Characters too thin. Story line too predictable. Perhaps it inspired too many of the authors I've read and thus I've been steeped in its influence? Regardless, I wish I would have found it as a 5th grader--that's when I would have enjoyed it.
Yes, the narrator is awful. But I could get past it.
He undoubtedly weakened the book, but I still was hoping for more from Weeks. The book was ok, I listen until the end (although, it was a close call a few times at the beginning).
I'd say that if you have no other books on your list and want something to fill the time go for it. If you are looking for a deeply interesting or incredibly well written fantasy novel for adults--keep shopping.
An immersive world with engaging characters. Interesting conflict and told from compelling character perspectives.
I enjoyed it and will look for the next book.
I almost don't want to write a review on this book. I love Sanderson as a writer (well at least I loved The Way of Kings and I have appreciated his other ideas). Once again, I bought this work of his trusting him as an author.
While in this book he shows that he is still a good writer, with interesting ideas, it seems to me he is looking to write for the teenage crowd. It is a superhero story, where all the superheroes are corrupt and malicious. It is told from the view point of a young man (with the maturity of somewhere around a 14 year old boy although the boy is meant to be older, and a sort of scrappy streetwise--but Sanderson's attempt to make the boy a playful whimsical "nerd" felt somewhat forced given his conflicted backstory surviving loss and a harsh violent and tyrannical world). The boy is surviving in a somewhat lightly written apocalyptic Chicago and seeks to revenge himself against one of the super-villains for a personal tragedy that the villain perpetrated against the boy in his youth.
The youthful perspective and feel of the work isn't so bad that adults can't enjoy it (although I almost put it down for good when the main character described a motorcycle as looking like a "ninja puma" or some such childish nonsense).
Honestly, this book was fine, it kept my attention, and had some interesting ideas about the nature and influence of power... I probably judged it harshly primarily as I wish Sandeson would get back to the storm light archive and not spend time on projects like this one...
Sanderson earned a place in my favorite fantasy author list with "The Way of Kings." I have been willing to buy any of his books since, without reading reviews.
While aimed at a slightly younger audience (not painfully young adult, but clearly not written solely for adults) the Rithmatist is a creative and fun book. A coming of age story set in an unusual alternate-united states, with an almost steam-punk feel.
I enjoyed it and I'll likely read any sequels (but I'm hoping Sandeson will work on the storm light series instead)
This military fantasy has the potential to be an epic fantasy series. No ground was broken in this story--pretty straight forward battle of opposing forces (one nominally "good" and the other nominally "evil"--yet those lines are certainly in question in the book and likely developed further in the series). The story set up enough convolution between the characters' backgrounds, the magical system, and the main conflict that I could see an interesting series developing out of this mostly run-of-the-mill first book.
In short: the characters were engaging; the motivations, setting, and plot all interesting.
This was a good "pass the time" book for me. I'm not dying waiting for the next book in the series, but I will very likely read it.
This urban fantasy set in England was a nice change of pace from the epic and military fantasy I've been reading.
While not in my top ten reads, it was worth the read. It was entertaining and engaging. I enjoyed the world O'Malley created and I was interested in the characters.
No real ground broken here. It had a light hearted feel. Written for adult--although young adults could easily enjoy it.
Robin Hobb is a talented writer. She comes up with interesting ideas and she can write.
But she seems to get in a rut in this series.
She writes the main character well enough that you care about him. But then, over and over again, he is misunderstood and accused of awful behavior and crimes. He moves from one place to another and then the same scene develops. Over and over again.
Yes, its purposeful and has a point, but it makes for a somewhat unpleasant read. Tedious.
I enjoyed this book and its sequel. Russel could have easily split this book into two or three--but instead creates a great semi-epic work. This is good writing, with an interesting plot that keeps you reading. However, if you are looking for a non-stop action ride this isn't your book.
It has the setting and plot for a 'coming of age' epic adventure, but Russell clearly didn't want to write that kind of book. The main character has the mysterious strength/ability/power and the setting is a multi-layered epic struggle of the characters' personal beliefs, set under the larger struggle between political families/entities, set under the larger epic struggle between nations/peoples, again set under the still larger struggle of ideologies/religions. While at first the setting leads you expect a coming of age story of a mystical warrior--the coming of age is really about the spiritual identity of the character and the nature of his reality--not his physical abilities (although that is developed in the book, too).
There is action in this series (wars, assassinations, fights, kick-boxing tournament, etc.), but they are almost downplayed at times. For instance, the central character competes in a kickboxing tournament, fighting something like a half-dozen matches, but Russell skims over almost all physical the action as if it is entirely irrelevant until the last match.
While I do enjoy a true action packed epic--this was a well written and enjoyable book. As was its sequel.
The narrator is fine. However, he's one of those narrators which would do best by simply reading the book and not trying to push his voice into a variety of characters. His effort to do so is a little comical at times--two of the minor characters' voices are just silly. One is a bad Yoda impression and the other is straight out of good fellas (odd in this feudal Asian society). Luckily these characters have minor roles, so it doesn't get annoying.
This reminded me of a lighter Dresden Files. There are numerous similarities between the two--the single male magical practitioner, living in the US mostly in secret from the normal world, who faces a collection more powerful beings all attempting to use him in their own plots.
However, Hearne's style, humor, characterization, and story-telling feels aimed at a slightly younger audience, leaning a bit more towards JK Rowling or Rick Riordan--although, this book wasn't nearly as YA in writing or plot (especially considering the sex and death) as those authors.
It kept me entertained, but I will not continue with the series.
This is the kind of work I'm looking for. Written for adults, with rich characters, epic sweep of events, complex layers of intertangled personal, political, and mythical story-lines.
A rare book in the category of, and perhaps even better than, Game of Thrones, Name of the Wind, Warded Man, or The Way of Kings.
Can't wait for the next book.
The narrater was great--not one for forcing a variety of voices, but providing a solid, pleasant, and effective read. Like hearing a fireside story read by a master story teller.
Great Book and Performance!
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