#BookReview: The Rule Of All by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders

Epic Conclusion – Ripped From The Headlines. I’ve had this book for almost exactly 6 months before publication. (Yes, that means it was an Advanced Reader Copy, with all that that entails.) Finally read it (hello, 180+ books this year, all ARCs), and y’all… dayum. This book was written no later than 2019 ish, *well* before the Summer of 2020 that saw massive riots all across the US, many of which seemed to be sparked by outside agitators. And guess what plays into the plot here? Overall the Saunders Sisters do an excellent job of focusing on four key perspectives – the Traitorous Twins, The Hacker, and The Dictator’s Grandson – and yet managing to make the battles *feel* far larger than just those four people. (Much as many films – including Lord of the Rings and the Avengers movies – do with similar character sets.) Fans of the series will enjoy many callbacks to the previous two books, and newbies to the series should absolutely start with Book 1 – The Rule Of One – as each book very much builds on the previous. A truly satisfying conclusion, and yet also one that allows them to come back to this world, should they so choose. Very much recommended.

This review of The Rule Of All by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders was originally written on October 11, 2020.

#BookReview: Viking Tomorrow by Jeremy Robinson

Imagine the most bad ass female fighter you can possibly imagine. Now put her as the leader of a rag tag bunch of post apocalyptic warriors on a Lord of the Rings style journey to save the world. Combine that with Jeremy Robinson’s mastery of creature based action novels, and you get… one of the most kick ass books I’ve read at least this year, and possibly in several years or even ever. Wild, fun ride. Can’t wait to see where he takes this tale!

This review of Viking Tomorrow by Jeremy Robinson and Kane Gilmour was originally published on October 24, 2017.

Featured New Release of the Week: Coldfall Wood by Steven Savile

This week, we look at the latest release from another long time friend, Coldfall Wood by Steven Savile.

This book is the sequel to Savile’s late 2017 release, Glass Town, and picks up just some time after the end of that book, immediately dealing with the repercussions of that book – which will reverberate throughout this one. That said, this book can be read first – as I did – as everything that is crucially important from Glass Town is explained again in this book.

The front half of Coldfall Wood is basically setup and transition from Glass Town into the meat of the story of Coldfall Wood. We get a lot of detail about the origins of several new characters, and finally around the halfway point these new characters start to actually work on their mission. And what a mission it is – to destroy modern London and return her to her more natural state. The book actually does an excellent job of showing that everyone is the hero in their own story, that there are few indeed truly bad people. It also has some fairly blatant pro-environmental themes, though those are deftly pit against the idea of “well, we need to change things… but we also can’t just kill the people that are currently here or increase their suffering”.

Fans of fantasy books or Anglophiles generally should truly love this book, as it tends to be an excellent fantasy tale solidly centered on London and British myths of the Horned God, the once and future king, the Wild Hunt, and the surrounding myths.

And now, the “but”. I personally struggled mightily with this book, and both Savile and I thought I might. I’m not a fan of fantasy. As in, almost at all. Particularly the sword and sorcery level that this book gets into. I’m fine with real world stories with fantasy themes where the fantasy is almost a macguffin and/ or just hinted at to establish an overall mythology for a given series, but I just can’t handle the sword and sorcery level fantasy. I never have been able to get into it in text form, going back to some of my earliest reading experiences. So this book was extremely difficult for me – I was barely halfway into this book that Goodreads lists as 336 pages after 7 hours of reading. To put that in perspective, I normally read books twice that long in less time – and indeed did so just this past weekend with another author friend who I’ve known nearly as long as Savile and met in the same place I met him.

So this book just wasn’t for me, but it was extremely well written and a compelling story generally – one I personally would love to see in movie format, as I think it could do well in that medium. (And again, I have a history of being able to enjoy fantasy stories there – I’ve never been able to read more than a paragraph of Lord of the Rings, yet I *love* those movies.) Because of this, I gave Coldfall Wood 4 stars.

As always, here is my Goodreads/ Amazon review:
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