I usually do not like science fiction set in the historical past. Invariability the characters end up meeting Abe Lincoln or someone like that. it just seems like a hokey literary device.
This book shows the "dark ages" and its inhabitants with compassion and human depth. This is wrapped around the unknowable question What if aliens did arrive on Earth in our past. These aliens did not build the pyramids or anything so fantastic they were just regular folks and after some time their "humanity" shows.
The present time setting, or a little in our future, was a little clunky but not too
bad; it allowed the reader to find out the truth
of the really interesting characters those of the
dark ages. And as it turns out not so dark after
I have been looking for this book to come out forever. I love the buddy novel of thieves with a heart. These Bastards were trained by chains to have a conscience and they do indeed. With the love interest for Loch and lots more magic. And like all good epic fantasy there is impending doom. This book was better than the 2nd and up to par with the 1st. Our hero's have united and they use all the guile Chains could have trained them in.
There is a back story while well written, as it fleshes out the history of the three remaining bastards it was not the really captivating part of the story. My only concern is I may have to wait another 3-4 years for the 4th book.
Orson Scott Card could never write another science fiction book and rest entirely on his Ender books, Leaving aside the Alvin Maker series, (too Mormon for me I am afraid) this guy just cranks out fantastic works year after year. I really liked this book, the first one and this one. The characters are believable, plot is edgy and kept my interest. I liked how OSC was able to integrate characters from a science based future with a pre technological era. The friendships and relationships are intriguing and believable. I listen to a lot of science fiction and fantasy via Audible, and sometimes I forget stories, this one I really enjoyed and I am looking forward to the next installment. Along with several other books OSC has in the hopper. :)
I remember reading the first Gateway books back in high School. I revisited them again as an adult and loved the first few books. The psycho analytical babble surround Robin did get somewhat tedious even with the early books but the science fiction was fun. It seems like some science fiction stories that drag on have a tendency to kill off the main character
and have him evolve into a non-corporeal being. THis happened in the previous book to this one so I am not spoiling the story. It sometimes works I suppose, I actually find it to be a clunky literally device, in this case it is just tedious and frankly boring. The only upside is I still wanted to find out what happened at the end, so I guess I was somewhat hooked, but this was not a good story. Especially with the first few books being so fine.
While I am a bigger fan of Bujold's fantasy I have enjoyed the Vorkosagean saga. Especially the earlier stories before Miles "settle' down. This was a nice story that kept my attention and paced fairly well. Ivan gets fleshed out and the glimpses of Miles and some of the other characters we have become familiar with was entertaining. This is not science fiction that dwells on the large issues of human existence as so much of the best science fiction does. But I like a good story, and I like to be entertained by stories that shows humankind does make it past our Earthbound existence. The plot here was feasible, the good guys likable, the love interest at least interesting. A nice listen as I drive around plying my trade.
Adding to the plethora of crazy "I love this book" reviews seems like overkill, but I loved this series, and I loved this book. My favorite characters were back for the Last Battle! Since Sanderson took over, May Robert Jordan rest in peace the series picked up some new vitality as it cruised to the Last Battle. 100's of characters, dozens of story lines come together here. The psycho struggle in Rand's mind has been cleared, he is on a mission and as only the Dragon Reborn can do he has to execute it. There is a lot of battles in Memory of Light, and while some of the plot lines with certain characters I would have enjoyed having more ultimately the story was Rand's and it was the culmination of years of audio listening, as well as struggle against the Dark Lord and the Forsaken.
I love Matt and we got more of him, and Peron was well done as the complex person that he is.
I would encourage anyone looking at this book to get it, as well as with the series. I did skip one book, 9th or 10th, as it was really dragging. But the last three were awesome.
And now as we know "the wheel weaves as the wheel wills"
A lot of the reviews of this book have referred to the series as mature or adult fantasy. If that means complex characters wrapped around moral ambiguity that that is for sure this series. The characters are likable despite some frankly evil and masochistic tendencies. The world created here is violent and Abercrombie is not sparing with the details, gruesome would be an understatement. All of the main actors in this drama have had some tragic circumstances which have made them who they are. As I mentioned despite this I found that I wanted even the most despicable to find redemption. Well not all of them but certainly the main actors on this stage.
