Fans of the old-school sf writers (well Peadar admitted to being a fan of some anyways and it shows here) rejoice - The Deserter is no less than a cerFans of the old-school sf writers (well Peadar admitted to being a fan of some anyways and it shows here) rejoice - The Deserter is no less than a certified homage to old school space opera. I enjoy the fact that the first book was fantasy through-and-through and the second one is a pure space adventure. Since I haven't read so much of the old stuff I can't comment how many ideas he's borrowed, but I really enjoyed the concept of the Roof (as a concept and as a living environment), nano-tech, Crisis and so forth. The writing wasn't as vivid as I'd hope so the world seemed a bit cramped and undefined and I didn't fully immerse into it. Characters were very endearing, despite the fact the relationship between Indriani and Stopmouth is relatively straightforward, I'd also love more insight into Indriani and some of the other characters. The most believable character was Hiresh - loved the transformation and the inner strife, he was very well done. Writing is simple (compared to some of the more eloquent masters out there), but very efficient. The plot moves along at a brisk pace and considering I managed to read one whole book in 2012, I could say I finished The Deserter in nanoseconds. I'd love to see more intricate pros and cons on the inside from both castes, but the main idea got through well enough. First half of the book is filled with suspense, but once all the "secrets" of what is what and what is happening get revealed to Stopmouth (and the reader) the story bogs down a bit and the action scenes become a bit repetitive and unnecessary; quite enjoyed how the story resolved though!
I've read Inferior way way back so I don't know how to compare the books, but I think I've enjoyed the first one a bit more (the survival factor, focus on Indriani and Stopmouth, fantasy world, plight,...and a bucketful of unexplained sf stuff reader keeps wondering about), but The Deserter didn't disappoint at all (can't say it faces the middle book syndrome). It's not particularly profound in its nature, but I can't do anything but recommend the book as a light, fun and adventurous young adult read that grownups who enjoy(ed) this genres formative authors can pick up as well...if for nothing else to reminisce....more
What can I say, it's very readable, but utterly underwhelming. Haven't been impressed with Kearney since The Mark of Ran, everything up to that pointWhat can I say, it's very readable, but utterly underwhelming. Haven't been impressed with Kearney since The Mark of Ran, everything up to that point was brilliant. The Way of Kings continues the trend set by Corvur and The Ten Thousand, but while those books had redeeming qualities (a few interesting characters, moving scenes and good lines) the concluding book of the trilogy feels rather tepid. No good battles, underdeveloped (new) characters, lack of good drama and drawn out beggining of the book that doesn't bring enough to the story to justify underdeveloped and unfocused mid and ending. Kearney tries to cram an epic story, a large and memorable cast and intimate drama all within 300 something pages and the lack of breathing room shows. It just doesn't work for me. Rictus being the bright exception....more
Another great early Kearney. The rating is on a brink of 4 stars, but the book is too uneaven to rate it higher. Definitely worth a read though, KearnAnother great early Kearney. The rating is on a brink of 4 stars, but the book is too uneaven to rate it higher. Definitely worth a read though, Kearney is a good weaver of tropes....more
This book is similar to One Hundred Years of Solitude by G.G. Márquez, only better. It starts with the foundation of Desolation Road, a small western-This book is similar to One Hundred Years of Solitude by G.G. Márquez, only better. It starts with the foundation of Desolation Road, a small western-like settlement in the middle of nowhere by an enigmatic Dr.Alimentado, who's working on an arcane theory of space and time. One by one we get to know the strays and castaways who trickle in and help to found the settlement. But Desolation Road isn't focused on anyone in particular, it's focus is the town itself and what transpires in it. We follow it's history from Desolation Road's birth to it's prosperous peak, and finally decline and death. It's sometimes hard to immerse into the novel due to impersonal storytelling, but the world-building itself is phenomenal, the ideas and themes intertwined through the story are interesting and magical and the author really knows how to make you appreciate the book.
For a début, the writing is very accomplished and lyrical, characters are interesting (even if a bit oversimplified in some cases, e.g. single minded obsessions that define many, if not all protagonists) and the world-building is grand. You can but wonder when you reach parts of the story like galactic guitar duels or where the self-proclaimed World's Best Snooker Player takes on Lucifer himself. Even though there's not many major events and the storytelling is detached and tranquil there's always something going on to keep things interesting. Desolation Road is Magic Realism incarnate. Recommended....more
British answer to GRRM? Not bloody likely. Nevertheless, it's stil an enjoyable & gripping read, if you're in the mood for well executed and fastBritish answer to GRRM? Not bloody likely. Nevertheless, it's stil an enjoyable & gripping read, if you're in the mood for well executed and fast paced epic fantasy with a morally ambiguous protagonist and a few memorable side characters....more
A short novel by today's standards (160 pages long), but missing the impact and the drive that "masterworks" usually have. I also felt that the proseA short novel by today's standards (160 pages long), but missing the impact and the drive that "masterworks" usually have. I also felt that the prose and the dialogue was outdated. Book also felt monotonous at times, despite the short length. What might have spoilt it for me is the fact that I was partially aware of the "final kick" the novel tries to drive home. Nevertheless I'm not sorry I read it, but if you want to start with Fantasy/SF classics from Gollanz Masterworks series I'd recommend you start with "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes....more
I've read mixed reviews, but for what it's worth, I really enjoyed the sequel to very entertaining The Warded Man. Brett is a natural born storytellerI've read mixed reviews, but for what it's worth, I really enjoyed the sequel to very entertaining The Warded Man. Brett is a natural born storyteller, his prose isn't as polished as let's say Rothfuss', but it still reads well and Brett really manages to immerse you into the world.
I haven't read any Sanderson yet, so I can't compare, but if there's a successor to Jordan, Brett would be it. It reads very similarly to some of the finest Jordan books, albeit with more sexual innuendos by far. That's one of my rare complaints though, while occasional humpty-dumpty stuff made me squirm like a school girl it really waters down towards the end and characters (from Leesha to Inevara and Jardir) get a bit too close to Rand, Nynaeve and the rest of the Jordan's cast. If you read the novel, you'll know what I'm aiming at. At least Brett avoided the braid tugging and skirt straightening :)