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The Innocent Mage

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I bought The Innocent Mage like I do most things: On a complete whim. Fortunately it turned out to be a purchase for the better. Even though it isn’t groundbreaking in any way and a few of the characters border on insultingly arch typical, it was a well enough read that I spent a majority of my weekend reading it instead of pounding nails in my dick or whatever.

The setting is this impossibly well-off nation called Lur that’s secluded from the rest of the world by magic~ barriers, making it invisible by sea and unreachable by land. Lur is inhabited by niggers Olken and crackers Doranen. The Doranen use their super-cool magic to placate the weather, preventing all of the fun things like tornados and hurricanes, in return for the Olken behaving like slaves for no apparent reason.

MC is an Olken fisherman who comes to the capital so he can get rich and buy his dad a bunch of nice things. He’s your basic “Do whatever I want because I’m a fucking ROGUE” character. Don’t expect anything else out of him. He’s perfectly crafted to have a mindset instantly agreeable with, and all in all, you’ll probably like him.

The supporting cast is a little more interesting if only because combined they have variety, if nothing else. The royal family alone could be their own cast for a sitcom.

The writing is catchy, and Karen Miller does a pretty good job of giving each character their flavor of talk. The royals use big words and are overly polite all the time, MC Asher sounds like a redneck with downs, and everybody else fills in the middle-ground. If their is one issue it’s that there are a few key patterns that she likes to repeat a little too often. I lost count of how many times Asher interrupted other people, opting to finish their sentences with his desired choice of words.

I liked it, enough to buy the second half, which is an entirely necessary purchase if you want anything resembling a full story. This isn’t one of those books where it leaves a thread for future literature to follow. The whole fucking rope is just cut with a big knife, leaving frayed ends everywhere. I guess it’s the best way to ensure the next book gets readers though. Clean breaks are for writers lacking in business savvy.

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Written by PIR

January 19, 2010 at 15:35

Haikasoru: It Tastes like Words

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I am way too cheap (read: poor) to fork out for a current generation game console, and I own every PS2 game worth buying. What am I supposed to buy in order to give my life a sense of meaning and purpose? I’ve taken up the hobby of purchasing books published by Haikasoru. Just today I completed my collection with the purchase of Brave Story and Battle Royale.

Sometimes I actually read these books too.

A few weeks ago I read through Usurper of the Sun, chosen over such titles as Zoo and All You Need Is Kill by the decidedly unbiased method of “Picking a number”. It wasn’t something I find “great” to be a bad descriptor of. The characters were likable, the scenario was interesting, and the technobabble kept at a level that is both accessible and immersive. I felt smart reading it.

Today, continuing my eternal struggle to put off beating Digital Devil Saga 2 once and for all, I read The Lord of the Sands of Time. Ignoring that it is a short 196 pages, and reads very fast, the fact I read it in a single sitting speaks volumes about how good it is. It strikes a balance of being intricate and captivating and complex and all of the other good words people say about nice things, while still appealing to the kind of gut emotions that most people deny having. While the fight for Humanity’s survival is always at the forefront of the story, it still manages to be emotional on a significant level.

So far Haikasoru has given me two books that were worth what I paid for them, and if zoo is as interesting as all of Otsuichi’s other translated works, then it will soon be 3.

Their blog is also interesting. This earns them much respect.

Written by PIR

December 20, 2009 at 23:21

Posted in Books

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Book: The Windup Girl

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Insert Caption Here

Title: The Windup Girl

Author: Paolo Bacigalupi

Publisher: Night Shade Books

I have this bad habit. I click my way around Amazon.com, looking for things that I wish I had. Not a unique problem to be sure, but more often than not I end up shelling out for something that I didn’t need.

Fortunately that does not apply to this book, since firstly it’s awesome, and secondly I bought it at my local hulking bookstore monolith (Barnes and Noble). I did see it on Amazon first though, and for that I must thank them.

In a nutshell, Windup is a coagulation of every bad global warming and GM food scare statement ever, and then stretched and pulled and twisted to the absolute most extreme logical outcome.

Normally I would begin to dry heave at the idea and move on. I had enough of that garbage in my Environmental Science class. Windup manages to avoid this by focusing on the world as it is rather than bitching out the people that messed it up, and it makes for a far more interesting read. Seeing how the people in the book work around or integrate and use the remains of “Pre-Contraction” human society is fun and constantly revealing interesting workarounds for the problems that a society without power faces. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by PIR

November 17, 2009 at 14:54

Posted in Books

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