Monday, April 18, 2011

I gonna start doing book reviews...a little / The Horns of Ruin

OK, it has come to my attention that I read to many books not to be giving reviews of them. So I think I am going to start doing reviews on here. Now I am not going to review EVERYTHING I read because I don’t want book reviews to become the meat of my blog, but every once in a while I am going to post reviews on here. But also I want to review books are a writer not just a reader so hopefully my reviews will also be helpful to writers out there.

Anyway I am going to rate each book I read on two scales the 1-5 scale below and if you should buy or borrow the book.

Alexis’ 1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3:  I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

I also plan to always write a section on what this book could teach or show to aspiring authors. I know one of the main reasons I love to read is because I find it one of the best ways to learn about my craft and I would love to share that with all of you. 

So let’s start this off with a BANG!

My I present you with The Horns of Ruin by Tim Akers 

My rating: 5 stars! I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! rating (and break down): 4 Stars (5 star:7/  4 star:3/ 3 star:0/ 2 star:2/  1 star:0)
Pages: 340 ages
Buy or Borrow: at $16 ($12 on the shelf price is a little high for how thin the book is but I think it is totally worth the cash, especially if you buy it online.
Description: (From Eva Forge is the last paladin of the dead God, Morgan.
Eva, forsaken by her parents and forgotten by her family, was the last child dedicated to the Cult of Morgan. Morgan, God of battle and champion of the Fraterdom, was assassinated by his jealous brother, Amon. Over time, the Cult of Morgan has been surpassed by other Gods, his blessings ignored in favor of brighter technologies and more mechanical miracles. Now, Eva watches as her new family, her Cult, crumbles around her.
When a series of kidnappings and murders makes it clear that someone is trying to hasten the death of the Cult of Morgan, Eva must seek out unexpected allies and unwelcome answers in the city of Ash. But will she be able to save the city from a growing conspiracy, one that reaches back to her childhood, even back to the murder of her God?

What I thought: It has been several weeks since I read this book and every time I think about it I am still blown away. While there are some flaws I felt that overall they were not big enough to really even matter in my final rating. What I love in this book was how beautifully Akers blends religion, sorcery and science, It felt effortless and completely real for his world. Akers describes himself as the only son of a theologian and that is where his book shines, the theology of the three brothers is really what makes this book work. But the theology is not so thick as to be confusing or daunting.

Eva is such an amazing character, I believe she might have been the first one to say “shoot first and ask questions later.”  She is so intensely honor-bound that you cannot help but side with her even when you think she should think a little more before she asks. But I loved her impatience with pretty much everyone else in the book, she is after all a woman of action and doses not idle well. Everything out of her mouth was entertaining. I loved that her character never wavered.

The Horns of Ruin is an amazingly fast paced adventure packed to the brim with sword fights, gun downs, arcane magic, witty dialog, sorcery, incantations. It is a wild ride that will leave you breathless and begging for more. I really hope there will be more books about Eva, I would follow her anywhere.

Here is one of my favorite (spoiler free) parts from Page 11-12:
“Names?” he asked over the clockgeist’s quiet howling clatter.  I stepped in front of Barnabas.

“Eva Forge, Paladin of Morgan and sister of the Fraterdom.  I demand entry to the house of my brother by my right as scion of Morgan.”

He looked up from my breasts, then down to my holster, then up again to the two-handed sword slung over my shoulder.

“You’ll have to leave your weapons at the gate.”

I sneered and snapped out the revolver, flipped it once in my hand, and spun the cylinder open.  I presented the clacking wheel of bullets to him and began to invoke.

“This is Felburn, heart of the hunter, spitting fire of the sky.  Morgan blessed the revolver as a weapon of his Cult at the towers of El-Ohah, when the storm cracked the stones of that place and the cannons of his army cracked the sky.  This weapon was beaten from the iron of the mountains of the Brothers, the land of their birth.  The bullets are engraved with my soul’s name, and blessed by the Fratriarch of Morgan on an alter of war.”  I snapped the cylinder shut, passed the barrel across the pale man’s heart, and slammed it into my holster.  ”I carry it, whether I live or die, through fire and fear and foes.  I leave it nowhere.”

“Well, I . . . uh.” The Alexian grimaced and shuffled his feet.  Barnabas leaned out from behind me.

“Don’t ask her for the sword,” he said, then banged his staff against the narrow stone walls all around.  ”It’s a much longer show, and there’s not really enough room for the full production.  If we step outside for a moment, though, I’m sure she’ll be happy to demonstrate.  Eva?”

What writers can learn from this book: I think number one is that theology matters, what your character believes in shapes them. I think your character has to believe in something, not necessarily a god or goddess but I find that if the character doesn’t believe in anything then I don’t care. I want them to believe in something, to feel that need in them. That is one of the only things that makes a character feel real to me.

The other thing is that even though Eva was a woman I really didn’t care, her sex was not a defining character trait, and I don’t think it should ever be.

So that wraps up my first ever book review I hope you enjoyed!


And don't forget, the Now Starring Blogfest being held on April 25th by Lindz and myself! It is gonna be a blast! And you have the chance to win some super fabulous prizes! 


  1. Excellent book review, thanks for sharing. And, I'm totally stealing your rating system for my book reviews. :)

  2. Sounds fascinating. There is such a lack of books where the author is not afraid to explore the theology of the world and characters without making all religious people stupid and/or malicious. I'll have to check it out.

  3. Here for the Now Starring Blogfest, but I liked your review, too, esp. what writers can learn from section: good point, what are characters believe (or don't believe) is really important.