Category Archives: book review

Review: Necromancer Awakening

Introduction
Necromancer Awakening is book one of the Mukhtaar Chronicles by Nat Russo and follows Nicolas Murray your av

image by Stancu Alexandru via sxc.hu
image by Stancu Alexandru via sxc.hu

erage Joe who was just about to graduate from college and was engaged to Kaitlin, the girl of his dreams, when he begins having strange dreams about a floating skull chasing him. The dreams get worse until on the day of his father’s funeral he is whisked away to another world where he must learn to become a necromancer if he hopes to survive and find his way back to his world.

Along the way Nicolas meets Mujahid Mukhtaar who takes him under his wing and teaches him about being a necromancer and the going ons of Erindor, the world he finds himself in.

The Good
Overall I really liked this book. The world building was phenomenal and was done in such a way that it made you want to know more as the story progressed. I loved how Nat Russo laid out the rules of necromancy and showed us how it worked via Nicolas and his thoughts and actions.

I also liked how Russo didn’t pull any punches and kept upping the ante so you never knew if Nicolas or the other characters would get out of the tough spots they found themselves in.

The bad
Overall besides a few mistakes with character names there isn’t much bad I have to say. Sure it was a bit cliched how it was revealed that Nicolas was really the son of Archmage Kagan and heir to the Obsidian Throne and was also the subject of a prophecy, but Russo handled these topics in such a way that it didn’t matter these tropes had been done before.

I also wasn’t a fan of how fast Nicolas mastered necromancy but Russo handled this well by having other characters like Lamil and Mujahid be better versed in the art than him.

The Verdict
Overall if you’re looking for a good fantasy read checkout this book. You won’t be disappointed.

Review: Chausiku : Nightmare of The Clans

image by Stancu Alexandru via sxc.hu
image by Stancu Alexandru via sxc.hu

Introduction

Chausiku: Nightmare of the Clans is Book one of the Chausiku series by Pamela E. Cash and centers around teenager Chausiku “Chassie” Moreau who develops supernatural abilities on her sixteenth birthday.

It is revealed that Chassie’s mother Adamma was a member of the sakombi clan who are one of six clans throughout the world that have supernatural abilities.
In her case Chassie has inherited telepathy telekinesis and the ability to disintegrate and reconstitute any object.

Chassie’s abilities make her the target of Rasul who is responsible for the death of her mother and has designs of controlling her due to a prophecy detailing her birth.

The Good
It was nice to see a protagonist who was a person of color for a change who wasn’t either a walking stereotype or being white washed. I liked that Chassie had flaws and I could relate her struggle to keep grounded given everything she had to go through.

The premise was interesting all be it done before in series like Avatar: The Last Air Bender and Naruto, but still enjoyable.

The Bad
Overall while I enjoyed the premise of this book it was executed poorly and the writing was sub par. This book could have used another round of editing before being published. Often times I found myself picking out typos and generally editing the book as I read, which broke immersion for me.

I also wasn’t a fan of how easily Chassie mastered her powers. Except for a scene at the beginning of the book she doesn’t struggle at all controlling her abilities.

In my opinion it should have taken her awhile to master her abilities instead in a matter of weeks she’s so powerful she can block Rasul’s ability to locate her, robbing the story of any tension.

I also wasn’t a fan of how Cash built up Rasul only to have the final confrontation between him and Chassie to be so onesided it was laughable and anticlimactic.

I also disliked how Chassie and John got together in the end of the story. Their romance added nothing to the story and could have been cut without losing a thing. Not only was it the cliched best friends who are secretly in love with each other trope there was no real chemistry between them and we’re just told they love each other.

The Verdict
Overall I’d say pass on this book.

 

Review: Dead Town

image by Gordan Jovic via sxc.hu
image by Gordan Jovic via sxc.hu

Introduction
Dead Town is the last book in Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein Series and picks up right where Lost Souls left off. All throughout Rainbow Falls bands of resistance to Victor’s Communitarians have begun fighting back thanks to KBOW radio getting the word out about Victor’s plan to wipe out the town. In this book several of the story lines converge as the end comes in sight.

Victor Leben alias Victor Immaculate is so self absorbed that his hubris leads to his ultimate end. Honestly his arrogance was even more than the original Victor’s and it was fun seeing his comeuppance at the end.

The Good
Overall I liked this book. It was trilling and held my interest throughout the story and there were several oh shit moments when characters were put in danger by the nearly unstoppable Builders.

At first I wasn’t a fan of the subplots but Koontz tied them together in such a way that it ad you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what would happen next. I was especially surprised with the resolution of Nummy O’Bannon and Mr. Lyss’s story line. Also I liked how you didn’t know until the end who would win.

