I'm not quite done with the book yet (75%), but I already know that there is no way I can give it a higher grade than 2 stars. From a story/plot standI'm not quite done with the book yet (75%), but I already know that there is no way I can give it a higher grade than 2 stars. From a story/plot standpoint I would probably end up giving it 3 or 4 (depending on how the ending turns out), but I've just had it with the egregious internal continuity errors. It's one thing to have continuity slip across books in a series which has spanned about 30 books in over 25 years; it's another to have major internal inconsistencies within a single book, a problem which has plagued his last few books. Some of his major issues have included redundancy (describing the exact same thing twice because he forgot he's already described it) and not remembering which characters were where (like having a character leave a location and then immediately having a character who remained behind have a conversation with the character who has just left). In this book, he takes the character confusion to an entirely new level of sloppiness.
In chapter 4, Pug and two other characters (we'll just call them A & B for simplicity) are exploring an island, where they find some interesting things. In chapter 6, Pug has left to deal with other business and it is mentioned that he has sent Magnus to join A & B on the island for more intelligence gathering. In a later chapter (14?) Magnus sets out to delve into the magic in detail and sends A & B to report to Pug about what they've found. In chapter 15, Pug meets with A & B who go on to discuss everything they found with Magnus...starting with the entire description of the island and all of the stuff they found with Pug in chapter 4!!. Apparently at some point Magnus was supposed to be in chapter 4, Feist changed it to Pug, but couldn't be bothered to remember to fix the later chapters. When Pug then travels to join Magnus, he re-meets a character he'd already met and had a long conversation with earlier in the book.
This is not a hard error to find. It is not a subtle error. It is a gross and obvious smack-your-head-with-a-brick level mistake. Given how bad the last few books have been with respect to these sorts of errors, I am almost amazed he could top them all in this book. Apparently no one at the publisher is bothering to edit the book, at least as a whole, and Feist has become strictly incapable of writing logically consistent tales without overview. Minor errors, typos, and the like, creep into books all the time. But for a book from a well established author from a major publisher to be so completely and utterly mishandled in this manner should be an embarrassment to them both.
In all the talk about self-publishing ebooks, one of the big arguments against has been the necessity of paying good and competent editors. For these books, clearly someone is just pocketing the money.
Update: After finishing the book I discovered that the last quarter contained even more continuity errors and substantially worse editing for basic typos and grammar. Frequently one could find sentences missing entire key words (no noun or no verb...no problem!) ...more
Somewhat better than the last few books, the story didn't feel quite as "same" as many of the previous books and there was a bit less (unnecessary) seSomewhat better than the last few books, the story didn't feel quite as "same" as many of the previous books and there was a bit less (unnecessary) self wallowing. A few of the characters may actually be showing growth....more
One of the points that is impressing me about this series is Robb has figured out how to take an established procedural novel concept where the characOne of the points that is impressing me about this series is Robb has figured out how to take an established procedural novel concept where the character quirks are largely fixed and expected in each subsequent book, yet manage to keep giving us actual character growth across books. This is striking different from a number of other (mildly) similar series I could name where the characters and the writing are so deep in a rut that they've permanently stopped moving.
This particular book had a better level of uncertainty to it as far as "who done it" goes that many of the other books. The suspects were laid out almost too easily, but many of them felt enough like real possibilities deep enough into the book to keep readers guessing a bit longer than usual. By no means perfect, still a quite acceptable entry in the series....more
Will Power is a solid follow-up to Act of Will, although in some sense the characters regress in growth at the beginning so that new growth is more abWill Power is a solid follow-up to Act of Will, although in some sense the characters regress in growth at the beginning so that new growth is more about catching back up to where they started. In many ways it is a similar book: Will and "friends" are thrust into a situation which they do not understand, his companions view it with glassy-eyed "this is the way it is" and Will views it with skepticism and sarcasm. Eventually it all comes to a head and Will helps save the day, almost despite himself. The book pokes fun at common fantasy tropes, but never deviates from the model of the first book.
The end of the book has both an unsatisfying part, where not a single character bothers to ask (or even show interest) in one of the most obvious (unanswered) questions of the whole story, and a strangely satisfying part where a probably unexpected-twist has consequences that sets up the potential for a future book (which may or may not be forthcoming). This isn't to say the story ends with a "needs to be answered" cliff-hanger. It's a reasonably satisfying ending in its own right, but it does point toward a future if the author continues with the series.
Those who liked the first book will probably like this one; those who did not like the first one will find nothing here to change their mind....more
A graphic novel which takes place between the 2nd and 3rd Mass Effect computer games, this tells the story of a battle over Omega between Aria and CerA graphic novel which takes place between the 2nd and 3rd Mass Effect computer games, this tells the story of a battle over Omega between Aria and Cerberus. Like the other graphic novels in the series, it lacks any particular depth, but rather gets the plot out in a workman like fashion. The art style was a bit overdone and the text was particularly hard to read at times (this may be due to the eBook version of the ARC which I read). Still, it explains in a bit more detail changes in the galaxy's political structure which took place between the two games....more
A short story graphic novel which takes place shortly after the end of The Arrival DLC for Mass Effect 2, it introduces the character of James Vega anA short story graphic novel which takes place shortly after the end of The Arrival DLC for Mass Effect 2, it introduces the character of James Vega and explains how he becomes connected to Shephard. There is essentially nothing at all to it....more
A letdown from some of the previous books, Robb tackles a new social topic, but doesn't quite hit all of the notes correctly. While the societal questA letdown from some of the previous books, Robb tackles a new social topic, but doesn't quite hit all of the notes correctly. While the societal questions are well asked, the science seems a little too far off base....more
A step down from the usual story, this one is completely predictable and feels like filler while a bigger plan is being put in place for the birth ofA step down from the usual story, this one is completely predictable and feels like filler while a bigger plan is being put in place for the birth of Mavis's child (which must be a book or two away)....more