I really don't know what to say about this book. I guess I didn't give it the attention it deserves while reading it. I kept putting it down, and by tI really don't know what to say about this book. I guess I didn't give it the attention it deserves while reading it. I kept putting it down, and by the time I picked it back up, I'd forgotten who the characters were.
I did get attached to Elene and Kylar -- puppy dog romance to the max. They're so cute together. I also liked the seer character, and his bros that're dragged along for the ride. The fight scenes were cool, but I don't think they worked well as words on paper.
Sadly enough, I'm not sure what to say about the main plot. I mean, it happened, obviously, but... eh. So much of it is wrapped up in vague history and future prophecies. I'm hoping the second book presents this in a more engaging manner....more
When I first read this book, which was a while ago, I fell completely and stupidly in love with it. It really is a great book for kids to read -- it'sWhen I first read this book, which was a while ago, I fell completely and stupidly in love with it. It really is a great book for kids to read -- it's a fairly easy read, and slightly silly, but it also has an amazingly fantastic premise, and the world they move through on their journey is so vivid.
As previously mentioned, it's been a long time since I first read it. But I found myself thinking about it, when caught up in insomnia, and finally decided to re-read it.
Going back to it was... oddly comforting. Most of the story was soothingly familiar, while I enjoyed small details I either missed, or forgot about. The prose itself was much richer than I remember; the book employs a lot of rhymes and song lyrics, and they fit together amazingly well.
I won't go into any plot summaries, or about the characters, because I won't do it justice. But if you like stories about dreamworlds, enjoy reading about characters going on a journey together, or just want a book that will enchant you and stay with you for a long time afterward -- I highly recommend it.
This book is so much more than an expansion of the Pied Piper tale, and is an excellent piece of literature in it's own right, and I love it for that....more
I'm starting to understand why more fans of the show don't read the books.
They're good books, fairly well written -- despite, well, a lot of complaintI'm starting to understand why more fans of the show don't read the books.
They're good books, fairly well written -- despite, well, a lot of complaints I could list here. But the denouement of this book was the hardest part to read. It felt like those last few chapters were never going to end.
So yeah, that last dragging on part really soured my opinion on the book. I'd give it a 2.5 if I could. ...more
It took me a while to get into this book, mainly because most of my knowledge of the Elder Scrolls comes from playing Skyrim (and reading plot summariIt took me a while to get into this book, mainly because most of my knowledge of the Elder Scrolls comes from playing Skyrim (and reading plot summaries for Morrowind and Oblivion). Still, it was nice to see an author making use of the rich setting which the Elder Scrolls provides. I'm surprised, and slightly disappointed, that only this author has written for the franchise.
Stylistically, the novel is a bit of a mess. The worst offense is how the author flips between point-of-view characters. There are roughly five main characters, in three different groups, carrying four different plot-lines. Each time, the shift between characters was jarring, ruining any immersion. On a nit-picky point, there was even a typo, which should have been fixed in the editing process, rather than appearing in the finished product.
As well, the ending felt rushed and flimsy. It was as if the author decided it would be better to end on a dramatic cliffhanger, and was too eager to get there. The book has a sequel, but honestly, I think it would have been better if it was just one continuous story. Since this book spends so much time setting up the characters and the plot, the sudden ending cheapens the story on a whole. It's hard to say that the political intrigue is interesting when it was barely focused on, and leads. Looking back on the book, it is hard to say there was much substance, when most of it was merely a sequel hook. This shouldn't be the case, the book should be able to stand on it's own merits, with the it's own, satisfying, self-contained story.
The most interesting and original parts were the scenes set within in the floating city itself. It's explored and established nicely by the two characters who arrive there, and spend time living in it. From moving through the bottom of the island (the sump, a birthing pool/dump/waterway), to the kitchens, and the places they serve, we learn about the ecosystem, and the morals (or lack thereof) which the inhabitants hold. The scenes in the big, chaotic, alchemical kitchens full of completely alien foods reminded me of the first time I watched Spirited Away -- both have a fascinating otherworldliness to them.
Probably the biggest flaw in the novel is the morality surrounding the use of souls. In the floating city, the upper classes enjoy consuming vapours and other dishes, made by diluting the souls gathered by the island's insects. The island itself is only able to float through the use of these gathered souls.
For some of our main characters, this is considered unethical and highly disturbing. Yet the one who works in the kitchen soon comes to think of it as similar to working with meat, and another character only protests against it when the souls used belongs to people he knows.
Within the universe, the capturing of souls within the aptly named soul gems, is considered common place. These are then used to power enchanted items, such as weapons or dwarven golems.
My point is, I feel like the author missed the chance to do anything interesting with this issue. It'd be refreshing to see at least one character go "hey, this is kind of fucked up." Or to realize the floating city isn't that monstrous, considering much of Tamriel does the same thing with soul gems.
But it does show compliance with the established canon, with regards to soul-powered enchantments, so I guess at least the author is showing his work somewhat.
