Maybe this wasn't a Lint book I should've started with. Or something. I guess it just didn't work out for me. Anthologies, unleThoroughly unimpressed.
Maybe this wasn't a Lint book I should've started with. Or something. I guess it just didn't work out for me. Anthologies, unless really compelling, don't roll with me in the first place, and this just...didn't. At all. The stories were really discombobulated and disorganized and I mean you could've arranged them throughout the book in whatever order you wanted but why did you choose this order?!
Ookay, two days later and not quite fully rested up, let's do this.
So. Daughter of the Empire. Yes. Very good book. Highly recommended. The charactersOokay, two days later and not quite fully rested up, let's do this.
So. Daughter of the Empire. Yes. Very good book. Highly recommended. The characters were excellent, really. The setting was vaguely oriental, (though as Wastrel tells me, Wurts drew a lot from Korea) so a large part of this book is political intrigue and matters of honor. If that's your team, go for it. If the whole honor thing isn't for you, maybe not as much. But the political intrigue stuff is actually really excellently written.
Moving on. Mara. Oh, Mara. Mara was magnificent. Mara was fantastic. I could sing praises for Mara for weeks. Or months. Mara is that strong female character you've always wished you'd find somewhere in fantasy. She's beautifully real and it's very easy to empathize with her.
The supporting characters really made the book for me. Wurts and Feist didn't let anything slip by them; each of their supporting characters were wonderfully realized and fully fleshed-out.
I guess I just really didn't get much of this book. It was hard to keep up with, the characters seemed kind of distant with the exception of the wiHm.
I guess I just really didn't get much of this book. It was hard to keep up with, the characters seemed kind of distant with the exception of the wizard, and most of its humor passed me by.
I'm going to take all of these things as indicators in my failure as a reader, rather than a failure on the part of Terry Pratchett, who probably really is as brilliant as most of you make him out to be.
I was able to get through the whole thing, so there's that. It really did remind me of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which was pleasant, but I just think that Douglas Adams did it a whole lot better.
Still debating on whether or not to follow through with the whole discworld series. ...more
Ugh...this book was gorgeous. I actually really liked it! From the look of the summary on the back of the book itself, I thought this was going to beUgh...this book was gorgeous. I actually really liked it! From the look of the summary on the back of the book itself, I thought this was going to be a slow-moving and dry read.
Boy, was I ever wrong.
The characters...the characters! Devin had me gushing in an altogether fangirlish way every other page (well, for the sections that were in his POV). Catriana had me CHEERING. THIS is how you write female characters! Steven Moffat, take notes. I don't think I've ever seen characters like Alessan and Catriana with such depth to them. Alessan (usually with the help of Baerd) had me laughing incredibly hard on some pages, and on others almost moved me to tears. Aaaaaagh. Note to self: a side effect of this book is uncontrollable bipolarity.)
So, why four stars and not five?
There's only one big beef I have with this book. Only one.
But, it happens to be gaping and horribly obvious, even from the first few chapters.
Mr. Kay, I understand that you wanted a variety of relatable characters. Maybe you might have wanted to show off a bit: "Ha! Look at all of these fantastic characters! I can keep up with so many characters at once and keep them believable and perfectly flawed! I can write both male and female characters!"
Mr. Kay, let me put this plainly: OVERKILL, MATE.
Every few paragraphs, the POV would, sometimes completely (and I'm talking to a different province), shift. The results were disorienting and sometimes even dizzying. This book jumps from Devin to Catriana, to Baerd, to Alessan, to Dianora, to Valentin, to some citywatchman, to Brandin of Ygrath, to Alberico, to the Nightwalkers, to Elena, to Alienor, to Alais, to Rovigo, to Erlein, to...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
It's too much! I can't do it!
In all seriousness, I'm pretty sure this problem stems from the complete tsunami of characters that Mr. Kay wants us to keep up with at once. This also leads to issues with temporal reckoning: it was sometimes really difficult to tell what happened at what time, because the book wasn't always in chronological order. When new characters are introduced halfway through, it's hard to tell if it's a flashback or actually happening in the now of the novel.
And on that somewhat sour note, I'm gonna finish this review up. So minus one star from what would've been a five star review, but, you know what? The novel was still fabulous through and through. Highly recommended to any fantasy fan...this is a must-read!
I really really wanted to give this book five stars. I really did. I promise. But...I dunno. It sort of gave me the classicOooookay. Finished! Yaaaay!
I really really wanted to give this book five stars. I really did. I promise. But...I dunno. It sort of gave me the classic dry British humor feel. And including "british" in that description was very necessary, because I've never encountered anyone of any other nationality who was able to write like a brit. Seriously, these guys are brilliant. Good Omens reminded me of a fusion between Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a Bit of Fry and Laurie, and Monty Python. All really good things, except with all of these elements pitching and rolling through the pages, I got a little muddled up and lost.
That's not to say I didn't like the book at all. Of course I liked it. I'm not sure if this counts as a Neil Gaiman book, but it is my favorite written by him so far. This book also makes me want to check out The Colour of Magic right now, or anything by Pratchett. He's brilliant, too.
The characters, however, either confused me or had me in stitches. Of course my favorites were Aziraphale and Crowley. Adam, Dog, and the nuns of the chattering order also made me laugh sometimes. Other characters just sort of befuddled me.
So, overall, highly recommended to everyone. Especially Queen fans. ...more
I have a lot to say about this book. Review to come soon!
Okay. So. Five stars.
My thoughts when I first delved into this book ranged from: "HoooolyI have a lot to say about this book. Review to come soon!
Okay. So. Five stars.
