I've been on a Martin kick lately and this was recommended by a friend. I don't think Martin is religious himself, but it's stories like these that asI've been on a Martin kick lately and this was recommended by a friend. I don't think Martin is religious himself, but it's stories like these that astound me as to his grasp on how people function whether they are religious or not. This novella deals with an ancient, alien religion that is suddenly finding human converts and you wouldn't think that too bad until you find out the members don't live too long.
Martin just knows people and that, I think, is why is writing is so good every single time. He gets why anyone makes decisions whether he agrees with them or not. How they function, and what makes them tick and feel so real when they're only fiction.
This story is interesting, not only for the characterizations, but because it is a science fiction story where the humans are actually more advanced than the aliens. The humans found the aliens and not vice-versa.
I want to talk about the ending, so spoilers a'comin': (view spoiler)[ I thought the last argument that Dobbs makes comparing the primitive aliens who have found their God to the highly advanced humans who are still essentially seeking their God (read "ultimate happiness"). Did the primitives really need to go any further once they found what everyone is seeking? My economics classes always talked about the "magic" that technology is always trying to provide. We want something to magically make our lives easier so we create things to do so. What if life is already at it's perfect sublime? Is technology necessary after that? Probably not.
I wasn't a huge fan of the denouement where Robb leaves his current girlfriend, Lya, whom he loves and suddenly he's already sleeping with the next girl, but I guess Martin's trying to provide us with some closure and happiness for the sad state that Robb finds himself in at the end. Maybe one day he'll even end up back with Lya, I don't think that's off the table. (hide spoiler)]
In the end, it's worth your time. Of course, it's Martin, you probably already thought that when you read the author of this story. Now's the time to get on it then.
4.5 out of 5 Stars. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is one of those "if you liked the first book, you'll like this one" types of sequels. I have a great time with Henderson's humor and his story isThis is one of those "if you liked the first book, you'll like this one" types of sequels. I have a great time with Henderson's humor and his story is a unique, geekier urban fantasy than normal. It has many of the same urban fantasy tropes, but his twist adds something ... less sexy, but filled with humor that mostly works.
And I say "mostly" because, and this could just be me, he's also one of those author's obsessed with the '80s for some reason. I know, write what you know, but it's almost like some authors (maybe just Henderson and Ernest Cline for all I know) think that you only have street cred if you're an '80s geek. Knowing other types of geekery is not at the same level and beneath '80s geekery.
Now, admittedly, the Finn Fancy series has to do with a guy who gets outcast when he's a kid during the '80s and comes back in the present so that's pretty much all he knows. So I get it, I get why, but at the same time I'm tired of it now. And now that we're on book two, did we still really need to name all the chapters with '80s lyrics or songs? I mean, the protagonist is now learning about what happened since his exile.
But those complaints aside, I really did enjoy Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free. Henderson's humor shines with or without '80s references and it's a lot of fun. I like his whole mythos with the fae, fae-bloods, arcana, and any other magical you can think of. It's a great world and well presented.
For the audio, Todd Haberkorn, the narrator, presents Finn well - relatable, silly, and serious all when he needs to be.
The Finn Fancy series is recommended if you enjoy urban fantasy, but you've done the same vampires/wizards/werewolves stories and you need something new...with those same creatures... I promise it's different too.
This book is up for sale on Amazon so often I honestly wonder how the author makes any money. And it's not like it's up for sale so that you'll have tThis book is up for sale on Amazon so often I honestly wonder how the author makes any money. And it's not like it's up for sale so that you'll have to buy the sequels at full price, no way. The sequels are up for sale as much as anything else.
And I honestly hope this guy makes some money. I had a great time with the first of the Brilliance saga. He's created a very real world, well, a real consequence of people turning out with extreme gifts that make them leaps and bounds above the average human.
Take our protagonist, Nick Cooper, called "Cooper," who can read patterns so well he can even track fellow brilliants (the name of these gifted people) knowing nothing other than their movements to escape him. He can read lies, he can even read thoughts spelled out as plainly as if spoken.
