Annihilation – War of the Spider Queen Book 5

annihilationHey finally I’ve found my old book digestion speed again ;). In other words – I’ve quickly used the drive I got from Lisa’s Extinction to dive deeply into Annihilation by Philip Athans. And it worked. It worked well. In this book you’ll have the expedition to the Abyss on the edge of destruction and more than that, you’ve a high priestess close to utter desparation – an archmage (of Menzoberranzan) on the verge of destruction – a lichdrow in his finest and darkest moments and an assassin between two sides. You’ll read that thousands merge into a few, and those eight return.

I have to say, it was an impressive read. Due to my work obligations I had a few trips by airplane which certainly sped up my reading in this, but even without these trips, Annihilation was a very thrilling and captivating read. I’m not quite sure if I like Philip Athans’ personal style with the underdark and his approach to the characters as much as I did Lisa’s – but I have to admit it was a continuosly coherent and action filled read coming from someone with a great imagination of this world.

 

So it finally looks like I will manage to get the War of the Spider Queen read within the next time and can go on with some of the decent looking books from my self-filling shelf  :). I would rate Annihilation with a decent 8 of 10 points, given I am not too fond of the writing style, but Philip did a great job on killing one of the characters I was certainly enjoying most on the way, and still I think he did extraordinary well in the scenery.

Extinction – War of the Spiderqueen Book 4

Extinction - Lisa SmedmanGreetings and hello, I think it’s about time I write my short review of Lisa Smedman’s extraordinary contribution to the War of the Spiderqueen Series. She wrote a book called Extinction – driving forward the journey to the Abyss and giving Pharaun, Ryld, Valas, Danifae, Halrissa, Quenthel and her draegoloth but not only them…

My personal favorite is her approach to Gromph, the archwizard of Menzoberranzan, his dealings and troubles. There are incredible nice ideas for challenges in this book – a great, short overview of an aboleth “society” and their powers – an illithid, Elistraee priestesses, Werewolves - I like the changes during the storyline – and the flaws and merits every character seems to possess. It wasn’t the best book I’ve read, but it’s close to Paul S. Kemp’s novels and I am very much looking forward to read Lisa’s others books after I finish with this series. (Which keeps me from reading other books for far too long now).

Conclusion: It was one of the best books of this cycle, probably the best so far and now the bar’s pretty high for book #6 – and my expectations for Paul’s of the last book are growing. *smiles*

Insurrection

The second part of six is done. Honestly I start to understand why I was not overly fond of the first part…
Thomas M. Reid did a good job on the second one – this one is about the journey of a handful Menzoberranzanyr to Ched Nasad to find out what happened to Llolth, did other drow loose contact as well?
As usual I will try to give a review without spoiling the fun of reading the book yourself. (It is probably worth it, I liked it)

The first part describes the journey to Ched Nasad itself, the band of drow itself is quite amusing, with refreshing quirks of characters I got to “like” during the first part (though I did not like the style of writing).
I am sure if you like demons – this part will be quite special and will provide you with a special insight that will keep you smiling throughout the whole book. The second part is about special happenings in the city of Ched Nasad – a plan going awry –
– and finally the third part is mainly about underdark war.

Insurrection gives an insight on guardian spiders (which are described in a very lovely way), on duergar mercenaries and their tactics and a lot of destruction.
I really recommend this book for all those who like underdark adventures – Thomas M Reid does an excellent job on spell descriptions, internal conflicts and thoughts of the various (refreshing) characters.
While I wouldn’t say this is one of the best books I’ve read for a time, it still is a good second part, which prepares for something completely different upcoming. I’ll keep reporting on the upcoming Condemnation.

Insurrection

Dissolution

So I started with the War of the Spiderqueen Trilogy… I have to admit – it is not the book of choice – it is more like a few puzzle-pieces I would like to know the get the whole picture. But it did start quite nice… I’ve not been that much of a drow-friend/-fan lately, remembering the days when I read the fabulous Legacy – things were a bit different, but over the years the world down under has not been my main interest.

