It’s been a long time since I’ve read about Drizzt Do’Urden in The Dark Elf Trilogy, and the series never really pulled me in. Why am I getting back iIt’s been a long time since I’ve read about Drizzt Do’Urden in The Dark Elf Trilogy, and the series never really pulled me in. Why am I getting back into the world of Drizzt? Two factors are at play. First, my brother-in-law gave me a copy of The Icewind Dale Trilogy. Second, I’ve started to play D&D again now that I’ve settled down after uprooting my family’s life.
Receiving the books was the trigger to pick up the story from where I last left off, but what really motivates me to continue the tale of our Drow Elf turn good is the desire to learn more about the lore, lands, and cultures of the Forgotten Realms to make my D&D adventures all the more engaging and enjoyable.
This story does help me become more familiar with the ways of some of the different races prominent in the D&D culture along with some of the magic, demons, and alternative dimensions mentioned. Beyond that, the overall story and style of writing does not really pull me in. I personally expect something a bit meatier when it comes to what I enjoy to read. However, after reading a tome full of facts and figures like Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, a light story or series like this might be what the brain needs to decompress a bit.
Overall, I could see myself enjoying this book the most when I was a late middle schooler. As long as I am playing D&D, I see myself continuing to finding and reading books that revolve around the world of the Forgotten Realms. If for some reason I decide to pack up my D&D books forever, I really doubt a book like this would ever find itself in my stack of books to read....more
Neil Gaiman and American Gods have shown up quite a bit on different social media websites that I used, so I picked it up and let it sit in my giant pNeil Gaiman and American Gods have shown up quite a bit on different social media websites that I used, so I picked it up and let it sit in my giant pile of books to read. After my random number generator finally selected American Gods, I cracked it opened to see what all the hubbub is about.
I would have to say that overall prose in this book wasn't anything spectacular (at least in my eyes) and that the story just chugged along at an appropriate pace. What would stand out would be the uniqueness and creativity of the story. It was fascinating to read about gods of the old world who were brought over by immigrants and then forgotten as these people assimilated, along with the hardships they faced as they tried struggle to survive and face products of modernization. The way that these ancient deities fit into modern American society while still maintaining their original identity was a treat to read about.
Like many of the books in the Wheel of Time Series, the extra chapters within the book not about the main characters were my favorite parts to read. Neil Gaiman did an amazing job of setting the scene of historical people who brought their gods to American and how these deities impacted their life in the New World.
Overall, it was a pleasant book and not too difficult to read. The writing style left me a bit wanting, but the creativity and novel ideas more than make up for it....more
One key factor to be a good book for young adults is to make it interesting so that they will want to read it. This book could do a better job at thatOne key factor to be a good book for young adults is to make it interesting so that they will want to read it. This book could do a better job at that since much of the first half of the book is quite dry - though not as dry as the The Ox Bow Incident.
Another key factor to a good book for young adults is to present a situation that isn't black and white, and make them rethink their perceptions in life. This book does this factor beautifully. For a young person, the thought of becoming immortal might be a no-brainer for them. However, Tuck Everlasting presents a story in which the possibility of immortality becomes a lot murkier and would probably make the average student think a lot harder about whether or not immortality is all that it is cracked up to be.
With the batch of students, this book could easily lead to some very good class discussions....more
I bought this graphic novel a long time ago and just finally got around to reading it. I am a big fan of The Wheel of Time series and thought that itI bought this graphic novel a long time ago and just finally got around to reading it. I am a big fan of The Wheel of Time series and thought that it was a neat idea that they brought the story to this medium.
Movie directors have to make a lot of hard decisions when they adapt the book into a movie. The authors of this book had to do the same thing. As someone who has read all of the books, I was able to follow the story quite well. If I, however, had never heard of the Wheel of Time series before picking up this book, I think I would have a hard time trying to following the story line.
The illustrators in this book made artistic choices based on their artistic abilities and interpretation of the book. For many things in the book, I appreciate the way the artist brought the world to life. In other aspects, their choices just went totally against how I saw this world in my mind when I was reading. One key example is the White Tower. Instead of a stout, round tower that would be stereotypical of medieval Europe found in this book, I imagined a sleek, tall tower with sweeping curves that made the building look fragile.
Different artists have different styles of drawing. However, the sudden shift in style interrupted to flow of the story when I started chapter seven. Moraine looked so different in the last part of the book when a new artist took over, it took me a little while to realize that she wasn’t a new character.
I understand that there is a lot of pressure to complete a comic book on time, especially those that are done in full color. However, I felt that level of drawing in this book wasn’t as good as what I’ve seen in other graphic novels.
