Young Prince Jorg is the heir to one of the hundred thrones of the broken empire, and he is a monster. He looks like a pretty normal 14 year old boy,...moreYoung Prince Jorg is the heir to one of the hundred thrones of the broken empire, and he is a monster. He looks like a pretty normal 14 year old boy, but a page in, and you will have no doubt that he is a monster. There’s a pretty good reason why he’s a monster, but never doubt that he is a monster. To call him a hero is a farce. To call him an anti-hero I suppose would be accurate. Jorg himself isn’t concerned with such titles, and focuses only on whether he is victorious or not.
This is a dark book, full of evil deeds, and it makes no apology for it.
For all that, he does spend an awful lot of time wondering about his motivations. He has no desire to be controlled, to be used, or to be played like a pawn, and when he finds himself playing such a game, he changes the rules.
There aren’t very many characters to talk about. Since the book is written from a first person perspective, and the narrator is a psychopath, the focus is solely on Jorg, and there were a few points where I had to wonder how reliable a narrator he was.
Initially, the setting was a little odd. It didn’t have the usual fantasy tropes, and included some real world names and items, especially books. Initially I thought that it might be an alternate reality, but more and more it became clear that the story is set in a post-apocalyptic Europe. I appreciated how the author used that familiarity, and twisted it to help craft the story.
Like a more typical fantasy novel, there are monsters, and magic, but like the setting itself, they take interesting turns from the expected.
At the start I did not expect to enjoy this book... but I did, and I read it in 2 sittings, and then promptly ordered the sequel. (less)
There are a couple of things you need to know upfront.
1. This collection of stories is based on a roleplaying game called Paranoia. 2. The game is base...moreThere are a couple of things you need to know upfront.
1. This collection of stories is based on a roleplaying game called Paranoia. 2. The game is based on a future society inside a giant enclosed city ruled over by an insane computer. Everyone is given a rank, from infrared up to ultraviolet. Troubleshooters (the protagonists of the game) are tasked with hunting down mutants and secret societies. 3. Everyone is a mutant and a member of a secret society. Everyone.
The game, and the stories in this anthology, range from slapstick comedies to dark satires. Of the 5 stories in the collection, 3 are introductions to full length novels that represent these 3 styles of story, and they do a good job of it. While none of them stood out as fantastic, they were fun, and for the price (free) well worth the read.
I did feel that the inclusion of the first couple of chapters of the 3 novels that follow the short stories to be redundant, but I can see how it might encourage someone to immediately download the full novel. (less)
I'm glad that I read this, but it was a bit of a slog by the second half. The story is divided into 4 parts. The first two are the ones that everyone...moreI'm glad that I read this, but it was a bit of a slog by the second half. The story is divided into 4 parts. The first two are the ones that everyone is familiar with: the lands of the little people and the big people (Lilliput and Brobdingnag). These were the most interesting. The third land Gulliver visits is Laputa, the floating island of musicians and mathematicians who can't do anything practical with their knowledge. The last land is the country of the Houyhnhnms, horse people with no understanding of the concept of lying, war, or disease.
What you may not know is that between these visits he returns home to his wife and family, and then opts to once again go to sea. While he is home he tells people about his trips too. Knowing how superstitious sailors were, I can't imagine any of them having Gulliver on their ship. The real kicker is the forth voyage, where Gulliver is the CAPTAIN?!? Who was dumb enough to give this man a ship?!? Granted he wasn't shipwrecked the last time, his crew mutinied and abandoned him on an unknown island!!
If I was Gulliver, after the first time I was shipwrecked on a weird land, sure, maybe I'd try my luck a second time. But a third and forth time?!? Really?!? What point does one need to reach before giving up on ever successfully completing an ocean voyage?
I also did not realize that this story was as much satire as it was a fantastic story. It was written to make fun of both travel logs of the time and also of his society as a whole. By the end of the book, Gulliver, after living with these nearly perfect horses, can't even stand the company of his family.
I get what Swift was doing, but it's really hard to appreciate almost 300 years later. I haven't read travel logs from the early 1700's, and the satire of his own society was terribly heavy handed, especially at the end.(less)
It took me way too long to get through this volume. This doesn't reflect upon the writing, which is excellent, and I've already downloaded the next vo...moreIt took me way too long to get through this volume. This doesn't reflect upon the writing, which is excellent, and I've already downloaded the next volume of Sherlock Holmes stories.(less)