This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Trailin’! Series: ———- Author: Max Brand Rating: 3 of 5 Stars Genre: Western Pages: 247 Words: 71K
A young man, Anthony Woodbury, longs for adventure but his father is determined to see him lead the idle life of a rich gentleman. When Woodbury Senior is shot in some sort of midnight duel, he reveals that his last name is actually Pard and that Anthony’s mother died giving birth to him. Anthony Pard sets out west to track down the man who killed his father, a man named Drew who Pard was once partners with.
Along the path of vengeance, Anthony tames an untameable horse, romances several women, faces down outlaws and in general shows manly western qualities. Drew is desperate to talk to Anthony but knows the young man won’t give him time to talk, so he sets out his best man to capture Anthony alive. This fails and leaves the hunter with the bitter taste of defeat in his mouth. Nash, the hunter, then gangs up with the outlaws Anthony faced down and attempts to kill Anthony and the woman Nash was interested in, who appears to have fallen in love with Anthony.
At a final standoff in an abandoned cabin, Anthony is preparing for a final charge against the desperadoes when Drew rides up and under a flag of truce, tells Anthony the true story of why Drew killed Woodbury/Pard. Anthony is Drew’s son, who Pard kidnapped because he couldn’t have the woman who Drew married.
Nash and the outlaws leave and Anthony is reconciled to Drew and ready to marry the girl.
This was enjoyable while being a bit on the flowery side for me. Anthony Pard is definitely a Gary Stu but the author makes no bones about presenting him that way. The whole point is that his natural abilities come from his biological father, ie, the blood will tell.
Once Anthony went from Woodbury to Pard, it didn’t take long to realize he’d also be going from Pard to Drew by the end of the book. It was more of a will Drew get the chance to tell his son the truth before Pard guns him down in cold vengeance than anything.
Most of the flowery stuff came when Pard was interacting with the girl. A girl who was a restauranteur and not pretty but beautiful to every man who saw her. I rolled my eyes so much I’m surprised they didn’t fall out. Thankfully, those sections weren’t real big so it was possible to wade through them without getting bogged down. Part of the Western Genre is the Mystique of the Feminine and while I have no problems with that per se, sometimes Brand lays it on a little thick. Sometimes he uses a delicate paint brush, but sometimes he uses a trowel. This book was more trowel than paintbrush.
Even with that and the average rating, nothing here made me want to stop reading Brand’s books. So I’ll keep on trucking.
that stupid title! Do you know how difficult it is going to be in the future to track this book down based on title? I’m never going to remember to drop the “g”, add an apostrophe and the exclamation mark. Sometimes authors think they are clever and all they are doing is complicating their readers lives. I feel very put upon at the moment and life is barely worth living because of this. * sulks *
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission Title: Little Dorrit Series: ———- Author: Charles Dickens Rating: 5 of 5 Stars Genre: Classic Pages: 839 Words: 340K
The novel begins in Marseilles “thirty years ago” (c. 1826), with the notorious murderer Rigaud telling his cellmate John Baptist Cavalletto how he killed his wife. Arthur Clennam is detained in Marseilles with a group of travellers in quarantine. He meets new friends in the quarantine. He is returning to London to see his mother after 20 years in China with his father, handling that part of the family business. His father died there. On his deathbed, his father had given him a mysterious message, murmuring “Your mother,” which message and a watch Arthur mails to Mrs Clennam.
Inside the watch casing is an old silk paper with the initials DNF (do not forget) worked in beads. It is a message, but the implacable Mrs Clennam, who now uses a wheelchair, refuses to tell him what it means. The two become estranged.
In London, William Dorrit, imprisoned as a debtor, has been a resident of Marshalsea debtors’ prison for over twenty years. He has three children: Edward, Fanny and Amy. The youngest daughter, Amy, was born in the prison and is affectionately known as Little Dorrit. Their mother died when Amy was eight years old. Fanny lives outside the prison with William’s older brother, Frederick. The adult children are free to pass in and out of the prison as they please. Little Dorrit, devoted to her father, supports them both through her sewing. To the honour of her father, who is embarrassed to acknowledge his financial position, Little Dorrit avoids mentioning her work outside the prison or his inability to leave. Mr Dorrit assumes the role of Father of the Marshalsea, and is held in great respect by its inhabitants, as if he had chosen to live there.
