Review: The Last Wish (The Witcher)

Being a fan of The Witcher game series I decided to give the stories, written by Andrzej Sapkowski, a try, and I can say right from the start that I wasn’t dissapointed. The book contains a series of short stories, following our main character, Geralt of Rivia. There’s a main story in the background, that gradually unfolds, but this is really focused on the short stories, and they are all entertaining.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Witcher series, it follows Geralt who is a Witcher, a monster slayer who travels the country slaying bizzarre and interesting creatures. Witchers are taken from a young age and mutated, giving them supernatural abilities which aid them in their job.

If you’ve played the games, then you’ll be used to Geralt’s personality, and this is one thing that absolutely shines throughout the book. There were moments that had me laughing out loud, and other moments where I really found myself feeling sorry for our protagonist. Throughout the short stories I found Geralt becoming more and more likable, to the point of rocketing to one of my top favorite characters from any book!

He’s no longer disillusioned with grand ideas of being a hero and that theme is captured fantastically well throughout.

If there’s one blemish on this otherwise fantastic read, it’s that the writing occasionally feels a little odd. I’m not sure if it’s just the style, or the fact that this is a translation, but I couldn’t help but find myself having to re-read parts, correcting them in my head as I read. It’s not a huge issue as it doesn’t crop up much, but there are a few niggling little abnormalities that crop up.

After reading this I can say with absolute certainty that I’ll be checking out the next book. I didn’t really expect much, but I can certainly see where the games get their fantastic story telling moments from. If you’re a fan of The Witcher series, or just fantasy books in general, this is definitely worth giving a go. I absolutely loved it from start to finish!

Review: Star Wars: Darth Vader Volume 1 – Vader

So, I decided to take a look at Marvel’s Darth Vader series, hoping that it would capture the Darth Vader we all know and love and explore some of his backstory. Instead I got something that read more like the annoying Anakin Skywalker from the prequels.

Now, it’s not a bad read, it’s just not a very good one. The story follows Darth Vader after the destruction of the first Death Star, and as you can imagine, Emperor Palpatine is not happy! This should lead to some pretty interesting stories, but instead we get some boring political games between the two dark lords of the Sith.

What I did enjoy about Darth Vader was how much of an unappreciated character he was throughout. He’s treated as an archaic tool by the characters around him, something that should be disposed of, a simple weapon, and this makes things a little more interesting.

Vader clearly doesn’t trust the Emperor, and the feelings mutual. The Emperor is up to something, and Vader want’s to find out what his plans are, while he puts together his own secret force. This takes the story in a direction which brings some new supporting characters on board (relatively annoying ones) and ends with some more characters seeking to replace Darth (they are even more annoying!) Ultimately, the story is pretty generic.

Now the art, that’s pretty good. Some of the scenes look fantastic and the appearance of Vader is captured perfectly. His emotion is drawn incredibly well considering he’s always wearing his armor and helmet, and the reader really gets a feel for what the Sith Lord is thinking and feeling.

The question to ask at the end of all that, is this worth reading? Honestly, probably not. I’m not sure if it’s heading in a better direction, but so far it’s felt extremely weak. The art and style is great, but that’s about it. For something that focuses on such a great character I find it disappointing that his adventures are so generic… so bland…

Fingers crossed things will get better. There are hints towards the end that the Vader we know and love is coming back, so let’s see where that takes us. This is just the opening after all!

The Remaining Book Review

Book Title: The Remaining

Author: D. J. Molles

Introduction

I got this book from a Goodreads giveaway and I must say, I’m extremely glad I did! I wasn’t expecting much, the plot intrigued me but I didn’t expect to be drawn into this book. I read the first couple of pages, just to check it our before returning to another book I had been reading, and suddenly I was hooked.

Style

The writing style is fantastic. It’s narrative and descriptive, the author clearly knowing more than a thing or two about the subject matter (not the infected, the weapons etc). There’s more than enough level of detail, without being too overpowering, which keeps the pace consistent and the reader interested.

The story is delivered in an interesting way, as mentioned above the pace is excellent. The chapters are pretty lengthy, focusing on a particular time frame or event in each one, hooking the reader and pretty much forcing them to read the next.

Characters

I’ve got to say, the characters are interesting. The main character really is the focus point of this book, the entire thing told from his perspective, which luckily is a pretty intriguing one. There’s a lot of depth to the main character. He’s a soldier, but not over the top all guns blazing, there’s some emotion behind him. As the story progresses we see more of the main character, empathising with him and bonding with him.

The support characters aren’t as strong as Lee, our main character, but they are adequately fleshed out. Again as the story progresses I found myself enjoying them more, growing more attached, but still Lee remains the primary focus.

Plot

The plot really stands out, being different enough to set it apart from other books in this genre. Originally when I read the blurb I expected a typical zombie novel, a strong start, weak middle, followed by an all guns blazing ending. However that’s definitely not the case with The Beginning.

I won’t spoil the plot, but it basically follows the United States Governments contingency plan for when the world falls apart. That contingency is a soldier who is needed to restore order and unite groups of survivors in a world over run by the infected.

I really enjoyed learning more about Lee and his objectives, a different take on the standard zombie novel.

Conclusion

As I mentioned in the introduction, I was really surprised by what I read. I didn’t expect much at all but I was really impressed, enjoying the book from start to finish. I’d definitely recommend this book, especially to anyone who is a fan of the world ending type of story. I’ll be starting the second book in the series tonight and I really hope the standard remains as high as the first book! Thoroughly enjoyed it.

New books

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Got myself the latest book “Wormhole” in the “Rho Agenda” series. Started reading these a while back on Kindle and only just realised they had all been released in print format so thought I would add them to my collection. Definately worth a read.

My Thoughts on The Wheel Of Time – A Memory Of Light

Now I’m a big Wheel Of Time fan. When this book hit the shelves I was there first thing when the shops opened to pick up my copy so I could get reading straight away but soon found myself disappointed. Continue reading “My Thoughts on The Wheel Of Time – A Memory Of Light” »