Posts tagged "Book"

Short Story Review: The Old Scale Game-Tad Williams, Unfettered

Tad Williams. A name I know, but have never had the opportunity to read.

This story, is a very familiar one. Not the story itself but the plotline. In the intro the author admits to taking the idea from an old movie. But more then that the idea I have seen in other movies and stories. Don’t let this detour however, because the story is still well written and cute. 

It is the story about an aging retired dragonslayer, needing money, and hatching a scheme with an aging dragon, both tired of the rote behaviors, slaying dragons, and eating knights. So they hatch a scheme to fake a fight, rake in some money, and move along. They do it repeatedly and eventually take on even more monsters to help in their rouse. 

It’s quick, it’s short, and well worth the read. I recommend it.

Short Story Review: How Old Holly Came to Be-Patrick Rothfuss, Unfettered

I would like to start off this review by shaking my fist at Patrick Rothfuss. This man has quickly wormed his way up into my top authors list (you can see my previous reviews on his books “The Name of the Wind” and “A Wise Man Fears”)

Mr Rothfuss also writes the foreword for this collection, in his typically amusing yet deep self.  This short story however, in my opinion more resembles a poem. I have to be honest, at first I was thrown off by the style and tone of the work, but it did not take long before I was captivated.

I hesitate to summarize the plot here because I feel to do so would be to take away from the work itself, but since that is part of reviewing a story I guess I must. 

The story is essentially from the perspective of a Holly tree, outside some stone tower, where a lady comes to live. There is a relationship between the lady and the tree, it follows as the lady meets a man, falls in love and leaves, only to come back years later to rekindle the friendship with the tree. You get the sense that she is some sort of sorceress of druidess, as she brings the tree to life and it helps fight off monstrous men intent on destroying the holly grove and tower.

In the end the lady, now old, leaves again, and the tre is left to guard over the area, and await her return for all eternity.

It’s both a sad and happy story, and it leaves me wanting to know more, but like the tree itself, you too will be waiting for all eternity.

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Unfettered and The Dark Thorn

Hey Book peeps,

just received two new books in the mail. The first is The Dark Thorn by author Shawn Speakman. For those of you who do not know this guys story, He was diagnosed with Stage III non-Hodgkin’s lymphomia in both sides of his neck, chest, and spleen. As an Author he did not have health insurance, and so he created Grim Oaks Press, which currently has released three books of which one is The Dark Thorn. He did this in order to help pay for his treatments. You can read more about it and how to support him here:

http://grimoakpress.com/about-grim-oak/

Now I have to start off with a little bit of a Negative. I paid $75 for a leatherbound, signed and numbered, first edition copy. What I received in the mail was the standard $35 trade Hardback. This was disappointing, but mistakes do happen so I have emailed them, and hope to hear back from them soon with good news. 

Never the less, once I finish reading it, I will not let that sway my honest review of the book and it’s content.

The other book I received, (and the second one published by Grim Oaks) is a collaborative effort. It contains short stories written by Terry Brooks, patrick Rothfuss, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Jacqueline Carey, Tad williams, R.A. Salvatore, Naomi Novik, Peter V. Brett, and a few others. Now if you don’t recognize at least some of those names, then you need to read more books. 

It is my understanding that all the stories were created specifically for this publication, and can not be found anywhere else. This is Unfettered. I definitely look forward to reading it and giving it a proper review.

The last book published by Grim Oaks, was actually an E-book by Terry Brooks, which you can check out at the above aforementioned link. I don’t know where I stand on e-books yet, so not sure if I will be giving that one a read. 

Anyways, these should be coming out as soon as I can get through them!

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Book Review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Having seen the movie Stardust I was very interested in reading the book, as books are pretty much always better then the movies.  This of course was no different.

Stardust takes place in a little town called Wall in England in the early 1900’s maybe late 1800’s. It is truly a fantasy story but not in the traditional sense. All that we consider to be imaginary, unreal, or made up in the sense of creatures, people and places exist in Faerie, just across the wall. There is a market every 9 years which is the only interaction the people in the “real” world have with the inhabitants of Faerie.