After Arthur tells his mother that he will not continue in the family business, Mrs Clennam chooses her clerk Jeremiah Flintwinch as her partner. When Arthur learns that Mrs Clennam employs Little Dorrit as a seamstress, showing unusual kindness, he wonders whether the young girl might be connected with the mystery of the watch. Arthur follows the girl to the Marshalsea. He tries in vain to enquire about William Dorrit’s debt in the Circumlocution Office, assuming the role of benefactor towards Little Dorrit, her father, and her brother. While at the Circumlocution Office he meets the successful inventor Daniel Doyce. Doyce wants a partner and man of business at his factory and Clennam agrees to fill that role. Little Dorrit falls in love with Arthur, but Arthur fails to recognise Little Dorrit’s feelings.
Arthur is reacquainted with his former fiancée Flora Finching, the reason he was sent away to China, who is now an unattractive widow, and accompanied by the aunt of her late husband. Her father Mr Casby owns many rental properties, and his rent collector is Mr Pancks. The indefatigable Pancks discovers that William Dorrit is the lost heir to a large fortune, enabling him to pay his way out of prison, altering the status of the entire family.
The now wealthy Dorrits decide that they should tour Europe as a newly respectable rich family. They travel over the Alps and take up residence for a time in Venice, and finally in Rome, displaying pride over their new-found wealth and position, unwilling to tell their past to new friends. Little Dorrit finds it difficult to adjust to their wealth and new social position, and slowly comes to appreciate the new places and new sights. Fanny adjusts rapidly to the ways of society, and is sought by the same young man, Edmund Sparkler, who pursued her in her poverty in London, but with a new start that is acceptable to his mother. In Rome, at a party, Mr Dorrit falls ill, and dies at their lodgings. His distraught brother Frederick dies that same night. Little Dorrit, left alone, returns to London to stay with newly married Fanny and her husband, the dim-witted Edmund Sparkler.
The financial house of Merdle, Edmund Sparkler’s stepfather, ends with Merdle’s suicide; the collapse of his bank and investment businesses takes with it the savings of the Dorrits, the firm of Doyce and Clennam, Arthur Clennam, and Pancks. Clennam is now imprisoned in the Marshalsea, where he becomes ill. When Little Dorrit arrives in London, she slowly nurses him back to health.
Cavalletto finds the villain Rigaud hiding in London as Blandois, and brings him to Arthur Clennam. Held in the prison, he sends this undesirable man to his mother, who has advertised to find him. As Blandois he tries to blackmail Mrs Clennam with his full knowledge of her past. Mrs Clennam had insisted on bringing up little Arthur and denying his biological mother the right to see him. Mrs Clennam feels this is her right to punish others, because they hurt her. Arthur’s biological mother died about the same time as Arthur went off to China, but lived out of England with Flintwinch’s twin brother. Mr Clennam’s wealthy uncle, stung by remorse, had left a bequest to Arthur’s biological mother and to the youngest daughter of her patron, or if no daughter, the youngest child of his brother. The patron was Frederick Dorrit, the kind musician who had taught and befriended Arthur’s biological mother, and the beneficiary is his niece, Amy Dorrit. Blandois left a copy of the papers he obtained from Jeremiah’s brother at the Marshalsea for Little Dorrit.
Mrs Clennam knows of this inheritance and fails to tell Little Dorrit, or to tell Arthur about his biological mother. Unwilling to yield to blackmail and with some remorse, the rigid woman rises from her chair and totters out of her house to reveal the secret to Little Dorrit at the Marshalsea. Mrs Clennam begs her forgiveness, which the kind-hearted girl freely grants. Returning to home, Mrs Clennam falls in the street, never to recover the use of her speech or limbs, as the house of Clennam literally collapses before her eyes, killing Rigaud. Affery was outdoors seeking her mistress, and Jeremiah had escaped London before the collapse with as much money as he could find. Rather than hurt him, Little Dorrit chooses not to reveal any of this to Arthur; when he is well, she asks him to burn the papers.
Mr Meagles seeks the original papers, stopping to ask Miss Wade. She has them but denies it; Tattycoram slips back to London with the papers and presents them to Mr Meagles, who gives them to Little Dorrit. Mr Meagles then seeks out Arthur’s business partner Daniel Doyce from abroad. He returns a wealthy and successful man, who arranges to clear all debts for Arthur’s release. Arthur is released from the prison with his fortunes revived, his position secure with Doyce, and his health restored. Arthur and Little Dorrit marry.
