Thraxas and the Oracle (Thraxas #10) ★★★☆☆

thraxasandtheoracle (Custom).jpgThis review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Thraxas and the Oracle
Series: Thraxas #10
Author: Martin Scott
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 184
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

The armies have come together and they all, under the leadership of Lisutaris, begin the march to Turai to take the fight to the orcs. Thraxas has been made head of Security and his number one job is to find Deeziz the Unseen before she wreaks havoc on the barely holding together armies. Add to that that Lisutaris must consult with an Oracle who has been banned and whose followers have been wiped out by the true church.

Thraxas is going to have a very hard time. Worst of all, there are no taverns and Lisutaris has told him to stop drinking.

The oracle proves right in all her accounts that do come to pass, Thraxas does find Deeziz (who escapes yet again) and the allied armies surprise an orcish one and completely route it. Now they can begin to head to Turai.

 

My Thoughts:

This was probably the weakest Thraxas story to date. In the middle of an army is not the place to have Thraxas being a gluttonous drunk. It just didn’t work for me this time. Thraxas is just hit or miss for me and I can’t figure out the why’s and wherefore’s of the formula regulating that. I guess it’s just a mystery! In terms of enjoyment, this was a bunt. I still connected with the ball, but it didn’t knock it out of the park for me.

If I were to recommend these books to anyone, I’d say to stop at book 8. Yes, there isn’t any resolution at the end of that book, but 2 books later there still isn’t any resolution. Also, considering that it has been 3 years since this book was published and there hasn’t been another, I’d say Scott has dropped the creative ball and is done as an author. These are not long books. If you are on fire, it doesn’t take 3 years to write a sub-200page book. It is only when struggling that that is the case.

Scott needs to write one more book where the armies take back the city of Turai, Thraxas marries Makri, becomes the proconsul of the newly renovated Turai and the whole gang (Lisutaris, Gurd, Tamrose, etc) all hang out at a brand new bar and shirk their duties. The End. Seriously.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

 

 

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Thraxas and the Ice Dragon (Thraxas #9) ★★★☆½

thraxasandicedragon (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Thraxas and the Ice Dragon
Series: Thraxas #9
Author: Martin Scott
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 198
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Thraxis, Makri and Lisutarus all survive and end up in the small kingdom of Samsarina, which is quite strict about such things as public drunkeness, thazis use and dwa. Not the best place for our three Heroes to end up!

But Samsarina is a staging ground for the surrounding kingdoms to gather, create a warhost and march on Thraxas’ beloved city of Turai and free it from the orcish horde that has conquered it.Of course, by the time they all actually agree, there might not be much of Turai left.

Lisutaris, as head of the Magic Guild, must contend with other jealous sorcerers who want her removed and themselves installed as head of the Guild and then most likely as head of the Warhost.

Makri enters a fighting contest because they are broke and Thraxas has a sure fire gambling plan, ie, Makri will win every fight and make them rich.

Thraxas runs across an old flame, now a duchess and her daughter is convinced someone is out to kill her. Thraxas is hired as Number One Investigator to find out what’s going on.

It all ends with Makri winning the fight because she was kind to a baby dragon. Mama dragon eats Lisutaris’s Number One Foe and Thraxas solves the crime AND wins over 10,000 gurans. Everybody, except the dead sorcerer, is happy!

 

My Thoughts:

Man, I’d forgotten just how much light hearted fun these Thraxas books are. Filled with witty banter, huge amounts of alcohol, drugs and a Fat Private Investigator, you simply can’t go wrong. Throw in the whole realm of fantasy and you’ve got a sure fire winner.

Everything that I have written about previous Thraxas books still applies to this one as well. Shallow, whiny, tiresome one liners, this has them all in spades.

BUT THAT IS WHAT A THRAXAS BOOK IS ABOUT!!!!

So I just sat back, let the shenanigans roll along and had a jolly old time. I would say that Thraxas is like a circus peanut. A small amount goes a long way and you definitely don’t want to overdose. But my goodness, when you haven’t had circus peanuts for over a year, and you open that bag and pop that first delectable sugar delight into your mouth and feel it melting on your tongue, it is good!

