I had been meaning to read Tolkien for a long time and since The Hobbit was this month's pick for The Sword and Laser Bookclub I decided to finally giI had been meaning to read Tolkien for a long time and since The Hobbit was this month's pick for The Sword and Laser Bookclub I decided to finally give it a shot.
I must say it was hard to properly assess The Hobbit taking into account when it was originally written. Much of what makes it fantasy has now been done to death and doesn't have nearly as much impact as it had back when it was written. Keeping that in mind I'll try to be as fair as possible.
Having had no idea it was a children's book, I was pleasantly surprised with the humour that's present from the very first page. The whole book is written in a very nice tone (as you'd expect from a children's book), but it does not in any way prevent it from being incredibly touching at times.
The writing is definitely one of the book's selling points. It's simple yet descriptive enough that you can clearly see every place you're brought to, and even though I usually skip songs in every book I read, I actually re-read a couple of the many songs present in the book. They don't feel at all random and do in fact contribute quite significantly to the plot. (I heard they're actually sung in the audiobook, so that's a definitive plus if you have access to it.)
The pace of the book is flawless and I didn't think there was a single dull moment in its entirety. The plot moves seemlessly from place to place and the action scenes are well spread apart so that the reader is constantly engaged without feeling bombarded by them.
The characters are generally quite likeable, though apart from Bilbo none of them has any real depth to them, which is probably my one gripe with the book. Bilbo is developed in a remarkable way that doesn't feel at all forced which I found just genius, though it also made me wish more characters had a similar treatment, as Tolkien definitely has character development to a science. Given the book's length (and with it being a children's book I doubt it could've been any longer really) and how much focus was put into Bilbo himself I'm probably just nitpicking here.
Taking into account The Hobbit was first published in 1937 I honestly can't praise it enough. You can definitely tell how much inspiration a lot of the authors of today have taken from Tolkien's work. For children and people who haven't read much fantasy it is one of the best entry books I could recommend. If you can look past the fact that it won't feel as magic as it once did, even avid fantasy readers will find enough to make it worth their time (though they'll most likely have already read it anyway), it's so good I'm just sad I didn't get to read it earlier....more
I'll start by saying that short stories are generally not my cup of tea. I'll either dislike the story or like it and want more, so it's a lose/lose sI'll start by saying that short stories are generally not my cup of tea. I'll either dislike the story or like it and want more, so it's a lose/lose situation. This time around I want more, and I know there's definitively enough potential here for a full length novel.
Both main characters are interesting enough for the whole experience to be quite smooth and the writing overall is quite good with detailed but not too verbose descriptions, though there are a few typos and inconsistencies throughout that could be rectified with a proofread
Z poses us with a LOT of questions, such as: - How was Z created and what is his purpose? - Why did all other subjects die and what makes X and Y different from Z? - What planet is this? - What is this corporation and their aims? - Is the "Professor" even human?
Such questions make the story engaging and while I wasn't expecting it to come to a full circle, I feel like I should've been given the answer to at least some of them since there isn't the promise of a sequel (though the ending very much suggests so). I very much hope to see this become a full length novel because I want to know more about Z and this world and I feel like it definitely has the potential to be fleshed out in that way....more
This review is spoiler free assuming you've read Catching Fire, any spoilers will be tagged.
Having absolutely loved the previous book, my expectationsThis review is spoiler free assuming you've read Catching Fire, any spoilers will be tagged.
Having absolutely loved the previous book, my expectations for Mockingjay were quite high and I definitely wasn't disappointed in the end.
Starting with what I did not like in the book: the scope of Mockingjay is much larger and encompasses the whole of Panem, and while Katniss' POV works unbelievably well in the first two (much better than it did in the movie, in my opinion), it falls short in the third one. The scope is just too large for her POV to properly depict everything that's going on. You can definitely notice a lot of work was put into making sure she gets to show you as much as possible, but I felt like we deserved to see more.
