The Battlemage

51it18gwxvl-_sx323_bo1204203200_I was incredibly eager to read the conclusion to ‘The Summoner’ series. As I found the previous book to be a slight disappointment, I had remarkably high expectations for this one.

The ether had been portrayed in an amazing manner – the descriptions were colourful and vivid. (In fact, the entire book had been written in a detailed yet concise manner). As with the previous books, it was really nice to explore a completely new environment, in which the protagonists had to navigate the various perils and dangers that presented a threat to their survival. The book as a whole moved at a rapid pace, was filled with a lot of action and generally was hard to put down. There were a couple of slight lags pace wise as the plot progressed, but these were virtually non-existent.

Something that I admired throughout the book was Fletcher’s ability to think strategically on the spot, in the face of immediate danger. This had been showcased throughout the book – from fighting Khan at the start of the book to fighting the masses of goblins towards the end. All fight scenes had been brilliantly written, with the right amount of heart stopping tension woven in.

At times however, the plot felt a little rushed. This was especially the case right at the end. Whilst the scenes depicting the battle in Raleighshire had been exceptionally written, the end battle with Khan felt hurried. It was the most anticipated battle – the big climax – and yet it just sort of fell a little flat. In some ways it felt like it was ‘too easy’. Another part that could have had more depth added was the planning aspect of exposing the traitors to the whole of Hominum. 

As a whole series, the books had scope to be written in more detail. There were many questions that hadn’t really been addressed properly. For example, what happens if a Summoner tries to capture a demon that already has a master? Or if another Summoner tries to capture a demon whose master has died, but already has a summoning scroll stashed away somewhere?

In all fairness, I completely understand that not every single question can be addressed no matter how in depth a series is.  I mean I still have a couple of questions about the wizarding world in ‘Harry Potter’. (For example, if you’re viewing a memory in the pensieve, how can you view it from a third person perspective? Because the memory itself wouldn’t have been remembered from a third person vantage point – you remember from your eyes surely?). Having said that, I feel like this particular series could have developed and fleshed out the main concepts a little more.

The ending to the book and to the series was superbly done. All the major plot points had been tied up, whilst some of the more minor aspects had been left open and a little ambiguous – for the reader to come up with their own ending. This approach worked well as an ending to the series.

Overall, not only was this a gripping read from start to finish, but also a fine conclusion to an amazing series. Even though more depth could have been added to all three books, they had been brilliantly written and were fresh in regards to plot and characterisation. A definite recommendation for anyone looking to escape in a magical whirlwind of an adventure.

Happy Reading,

Saz

P.S. A book fell on my head. I can only blame my shelf. 😀

 

The Inquisition

fc81a1b7aa72e9bd9114916851d38ddaUpon finishing ‘The Novice’ on such an exciting cliffhanger, I lost no time in picking up the next book in the series. I was very eager to continue the magical adventure. Fortunately, that was just a small tap away.

Small bursts of action were interspersed throughout the first half of the book; other than that, the plot moved at a somewhat slow pace. However, once everything had been properly set up, the book picked up speed and managed to sustain itself until the end. Most of the action was concentrated in the last third of the book, but something still felt like it was missing. Maybe it was just the dragging out of Fletcher’s trial and the setting up of the main plot line.

The whole tension and suspense as to who the traitor was kept up nicely until the big reveal at the end. The identity of said traitor took me by complete surprise. Looking back, all the clues were there, bar a couple. Nonetheless there were enough to warrant a suspicion. The other plot twist felt completely random, not to mention a little convenient  – something the author had decided to throw in at the last second, leaving me distinctly unimpressed and a smidge disappointed.

What was amazing was the huge variety of demons presented (albeit briefly) in this one compared to its predecessor. It was amusing to read about the brief interactions between Athena and Ignatius. Although there wasn’t much character development for the main protagonists, it was good to see some complexity added in regards to the orcs – they became less one-dimensional and actually evoked a fair amount of sympathy. For some reason, Sylva irritated me to no end in this book – I couldn’t quite pin down why though. Perhaps this was more a personal issue.

Furthermore, it was brilliant to see how the characters fared in a new unsafe environment, where they have to utilise their skills and work as part of a team. Even though the teams had been split up in a predictable manner (which did make the most sense), the interactions between the team members were written well.

To conclude, this book was a tad disappointing due to the slow pace at the start. The plot wasn’t as captivating as it had been in the first one. Nevertheless, it was still an enjoyable and worthwhile read. I’ll definitely be picking up the next book in the series – it’ll be fascinating to explore the ether in more detail.

Until next time folks,

Saz

 

 

 

The Novice

9781444923971-1-1 Having had the realisation that once again I was at a loss on what to read next, I did something that had been proved to be very effective in the past; I raided my sister’s bookshelf. Although this time, I decided to go for her kindle bookshelf as opposed to her paperback selection. Having caught my attention, I began to read ‘The Novice’.

The concept had been brilliantly thought out and executed in a skilful manner. Despite the main premise of demons and magic not being entirely original, the plot was fresh, action packed and moved rapidly. The whole story had been weaved seamlessly, making it extremely hard to put down. The fictional world depicted was both immersive and intriguing. The whole idea of summoning demons, the actual creatures themselves and the interaction between demon and master, was absolutely fascinating.

