Profile for JH > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by JH
Top Reviewer Ranking: 488,700
Helpful Votes: 2

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Amazon Communities.

Reviews Written by
JH "hobbs_tx" (Houston, TX United States)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3
pixel
Medal of Honor Allied Assault Deluxe
Medal of Honor Allied Assault Deluxe
2 used & new from CDN$ 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Game. Don't miss it, Jan. 11 2004
First off I really recommend this game highly, especially if you get the deluxe edition that includes the Spearhead Expansion Pack. This was my first WWII FPS and I absolutely loved it. The single player levels provide days if not weeks of overwhelming game play depending on your dedication. Where do I start? I loved the large assortment of weapons available and the realistic sound effects. The graphics are stunning; maybe not like looking at pictures off your digital camera, but the best I have seen in any FPS. But graphics alone would not have made this game without the awesome music and realistic sound effects. The bunker at the Normandy landing and in the bombed out town with the snipers had me at the edge of my seat. And infiltrating the compound in France listening for footsteps as the alarms are blaring was nerve wracking. I truly loved the single player campaign.
Now there are definitely things that were not realistic in the game, but this is only a game. Yes the German ammo would not have worked in the American weapons, but then that would have seriously limited the depth of missions (when you ran out of ammo and had only your trusty Colt .45). The accuracy of the enemy was a little extreme and the overwhelming odds may have been overdone, but in the interest of not making the game a cakewalk deal with it.
The only legitimate gripe that I will agree with is the replay ability. Going through the missions a second time was definitely not as exciting as the first time through. But to this I would also say, try the multiplayer. It is very addictive. I found myself battling as the Germans and the allies all day and all night. Unfortunately the WASD movement keys can give you carpel tunnel syndrome.
As to Spearhead Expansion, well its not all bad. I really liked the single player missions, but they were way to short and seemed kind of easy. I did like the new weapons they were a great addition. The best thing that can be said about the expansion is that it adds immensely to the multiplayer. It gives you lots of new options with the British and the Russians with their new weapons and the new maps as well as fixing a few things like being able to bash people with weapons other than handguns. On its own I wouldn't buy it, but it's an added bonus in the deluxe edition.

Night Masks: The Cleric Quintet, Book Three
Night Masks: The Cleric Quintet, Book Three
by R.A. Salvatore
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
52 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Creative and Exciting Novel, March 16 2003
First of all, let me say that I was not pleased with the first two novels in the series. I bought the collector's edition, so since I already had it I decided to continue anyways. With that said, as you can see from my five star rating that I really enjoyed this book. As to why I enjoyed this book more the first two, well there are lots of reasons. The most glaring reason is that they just didn't match up to the quality that I attribute to most of Salvatore's novels. They were just not well written and the first one lacked excitement altogether.
The main villain in this novel, Ghost the Night Mask assassin, keeps the story going from start to finish. He is definitely a worthy adversary. His cunning and abilities make him the perfect assassin almost unbeatable...almost. Cadderly has also undergone a major transformation. He finally grows up in this novel and I actually started become interested in him something I would not say in the first two novels. I love the way he struggles to first understand and then control his newfound powers even questioning their true origins. The powers are really quite powerful perhaps even too powerful, but that remains to be seen.
Another thing that I really like about this book is the fate of Rufo. I have been waiting for his selfish deeds to lead to his death for far too long. I have just hated how he seems to be forgiven for the most complete betrayals. Well let it just suffice to say that he gets what he deserves and I was completely surprised by the outcome. The other part I enjoyed was the gripping Salvatore quality battle sequences. The second novel in the series was alright in this concern, but the first novel really disappointed me.
I still have my grips though they are minor. I was dismayed when I saw the return of the yo-yo, spindle-disk. I was hoping I had seen the last of them when Cadderly got his staff enchanted. Also the results of Ivan's tinkering with the yo-yo seems completely absurd to me. Some of things that Cadderly ends up doing with it defies even fantasy reality. And I still don't like the concept behind Pickel's character though I have gotten use to it.
Well I hope the rest of the story continues on the momentum of this novel. I don't know if I would recommend the entire series yet, but I do recommend this book.

