This book is a much better read than Over The Top... And obviously a different genre (this being sci-fi, adventure, mystery). But I wouldn't give it '...moreThis book is a much better read than Over The Top... And obviously a different genre (this being sci-fi, adventure, mystery). But I wouldn't give it '4 stars', '3.5' maybe...
I think the book reads much better than the movie shows. The book creates more intrigue, and even though it wasn't a 'great' read for me, it was a page turner.
Johnny Mnemonic is a data smuggler (he actually has a jack socket in the back of his neck... And, no, I'm not joking LMAO) in a futuristic Japan. But there are a number of good twists in this book, and a few good characters (one secondary female lead). It kind of covers some deeper areas as well, especially about the main character(s) and the way technology is developing. The thing is; Johnny doesn't know what data he carries, a code is used by the buyer to download the info. Also, Johnny can only handle carrying so much data (very computerish), and he needed to lose something in order to have the space for data...
This book lacks something. It's actually quite well written, and the characters are covered well. But, I kept hoping for some momentum. For th...moreMmmmm...
This book lacks something. It's actually quite well written, and the characters are covered well. But, I kept hoping for some momentum. For things to pick-up and move on. Elena is facing her fears that re-surface from her abusive childhood. Elena is also struggling with the prospect of Alphahood. Her partner, Clay, is supportive, and has a reputation as a deadly foe in the werewolf communities.
There are human deaths in Alaska that are reported to be wolves attacking humans. Elena and Clay suspect these may be werewolf kills. Though the primary reason for Elena and Clay going to Alaska is not directly associated, as such...
So we're in Alaska, and I'm ready for the book to move along. There are bad guys/werewolves trying to take over, first Alaska, then the lower forty-eight. They have eastern european backgrounds, quite unscrupulous, led by the Tesler brothers. And... And... And... I kept expecting things to move on, to start becoming interesting.... *sigh* Someone ask me what this book is about, and I'll go "eeerrmmm... It's about... Eeeerrrmm *sigh*"...
The story lacks progression. Elena's character progresses, but the story doesn't. It's slow, well written and character descriptive, but slow. The last Kelley Armstrong I read 'did' have momentum and story progression. I thought this book would get '3 stars' whilst I was reading it. It's not as bad as many '2 star' reads that were so bad I couldn't finish them. But, I sure as Hell (strange term, who's sure about Hell?) would not want to read this book again. I wonder what the story layout for this book was. Elena's personal struggles with abuse were handled really well, but the so-called story with the Tesler's was a bad t.v. movie. I would give this book '3 stars', but that means I liked it. And I didn't! It was okay, so it get's '2 stars'. Though I wouldn't put it on my 'Not Good--Crap' shelf. I've certainly read far worse. Looking on the bright side *smiling*, I rated this book twice as highly as 'an all time classic' ;) Catcher *cough* ;)(less)
A 607pg page-turner. An enjoyable read that read more like a magical mystery than a magical adventure. The action (or lack there of) was, shall we say...moreA 607pg page-turner. An enjoyable read that read more like a magical mystery than a magical adventure. The action (or lack there of) was, shall we say, limited. I was probably expecting more of a climatic ending, some action in there somewhere. But the book was well written and the story well told (apart from the ending, as there kind of wasn't one *smiling*). It was deeply character based, which is what I enjoy in a good read.
The story focused on (without giving away the plot) the return of Lord Voldermort, I use the term 'return' lightly, in that he doesn't make an appearance (Warning! Plot slip lol). There is more delving into Voldermort's past, where we gain some insight into his character and 'The Prophecy'. Though we're also dealing with Harry's suspicions and growth, and the growth of Harry's best friends ("love is in the air, everywhere I look around"). Oh, and his celebrity status.
The magic takes a twist, the teenage wizards are growing, there's not as much focus on Hagrid and the other wizarding professors, though at least one new one enters the fray. Malfoy is up to his tricks and Snape is playing a part and keeping some mystery to his character.
Verdict: If you're looking for magical action, forget it, maybe see the movie. If you love a good magical tale of mystery with some suspense thrown in you may enjoy it. If you appreciate a well written story that's deeply character based as well, Bingo!
