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Cameron Johnston

Forfatter af The Traitor God (The Age of Tyranny)

10+ Værker 314 Medlemmer 10 Anmeldelser

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Værker af Cameron Johnston

Associated Works

Up and Coming: Stories by the 2016 Campbell-Eligible Authors (2016) — Bidragyder, nogle udgaver23 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Only War: Stories from the 41st Millennium (Warhammer 40,000) (2022) — Bidragyder — 8 eksemplarer

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Bad guys reveling in being bad guys. Gore and murder aplenty. Lots of grim humor and I loved Tierenach and the Vampire Lord.
½
 
Markeret
majkia | 3 andre anmeldelser | Jun 16, 2024 |
Originally posted on Just Geeking by.

Content Warning

There is a huge amount of violence in this book as you would expect from a book about a group of villains. There are also experiments on animals, creatures and humans courtesy of the alchemist character that are quite horrific. That being said this isn’t a horror novel, it is a fantasy novel and there is a war between two factions. The battle scenes are as bloody as you would expect from that situation.

The Maleficent Seven is without a doubt one of the most fun fantasy novels I have read in a while. On the one hand, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and on the other, it deals with some very serious issues. Without giving too much away, the enemy that is descending on Tarnbrooke is a zealous religious cult. Popping up after Black Herran disappeared, this new Empire has taken over the kingdoms bit by bit slowly erasing the old ways and with it the old gods. As with most fantasy worlds, the old ways and the old gods are the ones that people with magic, and those who have other gifts, lean towards. This new enemy tries to paint themselves as the good guys, however, they’re oppressors who make it violently clear that it is their way or off a high cliff with you.

That is where our merry band of villains come in. Wronged, vengeful, angry and some of them wanting to know where the hell their former General has been and what the bloody hell she thought she was playing at 40 years ago, they’ve banded together again to stop this Empire with each of them having their personal reasons to do so. Most of them don’t like each other very much, at the most some of them tolerate each other – but they all need each other to get the job done. They also all agree that this new Empire needs to be stopped at Tarnbrooke. They don’t give a monkies about why it has to be this town, they just understand the need for a strategic point to draw the line for battle.

I fell in love with all of the characters, save for one of them who truly is a horrific monster, and Johnston has done a fantastic job of subverting the ideologies of good and evil. These aren’t anti-heroes; there is nothing grey about them. In a panel hosted by Glasgow in 2024, alongside Stephen Aryan, Johnston spoke about writing one of the characters and his struggle to even remind himself that the character was a complete bastard. He found himself beginning to like the man, then would need to remind himself that no, this man had done truly awful things and wasn’t looking for redemption. Looking back at the book I can see that tactic in action because I remember feeling the exact same way then that character, and many of the others, would do something that reminded me, nope these are the bad guys.

It was really refreshing to read a novel where the bad guys were unrepentant and unapologetically themselves. They didn’t cower from the townspeople they were trying to help, they didn’t try to fit in. They had a job to do and they knew that what made them monsters was what made them the only ones able to do the job. Too often authors feel the need to make their characters turn good, to have a heart of gold hidden beneath their monstrous exteriors. They’re just “misunderstood”. If that’s what you’re looking for then The Maleficent Seven is not the book for you.

The end is absolute perfection and had me howling with laughter. The only thing I dislike about The Maleficent Seven? It is sadly a standalone novel. In the same panel, I asked Johnston if he ever intended to go back to the universe of The Maleficent Seven and he confirmed that it was a standalone novel. I agree that it works perfectly as one, I’m just sad not to see these wonderful characters again. The host suggested that maybe he could return for a short story one day so I’m guessing I’m not the only one who felt that way ;)

The Maleficent Seven is unlike anything you will read this year. Even if you think you’ve read a book about villains, I can assure you that you’ve not read one like this. The cast of characters is so diverse, so full of charisma and the world-building is incredible. While there are religious elements in the form of the Empire they are facing this is not a religious fantasy novel, in my opinion. It’s an adventure, a reunion of seven monsters and like any reunion, it goes off with a bang.


For more of my reviews please visit my blog!
… (mere)
 
Markeret
justgeekingby | 3 andre anmeldelser | Jun 6, 2023 |
Fínasta furðusaga um galdramanninn Walker sem hefur farið huldu höfðu og á flótta undan ókunnum seiðkarli sem sent hefur djöfla á eftir honum svo hann er á stöðugum flótta. Walker neyddist til að flýja heimaborg sína áratug áður við dularfullar aðstæður. Sjálfur man hann ekki hvers vegna en veit að minni hans var af honum tekið vegna einhvers sem hann gerði og samið var um. Þegar hann upplifir svo morð á æskuvini sínum ákveður hann að láta af feluleiknum og halda til hefnda.
Við kynnumst smám saman baksögu Walkers þegar hann er kominn á fornar slóðir, minningar sækja á hann en sömuleiðis brýst minni hans smám saman fram. Vinur hans hafði komist að einhverju hættulegu sem ógnaði borginni og verið fleginn lifandi fyrir vikið og svo virðist sem að fjöldamorðingi fari um borgina og drepi alla þá sem hafa vott af galdramætti. Ekki bætir úr skák að guðir borgarinnar eru einhverra hluta vegna þagnaðir og virðast horfnir af vettvangi.
… (mere)
 
