Here I am, once again, with mini reviews. This time, I am here with a couple of books I read during the month. I enjoyed both of them and hope to read more books by less traditionally published authors because they turned out to be hidden gems and I have been so in the dark about them if I am being honest. I hope to correct it now.
Vengeance of Hope by P. J. Berman
Title: Vengeance of Hope
Author: P. J. Berman
Publisher: Amazon KDP
Published Date: November 23rd 2018
Length: 526 pages
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy.
Vengeance of Hope, P.J.Berman’s explosive debut novel, marks the beginning of the Silrith series; a new power in the world of epic fantasy.
This opening book pitches you head first into the intense and unrelentingly dangerous Kingdom of Bennvika, a world of strong, powerful women and ambitious, ruthless men. As a bitter power struggle surges through the land, you are just as likely to die in a devious political plot as you are in the carnage of a great, bloody battle.
Your ears will ring with the clang of steel on steel. Your heart will tremble at the thundering of charging hooves. You will feel the cut and slash of blades as you follow three very different rebels in their desperate fight against a tyrannical King.
Silrith, the exiled Princess of Bennvika, stands shoulder to shoulder with her followers, sword in hand, ready to defend those in need of her protection. Yet she knows that if she falls, thousands more will also perish.
Ezrina, of the Hentani tribe, burns with desire for revenge against those who oppress her people, but more than anything she must fight to protect the woman she could be executed for loving.
Zethun, an ambitious young politician, yearns for a fairer world with a greater voice for the poor. However, for him and his followers, to speak the word ‘republic’, could be a fatally dangerous move in a land ruled by a despot.
Will the rebel factions succeed? Or in the indiscriminate butchery of war, will their disunity prove to be their downfall, bringing about the destruction of their world as they know it?
With vivid imagery, a punchy writing voice, detailed worldbuilding and an unapologetically fast pace, Vengeance of Hope has everything an epic fantasy novel needs.
I am so grateful to the author who sent the copy of the book to me! This does not, in any way, affect my opinion of the book. I read this during the #selfpubfanmonth. I am so glad that I picked up this book during this readathon. I think, overall, I did enjoy this book a lot for its intricate plot and world-building.
However there are a few things I did have a bit of a problem with. I will address them before I get into the good things about this book. I feel like, this book had the perfect idea but some things could not be excused away. Like the fact that the names sounded a bit repetitive and sometimes I had to flip back and forth to check which character was the one talking at the moment. The pace also suffered a bit, it was at times smooth but then, there will be many instances where it felt like things were happening on top of each other but not in a good way. It didn’t leave room for me enjoy all the things that were happening. The basic story had so much potential to become grander than it turned out to be. These are the things that bugged me but there are some great reasons as to why you should definitely give this one a try.
For one, characters. They were well written and they felt real. I liked that there were dynamics between characters from the past and they were conversing in a way that spoke of that. I loved that they felt lived in. The world-building was pretty great too! The politics were great to read about but could have been presented in a better way. Like, more fleshed out and showing us instead of telling how it was. The whole rebellion part of the book, I enjoyed a lot. There’s also ambiguity as to who’s actually supporting who in this weird world and I truly liked that. I hope that it becomes clearer in the later books and we get a realistic reason as why sides were chosen by characters.
I really enjoyed it and I can totally see the potential for it become better. For now, I can say this, if anyone who likes political fantasy then this is a book for you. A princess who’s framed for the murder of her father, who then goes on to start rebellion on behalf of her father and the kingdom. You can see where this story can go.
Never Die by Rob J. Hayes
Title: Never Die
Author: Rob J. Hayes
Published Date: January 29th 2019
Length: 274 pages
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Adult, Asian inspired, etc.
Samurai, shinigami, vengeful spirits, and an impossible quest.
Itami Cho has earned the name Whispering Blade. She is a Shintei warrior, sworn to the path of oaths and honour. But keeping her oaths has always been more difficult than taking them. When Flaming Fist and his bandits attack the city of Kaishi, Itami swears one last oath: she will protect the city and its people at any cost.
Ein has spent his life dreaming of being a hero, and now the God of Death has given him a chance. The Reaper has set him an impossible quest: an eight-year-old boy sent to stop an immortal Emperor.
Never Die is a stand alone set in the world of Mortal Techniques. It’s a wuxia adventure filled with samurai, shinigami, heroes, and vengeful spirits.
Another book I read during the #selfpubfanmonth! This one was a gem and I can totally see why some of the people I genuine trust for reviews were raving about it. This is not a long book but packs such a great punch and in general, it’s just a great book. I can certainly see myself reading more from this author for sure now.
An eight-year-old boy is trying to muster around a bunch of heroes to complete his quest. A quest set to him by the God of Death. Shinigami. All these ‘heroes’ are from different and warring factions; they each have their own goals but they were killed off or were killed for the quest to be brought back by the boy. Ein, the boy, has to bring them back from the dead in order to control them or rather get their help. Living beings can not be controlled by him, as he was blessed/commanded by the God of Death, after all.
This is atmospheric, quick and absolutely engaging story from start to finish. Each character is fleshed out and have their own distinguishing voices. I loved that so much. There’s action and it’s brutal, absolutely not for the light hearted people. There’s gore and it’s never pretty but it’s not overly done. As for the characters, well, Cho (the whispering blade) was my favourite as she was meant to be, I think. There’s Zhihao Cheng (the emerald wind, or as some call it, the green wind-he does not like that one). I loved him. He’s not a good guy but he’s not too bad either? It’s a weird mixture of good and bad and it turned out to be the kind I love. He’s arrogant and he’s selfish and he’s not super bright sometimes but somehow, he is charming. Go figure. There’s Iron Gut, he’s the one who cannot be hurt by a mere blade. Literally impenetrable skin, man. That’s so cool. There’s Ghost Echo, he’s wrapped from head to toe in bandages because of leprosy but he’s one of the finest snipers around the country. He’s an interesting character because of his history. It’s sad and a little horrifying but he’s still skilled enough to become a hero. And last but not the least, is Bingwei Ma. A master of unarmed combat.
Are you interested yet? You should be. They are a deadly combo for a young boy and it sometimes felt like they would kill each other simply because they were too different from each other but somehow that didn’t happen. Probably because of the catch that Ein had them in. They were brought back to life by Ein and because of this, they were bound by the child. There’s no way of escaping. The moment they strayed from him and started going farther, they will start dying again, slowly and in the same manner they died the first time. There are so many funny moments that I genuinely wasn’t expecting. Zhihao Cheng is probably responsible for at least half of them. There are tense moments and there are at least two moments near the end that have the capacity to blow your mind. I know, one of them did blow my mind. The other I was already speculating about. I am glad that I was right about that one.
In conclusion, just, please read this one if you like Asian inspired fantasy, if you like unlikely groups of people making their way through the world. It’s not super long so it wouldn’t be too big a commitment either! I whole-heartedly recommend it!