STORMBLOOD has been out for just over three months (!) and has collected quite the ensemble of reviews and blurbs from authors and professional outlets alike. It sits at a healthy 3.87/5 average on Goodreads, which is hard to not be pleased with.
Presented without comment, here’s what some people have been saying:
The Guardian calls it a “high-octane, galaxy-spanning cyberpunk military space opera with an original premise and a breakneck plot that never lets up. Stormblood boasts gloriously described alien worlds, mammoth starships, exotic weaponry and bizarre extraterrestrials – but Szal doesn’t stint on the human element. Fukasawa’s affection for his old colleagues is touchingly rendered, the perfect foil to the novel’s gung-ho action sequences, and his depiction of addicts in search of a fix is both poignant and powerful.”
Nicholas Eames of Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose fame calls it “an excellent debut with a ton of heart. Aside from being an action-packed rollercoaster (because it definitely IS that) it’s also a story of brotherhood–the kind you’re born into, and the kind you forge through lived experience.”
SFX Magazine put it as “delivers visceral, bone-crunching fight sequences and a strong emotional core”
Gary over at Booknest.eu “read this in two sittings with eight cups of tea, half of which had gone cold by the time I took a sip, so engrossed was I in Vakov’s story and the world Szal has created.”
Sam of The Book In Hand blog gave it the July Book of the Month and “didn’t expect this to have such a deep and profound emphasis on many of the topics it does, some being siblings/family, drug abuse, poverty, trauma, brotherhood and camaraderie.”
Tammy Sparks of Books and Bones and Buffy gets down to the nitty-gritty: “An excellent start to a new series, Stormblood melds high tech thriller with a cyberpunk sensibility and a dash of humor and heart.”
Maddelena of Space and Socrery recommends caution, as “there were a couple of harrowing torture scenes which made my skin crawl– but this is ultimately a captivating adventure story with plenty of heart at its center, and also a very human, very poignant journey.”
Jake is Reading feels that “STORMBLOOD is incredibly hard-hitting and Szal pulls out all the stops but none of the punches. Being one of the more intense books I’ve read, there are also memorable moments of humour and friendship, and Szal’s worldbuilding is both fascinating and unique.”
Nick Borrelli declares “there are very few books that will engage you the way that STORMBLOOD does. It’s rare to come across a book that has so much intense action and yet also touches you on a personal and emotional level at the same time.”
Arina of RockStarLit warns that“Stormblood’s action is not for the faint of heart. It’s precise high-caliber artillery ready to burst a hole in your chest. If you’re in for high-caliber military action, a developed tech world brimming with spacefaring cultures, and a raw portrayal of the fallouts of war and addiction, Stormblood is the book to satisfy all your hungers” but gives a trigger-warning for “abuse, beating, self-harm, ptsd, addiction, death”.