Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Audio Book Review: Evil is a Matter of Perspective

Evil is a Matter of Perspective

Edited By:  Adrian Collins

Publish Date:  March 31, 2017, Audiobook Release July 5, 2019

Format:  Audiobook - 17 hrs 9 mins
Narrated By:  Greg Patmore

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  Anthology

Impression:  The perspective is not always as you think.

Experience your favourite fantasy worlds through some of the most fearsome, devious, and brutal antagonists in fantasy. Villains take centre stage in nineteen dark and magical stories that will have you cheering for all the wrong heroes as they perform savage deeds towards wicked ends. And why not? They are the champions of their own stories—evil is a matter of perspective.


R. Scott Bakker (The Second Apocalypse)
Adrian Tchaikovsky (Shadows of the Apt, The Tiger and the Wolf)
Michael R. Fletcher (Manifest Delusions)
Shawn Speakman (The Annwn Cycles)
Teresa Frohock (Los Nefilim)
Kaaron Warren (The Gate Theory, Mistification)
Courtney Schafer (The Shattered Sigil)
Marc Turner (Chronicles of the Exile)
Jeff Salyards (Bloodsounder's Arc)
Mazarkis Williams (The Tower & Knife)
Deborah A. Wolf (The Dragon's Legacy)
Brian Staveley (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne)
Alex Marshall (Crimson Empire)
Bradley P. Beaulieu (The Song of the Shattered Sands, The Lays of Anuskaya)
Matthew Ward (Shadow of the Raven, Coldharbour)
Mark Alder (Banners of Blood)
Janny Wurts (The Wars of Light and Shadow, The Empire Trilogy)
E.V. Morrigan (Glyph War world)
Peter Orullian (The Vault of Heaven)

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 


My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I very much enjoyed Greg's narration of the stories. His voice feels to fit the moments in the story, great combination with the written words. He has the proper feel to his words and accents that goes with the fantasy realm of narrations. Greg gets to show different angles of his voice here. We get stories with woman and men characters voiced, but also different feelings to portray with each story. There aren't many different voices for each character but each has a personality to the words as Greg narrates.

This book took me longer than I'd like to get through it. I struggled with some of the stories feeling long and not pulling me into the story as I would like. I didn't feel the magnetism to the book to listen. Overall, I wonder if I had read part of the series the novella's are set in that maybe I'd feel the draw to them more. I'm not sure.

I'll share a small bit about each story as I listen to them.

Forward by R. Scott Bakker
A well thought out thinking on the perspective of good and evil. How people have it present in culture. Scott shares thoughts on how this was used to justify actions against other people. There are examples of good vs evil in fantasy and how it can help the worlds. All leading to Grim Dark Fantasy, where characters are willing do evil to stop evil.

The Broken Dead by Michael R. Fletcher
In this story we get glimpses to Anomie's past with her father and Matthaus, her lover. Then her current life as a dead assassin and her mission. It took me a few moments when the story shifted from present to past with being audio to catch the shift. There is a pause between the shifts in time which I learn is the indicator of a change in story somehow.

I really like the manner in which Anomie lives, or doesn't live. Very interesting how the assassins are preserved. I wish the story focused on this part of her life.

The story of Anomie's previous life is the focus here. It was okay, until the end when things blend and feel to become confused. I'm thinking the goal wasn't accomplished by Anomie, but I'm not 100% sure what the end result is. I have an idea, but not sure.

Every Hair Casts a Shadow by Teresa Frochock
Raphael is in danger, Elviro sees his moment to win his grandson to his side. Using the moment to save, win him over, and have a tie to him, Elviro is granted the moment to help. But things have a turn to how they play out.

This is a short story set in the world of Los Nefilim. I've not had the pleasure of reading or listening to this world, but it's an interesting world with Angels and Demons and a civil war.

There is history with the characters present. We get the strong feel of that and their feelings for each other in this story of danger for Raphael. Nicely done as I like Raphael's response.

The Divine Death of Jirella Martigore by Alex Marshall
Jirella is summoned home to her Uncle, thinking she's in trouble she learns she's returned home for much more. Although she'll be a target for those searching to take power for their own until she comes into her station.

As the title tells and as the story implies, Jirella's body is meant for more. I leave the story wondering if the way the other girls treated her is why she's sent to this point, and why she's ready for this to be so. It is a great honor, but it's an end and a beginning wrapped in one.

The story was okay, but didn't feel to have a gripping pull for me.

