January 4, 2018 at 6:04 am #205037
This years goal? To read more than the last.
//i\January 4, 2018 at 6:12 am #258141
A post-apocalyptic story that takes a while to get going, but then had me hooked to the point that I could not put it down. The premise is interesting but the characters are what keep you reading. If I come across a sequel or prequel I would pick it up.
//i\January 12, 2018 at 4:57 am #258142
Although it has been a while since I read this novel, I still found it enjoyable. It is one of the most serious forays into the world of Xanth, unlike some of the rest in the series which inject a lot more humor. It works just fine as a stand alone book and mixes just the right amount of fantasy, introspection and action.
//i\January 24, 2018 at 5:57 am #258143
Like many first books in a series, it seems a little undercooked, but it does a great job of introduction characters and setting. J.K. Rowling cleverly does this in a way that works because the protagonist does not know anything about the world he is entering and therefore what could be considered boring or out of place exposition is appropriate allowing the reader to learn about everything at the same time as the main character. It ends satisfactorily with enough plot threads unsolved to interest you in the next book, which is…
//i\January 24, 2018 at 6:04 am #258144
Now that the characters have been introduced, we need a situation to put them in, and in this case, it is that of a mystery. There are hints and advancements of the larger overall picture, but on the whole this is a rather self contained book with at its core a situation that the characters need to use detective work to resolve. All of the people introduced in the first book get more character development and some more color is given the world in which it is set. A fitting brick in the development of the series.
//i\January 24, 2018 at 6:10 am #258145
An interesting look at Aikido through a psychological lens rather than a physical one. The authors show the mental benefits of the practice of Aikido in comparison to other disciplines as well as how, in particular, the base philosophy of Aikido is applicable to conflict resolution. There is a good overview as to the origins of the art and the beliefs of its founder with an attempt to show its applicability to current conflicts. Anyone with an interest in Aikido will probably find this book and its analysis interesting though some of its suggested practices may fall flat.
//i\January 24, 2018 at 6:17 am #258146
A good follow up to the previous two books, this one deals with some of the more serious events in the series. As with the previous two, it develops the characters a bit more, and presents some things from a different perspective. I would not say that it challenges people to question initial assumptions of people or situations, but it does show that many situations are determined by what one believes. Unlike the first two books, it introduces secondary characters that are important to the rest of the series.
//i\January 28, 2018 at 4:36 am #258147
With this book in the series, we get back to the main story which was a little off to the side in the previous two books. The novel starts well, introduces more of the magical world and puts the protagonist in an interesting situation that has its own inherent dangers as well as threats from external agencies. As the characters are growing up, they start to deal with emotions that are typical for their age as well as some of the problems that arise from the familiarity you have with friends that you don’t realize have changed was you watch them. This is also the book where we learn the incompetence of bureaucracy when it comes to things they don’t want to deal with. A good main story as well as a pivot point in the series.
//i\January 28, 2018 at 4:45 am #258148
The title of the book is appropriate because it is more like a collection of scenes from the Director’s life than a straightforward birth to book publication story. Although it does start from childhood and progresses to the production and release of 羅生門 (Rashōmon) it is not exactly linear but more like vignettes of his life at different points. A lot of it involves Kurosawa’s emotions and how his experiences shaped his vision. The whole is a pleasing set of anecdotes that give insight into where he came from, how he became the man he was and his feelings about his work and the world in which he lived.
//i\January 31, 2018 at 5:43 am #258149
This entry in the series lacks a lot of the joy that was seen in the previous one though it does have its moments. The subject matter is more serious as well as the events as the main threat of the series is further explored which is fine, but unfortunately, Harry Potter hardly comes across as sympathetic for a lot of the book, which detracts from enjoying the novel. One redeeming quality is the great villain that is successfully introduced and written in such a way that what starts as someone that should be ridiculed becomes someone the reader truly dislikes.
//i\February 2, 2018 at 4:22 am #258372
<img src="smileys/heart.gif" width="" height="" alt="<3" title="<3<3 Yaay Piers!February 9, 2018 at 5:58 am #258150
Book 6 in the series and things are getting serious. Although the action occurs at School, things outside it are having more of an effect than previously related. In this novel you have almost the first time where Harry Potter and his friends disagree which does not exactly lead to outright conflict, but does raise the friction between them. Quite a bit of time is finally given to exploring the main antagonist of the series which does not take away from his menace which is always a danger when explaining someones origin. Of course the main issue is the plot twist at the end which probably is known by most everyone at this point, but was quite surprising given the tone of the series up to that point. Although shocking, it was well executed.
//i\February 9, 2018 at 6:01 am #258655
For some reason, usually when I read a Xanth book, it feels like I am entering a nice sunny afternoon. Always a bit refreshing and a change from more serious stuff.
//i\February 12, 2018 at 5:52 am #258151
An engaging story though not without a few lulls. The last scenes of the book are particularly good with the mix of action and more introspective and sometimes sad moments. The book brings the whole series to a satisfying end though it did not feel like the whole story was building to this moment. There are definitely call backs to the even the earliest novels, but a large portion is also spent on a wholly new plot development that is barely hinted to during the series. The novel is really a continuation of the previous book in the series and while events earlier are important to the conclusion, a lot of it feels to be just the story of the final novel rather than the whole work.
//i\February 25, 2018 at 5:07 am #258152
A fascinating look at the development of science in England during the romantic period. The tales of the different personalities involved and the way what they discovered changed the thinking of people at the time as well as capturing the imagination of the public are well presented. One of the things you come away with as you read it is how far we have come from that time when there was so much to be discovered. Although the same is true now, it is not as easy for an individual to reach the type of discoveries that were presented in the book. Certainly a worthy read, especially for anyone interested in science, and likely a good resource for those interested in Steampunk.
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