Finally, it bothers me that of the five main characters, only one of them is female. It makes her feel like "the token chick", and it's annoying how much time is spent from the male povs.
Though this is, again, an unfortunate tendency of the Elder Scrolls. See: Azura, who is a Daedric Prince. Apparently, the Daedra are genderless beings, yet they hold male titles (Princes and/or Lords), and Azura herself is referred to by female pronouns. I mean, what. That makes no sense. I bring this up because Azura is one of the key Daedra in the book, and so it is guilty to buying into that clusterfuck.
I will read the next book, to see what happens, but I am disappointed with this book for falling so short of it's potential....more
The book is strongest where the author leaves gaps in the prose. A world that has "somehow moved on," technology and most civilization fallen to dust.The book is strongest where the author leaves gaps in the prose. A world that has "somehow moved on," technology and most civilization fallen to dust. Where inside a mountain (populated by bioluminscent mutated once-humans), mummies of conductors sit in the ruin of an abandoned train station.
So yes, the world, and the lore it contains, hold a lot of promise.
The main character of the Lone Gunslinger, not so much.
Also, the people in the book tended to talk as if only a few sentences out of a paragraph where included. Yet somehow, to the other characters, these gaps contain deep and meaningful thoughts. Which is dumb. So yeah, I found the prose pretty hard to follow, since it ran according to some mysterious, internal logic, completely foreign to the reader....more
I really love Evan Dahm's work. All of it is set in his own fictional world, called Overside. And the world building that he does through his works isI really love Evan Dahm's work. All of it is set in his own fictional world, called Overside. And the world building that he does through his works is masterful.
Order of Tales is particularly rich in this regard. When you're reading it, you can sense the history which has influenced the current events, recognize the significant of what is occurring, and sense that you're witnessing the passing of an era.
Dahm used this work to experiment with high contrast black and white, and succeeded spectacularly. It's amazing how his lines can go from delicate, to thick brushstrokes.
While the collected tome is heavy and somewhat difficult to hold, the story does flow from one chapter to another, and it is best read this way.
I would highly suggest Dahm's books to anyone who loves graphic novels, and/or high fantasy. His work is available to read and purchase at www.riceboy.com...more
This is a fantastic book and I recommend it for anyone who's ever played a fantasy rpg video game. The approach Yahtzee takes to the genre, where theThis is a fantastic book and I recommend it for anyone who's ever played a fantasy rpg video game. The approach Yahtzee takes to the genre, where the minions are in it for weekly theater shows, and townsfolk are irritated about adventurers rummaging around, is really fun to read, but also makes you think about common adventuring tropes.
Probably the most interesting thing is, once people start realizing they're immortal/re-spawn after dying, people become addicted to suicide and other similarly unpleasant deaths. It's a realistic response, that society would freak the fuck out, if they were suddenly to become immortal.
The audio book is quite impressive; it's 13 hours long, read by Yahtzee himself, and he does various voices for each characters. I'm kinda disappointed he didn't slip into his Zero Punctuation persona during the epilogue, but I'm pretty sure his Slippery John voice makes up for it.
So yeah. Sorry for the incoherence, but this is a good book. If you like Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett, you should probably read this too....more
I loved the Bartimaeus trilogy dearly when I was in middle school. It's surprisingly comforting to come back to that narrative voice, like meeting upI loved the Bartimaeus trilogy dearly when I was in middle school. It's surprisingly comforting to come back to that narrative voice, like meeting up with a friend I haven't read in years.
The book is an interesting meditation on duty and slavery, and the thin line between the two.
It also has given me the urge to re-read the original trilogy, since I miss the human characters from that book. Still, I know I'll continue reading any further books, just to chill for a bit with Barty....more
Next time someone thinks about deconstructing fairy tales (I'm looking at you, person responsible for Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters), they read thiNext time someone thinks about deconstructing fairy tales (I'm looking at you, person responsible for Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters), they read this book and then think long and hard about their lives.
This book also demonstrates why I think everyone should read Discworld.
Part of TPerry's amazing world-building, where witches are pillars of the community and stubbornly insist on following cliches, when witches go wrong and start playing roles in fairy tales, it doesn't end well for anyone.
Set in the Disc's version of New Orleans around their version of Mardis Gras, this book contains a dystopian city that's copy+pasted from Disneyworld, an awesome focus on voodoo and the spirits/Gods contained therein and how it's not necessarily used to hurt people, and an amazing take-that to a whole bunch of traditional fairy tales that've been romanticized as hell.
The section based around Red Riding Hood is probably my favourite part of the book. You know, asking why the community is okay with letting an old woman live alone out in the woods, why they let the wolf hang around, and why the hell a woman would send a little girl out into the woods. It's handled fairly straight, and tragic enough to make me tear up.
Just... read this book. It'll make more sense if you've read one of the Discworld books based around the witches (Wyrd Sisters is particularly great, especially if you like or have read Macbeth)....more