New Forgotten Realms and Eberron Books This Month

 Wow, it has been a REALLY long time since I posted.

I am excited.  There are two new Wizards of the Coast books coming out tomorrow that I can't wait to read.  The first is Ed Greenwood's first book (at least I think so) set post Spell Plague, Elminster Must Die! and the second is Taint of the Black Brigade ,set in the fantastical world of Eberron.

Taint of the Black Brigade is in Kindle format and Elminster Must Die is in hardback.  Since I have a KIndle and I pre-ordered Taint, I should have it in the next hour or so.  Pre-ordering Kindle books is alot like going to the midnight showing of a new movie.  If you have the stamina you can enjoy the movie/book early.  That is what I am doing, I am sitting up and waiting for midnight so I can dive into more adventures with Abraxis Wren and when I am done with that, Elminster will be waiting on me.

I am sure I will pay for it in the morning but it will be worth it.

Review of Downshadow by Erik Scott DeBie

Downshadow by Erik Scott DeBie the third book in a series of stand alone novels in the Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep series.  The story centers around Shadowbane , a paladin that is desperately trying to adhere to his faith while ridding Downshadow of its more nefarious denizens.    He struggles to choose between justice or vengeance when he encounters a nearly unstoppable adversary.

 The story was fast paced and drew me in from the beginning.  DeBie gives the reader just enough information to set the hook and draw the reader deeper and deeper into the story.  The characters grow throughout the story and are very well fleshed out by the end.  The fight scenes were vivid and well thought out.  I could actually hear Hans Zimmer in the background as the heroes and villains battled throughout the book.  DeBie made me really care for the characters, good and bad alike.  They are all tortured and flawed in some way and their histories are interwoven throughout the book and I kept turning page after page for a glimpse into what made these characters tick.

For me the sign of a good book is when I finish it I immediately want to read it again.  There are scenes in this book that play over and over in my mind.  A good book sticks with you and this one has its hooks in and will not let go.

 I highly recommend this book to new and longtime readers of the Forgotten Realms.  If you are looking for a fast paced, action packed book with fantastic characters that leave you wanting more, then Downshadow is the book for you.


Downshadow by Erik Scott DeBie

I just finished this book, I went back and read the Epilogue three times.  I not going to write a complete review of it right now as I am just too tired, but I wanted everyone to know that this book...... is magnificent.  Five stars does  not do this book justice.

If you have not bought it go out and do so as soon as bookstores open in the morning.  Do not do anything else today until you read it cover to cover.  Yes, it is that good. 

Erik, my friend, you outdid yourself on this one and damn your hide I am tired :-).  I am getting too old to stay up this late reading but it was well worth it.

Good night, or should I say good morning?

Survey - Where do you get your books?

I am curious as to where you get your books, brick and mortar bookstore, Amazon.com, library, a mixture of all of them?

I have a large collection of books in my home but I am slowly running out of room so I have been trying to get many of them from the library. I guess it would suffice to say that I am a mix. I am fortunate that I have access to a very large library system in the metropolitan Nashville area and am able to request new books to be added to the libraries' collection.

I do buy all of the new Forgotten Realms books as they come out from Amazon (the 4 for 3 is wonderful) or Books A Million if I just can't wait. I collect them and find myself going back to certain ones and rereading scenes (I am about the wear Ghostwalker out). It is nice to have them on the shelf for a quick read. I also put in a request that the Nashville library purchase copies for their collection. That way others can be introduced to the Realms or if they are already familiar, read more.


There Can Be Only One, well maybe...

My all time favorite movie is Highlander . I saw it when it first came out in 1986 and was hooked. What entralled me so was the movie's uniqueness, the concept of immortals battling down through the centeries, all playing the "Game" for the "Prize."  I watched it many times over enjoying each viewing as much as the first.  Then came the sequels, for those that have seen them enough said, for those that have not, don't.  Highlander 3 was certainly not as bad as 2, but they should have stopped at the first one.  Here is the alternate ending to Highlander 2: the Quickening, www.youtube.com/watch.  Just watching it makes me want to take my own head.

