Archive for September, 2014

This one is the eighth book in the series.

Links to my reviews of the previous Dresden Files books:

One: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/book-review-wednesday-dresden-files-storm-front-5-stars/

Two: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/book-review-wednesday-fool-moon-dresden-files-4-stars/

Three: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/book-review-wednesday-dresden-files-grave-peril-4-stars/?preview=true

Four: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/book-review-wednesday-dresden-files-summer-knight-5-stars/

Five: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/book-review-wednesday-death-masks-dresden-files-book-5-5-stars/

Six: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/book-review-wednesday-blood-rites-dresden-files-five-stars/

Seven: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/book-review-wednesday-dead-beat-dresden-files-5-stars/

I’m going to assume by this point you know what this series is about. So here’s the blurb for this particular book:

There’s no love lost between Harry Dresden, the only wizard in the Chicago phone book, and the White Council of Wizards, who find him brash and undisciplined. But war with the vampires has thinned their ranks, so the Council has drafted Harry as a Warden and assigned him to look into rumors of black magic in the Windy City.

As Harry adjusts to his new role, another problem arrives in the form of the tattooed and pierced daughter of an old friend, all grown-up and already in trouble. Her boyfriend is the only suspect in what looks like a supernatural assault straight out of a horror film. Malevolent entities that feed on fear are loose in Chicago, but it’s all in a day’s work for a wizard, his faithful dog, and a talking skull named Bob….

Another good sequel. Definately five stars from me. In this one we get another minor character fleshed out. This one is the teenage daughter of Michael who we’ve seen in previous books. We also get a deeper look into their family. It’s really cute to see all their kids grow up over the course of the books, even if most of them stay in the background.

While there are other problems to deal with, like that pesky fallen angel stuck in his head, most of this book revolves around dark magic. This is really neat because though we’ve heard about dark magic and how addictive it can be, and how kids aren’t taught not to use it but are punished once they use it anyway (totally unfair), this really delves deep into that moral dilemma and the damage dark magic causes both to caster and castee.

Dresden undergoes a lot of growth in this book. Most of the previous books have been pretty cut and dry. You find something bad, epic fight scenes, and you destroy said bad thing. This book still has plenty in the way of creepy monsters to kill and bad magic to stop, but once that’s done the source of all the badness requires a lot more thought. And with Dresden working for the council now he’s got a whole heck of a lot of thinking to do to try and solve it.

Our new character is pretty neat. In a lot of ways she’s your average slightly whiny teenager who thinks the world is against her, but beneath that she has a lot of heart. She has a lot of character growth over this one book, so I’m looking forward to seeing how she grows over the next books. From previous books we’ve already learnt what an honorable guy her father is, but this book gives her mother a chance to shine as well. She is one scary lady when her children are in danger.

The characters are really fleshed out in this book. The action is at a high, and the book seems a lot deeper than some of the previous ones. I think the only thing I didn’t like that much about this book was how much Dresden was attracted to Michael’s daughter. It’s a little creepy given how young she is. On the plus side he thinks it’s a little creepy too and doesn’t allow himself to pursue those feelings in any way.

For more reviews on this book check out:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/91474.Proven_Guilty

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This is a prequel novella to the dystopian romance ‘Under the Never Sky.’ For my review on that novel, check out the following link: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/book-review-wednesday-under-the-never-sky-4-stars/

I’d say this is an interesting story on its own, but not quite compelling enough without the novel. The novel (obviously as it’s longer) goes a lot deeper into the world building and there’s a lot more at stake. Saying that, with the novel I’d call this one a five star novella.

Here’s the blurb:

Before Perry and Aria, there was Roar and Liv.

After a childhood spent wandering the borderlands, Roar finally feels like he has a home with the Tides. His best friend Perry is like a brother to him, and Perry’s sister, Liv, is the love of his life. But Perry and Liv’s unpredictable older brother, Vale, is the Blood Lord of the Tides, and he has never looked kindly on Roar and Liv’s union. Normally, Roar couldn’t care less about Vale’s opinion. But with food running low and conditions worsening every day, Vale’s leadership is more vital—and more brutal—than ever. Desperate to protect his tribe, Vale makes a decision that will shatter the life Roar knew and change the fate of the Tides forever.

This shows something that happened before the novel with two of the more minor characters. It’s really interesting to get a deeper look at those two characters and the dynamics of their relationship with Perry who is one of the main characters of the novel. Since I’m a little obsessive about reading things in order I read this one before I read the novel. I read the novel right after, so I think I still got the full impact. When those two characters came up in the book I knew the gravity of their relationship and the pain they must be going through being apart. It really enhanced my experience of reading the novel.

I’d say if you’ve read the novel and loved it, then definitely read this one as well. If you’re planning on reading the novel then pick this one up to read either directly before or afterwards. The full impact of the novella only comes once you’ve read the novel, and the novella definitely enhances the novel.

For more reviews on this novella go to the following link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15754052-roar-and-liv

This one is the seventh book in the series.

