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The Pleasure of Memory

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Beam is a smuggler, a murderer, and a rogue, who lives by the age-old rules of "Finders, keepers" and "To thy own self be true." Abandoned by his family and raised in a run-down priory by an old monk, he is consumed by his anger. He measures the worth of the world's citizens less by the character of their hearts than the gold he can pick from their pockets. However, when h Beam is a smuggler, a murderer, and a rogue, who lives by the age-old rules of "Finders, keepers" and "To thy own self be true." Abandoned by his family and raised in a run-down priory by an old monk, he is consumed by his anger. He measures the worth of the world's citizens less by the character of their hearts than the gold he can pick from their pockets. However, when he receives a mysterious message from his long dead mother, his carefully constructed rules of priority and self-interest are changed forever. Wrapped within that message is an ancient map that leads him far south to the reservations of the Vaemyn, a race of savages forcefully sequestered from the world by the civilized Allied Nations. Once there, he searches through a burial ground the size of a small city where he finds an ancient artifact called the Blood Caeyl, a rare red crystal carved in the image of a sensuous eye that he believes will make him rich beyond his dreams. In his flight, he crosses paths with Chance Gnoman, a powerful Water Caeyl Mage. When Chance recognizes the Blood Caeyl, he explains the importance of the artifact in the war that is about to ensue. The artifact begins to change Beam, awakening the memories of a thousand lifetimes, and with those memories, the powers of a god.


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Beam is a smuggler, a murderer, and a rogue, who lives by the age-old rules of "Finders, keepers" and "To thy own self be true." Abandoned by his family and raised in a run-down priory by an old monk, he is consumed by his anger. He measures the worth of the world's citizens less by the character of their hearts than the gold he can pick from their pockets. However, when h Beam is a smuggler, a murderer, and a rogue, who lives by the age-old rules of "Finders, keepers" and "To thy own self be true." Abandoned by his family and raised in a run-down priory by an old monk, he is consumed by his anger. He measures the worth of the world's citizens less by the character of their hearts than the gold he can pick from their pockets. However, when he receives a mysterious message from his long dead mother, his carefully constructed rules of priority and self-interest are changed forever. Wrapped within that message is an ancient map that leads him far south to the reservations of the Vaemyn, a race of savages forcefully sequestered from the world by the civilized Allied Nations. Once there, he searches through a burial ground the size of a small city where he finds an ancient artifact called the Blood Caeyl, a rare red crystal carved in the image of a sensuous eye that he believes will make him rich beyond his dreams. In his flight, he crosses paths with Chance Gnoman, a powerful Water Caeyl Mage. When Chance recognizes the Blood Caeyl, he explains the importance of the artifact in the war that is about to ensue. The artifact begins to change Beam, awakening the memories of a thousand lifetimes, and with those memories, the powers of a god.

40 review for The Pleasure of Memory

  1. 4 out of 5

    Awesome Indies Book Awards

    Listed on the previous Awesome Indies Website in the "Rough Cuts" Category. This was a special page for fiction in the rough and included uncut diamonds found during the assessment process. These books did not receive "Awesome Indies Approval"  but were considered to have a spark of brilliance, perhaps in their ideas, world-building, or some new approach. The issues that kept them from the "Approved" list are things that most readers would not notice as the good qualities overshadow any inadequac Listed on the previous Awesome Indies Website in the "Rough Cuts" Category. This was a special page for fiction in the rough and included uncut diamonds found during the assessment process. These books did not receive "Awesome Indies Approval"  but were considered to have a spark of brilliance, perhaps in their ideas, world-building, or some new approach. The issues that kept them from the "Approved" list are things that most readers would not notice as the good qualities overshadow any inadequacies. Awesome Indies stated: (quote) "Rough Cuts are here because the author cannot afford the cost of the line editor needed to tidy it up, and we don’t want genius to be missed because the author hasn’t a huge budget."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Reaves

