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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down
It's hard to write a review without spoilers, so I'll do this in two sections. The first one will be Spoiler free and a bit vague because of that, the second part will be a bit more in-depth regarding certain issues I had with the book, while trying not to give out the major plot points.

Spoiler Free section:

Rift in Races is a great follow up to...
Published 18 months ago by D. Roe

versus
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Way too many side-stories
No spoilers:
This book continues the story of Orli and Altin as they take on the galaxy. As the cover shows, a new enemy arises in the Orcs along with the previous enemy "hostiles" in space.

Pro's:
Some additional character developement from minor characters in the previous book. John did that very well with certain characters.

The orcs...
Published 17 months ago by Wool


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down, January 14, 2013
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This review is from: Rift in the Races (The Galactic Mage Series) (Kindle Edition)
It's hard to write a review without spoilers, so I'll do this in two sections. The first one will be Spoiler free and a bit vague because of that, the second part will be a bit more in-depth regarding certain issues I had with the book, while trying not to give out the major plot points.

Spoiler Free section:

Rift in Races is a great follow up to the very excellent Galactic Mage. Both books are lighthearted with very well drawn characters that are the focus of the whole story. The books combine a fantasy world with magic and a dragon and, yes, a unicorn in this one, with a sci-fi future Earth of space faring humans. The blend of high tech and fantasy is creative and interesting to read, creating some intriguing challenges for both sides.

While this book was a fun and long read that I could barely put down, I don't think it was quite as good as the first. Some of the characters become caricatures, and the story seems to get lost a bit and meander about uncertainly as it takes on multiple story lines. The ending is a major cliffhanger that feels more like the end of a chapter than the end of a book, which is a mixed bag.

Despite these general issues, the story is a joy to read. It is humorous and at times clever, and moves forward, for the most part, at a good pace despite its length, never becoming tedious or bogged down in exposition. I highly recommend this book and Galactic Mage as both are just plain fun to read, with great characters overall.

SPOILERS section:

There are a few things that bothered me a bit about the book, things that kept this one from being as good as the first. The first thing was that some characters became caricatures.

The Queen becomes an ill-tempered person shouting and threatening, banging her scepter on the floor and looking like John McEnroe on a bad day. She spends a lot of her time threatening to cut out tongues or chop off heads, and comes across as the red queen "Chop off their heads!" more than a real person.

Captain Asad suffers from some of the same problem, though not as intensely since the guy is basically paranoid and it's understandable. When he sees the Queen's space fortress, Citadel (basically a giant crystal ball), he says it looks like a Hostile. I was waiting for Roberto to say something like, "So does Earth and our moon, wanna nuke them too?"

The other character I have a problem with is Orli, the female lead character and Altin's (the protagonist) girlfriend. Altin is a sweet guy in many ways, and he does everything in his power to make Orli happy. In return, he gets teased to the point of cruelty and gets his emotions stomped any time it's Orli's turn to try to give him any kind of support whatsoever. She is emotionally unstable, thoroughly self centered, and uses Altin as a means to her own joy, caring barely a wit for his own happiness. Dr Leopold's assistant from the first book would make a better companion for Altin. Give the girl Pernie ten years to become a woman, and she'd make a better mate. Pernie, who as a girl has been more supportive and helpful than Orli as a woman has been for a single minute of their relationship, is in many ways far more mature, who even snuck aboard Altin's space tower in the Galactic Mage and ended up saving his life. I cannot imagine Orli sneaking aboard any space vessel to be close to Altin. She can barely bring herself to go with him one time in this book when he asks. And once there, what does she do? She complains and makes Altin feel like dirt. Seriously, Altin, you can do much better. And no, I'm not referring to Orli after she's been poisoned by the potion with which she is dosed multiple times.

Now let me get this straight. I like Orli's character. I think she is very well written. But as a human being, she's mean and much too self-centered. Altin needs to get over his puppy love, and I hope something happens in the third book where Altin gets over her, or she grows up, because as things stand, I just don't see how someone like Altin could be interested in someone like Orli. It just doesn't make much sense to me, because Altin is much more mature and focused, wheras Orli comes across like a an immature teenager. Their relationship is completely one-sided, with Altin giving and giving, and Orli taking and taking.

Another thing that bothered me was that the story seemed to meander. I was never really sure where things were headed, what the plot was or where it was going, or what I was supposed to really pay attention to. The problem is there are really several story lines here and it takes a while to figure out which one or which ones, are going to play out in the end.

