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"deathsmith" (Alberta, Canada)

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Bloody Kisses
Bloody Kisses
Price: CDN$ 17.42
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite album of all time, of any genre, Feb. 2 2002
This review is from: Bloody Kisses (Audio CD)
Bloody Kisses - Type O Negative
Category: Goth heavy metal
Artist Name: Type O Negative (TON)
CD Title: Bloody Kisses
Description: Wow. I still cannot believe how good this album is. The songs on here blew me away the first time I've heard them, and I still, on occasion, pause to listen in disbelief at how beautiful, and powerful, the tracks are. TON isn't for everyone, however. Peter Steele, the lead guy in TON, has a frighteningly sensual, dark, and, some might say, Satanic voice. (My parents hate TON!) After listening to all this other crap on the radio, music videos, and everything else, Peter's voice has a firm, soothing effect on me, that makes me really feel the music.
1. Machine Screw
My Comments: Ok, this isn't actually a song. It's more like an intro, but it's incredibly amazing nonetheless. Considering how debauched and disgusting the idea of the track is, TON created it flawlessly, and, in my mind, it borders on being a work of art. I won't say exactly "what" it is. Listen to it yourself, and find out.
Rating: 10/10
2. Christian Woman
My Comments: Possibly TON's most popular and famous, or infamous, song. The lyrics are meaningful, but, as a whole, quite sarcastic and humorous. I guess the way to describe this song is Peter making fun of religion in a poetic, even beautiful, way. Indeed, the chorus of this song is wondrous to listen to, so melodic it is. Even the second part of the song is great, with sounds of nature in the background. I can't give this song enough credit, it is so good.
Rating: 10/10
3. Black No. 1
My Comments: This song, along with Christian Woman, are Type O Negative's most well known songs. Black No. 1 is the ultimate goth anthem ever, even though the concept of the song is making fun of goth chicks. Something I don't understand, though, is that TON are goth themselves. More or less. I mean, just look at them! Anyhow, I personally like Christian Woman more than this song, but both are flawless works of art.
Rating: 10/10
4. Fay Wray Come Out and Play
My Comments: Personally, I find this song mildly offensive, even to one such as myself. Like the first track, it's not an actual song. Not really. What I find disturbing is a voodoo sort of chant that the guys are singing in it (what exactly they are saying, I find indistinguishable!) and the pitiful cries of a woman in the background. Although the point of the track and the name of the track is unclear, my imagination conjures a mental image of the song well enough, and that mental image, is not something I would care to dwell on. Nonetheless, I can't, in my right mind, take off any points of the score just for disturbing me, and, in all other aspects, it's flawlessly made.
Rating: 9/10
5. Kill All the White People
My Comments: I was not happy to hear this song. Not that it offends me, or anything. Using well concealed irony, the song is supposed to make fun of racists, and it does so succesfully. Not that I enjoy the song at all. It's just plain annoying, and has no meaning. At least it is pretty short. (3 and a half minutes). Still, it's somewhat tolerable to listen to, although I don't see how anyone could really enjoy it.
Rating: 9/10
6. Summer Breeze
My Comments: Without a doubt my favourite song on the Bloody Kisses album, quite possibly my favourite TON song of all time. Apparently, this song is a remake of an old song, which my parents told me of, but not that that matters to me. I listened to the original version by (I forget the name), and I found some bitter irony in this song: the original song is supposed to be happy, and joyful, and, judging by the lyrics, so is this one, but that is not true. I've actually come close to tears listening to this amazing, but somewhat short (by TON standards) track. The only way I can really describe this song is being bittersweet. The listener, when hearing this, has a perfect mental image of the song, so clear and blissfullly peaceful, it is unreal.
Rating: 10/10
7. Set Me on Fire
My Comments: Painfully short, but beautifully glorious. It continues where Summer Breeze leaves off. Unlike Summer Breeze, this song is really supposed to be happy and joyful. And it is. It sounds really good, though. Really good. This song is like nothing TON has ever done, and they made it flawless. The whole song may be short, there may be only two lines of lyrics, but this is still one of the standout tracks on the cd.
Rating: 10/10
8. Dark Side of the Womb
My Comments: Like "Fay Wray Come Out and Play", I found this "intro" sort of thing somewhat disturbing. But keep in mind, "disturbing" is the kind of feeling TON were trying to portray when making this album. Nonetheless, I still see no value in it. Unlike World Coming Down, the "skits" or "interludes" on Bloody Kisses don't form together as a whole "experience." These skits are all independent and confusing.
Rating: 9/10
9. We Hate Everyone
My Comments: Considering the dark, foreboding name of the song, this track is actually quiet joyful and happy. No, I'm not kidding. One must listen to it to understand. The lyrics aren't hateful, as the name suggests, either. Well, they sort of are. But the song is actually very good, I must say. It's nothing outstanding, though.
Rating: 9.5/10
10. Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family)
My Comments: The cd was named after this song, and with good reason. It is a very sad song, that makes you shed tears in sympathy for how pitiful and painful Peter's life seems to be. This song is very powerful, and flawless, in all ways. There is actually very little to say about this track, despite such an uncanny quality of perfection, a trait that TON is very well known for in their songs.
Rating: 10/10
11. 30 I.F.
My Comments: The last skit on the cd, and this is no better than the others. It technically should not offend anyone, since I observed no offensive content in it, but it doesn't seem to mean anything, either. I see no significance between the name of the skit and the actual track itself. Aside from that tedious complaint, I am unable to give it anything less than a 9/10, and so that is what I shall give it.
Rating: 9/10
12. Too Late: Frozen
My Comments: 'eh, it's ok. Nothing spectacular, but still a very good song. That's about all I can say about it. Between this song and the next one (Blood and Fire and this one, both quite similar tracks) I prefer Blood and Fire. I'm afraid to admit that this song just doesn't ahve the power that other TON songs have, and the song seems unnecasarily long, too.
Rating: 9/10
13. Blood and Fire
My Comments: Great stuff. Very good solo guitar licks, too, I must say. Although it doesn't really compare to giants like Christian Woman and Bloody Kisses, this is still an exceptional song, and a personal favourite of many TON fans.
Rating: 9.5/10
14. Can't Lose You
My Comments: Oh God, the last song on the cd. What can I say? It's not too long (for a TON song, at least), there are only two different lines of lyrics, but, even with that in consideration, it's one of the most different yet good TON songs ever. It is very sad, and, out of all the songs on the cd, the best track to end it with. What's different about it, is the cool middle-eastern sort of guitar strings in it, giving it an exotic, exhilarating feel. Hands down it is one of my favourite songs of all time, next with Summer Breeze.
Rating: 10/10
Overall/average rating: 9.5 (I don't agree with that rating, though: it gets a 10/10, without a doubt, crappy skits put aside.)
The Best Songs: Christian Woman, Black No. 1, Summer Breeze, Bloody Kisses, Can't Lose You
The Worst Songs: All the skits except for Machine Screw
Best Song: Well, all I can say is that my favourite is Summer Breeze
The Worst Song: probably one of the skits, but for an actual song, it would have to be Too Late: Frozen.
Highest Score: 10/10
Lowest Score: 9/10