★★★☆½

bookstooge

Surviving a Bad Book – An Enemy Reborn

cover (Custom) An Enemy Reborn by Michael Stackpole and William Wu.

My initial review isn’t very critical but I gave it one star and I can still remember how I felt when reading and finishing it. If I can remember those feelings from 2003, then the book is deserving of the moniker “A Bad Book”.

This isn’t an angry feeling, but that feeling you get when a favorite author writes a completely amateurish piece of garbage that isn’t even worthy to be in the Forgotten Realms series. Kind of a melancholic sadness.

So, some history.  I grew up with authors like Stackpole and Zahn and the such being favorite authors back in the very early 90’s through the mid ’00’s. Stackpole was my fantasy guy.  He wrote books like Talion: Revenant and Once a Hero, books that I love and re-read multiple times. 4 times each since 2000 and once or twice before that. Therefore, Stackpole was one of those towering pillars of an author, the kind you get excited about, the kind that naive readers believe can do no wrong, until the author in question proves it beyond all shadow of a doubt.

An Enemy Reborn was originally published with ONLY Stackpole’s name on it and in the beginning was a little blurb about how this duology (A Hero Born was the first book) came from a gaming session. That should have been enough of clue and to my wiser and older self, it would have been. But to me in 2003, it wasn’t even a blip. So I read this piece of subpar garbage and wondered how Stackpole could write something so bad and in such a style that I didn’t even recognize. It wasn’t until years later when I was cleaning up my data that I came across the fact that this now had a co-author and was probably written by him with Stackpole’s name stamped on to sell. What a betrayal, a veritable sword in the back! Yet at the same time, knowing that it is actually written by someone else allowed me to begin the healing process and to allow the 5 steps of grief to truly begin.

denial

William Wu, I FORGIVE you!

Actually, I don’t. Stackpole’s career went on a slow downill trajectory after this book and to this day I pretend that a lot of his more recent books don’t exist.

So there you go, another story of how I survived even the Publishers lying to me and selling me bad dope, really mediocre, cut with white flour dope!

 

bookstooge

 

all-the-things-meme-collection-1mut-com-1

 

Gridlinked (Polity: Agent Cormac #1)

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

Title: Gridlinked
Series: Polity: Agent Cormac #1
Author: Neal Asher
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 433
Format: Kindle Digital edition

 

Synopsis:

Ian Cormac has been gridlinked for 30 years where 20 years is supposed to be the maximum. Ian’s effectiveness in the service of Earth’s AI is what caused the continued link. Recently though, Ian has started exhibiting signs of gridlink addiction, an inability to interact with other humans and unable to think for himself.

When a planetwide accident happens on the remote world of Samarkand and an extraterrestial alien known as Dragon reappears, Earth Central sends in Agent Cormac. However, the AI always has games within games within games and having unplugged Ian, allows his enemies to know where he is going. Why solve 1 problem when you can solve 5?

 

My Thoughts

Another home run of a read.  Having read Asher starting in 2010, with this book and continuing on his Polity series, it was good to re-read this and see how his writing has been polished up. Make no mistake, this was rough writing; not bad, but without some of the polish you see in later books.

If I had to choose one word to describe this all, Ultra-violence would be that word. Entrails, brain matter, dismembered limbs, broken, burst, or burnt body parts, alien flesh or fluid spattered across the landscape. Guns, garrottes, bombs, knives, lasers, bare hands [or golem hands as the case may be], alien teeth, cars, spaceships, all are used as weapons. It is phracking awesome!

This is a novel, and series, about Humanity and Post Humanity. If a human can live for 200 years, upload his mind to a golem body if he so chooses all the while living in a society run by A.I.’s of godlike intelligence, what kind of society will emerge? Asher doesn’t get sidetracked from his story to show us the nitty-gritty but we do get little peeks here and there. And those little glimpses are fascinating.

To the plotmobile! Space-gates connect planets. One explodes and destroys a worlds’ population. Ian must investigate and figure out what is going on. At the same time, some of Ian’s old enemies are tracking him down to kill him. Add in an alien and my goodness, you have so many chainsaws in the air that any guess might kill you if wrong.

