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Deb E Reads (& writes)

My biggest passion is Writing, for which I must read. Luckily, I enjoy that too.

Currently reading

Heiress of Magic
Sonya Lano
Progress: 54 %
Witch Song
Amber Argyle
Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure (Foundations of Fiction #1)
Janice Hardy
The Golden Compass
Philip Pullman
The Fiery Cross
Diana Gabaldon
Chosen
Denise Grover Swank
Dance in Winter
Sonya Lano
True Blood Omnibus (Sookie Stackhouse, #1-3)
Charlaine Harris
The Black Lung Captain (Tales Of The Ketty Jay, #2)
Chris Wooding
Call of the Herald (The Dawning of Power, #1)
Brian Rathbone

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks

The Broken Eye - Brent Weeks

Oh Mr Weeks. You big meanie leaving so many threads yet untied... Guess we have to come back for more, then.

As is always the case with Mr Weeks (well, this Lightbringer series, anyway), the last 1/4-1/3 is virtually un-put-downable. I mean, I had to, to look after my family and go to the day job and do some of my own writing, but it was a struggle. The Black Prism was so un-put-downable that even after I finished reading it I carried it around with me for weeks, going back over a few favourite parts, admiring the cover (I got the first one). I am a big fan of this series and can't wait to have the whole thing read... although, the wondering what will happen is rather divine, too.

OK. A little objectivity. Is it perfect? No. Technically, I prefer a closer POV. Weeks chooses a slightly pulled-back one. More often than not we're pretty much in one character's head in a scene, with occasional "head-hopping." That's fine. It's a stylistic choice.I just wonder how much more I, personally, would gush over these books if they were that little bit more in-your-face. (But, then, that could be a bad thing, because I think I already have to say this is my favourite contemporary series),
Also, it's a huge book, so I totally get it, but sadly, the proofreading team did let the ball drop a few times. I mention it because people jump down author-publishers' throat if they slip, so I don't see why we should expect less from a team that shares the author's income in a traditional setting. Mostly it was just a few missing a's or the's, easily missed.

As for the storytelling, I'd have to say there are moments of absolute brilliance. The rest of the time is solid.

Otherwise, though... I'm hopping around trying to figure out who my favourite characters are and how I really feel about what's happening to them. In the first book, I adored "Gavin". He was confident and cocky, but deservedly so. Yes, what he was doing to his brother was pretty hideous, but I took it on face value as deserved. Now "Gavin"/Dazen is in a rough spot himself. He's had the roughest ride of anyone, I think. I really feel for him. Part of me wants to think that perhaps he wasn't as awesome as he at first appeared. Maybe he is a bit of a bad guy. But I really don't think so. Yes, he's done some hideous things, but his conscience, to me, seems clear. His motivations feel as though they come from a good place.
I've enjoyed Karris' journey this time around.
I love how Kip still sees himself as a fatty, even though, clearly, he mustn't be anymore -- he spent months travelling and starving and then months and months training to be a Blackguard... How can he still be fat? But in his head, he doesn't see the change. He's become quite adorable (ha!).
Teia... Oh, Teia... The girl tries so hard. She deserves a break, she really does. Come on Book 4. Deliver a little something something for her, eh?
Liv... I'm still not sure about where Liv is going to go, nor how I'll feel about it. She's a bit of a swing vote. Yes, she has good intentions, but which side she believes is good is still up in the air.
And even Andross... I'm so sure he's evil, but then he does things that seem to help Kip? But, just how helpful was it?Gah! I'm totally confused.
And then yet more twists from some of the more "secondary" characters at the end... Oh, you and your twists, Mr Weeks. Sheesh.

Alright. No classy sign-off for me. Reckon I've said my piece.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1037528481

Half a King

Half a King - Joe Abercrombie As always, an excellently crafted read, with excellently crafted characters.

The Adventures of Some Kid (Adventures of Some Kid, #1)

The Adventures of Some Kid (Adventures of Some Kid, #1) - Noor A. Jahangir Does what it set out to do: portrays a normal kid having an adventure.

It's been a while since I've read a book aimed at the middle grade age group. Usually I'm reading for an under 5, now & then YA, but mostly adult. So, yeah, this one is out of my usual reading range.

That being said, this was a fun ride.

For people looking for a story in which an average, everyday kid finds himself in an adventure with pirates and Aztecs, a millionaire an Indiana Jones-type... well, this one's a goer.