The plot I found difficult to care that much about, I am not sure this world is worth saving, It certainly is not the Shire!! And at times it is a bit plodding, I rarely fast forward audio books but I did a little but with this book. Mostly because I was less interested in what happened than I was to see how these fascinating people would deal with. So as fantasy I would rate this a five for sure. If you like this book I would suggest the Scar by
Sergey Dyachenko and Marina Dyachenko two Russians. It too is a serious look into a man and woman's soul.
And there is magic, used sparingly but I like a little wizardry in my fantasy stories.
It is obvious that Orson Scott Card loves his characters, and what is not to love and respect about Bean? He grew up as a feral child and without his own abilities and the love of a few he would have died as an infant. While I loved Enders Game and the subsequent books in that series Enders Shadow was equal in the quality of story telling and the quality of the characters. Bean, Petra, Peter, and the others of Ender's tribe that are portrayed in the Shadow series are complex and interesting people. There is not always a happy ending,
no spoiler here with this book by the way. Ender has his struggles as does Bean, but this is life. I liked this book, it continued the story, a little short for sure. I love nothing more than a good 20 hour audible listen ! and I have bought enough of Card's books to realize that he is as prolific as they get. I think it is a combination of his obvious bottomless well of story's to tell mixed with some business. lets not forget Orson Scott Card's forerunners like Clarke, Asimov, Heinlein and the like cranked out some short books and some of dubious quality to pay the mortgage. So I took this as it was, a nice continuation of the Bean saga with interesting characters, a good solid story that lives in and expands the Ender universe. I will certainly buy the next book in this series which will apparently connect the two threads, that of the Ender's Game story line and the Ender's Shadow..
Yes I would recommend this. While it is hardly science fiction, not even the cyber sci fi
of Snow Crash or Diamond Age it is still a good story. Seems like Stephenson is looking for a movie deal.
I enjoyed the personal relationships in the novel.
Not one in particular they were all pretty good. But as I think of it I did like the Chinese hacker.
Like I mentioned this is not science fiction. The device of the video game was entertaining only because I like video games. While I don't play them anymore, too time consuming. I would recommend this because it is a good story.. a little long and somewhat predictable but the action was entertaining. I hope Neil gets a movie deal; I probably will not see it, there are enough movies; and books too I suppose with the terrorist boogeyman.
I would not say that reading or listening to anything is mis-spent; this is a dumb question.
Even the worst of books has some redeeming value; this book is no where near the worst; even though I did not care for it that is not a good enough reason to say it was time mis-spent; if in fact I decided it was not worth listening then I would have quit. So once again dumb question.
Probably not. but maybe.
he is excellent; his reading is always great.
Not having seen the movie I went into this novel without the pre-conceptions of having seen the film 1st. The genre within Science Fiction that of the dystopic or anti utopia is one I was more attracted to when I was younger. Brave New World, A Canticle for Leibowitz, 1984, and others of that ilk had more attraction back then, just like Camus, or Sartre did too I suppose. This novel set in a post nuclear world has no real hope of redemption, the supposed connection to the collective, the empathy box is a device created to share emotions and the collective pain of Mercer, it seemed to me to be technology imposed by the state to create an alternate reality in a world radioactive and wasting away in kibble. The only other solace is perhaps buying one of the few remaining animals left after the nuclear bombs destroyed most life, and this is embedded in a capitalistic system that placed it outside of most peoples ability to own. And the androids? No more likable than the warm blooded humans. There is some attempt at collective behavior, for kicks they snip off a spiders legs, and revenge results in a goat flying off a roof.
The other two considerations I have regarding this book is Decker's view of human sexuality, and that includes human/android intercourse, for a culture that speaks of empathy sex is as mechanical as the named sheep in the title. There is so little true emotion that Decker's wife needs to program depression in order to feel. The other really interesting question is reality.. does Mercer really exist? Is Decker really Mercer? a metaphor for all of us pushing Sisyphus's rock up the hill being all of us so separate from love, passion, and true empathy.. we are supposed to feel connected to humanity by observing this man's suffering? his cross on the way to crucifiction, only to roll down again.. no hope, or as Kerouac said
If you scroll below you will notice like I did all
5 stars.. Rightfully so. This story has become taut. Sanderson is great on his own, The Myst books were wonderful; and I believe he has embraced this task with love and competence. I can not
wait for the next book..
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