Fantasy Book Reviews

Arc Review: Eye Spy

 

Eye Spy

Title: Eye Spy
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Book 2 of the Family Spies
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Hardback, Arc
Received: publisher
Rated: 4/5 stars
Review Word Count: 500
Notes: unsatisfactory ending, leaving it wide open. Mentions of assault, asexual main character, and lots of drama + danger in this latest installment
Abi’s ‘gift’ is unique in that she can sense where things are stressed and about to break apart. It doesn’t become evident until she’s on a popular bridge with her friend, the Princess Kat, and then it’s a mad dash to save everyone, including themselves from disaster. Abi’s new gift has potential, as it’s the only one of its kind. Abi’s unique as well, in that she’s asexual-she doesn’t have any interest in either gender romantically at all.

This wasn’t my favorite Valdemar book. I definitely enjoyed Perry’s story more than this one, but while it wasn’t my favorite it was still a quick and enjoyable read. There were lots of action scenes, some small spots of angst, and Mercedes Lackey tackled assault of a girl in school fairly well I thought.

It echoed current events of today; from dams threatening to break apart, assault and bullying, how asexual characters deal with their realization that they’re not interested in anybody…it all tied in very nicely with the plot, though I was unsatisfied with the ending, and now require book three to see how she handles Dudley Rump, our chief villain in this book-who seems to be a sniveling though wealthy coward determined to get his goals completed, most of which seems to make Abi miserable after she humiliated him when defending herself.

I can’t say too much more within the review, because that would give away the plot. Mags had very little appearance in here as he’s getting older, along with that of his family. I’m still entertained by Mercedes Lackey, so of course I’m definitely still going to be reading her works.

Overall, 4/5 stars for a solid reading experience, and definitely continuing onwards with book three. My thanks to the publisher for sending me an unsolicited copy, and I sincerely look forward to seeing more of Mercedes Lackey’s works.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

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Fantasy Book Reviews

Arc Review: The Hills Have Spies by Mercedes Lackey

The Hills Have Spies

Title: The Hills Have Spies
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Book 1 of the Family Spies
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Mass Market Paperback (it doesn’t match my book two hardback!)
Received: publisher
Rated: 5/5 stars
Review Word Count: 500
Notes: The new generation of Herald Mags.

While I’m sad we’re not getting more adventure stories from Mags point of view, Perry is still almost as interesting as that of his father. This series continues to be one of the longest ones that I’ve ever read, as it is well over 40+books and counting. I’ve started reading these books when I was in my teens, and seen many a herald come (and tearfully go) and adore this series with all my heart.

Perry’s story is interesting, though. He mindspeak-not just with Companions, but with any animal, be it magical or otherwise. I thought it a cool ‘gift’ to have, and handy as well when you’re training to become a spy and can use animals to help you escape troubling situations, overhear conversations too far out of reach, or see things beyond areas that you can’t see. Perry is a good lad, strong, capable, and determined to be just like his hero of a father, Herald Mags.

Trouble abounds, and father and son set out to go and take care of it, with lots of little interesting scenes filled along the way. Perry picks up a crow as a familiar, along with a few other animals as friends, and things progress. The story evolves quite nicely, and there’s adventure and danger at every turn.

This felt a little rushed, to be honest, in some places. However, I still enjoyed this story, and there are two more children that Mags has that I’m interested in reading about, a boy and girl each. Amily is also one I’m interested in, being Mags wife from the previous series.

Though not my most favorite of the series (that would be Vanyel), this was still a quick and exciting adventure to page through within a few hours. I’m definitely going to check out the next in the series, and probably continue reading these books as if they were candy. 5/5 stars for a lovely time in Valdemar and highly recommend for those who haven’t read the books yet.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

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Fantasy Book Reviews

Arc Review: Choices by Mercedes Lackey

Choices Mercedes Lackey

Title: Choices
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Tales of Valdemar/Anthology
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Page Count: 400
Received: publisher
Rated: 4/5 stars
Type of Book: Paperback
Notes: a collection of short stories, one of them being from Mercedes Lackey herself, tells various tales of various characters in the lands of Valdemar.

This was an interesting anthology. On the one hand, I really liked these new stories, on the other they obviously hadn’t come from Mercedes Lackey, but that’s not a bad thing. With fresh new voices as well as some familiar ones (Janny Wurts was a surprise and a treasure to read here, and the only other author that I recognized), this anthology definitely is one of my favorites.

As previously mentioned, I only recognized one name aside from Mrs. Lackey, and that’s Janny Wurts. I haven’t read anything from the author, though she’s been on my TBR pile for years, I just haven’t found her books easily. My library doesn’t have her books, and they’re outside my budget on Amazon. I may break down and see if Book Outlet carries her works, because I’ve been curious about her writing for years. “Beyond Common Sense, She Persisted” was one of my favorite short stories out of the collection, and if she writes that well all the time, then I have found a new favorite author. If you’re familiar with Janny Wurts, perhaps y’all might help me figure out where to start in regards to reading her massive list of novels.

Another favorite short story I enjoyed was “Of Crows and Karsites” by Kristen Schwengal. This was a completely new to me author, but the story was very enjoyable though I wished it could have been expanded into something more, as most short stories seems to be lately for me. The characters had a strong voice in this one, and I liked the overall feel of it as well.

My third favorite short story? “Women’s Need Calls Me” by Mercedes Lackey herself. Classic Mercedes Lackey, in that it’s got the tone, characters, and abilities down pat. I always love returning to this world, and this was no exception. I’m greatly looking forward to Volume Two of The Hills Have Spies (review for volume one next), and am eager to share with you my thoughts on those books as well.

Overall, I’m rating this a solid 4 out of 5 stars, for wonderful world-building, fabulous new authors to check out, and the latest new favorite short story from an all time favorite author.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

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