Thraxas Under Siege (Thraxas #8)

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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: Thraxas Under Siege
Series: Thraxas #8
Author: Martin Scott
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 272
Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:   Spoiler

Turai is besieged by the orcs. Everyone, including Thraxas, must pull duty on the walls. At the same time, it gets out that there is an artifact that can raise storms and it is missing. If it falls into the hands of the Orcs, Turai is doomed. The head mistress of the Sorcerer’s guild hires Thraxas to find said artifact. He is also hired to find 14,000 gurans of hidden treasure, the finders fee which will enable Thraxas to get in on a high stakes card game. Because hey, being under siege doesn’t mean life has to stop.

While this is all going on, it is deep winter and the winter malady is hitting people right and left. Sometimes a little to close to Thraxas’s circle of acquaintances. The book ends with the orcs over running Turai and Thraxas dragging Makri and Lisutarius into a boat and escaping.

 

My Thoughts: 

Thraxas is dense. There is no denying it. People literally falling ill, with no symptoms beforehand, as soon as they step into the Avenging Axe and he doesn’t suspect a thing? Throw in that an orcish sorcerer named Dazeez the Unseen is known to be out and about and you have to roll your eyes.

This was exactly like the previous books. Thraxas complain, Thraxas eats and fights, people harass Thraxas, Makri prances around in her chain mail bikini, Thraxas ignores said spectacle. Thraxas solves some of the issues and not others.

The card game was the highlight for me. In it Thraxas is playing against an orcish sorcerer and other high lords of Turai. The stakes are Makri’s hand in marriage or the storm artifact. What a game.

The ending was ok.  It could either be taken as the end of the story and series, or just a temporary set back. In the omnibus edition, this is the last story but i know there are 2 more, as I have them in my tbr list. So I’m wondering if Martin ended the series and then picked it back up again. I am glad to know that there are more Thraxas stories. We all need more stories about fat gluttons who are more worried about their bellies than beautiful women. Even beautiful women who fill out chainmail bikinis 😀

star30full-custom

Thraxas at War (Thraxas #7)

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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 Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Thraxas at War

Series: Thraxas

Author: Martin Scott

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 272

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

While the war council for Turai is in session, a Senator is murdered and Lodius is the main suspect. Lodius’ wife hires Thraxas to prove his innocence. Thraxas reluctantly takes the case. The orcs pull a sneak attack on Turai with the help of a traitor and while the city survives, no allies are going to be able to help for months.

Thraxas solves the case but it is completely overshadowed by the traitor and the war. Ends with Turai under siege.

 

My Thoughts:

This really sucked me in. A lot of the time the “mystery” doesn’t do much for me and I just swing along for the ride. But for whatever reason, this time around, it just sucked me in.

The war story is bigger than one book so while this is the start, it doesn’t conclude anything or even really continue. I guess I’ll have to read the next book or 3 to finish that.

 

Thraxas and the Dance of Death (Thraxas #6)

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Title: Thraxas and the Dance of Death

Series: Thraxas

Author: Martin Scott

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 256

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

Lisutarius has lost a priceless gem that helps protect Turai against an orcish invasion. So she hires Thraxas to find it without anyone else finding out. But of course things don’t go quite according to plan and everywhere the gem goes, death follows. So much so that an enterprising fellow starts a betting ring on how many people will die before Thraxas can find the jewel.

An undead sorcerer comes to town to steal the jewel for himself, falls in love with Makri and threatens Thraxas.

 

My Thoughts:

It was nice returning to Turai and watching Thraxas threaten, bluster and bumble his way through yet another investigation.

Things get a little bit more serious as Thraxas must deal with politics, having his investigators license revoked, Tanrose leaving the inn and a possible orc invasion just as the city is being wracked by a dwa epidemic and the elves are weaker than ever.

I tore through this in about 3 lunchbreaks. The only problem is that by the time I get around to writing a review, I’m halfway through the next book and get the details muddled in my head. But I remember having fun reading this, so I think that is enough.

Hominid DNF@5%

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Title: Hominid

Series: —–

Author: R.D. Brady

Rating: 1/2  of 5 Stars

Genre: —-

Pages: Abandoned

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

My Thoughts:

Due to some of the subject matter, I will not be continuing this book or read any others by this author.

Abandoned at 5%

 

 

Obsidian Worlds

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Title: Obsidian Worlds

Series: ——

Author: Jason Werbeloff

Rating: 1 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 247

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

11 short stories showcasing the writing talents of Jason Werbeloff.

 

My Thoughts:

Filth. Pure and simple. I felt like I had spent the time reading immersed directly in raw sewage from the author’s mind.

Moral and Sexual perversions. Hatred, cruelty and loathing, against self and others. Whenever a character wasn’t completely and deliberately unlikable, they were crass and vulgar to the extreme. And this was not crap writing. Werbeloff does a good job showing his writing chops. Sadly, he wastes it with subject material so vile. The only thing missing was child abuse.

I can only highly recommend skipping this and I know I sure won’t be checking out any other writings by this guy.

Thraxas and the Warrior Monks (Thraxas #2)

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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.