Links to my reviews of the previous Dresden Files books:

One: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/book-review-wednesday-dresden-files-storm-front-5-stars/

Two: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/book-review-wednesday-fool-moon-dresden-files-4-stars/

Three: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/book-review-wednesday-dresden-files-grave-peril-4-stars/?preview=true

Four: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/book-review-wednesday-dresden-files-summer-knight-5-stars/

Five: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/book-review-wednesday-death-masks-dresden-files-book-5-5-stars/

Six: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/book-review-wednesday-blood-rites-dresden-files-five-stars/

I’m going to assume by this point you know what this series is about. So here’s the blurb for this particular book:

 There’s an entire world that exists alongside the everyday life of mankind. There are powers, nations, monsters, wars, feuds, alliances – everything. Wizards are part of it. So are a lot of other things you’ve heard about in stories, and even more you’ve never heard of…Vampires. Werewolves. Faeries. Demons. Monsters. It’s all real.

Harry Dresden knows full well that such creatures exist. Paranormal investigations are his stock-in-trade, and Chicago is his beat as he tries to bring law and order to a world that exists on the edges of imagination. Luckily Harry’s not alone in this struggle. And though most inhabitants of the Windy City don’t believe in magic, there’s a department that’s been set up within the Chicago PD to deal with “strange” cases: the Special Investigations department.

Karrin Murphy is the head of SI and a good friend of Harry’s. So when a deadly vampire threatens to destroy Murphy’s reputation unless Harry helps her, he has no choice. The vampire wants the Word of Kemmler and all the power that comes with it – but first Harry has to determine what the Word of Kemmler is. Now Harry is in a race against time – and six necromancers – to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead.

I’m finding that as the books go on, the writing gets better. This one was definitely a five star book for me, so no exception to that rule.

We spend a lot more time with medical examiner Waldo Butters, who was introduced in previous books. He finds himself right in the middle of trouble this time, poor guy, He’s a very different character to our usual ones, and his interactions with the other guys is interesting. He’s a little guy with a big heart who is not made for all the scary stuff Harry deals with every day, so of course he ends up with a bunch of really frightening zombies and their crazy leader chasing him around.

This book is a little like a previous one in the series where we meet werewolves. It ended up that there were a lot of different kinds of werewolves, and we met pretty much every type. In this book it’s necromancers. So you’ve got the old fashioned dull brained zombies listening to their leader, all the way to ghosts. A few different groups of necromancers fight over this book that contains the code they need to perform this ritual that will kill hundreds and hundreds of people.

Cue Harry sticking his nose in and making a whole bunch of big powerful enemies as usual. Lots of action and puns commence.

I really recommend this book and the series. It’s definitely getting even better as the series goes on. The writing in this one is full of energy and humor, even more so than I’ve come to expect from the author.

For more reviews on this book go to: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17683.Dead_Beat

 

This book’s a little difficult to categorize. Some would be in uproar if you called it fiction, and others would be in uproar if you call it non-fiction because that suggests that it’s fact. What it is comes down to a journalist’s interpretations of years of interviews with people who claim to have had a paranormal experience, plus some experiences of his own.

I knew I had to read this book after watching the movie which claims to have been based on true events. The film by the way was nicely put together, and is one of my favorites. Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ4RHPFaVBE

Now here’s where it gets iffy, because the book is very very different from the film. What the film basically did was take the scariest elements of years of different accounts, shake them up, tweak them a little and put them together in a spooky race against time plot. It’s a really good movie, and it’s a good book, but don’t expect to be reading the book version of the movie and vice versa.

Here’s the blurb:

West Virginia, 1966. For thirteen months the town of Point Pleasant is gripped by a real-life nightmare that culminates in a strategy that makes headlines around the world. Strange occurrences and sightings, including a bizarre winged apparition that becomes known as the Mothman, trouble this ordinary American community. Mysterious lights are seen moving across the sky. Domestic animals are found slaughtered and mutilated. And journalist John Keel, arriving to investigate the freakish events, soon finds himself an integral part of an eerie and unfathomable mystery…

There’s a lot of talk about the validity of this book. Not just the interviews, because there’s always a bit of question in witness statements, particularly when we don’t want to believe them. And to be honest, a lot of them are pretty out there. But the main controversy comes from the author’s own experiences. There are times when he claims to have got pretty face to face with spooky goings on, but has no evidence other than his own word. You would have thought being a journalist he would’ve got something, even if what he says is true and paranormal goings on disrupt recording equipment.

While I’m not sure what to conclude about the validity of what he’s writing about (aliens, separate dimensions, lots of mysterious events), this is a good book to read if you’re interested in that sort of thing. I definitely found it enjoyable and would recommend it to those with an open mind. Just go into it viewing it as some interesting ideas that may or may not be true, instead of expecting gospel.

For more reviews on this book go to the following link:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/567682.The_Mothman_Prophecies?from_search=true