Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for the ‘Dave Freer’ Category

Just Reviewed Dave Freer’s “The Steam Mole” at SBR

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Folks, if you’ve been looking for a thrilling YA action-adventure set in an alternate universe where the science has been meticulously worked out, well, search no more.

Such a book exists — actually, two such books exist, the first being Dave Freer’s CUTTLEFISH, and the second being THE STEAM MOLE, set in the same universe with most of the same characters but a different setting.

Hie thee hence to your local bookstore, online outlet or what-you-will, or if you’d like to read my review first, go here.

Then do yourself a favor, and buy both books.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “Barb, why are you pushing these novels so hard?”

It’s simple, really.  Freer wrote two books on contract for Pyr — those two being CUTTLEFISH and THE STEAM MOLE — and now has to decide whether he’ll write another in this universe (as Freer does have other options for publication, whether it’s self-publishing or through the Naked Reader Press).  My hope is that Freer will write many more books in this universe, as it seems to me there’s a great many plots that could be viable in such a milieu . . . which is why I urge you to go read my review (better yet, read both reviews, as there’s a link to my review of CUTTLEFISH included in tonight’s review), then go buy the books as fast as you can.

And, as always, enjoy!

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 13, 2012 at 12:25 am

Just Reviewed Dave Freer’s “Dog and Dragon” at SBR

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Folks, if you enjoy Dave Freer’s lighter efforts, you will enjoy DOG AND DRAGON, which I just reviewed at Shiny Book Review (SBR)  It’s a fine and funny sequel to DRAGON’S RING that’s charming in its way but isn’t up to the standard of DRAGON’S RING, mostly because one of the characters seems to have things happen way too easily for her — and partly because most sequels have difficulty living up to the previous book in the same universe/multiverse.

The main reason to read DOG AND DRAGON, though, is the humor.  Fionn the black, shapechanging dragon, and Dileas, a sheepdog, have some rather interesting adventures that amused me and kept me laughing at the oddest of moments.  (Mind, that’s just not possible for Meb, the other main character; she’s doing her best to save the benighted land of Lyonesse, and that’s just not something with much humorous potential.)

That’s why I say if you like Freer’s lighter books, you’ll really enjoy this.  But if you’re expecting a weightier read similar to this book’s prequel, DRAGON’S RING, you may end up feeling like me — glad you read the book, yes.  But a bit disappointed that DOG AND DRAGON, fine and funny though it is, wasn’t up to the previous book’s standard.

Written by Barb Caffrey

August 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Just Reviewed Dave Freer’s “Cuttlefish” at SBR

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Folks, if you’re looking for an excellent naval adventure that just happens to be set in an alternate timeline where the British Empire never fell and a major change in climate (global warming) has happened due to the overuse of coal-powered technology, look no further than Dave Freer’s new novel, CUTTLEFISH, which I just reviewed over at Shiny Book Review (SBR).  This novel has it all — a winning hero and heroine, a sweet, G-rated romance, rousing action-adventure, and great naval battles — and did I mention the writing is outstanding yet?

Seriously.  Go grab a copy of CUTTLEFISH.  Then get to reading already!  (You’ll be glad you did.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

August 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Just Reviewed Dave Freer’s “Dragon’s Ring” for SBR

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I was so entertained by Dave Freer’s DRAGON’S RING that I literally hated for the book to end . . . so I was glad that I got a chance to review it for Shiny Book Review (SBR) tonight.

DRAGON’S RING, put simply, is a tour de force, but that’s so often overused that at SBR, I called it a “masterpiece” instead.  DRAGON’S RING contains a deceptively simple plot about Fionn the dragon-shapechanger and his apprentice, Meb (also called Scrap) who are determined to destroy the world they live on, Tamarind, by any means necessary — yet it’s so much more than that, too.   It’s an action-adventure story, yes, but also a coming of age story for Meb, a rather understated romance between the pair of ’em, and a cultural study to boot . . . and that’s still barely scratching the surface of DRAGON’S RING.

What I loved most about DRAGON’S RING was its humor; Finn (that’s what he’s called in human form) is such an interesting, intriguing character that it was hard for me to put the book down now and again to do unimportant things like eating and sleeping because I never, ever knew what Finn was going to do next, nor whether or not it’d turn out to be a good or bad thing.  And how Finn interacts with Meb is a delight, going from mentor to friend to protector to, ultimately, feeling a gentle love that may just be the fiercest sort of all.

What an excellent novel.  And what a privilege to get to read and review it.

As Garth Nix’s quote, which appeared on the back cover of DRAGON’S RING, states so aptly:

“Dave Freer always delivers compelling, fast-moving and addictive fantasy adventures.  Write more, Dave.”

So, since I can’t do any better than that, I’ll leave it there — except to say that you really should read my review, then go grab the book!  (Or do it in the reverse order.  Trust me, I’ll be happy either way.)

Here’s the link:

Now, go read it!

** NOTE:  I even got the links right, too!   Both here, and at SBR.  (Maybe it’s not a huge thing to celebrate, but I take whatever I can get.  Especially since technology and me aren’t always on too friendly of terms.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

May 18, 2011 at 9:20 pm