Another week begins.  I quickly slip into my business suit and head back into the office to save a few innocent people. While I try to fool myself into being excited about the promise of a new week and the continuation of the regular grind, deep down, I’m not, so I’m going to escape dreary reality by starting an epic fantasy while trying to finish up my latest Warhammer read!

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the wolfThe Wolf by Leo Carew

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Under the Northern Sky #1

Publisher: Orbit (April 3, 2018)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 512 pages

Violence and death come to the land under the Northern Sky when two fierce races break their age-old fragile peace and start an all-out war in this thrilling and savagely visceral epic fantasy.
Ready or not, Roper has been thrust into a position of leadership that he’s woefully ill prepared for. Now, a massive army approaches from the south, old allies turn against him, and new rivals seek to undermine his rule. Facing attack from within and without, Roper must forge reckless alliances, no matter the cost, to save his kingdom.
Bellamus is a brash but capable southern general, a commoner with the rare honor of having the discreet support of the Queen. Rising quickly from the minor ranks he was born into, Bellamus leads the march on the North. Victory means glory, power, and the favor of the king, but defeat promises much worse than disgrace.
A tale of war, rivalry, and honor, The Wolf creates a world that is both familiar and uncanny – one where the fiercest enemies are always closer than they seem.

Purchase the book at Amazon

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Doom of dragonbackThe Doom of Dragonback by Gav Thorpe

Genre: Fantasy — Warhammer

Series: Time of Legends Stand Alone

Publisher: Games Workshop (October 14, 2014)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 416 pages

War with the elves has ended in bloody stalemate, great quakes have broken the peaks, and the enemies of the dwarfs are rising in vast numbers. Far removed from this grief, however, are the dwarfs of Ekrund, great underground city of the Dragonback Mountains, convinced that no foe will ever breach their walls. Amongst them, the Angbok clan continues to mine their gold, until war threatens Dragonback and decisions must be made that could change their way of life forever. Whether by exile or extinction, a great doom is coming…

Purchase the book at Amazon

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guest-post2Today, I’m happy to have my son, Connor, return to the blog after a long hiatus.  While these appearances are not as frequent as they once were, I always am thankfully whenever he puts the xbox controller down long enough to read a graphic novel and write down a few thoughts.


gl corps 1GL Corps, Vol. 1: Fearsome by Peter J. Tomasi

Genre: Superhero Comics

Series: GL Corps (New 52) #1

Publisher: DC Comics (December 25, 2012)

Length: 160 pages

Connor’s Rating:   connor-capconnor-capconnor-capconnor-cap

I just want to start this by admitting I love Green Lantern graphic novels, comics, or tv series.  I also prefer Hal Jordan, because that is the GL I have always seen in my life in the movies or tv.  So when I found out this graphic novel was all about the other human GL’s like John Stewart and Guy Gardner I wasn’t really sure about it.  I still wanted to give it a try since Green Lanterns are usual cool no matter what, and let’s just say it didn’t disappoint.  The book answering one of my main questions about the GL Corps: Where does the lantern go and come from whenever a GL needs a quick charge for the power ring?

The story doesn’t start out about lanterns though.  It begins with John Stewart and Guy Gardner (two of many protectors for Sector 2614) trying to have a normal life with a 9 to 5 job. Problem is they already have a full time job being a lantern, and our two GLs need to accept what they are.


This time around normal life is interrupted by a mysterious people who are destroying world after world.  Who these world killers really are and why they are doing this are completely unknown to Guy or John.  Of course, the Guardians are less than useless, since they won’t reveal anything they might or might not know for some weird reason. And, so, our lanterns go out on a search and destroy mission.


Now, overall, I liked the book.  Sure, there was some negative stuff, but I’ll get to that in a minute.  Let’s talk about the good first.

Great art here.  I love the art team of Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna.  They did such a great job with the illustrations in this book.  I know it must be hard to draw all those alien worlds as well as they did, but all their hard work made this one beautiful.


Great story.  Peter J. Tomasi had a cool plot idea and goes for it.  The story starts off very mysterious with no one knowing who the destroyers of the planets are and why they are doing this.  I especially loved the way the mystery drove the book and let me see Guy and John do some detective type stuff instead of just getting into a non-stop ring battle with some rampaging alien.

Now for the dreaded negatives I have with the book.

Let’s start off with the bad guys.  I’m not going to mention who they are or why they are doing what they do, but I just have to say that one of their special abilities was really confusing.  I just didn’t get Tomasi’s explanation at all.  It didn’t make much sense and seemed more like an excuse for why they could resist the GL Corps than anything else.