I have no plans to buy the rest of the books in the series. However, if I notice that one of my friends have the books on their bookshelf, I would be incline to borrow and read them. ...more
I really want to enjoy this series, but after the second book, I think I will have a really hard time getting motivated to continue on when the next bI really want to enjoy this series, but after the second book, I think I will have a really hard time getting motivated to continue on when the next book comes out.
As seen in Elantris and Mistborn, Sanderson is quite good at creating relatively short character based fantasy novels. These kinds of stories take place in one particular area and the rest of the world isn’t really that important. In a standalone book or a short trilogy, I can appreciate the writer focusing mainly on the characters and their plight.
As for an epic series that will probably hit the 10,000 page mark, I have different expectations. In something that mammoth, an important part of the story for fantasy is world building. In series like The Wheel of Time or A Song of Ice and Fire, the reader feels like that they have a firm grasp on the cultures, politics, religions, and customs of all the different parts of the world. Sanderson’s style of brevity did work well for finishing up the Wheel of Time series because the characters and situation were so well established with lots of detail in the first eleven books.
While Sanderson has established himself as a fantasy writer, I feel that his transition into epic fantasy hasn’t gone as smoothly as I would have hoped. Yes, Sanderson has thought up an extremely unique environmental situation and has an interesting magic concept. He has developed an entertaining storyline that revolves around a small handful of main characters.
The biggest downfall for me comes from the lack of details of physical world that the characters live in. In the previous book, I felt like I knew and understood the city of Kharbranth. Also, I could easily imagine myself walking on the Shattered Plains. However, beyond that, everything seems so generic. Even the camps on the Shattered Plains feel generic. I don’t feel like I truly know that life is like in those camps. As I read through, the camp, along with quite a few other places, just feel like a hastily constructed backdrop for me.
With all of the description, I could see easily see myself as a farmer in the Two Rivers in a Wheel of Time. All of the detail in a Song of Ice and Fire made me feel like I could be a noble in the court of King’s Landing discussing the politics of Westeros.
At first, the drawings and sketched that can be found throughout the first two books were a nice touch. After I saw the pictures of the Shard Plates, I started to feel like I was reading the written form of a Japanese Anime. Sure there are a lot of cool, creative, and interesting things in an anime, but many times the stories are cartoonish and simplified or watered down to fit into a TV format.
I’ve enjoyed previous works by Sandersons, but I am not sure if I will pick up the next book in the series. We’ll see how I feel in 2016....more
I've heard a lot about Terry Pratchett in the Fantasy forums on Reddit and other sites because of his Discworld series, but I'm starting to regret notI've heard a lot about Terry Pratchett in the Fantasy forums on Reddit and other sites because of his Discworld series, but I'm starting to regret not reading his stuff sooner. Even though quite a few people say that this book is quite different from Discworld, I can't wait to read more of his work.
I have to say that in this book Pratchett finds a wonderful balance in writing between complexity and casualness. Terry Pratchett discusses complex ideas in a writing style that is approachable while at the same time refined and mature. In addition to that, there was a nice sprinkling of British humor throughout the entire book.
The beginning was a bit slow and it took me a little while to grasp Pratchett's world alternative historical fiction. However, once the story got rolling, it was extremely entertaining to see how a young British aristocratic teenage girl and a young native teenage boy cope with being the only initial survivors of a tsunami on a small island in the Great Southern Pelagic Ocean. In the midst of all this, two cultures clash while both characters face existential crises. ...more
Patrick Rothfuss has accomplished so much more that I have or probably will ever in the literary world. My hat is off to him for all that he has achiePatrick Rothfuss has accomplished so much more that I have or probably will ever in the literary world. My hat is off to him for all that he has achieved, all the hard work he has put in, and his glorious facial hair. With that said, I respectably do not care for the second book of the Kingkiller Chronicles.
I will start of with what I do like. I think that in a couple of instances, Rothfuss was able to create some absolutely fascinating cultures of different groups of people in his book. When I read a fantasy novel, I am absolutely enthralled by the world building aspect of it. For example, I was intrigued by the entire hierarchical ring system used in Severen to denote one's social standing in comparison of other people. Also, the linguistic aspects of the Adem language, which included a focus on intimacy and sign language, was absolutely intriguing.
However, I have a hard time appreciating Rothfuss' writing style. I think the parts he does well is the telling of ancient lore that people share as fireside stories. I believe that a well illustrated book of fairy tales written by Rothfuss would be a great piece of work.
Beyond that, I find that most of his writing comes off as juvenile. A lot it feels undeveloped and lacks the detail that I expect from a thick fantasy novel. In addition to that, at times Rothfuss crams in excessively melodramatic prose and conversation that just feels outplace and distracts from the flow of the story. I feel that this book is more appropriate for a young adult audience, except for all of the sex in the later part of the story.