One is the ongoing issue with the Hostiles from the first book. Another is a sudden orc invasion with orc shamans stealing powerful magic artifacts. A third story is Orli getting kidnapped and almost sold into slavery, only to get rescued by, well, someone who wants her as a slave. All of these things run on top of each other, and while none of it was confusing, it was as if too much story was taking place. At the end of the book, I'm still not sure why some of it was in the story at all. I get that the orcs are set up for future issues on Prosperion and that all that has something to do with Liquefying Stone and so on, but the Orli kidnapping? It was too much juggling, I think, and the story seemed to lose focus.

Having said all that, the story was still a fantastic and fun read. I love the Spadebreaker character, and Altin is still the same focused and energetic character he was in Galactic Mage, though he does some more growing up in this one. The Hostiles become a deeper creature with a personhood, but what they are and what the Hostile planet is was no surprise, though the motivation was a surprise, and delightfully personal. The book almost turned into a sermon for the Green religion at points, but managed to sidestep that somewhat successfully.

The ending was a major cliffhanger culminating at the end of intense political tension between the Earthlings and the Prosperions and the Hostile planet that at first seemed about to end in some kind of tense peace, but instead turned into a giant diplomatic fiasco and worst. As I already said, the end of this book felt like like a chapter end, and I was almost expecting to turn the page and see the next chapter heading. But, alas, it was the end of the book, and now I must suffer the agony of waiting for book 3 (get to work, John!...just kidding...no, seriously, get at it, though I mean it in a nice way).

I know I complained about a few things, but those complaints are pretty much what I think are the weakest points in the book. The bulk of this story is very enjoyable. I laughed at jokes, enjoyed the action and stories, and went along with the tragedies and mystery. The characters are very well done despite some problems I mentioned, and support characters get some expanded and very interesting roles. I highly recommend the Galactic Mage and Rift in Races as fun, well-paced reads with overall great characters and lighthearted writing that will put a smile on your face despite the less than happy events in the book.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Way too many side-stories, January 17, 2013
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This review is from: Rift in the Races (The Galactic Mage Series) (Kindle Edition)
No spoilers:
This book continues the story of Orli and Altin as they take on the galaxy. As the cover shows, a new enemy arises in the Orcs along with the previous enemy "hostiles" in space.

Pro's:
Some additional character developement from minor characters in the previous book. John did that very well with certain characters.

The orcs are a cool addition

The battle scenes in all regions space, ground, or on starships were well written and honestly the only thing keeping this from a 2 star.

Cons:
Altin's puppy love of Orli. It was magnified in this book much more than in the first book. Dare I say it was someting from the one Twilight movie I've seen and I only saw one for a reason. And Orli wasn't far from Bella, although she displayed some grit every once in a while.

Way - way to many side stories. It's fine to have a couple, and I enjoyed a couple minor character stories, but I found myself flipping through a chapers if it started with certain character's name. I think easily 15% of the book could have been cut out.

The ending: He needs an Epilogue, not just ending it like it was. I understand a third book is planned, but there needed to be a little bit more closure. Sort of like watching a football game with 4 seconds left down by 4 ball at 10 yard line, 4th and goal the TV shuts off.

Overall on this is a step down from the first book, which I thought was excellent. In my review of the first book I did mention there were some long-winded parts. This book is long winded on performance enhancing drugs.

I'll read the third when it comes out, but hope I don't find myself flipping through chapters.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardest review of my life., January 8, 2013
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This review is from: Rift in the Races (The Galactic Mage Series) (Kindle Edition)
So, after nearly a year of wait, Galactic Mage #2 finally arrived. I can't tell you how excited i am about this book. I bought Rift in the Races(RiR for short) in probably seconds after it's release on Amazon, and devoured it in a two days pretty much non-stop reading session. Yes even reading non-stop it took me two days because this book is truly beastly in size. Probably one of the longest novels i ever had the pleasure of reading.

I have a feeling reviewing this book will be rather painful for i don't want to give away any spoilers and i have rather mixed feelings for this book. I'll do my best and hope my word will do justice for this piece of art.

I'd like to start by saying if you haven't read The Galactic Mage (The Galactic Mage Series) go now and do so. Without reading Galactic Mage this book won't make any sense whatsoever. Also It's imho one of the top ten fantasy books written in last five years. It's a unique piece of literature much the same way Roger Zelazny's Amber series is. Also this review will contain SPOILERS for Galactic Mage(GM).

