Brett Michael Orr



Review – Empire of Storms

This is a *spoiler-free* review for Empire of Storms. This review contains spoilers for previous books in the series.

The fifth book in Sarah J. Maas’ epic fantasy series was always going to be highly-anticipated and under pressure to deliver. As we reach the pointy end of Aelin’s journey to defeat the evil tyrant, the Dark Lord Erawan, and free her continent from enslavement, there are naturally dozens of plots and characters who have joined her on this epic quest – and unfortunately, Empire of Storms just can’t focus on them all at once.

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Review – Poison City

Poison City has a very prominent hook – essentially, it asks the question, What would Harry Potter look like several years (and drinks) down the road? Reading this gritty South African fantasy though, it offers far more than a potential Potter fan-fic. Instead, Poison City offers up a twisted, gripping ride that feels a Neill Blomkamp-directed version of Men-in-Black.

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Review – Desolation

Bring a strong stomach to Derek Landy’s latest demonic fantasy, Desolation, sequel to the surprisingly good Demon Road from last year. Blood drenches the pages (figuratively) from the very beginning, and the action doesn’t relent for the next five hundred pages – but there’s a rather human story being told beneath that devilish skin.

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Review: The Glittering Court

For a plot that’s basically about selling beautiful women, The Glittering Court as a novel doesn’t seem to know what it’s selling me. It alternates between so many agendas that I’m not sure if it’s a gritty allusion to human trafficking, or a social stance against 1800’s era sexism, or a criticism of the British/American colonization of Native American tribal lands.

The Glittering Court wants everything at the buffet, but it doesn’t have the appetite or palette to match.

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Series Review – Death Note

On my blog, I typically highlight and review novels, but every once in a while, I can be tempted into the incredibly rich and detailed complexities of Japanese manga. Over the last few months, I’ve read my way through Death Note, a twelve-volume (108-chapter) manga about a young student who discovers a notebook with the power to kill anyone.

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Review: Shiver

Whenever someone mentions a plot about a girl falling in love with a werewolf, alarm bells start ringing in my head. Thankfully there’s no vampires or awkward Kristen Stewarts in Maggie Stiefvater’s SHIVER, the first in The Wolves of Mercy Falls – instead, there’s a sappy romance and a dire warning to stay away from local wolves.

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Contemporary novels are driven by their characters, by the intrinsic humanity we as readers are able to find in the paper construct of a novel. In lines of black ink, and in the images our mind conjures from these pages, our soul reaches out to a person that doesn’t even exist – and in-between real and imaginary, we learn a little something about our own humanity.

THE SIDEKICKS by Will Kostakis achieves everything a great contemporary should, and does it with the signature flair of an author who is early in a career that’s surely going a long, long way.

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Review: Passenger

I wanted to like Passenger. Alexandra Bracken may have disappointed me before, but I’m always willing to give books and authors a second chance – sometimes I might be proven wrong. Sadly, that was not the case with Passenger, the new time-travel series by Bracken, which I buddy-read with fellow blogger, PasoMaddie.

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Advance Review: Glass Sword

This is not the review I had hoped to write. Red Queen was, and still is, one of my favorite books of 2015 – an exciting cross-over genre of dystopian fantasy, drawing on the roots of typical fantasy but adding gentle touches of Science Fiction. The original earned a coveted place in my Best of 2015 books, and I still recommend it as an excellent YA novel – sadly, I cannot say the same of the sequel, Glass Sword. Continue reading “Advance Review: Glass Sword”

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