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Jorgen Schäfer (Hamburg)

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The Crossing Places: A Ruth Galloway Investigation
The Crossing Places: A Ruth Galloway Investigation
Preis: EUR 2,59

1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful setting with simply likable protagonists, 17. März 2012
At the start of Elly Griffiths' The Crossing Places, the police find a corpse of a child. Believing it might be the remnants of a girl that went missing ten years ago, they call in archaeologist Professor Ruth Galloway. Sadly, it turns out the remnants are prehistoric. When shortly thereafter another child goes missing, Ruth feels herself dragged into the investigation.

What a beautiful setting. Ruth Galloway is such a likable character, and so very different both from standard crime novel heroes or typical chick lit heroines. She's forty, overweight and an archaeology geek, a bit self-conscious about all of those, but at the same time has a strong personality. Likewise, her counterpart, deputy inspector Nelson, is also a very likable, normal, albeit scruffy person, with normal emotions and normal problems.

The story moves along fluently and provides plenty of hints and false leads as to who the murder might be. There are very few slow scenes, and even the few "infodumps" where Ruth explains all sorts of archaeological terms fit well into the story and are only mildly annoying.

The only downside to the whole book for me was that it was written in the present tense. This seems to have become a trend in books as of late, and I find it quite annoying. The odd tense regularly distracts me from the story and kicks me out of immersion. But in this case, it could not really destroy the book - more Ruth Galloway for me.

I can recommend this book to all friends of "whodunit" crime novels who are looking for a bit of mystery and unusually usual and very likable protagonists.

Sea Witch (Sea Witch Voyages)
Sea Witch (Sea Witch Voyages)
Preis: EUR 3,62

3.0 von 5 Sternen Good book, albeit a bit heavy on the romance, 12. März 2012
Seach Witch is the first book by Helen Hollick on the adventures of the pirate Jesamiah Acorne. This book accompanies him from being a standard pirate to finding his true love, Tiola. Tiola is a white witch with actual magical powers which she can only use for healing and good. Through various difficulties, the unlikely pair - him a pirate, thief and murderer, her a healer and witch of the good - find each other's love.

For me, there are two kinds of pirate books: Those that tell a romance with a piracy-themed backdrop, and the good ones. While a romance is an integral part of a good pirate story and can well be the main plot, I prefer it if the story still is primarily about pirates and ships, and not primarily about a romantic relationship. And while Sea Witch is not a pure romance novel, the story focuses a lot on the deeply romantic relationship between Acorne and Tiola.

Helen Hollick balances this out with historical accuracy that is unknown in more romance-focused stories. Even though dates have been slightly adjusted, most of the events in the book have historical backing, and there is an appendix explaining the liberties taken for the sake of telling a good story. While the historical backdrop is accurate, I felt that the everyday interaction of the characters, in particular the main protagonists, lacked some of the historical feel. Instead, sometimes it feels as if the characters have a modern mindset and just accidentally stumbled into the world. Sea Witch gets this right much better than many historical novels I've read, but it was still slightly distracting at times.

All in all, Helen Hollick manages to tell an interesting blend of piracy and her own kind of witchcraft without falling into the comical humor of Pirates of the Carribean. It is quite enjoyable to follow the story, as it is obvious from her writing that she dearly loves each and every one of her main characters. And even though the romance aspect was a bit too strong for my personal liking, I enjoyed reading the book.

If you like pirate stories and are not afraid of a heavy focus on romance, the Sea Witch is for you. Myself, I will have to think hard about whether I want to continue reading the series, though.

Sharpes Trophäe
Sharpes Trophäe
Preis: EUR 7,49

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Bei Cornwell heißt "nicht so gut" immernoch "toll", 25. Februar 2012
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Sharpes Trophäe (Kindle Edition)
Lieutenant Colonel Henry Simmers ist der inkompetente Offizier eines neuen Battalions. Lieutenant Sharpe blamiert den Offizier in seiner ersten Schlacht, als Simmers alles falsch macht, und Sharpe gerade noch das schlimmste durch eine Befehlsverweigerung verhindern kann. Dadurch hat er jetzt jedoch einen mächtigen Feind, der Sharpes Karriere beenden könnte. Es gibt nur einen Ausweg: Sharpe muss eine französische Feldstandarte erobern, um mit dem damit einhergehenden Ruhm für Simmers unangreifbar zu werden.

Dies ist Teil 8 der Sharpe-Reihe von Bernard Cornwell. Meines Erachtens einer der schwächeren Teile der Serie, aber das heißt bei Cornwell eben, dass das Buch nur gut ist, und nicht hevorragend. Die Liebesgeschichte, die natürlich dazugehört, wirkt hier etwas aufgesetzt, und die Beweggründe für den Kern der Geschichte sind auch nicht ganz schlüssig.

