#SPFBO Spotlight : the fifth set of books: update


This is an update of my fifth batch of books for the SPFBO.  I’ve listed below my links to updates and reviews for the first/second/third and fourth batch of books.

The book choices are being randomly chosen. I’m aiming to read about 20% of each book or five chapters (which I think should be enough to give me a fair idea of whether or not the book could be my potential final choice).  Basically, if one of the books is standing out above the other four then that will be the clear choice from that section.

My next set of five are below.  I’ve added underneath each a synopsis (taken from Goodreads) and a short synopsis of my thoughts on the content that I’ve read so far.  Unless I read the book fully I’m only giving brief comments on each book so apologies if these seem a little abrupt but basically I’m just trying to give a very brief view of why I’ve not taken that book forward.

  1. Outpost by F.T. McKinstry

outpost.jpgIn a war-torn realm occupied by a race of unseen immortal warlords called the Fylking, trouble comes with a price. Using the realm as a backwater outpost from which to fight an ancient war, the Fylking taught human seers to build and ward over an interdimensional portal called the Gate. The Fylking’s enemies, who think nothing of annihilating a world to gain even a small advantage, are bent on destroying it.

After two centuries of peace, the realm is at war. Seers are disappearing and their immortal guardians are blind, deceived by their own kind. A Gate warden with a tormented past discovers a warlock using Fylking magic to gather an army of warriors that cannot die. A King’s ranger who defends the wilds of the realm is snared in a political trap that forces him to choose between love and honor. And a knitter touched by the gods catches the eye of a dark immortal with the power to summon storms.

Forced to find allies in unlikely places, these three mortals are caught in a maelstrom of murder, treachery, sorcery and war. When they uncover the source of the rising darkness, they must rally to protect the Gate against a plot that will violate the balance of cosmos, destroy the Fylking and leave the world in ruins.

I enjoyed Outpost and in fact it is the book I’ve chosen as my favourite from this fifth batch of books.  My review will follow soon.

2. Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent by Kristy Tate

fortuneWhen Petra Baron goes into the fortuneteller’s tent at a Renaissance fair, she expects to leave with a date to prom. Instead, she walks out into Elizabethan England, where she meets gypsies, a demon dog and a kindred spirit in Emory Ravenswood.

Emory must thwart the plans of religious zealots. His mission is dangerous, his enemies are fanatical, and Petra Baron is a complication that Heaven only knows he does not need. Or does he? Although Emory is on Heaven’s errand, he learned long ago that Heaven does not always play fair.

As Petra slowly falls for Emory, she wonders if he really is who he seems, or if he is just as lost as she is. How can they have a future while trapped in the past? Or is anything possible Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent?

I fully read Beyond The Fortune Teller’s Tent whilst I was on holiday and in that respect I think it made a quick and pleasant read.  This is definitely a YA read, it has elements of time travel and romance and to be honest it wouldn’t be the book that I would eventually put forward but I think this would appeal to it’s target audience.  I will write a brief review shortly.

3. Mechanical Dragons: Fire & Water by Bobbi Schemerhorn

mechKhaly has only attended Pifianka Academy of Polytechnics School for a short time since moving to Vlarlee, but already she knows that she doesn’t fit in. She is relieved when the new kid, Bancroft, proves to be competent, even pleasant, when they begin work on a mechanical dragon for their school project. He even stands up to her nemesis, Jahallah. But when she discovers that she is capable of magic, a whole new world opens up to her and she sees that she is not alone. Her world is torn apart, however, when she is thrust into a battle that she was not even aware existed around her. Suddenly, she and Bancroft are forced to flee for their lives and must now learn how to control and develop their magic. The Guild is fighting to create a new world order … one without magic. Khaly and her group cannot let this happen, but are they ready for the war to come.

I admit that I like the idea of Mechanical Dragons!  I read the first 20% of this one which covers a brief introduction to Khaly who seems to be very gifted when it comes to mechanical objects.  She’s enrolled in the Academy of Polytechnics but she’s something of an outcast with no friends, that is until she’s assigned a project partner, Bancroft, and they begin to work on their ideas for a mechanical dragon.  In terms of criticisms – I think the story was a little bit slow to really move forward and so it’s difficult to say more about how the plot pans out.  With the chapters I read so far I felt a little adrift in terms of knowledge about the place  as I couldn’t really get a feel for it  but this could develop more as the story progresses.  I do think a little more editing could polish the story up particularly with the dialogue. 