Last of all, there are definitely some interesting ideas in this novel. Some of these places, events and people are well developed and I am pulled into that world. However, other things will arise that feel loosely connected to the story. The transitions from one event to another seem to be connected by a few literary threads. Some of these new scenes are over before they really begin. Other parts of the story are just completely fast forwarded over with the Kvothe, the narrator of this story, just saying that it wasn't that important.
I completely respect Rofhfuss, but I am not that crazy about his writing style. I'll finish the Kingkiller Chronicles (which I hope is only a trilogy) and I will keep an eye on him for future works. This is first series he has ever written. I think there is a lot to this author, but I believe some literary maturing is needed....more
I was quite pleasantly surprised with this book seeing that it was Brian McClellan's first book ever to be published. I guess the biggest thing that II was quite pleasantly surprised with this book seeing that it was Brian McClellan's first book ever to be published. I guess the biggest thing that I was really pleased with was the refinement of his writing. To me, it really feels like McClellan has a solid foundation in the art of storytelling.
Throughout the book, I could see the influences of Brandon Sanderson, who, if I am not mistaken, was one of McClellan's creative writing teachers. Both of these authors do a good job of combining the epic nature and world building of fantasy with the modern literature styles of American novels. While I am slightly more inclined to the grandeur styles of George R. R. Martin and Robert Jordan, Promise of Blood was definitely a book that kept me interested and was quite approachable.
It was glad to see McClellan step away from many of the traditional fantasy ideas and juxtaposed magic with the world of musketry and pre-industrialization. I really enjoyed seeing conflict of the different types of magic systems and their corresponding social positions throughout the book.
One thing to note, that I've read from other comments, the book does seem to be a bit heavy on the masculine side. While there are quite a few females throughout the book who are solid characters, the majority of the book is through the male point of view....more
After reading this series for almost nine years, the story of Rand al'Thor and all of the characters swirling around his life as he battles the Dark OAfter reading this series for almost nine years, the story of Rand al'Thor and all of the characters swirling around his life as he battles the Dark One is finally over. 11,916 pages. This was my first real introduction to fantasy and it has left a giant imprint on my tastes when it comes to this genre.
I feel a bit melancholic sitting here writing this review. I've spent so many hours with these characters and now their story is over. In addition to that, the majority of the book was quite depressing as humanity struggle to survive in the Last Battle. There were a few times where I let out some loud exclamations of frustration as some of my favorite characters perished.
The majority of this book revolves around combat and the tactics of battle. While other people I've talked to felt that too much of the book was based on fighting, I felt it was very appropriate for the immense showdown that has been building up for the past 14 books (including the prequel). One chapter entitled 'The Last Battle', which was 190 pages, weaved the perspectives a large number characters in a manner that build suspense and kept me wanting to turn the page. I'm not sure how many notes Brandon Sanderson had on this section, but for an author that usually base his stories on three main perspectives, he did a wonderful job at this complex task.
While this is a Brandon Sanderson book that is based on the world of Robert Jordan, there was one inconsistency that bothered me a bit. The amount of detail put into the scenes, especially from the internal dialogue of character that makes up the point of view for the chapter, has been one of my favorite aspects of this series. While many times Sanderson aptly mimics this style in his own way, there were a few scenes that were glossed over and left me unfulfilled.
This book and entire series was a task that I had to dedicate a fair chunk of my time to to complete. It was a great story, despite some flaws. Having a conclusion is satisfy, but knowing it is over is a bit saddening....more
The most striking thing about this book is that Sanderson was able to quite successfully combine modern western literary styles with epic fantasy. PleThe most striking thing about this book is that Sanderson was able to quite successfully combine modern western literary styles with epic fantasy. Plenty of details and world building – some of my favorite aspects of epic fantasy – are mixed in evenly with the overall story. Instead of giant information dumps, the world gradually developed in a timely manner that left me feeling I had a thorough understanding of the world the Sanderson created by the end of the book. While the story might not have the quickest pace or be that intense, either the plot or a character was always developing.
Traditionally, most epic fantasy has been along the lines of Good vs. Evil, with each side quite clearly denoted right from the beginning. Even though it is not explicitly stated, there is a sense of an evil presence in this world. Instead of starting off with a quest of righteousness against ‘the dark forces’, two of the main characters are trying to live good and just lives in a society that is apathetic and selfish. Other characters fall into a very grey area with actions and comments that can seem both cold and evil while noble at the same time.
Another aspect of the book that stood out to me was the theology. While there was a dominate Norse-esque religion of the main characters and introductions of other belief systems from across the world, a key component of one of the story arcs was one character making quite compelling arguments for atheism. While this is absolutely fascinating to me, it was a bit surprising coming from Sanderson who is a member of the Mormon Church. I would love to hear from him about his choices when writing this aspect of the book.