**Disclaimer: I have had the privilege of having my own fiction properly reviewed by Mr Jahangir (he's a much better reviewer than me) & was supplied a free edition for review purposes.

Perfect Shadow

Perfect Shadow - Brent Weeks Short and sweet tale of Durzo Blint before he was Durzo Blint.
A character study, really. And an enjoyable enough read for those who enjoy Weeks' work (I do).

Mark of the Mage

Mark of the Mage - R.K. Ryals A light-weight & pleasant enough read.

Chasing Azrael (Deathly Insanity)

Chasing Azrael (Deathly Insanity) - Hazel Butler Right... coherent thoughts. Um...

So, first up, probably the most defining feature of this book is the way it explores depression and bipolar disorder. The main character, Andee, deals with her own depression as well as her deceased husband's bipolar (although, he doesn't have that now he's a ghost... but he is still a bit of a douche - because that had nothing to do with the bipolar... that was just him).

But, it's OK... in sweeps the husband's best friend, Josh, who's had the decency to butt out for the two years since the tragic suicide of hubby, and not utter a word about his love of Andee that he's harboured for quite some time...

Instant book-boyfriend there, right? Right?! Just me? No... I think not.

OK. I'm risking talking this down with my tone. Thing is, I love the rough-around-the-edges-kind-of-bad-guy-comes-good main man. So, yes, I admit, Josh as a character was a major pull as far as my interest in this book goes.

But the whole storyline keeps you going. It's a who-dunnit complicated by the fact that ghosts are real and some of them can influence the world of the living... maybe even kill...

And I don't even want to go near any spoilery stuff. So, if you like something along the lines of paranormal-mystery with a good dollop of goth, and a dash of "Nooo! Don't let it be as the narrative is hinting it might be... MUST. KEEP. READING to find out!"... then, yeah, this might just be the book for you.

Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Dreams of Gods & Monsters - Laini Taylor Really enjoyed the series.

The characters were pretty fab. I still didn't "click" with Eliza, but Zuzana and Liraz and Mik and the like (can't forget Ziri... I did like Ziri), absolutely. They were all very cool.

A few things bothered me: all the foreshadowing, rather than just showing; all the "this is what happened, and here's a repeat of the dialogue from an earlier scene"; the "this is what was going on, oh, but the characters didn't know this, by the way"... Yeah. Anyway, that's just according to my personal preferences.

As a busy working mother, I'm struggling to really pull how I felt about the book apart.. but, I'm trying.

The first book in the series was great and really got me feeling things and interested in the characters' fates. By the end of the 3rd book, I cared less... I still wanted to know, but, I don't know... I guess it felt like things were drawn out enough to get a little annoying. And, while the first book had me seeing the scenes in my head, the 2nd and 3rd book lost that magic a bit. Characters thought and felt things, but I struggled to see their behaviours... I like to have a movie play out in my head. But so be it.

The story itself was intriguing and well thought out. There was a depth to it that I appreciate, and there were certainly many themes being investigated: the need for wars to bring peace, and how they could be ended and a real peace achieved.

Yeah... On the whole, this is one I would recommend to just about anyone. Well worth the read. How much you LURVE it will be up to you...

Warrior's Touch

Warrior's Touch - Deb E. Howell

Just putting this here as a wee Notice Board for WARRIOR'S TOUCH.

 


29 July 2014: WT is definitely being read by Kristell Ink.

20 July 2014: For those uber keen, I have made the first 5 chapters available via my Wattpad profile: http://www.wattpad.com/story/9840974-warrior%27s-touch-the-aenuk-chronicles-2

... but, that'll still leave you waiting for the rest of the book. So, it's up to you if you want to read that... (plus, it's not been vetted by my editor, though it has been read by Beta Readers)

20 June 2014: For those interested, I have popped a "How I did it(ish)" blog post up on my website: HERE. It may or may not be interesting.

18 June 2014: At this stage, I have no clue of publication date. I apologise.

12 June 2014: WT shared with Kristell Ink. This is the first stage toward final publication. If they like it, then the real work will begin.

24 May 2014: It is currently in the hands of my Beta Readers. Hopefully more pleasure than chore... we shall see (nervous grimace).
Have had some promising comments from one reader regarding the early chapters.

