I still think Paolini’s Inheritance was a disappointment.

So a few months back I mentioned in a book review that I rated the book I was reviewing a “lavish 7/10, the same score that I gave to the disappointment that was Paolini’s Inheritance.”  So as you might imagine I caught a substantial amount of backlash from Paolini lovers for daring to impeach the hallowed fourth episode of the Eregon saga. So instead of returning their knee-jerk defence of  the book with a knee-jerk defence of my own, I decided that, what the heck it’s been a few years since I’ve read the Inheritance cycle, I’ll read it again  to make sure that I didn’t miss anything the first time around.

And the results are….that I still think that the fourth novel of the cycle was a big disappointment.  I mean don’t get me wrong, it was entertaining and well- presented etc. etc. The problem that I have is that it simply doesn’t answer so many of the questions that it puts forth.

Let me name the the most obvious points of interest:

1.  Why didn’t Shruken or Galbatorix just destroy the Varden

If Galbatorix was able to kill Glaedr and Oromis from across the country then he definitely could have destroyed the Varded at any point in their insurrection with ease. He knew that their campaign would lead to massive casualties both on their own side as well as his, so it’s not as if he was reluctant to kill people.It’s also not as though he didn’t care about them, as he went to great extents to counter them. At the final battle at Urubaen Shruken alone could have destroyed every single one of the Varden in minutes, and Galbatorix could have been done with it.

This brings us to the next point.

2. What was the point of the traps?

Inside of Urubaen, Galbatorix set up several traps and custom tailored them to KILL those in Eragon’s party. What? Why would he do that?  Firstly, he didn’t want to kill Saphira or Eragon, and secondly he knew all about the witch-child Elva’s ability to sense the pain felt by those about her in the short-term future. Why would the king have gone to the trouble of it if he knew they would not work? There are literally dozens of ways in which he could have countered Elva’s abilities and Eragon’s to boot, especially since he held the name of the ancient language. He knew enough to capture the rest of the elves in Eragon’s party later on by simply not causing them pain with his traps.

For those that might say that the useless traps were not custom-tailored to Eragon’s party, remember that the one trap was only sprung when he placed his hand on it, but not by the other magicians inside of it.

3. The Name of Names.

Holy heck, how in the hell could Galbatorix have lost with this tool at his disposal, it boggles the mind.  Yet, all that he does is remove the wards of those inside his palace, and fiddle with the spells of enemies in his city. What? Come again? A megalomaniac with an all-mighty power at his disposal and that is all he does? No, just….no.

4. Murtagh.

Galbatorix should have know the instant that Murtagh’s true name changed, because as we are constantly told, he was a sly guy. How many characters said that the king would have placed wards on his subjects to notify him if their true names changed. And yet…   Then we come to the point of how Murtagh came to know the name of the ancient language. No way in hell would Galbatorix have shared it with him, that’s for sure. Murtagh  speaks about a spell of forgetfullness that the king used with the name, but how did Murtagh find it then? It can’t be because his true name changed, because any idiot would have used the name of names to bind a spell of forgetfullness to the name itself and not to every single person who heard the name, that would be totally impractical.

This then brings us to the unaddressed questions of:

5. Where did Galbatorix find the true name, and is it linked to Tenga and his search for the “answer”?

Well, who knows? It just irks me that we don’t know. Mayhap Christopher Paolini is setting up for another storyline? So many hints about Tenga, so little fact.

 

So, to summarise my disappointment with this final novel, let my describe it as how I always remember it. “Inheritance is the story of how a ruthless tyrant with infinite power and infinite stolen energy, and a burning desire to keep living and ruling dies because he takes no steps to counter those he know are on their way to kill him.-Jeremy Dawes

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Book Review: Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

Book Review: Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

I say ‘by John Scalzi,’ but I should probably put it as ‘by John Scalzi, by H. Beam Piper’ to be more accurate. Fuzzy Nation is a modern reboot of H. Piper Beam’s 1960’s sci-fi novel which went by the name of Little Fuzzy, which was written the with 1960’s vision of what the future would look like. Needless to say it has aged in a less than desirable way. Don’t get me wrong here, the original is still cool, just not particularly accurate. Scalzi, a fan of Piper’s work, said that he aimed to make the story approachable to readers unfamiliar with the original while directing fans to Piper’s books.

I’m not going to give a whole write-up on the plot because that would just ruin it for you, and quite simply because it isn’t necessary. Suffice it to say that the novel is about a slightly futuristic world where corporations are awarded contracts to mine worlds other than Earth for rare minerals and fossil fuels. On the planet in question, called  Zara XXIII, an assholish mining contractor discovers both a large seam of valuable gemstones for his employers, and a new race of mammals all in one day. Havoc ensues on all fronts.

