Finally getting back into fiction after several years away from it. Having a friend recommend and talk about books really liked me get back on the wagon. Since I’ve missed so many of the popular titles, I decided to start there.
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Strangely, I actually think this book works better without Lizbeth at all. She seems entirely shoehorned into the plot with very little to do until the end. Also, the main character, Blomkvist, is entirely a self-insert character for the author. I can see why the author had written the book for friends without intention to publish it at first. Blomkvist is a intrepid, dashly investigative reporter who is a defender of women! And he has the ability to seduce every women he meets! The village hottie, his best friend with a husband, the elite anti-social hacker, all fall to his charms! It’s a bit much but the mystery itself is very fun to read and engaging. The setting too is very interesting as I know little to nothing about Sweden. Overall 3/5, I have little desire to keep reading the series since neither of the main characters interest me too much.
- The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear
The Name of the Wind is pure Mary-Sue hero’s journey mush. And yet, it’s very well done Mary-Sue hero’s journey mush that I could not put down. Patrick Rothfuss is not charting new ground with NOTW but does it in a remarkable fun way. I could criticize Denna’s characterization or Kvothe’s never ending talents but I plain like the book too much to care. 4/5 for quality writing and fun.
The Wise Man’s Fear, however; is strangely very slow for the 2nd book out of a trilogy. The continuation of the school stuff in the beginning of the book is good, if a little bit too much of a re-tread. But the courtly intrigue, the hunt for bandits, the faerie sex goddess, and the shaolin monk training arcs, all felt like side quests of an rpg. The author has to build the reputation of the legendary man established in the first book but he takes too long to do it and not enough consequences and plot movement is achieved. Still, it’s well written and fun but it shows worrying signs that the third book will not deliver on the setup of the first. 3/5.
- The Lies of the Locke Lamara
The first third of this book is a fun little heist, and then the main character gets dumped into the latrine, beat up, stabbed, burned, reintroduced into the latrine, and then has a bit of a victory the end? The alternating storylines is done as well as it can be done in the beginning of this book, which is to say still annoying, but clever enough that it pushed me to read more instead of giving up. I don’t think I liked the pacing of the end of the book, which is break neck compared to the middle sections. What I would say about the author, is that narratively he’s a fairly clever author in the amount of callbacks and connective tissue between chapters, but I’m not sure I actually like his writing style enough to continue reading this series. The descriptions of the city and the world was not that engaging, nor was the dialogue very expressive of the character’s voices. I fear that if the author runs out of narrative tricks, the series won’t be that interesting. Still, I mostly enjoyed the first book and may continue the series some time in the future, if my friend wants to, but it does not fill me with an immediate desire to keep going. 3/5.
- American Gods
I did not finish American Gods. Maybe it was because I was reading the author’s preferred text, but I think this book is in a desperate need of an editor and a better plot device to drive action forward. I just stopped caring about any of the characters once the roadtrip kept dragging and dragging. A shame because I think Shadow having to reconcile with the ghost of his cheating wife is fairly interesting but not worth the slog. I think Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore did this plot better. 2/5