Brothers Gonna Work It Out
Brothers Gonna Work It Out
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 30.28
12 used & new from CDN$ 6.56

5.0 out of 5 stars DAMN great stuff. . ., Jan. 20 2002
Brothers Gonna Work It Out - A DJ Mix Album by the Chemical Brothers
Hands down the best, most consistently amazing mix album I've ever heard. Sure, I listen to Sasha, Digweed, ATB, Oakenfold, DJ Micro, and all that other stuff, and although I enjoy material by those artists immensely (especially DJ Micro, he's my favourite DJ of all time), BGWIO blows anything away that those folks have ever done. I scorn people who consider the Chemical Brothers to be "upstarts" of the electronica industry and think that other artists are better; this album is undeniabe perfection, and although the Chemical Brothers do not even make my top 5 musicians/bands, they are still some of the best artists in the electronic industry. Ask anyone; just because they are "commercially palpable" doesn't mean they are "prefabricated" or "artificial" or lacking in quality in any way. Unlike my usual cd reviews, though, I will not list and review each of the five main tracks, or even the 23 tracks those 5 main tracks are divided into. That is strictly unnecessary when dealing with mix cds (usually, at least). Another great feature about this cd is the pamphlet has a brief but informative description of the Brother's career up until this cd was first published. (Therefore, it does not mention
I the best way to describe this mix cd is. . . unrelenting. Once the cd gets started, the momentum only grows and does not stop until the very last song, which, in itself, is by far the greatest remix the Brothers have ever done and quite possibly the very best song they've ever created/remixed. (Keep in mind, that in this review, the term "song" will refer one of the 23 blended songs on the cd, not one of the 5 main tracks).
If you, the reader, are an electronica fan, or are looking into electronica, this is, hands down, an essential and highly unnoticed mix album that is easily likable, and highly addictive to listen to. If you, the reader, have heard this cd before, the entire thing, then you will no doubt agree with my opinion, and that I am not in the least exaggerating the greatness in this review, but if not, therefore you are not a true fan of quality electronica. (Just listen to the cd and you'll believe that what I say is undeniably true!)
There is not a single weak part on the entire album, except, perhaps, the beginning, which is slow to start, but begins nonetheless with surprising rythm and mixing proficiency which the Chemical Brothers are completely capable of.
In fact, believe it or not, if I could only keep/buy/listen to one of the Chemical Brother's albums, this would be the one, even though it is not really their own stuff, only a DJ mix album. That's OK, though, since it's quality is almost unbelievably outstanding.
The songs on the cd are favourites of the Chemical Brothers, I suppose, and they are very well selected and arranged, I must say. (Almost none of the songs, or artists, even, I have heard of.) In fact, every fan of this cd has their personal favourite songs. I actually don't have any favourites myself : EVERY SONG ON THIS CD IS EQUALLY ENJOYABLE, AND THERE IS NOT A SINGLE UNREMARKABLE OR WEAK MOMENT ON THE ENTIRE 61 MINUTE ALBUM.
And for those that think this cd is monotonous? Well, maybe, in some's ears, it is, but if you think THIS is monotonous, I'd like to see you listen to the world's top dj's like John Digweed or Paul Oakenfold and not DIE of boredom! The Chemical Brother's and their mix cd is almost pure "big-beat", which, in my opinion, is a lot more moving, fast-paced, and harder, than the "progressive [house]" style that most dj's go with. Furthermore, this cd is incredibly hard NOT to like. It proves instantly that the Chemical Brothers know how to please a crowd. This is a great party cd.
Brothers Gonna Work It Out is nothing short of a masterpiece. When compared to the Chemical Brothers, artists like Sasha and Paul Oakenfold seem bland and boring, with their repetitive and unchanging rythm. BGWIO is consistently intense throughout. Of the five tracks, and I can't really decide between which is the best. Just listen to it for yourself.

