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James the One and Possibly Only

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Krondor the Betrayal:: Book One of the Riftwar Legacy
Krondor the Betrayal:: Book One of the Riftwar Legacy
von Raymond E. Feist
Preis: EUR 7,49

4.0 von 5 Sternen An Underrated, great book (For a game based novel), 1. März 2000
What is up with these people? I come here, and see a bunch of bad reviews for Krondor, the Betrayal. Seriously, I think some of these guys are underrating it. Sure, it has problems, but its not THAT bad.
Ok, first, the plot is very good and often well-written, considering its a game-based novel. Try playing a Final Fantasy game (or any console RPG, for that matter) for an example of BAD writing (Mostly a bunch of coincidences with the "plot" being made up of goose chases, unrelated events, development of irrevelent chaarcters, and events happening by chance with no thread of credibility). KtB (or BoK if you played the game) has some of that, but definately not on the same level. Yes, there are irrelevent chaarcters and pointless quests, but those are few and far between (theres only about three of them, never lasting more than three chapters).
I also disagree with these "Two-Dimensional characters" comments. Indeed I found them to be VERY developed, as far as video game plots go.
Not to say its perfect. No, some leftovers from the game are here. You can easily recognize the in-game fights, including the final boos fights. Fortunately they're all abreviated down to realistic levels as opposed to what could have happened ("Gorath hit the assasin#1, but did no damage").
Another good thing is that at times the book qwas funny as hell. Who can forget James sitting in front of an enemy rift while Patrus is trying to destroy it, and saying to every troop that comes out "Go help your leader"?
BTW, IT DOES work as a Stand-alone. I read it before I ever heard of the Riftwar or Serpentwar Sagas.

Heretics of Dune
Heretics of Dune
von Frank Herbert
Preis: EUR 7,99

4.0 von 5 Sternen What's This? Finally, A GOOD Dune sequel!, 24. Februar 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Heretics of Dune (Taschenbuch)
The progression went like this. First we had the great Dune, then the lame Dune Messiah, then the slightly better Children of Dune.
And God Emperor of Dune was the worst of the series.
Some claim that from there, the series became just a bunch of philosophical rants. Well, this is true for God Emperor, but if ANYONE tries to say this about Heretics, I'll tell them to actually READ the book, THEN say that! There is about as much philosophy here as there was in the first Dune... theres some every once in awhile, but usually its used meaningfully in a discussion, and besides doesn't happen often anyway.
Heres another new one: the Characters' personality traits are ESTABLISHED, for once! No more random personality-changes! Herbert actually seemed to of planned this one! In fact, there was only one, ONLY ONE, event in the whole book that seemed like random conjecture... Near the end when Teg, by coincidence, meets alot of old military comrades who are extremely loyal to the point that they overlook that they retired and come under his command again.
Also, the Tleilaxu, which were simply plot devices in the earlier books, actually have some IMPORTANCE, and their Axlotl tanks are part of a sub-plot.
This book ain't quite perfect though. One, The Bene Gesserit have a new enemy to worry about... the Honored Matres, who conquer by being seductive. What's the problem? Teg, Lucille, and some other chaarcters alone manage to defeat a good amount of them... and rather easily. The Matres don't seem like much of an enemy to me.
Also, all the chaarcters except Duncan Idaho are all-new. However some of them seem more like resurrections of older characters than anything else (Miles Teg=Paul Atreides). I personally thought this book would have been alot better if, instead of taking place a millenia later, We were still on ARrakis follwing Paul, not the after-effects of the faceless drone known as Leto II.
Another thing I hate is the renaming of all the planets and cities. Arrakis is now Rakis, Caladan is now Dan. Giedi Prime is now Gammu, Arrakeen is now Keen. What the hell is up with this? This is explained in a one-liner: "Time tends to shorten titles" oh please. Colorado is Colorado, you don't see it shortened to "Rado" do you?
But anyway, none of these flaws are big enough to really lower it down to Dune Messiah level (Two Stars) or God Emperor level (One star). They do, however, keep it from being perfect.
Read the first one, get a Dune fan to sum up Messiah, Children, and God Emperor for you (Actually I could do all three right now) and skip to Heretics.
Now, I really must get through with Chapterhouse....

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, Part 1)
The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, Part 1)
von J.R.R. Tolkien

1 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen I fail to understand the popularity of this series, 17. Februar 2000
Really! I do not get why this trilogy, even back when it was made, was so revered. Tolkien is the reason I'm not such a fan of fantasy (the other reasons being Squaresoft and other Video game companies, and a few bad authors). Tolkien was basically the inventor of all of today's popular cliches. A nobody who by chance gets a powerful object that must be delt with, an old pointy-hatted wizard, that dark force that wants to rule the world... despite all this, there really is almost no plot to speak of. Basically Frodo and company go from here to there and everywhere in between, with the events having almost no connection. Alot of characters were pointless too. What exactly was the purpose of Tom Bombadil, Rivendell, or Boromir? Ok, Boromir had SOME importance, but Rivendell ended up summing up what we all knew all along: that Frodo had to go to Mordor and destroy the ring (Which he does almost withut incident). I guess this trilogy is good if you crave adventure and exploration, because its certainly nothing if you want complex plots.
On a side note, I rather liked the Silmarillion...

