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As a writer of family musicals, Elliott is always on the lookout for that sense of wonder that makes reading so immediate. Science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction are his favorites, but really any good story that has the power of transport, even for a minute or two, will claim his appreciation.
One of the best dragon fantasies I have ever read. Falco Dante, the son of a mad battle mage overcomes his own infirmity and everything placed in his way to get into the battle school where only the fittest, bravest, young people train to protect the realm. The posessed, a growing plague of risen dead are directed by powerful demons capable of sucking the will from an army and have yet to be defeated. The remaing dragons whose previous alliance with men is becoming challenged by the rise of black dragons in whom a raging madness is inevitable. A battle mage is unique in the powerful forces they can wield. There are very few battle mages left.
Superimposed over an ancient Roman template, some of the people of this world can command the elemental powers of earth, air, fire, water, wood, and metal. Tavi is a young man thrust into the conflict of politics and contending races, but without the power to command the elements. His wits much suffice, and they do. Jim Butcher has crafted and extensive and detailed world full of surprises and imagination. The Furies of Calderon is a wonderful start to a six book series that will not let you down for a moment. These are real people struggling against powerful and determined enemies. You will not be able to help smiling that there are five more books in this series.
This book moves a mile a minute and that’s exactly what will light up anyone who ventures into this world. The final installment of the author’s adventure trilogy ups the ante with all the Trolls, Ogres, demons, wizards and dragons anyone could ask for. There’s even a robot built by Tom. Elfhaven faces its doom and only Thomas along with his Elf and Dwarf friends can help defeat the evil wizard Nagash’s plans. The bonds of friendship and courage grow as Thomas and his friends are called upon to find ever greater ingenuity and determination. These books are middle grade and I have to admit I that I so enjoyed the first two that I wanted to read it before sending it to my grandson. It took me back to the days when I could enter the pages of an exciting adventure story and my mom would have to call more than twice to get me to the dinner table.
Doherty’s villains and heroes, evoke memories of the books that held me captive when I began to read for the excitement of the story. Elfhaven is filled with jaw dropping ogres, trolls, evil magicians and dragons, with descriptions that leap from the page demanding that flashlight under the covers response. Tom, Avani, Goban, and Kiran are every child in their hopes and dreams. All of us are represented by these young heroes, both in our aspirations and our idiosyncrasies. In the book, these young protagonists run into beauty and darkness, into faeries who want them to stay with them forever, and dark magicians like Naagesh, who is determined to enslave them. Finally we meet dragons, an old race of powerful beings, who are not so easily convinced to help Tom and his friends. Like all really memorable heroes, Tom could never surmount the forces against him by himself, and yet without his human insights and scientific knowledge, the kingdom of Elfhaven will be overrun by the Ogres, perhaps dousing the magical beauty that is Elfhaven forever.
Peter Flannery’s First and Only is a gripping mystery. If you look at its reviews, the common thread is, “Don’t start this book at night if you want to go to bed.” Imagine being the only true psychic on the planet. The works, telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis, etc. Your parents were murdered by a serial killer and he’s out there waiting for you. You’ve seen the moment of your death. What do you do? Brilliantly plotted this book carries you along in its rapids granting you that incredible sense of satisfaction when you reach the shore. You’ll enjoy this one.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown lays out in brilliant detail the inevitable destination of genetic editing paired with the rise of a plutocracy. Society is broken into the cogs of a machine by the forced use of genetics and surgical alteration creating 14 rigid castes, each denoted by a color. In Red Rising, the reds are miners of mars who, in an act of rebellion, send up one of their own to be secretly transformed into the likeness of a gold where he will infiltrate the rulers and foment revolution. The solar system is completely colonized with all of the available planets and moons terraformed. Brown’s world creation is fascinating and entirely plausible. How do you revolt against a caste of supermen and women genetically engineered to be smarter and stronger and who control the reins of society? There are five books and you’re in for a good long read.