Price: CDN$ 15.00
40 used & new from CDN$ 2.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Now here's a great cd. . ., Jan. 20 2002
This review is from: Tweekend (Audio CD)
Tweekend - The Crystal Method (Review)
Category: Electronica
Artist Name: The Crystal Method
CD Title: Tweekend
Description: After reading plenty of the other Tweekend reviews on, and with no small amount of trepidation, I purchased Tweekend. Why trepidation? Well, after hearing Vegas, their first cd, a truly amazing album, I truly doubted if Tweekend, a cd that is supposedly "techno for the masses", could be as good as their first. I bought it nonetheless, even more eager to do so after seeing the video to their single "Name of the Game". So what do I think of the cd, as a whole? Great stuff, without a doubt. Just like Vegas, every song on it is good. No semi-weak songs, or terrible songs, or filler, all the songs were carefully crafted, and "tweeked", before TCM actually released the cd, which is why there was a four year period in between albums. Tweekend has a definete style to it, a more hip-hop, rock approach than the outer spacey Vegas. What is the result? A definetely different sound. Although a few of the songs on Tweekend resemble those on their first album, much of the content is original and creative.
1. PHD
My Comments: One of the most original, coolest songs on the cd. Although when I first heard it, I was unsure if this was TCM I was hearing, but indeed, it was. It merely sounds different than anything they've ever made before. I was certainly suprised to find that this as the first song on the cd. This song is not "techno for the masses." It's complex beat and high pitched sounds make it difficult for non-techno fans to appreciate, but for one such as me, I truly admire the genius in this song. Flawlessly made.
Rating: 10/10
2. Wild, Sweet, and Cool
My Comments: This is about the closest song on the cd that one could call "filler." But Wild, Sweet and Cool is not exactly filler. It's relatively short, and has cool lyrics, and is easy to listen to, but other than that, it's nothing spectacular or outstanding. Vegas fans may be unfamiliar to a song like this from TCM, but it's still quite good.
Rating: 9/10
3. Roll It Up
My Comments: Roll it Up is somewhat similar to Wild, Sweet, and Cool, in a vague way, "bordering on being filler" way. They're both actually really good, though. Of the two songs, I prefer this one more, simply because I think the rythm is better. My only complaint is that it seems a bit stretched near the end, but that's only 20, 30 seconds of mediocrity on a five minute song, so I don't mind.
Rating: 9/10
4. Murder
My Comments: Ah yes, Murder. Where did anyone get the concept for this song? I don't know, although it sticks to the "murder" theme alot better than ATB's song "Killer" sticks its theme. Although the next single hasn't been anounced yet, I predict this to be TCM's next single. It has lyrics by Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots, and, I admit, he's not a bad singer. I'd much rather hear him sing this track than Fred Durst. Hehe. Anyhow, at first, to the average TCM fan (such as myself), this song seems shallow and unprogressive. After listening to it a few times, I realize, no, it is not shallow. But it is unprogressive, at least in comparisons to TCM's other songs. What I mean, by unprogressive, that it's essentially the same thing throughout the whole song. Verse 1, then chorus, then verse 2, the chorus, etc. Exactly like a pop or rock song. That is exactly what electronica fans do not want to hear. That's why they like techno and find enjoyment in it. Nonetheless, the song is damn good.
Rating: 9/10
5. Name of the Game
My Comments: Possibly the best song on the cd. It's got really cool guitar, which serves as an actual beat/rythm throughought the whole song. During the first listen, NoG may just seem to be a bunch of scratching and annoyingly repeated lyrics with repetive guitar licks in the background, but it's much more than that. Well, it's not much more than that, but that alone, is really cool. The song is undeniably great. If nothing else will get people off their feet and onto the dance floor when you have this cd on, NoG should work. And if NoG doesn't work, than nothing will.
