Category Archives: Fantasy

Review of “The Blue Sky Wolves”

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Book Reviews – “The Blue Sky Wolves” eBook was published in 2018 (November) and was written by S. M. Stirling (https://smstirling.com). Mr. Stirling has published more than 55 novels. This is the fifth novel in his “Emberverse V Rudi’s Children” series of alternative history novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set nearly 50 years after ‘The Change’ with the second generation living on the altered Earth.

Crown Princess Órlaith and Japanese Empress Reiko first lead their forces in the freeing of the Hawaiian islands. Then they lead the armies of Montival and Japan respectively to Korea in a final confrontation with the occult power that was behind the Yellow Raja. Once they have landed in Korea, they meet unexpected allies there, the descendants of Genghis Khan now rising as a force to be reckoned with in Mongolia.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11 hours I spent reading this 352-page alternative history fantasy. I have read most of the novels in the Emberverse series and have found them all enjoyable. I like the characters of Órlaith, Reiko, and their comrades. I think that Stirling has done a great job both with the plot for this series as well as with creating interesting leaders in a broken world. While this novel was filled with battles between the forces of Montival and her allies, the end seemed too easy and simple for the conclusion of this part of the series.  I do like the cover art selected for this novel. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

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Review of “The Banished Craft”

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Book Reviews – “The Banished Craft” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by E. D. E. Bell (https://www.edebell.com). Ms. Bell has published four novels, with this being the first in her “Shkode” trilogy.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in a land of fantasy where humans and intelligent dragons exist. They each are having their separate adventures, but a common thread to them is the use of the drug ‘ha’.

There are several characters that the story follows, both human and dragon.

A world has been spit – now there are separate human and dragon worlds. The woman Cor lives in a world where women are not allowed to read or study or have a career. Yet she wants more and discovers when she tries ‘ha’ that she has powers. She is a witch.

Atesh is one of the most brilliant scientists in the dragon kingdom. His avocation is studying the plant that ‘ha’ comes from, but he is tasked by the emperor to create a deadly poison. His world is facing destruction and he is struggling to save it against all odds.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9.5+ hours I spent reading this 346-page fantasy. I liked the human characters but I struggled with the dragon characters for some reason. The plot was a bit unique, but with it too I had a bit of a hard time. I also felt that the story ended rather abruptly. The cover art is well chosen. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Foundryside”

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Book Reviews – “Foundryside” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Robert Jackson Bennett (http://www.robertjacksonbennett.com). Mr. Bennett has published eight novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in a world where magic exists and is one of the driving forces behind manufacturing. The primary character is Sancia Grado a young woman and a very good thief.

Grado is engaged to steal a box from a safe. Little does she know what having accomplished that will bring her. The artifact contained in the box contains powerful magic. A magic that the powerful Merchant Houses are willing to kill to obtain. She must recruit strong and unusual allies in order to survive.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 13.5 hours I spent reading this 512 page fantasy. I liked the characters and the plot of this novel and I hope to see sequels set in this universe in the future. The cover art is OK, but I can imagine art that ties more closely to the story. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Eye of the Ninja”

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Book Reviews -“Eye of the Ninja” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by D.M. Marlowe (http://www.dmmarlowe.com). Ms. Marlowe has published three novels in her “Eye of the Ninja Chronicles” series. This is the first novel in the series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the near future. Earthquakes and other disasters have claimed the ‘ring of fire’ around the Pacific leaving Japan devastated.

The primary character in the story is young Mei Barrett. She has been raised by her father and trained in the Ninja arts. When he is killed she spends four years in hiding. She suffers from a mutation of her eyes that draw attention to her where ever she goes. She must avoid any attention if she is to continue to avoid the wind demon that killed her father.

She finds that there are others that are fighting the demons. Others that knew her mother and father. Others that may become the friends, the allies, and the family that she has been missing.

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 277 page young adult fantasy. There is a lot of Japanese cultures embedded in this novel. I also felt that it was a little disjointed, particularly in the beginning. It also seemed to end more abruptly than it needed to. It is a mixture of martial arts and the supernatural. I do like the cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Pretty Waiter Girls”

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Book Reviews – “Pretty Waiter Girls” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Greg Alldredge (https://www.greg-alldredge.com). Mr. Alldredge has published three novels, with this being the first in his “Helena Brandywine Adventure” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in 1899 San Francisco. The primary character is young Helena Brandywine.