Tristran is the son of a man from wall and a woman from Faerie, though he is not yet aware of this. In his efforts to win the hand of the girl of his dreams, he offers to travel beyond the wall to retrieve a fallen star for her in exchange for her hand in marriage.

Setting off on his adventure he meats some interesting people, and to his surprise finds that the fallen star is a living, thinking being. The Adventure truly begins as he attempts to bring her back to wall, forcefully chained at first. They meet all sorts of people intent on slowing them, killing them, or taking the star from him.

As they continue you also follow the stories of the sons of the Lord of Stormhold, as well as a couple witches which end up playing roles in the sotryline.

I wouldn’t say there is a surprise ending, but it is certainly not the ending that Tristran had foreseen when he started his quest, but as most fairy tales, it ends happily .

The book is beautifully written, simple and yet elegant, and I would rate as a true masterpiece of it’s age.

I did find that there were quite a bit of things added to the movie however that were not in the book. The biggest one that upset me was that Captain Shakespeare, played by Robert De Nero  in the movie was a completely different person in the book. In the movie He was a cross dressing Skyship Captain, who hid his pleasures from his crew, putting on a fierce face for them. 

That is a dramatic change from the tone of the book, and is a very huge character addition to add in. I feel like it is almost too big of a difference to make. The biggest reason the addition of this to the movie upsets me is because in all honesty is was one of my favorite parts of the film, and I was looking forward to reading about it, which left me disappointed.

This is of course no fault of the book and I of course will not fault the book for it .

All in all I rate this book a 4/5 and suggest that if your into fantasy style books you give it a try! 

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Book Review: Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (3/5)

Well I finally got around to reading this book, and I have to say I have some good and some bad to say about it. First off, unless you completely forgot about everything that happened in the previous books, I would go ahead and just skip the prologue, entitled In the Beginning. It is a very dry read. In fact The only thing I can liken it to is the Bible. I felt like I was reading Genesis with the way that it was written. Which for me is about the most boring way to ever write anything. I have had more fun reading Physics and Calculus text books.

The good news however is that the book gets drastically better pretty much immediately. I felt like Paolini actually put a lot of work into, unlike the last book in this series, Brisingr, which was horribly written and rushed. In this book you can start to see the potential of a really good Author coming out from adolescence.

The only complaint I have about the main portion of the book is the detailed writing. I had a hard time reading it, and felt my self skimming over paragraphs that seem to have no importance to the story or whats going on. Don’t get me wrong, I love detail, but I love relevant detail.

The closer the book gets to the end the better it is, and the more I really didn’t want to put it down. There were some great surprises in the book, and some good character development.

The ending was great, and even though it had the expected ending, the moment of victory was pretty well thought out, and imaginative. I was satisfied.

unfortunately, for some reason the book continued another 6-7 chapters, approximately a hundred more pages after  the ending, or at least the part that I consider the ending.

Paolini basically took the loose ends normally addressed in the epilogue, and extended it across 100 pages, and intermixed it with more non important details, and musings. At some point it really just felt like an extremely detailed day to day account of Eragon wandering around.

At the end of the day I would have to give this book a 3 / 5 Great work on improving the writing style from the last book, and a great job in how much hard work was obviously put in to making this a good book. I think if the first chapter was rewritten, and the last 6 chapters condensed into a nice epilogue, It may increase to a 3.5/5

lastly I was a little upset that we did not find out more about Angela, but I will leave that at the Authors discretion, and not  knock off points.

If Christopher Paolini writes another book, whether in this world or another, I will probably read, but I won’t be waiting at the store on release day for it.
 

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Reblogged from Psycho Trynamic

4 Great Series to read if you haven’t already

el-sergio:

  • A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
  • The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks
  • The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist
  • The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
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