Book Review of “Jaspar’s War”

“Jaspar’s War” published in 2014 was written by Cym Lowell (http://www.cymlowell.com). This is Cym’s second novel.

Socialite Jaspar Moran is suddenly thrust into a different world when the plane carrying her husband Trevor, the Secretary of the Treasury, is lost over the North Atlantic. Only minutes after being informed about her husband, she discovers that both of her children are missing. Then she receives a strange call telling her to keep silent about her husband’s involvement in the President’s economic stimulus plan if she ever wants to see her children again.

She is helped to disappear by close friends in the Catholic church, and escorted to Australia by Nul, an Aborigine assassin. Jaspar is trained by Nul, then they go on the offensive in an attempt to rescue Jaspar’s children.

Before she had left the US, Jaspar found a thumb drive with documents and notes her husband Trevor had been gathering on the pending financial recovery plan. She was able to sneak it to long time friend and financial wizard Chief Bearstrike. After he analyzes the data, his fear that an unknown group is carefully attacking the financial system of the US is substantiated.

As days tick by those responsible for kidnapping the Moran children are confronted by Jaspar and Nul, and they respond with lethal force. With Nul supporting her, Jaspar is willing to do anything to find her children. Simultaneously, Chief Bearstrike attempts to thwart the attack on the financial system through the US government.

I felt that this was an engaging, well written story, though at times it felt rough and unpolished in places. I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it.

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Book Review for “Soldiers Live”

“Soldiers Live” published in 2000 is currently the last book in the Black Company fantasy series by Glen Cook (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Cook). The viewpoint has switched back to Croaker after he and several others were revived from the stasis they had been trapped in at the Fortresss with no name on the Glittering Plain. While Croaker and Lady have also been revived, the role of Captain of the Company has remained with Sleepy.
The Company crossed the Glittering Plain and arrived at the gate to the Land of Unknown Shadows at the end of “Water Sleeps”. In the four years that the Company has spent there it has grown and is now a well trained and heavily armed army. The time comes for them to return to the land from which they had fled and finish with Taglios, Soulcatcher and Kina.
Croaker takes a side trip to Khatovar, but it is far from what he was expecting. The Company does return to Taglios and eventually takes the city. Soulcatcher is taken and Mogaba removed. Along the way several members of the Company are lost. Tobo does find his way to grow into a powerful wizard and becomes involved with a young sorceress that was picked up in Croaker’s visit to Khatovar.
Overall I was very satisfied with the apparent wrap-up to this series that covers several decades with the Company. I found this to be another well written, good saga. I recommend this series to anyone.

Book Review of “Attack of the Geek”

“Attack of the Geek” published in 2014 was written by Michael R. Underwood (http://michaelrunderwood.com). This is his third novel to be published.

This book is a “Ree Reyes side-quest” as the author puts it. It is set in the “urban fantasy” world he created with his first novel “Geekomancy.

Having not read the first two books (“Celebromancy” being the second) it was hard for me to step into the world these books are set in. It is an unusual world set in contemporary society, but one where anything fantasy or science fiction from print, TV or movies, as well as games, is possible for those with the ability.

Imagine a world where a mixture of Star Wars light sabers, Star Trek phasers, swords from the Trilogy of the Rings, and just plain magic spells are all possible. That gives you an idea of the chaotic nature of this world.

Once I adjusted to the strangeness, I did find the story engaging and well written. These novels are not going to be for everyone, but for those who do accept them they will be an enjoyable read.

Book Review of “The Burning”

“The Burning” published in 2010 was written by Jane Casey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Casey). This is her second novel. The story is of a young Detective Constable of the Metropolitan London Police, Maeve Kerrigan.

She is working on a task force put together to find the Burning Man, a serial killer who has brutally killed four young women, then set their bodies on fire. She is called to the scene of a potential fifth victim, but she is not convinced that it is the work of their serial killer.

Maeve begins to look into the life of the victim in an effort to determine if the young woman, Rebecca, was killed by the Burning Man or a copy cat. As she digs deeper, she finds a connection between Rebecca and the death of an Oxford college classmate. In addition to the long hours spent on the case, she is troubled with a deteriorating relationship with the man she is living with, Ian.

As the story progresses Maeve is hospitalized by an encounter with the serial killer. Her relationship with Ian ends as well. Maeve continues to pursue the truth about Rebecca. The story ends with the serial killer behind bars and the full story of how and why Rebecca was killed.

I found the story to be well written and a good mystery. I recommend this novel.

Book Review of Glen Cook’s “The Water Sleeps”

“Water Sleeps” published in 1999 is the 10th book in the Black Company fantasy series by Glen Cook (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Cook). The viewpoint has switched to Sleepy who has taken over as the Company Annalist, and the de facto Captain. Fifteen years have passed since the end of the prior book.

Sleepy and Murgen’s wife, Sahra, keep the company together and hidden in Taglios. They organize guerrilla tactics to harass Soulcatcher, the one remaining Shadowmaster and a long time enemy of The Company. Sleepy then leads the remaining Company members from Taglios, heading towards The Glittering Plain and the fortress with no name.

They have developed a plan to rescue the Company members who had been trapped there in a stasis at the end of book #9, “She is the Darkness”. Along the way we find out that Murgen’s son, Tobo, is part of a prophecy for the Nyueng Bao. He is also considered the future of The Company by Company wizards One-Eye and Goblin.

Besides evading Soulcatcher they also have to battle a more subtle threat from Kina who is still trying to bring on the Year of the Skulls so that she can be woken.

I found this to be well written and a continuing good saga. I recommend this series to anyone.