Eisenhorn is a great pulp sci-fi novel (really a collection of three books, squeezed into one series, with two short stories between the three section...moreEisenhorn is a great pulp sci-fi novel (really a collection of three books, squeezed into one series, with two short stories between the three sections that make it up) and well worth the read, which will be quick and engrossing if you are into two things: thrillers and science fiction. I generally do not like thrillers, but still found myself soaking up the story of Inquisitor Eisenhorn's adventures through the universe of Warhammer 40k's more civilized (well, for Warhammer) locales as he battles evil space demons (yes, that is what he battles) and while I love science fiction, Eisenhorn is more like science fantasy, but that does not keep the novel from being both fun and exciting. My only complaint is that Dan Abnett needs to learn to how to end his stories better and often the last chapter of what started out as a space adventure tale with complicated twists and explosive turns, ends so quickly, often in two chapters or less, I found myself thinking I was missing something. The feeling is hard to explain, but I always thought there were more loose ends to tie up then the author allowed for in his epilogues and sometimes, I did not clearly understand what was the fate of certain characters very clearly. Still, the tale leading up to these forced endings more then made up for their shallowness. I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a quick entertaining read and anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of the WH40k universe, especially if they were going to sit down and play the rpg, Dark Heresy, which pretty much is based on the Eisenhorn trilogy.(less)
I would be a total rube to say something like "J.K. Rowling stole all her ideas for the Harry Potter series from Ursala Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea...moreI would be a total rube to say something like "J.K. Rowling stole all her ideas for the Harry Potter series from Ursala Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea." She didn't steal everything from Le Guin. Just select parts. Ok, ok, nothing was stolen, just, appropriated. Appropriated well, but very much appropriated. And mostly just for the first book.
There's something about a fantasy book which manages to be accessible without being cliche. Sometimes a fantasy book is just so far out there, the reader, unable to connect to anything easily, fails to enjoy the story, but then there are the Tolkien rewrites which put the average fantasy reader to sleep. Ursala Le Guin succeeds in creating a fantastic world, populated by humans to whom magic is as common as feats of engineering are to us. These people live on a world in which the "Island setting" was chosen and seem to have adapted to their largely near-aquatic environment by all being sailors, pirates, or something in between, like wizards.
Ursala Le Guin does a great job in bringing Earthsea to life, yet, at the same time, the brevity of the tale tends to create a great deal of questions, like how does a medieval iron age world of kings and queens, and subsequent kingdoms, arise from such an alien environment as Earthsea? While she does not completely ignore the sociological and historic aspects of the universe in which she places her tale, I still she will delve into the details of her world in later books (in fact, its a testimony to her creative talents that I am even made curious for more info at all).
The story of this first book is apparently a prologue, giving the background and early history of a major historical figure of Earthsea and his first important trials, including one in which he summons a great evil into the world and is forced to confront it. The narrative carries the read along like a strong current, and almost never lulls or lapses into long wordy descriptions of natural scenes, clothing, or other some-suches so common to fantasy novels, and is, in fact, so succinct, as to be almost prose.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants a light fantasy, both physically and metaphorically. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series and will probably update this review as I do.(less)
My childhood was screwed up to say the least. Not in a serious sorta way, but in a way that destined me to a life where I would be sitting here and ha...moreMy childhood was screwed up to say the least. Not in a serious sorta way, but in a way that destined me to a life where I would be sitting here and happily reviewing Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia. This situation is even more screwy because my screwy love of all things academic was caused by having this book.
I'll admit, when I first read Lord of the Rings I was totally confused. First, I read the Fellowship THEN read The Hobbit, before ever picking up the others (which I did not for several months). This slight chronological confusion was further compounded by the fact that I was around 10 at the time, and while I totally dug the books, I rarely understood what was going on.