4. Evermage by Trip Ellington

evermage.jpgAs a wizard’s apprentice, Mithris always seemed to feel like a duck out of water. Clumsy, awkward, naive, and frequently a nuisance to his mentor wizard, it was hard for Mithris to believe he’d ever become a great and powerful wielder of magic…

But everything changed for the young apprentice one day when vicious and foul creatures attacked his master’s tower, killing his mentor, and driving Mithris into exile in the wild world outside.

Alone and left to care for himself for the first time in his life, Mithris must find the strength and courage to become the very thing he never expected he could be…A powerful wizard…

And he must do it in time to stop the monsters, avenge his master’s death, and save the world from the clutches of a power-hungry wizard.

Evermage is something of a coming of age/YA novel with a wizard’s apprentice, Mithris, finding himself alone in the world after his mentor is attacked.  I quite enjoyed the chapters that I read of Evermage and found it entertaining.  I thought it had a little bit of a disjointed feel to it which is probably a reflection of the story being written in instalments (I think).  The chapters feel almost episodic in that respect.  There’s an element of Mithris getting into bother and then, by the skin of his teeth, avoiding danger but for me I think there was a slight lack of tension in that I didn’t really feel that Mithras was in danger – that could of course increase as the book progresses.  But, again, given the target audience, and, of course, going off the chapters read so far, this could be a good YA read.  

5. A Darker Shade of Sorcery by Will Collins

adarkerThe lonely and grieving Evan Umbra is the newest Venator to enter Veneseron, the school for demon hunters.

A Venator is a wizard, a spy and a demon hunter rolled into one. They’re taught how to wield their sorcery and enchanted weaponry by orcs, elfpires and aliens alike.
Their missions range from battling monsters and saving countless lives in the multiple worlds, to the more peculiar, like wrangling killer unicorns and calming down drunken yetis.
In their free time Venators enjoy goblin soap-opera’s and underwater bubble travel, but they also understand that every new mission they’re given could be their last.
Whilst learning how to manipulate the elements, summon magical creatures and shoot Spellzookas, Evan meets a girl who makes him feel nauseous; but in a good way.

He makes the first friends he’s ever had in the carefree Jed and the reckless Brooke. Whilst Jed gets on the wrong side of a rival Venator, Brooke finds herself falling for the enigmatic demon hunter who brought her to Veneseron, not knowing he isn’t quite human. But it soon becomes apparent that Evan is more than just a Venator. Everyone wants to kill or capture him, from demons to Dark-Venators and even people he’s supposed to be able to trust.

Evan reckons he probably won’t survive his first year at Veneseron.

This one got off to a good start.  We have a world of multiple possibilities where Venators are responsible for keeping demons at bay.  They also have to recruit those people who have the potential to become future Venators and the start of the story introduces you to two new potential recruits who are brought on board just in the nick of time before they can be found by those who are evil.  Evan and Brooke are the latest recruits and have just been introduced to the possibility of their abilities.  They’ve been brought to a school and given the option to stay.  I think this is a promising story for the chapters I’ve read so far.  It has a YA feel and the chapters I’ve already read are easy to understand with an urban fantasy type feel.  I can imagine that the characters will get into some interesting scrapes. 

The book I’m taking forward from batch 5 is Outpost by F T McKinstry

SPFBO Posts:

  1. Cover Lover
  2. 1st Batch of books + update + book review
  3. 2nd batch of books + update
  4. 3rd batch of books update
  5. 4th batch of book + update + book review

7 Responses to “#SPFBO Spotlight : the fifth set of books: update”

  1. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Getting close to the end, this is exciting! Curious to see how the books that go forward do.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I know – I’m hoping for some really good reads in the final 10.
      Lynn 😀

  2. sjhigbee

    Looking forward to seeing the books that are finally selected.

  3. October: My month in review | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Fifth Set of books, plus update, plus […]

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