Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review: "Furies of Calderon," by Jim Butcher

I remember when I received Jim Butcher’s “Furies of Calderon” (Ace, $9.99) several years ago, and I was both excited and a little reluctant to read it. I was, and remain, a huge fan of Butcher’s Dresden Files, which follow the misadventures of Chicago’s only wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden. I was interested in his take on what he called “swords and horses fantasy,” but at the same time, I was mainly interested in reading more about Harry. I got started on the book, but for whatever reason, I just couldn’t get into it, so I put it down after a couple of chapters and moved on.

A few weeks ago, I was looking around for my next read and decided that, while I’m waiting on the newest Dresden book in July, I’d give this series another chance. I’m glad I did.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Review: "The Journey" by Kathryn Lasky

After enjoying the first book in the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series, my son and I eagerly tackled Kathryn Lasky’s second book of the series, “The Journey” ($5.99, Scholastic). Unfortunately, we came away with mixed feelings on this one.

The book picks up with Soren and his band of friends – Gylfie, Twilight and Digger – still trying to find their way to the legendary Great Ga’Hoole Tree. While they’re on their journey, running into various types of owls and even getting into a fracas with a bobcat, the story remains fast-paced and entertaining. Once they find the home of the Guardians, however, things take a bit of a turn as the four try to find their place in the tree’s society.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Review: "Banewreaker" by Jacqueline Carey

You might not recognize the characters and places in Jacqueline Carey’s “Banewreaker” ($7.99, Tor), but the story will be very familiar.

In essence, the book is a play on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” with a twist. It’s told from the point of view of Satoris the Third Born, or Satoris the Sunderer to his enemies He is basically Carey’s version of Sauron. The world of Urulat has been divided by a war between the Shapers, the gods who formed the world and its inhabitants. The dispute stemmed from a disagreement between Satoris and Haomane, the First Born. Satoris, bearing a never-healing wound from the fight, has been exiled to Darkhaven, where he lives with his Fjelltroll and three immortal champions pulled from the world of men and Ellyl (elves). Now a star of omen has risen, signaling the fact that Haomane’s forces are on the move against Satoris.