Rating: 10/10
6. The Winner
My Comments: This song is payed less attention to than the other songs, and with good reason. It's nothing really great in the first place, anyway, but the main reason is because it is practically "lurks" in Name of the Game's shadow. After hearing NoG, the beat and rythm of The Winner will sound repetive and generic. Despite this, I have carefully listened to this song, and made my assessment. It's a great song. That's all.
Rating: 8.5/10
7. Ready For Action
My Comments: RFA is similar to Vapour Trail (from their first album), because of the way it sounds itself and the fact that it isn't as well known as TCM's other songs. Keep in mind, though, that Vapour Trail is my favourite track off Vegas, and quite possibly, the best. As is expected, RFA is no exception. Although it's roots seem to come from Vapour Trail, it is much different and less repetive and easier to listen to for an average listener. In fact, believe it or not, of the two songs, I like RFA even more, but only because of it's short lyrics. It's only a couple lines repeated quite a bit, but they give more life and activity to the song.
Rating: 10/10
8. Ten Miles Back
My Comments: Like RFA is similar to Vapour Trail, Ten Miles Back is similar to Jaded, from their first cd. And, like RFA, I find TMB to be better than Jaded. There's not really a way to describe it. Nearly throughout the whole song, it has this funky sound that sounds like it was inspired by a baby sucking its soother, although it's a bit more advanced than that. At first, it's annoying, but after a few listens, it grows on you, and reminds you that this is the trademark sort of stuff TCM is known for. I have to admit, though, that I never really liked Jaded too much anway, but this song is certainly better.
Rating: 9.5/10
9. Over the Line
My Comments: This and the following song are mildly similar. Both sound much different, but the reason they are similar is because they follow the same sort of path, although their style is certainly different. Over the Line is a good song to listen to. That's all. Some may dislike, but I actually find this and the next song to my liking. Greatly. One similarity is that the two tracks are sort of. . . dark in complexity. Not the kind of track you'd hear on the dance floor, and not entirely "uplifting", either. Somewhere in between.
Rating: 10/10
10. Blowout
My Comments: Between Blowout and Over the Line, I'd have to say I like Blowout a bit more, although both are masterpieces and very well made. Blowout is even more dark than OtL, and more trance-ish, too, which is an electronic music genre I greatly enjoy. The two songs are original and add sophistication and uniqueness to how one might define TCM's "sound."
Rating: 10/10
11. Tough Guy
My Comments: One of my favourite songs on the cd, and, along with Name of the Game, possibly the best song on the cd. By far, though, it's the darkest, slowest, but coolest song I've ever heard TCM do. Actually, the song starts out slow, but grows momentum in the middle. Maybe it's simply because of my difficulty with describing in words what songs "sound" like, but I admittedly can find no proper words to describe this song. The closest thing I've ever heard to it would have to be "Poison", by Prodigy, but still, both songs are incredibly different, and I fear that I will someday regret making that comparison.
Rating: 10/10
Now, let it be noted: like many cd's these days, there is a "bonus" track on the cd, that isn't listed anywhere on the cd pamphlet or no the case. But it doesn't matter, I know the name of the song: it's Name of the Game, except a different version. Not a remix, though. What can I say about it? I prefer the original, because of its "rap" lyrics, but this is still pretty good. So I am forced to make a decision: should I rate it or not? I decided, no, I should, not, since it's not as good, but still, quite similar, as the original version.
Overall/Average Rating: 9.5/10
Best Songs: PHD, Name of the Game, Blowout, Tough Guy
Worst Songs: The Winner, Wild, Sweet, and Cool
Best Song: Name of the Game
Worst Song: The Winner
Highest Score: 10/10
Lowest Score: 8.5/10

