When the Heavens Fall by Marc Turner

When the Heavens FallThe Book of Lost Souls, an ancient relic guarded closely by a circle of mages for centuries, has been stolen by the rogue mage Mayot Mencada through the subtle directive of the goddess Spider. The Book gives its wielder immense necromantic power, and Mayot’s ambition knows no bounds as he openly challenges the god Shroud’s rule over the underworld by raising the ancient dead and lashing out at any settlement near the Forest of Sighs, the cursed forest he has made his base of operations.

The Book emits massively powerful rays of death magic, attracting all manner of other beings. Luker, a Guardian of Erin Elal and a man forced to take on the quest by the very people who betrayed him; Ebon, a prince of Galitia deeply haunted by spirits following a foolhardy expedition into the Forest of Sighs; Romany, a high priestess of the Spider commanded to play the game by her goddess; Parolla, a powerful necromancer with an incredibly mysterious past with an unstoppable drive to confront Shroud for deeds past. Of the four, Parolla easily took the cake for the most interesting and the one whose chapters I was always chomping at the bit for. Ebon followed closely behind Parolla in interest level, as he consistently struggles on the brink of insanity in both his own eyes and those around him. Luker is the stereotypical grizzled war veteran, and it felt like Romany got the least face time, though the things that she did were of import. Each character was developed deftly, but Parolla and Ebon overshadowed Luker and Romany in my interest level.

Continue reading

Giveaway/Excerpt – The Fold by Peter Clines (US Only)

Holy shit, a post!

The FoldThe folks at  Crown have been kind enough to offer up a copy of The Fold by Peter Clines for giveaway. I really enjoyed Ex-Heroes, and I’ve found that Clines has the sort of prose that may not be beautiful akin to Kay or Doerr, but it’s equally addicting in that unputdownable sense. Check out the excerpt after the rules, and good luck!

For Entry:

  • E-mail me at pat@abitterdraft.com with the subject THE FOLD to enter
  • Include a valid mailing address
  • One entry per person
  • Ends at midnight EST on Friday, May 29th 2015.
  • Winner will be randomly selected and notified via email
  • US only

Continue reading

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of MagicVictoria Schwab’s 2013 adult debut Vicious was without a doubt one of the best novels I’d read that year. In fact, if I’d read it last year, it would have been on my best-of list last year as well. It was that good. When I found out she was working on another adult novel, it was pretty difficult to contain my excitement. Then began the long wait for more information on the book. Soon there was a title: A Darker Shade of Magic, followed shortly by a stunning cover by Will Staehle, and come summer, I happened to be an intern at Tor when the first round of galleys came in. When it comes to early galleys, I try to wait until at least a month or two prior to release to read them. But there’s no waiting when the galley comes from an author of Schwab’s caliber.

Continue reading

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot SeeAnthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See is an incredible novel. It’s immensely popular, with upwards of 60,000 ratings on Goodreads, and it won the Goodreads Choice for best historical fiction in 2014. Upon finishing, it’s no wonder the novel has received such praise and attention.

Marie-Laure LeBlanc is just six years old when she loses her sight. Her father, a locksmith at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, handcrafts a model of their entire neighborhood, with every detail included, down to the shutters on the houses and the manholes in the street. Marie-Laure learns the model, memorizes every aspect so that she is able to traverse the neighborhood on her own. The German aggression at the start of what would become World War II is a distant thing to Marie-Laure. The Parisians hear horror stories of the German advance. Surely they cannot invade France? We must be safe here in Paris. When the Germans come knocking (read: battering), Marie-Laure and her father flee from Paris to the small walled city of Saint-Malo, Brittany and the household of Etienne LeBlanc, Marie-Laure’s great uncle. Little do they know, there’s no escaping the war in France.

Continue reading

Quick Update

Couple things. First, earlier today, I was interviewed by S.C. Flynn over on his blog as part of his big blogger interview project, check it out! He’s interviewed a bunch of people so far and they’re all well worth reading.

Second, I’m renewing my search to try to get a logo for the blog on the cheap-ish. No luck so far but the search’ll continue for a while. Meanwhile, expect some new content besides the intermittent reviews (hopefully) soon.