The Complete Stories #2

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Title: The Complete Stories #2

Series: The Complete Stories

Author: Isaac Asimov

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 560

Format: Kindle digital scan

 

Synopsis:

A large collection of short stories from Isaac Asimov.

 

My Thoughts:

Unfortunately, most of these stories I had already read. So there was almost nothing new and without the shiny of “new”, I can’t say that Asimov’s stories are all that engaging.

Nothing is bad or boring. They just aren’t the type of stories that I want to read again and again. Most of them have a “hook” at the end and if you already know that hook the whole story loses most of its punch. I also found that a large portion of these were longer stories than in volume 1.

I have seen references to a 3rd volume of short stories but as far as I can tell, they were never published. That is too bad because I would like to see a finishing up of all of Asimov’s stories.

Madame Bovary (Classic)

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Title: Madame Bovary

Series: —–

Author: Gustave Flaubert

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Classic

Pages: 365

Format: Ebook digital edition

 

 

Synopsis:

Emma Bovary is married to Dr. Bovary and is the “Madame Bovary” of the title. The story starts out with the Dr though and gives us in a chapter or 3 his history until he marries Emma. Once married, we get the story from Emma.

And what a story it is. A story of discontent, selfishness, betrayal, greed, lust and the ultimate end of all of those things.

 

My Thoughts:

I read this on my phone, so it was read a page at a time, here and there, now and then. I did not read large chunks at a time. I suspect that helped my enjoyment of this immensely.

If you had told me that reading about Emma’s self-destructive spiral leading to her suicide would be enjoyable, I most likely would have drummed you out of whatever establishment we both were inhabiting at the moment and made sure that you weren’t drunk, high or mistaking me for somebody else.  But I did enjoy this a lot. Part of it was the writing. Flaubert handled words like a master wordsmith. When somebody is skilled at something, it shows and it makes it easier to watch/read/partake of whatever they are offering.

Like I said at first, reading this in tiny chunks just worked out really well. I got a taste of how horrible Emma was, and let me tell you, a shallower, vainer, stupider and down right pleasure seeker was never written but it was never overwhelming or despair inducing because it was read in manageable chunks. Most classics I plow through and this would have been like getting dumped on by a manure tractor. But instead I simply got splashed by a car passing by and then went home and changed clothes. It made all the difference.

It also made a difference that Flaubert didn’t glorify what Emma was doing. He simply let the results of her actions catch up to her. I’m a big advocate of moral cause and effect and while some of that can be seen on a personal level, more of it is on a macro level and not seen for a generation or two on a national level. So seeing it work out the way it did was actually encouraging instead of discouraging.

On a personal level, reading this book has made me even more grateful that I have learned to be content and that I have a wife who loves me and is content as well. It doesn’t mean I don’t dream or want to improve our lot in life but it means that if I can only afford a 20 year old used car, then so be it. Reading this also reminded me that thoughts lead to actions and have consequences.

I think I have said enough. I’m not sure I’d want to read this again because I probably wouldn’t enjoy it as much.

Moon-Flash

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Title: Moon-Flash

Series: —–

Author: Patricia McKillip

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Pages: 304

Format: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

This omnibus edition combines the acclaimed Patricia A. McKillip’s two science-fiction novels, Moon-Flash and The Moon and the Face.

Kyreol’s small world begins at the Face, a high rock cliff, and ends at Fourteen Falls, a series of rapids. Each year, her people celebrate Moon-Flash—a spark of light that seems to come from and go into the moon, a symbol of life and joy. When a mysterious stranger arrives, Kyreol wants to know more about him, as well as the Moon-Flash, and soon she and her childhood friend Terje leave their home to look for answers. Those answers will pluck Kyreol from Riverworld and transform her life forever—by fast-forwarding her into a future she can barely comprehend.

 

My Thoughts:

I have yet to read a book by McKillip that I don’t like. This was no exception. Beautiful, flowing, as much about the pacing of the words and sentences as the story itself. In all honesty, the story itself didn’t do a thing for me.

The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft

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Title: The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft

Series: —–

Author: H.P. Lovecraft, Leslie Klinger

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: Horror

Pages: 1008

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A compendium of Lovecraft’s stories with historical, geographical and misc data footnotes to make this a fuller experience.

 

My Thoughts:

First, I found the annotation to be completely useless. Being from New England myself, most of the geographic and historical data wasn’t new to me and the bits that weren’t, I didn’t care about.

There were also pictures of places where stories took place. I don’t care to see the “Fuller House, repaired in 1997”.

A lot of the historical and literary annotations I knew about as well. I’m just well read and experienced enough that this stuff wasn’t for me. I definitely wasn’t the target audience for the annotations side of things.

Second, the quality of the stories varied so greatly that I wasn’t sure what I was getting into from page to page. Some were incredible, some were just complete and utter stinkers. Sometimes I believed the horrorness of the  “unnameable horror” and at other times I was rolling my eyes so hard that my glasses practically jumped off my face.

Thirdly, I really wish I had this back in my teen years. I found so many things that other books I’ve read referenced. It would have made for a much richer reading experience. However, better late than never and I look forward to finding future Lovecraftian influence in the horror books I read.

Finally, I don’t regret the time I spent on this monster book but I do wish more of the stories had been of higher caliber.