Mississauga, ON, Canada | Member Since 2004
Little is explained in this book; not the characters' motivations, not who knows and what they know. There seems to be no center to the story but rather it's a loose collect of conversations which attempt to outline something. For the first hour it's sorta Zen; after that I started to wonder about the author's skill. Mostly I found myself not really caring. If you enjoyed 7-9 of the Wheel of time then you might like this otherwise stay clear.
I will admit here I not a fan of dystopian but I am a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson works. I did not really feel sure about the story from the plot outline by if there a literary verson of a rabbit of the appear from the top hat Mr Sanderson can normally find it.
The book makes no attempt to have the magic/super power system make any sense. This pointed out by a character in the story about chapter 10 or 12 however the main character is highly knowagable and what systems there are for understand are not explained you must take it mostly on trust from the main character - David. Which I found annoying all the learning and thinking has been done before the story really get going. David does develop but the reader does not see the obession which should be the primary motivation of the character.
The names for the epics are pretty much what you would expect to find from Marvel or DC comic books originally written in the 50s. Descriptive but without depth not much of a pun or even a bad joke. The weakness is similarly in line with the names. They make only a limited sense when the author decides to explain them at all. The main character fountain of information is never really shared with the reader so it not clear if there any reasoning.
The major villain - Steelheart- not really that engaged in the story. His super power's effects are but he is without personality himself.
The book is well written. You can work out the solution to the story within the first chapter but the book tries to look around the remains of the USA and see where would middle class be if the union failed. For that the book is pretty good excluding the fact so many things do not have rules that the control is limited. But again the develop or fail of the US to the point is brushed over and not covered. This is in theory the hope at the bottom of the civilization crash.
And that's the problem that has made me disappointed with the book is that it feels like a middle book there too much before to explain how the character got there and there is too much after to deal with the major solution there is only time to solve the problem that is preventing the pivot from being able to change.
Steelheart in this way reminds me most of Elantris. One feels in the story there should be some more story - more of the world detailed or more development of the character.
However all that said if your look for a really well written comic book without pictures in the super hero style that this is it.
I read for my degree in History a number of works by woman who had taken the vow and become brides of christ..aka nuns. This book is much more approachable vechinal into a similar world. Similar to a small town or any small community the characters know each other. The strick rules turn out to be more human than it at first sounds and in fact it seems the characters are living a pretty good life.
And it's the characters that drew me into the story and kept me going long after it had become pretty clear what the end game would be. I wanted to root from many of the characters and I felt I was developing a understanding of the many years and laying of them existing.
The story isn't super original but it is well acted and dress. It's worth it.
The story is pretty good. It's kind a little more French Revolutionary then I'd like but the gore is limited. It clearly based on the first year of the French Revolution but set in a industrial and conloy holding city state system...I know it's a tad weird.
My actual problem is that the story is badly in need of proofreading to clear out the fact it was clearly written chapter by chapter and then not checked to see if things were explained logically. Some stuff never seems to be explained and other things are explained 3 or 4 times with 30 mins.
The character excluding the field marshal are good and reason characters but the seems little join them. It more of a history with 3 views of events in differently places and motives but not really a common link that make a story strong.
The narrater is very good and I would buy another book in an instance.
If you have never read the Discworld this isn't really the book I would suggest you start with. It's in the middle. The story is middling, the long term characters are in the middle of story lines from other books and frankly while it's clever and witty jokes on clocks and zen are interesting they are middling too. I suggest Mort.
If you are fimilar with the Discworld it's a reasonable Discworld book. There Susan who deserves more stories then seem likely to be written; there the Death of Rats, an Igro and a brush a of Nanny Ogg. And even the evil of Auditors.
The book is better than many that attempt to jump in time as a plot ploy. It's clear and very easy to follow. The story works and I even like the solution to the Auditors but I always feel it's just sort a middlish book
For me Dave Duncan worlds always are set somewhere in our own world then expanded by a touch of magic. Actually in this case much more than a touch. Here is a mostly Celtic set at the high of the another Empire (much like later Rome Imperim).
I liked the main character - cheering for many. None are too sweet and they believable flawed. The book is wonderful and if the story is not totally original it is satisfactory told.
For Duncan normal habits are broken a bit - told story is told from a couple of character views; magic is a much bigger deal than in the Venise or Seventh Swords series. But the magic is clearly understandable rules and in keeping with general modern ideas of Celtic magic.
My only problem with the book is that it ends so quickly that one feels that there should be a second download not another book. Not totally cliff hanger just rather incomplete ending.
I keep finding myself going back to these books when I what cheer story. They are well written with good and likable characters. There is an air of the romance that the 19th century placed on the medieval age. A smoothing of the horrors of the time into dashing and exciting. There is really very little magic - more the style of a murder mystery. If your too broke to visit Italy close your eyes and enjoy Venice without the smell or damp.
In this book Jack and Jade finally seem to be real characters and more teens then in the previous books. Saddly the solution to the mystery is pretty clear if you read book one. The biggest change in this book is that Jack and Jade start to try to clearly by themselves decide things. They are less children and more teens in this book. Jack and Jade meet people who aren't Evil and aren't pre-vented by Grama-X; they make good and bad choices and not all the choices are made for reasonable reasons. The only thing I could have wish was that the cat's Arty and Cleo had a bigger role. I really rather liked them . Yes finally Garth Nix seems to pulled the characters together into something much much better.
This is better written than the Element Master's collection M. Lackey is current but very much the same idea.
It's a nice love story with some magic.
The idea of a Texas boy lost in Britian without a clue about pubs is funny. The problem of finding food I can complete understanding ... How does one get Breakfast in the UK - there a total lack of doughnut shops. While I'm not a Cthulhu fan; I sure it would be even better if you are.
My Mom is a huge Modesitt fan and owns and has read almost all of his works. Therefore it helped a lot when she told this isn't the first series in Recluce world. It did explain why the opening 4 hours nobody is really explaining anything. If unlike Lerris you hold on and think for yourself some it does start to clear up. If you have heard the Imager books then the first Imager set of 3 explain stuff which isn't re-explained in the Scholar but Scholar shows you different rules. Same problem here without the advantage of just buying the other books.
Neither Order or Chaos is inherent good or evil. In the 13 or 14th books some are set on each side. The black staff Lerris is issued is the mark of low level learner Order Mage.
Black = Order (later explain the absence of light)
White = Choas (mix of all light and therefore not orded)
Recluse wasn't always the prudish place depicted.
It's a story of a young man growing up. Apparently in the series written before this one was about the founding of the island of Recluce a few hundred years prev. and therefore the rather dull first couple of hours are a contract between society that the reader last saw and what it became. I'm ensured the effect was very good. Finally (~4hr) Lerris get off Recluce and things pick up as the meat of the story get going.
My problem with Kirby is rather simple: he can't do an onomatopoeia and not jar me out of the story. Modesitt work at exciting moments seems full of Howlling, Naaaing of the horses etc. I don't believe Kirb Heyborne is a bad reader just not one who should ever try to make howling wind sounds.
I REALLY hope that Tor release the rest of the Recluce books.
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