Aber die Geschichte ist wie immer packend geschrieben, die Schlachtszenen faszinierend, und das Buch im Nu durch. Für Freunde von historischen Action-Romanen ein Genuss. Ebenso natürlich für Cornwell-Fans und alle Leser der Sharpe-Reihe.

Eve: The Empyrean Age
Eve: The Empyrean Age
von Tony Gonzales
Preis: EUR 6,00

1.0 von 5 Sternen Even among game fiction, this stands out as particularly bad, 24. Februar 2012
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Eve: The Empyrean Age (Taschenbuch)
In Empyrean Age, Tony Gonzales describes how the fragile peace between the four large empires comes to an end and war breaks out. The book is game fiction for the space MMORPG of EVE Online.

The following is a rewrite of a review I wrote for an EVE Online gaming community. I tried to adapt it to a more general audience. It should be noted that I am an avid EVE Online player, love the game, and love most of the fiction around the game. This book is one of the rare exceptions: I despise it. Also, please note that I only read the first part of the book, until page 127. I just could not get myself to read the rest. I usually do not stop reading a book in the middle, but here I did - it was that bad.

SPOILER ALERT. The following does contain major spoilers of the story.


The characters in the book fall into two categories. Either, they are paper thin cupboard characters who just show up, play their part, and then vanish without much motivation, or they are completely overdone and exaggerated to push an impression onto the reader. Sometimes repeatedly.

One of the most ridiculous repeating scenes I found was the "throw around an underling" special ability of protagonists. Jamyl Sarum, the Empress of the deeply religious Amarrian Empire, is described as a graceful woman, almost fragile. In one scene, she gets angry, lifts her aide up from the ground, holds her up, shakes her, and then throws her to the floor. A worthy Bud Spencer scene - but for the Empress? Ridiculous in and by itself, but it gets more ridiculous. A few pages later, Tibus Heth, the person to organize a revolt among factory workers, has finally reached his goal. He's limping with one lame leg through the factory, he's tired, exhausted. Someone upsets him - and he suddenly loses all the tiredness, the lame leg, everything, he lifts the guy up, shakes him in the air, and throws him to the floor. Sound familiar? Yes. He's a protagonist, and that's what they do.

Similarly, characters you are supposed to dislike are depicted in "explicit" scenes as despicable. Some corporation CEO is hiring prostitutes and he tries repeatedly to satisfy all three of them. This also leads to one of the most awkward sex scenes in a novel that I know of - not enough to count as "porn" and restrict the book to a mature audience, but detailed enough to not need any fantasy for the event. And all of this simply to make the reader despise this character as one of the "bad guys."

This goes on. You get a diplomat who behaves completely undiplomatic, and gets rewarded for it, mostly because it pushes the story into the desired direction. Karin Midular, the person who lead the Republic from the first days after its rebellion into a stable empire equal to the other three, falls for the simplest ploys and acts as if she never did politics before, simply because that helps the story along. Most characters in this book are such cardboard ones, with the only features being completely exaggerated actions that push an impression onto the reader.


The story itself heavily utilizes deus ex machina events to solve most plot issues. There is at least one such event in almost every chapter I read. Something happens, the resolution is difficult, but out of nowhere and completely unmotivated, the grand savior appears and solves the issue.

An excellent example is the first appearance of The Broker (the personified Deus Ex Machina - it does not confuse me that he's pretty much "the" character of the novel). I tremendously enjoyed the chapters in which Tibus Heth takes over the factory. Those are mostly well-written, logical, and tell a good story.

Tibus Heth rises up with his workers, takes over the factory, and at the end, overcoming a lot of resistance, they finally achieve their dream: The factory is theirs! Yay! And then they realize that they don't know what to do next. Now they have what they wanted, but don't know what to do with it. They have the factory, but now they also have the corporation police incoming, a large fleet outside ... in short, they have a problem. They never planned this far. They didn't even believe they'd get this far. What now? That is a great story. It's awesome. I loved it.

There are so many possible ways to continue this story. So many plot options, so many great ways to develop from here. Well, unless the author is Tony Gonzales. For him, there's only one option. Out of nowhere, The Broker ex Machina shows up and solves all the issues. He bought the whole corporation (and a few extra, just in case) and makes Tibus the boss of them all. Conflict solved. I had to put the book away for a day after that just to stomach such an incredible waste of a good story.

