Horizon Storms (Saga of the Seven Suns #3)

a98d37976bf7d40c40621440fd6bfbaa 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: Horizon Storms

Series: Saga of the Seven Suns #3

Author: Kevin Anderson

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 672

 

Synopsis:

Surprisingly little happens in this volume.

The Roamers make an alliance with the Wentals [water elementals] and with the Free Planet of the Green Priests. They also find out that the main Human Empire has been pirating their space fuel and so cut them off, which brings reprisals.

The klikiss robots advance their plans to wipe out humanity and the ildarans.

The hydrogues and the faeros are duking it out and continue to destroy worlds and suns in the process.

 

My Thoughts:

Thankfully, this book didn’t drag like the last one. However, not nearly as much happened. Got to the end of the book and went “huh? that is it” but not in a good way.

I consider books like this to be like eating frozen pizzas. They satisfy your hunger, don’t disgust you and do what they are supposed to, but you’ll never pull out the candles, the good china and silver and hire your neighbor to act as a waiter so you and the Mrs can eat a “le’ frozen pizza”.

Anderson is a b list author who has made a name for himself but I don’t consider him to be a “good” author, merely a competent writer. His storylines leave a lot to be desired as do his characters and general blaseness.

I’ll keep reading stuff by him and I’ll probably lambast it each time as well. Hopefully that will help you if ever decide to read something by him.

Assail (Malazan Empire #6) (Final)

assail (Custom) 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: Assail

Series: Malazan Empire #6

Author: Ian Esslemont

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 544

 

Synopsis:

Gold! Gold has been found in the northern land of Assail and everyone, from scum to soldier to sorceress is making their way their to make their fortunes.

The remnant of the Crimson Guard, the descendants of the Jaghut, the remaining T’lan Imass and whole masses of various people converge into yet another, albeit hopefully the last, pointless Malazan Story.

 

My Thoughts:

Erikson lost me with his first Forge of Darkness series book and Esslemont has done the same for me with this book.

At some point, Existential Angst, Hints of Archaic Badness, Weapons and Spells that ALWAYS turn out to be Cursed & General Moping by Everyone, you just have to say no. No one is happy in these books, and I really mean no one.

It wears on you after a bit. Sure, the story can be cool and the action top notch and the epic can be big, but 17 books of between 500-900 pages each should not be ALL Grim Despair.

And for a book named Assail, the Forkrul Assail only appearing for about 3 pages tops in the last 5% of the book, well, that is Epic Fail to me. The Imass/Jaghut feud gets more time for goodness sake, and that was supposed to be OVER way back in Memories of Ice or so [the 3rd book  of 10 in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series].

I’ve gotten used to the fact that these books are all only loosely related,not a tight overall story but I don’t like that either.

So what did I like? Well, the fighting and spell’ing were pretty good.

And that is why I’m done with Esslemont as well, He has turned into a clone of Erikson in his writing philosophy and I won’t countenance it any more.

 

The Great Darkening (Epic of Haven #1) DNF

db5622ed237989370af096cd0a572895This 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 express permission of this reviewer

I found a review for this title on Amazon that fit my reading experience to a T.  I almost don’t want to write anything because I’ll feel like I’m “copying”. Ha. Could NOT FINISH THIS.

Anyway. This suffered from the the “Tell because I don’t know how to Show” syndrome. Quite possibly one of the worst cases I’ve seen in a long time. It might be just fine for a middleschooler but at over 400 pages I don’t see many in that age group going through the whole book. It drove me absolutely batty.

Secondly, the prose. While it wasn’t strictly purple, it definitely was of the Grape Kool-aid variety. Over descriptiveness abounded everywhere. It felt like I was reading a book report and the student was padding their report to get the prerequisite number of pages. But for all that, everything felt and seemed flat.

Thirdly, the “deep and hidden meanings” in just about every paragraph. Triplett tries TOO hard to bring out his “♪♪ Christian Message ♪in Disguise ♪♪” [sung to the Transformers tune]. I’m a Christian myself. I don’t have a problem with that. Stephen Lawhead preached Christianity through his Pendragon Cycle [Arthurian Legend] books and I ate it up. C.S.  Lewis hits you over the head with it in his Space Trilogy.

