"A half-metre-long dragonfly, red from bulbous eyes to the vein lacework of transparent wings, took o**spoiler alert** My Thoughts as I read the book:
"A half-metre-long dragonfly, red from bulbous eyes to the vein lacework of transparent wings, took off from the leather bracer on Jaume's forearm and shot forward." Lends authenticity to the environment that the author is setting us up in. After all:
and a more artistic view:
What intrigued me was their use in falconry. However, as you will continue to see throughout the books, wonderful ideas are mentioned once and then abandoned. There is no inclusion of them afterwards. I know that is a lot to expect but if you are going to build a new universe...
"The docks teemed with ships of every size. Its streets, from capillary alleys to boulevard arteries, pulsed with traffic, human, dinosaur, and vehicular."
Maybe it is the biologist in me but I loved the description. Also, reminded me of this video, so I thought I'd share:
"Of course, you're too kind to point out the Parasaurolophus in the parlor..."
It got me wondering if including more modified idioms like that would have made the book's world seem more real or not.
Btw, this is the dinosaur that the character was talking about.
The book did suffer from the usual maladies, such as everybody knowing something was seriously wrong with the king's advisor and yet not doing anything about it:
"When she'd encountered Jeronimo, she had felt a strange unease, in the pit of her stomach and beneath her skin, as if sensing wrongness somehow."
*sigh* If this character turns out to be bad news in the sequel...
One of my favorite quotes from the book:
"But if he had loosed at you, you'd have just knocked the arrow out of the air, right? Or snatched it with your hand like those ninja blokes in Zipangu, I shouldn't wonder. Karyl shrugged. "Or died, he said."
It also made me think why the author used the word, ninja, in the book. The world is quite different from our own and the word just stood out. It might have been because the world the book is set in has an old feel to it. However, as I looked it up, I came across this page that said the word had been in use as early as in the 1600s. It had other interesting things to say about ninjas too.
This description about a species of dinosaurs simply called Titans was lovely:
"They had no voices: they couldn't force cries down the tremendous length of their necks."
That got me to start looking up animals without a voice and most links mentioned Giraffes. However, San Diego Zoo says Giraffes do have vocal cords but they make a limited number of sounds with them.
Brachiosaurus vs. Girraffe
This quote that was amazingly ironic:
"Whether we humans are or not, the dinosaurs endure."
This is another example of how good the world building is:
"Frequently ridden in battle by light-riders, as well as, occasionally by knights and nobles too poor to afford war-hadrosaurus."
This is the Hadrosaurus and here is a video where its fossilized remains were discovered.
There are small excerpts from different "books" at the beginning of each chapter. Some of them mention deities that are worshiped in that world. The descriptions go so far to include an aspect that the deity favors. However, they are never mentioned in conversations (except for battle cries). I mean, so many of our expressions could have been modified and used:
By Jove, Jeez, Jesus, and so on.
Another thing that I found hard to believe was how naive Melodia, the king's eldest was. If you are a princess, you are definitely going to be trained in court intrigue etc. You won't go spouting off things that can be twisted later and have you framed for sedition. Especially, if you have a father who only deigns to remember that he has daughters at certain times. Even more so, if you could never inherit the throne and thus, do not have the security that an heir would. She behaves like a spoiled teenager, which even if she is one, she cannot afford to be.
Another favorite quote:
"And then, with what struck Melodia as completely necessary enthusiasm, her noble ladies-in-waiting set about burying the Princess Imperial in shit.
The treachery wasn't unexpected when it did come. The swiftness of the events was fun though!
The Grey Angels are something that I am curious about. One of the theories about them says:
My guess is that we must have colonized some planet and maybe started a fun experiment, people and dinosaurs together to see what would happen? It seems like the Gray Angels are some kind of super powered protectors who keep the people at a certain level."
All in all, I liked the book a lot. I read it slowly, enjoying every part. Some of the dinosaur battle scenes were really good. The book could have done with a little more of them.
All this talk about dinosaurs would not be complete without a mention of this guy:
The world in this novel was divided between two kinds of magic users: Privileged & Powder Mages. While the limitations of what Powder M
The world in this novel was divided between two kinds of magic users: Privileged & Powder Mages. While the limitations of what Powder Mages could do and could not do were clearly described, the author left the Privileged's extent of power in murky waters. That is why, whenever they pulled some new kind of crap, the reader would think it was within the magic-user's reach. Of course, we find out later that there were other sorcerers who were much more powerful. They are supposed to be extinct but at least three of them make an appearance.
The gods have abandoned the world or so the people think. So far, I have met two of them! While the most powerful of them all appears just as the book is about to end, his brother, a minor god, does get some face time in the book. Mihali can create food from nothing and heals through his cooking. Here is what I imagine he would look like:
There is no dearth of epic fantasies that focus on the military and they manage to snare me at times, (the Bridgeburners in Malazan Books of the Fallen) while failing to do so at other times (Glen Cook's Black Company). This one fell into the former category and I started to care about Olem, the Field Marshal's personal bodyguard, and Adamat, a retired police inspector. However much I wanted Olem not to die, when he survived the last fight at the end of the book, I felt as if he was one of Dumas' musketeers -- unkillable!
There are plots within plots and everyone has their own game but this complexity comes nowhere near to what Erikson can embroil his readers in.
