I just got back from the cinemas. Yes, I know it was out ages ago, but I live on a tiny island on the bottom of the world where elves and hobb...Read more
We are nearing the end of the year. Good books as well as bad books have been read. Pages of joy, of agony and of “Do I have to? have be...Read more
A book long awaited by me. It has been almost Martin-esque in it’s creation. As with previous volumes, we’re partly reliving Locks past, w...Read more
I just got back from the cinemas. Yes, I know it was out ages ago, but I live on a tiny island on the bottom of the world where elves and hobbits live.
Ender’s Game is a book I read several years ago so many of the smaller details are perhaps lost on me. However, I don’t want to comment on the things that were added or things that were removed, as I only wish for these types of movies (from books) to promote the book. That’s all I wish. I want people to get into reading fantasy and sci-fi.
From that perspective I thought that the movie was really good. There were a lot of action scenes, gunning for the underdog (who doesn’t like an underdog) and there was perhaps an underlying budding romance. The acting from Asa Butterfield felt a bit awkward at times but I really liked his facial expressions.
Harrison Ford was ok. He really didn’t have any scenes that were noteworthy.
Ben Kingsley…ok I lied, I said I wasn’t going to say anything about additions. Yes, you don’t know what voices are like in books, but his accent sounded like a cross between a Saffa (South African) and an Aussie (Australian). Why is this ridiculous? Because he is suppose to be half-maori and has a full face moko (traditional face tattoo). That scene when he says his dad? (memory fails me) was a maori, the cinema actually laughed out loud.
When comparing it to the book, I still felt like it did a good job. It was probably too short though (classic line when books get turned into movies yeah?) because I thought you really never felt any empathy for Ender, you really weren’t rooting for him. I felt any empathy you felt for him was because of his surrounding teammates. There needed to be more combat battle scenes and more simulations so you really got into Ender’s mind and thinking. I also thought that the ending was telegraphed too much (way more than in the book), but this could be because I’ve read the book.
All in all I thought that it was a good representation of the book. Not as good as the book (like duh…obviously) but I think people will enjoy it and will get people to read the book. I just hope that it makes enough money to cover the cost of the movie so there can be a sequel.
We are nearing the end of the year. Good books as well as bad books have been read. Pages of joy, of agony and of “Do I have to? have been demolished.
To stimulate your brain, first we are serving you with the Worst Reads of 2013 (published 2013). Now before you cry foul of your “favourite” read this year, be aware that this is just 4 people’s opinions albeit quiet a knowledgeable one. We give you reasons why, so read away, agree with us or lambaste us, the choice…is yours.
The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett
Jon Snow: The Painted Man was an amazing book. Like ‘recommend to all my friends and see how much it costs for a hardback version on ebay (too much)’ kind of amazing. The Desert Spear was a let down for me. It never reached the heights of the first book and the characters were beginning to become annoying. Well the third book tried to make amends but the annoying characters got replaced by more annoying characters. Brett tries to incorporate strong women into the story but “suddenly” they all just crave sex and jump in bed with anyone. I’ll still read the Skull Throne but only because the Painted Man was so damned good. I’m in it for the long haul now. Masochist, I am.
Ben: Definitely my pick for one of the worst reads of 2013. I had high hopes for this series with the first book which was an all out exciting read. Book 2 (The Desert Spear) was a disappointment but I had hopes for The Daylight War to set things right. Alas, it did not. The characters just didn’t seem to act in a believable way, the romantic elements seem forced and not at all coherent with the original narrative of the first couple books, and the Mary Sue lead female character didn’t improve anything. On the positive the action scenes were awesome.
Laurentius: I cannot say I was excited for this book, but I hoped it would take after The Warded Man, and let’s be honest; it really needed to do so after the catastrophe that is The Desert Spear. The story degenerates further and further. The Daylight War is more a mix between Dragonball Z and Days of our Lives, than a fantasy story. At almost every turn there has to be an unexpected twist, and the characters just seem to level up faster and faster (the demons too, not to forget). The painted man was one of my favorite novels of 2009, but the sequels have not made the story any better. I will probably give the next book a chance as well, but following the last two books in this series, my expectations are at an all-time low.
Danica: Firstly, stupid title, there is barely a daylight war at all. To me the thing I love about the books was the conflict between the human and the demons, now it is a conflict between two people that ‘should’ lead the humans against the demons. This marks the turning point in the series. The book is filled with power grabbing, politics, jealously and STUPID plot lines that create conflict and tension, with no resolve and for no reason and weren’t even tied to character development in any believable way. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few good chapters and a few good bit of writing but overall characterisation was unbelievable, plot lines were slow and filled with unimportant and uninteresting detail and conflict, definitely one of my worst reads fro 2013.
The City by Stella Gemmell
Jon Snow: Expectations are a bad thing. With the last name Gemmell it can end well or end terribly. This book made no sense. The characters didn’t make sense, the plot didn’t make sense and the ending was stupid. The only reason why I read this all the way to the end was because it was written well. It flowed easily while making no sense. Also, four fifths of the way through a book, I don’t really care for a page length description of a palace bedroom.
A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson
Ben: I won’t say this is a bad book, or the “worst read” I’ve had this year, but it was one of the more disappointing reads. My hat off in respect to Sanderson for finishing what had become a bit of a mess. The seemingly never-going-to-end series that required two different authors to complete it actually ended. Big points for that. But I still found the book mildly disappointing. To me the last book felt like one long cameo for the series’ many minor and major characters. There were some good parts too but overall, I felt…disappointed with the book. Perhaps it was the impossible expectations I’ve had for the series since starting the first book a long time ago in a far, far away place.
Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
Ben: Another book that I’ve been looking forward to for…well years, but one that left me disappointed. Another hyped up book that failed to deliver on expectations. Lynch’s writing is as entertaining as ever as are the characters and their charming interactions. But I felt the novel was off kilter. My biggest complaint was completely fake romance between Locke and Sabatha. Locke, who comes off as completely confident and successful in pretty much every venture he puts his hand to, spends most of the book reduced to a bumbling romantic, begging Sabatha to give him another chance. This big relationship that’s been hinted at for the last two books proves to be a complete disappointment. I much prefer Locke when he’s plotting robberies over his wooing. Half of the book were flashbacks to Locke’s childhood — scenes involving Sabatha. However, these came off as disjointed and while they were used to fill in the Sabatha backstory, I felt they really didn’t deliver too much to the story in the end. Overall, a good read — one of the better reads this year due to the awesome reading and return to Locke’s world, but a disappointing one.
Laurentius: This is by no means a bad book. But it turned out to be one of the worst reads for me in 2013 anyway. If you want a detailed how and why, look up my earlier review. To sum it up, it was a huge disappointment. Locke and Jean are back after 6 years, and the usual hum-drum is forgotten. I missed it in this book. The old recipe of a 2-part storyline is back once again, but this time around I felt I detracted from the overall story, instead of adding to it. Locke Lamora used to be a quick-witted masterthief, but is outdone on all aspects in this book. Too much teen romance and too little plotting and stealing.
The Beating of His Wings by Paul Hoffman
Laurentius: The publishing of The Beating of his wings went by unnoticed by me. I picked it up a month after in came out. I liked book 1 in this series a lot. Book 2 was not good. Book 3 is worse still. It went from a story about a boy, to an alternate history lesson (or future earth history lesson). I was left disappointed. Thomas Cale is a pale shadow of himself and most of the book is full of trivial details or characters. If you’ve read the first book, but haven’t gotten around to the 2nd or 3rd, I’d advice to go no further.
Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb
Laurentius: I have not been too crazy about this story. Robin Hobb is a good writer, and it shows. The story is fine and the characterization is as always top notch. But this trilogy and book turned out to be about anything but the dragons. The dragons and their return to the world is a subplot, taking place when not having to go through the teenage-angsty relationships of the dragonkeepers and their squabbles. I wanted a lot more dragons and a lot less rain wild people. Would still recommend to anyone who likes Robin Hobb, but I was left wanting more dragons in the end!
So there you have it folks. The winner by a long way is The Daylight War. Who would have put money on that being the worst read of 2013 at the start of the year? Not I, that’s for sure! Look out next week for the Best reads of 2013. Be sure to comment and suggest your worst read(s) too!
A book long awaited by me. It has been almost Martin-esque in it’s creation.
As with previous volumes, we’re partly reliving Locks past, while also following him in the present. This time around, Lynch uses the “past” parts of the book to introduce a new character, Sabetha.
We’ve had hints and more than hints about Sabetha, Lockes supposedly great love, throughout Lies and Red Seas, and finally we get to meet her. To me, it was a big letdown. Much of the time spent in the past revolves around characters killed of in Lies, and no longer with us in the Republic of Thieves. The Sansa brothers, lovable as they are, has no place in this book. They were killed off. Leave em be and lets get on with the show, literally speaking.
And that’s also my gripe with the book. Too much time is spent in “then”-parts, which really serve no purpose (but to introduce Sabetha).
The story has changed significantly. There is no heist to perform this time around. It’s probably necessary to leave it out to push the story onward, but I really do miss the heist parts. It was Ocean’s 11 meets fantasy, and it worked so well.
The story in Republic picks up where Red Seas left off. Locke is mortally poisoned and it’s up to Jean to find a cure.
Locke and Jean are offered a cure, in exchange for a service rendered. They are to travel to the high seat of the Bondsmagi, to act as political advisors for one of the two political factions in Karthain.
Fast forward and we’re introduced to Sabetha. The introduction of Sabetha, and the Shakespearean love story between the two takes the front seat in Republic and that’s not a good thing. Many of the central elements from Lies and Red Seas has been left out. It’s a damn shame.
The real problem with the story is this: Lynch killed off the Sansa brother in Lies, and he still insists on using them to move the plot forward. He created a monster of a book in Lies, but also killed off half of what made it so unique.
Red Seas suffered from having only two characters, and Republic has the same defects. These can not be repaired by living in the past for half the book.
The introduction of Sabetha does not come off successfully. While interesting, it has no impact on the overall storyline. The love story between Sabetha and Locke is as much a tragedy as Romeo and Juliet. There is just too much teenage angst and pinning on Lockes part. Too much hard capable iron lady in Sabetha. Think Jon Snow and Ygritte from aSoIF. Or Twilight. I’m being unreasonable harsh here, and I know it. But it’s Lynch. My expectations have been soaring for nigh on 6 years.
The usual ending in the series is not up to scratch either. It’s predictable to a fault and to be honest, quite boring. Locke and Jean are no longer in mortal peril and the story suffers from this. There is no suspense and the expectation of the inevitable demise of Locke and Jean disappears halfway through the book.
And yet, after all that is said, I still enjoyed the book a lot. Lynch is a good writer, and though the book is not perfect, I would still recommend it for anyone who liked Lies.
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Review: Ender’s Game (Movie)
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Worst Reads of 2013
November 25, 2013
Review: The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
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