Little Dorrit contains numerous sub-plots. One concerns Arthur Clennam’s friends, the kind-hearted Meagles family, who are upset when their daughter Pet marries the artist Henry Gowan, and when their servant and foster daughter Tattycoram is lured away from them to the sinister Miss Wade, an acquaintance of the criminal Rigaud. Miss Wade is ruled by her anger, and she was a jilted sweetheart of Gowan. Another subplot concerns the Italian man John Baptist Cavalletto who was the cellmate of Rigaud in Marseilles, though jailed for a minor crime. He makes his way to London, meets up by chance with Clennam, who stands security for him as he builds up his business in wood carving and gains acceptance among the residents of Bleeding Heart Yard. Cavalletto repays this aid by searching for Blandois/Rigaud when Arthur wants him found. This action brings about the revelation of the secrets kept by Mrs Clennam.
The other major subplot is the satire of British bureaucracy, named as the Circumlocution Office, where the expertise is how not to do it.
All I can say is thank goodness for wikipedia and the hardy souls who have already put up indepth synopses. I don’t know that I’d even try to do a synopsis on my own anymore for books by Dickens, as he has so many variegated plots and threads running at the same time. Daunting.
Back in ’08 when I had reviewed this for the first time, I called it the most enjoyable Dickens’ I had read to date. You know what? That statement still stands 12 years later. I’m also giving this the “Best Book of the Year” tag to remind me at years end.
There are some things that people need to know going into this. First and foremost, this is VERY florid. In fact, there is a character named Flora who Dickens writes as she speaks, ie, almost no punctuation and paragraph long sentences. It was HARD to read her stuff, as her mind went all over and Dickens gave full vent to that. I have to admit that I ended up skipping a lot of what she said. I don’t feel that I missed much by skimming. And Dickens is just wordy so it’s everywhere. Prepare yourself mentally to just drink in the words and you’ll be fine. If you go in expecting Dickens to get right to the point, you’ll be greatly disappointed.
Characters are Dickens strong point and Little Dorrit is filled to the brim with Character. This time around there aren’t any real villainous characters, it’s more about small minded things between characters. Clennam, the main character and what goes on between him and his estranged mother. Little Dorrit and how her family treats her before and after their succession to riches. Clennam and Little Dorrit, as Clennam slowly comes to realize that Little Dorrit loves him and that being 40 doesn’t mean he’s an old man ready to die. Plus lots and lots and lots and LOTS of other character interactions, all of it engrossing.
I read this while on vacation and that set the perfect pace for me. Read until I wanted to do something else, then toddle off and do that for 5-10 minutes, then come back for another hour or so. It was a low key read and and slotted perfectly into how our vacation was going. I suspect any Dickens I read during that time would have gotten the same treatment and the same praise. But still, this was a fantastic book.
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission Title: The Vindication of Man Series: Count to the Eschaton Sequence #5 Author: John Wright Rating: 3 of 5 Stars Genre: SF Pages: 450 Format: Digital Edition
Rania returns! And she is carrying new Monument coding from M3 that will bring peace to all of humanity in all its forms. Problem is, she’s a false Rania and the coding will turn humanity into docile sheep who demand a ruling hand.
Montrose runs away and ends up fighting Blackie, again. They are forced to make peace as they want to go to M3 and find out what happened to the real Rania.
Blackie pulls a fast one and forces a duel, the apparent Final Duel, between them. Which they both want. However, Blackie has rigged the game and leaves Montrose in a dead ship with no energy while he continues on to M3 and Rania. The book ends with Montrose’s intelligence shutting down to keep its coherence.
Unfortunately, this book was just plain boring. Wright delves deeply into philosophical and science fictional asides and the plot has barely advanced from the previous book.
By the halfway mark I could tell when it was safe to skip a page or two of SF-babble. When he does decide to actually plot, it is good. Montrose and Blackie are awesome characters, when they’re actually DOING something. But my goodness there is so much talking about energy and various types of future technology that it became pointless. Nano-technology leads to pico-technology which leads to phenitol-technology which leads to fermo-technology which leads to poop-technology which leads to…, and on you go.