For me, reading about the adventure that the soldiers were on was a hoot. The humor that was interwoven within that adventure was a big plus! Here are some of my favorite dialogues:
**spoiler alert** Some thoughts: * The book starts off with a whole lot of characters and I almost gave up right there. * Religion plays an important ro**spoiler alert** Some thoughts: * The book starts off with a whole lot of characters and I almost gave up right there. * Religion plays an important role in this world-whether it is its absence or presence. * There is light humor threaded throughout the book, to lighten the darkness of events. * The book is long but I didn't mind because the story kept me interested. * Would love to read the next one. * Why are certain parts other magical creatures important was never explained. * Why are there different colors for the Mothers wasn't expounded upon either. * Dael gives up on Vray rather too easily-he knows what kind of people the King & his son are! ...more
**spoiler alert** My rating’s more of a 3.5 because: Everybody loves a good apocalypse and I’m no exception! There was a female lead who, if not exactly**spoiler alert** My rating’s more of a 3.5 because: Everybody loves a good apocalypse and I’m no exception! There was a female lead who, if not exactly capable of kicking ass, was a leading geneticist– brains over brawn any day! The freaky way the vaccine changed them all was amazing-no death causing viruses or flesh eating zombies, yet horrific in its own way. Prison takeovers are the scariest things ever and the author combined it with a post apocalyptic scenario! The ever present threat of the convicts getting to our heroine was sufficient to keep me reading . I loved the fact that the author didn’t even need to show much violence to keep the readers hooked– she just let us imagine what “could” happen, if they got to her. ...more
**spoiler alert** I got this book for free from Making Connections, in exchange of an honest review. Get Your Copy Here. Since GR doesn't allow half st**spoiler alert** I got this book for free from Making Connections, in exchange of an honest review. Get Your Copy Here. Since GR doesn't allow half star ratings, this book is getting 3 stars when it was more like a 3.5 for me. I had just finished an epic fantasy book and was prepared not to like this one too much but boy, did I love it! What I really loved about the story was that it was told from Estin's POV-we keep reading about huge wars where part animal creatures come to the aid of humans but we almost never get to hear their side of the story. Another unique thing was that Estin was a wilding and not a shifter. He didn't fit into the human world and had to struggle to fit in with other wildings. I liked how we were shown a whole host of different supes-my favorites were the Elementals and I would have loved to have read more about them. It was refreshing to see that this book had a MC who knew his limits. When the Elementals or dragons fought, the wildings pulled out, instead of rushing into the battle. Oh and Finth! He was funny and inappropriate as hell and I loved every scene he was in, as well as his new gypsy bff, Yoska. Too bad, we never found out what happened to him at the end. I mean, he was obviously too stubborn to just die! And of course, then there were the zombies! Smart ones! Who had magic! Could be people you even knew! I enjoyed every second of the story and I'll be looking forward to any sequels! ...more
**spoiler alert** I got this book for free from Making Connections group to read and review. Get your copy here When a book ends and you yell out: "Did**spoiler alert** I got this book for free from Making Connections group to read and review. Get your copy here When a book ends and you yell out: "Did he have to die?" then you know you liked the story. That the author can write is evident, the story grabbed my attention from the very beginning and kept me engrossed through out. Yes, it had a Tolkeinish flavor to it and at times came perilously close to LOTR but the author skilfully turned those scenes into his own- the horses sent by the Wind. Of all the characters, Gorin was my favorite. One other thing that I really liked was that we were spared the condescending attitude of the Elves- they were an old race but the Mages & Trolls were given equal importance. The burden that the Elven king had to carry..beautiful concept. S’Darin and his story-another unique part of this story. I could go on and on about the things I liked but I'll just say, fans of epic fantasy, you've gotta read this book!! ...more
**spoiler alert** Carnival of Souls: The story felt quite similar to the one about the theater in the previous anthology. It also felt like it was bein**spoiler alert** Carnival of Souls: The story felt quite similar to the one about the theater in the previous anthology. It also felt like it was being dragged on and on..forever. 2 stars for this one.
One Thing or Your Mother: A typical Buffy episode story with many things going on at once- a teenager raising a demon who turns on him *surprise!* people of Sunnydale falling into a deep coma every time they try to fall asleep Dru decides to have make a kid Principal Snyder faces a the mother of all demons Angelos is in town Buffy's tutor isn't what he seems the Mayor decides to prepare for Ascension! 3 stars.
Blooded: A Chinese vampire, a Japanese God, the Slayer, multiple cases of body possessions, Willow's inferiority complex, the rest of the gang and Angel! 3 stars....more
**spoiler alert** So, this isn't a review but just a few thoughts about the book. The book deals with teenage Scooby gang. There is little Angel and Buf**spoiler alert** So, this isn't a review but just a few thoughts about the book. The book deals with teenage Scooby gang. There is little Angel and Buffy time-well just a kiss here and there. There are 3 stories in this omnibus: Coyote Moon-a carnival comes to town where all the carnies are were coyotes-I liked this story the best. Night of the Living Rerun-Buffy has to stop the Master from rising again-the ending just sucked. I remembered the Master from the TV show and he was scary. This one? Not so much! Portal through Time-a few of the Master's minions try to get Master to come into power, using a Time Traveling artifact- this one I liked too. We also meet Angelos-who sucks and is a coward which the TV show Angelos never was-and Darla. But all of this is overshadowed by two things: 1- The cover is beautiful! 2-Its Buffy! ...more