If you're looking for a climatic ending to the book, you'll have to await the next. If there was a really good ending to this book (whilst still allowing for future scope) then I may well have givenit '5 stars'. There wasn't, doors opened to a future book, many doors, and that is not how I like any book to end. I felt it needed 'a little more' for the reader, and for the book. When you get to the end of 600 pages you expect a bit of: 'Wow. Damn good read. Looking forward to another'. Not: 'Is that the ending?' ;)
It is an enjoyable read. I found it a page-turner. But the ending was so open it was mildly lame (deduct one star)... The Irony being that Tolkien did the same thing in LOTR. I read the books individually first and felt the same 'open ended' ending (hence, he also got 4 stars for them). When I later read LOTR Trilogy (as thick as Moby Dick btw) it flowed, it followed, it earned '5 stars' ;) You should **never leave a reader without a significant ending 'for that book', even in a series.
**If I ever get around to writing a review for Stephen Donaldson's Runes of The Earth you'll know exactly what I mean. That was a really fine read and the ending (700+ pages later) was a pisser *laughing*. (less)
I found The Painted Man to be a well written and original concept, varying from the usual demon niche. It had well described characters inter-woven in...moreI found The Painted Man to be a well written and original concept, varying from the usual demon niche. It had well described characters inter-woven into a story with some strong male and female characters. Hence, I had been really looking forward to The Desert Spear and the unfolding continuation of the saga.
The first book, The Painted Man, left some open questions which created some intrigue. Would Arlen let Ragan and Elissa, who had taken him in as if he were their own son, know that he was still alive? Or Mery? Or his real father, Jeph, in Tibbets Brook? Being consumed by the demon magic where would the character of Arlen lead? Would he find love now that he was maybe more demon than human? And what of Leesha and Rojer? Not to mention Jardir of the desert people who now had the ancient warded spear he had stolen from Arlen, leaving him in the desert to die.
I was disappointed to find the book started with Jardir, as he wasn't a prime concern and only held interest for me in relation to Arlen. But, I understood why Brett needed to start with Jardir. And not only because he was to play a major part in this book, and no doubt the next one in this Demon Cycle series. You cannot go into your main characters and grip the reader, then move to characters with much less development and expect your readers to enjoy the detour. It's unlikely they will (right now I have a strange feeling that those words will come back to haunt me *laughing*)...
And so, the book begins with Jardir and his desert people, the Krasians. I found these pages quite tedious, on the whole, though I also wondered if it could have been blended in better to the main story. As it actually is, later, with Leesha and Rojer. Instead, I found myself in the Krasian desert for over two hundred bloody pages. These pages did give some insight into Jardir, the Krasian religious beliefs, and even a re-written version of Arlen being left to die in the desert. Even though this actually happened in the last book, we now get to read Jardir's version. Honestly, most of the first two hundred pages bored the living daylights out of me. I found some of the insights into Jardir, the Krasian belief's, and his army's intentions useful to the book. But not over two hundred pages of usefulness. I felt that the truly important aspects and feelings to bring Jardir and his army into the book could have been done in maybe fifty pages. The words 'major edit' came to mind. Especially as much of the same was actually covered later when Leesha and Rojer joined Jardir in Krasia.
So why the 4 stars? I did consider giving this book 3 stars. But, this book did have some really well written redeeming features. Arlen meeting Elissa again was one of these. Another was Arlen's presence in Euchor's Duchy. A third would be his eventual return to Tibbets Brook, even though you really can't miss that it is coming. Here, another character re-enters the story, and leads to more moving and developing scenes.
This book, its Duchies and villages like Tibbets Brook are very old world, almost medieval. And I question in this book whether the female characters have been developed as strongly as they could have been from The Painted Man. Rape appears to be an ongoing theme, and Brett appears to use this to attempt to make his female characters stronger. I don't see this as either necessary, or particularly effective. In The Painted Man we have Leesha, who now seems over the rape and strong and determined. I'd say the rape didn't make her stronger and seems unbelievably forgotten. Some female readers might not be inspired by how she dealt with it, which appeared to be 'forgive and forget', and I would likely agree with them. In The Desert Spear we see another of Bretts' female characters broken by incestual rape and the judgement of Tibbets Brook. The idea seems to be that it makes her more determined to become stronger, and self reliant. Renna does become stronger and more self reliant with Arlens teachings, and her own determination. But I question why Brett keeps using rapes as a means to bring someone down low in order for them to then become strong characters. There are better ways to portray growth and determination for strong female characters (IMO).