Thankfully, there is only 1 more book in this series and while I’m ok with reading it, I’m not “excited” to read it.
I follow Mr Wright on his blog, one of the extremely few authors I feel comfortable doing so. Once I’m done with this series he has a couple of others that I do plan on checking out.
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission Title: Dust of Dreams Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen #9 Author: Steven Erikson Rating: 1.5 of 5 Stars Genre: Fantasy Pages: 950 Format: Digital Edition
The White Faced Bargast, now returned to their ancestral lands, are hemmed in by the lands current sets of clans and misused.The Bargast are now led by Onos Toolan, a resurrected T’lan Imass. He is trying to change their ways but in the face of a hostile land, the Bargast reject Toolan’s leadership, kill him, hobble his wife and drive off his children. Toolan comes back as a T’lan (hence the Dust of Dreams). The Bargast face their enemies but everyone is destroyed when “something” simply freezes them all into little pieces. Toolan hunts down the survivors and kills them all to fulfill his vengeance against the Bargast. In doing so, he ignores a summons by Adjunct Tavore and the Bonehunters.
The Bonehunters are leaving Lether to head through the Wastes into a kingdom where a piece of the Fallen god is. The Adjunct’s plan is to destroy said piece. They are supposed to meet up with the Bargast (that obviously doesn’t happen) and the Grey Helms, a mercenary branch. The Bonehunters are accompanied by Brys Beddict and his elite guards from Letheri.
A Skykeep of K’chain Che’Malle origin, with the help of a lone surviving human, must find a Shield Anvil and a Mortal Sword if this set of K’Chain want to survive. They get Stormy and Gessler. They meet up with the Bonehunters.
Icarium is now a ghost and haunting a group of people who have found an abandoned Sky Keep. They begin to awaken the Keep, which was created just to destroy the short-tailed K’Chain, the Narruk.
The Narruk, who have a dozen skykeeps from another realm, invade the world of Malaz and end up in the Wastes. It is up to the Bonehunters and everyone else in the area to destroy them. But without the help of the T’lan Imass, the outcome is in doubt.
There is a huge devastating battle at the end and whole armies are destroyed. We don’t know who survives.
Before I started writing this review, I went and read my original one from 2010, just to see if my perspective on this book had changed. A lot of the time the years give me a new viewpoint and something I used to like I no longer do or something I hated I now enjoy. Unfortunately, the review from 2010 is pretty much exactly the same as what I’ll be writing here.
With this book Erikson has cemented in my mind that he is a real bag of crap. Out of 950 pages, the plot is only forwarded by maybe 200 of those pages. The rest is devoted Erikson spewing out depressing cant and nonsense. Complete and utter nonsense. When somebody does do something good and heroic, Erikson makes sure to piss on it by having other characters destroy the moment with their own regrets and melancholy and depression. Any possible good thing Erikson squats over and craps on with a diarrhea quality.
This is a junk book and once again, while the series starts out so awesomely with Gardens of the Moon, it has descended into a morass of soapbox preaching and what’s worse, extremely BORING soapbox preaching. I no longer recommend this series because of the last 3 books.
This is the level of bloviated writing that destroyed the sales of his Karkanas trilogy (which is stuck at book 2 and looks like it will never get finished). Thankfully, Ian Esslemont seems to be doing a good job of actually writing a real trilogy with a real plot and keeping the world of Malaz alive. I do plan on reading the last book in this series but after that, I’ll just stick to Gardens of the Moon if I ever feel the need to dip my toes into the world of Malaz. It just isn’t fun sticking my head under this faucet of filth.
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission Title: Toll the Hounds Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen #8 Author: Steven Erikson Rating: 1 of 5 Stars Genre: Fantasy Pages: 1299 Format: Digital Edition
I’m really struggling with this.
The Tiste Andii have a big part. Nimander and the young Andii, led by Clip, are on a journey to Black Pearl to pledge allegiance to Anomander Rake. During this journey Clip is possessed by the Fallen god and it is up to Nimander to stop him. Rake himself leaves Black Coral and faces down Hood himself and kills Hood with Dragnipur, thus bringing Hood into the realm of Dragnipur. This allows Hood to bring his armies of the dead against the forces of Chaos within that realm. Rake then faces Traveller, who is revealed as Dassem Ultor, First Sword of the Empire and not only dies in a battle with him, but is killed by Dragnipur as well. This places him in Dragnipur’s realm as well and somehow makes it possible for him to confront Mother Dark and convince her to take her children back.