The Bad
While I liked this book I did have my issues with it. Overall there were too many happy coincidences that led to characters getting out of tough spots with the Builders, by them malfunctioning for unspecified reasons or just plain dumb luck.

I also wasn’t a fan of Victor in this book. He was an almost nonentity and posed zero threat to anyone unlike the original Victor who didn’t mind getting his hands dirty when the situation called for it.

Instead of keeping abreast of the goings on of his war Victor was content with walking the corridors of the Hive and this ultimately led to his downfall.

I also wasn’t a fan of the final confrontation between him and Deucalion. It was down right hokey and made zero sense and was rather anticlimactic. Without spoiling the ending lets just say it was too happily ever after for my taste and leave it at that.

The Verdict
Overall this was an enjoyable read though for the reasons stated above it could have been better and I can’t help feeling the series should have ended with book three as every book after that, while enjoyable just didn’t live up to the previous books in terms of plot.

Overall I’d give the series a 3.5/5 and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys sci-fi thrillers full of action.

Review: Lost Souls

Introduction
Lost Souls is the fourth book in

image by Gordan Jovic via sxc.hu
image by Gordan Jovic via sxc.hu

Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein series and takes places two years after Dead and Alive. Unaware of the existence of Victor’s clone Carson and Michael married, moved to San Francisco and had a daughter named Scout.

They work as private investigators and had forgotten all about Victor Frankenstein until Deucalion has a hunch that Victor is still alive and seeks them out to finish what they started in New Orleans.

Now that they are parents Michael and Carson are reluctant to help him until he convinces them to join him.

In the two years since Victor’s clone was released he has taken the name Victor Leben , alias Victor Immaculate, and set up shop in the small town of Rainbow Falls, Montana where he plans to take over the town and use it as a strong hold for his larger campaign of wiping out all humans.

The Good
This time around Victor’s goal is more brutal than just enslaving all of human via his creations and really drives home how demented he is for his omnicidal mission. I also liked the introduction of the nano brain probe that rendered people completely docile and also the introduction of builders who are every bit as scary as they are beautiful.

I was surprised to see Erika Five, who has taken the last name Swedenborg, and Jocko make appearances in this book, but overall they are a welcome addition to the cast of characters.

The Bad
While I liked this book overall I did have issues with it. First after the events of Dead and Alive I couldn’t help feeling this book was a little on the anticlimactic side. Also I wasn’t a big fan of Nummy and Mr. Lyss’s story line at all. It could have been omitted entirely and you wouldn’t notice it.

I get that Nummy is supposed to extremely mentally challenged but he was just too dumb to live and I felt myself sympathizing with Mr. Lyss over his frustrations with Nummy.

Second, I didn’t particularly think the addition of Agent Frost and Dagget from the FBI added anything to the story line except for filling pages. Sure they know something isn’t right in Rainbow Falls but they have zero clue as to the true nature of the problem and are more likely to hinder Carson and Michael than to help them.

The Verdict
Overall if you’ve like the series so far then checkout this one.

Review: Dead and Alive

image by Gordan Jovic via sxc.hu
image by Gordan Jovic via sxc.hu

Introduction
Dead and Alive is book three of Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein series and picks up right were City of Night left off. This time around Erika Four and several Alphas once presumed dead have come back to life thanks to the Resurrecter, a mysterious creature that has the power to erase Victor’s programming and grant the New Race a wide range of human emotions.

Together with the denizens of the Crosswoods Waste Management Carson Michael and Deucalion work to put an end to Victor once and for all.

The Good
Overall I enjoyed this book from start to finish and couldn’t put it down. I especially like how Erika Five and Jocko bonded and interacted, though Jocko did remind me a lot of Dobby from the Harry Potter series with is habit of putting himself down and inflicting punishment on himself and the strange manner in which he speaks.

I also liked how Victor’s arrogance was his ultimate downfall. Granted he was a megalomaniac you have to admire his drive and vision. Sure genocide aside he was evil for removing all but the basic emotions from his creations and enslaving them in his rational army. But the thing that made him more than just a mad scientist was that he thought he was doing incredible good for the sake of the world.

The Bad
Honestly I wasn’t a fan of the Resurrecter. It came out of nowhere without any foreshadowing and reeked of deus ex machina. Had Koontz just stuck with the idea that the New Race were dropping lines from their program and as a result they could now experience a wider range of emotions that would have been more believable.

I was also dismayed that there was no final confrontation between Victor and Deucalion. After all that build up how they disposed of Victor so easily was anticlimatic.

