Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Exercise of Vital Powers by Ian Gregoire



We know all those cliched lines about power. "With great power comes great responsibility", "Those who crave power the most deserve it the least", and so on and so forth. This is one of those stories exploring what it is to have power and what kind of path it can lead you down, whether salvation or damnation. How's it play out? Let's take a look.

Kayden Jayta is the top of her class at an academy which teaches the art of Zarantar, magical gifts that manifest when one reaches a certain age and can be either honed or bound. After Kayden cheats her way out of an important test (this world's equivalent of the Kobayashi Maru), she's approached by  the campus's headmistress, Fay Annis, to accompany her to the headquarters of The Order to undergo a certain test set up by its very founder Master Ari. Little does Kayden know that this test is her last chance. If she succeeds, she returns to school and finishes her education. If she fails, she dies.

Let's just get this out of the way right now. Kayden is a horrible person. She has got to be one of the most arrogant, condescending, rude, manipulative, self-centered characters I've ever read in my entire life. However, it's okay...because it is intentional!  This book isn't insisting that she's actually a nice person and talking about how wonderful and sweet she is. No, people freaking hate her and for good reason. Kayden is meant to be a character who tests your patience and who is at the point in her life where she can be evil or change her ways. Kayden is this close to becoming a villainous character, which is what Fay is trying to prevent. This isn't about Kayden being the most specialist person in the world, it's about taking a terrible, miserable person and saving them before it's too late. It's meant as a redemption story and, while it is a bit of a pain being stuck with this awful person as our protagonist and some people might get turned off by that, it's their transformation that we get to see in the end.

Now, there are actually two redemption stories in this book, Kayden's and another magician named Kenit Darbandian. While Kayden's is given the central focus, I actually enjoyed Kenit's story as well, if not a little more. Kenit's deal is that he ran away from a perilous situation and got his mentor killed.  So Fay devises a plan to help him confront his fears and give him another chance. They way this is devised is pretty clever and it makes for a pretty intense scene. You understand why he wants to run, but you know he needs to fight and the conclusion he comes to hits home deeply. It also helps that Kenit is a more enjoyable character to be around than Kayden and so his story arc is a good one.

Kayden's arc, however, I felt could have been...well, a bit more. She sees where her current path is taking her and deals with the demons of her past but I felt it could have used a bit more power. With other redemption stories such as this, the main character goes through a lot before they change who they are. In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge sees three intense visions of his past, present, and future and views his life from the perspective of others in order to see how miserable his life is and the impact he's had on others. In The Thin Executioner, Jebel goes through vast amounts of pain and torment, witnessing things like brutality, slavery, cultism, massacre, even cannibalism before her learns the value of life. For Kayden, it is one hallucination and her journey of redemption takes place over one day. Yup. Just one day and poof. I just feel like a character this rotten could have used way more time and faced way more in the way of trials. Not that what she does go through doesn't leave an impact and does make a difference, I just think going the extra mile would have let a bigger impact.

Also, this book probably could have used a bit more editing. There are a few grammatical errors here and there and I do think some of the scenes were unnecessary. It probably could have ended a few chapters sooner, rather than wrapping up every loose end possible Return of the King style. That being said, the writing is good, the world building is sound, I like the concept of Zarantar as well as the characters of Fay and Ari. They were both very likable, I enjoyed the comradery between the two of them and I kind of wished we had more time with them.

Final Verdict
I always do enjoy a good redemption story and this one was pretty good. Some people might be put off by Kayden as a character, but if this sounds like the kind of thing that attracts you, I'd say go ahead and check it out but wait for it on paperback.

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Please make sure to Follow Midnight Readings for instant updates. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer

Next Time: It's graduation time at the School for Good and Evil...

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco



Picture, if you will, the concept of a Geisha who could raise people, and dragons, from the dead. A surprisingly hardcore image, ain't it? In this book's universe, a young woman who is gifted with magical powers can become an asha, a performer and conversationalist as well as a warrior who can use magic. Now, if that's not a great concept when I see one, I don't know what is. How'd it pan out? Let's take a look.

Tea was very young when her power manifested itself and she summoned her older brother back from the dead. To her horror, as well as everyone else's, she's a bone witch; an asha whose power comes from the dark. She is then whisked away from her home by another bone witch, Lady Mykaela, and taken to the Valerian where she's trained to become an asha. But the world frowns deeply upon dark asha and Tea has a long and difficult road ahead of her.

The culture and style of this world is very well put together. As I said before, the training and careers of asha are very similar to those of a Geisha and the world does have a very feudal Japan feel to it. Several times I was deeply reminded of Memoirs of a Geisha (from which I'd be very surprised if the author didn't draw some inspiration) except with the inclusion of magic and combat training. Yet it doesn't feel like a rip off. This world is similar, yes, but also manages to be its own thing. The set up of the Eight Kingdoms and the politics that take place within it are well thought out. The magic within the story is pretty basic, manipulating elements and whatnot, but also has original ideas such as heartglasses (glass necklaces that reflect your inner thoughts).

But, as good as the world is, the plot can tend to crawl at times. It goes into great detail about descriptions of buildings and what daily life is like for an asha, which is good, but it tends to run away with itself. There are long bouts of nothing happening through this book. Once the action does start, however, it is pretty interesting. There's some really good action and drama in this book, including attacks from dark creatures called daeva, political intrigue, potential love interests, complicated plots from mysterious warriors called the Faceless...it just takes a long time reading through dancing lessons and chores before we get there. Still, the training and lessons can be interesting in their own right, but it isn't always enough to keep one's attention like it should.

The characters in this story are...okay, for the most part. Tea, as far as protagonists go, does tend to be a bit of a whiner. You can understand where she's coming from, for the most part, but it can get on one's nerves after awhile. Fox, the resurrected older brother, is an interesting character but his efforts to protect Tea tend to get in the way of things. He knows she has powers, he knows she can help, but he runs in and goes on about it being "too dangerous". Dude, people are getting killed. Let the woman work! Lady Mykaela is a pretty interesting character, the leader of the Valerian is delightfully disgusting, and the dress maker is fun, but everyone else tends to be either cliche or forgettable. A lot of the asha kind of blend into one another, making it a bit hard sometimes to keep track of who is who.

The story is told from Tea's perspective several years in the future. A future, in fact, where she's an outcast and is raising daeva and keeping them as pets. Now, this insight into what Tea's future holds actually does provide some atmosphere and an odd feeling of dread. We don't know how Tea ended up in such a place and it makes us truly interested as to where the author is going with the story. Couple that with a pretty ominous ending and it will make readers eager to know what happens next. Those bits were the best part of the book for me and it got me genuinely interested in Tea's future and how she comes to be in such a place.

Final Verdict
While the plot can drag and the characters fall flat, the world building and atmosphere still make up for an interesting story and a compelling read. If it sounds like something you'd like, check it out but maybe wait for it on paperback.

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Please make sure to Follow Midnight Readings for instant updates. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer

Next Time: For this girl it is either redemption or death....

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer



It's been some time since I've gotten to enjoy a good fairy tale retelling. Now, most people jump at the chance to retell stories like Red Riding Hood and Snow White, but one of the stories that's often neglected is Sleeping Beauty. I imagine this is because, of all the Grimm fairy tales, this one is the one that most people use as an example of cliche stories where nothing happens and out-of-nowhere love saves the day. To take this story and make it exciting is definitely a challenge. How did this one pan out? Let's see.

Isabelle and Aurora are as close as half-sisters can be. Isabelle, the king's illegitimate older daughter, is wild and stubborn and blind. Aurora, the younger heiress to the throne, is sweet-tempered and kind and can neither feel or speak. When it comes time for Aurora to be married to a foreign prince, the kingdom decides to send Isabelle off to a convent. Isabelle instead runs away with her best friend, Gilbert, but Aurora pursues and accidentally stumbles upon a golden spinning wheel that plunges her into a deep sleep. A sleeping curse soon spreads over the kingdom and Aurora must navigate through a world of dreams built by the mysterious Night Faerie and Isabelle must travel across the sea to find Aurora's betrothed and get him to lift her sister's curse.

This has a lot of really good ideas...and other ideas that kind of ruin the good ones. For instance, making both these princess's handicapped via a faerie's curse can make for some pretty good storytelling. However, Isabelle's blindness is so rarely an obstacle that we kind of forget that it's there. She's able to doing things that kind of defy logic and reasoning. A blind person traveling completely unknown territory, can climb a building she's never been to before, sneaks into exactly the right window and finds who she's looking for in a matter of seconds. Either she's the luckiest person in the world or I call bull. Also, making Aurora unable to speak is a great concept...except when she falls asleep her handicaps are gone and she can talk and feel for the rest of the book. Hm, feels like a wasted opportunity.

For a story based on a pretty simple (some might say even too simple) fairy tale, this thing is incredibly complex. It follows the point of views of multiple characters and no two chapters are with the same person. There are even some chapters from the point of view of characters we barely know, just kind of show up for their two seconds of fame, then disappear and never come back. They contribute almost nothing and left me a bit perplexed, I've got to admit, as to why the author saw fit to include them at all. Also, the world building was fairly well done, but something just kept bugging me. This is clearly it's own world, with its own set up so...why do they keep talking about Greek and Roman history/mythology? They keep comparing this one faerie's home to a Roman bath house, they bring up the legend of Icarus and mention other things pertaining to the culture but...how can they know these things if Greece and Rome don't exist in this universe, as far as I can tell. And if they do exist, does this mean this takes place in our world? Do they have their own versions of Greece and Rome that just so happen to be called the same things and have the same culture and legends? They mythos of this world fluxes between real world and made-up world when it really should have stuck to one or the other.

Now, I'm making this book sound worse than it actually is. There is some good stuff in here, honestly. While the princesses have a little too much luck and their handicaps really don't serve as handicaps, there is a lot more to them. Isabelle has to deal with her feelings of inferiority and, throughout the book, tries to come to terms with her own self worth. Aurora has been unbelievably sheltered her whole life and never knowing pain in any way or form. So, when she's thrown into a world vastly different from what she's always known and her ability to feel is returned, she too learns what it is to make sacrifices and fight for something she wants, instead of waiting for someone to do it for her. These little tidbits of character development are really good and shows how these two girls, despite being so very different, actually have a lot in common.

Unfortunately, while it's not the longest book I've ever read or the hardest, this one felt like it took a good long while to get through. Towards the end of the book, things start getting pretty complicated and there's a "twist" that anyone who's read a book ever will see coming in regards to the prince finally finding Aurora. The motivations of our villains, the Faerie Queen and the Night Faerie, get even more confusing instead of getting clearer. It's just a huge build up of sequel bait that didn't actually lead up to anything and didn't really get me hyped like it wanted to.

Final Verdict
It was a bold move to try and make Sleeping Beauty into a complex story, and while the author succeeded, I think she did her job too well. Still, there was a lot of effort in this thing as well as good character development, but jumbled up characters, inconsistent world building, and confusing motivations lead me to say that it is worth checking out...but wait for it on paperback.

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Please make sure to Follow Midnight Readings for instant updates. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer

Next time: It's tough being a dark grisha...I mean Geisha...I mean asha!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs



The journey of Miss Peregrine's kids comes to a conclusion in this third installment of the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I've really enjoyed this series so far and seeing it all come together got me hyped, not gonna lie. So, let's dive right in and see what's up.

Jacob and his friends and royally screwed. Kidnapped by wights, cornered by hollows, and the whole world against them, Jacob and Emma must flee with a peculiar dog named Addison MacHenry to find their friends and save their matron, while pursued by villains who seek out the legendary library of souls, which could grant them infinite power. The peculiar children are called to battle and, with Jacob's discovery of a useful new power, they must make a stand against those who would destroy them.

The peculiar universe is never boring. From punishment loops to clever characters to villains who never seem to quit, this book is bursting with activity. There's a lot to do and, once again, the characters are each given time to shine and get the development they require. New characters are allowed to shine through as well, like Sharon the ferryman and Miss Peregrine's brothers and a grimbear named PT. The overall cast of this book is just great. Their personalities and voices shine and it pulls you in wonderfully. You want to see them to succeed, or fail, and you easily become engrossed in the story.

The environment of the punishment loop, the Devil's Acre, is just the kind of gross and forbidding place that you'd expect it to be. Set in Victorian England at its worst possible time, that of plague and poverty, the whole atmosphere gives you a feeling of filth and dread. Being stuck in a place like this is enough to make anyone ill. It's all really well described. Once again, Riggs shows that he understands atmosphere and build up, as this book builds up to several really intense battles against the wights. The Devil's Acre makes a great background for such a grim battle and the conclusion that is to come.

Speaking of what's to come, let's go over the ending, shall we? Now, no spoilers, but I found the ending of this book pretty great! The villains showed some actual intelligence during the final showdown, things got intense and the conclusion was handled brilliantly. Then, however, it goes all Return of the King on us and shows us a little too much ending. Not to mention an enormous deus ex machina that comes right out of nowhere so that the happiest possible ending can be had. But, after all these characters had been through I'm actually kind of glad it took the extra minute to give us the conclusion we'd all hoped for. Plus, we do finally get some closure with Jacob's parents which leads to one of the funniest scenes I've read for some time.

Final Verdict
Just what fans of the series could possibly want. I really liked this series and this book brings everything to a truly satisfying end. This overall series gets a thumbs up for me, making this book definitely worth your money at your local bookstore!

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Please make sure to Follow Midnight Readings for instant updates. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer

Next Time: Here's a challenge, make a story about a girl who sleeps the whole time interesting...

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo



This one goes way back to one of my earliest reviews when I took a look at Six of Crows. I absolutely loved that book so, as its sequel, this one had a lot to live up to. I'm pleased to announce, however, that this book is not only as good as the first it is even better! Let's dive right in.

Kaz Brekker, the most notorious thug in the Barrel, has quite the battle laid out before him. He and his crew of criminals and swindlers have just undergone the job of a lifetime only to be betrayed and nearly killed. Kaz is now plotting his ultimate revenge, not only to get his crew the reward they deserve, but to settle the score with his old nemesis, Pekka Rollins, once and for all. But as Kaz's enemies unite and the whole of Katterdam turns against them, it's going to take every ounce of cunning Kaz possesses to not only get them their money, but get them out with their lives.

This is just what I wanted when I finished the first book. Not only do we get an awesome heist story, but an awesome revenge heist story to top what the last book gave us. Kaz and his crew and just as splendidly written as I remember. Everyone gets their time to shine, everyone has a part to play, and everyone gets time for development and growth. Each of these characters is excellent, beautifully written and you find yourself rooting for each one of them. You care about these people. You want to see them all come out of it okay. While Kaz is the heart that powers the team, nobody feels unneeded or overused. The team works as a well oiled machine and it was just excellent.

The stakes in this book are remarkably higher than before due to the fact that their very home is crashing down around them. In the last book, the team (most of them anyway) were in foreign territory in and icy climate and breaking into an unbreakable prison. This time, they're home on their own turf and it's turning against them. There's nowhere safe and they are dealing with enemies who are just as cunning as they are and even more ruthless. Kaz, for all his faults, values human life and cares about his team. His enemies, however, do not. The threats they go up against are very real, forcing them to come up with the impossible in order to survive. It's a very good thing that these people are awesome and they work very well together as a team.

The suspense and drama in this story are great elements in any story and here, in particular, it works amazingly. When a plan comes together, everything falls into place. When it seems like things are going too well, they probably are and you're about to fall into a trap. It leaves you on the edge of your seat and anxious to see how things pan out. Also, as the concluding installment of this particular story, everything came together...almost. It's not the perfect ending that you hope for, but just the right mix of bitter along with the sweet. It also leaves things open for more story, but we're also satisfied with the conclusions we get as well. I was happy, then I was sad, then I was terrified, then I was sad again and then very happy...it was all the mixes of emotions that one could possibly hope for in an epic conclusion to an epic story.

Final Verdict
I loved this book to pieces! These two books came together in a mind-blowing adventure of tragedy, love, risk, danger and high-stakes. I couldn't recommend it any higher, that's why this book is going onto the Shelf of Recommendation!

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Please make sure to Follow Midnight Readings for instant updates. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer

Next Time: While we're concluding things, let's see how things pan out for our peculiar friends....

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Holtur Curse by Cameron Wayne Smith



Daily monster attacks, brutal killings, rough slayers eager to slice through any challenge...yup, we must be in Holtur! It was great returning to this place, the harsh winter coming forth and the fabulous monsters on the prowl, and this time we encounter whole new challenges that Holtur has never faced before. I know I'm excited so let's dive right in!

Sonja Bluwahlt, Captain of the Holtur slayers, has a lot on her plate. Her brother's illness is getting worse, new never-before-faced creatures are starting to attack the village, and one of her slayers (whom she was particularly fond of) has gone missing. On top of all this, an army of men known as the Brothers of Eternity threaten to invade Holtur seeking something they call the Eternity Grail. Threats the likes of which she'd never dealt with and new challenges leave Sonja genuinely wondering: could Holtur truly be cursed? If it is, how can she and her band of slayers hope to defend its people in the face of these new horrors?

This book is just the kind of thing a sequel should be. Instead of repeating the first story, it carries on the story and expands the world surrounding it. Sonja, who was a supporting character in the last book, is a great choice for a new lead. She is, without a doubt, one of the best strong female characters I've found in a long time. She knows when to be tough and when to be kind. She can slaughter monsters, brandishing a claymore and coating herself in monster blood, but she can also sympathize with others and get along well with her men and the villagers. When she needs help, she'll accept it, none of the I-can-do-everything-myself crap that we can often find with women trying to be strong. She's a great leader, just the same person she was in the last book, and she makes the perfect lead for this story.

What this book has that sets it apart from the first book is the very interesting theme of "who is the monster?" In this book, Holtur deals with a threat that they've never encountered before: other men. Now, the slayers of Holtur have killed some of the most complex and deadly monsters this world has ever known and yet they've never had to fight against people before. These men are clearly a threat. The Brothers of Eternity have openly admitted that they're going to destroy their village and hurt whomever gets in their way if they don't get what they want. Still, the slayers have a real dilemma on their hands. The idea of killing other people and what it will do to their souls is a really good question. Not to mention that, this time, Holtur has some monsters actually helping them. It makes the characters actually wonder if what they're doing is right and are they really doing the right thing and, if they resort to killing people, would that make them monsters themselves. These are some really complex ideas and it's really well thought out.

The hostile environment of this book is exactly what we'd expect from the previous installment and it comes with lots of fighting and violence. The action is pretty intense, leading to some brutal kills and some genuinely sad moments. That's what this book is good at, it makes you care about these people, these slayers and even the flame wyverns who are helping them out. Every loss makes an impact and you feel each one. It's also one of those few times my mouth actually dropped open once or twice, the kills coming as a genuine shock. While you know some of these slayers are going to be cannon fodder, you're still concerned for them and their personalities are still likable enough that you want them to get out okay, even if you know they're not. Also, some of the tactics used in this book are just great. Holtur uses its curses as blessings and uses them to their advantage. That's a great idea and I was glad to see it used.

If I had to nitpick, I'd say that the villains of the story were a smidge on the shallow side. While they did pose a genuine threat and they were certainly scary, their personalities weren't much to rave about. I also wasn't too sure about the direction they were taking with the Moongate community and what was going on there, but there is a third book coming up so I suppose we'll get the answers we're looking for there.

Final Verdict
This book, like the first, is just a great horror/action adventure with lots of death, gore, an awesome lead, and great creatures and ideas. I enjoyed this one a lot and, if it sounds like your thing, it's definitely worth your money at your local bookstore.

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Please make sure to Follow Midnight Readings for instant updates. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer

Next Time: Dirtyhands returns....

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Solaris Seethes by Janet McNulty



Nothing warms the heart like a good, campy sci-fi story, am I right? While it's not my absolute favorite genre in the world, once in a blue moon I'll find a science fiction story that I find I can just relax and enjoy. Mind you, this story is one you really have to shut your mind off to appreciate fully and, as a critic, I can't really do that. That being said, there's still enjoyment to be found in this story of adventure, revenge and recycled plot details...I mean, cliches...I mean...let's just get right to it.

Rynah's home has been destroyed. The man she'd come to love, Klanor, has betrayed her and all of her people by stealing the powerful crystal that controlled the planet's magnetic fields. As Rynah escapes the destruction, she comes across a gift from her departed grandfather, an old-fashioned spaceship named Solaris. Armed with a unique artificial intelligence, Solaris has been prepared for this event and explains to Rynah that the crystal is one of six that are said to have the power to destroy whole planets, even whole solar systems, and that Klanor plans to unite them and rule the galaxy. In accordance to an ancient prophecy concerning the crystals, Rynah summons help aboard her ship from a planet so underdeveloped it had gone unnoticed before, Earth. From this planet she calls forth four heroes,  the philosopher Solon from 751 B.C, the warrior Alfric from 1163, the inventor Tom from 2099, and the Mary Sue...I mean, lover Brie from 2014 to stop Klanor and save the galaxy.

Yeah...it might seem like I'm being kind of harsh about this one, but hear me out. This book is silly. And it knows it's silly (or at least I think it does). There are a lot of things that this book is trying to be. Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, basically, if it has the word "star" in the title, this book is trying to be it. Whoever, if you can get past that...it's actually kind of likable. It reads more like a fan fiction might but...a good fan fiction. It doesn't read like a quick cash grab, it reads like a labor of love. What it wants to be is an homage to the great sci-fi stories and capture what they had instead of trying to cash in on what they think will sell the most. The problem is... it is still pretty silly.

The characters in this book are just what you'd expect them to be. You have your no-nonsense captain, Rynah, with an impossibly bad attitude who acts tough but really she's just scared. You have the philosopher who spouts out fortune-cookie comments whenever it's relevant and the massive hulking warrior who is all about pride and honor and fight-to-the-death and MAN! things. Possibly the only one who actually has some depth and I actually believe to behave like a real person would is Tom, the inventor. He really seems to pull his weight, takes everything in stride, is excited to learn and explore but is also terrified when he needs to be. He can pull of being excited and frantic at the same time. And then...*sigh*...you have Brie. There's no doubt about it, she's a Mary-Sue. A teenage girl from about the right time who can't do anything but has so much love in her that she's essential in saving the galaxy. She contributes very little and but everyone babies her and tells her how strong she really is, with the exception of Rynah who rightly calls her out at times. However, because Rynah is such a jerk to Brie that we can't get too mad at Brie for this. It's rare that a Mary Sue is called out for what she is and that is a little refreshing, but it's marred when Rynah's criticisms make her out to be a terrible person we don't want to listen to. By making Rynah look bad, it makes Brie look good by comparison and that's just manipulative. I didn't care for that detail too much.

Now, with sci-fi stories you are allowed a fair amount of creative license when it comes to planets. Here, however, we just have your basic serving of Zelda planets. What do I mean by that? I mean your typical environments that you'd encounter in almost every Legend of Zelda game. We're talking a jungle world, a water world, and ice world, a desert world...stuff we've seen a million times. At least make the water red or the ice green or...or something! It's the same basic planet set ups that we've seen in tons of different science fiction stories. You should branch out with your planets, have fun with them. Do a little research and find out what plants or animals could live in these places. Along with the planets, the plot is pretty typical too. It's a quest story. Find the things, save the world, stop the mustache-twirling villain...all of that. The villain is super boring in this thing too. He has no motivation, no reason for what he's doing beyond "I want power!" and he's extremely forgettable.

Now, that being said, there is heart in this book. It's supposed to be an homage, as I said before. A story where you can just turn your brain off and not have to think about it too hard. It's fun for the sake of fun. And I did have fun with this book. It wasn't a chore to get through at all, I actually found myself enjoying it. Solaris has a great personality to make up for Rynah's terrible one, Alfric is a riot, Tom's a pretty well developed character...there is stuff to like in this book. It's just too bad that some of it is only enjoyable ironically. Like the ending. I'm not going to spoil anything but...once you see the direction they go with the end...oh my gosh. So hilarious when it's not supposed to be. Enough out of me. Look it up for yourself.

Final Verdict
If you're a sci-fi fan, or someone looking into sci-fi for the first time, this book is fine. You'll like it okay. But this is definitely a book for the heart and not for the mind. It does have some serious flaws, some generic plot details, and not quite enough new material. If you want to check it out, feel free to do so just maybe check it out at your local library.

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Please make sure to Follow Midnight Readings for instant updates. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer

Next Time: Man, this town can NOT catch a break....