Slide to the Vibe / This Is Acid
Slide to the Vibe / This Is Acid
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 34.95
6 used & new from CDN$ 19.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Not their best single, but great nonetheless!, Dec 9 2001
After hearing their first two singles (Blood is Pumpin' and This is Acid) I am extremely doubtful that they can produce another track that blows the others away. Well, it's really a matter of perspective. All three singles are radically different, but similar in certain ways. Which is the best one is a preferential thing. Blood is Pumpin' was their first single and is now ultimately known as a club anthem, sampling the intense, acidic synths from Porn King's old techno song "Up To No Good." This is Acid had less impact on people, since it was really similar to BIP, but that was still a masterpiece, anyway.

Slide to the Vibe has harder beats, I think, and cooler sounds (Including something that one could liken to an air raid siren, and another very twisted and digitally dragged out voice sample announcing the name of the song).

One will notice, like in Voodoo and Serano's other singles, that in the middle of the song, Slide to the Vibe attains an epic, anthem-ic feel. Very compelling and skillfully made, I must say.

Since Voodoo and Serano have not yet come out with a whole album, I would suggest all electronica fans to buy their singles to see what new age underground is all about, and why it's so damn popular.

It Began in Afrika
It Began in Afrika
Offered by marvelio-ca
Price: CDN$ 7.49
17 used & new from CDN$ 0.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Chem. Bros at their MIND-blowing best, Nov. 24 2001
This review is from: It Began in Afrika (Audio CD)
What can I say; it's the Chemical Brothers coming out with new stuff, and it is, like all their other material, fresh AND amazing. While IBIA is a heavy, progressive club anthem, very driving, Hot Acid Rythm is quick, hard, and explosive.
In fact, that would be the west way to describe this cd: explosive. HAR really explodes at certain parts into undeniably quick and incredible rythms that will inevitably get you off your feet. Oddly, though, I cannot say that this song sounds like any other acid I've heard before, not that I mind, though. But this song is at the end of the cd, so lemme tell you about It Began in Afrika, the song.
IBIA is, what I would call, jungle. Yes, I know jungle is already an electronica sub-genre (drum and bass, in other words), but I can think of NO other way to describe what this song is like. One must simply hear it for themselves, and prepare to start grooving.
Both of these songs cannot actually be placed in any genre, not even big beat (the electronic sub-genre that the Chemical Brothers are best known for). Not that that's a bad thing, though, since it only goes to show that regardless of the genres the Chem Bros dabble in or try at, they will always suceed to a tremendous, irrevocable degree.

The Fallen Fortress: The Cleric Quintet, Book Four
The Fallen Fortress: The Cleric Quintet, Book Four
by R.A. Salvatore
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
42 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Here's a pretty good book in a pretty good series. . ., Nov. 6 2001
The Fallen Fortress, Book 4 of the Cleric Quintet - R. A. Salvatore
A Review
I'd like to start things off by saying that the back cover of this book is somewhat misleading. Rather than this novel being just another short episode in the ongoing war between Castle Trinity and Cadderly and his friends, the Fallen Fortress is more like something of a conclusion to the series. It encloses the "fall" of Castle Trinity, which is where the name of the book comes from. If you've read my reviews on the other books in the series, you'll know that the series really isn't anything exceptional, but is still pretty good. If you have never read Salvatore before, though, I would strongly advise you not to start reading his works with the Cleric Quintet. I shall make the following announcement:
"The Cleric Quintet is Salvatore's least enjoyable series."
And although I have not read all of his books, I am pretty sure that this series has to be his worst. If it is not his worst, if he has written something that is even crappier than this series, then that goes to show that he most assuredly is not much of a writer.

