I'm not exactly a fan of fantasy. After countless disappointments I pretty much gave up on this genre, except for humorous fantasy (Fforde, Pratchett)I'm not exactly a fan of fantasy. After countless disappointments I pretty much gave up on this genre, except for humorous fantasy (Fforde, Pratchett) and Tolkien. I don't even remember why exactly I bought "The Name of the Wind". It sounded vaguely interesting and it was cheap, so no harm done if I didn't like it.
I was pleasantly surprised. Rothfuss takes his time to create a world and its characters which might make the plot seem slow to some, but I appreciated all the details and seemingly minor events which made everything appear surprisingly real. Magic is approached matter-of-factly, almost scientificly, and there's a pleasant lack of explicit sex or violence (though rumour has it this changes rather drastically in The Wise Man's Fear, and that extenuates my excitement significantly). While Rothfuss's writing style isn't flawless (he tends to repeat himself a tad too often), I still loved his colourful, lively prose, one of the main reasons why I had a hard time putting the book down.
So why not a 5 stars rating?
The novel's hero Kvothe is too 'perfect'. I've seen him described as a Gary Stu character repeatedly, and I can understand where this perception comes from. It might be nice for an author to bring the kind of man to life he always wanted to be, but someone should have told Rothfuss that too much perfection can get tedious after a while. Kvothe's only notable flaws are his people skills, or rather the lack thereof, and a tendency towards arrogance and condescending behaviour. No, he's not the most likeable guy, but there was something quite interesting about him nonetheless.
Denna, the obligatory love interest, was a much bigger problem. She's elusive, bland even, manipulative, capricious and pretty much everything a thoroughly clichéd female character requires. Is she supposed to be enigmatic, strong, independent? If so, it didn't work for me at all, except for some rare and short moments. She's barely more than a worn out plot device.
Despite these shortcomings, "The Name of the Wind" restored my faith that there's fantasy out there which might even appeal to me. And that's pretty close to a miracle....more
As a huge fan of Enterprise, I felt insulted by the last episode that didn't only kill off my favourite character in a way that nearly made m2.5 stars
As a huge fan of Enterprise, I felt insulted by the last episode that didn't only kill off my favourite character in a way that nearly made me cry; it also focused on two characters from another Star Trek series, Riker and Troi from TNG, assuming everyone knows them. That's just disrespectful to both the fans of Enterprise as well as the characters and their respective actors.
Guess what? The authors of The Good That Men Do did exactly the same thing with Jake Sisko and Nog from DS9, fortunately to a much lesser extent, but enough to make me groan.
While I appreciate the basic notion behind the story, its execution was rather poor. The characters felt wrong, the plot contrived, often unnecessarily melodramatic and ultimately dissatisfying (if we can milk the cow any further, why give it a proper ending?), and the writing style was mediocre at best.
I don't regret having read it, but it could have been done so much better, with more respect for the characters and the fans' desire for closure....more