I also didn’t like how through another deus ex machina Erika Five and Jocko were spared even thou all other members of the New Race dropped dead when Victor died.

The Verdict
While I had my issues with this book overall it was enjoyable and you should totally read it if you’ve enjoyed the other books in the series.

Review: City of Night

Introduction
City of Night is book two of Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein series and picks up right where book one left off. After killing Randal Six with their newly fire arms Deucalion takes Arnie to the Tibetan monastery he lived after for years and then they prepare to take on Victor or die trying.

While all this is going on victor orders the termination of detective O’Connor and Maddison by Benny and Cindi Lovewell. After a game of cat and mouse Carson and Michael take on the Lovewells and just barely survive the encounter.

Meanwhile more and more of Victor’s creations begin experiencing interruptions of function as Victor’s empire rots from the inside and he’s too arrogant to see it.

The Good
Overall I liked this book especially the confrontation between Victor and Deucalion at the Hands of Mercy. it was a long time coming and I liked how it rattled Victor.

I also liked the interaction between Benny and Cindi Lovewell, especially the scene when she brings up the voodoo god Ibo. This came out of nowhere as the New Race were supposed to devoid of superstitions. I guess it’s all due to her program dropping out.

I also found the interaction between Erika Five and the creature that came out of Jonathan Harker interesting to say the least.

The Bad
Overall I don’t have much bad to say about this book. Sure I found the main plot line about taking out Victor to be the most enjoyable, though some of the other plot lines like Erika’s and Chameleon’s to be enjoyable, some parts of the book just dragged in places and could have been cut to ratchet up the tension.

I also wasn’t a fan of the will they or won’t they get together between Carson and Michael. Luckily this is only a small part and is handled masterfully by Koontz so it doesn’t dominate the narrative like in some stories.

The Verdict

If you liked Prodigal Son be sure to check out City of Night.

Review: The Prodigal Son

Introduction
Prodigal Son is the first book in Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein series. The basic premise is that Victor Frankenstein, now going by the alias Victor Helios, has set up shop in New Orleans, and has begun replacing prominent figures with those his own creations, called The New Race.

image by Gordan Jovic via sxc.hu
image by Gordan Jovic via sxc.hu

Victor loathes the human race and fancies himself as a god and seeks to overthrown the old race with his machines of bone and blood. Forget the Victor of old who was forced to scavenge body parts from graveyards, over the two centuries he’s been alive Victor has moved on from such crude methods.

His creations are grown in tanks and educated with direct to brain downloads so they have an encyclopedic knowledge of the world even though they are only weeks old. They are also programmed to be more durable than the old race, as they have Two hearts and other redundant systems, including a skull that is so thick one the highest caliber ammunition will penetrate it.

Moreover every member of the New Race is programmed so they can’t murder anyone unless they are instructed by Victor, and they can’t kill themselves or Victor for that matter.

Things are going smoothly for Victor until one of his creations begins killing people, drawing the attention of the media and police. Enter detective Carson O’Connor and her partner Michael Madison who in the course of investigating the killings stumble upon Deucalion, Victor’s first creation, who has vowed to destroy him and agrees to help Carson and Michael take on Victor.

The Good
Overall I found the book to be an engrossing good read. I especially liked the characters of Randal Six And Deucalion and also the thought that went into the technology Victor used to create those of the New Race. Loved how Koontz drew you in from the first page and didn’t let up the action a bit.

The Bad
My only complaint would ave to be the short chapters and the head hoping. Often times just a one story line was heating the chapter would switch another plot line. This left my head spinning and pulled me out of the story when it would happen. A lot of times after a decent sized chapter there would be ones of only a few pages that didn’t advance the plot all that much and could have been omitted.

The Verdict

If you like sci-fi and horror then do yourself a favor and pick up this book.

 

Review: The Last Refuge

Introduction

The Last Refuge, the penultimate installment in The Last Survivors series, picks right up where The Last Command ended and is a roller coaster ride from start to finish. I couldn’t put this book down it was so good, and can’t wait for the next book in the series to be released. Warning: spoilers ahead turn back now

This time around Ivory helps Melora navigate back to Bray and company and he stays with them a few days and agrees to introduce them to Jingo, which doesn’t turn out as planned and results in the death of Ella by Bray as he tries to attack Jingo and she gets in the way. Ella’s death causes William to snap and he runs away to live with the demons.

To make matters worse Father Winthrop and his followers make it to the Ancient City and stir up all the demons with their racket, forcing Jingo and company to flee on Jingo’s boat during a storm.

