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Joel Shepherd: Renegade (2016, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform) 4 stars

Review of 'Renegade' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I haven't read sci-fi in a good while and this came across as a fun, light read and it was indeed. It's military sci-fi and a mix between hard and soft. The actual science of being and moving in space plays a role, but only to a certain degree. The mechanism behind FTL travel, for example, is never examined. Which is completely fine for me, but I know some people want that.

As for the story, it's not the greatest thing ever and some things you just have to swallow and move on. I like the characters, I feel there is some growth and I will definitely continue the series.

Lee Child, Andrew Child, Lee Child: Better off Dead (Hardcover, 2021, Delacorte Press) 4 stars

Review of 'Better off Dead' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I will just keep on reading the yearly instalment of the Jack Reacher saga. While the last few books mentioned how old he had gotten, there was no such talk in this one. Reacher did what Reacher always does: kick ass for justice. A solid entry. As usual recommended if you've enjoyed the series so far.

Brandon Sanderson: Cytonic (Hardcover, 2021, Delacorte Press) 4 stars

Review of 'Cytonic' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I didn't follow updates on this one closely and was under the assumption, that it would wrap up the trilogy. So I was surprised at the end to see that it will take yet another book, coming out in about two damn years, to finally learn how things end for Spensa and her friends. Crap. The story is still quite entertaining and we have come such a long way from the caves of her home world. I will definitely await the final book in the series.

Will Wight: Soulsmith (2017, Hidden Gnome Publishing) 4 stars

Outside Sacred Valley, ancient ruins rise from the earth, drawing sacred artists from miles around …

Review of 'Soulsmith' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I had to steal time away to spend it on the book. Another quick read an so far I still want to go through the entire series. Very fast-paced and entertaining. What I wrote before still stands. Characters stay very shallow and the world itself doesn't feel very nuanced either. It's definitely not the most amazing literature, but if you want some easily digestible entertainment, you should give the series a try. Start with Unsouled, though.

Will Wight: Unsouled (2016) 4 stars

Sacred artists follow a thousand Paths to power, using their souls to control the forces …

Review of 'Unsouled' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

What a refreshing, short read. Although short is relative, as the series goes on for eight more books and I feel inclined to read them all.

Wight manages to make my blood boil by writing such convincing self-righteous assholes. It's good to know that Lindon will manage to advance for nine books in total and I am curious to read what else lies ahead for him.

Characters remain rather shallow. A price I am willing to pay here, because so much stuff happens and most of it is exciting. With the examination of the science of Madra it feels somewhat like hard-fantasy/LitRPG. Overall a quick, fun read of the YA variety.

Stephen King: The Running Man (1999, Signet) 4 stars

It is 2025 and reality TV has progressed to the point where people are willing …

Review of 'The Running Man' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

This is one of the cases where the movie is better than the book. I have read another book King wrote as Bachman, The Long Walk, and the memory of it still stays with me even after 30 years. The Running Man did not manage to impress me as much. Maybe I am less impressionable now, but also because the book is not nearly as good. I felt the writing was abusing adjectives and the whole portrayal of the world of 2025 aged liked milk.

Instead of reading this short book, just re-watch the movie with Arnold. Much more entertaining.

Review of 'Out of Time' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

A very quick and gripping read. And that's the most positive thing I can say about this book. It's not very good. You can see that the author did some research. But the characters mostly remain very shallow and the story makes wild, illogical leaps. And the author felt to dump the results of his research onto the reader, which makes for clumsy reading. But it still managed to entertain me for a few hours, so there's that.

Definitely not the best (eco) terrorist thriller, but also not the worst. Not a very good book overall, but entertaining if you know what to expect.

Will Wight: Of Sea and Shadow (Paperback, 2020, Hidden Gnome Publishing) 4 stars

The Guild of Navigators has ruled the Aion Sea for centuries, using their fleet of …

Review of 'Of Sea and Shadow' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I am being generous, my rating is more like 2.5.

The book was OK. The flashbacks happen at weird points in the story and ruin the pacing. Exposition is also handled a bit oddly. Some things are explained multiple times, while other things are just mentioned like they were explained before. The characters are rather bland. I kind of liked Shera and Meia, at least compared to the others. Shera is a bit too much like the protagonists in YA novels. Overpowered and lacking personality. The Shadow POV really influenced me to the point that I hate Calder and don't want to read his side.

Not sure whether I'll continue the series. Right now the negative points are just too much. But I still enjoyed the book. It's just not great.

Vista McDowall: The Lantern-Lit City (Paperback, 2020, Anvil Graphics LLC) 1 star

Review of 'The Lantern-Lit City' on 'Goodreads'

1 star


The book started alright and even though things happen fairly quickly I gave up about a third of the way in. I just didn't give a shit about any of the characters. Most interesting for me was Cara, but she appears to be a side-character, as most chapters so far were from the POV of other people. The two noblewomen in particular I couldn't care less about. I'm just so tired of reading about the problems of the hyperprivileged.

The book has a very high rating, so if the description appeals to you give it a try. It just wasn't for me.

Tad Williams: War Of The Flowers,The (2004, DAW) 3 stars

Review of 'War Of The Flowers,The' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I read this book because I wanted to re-read a book I have mostly forgotten. This was one of the possible options I found. I still don't know whether I have read this before or not. Many things were familiar but not as much as they should've been. Maybe it was just familiarity with the themes and tropes in this book.

In any case I did enjoy it. Some lengths here and there but overall a nice read. Recommended if you enjoy portal fantasy and a good standalone fantasy novel. God knows those are quite rare.

Review of 'Carrier Wave' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

The book was meh. Overall I didn't like it. It takes a very long time to pick up some pace and even then I didn't quite care. I strongly disliked the ending. Of course that's personal preference. I'm a fan of r/HFY because it feels every SF book is the opposite and I am so tired of that.

Jan Costin Wagner: Eismond (German language, 2005, Goldmann) 2 stars

Review of 'Eismond' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

Almost 3 stars. A German author writing about a Finnish investigator. The book was quite nice and I enjoyed it, but what I enjoy is reading about crimes and their investigation. Joenta's wife's death featured way too prominently. While it was probably a somewhat accurate portrayal of a bereaved husband, it's just not what I was looking for. Overall nice characters, although we don't get to learn a lot about them. The killer was OK, nothing overly exciting. Overall a nice book with potential. I might continue the series if Joenta finally handles his wife's death.

Leena Lehtolainen: Alle singen im Chor. Roman. (Paperback, German language, 2002, Rowohlt Tb.) 1 star

Review of 'Alle singen im Chor. Roman.' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

I wanted to read some scandinavian crime stories and realized I've never read one from Finland, so I started looking for books. This one came highly recommended. The Goodreads rating said something else, but I ignored it. Well, my fellow Goodreads members were right. The book is not good. Now, I don't know whether it's the book itself or the translation. I didn't like a single character. And the writing wasn't very exciting either. It's technically a police procedural, but between this and, let's say, a Harry Bosch novel is such a vast difference that this book might as well be a different genre.

I will not continue this series.

Review of 'Viridian Gate Online - the Jade Lord' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

The final book of the three-book-set I got in a sale. The hours of entertaining I got from them for 99 cents was definitely worth the money. And I definitely will read more VGO and LitRPG books.

What I said for the second book of this series remains true here. If you enjoyed the first two, just continue. If you didn't, why are you still reading this? And if you somehow are thinking about skipping the first two: that just doesn't make any sense at all.