Catching Up With Reviews

Predator51 has reviewed each of the first three books in the Angus the Mage Series and gave them each a 5-star rating.

Here is the review of The Tiger’s Eye (“A very entertaining book!“):

As far as adventure stories this has to be one of the better ones to read! It was action packed and so interesting, that I went right ahead and bought the next two books in this series. Superb plot about an assassin who trains to become a master wizard, but a year before graduating he loses his memory on a spell that went wrong. The story keeps getting better!

Here is the review of The Viper’s Fangs (“Going through hell to break a curse!“):

A mage who lived thousands of years ago puts one heck of a curse on the bloodline of family that affects one member of Angus’s party. Certain tasks must be completed in 3 weeks! Plenty of action! Extremely enjoyed when the assassin named Typhus takes over half of Angus’s body. Looking forward to reading book # 3!

Here is the review of The Golden Key (“Quite a few exciting adventures!“):

I enjoyed this book more than the previous ones! This part of the overall story involves varies adventures of different characters, some from the first two books and introducing new ones. Lots of action with plenty of surprises! Originally this series was planned for as a 7 book series, but ended up only going to 4 books. Thus the next book may be cut short without a very good ending!

I’m not sure if I said that it would be a 7-book series, since all I can remember saying in my blog post was that I wasn’t sure how long it would be and it might keep growing. As for the “ending,” see the next review by J.

My first review for Angst was a 2-star review by J. It begins as follows:

I usually don’t write reviews like this but I am absolutely apoplectic about how this book ended. It is by far one of the worst endings ever for an otherwise good series. This book is the worst one in the series by far. In fact the ending is so bad I can’t believe the same author wrote the rest of the series.

J continues with a Spoiler Alert that gives away quite a bit of the plot, so I’m not including that in this post. However, based on J’s comments here and in that spoiler alert, I think a brief clarification is in order. Angst is the end of the Angus the Mage Series, but it isn’t the end of the story. I plan to continue with the story from the viewpoint of other characters as a sequel to the Angus the Mage Series. As I’ve noted in my recent blog posts (see writing updates), I’ve been jotting down notes for a project tentatively called I Will Be King, which will pick up where Angst left off. I’m not sure if that will be the project that I will do first, but I’m definitely leaning that way. I am also thinking about writing a novel about Giorge, a collection of stories / novellas to clarify certain things from the series, or a book about The Banner of the Wounded Hand from the time before they met Angus. Regardless, I don’t expect to start working on any of these projects until December, since my Fall teaching load is going to require more work than last year.

Two Reviews of The Tiger’s Eye

I’ve been a bit lax in checking for reviews, and two have cropped up for The Tiger’s Eye. Here they are:

Abel had this to say in a 5-star review called “Not Bad“:

I really enjoyed this book it has a lot of action and good characters. I haven’t enjoyed a fantasy book though in a long time I finished it in one sitting and can’t wait to read book two.
Louise had this to say in a 4-star review called “I hope you enjoy it as much as I am“:
I don’t write many reviews. I do read many free books offered on Kindle. Very seldom do I find a free book that makes me buy the next in the series but this is the exception. I am engrossed in the story, can’t wait to see what happens next. Give this one a try, I hope you enjoy it as much as I am.
These are encouraging reviews, and I hope the rest of the series lives up to their expectations. I think it does, but I’m biased. 🙂

4-Star Review of The Viper’s Fangs

Joe Green had this to say in his review on Amazon:

really good , again cant wait for the next . this is must buy

Joe shouldn’t have too terribly long to wait for the third book to get published. I am confident that I will have it to the copy editor by December 15, and then it will depend upon her schedule. Right now, I have a little more work to do to get ready for finals week (Dec. 5 to 11) before that distraction is out of the way and I can focus more on writing. In the meantime, I’m still plodding along with revising what I’ve already written and adding a scene or two here and there. I only have a couple of scenes left to write for the third section, and I plan to do it this weekend, but I’m holding off on the last section until Thanksgiving Break because I don’t want to have any distractions while I’m write it.