In Sylvan Shadows: The Cleric Quintet, Book Two
In Sylvan Shadows: The Cleric Quintet, Book Two
by R.A. Salvatore
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
55 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Rumble in the Forest, March 12 2003
The second book of the Cleric Quintet begins with the elves of the nearby forest of Shilmista seeking the aid of the keepers of the Edificant Library. Not long afterwards the group of unlikely heroes sets out to save the forest. The rest of the book chronicles the exploits of the small group that ultimately serves as the deciding factor in the war in the woods.
This book reminded me a lot of Siege of Darkness in the Drizzt series. The novel was a lot faster paced than the first novel in the series, Canticle. I would definitely say I enjoyed this book more than the previous one. However, I would not consider this a great novel.
What I did like was the struggle for power in Castle Trinity. One thing Salvatore has a knack for is writing interesting villains. The intrigue between the evil forces truly is what drives the story. I would have said the same about the elves, but I have seen the same story in the Lord of the Rings. As for the rest of the forces of good, well its not all bad. Danica continues to be interesting and her fighting abilities are wonderfully portrayed. Ivan also continues to impress and his sarcastic attitude always makes me smile. However, Pickel is still the annoying dolt sidekick and dumb as ever. And Cadderly is what really pulls the story down. His constant whining is taken to an art form and it had me yearning for his demise through half the book. But fortunately, by the end of the book he changes his tune a little. He continues to oppose the taking of life, but he grows up and does what he can to help his friends.
To me this novel, like the first, was a mixed bag. The battles scenes were much better in this book. But while the character interactions generally improved by the end of the book, parts of the book are just annoying to read. There is one thing that really bothered me. The fleecing of ideas from Tolkien does bother me and it is something I also noticed in Streams of Silver, written by Salvatore as well. I like most of Salvatore's books, but he needs to write his own story.

Canticle: The Cleric Quintet, Book One
Canticle: The Cleric Quintet, Book One
by R.A. Salvatore
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.99
63 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lackluster Beginning to the Series, March 11 2003
This novel takes place in the Forgotten Realms setting in the remote Snowflake Mountains. The story centers around the Edificant Library established by the faith of Denir (god of knowledge). The main characters are a young orphaned priest named Cadderly and his girlfriend Danica, a monk. They along with several of his friends must defend the library from a curse that intensifies the desires of all the occupants causing dire effects.
The storyline has lots of promise. The idea of having a cleric and a monk as the main characters in a Forgotten Realms novel is quite intriguing. Unfortunately, this book doesn't deliver on that potential. The novel starts off extremely slow; however, in a new series with unknown characters this is somewhat expected. But it would have been hard to fail more miserably at the character introductions and early plot development. The rest of the book is a toss up. Parts of the book are funny and amusing, but there are other parts that leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Even Salvatore's battle scenes, his strongest skill, are lacking the excitement they normally invoke. The battles with Cadderly using the yo-yo were just downright stupid.
I think my biggest problem with the book was the main character! By the end of the book, I really just started to dislike him. Cadderly character is intriguing; he is thrown into a violent world that he would rather not exist, pushed into an adventurous life that he doesn't want. Unfortunately, Salvatore writing style doesn't lend itself to the possibilities. The book should make you feel for Cadderly, but it leaves me with dislike instead. My other gripe is Pickel. I hated his little catch phrase "Ou oi"; it perturbed me to no end. And the thought of a dwarf wanting to become a druid seems kind of silly to me, but Salvatore's characterization of him makes it worse. To me Pickel seems to be a mentally challenged dwarf that got slammed into a tree too hard one day and decided he should save the forest.
The book is not devoid of qualities, and that is why I still give it more than one star. I liked the chaos curse and the affect it has upon the library dwellers. It makes the book very amusing to read at times. I also liked Danica's character, she is the first monk I have ever read about in a fantasy novel and I liked her development. Ivan was also amusing his one-liners were usually good for a laugh. But the bright spots of the book were the villains. Strangely, Bargen the one character that we are really supposed to hate was one of my favorite characters. I loved his resourcefulness and his powerful abilities. The powerful villain brought down by his insurmountable arrogance. Druzil was also enjoyable to read about and will definitely make the rest of the story interesting.
Despite the fact that I was disappointed with the book, I bought the collector's edition so I will continue to read the rest of the series. I think the story has the potential to get better. I can only hope that the potential is fulfilled in the future.

