Category Archives: Fantasy

Book Review: “Cursed”

511wyNteONL._SY346_

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Cursed” eBook was published in 2019 (October) and was written by Thomas Wheeler. This is Mr. Wheeler’s second novel.

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 medieval England. The primary character is Nimue, though Arthur, Merlin, and others from the traditional tales of King Arthur are there too.

In this version of the story, Nimue, whose mother is an Arch Druid, ends up with the famous sword of power. She has also grown adept at very powerful dark magic. Her mother along with everyone else in her village is killed by the Red Paladins, a militant group of the Catholic Church. The Red Paladins seek any and all of the Fey folk they can find. They want to purge their souls through torture and death. They also want the sword of power Nimue carries.

King Pendragon is another force that wants to hold the sword that he will become the one true king. Complicating matters is the Viking Ice King who is also after the sword. Nimue and her friends must survive this lethal field of adversaries, while she tries to survive and save the Fey.

I enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 416-page fantasy. While I liked the overall plot, the familiar characters have little to do with the history we have all grown up with regarding Arthur. I think I would have liked the story better if there had been no effort to tie it to the Arthur legend. The cover art is OK. 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).

After 8 Seasons, Game of Thrones Ends

 

(See my other Game of Thrones posts) – (*** Spoilers in the video above ***) I have watched all 8 seasons of Game of Thrones and I have enjoyed all 73 episodes in the series. I have also read the first five novels in the series. I look forward to reading the remaining two once they have both been published (George RR Martin is so glacialy slow that I won’t buy one until they are both published. It has, after all, been eight years since book five was published.)

I know some people have protested what happened in episodes 5 & 6 of Season 8, but I think the series was concluded well. I like the way the story ended. The only complaint I have with season 8 is that I think it could easily have been stretched into a full 10 or more episodes.

*** Spoilers ahead ***

That said, with the dragon’s whereabouts unknown, Jon Snow headed off into the icy north, Sansa Queen of Winterfell, Bran the Broken King of the 6 Kingdoms, Tyrion Hand of the King, and Arya heading off into the unknown west, there are ample opportuities for further stories of these surviving characters.

 

Book Review: “Victoria Marmot and the Shadow of Death”

51d3-cOTkbL

Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Shadow of Death” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). This is Ms. McClain’s sixth publication. This is the third in her “Victoria Marmot” 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 and quite a bit of Mature Language. The story is set in an alternate universe to our one. One with magic and creatures of fantasy. The primary character is 17-year-old Victoria Marmot.

This story picks up shortly after the second novella in the series (“Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy“) ends. When the story resumes, Marmot is being held captive on a deserted ‘Hell’ world with the ‘squirrel demon’ and is fighting to survive.

Marmot must escape. Then she must rescue her comrades again. There isn’t so much a plot for this novella as there is the overall plot for the series. This is mostly just a continuation.

I thought the 3+ hours I spent reading this 250-page young adult fantasy were interesting. I still think the characters are a little crazy. There are no details, but Marmot is still sexually attracted to the same pair she hooked up within the last novella. 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).

Movie: “Captain Marvel”

Trailers – This trailer is from back in December and the movie “Captain Marvel” has been open now in theaters since March 8.  The synopsis (if you have been hiding in a cave somewhere) from IMDB is:

After crashing . . . on uncharted territory, Air Force pilot Carol Danvers is brought up by the Kree to being a member of the elite Starforce Military under the command of her mentor Yon-Rogg. Six years later, after crash landing on Earth while under attack by the Skrulls, Danvers begins to discover that she is not who she believes she is. With help from SHIELD agent Nick Fury, Danvers begins to unravel the truth about her past. What she discovers is a secret that will unleash her true power and becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes ever known.

My wife and I went to see “Captain Marvel” this past Sunday evening and we both really enjoyed it. It has earned a scored of 7.1/10 on IMDB, which seems a little low to me. According to Wikipedia, the film has grossed over $760 million (at the time I am writing this post) worldwide. That has been accomplished in less than three weeks! It is so far the highest-grossing film of 2019. The primary character of the movie, Carol Danvers, first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1968. The character has also been known as Ms. Marvel, Binary, and Warbird before taking on the current name of Captain Marvel.

Neither of us had heard of the character before the movie.

Now we know how Fury got his eye patch!

Book Review: “Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy”

519GslOS74L._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_

Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). Ms. McClain has published six novels or novellas. This is the second of her “Victoria Marmot” series.

I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novella as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Situations, and considerable Mature Language. The story is set in our contemporary world, but in an Alternate Timeline where magic is possible. The primary character is seventeen-year-old Victoria Marmot.

The story picks up almost immediately from where the first novella “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess” left off. Victoria and her brother, along with their friends, continue to battle with the Ministry of Magical Entities (MOME). Victoria not only learns a great deal more about her magical abilities, but she also finds that she has some rather deep attractions to both a boy and a girl she has met. That attraction proves to be reciprocated and the three eventually have a very intimate moment together.

