Featured reader reviews: Page 2

Listed below are the latest featured reader reviews on the site. Some are positive in praise, some are negative in criticism, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are well written and explain their reasoning. We can never have enough reader reviews as they add to the quality of the site, making it ever more useful for visitors.

The Deverry Cycle by Katharine Kerr

10 stars

Never mind where it ranks in the fantasy genre league tables, this series is some of the deepest, most intelligent fiction of any kind I have ever read. Brings to mind that quote from Aristotle that 'poetry utters universal truths, history particular statements.' I am just nearing the end of my third epic read-through (and it gets better each time). The Celtic knot style weaving of significance is amazing. I'm only now getting the point of many things that happen in the latter part of the series because my end-focused little brain was busy racing towards the conclusion of the linear plot on the previous read-throughs. A real gem. Thank you Katherine Kerr.

Kaya
France

The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley

8 stars

I honestly love how the characters flow, grow and eventually interact with another. I find myself compelled to continue. I've yet to finish the 3rd book WHY WOULD YOU SPOIL? What a pos move. Indicate if you plan on spoiling. I've read alot of fantasy books man and Brian has a certain flair to his writing that makes him stand out as an author. I'll spend hours at book stores reading passages from various books that catch my eye. Few authors captivate me in the paragraphs I read from them. I'm glad to include Brian Staveley among them. I can tell hes improving as a writer. Suspend your personal f pride. Thanks for wasting my time.

Carlos
United States

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

3 stars

An original and for the most part compelling read but lost me at the end. There seemed to be a suggestion at the end that the townsfolk were to blame for their own demise, as if to say that their fears and prejudices were unfounded and it was their paranoia, feeding on itself, that led to the final and absolute carnage. Hang on, didn’t the witch pose a very real threat to them? One that they were forced to live with for the rest of their lives because she wouldn’t let them leave? They were imprisoned and living in constant and real fear. Didn’t she kidnap two kids at the end and lead the whole town to the river to drown? Didn’t she compel a kid to kill the dog and make the son kill himself and almost his brother? This is supposed to be a horror book. Can’t stuff just be evil for the sake of it anymore? Why dilute her power, her evil, with a suggestion that the prisoners were also not very nice and therefore deserved to die. The mixed message at the end makes me wonder whether the author himself knew how he wanted to the book to end. Before the end I was ready to recommend this book to everyone I know. I have not recommended it to anyone. Some books are rubbish throughout. These don’t disappoint because you know what you’re in for, and if you read on you get what you deserve. This one showed so much promise and so is all the more disappointing and worthy of criticism thanks to its ill-conceived final act. Ultimately not with the effort.

Fuzz
Australia

The Last Battle by CS Lewis

4 stars

A bunch of religious & racist mumbo-jumbo. This ending to the chronicles of Narnia is so far in spirit from the beginning of the series that it hurts. The racism in “The horse and his boy” was a bit much, but the great story overshadowed it. In this book, the Calormene racism is more obvious than ever, with racial slurs such as “Darkies” thrown around. Moreover, it appears that their god Tash is no other than Satan himself. So now the Narnian world is divided into evil “darkies” with Muslim features who are cunning and worship Satan, darkies and narnian-folk who are non believers, and therefore ignorant and bad, and good narnian-folk (and one honest darkie!) who believe in Jesus-Aslan-Christ and are therefore good. While the adventure story itself is not half-bad (I wouldn’t even begin to compare its quality with even the weakest other narnian stories), the subtexts are so obviously racist and religious (though mostly Christian-type religious) that I wouldn’t dare to read it to any child. I guess it has something to do with that, like many other people in the world, I am not Christian-European (or a man of god for that matter) and therefore in Lewis’s eyes I’m just another Calormene brute (at least I’m not a woman...)

Daniel
Israel

The Silver Chair by CS Lewis

6 stars

A great adventure story overshadowed by Lewis pushing his propaganda on the reader, regarding Christianity (Aslan resembles more and more of Jesus), misogyny (seriously? another evil witch?), conservatism (his hatred towards the experimental school and its values) and semi-racism (must all the non-Narnias be evil?). Moreover, the Pevencies replacements are not such interesting characters - I mean, Eustace was a great sidekick but is not an interesting main character, and Jill and Puddlegum are stereotypical at best. But some of the adventures are fun and thrilling and it’s still worth a read.

Daniel
Israel

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis

8 stars

Arguably the last great story in the chronicles of Narnia. The story feels more like a collection of short story depicting the adventures amongst the “dawn treader”. The stories are fun and full of wonderful adventures. On the downside - the Christian subtexts start to be less subtle (“in your world, I am known by another name”, etc.) and the educational parts (Eustace back story and resurrection, Lucy spying on her friends and being envious on Susan, etc.) start to overwhelm the story, though at least so far they’re somewhat good educational values in contrary to latter books. Overall it’s great fun.

Daniel
Israel

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

10 stars

This is a very good book, from what I’ve noticed reading the reviews most of the people that rated it low are saying that because they had to read it at school and had to do loads of tests on it now I’m just saying but maybe if these people tried to read it again then they would enjoy it more. I’m 13 and have read it 2 times and the LOTR series once.

Stan
York

Nation by Terry Pratchett

10 stars

It really depends when you ask me, Sir Terry's best book is either Nation, Wee Free Men, or Night Watch (especially around the Glorious 25th of May.) It is far too late to foist this book upon my grown daughters (although I would still recommend it to them) but I have an 11 year old niece who I would hope would benefit from the book. Just finishing a listen to Stephen Briggs reading the audiobook version of Nation again. Sublime. GNU Terry Pratchett.

Charles
New Jersey, US

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

8 stars

One of the most extraordinary books I have enjoyed, richly imaginative, brilliantly realized and well written. I am a big fan of Mieville, and this is one of his best, but also one of the worst, because all that brilliance is let down - literally betrayed, by its ending. In the novel Mieville explores so many complex layers and nuances of society with such depth and sophistication, his descriptions of the biological impulses of the slake moths utterly genius. So why did he end the novel, topple its entire magnificent edifice, with some trite moralistic justification for what must be the most devastating betrayal of a key character - and, indeed, of the reader he carries so far?

Anita
UK

The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico

10 stars

This is a remarkable story. My teacher at the time who is of English decent read the book with so emotion that I had never forgotten about this book. I always loved the book since then and decided to buy the book and will read it to my daughter when she is old enough. :)

Roscoe
South Africa

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