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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Only read the first page of the thread, but I didn't see it on the list, so I'll suggest Banks' Culture series. Having read the first three I would probably read Player of Games to start with
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  2. - Top - End - #122
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eakin View Post
    Only read the first page of the thread, but I didn't see it on the list, so I'll suggest Banks' Culture series. Having read the first three I would probably read Player of Games to start with
    Everyone keeps saying that. What's wrong with Consider Phlebas? I started with it and didn't mind it one bit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

  3. - Top - End - #123
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Everyone keeps saying that. What's wrong with Consider Phlebas? I started with it and didn't mind it one bit.
    I didn't hate it by any means, but if I hadn't heard about the culture series before reading it I would have felt pretty lost. Player of Games actually features a normal person from the culture as a protagonist and gives a better sense of both the utopia it is for a citizen living in it day to day, and also the sorts of efforts and manipulations the Minds of Special Circumstances are engaging in behind the scenes.

    Phlebas spends an awful lot of time on weird side trips and strange detours that I don't think add a lot to the plot, although it does pick up by the middle.

    The Culture is more of a setting than a series, so there's no real need to start with the first book and worry you're jumping into the middle of an ongoing story
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  4. - Top - End - #124
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    So which one(s) am I adding to the list now? (@Eakin and Flickerdart)




    Also, I just got a new set of books from the library, so I can resume my reading again. I'll have reviews up for The Amulet of Samarkand, American Gods, and Divergent up later today. I've decided to mark Duma Key incomplete. I just don't really like Stephen King's writing style right now...

  5. - Top - End - #125
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    So which one(s) am I adding to the list now? (@Eakin and Flickerdart)




    Also, I just got a new set of books from the library, so I can resume my reading again. I'll have reviews up for The Amulet of Samarkand, American Gods, and Divergent up later today. I've decided to mark Duma Key incomplete. I just don't really like Stephen King's writing style right now...
    I would say Player of Games. But either one, really.
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  6. - Top - End - #126
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    So, I read a bunch of David Gemmel books on account of this thread, and I have to say...while they're good books, they are essentially all the same. There is a good guy, his incorruptible pure pureness has a positive effect on bad guys, then they all get themselves horribly killed fighting for the cause of good. So you might as well cross all but one off your list, and it doesn't terribly matter which one you pick.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

  7. - Top - End - #127
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Yes you are correct that they are formulaic and that the good guy thing is a big theme in most of his works, though not all of them.
    Overall his writing style, the humor, the characters kept me entertained for every single book he has written (I think I actually have read all of them by now).

    But tastes differ though as you said reading at least one book is not a bad thing

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    So, I read a bunch of David Gemmel books on account of this thread, and I have to say...while they're good books, they are essentially all the same. There is a good guy, his incorruptible pure pureness has a positive effect on bad guys, then they all get themselves horribly killed fighting for the cause of good. So you might as well cross all but one off your list, and it doesn't terribly matter which one you pick.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emmerask View Post
    Yes you are correct that they are formulaic and that the good guy thing is a big theme in most of his works, though not all of them.
    Overall his writing style, the humor, the characters kept me entertained for every single book he has written (I think I actually have read all of them by now).

    But tastes differ though as you said reading at least one book is not a bad thing
    Well, I've got Dark Moon right here. I think it was the only Gemmell book that my local library system had.


    As for books being formulaic, I could make that case for a lot of authors.

  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    So, I read a bunch of David Gemmel books on account of this thread, and I have to say...while they're good books, they are essentially all the same. There is a good guy, his incorruptible pure pureness has a positive effect on bad guys, then they all get themselves horribly killed fighting for the cause of good. So you might as well cross all but one off your list, and it doesn't terribly matter which one you pick.
    They are pretty samey, yeah. Most of them, anyway. They still end up being quite good, nevertheless. I think it's the settings that make it so, especially with the standalone novels. But I can think of at least two (namely Skilgannon and Waylander) that don't quite fit that mold.

    But if you're going to read one, then it might as well be Dark Moon. It's my personal favourite.
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  10. - Top - End - #130
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Okay, so sorry about missing a few weeks. Ended up seeing Batman and then reinstalling OSX and Windows. Anyways, I'm back with five new reviews, and am a few chapters into Warbreaker, which is a pretty interesting read so far. One question here, which is... is this one of those books where everyone sees in greyscale (a la The Giver), and some individuals have the ability to see in full color? Otherwise I feel like I maybe missed something with the whole Breaths and colors.

