Fantasy / Science Fiction explorations

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After reading Shadow Prowler I’m keen to explore other fantasy writers.  I’m reading Traci Harding at the moment and I’ve still got Jennifer Fallon, Kim Falconer books on the to be read pile, which is growing bigger by the day.  I’ve recently picked up a Kate Forsyth book and will start reading that one soon.  Why does the pile keep growing?

This is dangerous but I should start exploring other science fiction works other than Star Trek.  It is dangerous as undoubtedly my to be read pile will grow ever bigger but I guess its something to explore.  Inevitably it also means that my wallet is lighter as I tend to buy the books – I know I can borrow them but if I enjoy the author I like to have my own copy.  Oh well, I guess the Science Fiction exploration just might have to wait.

Shadow Prowler

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Finally finished reading Shadow Prowler by Alexey Pehov.  Must say the book had me itching to get to the end of the book.  I now can’t wait for the next installment. The back of the book tells you:

After centuries of calm, the Nameless One is stirring.

An army is gathering; thousands of giants, ogres, and other creatures are joining forces from all across the Desolate Lands, united, for the first time in history, under one, black banner. By the spring, or perhaps sooner, the Nameless One and his forces will be at the walls of the great city of Avendoom. 

 Unless Shadow Harold, master thief, can find some way to stop them.

Epic fantasy at its best, Shadow Prowler is the first in a trilogy that follows Shadow Harold on his quest for a magic Horn that will restore peace to the Kingdom of Siala.  Harold will be accompanied on his quest by an Elfin princess, Miralissa, her elfin escort, and ten Wild Hearts, the most experienced and dangerous fighters in their world…and by the king’s court jester (who may be more than he seems…or less).

I found the book totally spellbinding.  The characters were real and the descriptions of what was going on were so real that you could well imagine being there.  I found the book intriguing and could definitely feel Harold’s frustration with Kli-Kli, the kings jester.

Would easily recommend the book to others. I’m now impatient to read the next one in the series.

Star Trek: Destiny book 3

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Finally finished reading Star Trek: Destiny book 3: Lost Souls by David Mack.  The book continues on from the previous two instalments and finally resolves some of the storylines set up in the previous two.  It also provides you with the answer of the origins of the Borg.  It shows how 3 different Starfleet captains deal with the upcoming battle with the Borg.  The back cover tells us:

The soldiers of Armageddon are on the march, laying waste to worlds in their passage. An audacious plan could stop them forever, but it carries risks that one starship captain is unwilling to take. For Captain Jean-Luc Picard, defending the future has never been so important, or so personal — and the wrong choice will cost him everything for which he has struggled and suffered.

For Captain William Riker, that choice has already been made. Haunted by the memories of those he was forced to leave behind, he must jeopardize all that he has left in a desperate bid to save the Federation.

For Captain Ezri Dax, whose impetuous youth is balanced by the wisdom of many lifetimes, the choice is a simple one: there is no going back — only forward to whatever future awaits them.

But for those who, millennia ago, had no choice…this is the hour of their final, inescapable destiny.

This book finally answers some of the questions the first two put in your mind – like who is the Borg?  Why do they want to annihilate Earth? What is Particle 010 that the Borg want?  By the end of the book you find out all the answers. 

I found this an enjoyable read and really felt for the characters.  Riker, who had to leave his wife and away team with the Caeliar so that he could help save the Federation, Picard who finally accepts others into his personal life and with the prospect of fatherhood finds himself again facing the Borg and an uncertain future for  his child.  Dax, who gets a baptism of fire in the role of the Captain of the Aventine and Captain Erika Hernandez who finally comes to terms with the changes that were enacted on her by the Caeliar.

The book also poses the question of when does genetic engineering go too far?  Is it acceptable at all?  Shows one of the outcomes of genetic engineering gone wrong as well.  I do admit that I’m an avid Star Trek fan and so am somewhat biased towards the books but I’m also likely to then be left really disappointed if the book isn’t good.  Thankfully with this book I can honestly say that it was a great read and I found it hard to put the book down.

Star Trek: Destiny book 2

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Finally finished reading the continuation of David Mack’s Star Trek : Destiny. Back cover tells you:

On Earth, Federation President Nanietta Bacco gathers allies and adversaries to form a desperate last line of defense against an impending Borg invasion. In deep space, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Captain Ezri Dax join together to cut off the Collective’s route to the Alpha Quadrant.

Half a galaxy away, Captain William Riker and the crew of the Starship Titan have made contact with the reclusive Caeliar — survivors of a stellar cataclysm that, two hundred years ago, drove fissures through the structure of space and time, creating a loop of inevitability and consigning another captain and crew to a purgatory from which they could never escape.

Now the supremely advanced Caeliar will brook no further intrusion upon their isolation, or against the sanctity of their Great Work. For the small, finite lives of mere mortals carry little weight in the calculations of gods.

