I heard only vague opinions about this book and was kind of weary to pick it up. I bought it with discount. Funnily enough, in the end, I either can'tI heard only vague opinions about this book and was kind of weary to pick it up. I bought it with discount. Funnily enough, in the end, I either can't say much about this novel. It's about a group of three people getting a taste of big city politics. It's also about a solid intrigue, but that thread isn't the main thing in this book. Shadow in the Summer doesn't have a leading thread. Everything seems to have equal rights and screen time. The plot involves some politics, some romance (albeit tasteful, at least for me - and I hate romances), some insight into supernatural craft of this world. It's rather fresh, not overused, but it lacks impact. It's a surprisingly good page-turner; although it doesn't sound very interesting, somehow I wanted to know what happened next. Summing up, it was better than average, but not amazing....more
Collection of short stories set in world of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Most of them can be classified as original fairy tales specific for the wCollection of short stories set in world of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Most of them can be classified as original fairy tales specific for the world. The reader should possess basic knowledge of the setting beforehand - in my opinion, this collection should be read after finishing the novel. Some of the stories are 'normal' short stories about normal characters, others have distinct fairy tale feel - one can see that they are meant to look like fairytales. There is even one retelling. Technically, all pieces are well constructed. None of them leave the reader hanging; they all provide enough information to form an ending and they don't look like part of larger whole. As the atmosphere goes, it is not as dreamy and refined as in the novel, but it can also stem from the shortness of the form. Nevertheless, this collection allows us to revisit the world and is a brilliant addition to what we already know, filling in the data about faerie and magic. I can recommend it to everyone who enjoyed Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. It's not the same - so don't expect it - but it contains great side stories set in this exact world. ...more
City of Deepgate, suspended above bottomless chasm by huge chains, provides shelter for pilgrims of all sort and is the capital of religious power - tCity of Deepgate, suspended above bottomless chasm by huge chains, provides shelter for pilgrims of all sort and is the capital of religious power - the Church of Ulcis. Existence is hard and painful, especially with devilish Scar Night looming over the city every month - and now even more so, with new, unexpected threat rivaling even the demons. The setting is gritty and dark, and even though the world looks like traditional fantasy with its lone city surrounded by hordes of barbarians (other civilized cities are vaguely mentioned), there is something fresh in it. Fresh in literary sense, for having read the novel feels uncomfortable, as if the reader somehow got covered in filth. Many books claim to be dark fantasy, but Scar Night is one of the rare ones without exaggerations but with detectable aura of disturbing evil lurking in the shadows. The author did wonderful job in describing the atmosphere of the city; angels and devils, both introduced in unique way, add to it a lot. The setting would have been great, if only Campbell described more of the Deepgate's mechanics. The readers know how the city looks like and what's on the desert - but nearly nothing about the chains or the abyss. Only near the end of the novel I realized that the chasm is probably a hole in the earth, not a huge rift - and even that is not certain, as there are no descriptions of it. The plot is pretty unpredictable; it presents elements of well-known quests only to turn into unexpected directions, but the twists are reasonable and justified. Unfortunately, there is little character development in the story. This flaw doesn't sting though: intriguing plot and original setting make Scar Night well worth reading. It is not for weak of the heart however; I myself prefer dark to heroic fantasy, but Campbell's writing has been a little too graphic and flesh-oriented for my taste....more
This book is the perfect proof that I need a plot in a book after all.
It was a delight to read - for the first 200 pages. I loved the world and its quThis book is the perfect proof that I need a plot in a book after all.
It was a delight to read - for the first 200 pages. I loved the world and its quirks, I didn't quite understand the relationship between two main characters but believed it'll clear up in the end, and I was happily and eagerly anticipating the plot mentioned in the blurb. I reached half mark of the book and started to worry. And when I flipped to the last few pages, imagine how shocked and peeved I was to find that a good chunk of the tome was devoted to several short stories and an excerpt from another book. There was barely any time to introduce the main (?) point of the plot and to wrap it up... It all sizzled out together with my excitement. There's virtually nothing beyond the blurb. Still, I understand why it wasn't phrased differently - there is simply nothing else in this book that could be summarized and pitched. Nothing ever happens. Characters appear and disappear, nothing changes, main duo is as meh as ever (and I still don't understand why they even are together), it all reads like a slice of life without much meaning or purpose. It doesn't help that Kushner explains the evil political plot in three-page monologue by one of the characters, just as if she got bored and wanted to finish it quickly.
I loved the setting and the premise, but I can't help but feel that all of it was pretty pointless, no pun intended....more
Second volume of Godless World - dark fantasy, realistic series, which was rumored to be worthy snack while waiting for next installment of George R.RSecond volume of Godless World - dark fantasy, realistic series, which was rumored to be worthy snack while waiting for next installment of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.
It was delicious up to page 200 - multiple characters, multiple threads, some promising politics, characters actually dying, etc. Then it started to go downhill. Quickly. To say it short: one threat started to dominate over all the others. Unfortunately, it pushed the realistic away and it all become: 'why magic brings madness' essay. I hated this one character so much that I took a six month break before coming back to this book. I enjoyed a few pages more of other characters, and then it started to focus all threads on that one guy. Bloodheir is a bridging volume in terms of power shift. It goes from realistic (first volume) to magical (third volume) setting. Still, there are some very nice things in it, but I don't like the way it's going now....more