Karsa Orlong and Samar Dev had been travelling with Traveller and are witnesses.
There is a lot going on in Darujhistan itself. Cutter and others have returned. The remaining Bridge Burners who run a bar, have a contract taken out on them by the Assassins guild. Rallick Nom and Vorcan both recover in the Azath House and get back into the thick of things. Gruntle ends up working for the Trygalle Guild and Mappo takes their services to try to get back to Icarium. Only Mappo and Gruntle get called into the Realm of Dragnipur to help lead the forces of the Dead against Chaos.
The Broken god is also making a play outside of Black Coral to subsume the newly ascended Itkovian, now known as the Redeemer. Using his own corrupted blood, a black addictive druglike sludge, he enslaves the high priestess of the Redeemer and it is up to a former Pannion Domin of all people to defend the Redeemer, who has chosen not to defend himself.
After the battle between Rake and Traveller, and the battle that ensued for control of Dragnipur, Caladan Brood emerged in control of the sword. With the help of the remaining Torrud Cabal, he destroys the sword with Burn’s Hammer, thus releasing all the souls still in existence within the sword.
Last time I read this, I called this a bloated piece of crap (to summarize). This time around, I have much more to say.
It IS a bloated piece of crap. At 1300 pages, this easily could have been pared down to 800 or 900 pages simply by removing the monologuing by every character about despair, hopelessness, the pointlessness of existence, etc, etc. I found myself skimming pages at a time and not missing any actual plot points. Erikson becomes as bad as Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged with the monologue by John Gault. Erikson gives full vent to his existential beliefs and in all honesty, it is horrible.
Lots of Christian theology and personal philosophy coming up, so be warned.
Sometimes, books can affect us in deep and profound ways. We always hope that it is for the better but sometimes it isn’t. This time around, it wasn’t for the better. Over the last 10 years I have learned that I am particularly susceptible to the weakness of hopelessness and despair. Whether in a sermon or in a book, if the negative is at the forefront, it will bring my spirit down and affect me physically. I can not live without Hope. That is part of why I am a Christian.
Erikson puts forth that Oblivion is the end of everything. Good, bad, right, wrong, all will end in nothingness. You can only witness existence and hope someone else will witness you as well. This directly cuts across the fact that God Himself is our witness. He has always been and He will always be. Oblivion is not the end of God, even though it is the end of humanity who are not saved by Jesus Christ. Our lives are being watched and recorded by God and we are not alone.
Erikson also writes how everything good is essentially pointless since it is tainted in one way or another. God is not tainted. God is Good. Everything good flows from a Perfect God and it IS good because it aligns with His character. Erikson takes everything that is written on our very hearts as good and drags it through a shit hole and stabs it with a rusty butter knife all in an effort to show how it really isn’t good.
Sadly, it wasn’t until I was at the 80% mark that I realized how this was affecting me. My attitude was horrible about pretty much everything and the world seemed grey and blah even while I was objectively having a good time. I could have taken steps to counteract this much earlier if I had realized what was going on. I do plan on reading either Mark of a Man by Elizabeth Elliot or one of C.S. Lewis’s books immediately after this.
In the future, I will never read this book again. I also plan on waiting an extra cycle before attempting the next Malazan Book of the Fallen. I’m giving this book the “Worst Book of the Year” tag as well to help remind my future self to never even look at this thing again.
This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.
Title: Dinosaur Lake
Series: Dinosaur Lake
Author: Kathryn Griffith
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Format: Kindle digital edition
Henry, former New York City cop, now Chief Ranger, is dealing with budget cuts for his staff while the park he oversee’s is dealing with some minor earthquakes. One of the tremors unearth’s some heretofore unknown dinosaur bones and a group of archeologists descend on the find, like vultures on the rotting carcass of a cow. At the same time, long time members of the community are going missing, the group of local homeless people reports a monster eating some of their number and Justin, the ONE GOOD ARCHEOLOGIST, finds tracks leading from the water. Big tracks.
