Rise of the Archmage (Deathsworn Arc:4)

Rise of the Archmage (Deathsworn Arc:4)

by Martyn Stanley

 

In this 4th instalment of the Deathsworn Arc, our heroes battle through more adversities, rescuing people along the way. There are some fantastic gruesome scenes in this featuring torture devices, hanging, burning etc, something i’m coming to expect from this author and which he achieves very well without being overdone. I loved the character of Vexis, who I felt simultaneously sorry for and horrified by. One of my favourite characters, who I won’t name, seems to be being axed, but I hope this isn’t the last I hear from them as i’m incredibly attached by this point – the ending in particular left me very sad.

I can’t wait for the next book, will be buying it as soon as it’s released.

 

Rating: *****

All That Remains

All That Remains

by Al Barrera

 

Kyle and Sara battle through a dystopian nightmare to get to a high-tech hidey-hole that a little girl thinks exists. An interesting premise, and I wanted to like this story, but it was very hard to get into the book at all. I almost gave up at around 60% but ploughed on to the end. I found it very hard to follow what was going on; the story felt very stilted and was broken up by extremely frequent flashbacks/thoughts/scanning, etc, and it was hard to tell which character was experiencing what event at any one time – so much so that I only started to be able to piece it together when I got to about 90% of the way through. Unfortunately it was a frustrating and difficult read.

 

Rating: *

Paradise Girl

Paradise Girl

by Phil Featherstone

 

Kerryl keeps a diary about her experiences after a deadly virus kills everyone she knows. Mostly, she keeps herself to herself in her house, and we follow her thoughts and feelings as time passes. The story is intense, and the twist that comes towards the end of the book takes you from the “this is a nice light read” feeling to “wow, there’s a lot to think about here” all at once. The author’s characterisation of Kerryl is fantastic; the writing economical and at all times understandable, fun and easy to read.

 

Rating: *****

The Blood Queen (Deathsworn Arc 3)

The Blood Queen (Deathsworn Arc 3)

by Martyn Stanley

 

The Blood Queen has a very different tone to the previous two books – the pace here is slower, measured and thoughtful. For the first 60% of the book this really grated on me; the author obviously has an axe to grind (or it appears that way) with the whole subject of religion and atheism and I felt the characters got caught up in it too much; I felt myself craving the fast paced action of earlier books. Later on though, I did begin to appreciate the overall picture of what is going on. In the last third of the book, Vashni really comes into her own and it was great to explore and develop her character further.

Overall, this was a good book and perhaps i have been a little harsh,  I did enjoy it despite my criticism above and will be adding the next one on to my list to read. I have grown to love these characters, and for that reason alone I am compelled to continue, and any book that leaves that feeling with you must be a good one!

 

Rating: ****