Mr. Daulton has a knack for creating very likeable characters. All of them well thought of, all of them three dimensional. But what made me love Galactic Mage from the first page was it's lightheartedness(this is actually a word, can you beleive it?), it's almost fairytale-for-adults quality. There are no great tyrants to be fought, no magic swords to be found, no prophecies of doom to be averted. When i put it that way, it sounds like there isn't much going on in the book, for what is a fantasy book without a great quest fraught with peril? Well there is a quest it's just not what we used to read from other fantasy books. Read on i'll explain it in a moment.

Our hero Altin Maede, is one of the most likeable characters i've ever read. He's from planet Prosperion. He's a mage, a teleporter to be exact. He lives in a medieval castle. He is a very simple guy, not stupid, not naive, just simple. He doesn't care for power, influence, wealth. His lifes great ambition is to reach his world's moon. Not for the fame and glory of it or because there is something to be gained by reaching the moon. He spends years on this project just to satisfy his almost childlike curiousity. Here, you have your quest. More then first half of the Galactic Mage passes by while Altin tries to reach the moon. It doesn't sound fun to read, right? Well i found out, i prefer reading Altin chasing his dream to some farm boy trying to find a magical sword to fight off a dark lord. I can say without shame if i could remake myself from scratch i'd want to be just like Altin. Not like Rand Al'thor, not like Drizzt Do'urden, hell even not like Aragorn. There is just something about him that makes it impossible not to like him. Is he perfect? No, far from it. He is self centered(which he admits to himself and tries to change), sometimes insensitive and quite devoit of any semblance of social grace. This qualities only add flesh to his character.

Our heroine is Orlie. She's from Earth.If you haven't guessed yet, she is Altin's romantic interest. She's a botanist who has been pretty much borned and raised on a sterile space ship. Right from the start of the book we see she was not meant to live in space. She wants to feel grass beneath her feet, wants to feel the wind, rain, snow. She's like an eucalyptus in the middle of a desert. Her part of the first book is rather sad. As a child(hell even as an adult) i've always wanted to see the space, wanted to be on a space ship. Who doesn't? After reading Orli's story.. let's say i have a new appreciation for the dirt beneath my feet.

Her character is probably one of my all time favourite female leads. At least it was until i read RiR. Even while reading GM i had a feeling like she was not actually in love with Altin but what Altin represented: A chance to escape confines of space ship and live on a planet. I asked myself if it wasn't Altin who appeared in her ship's bridge but some other mage from Prosperion, would Orli fall in love with him too? I wasn't sure. Now i'm 90% sure she would have. Even then i don't really blame her, if i were in her shoes i'd probably take whatever chance i had to get out of that ship too. What really irked me while reading RiR is her constant "teasing" of Altin. First few times it was fun to read but soon it became borderline cruelty. Also her disregard for her friend's and even her father's life was somewhat cold. While Altin was trying to save Earth fleet she was contantly urging him to just take her away someplace safe and leave everyone to their destiny. I know she was emotionally unstable while she said that(for most of the book actually) but still it.. it's cold.

Her reason for being in the space for last 12 yeas is actually the main storyline of this series. I won't get into that story because, well, actually i don't realy care for it. For me the main story is Altin's galactic exploration and his relationship with Orli. It's not that the main plot is bad. It's just.. Let me put it that way, what would you think if someone took a priceless antique golden statue, melted it and molded it as doorknob? It would have a practical purpose other then just stay there and look beautiful. But it's artistic beautity would be no more, right? That's prety much how i feel about Galactic Mage series' main plot. I feel like it's just there to give a peice of art a practical purpose. But it also detracts from what makes Galactic Mage unique.

For this reason i actually enjoyed the first book far more then the RiR. Remember what i said about qualities that make GM series uniqe. No Dark Lords, no Prophecies, no farm boys destined to save the world? Unfortunately in second instalement of the series this things change(radically). All the familiar components of classical high fantasy starts to appear one by one. Political struggles, twisting plots, betrayals, power hungry tyrants, orcs vs humans, humans vs elves, search for great magical objects, hell there is even talk of prophecy... What's more is; Altin the guy that makes this book truly amazing was absent for a significant part of RiR. I understand he had to get out of the picture for some time in order to Orli's story to progress, but still it took something away from the book imo.