Broken Bargain

Broken Bargain - Clare Davidson If you enjoyed the first book, I expect you'll like this follow-up. I sure did.

This time around, we have a love-interest on the scene. And do you know what I like most about that? It's that we get to know him, and we're not constantly reminded how amazingly amazing he looks, or how perfectly shaped his lips are, or how stunning and smoulderingly intense his eyes are... our new love interest is "just a guy", so the developing romance follows more closely to what a teenage girl might experience in real life when a new, kinda cute classmate arrives in town.

We carry on with the theme of people being hurt and the mystery that must be solved to find out why and how to stop it... It's a clever mix of genres, really. A paranormal mystery. Kim is a great character; strong, but not inhuman. The rest of the characters hold their own, too.

Again, I read the book quite fast (given that I was rather busy with other things at the time), and that's a testament to the easy flow of the writing and how well the story drew me in.

Yeah... I'm looking forward to the next.

The Reluctant Prophet

The Reluctant Prophet - Gillian O'Rourke Well-written with some really tender moments and a few heart-tugs.

I liked that the gods were real, and that there was a theme of free-will vs gods'-will here. And it wasn't an easy one to decide which was better. Free-will had nasty consequences, but the gods were hardly nice... I wanted to spite them. But, those consequences. So, which to choose, which to choose? But, grey areas are what make for truly compelling fiction (IMVHO).

While I wasn't 100% convinced on the fledgling romance at times, when things didn't go smoothly, my heart bled a little... that's a good thing.

There were a few things I would have liked to see delved into more. For instance, one character's despicable behaviour would seem to have been caused by an outside influence (those pesky gods again). Rather than anyone seeking to help, he was still loathed and ostracised. Yes, he did wrong, but it wasn't something he would have done on his own... at least, that was my interpretation. No, you can't take back the wrong, but... I don't know. Maybe I err too far towards mercy?

Generally, though, I think any fan of fantasy-romance with dark undertones will find this an enjoyable read.

A Necklace of Souls

A Necklace of Souls - R.L. Stedman Kinda SciFi/Fantasy in that it references parallel universes, but mostly pure fantasy. A nice introduction to these characters who are clearly going to have more adventures, yet. Great debut.
I'd like to get to know Will a little more. Strangely, I found myself more attached to Jed by the end. I think just because he made me laugh.
Looking forward to more.

Prince of Thorns

Prince of Thorns - Mark  Lawrence Subjectively: I liked it.
Slightly more objectively: Well-written on the whole, interesting tale (i.e. I'll probably do 5 stars for Amazon and the like).

Unfortunately,I just can't identify with (i.e. care about) a character like Jorg, which is always what I'm on the the lookout for. I saw potential for him to develop in a likeable way... but, then, perhaps he isn't meant to. This is a character study as much as an adventure, and I'm OK with that, I'm just not going to fall in love with it.

There is a certain "coolness" about a character that can be totally ruthless, though. It interests me enough that at this point, I'm more than a little willing to read more....

The First Law Trilogy

The First Law Trilogy - Joe Abercrombie Done, done, dooooone...

Phew! Epic read.

Really enjoyed it. Really good. Not exactly a happy ending, but satisfying, none-the-less. And, overall, I guess most characters got about what they deserved... I think.

I'm looking forward to re-reading the other three books now that I have the background I gained from this one (these ones...).

Shardfall

Shardfall - Paul E. Horsman Terribly, terribly sorry.
The story could very well be very good, but I've just run out of patience. I sense the potential, and i may come back to it and find that it turns out really great, but I just can't leave it hanging at the moment.
I'm not drawn-in. I think I am a really harsh critique for that, though. I am. And yet, it's the main thing I look for an any book, knowing full well how rare it is.
One day, I may have more time and I may be able to commit to a story that I'm not living...

But, you know what? For anyone looking for another fantasy quest tale... Give this one a go. I think it has the potential to appeal to many.

Arm Farm

Arm Farm - Sarah Butland Not for me, sorry.
Really loved the opening chapter. Thought the Arm Farm imagery was great. The book, though, needed a really good critique. Seemingly unimprtant details (like how people had their coffee, etc) got a lot of page-time. Maybe it *is* important, and I'm missing something, but... Unfortunately, this time, it just isn't for me.

The Fiery Cross

The Fiery Cross - Diana Gabaldon Start date equals estimate. Started a while ago...