Villains Rule (The Shadow Master Book 1)
By: M.K. Gibson
4.5 Overall rating (rounded up to 5)
Character Development: 4.25
First off, I have to say that the premise is quite brilliant. Here, Mr. Gibson has taken a host of genre cliche's and ... well ... thrown it into a pot and shook it up until he created his own universe. ;)
The writing style is easy to read, the story engaging, and you'll be laughing every page of the way. It would be easy to over do the snark, but Mr. Gibson has the ability to finely balance it, which is an art a lot of authors try, but fail at.
I don't give away plots in my reviews, so I will sum this up by saying that Jackson Blackwell is a character you have NEVER met before. You won't like him, but you'll enjoy his story.
I'm looking forward to more from M.K. Gibson, and I highly recommend Villains Rule to anyone who likes a good epic fantasy involving anti-hero's and a plot you can spit your coffee out at. Many times.
Casimir Bridge(Anghazi Series Book 1)
by Darren Beyer (Goodreads Author)
Character development 2.5
Abandon, by Blake Couch, is story that had potential that just never really went anywhere.
I have to start out by commenting on Couch's awkward writing style. This was the first of his work that I have read, and I almost stopped after the first chapter. In retrospect, I almost wished I had because I was tempted to put it down several more times. Let me give you an example:
'He wades through waist-deep snow to the mercantile, bangs his shop-mades on the door frame.'
'He pounds his gloved fist against the door, counts to sixty'
'He attempts to tell her to stable George and burros, see that they're fed and watered.'
The book is full of sentences with this structure. I would say okay, so he has a writing style where he doesn't like to use conjunctions. I found it very distracting, but I would have been able to adjust, if it had been consistent. But it wasn't. The writing is a weird mix of otherwise normal sentences missing conjunctions, short and incomplete sentences, and then forever run-on sentences that in some spots had conjunctions and in others, did not. It made the whole thing a bit jilting and hard to read.
So why did I keep reading? Because in spite of this, he's a good writer. Obviously, he wouldn't have gotten to a best selling author status if he wasn't, and I don't know if his previous books are like this or not. However, for me, I would have given his writing a 5 star rating instead of 3.5, if these structure issues had been cleaned up in the editing process.
The story. *sigh* I don't give away spoilers in my reviews, so I will keep this simple. This is NOT a horror story, it isn't a supernatural story, and it really isn't historical, other than throwing in every possible unknown old-western town word possible. Seriously. There were times during the 'flash backs' that I had to just glean over half of the conversations, because they may as well have been speaking in another language. I get it. The author did his research. I was impressed with the wealth of knowledge of historical, old western verbiage and cussing. However, I think in places the line between authentic to downright annoying is crossed.
So what is Abandon? Well...I would call it a thriller (although it was drawn out way too long), and I guess a mystery. Maybe survivalist. I, like many other reviewers, was disappointed that it didn't fulfill it's creepiness, supernatural premise.
The protagonist was likable enough, but I never really felt too attached to her. *spoiler* Anyone with any sort of promise dies. The ending is not satisfying, and after five hundred pages of running through countless ridges, groves, and fields...a bit rushed.
I finished the book, so for that reason alone, it earns at least a 3 star rating. Because of the authors talent for telling a story, I added another .5 to it. However, I don't know if I would recommend it. It is long, a bit tedious, and at times unbelievable (someone who was near death able to run for miles through chest deep snow).
Couch is a highly rated author, and because of other reviews I have read by fans that liked his earlier work but were also disappointed in Abandon, I might give Wayward Pines a shot.
Abandon had a ton of potential starting out, but by about 25% into the story...it was abandoned instead for a confusing mix of flashbacks, snow, killers chasing Abigail, more flashbacks, more snow, MORE killers STILL chasing Abigail through said snow, more flashbacks, feet more of snow, and yes, more killers STILL chasing Abigail through now chest-high deep snow.
by A.G. Riddle (Goodreads Author)
Xavier: St Griswold College for Abandoned Boys
by E.M. Cooper (Goodreads Author)
The Atlantis Gene (The Origin Mystery, #1)
by A.G. Riddle (Goodreads Author)
Buy on Amazon
Secrets of a D-List Supervillain
by Jim Bernheimer (Goodreads Author), Janet Bessey , Raffaele Marinetti
The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)
by James Dashner (Goodreads Author)
by M.S. Fowle (Goodreads Author), Lauren Hebert
by Becky Johnson (Goodreads Author)
By: David Torres