I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of the storyline. After the last few long-winded fantasy novels which I have been reading, this was a lovely little story. Short, realistic but truly entertaining. For this I will score the novel a lavish 7/10, the same score I gave to the disappointment that was Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance.

J.S.Dawes

 

I’m back!

Ohaio. So finally after the November madness of NaNoWriMo, I’ve got the time to do something besides sleeping, studying, and rattling away at my keyboard in a vain attempt to catch up on wordcount. Still yawning randomly though, and occasionally needing to overdose on caffeine just to keep my fingers from cramping.

Anyway, new articles incoming soon. Mata ne.

Book Review, Divergent by Veronica Roth

Book Review, Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent Is the breakout novel by author Veronica Roth, and is the first of yet another YA distopian trilogy. To be honest, I have got mixed feelings about this novel, and for the first time in my life will actually just suggest watching the movie instead of reading the book.
From wikipedia:
In a post-apocalyptic Chicago, survivors were divided into five factions based on their dispositions: Abnegation, for the selfless; Amity, for the peaceful; Candor, for the honest; Dauntless, for the brave; and Erudite, for the intellectual. Each year, all sixteen-year-olds take an aptitude test that describes the faction for which they are best suited. After receiving the results, they can decide whether to remain with their family’s faction or transfer to a new faction. Those who do not complete initiation into their new faction become “Factionless” and are forced to live in poverty on the streets of the city.

Sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior is born into an Abnegation family. She doesn’t feel she belongs in Abnegation, because she doesn’t see herself as naturally selfless. Her aptitude test results are inconclusive and indicate aptitude for three factions – Abnegation, Erudite, and Dauntless. The test proctor warns her never to tell anyone that her results were inconclusive because that makes her a ‘Divergent.’ Beatrice agonizes over Choosing Day, unsure about staying in Abnegation with her parents or moving to a different faction. On Choosing Day Beatrice decides to leave Abnegation and join Dauntless. Her brother Caleb chooses Erudite.

Naturally there is an attempted coup in the dystopian world, in which Tris gets caught up. I don’t want to give you too many spoilers, so yea, If it sounds interesting to you already then stop reading my review and go buy the book.

I’ve got to give props to Mrs. Roth, she does write exceptionally well, but I just feel as though there are too many plot and logic holes in the story. There’s no real reasoning behind any of the technology showcased in her fictional world, and that’s something that just bugs me. Nevertheless, the sci-fi aspect of the book still turns my bookworm on.

Overall, the storyline has a lot of potential, almost endless potential in fact, which will probably be enough to convince me to overlook the logic holes and have a gander at the second novel in the series.

I give Divergent a respectable rating of 6.8/10, the same score I gave to Mockingjay, the least endearing of the Hunger Games books.

To Poet or Not to Poet?

I have a bit of a quandry. I have a bit of storyline in the nanowrimo book I’m busy prepping for which in my mind would be best achieved by the character leaving behind a poem as her suicide note. Problem is, I have not written any poetry since I was in school, and most of the stuff I wrote back there was rather, how should I put this—shitty. Should I really bother going through the effort to relearn the details about stanzas and quatrains, etc.,and make my best attempt at a poem(with the risk of degrading the entire novel,) or should I just make another plan with the storyline?

Book Review: Ready Player One

Book Review: Ready Player One

Ernest Cline, you 80’s pop culture loving genius bastard! Ready Player One is positively the best book I’ve read in yonks. As a music loving, strategy gaming junkie this book was right up my metaphorical alley!

From the back cover:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Essentially 14 hours of pop culture-spewing epicness. The audiobook is read by Whil Weaton! WHIL WEATON PEOPLE! Big plus for me, hearing Whil read a novel which which features himself.

There aren’t any serious plot holes, and the ending is expertly rounded off.

I give it a 9.9/10. Best rating I’ve given any book since I first read Magician by R.E.Feist

If you have any reading suggestions or comments, feel free to leave a comment.

Music that moves

We all have them, songs which give us goosebumps every single time we listen to them. Sometimes they just resonate with our inner thoughts and emotions. Sometimes they are so artfully done that one can’t help stopping whatever we are doing to pay homage to the artist with a few minutes’ full attention. A lot of the time we attach memories to whatever music we were listening to when they went down.

So, I hereby dedicate Fridays on my uber-famous blog (hit counter currently sitting at 2) to music. I’ll name one particular goosebump song (geese, I just realized where the BUMP cd’s got their name from) or whatever song I am procrastinating to at the moment. Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite audio-poison.

rush 2112Last week I read the Book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and picked up the song “2112” By rush. Been listening to the album non-stop since then. It’s this epic story of a dystopian future, all in music form. I swear, better storyline than a lot of YA stuff coming out recently. Lend it an ear.