Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Book Review: "Wings Over Talera" by Charles Gramlich

The last of the book reviews this month will cover the second volume of "The Talera Cycle", called Wings Over Talera. I actually finished this volume back in early May, but due to the invasion of all things related to writing and the real world, it's only now that I've been able to find the time and actually sit down to do a decent review. As they say, better late than never.

The story continues from where the first volume left off at. The main character, Ruenn MacLang, returns to Earth and spends a couple of months to take care of some unfinished business. Once done, he returns back to Talera and quickly finds himself in the center of court intrigue. Extricating himself from the situation, he re-embarks on his journey to find his missing brother. Fraught with danger, excitement and adventure, the journey does come to a satisfactory conclusion (or does it?) for most parties involved.

The above paragraph was the best I could do without really giving everyone a detailed synopsis/opinion of the book, and thus depriving you, the potential reader, the joy of experiencing this book for yourself. What I will do though, is to try to give everyone the impressions that I got after I read this book.

So, without further ado, here goes nothing. Oh, and if you want to read what my impressions were on the first volume, please click here.

Like the first volume, this one was a quick read as well. The page count/amount of chapters was roughly the same (sorry, I'm doing this all from memory today). And like the first volume, it took me about the same amount of time to read it from cover to cover.

This one also grabbed me from the get go. No, scratch that. Once I got past the prologue, which basically was talking to the narrator to briefly bring everyone up to speed, it got me from the from first page of chapter 1. The action was intense and the plotting/pacing was fantastic. Whereas with the last volume, there was a small chance of me skipping one or two pages to get the meatier parts, there was no way I was going to do that with this one. The risk of doing that would of been missing a key part of the story, and thus reading the rest of the book as a bit lost.

While there was a lot of footnoting in the first one (but done in a way that didn't detract one iota from the story), there was a bare minimum applied with this one. The footnoting that was done, was mostly as a referral to the first volume, which was once again due to the fact that Charles treated the reader like he would wanted to be treated if he was reading a particular book. Personally, I think its great if you can write without talking down or treating the reader like a toddler who needs his/her hand held.

Lastly, the way he ended the book left me wanting more. I haven't had the chance to delve into the last volume yet, and with the way work is going, it may take me most of the summer to do it. While he did an excellent job of concluding most of the journey he started in the first one, he left just enough of a seed at the end to make me look forward to reading the third and final installment of the series.

Overall, this book is an excellent follow up to the first, and I highly recommend this one as well. With the way the economy is today, you want to get the most bang for your buck, and this book delivers just that, and more.


  1. Ruenn MacLang, that name reminds me of Rue McClanahan. Remember her? That nut on The Golden Girls. Well, they were all nuts, and fun. Loved that show!

    But as to THIS post... I too just finished 3 books I want to review. So it will have to be better late than never with me too.

  2. I may just check these out. I always see Charles's comments here. His post about having long hair and people's reaction to it was great.

  3. Thanks for the kind words. I'm really glad enjoyed it. This one was definitely more tightly plotted than the first one, which rambled a bit. I find the "transitiion" books, when the person gets to the planet, often have a little rambling in them.

  4. Thanks for the review! My husband's birthday is coming up, and this sounds perfect for him.

  5. Jannie: Glad you liked the review.

    I'm still working out the kinks in doing the book review thing, because even though I want to give everyone my impression on it, I do want to remain neutral and let the person make up their own mind on it.

    Lynn: By all means do. He is truly a multi-facted individual, and quite the talented writer. You can find his books either through Amazon or through him (I believe).

    Charles: More than welcome. I agree with you on that point about the second one, because to me, it didn't drag one bit. Everything gelled quite nicely.

    I'm not sure about the rambling with the first, although having read quite a few series, I'm used to having the first volume drag just a little as the writer tries to get everything set up.

    Mama Zen: Thanks. And it would make a good b'day present. Good bang for the buck.

  6. Nice review. Never heard of it, so thanks for the tip. After I finish the four on my nightstand, I may be up to more summer reading, although it may be fall by then.

  7. Thanks. And you're more than welcome.

  8. This may be just the kind of reading I need these days. I've been reading so many historical fiction novels lately. If I read about one more beheading or gallows visit, I think I'll jump off my deck :) Thanks for this recommendation.

  9. Just popping through. And love your new pic up there! All your buddies on a bench? :)

  10. Septembermom: I can understand the need to switch up every once and a while. That's why I read non-fiction as my switch up.

    Jannie: Thanks. Yes those are my bestest friends on that there bench there. We gotta have a little escape mechanicism in our lives.

    Mine is courtesy of my daughter.


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