I finished this in one sitting. It was a really enjoyable read. I perchance read that this was originally published as a series, so I didn't get annoyI finished this in one sitting. It was a really enjoyable read. I perchance read that this was originally published as a series, so I didn't get annoyed with the recaps in each "chapter".
The tale is told by a friend and an assistant to a mad scientist type Herbert West, who turned his incredible intellect toward attempting to reanimate the recently deceased. Reading this in one sitting, you can feel the tension building up from one chapter to the next, as you watch the degeneration of an eccentric genius to a mad scientist. Each chapter ends with an eerie revelation or a macabre twist, making them all very effective closing scenes.
This has got to be an inspiration and source material for many books and movies that came along after. ...more
A tragic tale of a man's fruitless search for a dream for beauty and perfection. The prose is beautiful but it uses a repetitive style that got a bitA tragic tale of a man's fruitless search for a dream for beauty and perfection. The prose is beautiful but it uses a repetitive style that got a bit tiring towards the end, despite it being just a short story. The tale itself feels like it's telling a different lesson behind the words. Good read. ...more
This wins my award of worst gamebook I've ever read.
Story: Divided into three weak parts - the titular caverns, a journey sequence, then a survival seThis wins my award of worst gamebook I've ever read.
Story: Divided into three weak parts - the titular caverns, a journey sequence, then a survival sequence. For all the vaunted evil-ness of the snow witch and her minions, no one seems to mind you just strolling in and start taking things out room by room. You obviously don't expect character development in a gamebook, but the reason the author gave as to why you went after the titular snow witch is just plain ridiculous - nothing more because the author wants you to. Same thing with the motivation for part 2 - you just have to, never mind the logic of it. The motivation for part 3 is survival, so that's fine, except for how you're supposed to go about it - it makes absolutely no sense.
(view spoiler)[The titular caverns just happens to be primary setting of the first part. The titular snow witch? Just a checkpoint for the first part. For all evil-ness that's attributed to her and her minions, she's nothing more than just than just two encounters, the 2nd one being really tacked on. And speaking of tacky, I got the feeling that the editor or publisher rejected the gamebook initially because it was submitted with just part 1. So parts 2 and 3 were appended just to pad it out. The later parts were just as horrible. Why travel with two complete strangers to their hometowns instead of just back to what you were doing before? And the steps to cure yourself of the so-called Death Spell just borders on stupidity. No wonder only one other person in the world had survived it - and that person just happens to be living in a nearby cave where you need begin with the weird "healing" steps. (hide spoiler)]
Gamebook: Very "One True Path". There are many items that you must obtain to get past certain encounters - miss them and you die. And it's very easy to die. In fact, the chances of winning this gamebook honestly is very low. The game mechanics of needing to roll higher than your opponent just to damage them a little means you need several lucky streaks to get through the numerous fights thrown your way. The enemies are very tough, especially right at the start. This is the first gamebook I've died in the first fight I got into. You really must roll max skill, max stamina, and max luck to even have a reasonable chance of reaching the end.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
A short story about man who wandered off from his group and found himself lost in a cave system. The story is told in Lovecraft's style - beautiful prA short story about man who wandered off from his group and found himself lost in a cave system. The story is told in Lovecraft's style - beautiful prose and eerie atmosphere. I didn't realise this was one of his earliest works. I enjoyed the flow, although the ending was a bit rough....more
This 3-part comic series takes place several months after the third Gabriel Knight game, Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned. WThis 3-part comic series takes place several months after the third Gabriel Knight game, Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned. We follow Gabriel as he gets a request to look into a series of illnesses and deaths at a remote lodging house. The artwork and dialogue is pretty good. The story is enjoyable and we get to see Gabriel's internal monologue on he's doing on this whole "shadow hunter" business....more
Interesting take on a first-contact situation (not that I've read a lot) when a small group of humans crash landed on a planet when their spaceship haInteresting take on a first-contact situation (not that I've read a lot) when a small group of humans crash landed on a planet when their spaceship had a disastrous malfunction.
The natives are molluscs - snails. I liked the commentary on biological evolutions from the perspective of one of the few surviving human adults. The titular character was a bit too far fetched - supposedly a historian, but I'm pretty sure historians aren't walking encyclopedias on cultures, architecture, languages, sociology, diplomacy, and warfare. But I did like the way it draws parallels to human societal behaviours, seemingly carrying deeper meaning behind them.
While I appreciated the attempt at a brand new species using an unlikely base creature, the primary species thinks and acts too humanlike, despite the attempts to highlight the different forms of expression. Just too many parallels. While Bronze Age is the specified timeline, there's really little else to build up this whole new planet and species. When we do get perspectives of alien life, I can't help feel that they're very human in nature. It's just oddly weak in terms of creativity; it's just drawing parallels.
But other than, it's a rather nice story about surviving in a new world several centuries behind in technology. The pacing is excellent and the plot is easy to follow, if perhaps a tad predictable....more
It seems this was Lovecraft's only science fiction story - it shows. It was also a collaborative effort where he took over an existing script so we prIt seems this was Lovecraft's only science fiction story - it shows. It was also a collaborative effort where he took over an existing script so we probably don't know where one author stopped and the other started.
The prose was somewhat subdued, when compared to his other works. But the atmosphere was painted with Lovecraft's touch - a deadly and depressing environment covers Venus. The prose and a certain creepy factor earned it a second star.
We follow a prospector on his trip to find crystals - apparently a mineral that proves extremely efficient in providing energy for terran needs. As the description of the dominant alien species came up, I can't help thinking of Avatar - is this where the latter's inspiration came from?
The prospector then encounters the titular edifice - the walls - and he got ridiculously trapped. This is where the plot and setting just fell apart. If they would just equip their lone prospectors walking about in dangerous flora and fauna with a radio for emergency evacuation, there really wouldn't be a story at all. The closing reports on the rescue operation (more Avatar inspirations) clearly shows that they have the technology, the hardware, and the manpower to better equip their prospectors - not doing so just doesn't make sense, even though the protagonist tried to justify with a weak excuse....more
Volume 1 is actually a compilation of two stories, 4 issues each. Great nostalgia factor if you grew up with the Forgotten Realms as the fantasy worldVolume 1 is actually a compilation of two stories, 4 issues each. Great nostalgia factor if you grew up with the Forgotten Realms as the fantasy world.
The first story is "The Hand of Vaprak", where we're introducing to a band of adventurers led by a wizard, and together with two new recruits, managed to put an end to the evil artifact. What was awesome about this story is the appearance of Alias and Dragonbait (shown on some of the covers). Brings back memories. Elminster was in the shadows, as usual.
The second story is "The Dragonreach Saga", where the bands visit to Elminster got them tangled into a very serious matter, but taken in a rather light-hearted manner. Not quite sure how I liked this one; it builds upon the characters from the first story, but the way the main villain ((view spoiler)[a humanoid of unknown race, who wields a powerful artifact capable of decapitating dragons, and who summoned and rode the tarrasque (hide spoiler)]) was dispatched felt rather callous given the subject material. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more