The reason why I feel so strongly about not getting to see more is just how invested I got in the Hunger Games world. Catching Fire and The Hunger Games have some memorable moments that brought me close to tears, but Mockingjay takes a larger step in that direction and goes all out on messing with the reader's feelings. That's what the series does best, and I have to say it went out with a bang. The third one definitely touched me the most and you can see there is a much bigger focus on that than in the action, which was a pleasant change since the action was one of the things that prevented me from loving the first one, and the one flaw in the second.
The overall pace of the book is quite good, even if the first half seems to drag a bit at times. The writing is what we're used to in the series, being very simple but getting every important detail across. The unexpected deaths were especially well written, which only added to their already significant impact.
All in all I'm happy with Mockingjay as a finale to the trilogy. Most of the unfinished business from the first two books is neatly wrapped up (maybe a little too neatly for what I expected, but I can't exactly complain about that), and even though the POV prevents it from being could've been the best in the series, it does a well enough job taking its inherent constraints into account. Given how Catching Fire and how most people seem to think of Mockingjay as the worst in the series I was worried that I wouldn't be able to recommend the series, but thankfully I didn't find that to be the case. It's not the best in the series, but I think it does it justice and is a good final addition to the trilogy....more
As per usual my review will contain only mild spoilers and assumes the reader has read the first book.
I'll start off by saying I didn't particularly lAs per usual my review will contain only mild spoilers and assumes the reader has read the first book.
I'll start off by saying I didn't particularly like the first book overall. Everything before the games was amazing, which led me to hope that the games were as well and I ended up feeling disappointed. You can ready my full review for The Hunger Games by clicking here. Several people told me to give the second one a shot regardless, and since I knew there was enough potential in the series I decided to.
And am I glad I did. I got exactly what I expected from the first one right from the start. My connection to the characters only deepened as the book progressed and this time around I didn't have the disappointing shift I faced in the first one, it was all one seemless experience that just got more engaging as soon as I felt it might slow down again.
Some moments nearly brought me to tears and throughout the book I felt anger, happiness, hope, all that I truly look for in a book. That's a testament to how much I ended up caring for these people.
Towards the end I was feeling a bit uneasy, because I kept turning pages and I couldn't see how it was possible for the book to end in a satisfying way. I got down to some 20 pages left and just came to terms with the fact that I'd be disappointed with the ending; it'd either be rushed or end in a cliffhanger. And.... wow. That's all I can say. Wow. Given how disappointed I was with the first book it was truly refreshing to be so pleasantly surprised with such an amazing ending.
I'm so happy I gave this series a chance and that I didn't let the disappointment I felt after reading the first one prevent me from chasing the potential I saw in it. If you liked the first one you will LOVE Catching Fire, if you liked the way The Hunger Games portrayed characters and society in general, by all means give this one a chance. You'll be glad you did....more
Given my love for Battle Royale I kept postponing giving The Hunger Games a chance and I finally have.
The overall concept of the game is so close to BGiven my love for Battle Royale I kept postponing giving The Hunger Games a chance and I finally have.
The overall concept of the game is so close to Battle Royale's that I think it's impossible not to compare some things between the two of them. Right at the beginning I was lead to believe this would be a much more close approach to the humanity of the whole concept, since we're led to care about Katniss and I genuinely felt bad for all the people who lived in the same conditions as she did.
Up the start of the games the book is absolutely brilliant and I was really eager to see how this approach would fare once the games started. This is where I started to get mixed feelings about the book. At this point I had really high expectations which weren't exactly met. While some moments after the games start were definitely touching, they are so far apart and the parts between them so dull that I had a hard time getting through the games themselves, which should've been the most exciting part of the book.
There are several events that definitely wouldn't ever happen after a group of 12-16 year old kids spends over two weeks hunting and being hunted (view spoiler)[Thresh not killing Katniss, the various hesitations to kill (hide spoiler)] and after a certain point (view spoiler)[when Katniss regroups with Peeta (hide spoiler)] the book just drags on a bit too much for my taste. The bit just before the games end (view spoiler)[tributes coming back as werewolf...things. (hide spoiler)] is also awfully out of place and if I wasn't so close to the end of the book I'm not sure I wouldn't just put it down and consider not picking it up again.