But Triplett seems to feel the need to make it all very mysterious and “meaningful”. Kind of like if your 3 year old came up to you and said “Daddy, I made this picture. I drew you in it, RIGHT HERE!! [excited finger jabbing]. But you’re hidden so no one can see you!” It didn’t feel natural. The story didn’t seem to flow from the Belief but the Belief was forced into the story.

Finally, I won’t even bother with the plot. The above 3 things completely overwhelmed it so I don’t feel it is even necessary to discuss.

So I tried. I went up to 21%. But after my Crash and Burn with The Wizard by Wolfe, I realized I needed to gird up my reading loins and not allow myself to suffer through a bad book. Mediocrity and poor craftsmanship are hallmarks of a bad book to me.

 

Rating: 1 of 5 Stars

Author:  Robert Triplett

The Great Darkening

Epic of Haven #1

Shadow’s Rise – Return of the Cabal

shadow's rise
Shadow’s Rise – Return of the Cabal

Chronicles of the Fists #1

Joseph J. Bailey

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

 

From the description, I was kind of hoping for a book along the vein of Way-farer. And I LOVE that book and re-read it. Way-farer is martial arts and zen.

And this is what I thought this was going to be. So I dl’d the sample from amazon and jumped right in. So everything that follows is from the sample only. The first 5 or 6 chapters I believe.

My first, very charitable thought, was that Bailey was trying to emulate Patricia A. McKillip with her lyrical, almost poetical style of prose.

Example:

The potential, the interrelationships, the interconnectivity, and individuation all commingled in a great sea of light scintillating beneath the sun.

-Location 209

The problem is, this verbose, florid overuse of descriptive wordiness continued on for the whole book. McKillip is a master, while Bailey sounded like a rank amateur.

Word craft. Lots of words are used that I had to go look up. And all were technically correct. But they tended to be ‘archaic’ forms of other words we already use:
densifying
reptant
supermundane
supramundane
aeryasynthetic
[I could NOT find that one. If you know of a link to a definition, I’d appreciate it]

The above words, and others, were used, it seemed, not so much as to make the story better but more along the lines of a little boy waving his shiny new trumpet hollering “look at me! I have a shiny trumpet!”.

…his head close enough to the beast’s…to smell the creature’s thick, unkempt rank

-Location 1034

Just another example of things being slightly off. Hair can be unkept [unkempt is a slightly older version] and thick, but “rank” means smell. Just slightly too enthusiastic with describing things and not paying attention to the nuts and bolts of the story.

Which brings us to plot.

A monastary of super monks [who have been around, apparently, an age beyond description ] in touch with the lifeforce of creation itself is attacked and forced to move to another plane of existance. And our MC is left behind because he isn’t advanced enough to do the plane walking AND he wants to fight the badguys, who seem to be just “evil”.

a couple of questions immediately sprang to mind.
1) Why did all the supermonks, priests and other trainee’s leave? Wasn’t it their duty as well to stay and fight?
2) the monks appear to have “just begun their work” in the area, even though they’ve been there an age beyond description. Huh? Which is it?
3) MC isn’t well trained enough. But when he starts his journey/quest, all I heard about him from the author describes how he can “X, Y and Z” because of his many years of intense training. Our MC is apparently both a complete novice and a master. But you the reader will never know which one will be in control.

Then there are things that just didn’t make sense to me. MC is hiding from the Evil Guys, who can track his psychic footprint and his very life essense. So what does he do the first night out? Call out to his master in his dreams and have a long coversation with him.

Another time he is in a forest, and he starts “casting out his mind” to look for sentient beings so he can avoid them. Hello? Paint a target on yourself or something.

After surviving a poison forest [poison that is both magical and mundane but both and yet neither], he comes into contact with some Super Tree beings. Beings that were the teachers of the elves and have been hidden for eons and eons. Not only does he find them, but makes contact with them mentally, and avoids frying his brain because of all his years of mental training. A certain amount of serendipity I can take, but forcing my brain into a pretzel of unbelief doesn’t work for me.

