BOOK REVIEW | THE ENGINEER BY DARRAN M. HANDSHAW

Hey Bookish Folk! I hope you are all doing well.

First and foremost, thank you very much to Darran for sending me a copy of this book, I received an eBook of The Engineer in exchange for an honest review.

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: The Engineer
  • Author: Darran M. Handshaw
  • Published by The Engineer’s Press
  • Pages: 600

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

When the Engineer, Actaeon, arrives at Pyramid in the heart of Redemption, nothing goes according to plan. Mysterious raiders pursue him relentlessly across the shattered remains of the ancient metropolis, and the leaders of his homeland pay no heed to his ambitious ideas. Meanwhile, deep beneath Pyramid, a deadly creature stirs. And, when Actaeon meets a skilled young Knight Arbiter with brilliant blue eyes, he starts down a path he could never have imagined. 

The vast, fallen city of the Ancients is home to a new people who face the constant struggle to find resources needed to survive in the dangerous ruins. For the Engineer, however, Redemption is a treasure trove of technology, opportunity, and answers. But his unique skills make him a target for those who would use his talents to achieve their own dreams of power and control. 

In his endless quest for the truth, will Actaeon discover the fallen city’s greatest secrets? Or will he share the same fate as the Ancients of whom nothing remains but a whisper? 

One thing is certain: in Redemption, everything comes with a cost.

Amazon.co.uk

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from :

  • Vivid and detailed World-building;
  • A fab book cover;
  • A mysterious world you want to unravel and reveal all its history and secrets;
  • Based off a true romance; and
  • An unpredictable read.

On to the full review…

First off I would like to praise the artwork of Marcin Rubinkowski! The cover of this book is so dang cool…

Another quick fire fact about this book is that it made it to the semi-finals in Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off in 2018 I think. Now, if you don’t know about the SPFBO it is a competition between 300 books, all of whom are judged and try and claim the title of winner and The Engineer made it to the semi finals. That is pretty dang impressive and testament to Darran’s talent.

The Engineer has such a cool setting and Darran does incredibly well in building this world, it is a dystopia world while being in a bit of a technical age, though certainly not at its peak considering it is the remanent of an incredibly advance world and people. This world has so much going on, it has artefacts from the previous civilisations, raiders, monsters, ruins and more. It is vast and will no doubt impress you with its scope and imagination. So, if you love amazing world-building and thats your main need in a book, then read The Engineer you will be nothing but impressed with this world and Darran’s ability to immerse you into it.

Darran opens this book really well, we go straight into our main character Actaeon being pursued by raiders and we see him use his brains, while being sarcastic and witty, to get away, and then the journey begins. There is so much mystery within this book and it was great to slowly unravel it.

In the midst of Actaeon’s journey there is a romance, it is not a heavy romance and fits well with the rest of the plot. Although, I did find it slow at times though this is based off Darran’s own romance and love blossoms which ever way it damn well pleases.

The plot of this book, to me, felt somewhat slow despite its constant bouts of action. As with a lot of larger books there are some lull’s within it pages and it didn’t always feel even. Though, that isn’t to say the plot doesn’t progress, it does, and Darran does really well to keep the story moving, I just found it a little slow. I personally would have liked a little more speed, while I don’t need a super-sonic pace in a book, I do need some serious characterisations in them slower phases but this book gives you all its world building glory instead in those sections. You discover this incredible world with Actaeon and his companions as he goes and you unravel the mystery behind its history and the Ancients.

I liked the characters in The Engineer and really enjoyed the little snippets of their relationship building, though I did want to feel more for them. I think my biggest issue, and I would likely have connected a lot more with them if not for this, was the dialogue. It just didn’t feel organic to me. The characters were so well spoken and formal it came across as a little off for me. It was kind of like when you watch a YouTube video and you just know the person is reading a script from someone else, so they have their telephone voice on and you can’t quite feel their individuality.

The Engineer is not a predictable book and you will be sure to find some shocks along the way.

As you can see my above criticism is a preference point for me, do not doubt that Darran is an incredible writer and has written a fab book. I enjoyed this book overall and can see why it made it to the semi-finals with its exceptional world-building, likeable characters and the need to unravel this worlds mysteries.


THE RANKS: 

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

For me this is a BUY THE EBOOK rating, it is an enjoyable book. One with such an incredible world you cant help but need to know all of its secrets.


