July reviews: part one

I’ve got a few book reviews and a couple of album reviews too for you all today, loyal readers.

The Godslayers’ Legacy
The Bastard Cadre #2

Lee Carlon

Clockwork Samurai
October 2013

Picking up six months after the end of the first book in The Bastard Cadre series, The Godslayers’ Legacy finds Avril Ethanson in Peak City with Ranora. Debating within himself whether to stay or go, his cadre slowly converge on the city and the man who bound them at birth, Lord Obdurin.

Avril slowly learns to identify his connection to his cadre-mates, and, after a visit from a dragon brings another member of the cadre, two more arrive secretly to free them all. During the fight that follows, Avril discovers more about his power as first sworn and Lord Obdurin’s plans.

Review

I liked this book; the familiar characters develop, new characters add colour to the narrative, and I enjoyed the changing and deepening story.

This second book is less dynamic than the first book in that much of the action occurs in one place, Lord Obdurin’s throne room in Frake’s Stronghold. Newer characters travel towards and away like a stream around a rock. The book feels like an interlude between the first and third books; you really need to read all of them.

3/5

<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17310266-the-godslayers-legacy&#8221; style=”float: left; padding-right: 20px”><img alt=”The Godslayers’ Legacy” border=”0″ src=”https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1389223469m/17310266.jpg&#8221; /></a><a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17310266-the-godslayers-legacy”>The Godslayers’ Legacy</a> by <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5065705.Lee_Carlon”>Lee Carlon</a><br/>
My rating: <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/883495806″>3 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />

<br/><br/>
<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/22054671-rosemarie”>View all my reviews</a>

The Dead God’s Shadow
The Bastard Cadre #3
Lee Carlon

2013
Clockwork Samurai

Picking up where The Godslayers Legacy ends, this third book in the series sees Avril travel to Lancity, a technology and death obsessed island, to find his shape shifting cadremate Kelly. Unfortunately, Avril gets on the wrong side of the death priests; just about surviving, Avril finds Kelly, and one of the other prime movers in the background, Lord Valan. Determined to protect Kelly, find the rest of the cadre and get away from Newterra if that’s what they need to do to be safe, Avril kills the death priest holding them prisoner. Just when it looks like they’re going to get away an old enemy returns.

Review

Again, I liked this short novel, we learn more about less central characters and the intrigue increases with the entrance of Lord Valan, Omer the dead god and his priests.

You know how I said Bastard Cadre 2 felt like an interlude, well this is the rest of that interlude. Having read all three books, I think they should have been a single volume.

Now, someone get me number four, I want to know what happens next.

3/5

<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18271481-the-dead-god-s-shadow&#8221; style=”float: left; padding-right: 20px”><img alt=”The Dead God’s Shadow” border=”0″ src=”https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1375215721m/18271481.jpg&#8221; /></a><a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18271481-the-dead-god-s-shadow”>The Dead God’s Shadow</a> by <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5065705.Lee_Carlon”>Lee Carlon</a><br/>
My rating: <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/883495887″>3 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />

<br/><br/>
<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/22054671-rosemarie”>View all my reviews</a>

 

hgtlA few short stories next; I enjoy a well-written short story, especially those that extend a known world, giving an insight in to different aspects of the main story.

All images from amazon.co.uk

All images from amazon.co.uk

 

In a fit of extravagance last weekend I bought three of Mira Grant’s short stories set in the Newsflesh ‘verse, Countdown‘, ‘San Diego 2014: Last stand of the California Browncoats and How green this land, how blue this sea. The first two are set before and after the events of the Newsflesh Trilogy and tell the stories as flashbacks, and the third is set after and takes Mohir Gowda to Australia to see how other parts of the world are coping with the zombie apocalypse. There are two other Newsflesh short stories, but i haven’t got them yet. I may review them later in the month.sdb

I particularly enjoyed San Diego 2014, for it’s use of multiple perspectives, and for the sheer geeky brilliance.

Let’s just hope the upcoming San Diego comic con doesn’t herald the zombie apocalypse…

From books to music. It’s no secret I think that there needs to be more violins in rock and metal, and earlier this month I had the pleasure of listening to a new album from band doing just that.

SkyBurnsRed
Machines

SkyBurnsRed - Machines

16th May 2014
Omniphonic Records

Rock

A while ago this band followed me on Twitter, I wrote about them and then got distracted by other stuff.

A few weeks ago I got an email from the band. They’d seen my writing and sent me the full album.

I’m very impressed.

Though slightly freaked by the album cover.

I’ve had this album on repeat for days.

Describing themselves as ‘an eclectic rock band with an orchestral twist’, this Swindon band combine elegant classical violin with traditional rock guitars and driving bass lines.

The band

The band

The musical combination of classical instruments and rock tradition is nothing new but it’s normally associated with our Nordic neighbours and their symphonic power metal tradition; think Apocalyptica, Night Wish, Stratovarius. SkyBurnsRed are nothing like that. Their sound is closer to modern British alt rock, with an added dimension. The violin is integrated perfectly, vocals are raw but suit the lyrical content. The lyrics speak to the frustrated, scared adolescent just let out into the world in all of us.

This band deserve to go far, and I hope they do.

5/5

Sonata Arctica
Pariah’s Child

from amazon.co.uk

from amazon.co.uk

2014
Nuclear Blast Records

I’m not sure how to describe this band. Power metal, maybe folk metal, I don’t know, but they sound good and I like them. I rarely buy physical copies if music because I have limited space at the minute, but there was an offer on Amazon.co.uk and I couldn’t find Pariah’s Child on Spotify.

I’m pleased I did; one of the advantages of physical copies of music is the artwork. The images in the album book – because it is constructed as a thin hard back book – complement each song, illustrates the lyrics.

The lyrics put me in mind of a fantasy/sci-fi dystopian novel. I can tell there’s supposed to be a story in this album, I’m just not sure what it is. If it were a novel this album would be one of those disjointed narratives that moves back and forward in time in the timelines of several characters. There’s a moral in this story, but again it’s obscured.

The choruses are soaring sing along fodder, the verse lyrics a little cliched in places, and the English is grammatically incorrect at times.

I still like it though, because the things I’ve criticised it for work well together, for some reason. It’s a typical example of the genre. Not quite sure what genre…

3/5

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s