Markeret
SkuliSael | 5 andre anmeldelser | Apr 28, 2022 |
He Failed.
Time and time again he failed until it broke him. He gave up trying as the Lucent Queendom became a rising Empire with the Falcon Prince as it’s head.
Twenty years of failure – it couldn’t help but change a man…
Thank you Netgalley and Angry Robot for providing me with an early copy in exchange for an honest review!

Oh boy where to begin.

Where.

to.

begin.

The Maleficent Seven was wild, compelling, gross, and a journey like no other. I laughed, shed a tear or two and even cried out "wow that's gross". Johnston created a high action, fast moving tale that just kept me begging for more. This is the read I needed after two not so great reads in a row.

The Maleficent Seven follows the point of views from the villains who are going after the "good guys" (who are totally insane fyi). We get to see the team come together in the classic "lets go and find everyone and convince them to join in our cause" journey only of course those ways of convincing each other are more on the heinous side of things rather then the do well kind. I absolutely loved this, (I usually do I wont lie) Each character was introduced with just enough background that it made you feel like you had been following them for much longer. Each one had a distinctive voice and I feel being able to successfully pull that off in a short amount of time can be difficult for some authors, but Johnston made it look easy. We get to follow 7 people and a few side characters and each one stood out.

Tiranach was without a doubt my favorite character. I felt so much pain and heartbreak for him, he was the one who kept getting the tears to flow from my eyes. I wasn't full on bawling but I am a sap and this mans story just broke my heart and seeing how he handled it made me hurt even more for him. He had for me the most intriguing background and I was constantly rooting for him and loved every moment he was focused on, I just could not get enough of him.

Lorimer was my second favorite. I don't like vampires, I never have, they bore me with their whole " oh no we can't go into the sunlight" bit, I have always been a werewolf kind of girl. But Johnston said "girl you will fall so hard for this vampire" and I freaking did. Lorimer (from my experience) is not like any other vampire out there. I'm not going to give it away but I really feel like Johnston brought something new to the world of vampires and I would love to see more like this particular one. His abilities, manners, speech and interactions were captivating and hilarious, Just like with Tiranach I wanted more and more of him.

I did not walk away from this book hating anyone, I mean even Penny left her mark and she is a side character. Everyone was captivating in their own way and it made me want to keep meeting more people. All the conversations felt real and not forced (and never gave me second hand embarrassment thank heavens) Johnston really has a way with characters.

The pacing of this story was fast and I mean break neck speed fast. You will find yourself flying trough pages and each page makes the story more compelling. I had a desire and craving to just know what would happen next. I needed to know what happened to Maeven's sister, I needed to know who would win, who would die (and yes lots die). I stayed up till 1:30 am to finish this because I just couldn't put it down. Johnston grabs you and just refuses to let go, and frankly I should have seen that tactic coming as he did the same thing in his debut "The Traitor God". Johnston knows just how much story to dangle in front of you to keep you hooked and obsessively wanting more.

The action is fast, bloody and honestly at times gross, I can handle this so it wasn't an issue for me, but as a warning I will say there are parts with animal torture/death. There are mutilations, and gore everywhere, I mean one of the characters we follow is a necromancer and she does some nasty stuff and it's in some pretty gnarly detail. If you can't handle that kind of stuff than this might not be for you. But if you can than you are in for a treat because the action just comes and feels like it never ends and the final part is just nonstop action.

The story plot its self was captivating, I mean I have only said that a 100 times now. I loved the idea of following a bunch of villains taking on the quest to do one solid act of actual goodness for the world because these "good guys" were not as good as they really thought they where. The only problem I had was that we don't get to see to much from the opposing sides point of view. I would have liked to see a little bit more of that. I feel it would have gave The Falcon Prince that push in really needed in selling how deranged and mad he was. I just kept hoping that at some point I would see the world from his perspective we got one moment of it and after that it was all through the eyes of everyone else we follow.

The story has a solid ending but honestly if Johnston wanted to continue with this world ( I don't know if this is suppose to be the start of new series or a standalone) but I feel he has enough material to work with with how it ended. And frankly speaking, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

So if you are in the mood for villains who hate each other working together and some nasty fights but a lot of laughing (and maybe crying if you’re a sap like me) Then go fourth and read this magnificent tale, you won’t be disappointed.
… (mere)
1 stem
Markeret
SweetKokoro | 3 andre anmeldelser | Aug 11, 2021 |

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Værker
10
Also by
2
Medlemmer
314
Popularitet
#75,177
Vurdering
3.9
Anmeldelser
10
ISBN
14

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