My next complaint is probably me being picky, but this was a Green Lantern story with no appearance at all by Hal Jordan.  I don’t remember what the excuse was for Hal not to be around, but it was something like him being off on some mission or something.  Problem is that a GL Corps book isn’t a GL book without Hal at least showing up a little.  How hard would it have been for him have been in the book at the beginning? Like I said, it is me being picky.

Lastly, I didn’t like this version of Guy.  He was much too chill.  I’ve always seen Guy be an obnoxious and angry person, insulting and fighting with everyone around him.  That is Guy.  Here he did not go off at anyone once in the entire story.  I kept wondering when Tomasi was going to reveal the real Guy Gardner.


So, okay, I didn’t like everything about this book, but it was still a pretty good story.  Thanks for reading this review. Thanks for not getting mad over my opinion being different from yours.  And if you are on Goodreads, friend me any time to talk about my reviews or comic books in general.

batman-V-superman-logoAbout Connor (In his dad’s words):

Connor is a teenager who enjoys graphic novels (DC Comics are preferred!), superhero movies (He is counting the days down until Avengers Infinity War.), watching episodes of The Flash and Arrow,  is a “beast” on Injustice 2, will happily accept any and all caps (because you just can’t have too many caps), and whose favorite music right now revolves around Warrant and 80s hair metal.  And, no, Connor did not have any input into my paragraph about him.  Being a dad does have it’s privileges.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

Posted in 4 Stars, DC, Graphic Novels, Green Lantern, The New 52 | 10 Comments



Welcome to the Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme created by Books by Proxy. Join us every Friday as we pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in the literary universe.  If you want to join us next week, check out next week’s predetermined them, choose a book, compare two or more different covers available for that book, then name your favorite. A list of future weeks’ themes are available at Lynn’s Book Blog

This week’s theme is:

‘‘ Where there’s fire there’s… – a cover featuring smoke”

When I read this week’s theme, I knew it was going to be a tough one for me.  Little did I know how difficult, but finally I came up with something.

Hope you enjoy!

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The simple cover worked best for me here.  A few of the others were interesting, visually compelling, but for me, they just did not excite me.

So, do you agree with my picks?  Disagree?  Love them all?  Hate them all?  Let us know!

Posted in Friday Face-Off | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments


good guysGood Guys by Steven Brust

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Stand Alone

Publisher: Tor Books (March 6, 2018)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 320 pages

My Rating: 2 stars

Good Guys is an urban fantasy take by Steven Brust, author of the Vlad Taltos fantasy series; it is light, fast-paced, and readable in the vein of other detective focused UF out there. Unfortunately, I didn’t find this Brust novel as interesting as his fantasy offerings, so much so, in fact, that I kept finding reasons to put off writing a review. But, at the end of the day, I decided to put my views on the screen since everyone who wants to deserves an opportunity to read my thoughts – even if you don’t agree with them.

The focus of the story here is a secret group of people from a mysterious and magical Foundation: their job to police the world and keep rogue magic users under control, as well as keep normal people from realizing magic is very real and very dangerous. Naturally our heroes are underpaid and under appreciated, but they are still out there risking their lives, attempting to track down a serial killer who is committing magical murders across the globe. The bureaucratic red tape of their organization nearly as unnerving as the actions of their shadowy adversaries.

Like most UF, this novel is very detective/mystery oriented, but it also has a strong dose of cold war spy themes and a good number of deaths. Grizzly ones. Murders where forensics play a key role in deciphering the clues. All of the killing wrapped up in shadowy conspiracies. And what makes it worse is our heroes begin to doubt themselves, their purpose. Are they really even the good guys? Or, are they merely ignorant pawns being shuffled across the board by people in power who are, in reality, the bad guys!

If you love urban fantasy, I’m sure all that sounds decent enough. And, overall, I have to admit Good Guys is a readable story; it had more than a few twists and turns, even provided some interesting tweaks on the standard magical investigations so familiar by this point. As I said earlier though, I was a bit underwhelming by it though.

First off, there are a lot of point of view characters and a lot of viewpoint shifts. The author jumping from Donovan, our team leader, to our criminal to other recruits to other bosses to . . . Lots of people. You get the point. And it was annoying as hell. At least, for me. Mainly because I never got to spend enough time with anyone to actually care at all about them. And when I don’t care about characters I lose interest in the story.

