Top 5 book characters from my 2021 reading list. #TuesdayBookBlog

Inspired by my recent list of Top 10 book covers (read the post here) from 2021, I have been thinking out some of the characters that whisked me away for a bit of escapism reading.

John Maripaz is an artist, interpreter and narrator of The Exhumation by Nick Padron. This story is set during The Spanish Civil War and follows on from Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls. John and his partner have been hired by the family of Hemingway’s character Robert Jordan, to bring his body back to America. As the story unfolds John’s hidden skills emerge, and it is his tale which engages the reader in this book. I was very pleased with the balance of description and action, and could easily picture the nighttime bombardments of Madrid, the civilian life and the warring sides.

Celwyn, an immortal magician led the storyline in steampunk mystery The Violins Played Before Junstan by Lou Kemp. Set in 1865, this story offers murder, mayhem and mischief, along with heroic aided escapes and a small band of travellers that grows in number as the adventure rolls along until the story reaches a grand climax in Prague. I easily found myself immersed in the narrative and could picture the wonderful scenery and magic that Celwyn conjured. 

Amber Montgomery in Sweet, Sexy Heart by Melissa Foster is a book shop owner in a small American town. She also suffers from epilepsy and has a trained seizure dog to help her live an independent life. While Dash Pennington is a high profile ex-footballer who is launching his debut novel at Amber’s shop. Although this is a very sweet loving (and hot) romance, it tackles epilepsy in an open way without it feeling like a lecture.

BB is the narrator of Any Summer Sunday at Nacho Mama’s Patio Cafe by Steve Schatz. A story set in a gay bar in Magawatta, Indiana. The whole story takes place on one summer Sunday evening; a group of friends gather each week at Nacho Mama’s patio café to catch up on news, and to listen to the drag artists sing at the bar next door. On this particular night lead singer Miss TiaRa del Fuego announces her retirement. This is a book full to the brim with a rich language about a group of friends and their concerns for each other, all set against a colourful drag setting.

The lead character in superhero fantasy It Takes An Oni by Scott Rhine is Solomon, a priest to a god of the underworld; he believes that he is a hideous monster, hiding his face behind numerous masks. Solomon is a deeply layered character who fills much of his life with good deeds to compensate for being the monster that he believes that he is. The book opens with an exciting heist and the fast pace continues with a story full of mythological and paranormal themes.

What characters from the books that you read in 2021 were memorable for you?

Rosie’s #Bookreview of Superhero #Fantasy It Takes An Oni by Scott Rhine

It takes an OniIt takes an Oni by Scott Rhine

4 stars

It Takes An Oni is a superhero fantasy story. Solomon is a priest to a god of the underworld; he believes that he is a hideous monster, hiding his face behind numerous masks. He is a master of disguise, assuming a different persona on a daily basis.

The story opens with an elaborate heist at a vault held in the Smithsonian religious arts centre, which is jeopardised when high witch Delilah brings along her daughter. Morgan immediately recognises Solomon in his latest disguise, but she’s taken hostage when the robbery goes wrong and he must save her instead of the artifact.

Solomon has always been protective of Delilah and her daughters after she made a bargain with his god to save her first child. A few years later, while springing Morgan from her school with an expensive birthday gift and a trip to see a mixed martial arts fight, Solomon is caught by the witches. His penance involves wearing an ankle cuff which burns when he refuses to answer direct questions.

After the foiled vault heist Solomon has a new enemy; in his quest to retrieve the lost artefact he befriends a young man who is a wind spirit and with the aid of a network of informers and assistants Solomon plans his final task.

The opening chapters of this book were very intriguing and I enjoyed entering Solomon’s world. It is filled with a large cast of characters from a range of mythology and paranormal tales. Solomon is a deeply layered character who fills much of his life with good deeds to compensate for being the monster that he believes that he is.

The story continues at a swift pace, at times a little too fast as I sometimes struggled to keep up with the storyline; however, this was only a minor complaint. Also, Rhine uses a method of describing many of the characters as similar to a well-known person, often a celebrity, but some of these went over my head when I didn’t know that person, so I couldn’t then form a good image of the character in my head.

I liked this story for the mythological and paranormal themes, the pace and detail kept me interested and I would be happy to recommend this to fans of the fantasy genre.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Desc 1

An interesting monster…
For a hundred years, he’s stolen art and gems from around the world, and he can look like anyone. Now Solomon Oni has taken a commission to rob something of devastating power from the Smithsonian’s religious artifact vault. His only friend, other than a magical tattoo artist and the odd djinn, is a young misfit witch named Morgan. When supernatural thugs threaten her, he demonstrates just how much a former servant of the underworld can do to punish the wicked. Sometimes it takes a monster to catch a monster. Fans of Ocean’s Eleven and anime will enjoy this fantasy adventure.

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