And just to kick the reader in the teeth about having completely screwed up a really nice plot, The Broker then does a spiderman/terminator mix by superhumanly climbing around the factory and jumping into molden steel, just to call Tibus Heth via commlink shortly thereafter. There was no need for that. There was no pressure. He could have simply left the planet with a shuttle. The only reason he pulls that stunt is to try and impress both Tibus Heth and the reader. To try and impress like a high school boy would, not like an intergalactic string-puller.

This then just goes on. After the mentioned undiplomatic diplomat ends his career with his horrible speech, a Mysterious Person comes out of nowhere and brings him to the Elders, who also happen to come out of nowhere to save the Starkmanir Tribe which comes out of nowhere but get stopped by an Empress who comes out of nowhere using a technological superweapon that comes out of nowhere...

A story needs some surprising turns. But in Empyrean Age, the surprising turn is a constant. It happens all the time. Every conflict is solved by something that shows up with no motivation and no prior introduction.


Another issue is the existing context it was written in. It is game fiction for the EVE universe. This existing story sets a tone and setting for stories happening there, and Empyrean Age completely fails to fit in.


EVE Online is a dystopian future. Part of the setting here is that there are no epic, larger-than-life heroes. Everyone is just a cog in the machine, they all are subjects to impersonal forces, constraints and necessities of reality pushing them into doing those acts that make the universe even more dark.

Even the capsuleers, the immortals who control spaceships with their thoughts, are just subjects of these forces and can not help but push the universe further down into the abyss.

Contrary to that, Empyrean Age tells an epic tale of universe-shattering magnitude about great heroes who change the world with their simple actions. Who control the impersonal forces, and are above such necessities.


Similarly, EVE is full of shades of gray. There is no good and no evil. The Amarr might conquer and enslave other civilizations, but they also bring progress and peace under their rule. The Minmatar are oppressed and did do a successful rebellion, but they are also tribals with cruel rituals. The Gallente might be shining beacons of democracy, but they're also cruel followers of hedonism and mob rule. In EVE, no one is simply good. At best, everyone is some form of evil.

Not so in Empyrean Age. The Amarr are really evil. They're obviously all sadists who simply punish their slaves for fun all day long. Tibus Heth is a really good guy. He's supposedly some kind of dictator, but in the part of the book I read, he's the paragon of the caring leader, rescuing his people out of bad situations, risking his life to save some irrelevant worker, and so on.

I wish I could say that this might become better in the latter part of the book. Sadly, this kind of story is typical for Tony Gonzales. An earlier piece of EVE fiction by him, called Theodicy, contains exactly this kind of stereotypical black and white story.


Speaking of other pieces of EVE fiction. Tony Gonzales takes a great many liberties with prior work, sometimes even completely contradicting existing, official fiction of the universe. The game fiction is not consistent in and by itself, much to the dismay of many roleplayers, but Tony Gonzales apparently has no problems breaking with existing fiction because it's in the way of his story.

That's not how you write a story within an existing universe.


Combining the disregard of prior fiction with the affection to Deus ex Machina, you get the way Empyrean Age approaches plots. Plots appear completely unmotivated by either existing fiction or the story itself.

Jamyl and the Elders are good examples of this

The Republic has been diverting funds to build a fleet against the Empire, at the expense of the well-being of its own citizens. That's a great plot. Whether it's prime minister Midular who has been doing this in secret and hiding it with her appeasement politics, or whether it was her opponent Shakor who did it in secret does not matter. You can build great plots based on that involving political intrigue and coup d'etat, or half a dozen other possibilities just with this.

But that's not enough for Tony Gonzales. He has to introduce "the Elders," mystical beings who are somehow larger than life, totally forgotten, and suddenly coming back. No one who played the game heard of them before. But in Empyrean Age, everyone knows of them as legends. And most of them also believe the fleet who claims to be the Elders are them.

There is no need for this. The story does not get better by introducing them. I'd go as far as to say that introducing legendary ancient beings from olden times is actually one of the worst ways to develop this plot line. But here they are.

Likewise, the Jamyl plot line. Jamyl Sarum was a character in an earlier plot line of game fiction, a possible heir to the throne, but failed in the succession trials and supposedly committed suicide. Apparently, she hasn't, and she is now back to save her Amarrian Empire. So far, this is a good plot. That she hasn't died is heresy and an insult to the Amarrian faith, but the Empire needs her now. This gives many options for conflicts to build a story on. But none of them are used. The Theology Council simply declares it's ok what she did.