Second, the time Brust spent showing the motives of the criminal really added nothing to the plot for me personally. Okay, maybe it helped me understand this person’s thoughts and feelings, but I didn’t need to be in the bad guys head for me to understand these things. Honestly, Donovan and the investigation could have shown me the villain’s true motives just as easily and probably better.

Lastly, I grew tired of the bureaucratic conspiracies. I know that bureaucracy can be bad. Evil people can hide in bureaucratic systems. Politics – especially office politics – sucks. But I live those things every day, so a story focused around them wasn’t terribly exciting for me.

Ultimately, your decision to read Good Guys will hinge on whether you love detective/mystery type urban fantasy. If your answer is a resounding “Yes” then this one is a book you will probably enjoy. If your answer is “No” then skip this and give Brust’s Vlad Taltos a go.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.

Purchase the book at Amazon

Posted in 2 Stars, Fantasy, Urban | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments



Today, the guys in the Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday group have an interesting topic, one which is straight forward and to the point: “Ideal Mash-Ups — You know those comp titles they list in synopses that read something like “perfect for fans of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones”! What would be some of your favorite mash ups, that would make you pick up a book? “A mix of ________ and ___________.

To be honest, I’ve become a bit suspicious whenever books are advertised like this.  Guess I’ve purchased too many loser books which were suppose to be a mixture of Tolkien and Game of Thrones.  But I can certainly list a few mash-ups which would excite me enough to take a longer look at a novel.

kings-of-the-wyld5. George R.R. Martin meets Terry Pratchett!

Think of it: jokes, cleverness, and still enough violence and blood to satisfy even the most demanding fantasy fans out there.

Huh?  Nicholas Eames’s books have already done it, telling a story about a band of over-the-hill mercs getting back together.

Purchase Kings of the Wyld at Amazon

shards of heaven4. Magic mixed with real world history!

History and fantasy are favorites of mine, so I’d love a historically accurate story where magic is seamlessly incorporated into real world events.  If the author was also an expert in the historical field, then it would be even more amazing.

Oh, Michael Livingston has already done that.

Purchase The Shards of Heaven at Amazon

promise of blood3. Gunpowder and magic! 

Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone took magic and placed it into a world of firearms and science.  I could see some damn cool stories coming out of that.

Seriously?  It’s already been done.

Purchase Promise of Blood at Amazon

the midnight front2. Magic and modern war!

How about magic taking part in a modern war.  No, not like in Naomi Novak’s Temeraire.  What I’m envisioning is sorcerers kicking it in the middle of World War I or II.

Stop.  Don’t say it.  I remember: it’s been done already.

Purchase The Midnight Front at Amazon

dinosaur lords1. A cross between Jurassic Park and Game of Thrones!

Damn, that sounds good.  A story which can’t go wrong.  I mean, dinosaurs and George R.R. Martin macabre fantasy will be amazing.

What?  This is a mash-up already.  Oh yeah, it is.  Well, it was a great idea and a book which had a lot of promise.

Purchase The Dinosaur Lords at Amazon

Add some others . . . if you can!

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Waiting on Wednesday is a meme I’ve participated in for years which lets readers share their excitement for books coming out soon, and this week the novel I’m eagerly awaiting is . . .

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fall of gondolinThe Fall of Gondolin by J.R.R. Tolkien

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Stand Alone

Publisher: HarperCollins (August 30, 2018)

Author Information: Website

Length: 304 pages

In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin two of the greatest powers in the world strive against one another. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast military power from his fortress of Angband. Deeply opposed to Morgoth is Ulmo, second in might only to Manwë, chief of the Valar.

Central to this enmity of the gods is the city of Gondolin, beautiful but hidden. It was built and peopled by Noldorin Elves who, when they dwelt in Valinor, the land of the gods, rebelled against their rule and fled to Middle-earth. Turgon King of Gondolin is hated and feared above all his enemies by Morgoth, who seeks in vain to discover the marvellously hidden city, while the gods in Valinor in heated debate largely refuse to intervene in support of Ulmo’s desires and designs.

Into this world comes Tuor, cousin of Túrin, the instrument of Ulmo’s designs. Guided unseen by him Tuor sets out from the land of his birth on the fearful journey to Gondolin, and in one of the most arresting moments in the history of Middle-earth the sea-god himself appears to him, rising out of the ocean in the midst of a storm. In Gondolin he becomes great; he is wedded to Idril, Turgon’s daughter, and their son is Eärendel, whose birth and profound importance in days to come is foreseen by Ulmo.

