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.
The idea sounded fun. The language and descriptions were amazing. But the story lost me. Would return it but it has been over a year since I tried to finish it.
At first I couldn't see why this was compared so often to The Hunger Games. It seemed original and written for adults. Later in the book it became very reminiscent of hunger games. But I wasn't put off and still enjoyed it.
This book isn't breaking any literary boundaries, but it is a fun rather light sci-fi/fantasy.
I was not disappointed by this novella. Fun backstory on the characters. I'd recommend for fans of the series.
Audible's advertising caught me. I was curious about a book that Sanderson would describe as his inspiration. While I'd be this was pushing new ground in the 70's, it felt very dated to me. The events, storyline, and characters were not developed to my liking. For the most part it seemed the protagonist just wandered from place to place running into monarch after monarch--each who had some amazing skill to teach him, in under 24hrs.
Entertaining, but I was disappointed I spent $5 on it when it was done. Way too short.
I enjoyed the trip back to the Dune universe. It's been about 20 years since I read the original series but it was still very fun to get some back story of characters like Duncan Idaho and things like the Bene Gesserit breeding programs.
As it was the son and a hired writer recreating Frank Herbert's world, I didn't expect great originality. And I wasn't disappointed...if you catch my drift. The plot was entertaining enough, but there were no impressive, creative ideas (nothing near the scale of the original series). Also the characters felt a bit underdeveloped. Especially the antagonist, who seemed characterchures of villains (were they so trite in the original series?).
In summary, I enjoyed the trip back to Dune and I'm not disappointed I bought this book. However, I'm not going to read any of the other million prequels that this pair has produced.
Enjoyed this pretty bleak, but somewhat upbeat, detective story set to the back drop of the end of the world.
Interesting allegory for the meaninglessness and/or intrinsic meaning of our every day actions/motivations. Kept me thinking about why we live our lives as I compared my motivations to that of he knowingly doomed.
Enjoyable story, with interesting characters, and smooth writing.
Enjoyed the plot idea.
However, the writing is bad. Constantly breaks the old adage "show don't tell" as the characters explain all their actions and thoughts.
The characters are poorly developed. Their actions are unbelievable in parts because the motivations are immature and unrealistic (for characters that are supposed to be sophisticated).
YA and not particularly impressive even for that sub-genre .
Enjoyed this more upbeat version of POT. There are quiet a few similarities to the characters and storyline (beyond the obvious overlapping place & time), but it is fresh and distinct.
As with POT the characters are richly developed, engaging, and interesting. The plot feels a bit weaker than the other series, but it is hard to compete.
I recommend, especially if you are a fan of the thorn series.
After reading some reviews of this book, I was expecting a captivating, engrossing, mature, sophisticated Brandon Sanderson or GRR Martin type experience.
While fine in its own right, it was not in the same ball park as those. The storyline/plot is creative and engaging. The character development is fine. The writing isn't amazing, but it does the job. It feels slightly like it is leaning towards the YA side.
The experience/writing felt most like Brent Weeks.
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