Terry Pratchett stakes his claim to being the funnyman of science fiction in the Color of Magic, book one in the Disc-world series. He grabs you fromTerry Pratchett stakes his claim to being the funnyman of science fiction in the Color of Magic, book one in the Disc-world series. He grabs you from the first page with his uncanny wit and his character’s humorous banter and keeps you chuckling to the very end of the story. You’ve likely seen similar characters from other books, television and movies but Pratchett takes the classic comedy duo and firmly plants them in a fantasy world that is over the top hilarious.
Rincewind and Twoflower are Discworld’s Costanza and Kramer with supporting characters who run the gambit of personalities. You’ll meet the brainless, brawny Hrun and the tenacious, terrifying luggage; that’s right, a seemingly living piece of luggage with legs and an uncanny willingness toward violence.
When you consider this entire world is literally a ginormous disc, supported by humungous elephants who reside on top of an astronomical space-travelling turtle then you’ll be very comfortable knowing that the rules of magic and nature constantly fluctuate in Discworld.
You’ll join Rincewind, our comedy’s straight-man, on his escape from the burning city of Ankh-Morpork (which coincidentally is burning partially because of his shenanigans) with his tourist-sidekick, Twoflower. The story begins with the duo telling their story to a couple of heroes on the road out of town, launching you on a journey through some of Disc-worlds most perilous places populated by some cunningly funny people.
Character growth, mixed with the multitude of laughable moments provides smiles from beginning to end. Rincewind is layered like an onion; cowardly and almost indifferent in the beginning but certainly altered for the better as he learns the value of friendship.
In protecting his clueless friend, Rincewind sets off a chain of events that leaves nothing but mischief and mayhem in their wake while the Gods twist and turn the tables our unlikely pair. Rincewood and Twoflower narrowly escape horrendous perils at every turn rankling Fate and completely befuddling Death himself.
Pay close attention to Pratchett’s humorous pokes at our view of traditional fantasy, religion and social norms that lace neatly within the plot. Color of Magic is easily a family read with enough mature comedy that adults will absolutely love this story’s wit. Pratchett thoroughly establishes a new world while maintaining a quick pace that will leave you wanting to jump right into the next novel.
While I certainly found the story hilarious, some of the humor is quite British and therefore not to everyone’s taste. But if you are a fan of the classic comedy duo and if you appreciate a good Monty Python skit then you will absolutely love Terry Pratchett’s Color of Magic; a solid four-star comedic fantasy tale....more
Siris has spent his entire lifetime honing his body and spirit to be the ultimate warrior, foregoing all of the pleasures of a normal childhood, for tSiris has spent his entire lifetime honing his body and spirit to be the ultimate warrior, foregoing all of the pleasures of a normal childhood, for the sole purpose of one epic duel. Also known as the 'sacrafice', Siris is the most recent heir to a line of challengers who have confronted and been slain by the immortal 'God King' over the centuries. The only problem is that Siris failed by facing and miraculously killing his nemesis and taking the fabled 'Infinity Sword'.
Now Siris must confront a world he was never prepared to live in while dodging other immortals, known as 'Deathless', who covet the blade he carries, which is likely the only tool on earth capable of giving the immortals a true death. With no true allies and no clear path to the freedom he truely desires, Siris must learn all he can about the Deathless, the Infinity Blade, and his own internal mysteries before it's too late.
This was a solid prologue to what could be an interesting series should Brandon Sanderson sign on for more however, as a fan I would prefer he continue on with his personal projects. The ending was clearly devised to set the stage for more installments, with the last chapters really prodding my interest to a level I've come to expect from this author's work.
The biggest challenge with this story were certainly the limitations in writing around the preestablished storyline from the game. That said, I think Sanderson added a significant level of creativity in helping the reader understand this world through dialogue and character progressions, particualrly with supporting characters, which is a hallmark of Sanderson's style.
Clearly the folks at ChAIR Entertainment chose well in their search for an author to take on this project. While the game has little appeal to me, I can certainly see how even this one novella will spark interest and move the gaming arm of the brand forward.
Still, this is about the book and while I enjoyed it I wouldn't put it on a list of must-reads but if you are looking for something in the fantasy genre that will sate a small craving, or a quick read in between epic series, then this is a good bet....more
Meet the Warden of Low Town, a pure survivor in this post-apocalyptic world where plague decimated the population, likely setting the stage for a warMeet the Warden of Low Town, a pure survivor in this post-apocalyptic world where plague decimated the population, likely setting the stage for a war that took even more lives on both sides. From a struggling street orphan to battlefield leader, he ascends to the top in a special operations investigative unit charged with maintaining order by any means necessary. Eventually the laws of gravity and women initiate the Warden’s fall from grace, leaving him back on the streets of Low Town, where he reinvents his identity using the tools he has learned as a survivor.
