I really wrestled with two or three stars but ultimately had to give it two.
The overall book was interesting enough to finish, but stylistically it diI really wrestled with two or three stars but ultimately had to give it two.
The overall book was interesting enough to finish, but stylistically it didn't work well. Moreover the narrator Meg is pretty unlikable.
As has been pointed out the entire book is preachy about s&m and what is real and fake. Yet the main character is extremely judgmental of a cross-dresser for example. She talks about bullwhips being a stupid depiction of pure fantasy when they can and do get used by people who live in a dynamic. Also for someone so preachy, she violates a lot of safety concerns within s&m relationships. For example there are situations where she is unable to utter a safe word and no other signal has been established.
From a narrative standpoint, there is a lot of "oh my god, am I gay now?" which gets a bit tedious. I won't spoil the ending but it seemed kinda dumb to me.
The actual depictions of scenes are pretty erotic and powerful but ultimately the book falls flat due to bad characters and flawed development. ...more
To be honest this book is hovering between a 3 and a 4. It was never nail bitingly engaging but there was enough going on to keep me interested to theTo be honest this book is hovering between a 3 and a 4. It was never nail bitingly engaging but there was enough going on to keep me interested to the end.
That being said Nicholls writes combat decently. He ties up all the major threads but there was just a spark missing, an intensity. I gave the first book in the series a 4 star rating with the knowledge that it too was skirting the line between 3 & 4. So I can't really justify doing it again.
Overall the series is worth a read if you have the time, a simple adventure, some decent characters and good action sequences. Just don't expect too much. ...more
This suffers from the same problem as its predecessor. There are many chance meetings and coincidences to drive the plot forward. They happen to meetThis suffers from the same problem as its predecessor. There are many chance meetings and coincidences to drive the plot forward. They happen to meet this person or that orc who then meets someone else and passes on information. I get the author needs to setup meetings and conflicts but the way it is laid out seems lazy.
Also the stars are supposed to be super rare but all of a sudden the band knows where most of them are.
That being said, the character stuff is still enjoyable and there are enough threads and unanswered questions to keep me coming back for the final installment. I will temper my expectations for the last book though. ...more
I debated giving this 3 stars but ultimately thought that was too harsh, it is probably more like a 3.5 than a 4, but such is the imperfect system byI debated giving this 3 stars but ultimately thought that was too harsh, it is probably more like a 3.5 than a 4, but such is the imperfect system by which we are forced to live our lives.
The Good. I enjoyed the character building, there are some pretty decent and interesting characters. There is some great tension building in the final act with a lot of unresolved peril. The combat is decently described. There are a lot of threads to keep people reading, like Strike's unresolved dreams.
The Bad. The plot sort of meanders from one thing to the next. Like oh they're going here, but not this happened so they're going here. Oh wait, this new thing came up. You're never left with a clear sense of purpose. Perhaps this was intentional to give the readers the same sense of disorientation the Orc's feel. Also there are a lot of coincidences. Chance meetings with single people or whole groups multiple times, random armies showing up at just the right/wrong time, happening to check the exact place for the exact thing.
Overall the series showed promise, I will carry on and see if Nicholls finds his voice more in subsequent work. As the first book in a series, it is a decent read. Like I said, about 3.5 ...more
I really wanted to like this book, the setup was pretty interesting and I was excited to see what Jim Butcher could do with multiple viewpoints.
SadlyI really wanted to like this book, the setup was pretty interesting and I was excited to see what Jim Butcher could do with multiple viewpoints.
Sadly the characters fell incredibly flat. Right now I couldn't tell you a single person's name and I only stopped reading it a few days ago.
The world seemed pretty rich and well developed but I didn't care about anyone in it. The action sequences weren't a patch on those in The Dresden Files books also by Butcher. Were it not for the previous good will I had from reading that series (currently 15 books) I would have stopped much sooner (I gave up around 1/2 way through)...more
3 Stars might be a little critical but I couldn't give it a 3.5
It is definitely entertaining. The magic system is well developed. There are several to3 Stars might be a little critical but I couldn't give it a 3.5
It is definitely entertaining. The magic system is well developed. There are several tongue and cheek references to how much everyone hates Thor that were fun and funny. The action scenes are done pretty well too.
Sadly where it falls down is it's main character. In the first book I found Atticus to be needlessly antagonistic, in this case he seems to have doubled down. He makes no effort to float under the radar of the police and openly cycles around the town with a sword on his back, which as much as he jokes about people considered him some kind of nerd, would get you arrested as hell. I know the cops are tiptoeing because of the events in Hounded but still, it was hard to suspend disbelief when he is walking into a sporting good store and not giving a crap that there is a sword on full display.
Compared with a similar series, the Dresden Files (which is admittedly more serious in tone) the main character seems extremely juvenile at times, which is ironic considering his age. You never get the sense that the guy telling you the story lived through the crusades or world war 2 or a dozen other atrocities in human history. I'm not saying he needs to be all doom and gloom but there is only really one part of the story where he seemed like a grown-up.
I did enjoy some of the political stuff like the werewolves not wanting to be subservient and the peace treaty with the witches. The stuff with the Tuatha Dé Danann is still pretty engaging. And I love his friendship with Oberon.
I will likely continue with the series to see how it progresses but for now it is on rocky ground....more
The magic system is well developed and the Irish folklore is obviously well researched. My only criticism is hoThis was a solid and entertaining book.
The magic system is well developed and the Irish folklore is obviously well researched. My only criticism is how the main character is needlessly antagonistic at times to people who are just doing their job such as cops and paramedics. Other than this, it was a fun read and I look forward to reading the sequels. ...more
I got a little more than half way through this and just realised that I literally didn't care what happened to anyone in it.
The action scenes are finI got a little more than half way through this and just realised that I literally didn't care what happened to anyone in it.
The action scenes are fine (reminiscent of Horus Heresy) but the characters are non existent. I know Abnett can write great characters, his Gaunt's Ghosts series has some phenomenal character building in it but this was very bland and forgettable. Two days since I stopped reading it and I couldn't describe one character's personality to you.
Nothing about it piqued my interest. I might go back and finish it one day, revise my rating and review but for now two stars....more
I wanted to like this and I really did up to a point.
It starts out with a simple story, a guy trying to make it home from a business trip a few hundreI wanted to like this and I really did up to a point.
It starts out with a simple story, a guy trying to make it home from a business trip a few hundred miles away following an emp. It was well executed and interesting, demonstrating some of the tough choices one might have to make if our carefully constructed society started to break down.
However the third act it devolves into "Guvurmnt trynaa take our guns." Purely from a writing standpoint it was decent, good descriptions of action but the breaks from first person (first 2/3) to suddenly 3rd person (last 3rd) screams of the author saying, I have this great story but I can't carry it on through just this guys viewpoint, so rather than try fix the obvious problem, I will just tack it onto this one story about Morgan.
I will admit It held my interest up until the split in view points and bs conspiracy theories. Like an EMP and the breaking down of supply chains along with the veneer of society being torn off isn't enough to hang a story on. We have to add in that the government just wants to take your guns to control you.
I did enjoy when the author took a pot shot at J.W Rawles' book Patriots, which I consider to be one of the worst books I have ever read. Sadly what could have been a solid four star book was ruined by tacking on the Author's agenda. It simply wasn't needed and felt utterly out of place when this one man's story of trying to make it home turns into a soap box about gun control. ...more