A good book, but not as good as I wanted it to be. I never felt the connection to the characters that I did with the earlier novels. I enjoyed reading...moreA good book, but not as good as I wanted it to be. I never felt the connection to the characters that I did with the earlier novels. I enjoyed reading every scene of Ren Daiyan's and most of Shan's, but I didn't feel like they were people in the way that I needed to. Some of the minor characters were more nuanced, and I felt more for them - Ziji in particular, and even a few of the throwaways, but that doesn't sell the story like it could. Also, Kay's particular writerly habits are starting to grate on me - a little too much "he'd regret this later", and "this is why stories are important/different from reality". Oh, and something I never noticed before - a kind of weird sentence structure involving phrases spliced together with commas.
Still, at times I was eagerly turning pages to see what happened next, and I enjoyed the learning, as I almost always do. Definitely pick this up if you're running low on Kays to read, but I wouldn't make it your first.(less)
An intriguing beginning. Auntie Johnny's banter initially turned me off, but that was a minor distraction. I'm intrigued by the mystery, and found the...moreAn intriguing beginning. Auntie Johnny's banter initially turned me off, but that was a minor distraction. I'm intrigued by the mystery, and found the artwork to be very effective and, at times, chilling.(less)
Very enjoyable visuals - the desert landscapes were beautiful. The characters were drawn well too, and there were few enough of them that I wasn't con...moreVery enjoyable visuals - the desert landscapes were beautiful. The characters were drawn well too, and there were few enough of them that I wasn't confused too often. A pretty good story as well - a good hook at the beginning, with a little bit of a mystery. By the end, though, I thought things had gotten slightly off-track. Certainly not the strong, emotional ending that SiP had.(less)
A few chuckles, but ultimately disappointing. The characters were all caricatures - usually there's at least one normal person in these kinds of books...moreA few chuckles, but ultimately disappointing. The characters were all caricatures - usually there's at least one normal person in these kinds of books. And there was no flow - the whole thing seemed to be just a succession of unrelated skits, barely tied together by the fact that they happened to the same person. It was a quick read, though.(less)
I hesitated over giving this book 5 stars, mostly because of the focused subject matter. Oh, and there are a few typos one or two in semi-critical loc...moreI hesitated over giving this book 5 stars, mostly because of the focused subject matter. Oh, and there are a few typos one or two in semi-critical locations. I think the book deserves it, though. Rahien gives a comprehensive introduction to DSLs, why we might want to use them, and how to construct them using Boo. His Boo introduction has fired me up about the language more than I've been in the past, and he delivers an excellent overview of the tools that it contains that can help you write a DSL.
Unlike many technical books, after covering the technical subject (constructing a DSL using Boo), this one then at least introduces, and in many cases covers in moderate depth, aspects related to using DSLs, including: * testing DSLs * versioning DSLs * creating GUIs for DSLs, and * documenting DSLs (and this section works really well as general-purpose "how to document software" instruction
and probably more. Already my brain is full.
The examples in the book are quite good, but the material is by no means spoon-fed to the reader - I found myself flipping back and forth between pages, piecing the DSL components together. Often this would've bothered me a little, but it is a complicated subject, and I didn't get the impression that I had to do this due to the author's laziness or lack of skill.
Highly entertaining and educational if you don't have to build a DSL soon, and essential if you do. (less)
Okay, I said I wasn't going to review my WoT re-read. And I'm not really, but I just wanted to say that I'm amazed at how the memory plays tricks on o...moreOkay, I said I wasn't going to review my WoT re-read. And I'm not really, but I just wanted to say that I'm amazed at how the memory plays tricks on one. Events that I was sure happened in TEotW happened here. Events that I was sure happened much later in the series happened here. Maybe too much happened here, but it was interesting. And complain as you might about the pacing and character development of the series, but having come back here from Knife of Dreams it's clear that Jordan had a heck of a plan right from the start.(less)
I've been reading The Wheel of Time for 20 years, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next instalment, even as I became frustrated with the pace of...moreI've been reading The Wheel of Time for 20 years, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next instalment, even as I became frustrated with the pace of some of the later books. I just have to know how it ends - I've spent too much time with these characters not to find out.
It's not about reading, it's about re-reading, and luxuriating in the fanboyness of it all, and I don't care what anyone thinks of it.