    Onto the reviews now...


    The Amulet of Samarkand
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    It’s kind of creepy, this book. I mean, it’s understandable how a kid can grow up in a rough situation, but watching Nathaniel grow up to be exceedingly arrogant (not to mention stupid) was rather disappointing. For such a bright kid, you’d think that he would think at least one or two steps ahead. I get the feeling this book is one of those where you aren’t actually supposed to like the main character… assuming that Nathaniel is the main character. You know, that’s probably Bartimaeus.

    Okay, so other than the whole “I will try to rip you to shreds at any available opportunity” affair, Bartimaeus seems like a rather nice fellow. I mean, yeah, Nathaniel’s got him over a barrel (is that the right phrase?), but he does go out of the way to try and help the kid, which is eminently respectable. Plus he’s smart and is smart enough to not flaunt it, so I guess I could call him pretty wise too.

    As for the magic system portrayed in the book, I guess the whole deal with the “bound and enslaved demons are our source of power” makes enough sense, plus or minus a few pentacles, dribbly candles, some incense, and the like. One hole in the theory doesn’t quite make sense though, and maybe someone else can explain this part to me, but… if all power comes from demons, how are these wizards throwing fireballs at each other? I see no indication of hand-mounted portable demon-cannons. If I remember correctly, they just snapped their fingers… Or are they literally summoning demons and throwing them at each other?

    Perhaps what didn’t make sense to me was why demons allowed themselves to be summoned. Are they prohibited or restricted from entering the human world of their own free will? I mean, clearly they don’t like being summoned. Why don’t they just bite the bullet, manifest on Earth for about a week and proceed to exterminate humans? I mean, they’re certainly capable enough, no?

    Anyways, enough poking at plot holes for now. This was an average book I’d say. I didn’t really like any of the characters except for Bartimaeus. The whole addressing the reader was a fun touch, and everything (read: demon affairs, vision on various planes, etc.) was explained very well from the demon perspective. If the next few books center on Bartimaeus, I may revisit this series at some later date…
    American Gods
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    So I’m going to just work my way through and maybe it will make more sense to me after… okay so, my understanding of the whole affair is that all the old gods that used to be worshipped, were cast aside when humanity “modernized” and began to “worship” these newfangled things, like “Media” or “Electronics” (I’m assuming that’s what the pudgy, fat kid in the limousine was supposed to be). Then we’ve got this guy Wednesday, who is repeatedly referred to as the Allfather, Grimnir, and so on. Okay so he’s Odin. Right? Moving right along then…

    So the new gods like their shiny new position, and the old gods are wasting away. Wednesday wants to change that, so he gathers them all up, we meet Easter… who I think we’re supposed to find revolting, as some sort of disgusting, overweight lady, and a few others. I think there was a Hindu goddess in there somewhere too, correct me if I’m wrong. Then they decide to fight a war… Wednesday gets his head blown off… err what? I thought Wednesday was smarter than that… anyways, and then Shadow collects his remains, and then spends a bunch of time watching over the corpse… and then there’s this big reveal in the end, which I won’t spoil, but suffice to say, it was pretty crazy.

    Anyways, what I found pretty odd was that the entire book centered around Shadow, and trying to keep him away from the action. I mean, we see Wednesday at the beginning, and then Wednesday repeatedly dumps Shadow in the most obscure places imaginable. Oh, right, then Wednesday gets his head blown off, and we find out that Shadow’s neighborhood friend is this creepy, thousand year old Rumpelstiltskin garden gnome… thing. Right, then Shadow spends a bunch of time… yeah never mind. I can’t seem to keep this book straight anymore.
    Divergent
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    I don’t know why I’m so into dystopian settings this summer, but of the books I’ve read so far, Divergent is fantastic. The basic premise follows the idea that after I think it was a war, the survivors got together and wrote these manifestos outlining their thoughts on why society had collapsed, and so on. Then they formed these five factions, dedicated to working with each other to improve the world. On the surface it actually seems pretty commendable, especially considering the factions are Abegnation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. There are a few small problems, such as having Abgnation be the sole representatives within the government, with the idea that the Abegnation are too selfless to become corrupt. Also, relying on one faction to protect you turns the whole thing into a sort of caste system. Over time, people inherently become distrustful of others, not because of the fault of any one person, but I think the book is moving towards the idea that humanity is perhaps inherently corrupt, and changes need to be made every so often to correct the course.

