Monday, December 1, 2014

Skywatcher (Dragon Wine 2) by Donna Maree Hanson | Science Fantasy Book Review

This tale builds and grows. Dragons prowl the skies. An unexpected romance develops. A heart is destroyed. Meanwhile the shattered moon keeps bombarding this world with fiery fragments and the only people who can save them all, are now under siege.

Blurb might contain spoilers, toggle to view. ( Toggle may not function in email and some feed readers.)
There is more to fear from the sky than dragons.

Violence and devastation spreads through Margra as the Inspector’s influence grows throughout the once peaceful lands. But Salinda, one of the Inspector’s most important weapons, has escaped. After being rescued by Nils, the last of his race, she is brought to the wondrous subterranean city of Barrahiem. With Nils’ vast store of knowledge and access to pre-Shatterwing technology, Salinda sees a way to defeat the Inspector, but only if she can convince him that humankind is worth saving.

Above ground, Brill and rebel leader, Danton, march for the observatory of Trithorn Peak, the only city yet to fall to the Inspector’s forces. With them are one of Trithorn’s Skywatchers, and a mysterious young woman whose eyes reflect a power not unlike Salinda’s. This misfit crew must work with Trithorn’s remaining Skywatchers to prepare for a desperate battle, not only for the observatory but for the future of Margra. For it is not only the Inspector that threatens their precious lands, and the Skywatchers are the only ones that can save them from the final moonfall.

*Blurb source *Momentum
Skywatcher (Dragon Wine 2) by Donna Maree Hanson | Science Fantasy Book Review
Book Source: Publisher/Author

Science Fantasy Book Review by Mulluane

The story picks up right where Shatterwing left off and follows the same winding path. Individual storylines merge, split, then merge again. The tension ramps up as the evil Inspector destroys everything in his path. Usually in the most horrible way possible.

♦ My Thoughts. It took me far too long to review this and I apologize. Between the holidays and reviews with deadlines that I chose to honor, it fell through the cracks. I want to state, for the record, that the delay had nothing to do with the quality of this book.

As we pick up where book one left off, the Inspector is searching for Salinda in the belief that he can take her power as his own. A power that she is barely able to control. Nils, the last of his race, continues his search for dragons while the skywatchers pool their strength to destroy the largest fragment yet. One that will do unbelievable damage if it strikes the surface.

♦ What I Liked. This story puts me into a role of not only a reader but an explorer. A situation that I found priceless. This is an intriguing world with an almost extinct technological race who once lived hidden underground. A race that even the oldest folklore does not mention. There are Dragons. Only no one knows where they came from. And there is a symbiotic relationship between the dragons and the humans that nobody understands. Or even realizes.

RT: Dragon Wine Duo is a blend of secondary world with magic and lost technology. Plus it has dragons! via @mulluane

When I wasn't exploring the underground city and the mystery of what happened to the people there; I was exploring towns, mountains, valleys and... a Skywatch tower.  This is a world of secrets and exploring all the possible answers was a lot of fun.

Skywatcher (Dragon Wine 2) by Donna Maree HansonI also liked the ramp up in tension as the danger switches from general to more specific. As the danger coalesced, I enjoyed watching the characters adapt to the ever changing situations. On this planet you either adapt or you die. And sometimes you die anyway.

♦ What I didn't like. The conclusion ties up this chapter of the story. It ends not so much in a cliffhanger as in a surprising revelation.

The problem lies in the nature of that revelation and the desire it engineers to learn more. Much more.

Now this is in no way the author's fault. If anything, it is an indication of her ability to draw her audience into the story. Now here comes the real conundrum. There "might" be a third book. I assume getting a book deal for book three depends on the popularity of this duology.

Hence the following plea:

Please read these books.... I REALLY want to read the next installment. There are so many things I have yet to learn about this planet and I don't want the journey to end!

♦ Conclusion. As I mentioned in my review of Shatterwing, this is a plot driven story. The characters are varied, intriguing and fun to watch, but I did feel like an observer throughout. I hated the villain with a passion, but I never bonded to the other players of this drama.

And I didn't need to. I was heavily invested in the story. It had mystery, adventure, love, loyalty, tragedy and loss. The dangers felt real. The violence was brutal. The tragedies were heartbreaking. The dogged perseverance of the survivors was inspiring. The dragons were truly frightening. And I can't say enough bad things about the Inspector. Then we have the conclusion. Boy I never saw that coming...

Well worth a read!

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  • Author: Donna Maree Hanson
  • Genre: Science Fantasy / Epic Fantasy
  • Content: Magic, Extreme Violence, Dragons
  • ASIN: B00N4C9A66
  • Available in book form only as a POD
  • Publisher: Momentum (October 9, 2014)
  • Print Length: 250 pages
  • Parent Company: Pan Macmillan Australia
  • Cover Design: Matt O'Keefe
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
Skywatcher (Dragon Wine, #2)

Already read the book? Please share your own opinion!

Note: I will not be doing a summary post since it is my belief and hope that this series is not complete. In the event that it continues I'll review the sequel(s) and then tie the reviews together!

Science Fantasy Review of Skywatcher by Donna Maree Hanson
Reviewed by Mulluane on January 12 2015
Rating: 4 of 5

Mulluane is a 56-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

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