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 Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

10 stars

I absolutely LOVE this book. It is unlike any I have ever read before. It resonates with me in a way I really wasn't expecting, and I'm kind of scared hiw much I relate with Auri. The book does nearly nothing that a normal story is supposed to; there is no real plot, no characters aside from Auri, no dialouge, and one of the most exiting moments in the book is those famous eight pages where ahe makes SOAP. It is not for everyone, that is, not everyone ia going to like it. But you should absolutely read it. Because despite the lack of plot and characters, this is a masterpeice, in my opinion. Hell, I'd say that it is a masterpeice BECAUSE of that. It is a story about a cracked and broken girl trying to suvive in a world where she is all alone. It is about names, and strange words. It is a bit of fresh air, a bit of chaos in a world where everything is supposed to be this and that, ordered, structured, and free, somehow. If you would like to see the world from Auris perspective, and if you like strange and interesting stories, then this book is defenitly for you.

Martin
Sweden

The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

10 stars

LotR and Tolkien's writing style is not for everyone as I can see from the comments, but I don't think the ppl writing all the negative reviews really understand Tolkien's works at all. LotR is very deep and I get that it takes a while for the story to get moving, but once it gets moving, it is like reading norse myths in their original prose form or Beowulf. after reading one of Tolkien's biographies, I found that he was inspired from the myths more than anything else and an important fact to keep in mind when reading LotR/the Hobbit is that Tolkien created middle earth for his languages rather than vise versa. Tolkien uses language(English, not his invented ones) in very complex way that many modern writers don't grasp, and many ppl are so accustomed to the writing styles of the modern era, that they LotR way out of their comfort zone. I love Tolkien's works and I would recommend it to anyone who likes mythology and history as well as anyone who is up for a bit of a deep read, but as always READ THE HOBBIT FIRST!!!! the most similar book I have come across are the earthsea books by Ursula LeGuin

emerok
the earth

The Death of Grass by John Christopher

1 stars

If I could give a zero, I would do. I also love dystopian fiction and read this because it’s meant to be a classic. I have no idea why: it’s dull; the timeframe in which everything falls apart (about 24 hours) is ludicrous; the portrayal and use of female characters actually enraged me - the author clearly dislikes them (see Floresiensis’s review, which perfectly sets out my feelings), they are good for domestic tasks and rape only. AVOID.

Mary
UK

The Horse And His Boy by CS Lewis

10 stars

This is the best Narnia book out there. It's quick and easy to read because it has an engaging plot. The character of Aravis is a strong female character and there is no racism! Just because some people with brown skin in this book are evil doesn't mean C. S Lewis said that all people with brown skin are bad. In fact there is the Tisroc, who is a cruel yet wise leader, Rabadash, who is a hothead, Aravis, who is brave, proud, loyal, and stubborn, Lasareen, a loyal friend who is vain, and that guy who Aravis was going to marry, an old weasle who has no pride. There are many different types of character with brown skin and only 1 out of 5 is a bad guy. A main good guy has brown skin. Nevertheless this is a great book and a must read.

Gina
America

The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

10 stars

Best book I have ever read! I have read many fantasy books and I have a unique imagination of how I think but the creatures and lands of this book is beyond the mind of a mere mortal. J.R.R. Tolkien is truly the best writer when it comes to fantasy books. Never turn down this book for it will open up many paths in your mind and you will discover creatures you never thought could be thought of. I recommend this book to all ages that can read and that includes 5 or even 4 year olds. It has been greatly written and is practically the father of all fantasy books.

Fawn
The UnderWorld

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

10 stars

The Ocean at the End of The Lane is, I think, Gaiman's most personal novel to date. A hauntingly beautiful tale of a seven year old boy and his brush with the nightmare world that lives just below the surface of reality, this is the type of book that will stay with you for ages after you have finished it. The protagonist revisits his old childhood haunts after a funeral and finds himself remembering a half-forgotten episode from his childhood. We meet the Hempstocks, three women (well, a girl and two women who are obvious representations of the Maid, Mother, Crone triple goddess beloved of our pagan ancestors) who seem to live out of time, yet are as old, if not older than time itself. There is a death which sets off a chain reaction of events with our seven year old hero at the centre. It is a simple story of sacrifice and the way an innocent action can unleash a whirlwind of consequences. The prose has a dreamlike, even nightmare quality to it at times, as the things that live on the shadowy borders of our imaginations come rushing in. Gaiman has the ability to tell the tale through a young boy's eyes and make it work. It is wonderful writing. I used to say that American Gods was his masterpiece. I think he has just surpassed himself. Very highly recommended.