At last comes the terrible ending. Morgoth learns through an act of supreme treachery all that he needs to mount a devastating attack on the city, with Balrogs and dragons and numberless Orcs. After a minutely observed account of the fall of Gondolin, the tale ends with the escape of Tuor and Idril, with the child Eärendel, looking back from a cleft in the mountains as they flee southward, at the blazing wreckage of their city. They were journeying into a new story, the Tale of Eärendel, which Tolkien never wrote, but which is sketched out in this book from other sources.

Following his presentation of Beren and Lúthien Christopher Tolkien has used the same ‘history in sequence’ mode in the writing of this edition of The Fall of Gondolin. In the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, it was ‘the first real story of this imaginary world’ and, together with Beren and Lúthien and The Children of Húrin, he regarded it as one of the three ‘Great Tales’ of the Elder Days.

Purchase the book at Amazon

Posted in Epic, Fantasy, Waiting on Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment



Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where a new top ten list hits the web every week!

This week’s topic was a freebie, so I decided to take a look at some interesting covers from the past.  Or, to put it another way . . .


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8. WILL-OF-THE-WISPwillofthewisp



6. Tik-Toktik-tok

5. The Green Millennium







So, which one is your favorite?  We all know you have one.


Posted in Cover Lover, Top Ten Tuesday | Tagged , , | 10 Comments



Another week begins.  I quickly slip into my business suit and head back into the office to save a few innocent people. While I try to fool myself into being excited about the promise of a new week and the continuation of the regular grind, deep down, I’m not, so I’m going to escape dreary reality by continuing my binge read of sword and sorcery infused fantasy!

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curse of the phoenix crownThe Curse of the Phoenix Crown by C. L. Werner

Genre: Fantasy — Warhammer

Series: War of Vengeance #3

Publisher: Games Workshop (June 23, 2015)

Author Information: Website

Length: 384 pages

For centuries, war has raged between the proud elves and unforgiving dwarfs. After many great battles and vicious sieges, many failed attempts at peace and bloody massacres, both the dwarf High King Gotrek Starbreaker and the elf Phoenix King Caledor II tire of war and seek to bring the conflict to an end – but neither will surrender. As the last battle of the war begins, the two kings meet in single combat to decide who will be the true master of the Old World. And only one of them will walk away.

Purchase the book at Amazon

Posted in Fantasy, Funday Monday, Sword and Sorcery | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment



Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where a new top ten list hits the web every week!

This week’s topic was interesting, so I decided to participate.  And it is . . .


Honestly, I don’t believe I’ve ever done a topic like this before.  I’ve made many lists about favorite characters or characters I love to hate, but never a list of this sort.  And since I love a challenge, I decided to probe the old mind for ten characters who would fit this description.

shadow's son10. CAIM – SHADOW SAGA

Caim is an assassin.  Naturally, the saga starts off with him discovering he has a heart and helping out a target.  Fun ensues from there, but after book one, the tone of the series turns serious.  Nothing wrong with that, but each book after the first got a little darker and grittier.  Didn’t work for me.  But I always liked Caim though.

Purchase Shadow’s Son at Amazon

an alchemy of masques and mirrors9. JEAN-CLAUDE – THE RISEN KINGDOMS

Now, Jean-Claude isn’t the protagonist of this tale.  He is the sidekick at best.  But I preferred his story to the leads arc.  Nope, I’m not a sexist.  It wasn’t because our protagonist was a smart, strong woman.  It’s a lot simpler than all that.  I had nothing in common with her.  Could not understand her trials.  But I could appreciate Jean-Claude’s devotion and determination to protect and aid her.

Purchase An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors at Amazon


There are a lot of characters in this epic fantasy saga.  Karl is one of them.  But he is the one who interests me the most.  Okay, if I’m being honest I’d have to admit the dinosaurs are my favorite “characters” in this series, but among the humans, old Karl is tops, especially since some weird stuff went down in the last book.

Purchase The Dinosaur Lords at Amazon


The Deryni world is very religious, just like medieval Europe.  The religion of choice is Christianity, just like medieval Europe  And Camber is a damn saint.  Well, he doesn’t start out one, but he ends up being one.  If that sounds a little boring, it can be at times due to the endless religion and politics, but Camber rises above it all, remaining a good man.  How he remains such is probably what drew me to his story.

