The Last Wish

The Last WishThe Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finally understand the whole wish/shared destiny thing with Yennifer and Geralt and that alone was worth the read.

It is better than that though. A lot of the stories were retellings of common fairy tales (including retelling of Beauty and the Beast). That specific story (and you will know it when you read it) was a fantastic retelling that turned the story on its head, without being too hammer to the head.

It is an anthology series that weaves together and I also may think I like that format for Geralt, The Witcher more than the novel I read. I will read all the other books I think, and I hear I will like them, but this book so far is my favorite.

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Days of High Adventures

Days of High AdventureDays of High Adventure by Elliott Kay
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I think I came into this book with elevated expectations. After the unexpected success of NPCs that I reviewed last year, I was hoping this would be a similar thing, a fantasy novel based on the idea of real world characters interacting with a gaming world and having real world consequences.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no problematic elements in this book. There is nothing I find objectionable (unlike the Slave Harem idea from Wild Wastes), in some ways it was worse, it was just meh. It felt like there wasn’t enough details, but the weird part is I couldn’t tell you what details were missing. On top of that, it was all the standard tropes, nothing that interesting or new.

The technical writing is fine, the story is clear (mostly) but it just doesn’t have a spark for me. I do realize the fantasy world in the book isn’t quite the niche I prefer in fantasy, but it still just didn’t have a spark. even the sex scene wasn’t interesting to me.

I guess maybe I should be happy this was a short audiobook (a little over 4 hours). So it didn’t waste too much time.

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The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard BookThe Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is for the audible audiobook version.

I saw this book on a very good sale on audible.com and I bought it on a whim. I like Neil Gaiman and while I haven’t read everything of his (American Gods here I come) I have always liked it.

What I didn’t realize with The Graveyard Book was that it was a children’s book. It wasn’t what I was aiming for, but it sucked me in and I don’t regret it.

The writing itself is very good, penned with a cadence that kept my interest. The story of a child growing up in the graveyard presents a lot of surreal imagery, along with the impossible characters and situations.

The most interesting is the story is snippets of Nobody “Bod” Owens childhood from infancy until his teens and the circumstances that befall him during that time.

All I can say without revealing any spoilers, this is a wonderful children’s book that adults can enjoy.

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Blood of Elves (Witcher Book 1)

Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #3)Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is for the audiobook. Possible Spoilers Ahead

I came to this series through the Witcher video games, so I was vaguely familiar the world. I played all the way through Witcher 2 which picks up before this novel, and Witcher 3 which is after this novel. It is because of those video games that I tried this novel out.

THE PROS

What I noticed was the world was even richer in the book. I really like the in depth writing about Geralt, Ciri and Yennifer. Magic made more sense after reading the book, and an appreciation for Geralt was even better. Hearing his thoughts and seeing him interact with Ciri and Yennifer changed a lot of my perspective from the game. I think when I go play the DLC for Witcher 3 it will be even better. I still like hooking up with Triss better than how the book works and I still Yennifer is still cold and distant and I don’t like her, but the infighting between Geralt, Yennifer and Triss makes more sense.

THE CONS

The book itself is will be very slow for most people. Coming from the video game I expected the book to have a lot more action and adventure. It is actually a lot more talking and passive interaction between characters. I don’t think this is bad in itself it was just a surprise and I think it would have been better served to have a quicker pace, or a more ruthless editor.

The writing itself is very dense. The author likes to use in-world languages and then translate them and it throws things off. I realize for “realism” there would be other languages, but this is probably the most extreme situation like this. I grew a bit tired of listening to the author first have a character say something in a language I didn’t know, then translate it and say it again.

I also haven’t figured it out if its so distracting and ponderous because the way the novel itself is written, or if its because it is a translation from Polish, or because it is an audible book of a translation of a book that is already too dense. Either way the writing does lose some of the steam it built in other areas.

Overall I appreciated the book. I will probably still get the second book but I won’t hurry to it. If you can get this book on sale, then I would recommend it, otherwise just play the video game.

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My Life as a White Trash Zombie

My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1)My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you like books like the Sookie Stackhouse novels, this is the book for you.

The book is an entry into the world of A White Trash Zombie series and it is a success. You get to know about Angel, a young white trash woman who is obviously now a zombie. The story is about her coming to terms with her new life, learning what its like to be responsible and to take control. Her new powers as a zombie come with a price though, something she can’t walk away from.

That is probably my favorite part about the book though. It shows how she grows up, and learns that she is in control of her own destiny and that she is worth something.

A definite must read!

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NPCs

NPCs (Spells, Swords, & Stealth, #1)NPCs by Drew Hayes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very enjoyable fantasy adventure.

First, this is for the audible book, and it comes in around 8 hours so it is a good listen.

I knew that the whole hook of the series is a “what would happen if the NPCs in a fantasy world became the adventurer”. I thought it would be a cute little story that really wouldn’t be that interesting. I was wrong, by the end of it I was rooting for the characters and it felt just as good as any of the fantasy epic stories.

The book travels fast, it covers some basics of the world and it does use the whole trope of their being our reality of people who play tabletop games and the world itself. It avoids most of the clichés, and makes you root for the Kobold god for minions.

As for the audio, it is just like the rest of the audio books, the sound is great, the guy who does the voicework is easy to listen to and they didn’t try to do sound effects which I count as a good thing.

Also I just found there are two more books (each longer then the previous) and I am excited about getting them.

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