*This review contains some spoilers. You have been warned.*
This is the final book in The Reckoner's series and closes out their story. Did the book br*This review contains some spoilers. You have been warned.*
This is the final book in The Reckoner's series and closes out their story. Did the book bring about a proper ending and a satisfying conclusion? Well, it depends on how you look at it. Allow me to elaborate.
Picking up after the ending of Firefight, Calamity begins with our heroes attacking a certain installation. A lot has changed in the team and with the loss of Prof they're in a desperate situation.
I'll say this - Sanderson has some amazingly creative ideas when it comes to cities. We go from a city turned all to steel to a city sunken under the ocean. Now, in Calamity, we have a city made out of... salt. Oh, and it also moves on its own. Pretty cool ideas, in my book.
The Reckoner's move into this city to try and figure out how to save Prof and put things to right, but the situation ends up not being as straight-forward as they had hoped. A lot happens and, eventually, we're lead to the eventual conclusion.
Calamity is, in my opinion, the best of the three books. A lot happens, there's plenty of tension throughout, and all of the surviving characters get plenty of "screen time". That is also where some of my complaints come in, though. This series really felt like it was written as a quick cash grab - perhaps to get it turned into a TV series or a movie. At times all of the books feel a bit rushed and lack the depth of some of Sanderson's other works.
Personally, I felt the ending was a bit cheap. There's the typical final battle, but it ends in a way that doesn't make much sense when you really think about Calamity's powers in relation to the others. I understand that Megan and Prof have found a way to "own" their powers, but nevertheless, Megan's whole thing about taking him to another dimension shouldn't have really worked out in the end.
Also, the ending just seemed a bit... tacky. There was no real wrapping up of things with the other characters. No final moments spent with Megan. Both father and son, in different dimensions, have Steelheart's powers and... yeah. It was one of those "and everyone lives happily ever after while we fly off into the sunset" endings. Far too generic in my book and, really, I felt there were quite a few lost opportunities with this series.
Final rating: 3.5 stars. Overall, better than Firefight with more depth, but it didn't quite live up to my expectations in the end. It's a fun and fast read, but the lack of depth for the world and its characters means that it's not a series I can see myself ever wanting to return to....more
Every now and then one runs across a book that completely blows them out of the water. For me, this was one of those books. I originally purchased TheEvery now and then one runs across a book that completely blows them out of the water. For me, this was one of those books. I originally purchased The Name of the Wind back in 2015, but only now did I get around to reading it. I'm still slapping myself for waiting that long to read it.
One might wonder why I was so enamored with this book. Well, gather 'round and I'll tell you why.
First of all, Kvothe is a very interesting character. Under the surface, of course, he's nothing we haven't seen before. Incredibly smart child learns everything faster and better than the other kids. Smart child excels at magic, blows all of his peers out of the water, and barely exerts himself through his classes. Learns a language in a day, always has just the right amount of luck, and so on.
Sound like something you've seen before? Well, me too. It's the execution of Kvothe's character that makes all the difference. He's fully fleshed out and great detail is put into bringing him to life. I really enjoyed Rothfuss's method of telling a story within a story here and showing us both his older and younger selves. There's so much mystery surrounding the current version of Kvothe telling the story of his life that I found I was glued to the book as I just wanted to know more about this mysterious war, the Chandrien, and the mystery's surrounding why he doesn't play music or use magic anymore. When you're chomping at the bit, desperate to know more, then that's when an author has truly succeeded in their endeavors.
Another thing that really blew me out of the water was Rothfuss's command of the English language. Kvothe is incredibly intelligent and witty and he never would have ended this way without a good author behind him. The songs, stories and poems all breathe life into this world and are quite fun to read.
In addition, I always find myself surprised with Kvothe's command of biology and human anatomy. If Rothfuss has a background in this then it truly shines in his writing. If he doesn't, and he merely researched to add these aspects in, then wow - he must've really dug deep. Either way, I'm quite impressed.
