The Outcast (The Empire’s Corps #5) ☆☆☆☆½

outcast (custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Outcast
Series: The Empire’s Corps #5
Author: Christopher Nuttall
Rating: 0.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 443
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Due to some of the subject matter included by the author, I will not be continuing with this series nor with this author.

 

My Thoughts:

3 or 4 throw away sentences. That was it.

Gahhh, the hits just keep on coming in. February is turning into one sucky month for book reading.

☆☆☆☆½

 

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To Trade the Stars (Trade Pact #3) ★☆☆☆☆ DNF#1%

totradethestars (custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: To Trade the Stars
Series: Trade Pact #3
Author: Julie Czerneda
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: DNF @ 1%
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

“…leaving me cold along one side until I snuggled under the portion of sheet warmed by his body.”

 

My Thoughts:

This is not SF. This is now a woman’s romance novel with spaceships. I don’t want to read crap like this, thank you very much.

What a frelling let down, especially considering how much I enjoyed the first book. But this is exactly why I tend to stay away from women writers. They’re always dragging in stuff like that that has zero interest to me. They are more than welcome to write it but don’t fracking expect me to read it or to put up with it when I do make the mistake of stumbling across it.

★☆☆☆☆

 

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Hogfather (2006 Movie)

240px-H_DVDWell, I did manage to squeeze in a movie before the end of the year. So here goes.

 

Part one of this movie deal with Teatime, successfully I might add, getting hold of the Tooth Fairy’s castle and all the teeth involved. He manages to destroy all belief in the Hogfather and the Hogfather’s Castle of Bone disintegrates into nothingness. Death has done all he can to keep the Belief alive by pretending to BE the Hogsfather but against voodoo, it isn’t enough. He knows it won’t be enough and so forbades his granddaughter Susan from interfering in any way.  She is human enough that he knows she won’t be able to stop from interfering. Susan learns that if the Hogfather ceases to exist, then the Sun won’t come up.

Part 2 reveals that Teatime has much bigger plans that just getting rid of the Hogfather. It appears that he has his eye (the one that’s not glass anyway) on World Domination. If Teatime can control the tooth-fairy, he can control the belief and hence existence, of anything. The storyline proceeds by the book, as it were, hahahahaaa.   Teatime comes back from defeat at the hands of Susan, forces a confrontation with Death and loses. Banjo, one of Teatime’s former associates ends up as the new Toothfairy.

The movie does a really good job of following the book’s story. In some ways I thought it did a better job actually. It smoothed out some of those leaps of intuition that Pratchett required of his readers.  Certain issues were plainly spelled out. I also thought the chronology was presented better too.

And Teatime? Oh my goodness, what a complete FREAKAZOID! He scared me.  His voice was spot on and his casual dismissal of everything except himself was exactly as I imagined it when reading the book.

With those improvements, did I like the movie even more?

HA, NOT EVEN CLOSE!

The couple of Discworld movies I have seen all suffer from the exact same problem. Pratchett’s humor does not translate from the written word onto the screen very well at all.

While I wasn’t laughing out loud the whole time reading the book, I didn’t even crack a grin while watching the movie.  It felt too long and all I could think of was “when is this going to be over”? That is the death blow thought for any movie for me.  Also, why is Albert front and center of the dvd cover? He’s Death’s lackey,  a minor side character.  And he looks like some dirty monkey on the cover. He’d be better served as a villain in some Dickens book.  I wouldn’t buy that dvd if you paid me!

A complete, utter and abysmal failure of a movie. I would not even recommend this to a hardcore fan because the humor just doesn’t translate. And Pratchett without humor is like vegan icecream.

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And I’m doubly disappointed because the book was so good. Well, there’s always next year to find a decent movie.

 

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Wizard’s First Rule (Sword of Truth #1) ★★☆☆☆

wizardsfirstrule (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Wizard’s First Rule
Series: Sword of Truth #1
Author: Terry Goodkind
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 852
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Richard Cypher, still dealing with his father being brutally murdered, and forbidden from investigating by his elder brother who is about to become the most powerful man in Westland, rescues a young woman from the clutches of four men. Her name is Kahlan.

Kahlan is from the Midlands, a land where magic abounds and that is cutoff from Westland by the Border, a magical construct. But the Border between the Midlands and D’Hara has already fallen and Lord Rahl, lord of D’Hara, has taken over the Midlands. A prophecy says that Kahlan will find the Seeker, the wielder of the Sword of Truth, in the Westlands. This Seeker can only be appointed by the last remaining wizard, a wizard so powerful that he cast a spell that made everyone in the entire world forget his name and his face.

Richard takes Kahlan to his old friend Zed, a rascally old man who has trained Richard throughout the years in woodcraft and various other skills. Richard does something or other that makes it obvious that he is the Seeker Kahlan is looking for, but where will they find an unkown wizard who has the Sword of Truth to give to Richard? Oh wait…

Richard, Kahlan and Zed are on the run, as Lord Rahl is able to send magical creatures across the Border to hunt down Kahlan. Richard has memorized a secret book and Lord Rahl has done some magical stuff with some magical boxes. These boxes will either give Lord Rahl complete power, certain death or the destruction of all living things. Only Richard knows the correct box to pick.

