Reviews Round-up

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BITTERWOOD, by James Maxey:

"BITTERWOOD is a fast-paced, sword-and-sorcery adventure... plays around with some unconventional ideas not usually found in the fantasy genre... While insurgent Bant Bitterwood is considered the main protagonist in the book, the majority of BITTERWOOD is actually told from the perspective of dragons, namely their king Albekizan, his son Shandrazel, the wizard Vendevorex, Zanzeroth the hunter, the High Biologian Metron and the king’s reviled brother Blasphet. A few other humans are also in the mix including Jandra, Vendevorex’s apprentice, Pet, and a little girl called Zeeky, but the dragons are the main attraction. I particularly enjoyed Vendevorez and Blasphet the most, but each of the dragon characters are fun to follow because they all have their own agenda, and it’s interesting to see them trying to outwit one another... It was a quick read with plenty of action and some cool concepts… after all, who doesn’t like dragons? James Maxey does an admirable job with BITTERWOOD in constructing the story, employing some fresh ideas and injecting the novel with undeniable zest... In short, you have to give James Maxey respect for trying to do something different with the genre.”
Fantasy Book Critic

“In this imaginative new novel, dragons are refreshingly portrayed as the antithesis to the stereo typically fearsome, scaled beasts of old, and are instead intelligent, poetry loving, social creatures, who smell slightly of fish and are capable of love, hope, despair and daydreams. In the gothic dragon world, and intricate caste system has developed: humans are used as pets and slaves to amuse and aid the upper echelons of the dragon classes. A violent clash of two world views, this bloodthirsty tale asks some serious questions relevant to us today: totalitarian rule, religious imperialism and genocide. Bitterwood himself is a classic hero – and like the best of them, is often stomach-churningy gruesome in his exploits as the would-be saviour of humanity.”
SciFi Now Magazine

SET THE SEAS ON FIRE by Chris Roberson:

“[Chris Roberson] possesses a unique talent and his tales boast a refreshing originality... There is plenty of timber-shivering and manly shouts of ‘all hands on deck’ in this sea-faring romp... A well written deviation from the genre, with satisfying finish and battles aplenty to keep you gripped. Be patient, and adjust to your sea-legs you will...”
SciFi Now Magazine

HELIX by Eric Brown:

“The parallel plotting lends the novel much of its energy with Brown alternating his focus from on chapter to the next and often leaving each thread on a cliff-hanger. The other thing that Brown does well is balance the big concepts with the character drama. The mystery of the Helix... rumbles on in the background while the drama between the human crew unfolds in the foreground... Their respective pasts unfold with the action in a manner that’s reminiscent of LOST. Brown’s prose is very readable... You’ll have a good time with it.”
— DeathRay Magazine.

Eric is also interviewed in this month's SciFi Now Magazine. "The thing that books have over television is their range; it seems that the entire gamut of what it is to be human can be found between the covers of books."

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