I suppose that given all the hype the book has going for it and my own expectations after seeing how good it was before the games led me to believe it'd be a lot more than it ended up being. While not a bad thing in itself, Battle Royale's concept is taken a bit too literally, down to the actual ending (view spoiler)[they manage to trick the system, and I assume are chased by the government in the second book (hide spoiler)], and I feel that in the end the formula just isn't improved enough to justify being so derivative.
I might pick up the second one as I know there is potential for the series to be amazing, it just didn't live up to it in this first book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I'll start by saying this is my first novel by Tad Williams. The Dirty Streets of Heaven (TDSOH for short)is this month's b(2.5 stars rounded up to 3)
I'll start by saying this is my first novel by Tad Williams. The Dirty Streets of Heaven (TDSOH for short)is this month's book for the Sword and Laser bookclub and having heard good things about the author I decided to give it a shot.
Spoilers will be kept at a minimum as the review is aimed at those who have yet to read the book and want the opinion of someone who's new to Williams' work.
The prologue is full of action, which led me to believe it was setting the tone for the whole book. Turns out it was just a taste of what can happen in this world and not what the first third of the book is actually about. For a book this long I kept getting the feeling that not much was actually happening. I'm all for long, rich descriptions and Williams matches the likes of Tolkien and Jordan in length but with none of the depth, to the point where I'd lose interest in what was being described and just wanted the plot to keep moving. Even though a lot of the things being described actually started out interesting and/or meaningful, I find that Williams rambles on a lot.
The rambling is all the more apparent due to how little depth all the characters have. None of them get any semblance of evolution throughout the whole book, they are what they are. It gets to the point where all the characters just feel static, waiting for Bobby Dollar, the main character, to come so they can do their thing. I was definitely not moved by the characters and by the end of the book I can't say I cared about any of them, including Bobby.
There's two sex scenes in the book, and they generally don't really change the way I feel about a book, but they're so forced in TDSTOH that I hope they just weren't there. They're also REALLY long for no good reason. (and what's with the calves fixation!?) The whole relationship with (view spoiler)[Caz (hide spoiler)] feels completely out of place and was actually detrimental to the story.
The main thing that prevented me from lemming the book was the amazing humor. There are a lot of pop culture references and witty comments throughout the whole novel, which had me laughing out loud more times than I can remember. Some examples of the type of humor you can expect from the book:
"You show me what someone listens to, I'll tell you everything you want to know about his soul.(For instance, a bunch of Nickelback albums would have indicated he never had a soul in the first place.)"
"No other bosses but mine and my opponents' can have your soul jerked out of your body and sent to the deepest fiery pits to suffer for eternity. Unless you work for Walmart."
The mystery that makes up the bulk of the plot was actually quite interesting though the twist at the end was quite predictable. Speaking of the end... I must say I expected more. We're promised a lot at the start but not given nearly as much as I think we should've from the first book in a trilogy. We're given what I'd expect from a 10 book series, and it pains me a bit because the concept of the book is actually really good, just not executed nearly as well as it could have.
As a whole I can't say I haven't enjoyed TDSOH, mainly out of the interest of solving the mystery and liking the humor quite a bit, though I can see the paperthin characters putting a lot of people off, especially since this is supposed to be a trilogy. I can only really recommend this to people who can enjoy a book solely for its humor and main plot, because there isn't much else to TDSOH.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I knew the pacing slowed down dramatically in Crossroads of Twilight and my expectations about it were as low as they could be, even given how much II knew the pacing slowed down dramatically in Crossroads of Twilight and my expectations about it were as low as they could be, even given how much I loved Winter's Heart. Still, Crossroads of Twilight managed to be a million times worse than I could ever expect.
I'd be okay with the plot not moving too much, a lot of my favourite moments in the series weren't particularly relevant to the story but it seems to me that Crossroads of Twilight's one and only aim was to prove what we knew already - no one else in the world was doing anything interesting when Rand was cleasing saidin. Unfortunately, it did an amazing job at it. When you can sum up the relevant changes of the whole book in less than 10 sentences, you know something (or probably a lot more than that) went horribly wrong.
