Featured reader reviews: Page 6

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 Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

6 stars

I agree with the other reviewers about the originality of the setting and of the magic system. It is a refreshing change, and I also enjoyed the politics - not as intricate, by far, as Game of Thrones, but it definitely adds a dimension to the book. However, I also agree with those reviewers who find the writing and pacing rather ponderous: the book is carried by the plot, not the characters, who are two dimensional even when they are ostensibly complex and self-contradictory: these self-contradicvtions do not seem to lead to much introspection or to any particular twists (though the book *does* have twists, and the ending is very good). Rather, this introspection leads to pages of space filling text whiih adds little to the characters or to the plot. The fights are OK, but a bit repetitive once one has figured out how the allomantic powers work. So, I enjoyed the Final Empire - I needed a good (quick) read -, but am not getting into book 2 (Well of Ascension), probably because I now simply need a good read. I am sure, however, that I'll eventually get round to reading the whole series, as and when I need a little brain candy. To sum up: a good plot-driven read, average writing, highly original setting and magic system, but not a major classic (at least from where I sit!).


The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

4 stars

Let me start off by saying this book has fantastic writing and really does a good job of creating a world in which these characters live in. Rothfuss is fantastic at setting a scene and writing is really his strong point. The reason I have to give this book such a low rating is because I 1. Cant relate or get into the main character. 2, DENNA DENNA DENNA and 3. This opens too many questions that simply dont get answered as well as has no real main plot to the story. Let me elaborate. 1. Kvothe is just simply too good at everything. He has hardships sure, but he is too smart, too handsome, too quick witted and just too dam powerful. Not to mention he is only 15. This makes it hard to connect with the main character and makes it hard to believe what he is doing as well as he isn't at any risk throughout the story. Sure, he has hard times but he defeats well pretty much anything. 2. Denna and the other females in this story just bug me. I understand this is a story told through Kvothes eyes but why is every female in this world all beautiful and perfect? Also his relationship with Denna is just creepy and fake. Why doesnt he just ask her out..or better yet get with Feyla? 3. The major part of this story that I dont like is that its too vague with everything and asks so many questions that never get answered. It just seems like poor writing. This is not a bad book by any means, its just a bad story.


Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

6 stars

I really enjoyed the first 2 books in the Stormlight Archive but was really disappointed with Oathbringer. I agree with the reviewer that there were too many side stories and the plot was pulled in way too many diections. I’m also not a fan of super detailed descriptions of mythical planet and references to stuff that has nothing to do with story or characters. Overall I found myself shaking my head throughout the book trying to get to relevant story points.


The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

10 stars

I just want to tell that these 2 books of the trilogy are just amazing. First few hours I wasn't interested too much (part where Kvothe didn't even start a story, just the inn and so on). But when the real story started, man, I didn't expect so much. In a nutshell, now I'm a fan of the trilogy and waiting for the 3rd book. Also, what I want to emphasize is that this story has many aspects: magic, romantic, traveling, interesting conversation, humor and just our everyday sorrows and joys. 10 out of 10, good job, Patrick.


Blood Of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

6 stars

Well I wouldn’t say it’s poorley written I read The Last Wish first and played the games so I love the story line and perhaps that has helped carry me through this book. Like I said it’s not the writing it’s the long chapters and lack of action. And I’m no fencer but every fight scene involves pirouette after pirouette if you are spinning that much in a fight something’s wrong. I liked this book but I feel like it focuses so much on philosophy and ideology when it should have started building the world that the characters are set in but hey what ever I’ve read way way worse and I’m still going to read the rest.


The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

10 stars

Unlike some I read the Lord of the Rings out of order. My sister had the Two Towers and I had read everything else in her little library. I liked the cover (clearly a 70's cover) and picked it up with Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas running over the grasslands of Rohan in pursuit of orcs. I read it part way and was so lost I gave it up. But the local library had a copy of all three books. I took up the first book and literally read all three books in a span of 7 days. I didn't sleep. I couldn't. At the end I cried that it was over. I wanted it to go on and on. The world created by J.R.R Tolkien swept me up and has never left me. I read the Hobbit after the LOTR - and watched that evolve from a child's bedtime story to a much deeper, much more nuanced tale. Tolkien created a world of constant challenges to each characters moral and ethical souls. Captivated initially by the primary storyline of Frodo, Aragorn and Gandalf I raced through the book to learn the ending. On subsequent readings I understood the depth of each characters risks and rewards. The Ring presents each prime character with a vision of power capable of giving them their hearts desire with the knowledge the Ring will destroy that which they cherish most in time. Some fail, some overcome. And for some to overcome the lure of the ring is ensure the ending of what they hold most dear. Of all the lines in the Lord of the Rings the one that rings over and over to me is Galadriel who when she she refuses the Ring offered by Frodo says: "I pass the test. I will diminish and go into the west." She knows in refusing she has doomed her beloved Lothlorien but to accept she becomes the very thing she opposes. That is a terrible choice. The Lord of the Rings has a depth no other novel I have ever read has. I devoured the appendices at the end of the book. I find myself going back to read them periodically. I don't think it is for everybody - but those of us lucky few who fall into the LOTR completely it is a world that is always with us, always a comfort and cautionary.

