Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: That Which Should Not Be by Brett J. Talley

That Which Should Not Be
by Brett J. Talley
Miskatonic University has a long-whispered reputation of being strongly connected to all things occult and supernatural. From the faculty to the students, the fascination with other-worldly legends and objects runs rampant. So, when Carter Weston’s professor Dr. Thayerson asks him to search a nearby village for a book that is believed to control the inhuman forces that rule the Earth, Incendium Maleficarum, The Inferno of the Witch, the student doesn’t hesitate to begin the quest.

Weston’s journey takes an unexpected turn, however, when he ventures into a tavern in the small town of Anchorhead. Rather than passing the evening as a solitary patron, Weston joins four men who regale him with stories of their personal experiences with forces both preternatural and damned. Two stories hit close to home as they tie the tellers directly to Weston’s current mission.

His unanticipated role as passive listener proves fortuitous, and Weston fulfills his goal. Bringing the book back to Miskatonic, though, proves to be a grave mistake. Quickly, Weston realizes he has played a role in potentially opening the gate between the netherworld and the world of Man. Reversing the course of events means forgetting all he thought he knew about Miskatonic and his professor and embracing an unknown beyond his wildest imagination.

When you think of a supernatural book, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? The Twilight phenomenon? Harry Potter? I was really intrigued simply by the cover of this book. I once dated a guy who was slightly obsessed with Cthulhu, the ancient one resting at the bottom of the sea. The image of Cthulhu immediately grabbed my attention, but I had no idea what i was getting into.

This isn't just one story, but the story of a man who, along his journey, was told other amazing stories. After being asked to look for a long-lost, ancient text that had recently surfaced in another town, Carter Weston meets four men in a tavern that each have an amazing and unbelievable tale to be told. His quest for the book and the tales he learns are just the beginning of his adventure.
I honestly can't believe how wrapped up I became in this story. It wasn't just the need to finish it, but the need to know what is next. I would lay in bed after reading for a while and my mind would simply race, replaying all of the adventure again and again. This is an amazing adventure story, and I don't know if anyone else could have told it as well. I simply can't explain how amazing this book really is, but it left me wanting more.

If this cover alone doesn't knock your socks off,
check out the book!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Review: The Burning Sky (Halcyon #1) by Joseph Robert Lewis

The Burning Sky by Joseph Robert Lewis

Taziri Ohana is an elite airship pilot, though the long hours away from home have taken a toll on her family and she longs for a simpler life. When the Northern Air Corps is wiped out in a catastrophic fire, only Taziri survives to help the marshals pursue the suspects across the skies of Marrakesh. Their investigation reveals a vast conspiracy of deposed aristocrats, wealthy industrialists, and warmongers plotting against the crown. Taziri discovers that her own inventions have been perverted by the conspirators, the cities plunge into violent riots, and their only hope for salvation may be an exiled princess, her swashbuckling escort, and a crippled airship plummeting out of the burning sky.

A note about the text

This is a work of historical fantasy. Some of this world may be familiar to you.

But in this world, Europe never emerged from the last Ice Age and only the southern areas are habitable. North Africa is cool, wet, and fertile. Ancient nations such as the Persian Empire have persisted, though others, such as the Romans, never rose to power. Some of the countries in this world reflect the cultures and attitudes of the Renaissance while others reflect the Industrial Age. Historical figures appear, though they too may be different from the ones you have known.

Don’t expect this world to conform to the history that you know. The people and places are different. The climate and wildlife are different.

Even death is different here.

I want to start off completely honestly and say that I never thought I'd finish reading this book. It's not a terrible long book, but I am a reader who likes to get lost in the world of the story and this is one hell of a world. The "steampunk" fad always seemed interesting to me, but it wasn't even until I finished the book that I thought about whether or not this term applies. The thought of inflatable airships and a world where lights out is at sundown simply took my breath away.

This story begins with Taziri, but this is in no way Taziri's story. It took a while to get all of the characters straight, but soon you realize how intricately woven their lives really are. The synopsis leads you to believe Taziri is the main character, and personally she was the character I connected most with. As a mother with a young daughter, I could imagine the pain and worry associated with the fantastic journey she gets to go on.

There is only one aspect of the novel that truly bothered me, and that involved Dr. Medina's experimentation. While I understand that her actions were aimed to show the moral character of both her and Lady Sade, the basement of the prosthetics shop is somewhere that left me with nightmares. Once again, Lewis described it in great detail, but the feeling of being there is something I could have lived without.

Altogether I think that this was the best science fiction I've read in a long time. This is one story that really had my mind going as it pulled me right into it. If you enjoy fantasy, science fiction, or really any kind of adventure, grab a copy of The Burning Sky by Joseph Robert Lewis.

Monday, December 5, 2011

WINNER: Winner Wonderland Giveaway Hop!

I want to give a HUGE thank you to all of those who participated in the Winner Wonderland Giveaway Hop! Our winner is.... Krysta B! I hope you all have happy holidays, and stay tuned for more awesome giveaways in the new year!