Another thing I should mention is that the Chandrien are nothing new or special in themselves, but Rothfuss has developed them incredibly well. They're a mystery I can't wait to get to the bottom of and I'm dying to know more.
Final rating: 5 stars. Most books have something that leaves a sour taste in my mouth at some point; something that detracts from the overall story, or brings down the characters. However, in The Name of the Wind this never occurs. I can honestly say that it's earned all 5 of its stars and is truly worth a read for both fantasy and non-fantasy fans alike. It's only once, maybe twice, in a decade that a book like this comes along. ...more
The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss has some mixed reviews compared to the first novel in the series. Going into this, I braced myself for the bigThe Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss has some mixed reviews compared to the first novel in the series. Going into this, I braced myself for the big let down that many people said was coming. However, this... never really occurred. I found myself glued to the pages of this novel and could barely put it down until I'd finished it. My only regret is that the next novel isn't out and, it appears, won't be out for quite some time. Another frustrating multi-book series limbo I've gotten myself in.
So, the major thing that some people seem to dislike about this book is the addition of sex. I've seen some people say that it's just Rothfuss indulging his teenage fantasies, and perhaps he is, but I never felt like anything that happened was out-of-character or simply tossed in so the author could get his rocks off. Kvothe is powerful, popular, infamous in many ways, and has come into his sexuality all at once. We've all been teenagers at one point in time and, honestly, I can't see many people acting differently if they were put into Kvothe's shoes.
Now, did I feel that it slowed the story down and didn't really add much in the end? Sure, just a bit. There were several chapters dedicated to Kvothe basically just indulging in the pleasantries of a seductive woman and, while he did get something out of it, it didn't really move the story forward very much. This leads to, perhaps, my only real frustration with this book: the slow development of the story.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed The Wise Man's Fear profusely, but the plot slows down to an absolute crawl. Very little really happens and there's many missed opportunities to move Kvothe's relationship with other characters forward - as well as further developing some characters that could have used it.
My only worry is that the third book in the series will continue at this plodding pace. I'm getting flashbacks to GRRM where we were all waiting, chomping at the bit, for the 4th book in ASOIAF and then (many of us) were sorely disappointed when we finally got it. Based on where things are now I'm having a hard time believing that Rothfuss can adequately wrap up and conclude the story in one more book. And, at his current pace, it may be years before we see the conclusion to Kvothe's story. I find this rather unfortunate to say the least.
In the end, I can understand the plodding pace of this book. There's a lot of lore and a lot of holes to fill in and so Rothfuss had to further develop things and push ahead in Kvothe's timeline. His use of language is fantastic and I really quite enjoy the plethora of songs and poems sprinkled throughout the chapters. I still want to know why Kvothe, in the current timeline, can no longer use magic and doesn't play music anymore. Those two questions are, sadly, never answered in this book.
Rothfuss still has many questions to answer - far more than I'd hoped at this point, but I have faith that he can deliver in the next book in this series. I feel spoiled now after reading his work and it's going to be hard for me to go back to other authors who lack his writing mastery. ...more
I figured I should review Firefight now that I finally had a chance to sit down and catch up on the exploits of The Reckoner's. Coming into this novelI figured I should review Firefight now that I finally had a chance to sit down and catch up on the exploits of The Reckoner's. Coming into this novel I wasn't really sure what to expect. It's been years since Sanderson wrote the Mistborn series, but I couldn't help but get a bit nervous what with the direction that series went in (see my reviews if you want to know more of my thoughts in that regard).
So, when I delved into Firefight and found a brand new city - New York City to be exact - in an interesting state of affairs, well, I felt very relieved. I'm glad that most of the book took place inside a new city as opposed to Chicago - aka "Newcago" (I never liked that name).
In Firefight we finally get some real answers regarding what's happening with the Epics, which is certainly appreciated. One of my qualms from Steelheart was that, quite simply, we were left in the dark on so many things. Firefight, like Steelheart, tends to be fast-paced throughout most of it, but it does a good job slowing down at the right times. A bit of humor really goes a long way and I've always enjoyed the main character's poor use of metaphors. Most of them crack me up (like the one about glitter in soup), so that's certainly a win for Sanderson.
