A Basket of Summer Reads

July 23rd, 2013

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Upon Review: In Her Name: Empire by Michael Hicks

February 29th, 2012

I’m so excited this week because Natalie Hartford of Life Out Loud is spotlighting me on her blog. Natalie calls herself an urban redneck who loves all things pink and she’s a real firecracker. Take a moment to hop on over to her blog and enter her contest for a special edition signed Simply Prayer ebook (open internationally) or a signed copy of the paperback version (open to US/Canada).

Now, on to the review:

I love to request free books to review. In fact I subscribe to two review sites: Book CrashBook Rooster and The Bookplex, but sometimes I find an intriguing tweet that leads me to a free book. Such was the case of Michael Hicks‘ book Empire (In Her Name: Redemption, Book 1).

Here is the description that fascinated me:

In the first book of an epic futuristic fantasy trilogy, this is the coming-of-age story of Reza Gard, a young boy of the Human Confederation who is swept up in the century-long war with the alien Kreelan Empire. Nightmarish female warriors with blue skin, fangs, and razor sharp talons, the Kreelans have technology that is millennia beyond that of the Confederation, yet they seek out close combat with sword and claw, fighting and dying to honor their god-like Empress. Captured and enslaved, Reza must live like his enemies in a grand experiment to see if humans have souls, and if one may be the key to unlocking an ages old curse upon the Kreelan race. Enduring the brutal conditions of Kreelan life, Reza and a young warrior named Esah-Zhurah find themselves bound together by fate and a prophecy foretold millennia before they were born.

I admit it. I was sucked into the story before Chapter One ended.

The Good…

Although the stakes never change (life or death every time) it feels like it does. It’s not a matter of if Reza will survive; it’s a matter of how and who will survive alongside him.

Empire is rife with tension and conflict from beginning to end, forcing the reader to keep turning pages to see what happens next. The characters feel real and demand we pay attention to them.

The Not-so-good…

While the overall writing is captivating, there is quite a bit of head hopping to get used to. Even so, Hicks is able to pull it off with a minimum of jarring the reader.

At times the descriptions of the Kreelan homeworld were more detailed than I like and I felt they dragged the story down. However, one expects a certain amount of world building in Science Fiction and Fantasy. I don’t think the descriptions in Empire were excessive.

The Overall…

Loved Empire (In Her Name: Redemption, Book 1) by Michael Hicks. Even without the excerpt for In Her Name: Confederation in the back, I was eager to see what happens in the next book. I highly recommend this for anyone remotely interested in Science Fiction.