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Showing posts from July, 2012

Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings

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Based on this first book in a five book series, I won’t be seeking out the rest. The overly casual narrative and generalizing descriptions made for dull reading.
Durnik had been right when he’d spoken of frost. The ground was white with it the next morning, and the horses’ breath steamed in the chill air as they set out.
Very little happens and nothing Eddings describes goes beyond first draft quality. Observations like the air was crisp, the sun was hot, and the day was overcast are simply not worth reading.
Their route skirted the edge of the foothills through rolling and sparsely settled country, and the sky hung grey and cold overhead.
That’s as detailed as it gets. And I don’t recall a single simile or metaphor.
Even the plot itself is thin and caricatured. The archetypal villain has no real motivation apart from lusting after a magic object that later maims him, making him only more obsessed over said object.
Eddings devotes lots of attention to a number of different races in his…

Rick Riordan

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Rick Riordan is one of my favorite living authors. He has a distinct voice and it suits his protagonist Tres Navarre for what has become a stellar crime fiction series. If you enjoy following the exploits of an iconic hero throughout an ongoing number of novels – whether it’s Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, or, I don’t know, James Bond – this series is for you. Riordan delivers engaging plots, snappy dialogue, three-dimensional characters, and the rich tapestry of San Antonio, Texas, with a grit and attitude as genuine as real snakeskin chaps. Just wished mine didn’t chafe so much. Would probably help if I wore pants.
I’ve met Riordan twice at annual Book Festivals in Austin. He spoke each time to a large room filled to capacity. (He used to teach high school, and he's a great, charismatic speaker. Won a Master Teacher Award in 2002.) Many had to stand in the back. The following year they gave him a much larger space. It too was overfilled. Afterwards, he autographed books. The …

The Living End by Lisa Samson

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I consider myself open-minded. My reading habits embrace all genres and a broad variety of authors. But a writer's command of the language is my primary concern. Diction appeals to me more than a particular faith or philosophy. So when a friend gave me a novel by a Christian writer I wasn’t familiar with, I set the book aside. Not that I’m opposed to reading fiction that affirms my faith, but the Christian market, like a lot of genre-based markets, frequently focuses on the creed at the expense of the writing quality. The good stuff is so rare I generally don’t bother. Turns out my reluctance was misplaced. The writing quality was actually pretty good. It was just about everything else I had problems with.
Samson’s novel is a first person perspective of the protagonist Pearly Laurel, a woman in her mid 50s who never had kids. As the novel opens, her husband has suffered a massive stroke. He dies shortly thereafter and Pearly is so inconsolable, she entrusts the funeral arrangements…