One, when reading this book and very near the end, thinks why would Salvatore write a fifth book in the series? All the possibile plot variations have been exhausted! Not so, as is obvious when considering that there actually is another book in the series after this one. Just read the Epilogue, and you'll see why. It is true, though, that the plot variations have been exhausted. The fifth book is very tired, but. . .

The plot of this book is nothing more exciting than the similar plots of the other books in the series. The character's are self-righteous and sickening, and always more intelligent than the supposedly "brilliant" villians. That is one thing about fantasy that always irks me. Good forces do not always have to prevail. If one is intelligent enough, he or she can come up with a plot or idea that is a bit more original than the typical fantasy series. Anyway, there is an evil red dragon in this book, Fyrentennimar, that Cadderly manages to charm so that he and his friends can use the dragon to their own whims. Eventually, Cadderly loses control over Fyren and the dragon turns on them. A battle ensues, and I won't even bother mentioning who the victor is. This "dragon" segment of the book, though, is unusual and I appreciated it greatly. But that alone does not make it any better than the other books in the series.
Anyway, like I have said in all my previous reviews for the books in this series, the Cleric Quintet, specifically this book, isn't really all that bad. It's classic fantasy, and nothing more can be expected from it than what one expects is contained in the words "classic fantasy." Yes, I suppose the series is worth reading, this book especially, but I can't really say the same for the Chaos Curse, the following book.

The Hobbit: or There and Back Again
The Hobbit: or There and Back Again
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Edition: Paperback
50 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Now here's a great book, Nov. 4 2001
The Hobbit written by J.R.R. Tolkein
A Review
Well, after reading the whole Lord of the Rings series in the summer of 2001 for the first time, I soon afterwards purchased the Hobbit and read it. Let me start by saying the anything by Tolkein is OVERRATED! Sure, he practically kickstarted the fantasy genre into creation (although not all of his concepts are original; most are based on historical mythology), and therefore is responsible for an unimaginable amount of literature and content in the world today. Without Tolkein's the Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings, there would be no Dungeons and Dragons, and therefore no true joy in my life, hehe.
Anyway, the LOTR series was, admittedly (in which I admit in a somewhat resigned, even grudging, fashion) an excellent work. Tolkien has been heralded by many as quite possibly the best author of all time, but I beg to differ!

Okay, just because the Hobbit gave birth to fantasy means NOTHING to me!!! Listen to the following, and you will discover why I did give this book a five out of five rating but why I do not feel it does not entirely deserve such a high rating. Without a doubt it is a classic, respected and adored by many worldwide. Is that reason enough to call it one of the best books of the century? Well, I most certainly do not think so! Why not? Look at it this way: if one could rate one of the very first computers, those Apple/Macs that were so big and expensive that they took up a whole room, would one give such a computer a 5/5 just because, at the time, it was the best in the industry? OF COURSE NOT. One does not term such a computer a "classic" because if it weren't for that exact computer many technological advances in computer technology would have not even existed today? A bit confusing, perhaps, but the TRUTH. The fact is, that the Hobbit really isn't altogether anything remarkable, at least in comparison to the other fantasy books out today.

It's still good, though, I'll admit. Why do I feel this way, though, compared to all the other reviews? Most likely because I'm a heavy fantasy reader, and am used to reading much more complex, intricate, and contemporary fantasy than Tolkein. Furthermore, the fiction I read is so much more fast-paced and with hundreds of gallons of adrenaline that the Hobbit seems like something of a ROAD-BLOCK in my mind.

Nonetheless, I cannot deny that I DID enjoy the book and Tolkein is an exceptional writer, his imagination so great that he created an entire genre never before considered. I also recognize this book as one of the best books of the 20th century. How could it not be, after all, considering that it created a whole new genre?! I guess these comments and remarks are a bit contrary to my earlier rants in the review, but really I like Tolkien's books. My only problem with them is that I feel they are OVERRATED. Not too overrated, but overrated nonetheless.

So, to sum up my review and to give the read of this review an undeniable verdict, I advise them, regardless of their circumstances, to somehow get ahold of this book and read it. It is written in a very archaic fashion, which is another something I have difficulty enjoying, but it is, without a doubt, the most original, imaginative book ever written.