Pretty much none of the events in Crossroads of Twilight is engaging in the slightest (apart from a certain scene involving Perrin), and between tea parties, dress shopping and weevil riddled grain so little of relevance happened that Knife of Dreams could've started with "People were going about their lives while Rand cleansed saidin and now the wheel keeps weaving and stuff.", which would actually make the whole thing a lot more enjoyable since we wouldn't have to go through this awful novel.
I'd be hard pressed to find any redeeming feature about Crossroads of Twilight, there really isn't any. People who have read Winter's Heart will likely go through Crossroads of Twilight, hate it, then move on to Knife of Dreams with no second thoughts because they're too invested in the series to let a bad entry prevent them from seeing it through, and the series is meant to get amazing again with the next book and Brandon Sanderson's contributions.
The ending was immensely satisfying, not because it's any good (it's not) but because the book is actually over. I wouldn't have read more than 100 pages before throwing the book away if it wasn't part of a series I happen to love.
Read Crossroads of Twilight if you really want to get the "full experience" of the series, though personally I'd recommend just reading a plot summary or only the chapters where relevant things happen. The page/content ratio is way too low for me to recommend reading the whole book unless you really want to, or like me, you think you might be the first person to actually like Crossroads of Twilight (you won't). ...more
It's been a long time since I last felt like taking notes and rereading parts of the book before finishing it.
And Then There Were None is just so capIt's been a long time since I last felt like taking notes and rereading parts of the book before finishing it.
And Then There Were None is just so captivating that I truly made an effort to find out who the killer was before I was done - and I still got it wrong. It's definitely possible, albeit improbable, to solve the mystery before the book's conclusion and I was surely not disappointed with the outcome.
Even though you're introduced to all the characters in very short order, I felt like it was really easy to identify each one and they're all given enough background that you don't mix them up, which added a further sense of caring about each of them and helped keep the absolute tension that's felt throughout the whole book.
The murders are spaced apart just enough that the reader never loses interest or spends too much time wondering about the previous one, and the fact that they all follow the initial poem works beautifully here - you have a vague idea of what will happen next, but not the who, the when, or the how.
From beginning to end I just couldn't put the book down (except to take notes!), it grabbed me from the start and didn't let go until I was done. I wholeheartedly recommend And Then There Were None to anyone looking for a solid mystery novel that truly makes you think....more
As per usual my review will have very minor spoilers assuming you've read up The Fires of Heaven and is directed at people who a(4.5 stars rounded up)
As per usual my review will have very minor spoilers assuming you've read up The Fires of Heaven and is directed at people who are going through the series for the first time as I am.
The first 100-200 pages in Wheel of Time (WoT) books are always the hardest to go through, so I went in with that in mind. I was pleasantly surprised that the first couple hundred pages in Lord of Chaos didn't drag at all and were actually some of the most engaging in the series prior to this book. My one qualm with them is the reiteration we're kind of used to with WoT books. I very much doubt anyone would start the series on book 6 so I don't see the point on having every character's physical traits reiterated for what feels like the hundredth time. Some of them have been around over 5000 pages, you'd think Jordan would've expected readers to know them.
I found the book's pace quite even throughout, with nothing like the menagerie in The Fires of Heaven and it never felt like the plot was just dragging on, always giving the reader something to look forward to in the next pages along with some MAJOR changes in the world that I definitely did not expect. I very much liked the more prominent role in Lews Therin's madness, offering some insight here and there and overall being really amusing in the way he reacts to certain characters and situations. That also contributed to me actually starting to like Rand. He finally gets a large amount of pages dedicated to him and I feel like that's exactly what the character needed in order to truly flesh out.
The last couple hundred pages in the book are by far the best in the series in my opinion. I literally couldn't put the book down before I finished it. By the end of the book I got enough progress and answers that I didn't feel cheated after reading over 1000 pages, and there's definitely plenty of new questions to keep me interested in the series.