    One of the things I both love and find frustrating is when an author spends the time to develop such an interesting and shadowy world history for their books setting that you want to read books in that settings past. I love this because it means that there exists the possibilities for prequels, and stories of other people in the same world. I find this frustrating because the author only has so much time, and is likely never going to have time to fully explore their own creation. I would truly l One of the things I both love and find frustrating is when an author spends the time to develop such an interesting and shadowy world history for their books setting that you want to read books in that settings past. I love this because it means that there exists the possibilities for prequels, and stories of other people in the same world. I find this frustrating because the author only has so much time, and is likely never going to have time to fully explore their own creation. I would truly love to read books set in this worlds past, both short- and long-term. The two wars that are mentioned sound like they would be great reading for characters participating in those events. The characters in the book are very well thought out, and very interesting. I loved reading this book, and even with the number of characters, didn't get bored or impatient to read more of one character versus another. I was disappointed when the book finished, and hope - unlike some other authors - the sequel won't be five years in the making. Most of the characters had fine back stories, and what little exceptions exist may have been too hard to work into this book without making it too rambling. I do have one peeve about the author, and one about the editor: for the author, he has a character misuse the word 'decimate', and for the editor, they should have prevented that, as well as found the small handful of sentences with missing words (mainly articles). Decimate is a word that is rapidly loosing its actual meaning, and one may feel the author could be forgiven for misusing it himself (I think three times, but possibly only twice), except the characters who's mouth he puts it in at one point mutters that the '50 years war' was actually only '48'. Such a character would never confuse killing or destroying one-in-10 with killing or destroying everything & everyone (the author meant obliterate or annihilate, or something similar). I'm the kind of reader that when I encounter something like this, it's like hearing a guitar string break in the middle of your favorite song; you can't not notice it. As for the editor (copy editor in this case, I believe) and the missing words, again, this is a very small issue. But I noticed it. Again, it just causes slight disharmony when reading. I did also wonder about Beam, and how easily such a successful rouge who had lived such a dangerous life while remaining largely unharmed would just pop out of holes in the ground with no caution what so ever; perhaps this could have been explained by his over-arching desire to get above ground. So I let this one pass. Overall, I was very excited by this book; the author shows great promise, not just as an author, but, as a creator of a world that I'd rally love to spend more time in. Greatly recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    The Pleasure of Memory seems an odd name for this fantasy. Beam's memories are more disturbing than pleasant. Beam, the antihero, is a thief and a smuggler whose various activities include gambling, whoring, and grave robbing. Although he doesn't seem to seek violence, he is always prepared for it. Even as Beam acknowledges his tendency to criminal behavior, he exhibits a concern for others in several situations; he fights against this tendency, yet usually grudgingly submits to it. The story open The Pleasure of Memory seems an odd name for this fantasy. Beam's memories are more disturbing than pleasant. Beam, the antihero, is a thief and a smuggler whose various activities include gambling, whoring, and grave robbing. Although he doesn't seem to seek violence, he is always prepared for it. Even as Beam acknowledges his tendency to criminal behavior, he exhibits a concern for others in several situations; he fights against this tendency, yet usually grudgingly submits to it. The story opens with Beam feeling pretty good about his situation and his prospects. He has found a gem in one of the crypts he plundered and believes he has managed to escape his pursuers. What do you think? Yep, the pursuers catch up with him and send him running for his life. The action is exceptionally well done. Beam's escape from the hostile warriors is as visual as a scene from a movie. The escape is just the beginning of a long journey that changes Beam in almost every way. Despite his better judgement, he risks his life to save a mage, and finds himself with even more problems than he had before. Facing demons and his own fears become daily challenges for Beam. A reluctant antihero begins his transformation in this version of the hero's journey, and the journey will continue in the next two installments of this trilogy. I almost didn't request this NetGalley offer because of the cover, which seems more appropriate for a Nordic Noir murder mystery. Don't judge this book by its cover. Welcome Cole has created a gripping plot, strong characters, and an engaging fantasy world. NetGalley/Caelstone Press Fantasy/Adventure. 2013. Print version: 549 pages.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gabriella Gricius

