Featured reader reviews: Page 3

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.

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

9 stars

I LOVED the book it was one of my fav book by Michael. At school I've read it with my class. He did a very good job of it, though I gives it a nine because it can be a bit boring for some people and my friends find it a bit boring, but I think it was amazing. It is for 10 or 10+ years old. If I was your friend I would definitely recommend this book.

alice
UK

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

10 stars

Can't put the book down. Some people are complaining about how Kvothe is "too good at everything" but why would you pick up a book about "the greatest and most powerful wizard of all time" if you did not think he would be good at everything... obviously he struggles internally with some things but externally he is a master. I love it. Great book.

Matthew
United States

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

3 stars

As a fan of post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, I have read a number of novels in the genre. I just didn’t connect with this book. For me, there were far too many unanswered questions and an absolutely grim, hopeless experience in reading the book. Everything is dead, except for a handful of people who are struggling to survive; most have turned to cannibalism. The problem here is that something has completely obliterated all animal, marine, bird, and plant life. There was evidently such fiery destruction that, ten years later, ash is still thick enough in the atmosphere to keep the sun and moon from being seen. That kind of destruction would seem to exclude the slightest possibility that anyone could survive the initial destruction and certainly not ten years after the event. A fire that burned the entire world, robbed the oceans of all life, killed every oxygen producing plant, would not have left enough oxygen in the atmosphere for people to breathe. Unless, of course, the destruction isn’t worldwide, but there’s no mention of relief coming from other parts of the world. In this setting, there is no real hope for the survival of mankind. The story sets up a promise of hope in the son, but that hope never materializes. There are hints that the son is somehow very special, that he carries “the fire,” but nothing ever comes of it. All of these detriments to the actual story are in addition to Cormac McCarthy’s style of writing the story. The only way to describe the experience, for me, is to say that reading the book was very much like the journey the father and son are on...hopelessly struggling to move forward. I can’t think of another book that I can compare to reading this book. If not for being an assignment for a class, I would not have read past the first few pages. I don’t recommend this book.

James
USA

The Burning White by Brent Weeks

8 stars

A decent read. As several reviews have mentioned, the theological aspects were some of the real weak spots in the story. I think it might be that Brent Weeks' personal beliefs became too much of an influence in his writing. I had a flashback while reading this book. It made me remember a time when I was reading a Terry Goodkind novel and realized that I was being preached at by an ideologue instead of just reading a book. The authors frame this in similar ways - it happens during discussions between characters, where one person, in the guise of a 'doubter' has an ideology patiently explained to them - in enormous detail, and where their every doubting response or question is met with ethereal wisdom. It is the kind of setting that probably seems totally plausible, even awe-inspiring - in the mind of an ideologue, but to someone reading it, it comes across as ham fisted, immersion breaking, preachy and even disrespectful. I had to stop reading Goodkind, because he just got worse and worse, and his novels just started to feel like thinly veiled rants. I'd hate to stop reading Weeks, and I hope I don't have to. When his writing is good, it is extremely good, and really enjoyable. I had some issues with pacing and with character consistency. But overall, a really good read and a satisfactory conclusion.

Brendan
Australia

The Three by Sarah Lotz

7 stars

Overall "Three" is an interesting and well-written book. The story is quite coherent even when constructed through interviews and chat room discussions etc. I gave 7/10, because I was honestly expecting more horror elements and the ending left me kind of confused. Also, at times I had to browse the book because I had forgotten a certain character, because some of them weren't that memorable. But this one is without a doubt above average story, so people should give it a chance.

Johanna
Finland

The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

10 stars

An amazing book, each detail is of the utmost importance. The minutiae, the detail, and the way Tad Williams brings everything together by the last book is amazing. Tad Williams is one of the few people I would call a Genius. The character development is outstanding, and the way each and every storyline connects is breathtaking. I would put this series on the same tier as the greatest fantasy novels of all time. The ending, while unorthodox, is perfectly symbolic of the history that permeates the series.