I thought that the 4+ hours I spent reading this 222-page young adult fantasy were interesting. Both of the novellas I have read so far in this series have been a bit crazy. The character of Victoria Marmot is not one that I am drawn to. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novella 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).

Book Review: “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess”

51UY82Vae8L

Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). Ms. McClain has published six novels or novellas. This is the first of her “Victoria Marmot” 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 lots of Mature Language and some Mature Situations. The story is set in the contemporary US, but one that has magic. The primary character is seventeen-year-old Victoria Marmot.

Marmot has just begun her Senior Year at a new school in Flagstaff, AZ. She is living there alone in the house that her parents left her in their will. She is struggling to get through the first day in a new school when things start to go strange in a big way. While camping alone Gwen, a beautiful redheaded girl, pops up naked at Marmot’s campsite saying that she is Virginia’s “Narrator”. Then there is Edik, the young man in her class that turns out to be a vampire.

From that point, the story of Marmot’s life really begins to get crazy and she begins a quest. She finds she has magical abilities. She discovers that she has a sibling. She is attracted to both a boy and a girl that are helping her.

I thought that the 3.5+ hours I spent reading this 269-page young adult fantasy were interesting. The character of Victoria Marmot is colorful. She does make a good main character, though she is far from what I would call normal. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.5 (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).

Book Review: “The Witch of the Hills”

51SHKlbhvQL._SY346_

Book Reviews – “The Witch of the Hills” eBook was published in 2018 (March, the original paper edition was published in 2018) and was written by J. M. Fraser (https://jmfraser.com/). Mr. Fraser has published four 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 ‘G’. The story is set the contemporary US in the northern midwest. The primary character is sixteen-year-old Brian Danahey.

There is nothing special about Danahey other than he is starting college at sixteen. While driving home from a wedding he accidentally meets a beautiful redhead named Rebecca Church who is about his age. He only is able to spend a few hours with her before she disappears.

He goes on to college, but he cannot get Rebecca out of his head. As he does what he can fo find her, he hears about the legendary Witch of the Hills. While a wild idea, the ‘witch’ is supposed to live near where he met Rebecca. As Danahey follows his quest to find Rebecca he finds himself traveling through time.

Rebecca is following a prophecy that predicts that she will meet up with a boy named Brian. She is desperate to see the prophecy come true as she has deep feelings for Brian even before she meets him. She will also need his help to stop an imminent threat to the world.

I found nearly 9 hours I spent reading this 346-page Young adult romance. This book was written well enough, but I had a hard time getting engaged with the story. It seems to me that the plot is targetted at pre-teens or maybe very young teen girls. The cover art is OK. 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).

Book Review: “The Gilded Wolves”

6195mGikoEL._SY346_

Book Reviews – “The Gilded Wolves” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Roshani Chokshi (https://roshanichokshi.com). Ms. Chokshi has published six 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. The story is set in 1889 Paris, though in an alternate history – a  timeline that includes magic. The primary character is treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie.

The powerful Order of Babel forces Alarie to help them on a mission. He recruits some well-known associates to help. There is the engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a near brother. They, along with Hypnos, the young heir of House Nyx, must confront other houses of magic, avoid the efforts of a fallen house, and protect the Babel Fragment held in Europe.

I enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 400-page alternate history fantasy. I think better cover art could have been chosen. I liked the plot and the different approach to magic in the alternate universe. The principal characters are an interesting assortment. I give this novel a  4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

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

Book Review: “The Iron Codex”

510gfiywnyl._sy346_

Book Reviews – “The Iron Codex” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by David Mack (http://davidmack.pro). Mr. Mack has published nearly 40 novels. This is the second novel in his “Dark Arts” 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 and Mature Language. The story is set the contemporary time frame, but in a slightly alternate world, one with magic. The primary character is Russian Anja Kernova who has been hunting former Nazis in South America.

There are three other principal characters: The American Cade Martin who works for British MI6, but who is now under suspicion because he has been disappearing;  The German Briet Segfrunsdóttir who now serves as the master magician of the Pentagon’s top-secret magickal warfare program; and the Spanish Father Luis Roderigo Pérez of the Monte Paterno Monastery who has been studying White Magic for the Catholic Church.

World War II has been over nearly a decade. Kernova is using her abilities to hunt Nazis. She comes into possession of the Iron Codex that contains many magical secrets. That causes her to be the target of pursuit by agents of the Vatican, Russia, and others. Complicating the situation is the effort by a cabal led by Dragan Dalca to open the way for demons.

Kernova calls on Martin for help. Both Segfrunsdottir and Pérez are drawn into the fray on the side of Kernova. There are many competing groups all wanting to control the Iron Codex for different agendas.

I enjoyed the 12 hours I spent reading this 375-page alternate history fantasy. I found this novel a little hard to read without having read the first novel in the series, but it wasn’t too bad. I thought that the plot was interesting, mixing magic and spies. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

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