Retardation galore! The prequel to Black Magician Trilogy is riddled with boring, tedious narrative, moralizing talk for primary school kids and tons...moreRetardation galore! The prequel to Black Magician Trilogy is riddled with boring, tedious narrative, moralizing talk for primary school kids and tons of ridiculously funny gaffes that would make people on literary constructive crit boards roll with laughter. It doesn't explain anything about the magic from the trilogy. This book's setting doesn't even match the trilogy and some of the situations plainly contradict the rules laid out in the other books. Overall it looks like a rehashed draft or a retelling of the trilogy - the similarities of plot and characters are very noticeable.
The Magician's Apprentice is chock-full with amazing examples of characters' stupidity. Everybody is a dumb simpleton; I guess this is Canavan's way of catering to younger readers. The most notable examples include: 1) people "hiding" on a forest clearing (wut?) 2) the battles look like this: two groups of people bombard each other with fireballs. The end. 3) perhaps the thing that made me roar with laughter every time it was mentioned was the "army". Consisting of... 100 people! And that's together with reinforcements from the entire country! The initial "army" counted about 20 persons! Is this book written for people who can count only on their fingers? 4) the final "army" counts were: 110 people vs 66 people. That was, like, the biggest battle of the century. Please remember, the first border skirmish was 4 vs 2. 5) both countries do not appear to have any normal troops. Law reinforcement = mages... magicians, who aren't even trained to the job. Just how dumb it can get? 6) about 100 people travel with wagons, horses, kids, livestock (!), after rain, with the enemy less than a day ride behind them - and they think they won't be found. The best thing is, they really lost the enemy. LOL 7) Canavan is totally a yaoi fangirl. We have one declared gay dude and two "suspects". The first suspect is suspected because he called his friend "friend". The second suspect is suspicious because he allowed another male to reassure him in difficult situation via placing his hand on his arm. That's very suspicious! The main characters, who witnessed these extraordinary situations, immediately noticed these anomalies! :D
I don't even mention the characters because they're all cardboard-cut.
All in all, it was amazingly boring for something containing so many things you could laugh at. This book is pathetic. (less)
Lord Ruler is dead. One year after the Collapse of the Empire, Elend Venture tries his best to keep his little kingdom of a city afloat. His father's...moreLord Ruler is dead. One year after the Collapse of the Empire, Elend Venture tries his best to keep his little kingdom of a city afloat. His father's army already camps outside the city walls, only to be joined by another party. Meanwhile, Sazed and Vin notice some peculiarities in the mists' behavior...
The vast majority of this book is politicking - tossing the ball from one party to another, undermining others' positions, everything to gain an upper hand in the game. Setting up a new government is a tough job - and it's great to see something like this in a fantasy novel, even if it can be a bit boring sometimes. Usually in fantasy the evil army and all problems disappear together with the death of the evil tyrant, which is just ridiculous. Here, the politics stuff is much more mature and complex than I expected. Even though all turns of events were rather reasonable, it was hard not to anticipate some 'big savior' event that would turn the tide.
It's the fantasy thread in this novel that seems too underdeveloped. The mists could have got more attention in the first half of the book (but maybe they'll be the focus of the 3rd volume, so no complaining). In the end, their thread seems rushed. There was a lot of building up the suspense and out of sudden everything's in motion and bam! - major milestone, end of book. To say more would be a spoiler, but now I'm really curious (trying not to be pessimistic...) what Sanderson will do with this new threat.
Overall, it was a solid read, rather slow, without fast action, but with enough suspense and edge.(less)
Fifth installment of Dresden Files series. Harry Dresden has even more on his plate than usual. 70 pages into the book he's already handling six sever...moreFifth installment of Dresden Files series. Harry Dresden has even more on his plate than usual. 70 pages into the book he's already handling six severe cases. This time, fortunately, we get something that resembles usual Private Investigator job: a stolen item, instead of great faerie war or whatever. Of course, later it still evolves into 'let's save the world' type of plot. The world is about to end, everybody and their mother want to kill Harry Dresden, Dresden lacks common sense to insane degree, he never sleeps (OK, so in this book he actually sleeps seven hours - a miracle) and is always penniless, what's so cool about that? This book is one of the better in the series. It has some plot twists, Dresden is not as emo as in 2nd and 3rd volumes (he's more emo than in 4th though), his relationships with people aren't that cliche... but it contains the key elements that make me drop this series after this volume. To list only a few: - world saving done repeatedly by more or less one person; - very little actual police/investigator work; - all the stuff is personal or gets personal, Dresden totally lacks something like separate work life; - Dresden very very rarely sleeps despite common sense; - lots of foreshadowing that Dresden is more important than he already is and that his past is a huge thing, underlining the plot of the series.
The book is a fast and not that bad read thanks to two things: fast pace and very enjoyable narration. Narrator uses tons of truly funny metaphors and comparisons. I will miss this style, but unfortunately I cannot stand the way Dresden's personal problems fill all the pages to the brim.(less)