    So the system as it stands seems to have worked out reasonably well for many many years now, but it’s starting to break down. This is especially evident in the selecting ceremony, where everybody chooses what faction they’ll be a part of, and people “changing factions” seems to be universally looked down upon. Anyways, the selection process is mostly predetermined through these tests in which upon coming of age, new members of society are injected with a serum that presents to them a set of choices which are meant to select their faction (though I can see a whole host of issues with this approach, since the test was a binary tree, which doesn’t guarantee a fair chance for every faction). Our character ends up being unable to decide between factions, which is evidently called being Divergent, which I’ll tell you upfront, is apparently very bad, and has to be kept secret.

    Anyways, I don’t want to go too much into the plot since I think everyone should read this book, but… the whole narration centers on an overarching theme of facing our fears, and the various choices we make while growing up. I think there’s this underlying question being asked, whether we really make any choices out of free will, as opposed to merely choosing from a list of cleverly disguised options…
    Pandemonium
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    So this book seemed to take the “tell the story from both ends” approach, with the scene jumping back and forth between the present, where Lena seems to have infiltrated the “Delirium-Free America” society in Manhattan, and some unspecified time in the past, when she was rescued by the people living in the wilds. I’m not a big fan of this approach, to be honest, since it has the potential to be confusing, so points off for this I suppose. Moving on…

    I think it’s a bit silly how quick Lena is to abandon Alex. Now, I’m not sure how long it’s been since her escape from Portland, wait, stop. Okay, she escapes from Portland… but clearly not Oregon, because she travels 90 miles and arrives somewhere near I think it was Connecticut or New Hampshire… so, to Google! So evidently I was off by three thousand miles (3214.8 mi. to be precise, according to Google Maps). Okay, sorry about that. Now that makes more sense, back to Lena and Alex. Right, so…

    Lena is single again of course, and is in Manhattan, and talks to this terminally ill guy who’s the poster-boy of the whole Delirium-Free America movement. Hmmm, well, duh, she falls in love with him. Awkward! So much for plot twists anyways… I don’t want to say this is stereotypical or anything. Does this fall under any trope? To be honest, the whole “Manhattan” story arc wasn’t all that interesting. I found myself paying more attention to the fact that an entire community has managed to stay hidden in the depths of the subway system, which is totally awesome. Every post-apocalyptic civilization needs to have its share of people living in an abandoned subway system.

    To contrast though, Lena’s time in the Wilds felt much more engaging to me. There was a very real part in which Lena learns to grow up. Everything was given to her while she was within the confines of the Deliria-Free society (Portland). I found it interesting mostly because of how desperate things can get. Winter doesn’t seem all that bad when you have heat and a grocery store down the street, but when all that is gone… yeah I wonder how I would cope…

    Anyways, the very end was a bit of a shell shocker. Part of me hates the fact that stories aren’t simple, cut and dry affairs, but on the other hand, I love books that totally turn things on end. I don’t want to spoil this for anyone, but it’s one of those “oh dear…” moments. If I had to sum up this book in a word, it’d probably be “awkward!” or something along those lines.



    Okay make that four reviews. I'll get to Farsala tomorrow.

  11. - Top - End - #131
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    For what it may be worth, Priestess of the White and its sequels didn't really appeal to me. I don't remember why, at this point. I was willing to read them all, but they didn't make any kind of reread list.

    Trudy Canavan's other series, the starting with The Magician's Guild, I do quite like, by contrast. As an example (minor spoiler), partway through the second book, I spent about five chapters saying that if
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    a particular character "discovered", well into his adult life, that he was homosexual rather than the asexual he'd been presented as, I'd throw the book across the room. And then he did, and I didn't,
    because it was presented in a way that was actually believable, given what had already been revealed about the local magic system.
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  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    American Gods
    Heh. American Gods is pretty much Gaiman's love letter to rural America. It helps if you know a lot about mythology, to catch all the allusions. It also helps if you realise that the gods represented are simply aspects of the original old gods that the immigrants brought over to America. So the gods, that kobold, are copies that have been slightly altered from the originals. It also clarifies that part toward the end a bit.