Last of all, the art work found throughout the book really helped bring Sanderson’s world to life. While I was able to see pictures in my e-book reader, I wasn’t really able to fully appreciate it due to the limited size and lack of color.
This book, which is supposed to be the first of ten, has carefully set the foundation for the entire story. It was an entertaining read for fans of epic fantasy without being overwhelming. There are a lot of unanswered questions that I look forward to seeing how they develop....more
I definitely feel that I went into this book with my expectation way too high. I've heard a lot about this book in the Fantasy community and saw thatI definitely feel that I went into this book with my expectation way too high. I've heard a lot about this book in the Fantasy community and saw that it got four and half stars here on Goodreads.
There were definitely interesting and creative fictional items that Patrick Rothfuss created in his world, such as the draccus and the highly volatile chemical whose own smoke catches fire at room temperature. Also, there were a couple of parts of the book that were definite page turners for me. However, other than these highlights, the rest of the book left me wanting more.
When it comes to fantasy, I am more interested in epic fantasy series like Wheel of Time or A Song of Fire and Ice. I enjoy a complex weave of different characters with different motivations in a detailed world. Instead of that, The Name of the Wind follows a heroic fantasy style in which there is only one main character and the reader follows their plight. In addition to this, I found the development of this imaginary world quite lacking.
In epic fantasy, I am more interested in works that are written for an adult audience. Most of the time throughout this book I felt that I was reading a book for young adults. After a bit of research, I found out that this book was the recipient of the Alex Award, which is an award for books that appeal to young readers.
I guess the last thing that sort of left me disappointed with the books was the characters themselves. I have a feeling that Rothfuss was writing how he wanted his characters to be in this world, not how the characters would fit into this world. Too many times did the protagonist meet a new character, say about three sentences before the new character stated, "I don't know why, but I like you!" Despite the main character's limited flaws, he was too much of a 'superman'. Additionally, almost all of the conversations between the main character and his love interest sounded out of place since it reminded me of a two American teenagers who didn't appear to be in the midst of a medieval setting. Last of all, the impression that I got of the main female character and her plight seemed either way to naive or completely white washed.
I've started this trilogy (and I've already bought the second book), and I can't put a book or series down once I've started it. I felt that Brandon Sanderson's novel Warbreaker, which was one of his first, showed lots of signs of a new author. His later works matured, and he developed in a great modern day fantasy writer. I think (and hope) that Rothfuss can follow this pattern with his next series. I look forward to seeing how his future books turn out....more
The thing that I enjoy about Novik's writing in the Temeraire series is her ability to re-imagine the world of the 18th century with dragons. While soThe thing that I enjoy about Novik's writing in the Temeraire series is her ability to re-imagine the world of the 18th century with dragons. While some of the plots or situations that she has written might not be the most entertaining, this book had a scenario that I found quite fascinating.
Without really giving anything away since it is stated very early on in the story, Laurence, Temeraire and the gang end up in South America (only two more continents to go!). What really pulled me into the book was how this part of the story revolved around how the severe depopulation in South America caused by diseases brought from the old world greatly alters the relationship between South American humans and dragons.
Of course there is some major politicking between different nations as the Napoleonic Wars continue across the world as well as some more antics from our beloved yet immature fire breathing dragon, Iskierka.
The book of course ends with a giant leap onto a springboard that will launch Laurence & Temeraire into new adventures....more
I don't put down a book or a series that I start. While the first two books did peak my interest quite a bit, I was suffering through almost all of thI don't put down a book or a series that I start. While the first two books did peak my interest quite a bit, I was suffering through almost all of the 1,104 pages found in this behemoth of a tale. Maybe I should have read it in two parts as it was released in its corporeal form and taken a break half way through. Instead, I went for the e-book version that doesn't suffer any publication problems when it comes to size.
By the time I was about a third of the way through the book, I was already burnt out. Tad Williams spent a lot of time and effort in the first two books to create his world, but for this last book it seems as if he was trying to finish the story so that it would fit into one book. I think that this book could have easily been written in three large books with plenty of detail and development of the story.
Also, some of Williams' writing in this book seemed sophomoric. I lost count of the number of bad similes that I found, such as, "His eyes were sad like a lizard's." Through out this book, there were quite a few group discussions between the characters about what to do next. After a brief explanation by what would naturally be considered an unreliable source, the leader of the group is quick to declare that they trust this person and will follow their advice. I find this type of logic unrealistic, and it pulls me out of the story. Another time, one of the characters refused to enter a cavern. Instead of sounding like a person deeply troubled by some past experience (which I believe was the author's intent), the person ended up sounding like a pouting teenager. The overall human interaction seemed a bit whitewashed and oversimplified. Many of the characters' actions seemed too idealized.
