The Lost Stories Ranger’s Apprentice #11

The Lost Stories (Ranger’s Apprentice, #11)
by John Flanagan11309018

  • October 4th 2011
  • by Philomel (first published October 2011)
  • Original Title The Lost Stories
  • ISBN 0399256180
  • (ISBN13: 9780399256189)

Written in response to the fans, John Flanagan uses a new methodology of connecting the present with his stories. Starting with the premise of an archaeological, historical search for more stories from his daring and wonderful series Ranger’s apprentice, he looks into other stories that he never told.

Death of a hero, how did Will’s father save Halt during the battle what did he risk? How did Will’s mother die? Why did she leave will with Halt a stranger? This is a wonderful look into that all important event that connected our two Rangers for life. The Debt that Halt owed, the gratitude of his parents sacrifice, and the reason why a loving family will leave their infant son with the Ranger.

The inkwell and the dagger, the idea that the stories not only of battles but of people who have to face great odds. Gilan has a story and his independence from the other characters.

The roamers, not even the dogs are safe. Ebony is dog napped. Flannagan goes into a monologue about the abuse that people are capable of. He send Will against a group of Roamers, who use dogs for entertainment, pitting animals they nab and gain wealth from their death. A great story about responsibility, and love.

Purple Prose A group of robbers have the best of plans. Take a ship run it aground, kill the surviving crew and help yourself to the goods. Will and Halt are forced to face this desperate band. But the key to the story is the speech for Horace and Cass, wedding. A great way to show that thinking too much about what you are doing can cause problems.

Dinner for five, Gilan and Jenny have a connection. But its a little hard with his wandering job requirements. When their arranged date night is brought into danger because of a group of thieves, Jenny has to do so much more than she thought possible. Not only to survive but save the day.

The bridal dance, a plot to destroy the happy day of Cass and Horace. Will stumbles into the plot, although the desperate pieces do not immediately fit. Will’s persistance is the only thing that saves the day.

The hibernian How was Halt trained? How did Halt become a ranger? We know so little of his back story, that this was a neccessary story and one that need to be brought to paper.

The wolf, in response to the fans idea about retirement especially of the horses. Most working horses have only 15 or 16 years, how do the rangers deal with this loss. A great story with a wonderful solution .

and about time, too… The wedding of Alyss and Will. a beautiful look at the love and connections of the characters.

the fragment, a brief lead to the new series.


Pariah (Donovan Trilogy #3)

Pariah (Donovan Trilogy #3)

by W. Michael Gear FB_IMG_1547255014768

  • May 14th 2019
  • by Daw Books
  • ISBN 0756413435
  • (ISBN13: 9780756413439)
  • Series Donovan Trilogy #3

With great anticipation I waited patiently for this book to come into my hands.  Funny story, the copy I read was sent as a giveaway for the Gear Facebook fan site. I was grateful to read the story anyways. I protected the book with kid gloves, until a second book came for the give away and this book was mine to adore and read with tabs and marks so I know the story.  Using those tabs to help create my paintings to honor the work.


The story of Donovan, as I briefly describe it is nothing to reading the pages of the books. Pariah is the third installment, in this epic science fiction story. Already in place is a ghost ship (the Freelander), the wonderful destructive Quetzals, the Corporation administrator Kalico,  what can you add to make this story more dynamic? How about another lost ship? This time the story of the transition of the Vixen is opposed to the ghost ship Freelander. The Vixen has been missing fifty years, but to its crew and passengers it seemed instantiations. This is only the start of the problems. The Vixen was not a colonial ship, she was an exploratory ship. The complement of crew and passengers include the leading Conservationist Dr. Dortmund Weisbacher. The Conservationist movement on earth lead to many problematic environmental problems, the idea of pure stock conservation does not allow for environmental changes, and disease prevention, devastating the native populations on Earth. Dr. Dortmund planned to outline and control the exploration and contact with Capella III (Donovan). The problem cause by his disappearance on the Vixen changed the focus of the colonization of Donovan. He has to come to the realization that his theories are unfounded and unsustainable, and the deadly nature of the life on Donovan.  The Michael Gear is able to look into the modern practice of Bison breeding, and the idea of reintroduction of extinct animals explaining the problems he sees in the future.

We also continue to explore through Talina and Kylee the reaction of the Quetzals to the human Colonization of Donovan. The native life of Donovan is divided into family lineages that are divided on how they will respond to this new population of animals. More than any other part of the story the Michael Gear explores the ideas of colonization and contact with other planets.