    It's also very strongly hinted that Shadow himself is an aspect of an old god that somehow lost his memory.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kd7sov View Post
    For what it may be worth, Priestess of the White and its sequels didn't really appeal to me. I don't remember why, at this point. I was willing to read them all, but they didn't make any kind of reread list.
    Interesting. I felt that way with the Magician's Guild. The story was good, just not terribly original or memorable. Priestess of the White on the other hand had a few decent plot twists, memorable characters and an interesting story. And was generally very well written. To each his own, I suppose.
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  13. - Top - End - #133
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Feytalist View Post
    Heh. American Gods is pretty much Gaiman's love letter to rural America. It helps if you know a lot about mythology, to catch all the allusions. It also helps if you realise that the gods represented are simply aspects of the original old gods that the immigrants brought over to America. So the gods, that kobold, are copies that have been slightly altered from the originals. It also clarifies that part toward the end a bit.

    It's also very strongly hinted that Shadow himself is an aspect of an old god that somehow lost his memory.

    Yeah I ended up reading the entry on Wikipedia afterwards. It cleared up a few of my questions. Overall I didn't think it was that great of a book. I just found it hard to like any of the characters... oh wait, I did like his wife. Zombie wife that follows you everywhere and keeps you safe is kind of awesome.





    And as promised, Farsala... not that I've been very good about staying on schedule.

    Fall of a Kingdom
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    I found this to be a rather interesting read from a philosophical and fundamental system of government perspective anyways. I should start at the beginning though. So we’ve got this sort of monarchy and feudal system in place, where the nobility wage war and protect the citizens, their foot soldiers and servants are their relatives, albeit bred and raised as peasants, and then we have the peasant class, which seems to be treated poorly. That bit is Farsala. Seems kind of interesting to have your peasant cousins also be your foot soldiers, and also have a peasant class that’s entirely removed from your peasant-raised cousins…

    I’m more interested in the Hrum actually. These guys are like, the Roman Empire or something. They pave their roads, collect taxes, enforce what seems to be a pretty reasonable legal system, though they do keep slaves and embark on huge campaigns of conquest… their infantry are trained in formation fighting, utilizing shields in a shield wall. There seems to be a lack of siege weapons on both sides though… Anyways, as you probably already figured out, the Hrum are attempting to invade Farsala. The Hrum have special swords made of special steel, and their well-trained army, and the Farsalans have a poorly trained army, but have significant numbers of cavalry.

    Just one problem now… our main characters are Farsalan, not Hrum. Throughout most of the book, I found myself liking the Hrum much more than the Farsalans. I mean, sure, the Hrum keep slaves, but supposedly they have a very real chance at earning their freedom. The Farsalans don’t keep slaves, but their peasants are treated poorly as it stands, so… I’d say a chance at freedom is probably better than years of oppression. In a typical book, the main character and their respective faction are usually things that we’re supposed to support or like in some way. I found one of the main characters to be pretty bratty (though she did get better). Then we’ve got another main character who seems to be stuck in his father’s shadow… and then we’ve got this angst-y peddler who ruins everything for the Farsalans and then feels bad about it.

    At this point I’m not sure what to make of the story. I mean, yeah, the book is called Fall of a Kingdom, so I figure Farsala is pretty much going to get wiped off the face of the map, but is that necessarily a bad thing? The Hrum actually seem pretty reasonable, though Hrum governance wasn’t really covered in detail…

  14. - Top - End - #134
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Did you decide against the David Drake books I suggested? I don't see them on the list.

  15. - Top - End - #135
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    Did you decide against the David Drake books I suggested? I don't see them on the list.
    Hmm, remind me again which ones those were? I probably just missed those accidentally.

  16. - Top - End - #136
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    Here's links to the first 3 books (The only ones that are part of the Free Library.)

    http://www.baenebooks.com/p-469-with...ightnings.aspx
    http://www.baenebooks.com/p-258-lt-l...ommanding.aspx
    http://www.baenebooks.com/p-140-the-...the-stars.aspx

    Despite showing a price, the books are actually free. Baen regularly makes the older portions of it's library away for free both to encourage readers to obtain the rest of a series, and as a snub to DRM advocates. You can verify this by looking in the lower right-hand portion of the product page, where you will see something along the lines of:
    These are the ones I was referring to.

  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    These are the ones I was referring to.
    Huh, I must have missed those. I've downloaded them now. I'll hold off on adding them to the list for now, mostly since I'm lazy. I'll probably get around to it this weekend.

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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    I'm back with five new reviews, and am a few chapters into Warbreaker, which is a pretty interesting read so far. One question here, which is... is this one of those books where everyone sees in greyscale (a la The Giver), and some individuals have the ability to see in full color? Otherwise I feel like I maybe missed something with the whole Breaths and colors.
    I just noticed this. The idea I got is that everyone sees in colour, but some peoples' (and the Returned's) auras just made the colours brighter and more "true". I think it's somewhere described as very subtle, if you're not actively looking for it.