A dinosaur exists, it is smart and it wants to eat people, a lot of people. For some reason it is now exclusively up to Ranger Henry and his trusty cohorts [ex FBI Agent that would make Fox Mulder blush, older but stern submarine operator and of course, THE GOOD ARCHEOLOGIST] to go down into the subterranean caves, while a huge earthquake is predicted, and hunt down the dinosaur so that the namby pambies in the Gubba’ment can’t capture it and cause even more havoc.
What I wanted: a story where a dinosaur caused havoc, ate people and then died in glorious battle.
What I got: a story where a dinosaur caused havoc, ate people and then died in glorious battle. However, that was only the backdrop of the story. The real story was about how sensitive Henry, Justin and the other men were and how they all bonded and formed everlasting ties of friendship [until the dinosaur ate some of them of course] and with the POWER OF FRIENDSHIP, defeated the mean ol’ dinosaur.
At the 60% mark I started skimming. At the 75% mark I started reading 1 page in 10. And by the end I still got the story but without all the clutter.
This was over 400 pages and it should have been cut down to just under 300. To do that however, the characterization would have had to have been axed, the action ramped up and a lot of the extraneous weight gotten rid of. I don’t need to know about Henry’s daughter’s bad life choices and how she’s getting her life back on track and how Justin is falling in love with her. I don’t need to know the backstories or family histories of the 2 men driving the submersible. Sure, it makes them “real” characters but so what? Those 2 men were dinosaur food.
Now my main problem. Henry. Loving, gentle, caring Henry. Who is supposed to be an Ex New York City cop. Who got shot by a 10 year old and had to plug the kid. He is an emotional Gary Stu and really made me sick. In one instance, his wife sneaks into the danger zone to get pictures of the dinosaur to save the local paper even though Henry has reiterated over and over and over how dangerous and smart the dinosaur is. So of course she runs into the dinosaur and Henry’s best friend saves her, at the expense of his own life. Does Henry get angry or upset? Oh no. He gently and carefully takes care of his wife because she almost died and he really needs to focus on that. Forget about that her selfish actions DIRECTLY caused the death of a good man, for no point. In fact, it was probably better that George died that way, so he wouldn’t end up in a nursing home or something. The “bonding” scene between Henry and the former FBI Agent was what made me throw up in my mouth though. FBI-man tells a story about a whole town going missing and how the gubba’ment covered it all up. It added pages to the book without adding one bit to the dinosaur eating people.
The dinosaur eating people was the blank canvas for everything else to be painted on. It was the paper while it should have been the painting. Frustrating as Phrack.
There are 2 more books in the Dinosaur Lake series, but since I’m guessing they’re in the exact same vein as this, I’d rather cut off my toes than read them. Because if I can read 1 page in 10 and still get the story, something is very wrong.
This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.
Title: Interview with the Vampire
Series: Vampire Chronicles #1
Author: Anne Rice
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
A long winded, angst ridden vampire tells his tale to a young reporter in hopes of invoking sympathy for his pathetic life and the choices and the feelz he has made and experienced.
Utter and complete tripe. I was expecting something more ghoulish and horror like. What I got was a genteel vampire who does NOTHING but whine and complain even when he gets exactly what he wants. He refuses to be satisfied, with anything.
How this spawned a whole series is beyond me. In Twilight at least there was some action mixed in. This had action as well, but it was so thoroughly mixed in and hidden by the main characters long-windedness that it might as well have not been present.
I’ve never taken part in anything to do with Anne Rice and her recent “activities”, but with a book like this, she doesn’t deserve one more iota of my attention. I tried this, it failed to capture my interest and I can’t imagine wanting to read more of this crap.
This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com by express permission of this reviewer.
Title: The Boy and the Peddler of Death
Series: The Tale of Onora
Author: Dylan Saccoccio
Rating: 0.5 of 5 Stars
Pages: DNF at 40%
From what I could make out, some great mage had destroyed the Elven Empire of the North a generation ago.
Now there is a boy, who I can’t tell if he’s human or elven or something else who is verbally sparring with his father, who it turns out ‘might’ be the aforementioned mage? I really couldn’t tell.
There is also an Elven woman with a baby, but all that is said is that she is running away from something.
The spoiler following is a sample of what the writing has been like for my entire read so far.
AT THE OPPOSITE END of the Steppe, the aroma of foreign spice and earthiness drifted with the breeze, swirling with the scent of vanilla and clove. A legion of figures swiftly crept out from the valley towards the break of day. Their silhouettes coasted over the arid terrain. They displayed a sexually attractive dexterity. Though the figures were young, they were suitable for midnight deeds by virtue of their maturity.
