You define life or it defines you. In Shawn Speakman’s case, it was both....
Life can kick us when we are down. In Shawn Speakman's case, he is fighting back. Proceeds from this anthology will help eliminate medical debt for other authors....
The contributing writers of Unbound were allowed to submit the tales they wished fans of genre to hear - without the constraints of a shackling theme. The result is magical....
A young warrior called Rezkin is unexpectedly thrust into the outworld when a terrible battle destroys all that he knows....
Twenty-eight florins a month is a huge price to pay for a man to stand between you and the Wild....
Large chests are said to encompass all manner of hopes and dreams. Men covet them. Women envy them. But one fact holds true - everyone wants to get their hands on some big ones....
A fantasy anthology featuring the deadly, the worldly, and the sneaky....
Can Richter forge allegiances to survive this harsh and unforgiving world or will he fall to the dark denizens of this ancient and unforgiving realm....
Some people are born boring. Some live boring. Some even die boring. Fred managed to do all three, and when he woke up as a vampire, he did so as a boring one....
The journey through the Serpent Spire won't be easy, but Corin won't stop until he gets his brother back....
Villains have all the fun - everyone knows that - and this anthology takes you on a wild ride through the dark side....
Life is simple in Ben's small town until an attack brings the arrival of exciting strangers straight out of a story....
In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world....
It has been 20 years since the end of the war. The dictatorial Augurs, once thought of almost as gods, were overthrown and wiped out during the conflict....
Set in a magical world of terror and wonder, this audiobook is a deeply felt epic of courage and war, in which the fates of three characters intertwine....
Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer....
The Earth is changing. The alien invasion brought social upheaval, advanced technology, and an armada of peacekeeping robots. But Alan cares little about all of this....
Beneath the streets of Seattle, a long-forgotten war is about to be renewed...Richard McAllister, a spiritually destitute homeless man and Knight of the Yn Saith, protects one of seven portals linking his world to that of Annwn, where the fey Tuatha de Dannan of antiquity have been relegated by a long-running religious war. Unknown to Richard though, powerful forces are aligning against him and all he stands to keep safe.
In the wilds of a discarded world, Philip Plantagenet, son of Henry II, moves to claim a birthright nine centuries in the making, one that drives him to eliminate the Tuatha de Dannan - at any cost to both worlds. In the halls of Vatican City, Cardinal Vicar Cormac Pell O'Connor schemes to control the Heliwr - the Unfettered Knight - one who possesses the great power known as the Dark Thorn.
The three men are on a collision course with history - and their futures. For in the wilds of Annwn, death comes as easily as magic. Haunted by a past he can't forget and a knightly responsibility he can't shun, Richard is drawn into levels of machinations - and two worlds - far darker than any he has prepared for.
I so enjoyed the short story by Mr. Speakman in the Unfettered anthology that I decided to listen to this novel too. I was not disappointed.
Any fan of the Merlin television series should love this book, though this story is set in modern day.
The reader portrays each character well and helps you see that movie in your head (always a goal of mine).
Richard McCallister protects the secret Seattle portal between our world and Annwn--the world to which all of the fey creatures (fairies, leprechauns, centaurs, and the like) had long ago been transported to protect them from extinction. The Knights protecting the portals use magical items but so do the forces of evil on both sides of the portal. Without giving anything away, some of those magical items are ones that you are probably familiar with. 'Nuf said.
The book is full of action and adventure as a small group tries to reunite the fey creatures to battle the forces of evil. Any war in Annwn threatens both worlds. In the meantime, the forces of evil are also after Richard and another character he is trying to protect. Can evil turn these two or bend them and/or their weapons to their nefarious purposes?
Which creatures are on which side (if either)? Can war be averted and, if not, can good triumph? Which men of our world are simply trying to protect the portals and which really have their own agenda? Can the two worlds be saved?
A minor disappointment for me that these knights are supposed to be Knights of the Word here on our side as defined by a certain church (i.e. the Word of God). But when people try to defend their actions in the name of the Word, no one actually uses any of the actual Word to refute them. That would have been fun!
