Thursday, 16 December 2010

Review of The Magician's Apprentice

Title: The Magician's Apprentice
Author: Trudi Canavan
Rating: 5/5

I loved this book and how it fleshed out the references to the war mentioned in the Black Magician's Trilogy. Though I feel the Trilogy needs to be read first to understand it all and the beginning is a little slow. Tessia is a lovely person to follow, as is her relationship with Lord Dakon (as a teacher) and Jayan (as a fellow pupil/romantic interest).
Stara's story is a jump to the other side of the war and I found myself feeling really bad about hating what was supposed to be 'the enemy'. This part is done really well, showing without bias and the way it slowing knits into the other side is very subtle. Kudos to Trudi on that.

Can't wait to get my hands on the Traitor Spy Trilogy.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Review of Pyramids

Title: Pyramids
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5

Having had a big interest in ancient egyptian mythology and religion, I found this to be a wonderful laugh at it all.
I was disappointed to find that Teppic doesn't show up in any other novels as he really is a hoot to read about and You Bastard was an unexpected character I just had to love, despite his math-thinking ways.

I'll never look at camels the same again.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Review of Wyrd Sisters

Title: Wyrd Sisters
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5

This had me laughing so many times, especially in the piece where the Fool meets Greebo. I once had a cat like that (female though).
Granny, Nanny and Magrat are wonderful characters and the no-nonsense and simple way they go about things is delightful, yet the use of magic to the extent they did on the land shows just how much you should mess with the older witches. The way they sort everything out in the end without hurting anyone, yet the baddies still get theirs just scream poetic justice to me.
A wonderfully entertaining novel.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Review of The Gathering Storm

Title: The Gathering Storm
Author: Robert Jordan
Rating: 5/5

Rand was certainly the whiniest he's been in this series, but just when reading his chapters was starting to become a chore, I was plesantly drawn back too his lighter side (it was nice to see the old him poking through, I was beginning missing it). If there was more focus on Rand than I think I wouldn't have been able to carry on through the whole 766 pages, but those heavy pieces were wonderfully interspersed with Egwene and Mat and, to a lesser extent, Aviendha, Nynaeve, Min and Cadsuane.
Several pieces had me laughing (like Cadsuane spanking a Forsaken). Others had me sitting until quite late with their intensity (I couldn't leave until I found Egwene was safe after the tower attack). And a few of my suspicions came true (like who was the darkfriend). Many of the plots laid out in even the earliest books are finally starting to come to a head. Not all the loose ends have been gathered yet and I was still left with questions, but that's to be expected with two more books to follow.
Wonderfully done and harks back to the feel of the earlier novels. Am definitely eager to get started on the next book.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Review of The Eyes of the Dragon

Title: The Eyes of the Dragon
Author: Stephen King
Rating: 4/5

I had never read a Stephen king book before this. But that is more to do with my preferred genre than his writing as I loved the way this was written. The imagery was delightful and the characters, especially the evil Flagg, were wel done.
The story did feel a little unfinished at the end. Happy ending, yes. Loose ends tied up, no.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Review of The Folklore of Discworld

Title: The Folklore of Discworld
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5

This I quite liked. I thought that it would either be a dry and dull record of the real folklore behind Terry's world, or an entirely silly mix of tales made up to explain certain happenings in the Discworld universe.
Instead, I found a pleasant blend of the two that somehow erased dull, dry and silly from the vocabulary. Easy to follow though I've only read the first four novels, and the lore behind the folk, both his and ours, is an interesting read.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Review of Strata

Title: Strata
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5

This is the first Prachett book I've ever read (I caved after my hubby kept suggesting them to me). I went into this unburdened with all but a mere idea of the Discworld series (again, given via hubby).
I believe this made it a far more enjoyable read and, truly, I was barely able to put it down. Even now, after reading The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic, I believe I would still be able to keep this story seperate as, while it has a similar theme, it isn't Discworld.
In short, it's good as a light, humourous read of how earth could've come to be had our world truly been on a disc.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Review of A Gift of Dragons

Title: A Gift of Dragons
Author: Anne McCaffrey
Rating: 5/5

This delightful group of stories is a sweet, light read. None of the stories focus on the main characters of the other books. Instead, it manages to give the reader that little bit more of a look into more-or-less 'average' Pern life.