Lord Rahl pulls shenanigans and ends up with everybody at his castle. Everyone is so busy trying to protect everybody else that they give Lord Rahl exactly what he wants. He opens a Box of Orden, only Richard, being such a super smart Seeker, tricked him. Lord Rahl dies and it is revealed that Richard Cypher is actually the son of Lord Rahl and the grandson of the Wizard Zeddicus. Long Live the Good Lord Rahl!

 

My Thoughts:

Awwwww man! This went from a 5star read in ’04, on my Loved side of the 100 books of Bookstooge down to a 2 star! Folks, that is a crushing blow. I am not sure that Life itself is worth continuing. With a blow like that, my confidence is shattered, my ego destroyed and my ham-handed self-righteousness has been shish-kebabed.

Where do I start?

Well, the writing I guess. It was bad. It was clunky. It was choppy. It did not flow. When I read the words I felt like I was in a wagon going over a cobblestone road. Richard did things. Richard said things. Kahlan also did and said things. Zed AND Lord Rahl both said and did things. It felt like watching a marionette show. I have no memory of the writing being this unskilled 14 years ago. Guess I’ve matured in that time. Thank goodness!

The characters. Most of the issues with the various characters stems from the writing skill (or lack thereof) and not because of any inherent flaws in the characters. They are mainly flat without any real individuality. The romance between Richard and Kahlan has all the texture, flavor and excitement of drying cement. Zed, for being a wizard of great strength and age, is as much an idiot as Richard.

The Mord Sith. This was just disturbing this time around. A group of women broken in every single way so that pain is pleasure to them. Lord Rahl then somehow makes them able to control any magic used against them and the Mord Sith can torture the magic user until they are the Mord Sith’s slave. This was gone into in way more detail than was needed and I just felt dirty after reading it.

Everything is resolved because Richard is the golden boy. I usually like a protagonist who is capable and smart and able to handle everything thrown at him. This time though, Richard didn’t work that way for me. He’s so golden King Midas would be envious. It didn’t encourage me, it made me nauseous. It didn’t help that Goodkind uses Richard as a mouth piece and Goodkind blows the trumpet loud and long.

Overall, a very bleh read that really crushed me with how disappointed I was because of my memories.I will be removing this from the Bookstooge in 100 Books list once I find a suitable replacement to go on the “Loved” side. Way to go Goodkind, make MORE work for me almost 15 years after I read your book. You’re a real peach…

★★☆☆☆

 

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Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby #3) ☆☆☆☆½ DNF@22%

ghostlyechoes (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Ghostly Echoes
Series: Jackaby #3
Author: William Ritter
Rating: 0.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 353/DNF@22%
Format: Digital Edition

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

[Miss Rook] “Miss Lee was really a boy, wasn’t she? Underneath”

He slowed and then came to a stop and looked me square in the eyes, “That’s up to her to decide,”

~page 56

 

Yep, I’m done with this author now. Ritter’s going to push the SJW line about gender and cross dressing down my throat, forget it. As much as I enjoyed the previous 2 books, no amount of enjoyment is worth listening to lies for.

By the by, cross dressing is a moral deviancy that indicates some real brokenness inside. It isn’t normal and it shouldn’t be treated as such. It’s an indicator and Christian professional help should be sought. Just like you wouldn’t tell a man with a broken leg that he’s ok. Even if you can’t fix it, you can tell him to go to a doctors. But denying that there is anything wrong is the height of foolishness.

Man, this is NOT the way I wanted to start out a new month…

☆☆☆☆½

 

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A Path to Coldness of Heart (Last Chronicle of the Dread Empire #3) ★★☆☆☆

pathtocoldnessofheart (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: A Path to Coldness of Heart
Series: Last Chronicle of the Dread Empire #3
Author: Glen Cooke
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 445
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

The world has come as close as it ever has to having some peace, so obviously the Star Rider will stir things up. However, due to him having been so visible in the last 50 years, the main characters on the stage all know about him, from The Dread Empire to the King without a Throne to Bragi to Varthlokkur.

Mist, queen of the Dread Empire, secretly assembles a cast of people all presumed to be dead who have had interactions with the Star Rider. They begin a massive plot to take him down, all along parallel tracks not connected so that if one plot fails, another may get through.

This involves a whole new generation of people and we get hints of horrible things the Star Rider has actually been keeping contained for the world’s safety. The plotters succeed and the tale peters out.

 

My Thoughts:

While there is a book of short stories still left in the Dread Empire saga, this was pretty much the wrapup to the overall story. Except it didn’t really wrap anything up, it just “ended” while introducing the vague new threats the world would have to face and vaguely introducing the next set of people to face those threats. Cook seems to revel in showing the heroes growing old and failing in one way or another.

