[BOOKS] More Reading

Long time no post so lots of catching up to do in this area… and I’m no book critic by any measure, so the reviews will be short and sweet.

Finished up The Mistborn series – which was pretty good; easy to read, not hard to follow and edited well as opposed to something like The Hunger Games which I found the tense and point of view shifting so much that it was jarring or The Waste Lands which had several odd grammar issue which I suspect came from e-publishing (extra periods, misused words, etc.). Light reading, not a whole lot of depth but definitely a different and interesting take on magic. I enjoyed it and may take a look at the follow up series which is supposed to take place much later in time.

Read The Gunslinger by Stephen King. It was an interesting read, much like his other books (or movies) he grounds things in the real, twists it a little so it is surreal and strange but strikes a chord deep down inside because it is still familiar. Not scary, but creepy for sure. A lot of flashbacks and foreshadowing. In the foreword Stephen King notes that it was the revised version where he changed things around so that there was a more of a point to the story where previously he admitted he had no idea what he was planning to do with it.

Read Frozen Heat by Richard Castle (nom de plume). It was entertaining much like the TV show, but I was a little disappointed by the ending which I won’t go into other than to say it left things a little unresolved. Yes, that deviates from show which typically is wrapped up in the one or two episodes (exception being X2K killer). It also left me with a very blunt, “buy the next book for the rest” type of feeling which I wasn’t too keen on. I’m guessing the resolution of Nikki Heat’s murder case carried more weight in my mind due to the ties to the show that I was just expecting a whole lot more from it. There was decidedly less repetition from the TV show in the books as there was in the previous ones and there were returning characters that continue the story line. Entertaining, well written, enjoyable, new and fun.

Back to The Dark Tower series with The Drawing of the Three which I’m enjoying more than I did The Gunslinger. Right up until Odetta Walker was introduced. Odetta Walker parts are difficult to read, I’ve never cringed while reading a book before – there are just some pretty harsh things around it. Things I don’t typically read. Once I got through it, it got better. Unfortunately that runs from about a third of the way into the book to the end. The end was predictable and I saw what was coming with Jack Mort as well as all the questions it raises (and which appear in the next book).

Once again I took a little break from The Dark Tower series and hopped into The Summoner (Book One of the Chronicles of the Necromancer) by Gail Z. Martin. This is more of a traditional fantasy telling with a decent start and foundation. It reminds me a lot of David Eddings’ Belgariad series though not for the story, just for the character growth which is simple but expected.  It starts with a young noble, second of three and some minor antics with his friends turning into something more when they witness the murder of the King at the hand of the eldest son (half-brother to the main character). They discover the youngest (sister) and mother were also killed and decide to flee to a relative’s kingdom in hopes of raising an army against the evil eldest brother (it’s always the older brothers isn’t it?). In some ways it reminds me a little of Fable III (the game).

Aside from the main character (Tristam a.k.a. Tris), the other characters are fairly shallow, playing supporting roles short of (what I suspect) the main character’s future bride (Kiara) who seems like a Paladin of sorts and the guide (Vahanian) who shows personality. Admittedly the bard (Carroway) shows some likable qualities, but ends up more of a side note than major player in the first book.

I have to admit, there is a lot that happens in the first book and I enjoyed it despite my hesitation to get back into reading fantasy style books.

Next up was The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks. I had previously enjoyed his Night Angel trilogy (though I found the conclusion to that series a little rushed) and took a hesitant step to reading The Dark Prism but enjoyed the depth of characters (including the villains), the underlying secret and what stems from that. The different spin on magic was also an interesting change so I was excited to see this book available. The story continues with the Prism losing access to the Blue spectrum and further advancement of his son/nephew Kip, some of the politics around that, the Prism’s father and scheming of the Color Prince. Very enjoyable, well edited and a solid read even if he delves a little into romantic drama. I’m eagerly awaiting the next story.

Back to the Dark Tower series with The Waste Lands by Stephen King. It continues being gritty and focuses on the paradox of (SPOILER!) his letting Jake die in the Gunslinger book, then killing Jack Mort before Jack Mort pushes Jake in front of the car. Because Mort does not kill Jake, Jake never meets Rolland and Rolland never needs to decide to let Jake fall to his death. Only Rolland is aware of Jake and remembers  both happenings which is driving him slowly insane. On the other side of curtain, Jake remembers and expects to die. He remembers Rolland and their adventure together and Rolland deciding to let him go, choosing the pursuit of the Dark Tower over Jake’s life. He is also unraveling. There are more intricacies to it but that is it in a nutshell. Eventually Eddie helps Jake come back over to the old world and the group moves along on Rolland’s quest to find the Dark Tower.

I’m still reading it, I think I’m about half way through it. It remains interesting, detailed, well written though this edition (epub) appears to have several minor grammatical errors; misplaced periods and the odd misused word (things a software spell checker would not catch but a human editor would). I do wonder if it is intentional but there doesn’t appear to be a need for emphasis or pacing where they happen. Either way, it is more of a dip into the grotesque (the bear), the horrific (the haunted house/gate guardian) and eerie (old people scare me).

One prediction I have to make is around Susannah and Eddie coupling and Susannah’s handling of the ‘gate guardian’… something’s brewing.

That’s where I am now, they’re working their way into a city, having just left the town of old people.


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