While there were some interesting ideas presented in this book, I'm glad that it is over. It was an experience for me; I saw some more of the world of fantasy literature, but I'm quite doubtful that I will pick up another Tad Williams book in the future....more
I have to say that Boromir is my favorite character from the books (not the movies). This viewpoint comes from a literary perspective in which BoromirI have to say that Boromir is my favorite character from the books (not the movies). This viewpoint comes from a literary perspective in which Boromir seems to been the only character in the entire series has a complex story line (save Gollum/Sméagol). While most other characters start off excessively good and proceed to saintliness (or the reverse of evil, whatever the antonym of saintliness may be), Boromir is a character who desires to do good but is almost overcame by his human nature. I didn't feel like I was reading a glorified archetype when the book focuses on him.
Even though my first comment is negative, there are definitely some aspects of this series that I enjoyed. First off, I had fun comparing the books to the movie series by Peter Jackson. It was interesting to see what parts Jackson chose to use in the movies and how they were 'hollywoodized" for the big screen.
In addition to the movies, it was also an eye opener to see how much of an influence this book had on the modern fantasy genre. All the words and characters I've seen in different fantasy games and books start to make sense as I see the root of them. It makes sense now that in some games mithril was one of the highest qualities of metals.
Last of all, the fact that this book is written in a style that pays homage to the traditional styles of British lore is quite interesting. Tolkien was able to bring a fading style of writing into the 20th century and beyond.
With that being said, there are definitely some points that makes me not want to pick up these books again the future. Counter to the last point, the writing's archaic style makes the reading a bit of a bore at times with superfluous descriptions, especially of vegetation.
As a modern American, I have very limited exposure to tales and songs of oral tradition that was common in older times. The poems and songs that littered the Lord of the Rings interrupted the flow of the book since I was unable to form the 'tune' in my head while reading them. Had I been familiar with tunes that could songs and poems, I am sure these parts would've have more enjoyable. I was able to put a couple of tunes into my head for some of the songs in the book like Gollum's song at the Forbidden Pool and Samwise Gamgee's recital of the poem about the Oliphaunts.
Last of all, the traditional style of British writing within the books made many of the characters and scenes seem stilted. No matter what the situation, I don't think that any population of people would unanimously declare fealty to a newcomer who claims to be their new leader. This idea seems unnatural and naive to a reader like myself. It seems almost akin to medieval tales that are more inline with propaganda.
Overall, I like this book for what it means to modern English literature, not for the time I spent reading it....more
Coming into this book after reading Exile, the second book in this trilogy, I was ready to put down the overall series indefinitely. After this book,Coming into this book after reading Exile, the second book in this trilogy, I was ready to put down the overall series indefinitely. After this book, I'm ready to move on to the "beginning" of the Forgotten Realms series by R.A. Salvatore.
Overall, the writing, characters and story does seem a bit juvenile in comparison to other much "deeper" fantasy. Despite that, I did find myself enjoying the plight of Drizzt Do'Urden as he struggled to find a place for himself in the surface world.
In Exile, the majority of the book took place in different caverns of the underworld. To me, I find this environment a bit stifling and a bit unimaginative. With the emergence of the surface world in this book, the entire world of the Forgotten Realms became much more interesting even though it was still following the lines of stereotypical "Tolkien" fantasy. The plight of Drizzt became more engaging now that his fate was dependent on many other social forces than just the "evil drow elves" that wanted to kill him.
Hindsight 20/20, if I were going to get into the Forgotten Realm series for the first time all over again, I might consider starting with The Crystal Shard, which was the first book that Salvatore wrote in this series. There was a bit of foreshadowing in this series of the things to come. I wonder if it would've been more entertaining to come into this trilogy, the Dark Elf Trilogy, and see the character Catti-brie as a child, or will it be more interesting to see this character "grow up" in the following series, the Icewind Dale Triology.
Though I will be taking a break from this series to read other fantasy books, I do plan to start Book 4 (or Book 1, depending on how you look at it) later on at the beginning of next year....more
After reading the first book of this series, The Dragonbone Chair, I was a bit hesitant going into this book. The majority of the first book of the MeAfter reading the first book of this series, The Dragonbone Chair, I was a bit hesitant going into this book. The majority of the first book of the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy was a bit of a slower world building book. While there were many other characters mentioned in the first book, the entire story seemed to follow the main character Simon's 'Hero Quest'. Additionally, these side characters didn't really seem connected to Simon.
