Tag Archives: Book Review

Book Review – The Undying Mercenaries

“Legion Varrus is a harsh unit. We train our troops to think for themselves. We kill them now and then to keep them sharp.” – Centurion Graves

 

Note before review, Undying Mercenaries is more mature than other books, it has sex and a whole lot of gore, so this book isn’t for everyone.

 

The Undying Mercenaries series is set in a world where Earth has been forced into joining a much more powerful empire (control the galaxy powerful). For humanity not to be wiped out, Earth is forced to pick up a trade that is of value to the other vassal states in the same section of space as Earth. With nothing of value not already covered by other races, Earth turns to hiring out mercenary companies known as legions. Using the technology of the Galactics, (the powerful empire mentioned earlier) which allows soldiers to be brought back from the dead (more technically, cloning their bodies), Earth becomes a successful hub for mercenaries.

 

The series follows the adventures of legion recruit James McGill, who serves in Varrus Legion.

 

There isn’t a whole lot of science involved in the books, seeing as it centers life more around being part of this legion, there is some discussion of more advanced technology, such as plasma guns, cloning machines and nanobots. While not a sci-fi heavy book, there is enough that you can tell that the world the book is set in has technology beyond our capabilities currently.

 

Funny and just overall cool, Undying Mercenaries is definitely a book to pick up. While it isn’t a book that will make you ponder on difficult philosophical questions, it is a fun read, and if you have the spare time this is a good way to spend it.

 

Link to the Book: Undying Mercenaries 

 

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Book Review- The Way of Shadows

“Life is empty. Life is worthless. When we take a life, we aren’t taking anything of value.”- Durzo Blint

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks is a work of fantasy that is a rather dark piece of literature, based in the fictional city of Cenaria, a city almost completely dominated by a criminal organization called the “Sakage”. This organization controls all illicit operations in Cenaria, ranging from assassinations to the brothels. This organization also employs or bribes many powerful individuals in the city, including wetboys. Wetboys (pretty lame name) are magic wielding assassins, the most deadly and famous of the current generation of wetboys being Durzo Blint. Wetboys are such skilled killers they do not refer to their victims as targets, but deaders, leading to the prominent quote, “a wet boy has a deader, an assassin has a target, because assassins sometimes miss.”

The central protagonist throughout the book is an orphan named Azoth. Living in the slums of Cenaria, the Warrens, Azoth and his two friends, Jarl and Doll Girl must steal to survive. A bit later into the book Azoth has the opportunity to apprentice under Durzo Blint, the city’s top wetboy. Becoming a wetboy, Azoth must leave behind everything from his past life, and, perhaps most dangerous of all, survive Durzo’s training to become a skilled wetboy.

The magic system within the book is based off of something called the talent, and these talented individuals while also have talents in particular parts of magic. This is best exemplified by the fact of some mages having almost no talent for fire magic, but they might have a great deal of affinity for healing. The talent has three parts, all of which are necessary for a person to use their talent, the Glore Vyrden or life magic, this is basically the magical reservoir. The second component is the ability to recharge your Glore Vyrden, without this you could only use the talent once or twice in your life. A person with this ability generally recharges their Glore Vyrden by absorbing sunlight or from other light sources. The final part is called the conduit, a person with only a small conduit is only able to channel a small part of their talent at once, whereas a person with a large conduit can use large amounts of magic at once.

Overall this is a worthwhile read if you’re interested in reading a darker novel. It’s got magical assassins, so what’s not to love. With good character development, an intriguing story, and quite interesting finish, this book is definitely worth your time.

Side note: This book did not have a kindle edition on Amazon, so while I fully support authors getting paid for their work, this time I’ve included a link to a PDF instead.

The Way of Shadows 

Book Review- The Alchemyst

An excellently written story based off the idea that Nicholas Flamel was actually successful in finding the Philosophers Stone, and managed to create an Elixir of Life using the powers of this stone.

This book is set in the modern era, with computers, cars and basically everything we have come to expect in life, except that in the book, magic is real.

The basic premise of the story is that the Flamels have been waiting for twins of legend, one would have an aura of pure silver, the other of pure gold. The prophecy as quoted is “The Two that are One, and the One that is all, One to save the world, One to destroy it.” Basically fairly standard stuff, yet it still makes for an enjoyable read.