More promising than the imminent surroundings down there was the aspect that Salvatore asked/chose six different authors for this saga – while I don’t have to tell which one is my personal favorite – it still seems a very interesting project and I recently finished part I of VI.

Richard Lee Byers didn’t captivate me all time, but he did a good job on the general flair – took always good care to show the surroundings. Honestly I did not like Triel that incompetent – of course I loved Ryld who one of these flesh-made “not that evil” drow with thoughts that are not that chaotic, not that evil and still stuck in this society. What I think he did one of the best jobs ever was flashing out the magical rituals. He took care to make sure every material component was described – the arcane syllables were mentioned and the gestures described – so he took hold of great scenes with Gromph, Pharaun and I have to admit his demons were quite nice. The downsides for me was as said before Triel who was utterly incapable and too easily manipulated and the incredible struggle of Gromph’s Sister Quenthel – who managed to take hold of several utterly powerful demons without a lot of magic. Well, I’ve honestly read a lot worse and think it was a captivation after all.

Dissolution

Let’s see how nice Thomas M Reid’s Insurrection is. I started moment ago.

Shadowbred and Shadowstorm

First and foremost:
Happy new year – have a good start into 2008 and may you be more healthy than I currently am ;).

Besides health I had a very good start into this year, having found my apetite for books again and very recently finished with the two available books of Paul S. Kemp’s Twilight War Trilogy. (And I have to admit my heart is longing very much for Shadowrealm.)
First all started with Shadowbred Shadowbred. The books very much starts where Midnight Falling leaves you. It was nice to read of Mr. Cale again honestly.
I have to admit my personal hero of the story so far (and she will probably not have a lot of parttaking in part 3) was the daughter of the overmistress. It was a brilliant combination of drug addicted, mad-wo-man and scheming priestess of Shar. I really loved her in the book. (Erevis, Riven and the masklings were great as usual) and furthermore I like the falling paladin very much. It was a genuine scenario of a paladin falling, one hard to ignore and truly understandable.
I remember not very long past I had a cleric of Lathander in the ranks of my players and he endured not even a hint of the pain this paladin took and converted right to Shar 😉 back then. I wouldn’t have another priest that easily convertable in my player’s ranks nowadays but back then it was pretty much stuff for legend – not perfect but still something to remember.
Shadowbred
was the second one and I honestly have to admit no matter what they say about Kemp’s colleagues when it comes to massive battles ( I just started with The Orc King of Salavatore and in the foreword they tell he does one of the best jobs when it comes to epic battles…) Dear Paul – you did an outstanding job on the epic battle you started. Every page was filled with surprise and struck me as reader – pushed me forward and let me forget any need for sleep or other things. I honestly have to admit I would have loved to see Rivalen fall against the Green – it was the perfect moment with the antimagic field to take place but I guess that would have had further implications and was not “allowable” at that time. The only sad moment for me when Rivalen survived the battle – because it was a bit too close.

Still it was a great start into the new year. I can honestly say it was one of the best books so far and hope you’ve at least read the Erevis Cale trilogy before you start with this one. Best if you now a bit of Netheril or Shade Enclave from other books, too since several princes are involved into this.
Well then I wish you a happy reading and all the best for 2008.

Last I have forgotten how all started. I had read Erevis Cale a while ago and haven’t been a very active reader lately. But I happen to know Paul a bit from myspace and read all his bulletins. He posted one a while ago with a link to a story. I still haven’t read that one but remembered the bulletin and visited his homepage. There you can download around 50% of the first book – try reading it. It captivated me, the halfling-story was enough for me to order it seconds later and of course I ordered the second book, too – who loves reading only parts of a story…
If you’re interested in the ongoings of Paul S Kemp’s Author live – you might drop by his livejournal. That one is worth reading, too.

Bonsai Aquarium

Finally a new motivation for us (not primarily from my side) – since we have too few things to do and lack ideas ;).