The fans that have called for the Gears to look into the traditions and stories of the Maya have had their wishes granted. Michael Gear looks into Mayan traditions and stories, more so in this book than any other of the Donovan series. Talina’s ancestral heritage helps connect her to her new world and allows her to overcome the events she is participant of, willing or not.

As a whole this book is frightening in its images, and stories because it’s disturbing how much it relates to what is happening in our own world. We must face like Talina, Kylee, and Dr. Dortmund the events and practices that may not be in our control.



No country for old Gnomes

No Country for Old Gnomes (The Tales of Pell, #2)
by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne35440590

  • April 16th 2019
  • by Del Rey
  • ISBN 1524797774
  • (ISBN13: 9781524797775)

War is not a pretty thing, and it means less and more for the ones faced with it. The Gnomes are facing an oppressive force, destruction at the hands of a relentless enemy. What they do to stop the battles, and change the world is what this story is about. The king has little to know about the circumstances the gnomes are facing it takes a party of mixed ancestor to gather the information to change the world.
This is a hilarious adventure of mammoth proportion with many opportunities for misconception and misdirection. Bringing the humor of Terry Pratchett, and Monty python, to the modern reader.

Wyvern’s Fate

Wyvern’s Fate (Twin Soul Series Book 4)
by McCaffrey-Winner44170721

  • February 28th 2019
  • by Howler Publications
  • ASINB07P62XG1P

The added history into the Wyvern’s story. The idea that twin souls has more of a broad base than previously given. The idea that there were more creatures that could create a twin soul animal adds to the lore of the story. This edition looks into learning about twin souls and the idea of Wyvern, with librarians and gods that judge and understand the policies of the world.

The city of Mirrors

The City of Mirrors (The Passage, #3)
by Justin Cronin26891429

  • May 24th 2016
  • by Ballantine Books
  • (first published March 24th 2016)
  • Original Title The City of Mirrors
  • ISBN 034550500X
  • (ISBN13: 9780345505002)

Although this is darker then the other Passage books it shows the nature of memory and reflection. I had times in the book that I felt trapped in the past of the characters. I know someone had to be interested in Fanning and his past, what made him the narcissistic monster that would end not only the world but all humanity? But I found myself trapped like Alicia in his boring self indulgent story, that at times i felt overwhelmed by his narcissistic view and how he saw the world against him. Although it makes him a greater villain in his way, I found it hard to stomach his elongated story. And many times just wanted to see the other characters rather than more on him. Yes, it showed how New York in its remnant passage could hold not only the past, but the memory of humanity, staying within its oppressive nature just highlighted Fanning’s inept end. The struggle for humanity to survive the onslaught of the virus, and the air born variation of the virus is thrilling, but be forewarned that you will have countless pages of Fanning’s story. The book does give an satisfying end to the saga that had started with Passage, and makes the anticipation of continued tv shows. I just don’t like Fanning… otherwise I would highly recommend the book. Just wish i could say to skip the Fannning pages, but then you would not understand the message of the whole story.

Forever wolf

Forever Wolf (The Legend of All Wolves, #3)
by Maria Vale40597253

  • March 26th 2019
  • by Sourcebooks Casablanca
  • ISBN 1492661937
  • (ISBN13: 9781492661931)
  • Series The Legend of All Wolves #3

I am sorry to have missed the prior books of this series, the myths of this story is quite unique. I found that the language and ideology of the Wolf (werewolf) culture to be an interesting twist on the nature of the old legends. The author does a great job making a stand alone book in this story, that hints at the prior books but they are not required to understand the story or connect with the characters. The book shows the nature of sacrifice and duty, the Alphas of the Wolf pack have a duty to protect, to guide and to discipline those beneath them. In this story it is that duty that causes the characters to sacrifice everything for those they love. It is a great twist on the genre to read this story and see a new perspective to the Werewolf mythos. I really like the characters and even the villain has more depth to his character then other similar books. Congratulations Maria Vale, I hope to get other books from you in the near future.

A land apart

A Land Apart

by Ian Roberts

  • 40675822January 1st 2019
  • by Atelier Saint-Luc Press
  • ISBN 0972872337
  • (ISBN13: 9780972872331)

Just the pictures themselves is amazing, but this book shows the nature of trade and the changes of colliding cultures. This book is a great resource for children learning about the interactions between Native Americans and European powers during the American Revolutionary time, and how trade and wealth influenced the nature of the conflict.