    Why Read: NetGalley came from heaven and gave me this book… of which I now feel inordinately obliged to read all of the trilogy. It was primarily chosen because I have a taste for the science fiction adventure type, and if you know “Wheel of Time”, it’s basically a fantastic version. Review: It did take me too long to read it. I’ll be the first to admit it. On my TBR (To Be Read) List for at least 2 months, I was getting annoyed of seeing it over and over again on my shelf. So finally yesterday, Why Read: NetGalley came from heaven and gave me this book… of which I now feel inordinately obliged to read all of the trilogy. It was primarily chosen because I have a taste for the science fiction adventure type, and if you know “Wheel of Time”, it’s basically a fantastic version. Review: It did take me too long to read it. I’ll be the first to admit it. On my TBR (To Be Read) List for at least 2 months, I was getting annoyed of seeing it over and over again on my shelf. So finally yesterday, I picked up it while too tired at the airport motel and suddenly bam! I was finished. In case you couldn’t guess: I’m kind of a fan. I found the characters mystifying and the plotline not so spotty. There’s a certain kind of grace that is to be found in writing adventure style science fiction fantasy, and I would not hesitate to say that Cole does more than an adequate job in preforming. The main characters, Chance and Beam, are as different as night and day, but the fact that this strange tale of their lives binds them together is hard to tear yourself away from. Beam is unlikeable at first, and despite his back story: he’s hard to sympathize with. On the other hand, Chance is loveable and I found myself smiling at his attempts at discussion and at his internal rants. But despite their differences, the events of the book (which I won’t spoil here) bring them together (not in a friendship sense… yet) and force them to interact. There’s the whole issue of memory as well (title hint hint), and I promise that when it comes to plot and you are looking for something a little bit crazy – this won’t disappoint. So adventure readers, science fiction fans, come one, come all: because it’s good, a really good read. And you wouldn’t want to miss out!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy (The Every Free Chance Reader)

    Did I enjoy this book: Yes. The Pleasure of Memory is creative fantasy where dreams and visions intertwine almost imperceptibly with reality. Welcome Cole allows his story to unfold using delightfully poetic imagery. Here’s an example: “The sound of the rain was as appealing as a lullaby, soothing and entrancing, and he rode its happy rhythm like a magic horse into the fog of sleep.” That’s one fancy of saying some guy took a nap. But I’m a sucker for beautiful writing so I lapped it up like a thir Did I enjoy this book: Yes. The Pleasure of Memory is creative fantasy where dreams and visions intertwine almost imperceptibly with reality. Welcome Cole allows his story to unfold using delightfully poetic imagery. Here’s an example: “The sound of the rain was as appealing as a lullaby, soothing and entrancing, and he rode its happy rhythm like a magic horse into the fog of sleep.” That’s one fancy of saying some guy took a nap. But I’m a sucker for beautiful writing so I lapped it up like a thirsty dog. At times, his writing was so entertaining that I forgot to focus on the action in the story. Why four stars? I struggled with this because it’s a highly subjective criticism. But ultimately these reviews are how the book engaged or failed to engage me as the reader. The one element in this book I grew weary of was the drawn out, violent fighting scenes. There were too many that went on for too long for my taste. By the 50% mark I began skimming through the battle scenes to get back to the story. Would I recommend it: Yes. Especially to those who enjoy complex alternate reality fantasy and Science fiction. Will I read it again: I will not. As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.) http://everyfreechance.com/2014/02/bl...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paul Allard

    This is the first volume of a fantasy series which ends with enough of a cliffhanger to intrigue the reader sufficiently to want to know how the story continues. The main characters are a smuggler/grave robber called Beam and a mage called Chance. Their joining forces constitutes the main part of the story and they are eventually joined by a female warrior called Koonta. The plot is about a clash of races, betrayal, demons, companionship and weird and horrible creatures. I felt that the central thi This is the first volume of a fantasy series which ends with enough of a cliffhanger to intrigue the reader sufficiently to want to know how the story continues. The main characters are a smuggler/grave robber called Beam and a mage called Chance. Their joining forces constitutes the main part of the story and they are eventually joined by a female warrior called Koonta. The plot is about a clash of races, betrayal, demons, companionship and weird and horrible creatures. I felt that the central third of the book was overlong when Beam and Chance are travelling through the tunnels to escape their pursuers. I enjoyed the writing but found the whole book longer than necessary. However I might be tempted to read the next volume.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Yellagirlgc

