 2012 film based on the show, the original soap opera was quite serious and melodramatic, and Heiress of Collinwood follows that same vein.

Book 1

Our tale begins in Collinsport, Maine, in the distant year of 1797. The Collins family’s young governess, Victoria Winters, previously became unstuck in time, shaken loose from the swi... Read More

Planetary: Spacetime Archaeology, Volume 4

Planetary: Spacetime Archaeology, Volume 4 by Warren Ellis & John Cassaday

This is it. The culmination of the PLANETARY series. Does it live up to the hype? Does the climax match the build up? Well, read on and we’ll see.

Issue 19 – “Mystery in Space”: There’s a strange artifact approaching earth from deep space and Elijah plans on seeing what mysteries it contains. Ellis pays homage to the Big Dumb Object in sci-fi and also draws on the ideas of generation starships, orbital habitats, and the remnants of precursor races. Elijah has a plan to draw out the one member of the Four he’s never seen and hopefully deal with him… permanently. We’re getting more and more of a feel for just how extensive the holdings of Planetary are and the resources that Snow can bring to bear when he needs to.

Issue 20 – “Rendezvous”: Jacob Greene, Ellis’ version of the Thing, is in the house. ... Read More

The Margrave: A satisfyingly strong conclusion

The Margrave by Catherine Fisher

The Margrave is the fourth and final book of Catherine Fisher’s Relic Master. The series as a whole is a bit thin on worldbuilding, emotional depth, and secondary characterization, but save for a minor drop-off in book two, it is a smoothly exciting read and The Margrave brings it to a satisfyingly strong conclusion.

As in the previous books, the story is split between Raffi’s experiences and Carys’. It begins with a bang as Carys is captured by the Watch at the very beginning. She is quickly brought to the attention of two higher-ups, the castellan Maris Scala and her lover Quist. The two of them decide to escort Carys to the Pits of Maar, the darkest center of the Watch where the Margrave is rumored to live and command the brutal group. Gale... Read More

Blackveil: Everything Green Rider fans could hope for

Blackveil by Kristen Britain

PLOT SUMMARY: Over a millennium ago, Mornhavon the Black, heir to the Arcosian Empire, crossed the great sea hoping to replenish his depleted country by conquering the rich lands of Sacoridia. But Mornhavon underestimated the defenders of this far away land, and after years of siege, Mornhavon and his armies were vanquished — but not before Mornhavon resorted to desperate, dark magics that rendered his twisted spirit immortal. Eventually, Mornhavon was captured and imprisoned in Blackveil Forest, with Blackveil’s perimeter enclosed and protected by the magical D’Yer Wall.

For the thousand years since the end of that Long War, Blackveil Forest has been a dangerous place — corrupted by the spirit of this eternally malicious entity, its flora and fauna twisted in monstrous ways. But in the many centuries since the war’s end, knowledge of the working of magic has slowly disappeared from Sacoridia... Read More

Wolf Wing: Concludes a light but interesting series

Wolf Wing by Tanith Lee

Wolf Wing is the fourth and final book in the Claidi Journals, a quartet of books that follow a young heroine's journey from slavery to freedom — and her untangling of the many mysteries and conspiracies around her — all in diary form. After many adventures in the first three books, Claidi is finally reunited with her beloved Argul, and together they plan their marriage and the return to Claidi's previous home, the House, in order to release the slaves.

But once again, nothing is what it seems. On returning to the House Claidi and her new husband find that the slaves do not need their help — on the night of Claidi's escape, the slaves overthrew their former masters and now live in relative peace and harmony. The spoilt Jade Leaf, who once threatened Claidi with a vicious whipping, is now servant to those she onc... Read More

Oath of Fealty: Begins a new Paksenarrion trilogy

Oath of Fealty by Elizabeth Moon

At the end of The Deed of Paksenarrion, the mercenary Duke Phelan discovered that he’s the heir to the Lyonan kingdom — the only kingdom jointly ruled by humans and Elves. As Oath of Fealty starts, he has to give up his dukedom and he recommends his captain Arcolin to be elevated in his place. To make things even more interesting, one of his other soldiers, Dorrin Verrakai (who had fled her family legacy decades earlier), has been called back to claim leadership of the evil Verrakai dukedom which had been seized by the king of Tsai when the previous duke tried to assassinate several members of the ruling family. As she struggles to root out the blood magic that has tainted her family holding for centuries, Stammel discovers dangerous signs that evil is encroaching on another front, far to the south, through mysterious t... Read More