Bad things I can point out: - Faile is REALLY annoying. I quite liked her before but what little there was of her in this book was just awful. It was great having Perrin back, but even he was brought down in the scenes he shared with Faile. - We still don't know who killed Asmodean or what happened to Moiraine/Lanfear (I'm 99% sure they didn't die), I sort of expected some follow up on that in this book. - The series' annoying staples are back - Not enough Lan!
Overall I feel like this was the best book in the series thus far. Good pacing throughout the whole book, really engaging beginning and end, plenty of things I'm quite excited to read more about. Some minor annoyances are still present which prevented me from giving the book the full 5 stars, but by this point I've sort of come to expect them. If you liked The Wheel of Time thus far, you'll definitely enjoy Lord of Chaos....more
As per usual, my review assumes you've read the previous books and will have no spoilers for Fires of Heaven.
A lot of people seem to be of the opinionAs per usual, my review assumes you've read the previous books and will have no spoilers for Fires of Heaven.
A lot of people seem to be of the opinion that not much happens in Fires of Heaven. While I don't agree that much happens, because a LOT changes within the world of WoT, I'll have to agree that Robert Jordan gets unnecessarily verbose in a multitude of situations. I'm generally okay with clothing descriptions so I have a good sense of how the scenes play out, but the wardrobe malfunctions in the dream world are getting really repetitive as are the continuous references to bosoms and short skirts. I very much like the long descriptions whenever we get to a new place, but the constant reminder of what the main characters are wearing even though that has no effect on how the story plays out gets annoying.
Speaking of annoying, I don't think anyone is jumping into the series on book 5, so there is no need whatsoever to reiterate every single thing in the first 100-200 pages. Those first couple hundred pages are always REALLY hard to get through in WoT books, and it's not because not much happens but because we're forced to go through descriptions for every single character's backstory and physical traits when they've been around for over 4000 pages. I really hope we don't have this throughout the whole series.
Though, admitedly what annoyed me the most was (view spoiler)[Perrin's complete absense. He's probably my favourite character and I really wanted to know how things settled down in Two Rivers. There were some hints when other characters went to Two Rivers in the dream world but that was about it. Those hints actually had me hopeful that we'd see more of Perry, but no. (hide spoiler)]
Apart from those flaws I had a blast reading through the book. The pace does pick up after the first hundred pages and the book stays engaging til the very end. The focus on the forsaken and their scheming was a very nice addition and so were all the changes in power, even though they lead you to believe some characters finally grow up only to go back to what they were before in the next chapter. Not exactly a big annoyance thus far, but I hope there is some sort of evolution in that sense in the coming books.
One really nice change from the previous books is that the climax of the book takes place at the very end of it and not three quarters of the way through, so you're completely engaged to the very end and the last quarter doesn't feel like filler at all.
Overall it's a good book in the series, but it could've been just as good if it were 200-300 pages shorter and didn't include the initial reiteration and the continuous mentions of their clothing. The good aspects of the book are really good, but they're brought down by what seems like a lack of editing. I'm definitely invested enough that I'll very likely read the whole series, but it seems that Robert Jordan gets more and more verbose with each book. I'd be completely okay with it, if only it focused on the right things.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The series' pace is supposed to slow down starting with The Path of Daggers and it surely wasn't exageration.
Overall I feel like an actual quote fromThe series' pace is supposed to slow down starting with The Path of Daggers and it surely wasn't exageration.
Overall I feel like an actual quote from the book describes it perfectly: "Weiramon heard him and repeated the same thing, but using twenty times the words, and flowery enough for a garden in spring.". The long, verbose clothing descriptions are back, and so is skirt smoothing and all the recurring traits that prevent the series from being even better than it is.
The pacing is all over the place in The Path of Daggers. In the first third of the book literally nothing happens at all, and it could've been summarised in a couple of lines without losing any of the content. It picks up somewhat in the second third, and while it still has some dull moments, the reader is rewarded with jaw dropping plot twists and revelations that remind us why we put up with the dull. The last third of the book doesn't have a single dull moment and reveals how amazing this series could be if there wasn't so much filler. It really makes you wonder why it can't be like more often.