I still gave the book five stars, there are two reasons for that. First: I'm aware that i'm probably in minority about not wanting this series to evolve into full fledged high fantasy. Second: Even if this book was only as half as good as the first one(it's not nearly that bad tho) it'd still deserve five stars.

In the end Rift in Races is still a spectacular book and honestly 4$ is nothing for 1000+ pages of fun. Read it, recommend it to your friends. Mr. Daulton deserves it, this series deserve it.

PS: Sorry for any errors, English is not my native and i'm quite tired.
PSS: Mr. Daulton the ending of this book is quite the cliffhanger. I hope you start writing the third book soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What the hell happened to this....., April 10, 2013
By 
Clinton Eldrick Lewis (Auburn, Washington United States) - See all my reviews
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This book is a continuation of the first one where you have a high tech society and a magic society both working together and against each other. However where the first one was a good read this one has some is just plain bad.

Good
1: The plot is furthered along and you get insight into the flying space ball things. Wow that comes across way to creepy if you have not read the first one.
2: Altin's character stays the same although see under bad for additional stuff.
3: The worlds both get expanded and enhanced I think that the magic world gets a lot more detailed and the inner workings of the world are explained.

Bad
1: What the hell is up with Orli/Altin relationship? Love potions, kidnapping, breakups and a coma what the hell, did anyone see a kitchen sink? This is too much you really need to spend more time on this thing if you want people to be able to get immersed in this book. Too many plot devices in one book, too much angst, too much Orli being a child and playing fast an lose with Altin. I have read a lot of reviews on Orli as well as what the author has put on his blog "basically he writes her that way because he like flawed heroes". One reviewer even wrote that he thought she would of fallen for any mage to come along and he gave it a good review! Here is the deal would anyone want her as a wife? Would any girls out there want her as a friend? I think the answer to both is no and to me that makes for a bad character I do not like to read a book where one of the main characters in the story is also one of my biggest dislikes for the story.
2: In addition Altin needs to tone down the puppy the point where she gives him the whole I still want to be friends thing should of been his shining moment to tell her to take a flying leap. His response was unbelievable people do not react that way.
2: The queens character changed massively from one book to the next. She finds her nephew kidnapping people and drugging them and she banishes him? Wow that will do it. Should of made him tell her what he did to the girl but hey that would of broken the patchwork plot. The Queen thoughout the book seems like a bad rendition of the Queen of Hearts from Alice. A complete turn around from the first book not to mention making the book one of these well we have bad and worse really I think they should just kill each other.
3: Altin getting captured at the end. Again inconsistent with the story a K stopping a Z on an exponential arc...No way. So the guy who captures him is an E given the exponential arc that is explained in the first one it would take 2,113,536 "yes over 2 million mages" of an E class to equal on Z class. But hey he has been practicing for like 2 weeks. Really did this get any thought what so ever, any at all?
4: Other reviewers have said it as well too many side stories. The problem with the side stories is that the author fell in love with other characters and wanted to write about them not his main characters anymore this book would be much shorter without the self indulgent chapter after chapter of side characters. If an author is like that he should not write trilogies.
5: A main plot is written in the book badly enough that even after reading the chapters over and over and the reviews I still don't know if it happened or not. And that is just really bad writing.
6: Having you main character in a coma so that you can further these terrible side stories is again poor writing. I can't even think of another book that puts the MAIN CHARACTER in a COMA.

Overall
Way to many massive character changes all to move the plot along the Queen, Asad, Orli just about every character changes in a massive way. At this point I hope Orli dies and Altin hooks up with Penie as right now I can't stand Orli. But really the extreme way that Altin acts toward her even when she picks someone else is weird. Comes down to a simple would I recommend this book? NO in fact I would actively dissuade anyone from reading them. Will I continue to read the series? NO.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating, March 25, 2013
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This guy must have "like" (said in a snotty teenage voice) the grand master level unlocked on how to write frustrating novels. Good books if you like being perpetually tormented. He must sit there and go, "now this should keep the reader frustrated page after page." When I noticed I was half way through the first book I just kept thinking in a Ron Burgundy Voice "Well this doesn't escalate quickly"

Spoiler so stop reading...three quarters of the first book complete and you're like get to it already damn. And then we have the second book...I hate at the end of book two how he makes you go...yeah Asad is not so bad...cause even though he was a complete prick he was right...I just feel so used right now, almost dirty even. This must be how the donkey feels following the carrot.

