Thursday, January 7, 2016

City of Stairs

City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, #1)City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Years ago the proud city of Bulikov was conquered. They were defeated when one man found a way to murder their Gods. Bulikov has been oppressed ever since. Knowledge of their past and their Gods is illegal in their home, while any child of Saypur can learn all they wish about Bulikov and it's Gods. Tensions strain even more when a historian from Saypur, Efrem Pangyui, is allowed access to their ancient knowledge in Bulikov itself. Then one day Dr. Pangyui is found murdered and a young woman from Saypur and her "secretary" come to investigate.

City of Stairs is an intense mystery novel slathered with supernatural occurrences. The mere fact that Bulikov had Gods who allowed their followers to perform miracles, that haven't entirely faded since their death, is astonishing. While in some ways the story appears to be a simple whodunit, it quickly escalates into something more meaningful and terrifying.

The primary protagonists Shara and Sigrud sparkled in the story. Shara while being slight of body is a mental powerhouse packed full of experience and capabilities. Sigrud was astonishing in his simplicity. He seemed as though he was simply a hulking guard to Shara, but he proves himself far more valuable.

City of Stairs is a rich tale with strong world building and even stronger storytelling. The mysteries presented were intriguing and kept me guessing right up to the point the truth was revealed.

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Fable: Blood of Heroes

Fable: Blood of HeroesFable: Blood of Heroes by Jim C. Hines
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Once again nefarious villains have come to threaten Albion and a new crop of heroes have risen to thwart them. After an inn is lit on fire in Brightlodge, four heroes seek to bring those responsible to justice. Another group of four heroes seek to find the answers to mysterious deaths in Grayrock. While on their quests the eight heroes find a more potentially devastating threat that only they can hope to stop.

Fable: Blood of Heroes is a story with average characters, dialogue, and storyline. The characters largely feel like flat variations of better known counterparts in other media. The dialogue and storyline had a young adult feel to it and perhaps that is exactly what the author was going for, but it left me wanting more.

Blood of Heroes is the companion novel to the video game Fable Legends. Unfortunately for me I read this book before Fable Legends was even released and I can't help but feel I was missing some of the substance I would have gained by playing the game as well.

The overall story had some elements that with some tweaking I could envision myself enjoying, but unfortunately I didn't really care for any part of it.

2 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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