Anyhow, as a consequence, I don't think I'll rate the rereads - I'm too close to the books, and I figure I'll either unfairly rate them down because they don't live up to the idealized books they've become in my memory, or because I'll be swept up in the moment and over-rate them. And because, honestly, I find that reading a book with the intention of rating it takes me out of the moment a little, probably lessening my enjoyment just a little.(less)
Similar to Torn in that the book is a little weaker than the first two Astonishing compilations. Still an enjoyable read, and I found myself engaged b...moreSimilar to Torn in that the book is a little weaker than the first two Astonishing compilations. Still an enjoyable read, and I found myself engaged by the story, even if a few of the probably-intended-to-be-surprises weren’t. My biggest complaint would be that the arc seemed rushed – I think we’d’ve been better served by a 9- or 10-issue treatment rather than 6 + a giant issue. I liked the Spidey/mutant interactions, even though I didn’t get a whole lot out of the “all the other heroes” storyline. I didn’t like the Sad Thing that happened.
Oddly enough, I enjoyed the Hisako subplot. This surprised me, especially given that as far as her powers go, she might as well be a Colossus clone, and the Logan-mentors-an-Asian-girl thing has already been done. It’s this, as much as anything, that makes me want to follow the series after Whedon and Cassaday team leaves. Of course, I’m probably just setting myself up for disappointment.
To sum up: a weaker entry in the Whedon/Cassaday run, but stellar when compared to average comics. (Pretty much anything is weak compared to Gifted and Dangerous....)(less)
Okay, but not as good as the other Lynne Truss books I've read. I thought it started a little better, and with more promise, but peaked early, and the...moreOkay, but not as good as the other Lynne Truss books I've read. I thought it started a little better, and with more promise, but peaked early, and the grand rush of humorous events at the end that I was expecting never materialized. The Linda and Stefan characters were interesting, but most of the mean were indistinguishable (to me), so I found bits of the story a lot less interesting than they could've been.(less)
Disclaimer: I won this book. Preet Banerjee provided the prize, but did not run the contest or select me as the winner. I do follow Mr. Banerjee's blog, WhereDoesAllMyMoneyGo.com, but am in no way affiliated with or beholden to Mr. Banerjee. My opinion/review was not solicited.
Overall, a pretty good book that contains useful information about RRSPs. The strategies range from extremely basic and introductory, right up to some fairly advanced analysis of whether you should pay down your mortgage or bolster your RRSP. Mr. Banerjee's writing style is definitely warm and conversational, and so should put readers of any level of investing experience at ease - this is an important point in a book that covers introductory material. Oh, about that - books that cover a range of material are difficult to do well - it's hard to write so that you neither bore the advanced readers nor lose the less experienced ones. I think that by structuring the book in the way he has - a series of strategies that can be read mostly independently, the author has done a pretty good job.
I have to comment on something that really disappointed me about this book, though - it seems that nearly no care was taken in the editing of the book. I would guess that either Mr. Banerjee self-edited, or that he engaged an amateur editor to do the job for him. The book is rife with grammatical errors, including the near-ubiquitous use of "it's" for "its" and confusing "i.e." and "e.g.". Likewise there were disturbing inconsistencies - sometimes we read about "RRSP's" and sometimes "RRSPs"; sometimes sideways emoticons are used to convey tone, and sometimes wingdings. These errors or problems don't significantly impact the quality of the book - they don't detract from the content - but they do change the way the reader perceives the book, and if I were a novice investor, I might've started to become concerned about the content. As it is, I'm familiar with many of the concepts discussed in the book - enough so that I was able to evaluate the coverage of the basic and intermediate strategies and become confident that Mr. Banerjee did know what he was talking about.
Worse than the cosmetic problems, in a couple of places there are deficiencies in the text that could cause significant difficulties for the reader. The graphs in strategy 26 are poorly-rendered - it's difficult to make out the legend, and the reader may not even be aware that what's called the "light-coloured line" is even a line. Worse, the text refers to the green and yellow areas on one of the graphs, which are rendered in shades of grey. These problems make what is arguably one of the more complicated strategies in the book near-incomprehensible on the first pass - I had to reread the section before I could figure out what the text was intending to say.
