patrick hodges

Book Review: Endgame by Patrick Hodges

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Endgame (Wielders of Arantha, #3)

Endgame by Patrick Hodges

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Endgame is the third book in the Wielders of Arantha trilogy written by Patrick Hodges. I read the first two book in late 2018 and had to finish the conclusion while every little detail was fresh in my mind, as these books pack in a tremendous amount of story, characters, and settings. Each is a fantastic component, but when woven together, the series is a definite stand-out with the makings of potential major fandom. And that comes from a non-frequent fantasy reader who’s mostly familiar with works like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings — I got the same feels reading Hodges’ work as I did the others!

Think of it as a cosmic chess game. Two unknown players (until the end, of course) battling for control over millennia, tossing curveballs and misery at one another, until the game concludes. But it’s much more than that… Hodges has created a bevy of memorable characters and intense passions for survival that will keep you glued to the book for hours at end. While the focus is on epic battles to conquer other lands or obtain your freedom, within each major conflict exists the fundamental emotions and goals we all experience in life — love, pain, embarrassment, lust, anger, revenge, friendship, shock, judgment…

At times, I wasn’t sure who would end up winning the war. It could be the good or the bad guys. Then again, I had moments where I was no longer sure which side was good or bad. There is a middle ground where Hodges forces readers to question our loyalty and our connection to certain characters. People make mistakes, can they be forgiven? Others betray you for a necessary reason, can it be forgotten? Power is thrust upon those not ready, should they be punished for inexperience or immaturity? Mothers are forced to abandon, but what if they had the best interests at heart? These are only the basic level of questions readers will evaluate while reading this trilogy. It gets deeper from there.

As a conclusion, it’s strong. There were a few characters I wish had different endings, but that’s only because I feel different things than other readers will. The entire story is wrapped up, but it is not perfect and happy. Just like life. There are losses in war. The bad guys / girls sometimes win a few battles. People will die. Sin will persist. Hodges covers all the remnants of a long-lasting war that will never be forgotten. I found happy endings for some couples and families, but it was a wonderful balance of humility, acceptance, and tolerance.

If you’re a fantasy fan, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy this trilogy. While you could just read this last book, as Hodges does an excellent job of briefly summarizing pertinent history, you’d lose out on all the beautiful emotions and relationships that lead us to this final epic ending. It’s a quick read despite being either ~400 or ~500 pages for each book, which makes it highly worth it, and then even a little sad when it ends! With over 20 key characters, all easily identifiable and visualized, I couldn’t possibly describe everyone here… but I’ll definitely share my favorite: Maeve is a the strongest, the type of person you’d want to be on your side in any battle. She has the nurturing and loving side to make her appeal even more, but it’s her honesty that is the best.

Definitely give this one a chance if you love complex and multi-generational tales that have surprise connections between characters and history you learn as the story unfolds. Congrats on a superb finish, Hodges!



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About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Queens by Patrick Hodges

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Queens (Wielders of Arantha, #2)Queens by Patrick Hodges

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When you read the blurb about ‘Queens’ by Patrick Hodges, it tells you the book is a “cosmic game of chess” — which is a perfect one-liner about the second book in this fantasy / sci-fi series, Wielders of Arantha, published by Creativia. Although this isn’t my typical genre, I took a chance on the first book and enjoyed it so much, I took on the second this month. I didn’t want to forget anything about the characters, plot, or imaginary world Hodges has created, so it was necessary!

The series focuses on 5 or 6 different groups of people some 700 years in the future on a planet, Elystra, that is most definitely not Earth. Earth, as we know it, really doesn’t exist anymore due to an alien species, the Jegg. Each of the groups has their own culture, and they’re battling one another to secure their own safety and to stay true to their god, Arantha, who goes by a few different names. The key storyline that connects everyone besides the quest for freedom or protection is how a tribe of women keep any female children born to them but return male children to the father who helped created them. The women go on a sojourn from time to time to ensure the future of their race, but this time, there’s a lot more at stake.

After I finished the first book, I new I was a fan of Hodges writing style and storytelling abilities. Although it’s definitely a fantasy novel ripe with primary characters ranging in age from 13 to 50, there are major components leaning toward the mysterious, romance, and young adult realms. At the same time, although there are a few somewhat intimate scenes (minor in my opinion), the love is seen through character interactions, voice, and dialog. Women bond to protect their race and a few trustworthy newcomers. Men bond because they know they need to stick together to fight a common enemy. Children rely on strangers to play parental roles when their own have been killed in battle. Friendship crosses species lines. There’s a lot at play in this novel, and in the series as a whole, which make it intense, captivating, and tragic. It has everything I expect in the normal genres I read which makes it a complete surprise and welcome addition to my reading list.