In the second book, the foundation of the world has been sufficiently built and the book was able to focus more on the plight of the characters. While the majority of the story still does revolve around Simon, many of the more minor characters start getting their fair share of the spotlight in the story. At the beginning, it wasn't clear how these side story arcs are connected, but as the story progresses an underlining theme started to develop.
By the end of this book, I had a decent idea of where the book was heading. I'm not left guessing what will happen next like in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire Series. While I do enjoy trying to figure out where Martin is going to go next, it is nice to see in this book that all of the characters have direction.
I do have to say that the quick review at beginning of the book got me back into the story quickly. I didn't have to try and remember, and there wasn't any drawn out explanation or dialogue in the regular chapters to remind me of what happened in the first book....more
I have to say that I enjoyed this book more than the first book of the series, Homeland. I think part of the reason is that I was able to quickly inseI have to say that I enjoyed this book more than the first book of the series, Homeland. I think part of the reason is that I was able to quickly insert myself into the world created by R.A. Salvatore since it was nicely set up in the first book.
While the majority of the first book spent most of the time setting up the main character, Drizzt Do’Urden, this book seems to be focused more on adventure in the Underworld. Even though that is the main focus, there is still a nice level character development all throughout the book.
The only real downside to this is the 'cheesiness' of the book at times. If I was reading these books for the first time in Middle & High School (I was into the Star Wars books then), these books would be very appropriate for me at that time. As a grown adult with quite a few books read in my day, the writing seems mildly juvenile to me. Also, I've had my expectations set pretty high after reading George R. R. Martin and Robert Jordan.
Despite my critical view points, I do plan to read the next book in the series. R.A. Salvatore ends the book with Drizzt Do'Urden heading in a brand new direction. ...more
The main reason that I picked up this book was because I read somewhere that this book was one of the influences for George R. R. Martin, the author oThe main reason that I picked up this book was because I read somewhere that this book was one of the influences for George R. R. Martin, the author of A Song of Ice and Fire series. Seeing that his series is one of my favorite fantasy series that I have read, I think I went into this book with high expectations.
I can definitely see some of the influences for Martin in this book, such as dragons, an unspeakable dark evil force located in a frozen waste land, large amount of (fictional) historical lessons, the political maneuvering and a knight with a helmet in the shape of a dog's head. Tad Williams was definitely moving in a direction away from the traditional Tolkien style of fantasy writing, but I could still see the influences of Tolkien. While there was the standard well defined evil characters and a majority of the plot focused on the trials and tribulations of the main character, it was nice to see some of the interactions of various groups that are not directly connect to the main character that shape the environment of this world, even though these chapters weren't the most riveting.
To me, my level of interest waxed and waned quite often over the course of my reading. I would have to say that it wasn't until chapter 13 that Williams finally pulled me into his world. Furthermore, quite a few times I felt that I was reading the notes to a lecture in a history class.
While Harry Potter books might be a bit slow and tedious in the first part of the book, there was a steady build up of anticipation and excitement. For the Dragonbone Chair, the excitement came almost at random chapters for me. Sometimes I was reading at a brisk pace to get through the current chapter as quickly as possible, other times I was totally engrossed with what was happening (and almost getting off at the wrong subway station).
Except for Binabik, most of the characters' dialogue was indiscernible from other characters. I felt that I was listening the same actor play different characters using some slightly cliche and overly dramatic phrases.
I know I'm being a bit critical of this book, but I came into it with high expectations. I did enjoy myself, and I do want to finish this series. I think I will go into the next book a bit more hesitantly though....more
This is the first book by R.A. Salvatore and the first about Drizzt Do'Urden that I have read. Even though it is the first book in the Legend of DrizzThis is the first book by R.A. Salvatore and the first about Drizzt Do'Urden that I have read. Even though it is the first book in the Legend of Drizzt series, it wasn't the first book about Drizzit that was published. From my understand standing, this book is the prequel to the Icewind Dale Trilogy. So, I am not sure if I started with the right book or if it won't make a difference.
Before starting this book, I have been reading epic fantasy by George R. R. Martin and Robert Jordan. Because of that, my expectations/preferences of fantasy had quite a bit of bias.
Overall, I (just) liked the book. The biggest plus that I liked about it was that Salvatore was able to make me feel like I was in the world he was creating (without being verbose). It was interesting to see the fantasy world set in the domain of the dark elves and not the 'high' elves. The culture, society and environment was nicely set up and it was quite easy to enter and understand this alternative world.
Again, I'm going into this book after reading massive epic American fantasy. Compared to that, the book feels 'light'. Descriptions, dialogue and thoughts were (just) adequate. Narratives were only from a few core characters, with the majority of perspective coming from only three characters.
Some scenes were only a paragraph or two long and they conveyed all the information that was needed. Once it was completed, it would quickly transition into a different scene and/or perspective. To me, it felt a bit incomplete and unsatisfying. I guess I just like a bit of "Tolstoy-ian" style of writing when it comes to my fantasy.