Tailchaser's Song: 50th Anniversary Edition
Tailchaser's Song: 50th Anniversary Edition
von Tad Williams

1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Just What we need, ANOTHER Re-Write of Lord of the Rings!, 17. Februar 2000
I usually tend to avoid the fantasy category unless something good pops up. Don't get me wrong, but I usually prefer Sci-Fi as they have more complex plots and I'm about 5% more likely to see less cliches, unlike Fantasies which tend to be rehashes of Lord of the Rings (which I really did not like). I really wanted to like Tad, I really did, but after This one and a failed attempt to read Dragonbone Chair, I figured it IS possible to compare him to Tolkien... they're both masters of cliches, except Tolkien invented most of them. The reason I review Tailchaser is because its the only Tad book I read all the way through. I grabbed Tailchaser because I was both a Cat lover and a fan of Watership Down. As it turns out, I made a mistake. This novel happens to be the very essence of what I'm trying to avoid! Wall to Wall cliches and predictable plot elements. These things made me stop reading Dragonbone after about five chapters. Of course Simon is the kitchen boy who is destined to save the world... but we're speaking Tailchaser. The mysterious things that keep chasing Tailchaser and crew are obviously rip-offs of the ringwraiths, Eatbugs is the gandalf wannabe... except Gandalf was sane and intelligent. Puncequick is the annoying child who's there just to screw things up. Of course, an evil god wants to take over the world. Need I name any more common cliches? How about the predictable plot elements, like that he Cat Queen obviously won't help so Tail has to continue on with just a few companions? How about the deus ex Machina devices, such as how Eatbugs just HAPPENS to be some God who opposed Hearteater? IF you didn't see most or all this book coming half a mile away, this is probably the first book you read or you didn't try. Anyway, I'm done being negative, and therefore have no more to say on this book. Try reading Feist.

Watership Down
Watership Down
von Richard Adams

4.0 von 5 Sternen Apparently, The Concept of this Book is above your heads, 14. Februar 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Watership Down (Taschenbuch)
By the looks of it, those who hate this novel pass it off as a children's book, or as rediculus, simply on the basis that it happens to star talking rabbits. I will try to withhold from being negative but...
Anyway, the point is that the book is trying to convey an environmentalist message, you know, like how humans destroy nature and what its doing to the animals. You simply could not have done that had humans been the main characters. No, it HAD to be from the point of view of the animals. Saying that Watrersjip should star humans is like saying Tolkien shouldn't have made Middle Earth or that Feist shouldn't have made Medkemia... Why the hell would that make the story better? It would actually be worse because its farv more fantastic that way. We know Elves and Dwarves don't live on Earth, so putting LotR on Earth would be stupid. But how do we know if Middle Earth exists? We don't. Far more plausible.
NO WHERE do the Rabbits talk to HUMANs, they're always talking to each other and occasionally other animals. This is plausible because we all know animals have some form of communication (Otherwise how would they keep PRides or Warrens together?). If they had ever talked to a person (not counting Fiver's dream later on) you critics would have a point.
For me, I personally thought this book was great. Nice but rather simplistic story, and excellent characters. This book is MUCH better than the overrated Lord of the Rings trilogy.
TW, About Rabbit Language... did you expect them to speak Plain English (all the time)?

Dune Messiah
Dune Messiah
von Frank Herbert
Preis: EUR 6,99

5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen First in the Line of Dissapointing Dune Sequels, 11. Februar 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Dune Messiah (Taschenbuch)
When I first read Dune, I became obsessed. what a great storyline! It had just about everything I've been looking for in Science-Fiction, such as a really complex plot and an almost complete lack of cliches, among other things.
Then I picked up all the other Dune books (Including Dune: House Atreides) to see if it could accomplish the other impossible: Surviving through about six sequels.
You know what? It couldn't. Instead, I get what is the second worst of the Dune books (the worst being God Emperor). So WHY is it so bad?
First, its the shortest of the series. Its only got like 300 pages while the others have at least 450.
Second, Herbert seems to of lost it. Rather than having a complex story with alot of subtleties like the first one, we have a bunch of unconnected events, most of which are trhere for no apparent reason. For example: Alia fighting a training machine naked, Paul losing his eyes, etc. The Bene Gesserit come up with a plan to get another Kwisatz Haderach... and drop the plan almost immediately, it seems. there is also supposed to be some conspiracy, but that part is breifly wrapped up in the ending.
One problem with Dune as a whole is that the characters never really have definate personality traits. One minute Paul is a hero type, another minute he's a tyrant, and then next he's confused. No consistency at all. Then we have Alia. She was an extremely wise little girl in the first one, but you wouldn't know from Messiah or Children of Dune, in which she seemingly lost all her intellect and now is simply a stock character with emotional problems. If I wanted that, I'd play a Final Fantasy game.
These, my friends, are why I do not like Dune Messiah. As of writng, I've read through God Emperor and started on Heretic (I might as well finish) and can say: read the first Dune, which was GREAT, but ignore the sequels unless you're obsessed.

The Magic of Recluce (Saga of Recluce (Paperback))
The Magic of Recluce (Saga of Recluce (Paperback))
von L. E. , Jr. Modesitt
Preis: EUR 7,49

2.0 von 5 Sternen Started out with promise..., 29. November 1999
Keyword: "Started" after the quest actually starts, the book starts to stop entertaining. Basically a young boy named Lerris is put on a quest. Apparently the book is based on stupidity. Lerris is thrown out because he's bored. There is also something about Chaos and Order. Early on it is explained that Choas is not nessecarily evil. Unfortunately just about everything in the story contradicts this: Choas-masters have to possess, therefore kill, others so that using magic won't kill them, all the Choas-filled people are usually mean, etc. whereas orderly people are all nicey-nice. Also everything in this book is just rediculus, since when is random girl #2236 off the street suddenly made a commander of an army? And why is a supposedly all-powerful magician killed just by being touched? Lets not forget the tendancy of this book to introcue a new character, keep him/her/them around for about five to ten chapters, then drop them, and only four of them end up returning later on. On the up side, Lerris is rather interesting and sometimes even funny. Other than that there is little reason to pick up this book. Now if you'll excuse me, someone has his gun to my head, I think I'll fill it with complete order so it'll burn his hand and kill him...

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