As I said, this is a pretty good book - the small problems I point out do not make it a bad one, but they do prevent it from being a great book. I realize that creating a book is a daunting task, one that Mr. Banerjee did in his own time, and that he was likely strapped for both time and resources, but I hope that he will take more care - engaging professional or at least talented amateur editors for his future projects.(less)
Pretty good. Certainly cute and entertaining, in a “book written for young readers” kind of way. The story didn’t have an incredible amount of depth,...morePretty good. Certainly cute and entertaining, in a “book written for young readers” kind of way. The story didn’t have an incredible amount of depth, but did present a few ideas about the natures of gods and ice and rainbows, and some of the dialogue was funny.(less)
I like Guy Gavriel Kay. He thinks about the countries he sets his novels in, has interesting characters, and I generally like the level of the magic h...moreI like Guy Gavriel Kay. He thinks about the countries he sets his novels in, has interesting characters, and I generally like the level of the magic he introduces into what would otherwise almost be historical novels. In spite of that, for some reason, I often find myself running cool on his books for about the first 2/3s, then finally getting in to them, at least the first time I read a book. This happened to me for Lions of Al-Rassen, Tigana, and A Song for Arbonne. Not this time.
I was grabbed almost from the outset by the characters and events in the various settings, including Alun’s initial exchange with the faerie, the introduction of Kendra, and the relationship between Brynn, his wife, and Ceinion.
I also enjoyed being back in the world of Al-Rassan and Sarantium. It’s familiar enough that it’s starting to feel like home, and I really like the way that Kay has treated (and continues to treat) Jad-worship.
Unfortunately, from the book’s strong start, Kay continues with a sort of gradual downhill slide to the end.
Kay constantly shifts between various characters’ viewpoints, something that could have added interest, but which really just served to break my focus, reducing the involvement I felt. I’m going to have to reread some of the old novels, but I thought his investment in throw-away storylets and characters was higher this time ’round, and for some reason reminded me very strongly of Robert Jordan’s style.
Also, the involvement of the half-world seemed stronger in this book (which might be appropriate for a novel set at the boundaries of civilization), and a little frivolous. In particular, the faerie’s trek through the woods to warn Brynn of the approaching raid was just a little too deus ex machina for my liking.
The thing that really threw me about the ending, though, was the level of “and they lived happily ever after”. The right people get married, certain wronged parties achieve social positions that they perhaps deserve, or at least will benefit from. Furthermore, Ceinion and Aeldred’s acceptance of Kendra’s visions was just a little bit too easy, and I felt like the visions were just kinda tacked in there and didn’t really serve much purpose in the story.
So anyhow, the book was pretty good, and definitely entertaining. It’s still probably a must-read for you Kay fans out there, but I wouldn’t recommend it to a first-time reader. Much better to start with the Tapestry or Sarantium.(less)
A very enjoyable book. Before reading it I was concerned that the “autistic person’s viewpoint” would be so alien that the book would be a real chore...moreA very enjoyable book. Before reading it I was concerned that the “autistic person’s viewpoint” would be so alien that the book would be a real chore to get through. The book was anything but – it was extremely readable and contained pictures. Occassionally the text was mildly funny, and always interesting as we are introduced to the way the protagonist’s mind works. I was very interested in how some of my thought processes approximated Christopher’s (while others did not – I’m not autistic, not even a high-functioning one). It seems that, like many things, autism largely consists of an extrapolation of so-called “normal” human qualities. If nothing else, the book is worth reading for the pictures and chapter numbers. I highly recommend it.(less)
The first unillustrated book I've reread since about 2005*, when I discovered the joys of my local library. Completely worth it. Of course the emotiona...moreThe first unillustrated book I've reread since about 2005*, when I discovered the joys of my local library. Completely worth it. Of course the emotional impact was slightly less this time around - the big surprises weren't so much anymore, and I wasn't quite as attached to the characters. All this means is that I cried quietly to myself a couple times, instead of bawling my eyes out. The book is very well done - the time-travel aspect is treated better than in any other work I can think of, including ostensibly serious science fiction, of which I've read a lot. The plot hangs together beautifully, and just pulled me along. Like last time, every time I put it down, I itched to go back to it and continue reading. Still at the top of my list to recommend to friends and strangers.