To me, the most interesting scene in the book was a couple of pages from the perspective of a Svirfnebli (Deep Gnome in this world). Just that little bit of point of view from a tertiary character really caught my attention. I am not saying that the rest of the book was poor in comparison, I just like seeing this world through the eyes of all different type of people (monsters, spirits, daemons, etc...).
I never had the feeling of wanting this story to go on forever (A Storm of Swords) but I did find it enjoyable. I will definitely give this series a chance. I will finish the prequel trilogy (The Dark Elf Trilogy) and move into the "first real" trilogy (The Icewind Dale Trilogy). After that, I will have to reassess my view of Drizzt and friends before I continue on....more
As with all of the Temeraire books, what really captivates me is Naomi Novik's wonderful re-imagining of the 19th Century world with the addition of dAs with all of the Temeraire books, what really captivates me is Naomi Novik's wonderful re-imagining of the 19th Century world with the addition of dragon, serpents and other mythical beasts. This time around, she brought to life the Australian Aboriginal tale of the bunyip.
Just like the previous books, you can expect more archaic British English, a story arc full of hurdles (instead of shocking twists) and more clashes between human and dragon mentality.
There was a very interesting development in international relationships at the end of the book. It's this kind of altering of familiar history with fantasy that has me hooked on this series....more
While this book doesn't compare A Storm of Swords, it is definitely an improvement from the last book, A Feast for Crows. After reading book 4 & 5While this book doesn't compare A Storm of Swords, it is definitely an improvement from the last book, A Feast for Crows. After reading book 4 & 5, I don't hold anything against Martin for dividing the books as he did. Had they been divided differently, I am not sure if they would've come out better or worse.
While A Dance with Dragons didn't have the giant shocking twists that were spaced out perfectly in A Storm of Swords, it still had a nice pace with interesting twist and turns along the way that kept me interested and wanting to know what happens next. As per usual, the end of the book leaves a lot of questions unanswered and no exact path of what is to happen next. This is exactly what keeps me wanting to read more.
One thing that I really enjoyed is the amount of time and detail that was put into the Free Cities and Slaver Bay. It was refreshing to see quite a different world that wasn't 'Medieval Europe' that was prominent in the first few books of the series.
I can't wait for book six to come out and I hope I don't have to wait six years for the next one. ...more
Previously, I gave all of the Harry Potter books 5 starts. While I still like this book, I just feel that the book is getting a bit repetitive for myPreviously, I gave all of the Harry Potter books 5 starts. While I still like this book, I just feel that the book is getting a bit repetitive for my tastes. The overall story of good versus evil still continues and develops, but the whole pattern of what happens to Harry Potter and friends at Hogwarts seems to be having an impact on my enjoyment of the book.
I am not sure if this slight negative response to the book comes from going through all of these books in one year. I am sure if I did one book a year when they came out, my outlook could be a bit different.
Beyond my mild complaint, the series continues to be a solid and imaginative story that continues to increase in its complexity and reference to larger more mature issues. ...more
J.K. Rowling continues to do a great job on the Harry Potter series. With each book, the subject matter gets more mature and starts to deal with someJ.K. Rowling continues to do a great job on the Harry Potter series. With each book, the subject matter gets more mature and starts to deal with some themes from the real world. Young people reading this book might not catch all of the deeper ideas, but I'm sure they will be pleasantly surprise when the reread the book as an adult and can take away from from the story.
The character development that Rowling is able to do in her books is wonderful. Even though this a complete work of fiction, I get emotionally involved with what is happening. There were a few times as I was walking home that I wanted to scream out in frustration because of the action of one the more unlikable characters. Also, Rowling depiction of someone who has gone through many traumatic experiences was quite powerful.
The second time around with this book was better than the first and I look forward to diving into the next book soon....more
Even though there is a general formula to the plot in a Harry Potter book, this book breaks away from focusing entirely on Hogwarts and starts to lookEven though there is a general formula to the plot in a Harry Potter book, this book breaks away from focusing entirely on Hogwarts and starts to look at bigger events in the World of Wizardry. Instead of just the standard hijinks with the Dursley family and the following escape, much of the beginning of the store revolves around the Quidditch World Cup.
