7841509I was actually disappointed in this one.  I first got onto Chris Evans’ Iron Elves trilogy a few years ago when I first started working for Indigo.  He’s a relatively local author, and his rep came round personally to our store and handed out a few copies.  No one else was really into fantasy so I gave it a shot.

Not bad at first.  I had difficulties getting into it as it was missing some pages, but the author got wind of my misfortune and mailed me a complete copy dedicated and autographed which I thought was really nice, so I decided no matter what I was going to see the series through for better or for worse.

The first two books were the for better part, and now we come to the for worse.

The thing is for me, I have grown really fond of all these characters.  The rugged dwarven sergeant Yimt.  The tortured elven major Konowa.  The enigmatic and mysterious lady scribe, and so many more.  I really, really enjoyed the first two books, but something got lost here.

I think the biggest issue with the final instalment of the Iron Elves trilogy, Ashes of a Black Frost, is pacing.  The story is good.  A lot of interesting things happen, and we are alternately joyed, saddened, and amused by the antics of those who dwell within the pages.  But the final climax of the book took place over the last two chapters.

See, the first three quarters of the book was wrapping up the desert war with the insane minion of the big bad in the story the Shadow Monarch.  Then when they finally are off to defeat her once and for all, is basically: Let’s Go!  Okay we’re here! Die Shadow Monarch! Jubilation!  Then the epilogue.

It just seemed a little rushed.  For all their struggles, the journey to get to the final boss was basically quiet and easy.  The battle once landed on her turf was rather exhilarating, but the confrontation with the Shadow Monarch was a little confusing and disappointing.  Our hero didn’t even strike the final blow  but he won anyway!

I just think the pacing and the final boss battle could have been done a little differently to make an okay book into a good or great one.  I still enjoyed the trilogy as a whole, especially the epilogue here was just what I wanted, but the final instalment does leave a little to be desired.

Anyways.  Avanti!  Heat Rises by ‘Richard Castle‘ (*wink wink*).  Let us go forth and unleash the dogs of war!  Or whatever it is we do round here…

Avanti my good fellows! Or whatever.10532477Fast-paced and full of intrigue, Heat Rises pairs the tough and sexy NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat with hotshot reporter Jameson Rook in New York Times bestselling author Richard Castle’s most thrilling mystery yet.

The bizarre murder of a parish priest at a New York bondage club opens Nikki Heat’s most thrilling and dangerous case so far, pitting her against New York’s most vicious drug lord, an arrogant CIA contractor, and a shadowy death squad out to gun her down. And that is just the tip of an iceberg that leads to a dark conspiracy reaching all the way to the highest level of the NYPD.

But when she gets too close to the truth, Nikki finds herself disgraced, stripped of her badge, and out on her own as a target for killers, with nobody she can trust. Except maybe the one man in her life who’s not a cop: reporter Jameson Rook.

In the midst of New York’s coldest winter in a hundred years, there’s one thing Nikki is determined to prove: Heat Rises.