A Royal Gift by Mark Alder
The Dark Prince knows who he is and what he is. He is to rule, yet shouldn't. The Dark Prince goes to the church and asks his question when he's visited. He has an answer to what he may face.

Nice. This is the most important moment in the Dark Prince's life. This is a turning point for him in what he will do and how he sees things.

This is a short story, 15 minutes in audio.

Old Blood by Adrian Tchaikovsky
This story is from the Shadows of the Apt series. I've not read/listened to this series yet, but listening to this story makes me curious about the world and if what's started here comes to be and the Wasps finished off.

This story had me hoping for one character, while the others grow in strength and gained my heart. What they have planned could help more with what the Wasps are doing. The story grew stronger as it went, ending with a point and a plan. I really enjoyed the creativity of the world and how things go for these characters.

Black Bargain by Janny Wurts
This story takes place in her series The Wars of Light and Shadow.

I'm sorry, but the detailed fantasy writing got in the way of the story for me. Sometimes the descriptions and world details given take over and I lose what the story plot and point is. That happened here. It felt like too much going on at once for me to listen to it. Maybe if I read the story rather than listen to it I would be able to stay focused. I've heard great things about Janny Wurts and was looking forward to her story, but I'm just not able to stay on track with all the details given.

The Syldoon Sun by Jeff Salyards
Set in Jeff's Bloodsounder's Arc world.

Our main character wants nothing more than to be a Syldoon, however because of tradition and disregarding a direct order, which results in him not being a soldier any longer so he'll never be a Syldoon. Emperor Cynead has an offer for him to become more than a soldier for spying on the Jackal's as he suspects they are doing things not in the Emperors favor.

I've not heard of Jeff until this story. I enjoyed the story, which made me curious about the Jackals and what they were up to. I'm a little lost on how they figured out the man was a traitor to them though, this is what dampened the story for me.

The Darkness Within the Light by Shawn Speakman
The wizard knows she has information, and he'll get it. After he learns how to get to the place he's been searching for, he makes the trip. The wizard comes face to face with The Lady of the Lake. He is determined to find the one thing that will help him face God.

The wizard has a drive and direction he's going from the beginning of the story. We may not know all the reasons behind it in the beginning, but we know where he's trying to go.

I really like Shawn's writing style. He's detailing out the fantasy world, but I don't feel like I'm stuck listening to descriptions. Shawn creates the world through his characters with what they do and what they want. There is a thread that connects the characters with the world they live in.

There is a blend of action and information here that kept me held to the story. There is a blend of fairy and Arthurian legend in this story and world. I really like the creation here.

The Greater of Two Evils by Marc Turner
This story is set in The Chronicles of Exile series.

Mazana is sent to retrieve a stolen ship and the pirate who took it.

I found the pirates reasoning interesting. It's a way of thinking that some people have, to free the harmed and harm the rich at any cost. I like the feel of character I get from Mazana. She seems to be fair yet hard and will do what needs done to accomplish the mission. She is smart too.

I'm a little curious about the world and series of books after this story. I'm wondering what the Storm Lords have done to create people that hate them and their rule so bad. I'm also curious about Mazana and her connections along with reasons for what she does. There is more to her and the Storm Lords than meets the eye.

Exceeding Bitter by Kaaron Warren
This story is .1 of The Unwanted Women of Surrey series, which I couldn't find other books in this world yet, so maybe more to come after this?

I liked the way the story started, with the three Grey Ladies and Mrs. Jacobs. But then the story went to the three Grey Ladies story and how they came to be the Grey Ladies. I was a little bored with the story from here. Not that it was bad, just not what I wanted to hear.

A Game of Mages by Courtney Schafer
This story is .1 in The Shattered Sigil series.

Ruslan searches for his apprentices, and grows close to them. Lizaveta learns of an exiled mage, Simon, who is on the move. Ruslan and Lizaveta have a bloody history with Simon that could bring harm to them, but they are determined to find Simon first.

This fantasy story has a writing style I can enjoy. Lizaveta shares lots of knowledge about her life with Rulan and then the boys, but also with Simon. The details move with the story and create a plot and world as we go. I love when this happens.

This story also has me wondering about how all the characters live on and grow.

The Tattered Prince and the Demon Veiled by Bradley P. Beaulieu
This story is set in Bradley's series, The Song of the Shattered Sands.

Brama sees a young woman with sparkles of light around her. He's drawn to her and looks for her. When he finds her he finds more trouble than he expected. But still feeling the attraction to her and why the lights around her, he helps her. But what will the cost be for Brama?