This book just gives a brief glance of the magic filled world and instantly draws the reader in. The full potential is unexplored and raw, so there’s the expectation that in the next couple of books, more will be revealed. The fighting scenes had been amazingly written, however more depth could have been given, especially to the tournament side – it felt a tad rushed. It would have been really interesting to read about the other characters’ battles rather than just hearing about how they fared.

“Fight dirty, and go for the face. Gentlemen’s rules are for gentlemen …”

The main characters had been portrayed well, with some character development along the way. A mixed variety of characters and personalities were present which made the reading experience extremely enjoyable to say the least. Yet at times it felt like the characters had been portrayed in rather a simplistic manner– they were either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. There seemed to be no grey areas, which would have added that hint of complexity. It must be said though, the relationship between Fletcher and his demon, Ignatius was downright adorable, and probably one of the best aspects of the story.

“A warrior’s greatest enemy can also be his greatest teacher.” 

In a nutshell, this was a solid start to the Summoner series. The writing was impeccable and kept me turning (or rather swiping?) the pages at a fast pace. The cliffhanger on which the story ended on, definitely made me extremely curious to read the next book.

Happy reading fellow readers,

Saz

P.S. There are two kinds of people in this world: those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.

 

The Rebirths of Tao

20765775I’m just going to dive right in and say that this was an absolutely brilliant final book in the ‘Tao Trilogy’. In fact, the whole series was a pleasure to read-  each book brought something new to the metaphorical table.

Here’s a super brief synopsis –

Years have passed since the events of ‘Deaths of Tao’ took place. Split between pro-Prophus and pro-Genjix factions, the world is teetering on the brink of a devastating new world war – one that could cost humanity everything. Roen and his team are the only ones that can perhaps save the entire world from destruction before it’s too late.

Right from the first page, the plot moved at an exceptional pace, which sustained itself until the very end. The whole novel was packed with a tremendous amount of action, emotion and tension. I completely loved how even though the stakes are far greater in this book than they have ever been, the delightful quirkiness from the previous books was still very much present.

The interactions between the characters were downright hilarious and had me chuckling out loud on many occasions (much to the amusement of those around me at the time). The banter between all the characters (especially between Cameron and Tao and between Roen and Marco) had been beautifully depicted.

The ending was left rather open in many respects. But this actually worked for the book, as it made it somehow more realistic in a sense. Having said that, all the important loose ends had been neatly tied up.

The whole unconventional concept of the Quasing aliens and the role they played within human history had been masterly executed from the first book onwards. The idea was fresh and original albeit a tad scary. The fact that there was immense character development throughout the whole series, especially for Roen as he navigated being an agent, husband and father simultaneously, was just beyond incredible. The idea that he wasn’t perfect but always tried no matter what, made him immensely likeable as a main protagonist.

The whole series was fun, action packed and a tad emotional. I’ve loved every moment reading it. It’s been a whirlwind of an adventure – one that I’ll definitely be going on again in the not-so far future.  Once again, it’s been an absolute pleasure.

Over and out,

Saz

P.S. I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down! 😛

 

The Deaths of Tao

17726421Woah! I certainly was not expecting that upon finishing this book. Gobsmacked would be the word I would use to concisely express my whirlwind of emotions right now.

As always, here’s a quick synopsis –

‘The Deaths of Tao’ picks up a few years from where its predecessor left off. The Prophus and Genjix continue waging their war, with Earth as the battlefield. For both sides, the end is fast approaching. However, the Genjix’s plan means total destruction of the human race – a price they’re more than willing to pay. It’s up to the unlikely duo of Roen and Tao to stop them. Uh oh.

After reading ‘Lives of Tao’, I would not have thought it possible, but I found Roen and Tao to be even more likeable. Sadly, this cannot be extended to all the characters. Whilst I felt relatively neutral towards Baji in the first book, her eternal bitching and poorly disguised snide comments towards Roen in this one irritated me to no end. Yet, this perhaps showcased how human the Quasing are in some respects.

The narrative had been written in a skilful manner. It was incredibly enjoyable reading about the different aspects of the war – the political tactics to the more hands on action packed aspect. Interestingly, the three main human protagonists were very different to one another in terms of both personality and experiences with their respective Quasings. There was also an amazing ensemble of secondary characters added to mix as well on both sides. What’s more, the character development and complexities of relationships between the characters that arose had been brilliantly captured.

“I was being chase by half a dozen guys at the time. Didn’t have time to stop and admire the craftsmanship. There was a Ming vase there?
I believe so. You smashed it over someone’s head, picked up a shard, and stabbed another in the chest with it.
“Ah, good times.”

Granted the plot was a little bit slow at the start, mainly because it kept jumping from each protagonist. Nonetheless, it quickly gained momentum and sustained itself from there on out. Filled with humour, mystery and action packed fights; the whole plot came together in a scintillating fashion towards the end. The ending itself was on the unpredictable side and completely threw me off.

All in all, this book definitely surpassed ‘The Lives of Tao’ in terms of narrative, plot and characterisation. An absolute pleasure to read, and I shall obviously be diving in to the final book in the series without much further ado.

Until next time fellow bookworms,

Saz

P.S A new broom came out today. It’s sweeping the nation 😀