The Warden is a self-made man in the local drug trade after dethroning a syndicate to carve out his territory. He’s not a thug but there is clearly a very dark side to this man, as he maintains a delicate balance between criminal entrepreneur and neighborhood guardian angel. It’s that last aspect of the Warden that pulls him back into his former investigator roll where multiple factions look to either manipulate or destroy him before he can unmask a sinister killer who leverages dark magic to murder children and cover the trail.
This is Daniel Polansky’s debut novel that takes you to the dregs of a society trying to redefine itself after plague and war. There are no ‘good guys versus bad guys’ in this read; only varying degrees of bad guys who exist in this world after anarchy where the unwritten laws of the street are still based on individual survival due to a disinterested ruling class.
From the outset you can feel the grime littering the streets come off the pages and see the grey-cast gloom in the sky. There is a building tension throughout the book that parallels the detailed actions as the Warden hunts the anonymous child killer. It’s uncovering this society through the Warden’s interpersonal relationships with the variety racial and social backgrounds that I found most intriguing and most enlightening from a personal standpoint.
There is plenty of action and entertainment as well and you’ll fly through the pages as this fallen hero closes in on his nemesis. The Warden faces death at multiple turns in a novel where the good guy may not necessarily win but he’ll go down hacking with blade in hand if it comes to that.
It’s also a story of choices and consequences, which leads back to varying degrees of bad in everyone. You’re exposed to interpersonal moral dilemmas where doing evil to serve the greater good is overlooked, but also accrues a debt that must eventually be paid by the laws of karma or nature if not men.
Because of his obvious character flaws, I find it’s easy to root for the Warden. He’s a hard man who also loves those in his inner circle in his own hard way. Honor does not hinder him to do what he must and it is duty to his people in Low Town that drives him. His back story is revealed a spoonful at a time and by the end there are still more questions about what drove this man to the life he leads.
There are plenty of other questions, and a few characters left at the end to set up what should be a great sequel to Polansky’s incredible debut sci-fi, mystery, action-adventure novel. Having just come off a five-book high-fantasy series, this was the perfect change of venue; top notch. ...more
This one is a tear-jerker for sure. It's a testament to the impact a mentor can have on one's life and how we sometimes don't see the true value untilThis one is a tear-jerker for sure. It's a testament to the impact a mentor can have on one's life and how we sometimes don't see the true value until much too late...or maybe not. First Albom book I read though I have followed his columns in the Detroit Free Press for years and I wasn't disappointed in the least. Mitch is fantastic at tugging your heart strings and I'm a crusty old paratrooper so that's saying something....more
Fahrenheit 451 is a classic in the genre and clearly right on par with Orwell’s 1984 and Burgess’ Clockwork Orange. Though it’s been many years sinceFahrenheit 451 is a classic in the genre and clearly right on par with Orwell’s 1984 and Burgess’ Clockwork Orange. Though it’s been many years since I read it, the story served as an early reminder for me that freedom and liberty are precious things worth fighting for. More importantly, Brabury served as a mentor from afar, teaching a young reader that it is crucial to ask questions and play the skeptic. Beyond the political themes, Fahrenheit 451 provides enough action throughout the plot to entertain those of us who are easily distracted. Best part for me were Bradbury’s characters and the inner conflict they grapple with throughout, before coming to the realization and accepting that everything they knew was so very wrong. Yes, it’s more than okay to question and even in 2011. It’s a must-read for anyone who believes ignorance is bliss, and certainly a brilliant piece for entertainment; one of my favorites....more
One of the hardest things to do is maintain momentum through plot and character development the longer a series goes. I was prepared for a letdown inOne of the hardest things to do is maintain momentum through plot and character development the longer a series goes. I was prepared for a letdown in A Dance with Dragons but Martin maintains a good pace with a rather unique way of breaking down his chapters. In fact these last two books in the Fire and Ice series really focus on specific groups of characters alternately, giving you a glimpse of what is happening in other parts of the world through rumor, dialogue, and excellent foreshadowing. Toward the end of A Dance With Dragons he pulls it all back together on the same timeline and sets up the next installment with plenty of cliffhangers. Without spoiling it, I'll just say that I finished the last few chapters with a great deal of anxiousness, if not anxiety for what could possibly go wrong for my favorite characters in the next book. Until it comes out I'll continue to try and see a way that the better guys (because there are no clear good-guys) sort things out and get the realm lined up for what I hope is an epic and successful campaign against the Others. ...more