Between the quest to locate all the stones, learning the history of how wielding (ability to cast lightning from your hands — okay, it’s more than that, but you have to read to understand it all) developed in different cultures, and genealogical research to discover all the connections between the different tribes or lands, it’s a very well-crafted plot full of secrets, surprises, and scary drama. I usually take a week to read books like this, but I devoured it in two days this time. For the most part, it doesn’t get technical or very sci-fi, which was probably good for me; however, there are definitely those moments which will appeal to mega fans of the genre. I see it as a cross between Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek, The Hunger Games, and any contemporary fiction / modern family drama novel. It should appeal to a wide variety, and if you’re not a fantasy fan, I wouldn’t say no just because this is in that genre. You might be surprised by how quickly the series draws you in.

I will definitely read the third and final installment in the trilogy, probably in January, as I don’t want to go too long and forget some of the details in the relationships and alliances. Although it wraps up a big piece of the storyline, a clever cliffhanger closes out this second book… hence why I must read the next one soon. The chess board has changed, and the game is now being played in a different way. I can’t wait to find out who is behind the scenes… I’m thinking it’s gonna go down like it did in Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. There’s more to this chess board than we know, I’m quite confident. Bring it on, Hodges, where’s the next installment!? Oh, that’s right… available on Amazon right now: Endgame.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Pawns by Patrick Hodges

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Pawns (Wielders of Arantha, #1)Pawns by Patrick Hodges

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Creativia, a publisher with a vast range of fantastic authors, is a go-to stop for me each month. I choose at least one new author and often a minimally-read genre (for me) to expand my knowledge and literary exposure. This month, I went with the first book, Pawns, in a three-book fantasy series called The Wielders of Arantha written in 2016 by Patrick Hodges. For those who follow my reviews, I rarely read science-fiction or fantasy because I tend to want to know all the rules of what can and what cannot happen. I’ve picked up a few popular ones, a few non-popular ones, and now I’m reading recommendations from others I trust… maybe one day I’ll actually be a mega fan!

Hodges kicks off the ~400 page book with a prologue from a dying woman who knows she has only a few breaths left. She hopes she’s done enough to protect her race and train the new protectress of her kind, but sadly she will never know as she breathes her last moment forever. Immediately, readers are thrust into a spaceship crash where we learn a woman has recently lost her husband to ‘the cause’ and she’s working with his protegee to navigate the ship as well as protect her teenage son. But there’s an accident, the protegee dies, and she is stuck trying to figure out how to fulfill her husband’s last wish to protect their kind. Who are they and are they related to the woman in the prologue? Then we meet a brother and a sister who at first seem like angry, vengeful people…. then we meet the daughter from the prologue… and then… it goes on switching character perspectives and story-lines. I’ll leave out the rest of the plot because there are 3 books and so much I could cover… suffice to say, this is quite a book and saga.

After the first 10%, we’ve met most of the major characters and understand enough of their plight and history. We don’t know how they connect to one another nor how all the planets or worlds function. In many ways, this is no different than a novel where you’ve got a bunch of characters who are somehow connected, but you don’t find out until midway thru — just there’s science fiction and fantasy holding it together. That’s when I realized I had immersed myself in the various stories. I worried less about the rules and began to care about each protagonist or supporting character. A mother fighting for her son… siblings with a tortured past… a daughter hoping to live up to her mother’s expectations while raising her own daughter who’s rebellious and likely to cause a major issue for their society. It’s a captivating story. I definitely found myself anxious to know who knew who… and when you realize there are different names/beliefs for people depending on the world you come from, it’s even more of a thriller and suspense ride.

Hodges has created a wonderful saga in Arantha full of human (and not so human) emotions that speak to readers of all kinds. His writing style is smooth and easy, but descriptive and intriguing. I found myself following along quite well for the most part, and the only times I pulled away from the story were when it got deeper into the fantasy and science-fiction elements. BUT… that’s only due to my reading style and genre preferences. The book is full of traditional fantasy and science fiction components that I’ve experienced in Star Trek or Lord of the Rings or The Hunger Games. Hodges is adept at keeping a good balance to satisfy a hard-core genre fan but also bring in a new set of readers who aren’t ready to commit to something so different. That’s a good writer!

I will read book two in early 2019 after I finish some commitments already set for this year. I’m curious to find out how some of the action sequences and cliffhanger revelations at the end of this first book will play out. A surprise genealogical connection (which I love), a potential death (traumatic but necessary), a potential pregnancy, and a fit of rage… who’s gonna win? Who’s gonna suffer more? Throw in the beginnings of a romance between different species (I think), and the book has a bit of everything built inside its pages. A definite recommend for all sorts of readers but definitely those who love trilogies (with a prequel novella too) and fantasy. Don’t miss out on this one.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.