Now, there are some imperfections. I really felt that members of the new team in NYC really just didn't get enough development time. Sanderson doesn't waste any time with most of them either - some of them are straight up killed off by the end of the book. Unfortunately, this leaves their characters feeling a bit two-dimensional. The big bad villain in this book is also not nearly as imposing as Steelheart was. She definitely gets the better of them in the end, but I never really felt the same tension I got while reading Steelheart.
Overall, I felt the book was good, but not great. Sanderson has a pretty cool take on super powers here, but I just felt that this series, overall, really could've benefited from more time in the pot. Also, it feels really limited due to its young adult focus. If this series had been targeted at adults I feel like Sanderson would've really been able to bring some of the more terrifying epics to life.
My final rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Enjoyable to read, but a lack of depth and unmemorable characters drag this book down....more
I'm finally done with this... this... abomination. It's not just the slow pacing with nothing happening most of the time, but also the poor editing thI'm finally done with this... this... abomination. It's not just the slow pacing with nothing happening most of the time, but also the poor editing that has continued to plague the series along the way that has really upset me. There's so many sentences that have missing words, extra words where there shouldn't be any, or just the wrong words added into a sentence that makes you do a double take when you try to read it.
The overall quality of this series has really dropped and this is the lowest it's gone. At this point I don't know if Jordan's health was distracting his wife or what the issue was, but whatever the problems that contributed to the drop off in editing quality, it should've been rectified. It would have been nice if, at least for the e-book versions, they went back over the books again and fixed the plethora of editing mistakes. That would cost time and money, though, so of course they wouldn't bother when they already have the market milked.
Aside from that, my biggest disappointment in this book is just that there's no real plot progression. Two books after her introduction the "Halima" sub-plot is still not resolved! It's such a small thing and yet it's still going on. Faile being captured... two books now and nothing has happened there either! Perrin spent 3 chapters buying grain and beans in a town. And when they captured some Aiel prisoners what did they find? Well, a whole lot of nothing there either. Literally nothing of any consequence happened during this book. Every time there was any sort of build up it was just immediately deflated by Jordan's inability to actually move the plot along.
Instead, we were greeted by pages upon pages of exposition with little to no dialogue to break things up. I counted at one point about 10 pages of Egwyne just rambling about nothing in her head. All of the women are constantly smoothing their dresses and readjusting their shawls as if those are the only things that women do. It's gotten to the point where I pray that they'll do something else. Anything else! If one of the Aes Sedai punched another Aes Sedai I'd just be on my knees happy that their reaction was anything but staring into their tea cup or licking their lips. Never mind the implications of such an action.
The other disappointment is that there's no real interaction with the Forsaken in this book. You get a little here and there, but nothing of any real significance. Jordan stretched out Saiden being cleansed for the entire book. This is a major event that should have been talked about and reacted to after the incredibly abrupt ending of the previous book, and yet we got a whole lot of nothing instead.
I've read that the next book finally starts to dig the series out of the hole it's dug itself in, but I'm honestly just looking forward to getting to the books after that where Brandon Sanderson started to work his magic on the series. I normally wouldn't say this and some people might be offended by it, but honestly, Jordan dying and Sanderson taking over the WoT series is probably the best thing that could have happened to this series as a whole. I just don't think that Jordan had it in him to conclude the series. It's unfortunate that he died, especially the way he did, but as evidenced by the last 5 books in the series... the Wheel of Time just wasn't going anywhere.
Anyway, onward to the next book now. Hopefully there's significantly more time spent with Rand and much less spent with Egwyne and Elayne because I really have just absolutely had my fill of them bitching incessantly about changing their dresses, how tired they are, how men are so terrible, and how much they regret having to use people. Elayne, Birgette and Aviendha have basically degenerated into the fantasy novel equivalent of a soap opera. In fact, I sometimes suspect that is where Jordan got his ideas for his female characters.