If I was to read this book again, I would only read sections and highlights. I would certainly not re-read the first two hundred pages. I did not enjoy this book as much as The Painted Man and it only gained the 4 stars by the skin of it's teeth. Some really well written sections and the ongoing originality of the demon theme.
There's also an ongoing religious and racial under-current to these books, that appears to draw some similarities from western chistianity and middle eastern islamic faiths.(less)
This was a thoroughly engrossing and enjoyable read. It was extremely well written with a variety of well developed characters and the story was reall...moreThis was a thoroughly engrossing and enjoyable read. It was extremely well written with a variety of well developed characters and the story was really well thought out.
As there are so many demon books, and television shows, it was refreshing to read a new slant on the demon genre that worked so well.
You kind of know where it's going, in respect of the title 'The Painted Man' and the early use of ward spells. Paint runs or flakes so that leaves the permanent, right? (Rhet.) But other than that you don't know where the journey will take you, and it was so well written that it was a joy to read. For any female readers interested in this book there are some strong female secondary leads, well written and described in whole chapters of their own. I don't always like a book that digresses in various chapters to other characters, but in this book it works. And it works really damn well.
The lands are fictional, as is the era, but you get the impression of medieval times with the farming villages and large cities. Arlen is a boy when the story starts and through events with the corelings (various demons that arise from the core at night) he becomes determined not to be cowed by them. To live free and not in fear of the night. Also, to give them nothing, as they have taken enough for too long.
This book is a journey, a tale of determined fight, of sorrow, loss, fear, bravery, loves, and Brett gets the characters and tale down to a tea.
An impressive read that I would recommend to anyone intrested in either reading this book, or in the demon/sci-fantasy genre. (less)
Definately worth another read. It's been a few years since I'd read this book.
It's really quite unique, with some really good concepts which are expe...moreDefinately worth another read. It's been a few years since I'd read this book.
It's really quite unique, with some really good concepts which are expertly put together and inter-woven.
This may be the best female lead I have ever read, as it really does get into the personal struggles, doubts, strengths, and personality of the character. Granted, I picture the character of Anele a bit like Golem ;) But, it's a really well written story with no shortage of strongly written characters; Linden Avery (The Chosen), Stave, Liand, The Ramen, The Haruchai, Anele, and many others.
So why not '5 Stars'? I first bought this book from Waterstones, whilst looking for some damn good fantasy fiction. This one caught my interest and on the front cover title it stated: "The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant". So, I was expecting a 'complete' read (i.e. I wouldn't have to wait for another book in order to complete the story and reading experience)...
This book is a little over 700 pg's and it was 'a bit of a pisser' *smiling* when 600 pg's in you realise that there are so many lose ends to complete that 100 more pages will not be enough. So, the one thing that this book lacks is 'any kind of an ending'... It actually finishes on a number of 'cliff hangers'... That was a pisser ;) Hence, 4 Stars!
Providing you're willing to read over 700 pg's of really damn good story and characters, to find out it doesn't have 'any' kind of story conclusion or ending then it's worth it for the quality.
Okay, it's not The Lord of The Rings, and it does start a little slow over the first two chapters, but it's a more homely tale of adventure. It contai...moreOkay, it's not The Lord of The Rings, and it does start a little slow over the first two chapters, but it's a more homely tale of adventure. It contains many of the same places as LOTR and it has its' own set of, eventually, strong character's, with a younger and still more reluctant Bilbo Baggins growing in character and mischief. Again, not LOTR, but it's a different tale, a different prelude, and still a damn good read if you can get past the first two chapters, which, granted, are a bit slow. That said, it's still a Tolkien classic. One you could easily read to your children. Damn! My parent's didn't read to me!
There's not much to learn from this book unless you're either a writer or a child. The writer learns from Tolkiens' style, the child learns from Tolkiens' imagination.(less)