The Demon Awakens
The Demon Awakens
by R.A. Salvatore
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.86
48 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Now here's a great book. . ., Oct. 27 2001
The Demon Awakens (Book 1 of the Demonwars Trilogy) - R. A. Salvatore
A Review
This is undeniably, a great book. I read alot, although I haven't read too much Salvatore. (I've read his Dark Elf Trilogy, which is excellent, and his Cleric Quintet Series, which is much less than excellent. Both are of the Forgotten Realms line of novels.). I began this book and read it during a considerably stressful time in my life, and so I was expecting and hoping for an involving, absorbing novel which I could forget my other troubles unto. Indeed, this book is involving and absorbing, much better than the other two Salvatore series I have read.
Not only that, but this is undoubtably one of my favourite fantasy books. I've ever read. Let it be noted that I not read the remaining two books in this series, although I plan on doing so very soon. And do not doubt, I've read alot of fantasy (among other genres). Never have I considered Salvatore an especially good writer, though, but now I consider him to be exceptional. For the reason of this series, this book, alone. I can promise the reader that he or she will surely not be dissapointed.
What is so outstanding about this novel? That is a difficult question to answer. The plot and storyline itself is nothing extroardinary, isn't even wholly original, for a fantasy novel at least! Perhaps, though, that is what makes the book so good. Just because the storyline is traditional fantasy doesn't mean it's bad at all, which it is most certainly not. I sum this section of my review by establishing that the storyline itself follows fantasy tradition, and although not entirely original, it is enjoyable nonetheless and I have no complaints about it.
The main characters, though, I am somewhat unsure of. But that's just my perspective. At first, when reading about the monk Avelyn, I disliked him as I disliked Cadderly (from the Cleric Quintet series by Salvatore), because he was self-righteous and, following that stereotype, therefore boring. Those thoughts of mine were soon changed, though. I actually grew to like the character Avelyn, a hell of a lot more than the other male main character, Elbryan. What's so bad about Elbryan? Unlike Avelyn, who is actually quite interesting (undeniably contrary to what I wrote earlier, though), Elbryan is nothing special to read about. He is a simple, pragmatic person, not at all in any way unique or even sophisticated. The other character, Pony, is a well-rounded, independent woman who is emotionally troubled throughout most of the book. I will not begin to describe the characters' relationships with the others, or any of the storyline and such, since that can very easily be found by reading the back cover of the book, which can be read on this site.
What about the villians? There is really only one villian, a stereotypical, evil-incarnate demon that follows the tendencies and ambitions that come along with the steroetype. After quite a long time, he wakes up on the land of Corona once again, and promptly decides wreak as much havoc as possible, organizing and commanding the goblins, giants, and evil dwarves that inhabit Corona. The rest of the plot is, if you read what I wrote previously, quite self-explanatory. The three main characters eventually unite after their personal hardships and strive to fight back against the demon.
The theory and technicalities of arcana in this book are quite simple and uninteresting, although somewhat sophisticated and unusual, I must admit. Rather than being possessed through talent and skills by a magic-user, magic is used through rare magical stones, and, with proper training, can be used by anyone.
I found the beginning and middle of the book to be significantly more enjoyable than the ending, but that may just be a personal quirk of mine. Furthermore, I was slightly annoyed that (SPOILER) the only remaining characters in the book are Elbryan and Pony. The rest do die, which I was greatly dissapointed at, since to do that seemed to be unnecessary, repetitive of other fantasy books, and wasted.
Despite all these complaints that I have about the novel, I cannot deny that it is a very good book, very underrated in the fantasy community. Even though some parts are much better than others, it is still moderately, consistently excellent throughout. Salvatore fans will love this book (and this series) to death, I am sure, and even a casual fantasy reader will certainly like it alot. Have no doubt, reading The Demon Awakens will not be a waste of your reading time.

