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review 2015-04-23 15:34
The Amber Spyglass
The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman

Synopsis: Lyra and Will reunite with two tiny spies and make their way to the land of the dead. Lord Asriel fights his war against The Authority. Miss Malone constructs an amber spyglass to see Dust and is hunted by an assassin from Lyra's world.


There comes every once in awhile a book that can really move you. A book thats packed with emotion, and depth, and so much epic drama that it just makes you want to stand and applaud. Or cheer. Books like that are the reason we do what we do. They keep us slogging through the latest Clive Cussler offering of the month or James Patterson or putting up with Anne Rice and all her crap. We do it because we're looking for books like that. Books like that are why we read.


The Amber Spyglass, really the whole trilogy, is THAT book(s). This was a moving end to a trilogy with characters I both loved and hated (in a good way). There were tears. I'm not a teary kind of person.


And its definitely epic, too. A journey across worlds into the land of the dead and back to challenge the highest of powers. This is a trilogy to be read.




General rating: 5

Epic rating: 4 1/2







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review 2015-04-06 04:46
The Subtle Knife
The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman

Synopsis: Lyra enters a new world, Cittagazze, and meets an ally from another world beyond that. Together they brave soul eating spectres and the nakedly evil ambitions of Mrs Coulter as they unravel the mystery of Dust.


The Subtle Knife is the second book of Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. As before the book is full of mysteries and questions. Somehow even after I had finished the book and all the questions I had had about what was going on had been answered I still felt like there were answers to be had. To be able to infuse a story with this kind of enduring mystery is a rare talent indeed. Pullman is a master of the pen.


Its epic in its size and scope. Two children on a journey spanning worlds to challenge the highest of powers...the potential here is immense and so far it doesn't disappoint.





General rating: 4 1/2

Epic rating: 4 1/2



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review 2015-04-01 02:12
Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy
Dragons of Spring Dawning - Margaret Weis,Tracy Hickman
Dragons of Autumn Twilight - Tracy Hickman,Margaret Weis
Dragons of Winter Night - Margaret Weis,Tracy Hickman

Synopsis: A group of friends/heroes fights a war against an evil goddess and her armies. Its pretty straightforward stuff.


As I mentioned when I started this trilogy I spent several of my teenage years obsessed with the novels from this shared universe. Re-reading these has been a nice sentimental trip for me and I don't have a hard time understanding why I liked them. Still, however, I'm growing a bit weary of them and I need something different so I'll be postponing the read and review of the second core trilogy, Legends, until a later date.


The first book, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, is a bit melodramatic in some respects and it kinda feels like the authors are still getting their feet under them. There are also some concepts, and creatures, like unicorns, which are used and then completely abandoned by the rest of the shared universe. In 40+ book franchise where every single detail is pulled out and given its own novel it feels really odd to read these few forgotten bits.

But thats really not that much of issue. By the second book, Dragons of Winter Night, the authors have the idea of what they are doing pretty well down, the writing style has been tuned up and things seem to work much more smoothly.


By the third book, Dragons of Spring Dawning, they are clearly looking to the future and paving the way for the much more complicated storyline of the Legends trilogy. Its nice to see that they actually had some idea where they were gonna send the story post Chronicles rather than figuring it out as they went along.


I was really surprised at well these books aged with me, too. They were still very readable, they didn't come off as silly teenage drivel at all. You know how wh

en you bust out your dvd of Beverly Hills Cop, thinking about how funny it was 20+ years ago and you realize that its just really, REALLY stupid now? Thats what I was worried about from these books. But they held their end of things pretty damn well, to my mind, and I'm happy I took the time to read them again. The subplots were artfully done, and the books contained a depth of character I hadn't noticed so much as a teenager.


I think I got tired of the rest of the books partly because the other writers couldn't or wouldn't bother to infuse their books with the level of depth in the core trilogies.


General rating: 3 1/2 (even 4)

Epic rating: 4


  • "If we deny love that is given to us, if we refuse to give love because we fear the pain of loss, then our lives will be empty, our loss greater."- Tanis Half-Elven.
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