Friday, October 25, 2013

Review:Princeps' Fury by Jim Butcher

Having now been recognized as the Princep of Alera Tavi leads an expedition  to return the invading Canim forces to their homeland. However shortly after he leaves Alera the Vord launch a campaign in force against the Alerans. Gaius, the aging first lord of Alera, is finally able to unite his people against the Vord threat, even his staunchest rival Lord Aquitaine comes on board. The threat  however is now greater than he is willing to tell the general populace; the Vord are now able to control Furies of their own. Gaius dispatches agents on two missions, first Amara and Bernard are sent behind enemy lines to find the source of the Vord's access to Furies and Isana is despatched to secure the legions defending the border against the icemen. Tavi meanwhile has problems of his own....

Like the previous novels in the series the narrative is divided into parts, four in this case. Again the Amara/Bernard one felt like the weakest to me as Amara has regressed as a character since the first novel, though her storyline was better paced this time around. Otherwise character growth is reasonably strong especially for Tavi and Gauis and surprisingly Lord Aquitaine who becomes a much more rounded charater.

There were a few issues early on with the narrative which I found distracting. The worst of these was the use of etc, which doesn't fit with the world Butcher has created and should have been weeded out in editing.

A strong point in the novel is the sheer amount of action that happens and it definitely feels like we heading towards a conclusion in the series.  

Overall despite my continued problems with Amara's character and a few minor issues Butcher delivers a solid read.  8/10.    

Friday, October 4, 2013

Review: The Glass God by Kate Griffin

Matthew Swift, the Midnight Mayor, has gone missing and Sharon Li finds herself appointed his deputy and tasked with finding him. The only clues she has available is a tatty but innocent looking umbrella and mysterious pairs of shoes scattered throughout London.  Sharon quickly discovers that there may be larger threat in play.

Like her previous novels Griffin is able to inject a good degree of humour without detracting from the overall serious tone of the novel. My favourite aspect of the first book in  the series, and what set it apart from the Matthew Swift books, was the degree to which the support characters were developed. Griffin does the same again here but extends it to the antagonists, which really makes for some interesting 'grey' characters.

Pacing is again fast and well controlled with short sharp chapters.

Overall Griffin does an excellent job of building on the good work she did in her first Magicals Anonymous book. 8.75/10.

Review: Infinty Blade: Redemption by Brandon Sanderson

Having been left imprisoned with his mortal enemy the God King Radriar Siris is at last rescued by Isa. However years have passed and Siris now finds himself the center of a legend and figurehead for a rebellion. His endless battles with his mortal nemesis have taken their toll however and Siris finds himself battling his darker nature. He also finds himself in a position where he may need to work with the Radrair if either of them are to have a hope of defeating the worker.

I'm glad to see Sanderson toned down his attempts at humor which were so distracting and didn't gel with the story of the first Infinity blade novella. Aside from the main story there are various interludes that take place in our near future and the infinity blade universes distant past which shed light on one of the primary characters and is a nice piece of plotting that sets up the finale. Character development was well worked for all three primary characters.

Overall the second infinity blade novella works better than the original. 7.25/10.