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

4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good book in a fairly good series. . ., Oct. 17 2001
Night Masks, Book 3 of the Cleric Quintet - R. A. Salvatore
A Review
Hmmm. I shall make my feelings on the Cleric Quintet known right now: it is a strictly mediocre fantasy series. Nothing special. Salvatore is a very good writer, though. He wrote the Demon series, (As I write this review, I am currently reading the first book in the series, The Demon Awakens, and it is exceptional. Very promising. I shall soon write a review on that book as well.), the Crimson Shadows series (I haven't read any of those books), and the Icewind Dale Trilogy and Dark Elf Trilogy of the Forgotten Realms line of role-playing fantasy books. The Cleric Quintet is also part of the Forgotten Realms. This series, however, would never have been published as a stand-alone series, though. It introduces nothing new to the reader, the characters are dull and uninspired (even immature, to some extent), and is written in the typical R. A. Salvatore format that I have grown to dislike.
About this book, though, the third novel in the series, I read this one with considerably more enjoyment that the other two. It featured an interesting, challenging villian, and a plot more unique that the other books in the series. In addition to that, the two main characters' (Cadderly and Danica) relationship blooms into maturity. (In other words, they end up "doing it!" For those rigid, unmoving readers out there, though, don't worry: no actual eroticism in this book. Or the entire series, for that matter.) Like all the other novels in the Cleric Quintet, there is no interesting or even significant character development.
I think I'll cut this review short, because my opinion on the series is (or should be, if you're reading this) obvious by now, and no one wants to read why I think this series is such a mediocre waste of time. What about Salvatore's writing style, though? There is nothing unique about that, nothing that could even be called sophisticated.
If you've read my other two reviews on the previous two books, you'll know what to expect with the series, but, despite all my determined ranting, it is still pretty good to read, with exciting battles, and unexpected occurences. That, perhaps, is why this series isn't half bad. One does not know what to expect when reading it. That, though, perhaps, might be because no one cares enough to bother anticipating what will occur next in the book. . .

Diamond Throne
Diamond Throne
by David Eddings
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.90
84 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Now here's a good book. . . the entire series is great. . ., Oct. 8 2001
The Elenium - David Eddings (Review)
Note: This is a review on the entire series, not just the first book.
Some people speculate upon what makes David Eddings (and his wife as a coauthor, in some cases) such a good author. Others, though, dislike his writing and don't speculate on the opposite of such. Myself, although I have only read two David Eddings series (The Belgariad and The Elenium) enjoy what I have read of Eddings very much, and plan on reading the other series/books quite soon.
Unlike Garion of the Belgariad, Sparhawk, the main character in the Elenium, is a mature man, devoted to cause and justice, but his queen Ehlana most of all. He is more than just a knight; he is a pandion. Regarding that statement, no, even after reading the whole series, I do not really know what a pandion is. Since he and his other pandion companions can use magicks, if only basic ones, I guess that a pandion is something similar to a Paladin. (A common term and figure in fantasy literature. Best describe as a spell-casting knight.) In this book, he returns to his home country that he serves, Elenia, with dismay, for his queen has been poisoned and will die unless something is done about it. The Primate Annias is in power during Ehlana's state of illness, a corrupt leader who aspires to the position of Prelate. As much as Sparhawk hates Annias, and leaving him in power over Elenia, searching for the cure for Ehlana is his first priority. The cure is Bhelliom, a magical stone thing that is extremely powerful but extremely difficult to attain, as well. That is roughly the plot line of the first two books in the series. (The third is a bit different!)
The Elenium is a highly acclaimed fantasy series, one of my personal favourites. I've read it twice already, and have definite plans on rereading it sometime this year. The characters are unique, quirky, and fun to read about, the whole book's dialogue stylized with David's trademake witticism.
So is the series worth reading? Of course! In fact, believe it or not, this was the first series that got me into the fantasy genre, which may surprise some. Perhaps that is why I like the series so much. Like the Belgariad, there are two mentor characters that guide and help the main character. In the Belgariad, there is Polgara and Belgarath, and in this book, there is Sephrenia and Flute (otherwise known as Aphrael, a child-goddess!). I like both greatly. Flute is a quite charming, and full of surprises, and Sephrenia is very wise and perhaps more so because she does not wield as much power as Polgara and Belgarath do in the Belgariad.
Most of the characters, save the mentor, are knights. (Or pandions, I keep on having to remind myself!) For some reason, I greatly enjoy reading about knights, powerful armed figures marching/riding around beheading people at whatever their whim may be. Perhaps, though, that is an exaggeration.
Anyway, the whole series is exciting and flawlessly good, perhaps even (In my opinion, definetely!) better than the Belgariad, a classic series that many love and doubt can be topped. In all aspects I can see, the Elenium is a much better saga, with mature characters, more exciting battles, a more compelling and complex plot, and is written with significantly more experience that the Belgariad was.
So, to conclude this review, I advise that one should read this series. It is well worth one's time, appeals to all, fantasy and non-fantasy fans alike, and is written by possibly one of the best fantasy authors ever.

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