Monday, September 28, 2009

Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov (finished)

I just finished Second Foundation by Isaac Asmiov. It was first published in 1953. This is the third book in the Foundation series that I've read. The order of the books are as follows:

Foundation and Empire
Second Foundation

These three books comprise the original Foundation trilogy.

Two stories are told in this book. (1) The conclusion of the Mule story and (2) The story of the search for the Second Foundation.

I had a hard time getting through this book. Both stories were good. So why did I have a hard time getting through this short book?

I don't like Asimov's writing style. Now, all you Asimov fans probably want to stone me but wait. Let me explain. His stories are wonderful. I really like his vision of the future and the tension that he creates with his characters. I don't like his execution as a writing. I think that his sentences are awkward. His characters don't have individual voices; they all sound the same. I think that Asimov is popular and respected because of his amazing stories (and I would agree with that) but I don't think that he was technically a very good writer. There, I said it.


Overall, I do recommend this book. In fact, I would recommend the entire trilogy. I thought the stories were outstanding. A huge weakness in his books is his execution. But if you can overlook that or if writing style isn't very important to you, I think that you will be very entertained by these wonderful stories.

PACING: uneven but overall good
STORY: outstanding

If you read this, please drop a like or a comment. It makes me happy. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just After Sunset by Stephen King (finished)

I just finished Just After Sunset by Stephen King.

Just After Sunset is a collection of thirteen short stories. Some of the stories were short (can be read in about half an hour) and some are fairly long (will take about two to three hours to read).

Usually, for the second paragraph, I describe what the book is about but for this collection of short stories, I can't really do that. So I will pick three stories and describe them.

The Gingerbread Girl is about a young lady, a runner, who is kidnapped by a serial killer. The story is about her trying to escape from this guy. I liked how the story hinged on some seemingly minor things such as her strong legs. Strong legs, of course; she's a runner.

N is about a psychologist who has a crazy patient who is convinced that his compulsive behaviors stops a terrible evil from entering this world through a portal. The psychologist becomes concerned when he starts to think and feel his patient's psychosis.

A Very Tight Place was, by far, the grossest story that I have ever read. I wanted to both stop reading and, at the same time, continue because I had to find out what happened. I can't tell you more. You'll just have to check it out for yourself.

I thought the stories were fairly strong. I did not think, "I wonder what's on TV" as I read these shorts. Some were, of course, better than other. But I thought most of the stories were pretty good. Stephen King's earlier shorts where more raw with less refined writing execution; these stories are more refined; King is definitely a better writer after all these years. Part of me liked the raw, young energy of his earlier works but I also very much appreciate and like the more refined writing of this collection.

Overall, I liked Just After Sunset by Stephen King.

The stories were (mostly) good.

The pacing was good.

The writing style was Stephen King, which I think is good (but some would vehemently disagree).

I recommend this collection to those who like suspence and horror. It is definitely more tame than his other collections but it still has a bit of content in it.

Good times.

Please drop a like or a comment if you read this. It makes me happy. :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dragons Of Winter Night by Weis and Hickman (finished)

I just finished Dragons Of Winter Night by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. This is the second book in the Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy. The three books in the trilogy are Dragons of Autumn Twilight (great book, highly recommended), Dragons of Winter Night (the book that is being review here) and Dragons of Spring Dawning (I'll write about this book in a few weeks).

This story is about a motley group of campaigners including a magic user, some warriors, a thief, nations of elves and dwarves, etc. In the first book, they meet in a city called Solace. They are thrown into an adventure together when a strange old man in a tavern spur them on. The first book introduces chromatic dragons (evil dragons) into this world. Dragons had not been seen in this world, Krynn, in many many years. Many think that dragons are fairy tales. Autumn Twilight introduces Verminaard, an evil fighter/cleric as the main villan. This second book is about the discovery of the ancient dragon orbs and dragonlances. And how the old knights in the times of the Cataclysm defeated the ancient chromatic dragons and it also hints at the existance of good (metallic) dragons. This book introduces a second Dragon Highlord, a highlord that has close ties to the campaigners.

I read these books in high school and I loved them. Recently, I wanted to read them again because I loved the story so much. I expected to find them poorly written but I wanted to read them anyway because of nostalgia. I was surprised to find that they are actually very well written. I have been enjoying going through these gems from the past.

I don't really want to share more about the story because I think half the fun is discovering the surprises and twists.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. It is fun to read and it is a great adventure story. It may seem to be a copy of the LORD of the RINGS but I assure you, it is not; it is a story in it's own right. I love these old gems from the past.
The writing is good.
The pacing is good.
The story is good.
And it has one of my favorite characters of all time, Raistlin.
I hope you choose this trilogy; it's outstanding.

As always, please drop a like or a comment if you read this. It blesses me.