Legacy of the Drow: Collector's Edition
Legacy of the Drow: Collector's Edition
by R.A. Salvatore
Edition: Hardcover
19 used & new from CDN$ 9.20

4.0 out of 5 stars Drizzt's past catches up with him, July 16 2002
The newest collector's edition in the R.A. Salvatore Dark Elf Series is simply put...awesome. And for those of you who got the collector's edition of The Icewind Dale Trilogy let it be said there are no typos like last time. For those of you who have not read any Drizzt novels, I would not recommend starting with this set, but even if you do you should still be able to understand what's going on, especially the way Salvatore rehashes everything that has gone on before (something that I have gotten tired of however).
The common theme in these books is Drizzt's past coming back to haunt him. He has made quite a few enemies in his days on the face of Faerun and under it. Revenge is the name of the game and it appears that every one of his enemies wants a piece of the action even if they have to team up to get it. There are lots of twists and intrigue along the way and of course Salvatore's battle sequences have only gotten better. The character development that has been improving since the Dark Elf Trilogy continues here as the heroes struggle with tragic losses and their inner demons.
The only reason I did not give this book 5 stars is because of the last story Passage to Dawn. This portion of the series was poorly written with a predictable plot and little of the great characterization that makes the others so good. The final book does tie up loose ends, but I think it also undermines some of the development in the other books. Despite this weakness, the rest of the series is great and promises to draw you into the world of the drow and the surface dwellers that give them such big headaches. Buy this book you won't regret it.

Passage to Dawn: Legacy of the Drow, Book IV
Passage to Dawn: Legacy of the Drow, Book IV
by R.A. Salvatore
Edition: Paperback
61 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars Transparent and Shallow ; not typical Salvatore, July 16 2002
I have enjoyed reading Salvatore's novels about Drizzt. He has a great talent in characterization and writes wonderful battle sequences; however, Passage to Dawn does not follow Salvatore's style. The novel did have some sparkling moments like the wizardry contest between Harkle and Robillard, but the majority of the story just made me shake my head. The plot was very predictable. I fully expected that Wulfgar was Lloth's prisoner even without the poem from the witch. Even if you were not as familiar with the Drizzt storyline, the young barbarian stealing Aegis-fang from the dwarven mines (a feat that doesn't seem to me to be as easy as it was made out to be) had to be a tipoff that the hammer was being brought so Wulfgar could wield it. I mean come on did anyone really thing that Lloth had recovered Zaknafein's dissolved corpse. I was surprised that Drizzt believed it or that Cattie-brie didn't make the connection.
There also isn't anyone new or interesting introduced in this book. This book takes too much from other Salvatore novels. Deudermont returns from The Halfling's Gem, Ettru is back from the Icewind Dale trilogy, Cadderly from the Cleric Quintet. To me it seemed a bit much to tie the Cleric Quintet series up with the Icewind Dale heroes.
Another big disappointing feature of the book was the ending. Usually in the climax of Salvatore's novels, I am enthralled with his scripting of the story wondering what will happen to save the heroes from their certain doom (and I know they are going to win but that is not such a bad thing). But this time, I already knew what was going to happen. It was just too obvious. Regis defeats the crystal shard and Wulfgar's return turns the tide. And on the subject of Wulfgar's return, I really don't think he should have been brought back. His dramatic death and the character development following were well done and added a bit of vulnerability to Drizzt that this book completely undermines. All and all I think this book was just designed to tie up loose strings and make the world perfect again. Everyone accepts Drizzt's heritage, Bruenor's eye heals, Wulfgar back from the dead, and Cadderly is becoming younger again. Seems a bit too hokey for me.
Despite my dislike of this book, I have enjoyed the rest of the series and will continue reading about Drizzt. I think that only one bad book out of the ten so far is a pretty good record and expect better from what's to come.

