Fletcher, NC, United States | Member Since 2014
This book is a mess. Yes, the author can describe in painful detail every piece of armor that a medieval knight would wear. Yes, he can tell you the order these things are placed on the body and how it takes squires to get them on and off. Yes, he can describe weapons down to the length of the butt spike on an axe. Can he tell a story that's interesting and doesn't sound like a ren-faire worker's D&D campaign? No. This book is lazy and it's incredibly insulting to people who want to read quality fantasy.
Things this book is missing:
1) Its own theology/Gods. One of the things that makes a great fantasy novel, should it deign to talk about its theology, is a solid pantheon of gods or at least a religious system. GRRM has it in the Seven, Pat Rothfuss does it with Tehlu and all his angels, but this guy just slaps Jesus on it, mixes in a little allegory for paganism and calls it done. If you want to write about a world grounded in Christianity, then write historical fiction. Have the balls to set your story in medieval Europe and do as much research there as you did on arming coats and hauberks.
2) Original names. The queen's name is Desiderata. Come on. Did you pull that off the inspirational poster hanging in your study? Willful Murder? Come on. Did you realize "Black Dow" was taken? Maybe you could have had a ranger named Smizzt. Every other character sounds like your SCA friends (google the Society for Creative Anachronism) gave you their persona names or their D&D character names.
3) Real Worldbulding. This was the deal breaker for me. There's no real sense of place. Nothing is important, there are no footholds to make me feel like this is a world that's been lived in. This started with having Christianity and the freaking Zodiac mixed in. How hard is it to come up with your own Gods and arcane symbology? It comes off as supremely lazy.
This novel reads like its something REALLY AWESOME your buddy from the comic shop had been working on as his blog. I could see tattered xeroxes of a this passed reverently among fighters at an SCA event as something Sir So-and-So wrote and is getting PUBLISHED, did you hear! Ugh. I'm pissed that I wasted an audible credit. Just gross and lazy.
This book was enjoyable for the most part. If you liked Steelheart you will probably like most of this. That being said, Sanderson has got to stop with the fake profanity and the made-up slang and the horrible simile / metaphors. All of the afore mentioned abominations totally detract from the story. The character of Missouri was a complete waste of time and through her Sanderson shows that he has no clue how young people now or in the future would actually talk. Also no one would refer to a soft drink as simply a cola. A pop maybe, or a soda but no one just says Cola. McLeod Andrews does a great job as always. If you can get past all of Sanderson's lame self-censorship and bad attempts at humor this is a pretty good book.
I'm sure Roy Dotrice is amazing in the other ASOIF books, but this book just isn't meant for him. Seriously, this is like listening to the dullest lecture on Westeros and Essos known to man. I imagine this is what it was like in Professor Binns' class at Hogwarts. Dotrice sounds so tired and his pauses before he gets to a challenging name or unsusally spelled word is painful to hear. This book is an amazing treasury of fantastic background information,but the way the book is organized does NOT lend its self to a seamless translation to an audio book.
Just read this one.
Such a nice surprise. Interesting characters filling traditional roles. Nice, crisp progression of time that doesn't feel like you're reading and abridged story (ahem...Glenn Cook) and a magic system that has me wanting more. This novel left me feeling like I pulled an overnight watch shift on a mist shrouded tower serving a cause I almost believed in. Wet, grey and at times bloody beautiful. Quality reading from Steven Brand too. Into it.
Jim Butcher does urban fantasy right. If you don't agree with that statement, you should just stop reading this review. In this most recent entry into the Dresden Files, Butcher is on his A game. He foreshadows future plots and ties up loose ends and unties ends we thought were forever tied up. This is a quality heist novel with all the standard players and it just works. Marsters is on his A game as well and no one else should EVER do the audio for a DF book.
I laughed, I cried, I want book 16 right now.
Brandon Sanderson writes a lot of books. Good books. Good books written very quickly. This is not good, though mercifully it is quick. This book reads like "THE RECKONERS: The Animated Series. Goofy villain, who, instead of being a sort of cool update/parody of supervillians, actually acts and speaks like B-Team Superfriends villain. If this is something Sanderson rescued from the cutting room floor for Firefight, he should have left it there. McLeod Andrews is excellent as always, but not even the voice of Sandman Slim could save this turd.
Full disclosure; The Mountain Goats are my favorite band and I've been a fan of John Darnielle's lyrics since 2005.
I knew this book would be special. I didn't know if it would be good. Songwriters aren't always able to take that step from lyricist to novelist. I was totally prepared for this to be some quirky little vanity thing that John put out and would have found merit in it just because, but holy God. This book is a stunning character study in frailty, innocence, loss of innocence, the sacred, the profane, the imperfection of family and just life. Read the synopsis yourself if you want to know the plot.
If you ever lived under a roof where the people who made you created their own narrative to believe about you because they can't understand your music, your books or your games. This book is for you.
If the inside of your head and the fantastic world and role you created for yourself there has always been more home to you than home. This book is for you.
If you don't know why you've hurt the way you've hurt for years or why you just seem to makeit worse. This book is for you.
If you are looking for something that gives your answers or even clear cut questions, however, this book is NOT for you.
Whenever an author reads his or her own work, I'm always hesitant. Stephen King can spin a mean yarn, but hearing him read it aloud is like listening to a table saw read the bible. Neil Gaiman is a literary genius, but I literally want to put on PJs and drink warm milk when I hear him. John isn't like either. If you've ever seen The Mountain Goats in person, or heard John in interviews, you know he has a unique cadence and spins some words in odd directions pronunciation wise. Hearing him read this himself is comforting and unnerving at the same time. He knows just how this needs to hit you and hit you it does. I cannot recommend this haunting, beautiful thing enough. Get this. Now.
I love Macleod Andrews, and he's just as awesome on this book as he is on everything else he does. Richard Kadry on the other hand is just getting lazy. The SS books are a guilty pleasure of mine, sort of a baloney sammich to Jim Butcher's Roast Beef and Cheese. However, I just realized that THE ENTIRE SANDMAN SLIM SERIES HAS TAKEN PLACE IN THE SAME YEAR. Just...no. For some reason that just reeks of laziness and sloppy storytelling. Also, how the hell did Stark get the black blade back. Enjoyable, but I believe the shark was beneath us on this one.
To Everyone Who Hates or is Disappointed in This Book Because It's Not A Depressing Slog That Includes The Loss of a Major Appendage,
You aren't impressing anyone. This isn't the next book set in The First Law's world, but it's fine. Engaging and sweet, cliche at times but still solid. It's short and to the point and I'm curious about what's next. For a YA book. that's enough.
Overwritten, overly florid and dear god, Michael Kramer makes me want to rip my ears off by dragging out every audiobook cliche in the universe. Also all of you trying to suggest that Pat Rothfuss' work is ANYTHING like this chunk of steaming waste deserve to be flogged.
I enjoyed the heck out of this book. Sanderson is still doing that stupid thing he does where he makes up a thematic swear word and beats it into the ground. (Like "Storm" In The Way of Kings") If I never hear the word "Sparks" again, i'm ok with that. Anyway--this is a nice re-take on the 'cosmic event gives people powers' paradigm. I love Macleod Andrews and have since I discovered him listening to Kadry's Sandman Slim series. This will be a fun series, thank God that Sanderson writes fast.
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