Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review:The Knife's Edge by Matthew Wolf

Having watched his best friend die a young man is consumed by the power of the dark sword that destroyed her. Before he comes to his senses he has murdered several innocent people. Mercifully his grandfather takes away all his memories but only after informing him he is the object of prophecy. The boy takes the name 'Gray' and lives a simple life with a friendly hermit. That is until legends come knocking and forcing him into a world he scarcely understands.

The first thing that struck me is how derivative this novel is from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.  This  is obvious right from the start and includes organizations that are run along the exact same lines as Aes Sedai to one character,Darius, who is a complete knock off of Mat Cauthon.

The prose is tidy but sometimes too simplistic for what is trying to be conveyed in the content.  The world-building is very uneven with much left unexplained and some things contradictory, for example the residents of the Shinning City, a city isolated for thousands of years, hardly seem to be put out by the arrival of stangers.

The pacing is very uneven with the ending far too rushed and again too much left unexplained especially with the secondary characters. There were different character point of views sprinkled throughout the text but these certainly could have been used better.

Overall this novel is noticeably derivative, uneven in both world-building and pacing and leaves too much unexplained. 4.75/10.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Review: The Juging Eye by R. Scott Bakker

Twenty years after the events of The Thousandfold Thought the Aspect-Emperor Kellhus has united the entire Three Seas and is leading a vast army in it's first steps against the Consult, to ensure the No-God's  apocalyptic resurrection does not come to pass. His wife Esment is tasked with ruling the empire in his stead but is beset by her own fears as well as the plots of her own children. Her eldest daughter Mimara travels to see Drusas Achamian hoping he will teach her sorcery and become the father she has never known. Achamian has been receiving visions of Seswatha's lfe that have offered him a clue to Kellhus' origins. Mimara's arrival spurs him into more concrete action and sets him onto a journey in which he hopes to expose Kellhus as a fraud.  Meanwhile young King Sorweel of conquered Sarkarpus finds himself as part of Kellhus' army struggling between his belief in Kellhus and in his father's belief that he is a fraud.

As can be noted from the above the Judging Eye is divided into three main plot points. The biggest problem is that for two of them the pace is too slow and there is too much time spent on settting up events in future books, only Archamian's plot seems to advance to any degree.

The characters themselves are wonderfully conflicted and do keep things very interesting, throughout. This was undoubtedly the highlight of the book for me.

Overall Bakker continues to produce some very interesting characters, however pacing does let things down in this one. 7/10.