Runebinder | Alex R. Kahler

Runebinder by Alex R Kahler published 14 November 2017
When magic returned to the world, it could have saved humanity. But greed and thirst for power instead caused mankind’s downfall. Now, once-human monsters called Howls prowl abandoned streets, their hunger guided by corrupt necromancers and the all-powerful Kin. Only Hunters have the power to fight back in the unending war, using the same magic that ended civilization in the first place.
They are losing.
Tenn is a Hunter, resigned to fight even though hope is nearly lost. When he is singled out by a seductive Kin named Tomás and the enigmatic Hunter Jarrett, Tenn realizes he’s become a pawn in a bigger game. One that could turn the tides of war. But if his mutinous magic and wayward heart get in the way, his power might not be used in favor of mankind.
If Tenn fails to play his part, it could cost him his friends, his life…and the entire world.

How was it?

I was looking for something to start the year with and I chose this one. The first thing I immediately liked about the book was the unapologetic way some characters were introduced and treated. It’s not justified, they are who they are, and do what they do, it’s refreshing. What happens to the main characters doesn’t necessarily raise the stakes right away but does give you a healthy fear for the ones you start to like. It also makes the story feel realistic while stirring away from the archetype/ stereotypical characters in a group dynamic.

Tenn, the main protagonist, is a little winny and a bit of a reluctant hero but he never gets annoying. The more time I spent with him the more I liked him. He was smart, daring, and cared for the people around him. Runebinder is entertaining and worth the read, but I doubt that the story will have a lasting impression on me, anyone else feels this way?

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Last Sun | K.D. Edwards

The Tarot Sequence #1: The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards, published 12 June 2018
Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Court, is hired to search for Lady Judgment’s missing son, Addam, on New Atlantis, the island city where the Atlanteans moved after ordinary humans destroyed their original home. With his companion and bodyguard, Brand, he questions Addam’s relatives and business contact through the highest ranks of nobles of New Atlantis. But as they investigates, they uncover more than a missing man: a legendary creature connected to the secret of the massacre of Rune’s Court. In looking for Addam, can Rune find the truth behind his family’s death and the torments of his past?

How was it? Given the name of the book series, The Tarot Sequence, I suspect that those among you who are familiar with tarot cards might grasp a layer of understanding in this story that I might not have. I am not a tarot card user/player, I don’t know much about them. In this case though, it makes for quite a unique world building.

The story takes place in New Atlantis, a place that reads like two dimensions were merged, the Atlantean world – not the underwater DC type world – and the human world we know. Humans and various magical beings now share the same space, which in the human world was Nantucket, since the Atlantean World War broke the boundaries between the two. The Arcana, the ruling class of New Atlantis, are beings that are the closest things this world has to gods, and yet they somehow feel grounded. The Arcana have Courts and families that makes for interesting dynamics and histories between characters. The characters themselves and the relationships they keep are diverse and fluid in a natural, “that’s how it is way” I like seeing in books.

The plot starts with a simple mystery, where is Addam? Who has him and why? To uncovering pieces of a larger conspiracy around the destruction of Rune’s Court. The whole arc is attention grabbing by its pace and action sequences, but it’s the characters that are the heart and probably the best thing about The Last Sun. Forget the unique world building, it would have been one of those run of the mill, copy-paste Urban Fantasies that these characters would have won me over.

I’m trying hard not to spoil the experience but it is refreshing to see a relationship like Rune and Brand’s. It’s very intimate and loving, yet not romantic or sexual. It’s love. It kind of bleeds out of the page and make out understand how deep it runs.
Addam is made impossible not to like, despite everything being against him. His cocky-ish “I know what I want” attitude is sweet and never annoying. As for Max and Quinn They are just delightful.

So yeah, the dialogues, the pace, and the characters more than the world building made me love this book and curious about the next. Don’t hesitate to check it out and share your thoughts down bellow.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You can checkout or get the book here: US | EU

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The 5th Wave | Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is the first installment in a young adult science fiction trilogy.

Pitch:  The 5th Wave follows 16-year-old Cassie Sullivan as she tries to survive in a world devastated by the waves of alien invasion that have already decimated the population and knocked humankind back to the Stone Age. As one of Earth’s last survivors, Cassie is left with just herself and has to learn the hard way to trust no-one. Throughout the plot, Sullivan must pass multiple obstacles to save her brother Sammy.

Review: The novel is not as predictable as I expected it to be. It’s ironic for me to say that because everything I predicted came to pass but a much larger scope of events happened that I hadn’t foresaw. There were a lot of unusual and refreshing aspects to the book. The different point of views made complete sense to me because it is also about a war and having different point of views of the same events was a smart risk to take. 

All of the characters gradually become interesting. Cassie is the gem, I like her humor, it was a bit refreshing in a way. She doesn’t try to hard or take herself too seriously. She’s terrified and alone thus talking to herself a lot but the internal monologues are never truly boring. When Bubby was first introduced it was sometimes hard for me to differentiate the two. They had the same irony in their humor but in the end Bubby had a voice of his own. When Cassie met Evan and got all self-conscious and worried about what he thought of her, she did start to slightly lose me. I thought the novel was turning all romance on me but – thank god – it was kept to a minimum.

Rick Yancey dealt well with the vulnerability that comes with trusting someone. The doubts and desire to connect with someone were on point. He succeeded in shaking my belief of what the 5th wave actually was, when I had already guessed it, but the book is unexpected in all the right places. The outcome might have been predictable but the roads that led us to it were thrilling and felt genuine.

Rating: 3 out of 5.