Review of Year of the Unicorn

Title: Year of the Unicorn
Author: Andre Norton
Rating: 5/5

Another good Witch World book. The focus is fully on Gillan as she struggles with her magical abilities and the intrigue within the were-riders, especially since they target Herrel, the man she has chosen for a husband.
This inner conflict is a good foil for the outer which happens in the second half of the story, the pair running together in a satisfying battle of both will and physical endurance both Gillan and Herrel face in the end. I was sorry when I reached the end.

Review of The Crystal Gryphon

Title: The Crystal Gryphon
Author: Andre Norton
Rating: 5/5

I must say, having read Gryphon's Eyrie several times before I even knew about (let alone find) this one, I went into this book with a foreknowledge similar to one who has read a series and now has the prequel.
As one of the main characters, Kerovan's manner is stiff and rather formal. When one places it against the foil of his upbringing - the emotional abandonment of his father; the hatred from his mother; and the eventual loss of those he'd come to know as friends - such detachment is rather human. This inner turmoil is constant in all of narrative, yet it does not overwhelm the reader in a 'poor me' attitude, instead it has an atmosphere of acceptance.
On the other side of the coin, Joisan, who we are told from the get-go is to become his wife (and shares the chapter-switch with Kerovan) is confident in herself and, though not sure of her abilities, has a wide streak of determination that goes far to make her a good and strong character.
Though set against the back-drop of an invasion (one whose origins are clearer if read in sequence with the other witch world novels), there is little in the way of political or military talk, but it's pretty clear early on that this is more about the characters inner struggle than the physical battles happening around them, yet both play an important part to make this story a fantastic read.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Review of The Younger Gods

Title: The Younger Gods
Author: David Eddings
Rating: 2/5

After much anticipation of the final battle with the Big Bad Bug who'd been the reason behind all the trouble in the previous three books, I felt rather cheated once I reached the end. It felt very much like David and Leigh could find no other way out and opted to transplant themselves into the book as Almighties to sort the mess out and do what I see as the unthinkable in writing.
A pity as it spoils the whole series and makes it feel as if one has wasted one's time.

Reviews of Crystal Gorge

Title: Crystal Gorge
Author: David Eddings
Rating: 4/5

With the expulsion of the newest set of bad guys, all I really looked forward to was the additon of cavalry, something that had been lacking from the diverse troops used so far. A good book to begin with, though the introduction of a new, more powerful god (hinted at in the second book) did put me a little off-guard and made me more than a little uneasy.

Review of The Teasured One

Title: The Treasured Ones
Author: David Eddings
Rating: 4/5

The introduction to more characters and an additional set of bad guys - still the same bugs, but of a different type -  keeps the conflict from getting stale. A different area to guard also adds more variety to the battles, especially the end one. Not quite as good as the first, but that is more my personal taste in the main characters chosen to tell this story than anything lacking in the book itself.

Review of The Elder Gods

Title: The Elder Gods
Author: David Eddings
Rating: 5/5

This book promised a good, medium-paced read and delivered it with a literal 'bang' at the end. The direct involvement of Gods worried me for a while before the laws of what they could and couldn't do was set. Full of good characters as I've come to expect from Eddings books, and an added bonus of the characters being set against creepy bad guys who have the upper hand.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Review of Tailchaser's Song

Title: Tailchaser's Song
Author: Tad Williams
Rating: 5/5

I simply adore how this has been written. There is very little linking the world off the cats to the humans, an inkling here and there. One can almost feel the atmosphere as you read this, especially the darker pieces towards the end.
Was almost sad to reach the ending as I really felt for Tailchaser.

Review of Gryphon's Eyrie

Title: Gryphon's Eyrie
Author: Andre Norton
Rating: 5/5

This is the first Andre Norton book I read and even though I went in with absolutely no knowledge of what had come before, I was able to connect and follow the story due to the exceptional way this tale has been done. It has led me to collect the Witch World series when I was sceptical of whether I would like it and Andre herself is one of my most admired authors.