    Very unique book, overall. I enjoyed it.
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  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Breath is something like a soul.
    The idea is that people with many Breaths can see a much better spectrum of colors than a human eye, that makes what you and I see seem like grayscale.
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Okay, sorry for the two week absence. Rather busy at work lately. Here are some more of my thoughts on the various books...

    Warbreaker
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    This was a rather interesting set of characters. I should say though that I think there were too many people that were the opposites of what we were supposed to expect. Okay maybe I should start with say… the mercenaries. So, the whole attitude with the humor and the whole “nobody trusts us” routine was totally true, in that people typically don’t trust mercenaries (often for very good reasons, or stupid reasons, or both), but when your mercenaries are blatantly declaring that they couldn’t be trusted, or could they? I mean, that’s kind of a dead giveaway. It’s sort of like the kid in a candy store telling the owner before he runs out that he didn’t steal anything. Maybe I’m just paranoid or naturally suspicious or whatnot, but if a person is openly declaring their trustworthiness, when trust is typically assumed between two normal, rational people... Anyways, I did like the mercenaries as characters though.

    Okay, on a sort of tangent at this point, the whole breath system was interesting, though I prefer the Allomancy system over the breaths. I guess it makes sense, in that an awakener can breathe life into an object… except they don’t actually have to exhale and, well you get the idea. I think I have a bit better understanding of how the whole “seeing more color” works. I think the description of the various tiers allowed people to see more discrete shades of color, and possess perfect pitch (which didn’t really come up at all in the story). So that made sense. I guess when you reach some functionally infinite number of breaths, you become a super powerful being of immense capabilities. Okay wait, but if that’s the case, why can’t the God King heal himself? I mean, why do you need a comparatively (much) weaker Returned (deity) to heal you?

    I guess while I’m on the subject of the God King, I thought it was rather clever of the priests. Their mission isn’t loyalty to the God King, but instead to protect this huge trove of breaths. Speaking of which, why did Vasher give away all those breaths in the first place? Or am I missing something here? If his last instruction prior to disappearing and then reappearing was to have the priests protect the breaths… I mean, this guy is clearly capable of protecting himself, and he disappeared for three hundred years. Why not just keep the breaths himself?

    Anyways, I’m left with a bunch of questions, but all in all, this was an enjoyable book. I’m just not sure I like it as much as the other series I’ve read.
    Rapture
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    Okay so major spoiler alerts. If you haven’t read the previous books, and intend to read this book, you should probably go read the previous books before reading this. Good? Good.

    I’m not really sure what I was expecting from this book. I mean, yeah by now I think everyone following along has realized that Lucinda is some sort of counterpart to Lucifer, and that Lucinda is/was an angel. Total blooper here, but if she’s a fallen angel, why is she able to enter churches and such? I did think it was an interesting read in that if anyone outright tells Luce she’s an angel, she turns into a giant pillar of flame, so she has to figure it out on her own.

    I guess what I’m wondering here is where Daniel fits into the whole picture. The whole book was building up to this “one powerful angel has yet to choose” reveal, and it totally wasn’t Daniel, but from a holistic sense, it almost seems as if Daniel is irrelevant. Right? All he does is carry Luce around, give her kisses whenever possible… I suppose he does recruit the Outcasts, but all in all, this conflict is way bigger than any of the other angels can handle.

    I guess I’m a little disappointed in the ending. Luce gets her wings back, and then loses them two minutes later… and then there’s the whole “you may never see each other again” bit, and then in the epilogue, they’re back together again. I feel like the epilogue was put in to placate some fans, but I guess it just signals to me that the author couldn’t really decide one way or another. Or decided one way, but went the other. Maybe. I guess I’m rambling at this point, so to finish up I’ll just say it was a reasonable, average conclusion to the series.
    Partials
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    This book was awesome. I thought it was about a zombie apocalypse at first, for some bizarre reason. It sort of is actually, only replace every instance of the word ‘zombie’ with ‘genetically-engineered super-soldier’ with this killer virus floating around in the air that kills some 99% of the population. So that’s sort of the premise. Oh, and the virus survivors are all living on Long Island under a “Senate” only all the senators seem to be permanently in office, and are enacting totalitarian laws, forced pregnancies, etc. in the name of “preserving humanity” or some such statement. Basically they’re just a bunch of control freaks. On the mainland is where all the super soldiers are (dubbed “Partials”).