That said, I had been warned about the major slowdown in terms of pacing and that's what I expected out of The Path of Daggers. There is quite a bit of filler in the first two thirds of the book, though the good moments sprinkled in there and all of the last third are truly exceptional and make threading through the dull worth the time.
The Path of Daggers is definitely not one of the best in the series overall, but if you got this far into the series you probably have come to terms with some of the annoyances and will go into [book:The Path of Daggers|140974 solely for the amazing moments the series rewards us when it is at its best. For that, I'll have to recommend it, I definitely wasn't disappointed with how significant the few changes were....more
I stared at the blinking cursor for a the longest time, trying to come up with a way to sum up my thoughts on 1984 and I honestly don't think I can puI stared at the blinking cursor for a the longest time, trying to come up with a way to sum up my thoughts on 1984 and I honestly don't think I can put into words what it made me feel.
Throughout the whole book my beliefs kept being challenged, my feelings played with. As things get progressively darker you keep hoping from the bottom of your heart that they improve, though it never gets to the point where you're just hopeless, because the book is written in a way where you feel like you live in this dystopian society and you can't just stay put and accept it as it is.
I generally don't care much about politics, but I think it'd be impossible not to feel involved with the politics present in 1984. Very few books made me feel as angry, as sad and as hopeful as 1984 did at various points. Some of the exposition is a bit long, but it never felt like it was slowing the pace down or like filler.
One of the hardest things to wrap my head around was the fact that the book was written over 60 years ago, yet the vast majority of it remains remarkably up to date. Sure, a bit of the technology feels a bit silly, but pretty much everything else is spot on.
If you want a book that'll leave you thinking for hours on end after finishing it, I honestly can't recommend 1984 enough. Whether you're into politics or not, I think everyone owes it to themselves to read 1984. I couldn't possibly hope to do it justice, but it's definitely one of the best books I've ever read and it's almost embarassing it took me this long to actually read it!...more
As per usual this will be a 100% spoiler free review for people who read a synopsis and want to know if the book is worth a read.
Having had this bookAs per usual this will be a 100% spoiler free review for people who read a synopsis and want to know if the book is worth a read.
Having had this book recommended by several people I finally gave it a shot. I haven't read any other novels by Max Brooks before, so I went in almost 100% blind. All I knew was that there were zombies.
Right from the get-go I noticed we didn't have the usual group of people trying to survive the apocalypse throughout the whole book. The story is instead told through various interviews, conducted after the war is over. At first I was a bit scared about this, the potential for a completely disjointed story that brings out none of the emotions the usual way of going about it was huge. I was really happy to find out that wasn't at all the case with World War Z. Each little interview adds one more piece to the puzzle, one more fact that allows you to figure how events unfolded around the world, how people react to this new reality.
Even though the interviews focus on various people around the globe it all comes together incredibly well, and that's one of the book's major achievements. You truly feel like you've also been there, and some feelings are so well depicted that I was close to tears by the end of some of the interviews. The few moments where everything comes together and it all works make you feel genuinely happy for the characters, though I lost count of the times where I'd think to myself "Wow, that's just cruel! .... And exactly what I'd do as well."
Brooks' political views come into play quite clearly, but I don't necessarily view that as detrimental to the novel. All of his views are very well fundamented and really had me questioning my own values and beliefs. It truly is amazing just how much the world changes upon facing such a threat, how it was fought, what worked and what did not.
The one thing I'd like to see explained is (view spoiler)[what caused the first infections in China (hide spoiler)] but I'm otherwise fully satisfied with the answers I got.
In the end World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War brought out so many emotions from me - anger, grief, joy, empathy, relief - that it's no wonder people recommend it so often. It truly is a masterpiece and everyone, regardless of liking zombies or not, should definitely read it. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Worried that the series is slowing down to a crawl after the first two thirds of The Path of Daggers and wondering if Winter's Heart is worth it? LetWorried that the series is slowing down to a crawl after the first two thirds of The Path of Daggers and wondering if Winter's Heart is worth it? Let me start with a resounding YES.