I don't know, maybe after I digest this for a while I'll edit my review, but for now I'll stick with the teenage sarcastic tone here. There is some I liked but overall I'm just left with a complete and sincere sense of frustration. From the seemingly slow and painful plot and background story on the first book that took three quarter to get through before the inevitable meeting of our star crossed lovers. To the chaotic final scenes of returning to earth and the WTF about Altin question. And finally culminating with the realization (at least perceived) at the end of book two that Asad was correct all along is left lingering the way the stench a call girls sloppy last kiss on a busy night won't wash off even after three hours of scouring. That guy (Asad) was and prick and a bane through two complete books and you try to make me swallow that as a parting shot? We'll just have to see how book three turns out good sir.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant book, February 14, 2013
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This review is from: Rift in the Races (The Galactic Mage Series) (Kindle Edition)
Daulton has a very good storyline going that makes it difficult to wait for the next installment. The charactors are well developed and you feel that you know them on a personal level..

Anyone who likes Fantasy or Sci-Fi will like this series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, January 25, 2013
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This review is from: Rift in the Races (The Galactic Mage Series) (Kindle Edition)
This is a great series that I am enjoying immensely. Great writing. Great characters, although Orli's bi-polar antics are becoming quite wearisome. I am really enjoying the interplay of magic and science.

More please!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Two Delivers!, January 25, 2013
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Book two delivers. In fact, the whole time I was reading I couldn't help but "see" the scenes "up on the big screen". The imagination of Mr. Daulton has given us a new genre; a fresh and expanded universe ripe for the talents of a Lucas/Spielberg-type to translate into an epic cinematic romp. Although Mr. Daulton's style tends toward verbosity with a peppering of seemingly unnecessary "elevated" vocabulary, I've begun to appreciate the surprisingly delicious choices he's used and found myself looking forward to savoring them. At first I thought they detracted from the flow, but by the end of the second book...I smiled.

The story has all the vagrancies necessary to capture the reader's imagination. The characters feel real, imperfect, heroic, humanly inconsistent and sometimes downright annoying as well as endearing, flagrantly despicable, hysterically funny, and most leave us hungering for more exposure to their individual stories. I can only presume Mr. Daulton has everything mapped out in his mind and some of the oddities in behaviour or storyline will be rationalized if not completely central or necessary to the fulfillment of the story. For instance, at the moment, this reader finds Orli a self-centered, self-absorbed, spoiled neurotic brat and in no way worthy of Altin or even being the heroine of a novel. If that is the author's intent, he's done a bang-up job in character development and I look forward to her "awakening" on most levels in book three - whether or not she ultimately deserves Altin's favor.

The ending is perfect. I'm left with my mouth hanging open and a series of breathy "uh...whaaa? Huh? and Noooooooo...s gasping for want of more. Bring on book three - quickly please. I must have answers! And while I'm on the subject, I see no reason for this universe and character collection to end at book three. The possibilities are endless. Keep going Mr. Daulton. I'm thinking you have created a voracious following.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rift in the Races Fan, January 17, 2013
By 
Lela Cargill (Leander, TX, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rift in the Races (The Galactic Mage Series) (Kindle Edition)
Twisting and turning, the second book in John's trilogy takes the reader through a study in human (and alien) nature. All is not just beautiful fantasy on the planet of Prosperion. There are evil forces at work which shatter the happy go lucky nature feeling from book one - The Galactic Mage. Rift in the Races introduces a true rift in all of the races - various Prosperion races, Earth people and Hostile races.
More epic battle scenes, more magic and more tension which makes this book very hard to put down. Daulton has created a universe of living and breathing characters which enchant us, enrage us and make us want to go to war with the bitter treatment of humans as a race.
The ending of the book will leave you breathless and waiting for the third, and I hope, final edition of the series. It's a surprising and very upsetting ending, and I have personally threatened the author to get the next book out post haste!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great follow up in what is turning out to be a remarkable series!, January 15, 2013
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This review is from: Rift in the Races (The Galactic Mage Series) (Kindle Edition)
There is a lot more polish in Rift in the Races (The Galactic Mage Series) compared to book one The Galactic Mage (The Galactic Mage Series). The story line is fantastic and I didn't get much sleep once I started reading it. The characters are very well developed and you will find yourself loving, hating, and being frustrated by a number of them throughout the story. I really want to read book three and see how everything ends. I also hope to see other characters pop up again, maybe in other stories, like Ilbei (awesome!!!), Shadesbreath and Pernie, who all deserve their OWN books!
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