Allan Fisher profile
Place of birth: Cardiff, Wales
Now living: Bridgend, Wales
3 favourite authors
- Raymond E Feist
- Jeffrey Archer
- Greg Bear
3 favourite books
- Magician, Raymond E Feist
- The Forge of God, Greg Bear
- Star Wars Extended Universe books, Various authors
3 favourite films
- Star Wars
- The Last Samurai
With all the different threads combining, a more layered exploration of the Sixth World of Men is developed and a deeper world building and character development follows. Mark creates a stronger, more vivid and complete world, in which his story unfolds, bringing the first trilogy successfully to a conclusion. However, it is an ending which leaves countless questions unanswered and a need for future resolution, but it does bring a sense that something profound has changed. I have enjoyed this trilogy and was often reminded of Asimov’s Foundation books. I would recommend these books to anyone interested in fantasy or science-fiction.
The characterisation is as you would expect for this genre and novel, and is no more than just lightly glossed over. The fight scenes between Starkiller and Darth Vader with a few monsters thrown in, was reminiscent of the monsters from the Jabba the Hutt scenes in Return of the Jedi. The last part of the book was also the strongest as the action moved towards Kamino. The ending felt forced though and the book ends on a cliff-hanger, which sets up another sequel. Personally, I feel the next book must conclude the story and Sean Williams talents used in better plots for the usually brilliant Star Wars Extended Universe.
All in all, I felt underwhelmed by this graphic novel, the artwork is great but I was unable to sympathise with the characters and found the storyline forced and rushed, and the ending awkward.
In conclusion, I found the second novel most entertaining. The storytelling is far crisper and the characterisation, now there are more parties, has also improved. There is also an appendix which allows the reader to understand the different words of Kosundo. The book has a strong underlying message of faith and choice, and the consequences that follow. There is also far more emotion and pathos in this book, as well as deception, ambition, betrayal and hope for the future. All in all a solid and entertaining read from a fast improving author. The future looks good for Walter E Mark.
This Christmas I received an Amazon Kindle. Keen to try it out I stumbled upon this first book in the Elfhunter trilogy for the great download price of 74p. Well worth a try for that price. Besides that it also was the winner of the 2008 Reviewer's Choice Award: Best Fantasy; 2009 Best Series.
In conclusion, this is a book which has lived up to the expectation of Acacia. In many ways it did not feel like a middle volume and in others it fulfilled a middle volumes purpose. Durham is a very skilled storyteller and in this trilogy he has so far created a wonderful tale. The ending to this book is also worth savouring and the future looks bright. My only mild criticism was that Mena had a much smaller role, and I hope to see far more of her in the conclusion. The final telling of this story points towards an explosive and dramatic finale, and it has now become my most anticipated book of 2011.
All in all this is a far more accomplished book than its predecessor. The writing has improved and the whole aspect of telling a story is greatly expanded upon. The second part can be occasionally difficult. This is possibly due to the total change of pace and tone from the excellent first part. The world is vastly bigger and this helps the vivid scenery become more balanced and not focussed on one area. The actual storyline has great potential and has left me looking forward to completing this trilogy. At this pace Campbell will soon be a very skilled storyteller.
This is a book which will be enjoyed a lot by teenagers, as well as adults, to which it will have a certain resonance, having witnessed the explosion and possibilities of reality TV this last decade. It is a strange phenomenon in modern culture and hopefully this is not its natural conclusion. This book is also followed by two subsequent books, which will be reviewed in the near future.
All in all this is good debut novel with a gentle and unassuming approach, which works well for this modern day parable. It is the beginning of an interesting journey and one I will be undertaking. I am also interested in further exploring this world’s adventures and the nature of how choice affects all future events. I am looking forward to watching Walter E Mark develop as a writer. I think once you get used to the style, you will appreciate the simple act of just reading this book and letting the author do the work for you as he paints his canvass.
All in all a highly enjoyable and FUN read. It is light hearted and alongside Phillip Pullmans superlative Dark Materials trilogy this is one of the best Steampunk novels out there. It is the beginning of a projected series by Wooding and these books also look to be stand-alone too. Well worth a read if you want fun and an exciting ride on the Vardia skies.
The Maximum Ride books look like the beginning of an entertaining journey for the YA fantasy market. They will also appeal to adults largely due to Pattersons excellence in writing bestselling blockbusters. They are quick reads and can be polished off in one or two nights and are a great break in-between some of the heavier books in the fantasy market. In the end, I came away wanting to read more of the exploits and adventures of Max and her flock.