Like most people I too was a bit sceptical after The Path of Daggers since frankly until the last third of the book not very much happens and we're given the two most annoying POVs quite a lot of the time (Faile and Nynaeve). Fortunately Winter's Heart completely breaks away from that and I didn't feel like there was a single dull moment in the whole book. Overall a lot more happens and even when the book is dealing with side events they don't feel at all like filler.
There's much more Mat in this one, which leads to a lot of information on Seanchan society and customs, along with something I was expecting for AGES (view spoiler)[ Mat finally meeting the Daughter of the Nine Moons (hide spoiler)]. His POV is always entertaining and we're also rewarded with recurring characters we hadn't seen in a while. For once Faile is actually bearable and I loved what we've seen of her, even if did leave me wanting more.
The Wheel of Time is known for amazing climaxes but I must say the last few pages of Winter's Heart are definitely some of the best in the series. This is exactly why I read these books, and thankfully I didn't have to go through some 300 pages of pure boredom to get it, which made for an amazing ride. I literally lost count of how many times I opened my mouth in cheer awe at the lots of twists in the book. They're spaced apart just right that it doesn't feel like we're being bombarded, but enough that the whole experience flows incredibly well.
Overall this was probably the most enjoyable book in the series. It had a lot of plot development, a new city, a lot of plot twists that had been in the process of setting up for several books, enjoyable side events, a lot of information on the Seanchan and an absolutely explosive (in a multitude of ways!) ending, I loved it.
The pacing is meant to slow down again in Crossroads of Twilight, but if you've read The Path of Daggers chances are you're already invested enough in the series anyway, and you definitely won't be disappointed with Winter's Heart.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This review assumes you've read all the previous books and will have very minor spoilers, anything major will be tagged.
After finishing Lord of ChaosThis review assumes you've read all the previous books and will have very minor spoilers, anything major will be tagged.
After finishing Lord of Chaos I was incredibly excited to start A Crown of Swords... until I realised the first 100-150 pages are used in a pointless flashback that shows you the ending to Lord of Chaos from different PoVs that as far as I know adds absolutely nothing.
Now, I'm used to the first hundred or so pages in any Wheel of Time having quite a bit of reiteration, but they generally do add quite a bit to the plot and get things moving. Not this time. That made the whole thing really dull for no reason that I can see.
I'm hard pressed to find any so-so moments in the book, they'll either be incredibly dull or annoying or absolutely amazing. It seems to switch between the two regularly so it doesn't feel like the book suddenly got terrible at a specific point, though it does make for really uneven pacing.
The dull/annoying moments seem to be associated with Faile or Nynaeve. I must admit Nynaeve did get quite a bit better after a certain point (view spoiler)[When she breaks her block. I genuinely felt happy for her in that scene, that was great. (hide spoiler)], they're both generally insufferable. They're both terrible characters by themselves, but they seem to turn otherwise great characters into much worse versions of themselves. It really makes you wonder why they're still around, I don't think I've seen anyone who actually likes either of them and I'm sure the books would be much better without them. Though, Nynaeve's change does give me some hope that at least she will become likeable.
Apart from those two characters' interactions the book flows really well and I keep getting more and more questions that I want to see answered, while having a reasonable amount of them answered. It's a shame that the series' annoying staples ruin an otherwise amazing book. If Robert Jordan had cut the immaturity, clothing descriptions and things to do with bosoms (26 mentions of bosoms in the book, really?) the book would've been half its actual size and that much better.
The good things in the book are REALLY good, while the dull bits are as dull as ever. Still, it's hard not to recommend the book if you've already read Lord of Chaos, I feel like I got enough not to feel cheated by the book's length, but just enough. It's definitely one of the slower books in the series thus far, the consensus seems to be that it starts with Lord of Chaos, which I disagree with, but I thoroughly agree with A Crown of Swords.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Definitely the best book in the series thus far. All the main characters undergo such huge changes that makes even Rand and Mat likeable if like me yoDefinitely the best book in the series thus far. All the main characters undergo such huge changes that makes even Rand and Mat likeable if like me you've hated them in the first three books.
