Tag Archives: Fantasy

Review of “Ash & Quill”

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Book Reviews – “Ash & Quill” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Rachel Caine (http://www.rachelcaine.com/). Ms. Caine (aka Roxanne Longstreet and Roxanne Conrad) has published more than 45 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 an Alternate History where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived and now hordes, and controls all knowledge. The primary character is Jess Brightwell, a young man who has grown up being able to enjoy and treasure books. He has been in that unique position as his family are smugglers, and the black market trade in books is their specialty.

Brightwell and his group of friends and allies have fled from London and find themselves in the besieged American village of Philadelphia. They are taken prisoner by the Burners, rebels who would rather see books burn than turned over to the Great Library. Still sought by the Great Library, Brightwell and friends must find a way to escape Philadelphia, elude the Great Library army that surrounds the city and take the battle back to Alexandria.

I really enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 351 page alternate history. The story incorporates technology of fantasy/science fiction, as well as having a steampunk feel. This is the third book of the series and I did have some problem with backstory. It would have read better if I had read the other two novels in the series first. I do really like the characters and the concept of the Great Library of Alexandria being the center of power. The chosen cover art is OK. 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).

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Review of “The Guns Above”

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Book Reviews – The Guns Above” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Robyn Bennis (http://www.robynbennis.com). This is Ms. Bennis’ first novel and the first in her “Signal Airship” 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 in another universe where steam is the king of technology. The primary character is Lieutenant Josette Dupre, the first woman to Captain an airship.

Her command is challenged by a doubting crew as well as an untested airship. Her life is further complicated by the foppish aristocrat, Lord Bernat, who has been assigned as an “observer” to her vessel. Clearly he is there to spy on her for his uncle, the general.

While on their shakedown cruise, still evaluating the ship, they are drawn into battle. Led by Dupre, the crew is able to survive, just barely. Dupre finds many ways to make her little airship have a large impact in the battles being fought.

Dupre steps into her shoes as Captain, leading her crew with creative ideas and courage. Her successes reach the press which is why the King had, against tradition, appointed her an Airship Captain. Now, like it or not, she is in a leadership role that some hope will see the military integrated with women in all capacities.

I really enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 352 page Steam Punk Thriller. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. I look forward to further books in this series. The cover art is well chosen. I give this novel a 4.6 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

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

Review of “Does a Bear Shoot in the Woods?”

Book Reviews – “Does a Bear Shoot in the Woods?” is a free, Young Adult fantasy short story published on the Baen website.  It was written by Wen Spencer and published in 2017. Ms. Spencer has published four novels and several short stories.

In this story, Dugan Harman is a High School Junior with an odd past. All in the little town he has grown up in know about him and his family. They have a history of being odd . . . more like insane.

While in the woods experimenting with his camera, Dugan runs across a bear. Not just any bear, but a huge brown bear . . . that can talk. This begins a trip for Dugan where the world he has been told is his psychotic imagination, begins to become real.

While I am not much of a short story fan, I feel that the 90 minutes invested in this short story was well worth the time. I give this a 4 out of 5 evaluation.

Review of “Our Young Guardians: Seven & Two”

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Book Review – “Our Young Guardians: Seven & Two” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Rodi Szoke. This is Mr. Szoke’s first novel and the first in his planned “Our Young Guardians” 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 a mythical land. We are reading the account of what happened set down in a first person ‘diary’ like tale. A young 13 year old boy, Jonek. is the primary character.

Jonek’s life has been as normal as one might expect growing up in a small village. He is suddenly thrust into the role of protector of both his family and strangers he encountered on the way home. This propels him into an epic quest where he faces many opponents with both sword and magic.

I enjoyed the 10 hours I spent reading this 329 page Young Adult Fantasy. While the challenges encountered on the quest are not unusual, some of the characters encountered and allies made are. This novel did arrive at a conclusion of sorts, but the way is prepared for sequels, which I look forward to reading. I think the cover art chosen could have been better. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

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

Trailer #2 for “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”

Trailers – I always liked the original Jumanji with Robin Williams. This one is . . . well it is different, though it still looks like it might be enjoyable. It will be interesting to see what the film is really like when it opens December 20. The synopsis is:

Four teenagers discover an old video game console and are literally drawn into the game’s jungle setting becoming the adult avatars they choose.

An interesting twist in this version is that of the four teens (two guys and two girls) one of the girls becomes a guy in the game played by Jack Black. This could be a good sequel to the original.

 

Review of “Windsinger”

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Book Reviews – “Windsinger” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by A. F. E. Smith (http://www.afesmith.com/). Ms. Smith has published 5 novels. This is the third book in her “Darkhaven Novels” 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. There is a touch of LBGTQ romance in the story. The story is set in another world. The primary character is Ayla Nightshade, Overlord of Darkhaven.

An ambassador from Sol Kardis is coming to Darkhaven. Nightshade must meet with him and convince him that a peace will be far better for both of their countries than the war towards which they are heade. All goes well, but the ambassador is murdered with evidence pointing at Nightshade as the perpetrator. Sol Kardis soon declares war on Darkhaven and hostilities begin.

A huge Paravian airship, the Windsinger, visits Darkhaven. It is a wonder for all to see, but is there a hidden purpose in the visit? Nightshade, her husband Thomas, and others loyal to her must try to find evidence of who is behind the murder. Little do they know that they are also fighting forces from within bent on war.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11 hours I spent reading his 449 page Fantasy Mystery. While this is the third book in the series, it reads well as a stand-alone novel. I liked the characters and the plot of this novel. I will look for more books from this author. The cover art is reasonable for this bok given the part the airship Windsinger plays. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

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

Short Science Fiction Film “God: Serengeti”

Short Films – This is a very short (3:53) but interesting science fiction / fantasy film. The film is by director Neill Blokamp and was released by Oats Studios and published to YouTube in July of 2017. Synopsis:

God casually sets back reading while he manipulates a tribe of cave-dwellers on the African plain. 

This is a well done film and I liked the concept. It reminds me a lot of what is currently being touted for Augmented Reality – i.e.  a table top filled with animation.

Short Science Fiction Film “The Looking Planet”

Short film – This short (16:38) animated science fiction film was published to YouTube in December 2015. “The Looking Planet” was produced and directed by Eric Law Anderson. It has won over 50 film festival jury and audience awards. The synopsis:

During the construction of the universe, a young member of the Cosmos Corps of Engineers decides to break some fundamental laws in the name of self-expression.

I thought it was an enjoyable film. Since I am a Mac user and advocate, I found it interesting that the film was produced on a 2007 Mac Pro.

“Firebase” a Short Science Fiction Film Set During Vietnam

Short Film – This film was just published in June of 2017 and was produced at Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios. I rate this as ‘R’ as this is a very graphic story due to the violence depicted. The story takes place in 1970 Vietnam. The US military is actively fighting the North Vietnamese. Into this violence and chaos a new force emerges, a force that cannot be killed and who has amazing powers.

I’m not sure whether to classify this as Science Fiction or Fantasy, but in any case it has an element of Horror to it. This is only the first chapter of their story “If you like Volume 1, and want to see Volume 2, then support us by purchasing the FIREBASE DLC through steam http://store.steampowered.com/app/652150/agecheck