Review: The Ardent Swarm

the book in question

In a time of major political change in North Africa, the beekeeper Sidi encounters a tragedy. One of his hives is torn apart, the bees there slaughtered. What follows is his attempts at saving his girls, his bees, by discovering what has happened and countering it. Alongside this comes the changes to the Nawa people, who are courted by a new political party for their new democratic vote.

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Review: McDowell

the book in question

William H. Coles’ McDowell follows the titular man himself, Hiram McDowell. He is very successful in his career, but less so in his personal life. Yet this doesn’t appear to bother him at all, as his callous and lack of understanding in his personal relationships causes people to question his success. Did he truly know what was going on, or were the crimes done under his name an oversight? Then comes the one crime he cannot slip and the rest of the novel follows him as he attempts to make his side of the story known.

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Review: Crime and Punishment

The book in question.

For those who are unaware, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment (my copy translated to English by Constance Garnett) is a story about Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov. He has a theory that some people are greater than others and therefore they can commit crimes for their greater purpose. He therefore kills and is either proving his own theory incorrect, or has to accept he is not one of those great people. In the middle of this, his landlady wants rent, his sister is getting married (perhaps for money to help support him and their mother), and he comes to know the family of an alcoholic. How all of this plays out on his deteriorating psyche, and of those deteriorating around him, is the palette for this canvas.

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Review: The Third Sun

The book in question.

Fia lives in London, where everything is going wrong for her. Her sister has died, her boyfriend has cheated on her, and she has no one left in the world except someone at her kickboxing gym. At this low point, she follows this angel she keeps seeing at the edge of her vision into a different world. To get home, she needs to be taken to a witches coven, but finding one without being stopped by the insanity going on Ohinyan – not least of which is that their sun is dying and no one knows how long they will have to wait for the third sun.

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Review: Wizard’s Ruse

The book in question.

“Yes, this entire book is a prologue.” I kept that in mind whilst reading Wizard’s Ruse. I love prologues, I like reading introductions into worlds. And this gave me all of that.

In a fantasy world, most of the book takes place (both in the present and twenty years prior) at the Academy of Sayzr Magic. A school that teaches (a dwindling number of students as time goes on) not just magic, but in searching for those who can become master Sayzrs. Learning about psychetropes, fractal patterns, and the like – not the generic topics found in most magical schools. Yet the school is not the focus, it is simply around where other more important things happen.

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Review: The Lost Identity Casualties

The book in question.

The Lost Identity Casualties begins with the stirring of an unidentified man. He is in the hospital, face and hands wrapped in bandages, unable to remember himself and what happened to him. As his recollections return, both of his life, Matthias Callaghan, and the events which have maimed him, we read a man’s cold fury turn to plotting revenge.

It is difficult to review specifics in this book without spoiling anything, but I shall do my best.

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Review: The Lost Love Song

The book in question.

The Lost Love Song starts with Diana and Arie’s love story. Before leaving for a tour, Diana begins to write a love song for her fiancé, to explain things in a way she couldn’t with mere words. Diana never returns from her tour and Arie has lost her forever. From there, we follow several strands: Arie, figuring out what his life is without Diana living in it; Evie, a poet who overhears two teenagers playing a love song on the street and is looking for her own love to share; and the flashes of people who transport Diana’s love song from where she finished composing it abroad on its journey around the world.

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Review: Edge of the Breach

The book in question.

Edge of the Breach is a story about Kyder and Rune. Getting into the rest of what the book is? Difficult to put in a paragraph to paraphrase and not spoil. Both are born at the strongest point in the year to be a Summer Mage and a Winter Shield, respectively. They come from vastly different ways of life and suffer through very different traumas. And I’m not even sure this book (for me) was really about the two of them meeting, even though that was definitely the author’s intention.

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Review: Into Thin Air

The book in question.

This was a hard read. And I mean that in several ways. The first third of the book is the set up. So many names and dates and explanations. The book comes with a list of names of everyone involved, right at the start of the book. This part is necessary, for sure, but very dense. Perhaps more so because I knew what was coming and my nerves were on edge for that.

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Review: Spear’s Sacrifice

Thanking my ShoelessWriter so much for this. Such an honest review (that I am biased of, because it looks upon my work favourably!) And I’m always glad to hear about my use of language, in any way, shape, or form. It’s hard to think from an outside perspective about it, even more so than every other part of a novel!

ShoelessWriter

I’m going to start this review out with a warning/confession.  The author of Spear’s Sacrifice, A.A. MacConnell, is a friend of mine.  She’s a member of one of the groups of writers I belong to, and I adore her.  So this is not completely unbiased. However, with that said, I have done my absolute best to be as neutral as I can be and point out where I can’t.

I will start by telling you that I’m an awful friend, I ordered this book on its release date back in April and just finished reading it today. I’m sad it took me so long to get around to it. I’ve been carrying it around in my bag for months, but never found the time to read it. As soon as I finished it, I messaged the author and demanded a sequel, a prequel for backstory, and side stories of…

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