Friday, February 27, 2015

Fairmist Reviews #26 through #45

Fairmist Book Launch Day! I'm so giddy I can't stop grinning. And I have a headache (I never get headaches). Is there such thing as a happy headache? That's what I have.

Holy sheep dip! I am buried under the reviews (what a great feeling!), so I'm going to post every single review I have so far today. A big thank you to all of my advance readers. You all took this story and you ran with it. Wow!

Mary Ann Littler, Review #26
Loved it, it held my interest and I can’t wait for the sequel!!
Long live Grei!!

Brett Spencer, Review #27
I read novels for the immersive world I get to explore.  The wondrous strangeness, the thought-provoking nuances, the creatures and places I’d never even find in my dreams.  Fairmist unfolds a richly-nuanced world that delights my senses, feeds my daydreams and upends my disbelief.  And it does so in such a heartfelt and charming way that I feel right at home amidst the raindrops that hang suspended in midair while flying hares circle above - just your average Faiaday on Clapwood Street in the sacred and seedy town of Fairmist.

And the story of young Grei who may not know where he’s going, but, by the Faia, he knows what’s right!  There is much to be learned from this young man who stands on his convictions in the face of his society’s constant and brutal disapproval, in the face of a secret society bent on determining his destiny and even even in the face of the madness that consumes all who dare to question the Debt of the Blessed. And Grei is just one of the inspiring, dastardly, heart-wrenching characters you’ll come to love in Fairmist.

This story entranced me and I’m itching to get my hands on the next one to unlock more of its secrets!

JP Fagan, Review #28
Up front, I will say that fantasy is not my favorite genre of books—there are generally too many strange names that you are never sure you are really pronouncing correctly. It sometimes is difficult to connect with characters that are too strange—you just don’t get them or their motivations. Fairmist has none of that, and, as a result, is very enjoyable to read. It is easy to dive right in and get caught up in the story.

Fairmist is a world that is unusual, but not incomprehensible. Todd describes this world so colorfully that I could smell the forest floor of the Wet Woods, see the unique stone bridges in the town, feel the dampness in the air during the Harvesthome masquerade balls, and hear the commotion inside The Floating Stone. Every place in the story feels real. Like Middle Earth, I wish that I could go and see the place for myself.

Much more importantly, however, Fairmist is populated with characters that are so human, and so believable, that you want to discover their stories. I frequently found myself nodding (or shaking) my head, because I was able to understand the characters and what drove them. It was easy to get behind Grei in his quest to seek answers and fix what is wrong, especially when you know right from the prologue just how wrong things truly are. I was able to feel the sorrow in Adora as she veers back and forth between happiness and duty. I could identify with Blevins who has done his duty and now tries to live with the consequences. I even felt sympathy for a villain who does not appear to be so far gone as to be wholly incurable.

There is only one problem with the book—I want more now and I can’t have it. I will have to be patient and wait for Todd to create the next installment. I eagerly look forward to finding out what happens next.

Bridget Lovett, Review #29
Finally. A novel with female characters that kick-ass while demonstrating grace, intelligence and the power of their sexuality. As they guide a fallible yet truly heroic Grei through the adventures of Fairmist, I couldn't help but be captivated. Todd Fahnestock is one of the best of our time.  I cannot wait for the next!

Bill Moraja, Review #30
Fahnestock's first solo work is very good. His writing is crisp and tight. His story-telling is fast-moving and exciting. He creates characters that are deep, compelling and evolving throughout the story as the action unfolds. No character knows who anyone else really is, and some don't even realize who they are or what they can be. The world of The Whisper Prince is fascinating and makes for irresistible reading.

These reasons alone would be enough to earn Fairmist a high recommendation, but fortunately there is more.

Fahnestock digs deep into the very best tradition of the speculative fiction genre and asks elemental, human questions: What are we prepared to do to survive? Are we willing to live our lives cowering in fear? Dedicate our entire lives to a desperate cause? Are we willing to sacrifice the lives of others? Are we prepared to sacrifice our own life, or the lives of our own children? These are engaging questions wrapped up tightly in a fast-paced adventure. I enthusiastically give Fairmist a five star recommendation.

