Sunday, June 11, 2017

SciFi/Fantasy Book Review: Boss Fight (20-Sided Sorceress Books 5 Through 7) by Annie Bellet

Long Review After the Jump

Boss Fight is a compilation of Books 5-7 of Annie Bellet's 20-Sided Sorceress series.  The books are fairly short (all roughly around 170 pages), so they're borderline novellas, but when combined make a very satisfying story.  All three would get the same grade from me (an 8 out of 10), which is basically what I graded 6 of the 7 books.  So yeah, I really enjoy this series, even if it's hardly must read.

The 20-Sided Sorceress series' basic plot is this:  Jade Crow is a Sorceress - a magic user with potentially massive power who could in theory gain powers by eating people's hearts.  Years ago, she was tricked into falling in love with Samir, another sorceror, who planned on consuming her and her powers.  When she found out and tried to flee, he killed her family.  Jade has since relocated to Wylde, a town filled with other magic-users and shapeshifters and has attempted to keep a low profile.

Oh and Jade and her new friends are utter geeks.  Her best friend Harper is a wolf shapeshifter who also is a pro starcraft player, and she runs a game shop in Wylde.  Her channeling device for her magic is a 20-sided die (hence the series title) and she often focuses her spells as if they were spells of a tabletop game.  In another writer's hands, this could be really cheesy, but Bellet makes this really work, and the series is a lot of fun because of it and the references it provides.

Books 1-4 of this series tell the tales of how Jade finds herself in a position where, having needed to protect her newfound friends, she is forced to use her powers for the first time since running.  She ended those books having attempted to prepare for the return of Samir, who she knew was coming back.

Boss Fight, which contains Book 5-7, deals with the confrontation between Jade and Samir.  I won't give any more plot details, although I will say this seemingly resolves this plot arc.

Again, these books are just a lot of fun.  If you enjoy urban fantasy, you'll really enjoy these books.  If you don't like the genre, you won't and if you're meh on the genre, you might.  There's nothing SPECIAL about these books (I wouldn't describe them as must read), but the characters are excellent and the plot arcs are very well done.  It's very easy in fantasy genres, particularly urban fantasy where the magic systems aren't clear, for plots to not really wrap up very well or for things to seem like deus ex machinas, but for the most part, these avoid those traps.  They also (starting in the sixth book) start telling parts of the stories from some of the other characters' POVs, but that works as well.

In short, I enjoyed these a bunch and would recommend them.  The first book in the series is actually free on Amazon Kindle, if you'd like to try it (You can find it HERE) - the first book is actually a fairly good example of what the series is like (unlike the October Daye Series), so give it a whirl.

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