David
United Kingdom

Boneland by Alan Garner

9 stars

As a child I read, and loved, Garner's Weirdstone of Brisingamen and its sequel The Moon of Gomrath. Many thought there should have been a third book, completing the stories, but Garner resisted and moved on to books aimed at older children and adults. I reread Stone and Moon a couple of years ago and they were as good as I remembered. Wonderful fantasies set in and around Alderley Edge in Cheshire. So when I discovered that Garner had finally written a third book in the series I didn't know what to expect. A children's book in the same vein? Or something else? What we get is a concise novel about loss and grief, about blame and self-doubt, about mystery and myth. This is not a children's book, but rather a book for the adults who remember the first two books. It is by turns oblique, poetic, strange and cathartic. Colin Whisterfield, the boy protagonist of the first two books is all grown up, a professor no less, who works at a radio telescope. He is brilliant and troubled with mounting psychological problems caused by a childhood trauma that means he can remember nothing before the age of 13. Living alone in a hut in a quarry by the Edge, Colin is eventually forced to seek the help of psychologist Meg, who, with several doses of tough love, makes him confront his greatest fears and his deep sense of loss. The tone of this book is very different. Mixing poetic, mythic passages of prose that read like a description of a dream, with vivid descriptions of the broken Colin, Garner creates a story that fills in some of the blanks and ties up some of the loose ends left at the end of The Moon of Gomrath. The twist at the end is well handled, the finale both moving and satisfying. Alan Garner is one of our greatest, and probably most underrated, writers and this is a fine example of his work and a fitting end to the Weirdstone trilogy. Bravo sir, bravo.

David
United Kingdom

Redemption's Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky

8 stars

An excellent first novel in the "After the War" shared world series from Solaris Books. Author Adrian Tchaikovsky introduces us to a fantasy world where the big battles are over, the great Evil has been defeated and....what next? This is a tale of aftermath, of a world trying to put itself back together after ten years of brutal warfare. And as for the heroes who defeated the big baddie.....what now for them? Does a world need heroes when all it wants is to heal? Tchaikovsky's heroine, Celestaine, helped to defeat The Kinslayer, one of the immortal Guardians who roam the world, with the help of two of the Yorughan sent to torture and kill her. Now she seeks to make amends for what The Kinslayer did to the noble Aethani, winged humanoids of great sophistication who were brutally cast down, wings clipped, their lands destroyed. She and her companions seek the Kinslayer's crown, to use its power to heal the Aethani. But someone else also seeks it and so begins a long chase through the broken world into the Unredeemed Lands where nightmare creatures still roam the earth. There are brutal action scenes alongside moments of real humour and deep philosophical questions about the nature of war, of vengeance, of the cost of peace and the sacrifices to be made to remake a world. Above all, its a great read. The pace is swift, the characters well drawn and the dialogue well written. The next book is by Justina Robson and carries on the story with new characters and settings, so I look forward to reading that one too. I hope Tchaikovsky returns to this tale at some point though, because he's really very good at this.

David
United Kingdom

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

10 stars

One of my all time favourite books. The story is spellbinding and will rob you of sleep as you turn the pages. If you like Tigana , then you should definitely read a song for arbonne.

Joanne
Canada

King of Ashes by Raymond E Feist

2 stars

As an avid Raymond E Feist fan in my teens, I was dismayed by Firemane. The narrator kept telling us the same key points every couple of pages, which besides being annoying for the reader, sucks up good oxygen that could have been used to flesh out details about culture / character / history etc. I struggled to maintain attention because of this. Not to mention Hatu and the other major characters lacked depth. I couldn't even finish the book and have resigned it to the recycling bin. I know this seems extreme, however for someone of Raymond E Feist's amazing imagination and experience this is a massive let down to fans. In contrast, I'm re-reading Magician. I struggled with the first half - particularly the Tolkeinesk / folklore elements of elves and dwarves, who lack mystique and magic. What saves this is Tomas and his regression to the memories of Ashen Sugar. What an interesting and complex psychological narrative Feist spins here. I agree with an earlier reviewer who said the story - with better characters and less condescending & repetitive narrative descriptions - could have been saved with a deft editorial touch.

Joanne
Australia

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