AJ Johnson, Review #31
Fairmist, Book one of The Whisper Prince, is the first book of the fantasy genre that I had read in a long time. I read the prologue and the first several chapters in fits and starts, but by the time I made it into the third or fourth chapter, I was sucked in, and began to find myself carrying it around the house with me, spending a few minutes reading while I brushed my teeth, while waiting in the car line to pick my kids up from school, and staying up much later than I should as the characters and events flew by and through me.

I love the story elements Fahnestock used to create this world and make it real. A tribute that keeps an uneasy and unpleasant peace in the land. The all-female government special-ops force that holds the society together. An idealistic but slightly ignorant chosen one. A buddhist-like enlightenment that allows one to become a part of every nearby element, experience every emotion and control the physical state of one's surroundings. And the Faia, the fabric that hold together the world of Fairmist.

Surprise plot twists allow you to open yourself up to whatever may come next, and as the book finally came to a climactic close I felt like I was finishing a harried, exciting and emotional rollercoaster. Like Space Mountain, I'm excited to go on it again, and to see what kind of a ride the author will take us on next.

Diana Horowitz, Review #32
As a reluctant fantasy novel reader (whose last attempt was Mists of Avalon over 20 years ago), I found Fairmist to be a fascinating and compelling world to explore. The complexity yet clarity of characters, concepts and storyline quickly cast their spell over me, and left me wanting more. At one point, I was even moved to tears. By Blevin’s Belly, I’m a Fairmist / Fahnestock Fan!

Tiffanny Hale, Review #33
Classic fantasy characters in a great story – I did not want to put it down!

Fairmist is a exciting fantasy novel with some great twists and loveable  characters. After spending much of his life questioning the barbaric practices that keep everyone “safe”, Grei decides he’s done questioning and he’s going to DO something.  Without knowing that he’s the savior of a little known prophecy, he embraces the changes thrusts upon him and manages to outguess those that attempt to manipulate him.  He wins loyalty and inspires trust and he has help from some intriguing side characters. This was an excellent story and I found myself thinking of it throughout the day, anxious to get home to read some more. I did not want to put it down!

Aaron Brown, Review #34
Fairmist presents a decadently fabulous world filled with sideways floating houses and sinister, skulking slinks. Fahnestock's details and dialogue crackle with vigor and wit, but what I liked best is that the story goes far deeper than its alluring, mythical surface. Fahnestock's hero Grei is driven to right a deep wrong and has to cut through veils upon veils of illusions to do so. The spirit Grei brings to the task, not to mention the passion from his friends and allies, seem utterly necessary for his world as well as our own. 

Alicia Jiron, Review #35
A good book makes you think, and a day after reading Todd Fahnestock’s Fairmist, I am still pondering the parables in this engaging story. The characters are the kind you miss when the story ends, the curve-ball plot causes you to question who is on the right side of good and the fantastical settings become pictures in your mind’s eye. Read this book.

Amy Fahnestock, Review #36
Fairmist is captivating and a must read. From the first word to the last you are constantly yearning for the next page, the next twist in the story. Each chapter takes you on an ever changing adventure that challenges your mind, questions you moral line, and teases your every sense. Fairmist has rich and intricate characters that are woven from many types of characteristics that are intriguing and shocking. Powerful women, noble men, misunderstood villains and spiritual undertones of fantasy, nature and the unknown all wrapped into a story line that is unforgettable. The prolog is the rubber band of a slingshot stretched back to catapult you into a mesmerizing adventure of love, pride, betrayal and moral measurement. You will find a love for each character individually on merit but Blevins is by far my favorite throughout the entire book. His character has such clarity and depth. 

Tish Gonzales, Review #37
Fairmist was such a fun and sometimes intense read.  It introduced me to a new genre, fantasy novels.  I enjoyed the character development and rich imagery.   I was pulled into the character’s lives and  found myself immersed in their trials.  Overall I enjoyed Fairmist very much and look forward to the next installment.   Thank you for sharing Todd.

Chris Connor, Review #38
Epic fantasy brings you into its world, immerses you in the characters, draws you into the story and leaves you itching for more. The Whisper Prince is a rich quest filled with deception, romance and destruction.  I can't wait for the sequel.