This book series is making me more and more irate with each iteration. It can only get better from here... right?...more
Ah, I made it. This was the book that made me quit WoT years ago, but I've pushed my way through it finally. Perhaps being older and having a bit moreAh, I made it. This was the book that made me quit WoT years ago, but I've pushed my way through it finally. Perhaps being older and having a bit more patience was the key here.
First of all I'll say that Mat's parts in this book really saved it. Mat is one character that Jordan definitely had fun writing. It just shows in all of his chapters. He's a fun character and his current story line is interesting.
Perrin and Faile in the beginning were an awful start, though. Both are terrible characters apart or together and they are about as exciting as watching paint dry. I apologize for the overused cliche, but it's true. Being subjected to 6 full chapters in a row of them was painful. And from what I've read Perrin's "quest" is dragged out for at least another book or two. Quite unfortunate.
Moving on, Rand is solid as usual, though I'm getting a bit tired of the "biteme" reference whenever Lews Therin rages in Rand's head. With the events that happened in this book, though, I wonder what is going to happen to him going forward? He channeled a huge amount of the tainted saiden, so I think that perhaps it's going to have negative affects on him even though it's been cleaned now.
Min is a good character and, out of all 3 of the women that love Rand, she's my favorite. If I had to just pick one for him to marry and run away with it'd be Min in a heart beat. She's good him for him and a fun character. No baggage either.
As far as the last chapter goes I was a bit disappointed. They brought in a bunch of the Forsaken, but it was all in clipped segments throughout the chapter, and nothing really happened. It was like Jordan was rushed trying to finish the book up and he just could not fit the time in for another chapter or two to give that battle the detail it needed. Ultimately, it rushed by at a clipped pace with no clear picture of what was really going on. The ending was disappointing, to say the least. It really felt like there should have been at least one more chapter after that. There was no wrap up or anything. One moment, battle, the next it's... "See you next book!"
To quote Cadsuane: Phaw!
Here's hoping for a proper ending from the next book in the series. 9 down, 5 to go....more
There's a definite drop off in the quality of this series. It doesn't start with The Path of Daggers, but it definitely contributes to the overall decThere's a definite drop off in the quality of this series. It doesn't start with The Path of Daggers, but it definitely contributes to the overall decline. There are some good parts in this book, mostly those that involve Rand, but everything else is just... not really there.
For whatever reason Mat was left out of the entire book. Last we knew of him he was caught in a potentially deadly situation (naturally, he doesn't die, but we don't know what happened to him either) and he's just left out of the entire novel.
The Aes Sedai plot is moving along quite slowly. And everyone is completely oblivious to "Halima". Jordan seemed to just make his characters dumb whenever he felt like it for the sake of moving the plot forward. Or perhaps to sell another book. With how obvious Halima has been that sub-plot should've been resolved in this book.
I'm not really impressed with Elayne. She's still acting like a self-entitled little girl this far into the series. And she's so sure she's going to bond and marry Rand. It's pretty disgusting. That whole relationship feels very forced to me as I don't expect many men, in reality, would be head over heels for a woman (a girl in how Jordan portrays her) that is so self-absorbed and prissy.
The sad thing is that Perrin still doesn't really do anything and he still has the same repeated thoughts over and over. Sometimes I feel like Jordan lost track of his characters as the series went on so he ended up repeating himself because he forgot what he had written previously. That seems to be the case with all of Perrin's chapters. And now, going into the next book, we're subjected to 6 chapters of Perrin and Faile doing a whole lot of nothing once more.
Nynaeve and Lan getting together at last is... weird. Nynaeve is 26 and acts like she's 14 most of the time. I don't think Jordan himself really knew how to write her as a character as she's wildly inconsistent in her behavior throughout the series. This is a 26 year old woman who is blushing and goggling and stammering like she's never seen a man before. The woman who was the Wise Woman in her town and commanded everyone. It's just pitiful how useless her character has become. And Lan has been pretty much relegated to the sidelines. He scouts and walks around now. That's about it.