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. Beam is a rogue whos on a quest even he wasnt aware of. He believes he's found a blood red jewel that'll set him up for a very long prosperous time. On his way to sell it his destiny gets in the way. Chance is a water cael mage intent on protecting the borders from invasion. When his apprentice is taken his guilt overwhelms him but duty comes first. He has to warn the Allies of a coming invasion from savages and devils. After I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. Beam is a rogue whos on a quest even he wasnt aware of. He believes he's found a blood red jewel that'll set him up for a very long prosperous time. On his way to sell it his destiny gets in the way. Chance is a water cael mage intent on protecting the borders from invasion. When his apprentice is taken his guilt overwhelms him but duty comes first. He has to warn the Allies of a coming invasion from savages and devils. After that he plans to rescue his apprentice Luren and kill the fire cael mage Prae that took him. This book was packed with adventure and secrets unfolding. Beam isn't who he appears to be even to himself. This was a riveting read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I chose this book by the cover also, thought it was a horror book with the big red eye. I read some fantasy books but they always become a series which this one too doesnt disappoint. That's the reason for only three stars. The book starts off slow picks up when Beam meets up with Chance. Then the story gets really good and the dialogue between the two is fun. My major problem with this story is it's one big cliffhanger. Nothing is tied up and you know you're going to have to wait for the next o I chose this book by the cover also, thought it was a horror book with the big red eye. I read some fantasy books but they always become a series which this one too doesnt disappoint. That's the reason for only three stars. The book starts off slow picks up when Beam meets up with Chance. Then the story gets really good and the dialogue between the two is fun. My major problem with this story is it's one big cliffhanger. Nothing is tied up and you know you're going to have to wait for the next one however long that may be.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Veronica

    I almost passed this book up (on netgalley, thanks Caelstone press for the free copy) because of cover and the title but I'm glad I didn't! It started off a bit slow but once the story got going, I couldn't put it down. Good characters, good story and funny banter. Can't wait for next book. I almost passed this book up (on netgalley, thanks Caelstone press for the free copy) because of cover and the title but I'm glad I didn't! It started off a bit slow but once the story got going, I couldn't put it down. Good characters, good story and funny banter. Can't wait for next book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emily (Heinlen) Davis

    This was a very well-written book, however, it didn’t grab or hold my attention, which is something that I find often occurs when I don’t immediately connect with the main character.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Edgar Maready

    Exceptionally good book. Fairly minimalist on the descriptions of physical things, but very engaging characters. Can't wait for the next one. Exceptionally good book. Fairly minimalist on the descriptions of physical things, but very engaging characters. Can't wait for the next one.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kon Domtmor

    i think it's a good book for make my knowledge as well i think it's a good book for make my knowledge as well

  13. 4 out of 5

    James Knauf

  14. 5 out of 5

    ELC

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jack Peter

  16. 5 out of 5

    Welcome Cole

  17. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nabeel Thomas

  19. 5 out of 5

    jonathanka K

  20. 5 out of 5

    Blebubb

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rose

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jezabell Girl

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mick Williams

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pam

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christina Browne

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dana

  28. 4 out of 5

    Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri

  29. 4 out of 5

    Man Dick

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tomi

  31. 5 out of 5

    BeeH

  32. 5 out of 5

    Chris Taylor

  33. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Turner

  34. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Dynek

  35. 4 out of 5

    Natasa

  36. 5 out of 5

    Adi

  37. 4 out of 5

    IndigoBlue

  38. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

  39. 4 out of 5

    Silvia Beale

  40. 4 out of 5

    Pete

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