Click here to see other reviews for The Viper’s Fangs.

Review of Tiger’s Eye

Here is what Timothy R. had to say in “Bland characters,” his 3-star review of The Tiger’s Eye:

I struggled to rate this book. It was not awful and I was able to finish it, which is saying something with all the indy books now. The main character starts off in such a way to want to get to know him more but never really develops. It really did feel like a bad rpg game to be honest. There was some world building but not a lot and it felt that many aspects of it were just modified dnd. A lot of the story did not add to the story and there felt like to much bland filler.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I sometimes comment on the reviews, and I think this one needs an explanatory response. I can definitely understand what led him to think “many aspects of it were just modified dnd,” since I wrote the first draft when I was still playing that game, but the story morphed into something else during the development of the novel. (See the early writing updates about the Tiger’s Eye for more on this.) The second book has a stronger influence of D&D, but there is still a great deal of internal conflict within Angus, but I think I’ve gotten further away from that influence in Book 3. As for his comment about the “bland filler…”

I have been a reader for a long time, and I dislike novels that are “padded” with unnecessary information just as much as Timothy does. I do my best to minimize it in my own stories, but I don’t always succeed. Still, The Tiger’s Eye is the first book in the series, and a number of the things that occur in it are unresolved until Book 2 and Book 3 (and even Book 4). I’m not sure if that is what Timothy is referring to as “bland filler” though, since there is a lot of description about the use of magic, and it may be overdone at times in Book 1. Anyway, I am always aware of what I am doing in my stories and frequently eliminate material from them that doesn’t serve some purpose. Of course, I am not perfect, and what I think is necessary may not seem that way to others, which is why I have my mom read what I write so I can talk with her about it. She’s usually a pretty good litmus test, since she’s read thousands of books (a lot of mysteries) and tends not to tell me it’s good unless she really likes it. (Case in point: She was not fond of The Snodgrass Incident because it was too heavy on the science and didn’t have enough character interaction. The Tiger’s Eye has so much character interaction because it was partly a response to of what she said about that novel, and I think I may have overdone it a bit.) Her comments on the drafts of Book 3 have been quite helpful in fixing problems, developing the plot sequence, and encouraging me through the challenging spots.

Lastly, although I have been writing for a long time, I am relatively new at writing novels. I’m learning a lot about it as I go. It isn’t the same as writing short stories, which tend to be plot-driven (one of my strengths as a writer), and it has taken me a while to begin to feel like a novelist. I’m finally there, and I think it will show in Book 3 (The Golden Key). I think is my best novel to date because it has a better balance between plot and character interaction/development. It also brings together almost all of the loose plot threads from the first two books, which is a good way to wrap up this trilogy while setting up another one.

Another 4-Star Review of The Tiger’s Eye

An Amazon Customer had this to say in a review titled “Four Stars“:

Nice book. Memory loss was pretty well written. The reason for the memory loss caught me by surprise.

I think this review may be about both The Tiger’s Eye and The Viper’s Fangs, since the answer for the memory loss is near the end of the second book. Regardless, it is nice to have another good review for the book. 🙂

Review for The Tiger’s Eye

It’s been a little while since I’ve had a review of The Tiger’s Eye, but Calyad had this to say about it in a 4-star review called “Angus the Mage Series“:
This is the first book in the Angus the Mage Series. I am now devouring the second. I am writing this early because I almost gave up after the first few pages. It felt disjointed and I felt it needed a grammar check. Of course it could be my own aged brain. I am very glad I persevered. Great story so far; love all the individual characters and the world setting is fascinating. Go for it!
I think my sister will be interested in the comment about the “grammar check,” since she copy edited it. I’ll be sure to make her aware of it. She’ll probably just tell me it’s because I tend to overuse ellipses and me-dashes. 🙂
Well, time for me to get back to Book 3. Since my mom gave me some feedback on what I wrote yesterday, I’m revising it with a focus on the characters. I’ve also added a scene that will help clarify some of the things she commented on.