Monday, October 18, 2010

Book Reviews

I've been meaning to do a book review or twenty for a couple years now. It started with reading Artimes Fowl by Eoin Colfer and wanting to warn others away from the book. So here is a string of micro reviews. I might break it down into a few posts.

Artimes Fowl (book 1) by Eoin Colfer - Great premise and interesting characters for an urban fantasy comedy but what I want to know is where was the editor? A good story was crippled with countless viewpoint errors. You would start the scene in one character's head and in the middle shift to a second, or even a third, and no, I don't think the author was aiming for third person omniscient. Also the story would jump forward and backward in time as scenes changed leaving one having to mentally break from the actual reading just to try and figure out "when" you were as well as where and with which viewpoint character. It kept pulling me out of the narrative of what otherwise was an interesting story.

The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson - I loved these books. This is dark and edgy epic fantasy at it's finest. The characters are well rounded and likeable. There are huge world changing twists and turns in every book and the magic is truly unique. The story tackles the question of what if the farmboy hero takes his journey and loses, becoming the evil dark lord. It focuses on a man bent on bringing down the dark lord and the entire system by creating a religion centered on himself, and focuses on a distrustful teenaged girl who gets pulled into believing his plan just might work. If you like supernatural kung fu you'll love the metals based magic system called allomancy which allows mistings and mistborn to ingest certain alloys and be able to push and pull on everything from metallic objects to peoples emotions. These books contained truly unique magic and magical creatures. Elves and dwarves need not apply.

Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do by Tom Vanderbilt - This is a delightful read about the task so many of do each day and seldom think about. Why do people slow down to to look at accidents? Why does it feel like the other lane is always faster than your own? Why do we drive the way we do? This book explores one of the most common activities we engage in, driving, in a fun yet educational way. I recommend this to anyone who has ever found themselves in a traffic jam wondering what created it when by the time they get out there was no visible cause of the jam.

Stay tuned for more micro-reviews!