A flash of light and Detective Joe Dante steps through. No longer on the cobblestone streets of 1961 Boston, Joe finds himself in a horrifying new world-Hell itself. Joe was in hot pursuit of his family's killer, drug lord Filippo Argenti, when both were killed, and isn't about to let a little thing like death slow him down. So, with a healthy dose of New England stubbornness and the help of a mysterious guide, Virgil DiMini, Joe must evade angry demons, and search ever-lower through the rings of the original Dante's Inferno in hopes of finding justice for his wife and children. However, Joe will soon discover that behind every sin lies a secret and each secret revealed could land Joe in an eternity of hot water... VERY hot.
"This tale works on all levels, and as well as being a clever exposition of todays society and its morals, and how far we have fallen, it also works on the level that it is action packed throughout. In the end though, it is a tale of faith and of renewed hope for the future. I often found myself pausing through this book and pondering on things in my life. It is a story which will live long in the memory and that is the highest compliment one can pay to a book. I urge you to give this first time author a try. You will not be disappointed. It is a cathartic experience. It is also a wonderful modern retelling of the classical poem, and one that deserves widespread reading. As for me I will be passing this book onto my family and friends, as well as finally giving Dantes The Inferno a go." Fantasy Book Review
The story is action packed and Tchaikovskys handling of the fight scenes is thrilling. The characters are continuing to grow and we learn more of their motivations. We are also introduced to new characters such as Drephos the Imperial auxiliary-artificer, and Uctebri a sort of vampire-kinden. Although the book is close to seven hundred pages long it never feels it, as the pace and action drive the story ever on. The world is greatly expanded and we learn more of the various insects and their ways. We are also introduced to the Emperor, and a side story is told. Thalric continues in the rich vein that we saw him develop in the first book and brings an occasional humour to the proceedings. Every book needs a baddie and Thalric is a great character.
It is a condensed tale and everything seems to happen at a frenetic pace. There is always tension built at the end of a chapter and this just rolls over to the next chapter. It took me a few hours to read it and while I enjoyed it a lot I would have liked a little more meat and bones to the whole thing. It felt like reading the Lord of the Rings in sixty seconds. Although being a young adult book this style would work perfectly in that scenario. A young person would pick it up and not be daunted by its size. I am not sure of the authors intention but to my mind it felt almost a quick parody of the genre and poked gentle fun at fantasy.
The Final Empire, the first book in a trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, is a tale of a subjugated people known as the Skaa, and their fight for freedom against a seemingly invincible God known as the Lord Ruler. The Lord Ruler has ruled this world for a thousand years through his Inquisitors and Obligators. The Skaa who have been subjugated for so long are incapable of fighting back. That is until Kelsier a Mistborn who, along with his crew of Mistings and other talented individuals, begins a rebellion against the Lord Ruler and the Nobility. The Mistborn are a special people who are able to burn metals to illicit different responses. This process is known as Allomancy and Vin, a member of a thieving crew, is enlisted by Kelsier in his crusade to free the Skaa.
As a keen reader in the past there have been times when I have struggled to finish a book. I put it down to my concentration. However, it was not until I began to review books that it became obvious that it was what I was reading. Unfortunately I had a similar feeling while reading Alan Campbells opening book in the Deepgate Codex Trilogy. That is not to say it is a bad book. It just missed one or two ingredients for me.
Acacia is a captivating and entertaining novel for an authors first foray into the fantasy genre and one that has me catching back up on the world of fantasy after a year or two away. The characters, while following a formulaic path do not take the routes treaded in other fantasy novels. It perhaps could have had a little more humour thrown in and a better handling of the action scenes and this would have completed the novel for me. As it is though, it is a stellar novel and whilst I have yet to discover the likes of Erickson, Abercrombie, Rothfuss and Sanderson this book was instrumental in reigniting my passion for fantasy. Ultimately, it was a book that I was unable to put down and had me ordering the sequel immediately. I urge you to try it, but please be aware of my disclaimer as I have not yet discovered many of the newer fantasy authors.
So, are you going to like this book? I certainly did, though if graphic violence in a cartoonish sort of way is not up your street then you might struggle with the total insanity of it all. The plot has more of a storyline than the previous two books and the ending leaves scope to take future books on a different course. So all in all it is a light and fun read with not too much depth. For me, the initial selling point for the Deaths Head books was the brilliance of the artwork.
Whilst not as action packed as previous Halo books, it was an interesting concept for a story and I would recommend it as the place for a Halo newcomer to start. It is interesting to learn the history prior to the game and to understand more of Jacob Keyes’ character, the Elites and of the desperation of the civilians of the Outer Colonies. This adds a little depth and shading to the Halo universe, and while the writing is not going to blow you away, it is pitched as it should be for this genre. It is nothing more than pure boys’ fun without a hint of a love story and should be enjoyed in the same way as you would enjoy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. It will just about satisfy you but not fill you up. If you are not a fan of Halo, and I believe you probably need to be to fully enjoy this book, and you want to try Military Sci-Fi I would look at Robert A. Heinlein’s ‘Starship Troopers’ or Orson Scott Card’s excellent ‘Ender’s Game instead.