Beneath the veils of their elegantly shrouded bodies, the Oussaneans had bronze skin. Their fiery hair and feline irises ignited with enthralling sensuality. The Oussaneans habituated that it was not enough to merely conquer a people. They must seduce them.
The Caliphians had a lust for these women, an addiction even. The Oussaneans would hardly succeed at the art of seduction were they not masked by some sort of honor. If one had experienced the dilemma between stealing the life of his soul mate and refusing to do so at the consequence of his own death, he may know the feeling of fighting against these women.
The Oussaneans swept over the terrain. Their glaives and scimitars swayed gracefully like willows in the wind. Every tangible piece of their armor and weapons bore the inscription of the moon, the symbol of the Lunaega Province.
As the legion made their way east, an ominous gallop grew louder and louder until it matched the sound of thunder breaking the sky. A warhorse, blacker than oblivion, more powerful than a herd, tilled the soil as each hoof cut through the earth. The monstrous steed was clad in dark obsidian armor. Its ruby red eyes burned like embers from a diabolical fire. However, it was not the horse that was frightening. It was the rider of that demonic steed and what followed him that struck terror into the hearts of men.
A whole book like that folks. Over-dramatized, bloviated, purple prose that mires you down in its own self-importance. A whole blasted book.
At 40% I thought I would have had some idea of what was going on. But the characters were simple delivery mechanisms for the author to describe to his heart’s content while at the same time informing us of all sorts of deeply mystical/philosophical musings/rants. And info dumps. In Purple Prose.
It was puerile. What is worse, it thought it was grandiose with all its verbiage and synonyms and utterances beyond the ken of mortals. It was not engaging, it was not interesting, it was not well written. It was the superfluous spew of a wanna-be philosopher who didn’t have enough sense to realize what silliness was coming out of his mouth.
In all fairness, this is probably not any worse than some young silly lord composing Poetry [with the Capital Emphasized!] for his latest infatuation back in the day. But back then only the poor young lady and maybe a close friend or two, had to listen to his stuff. If he tried to read it at the local tavern, I’d be the first to call him drunk and dunk him in a water barrel. Water barrels are known for their powerful restorative effects.
The one positive was the cover and the cover for the sequel. They were both GORGEOUS and I say that as a man. I will probably visit the artist (Virginie Carquin) 0n her own site and check out what else she has to offer.
This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.tumblr.com by express permission of this reviewer
Title: Cyador’s Heirs
Series: The Saga of Recluce #17
Author: L.E. Modesitt Jr.
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Cyador is gone and its survivors are in Hamor, trying to carve out a kingdom amongst hostile dukes of surrounding kingdoms.
The younger son is sent off to be trained and ends up fighting a war in defense of a new ally.
The fact that I am still reading this series should say something. However, I am not sure what, as I do nothing but complain about each book as I read them.
Modesitt has a certain voice when writing the Recluce books and it is one that can stupify, grate and generally annoy. Even while telling a rather fantastic story. And that is what keeps me coming back. The stories.
The stories are formulaic to the extreme, nothing is original and you’ll be sick and tired of people eating by the time the novel is done. But you’ll read it to the end and read 17 books worth and read the next book when it comes out.
What can I say? I still enjoy these but it is with the knowledge of the flaws, deliberate I believe sometimes, of these books.
This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.tumblr.com by express permission of this reviewer.
Title: Walden, Civil Disobedience
Author: Henry Thoreau
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Thoreau moves to Walden pond to live as a squatter for 2 years and rhapsodizes, as all scatterbrained, out of touch with reality poets are want to do, about how wonderful Nature is and how the Simple Life is the best.
In Civil Disobedience, Thoreau shows how him going to jail for a week because he wouldn’t pay his tax is the height of him being completely independent. He also tries to make the case that any group of rational human beings really don’t need a government because the Milk of Human Kindness will naturally flow between them all.
What a monumental tome of total Prickness.
Thoreau is an ass and every line he writes in this book simply confirms that fact. Nothing he writes has a true bearing on reality, everything is colored, warped and distorted by his belief that Nature is Pure and Kind and can Teach us Lessons. (and yes, the caps are on purpose, you can practically hear them)