Rifter Book Ten: His Holy Bones is finally here. The end of an epic series and it’s both good and bad. The ending is good with a solid happy ending but getting there is a challenge. This episode is filled with blood, torture, pain, suffering, and basically every horrible thing you can imagine that happens. Of course it’s alright in the end but you have to be willing to slog through the blood to get there. Furthermore the story valiantly attempts to tie up the loose ends and give closure to the many subplots going on but I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the choices. I think ultimately the story is simply too big and too convoluted to wrap up so simply but regardless, it remains an epic and masterful tale. Continue reading
Rifter Book Nine: The Iron Temple is perhaps the most straightforward and linear of the entire series. The previous eight books have jumped back and forth from past to present to tell the story of what happens in the future and how the future came to be. Book nine is simple, straight-forward action as John/Jahn/Jath’ibaye fights for the Fai’daum but in reality he’s fighting to save Laurie and Ravishan. In this installment, John comes fully into his Rifter power and can’t be killed, so instead he endures many, many situations where he should be killed but instead saves the day and kills everyone else. It’s violent but fast paced, engaging, and only slightly repetitive. As always the ending is a pretty strong cliffhanger though the ending is predictable – after all, the story already told us what happened. Continue reading
Rifter Book Eight: The Silent City continues to piece together the long reaching and rather complicated plot. This is one of the better installments from my perspective because I’m an unabashed John/Jath’ibaye fan so the fact that he’s the narrator and main focus works very well for me. Here the story picks up after Ravishan and John left the Holy Road and are hiding in the woods. John, as the Rifter, is unleashing a hellish storm to help his healing but he can’t control the storm. A group of revolutionaries, the Fai’daum, find and take in both John and Ravishan as John learns to control his power. Their relationship deepens and takes on more significance with even a rare on page sex scene (don’t miss it!).
Enemies and Shadows by Ginn Hale
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
We’re over halfway in the Rifter series and book #7, Enemies and Shadows, is a quieter edition that starts to pull together all the various little details and threads. There’s not a lot of exciting action or romance that occurs but instead various political subplots and details (both past and present) are discussed and handled to make the core of the story more solid. It’s a good, if not terribly exciting, installment. Continue reading
In the last installment of the Rifter, John and Ravishan were left together and bleeding on the Holy Road in a very hanging ending. Instead of picking up where that left off, this particular installment makes the odd choice of leaping back to a hanging ending of a prior book but a future scene (future as far as the timeline). It’s a bit confusing at first. For those following along you’ll remember that Kahlil (Ravishan in the future is Kahlil) went to the future while John went to the past. Eventually the two meet up with John as Jath’ibaye when Kahlil saves Jath’ibaye’s life and Jath’ibaye in turn saves Kahlil’s life and they run off on a sailing ship. Well that storyline had been shelved in favor of revisiting how John became Jath’ibaye. We’re not quite to the point but the story has skipped ahead (again) and is back with Kahlil and Jath’ibaye. Continue reading
Rifter #5, The Holy Road, is a vicious and dark installment of the epic fantasy. It also holds a touch of romance and hope between Jahn and Ravishan. It’s perhaps the darkest of the novellas so far and I’ll admit I was pretty disturbed by the end of it. There is a lot of death, destruction, and mayhem offered in graphic and vivid detail. While that’s not my favorite part of fantasy, the problem here is that the story ends on a bloody note without further action to help alleviate the depressing tone. So I ended the story feeling more morose than the well written story deserves. Continue reading
Black Blades is the third installment of ten of the Rifter series. As with previous novellas be sure you’re reading this series in order or you’re likely to be even more confused than normal. For those fans that have been following along and are ready for part three – it’s exciting and intriguing. Hale ramps up the action and drama with an intense yet fascinating addition to the series. John’s time at the monastery is revealed in a lengthy flashback covering the second half of the book while the first goes into much more detail about Kyle aka Kahlil’s current time as he attempts to stop John’s (future) assassination.
For those unfamiliar with the title, this is book two of a ten part serialized fiction piece by Ginn Hale. I’ll be reviewing each book as they come out and any new readers should start at the beginning (here). While I will attempt not to include any spoilers, my reviews will assume that the readers are familiar with the characters and concepts and simply speak about that particular book in the series.