Andor Awakening Review

When it comes to new authors the experience generally goes in one of two directions. More often than not you find yourself on a perilous slope that quickly puts you on your arse and sends you careering through brambles, thorns and all manner of sewage and nasty icky things. These first time writers are either too lazy or inexperienced to really unearth the true potential of what could very often be a good novel. Either that or their novel is just a really bad idea. As a reviewer these types of novels make you want to hit someone with a stick.

Anyway, without any further ado or how’s your father, let’s crack on with it.

Along with two other books I had this with novel with me when I went on holiday a few weeks back, I was finished with it in just over a day. I devoured it in almost one sitting, I even have the sunburn to prove it (blaming you for that Brendan).

I loved it, it was great read. The story line moved with such speed and ferocity that I was afraid to put it down for fear that it would all be over when I once more turned my gaze upon its pages.

This is a book that will not hook you in. No that’s not enough, this book will pretty much grab you by the neck, shake you around, and then pull you right into the war torn world of Shae.

One of the strongest points about this book though is the raw emotion that the author is able to not only put across to the reader but smash it into their face at the same time. You don’t so much read this book as experience it. From start to finish you are right there alongside the characters as they face whatever trials and tribulations are thrown at them. You are alongside Andor as he picks himself up, tries to find out who he is, what has happened to him and try’s to avoid becoming Razian pie.

The dialogue, plot and imagery is all one big thumbs up from me. This book simmers with a hidden power that is truly magnificent, not only is this book a great debut, it’s great period. A highly recommended read and I look forward to the next instalment.

You can grab your own copy of Andor Awakening from Amazon.

Rating

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Harry Potter fan sites cut ties with JK Rowling over transgender rights

Two of the largest Harry Potter fan sites have made moves to distance themselves from the characters creator JK Rowling.

Two of the largest Harry Potter fan sites have made moves to distance themselves from the characters creator JK Rowling due to the recent remarks she made about transgender rights. The sites have said her personal views are at odds with the messages of empowerment found in her best-selling novels.

The two websites, the Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet said on Thursday that their sites would no longer provide links to the author’s personal websites, use photos of her or talk about any achievements she makes outside of the wizarding world.

The joint statement by the fan sites also said that Rowling’s airing of “harmful and disproven beliefs about what it means to be a transgender person” during Pride Month and her views on “marginalised people [are] out of step with the message of acceptance and empowerment we find in her books and celebrated by the Harry Potter [fan] community”.

This backlash follows a lengthy personal essay released by Rowling last month within which she discussed her beliefs on transgender rights, including examples of where she thought demands by transgender activists were actually dangerous to women.

Trans activists have condemned the authors essay. Photograph: John Phillips/Getty Images

After publishing the essay it didn’t take long for many stars of the Harry Potter universe to speak out. Daniel Radcliffe, who of course played the titular character, and Eddie Redmayne, who starsin the Fantastic Beasts spin-off series, spoke out against the author.

Four authors have also quit Rowling’s literary agency after accusing the company of refusing to issue a statement publicly supporting transgender rights.

The fan sites said members have found it difficult to speak out against Rowling because they have admired her work for so long, but said “it would be wrong not to use our platforms to counteract the harm she has caused.”

“Our stance is firm: transgender women are women,” the statement read. “Transgender men are men. Non-binary people are non-binary. Intersex people exist and should not be forced to live in the binary. We stand with Harry Potter fans in these communities.

“While we don’t condone the mistreatment [Rowling] has received for airing her opinions about transgender people, we must reject her beliefs.”

Rowling has yet to respond to this statement.

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Hero Book Review

If we take it at face value Hero seems like a simple run of the mill Tolkien-esq novel of grand adventure. It’s pages are filled with larger than like villains and a small unknown hero who is tasked with nothing short of saving the entire world. Sound’s familiar doesn’t it?

Unlike Frodo though the 16 year old Elf Saberen is a powerful central figure who proves that he is more than capable of holding his own against the rapidly encroaching darkness.

While Tolkein built a vast network of supporting characters in everyone’s favourite fellowship, Ben Smith forgoes this in favour of focusing on just two primary travellers. While this works exceedingly well at the beginning of the story it does begin to feel flimsy and strained towards the latter portion of the novel.

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Andor Awakening Review

When it comes to new authors the experience generally goes in one of two directions. More often than not you find yourself on a perilous slope that quickly puts you on your arse and sends you careering through brambles, thorns and all manner of sewage and nasty icky things. These first time writers are either … Continue reading “Andor Awakening Review”

That being said though Hero is a well-crafted and very enjoyable read that can’t fail to entertain. I took the book on holiday with me and I devoured the entire book from cover to cover in just over a day. I promptly passed it around my family and they each enjoyed it just as much as I did. Even my girlfriend who has a past with disliking fantasy books begrudgingly admitted a passing enjoyment of Hero, and that’s a bigger compliment than I could ever hope to give. If your novel is enjoyed by so many people with so many different tastes you know you have a good book.

My favourite aspect of Hero, comes not from its sweeping vistas of imaginative mountains or the epic adventure that sees Saberen pulled roughly from his comfortable life and thrust into a quest for the good of the entire world. No. For me the greatest aspect of this novel are the similarities of my adventures in the fictional worlds created by The Elder Scrolls Series.

Climbing a narrow path up a mountain to the mysterious cave at the top and the sudden, often heart pounding, appearances of various monsters and wild animals are paralleled almost seamlessly with Saberen’s adventures across Havaen. Hero is without a doubt one of the best Fantasy novels I have read recently. It is exciting, beautiful and all around bloody marvellous.

It is already back on my shelf waiting for me to get a few spare hours for me to re-join Saberen on his journey.

You can grab a copy of the book for yourself on Amazon.

Rating

Rating: 8 out of 10.