House of Chains: Good but with some rough edges

House of Chains by Steven Erikson

Being the fourth entry in Steven Erikson’s sprawling series THE MALAZAN BOOK OF THE FALLEN, House of Chains continues with the storyline first started in Deadhouse Gates and somewhat loosely with the repercussions of the explosive climax to Memories of Ice. I won’t bother trying to summarize the setup of the book, and readers are expected to have knowledge of the previous books. So, if you have not yet read them — and I would suggest you give at least Gardens of the Moon a try — then I wouldn’t recommend reading this review.

Breaking from tradition, the first chapters of House of Chains lets go of the juggling back and forth between viewpoint characters ... Read More

The Voice from the Edge Volume 4: The Deathbird & Other Stories

The Voice from the Edge Volume 4: The Deathbird & Other Stories by Harlan Ellison

The Deathbird & Other Stories: The Voice from the Edge Vol. 4 is the fourth installment in Harlan Ellison’s 5-volume THE VOICE FROM THE EDGE series. He’s a born storyteller, without question the most passionate, intense and brilliant audiobook narrator I’ve ever experienced. He captures the characters’ quirks and attitudes, and narrates with masterful pacing and tone. This is the ideal showcase for him to read his favorite stories from a career spanning over 60 years.

Vol. 1 featured some of his best stories and narration, Vol. 2 was also excellent but not quite as brilliant as Vol. 1, and Vol. 3 had some top-notch stories and finished with two horror tales, the first narrated by Robert Bloch. Vol. 4 is the first collection in whi... Read More

Vampire Mountain: Still compelling

Vampire Mountain by Darren Shan

It’s been six years since the events of the previous book, Tunnels of Blood. Darren and Mr. Crepsley have been travelling with the Cirque du Freak, but this is the year that the Vampire Council meets in Vampire Mountain and so it’s time for Mr. Crepsley to present Darren to the other vampires. Thus they set off on the long and perilous journey to Vampire Mountain, bringing with them two of the mysterious Little People who belong to the even more mysterious Mr. Tiny. Along the way they encounter a friendly wolf pack and we learn that wolves are cousins to vampires and that Mr. Tiny has something to do with the breeding program. The travelers also encounter various frightening and foreboding signs that the vampaneze are getting ready to attack and it turns out that Harkat, one of the Little People traveling with them, is bringing a warning message from Mr. Tiny for the vampire princes. According to... Read More

Elfsorrow: Doesn’t neglect tactics and strategy

Elfsorrow by James Barclay

Elfsorrow is the first book in The Legends of the Raven, James Barclay's second series about a group of mercenaries called the Raven. If you have not read the previous series, The Chronicles of the Raven, you are going to end up guessing at much of what is going on. If I had it to do over again, I would have read the previous series first; based on all the information that I had to figure out from context, it sounds like a great story.

Elfsorrow takes place on two different continents and tracks about four different storylines. The first features a group of highly skilled mages and fighters who work as a group known as the Raven. The Raven is made up of many different interesting characters, including a female mage who has j... Read More

Watcher of the Dead: Worth the wait

Watcher of the Dead by J.V. Jones

Watcher of the Dead has a momentum that’s like watching black clouds grow in mass for a storm you just know will be enormous.

In a world fraught with clan wars and military invasions, the individual power struggles grow even more desperate as the ancient evil called the Endlords opens a breach into existence. Sadaluk No Ears, the Listener for the Ice Trapper people, may never return from a dangerous trek into the frozen wastes. Raif Sevrance, now possessing the sword called Loss, is learning the hard way what it means to be the Watcher of the Dead. Ash March must choose a Sull name, and even though she is finally in the land of her new people, she still finds no safe haven. Raina Blackhail becomes more entrenched in treason against her husband, the chief of the Clan Blackhail. Bram Dhoone begins his training as a member of the Phage, a clandestine group dedicated to de... Read More

Lady Knight: Ordinary girl become a hero

Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce

Finally, Keladry of Mindelin ("Kel" to her friends) has completed her training and been dubbed Lady Knight of Tortall in this final installment of The Protector of the Small quartet. She's conquered bullies, prejudice, kidnappings, skirmishes, the skepticism of Lord Wyldon, and the terrifying Ordeal; the chamber that all squires must endure if they are to be knighted. She's all ready to throw her weight into the Scanran War, especially considering the vision that the Chamber of Ordeal granted her: Kel knows the identity and appearance of the man who is behind the monstrous killing machines that have been plaguing her people. Made from the iron-covered bones of giants and geared by the trapped spirits of children, the terrible machines are creating severe losses for Tortall and Kel is eager to be rid of them once and for all.

But her super... Read More