I think where they went wrong was trying to explain who and what the immortals really were.  What was so fascinating about the original was speculating on how an immortal came to be, what were the origins of the quickenings, and what the prize really was.  How did it all start?  I have read some really good fan fiction on these topics.  Highlander 2 took all the magic away (for me anyway).  Sometimes the viewer should be left wondering, free to make their own interpretations of the movie.  

I am a fan of the Highlander series starring Adrian Paul as Duncan MacCleod, Conner's kinsman.  Now there are some continuity problems but I got past them because the series was so enjoyable.  The first season was a little shaky but as the seasons progressed it got much better.  Season three was probably the best as it introduced Methos the 5000 year old immortal, a legend even among immortals.  His character added alot of depth and breadth to the series.  What I found most enjoyable about the series was you got a peek into the daily lives of the immorals and the mortals that knew their secret.  Not every episode was a fight to the death, some where about events outside "The Game".  If you have not watched the series give it a shot, add a season to your Netflix queue.

A final note, I heard they are considering a remake of the orginal Highlander, here is the link.  I have mixed feelings about this.  I know with the new technology, CGI, etc, they can make it more visually appealing, but can they do justice classic scenes like the conversation between Connor and the Krugan on holy ground (click here to see it in all its glory)?  I guess we shall see.

A little Highlander trivia, can anyone tell me what was on the sign on the top of the building where Connor and the Kurgan had their last battle?  A glenmorangie on the rocks to anyone with the answer.


Cool Early Father's Day Present

My wife and kids gave me my Father's Day present early.  It was a Merkur safety razor.  I have been wanting to try shaving with a safety razor for some time.  I have fond memories of watching my father shave with his when I was a kid.  I had grown tired of paying $15 or more for four Gilette Mach 3 blades and decided to take the plunge.  There was a bit of a learning curve as the technique is different from the typical triple blade disposables I have used in the past, but I have to tell you, it is the best damn shave I have ever had.

I enjoy shaving now and saving money to boot.  (The blades cost about $.50 each).  While it is a little expensive to get started, it is worth it in the end. 

Most of all, I just feel so damn manly after shaving.  Now, I am off to hunt wild boar.  Where did I put that crossbow.....

Obsidian Ridge

I just finished Odsidian Ridge by Jess Lebow, the second book in the Forgotten Realms Citadels series.

I was looking forward to this book for two reasons, first I really enjoyed his Fighters novel, Master of Chains, and second, after reading the first chapter on the WOC website the book sounded like Batman in a fantasy setting.  Instantly I was intrigued and after finishing it, was I not disappointed.  Mr. Lebow's characters are interesting and his endings are fantastic.  He has a talent for tying up the plot lines yet leaving it  open-ended enough to leave you yearning for more.  I like authors like that and I certainly felt like I got my moneys worth.

The story has multiple plot lines.  The main one being the huge floating piece of black rock that has suddenly appeared over the city and the demand of he king's daughter.  The subplots revolve around two mysterious figures, The Matron and the Claw.  I thought of them in terms of Batman and the Joker (see I told you, this book made me think of Batman).  Both their identities were well guarded by some great misdirection on Mr. LeBow's part and I must say that one of the identities caught me completely off guard.  I am usually fairly good at guessing an outcome but I missed the mark this time.  Hat's off to Mr. LeBow.

I enjoyed the ending and it left me wanting more.  I would love to see more of these characters.  Maybe we will see more  in a new Realms of ?

I recommend this book to veteran FR readers and initiates alike.  I think you will be highly entertained.

A Question for Authors

I have read that some authors complain that after publishing several books they can longer enjoy reading fiction, especially in their genre. They begin to edit the book or focus on the technical aspects of the writing instead of enjoying the story.

 To all the published authors out there, do you find this to be the case?