This is the longest story in the collection. This novella holds my attention as I listened to it. I was curious about the person talking, who's trapped in a gem that Brama wears. Brama knows of the demon locked inside, they have an uneasy relationship.

I liked this style as we grow close to the demon who's telling the story, and Brama as we travel with him in the city area he calls home. The story feels it follows a constant pace in telling, not rushed to get it all in with limited words. Much of the details we get are in relation to the characters or actions, drawing a picture in my mind with the events happening.

A Storm Unbound by E.V. Morrigan
He's found them. Shae runs home to find it burning, her lover dying on the floor, and their girl gone. Eroghast is here and wants her back in his service, as she pledged a blood oath to him. He wants the head of another brought to him, to absolve Aruur from Shae's debt to him. Shae will do anything to keep Aruur safe.

This story starts quick! We dive right into events from the get go. In doing this, the author has caught my attention and I'm ready to go on the adventure with Shae. We see quickly that Shae is more than meets the eye, though she wants to be a common person.

Yes, yes, yes. This story had me listening and not guessing with the little twists it had with the characters. Thank you.

The Game by Matthew Ward
Set in Matthew's world of The World of Aradane.

Lord Solomon is taken by the scum of the city. They plan to make him pay for the family that were lost to make a point to stop thieving and killing, what helped Lord Solomon get to the seat he's at in the city. All Solomon wants is to make his beloved city safe for common people.

I found I drifted off in sections of the story as we get history and details on who people are to Solomon. The action is low in the story.

I do find Arlia to be a mystery and someone that has me curious about who or what she is.

Blood Penny by Deborah A. Wolf
A story set in The Dragon's Legacy series.

Awitsu and Kanati are close, and Awitsu wants to keep it that way though knows in a short time things will change. She has a plan. They are tied to the Emperor because of their birth and can't buy their freedom. But with the blood penny Awitsu has and the Witching Well, she can make those that hurt her and all pay.

Awitsu is not lucky. She tries as she might to activate the blood penny, but fights through more troubles than she expects.

The story feels to have a Romeo and Juliet feel to the turn of events with Awitsu and Kanati, though their lives and situation is a little different. The story also has a feel as though it's a history that's how a couple came to a place that's important in the series.

I liked the way things turned out for Awitsu and Kanati. I'd be curious to see if they appear in the series.

Better than Breath by Brian Staveley
The story is set in the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne series.

A mother's love. The love of children for their mother. This story focuses on the love for and from children. Even when the mother that's loved stole the children from their homes for the reason of love.

This story is a moment in the mother's life. I'm not sure if she lives or dies at the end. It's left with a hint of what the answer is. I'm not as impressed with this story as it doesn't feel to have a strong story, other than the children.

Foundation of Bones by Mazarkis Williams
This story is .1 in Tower and Knife series.

Adam is a young priest, four years out of training. One day Adam notices one of the students is different from the others. The boy is gifted. Adam tries to keep Didryk's gifts hidden from the others. Could Didryk be the child that'll bring about the new world?

Adam has a strong instinct to protect Didryk. Didryk brings a new way of thinking to Adam's view of things. I like the creation of what Didryk can do. This makes the world very interesting and makes me curious of what could come.

This story felt to have a strong rise and fall and story for me while creating something that makes the world interesting and curious to pick up the series. Adam has a story that he's living, and though this story is done it feels as there could be greater consequences in the future.

The Aging of a Kill by Peter Orullian
The story is set in The Vault of Heaven series.

Audra has been working the vineyard two years to hear the confession of the politician she's working with. Audra is asked to tell a story of her kill as a Dannire, who enforce the laws. We get more than one story of Audra's adventures.

Audra is a smart woman as she knows much about her targets and the professions they are in. She does her research and it shows. However, listening to these different stories of Audra's jobs started to bore me as I listened. I know the stories all fit together with the end, but it felt long.

The Carathayan by R. Scott Bakker
Uster looks around to see he's killed the little boy and the Lord of the home. The mother comes too to see her daughter and Uster's girlfriend, Mirrim, walk in. They need to talk.

The story is of a curse in the family where the first daughter is given over to the wood for the Carathayan on a specified birthday. Mirrim and her mother talk about why she was turned out. There is a lot of hurt feelings with Mirrim and her mother here, in a terrible moment surrounded by death.

I feel as though I missed something with Uster and the way of the world here. I got the gist of the story but felt there could have been more given. We get moments of Uster's past as flashes in the current events happening. In audio, it's not differentiated very well.

The story was just okay for me.

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