    So in the midst of all this, we have Kira (I forget her last name), who is this sixteen-year-old medic (or should I say medic-in-training). Actually most of the military seems to be between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five or so. That’s not all that important I guess. Anyways, Kira gets the brilliant idea to try and solve the problem of this virus that’s killing all newborn babies, only this is a problem that researchers have been working on for about a decade now. Anyways, she guesses that since the Partials are immune to this virus, and they look exactly like humans, therefore there must be some way to bridge the gap. I suppose if I were a researcher, that would be a reasonable conclusion, only nobody in power actually agrees with her, or believes her (welcome to trope land, yay!).

    If I had to say something bad about this book, I guess it would be the whole “nobody in power is ever smart or willing to try new things” trope. This book relies a lot on the fact that all the people at the top are lumps on logs, and all the people at the bottom are basically insignificant gnats. I suppose if we did have some sort of apocalypse, yeah, people are sheep, and that’s probably how it would turn out, but it’s still nice to know that somebody at the top is at least somewhat logical.

    Anyways, they go looking for Partials, they capture one (obviously), and bring it back. We have a sort of semi-Stockholm syndrome I think, they go back to the mainland to return the Partial they caught, and everything kind of turns around. This was rather unexpected. I liked this part, where they’re in the Partials’ hospital. Anyways, there’s this huge story arc shift, where the last bit is just the requisite action scenes, and then there’s this totally epic conclusion. Actually now that I think about it, the whole book seems to center around the idea of trust. The Partials and the humans don’t trust each other… the Partials are governed by “The Trust” (a select few generals and such)… After all, society and government requires a fundamental level of trust, right?




    I just finished Insurgent last night, so I'll probably have something up later, or maybe tomorrow. In the meantime, perhaps a discussion of Warbreaker is in order...

  21. - Top - End - #141
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    pita's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post

    Warbreaker
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    This was a rather interesting set of characters. I should say though that I think there were too many people that were the opposites of what we were supposed to expect. Okay maybe I should start with say… the mercenaries. So, the whole attitude with the humor and the whole “nobody trusts us” routine was totally true, in that people typically don’t trust mercenaries (often for very good reasons, or stupid reasons, or both), but when your mercenaries are blatantly declaring that they couldn’t be trusted, or could they? I mean, that’s kind of a dead giveaway. It’s sort of like the kid in a candy store telling the owner before he runs out that he didn’t steal anything. Maybe I’m just paranoid or naturally suspicious or whatnot, but if a person is openly declaring their trustworthiness, when trust is typically assumed between two normal, rational people... Anyways, I did like the mercenaries as characters though.
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    The entire novel was based on reversals. There is literally no character who ends the book in the same form as in the beginning. I can understand how it irks, but I like it. I also didn't anticipate their treachery, but I'm stupid like that with some books

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    Okay wait, but if that’s the case, why can’t the God King heal himself? I mean, why do you need a comparatively (much) weaker Returned (deity) to heal you?
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    He couldn't heal himself because he had to talk in order to use his Breaths. After he had his tongue, he could use his Breaths. It's a cute little catch 22 - to use your powers you have to talk, in order to be able to talk he'd have to use his powers. Also, I remember something about how normally they couldn't do much with their Breaths (By that I mean heal), but a dying wish works miracles.


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    Speaking of which, why did Vasher give away all those breaths in the first place? Or am I missing something here? If his last instruction prior to disappearing and then reappearing was to have the priests protect the breaths… I mean, this guy is clearly capable of protecting himself, and he disappeared for three hundred years. Why not just keep the breaths himself?
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    I don't remember the answer to this. What I think is that he didn't trust himself. But I don't remember at all...
    Ceika is a beautiful, wonderful person. The avatar was made by his/her great talent, and depending on his/her sex and sexuality, I either have a giant crush or a totally appropriate liking for him/her.

  22. - Top - End - #142
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Sanguine's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
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    Speaking of which, why did Vasher give away all those breaths in the first place? Or am I missing something here? If his last instruction prior to disappearing and then reappearing was to have the priests protect the breaths… I mean, this guy is clearly capable of protecting himself, and he disappeared for three hundred years. Why not just keep the breaths himself?
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    Remember that the massive trove of breaths made everything within a few feet of the God King shine in a resplendent rainbow of color. That makes it sort of hard to be inconspicuous.
    Last edited by Sanguine; 2012-08-15 at 09:22 PM.
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