Siege of Darkness: Legacy of the Drow, Book III
Siege of Darkness: Legacy of the Drow, Book III
by R.A. Salvatore
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
65 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The Siege of the Drow, July 3 2002
Another gem in Salvatore's collection. This time the stakes are higher as Bruenor and his friends face complete annihilation. Drizzt returns to the surface from his trek to Menzoberranzan successful only so far as slowing down the big bad drow war machine. However, the biggest stumbling block that must be overcome is fate. Fate, which rears its ugly head as the Time of Troubles, adds a twist to the story that makes this novel truly enjoyable. You will love the scheming that this stirs up in the drow with their magic heavy culture as well as the bizarre happenings on the surface.
The ensuing battle when the drow do arrive is just spectacular. Fighting on all fronts with the defenders on the edge of destruction right up until the end. However, I too share the opinion of many of the other reviewers...this is one battle the heroes should have lost. I think the power of the attacking army was under played. While goblins, orcs, and minotaurs maybe fodder for drow, these creatures alone have massed attacks against the dwarves and won. But, add in the extra firepower created by the drow and you have an unbeatable force. The heroes should not have stood a chance. And what's more, I think the book would have turned out better if the heroes had lost giving it that tragic edge. Drizzt, Cattie-brie, and Bruenor could have still knocked out Matron Baenre and stopped the drow from occupying the dwarven homeland. But to let the dwarves and their allies run off an army of drow completely victorious is a step beyond even "fantasy reality". Regardless of the outcome of the battle...the melee was still very compelling and exciting with tons of detail and not ridiculous like the climatic battle in "Descent into the Depths of the Earth". I am anxious to see what new troubles and intrigues will develop from the ashes of this latest conflict.

The Temple of Elemental Evil
The Temple of Elemental Evil
by Thomas M. Reid
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
21 used & new from CDN$ 7.34

5.0 out of 5 stars The Temple breathes evil once more, May 25 2001
The Temple of Elemental Evil is my favorite roleplaying adventure of all time. Many an adventurer has fallen amongst its deadly walls. I was mixed with delight and fear when I heard that a novel about this extraordinary piece was being written. I am happy to say that this novel does it justice. For those who have played the adventure before, you will relive past glories and defeats as images of Temple come back to you.
The setting with Hommlet, Nulb, the moathouse, and the Temple itself have remained the same, and you will remember some old faces like Burne, Elmo, Otis, Ostler, Rufus, and more. Reid's descriptions of the Temple and the surrounding areas are incredible and put you there again with a new band of adventurers. The characters are wonderfully portrayed and they remind me of many adventurers that I have played. The main character in the story is Shanhaevel, an elven wizard, who is thrust into the adventure of his life, ill prepared and scared out of his wits, after his mentor is slain. Shanhaevel arrives in Hommlet to meet with Burne and representatives from the King of Furyrondy and soon finds himself along on a journey to discover what new evil threatens Hommlet and to determine if the Temple has awaken again. As the adventure begins, Shanhaevel rides out with a veteran warrior from the first battle against the Temple's forces named Melias who leads the expedition, a rogue named Ahleage, a warrior talented with a bow named Draga, a half-elven druid named Shirral, and Elmo a warrior who turns out to be more than he appears. The characters are developed through their actions and garb and are not simply described by class like in the novel Against the Giants. For instance, Govin who they meet later is not described as a paladin, but it can be inferred from his actions and abilities. And Elmo's true character can be determined from his hidden talents.
Aside from all this let me just say...you will enjoy this book whether you are new to The Temple of Elemental Evil or not. The storyline is exciting and entertaining from the beginning and holds you till the end, unsure quite how it will all end up. I give this novel my highest recommendation. If you like this novel there is also a new adventure coming out called The Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, which I hope will also live up the standards of the original.