There are others, one in particular who have devastated the country because they can read the stock market. One in particular, John Smith, strolled into a diner and murdered everyone in it and Cooper wants nothing more than to see justice.
One of the reasons I say this book is realistic for its subject matter is because Cooper actually belongs to a government group that tracks down his own kind. He believes because he's trying to keep the country together. His kind have shown their powers of destruction, but it's brilliant (get it) because is he right? Is this the way to achieve those goals?
I thought this was a great concept that was also extremely well put together. That's often hard to do and often you get one without the other. I know he earns his pay, but I hope some day it grows larger at least as far as my calculations go.
So I've been quiet of late and there are a number of reasons for that. First, I tend to be lazy in general, so that's not gonna help anything. Second,So I've been quiet of late and there are a number of reasons for that. First, I tend to be lazy in general, so that's not gonna help anything. Second, we just had a baby in November, which was preceded by buying and moving into a new house in October and followed by a change of jobs (really firms, same job) in December. I'm worn out to say the least.
I've found, and this is usually around 2-4 a.m. holding a screaming child who is so tired she refuses to sleep (which of course makes perfect sense), that I can't really handle a really complicated novel at the moment. I need something light, fast, and 100% fun. I've found a couple that hit the nail on that head and Steelheart is one of those.
Steelheart was a blast from the very first page. It's hard to draw someone in that quickly and Sanderson does it here. That opening scene is great and the whole concept behind superpowers being used solely for evil is just brilliant. The Reckoners has a great start and I can't wait to keep reading to see how this pans out. I'm already so invested in these characters, I don't even really know how that happened.
I love a great narrator for an audiobook, especially one that can not only do all the different voices, but act the parts. Harry Lloyd does a splendidI love a great narrator for an audiobook, especially one that can not only do all the different voices, but act the parts. Harry Lloyd does a splendid job with these novellas, he acts so perfectly, giving weight to the simplest phrase. I was extremely impressed.
Having said that (I hear the collective groan), there's one problem I find with these incredible actor/narrators:
Sometimes they actually whisper when the scene calls for whispering.
I hate it. I have my audiobook going, I'm either in the car on my way to work or have the ear buds in doing the dishes. My hands are busy driving or soapy from cleaning. I don't have the ability nor patience to rewind (you can still say rewind right?) the recording back to listen to the part I just missed because the narrator whispered the line instead of stage-whispered the line so I could hear it with the same volume I had for normal talking.
It's a pet-peeve of mine and typically on find it happens with the best of narrators. Catch-22 I guess. (This review lost no stars for review author's pet-peeves)
Thanks for letting me get that out of my system. On to some substance.
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is the collection of Dunk and Egg novellas found in various anthologies (Legends, Legends II, and Warriors), all of which I already owned in print and the first of which I'd already read in print.
These novellas are the perfect way to get back to the Seven Kingdoms when you feel yourself missing them. They don't require a knowledge of the rest of the series, A Song of Ice and Fire, but it doesn't hurt to have that knowledge either. It has the same feel, if a bit lighter and more fun in a buddy-cop (buddy-knight?) sort of way.
The Hedge Knight is probably my favorite of the bunch. It's the introduction to the characters, has a great jousting tournament, and all kinds of surprises to keep you going.
The Sworn Sword is almost as good and deals with our heroes swearing themselves to a minor Lord (hence sworn sword of course). They have an issue with water law, which I found to be great having taken a water law course in law school and practiced some as well through an internship. Riparian rights people! If only it were so simple. It's not.
Finally, there's The Mystery Knight, which starts out as another simple jousting tournament, but turns everything on its head. The weakest of the bunch, but for George RR Martin, that still means it's better than most things.
In sum, Dunk and Egg stories are perfect when you're needing your Game of Thrones fix, even better if you don't want to leave completely depressed, and in a note at the end of this collection, George reveals there are plenty more adventures throughout the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. I can't wait!
4.5 out of 5 Stars (very highly recommended)...more