But even gods may come to understand that they underestimate humans at their peril.

What the book actually does is keep you guessing on how the Caeliar are tied to the current situation the Federation finds itself currently.  You finally find out what happened to Erika Hernandez and the crew of the Columbia. You also find out how it is that Erika has managed to survive 200 years into the future and do get the feeling that she may well be the key to the Federation’s survival.

Needless to say I found it a wonderful read with lots of action but also an insight on how Erika and the crew felt about their “lifelong” guest status with the Caeliar.  My only problem now is deciding what to read next – do I finish the last in the Star Trek: Destiny series or do I do a fantasy book and if fantasy, which one?  For someone who prefers to procrastinate I need to make a decision.

First Australian fantasy author read…

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After finishing reading the David Eddings books I decided to look for an Australian fantasy author and while browsing the shelves at Galaxy Bookshop for what else there is in the ‘E’ section came across Jennifer Fallon’s Medalon.  This is Book 1 in The Demon Child trilogy.  I’m glad I decided to purchase the book and read it because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the story.

Medalon’s back cover describes the story as:

The small country of Medalon lies between the vast nation of Karien in the north and the nations of Fardohnya and Hythria in the south. For centuries the Medalonians co-existed peacefully with the Harshini, a magical race that abhors killing. They are gone now and the Sisters of the Blade rule Medalon from the Citadel. An elite army of Defenders enforces the Sisterhood’s oppressive rule. The Harshini and their demons are believed to be extinct and Medalon has an uneasy peace with its northern and southern neighbours. R’shiel Tenragan, daughter of the First Sister, and her half-brother Tarja find themselves caught up in the political infighting amongst the Sisters of the Blade. When their mother’s scheming becomes too much to bear, they flee the Citadel and their lives take a turn neither could ever have imagined.

Meanwhile, far south in Hythria, Brak, a Harshini outcast, is called on to find the demon child, the half-human child of the dead Harshini King, Lorandranek.

At first I thought this was the usual book where the protagonist has an issue with an ambitious parent/unfeeling parent – something I don’t always find enjoyable but I found that the more I read the more I enjoyed the book.  R’shiel is the typical young adult rebelling against parental control but you always get the feeling that there is more to the relationship.

I found R’shiel’s struggles to understand what is going on and why she is feeling the way she is believable and real.  I did feel frustrated with her sometimes over her “me” attitude.  “Why is this happening to me” but it was also understandable.  Loved the book and made me finish reading the whole series.

I did go on to read Jennifer Fallon’s other books and have so far enjoyed all!

In the beginning …

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Nothing like the new year to start you reflecting on a number of different things.  I’ve just been thinking about what started me reading fantasy books and realised that I’d finished reading a Star Trek book and decided that I felt like reading something different.  I wasn’t into crime/mystery novels and didn’t feel like reading a romance so thought I’d give fantasy a try.  I had tried reading fantasy books before and just couldn’t get into it.  The first book I happened to pick up was David Eddings’  The Diamond Throne (Book 1 in The Elenium series).

I found that I enjoyed that one and went on to read all his books and while exploring what other fantasy authors I wanted to read came across Trudi Canavan, Kim Falconner and Jennifer Fallon.  Will need to go back and reread and review all the books.

Priestess of the White

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Just finished reading Trudi Canavan’s Priestess of the White.  Have to say that I’ve really enjoyed it.  She has brought together so many memorable characters and interwoven their stories that you just can’t put the book down.  Stories really make you think about the parallels between the situations in the book and real life.  How often have we heard about one group not trusting another or casting aspersions on another’s beliefs or customs?

The story follows Auraya who has just been named as a Priestess of the White, who is required to serve as a sword and shield of the gods – one of only five so honoured.  She is tested throughout the book by both internal conflicts with her relationship with an outcast sect of sorcerer-healers, her vision of what the the outcast sect of sorcerer-healers can teach the priests/priestesses of the White and having her unique abilities tested so early on with ambassadorial duties for the White.

She is further tested when a powerful and mysterious black-clad sorcerer appears whose singular purpose is the annihilation of the White.  The White realise that this sorcerer is not alone and that it would take all their abilities to defeat  him.

Have enjoyed reading the story and could really sympathise with Auraya’s dilemma where she sees the treatment of the Dreamweaver’s as wrong, believes that there is a lot that they can teach the priests and priestesses that follow the White and her love for a Dreamweaver which pits her against her fellow White and could ultimately distroy her.  I’m looking forward to reading the next one in the series which is Last of the Wilds.

Will finish before NYE

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New Years resolution before the new year even comes in – will finish the current Trudi Canavan book Priestess of the White that I’m reading before the New Year 2010 starts!  Need to do a review of it as well – will have to get my computer fixed first thought.