The Powder Mage Trilogy

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I want to cry. Nothing is worse than finishing a great book series and realizing you have nothing to take it’s place. It is like saying goodbye to close friends. 😦

Recently I finished listening to the Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McCellan. It was one of those series that I didn’t want to end. I have found myself a new favorite author and a new favorite narrator. (Christian Rodska narrates the trilogy, and he does a stellar job with all the characters. He really brings the story to life.)

I don’t really know what to say about the series other than I really enjoyed. The best way I can describe the plot is: French-Revolution-meets-magic. (No, the book is not set in France, but the situation is similar to that of the French Revolution.)

The plot moves at a reasonable speed, so you don’t lose interest, but you don’t feel rushed. Compared to other books I’ve read, the plot is pretty unique. . No princess being saved. No dragons or elves or dwarves. Yes, their is magic, but it’s a different kind of magic, and it’s a magic that has limitations. Just because someone is a mage, doesn’t make them invincible. Just for fun, here is a promo video from Brian McCellan’s website.

 

The characters are very well developed, and very human in that they all have flaws. The characters experience fear, hope, jealousy, despair, self-loathing, and anger; they demonstrate honor, courage, perseverance, mercy, forgiveness, love and loyalty. Each character is very real; no one person is perfect and no villain is simply a monster (even though some behave like one.)

The story does follow the path of several different characters. Unlike other books I’ve read, however, the transition from one character’s story-line to the next feels natural and smooth. It is not disruptive like it is in other books I’ve read.

I definitely recommend this book. Their is humor, fighting, magic, intrigue, courage, and so much more.

This book will be added to my “Favorites” list for adults. (Due to violence and some adult references, I would say this book is PG-13.)

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Death in Paradise (BBC)

Death in Paradise

Another reason I haven’t been posting lately is because I’ve been busy enjoying Death in Paradise. This murder mystery is more my style (unlike DCI Banks). Not nearly as graphic as DCI Banks, this show presents a good mystery with a little humor. I will admit, at first, I didn’t like the show. I watched it simply because it was clean and I needed something to watch. However, after several episodes, I found myself becoming attached to the characters. (I will say, that this show earned a spot on my “favorites” list with the arrival of the second detective inspector in season 3. He brought a level of levity to the show that wasn’t present before.)

I will say Death in Paradise has a very strong cast, especially in the first several seasons (it is always hard when some of your favorite’s leave the show). I enjoy watching it for the characters. And for those of you who like strong female leads, you will enjoy the character Camille Bordey, an outspoken woman whose not afraid to stand up for herself or others, and yet remains a caring and compassionate.

DCI Banks (BBC)

DCIBanks

I recently watched the first two episodes of DCI Banks (it was a two-parter). This BBC show is available on Amazon Prime. The show was very good – well acted and solid, engaging mystery. If the show wasn’t so serious and the murders weren’t so graphic, it is one I would continue watching. However, due to my my preference for less serious and more lighthearted mysteries, it is not one I will continue watching. But for people who enjoy a more serious, realistic crime-solving show, you might want to check it out!

Person of Interest

I haven’t posted lately because I’ve been lazy, and I’ve been enjoying several different TV shows and a new book series.

One of those TV shows is Person of Interest, starring Jim Caviezel and several other people whose name I don’t recognize.

This show ran from 2011 – 2016. I really enjoyed the first three seasons of it. The plot focus shifted slightly on the fourth season, and I didn’t enjoy it quite as much. However this show became one that my dad and I watched together; it was a nice way to spend some father-daughter time.

I will be adding it to my list of “favorites” (as soon as I decide to quit being lazy). The show is clean (no sex and minimal profanity) with some violence (however, the violence is not graphic).

Here is a trailer for those who are interested in checking it out. Currently, it is on Netflix.

TombQuest by Michael Northrop

Recently, I have been enjoying TombQuest by Michael Northrop. I started it a couple of weeks ago and am on the last book now. The story is sort of like Percy Jackson meets The Infinity Rings.

The story centers around Alex, a boy with a mysterious illness who is suddenly cured when his mother uses an ancient Egyptian artifact to save him. Unfortunately, while Alex is saved, his mother’s actions open a rift (for lack of a better word) that allows an old Order to return and gain strength. Before he knows it, Alex is and his friend Ren are in a fight to save the world, battling beings from ancient Egypt as well as human foes.

There are several aspects of this story that I like. First and foremost, I love the relationship that Alex has with his mother. He really respects her and loves her; he appreciates the sacrifices she makes for him. Second, I like Alex and Ren’s relationship. While they are good friends, they do have disagreements (in one book they have a pretty big argument.) Most of the time in stories, you find that best friends get along perfectly. This story shows you that you can be best friends, have an argument, realize you were wrong, forgive each other, and move on. Third, I like the emphasis on forgiveness. I can’t really say much about this without spoiling something. But not only do Alex and Ren forgive each other when they disagree, there is betrayal in this story and forgiveness. Fourth, I like how Michael Northrop infuses humor into the serious situations. I think it is cleverly done. By just adding a word or phrase, Mr. Northrop breaks up the tension just enough to take the edge out of the situation.

I am adding this to my list of “favorites” for pre-teens and adults with a childlike heart. I will caution that the author does not hesitate to kill characters in his book. (Mini Spoiler: so far, he hasn’t killed any main characters, but there are minor characters that die.) So, if you have a child who is particularly sensitive to death in stories, you might want to steer clear of it until they are older.