Winter's Heart is the next book in the series and that is where I gave up before. I can remember why I gave up on it, though. The Wheel of Time had a lot of promise, but Jordan just really couldn't deliver in the end, even before the cancer took hold on him. The last 3 books should've been combined into one.
Welp, onward we go. I'm committed to making it to the end of this series now. Let's hope Brandon Sanderson was able to bring things back up to snuff....more
This mostly read like the middle of another book. The pacing was very slow and the quest to get the Bowl of the Winds took waaaaay too long. Jordan reThis mostly read like the middle of another book. The pacing was very slow and the quest to get the Bowl of the Winds took waaaaay too long. Jordan really stretched this one out.
The battle at the end between Rand and Sammael wasn't very satisfying either. I don't recall whether he's actually dead or not, but the whole thing was pretty sloppy in its execution. And very one-sided.
Outside of that, I don't really have much to say about this book that I haven't been saying in the last two books. The characters haven't really changed at all. So, onto the next one I suppose....more
This is the last decently eventful book in the series for a while. I think, from what I've heard, things don't really start happening again in earnestThis is the last decently eventful book in the series for a while. I think, from what I've heard, things don't really start happening again in earnest until book... 10? 11? Something like that. I'm already full of frustration at this point, though.
First of all, Nynaeve and Elayne are... the worst characters. Their treatment of Mat is ridiculous and in they haven't changed since they were introduced as characters. 6 books and they're exactly the same. It's absolutely infuriating.
Egwyne is now fully Aes Sedai and has fully embraced being a manipulating witch. I was never really fond of her as a character, even from book 1, but now I just have no interest in her at all. It's not about friendship or doing the right thing or even being a decent person. It's all about manipulating anyone and everyone to get what you want. She is, in many ways, no better than Elaida.
Rand is still my favorite character in the series and in this book his struggle with Lews Therin begins in earnest. In each book he seems to slip just a little bit more away from himself. I wouldn't say he's insane, as we as readers know he's struggling against Lews Therin trying to take over, but it's hard for him to be himself with everything he's been through and is going through. Min is the only thing really keeping him in check.
The Aes Sedai in this book are absolutely appalling, though. Much of the problems encountered could have been avoided if they just worked with Rand and accepted that men channeling was going to happen no matter what instead of trying to manipulate everyone and everything. When Rand finally broke free at the end, stilled a few of them and either knocked out or killed the others, I was honestly quite ecstatic in that "They got what they deserved!" attitude. When he and Taim made the other Aes Sedai kneel before him I was also quite pleased. They are much, much too full of themselves and if they had just tried to work with him from the beginning they could've worked as equals instead of being forced to kneel before The Dragon Reborn. They squandered that chance.
I say this every book, but Perrin is Perrin. He hasn't changed at all either and his POV is just... not usually that interesting. Berelain trying to seduce him is probably the only exciting thing about his storyline and that's pretty much at an end.
Outside of that, this was a slow book and it's only going to get slower. I only hope I can managed to get through the rest of the slow books to actually finish the series this time....more
Reading this years later I can't believe I missed something so obvious the first time around. In any story if someone doesn't physically die "on screeReading this years later I can't believe I missed something so obvious the first time around. In any story if someone doesn't physically die "on screen" per-say then odds are they're probably not really dead. I totally missed this the first time, so I know who is going to be coming back later in the series. I will miss that person, though.
A lot of things happened in this book. The Forsaken were fleshed out a bit more, we finally learned some small details about their pasts, and Rand finally started to show some real signs of insanity. Lews Therin is bubbling to the surface now and the real struggle for Rand begins.
Also, and this is just my own thoughts, but I'm glad there was finally some actual sex in the series even if it was glazed over. Jordan's spent a ton of time building up sexual tension with all his characters, especially with literally dozens of women throwing themselves at Rand all in all, so I'm just glad he got laid. Him and Mat both.
