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Search tags: Trilogy-sigh
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review 2014-10-27 15:42
Oath of Gold - Elizabeth Moon

The final book of the Deeds of Paskenarrion series, this covers Paks from the time she left Fin Panir, a "coward" unable to face anything and finds herself back with Master Oakhollow in Brewersbridge.  We then get to go along with her adventures with the elvish and other adventures as she evolves into her paladin's form and then undertakes the quests she must complete.

I think the only part of the book I found mildly annoying was that as soon as Paks figured out what her "quest" was, I had it solved, and I like my books to be a wee bit more difficult than that.

But we still had the fun adventuring and action and I found it a fulfilling final installment of a trilogy I very much enjoyed (except for the 5 days of torture bit, I get why the author decided to have it happen, but I wasn't so sure it needed to happen)

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review 2014-10-27 15:34
Divided Allegiance - Elizabeth Moon

The second of the Deed of Paskenarrion trilogy, I find it even better than the first.   Paks is still growing up and going through trials, and she's learning to think on her own (thank the baby monkey).


The plot is fast pace and entertaining...  It does feel a bit dated, but not so much so that I find it problematic.  If anything, it's just not the current "style" of fantasy being churned out, but it's nice not to read anything gritty and horrible (at least, not constantly horrible).  It is the middle of the trilogy, following Paks from when she left the Duke's service in the first book through the discovery (and what happens after) of Luap's stronghold.  

While obviously a middle book, it's an entertaining middle book, not dragging at all.  Very fast paced, very entertaining and very interesting.    This is one of my favorite trilogies and I keep kicking myself for not having read it years and years ago.

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review 2014-08-19 18:29
Uglies - Scott Westerfeld

I'm really not sure where the author was going with this book.

Sometime in the future, in a post-apocalyptic dystopian world, thanks to government/societal mandate, children grow up, hit a birthday and are shipped off to have mandatory radical plastic surgery so that everyone can be a "pretty."   Apparently, looking different (or not pretty, according to whatever parameters have been set by the future rulers of society) is what has caused all of the problems in the world.

We have Tally (our protag?) and Shay, who are both "Uglies" (those that are too young and have not been surgically "enhanced" yet) as the two main characters.  Tally is yearning for Pretty life, because her best friend "Peris" aged out and was made Pretty and lives with the other Pretties.   Shay meets Tally and becomes her new BFF and questions the conformity of it all.


Apparently, the progression goes Pretty ("New Pretty" actually), Middle-Pretty (middle age) and Old Pretty ("Crumblies).   Uglies are young and in school, they play pranks and general act out and are kids.   New Pretties are mindless celeb types who just party all of the time and don't seem to have any sort of responsibilities.  Middle Pretties seem to be the work force, they've now been enchaned so they show their ages but are still "Pretty", they have the jobs and the kids (Littlies, who seem to live with their parents until about 12).  Crumblies are the geriatrics, and I'm not exactly sure what they're up to - the book doesn't go into them as much.


So anyway, The story covers mostly Shay and Tally, two uglies who escape and find an outside-the-city encampment of those who have rejected the conforming way of life and are trying to encourage and gather others that are not so keen on the government rule.   They use and try to recreate old technologies (from the "Rusties", who are presumably based on our society, which has fallen) to supplement their way of life, so we hear a bit about that as well (and the environmental destruction that caused the fall of civilization as we know it).   The bad-gov't guys are trying to find people and keep them in line.  Along the way, we have a love triangle, so Shay and Tally can cat fight about a guy, because that's what girls do.


There are plenty of themes through the book, but none of them are very strong.  Westerfeld seems to be going along with a "government dictatorships/conformity/beauty standards" are bad, but doesn't really go there all that strongly.   More like he is using that idea to help fuel the story, which is otherwise fairly weak, imo.    The characterization isn't strong, but I wouldn't expect it to be for a book that seems to be about messages, but the messages and plot aren't that strong either.


I'm not sure where the series is going, but I'm pretty sure I won't be reading any more of the trilogy.

It was merely Ok for me.

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review 2014-08-19 17:42
Dreams of Gods & Monsters - Laini Taylor

Mostly satisfying conclusion to a solid trilogy(ish).   I say trilogy-ish because this book did leave things delightfully open ended, so you can create your own stories about it, or just wait for Laini Taylor to write more books in this universe (which I would not be surprised by, she already has some novelettes based on secondary characters).

I feel like the book felt really rushed/forced because there was just entirely too much going on.    There were new characters introduced (and/or dropped... if I didn't just forget them), and an entire race that became really important, all of a sudden and felt more than a little forced.


After a largely solid 2 books worth of world building, I felt a little bit frantic - not everything was explained, or explained well (at any rate) and not everything was fleshed out.    This largely contributed to some insane pacing issues.   The book started (chronologically before the end of Days of Blood..) at a pretty good pace, and then picks up quite quickly, with a lot of action happening fairly quickly.


The language and the visualizations that the author used are still very nice, like the first two books, and I still really loved many of the secondary characters, but this book just felt a little rushed, maybe a little under developed.   I'm sure many others will adore it, and if I were younger, I might be more forgiving, but I just found it OK.  I didn't feel like I wasted my time or money on this book, but I do not think it was as good as it could have been with more polishing, or being spread out into another book if the story was the one the author really wanted to tell.

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review 2014-08-19 16:46
Ruin and Rising - Leigh Bardugo

The last book in the Grisha trilogy, and I thoroughly enjoyed the trilogy - it's all fantasy with some fun YAness and tons of Russian influence.  And we all know I love Russian influence.


This book is probably the strongest in the series.  The characters are (mostly) very well written, multi-layered, complex, and pretty realistic (all considering).   I loved the secondary characters, they were fun and interesting as well, and I felt invested in just about all of the characters in the story.  Even the Marty Stu was interesting.  My only real complaint with any characterizations is that I thought that Alina started off very strong, but then ended up very weak.

The world building wasn't any more complex than the previous novels, but by now, the landscape and foundations of society were fairly complete and we're looking at the end of the trilogy, the end of the story, and there was a lot of intense action going on.  I just wanted to spend all of my time listening to the audiobook (I'm sure if I had a physical book I would have been all over that instead).

There was a lot to like about this book.  It was a very good book, for the most part.

I know that this series has a legion of rabid fans, and I'm not big into "shipping" and worrying about who the main character would end up with (since we had a love square running), so when I say that I knocked a star off because of the ending, it's not that I cared who Alina ended up with.    Honestly, I felt like the author cheated the ending, making it more conventional and "happier", which didn't feel as satisfying as leaving it a bit messy.   It made the ending very typical (and predictable), which is disappointing.

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