And she could have simply be a good leader with a plan who manages to pull the Empire out of the chaotic state they were in after the attack of the Minmatar fleet, organized resistance, and fought back. Suspense! But no. Instead, she finds an ancient artifact (another deus ex machina) that kills most of the hostile fleet in one go. This not only is a pretty boring way to finish this plot line, it also requires additional bad story work just to make said superweapon unusable afterwards again, as it would be too unbalancing for the continued conflict.


Empyrean Age uses pretty shallow plots that ignore existing game fiction and solves most conflicts with a deus ex machina. Characters are over-stylized to push the appropriate emotional reaction onto the reader, but otherwise remain thin.

Game fiction in and by itself is usually not the best kind of fiction, but even within game fiction, Empyrean Age reaches new lows.

Raid und der dicke Mann
Raid und der dicke Mann
von Harri Nykänen

2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Angenehmer Schmöker für nebenbei, 23. Februar 2012
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Raid und der dicke Mann (Broschiert)
Harri Nykänens dicker Mann ist ein Politiker vom rechten Rand, der befürchtet, einem Anschlag zum Opfer zu fallen. Deshalb heuert er den professionellen Killer Raid an, um sich zu schützen. Als mehrere Morde im Dunstkreis der russischen Mafia geschehen, die alle anscheinend mit dem dicken Mann zusammenhängen, versucht neben der Polizei auch Raid, dem Ganzen einen Sinn zu geben.

Raid ist der archetypische Actionheld. Er wird spielend mit Profikillern, Bodyguards und anderen Kriminellen fertig, und bewahrt dabei immer eine gute Figur. Die Geschichte ist etwas verwirrend, fast schon zu verwirrend, jedoch ist der Roman sehr dicht geschrieben, so dass man leicht über die verwirrenden Stellen weglesen kann.

Insofern liest sich das Buch sehr flüssig, auch wenn die Sprache teilweise etwas holprig wirkt. Es würde mich nicht wundern, wenn dies mehr an der Übersetzung denn an dem Autor liegt. Finnisch bietet einfach ganz andere Möglichkeiten sich auszudrücken als das Deutsche.

Ein schöner Schmöker für nebenbei, jedoch ohne großen Anspruch. Insbesondere für Freunde von typisch amerikanischen Actionhelden zu empfehlen.

Wächter der Nacht: Roman
Wächter der Nacht: Roman
von Sergej Lukianenko
Preis: EUR 13,00

4.0 von 5 Sternen Fantasy ohne Schwarz und Weiß, 22. Februar 2012
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Wächter der Nacht: Roman (Taschenbuch)
Sergej Lukjanenkos Wächter der Nacht behüten die Menschen vor den Taten der Dunklen - den bösen Magiern, Hexen, Vampiren und Werwölfen. Denn das Dunkle und das Licht haben einen Vertrag geschlossen: Das Gleichgewicht muss gewahrt bleiben, sonst würde der Krieg alles zerstören. Dennoch versuchen die großen Magier beider Seiten ihre Intrigen zu spinnen.

Lukjanenko baut hier eine eine einzigartige Welt auf. Vampire leben in heruntergekommenen Wohnungen und ernähren sich von Spenderblut, während nebenan die Lichten wohnen, die irgendwie mit ihrer Aufgabe zurechtzukommen versuchen. Und obwohl es Licht und Dunkel gibt, ist dann doch nicht wirklich klar, ob das Gute wirklich gut ist und das Böse wirklich böse. Eine wunderbar abgewrackte Welt als Kontrastprogramm zur stereotypen Fantasygeschichte.

Auch wenn die Intrigen teilweise ein bisschen zu abgehoben, die Geschichten ein bisschen zu überraschend, und die Charaktere ein bisschen zu dünn sind, muss man diese Welt als Antithese der herkömmlichen Literatur des Genres einfach lieben.

Der Trümmermörder
Der Trümmermörder
von Cay Rademacher
Preis: EUR 9,99

15 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Krimi im Hamburg der Nachkriegszeit, 16. Februar 2012
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Der Trümmermörder (Broschiert)
Im Kriminalroman 'Der Trümmermörder' lässt Cay Rademacher das Hamburg der Nachkriegszeit wiederauferstehen. Im extrem kalten Winter 1946/47 ereignet sich eine seltsame Mordserie. Frische Leichen werden in zerstörten Vierteln gefunden, vollständig entkleidet ' jedoch sieht es nicht nach Raubmorden aus. Schlimmer noch: Es scheint niemand diese Menschen zu vermissen. Ein Team um Oberinspektor Frank Stave versucht, dem Mörder auf die Spur zu kommen.