I'm still not fond of Nynaeve and Elayne. No matter how patient I try to be with them it's always just really contrived humor. Men! Men! Men! That's pretty much the culmination of their thoughts throughout this book. It's a bit tiresome at this point and, unfortunately, I know it's not going to end. They're going to be doing that throughout the rest of the series. Le sigh.
Egwyne is showing some growth in this book, and I'm glad of it when she puts Nynaeve in her place, but I don't like how she's treating Rand. What Rand needs, in my opinion, is someone to treat him like Rand. Someone to help him stay who he is. Egwyne could have helped with that, but instead she just mimic'd Moraine and The Wise Ones. There were times in this book where I lost my patience with that attitude she, and the others, were adopting towards Rand. If I was him I would've probably reacted very differently than he did at some of the things they were saying.
Outside of that, I'm sorry to see Lanfear and Asmodean go. I actually liked Asmodean and I wanted to spend more time getting to know him. Lanfear was power crazed and immensely jealous of Rand (though she only saw him as Lews Therin) but it sometimes felt it could've gone either way. If I was in Rand's shoes I think I would've probably gone with the vision Moraine had of him leaving with her and coming back by her side and calling himself Lews Therin. It's really THAT tempting.
My only real complaint, I suppose, is Nynaeve's involvement in the final showdown. I just felt like it was a weak ending. There should've been time for Rand to at least have a few words with Rahvin, but it was pretty much a passive battle for him. The transitions between Rand and Nynaeve were awkward, especially when we went from Rand thinking, "I am death!" to her having a stupid argument with Siuan, thinking of really dumb and insignificant stuff, and then having a fairly pointless scuffle. I just wasn't happy with how stretched that final battle was and how much unnecessary fluff was added as a result of involving Nynaeve.
Aside from that it was an enjoyable book. Onto the next one....more
Going into this book I think I can easily say that it's better than the previous 2 books in the series. While it does drag at times there are some actGoing into this book I think I can easily say that it's better than the previous 2 books in the series. While it does drag at times there are some actual answers in this book. There's lots of action and everything from all out war to up close and personal fist fights.
My only real annoyance in this book was Nynaeve and Elayne. Both of them are rather stupid at times and for no reason other than to accommodate a plot point Jordan set, it seems. "Well, if they show any actual intelligence and do more than sip tea and natter on like teenage girls then there's no way they'd fail to see this obvious trap!" That seems like his line of thinking at times to me. And I hate those parts.
I feel kind of sorry for Rand. He's already at the point where he can't trust anyone. Even Egwyne. He looks at her and just sees Aes Sedai now. Even his dreams aren't safe as the Wise Ones are invading them and watching him, day and night. Everyone is always thinking about he's going insane, or how he must already be insane. Even Egwyne. Nobody is really just seeing Rand as Rand and trying to be there to support him. They're all wary of him like he's a caged lion just waiting for his moment to break free.
Perrin finally had a few good moments in this book, but now that he's married to Faile he goes back to being a pretty uninteresting character in the series. Faile is a self-entitled, abusive woman who pushes Perrin around for the remainder of the series. And he's happy to let her have her way. From this point on his story is basically equivalent to a bog standard drama tv show.
Mat is Mat. He has everything he needs to fulfill the prophecy for The Daughter of Nine Moons to bind the Seanchan to him. Otherwise, he really doesn't do much in this entire book except cuss at everything and curse his luck. Any time spent in his POV is just him wanting to flee with no real change. In that regard he's not very interesting in this book since, again, he literally does nothing.
The Children of the Light are pretty despicable at this point. I cannot remember where, if ever, but hopefully they get put in their place somewhere down the road. All they do is stir up needless trouble and ruin people's lives.
As for the tower and the Black Ajaha, well, I'm looking forward to Liandra and Elaida getting what they deserve. They both need to die horrible deaths, so hopefully that happens at some point.
Onto the next book! I'm both looking forward to and dreading book 5 since I can recall one particular event that occurs in it....more