And here’s my biggest caveat about this book. We are introduced to a minor wizard who is, for all intents and purposes, a pedophile. He’s into pre-pubescent girls and while its made clear nothing is done against their will, the whole idea is abhorrent and Cook makes it out to be “just another thing”. I don’t think I’ve seen that before in any of his books and if I do come across it again, that’ll be it. The wizard is a major side character in this novel, so that keeps popping up.

Overall, it is apparent that Steven Erikson, of Malazan fame, stole much more from Cook’s Dread Empire than from his Black Company series. When I finished this book, I just felt “ehhh”. Between the pedo-wizard and the non-closure of an ending, I had to ask myself “What did I get out of this”and the answer is “not much”.

The writing is at the same level as all the previous books, so without pedo-wizard this probably would have been a 3 ½ star book, but that inclusion dropped things pretty hard. I do plan on reading the collection of short stories to truly wrap up the Dread Empire series and then I have to decide what of Cook’s writings I want to read next. I’ve got one or two trilogies/short series and then his much longer Garrett, PI urban fantasy series. I’m thinking of holding off on Garrett just because me and Urban Fantasy don’t get along for the most part. Ahh well, that is months away, plenty of time to make up my mind and change it several times too!

★★☆☆☆

 

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Dragon’s Gold (Kelvin of Rud #1) ★★☆☆☆

dragonsgold (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Dragon’s Gold
Series: Kelvin of Rud #1
Author: Piers Anthony
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 248
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Kelvin has round ears. His father had round ears as well, but everyone else in the world has pointed ears. There is prophecy about a Round Ear but Kelvin has never given it a thought.

His father is killed by agents of the Queen of Rud, a Usurper. Kelvin and his younger sister Jon are now out in the Sadlands looking for dragon scale so as to pay the taxes that the Queen has instituted. Kelvin ends up killing a dragon on accident and on their way home with its scales, are captured by a bandit. Jon, who has been dressing up as a boy, is taken as well and sold to the Boy Mart. Kelvin heads to the town where the Boy Mart is with the intentions of somehow rescuing her.

Kelvin finds a magic glove in a tree and hooks up with a group of people who are opposed to slavery and to the Queen in General. Said group tries to buy Jon, but she has come to the attention of the wizard Zantanna and they are outbid. They end up buying another girl, a round ear who can astrally project herself if she eats dragon berries. Kelvin and the group waylay the agent of the wizard and rescue Jon.

Kelvin is setup to be the Roundear of Prophecy and the group begins making plans to overthrow the queen. They hire mercenaries and begin the attack. Kelvin gets captured, finds out his dad is alive and is from earth and has a lot of technology at his disposal. Big battles, people die, blah, blah, John Knight and the Queen disappear down a river which leads to the Flaw, an interdimensional tear.

Jon hooks up with the son of the leader of the revolutionary group and Kelvin hooks up with the roundear girl, Heln. The prophecy isn’t anywhere close to being fulfilled but as it is scattered all over the lands, no one has a complete version so nobody knows when it is finished or not.

 

My Thoughts:

I originally read this series back in the early 90’s. I remember it mainly because of the covers (not the one I have for this edition but the one I’ll be putting at the end) and because of the title names: Dragon’s Gold, Serpent’s Silver, Chimera’s Copper, Orc’s Opal and Mouvar’s Magic. I also have faint recollections of there being sleazy sexual undertones throughout them all. But when you are 15, what you consider a sleazy sexual undertone can be quite different from what you consider when at 40.

Sadly, I remembered correctly. Jon is almost raped when it is discovered she is a girl whilst imprisoned at the Boy Mart. It wasn’t graphic but considering that she is 14, the author seemed to enjoy stretching the scene out way more than was needed. From other Anthony books I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s a pervert and this just confirmed it. Heln was also raped but before we met her, so that particular scene wasn’t included. However, it was constantly alluded to every time she or Kelvin had a romantic thought towards the other.

I remember really enjoying the story and being fascinated by the plot and writing and thinking how good these were. Man, how I’ve grown up. This was terribly hackneyed and cliched crap. Ideas of how to forge ahead are written down like 2 players were playing Magic the Gathering, ie, one player puts down a card, then the second player puts down another card to counter it, etc. It was written that way! Ughh. Then you have people who can’t think militarily to save their life. Yes, lets march 4 days through open land to attack the capital instead of shipping down the river and being there in 8 hours. And it was written that way so one character COULD go down the river to advance a plot point. Ughh again.

The writing itself was pretty bad too. A lot of “then he said so she did” writing. Along the lines of the following (made up):

Kelvin ate the apple. Heln asked him if it was good. Kelvin said “Anything from your hands is good.” Heln blushed. This made Kelvin blush.

Needless to say, a teen probably wouldn’t notice it (I certainly didn’t back then) but any halfway competent adult will notice it right off. And a whole book like that?

I had all 5 books lined up to re-read, but after this one I think I’m going to pass on the other books. I seem to remember the sleaze increases as well. So au revoir!

Oh, here’s some of the covers as I remember them, not the crap this addition has:

 

★★☆☆☆

 

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