This was a pleasant surprise for a fantasy book as it is at once thoughtful for the world building as it is for the characters and relationships.
The RThis was a pleasant surprise for a fantasy book as it is at once thoughtful for the world building as it is for the characters and relationships.
The Royce-Hadrian partnership of course is very fun to read, and it's compelling to find out more about how their friendship and loyalty was built over the 12 years they've worked together. There are glimpses of things that they know about each other that are hinted at and will likely get "Revealed" as we go, but I do love complex character relationships...which is why I'm actually reading Chronicles parallel to Revelations, so I'm sorta cheating on that end, but I've always liked "flashbacks" to the past and origin stories inserted between present events in books (been spoilt by manga and their angsty flashbacks I guess). I did dither a bit at first where to start, but ended up starting with Chronicles first since I wanted to get attached to the characters right away...then I gave in and started Revelations because Chronicles was way too cheerful (relatively, and a pleasant surprise) and I needed my angsty-past flashbacks to balance things out.
Of course, the back cover kind of "spoils" the fact that Royce and Hadrian get set up, but I was totally enjoying myself waiting for Royce's "I told you so" the first few chapters. The banter and dialogue is well-written for sure, and a good deal of serious business mixed with dry humour. The overall storyline is fairly interesting, and it is not a "clean" hero-defeats-evil kind of story. A few of the characters surprised me with their actions and motivations (in a good way, not the "why would he even do that" kind of way) which kept the story just this side of suspenseful without being overly dramatic. In fact a lot of plot points were handled very practically instead of dramatically, and there was a decent amount of humanizing the limitations of the characters' abilities.
Some bits of exposition are of course necessarily long but there are character bits thrown in there to keep it interesting. I wasn't too fond of Myron since he basically was a walking encyclopedia/history book/translation tool (smartphone of the riyria universe?) and was way too round-eyed. My complaints are minor though and I'm already starting book 2 so I can hopefully find out more about Elves and Dwarves....more
This is a reread for me, and as such with rereads of mystery novels, it's harder to be surprised. That said, I did deeply enjoy the majority of the stories as I recognized the little clues dropped here and there along the way. I am also continuously surprised at the range of voices Mr. Telfer is able to emulate, it is almost like listening to a full-cast show!...more
I'm glad that Mr. Doyle has understood that audiences did not much enjoy the 5 chapters of criminal exposition (from the first book) as much when Holmes is not there to deduce the hell out of stuff. This second novel of the Sherlock Holmes series delves further into the personal lives of both Holmes and Watson, yet maintains the quality of plot and pacing that the first book had offered....more
This introduction of the uniquely gifted detective Sherlock Holmes, seen through the eyes of the humble ex-army doctor John Watson, appeals as both a historical mystery, as well as a deeply entertaining portrait of the eccentric sleuth. It was fun to follow along with the easily sympathized Watson as he struggles to figure out both what Holmes has already been able to deduce from the mystery, as well as the great mystery of Holmes himself. Even though I was not particularly interested in the 5 chapters of the criminal's backstory, John Telfer did an amazing job voicing both an excitable and gentlemanly Watson, as well as a soft-spoken and thoughtful Holmes. So, if you are planning to listen to this series in audio, I highly recommend Mr. Telfer as your narrator of choice....more
Saiyuki RELOAD is the sequel to the series, making an almost complete reversal on perspective of the youkai/demons driven to madness and murder. Where Gensomaden Saiyuki (the main series) sets up the world and the characters, RELOAD delves into the other side of the story: the youkai who have not gone mad, surviving in a world of human distrust and want for revenge. The second half of RELOAD, the "even a worm" arc, deals with "what if" youkai souls could be harvested to bring humans back to life? The only catch is, they come back with an ingrained need to destroy other youkai. Ethics and alternate perspectives are the main focus in this sequel, and much is left ambiguous for the reader to mull over after the action ends....more
Minekura has brought a gritty and flashy vibe to the classic Chinese myth of the Monkey King, throwing a bit of sci-fi into the fantasy mix, and twisting every character into her own tormented anti-heroes. The camaraderie and trust the characters place in each other, and the choices they have to face to survive are explored in detail and style, where there is no "right" answer, only the answers you choose to believe....more
One can say Gintama repackages the social issues of today (AI ethics, capitalist imperialism, terrorism, government vs. police corruption, stereotyping the Other, etc.) into 20 pages of metaphors and parodies involving pudgy aliens, virtual worlds, obsessive fans, and altogether WTF-ness that explodes onto the page. Thus, one needs not really think too much to enjoy this series, though it can make you think if you let it. I do suggest cultivating a patience to go through mountians of text in every 20-page chapter since this is a very dialogue-heavy manga. The punchlines are worth it though ;D...more