Welcome to my September wrap-up post featuring all of the fantastic posts on my blog that I posted during the month of September.
It was a bit quieter month on the blog in September. For October, I have a blog tour post and a guest post already scheduled for this month. But, apart from those two posts the only other posts I have are weekly Music Monday (which is scheduled in advance) and any reviews that I write and decide to post.
I think that this is how it’ll be for the rest of the year on my blog as I start to wind down blogging. Music Monday, a few reviews and not much else.
My September Posts.
- Shot in the Dark by Ozzy Osbourne.
- What If I Was Nothing by All That Remains.
- I Stand Alone by Godsmack.
- Shaped by Fire by As I Lay Dying.
- Heart Like A Grave by Insomnium.
- Waiting on Wednesday: Beast (Six Stories #4) by Matt Wesolowski.
- In the Absence of Miracles by Michael J. Malone: Book Excerpt and Book Review.
- A Superior Spectre by Angela Meyer: Book Excerpt.
- A Different Time by Michael K. Hill: Author Interview.
The pacing is fast in Hellrider. The characterisation is good, Eddie, Carson, Kellie, the police chief Johnny Ray Jones and the various main bikers in the Hellrider gang all have their own personalities (even if you don’t like them and they are just variants of drunken brutes or odious creeps) and role to play in the story being told. Eddie’s love of heavy metal music and the lyrics of his favourite songs are well incorporated into the story. There are also darkly funny moments spread throughout Hellrider that when done right manage to make you smile but, even for me, they were occasionally to puerile to be funny.
At its best, Hellrider is a flame-fuelled and firey revenge ride and, at its worst, it stutters and stalls like a bike out of gas before crashing and burning. I should have loved Hellrider, it promised to be a bloody and brutal tale of retribution, of vengeance and sadly, I didn’t. I did enjoy Hellrider, a hell of a lot in places but, that enjoyment eroded away, turned to dust and ultimately, the excessive and repetitive gratuitous sexual assault in the second half of the book ruined it for me.
Doors lead to adventure, to escape, to new worlds waiting to be explored and, so to do books. The story in The Ten Thousand Doors of January unfolds through both January’s point of view and from the in-world book ‘The Ten Thousand Doors’. It is a story to savour that spans worlds but it is also an intimate story for January (and her family) too. It transcends any single genre and is a coming-of-age story, a fantastical adventure, a love story, a story of belonging, a story about finding who you are and a love letter to books and their majesty all rolled into one. Apart from that, the less said about the story the better, open the book, take that first step, cross-over the threshold from cover to page and discover the story for yourself.
I loved reading the two parts that form the whole of The Ten Thousand Doors of January. The in-world book of ‘The Ten Thousand Doors‘ and the narration by January and I found both to be compelling. January faces a lot of adversity on her journey, it is a hard road to discover the truth and there are, of course, villains to the tale with their own motivations and they are suitably sinister. For January, it would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention those who aid her, who she can call a friend in the book. Namely, Jane who is sent to be her companion and to protect her by her largely absent father and, who has her own story to tell. Samuel, the local grocer’s son and Sindbad/Bad her loyal dog. I had so much love for Bad as January’s faithful friend, he is absolutely fantastic and the best of good boys.
The action in The Bone Ships is stellar. There is some fighting on land but the majority of the action takes place on the high seas and is ferocious ship-to-ship combat. The conflict is exhilarating to read and gets the heart-pounding. The concussive collisions between ships and the massive gallowbows on the decks that thrum to life and of the death, destruction and devastation that they rain down with there deadly bolts all has a heft to it and you feel the impact of the violence.
There are a lot of terms (there’s a helpful appendix located at the back) and information is thrown at you at the start of The Bone Ships. In the beginning, it can feel like you are adrift and cast on stranger tides. Like you are caught in the undertow as you navigate through and become accustomed to the various terms on display, become acquainted with the characters, the wealth of information and the world that Barker has created.
After about the first quarter everything comes together. Barker is a magnificent storyteller and one that can keep your attention. From the first page through to the last his ability to craft a spectacular story that you can lose yourself in really shines through in The Bone Ships. Your perseverance pays off rewarding you with a rich reading experience. You see that by crafting a story that is dense and information-heavy in the beginning he was laying the foundations for what is to come. From that point on the sails unfurl and the narrative moves at a far faster pace with Barker taking you on a dangerous and exciting nautical adventure that is filled with thrilling seafaring action. A stirring finale completely satisfies whilst leaving you eager for the next book in the trilogy and the further adventures of Tide Child and his crew.
A man of peace Father Joaquim chooses words over weapons and talking over violence. But, in return for him preaching Christianity to the villagers, one of the village elders, a kindly old samurai has taught Joaquim and others the way of the sword, bushido so that, if needed, when there is no other option and as a last resort they can defend themselves.
Father Joaquim’s faith is unfaltering, his belief unwavering. Even in the face of adversity, his trust in God holds steadfast and strong. With Father Joaquim, there is a message to be found within the pages of The Swords of Silence. The message that no matter how dark it may seem, no matter the odds that there is always hope, always a light to be found in the darkness if you believe and if you hold true to your faith. On the arduous treck for freedom help is found from fellow Christians, other religions (highlighting togetherness, unity and the compassion, the good in people when in times of hardship others need aid no matter their belief and faith) and a wandering Ronin. Father Joaquim will need both his faith and the skill that he has acquired with a blade to defend, to protect the villagers if they are to have any chance of surviving against the might and the relentless wrath of The Shogun and his army of Samurai.
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