Purchase Camber of Culdi at Amazon

nagash the sorcerer6. NAGASH – RISE OF NAGASH

Nagash is about as bad as they come.  And in Warhammer, that means he is a total bastard.  But throughout this trilogy about his rise and fall, the author makes Nagash an interesting character to read about.  I never “liked” him really, but I found him fascinating like a molecular scientist finds a virulent disease interesting.  Says more about me than the book probably, I know.

Purchase Nagash the Sorcerer at Amazon


I’m a sucker for anything remotely like The Three Musketeers, and this is about as close to Dumas’ classic as you can get.  Only problem was the writing style which bored me to tears.  But even through the pain, I kept reading because Khaavren was a damn fine D’Artagnan, and his innate honor and goodness were a welcome relief from all the doom and gloom of most modern characters.

Purchase The Phoenix Guards at Amazon

in the shadow of the gods4. SCAL – BOUND GODS

Scal is one of several main characters in this series.  He probably isn’t the most important, but for me, he was the most interesting.  Certainly, the fact he was a northern barbarian helped me immediately recognize and empathize with him, but his shadowy past and struggles are what kept me interested.  Hopefully, he will play a bigger part going forward.

Purchase In the Shadow of the Gods at Amazon

the dragonbone chair3. SIMON – MEMORY, SORROW AND THORN

I didn’t like this series when I read it decades ago.  I’m not sure anymore why I hated it so much, but the feeling still lingers.  I did like the main character though.  Sure, Simon was the usual trope of simple peasant boy on his way to greatness, but he was a likable fellow who I remember wanting to succeed.

Purchase The Dragonbone Chair at Amazon


I’m a little ashamed to admit I read this series years ago.  Sure, it is fantasy, but it is Harlequin Fantasy without a doubt.  The romance and whatnot the main focus of the story.  I still enjoyed it though.  Faraday being my favorite character, though I still recall feeling like she got royally screwed over by everyone here.  God, I hated Axis.  The bastard!

Purchase The Wayfarer Redemption at Amazon


This was a self-published fantasy that I initially liked.  The beginning chapters were great setup.  Some cool characters were put into action.  But around the halfway point the story turned into a young adult romance with the main character, Ailith, being turned into a Chosen One where every male was tripping over themselves to hook up with her.  I liked Ailith up until that point though.  She had real promise as a character.

Purchase The Coming Storm at Amazon

Well, those are my picks.  Ever heard of any of these characters or the books they appeared in?  Did you like them or dislike them?  Love or hate the novels?  Let us all know!

Posted in Top Ten Tuesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments



Another week begins.  I quickly slip into my business suit and head back into the office to save a few innocent people. While I try to fool myself into being excited about the promise of a new week and the continuation of the regular grind, deep down, I’m not, so I’m going to escape dreary reality by finishing up a couple of books I started last week.  And, yeah, I’m going through a sword and sorcery binge reading phase!

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master of dragonsMaster of Dragons by Chris Wraight

Genre: Fantasy — Warhammer

Series: War of Vengeance #2

Publisher: Games Workshop (November 19, 2013)

Author Information: Website

Length: 416 pages

The epic war between dwarfs and elves continues.

For millennia, the elves of Ulthuan and the dwarfs of the mountain realm have been friends and allies. Now that time is over and the War of Vengeance has begun. Prince Imladrik, master of dragons and Ulthuan’s finest warrior, is ordered to leave his beloved homeland and lead his host in a war he does not believe in. Facing the fury of the dwarfs, the jealousy of his brother and the ever-present threat of Malekith’s dark elves, Imladrik must balance his love for his wife and home with the thrill of battle.

Purchase the book at Amazon

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Coming of the HorseclansThe Coming of the Horseclans by Robert Adams

Genre: Pulp Fiction – Sword & Sorcery – Post-Apocalyptic

Series: Horseclans #1

Publisher: Signet (July 1, 1982)

Author Information: Website

Length: 199 pages

A prophecy Written in Blood!
After two hundred years of seaching for other immortals, the Undying High Lord Milo Morai has returned to the Horseclans to fulfill an ancient prophecy and lead them to their destined homeland by the sea. But in their path wait the armed might of the Ehleenee and an enemy even more treacherous-the Witchmen-pre-Holocaust scientists who have survived the centuries by stealing other men’s bodies to house their evil minds and who have in their hidden stronghold the means of destroying all who will not become their willing slaves.
Can even Milo save the Horseclans from the bloodthirsty Ehleenee and the malevolent Witchmen who would rip him to shreds to discover his secret of immortality?

Purchase the book at Amazon

Posted in Funday Monday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment