Well after having a bit of a heat wave for a week or so, I get my day off, to a windy cloudy day! 😦

So how has my reading challenge being progressing.  Well, and I’m pleased to say with more enjoyable books that are hitting my favourite reads shelf.

Book #28 – River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

I stumbled across this book on Amazon Kindle, recommended for you. The premise had me gripped enough that I even pre-ordered it. The story is about an alternative America in the late 19th century, where based on real life plans which didn’t quite happen, Hippo’s have been brought over and bred in America for meat. Some of these Hippo’s have gone feral and wild and have forced people out of certain areas of America due to their size, behaviour and all round danger levels they offer. Other Hippo’s are tame, trained and people in this story ride them like horses and are very fond of them. This is a wild western/alternative future/caper type story.

But it is a short one (150 pages approx.) and is about a band of rogues, that are brought together by our main hero Houndstooth to pull off an operation to rid an area in the murky marshlands of Louisiana of lot’s and lot’s of feral Hippos. The characters are generally interesting with; pregnant assassins, demolition experts and generally naughty rogues but I think the downside due to the shortness of the book, doesn’t have that many if any well developed enough for my liking, could of meated out a few. Some are killed off before we get to know too much of them, one character is often referred to as ‘They’ who is non-gender, which I soon found irritating and at times confusing.

But overall an enjoyable, light read that unfortunately I felt could of offered us more. Three out of five stars.

Book #29 – Spellslinger by Sebastien De Castell

This book caught my eye with it’s beautiful cover and artwork, so couldn’t resist and treated myself to the hardcover. Check me out. And I’m going to come straight out with it, I enjoyed this book a lot! The characters are great, the world building is good, the story line is original and there are a good number of twists and turns which keep you on your toes! I honestly didn’t see many of them coming.

And I’m going to reemphasise the ‘Original’ comment, in that 99.9% of fantasy novels start off with a young hero who has unknown and undiscovered special powers or abilities that some old warrior, adventurer hero type decides to help train them up in order to fight evil. BAM! that is not the case here, in fact it is the exact opposite! Our main character Kellen is the son to a powerful mage and preparing for his trails into passing magic tests to become a fully fledge mage. Make his family proud and achieve great things. Downside is, his powers are disappearing, and he needs to find other ways around this as his life start to fall apart around him and his pictured future is suddenly changing and looking less rosy.

I’m not going to say too much more here for the risking of adding spoilers, but how him, his friends and enemies all develop as the story and secrets unfold is amazing. The author has done a fantastic job here and I will definitely be reading the next in the series and checking out the authors other work!

Brilliant. Easy five out of five stars.

Book #30 – Gleam by Tom Fletcher

The world of Gleam is a fascinating one, and hat’s off to the author, who’s world building and atmosphere creating is fantastic! This is a really good book and story, and one I’ve wanted to read something like for a while.

I also got on with and really engaged with all the characters, which is a rare thing for me, where we have our main character Alan and his band of roguish, un-hero like misfits travelling through Gleam on a mission to aid Alan in saving his family. Although as the story unfolds, we realise in actual fact their all on their own private missions, and makes this story and story telling quite original to your standard format fantasy book of a band of misfits off to save the world.

The world of Gleam and the story centres around the Pyramid. A city as such, full of mysteries which as of yet we still haven’t solved, in which the citizens live a safe, comfortable and peaceful life. Or so it appears. The rest of Gleam is pretty much run down, dangerous, dog eats dog kind of towns. I pictured many of them to be like something from Mad Max ‘beyond Thunder dome’ when reading it. All rust, dust and sweat.

And so yes, this is a book I really enjoyed. Why the dropped star? I do feel harsh in the dropped star but for me the ending was too sudden with too many unanswered questions. I am now aware that this is the first in a trilogy, but do like books in a series to still be able to stand alone, to be able to answer some question or have some part of the story closed. This is just wide open for more, like the end of a chapter not a book. A peeve of mine I’m afraid.

So, will I read the next in the series? Yes I think I will. Too many questions and curiosities of mine I hope to have answered.  Four out of five stars!!

**********

Right then, what shall I dive into next??

 

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