The system of magic within this series is aura based, as you may have guessed. To perform magic, an aspiring mage must first have their magic “awakened”.

Overall this is an enjoyable read, has an interesting plot, good characters and interesting character development. It’s also made more enjoyable by the fact that famous mythological figures appear in the book, such as the Morrigan, Baset and Hecate. If your looking for a fiction book with some famous figures, I’d definitely give the series a go.

Link to the book: Alchemyst

Book Review- Demon Accords Series by John Conroe

“I have no Native American heritage, but I had decided as a child that my spirit guide animal would be a bear. We were both loners and fighters, at least that’s how I looked at it. I don’t know how the Great Bear felt about it, as I had never given him the option to say no.”-Chris

Ok, so as soon as some of you saw the title you probably went, what? Demon Accords, what a horrible sounding name, I’ll never read that.  If that was your first reaction, then this book won’t be quite what you were expecting.

This book also deserves a warning like Dune. This book will involve a lot of killing (I mean a lot), a bit of romance (in case you don’t enjoy that sort of thing, though it’s not too long) and will talk about demons (I know some people don’t enjoy these things). If you don’t mind all these things, then you’ve done yourself a favour, because this book is one of the best series’s I’ve ever read.

This series mainly centers around a demon hunter named Chris. He has been given the power to combat demons using what essentially is his aura.  He is an exorcist with a mission.

The setting is basically urban fantasy and virtually ever legend is true and walks around causing trouble – there is almost never a quite moment for Chris and his, rather cool, girlfriend.

God Touched – During book one the book sets the scene for important character and explains a bit about these characters. I enjoyed this book immensely, though it was not my favourite book in the series.

Demon Driven-Book two did a bit more scene setting for some of Chris’s new powers but it also had a lot more combat, dialogue and just all around action than book one.

Brutal Asset-Book three is almost all combat, during this book Chris begins hunting down several things that really should not have tried to irritate him, I mean really, have they learnt nothing? This book also introduces the newest (and definitely furriest) member of the group.

Dual Nature-Book four is has more politics (cool politics, not the type of politics were everyone just stands there and drones on) than action, although this book does also have some serious action. This book definitely had some really awesome ideas, especially… actually, I won’t spoil it.

Fallen Stars- Book five took a bit of a break from vampire politics to move onto what Chris does  best, kill demons. This book also introduces the character that will be prominent during book six.

Executable-Book six is an oddity, it’s during  the time of book five from the perspective of a completely different character. Chris and the main character in the book have never met each other before (except during the end of book five, but that doesn’t really count in my opinion) so I definitely found this interesting. This book also gives you a bit more of an insight as to how witch’s powers work.

Black Frost-The last book (or third book technically but it’s a short story so I put it last) is also something of an oddity. This book is also about a different character like book five, but it never has Chris meet up with the main character here. This makes it less important to the series, but it is definitely an excellent book.

Overall my favourite book would definitely have to be book five. I loved the ideas in that book and that is what made it stand out for me compared to some of the other ones.

Book Review – The Dune Series by Frank Herbert

He who controls the spice, controls the universe“- Baron Harkonnen

Warning- For those of you who would rather not read about gruesome deaths, this book is definitely not for you. This book can and does get rather gruesome during some parts, so be warned.

This book has quite a few names to remember, so you might want to start off with the Preludes to Dune.

Dune was one of the first books I read after coming to Taiwan. After attempting to read it when I was about 8 years old and failing (because I got bored) , I decided to give it another try when I was 10. After reading the first 50 or so pages, I found that things definitely got more interesting.

After finishing off book one in the Dune series, I finished off the preludes to Dune, figuring I might as well gain some backstory on the world (although almost everyone in the preludes dies during book one, but still).

Book two (Dune Messiah) was not really a success in my opinion, it was just one of those books where I had to grit my teeth, and finish it off in one sitting or I would never pick it up again. The reason for this  was that almost nothing happened during this book. Everyone just sat around and talked, which left me feeling cheated of a good book.

Book three and four (Children of Dune and God Emperor of Dune, in that order)  were amazing, maybe even my favourite out of the Dune series, the ideas in the story were really cool and there was a lot more action than in the previous book. The books also looked at the world from the view points of some new character, so that was really enjoyable.

I’m not going to go into detail about book 5 and 6 (Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse Dune, in that order) , but in my opinion, they were absolutely abysmal and should not be read under any circumstances.