My thoughts when I first delved into this book ranged from: "Hooooly crap, this book is looooong..." and "...*yawn.* This is boring."
Admittedly, this book has a preeeetty slow start, which is probably why a lot of people first put the book down. Don't be fooled by this, though. The book WILL pick up, and after it picks up, it never sets itself back down again.
So, anyway, to the plot! The protagonist of this story is a girl named Phedre. Her age is sort of unclear as you get to the meat of the story, but she is born as the "unwanted whore's get" of a Night Court adept and an unknown other, and she soon enters the service of a deity named Naamah. Phedre has been "pricked" by Kushiel's Dart, which can be told from the scarlet mote in her eye. This basically means that pain (well, to an extent) is pleasure for her. This leads to some pretty, er, intense sex scenes, but I'll touch on that subject later. So, she is an anguisette, the first of her type in a long while. Her marque is soon sold to a man named Anafiel Delaunay, a kind master respected in the Terra D'Ange court, who teaches her to observe (think of a Sherlockian sort of way) so that she might be his eyes and ears in court.
The writing is handled with such finesse and such splendor that I'm really, really surprised that this is actually Jacqueline Carey's first novel. I mean, seriously, now. She's good.
To put it straight out there: Phedre is a prostitute. At the behest of patrons who buy her from her mentor (Delaunay), her sexual favors are sold to the highest bidder. However, in the culture of Kushiel's Dart, this practice is highly celebrated (and sometimes respected, depending on the person) and prostitution is referred to as the serving of Naamah's will.
The sex scenes seem to be a bit stumbling block for those who first pick up this novel, especially for those whose tastes are more on the vanilla side. The sex scenes are sporadic and not very long, even though they do involve some pretty hefty bdsm material. They weren't much of an issue for me, though I haven't very much experience with bdsm culture, but I wouldn't really recommend it if you take an issue with whipping/knifeplay/pain-play (I don't even know what to call it).
Okay. Moving past the sex and onto the characters (I can hear your sigh of disappointment, Phillip).
I loved Phedre as a main character. Her development was intriguing, she kept my interest, and I just really, really loved her. I'm not sure about her taste of clients, though (I was guilty of throwing up my hands and snorting every time she took one as much as Joscelin did!). Joscelin and Hyacinthe were wonderfully done, in the end. Joscelin...eh, well, he sort of started out as a broody-mc-brooderson, one of my pet peeves with the (view spoiler)[love interest (hide spoiler)] of the book if they do turn out so, but he really develops once we're introduced to him.
Eh. I dunno about where Hyacinthe ended up. As a plot twist, I suppose it was useful and exciting, but I felt like he deserved better. Hopefully he resurfaces in other books as well, though!
It's sort of hard to say much more about such a loooooooooong book without spoiling anything, so I suppose I'll keep this review brief. This book is absolutely worth the read, to anyone considering it. Just give it a shot!...more
I have things I did like, and a lot more things that I didn't like in this book. My overall impression is that it wasn't really worth the hy2.5 stars.
I have things I did like, and a lot more things that I didn't like in this book. My overall impression is that it wasn't really worth the hype, but I'll condense it all into two lists to make it easier.
Things I Did Like
1. The magic system. Vague and wanting of development as it was, it still managed to grab my attention and take hold of it. 2. Curran. He was probably the best and well-fleshed-out character, even next to the main character. 3. Maybe this goes along with the magic system, but I liked the Pack in general, actually. 4. ...and, sorry, but that's about it.
Things I Didn't Like
1. The totally insufficient development of just about everything except Curran, actually. The worldbuilding needs some work! It's almost as if Andrews picked us up, dropped us in the middle of Atlanta (I actually only knew that we were supposed to be in Atlanta because that's what the blurb said on the back) with only just enough explanation of the magic system and what everything was like to keep us reading. More details, please? How does everything work?! 2. The main character seemed to be a shapeless mass of clever quips and kick-ass fighting. I wouldn't have even known what she looked like if it wasn't for the picture on the cover. The only description we get of Kate's physical features is when she's describing the clothes she's wearing and how she's styling her hair. That's just about it. The other characters (even Curran's human form) have these issues. In some situations with Kate, however, I could have easily substituted "Kate" for "Harry Dresden" and "she" for "he" and it would've made perfect sense. 3. This brings me onto my next point. Maybe this wasn't such a good book to read while I'm finishing up the Dresden series, too (which, I would like to point out, is a far better read than Magic Bites). There are a ton of similarities between Kate and Harry. She's probably best described as a female Harry Dresden, except with worse writing. Beat up car? Karmelion and the Blue Beetle. Check. Bad Jokes? Check. Kick-ass fashion? Check. I could go on, but I have some more points to make. 4. The prose itself. With no outright offense intended, Miss Andrews, have you ever heard about "show, don't tell"? Some of the paragraphs in this novel would put (and I shudder to think that I'm actually admitting this) SMeyer to shame! This probably goes hand in hand with the lack of description. The book went by quickly. Too quickly. Some more description would've beefed it up. And, Miss Andrews, fix the pacing. Some more important parts of the story went by with the blink of the eye, but some of the more boring, like Crest and Kate's encounters, went by at an agonizingly slow pace compared to the other bits.
My list and my review come to a close here, because though there are other points, they haven't occurred to me yet.
My review for the series is brief; this is a perfect series for children/young adults. However, if you're picky about factual things, or are a huge GrMy review for the series is brief; this is a perfect series for children/young adults. However, if you're picky about factual things, or are a huge Greco-Roman Mythology fanatic, do not read this. You'll drive yourself insane. ...more