Welcome to the heroic edition of Mini Reviews! Today we have three books, as always, that somehow conform to the name of this edition: The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss; Atlantis Rising, by T. A. Barron; and Ender’s Shadow, by Orson Scott Card. The last one isn’t heroic fantasy like the other two, but it was awesome, so I’m including it. If you haven’t read any of these books, don’t worry– it’s all spoiler-free, and I have a section on what I’ve learned after each review. I hope it’s helpful.
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I write book reviews in a weird way. I don’t write them toward potential readers– I write them for people who have read the books.
I read book reviews in the same way. I don’t read book reviews on books I haven’t read, or books that aren’t part of a series I’ve already read. I read book reviews on books that I have read, or am planning on reading. More the former.
This was brought to my attention by a friend of mine who was wondering why I haven’t rushed out to read all the books she’s reviewed or recommended for me (and believe me, there are a lot of them). I replied that I haven’t read all of her reviews, and I haven’t heeded the ones I’ve read. Why not? Because I don’t read book reviews unless I’m already planning on reading the book or I have already read the book, and I only search out books if they’ve caught my eye more than once. I look for references, in other words.
The reason I read reviews on books that I’ve already read is that I like to look at what others think of a book I’ve read– if I’ve never read or never heard of the book in question, I don’t pay much attention. (more…)
Posted by Liam Wood on September 5, 2012
This is a book review for two books I read a long while ago– Incarceron and Sapphique, both by Catherine Fisher. This review might be slightly off-target, but I’m fairly sure I can remember my first impressions, as well as impressions gained by a longer period of thought.
Incarceron — a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology — a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber — chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison — a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device — a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn’s escape is born …
It sounds cool, doesn’t it? A living prison surrounding living inmates, none of which can be found from the Outside. I thought it looked great as a story, and I got Incarceron as soon as I saw it. (more…)
Posted by Liam Wood on August 29, 2012