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XsTatiC "eco builder" (Toronto, Canada)

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A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five
A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five
by George R.R. Martin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 23.83
58 used & new from CDN$ 7.64

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a book that goes nowhere, Aug. 2 2011
It's not a bad book... but it's not really that great either. The other four books had me completely immersed. This one... I just didn't really care what was happening. Mostly because what was happening seemed unnecessarily tedious. If I look at where the main characters of the multi-plots within this book were at the start and compare it to the end of the book... for the most part they're pretty much in the same place, or close to it, doing the same things. I suppose part of it is just me. There are some plots and characters which I care nothing about. In this book it's Stannis and Bran. I honestly don't see how these two characters and their developments are having any real impact on the larger events in Westeros. And both of these characters just bore me. The entire Myrcella/Dorne story is one that bored me in the other books as well... so I guess I just have my favourites. I think you can still have epic, deep, highly intricate novels within a fictional area and not have the need to know the name and history of every millers great-great-grandmother. Okay, an exaggeration, however the scale of what is happening across every inch of Westeros is becoming too convoluted. Unnecessarily so for the reader imo. And it's those written un-necessities which are taking away rather than making for his supposed richer descriptions and detailed fabrication of this story.

Anyway... it's just unfortunate that after six years of anxious waiting that the book didn't live up to my expectations. I expect to be in the minority. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I don't think so. I just wanted something to the same calibre of the previous books. And I don't think this book is at that level. The other books felt more conclusive in many points throughout them. This one seemed stretched... and stretched fairly thin with a lot of jibba-jabba filled in the cracks.

The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana: An Illustrated Novel
The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana: An Illustrated Novel
by Umberto Eco
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.41
87 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars the writing gets lost amongst external references, March 16 2010
I'm a big Umberto Eco fan, however this book did not do it for me. At all.

It started off great, I really enjoyed the first part of the book and was hooked very early on. The mid section of the book though was so excruciatingly boring that I came close to not completing it many times.

The mid section is absolutely filled with external references and quotes. So much so that Umberto's own writing gets lost amongst it. It's dreadfully boring to read, though the story maintains some interest.

The last third of the book I liked... until the scattered conclusion of an ending.

Anyway, I don't want to go into great detail and introduce spoilers, however if you're new to Umberto Eco, don't start with this book. If you've read a few of his books and are anxious to read another stellar work of his, don't read this book. If you're prepared to read a great story that at times gets lost in agonizing external referances than I'd say give this book a go.

I'm not dissappointed I read it, but I certainly won't be recommending it. I would imagine the types of people who would recommend this would also be the ones to tell me that I "don't get it" for some reason or another. Most likely at great length... while I'm trying to escape their conversation and perceived self-intellect for understanding such works.

The Sword of Truth, Boxed Set I, Books 1-3: Wizard's First Rule, Stone of Tears, Blood of the Fold
The Sword of Truth, Boxed Set I, Books 1-3: Wizard's First Rule, Stone of Tears, Blood of the Fold
by Terry Goodkind
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 20.04
35 used & new from CDN$ 20.04

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars average at best, Feb. 5 2010
Well, this is disappointing. I unfortunately bought all three of the boxed sets without having ever read any works by the author. I simply went on reader reviews.

Honestly Terry Goodkind just isn't that good of a writer. He has some great ideas and the story is pretty good, but man, the writing is poor. He uses the same descriptions over and over and over. Repeated phrases used for describing emotional and physical characteristics as well as movement drove me nuts. I found the repetition to stand out so much that it seriously reduced my enjoyment of the first three books.

Not only that, however the editing is really poor. I'm not sure if it's just the re-release for the box set, but there are a lot of spelling mistakes. It looks like somebody edited with Word spell check. There are quite a few instances where, for example, 'real' is written when it should be 'read'.

meh. I just finished reading the first four books of George RR Martins series and was hoping for some more well-written fantasy. Very disappointed. Like I said, the story is pretty good... the writing, not so much.

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