How to Move Spheres and Influence People

How to Move Spheres and Influence People: A Original (ebook)
by Marko Kloos44281120

  • March 27th 2019
  • by Tor Books
  • ISBN 1250206871
  • (ISBN13: 9781250206879)

Marko Kloos does a great job introducing a new character into the Wild Cards Consortium. Marko uses a childhood memory and game to cause the switch. Its a common series of childhood memories, Dodge ball is a common American nostalgia game, the 1970-80’s kids remember it fondly and mixed results. The main character finding her nemesis using the rules of the game to hurt and attack her was common occurrence. In many ways it makes the character more enduring to the Dodge ball nostalgia. Using the idea of stress causing the card to turn. The new power of moving Spheres is a notable concept of the Wild Card ability. Although this is a brief introduction its an exciting addition to the series.

Flight of the Hawk: The Plains

Flight of the Hawk: The Plains (A Novel of the American West Book 2)

by W. Michael Gear 51QRAY5gg7L

  • June 19th 2019
  • by Five Star Publishing
  • ISBN 1432854070
  • (ISBN13: 9781432854072)

The second novel in a dynamic series showing many of history’s unknown stories. Manuel Lisa’s expedition into the Missouri country to set up the Missouri Fur Trade Company is the basis of the story. But that is only the start.  The political intrigue and international conflicts of the time are setting up a powder keg of pitfalls for the characters.

The main character John Tylor, one of the participants of the Arron Burr conspiracy has a lot to learn. Tylor and Will Cunningham with a load of trade spread the venture out to the Black hills. Unfortunately the diabolical Fenway McKeever has survived his murder attempt of Tylor, his partial drowning has given him personal vendetta adjacent to his financial incentive.  He is not the only person with an vendetta on Cunningham and Tylor. Their advisories are mounting. They will have to navigate hostile ground, dodging Native American war parties, adverse weather, and political clan conflicts.

The wounded hawk in the story, represent an ancillary of the character Tylor. Tylor is a wounded himself, deadly and dangerous but unable to survive on his own. The Shoshone feed both Tylor and the hawk with care and appreciation. It is the Shoshone who will provide for both the hawk, and Tylor expedition, making connections to Shoshone that may change the political relationship with the United States and the coming Pioneer colonization.  The question that Gray Bear brings up wither the wounded hawk would ever be healed and fit enough to take to wing is the true question if Tylor will overcome his injuries, and find his own way.

Like the story Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkin The Plains is the book between the setup of The River and the resolution of the story. It gives the reader part of the trek that is most convoluted but lets the reader understand not only the motivation of the main character and his adversary but structure of their world. Without The Plains the story would lose cohesion.  Cheers to Michael Gear and hope for the next exciting edition from Fire Star Publishing, as a fan I am waiting for the hawk to take flight.

The Twelve

The Twelve (The Passage, #2)

by Justin Cronin


  • October 16th 2012
  • by The Random House Publishing Group
  • Original Title The Twelve
  • ISBN 0345504984
  • (ISBN13: 9780345504982)

After reading the Passage I had to find the next part of the story. I ordered it immediately and put my other books to the side to read it avidly when it arrived.  I had watched each of the episodes on Fox for the series, I found that some of the changes like Babcock’s backstory was better in the TV series to connect with a wider audience.  There are many other changes from the book to the TV series, they are almost separate story arcs so far. The Passage book gives us a reasoning and back story to Babcock that allow us to understand the mentality of his Many, and how he controls them. It is far more insidious than in the TV series.  In many ways Babcock is more driven and evil in the book making his death a necessity.

The Twelve starts later after the Passage. The ramifications of Babcock’s death and the search for the other twelve is a broad sweep at the post apocalyptic world. Time has passed and some events are alluded to that happened between the books. The clandestine group has been dispersed. Peter and Alicia had joined the Expeditionary force as soldiers for the remaining humans.  Michael Fisher as an engineer in the Oil fields. Hollis is in rebellion on his own, since Sara’s disappearance. Sara was taken, and lives as a slave. Theo and Mou have been killed, and their son Caleb given to the sisters to raise, Amy has joined the sisterhood to watch over him and wait. It is the resolution of this mystery, finding a solution to the Twelve is the premise of the book.

Looking into the dark nature of human mentality, and coping skills. The book may have started with a girl being the hero, and it does well with that Amy is the hero again, only her sacrifice will help the world re-balance itself.

I have a theory that Vampire books have one unrelated obsession of the authors that are incorporated in the book. I have been struggling to find the link in this story to that theory. I believe it’s because these vampires are more like zombie’s in their Many state that makes finding the obsession harder.  I think this author is obsessed with loss, explicitly of a girl child. He seems to come back again and and again losing children, particularly girl children. It shows in the book as he develops the characters many of them motivated by the loss of their little girl. I will have to see if it come true with The City of Mirrors.