United States

Renegade’s Magic by Robin Hobb

10 stars

Robin Hobb writes in a genre that often lacks depth and nuance. She brings to life incredibly complex characters, who often don't have a lot go well for them, and yet somehow manages to maintain interest and excitement over the course of hundreds of pages. Renegade's Magic is no exception here. This book is also fascinating, as it is written in first person point of view, from the perspective of a person who does not have control of the body he inhabits. It sounds odd, but she does this seamlessly. As with the last few books of the Farseer series, these books at times transcend the genre and are really works of high art. They probably would have been a bit boring for me 15 years ago, and thus I wouldn't recommend it across the board. but as a long time fantasy reader who is not a bit older, I would rate this series as one of the best I have ever read. In my opinion, this series, along with the final Farseer trilogy, make Robin Hobb one of the best authors the fantasy genre has ever seen, and certainly one of my all time favourites.

New Zealand

Endgame by James Frey and Nils Johnson Shelton

8 stars

Having read all three installments of the "Endgame" I can see how similarly the plot follows along the story of "The Hunger games". However, it is brilliantly written in it's own right and must not be regarded as a rip-off. Readers of dystopian fantasy novels will find that this is a thrilling read. One one thing that sets it apart from the hunger games is that the story is not centered around a main character but rather told in the perspective of all the important characters that make the plot move forward. Begin the book, choose a character, and see how long your character of choice will last in the story. The characters are also culturally diverse, and it is not impossible for readers to find one they can most relate to. The way the scenes are portrayed capture raw emotion and really solidifies each characters' motive in playing the game. This story is not about protagonists and antagonists. This story is about survival.


Old Man's War by John Scalzi

4 stars

Daniel from Israel has pretty much summed it up for me, just go read his review (call me lazy). The way Perry does everything right and is generally a weird combination of smug and utterly amoral in a world of alien monsters that actually eat people (his 5 minutes of upset after the stomping episode just makes it worse) is annoying. The amoral thing is the worst bit. He isn't introduced as a military man but just buys into everything without any critical thoughts or feelings. Also, every character that doesn't fit into that weird viewpoint is treated as a lampooned fool who gets death as a result and it's all they deserved anyway. Now if you feel like laughing at my opinions and saying "Idiot! It's a satire!" then it's the crappiest satire I've read for a long time. If you're going to do that you need to nail it, and this absolutely does not.


The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

3 stars

I heard all this "awesomeness" about Patrick Rothfuss so I checked this book out from my local library. I stopped reading about 3 chapters in because i was annoyed to the point of boredom and so returned the book. A year later I happened upon a used copy in my local used book store for $2.00 and since I was already dropping $20 on a bunch of other books I figured what the heck and bought it. There is almost ZERO plot to this novel, and the protagonist Kvothe is not only a Mary Sue who can do anything better than everyone but also an arrogant *sshole. It's obvious Rothfuss thinks he's some genius reinventing the fantasy wheel but he's not and he didn't. But his arrogance blinds the reader's eyes through his writing. And what's with Kvothe's love interest Dena? She literally just shows up going from man to man, using them to pay for everything in her life all the while complaining that they eventually expect something in return. Gee, i wonder why a man who pays for everything in a woman's life will eventually expect something in return. And so she leaves going from man to man just doing the same thing to each of them. And for some reason Kvothe is in love with her. I've read online that Patrick thinks himself as a great writer of women, but this definitely does NOT show in his female characters. I forced myself to finish this novel because I was hoping it would surprise me by the end, and guess what? It didn't. This book is basically just set-up for book two... and yes, i bought book two (thankfully also cheap used copy) and forced myself to read it and book two is even worse than book one, and I regretted every minute of it (but i definitely will NOT read book three nor anything else by Rothfuss). Book two somehow has even less plot than book one, it's all set-up for book three, and the annoying characters get even worse than they were in the first novel. Asides from Patrick becoming known over the years as an *sshole who yells and curses at his fans whenever they ask about the release date of book three, something he promised was already finished way back in 2007, i can safely say his writing is far below what i had ever expected. If you love fantasy then do yourself a favor and skip these crap novels and instead read something by Steven Erikson or Paul Kearney or Brandon Sanderson. They are FAR better writers than Patrick Rothfuss wishes he is.


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