Finally, Bailey can’t write an action scene to save his life. Well, technically, he can. Lots of “fast” and “jumping” and action words, but no real combat seems to take place. Kind of like “he moved real fast and hit the creature, who was jumping really high and the battle was over”, but in his verbose way of saying things. I got lots of descriptions of the MC waking up, trudging around and feeling all in touch with himself and nature, but when it came to things actually happening, Bailey drops the verbal ball.

So while I liked the idea put forth in the blurb, the verbosity, floridness and lack of good action scenes did this in for me.

Noble House

Noble HouseNoble House

Asian Saga #5

James Clavell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

I am finished!
So many threads that had nothing to do with the Struans, merely impinged upon them.

Politics, business, personal life, blah blah blah.

I did enjoy reading this, but it was so “much”, so big that I felt swamped. I couldn’t recommend this unless the person liked the previous books tremendously.

I don’t know if I’ll end up reading Whirlwind or not.

Spin

910863
Spin
by Robert Charles Wilson
Dtb, 458 Pages
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

 

I was induced to read this by Sergio, a complete stranger who commented on my review of Bios, encouraging me to read Spin.

Bios was horrible.

But I figured that if a complete stranger could take the time to recommend a different book by the author, then I should try it.

I am glad I did.

It confirms my opinion that Wilson is a pseudo-scyence lover and a snob of HUGE proportions. And he’s a complete dickhead who loves his own words like a lover.

Unlike Bios, this had an interesting premise-mankind stalled while the universe races on.

But the execution was horrific. The main character representing all those who are uncertain but don’t trust religion. The sister, who gets taken in by a cult, because as we the readers all know [Wilson doesn’t insinuate this point, he BLUDGEONS], all religions are false and are simply setup by smart people to take advantage of the gullible. The brother, the brilliant scientist who keeps on going in the face of any and all discouragement and setbacks and who is so pure as to sacrifice himself for Scyence’s sake [and yes, Scyence seems to be Wilson’s god here. He just doesn’t want to admit it].

So if you enjoy thinly disguised “philosophy” [ie, I’m right, you are wrong, because I wrote it so], then I think Wilson is for you. I’ve read less preachy and pushy Christian romances than this, and that is saying something!

so thank you Sergio. You have helped me definitely cross off Wilson from my TBR author list. And yes, that is a good thing 😀

Inheritance

10853993Inheritance
Inheritance Cycle #4
by Christopher Paolini
Ebook, 769 Pages
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

 

Review to come later this week when I have more time. But I can tell you, it won’t be nice…

2.29.12

Ok. This book was several hundred pages too long. I enjoyed the ending, and the final battle was pretty good, but everything leading up to it was horrifically detailed so as to bore me out of my mind.

Paolini’s writing has not changed from when he wrote Eragon. His youth saved him from many scathing comments from me. But now, he is a published author with 3 huge books under his belt, and Inheritance felt as poorly written as Eragon was.

There is NO excuse for this. He is no longer a 15 year old ripping off Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. He is a twenty something who SHOULD have matured, but this book does not reflect that in any way that I could tell.

Long winded descriptions that go on for pages. Awkward emotional scenes that just didn’t really seem real. Characters who are still as 2D as they were in the first books.

This took me over a month to finish. Not because of it’s size, but because I simply lost interest in the labyrinth of Paolini’s love of his own words.

IF he does publish any more books, I know he is now on my Do Not Waste Time Reading list.

Dust of Dreams

Dust of Dreams

Malazan Book of the Fallen #9

Steven Erikson

Fantasy

2 Stars

946 Pages

 

Overall, this was nearly as bad as Toll the Hounds, in that everyone whined and complained about the harshness and meaninglessness of life. If they really felt like how they talked, they would have killed themselves off.

The very FEW action parts to this book were great, but were so far and few between that they were lost in this mammoth volume.

With the tone of the series turning soapbox’ish and not about the action, I can no longer recommend this series. The action, the politics, the maneuvering, it is all gone, given over to mindless rants about philosophical whines by people who shouldn’t be ABLE to whine philosophically.

Dreading the final book but also looking forward to it just to end this nightmare. This series has devolved into a kind of Terry Goodkind preachiness.