Campbell
Canada

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

8 stars

This book began my adoration for the series. Maas' writing style still rubbed me the wrong way but it begins its evolution for the better. Moving on from that complaint I would like to address what I loved about this installment. I was madly in love with Princess Nehemia, I rooted for her in everything and I loved the way she pushed Celaena to be a better person and called her out on her BS. Nehemia is a heroine in her own right even though she is far from a main character and I don't think that she gets the praise she deserves. Celaena in this book is once again very likable, snarky, and more human in this book. We see her deal with grief, denial, anger, distrust, betrayal, love, and pure hatred. She really grows up in Crown of Midnight and spreads her wings by the end of the book. I have to say though, one of the biggest plot twist of this series was painfully obvious to me but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. This is the one that made me fall in love with Chaol as a character. No longer the scowling jackass, he opens up and we see that he has a lot of issues that made him the way he is. He's supportive of Dorian but still incredibly protective and their bond is something that I admire in characters that are rival love interests. Chaol began to grate on my nerves by the end of the book but I still loved him. Later on in the series I found myself hating him but for now, he was my favorite character. Snarky, harsh, funny, sweet, and almost empathetic. Dorian is always a joy for me. He doesn't have as much of a strong presence in this one but he still grew as a character. That's all I really have to say about him for Crown of Midnight. Archer...Oh boy you guys are in for a ride with every encounter with him. It really brings up the ghosts of Celaena's past and it managed to sway her character in a more relatable and likeable direction than before.

Haley
United States

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

7 stars

I was peer pressured into reading this from my friends at the time. I must admit that I fell head over heels for the series AFTER the second book. I didn't care much for Celaena at first but she grew on me as soon as Maas allowed her to be vulnerable via playing the piano and eating a bag of sweets in under ten minutes. I had a few issues with Celaena in that she would drift around Mary Sue territory but never entered it completely and I'm glad that Maas was able to navigate away from poor character writing. Chaol fascinated me at first and he quickly became my favorite character for a time until he seemed to have a complete change later in the series. I love that he was snarky, challenged Celaena, and managed to hold the group together despite being a grouch. Dorian, ah yes. I love him very much as a character. Sweet, flirtatious, humorous, and remarkably clever later on. I adored his interactions with Celaena and he made me laugh out loud a few times. He was a gorgeous contrast to the world around him and he really stuck out to because of that. Maas's world building is something to behold. I felt like I was in Erilea and traveling from Endovier to Rifthold with our main trio. As amazing as the world building is though, there is a fault with the way that Maas writes. Don't get me wrong, she does well with characters, plot, story progression, and building tension but it started to drive me insane when she would use several of the same phrases such as "loosed a breath". That's really my only quarrel with this book though. I just finished the entire series and this may have been my second to least favorite of the series but I blew through the second half with ease. I would argue the series doesn't really start until the third installment but The Assassin's Blade (prequel novellas), Throne of Glass, and Crown of Midnight do their job with setting the stage, establishing characters, creating the world, and all around having us crave more adventure with Celaena leading the way.

Haley
United States

Animal Farm by George Orwell

10 stars

I studied Animal Far for my English class and it was an amazingly fascinating book to read, it does well to portray how difficult it must have been to live in the Russian Revolution and it makes me feel very lucky to live today.

Thalia
England

The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien

10 stars

The Silmarillion ... This is not just a fantastic book written by an intelligent professor— This is a magical tale that comes ALIVE! I wasn't just reading about all of it. I was IN it. I was there, filled with awe and wonder at the creation of Arda. I was there, wandering under the stars with the Eldar. And with the Eldar, I passed through darkness and gloom and into the brilliant light of Valinor. I was there with Elu Thingol when he fell into enchantment with Melian, and when Luthien was born, I was there. When the Trees fell, I wept with the Eldar, and I came with Finarfin to Alqualondë to witness the Kinslaying. I held desperately onto Galadriel as she led us through the Ice. I ... I was there in all of it. The Silmarillion doesn't make us escape from reality. It teaches us to face them, strongly. It gave me hope, even when I was in the dark. If you haven't already read it, go read it now! It will change your life forever.

Joyce
America

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