That's a small objection though and it did not prevent me from giving this book 5 stars. I couldn't stop listening and that's one sign of a great book. I look forward to the next one!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
The main character was nothing short of God Awful!
Would you ever listen to anything by Shawn Speakman again?
Never ever ever ever
Which scene was your favorite?
None. Couldn't make it through it.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Annoyance. The author made all of the characters so distasteful they ruined a pretty fair storyline.
Any additional comments?
Hard to slog through this - I bought it because I love these types of stories and I love Nick Podehl as a reader... but this abomination of a main character... ugh... was there ever a more disrespectful, unpleasant, and utterly unlikable character ever created?
6 of 9 people found this review helpful
This book could have been so much better, the premise for the book is good and is what initially caught my attention, but I feel that the author tried to do too much with the subject and tried to include too many fantasy/historical elements. The writing is not very polished and doesn't flow very well. He tries to be very grandiose with the writing and language and it just comes off as cheap and awkward. There are also several instances in the book where the author will say something on one page and then contradict himself on the next page, sometimes in the next sentence.
The characters are shallow and one dimensional, they have no depth, and they flip flop from being extremely immature and irrational one minute to being very wise and all knowing the next. There is no character development, we don't see them grow at all, they just inexplicably go from selfish children, ignorant of the world around them, to full grown, mature adults, tasked to save the world from impending doom.
The plot has holes all over the place and there is a lot of deus ex machina. He writes the characters into seemingly impossible scenarios with no way out and all of a sudden they emerge victorious and he explains it away with "magic." It's hokey and fake and not believable at all (yes, this is fantasy writing, but there has to be some believable elements, rooted in what we know, to make it engaging and to help the reader buy in to what the author is selling).
It was all I could do to make it to the end of the book. I will not be listening/reading the next two books in the series when they come out, one book was more than enough for me. I would not recommend this book.
9 of 15 people found this review helpful
it wasn't a bad story, but the dialogue was unbelievable and constantly the me out of the story. narrator was awesome though.
The characters were horrible. I didn't like anyone. They all spoke in riddles, got mad if anyone asked what the hell they were talking about, then pouted when they were given the same treatment. Richard is bitter and angry and annoying. He has serious psychological problems, and not the ones that make a character interesting. the story jumps from the church to Seattle and to the fairy world with no warning. One of the guys in the church likes having sex with women. what does that have to do with the review? I dunno, but it was mentioned enough in the story it must be important. Richard's wife was killed, we get it. I gave this 10 hours of my life, and I still don't care about anyone in the whole book. Don't bother.
I liked this story, and it has a lot of promise. It wasn't anything particularly special, but it was an enjoyable read, hence 3 stars. It feels a lot like older fantasy story, where the language is more formal and the interactions feel rigid and constrained by expectation, and I think that is where the book fell flat for me. For some characters, that type of language made sense: the residents of Annwn are from an older time and society when that type of embellished speech would be more popular, but Richard and Bran are from present day America, and Bran even grew up on the streets, but they use the same overly formal language which felt contrived and pulled me out of the story. I believe this is Shawn Speakman's first novel, so I am interested to see how he develops as an author, as the story itself is complex and very promising. Therefore, I found this book perfectly passable, and am interested to see how the series develops.
Unfortunately all I really have to say is that this book is unremarkable and not very memorable. The characters development is poorly done. Although the concepts are very interesting.
Would you try another book from Shawn Speakman and/or Nick Podehl?
What could Shawn Speakman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
The dialog was right out of a mediocre renaissance festival skit. The young protagonist is supposed to be a street kid - I have never known a street kid who used vocabulary like that. <br/><br/>The main protagonist was whinier than Luke Skywalker in A New Hope. Every time he lamented be 'used' I just heard 'I ws going to Toshi Station'.<br/><br/>I think he needed to have an editor that had a clue about narration and how people talk.
What three words best describe Nick Podehl’s performance?
He was ok.
Excellent Book for a new Author Shawn has great charactor development, wonderful story telling will read his other books he puts out big fan
Great read hard to put down or turn off. Good story full of the unexpected .open there will be a sequil.