Book review: The Belial Stone

The Belial Stone by R.D. BradyThere were 25 books on my 2016 reading list. I was only able to get through 21 of them before the clock struck midnight on December 31st. The four remaining books were ones I had been very interested in reading, so I carried them over to 2017. The Belial Stone by R.D. Brady was one of those books. It was number 23 on my list from last year, and number 2 on my 2017 reading list.

I’ve been trying to document where I get my reading recommendations from so I can track the best sources. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a source marked for The Belial Stone. According to Amazon, I purchased it back in May, 2015. Since I have a hard time remembering what I did this morning, my best guess is that I found it through an Amazon source of some kind. It was either through their Daily Deals, the Sci-fi newsletter, or my ultimate nemesis – the Amazon recommendation engine.

In any case, I was looking forward to The Belial Stone when it rose to the top of my reading list. It checked many boxes of the types of books I like to read. It fit into the science fiction genre and was by an author I hadn’t read before. I really enjoy books that fit into the latter category. It’s fun discovering new authors, especially those who could become sources of additional book recommendations.

In addition to fitting into the science fiction genre, I’d also classify The Belial Stone as an origin story. It loosely draws upon historical themes to build an interesting plot. I’m not going to dig into the story details. Let me just say that the book is a fast, fun read. There’s plenty of action, which starts almost immediately. It also keeps you engaged, moves quickly, and is well written.

I found it a generally light and entertaining read. The story does contain religious and political undertones, but nothing too heavy. Some may find it off putting, but I just saw it as part of the story that Brady was telling. I wasn’t bothered at all by the references and didn’t feel as though they were overplayed.

I’m not putting The Belial Stone into my Must Read category of books, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth reading. I’d still recommend it as a recreational, fun read. In fact, I’m beginning to think I’m going to need to start a new category of books on my blog. There’s my Must Reads, which are the books that you need to drop everything and start reading immediately. Then there are the Fun Reads – those books that are well written and entertaining, but don’t need to get moved to the top of your reading list ASAP. Fun Reads are good for a long weekend, while on vacation, or when looking for something light and entertaining. The Belial Stone squarely fits into that category.

By the way, if you really like the story, Brady has written a number of sequels and developed an entire world around it. Since I prefer to discover new stories and authors, I’m not going to continue on with the Belial Series. Thankfully, the Belial Stone stands alone. You don’t need to read on to gain closure. While I may not continue with the Belial Stone, I wouldn’t be adverse to picking up another Brady novel. She told a good story, and I’m sure her other books are just as entertaining as this one.

 

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