Das Buch ist gut geschrieben und die Geschichte fesselt durchgehend. Der Autor schafft es insbesondere hervorragend, die Atmosphäre des größtenteils zerstörten Hamburgs einzufangen, ohne sich in Detailbeschreibungen zu verlieren. So erfährt man nebenbei viel über die Stadt und das Leben der Menschen im Spannungsfeld zwischen Entnazifizierung, britischer Herrschaft und mangelnder Versorgung.

Einziger Wermutstropfen für mich war die Wahl der Erzählzeit. Das Buch ist durchgehend im Präsens geschrieben. Das war derart ungewohnt für mich, dass es mich regelmäßig von der Geschichte abgelenkt hat. Ich vermute, dass es ein Versuch des Autors war, den Leser in die Geschichte hinein zu ziehen, jedoch hatte es bei mir leider den gegenteiligen Effekt.

Trotz dieses kleinen Problems kann ich das Buch jedem Freund von Krimis und historischen Romanen in der Nachkriegszeit empfehlen.
Kommentar Kommentar (1) | Kommentar als Link | Neuester Kommentar: Jul 21, 2012 3:21 PM MEST

Svantevit - historischer Roman
Svantevit - historischer Roman
Preis: EUR 4,99

11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Historischer Roman mit Höhen und Tiefen, 16. Februar 2012
Svantevit von Nikolai M. Jakobi erzählt die Geschichte der Ranen, einem Volkstamm der Wenden, in der Mitte des 12. Jahrhunderts aus drei unterschiedlichen Blickwinkeln. Der Großteil des Buches begleitet Radik, einen jungen Ranen, bei seiner Entwicklung von einem kleinen Fischerjungen zu einem Kämpfer der Tempelgarde der Burg Arkona, die den Tempel des höchsten Gottes der Ranen beherbergt - den Tempel des Svantevit. In den anderen Erzählsträngen wird die gleiche Geschichte aus Sicht der Dänen und der Sachsen geschildert.

Die Qualität der Erzählung schwankt stark zwischen den einzelnen Abschnitten. Teilweise lesen sich Kapitel flüssig und man kann das Buch kaum weglegen. An anderen Stellen hingegen muss man sich fast zwingen, auf die nächste Seite zu blättern, und fragt sich ständig, warum man das denn gerade liest. Viele Passagen bringen die Handlung nicht voran und teilweise scheinen diese nur aufgenommen worden zu sein, um historische Ereignisse dieser Zeit wiederzugeben, ohne diese in die Geschichte selbst zu integrieren. Auf etwa die Hälfte der 800 Seiten gekürzt wäre das Buch vermutlich hervorragend gewesen. So wie es ist, schwächelt es leider an vielen Stellen.

Nachdem ich zu dem Buch keine ISBN gefunden habe und auch keine weiteren Information zu dem Autor fand, gehe ich davon aus, dass es sich hierbei um die Erstveröffentlichung eines selbstpublizierenden Autors handelt. Ein richtiger Lektor hätte hier die Qualität vermutlich maßgeblich verbessern können. Trotzdem ist das Buch für ein selbstpubliziertes Erstlingswerk recht beeindruckend, und lässt auf weitere Bücher des Autors hoffen.

Lorettas letzter Vorhang: Ein historischer Kriminalroman
Lorettas letzter Vorhang: Ein historischer Kriminalroman
Preis: EUR 9,99

4.0 von 5 Sternen Historischer Krimi mit viel Charme, 16. Februar 2012
Ein wunderschöner Krimi im Hamburg des 18. Jahrhunderts. Die Komödiantin Rosina ist gerade erst wenige Wochen am Theater am Gänsemarkt angestellt, als ihre beste Freundin ermordet wird. Eine überraschende Geschichte mit viel Charme. Petra Oelker schafft es, den Leser in das Hamburg dieser Zeit zu versetzen und verdirbt die Atmospähre nicht mit zu vielen neuzeitlichen Moral- und Ethikvorstellungen.

Dies war mein Einstieg in die Rosina-Reihe, und ich werde mit Sicherheit mehr davon lesen.

von Adam Nevill
Preis: EUR 9,10

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Word count requirements ruin perfectly good books, 16. Februar 2012
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Ritual (Taschenbuch)
If you ever want to explain to someone how word count requirements can ruin stories, give them this book. It starts out like any random horror / thriller. A group of people get lost in a big forest and get hunted by something that might very well be their imagination. It's a good read, and I enjoyed it a lot, even though it was a bit of a generic plot. But then the story finishes and all would be good, except the author apparently had a word count requirement, so he finished the book. I won't spoil it to you, but needless to say, it gets really, really horrible after that. Would get three or four stars for the first part, and one star for the second, so two stars for this disappointment.

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