In addition to this, a lot of more serious and deeper issues are talked about within this story. Some of the more adult ideas that J.K. Rowling is starting to introduce into her book is government bureaucracy, mud slinging journalism, discrimination, slavery, human rights, and xenophobia. While a young child reading this book for the first time might not really pick up on all of these themes, I think as they get older and reread these books, these mature concepts will make reading the book again all the more enjoyable. Not only will people still have the nostalgia of reading it when they were young, they will be able to get something new of the book as an adult. ...more
I'm continuing my 're-read' of the Harry Potter series via the audio books read by Stephen Fry. Fry does a wonderful job of bringing the world of HarrI'm continuing my 're-read' of the Harry Potter series via the audio books read by Stephen Fry. Fry does a wonderful job of bringing the world of Harry Potter to life with his voice, though the voices of Sirius Black and Hagrid sounded almost identical.
The second time going through this series I appreciate the story more and more. Throughout the book there are a lot of wizardry events, ideas, items, and places that creatively describe that make them unique but still familiar enough to their real world counterpart.
There is a clearly an overall theme of 'Good vs. Evil' in the entire Harry Potter series, but Rowling does a nice job of making the boundary between these two sides murky. While you might have a certain opinion of a character at the beginning of a book, as events unfold and you learn more, your opinions will probably start to change.
By the third book, I am starting to see the basic pattern of events that I remember happening in every Harry Potter book. While this formula does get a bit predictable, the overall story arc of all seven books is developed even further in this installment.
I came into this book thinking that I was going to tired of the series, but I still greatly enjoy it....more
I noticed that I didn't have a review of it since I read before I really started to use Goodreads. To balance with my current reading and other studieI noticed that I didn't have a review of it since I read before I really started to use Goodreads. To balance with my current reading and other studies, I decided to get the audio book read by Stephen Fry.
Just like the first book, J.K. Rowling continues to do a wonderful job of expanding her re-imagining of modern England with magic. The overall plot of the conflict between Harry Potter and 'you know who' continues to develop with a new and interesting story.
There is a bit of a overall cliche theme of good versus evil throughout the book series. I prefer more complex themes of people acting in their own self interest instead of aligning themselves across a battle line. However, in this Harry Potter book, Rowling takes a small step and breaks the mold of the good guys always being good. While here protagonists are still on the side of good, other characters within the book perceive them to be on the side of evil. While this isn't a major deviation from the whole archetype, I think it is a good introduction to young readers that the world isn't always black and white. ...more
While I respect the choice that George R. R. Martin made to have this book focus on only half of the characters, it didn't have the same pace and exciWhile I respect the choice that George R. R. Martin made to have this book focus on only half of the characters, it didn't have the same pace and excitement as the previous books in the series. In A Storm of Swords, I couldn't put the book down. I wanted to see what happened next and I always loved every shock and surprise. A Feast for Crows just didn't give me those feelings. A lot of interesting things happened and the events of Westeros developed further, but a good portion of the book seemed quite mundane.
One thing that greatly frustrated me in this book was how the story arc of one character was greatly fleshed out and only resulted in being a dead end before it changed directions. Maybe I missed something or maybe all of these happenings will have a greater impact on the story in a later book. For now I feel that this segment of writing is part of the bane of fantasy writing in which the author greatly fluffs the story in order to make the book a behemoth.
I was hoping for a giant, explosive and mind-blowing ending that would redeem the book and make a solid favorite. I didn't get what I was hoping for, but there were some events that were quite momentous. Maybe I've been desensitized to Martin's writing style and knew what to expected or maybe the plot twists in this book weren't as epic as his other books.
I did enjoy all of the new 'minor' characters from different factions. I personally think it expands the flavor of personalities and story lines in the book. It also might be useful for replacing some of the previous characters that are no longer amongst the living.
This book definitely doesn't make me want to drop the entire series. There was plenty interesting things that happened, but most of the book didn't have the 'oomph' I was looking for. I still love the series and look forward to reading book five. I just feel that this wasn't Martin's strongest contribution to the A Song of Ice and Fire series....more
This books continues on the series in the same manner as before but like in the last book, this book maintains a state of excitement and suspense throThis books continues on the series in the same manner as before but like in the last book, this book maintains a state of excitement and suspense throughout the entire book. In books 1 & 2 of the series, the beginning and the ending of the book had the interesting and exciting portions. The middle section tended to be a bit bland and focused more on the development of the alternative world.
In book 4, like in the last book, the level of excitement was a constant throughout the book. I wanted to continue on to see what happened next. I didn't have the feeling from the first two books of wanting to get through a certain section so I could arrive to the more enjoyable sections.
Just like in all of the other books before this one, the dialogues and text are written in a bit of an archaic (and what I hope to be an accurate) from of British English. It is interesting to see new albeit (to my point of view) obtuse phrases.
Unlike the books up to now, this book ends in a real cliff hanger which leaves me wonder how our daring hero will overcome this situation. Seeing that this is not a George R. R. Martin novel, I am pretty sure the present crisis will be resolved in some manner that lets the Laurence and Temeraire continue on in a state of living....more