Brandywine is a wealthy young woman who is educated and who has grown up protected somewhat from the seedier and more brutal side of life. Her step-father, the general, has been away for many years and she has been without her mother for most of her life. She has Sigmund and Lane to assist, guide, and protect her.

Brandywine fancies herself as a detective after the popular stories she has read. When a friend approaches her about the disappearance of another young woman, Brandywine dives into the investigation. That investigation takes her to Chinatown and opens her eyes to what is really going on in the strata of society beneath her station. She also finds herself drawn to a San Francisco Police detective and encountering one dangerous situation after another. She also begins to learn much more about her parents. They are not exactly who she thought they were.

I enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 317 page steampunk mystery. I liked the characters in this novel, and the willingness of the author to see primary characters be killed off. I was not expecting the supernatural thread, but I still enjoyed the novel. I will look forward to more novels in this series. I like the cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Episode #5 of “Sage Alexander: The Dark Realm”

If you have not seen the four prior episodes, you should begin viewing with Episode #1.

Short Films– The fifth short (12:59) episode, “Sacrifice”, of the Sage Alexander prequel “The Dark Realm” was uploaded to YouTube by TigerBeat TV on August 10. The synopsis:

In this final chapter, all those trapped inside the Dark Realm face more difficulties as they try to escape. While Malcolm and Gavin mourn the loss of their friend, Chelsea finally reveals to Adelaide why they must stick together. What could it be? And will Sage succeed in saving the imprisoned girls, or will he change the course of history forever?

 

Review of “Four Dominions”

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Book Reviews – “Four dominions” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Eric Van Lustbader (https://www.ericvanlustbader.com). Mr. Van Lustbader has published nearly 50 novels. This is the third novel in his “The Testament” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in contemporary times. The primary characters are Emma and Bravo Shaw who have recovered the Testament of Lucifer.

Emma disappears and Bravo tries to locate her. He finds himself recovering from an unexpected encounter. Bravo avoids his followers and continues his search for Emma. They encounter the fallen angels that have been predicted as the End of Days. If they fail, then it will be the end of humanity.

I thought that the 10.5+ hours I spent reading this 368 page fantasy were interesting. I have read a lot of Van Lustbader over the years. Some of his novels fall into the ‘strange’ category and this is one of them. This novel read well enough as a stand alone read, but I would suggest reading the three novels in the series in order. I had read the prior novel, “The Fallen”, and it helped understand this novel. I think that part of my reaction to this novel is that I am not a fan of angels and demons in my reading. The chosen cover art is OK. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Episode #4 of “Sage Alexander: The Dark Realm”

If you have not seen the three prior episodes, you should begin viewing with Episode #1.

Short Films– The fourth short (9:00) episode, “They Are Coming”, of the Sage Alexander prequel “The Dark Realm” was uploaded to YouTube by TigerBeat TV on August 3. The synopsis:

Sage is faced with a dilemma: should he help the young imprisoned girls or obey his grandfather’s orders to not risk changing the future? In the meantime, Malcolm, Gavin and Navarro learn the mysteries of The Dark Realm from Oddvar, but will they be able to keep their cool in order to escape? And have they lost Chelsea and Adelaide forever?

 

Episode #3 of “Sage Alexander: The Dark Realm”

If you have not seen either of the two prior episodes, you should begin viewing with Episode #1.

Short Films– The third short (13:53) episode of the Sage Alexander prequel “The Rooms are Alive” was uploaded to YouTube by TigerBeat TV on July 27. The synopsis:

Sage enters the Dark Realm with strict orders not to alter the past — and possibly the future — by interfering with what he may witness in there. In the meantime, the five other young warriors get further lured into the Dark Realm and meet a surprising face. Can they work together to find a way out? Will Sage play it safe or risk the future when he hears desperate calls for help?

View episode #4

Episode #2 of “Sage Alexander: The Dark Realm”

If you haven’t seen it already, start viewing with episode #1 before you watch this episode.

Short Films – The second short (10:47) episode of the Sage Alexander prequel “Are We All Going to Die?” was uploaded to YouTube by TigerBeat TVon July 20. I do think this one was better than the first. I am glad that friend Ashlea Rae has a larger role in this episode. The synopsis:

Sage still feels unprepared to enter the Dark Realm, so grandpa Alexander begins to memory share with him. He continues to recount the story of the young warriors who set out to find a portal to the Dark Realm… Will they find it? And will Sage finally feel ready to enter it himself?

View Episode #3