Friday, June 14, 2013

Review: Magician's Gambit

Magician's Gambit
Magician's Gambit by David Eddings

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Although I'm enjoying this series, I just can't motivate a 4 star rating. It somehow feels like "lightweight" fantasy. Still enjoyable though.

I'll hold back on writing more in-depth reviews for each of the books until I've finished the series. There isn't much to say right now, and I'll stand the risk of repeating myself in each review.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: Queen of Sorcery

Queen of Sorcery
Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As with most 2nd books there was no grand finale that left me in awe, so I won’t judge the book in terms of grand endings. Overall it's still an easy read with a simple yet enjoyable mix of mystery and prophecy with heroic character development.

I'm certainly enjoying this as a gap-filler while waiting on Mr Brandon Sanderson and Mr Patrick Rothfuss, but I don't necessarily equate and judge this book with modern fantasy. The genre is so saturated now, that it's very unfair to compare some of the early fantasy writing with the modern material. Everything has been done, all ideas have been explored and world building has become complex and rich. Readers are not satisfied with unexplained magic and mystery, but are constantly looking for rich mechanics and detailed, in-depth exploration of the why and the how.

While reading this I have to constantly remind myself to just sit back, relax and enjoy an easy read in the genre that I so love.

Mr Eddings is a good story teller, and sometimes that is all I need. An easy 3 stars.

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Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: Pawn of Prophecy

Pawn of Prophecy
Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The rating should be 3.5 stars. I really started to enjoy the book towards the end and laughed out loud several times during the book. That counts for something, right?

Well, to get into my actual review, I started this series as a filler while I'm waiting to read Words of Radiance, The Doors of Stone and the next book of the Demon War cycle. It was really a toss-up between this and one of the more modern fantasy series I have lined up on my to-read list. Books like Joe Abercrombie's The First Law Trilogy.

I decided on The Belgariad because I'm still recovering from A Memory of Lightand I needed a new Heroic Fantasy series to fill the void A Wheel of Time has left in my reading life.

I've seen Brandon Sanderson name Eddings, and specifically the Belgariad, along with other YA fantasy titles. I'm not sure I agree with this categorization entirely, or otherwise YA fantasy seems to be right up my ally because I really enjoyed this book.

As I mentioned, there were great moments when "aunt Pol" actually made me laugh out loud at the way she dealt with some of the characters in the book. Garion's development as the main protagonist is slow, but interesting enough and progressing at a good pace. This is probably the most important part to me, as I really like the foreshadowing brought by prophecy, and the development of a hero/heroes/heroins. This is also the main reason for my enjoyment of the Wheel of Time. Robert Jordan was a master at foreshadowing and prophecy.

To be fair, the worldbuilding and mythology was fair. Not spectacular, but in line with what can be expected from this era of fantasy writing.

I'm looking forward to the next book in the Belgariad, and I hope this series can at least help me to recover in part from my Wheel of Time withdrawal symptoms.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Review: Wool Omnibus

Wool Omnibus
Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The end left me a bit wanting...

My main motivation for the 3 star rating? Origins are too important to me to be left unexplored and unexplained. It could have been 4 stars if not for that.

What I couldn't figure out was why the author spent so much time in the book exploring the themes of crowd control and motivating the importance of avoiding any type of breakout or deviation from such a controlled system. So much time is spent on showing how such a deviation could very possible lead to the extinction of the human race, just to end the book doing exactly that. In the end this came down to: Let's get rid of the evil guy and all will be well. No consideration or exploration of what this alternative approach for humanity would yield. Otherwise a very enjoyable story, told well and paced nicely. Well worth a 3 star rating.

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