Review: A Time of Dread by John Gwynne

A Time of Dread by John Gwynne


5 out of 5

A five star rating.  Wow.  I don’t give out such a rating lightly, very rarely even.  I’ve only given one other book a five star rating so far this year and that was Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan.  Hopefully this year brings more awesome books for me to love.

A Time of Dread is the first part the Of Blood and Bone series and follows the excellent The Faithful and the Fallen series, which was one of the best series I read last year therefore I was very excited for this new series.  Thankfully I was not disappointed.

The story picks up over a century after the end of Wrath and reintroduces a world which is now “protected” (I use the term loosely) by the Ben-Elim, who were established in the first books as a right bunch of twats and that trend continues in this series with them poncing around like a load of toss-pots, demanding tithes so they can fight their war and basically acting like self-important arseholes who think they’re better than anyone else.  In other words, like your typical angels.  They’re only saving grace is that they’re not as horrible as their enemies, the Kadoshim, who are into such lovely practices such as murder, torture, creating a weird Kadoshim-human hybrid and plotting nasty, spoiler-free things that can’t mean anything good for the world.

The thing I like most about John Gwynne’s novels is how well he connects everything together.  The plot is sprawling but he weaves the story so well that all the plot pieces merge together in a splendid and satisfying way without it seeming contrived.  This is only the first part but you can already see things starting to come together and it looks very interesting.

There are four main POV characters: Riv, Drem, Bleda and Sig.  It’s nice to Sig again from the first book and it’s good to see her have a POV.  I like her and the end of the novel made my jaw drop (no spoilers).  Riv becomes more interesting as the novel goes on.  There’s an air of mystery about her throughout the novel and the end makes her a more intriguing character and I am looking forward to seeing where her arc goes.  Bleda, I’m a little on the fence about.  I’ll have to see what happens with him in the next book.  He’s not a bad character and I think he will turn out great but his arc is moving a little slower than everyone else’s.#

I have to admit, my favourite character is Drem.  I found his story in the novel to be the most interesting and I do have a soft spot for characters who go through a lot of shit and he gets beaten up, almost killed and heartbroken enough for me to love him.  I’m a sucker for a woobie and now I’m looking forward to him growing as a character and a warrior.

On the whole the book is excellent.  The plot is intriguing but doesn’t give everything away immediately and the characters are interesting, even the douche-y Ben-Elim so it makes me very interested in the rest of the series.  That’s the problem with catching up to a series and reading as the books are published, I have to wait and I don’t want to wait for the next one.



Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Four out of Five


Is anyone else fed up with every single sci-fi/fantasy book being compared to Game of Thrones?  I was reading the Red Rising Wiki page and it described the series as a mash up between Ender’s Game and Game of Thrones?  Why is everything compared to it?  Don’t get me wrong, I like A Song of Ice and Fire (although my feelings about Martin will piss off GOT fanboys) but it isn’t the be all and end all of fantasy.

Ok, that’s my rant over.  Onto the review.  In my review of Gilded Cage I wrote that I was always on the look out for a good dystopia.  Really good dystopian novels are hard to find, in my opinion and Gilded Cage was a prime example of how a good idea is badly executed by terrible characters and a flat plot.  Well, Red Rising is not like that at all.

Continue reading “Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown”

The Free Books on iBooks: Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead.

Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead by Christiana Miller
2 out of 5
Hello and welcome to the second part in my series reviewing the free books you get download from iBooks.

Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead tells the story of Mara (I have no idea what her last name is. She’s so unremarkable to me I can’t even remember if it was actually mentioned at all), an unemployed Pagan (or Hollywood Pagan as I’m calling it because, you know, Miller never actually specifies which of the many Pagan religions in existence. Just that she’s a witch, with typical witch-y powers) living in Los Angeles who, after reading her fortune with tarot cards, discovers her life is going to be shit. Then, after using more magic and a ghostly meeting with her dead father, she inherits her recently deceased great-aunt Tillie’s cottage in Wisconsin.

Things then really start to get weird.

Continue reading “The Free Books on iBooks: Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead.”