Bailey Fahnestock, Review #39
Todd Fahnestock’s Fairmist pulls you in from the first paragraph and you never want to leave this amazing world he’s created. He makes you so attached to every character that you almost feel their pain, their desires, and their fears as if they were your own. Along the way, you start to wonder whose side you’re on. This story shows us that sacrifices must be made and we do what we must be done to survive but it also raises the question, do we follow our hearts or focus on our duties? It’s so captivating, you’ll be sad after that last chapter is over and you have to leave this world. A truly wonderful read!

Elliott Davis, Review #40
Fairmist is about the courage to do what you must when you harden your resolve but not your heart. And about crisis. Not the grand, mortal and obvious crisis typical of fantasy (slightly conflicted good vs. absolute evil). The people of Fairmist have compelling personal crises. They are real and relatable. Instead of immutable archetypes, whose point of view never so much as twitches from what you would expect, the characters in Fairmist appear to be doing their imperfect, human best as their perspective develops and their situations better or worsen. Or appear to better or worsen before, “Oops, I saw this playing out differently.” This I can relate to. I cherish Tolkien for the sweep of adventure, but as for character, Frodo lives a pass/fail life in which his only doubts are whether he can succeed, not the more humbling, anguishing challenge of trying to figure out what is right, making mistakes, course correcting, etc. that seems to describe my own life. So, while most fantasy gives me the pleasure of escapism, Fairmist gave me conflicts to sink my teeth into and ponder. Instead of “Could I be equally bold/strong/clever?" and "Zowie, I want super-cool magic powers, too!” I thought about “what the heck would I do here? Whom would I trust?”

And I liked that.

John Pennington, Review #41
Fairmist, first book of a series, is an action packed adventure set in an emotionally rich fantasy world where passion can be as deadly as a blade and actions have unseen consequences. The pace of the book is as tightly choreographed as any Ringblade dance, each part faster than the one before. The Ringblades are part sisterhood, part terror police who train through dance. This reader wanted more scenes involving them and by the end of the book you may feel as though you had been dancing with them - out of breath and already anticipating the next book.

Peter Fryer, Review #42
The world of Fairmist in all of its complexity unfolds with ease through Fahnestock's compelling world building - no easy feat. Taking a step back it becomes apparent how much thought and construction is required to build a simultaneously familiar and foreign world, such as the one in Fairmist. This world is fully inhabited by Fahnestock's characters who are compelling in their motives - whether they be fate or atonement for past misdeeds. The most refreshing aspect of Fairmist is Fahnestock's consistent willingness to have his characters deviate from the choices you would expect of them. On more than one occasion I found myself thinking, "Obviously she won't say anything to him about that" and then three paragraphs later the character would do just the opposite. While it exists firmly in the fantasy genre, these small details make Fairmist stand out. And, lest it go unmentioned, Fahnestock is an artist when it comes to writing action. Sometimes you really want an epic sword fight and some straight up magic. Fahnestock, as always, brings it, creating a novel that clips along with action, but never succumbs to its momentum, allowing time for us to understand both his characters and his fantastic world. Recommended.

Nick Alonzo, Review #43
Fairmist is a great read and it is nearly impossible to put down I look forward to seeing what the future brings for Grei and Adora.

Liz Imbler, Review #44
What a great book! Filled with adventure, deception, and romance, Fairmist transcends the limits of a fantasy novel and leaves the reader wanting more. After only a few chapters, I couldn’t put it down! Fahnestock’s complex characters are constantly evolving and the plot is ripe with excitement. But beyond that, Fairmist is a book to make you think. Intense sacrifice, complicated relationships, and a world that needs saving beg you to question your priorities, and implore you to blend the lines between right and wrong. You can expect a depth from this book that is too often missing in today’s literature. Overall, what a well-written and exciting book! The sequel can’t come soon enough!

Chris Guymon, Review #45
Fahnestock has created a richly textured world that rings true with the human condition despite the fantastical elements that make the setting so intriguing. All the characters are explored fully, and in turn, are not one-dimensional. What was so engaging for me was watching all of the characters struggle with the conflicting aspects of themselves. There are no perfect heroes, heroines, or villains in this story. All in all, an adventure that kept me turning pages and holding my breath--and also kept me continually surprised, right down to the last few words. This is a refreshing novel, and will delight fantasy aficionados and novices alike.

And those are all the reviews to date! Whew! Okay Fairmist...time to LAUNCH!


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