Meanwhile Oliver and Minister Beck continue their trek back to Brighton while avoiding the demons and blue shirts.

The Good

Overall this book was a good read. It held my attention from start to finish and left me chomping at the bit for the last book in the series, due out this summer. Honestly I was shocked when Bray accidentally killed Ella and by how William up and decided to leave them. It should be interesting to see what happens to him in the finale.

I was also pleasantly surprised with how Fitzgerald and the other women were able to take out Tenbrook and his men. I won’t give away how they manage this but it was a good comeuppance for Tenbrook and all the hard hearted men who treated the barren women like dirt.

The Bad

Overall I didn’t find many areas to critique. There were a few typos but none that really detracted from the story. Overall I was a bit taken back by the viciousness Tenbrook displayed when he killed Franklin and had his men take out the clergymen.

The Verdict

If you’ve enjoyed the first four books so far then by all means go out and get this book today.

Review: The Last Command

Introduction

Picking right back up where The Last Humanity left off, The Last Command ratchets up the action and is a real page turner. A common theme for this book is all roads lead to the Ancient City.

First Bray and company make it to the Ancient City and take refuge in the remains of a museum. William sneaks off in the middle of the night and Melora follows after him only to get lost and is saved by Ivory, who just returned to the Ancient City.

Meanwhile William is confronted by Jeremiah and commands a horde of the infected to kill him.

The Good

I really liked how all the story lines converged to the Ancient City and how it was all wrapped up nicely. I was also pleasantly surprised when my hypothesis about William was confirmed. The way I see it he’s becoming like Jingo and won’t lose his mind to the spores.

I was also shocked when Father Winthrop lost his mind and killed General Blackthorn. I didn’t see that coming and found it a little hard to believe. I also found his delusions about being a war god laughable and down right pathetic.

The bad

I was thoroughly disappointed with the resolution of Oliver’s pot to kill Father Winthrop. After all that build up and him growing as a character just to wimp out at the last minute and run up under the skirt of Minister Beck.

Honestly had Oliver just killed Winthrop it would have saved everyone a lot of heart ache later on, but no. Instead Oliver chickened out, allowing Father Winthrop to kill Blackthorn and turn most of the blue shirts to his side.

I was also disappointed in the resolution of the coup to oust Tenbrook. Even though he just assumed power he had the Dunlow Twins, and their family ,tortured and burned at the pyre along with Scholar Evan and the other conspirators.

The Verdict

Overall this was a good read and i suggest to give it look if you’ve enjoyed the other books in this series thus far.

Review: The Last Humanity

Introduction

Picking up right where The Last Escape left off, The Last Humanity is action packed and full of twists and turns that will keep you turning the page.

The Good

Overall this entry in the series really ratcheted up the action and left me wanting to know what happens next. I particularly like Fitzgerald’s story line in this book and was glad to see her make it to the end without being killed off, unlike some characters who weren’t so lucky.

When she laid out her pan to force Father Winthrop to ride out on the mission to the Ancient city I thought she was a goner for sure, but I was pleasantly surprised that it paid off and she was left relatively unscathed, save the brutality she experienced at the hands of Tenbrook, who has been picked to replace General Blackthorn.

I also liked the interaction between Melora, William and Ella. It was nice given everything that has happened so far they could find a little happiness in their lives. Though it not all fun and games for them as they make their way to the Ancient city and encounter demons on the way there, but they manage to kill any of the infected they come upon and carry on without Bray to guide them.

During the fight with the demons William climbs a tree thinking he can control the infected and surprisingly they listen to him. Ella thinks this is another sign that his mind is going, but given what we know about the infected and in a later scene with Ivory and Jingo, I think William won’t become a savage like the other demons.

I also liked the plot line of Scholar Evan plotting to oust Tenbrook only to have someone close to him inform Tenbrook about the coup.

The Bad

I didn’t particularly like how General Blackthorn helped Fitzgerald after he found her after Tenbrook ravished her. It didn’t make sense given that up until that point he was depicted as a callous and heartless hard ass.

Sure I get Fitz reminds him of his first wife but that alone wouldn’t explained his sudden soft-heartedness. It came off as out of character for him. Now had he demonstrated an inkling of kindness before this it wouldn’t have been so jarring.

I also didn’t like how Franklin got rewarded for his less than stellar actions toward Oliver and Father Winthrop, Sure he may have been forced to put Father Nealson to the pyre for questioning his promotion to Bishop of Brighton, but overall he didn’t suffer any repercussions for beating Oliver or plotting to oust Winthrop.

The Verdict

Overall if you liked books one and two, go heard and get this book.