It's hard not to feel warm and fuzzy inside with Perrin and Faile's relationship, the pure naivety of it among everything that's happening around made it truly special, and given the circumstances it just doesn't feel at all forced but rather quite natural.
Getting to know Aiel's backstory was amazing and definitely one of the high points of the book. I particularly liked the attention given their culture and costumes, it truly makes them believable and I must admit it kept me reading til dawn just because I quite simply couldn't put the book down for wanting to know all about it.
Also quite enjoyed the fact that the Forsaken have a much more prominent role in this fourth book. Not knowing who the remaining ones are or how strong they truly are keeps that sense of impending doom that I felt a bit lacking at first.
Overall I'd say this is the best book in the series thus far. It manages to improve in every single aspect, and for a series so focused on the characters I felt that some changes truly were needed. If you've read the third and have loved it you probably won't need to read any reviews to justify getting the fourth, though if you are on the fence I just can't recommend it enough. It's one of the few books that wouldn't leave my mind even when I wasn't reading, and made me put every second of free time into reading, something I hadn't done for quite a long time....more
Since The Winds of Winter will take forever to be released and I wanted to read some more George R. R. Martin I decided to look into Fevre Dream and..Since The Winds of Winter will take forever to be released and I wanted to read some more George R. R. Martin I decided to look into Fevre Dream and... I wasn't happy with it.
The book starts off really well, we're given some information about the vampires, some information about the main characters and A LOT of information about steamboats. At first I wasn't too bothered by that since I knew nothing at all about steamboats and it seemed pertinent.
It all starts going downhill in a conversation between York and Marsh. The book seems like it'll take an amazing turn (view spoiler)[by focusing on the psychological aspect of vampires, making them a lot more than the usual completely evil or completely good fanged beasts (hide spoiler)] but then it goes back to black and white, which is when I started questioning if I'd read the whole thing.
I ended up continuing in hopes that it'd take one of the various chances it giving vampires the depth that they can have and ended up being disappointed again when Julian meets them on the boat. The argument starts well enough but then it becomes clear that the only reason why slavery is even in the book is for this one conversation to work and is otherwise just filler.
My biggest gripe with the book has to be its depth. It keeps hinting that it can be really deep - and George R. R. Martin could definitely make it so - only to go back to being shallow again for no apparent reason. It also feels like vampires take a backseat in favor of steamboats. A certain amount of information on steamboats was necessary to make the plot work, but it seems that the book takes any given chance to blurt out pointless information on steamboats. In that regard I suppose the book has aged incredibly well, as we seem to live in a time where if you want to write a novel on a subject that can't sell by itself you just add vampires to the mix and run with it.
The characters themselves are mostly cardboard thin. Marsh and Billy are quite interesting but everyone else is unfortunately not very well realised. Joshua has an amazing start and was definitely my favourite character for the first half of the book, but then his lack of depth becomes apparent and I honestly didn't care much about him throughout the rest of it. Julian could also be incredibly interesting, but once again his potential just doesn't come to fruition.
I figured since I was over three quarters of the way through the book I'd just finish and see how it all ended. The very last scene just keeps going and going and not much really happens, you just keep flipping pages and reading the same thing over and over. A particular event in this scene just feels like it was taken right out of a Japanese B movie and feels completely out of place. (view spoiler)[ Billy getting up the stairs half dead and then having the strength to throw a knife across the room AND hit the exact spot he wanted to (hide spoiler)]
Overall the writing is good and the book manages to move at a decent pace despite the constant remarks about steamboats. The
Given the depth Fevre Dream could've had the ending is just disappointing. The book tries to do a lot of things, but ends up not deciding what to focus on. Martin said in an interview he wants to go back to the Fevre Dream universe, so I hope that if he does return to it, he fully explores the potential it has. It wasn't so bad I didn't finish it, but definitely didn't enjoy it very much and wouldn't recommend it to anyone who's not in love with steamboats.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more