Friday Face Off : Armour/Protection

FFO

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.

I’ve added themes in below. For information, I’m trying out some new ideas so along with coming up with particular items for book covers I thought we could also look for certain elements contained within the book or that play a large part in the story – this really broadens things out because I have plenty of more ideas with this – I’ve gone for a few of the Tough Travel Themes (so a book with that theme – just choose any book – the theme isn’t necessarily on the cover, then compare covers), also, I’ve thrown in some genres and some colours.  Hopefully this will open things out a little and give us some more freedom to come up with new books.

This week’s theme:

Armour/Protection

Ahh, that feeling when you have absolutely nothing whatsoever in mind for a particular theme.  Why do I do this – surely I had a book in mind?  Anyway, on another note I have started to visit blogs, I’m reading about six books! and I will also be catching up with comments.  But, I have a very busy weekend so will be snatching time wherever I can.  Anyway, getting back to the Face Off. I suddenly had a light bulb moment.  I love to use these posts to highlight recent reads and so I came up with The Liar of Red Valley.  This is a valley protected by a magical king that prevents ‘nasty’ critters from entering the place.  So, protection.  The River also provides its own mystical protection and on top of that we have a Liar who is more powerful than she knows.  All in all a really enjoyable read that totally meets the whole ethos of ‘protection’.  On top of that – I recommend this book wholeheartedly.  It’s got something unique about it.

Do you have a favourite.  Have you read this book yet – what do you think?

2022

September RIP
16th Rage against the machine – anything, cogs, clockwork, AI
23rd Tough Travel Tropes – Coming of Age
30th Genre – horror
October – Horror/Dark
7th Guess who’s back?  – Vampires – popular again?
14th Witches vs warlocks
21st Tough Travel Tropes – Good vs evil
28th  Covers that are black
November – Scifi Month
4th Red skies at night – Covers that are red
11th Tough Travel Tropes – The gang
18th Genre – Swords and Sorcery
25th Genre – And they all lived happily ever after – fairy tales retold
December
2nd Tough Travel Tropes – Assassins
9th Tough Travel Tropes – Darklord
16th Genre – Grimdark (most recent/favourite, etc)
23rd Decadent and rich – a cover that is purple
30th Completions – a satisfying conclusion to a book or serie

The Liar of Red Valley by Walter Goodwater

My Five Word TL:DR Review : Entertaining, fresh ideas, likable characters

Liar

I had a good deal of fun with this one.  I went into it with little knowledge, in fact, okay, I confess, I didn’t know what to expect at all, and this could have added to my enjoyment because high expectations can often be a double edged sword, but, to be honest, I liked the characters, I seriously didn’t expect the twists, the ideas and concept felt unique to me and I just blasted through the pages.

In brief, the story takes us to Red Valley, California.  A most unusual place indeed.  The basic rules of Red Valley are:

Don’t trust the Liar.
Do not cross the King.
Never, ever go in the River.

So, we have a liar, no ordinary liar though.  This role carries power and the magic seems to have passed down through generations of females.  The most recent liar has died and her daughter will be expected to pick up the reins – even though she has no knowledge of the role whatsoever.  We have a king, he possibly has secrets (but my lips are sealed).  The King is never seen, this is not a monarch sitting in a castle atop a lofty hill.  This is somebody hidden, not to be crossed who has ‘people’ working for him that you really don’t want to argue with.  The River is actually a thing all unto itself and I’m not giving you any clues.  Anyway, in order for the lies that people purchase to actually work they have to pay ‘the price’, a drop of blood marked in a secret ledger, a ledger that suddenly everyone is keen to have a sneaky peak inside.

As far as in depth world building goes this one would probably be considered a little ‘thin’ and I would agree with that.  This is the type of supernatural world that you frankly have to ‘go with’, you’re going to hit the ground running and to be honest it’s probably best to keep on running because monsters, ghosts and other unidentified variables roam the pages. Red Valley is certainly a unique place.  It’s a modern world and yet the inhabitants are protected by magic.  It’s a world at odds with itself, the more modern residents, and particularly the sheriff, no longer believe in the King and the rules, they’re shaking things up, which seems a particularly bad idea given that on the other side of the River live all sorts of creatures only being kept in check by the King’s magic. Now, how all of this sits within the rest of the natural world I really have no idea.  The story pretty much keeps within these boundaries and we don’t get to explore whether the rest of the world is similarly afflicted.  To be totally fair, I didn’t have a problem at all with this.  Like I mentioned above I enjoyed the story and pretty much got on board immediately.

I think the fact that I liked Sadie really helped with this  She’s a young woman thrown in at the deep end, but she keeps her cool.  She understands so little that I felt frustrated on her behalf but regardless she stands up for herself.

I enjoyed the writing.  The author has come up with a fast paced story that certainly doesn’t lack imagination.  I liked the idea of the way the lies work and it certainly involves some twists.  There’s some decidedly darker elements that are a reflection of our own modern world but these are woven in well.

In terms of criticisms. I don’t have a lot to make mention of.  This has a slight YA feel in some ways although that probably relates more to the slight world building.  I couldn’t help wondering every now and again why the Liar didn’t use her powers to greater effect – that being said, once she did cotton on she really was quite inventive.

Overall I liked this.  It was entertaining and refreshingly unique, punchy, dark, and the ending, whilst completing the tail in a satisfactory way, leaves things decidedly open for more to follow.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating is 4 of 5 stars