Starless Night: Legacy of the Drow, Book II
Starless Night: Legacy of the Drow, Book II
by R.A. Salvatore
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
71 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Drizzt Goes Back to Menzoberranzan, April 21 2001
I really enjoyed this book. I think it is one of best books in the Drizzt series rating closely with Homeland and Exile. This novel details Drizzt's return to Menzoberranzan to end the perceived threat that the city has for his friends. The book has many twists and lots of intrigue along with the awesome battle scenes that Salvatore is known for. There was a lot of discussion in the other reviews about this book just following the same old plotlines. I think for the most part this is mostly false. Some of the things that happen in this book are the direct result of great character development. I thought the whole idea of Drizzt returning to Menzoberranzan was ludicrous probably the dumbest thing that Drizzt has ever done. However, I could understand where he was coming from; he was driven by his guilt he carried for the death of his friend Wulfgar.
What I liked best...beyond the great battle scenes was probably the development of the villains in this book. Artemis Entreri is definitely only a shadow of his former self. He is for the first time is in his life lost. He has lost his confidence and in the presence of the drow feels true fear and even pities himself, not what you expect from the wily assassin. But, beyond Entreri is the new power behind the scenes, Jarlaxle. He is truly the most cunning and intelligent villain I have ever read about. Watching Jarlaxle manipulate the other characters in the book like pawns really gives me chills. I love these characters and can't wait for more.
The only thing, other than the obviously inaccurate cover art, that I disliked about this book was the actions of Catti-brie. For a character that Salvatore always described as wise beyond her years and always able to look inside people and tell them about their biggest flaws, Catti-brie really does some dumb stuff. Yeah she had a part in the ending of the book, but she should have never made the trip. She is always yelling about people for putting themselves in danger for her and not thinking clearly then she goes off and chases after Drizzt. Someone needs to slap the stupid witch to give her a taste of reality or at least quit helping her (meaning Alustriel). Oh well just my point of view.
Anyways, if you have enjoyed the Drizzt series so far this one will not disappoint you. If you haven't read the books before this one...you can probably get by just fine, but you won't truly enjoy it. At least read the Dark Elf Trilogy and The Legacy before this novel.

Icewind Dale Trilogy: Collector's Edition
Icewind Dale Trilogy: Collector's Edition
by R.A. Salvatore
Edition: Hardcover
12 used & new from CDN$ 33.36

1.0 out of 5 stars An Awesome Trilogy Defiled by Editors Mistakes, April 16 2001
I would like to start by saying that I loved this trilogy; I read this the first time through in individual paperback form and enjoyed it thoroughly. You can imagine my amazement after buying the collector's edition of the book only to find out that it is riddled with typos. Also missing is the great artwork from Larry Elmore and others that appeared on the original paperbacks. That is why I give a 1 star rating. Please get the individual paperback versions of the book and save yourself a headache.
Now that I have raved about the poor job of the editors, I will tell you what I think of the Salvatore's writing itself. The Icewind Dale Trilogy is a great read full of fun action packed adventure. It tells the story of Drizzt Do'Urden (a good and honorable dark elf ranger), his magical panther Gwenwyvar, the surly dwarven king Bruenor Battlehammer, Wulfgar the giant barbarian from the tribe of the elk, Regis the lovable halfling thief that always finds himself in trouble, and Catti-brie the adopted daughter of Bruenor. The heroes get involved in many adventures including saving Icewind Dale from a crazed artifact wielding wizard, defeating a couple of dragons, and defeating hordes of monsters and the most cunning of villains. It also tells the story of a dark elf trying to gain acceptance in a cruel world that judges him by his heritage. The characters are developed masterfully [even the villains] and you find yourself really caring what is to happen to them. Artemis Entreri is one of the best villains that I have ever read about. You get to know him as well as Drizzt, Wulfgar, and Bruenor and find yourself despising him yet not wanting him to disappear.
All in all this is one of the best series that I have ever read. I still love The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Dragonlance Chronicles but Salvatore is right up there. I would recommend reading The Dark Elf Trilogy before reading this trilogy and you will see that Salvatore's writing continues to improve with every book he writes. The Dark Elf Trilogy is a more imaginative piece that takes less from other writers and creates its own story. And another thing...the collector's editions of the other Salvatore trilogies do not have all the typos that this edition does.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3