The whole idea of aug’s and messing around with your mind to expand it intrigues me to no end. The idea of A.I.’s ruling humanity in the background while letting humanity grow mentally is also fascinating. Of course,the whole thing is predicated on the idea that something better can come from something lesser. A machine intelligence that is greater than humanity and without humanity’s flaws. Great idea, but I can’t buy it for real and so it kicks me out of the story occasionally.

Overall, I loved this book, was just as intrigued this time around as I was in ’10, loved the violence, love the mystery of the plot and am looking forward to the rest of the series. These rereads have been good so far and so I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Let’s see if I can put that off for a bit, shall we?

Here’s some alternate covers, because some of these are just plain awesome. I’m usually not a big fan of putting pictures into reviews, but in this case, I feel some of these represent the book better than the cover here, especially the last one.

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Thraxas and the Sorcerers (Thraxas #5)

Thraxas and the Sorcerers - Martin ScottThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Thraxas and the Sorcerers

Series: Thraxas

Author: Martin Scott

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 186

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

The Sorcerer’s Guild needs a new Leader and everyone is meeting in Turai. Each City State is putting forth its top Sorcerer for the job. Unfortunately for Turai, their top Sorcerer is a thazi addled addict who can’t even walk straight, much less run a Guild of the most powerful people in the realm.

So it is up to Thraxas and others to buy, threaten, cheat, extort and whatever else is needed, to get the votes for their Sorcerer. And Thraxas has been made a Tribune, so he’s officially back in the Politics Game.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a murder mystery mixed with rigged elections and so much dwa that it felt like I, the reader, was practically swimming through the stuff. So pretty much, just like all the previous books.

I have the omnibus, The Complete Thraxas, and have been reading these on my phone, back to back. I think I reached my limit here. Need to take a break and put these back into the regular queue.

I like these and want to make sure that I keep on liking them.

Thraxas at the Races (Thraxas #3)

Thraxas at the Races - Martin ScottThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.anobii.com by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Thraxas at the Races

Series: Thraxas

Author: Martin Scott

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 256

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

This time Thraxas is hired by a Senator to find his missing artwork, that his dwa addicted wife has stolen to fuel her habit. Of course, just as Thraxas finds the loot, he also finds the Senators dead body and is charged with the crime.

He is rescued only to find he is now expected to guard an Orc chariot driver.

From the frying pan into the fire!

 

My Thoughts:

I am very glad to be using the half star rating system, that is for sure. These books are pure fun but not solid enough for a re-read. Plus, with the mystery being solved, I’m not sure that I’d enjoy slogging through the same territory again. But that in no way diminishes just how awesome these books are.

My only real complaint, again, is the lousy new covers. I suspect it has something to do with legal rights and what not. I also suppose that it is supposed to be Makri, the half human, quarter Elf, quarter Orc, woman who guards Thraxas’ back and has the potential to be a love interest at the end of the series. But she’s described as having slightly red skin, her hair is not dyed and while she does wear a chain mail bikini [for tips at the bar], she fills it out. I’ve seen the old covers and I have to say, they really appeal to me.

Thankfully, the author stays away from “character development” and over arching story arcs. Just the type of story I’m looking to read for 20’ish minutes a day while on lunch break.

Thraxas and the Warrior Monks (Thraxas #2)

Thraxas and the Warrior Monks - Martin ScottThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.anobii.com by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Thraxas and the Warrior Monks

Series: Braxas

Author: Martin Scott

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 256

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

Thraxas is hired to defend an apprentice who is accused of murdering his master. At the same time, some dolphins want him to find their magic healing stone, 2 rival groups of monks are trying to kill him to recover a 2 ton statue AND a shipment of the king’s gold goes missing. And if that isn’t enough, thugs are after Thraxas as are some of the leaders of the Guards.

In fact, it seems everybody wants Thraxas dead.

 

My Thoughts:

This was complicated, convoluted and fun; in fact, it was just as fun as the previous book. Sometimes, humor across books can change but this keeps the same tenor.

I tried to keep things straight in my head while reading so I could write about it, but half way through I just gave up. I just let the story roll me along like a pebble in the ocean.

When I’m done these Thraxas book, I’ll have to go see if Scott wrote any more.