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


COVER REVEAL: AMETHYST BY JESSE NOLAN BAILEY

Hi there, everyone!

Today I am super excited to be taking part in the Amethyst Cover Reveal hosted by the incredibly hard working and brilliant Storytellers On Tour, and I’m so very exited to bring to you one of the first looks at Amethyst, a adult fantasy fiction by the amazingly talented Jesse Nolan Bailey.


The Blurb

Rashell’s brother has vanished. When the local villagers express no concern, she enlists the help of a stranger from a faraway city to find Teth.

Investigator Derrik discovers the people worship a massive stone known as the Amethyst. Even more bizarre, an ancient relic of a mummy fuels their reverence.

Given limited time, Rashell and Derrik confront these mysterious elements at play, all the while striving to uncover what happened to Rashell’s brother. 


Amethyst will be available September 24th 2020! and can be picked up here FOR FREE TODAY!

Genre: Fantasy (New Weird)

Keep scrolling for the cover and a little bit more about Jesse Nolan Bailey.

Without further ado, I am honoured to present to all of you…

JESSE NOLAN BAILEY’S AMETHYST

ABOUT JESSE NOLAN BAILEY…

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website

Enthralled by the magic that written stories contain, Jesse Nolan Bailey has always wanted to be an author. With his debut novel, THE JEALOUSY OF JALICE, and his shorter fiction, AMETHYST, released to the masses, he can now claim such title with re-lief. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, where he has embraced the equally-gratifying lifework of hosting a trio of spoiled cats and two mini-aussies.


Thanks for checking out our cover reveal! Have a great day!


7 FANTASY BOOKS WHO’S COVER ART IS THE BUSINESS…

This is a fairly simple Sunday Seven this week, mainly because i’m shit and didn’t even realise it was Sunday! I have been working for the last ten days and honestly all my brain can comprehend right now is that I’m at the end of my stint. I promise I have something a little different next week, I’m actually pretty excited for next weeks!

Sooo, what I thought would be a nice easy post was actually pretty damned hard. I ended up with so many covers I love that I opted to try and grab one from different styles. You’ll see what I mean in a wee moment.

Le’t get down to it eh? Here it is seven books who’s cover art is the business!

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

I couldn’t not put this cover on the list it is absolutely amazing! It is bright and colourful, it grabs the eye and it genuinely makes you want to read the book at first glance.

Illustrated by Ivan Belikov  and designed by David Mann.

A Natural History of Dragons

I chose to put this cover in this list because I feel like it is a cover unto itself, it is completely different to any I have seen and that alone warrants recognition.

We Are The Dead by Mike Shackle

I really like this cover, and couldn’t help but put it in the post. I’m playing Ghost of Tsushima at the minute and I have a Samurai mask very similar to this for my character! I also love the Japanese Hannya masks and this reminds me of them too.

The Binding by Bridget Collins

This one was a tough one, I had put together Circe, The Bone Shard Daughter, Gilded Wolves and The Goblin Emperor for this slot. They all are more pattern based in nature, but as I only have seven slots I had to try to narrow them down, almost by category if you will and out of them I found The Binding to be the winner (for lack of a better word).

Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh

I find this cover to be absolutely breathtaking, I love this type of art. I actually have several of the types of designs floating around on my Pinterest Boards and find them to be so beautiful. They are such a vivid mix of nature and humanity and for some reason they really get to me.

Cover art and design by David Curtis.

Descendent of the Crane by Joan He

I adore this cover, it is genuinely stunning! It is intricate, mysterious and really quite fantastical! It helps that I love tattoos and one of my favourite design styles are Chinese tattoo designs.

Designed by Feifei Ruan

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

This is such a cool cover, I haven’t read this book so I don’t know how much it encapsulates the story but if the cover and blurb are anything to go by its pretty appropriate! Also I love a lot of Lauren Panepintos work, she I responsible for The Shadow Of What Was Lost, Promise of Blood, Kings of the Wild and more. All of which were in the shortlist for this blog post!

Art by Ian Leino with design by Lauren Panepinto.

There you have it guys 7 book covers I think are the business, this was harder than I anticipated and i’m pretty sure I could do another seven several times over!

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings and I hope you enjoy these covers as much as I do!