Ok enough sarcasm, we saw a very interesting book today – Bonsai Aquarium (Bede Verlag) which motivated Klaudia to take a look into it and buy it. It gives a good overview how-to build a bonsai aquarium, which is a mix between underwater plants, overwater plants (both bonsai style) and a few fishes. So you create a more-or-less natural habitat of interesting fauna and flora. For all of you who might be interested – a very good (though german) advisor on this topic can be found here. It could be a tough challenge to build this system, since it does differ a lot from a regular aquarium.

The book was so far very interesting and it takes especially care to give an overview of what is possible (easily) – since not everything is available in Europa. This form has a better availabilty in the Asian markets. Countless color-pictures tend to give you this “I want this” feeling.

Vermächtnis der Drow Hörbuch / Küche

Gestern war ein guter Tag – nur der Abend wurde etwas unangenehmer als geplant.

Getalit - Romeo und Julia aber das ist sie und so sieht sie aus – das Modell “Romeo und Julia” von Getalit. Auf unseren Arbeitsplatten findet sich sowohl in englischer wie auch in deutscher Sprache – Shakespear’s Werk Romeo und Julia wieder. Soweit wäre es ja auch noch sehr gut gewesen, hätte meine sagenumwobene Ungeschicklichkeit diese Platte nicht am Weg zum Auto noch abschmieren lassen – Fazit – eine Platte am Eck angeschlagen (ok, das Eck ist hinten beim Kühlschrank in der Ecke, aber es ist ärgerlich²…) – eine Platte mit orangem Lack vom Transport-Wagerl markiert – derzeit aber noch Hoffnung vorhanden, dass sie einbaubar ist. Nach dem Ärger war ich emotional ziemlich am Boden (dachte zuerst überhaupt, dass die Platten vorne an der Sichtkante beschädigt wären). Im späteren Verlauf des Abends haben wir den Abfluss montiert und mit der alten Stichsäge meines Vaters ein Loch für die Spüle montiert.soweit erfolgreich – auch mit Silikon abgedichtet und daher auch wirklich glücklich. Hätte der Kater Jakob nicht spontan noch mehrfach gekotzt (und mich dabei noch erwischt), hätte es ein relativ netter Abend werden können. Aber so ging alles etwas frustrierter als notwendig schlafen.

Abseits von diesen Arbeitsgeschichten komme ich im Moment etwas zu wenig zum Lesen – aber ich hab mein Fable für Hörbücher nicht verloren und zumindest die schaffe ich ab und zu noch ‘einzuwerfen’. Zur Zeit habe ich in meiner Vergangenheitskiste gewühlt und eines der Bücher gewählt, die den mit Abstand stärksten Eindruck hinterlassen hatten und meine Inspiration, mein Interesse und vieles mehr für die Vergessenen Reiche geweckt hatten. Die Geschichten des Drow Drizzt do Urden. Auch wenn ich mittlerweile etwas drizztphob bin, und die Faszination Dunkelelf ein wenig Abseits geraten ist – nichtsdestotrotz ist es eine sehr gelungene Hörbuchkomposition – Legacy of the Drow von Randomhouse Audiobooks.

LegacyDas Vermächtnis / The Legacy – ist eine der spannendsten Geschichten überhaupt – (dreiste Behauptung die ich so im Raum stehen lassen möchte). Wer die Vorgeschichten kennt wird von der Weiterführung begeistert sein – die ganze Welt nimmt in diesem Buch sehr detailreiche Formen an.

Starless Nights In Nacht ohne Sterne wird weitergeführt was im Vermächtnis begann. Der Dunkelelf Drizzt macht sich auf dem Weg in seine Vergangenheit – und die Auswirkungen dieser Entscheidung sind komplexer als er erst angenommen hat.

Siege of Darkness Die Belagerung der Drow nimmt Formen an und ein Krieg bei dem es wenig zu gewinnen gibt beginnt.

Passage to Dawn Als notwendiges Ãœbel könnte man das Ende der gelungenen Serie betiteln, die Rückkehr von Totgeglaubten ist für mich nach wie vor ein Faux Pas der hätte nicht passieren sollen – auch wenn es laut Salvatore mitunter an den Fans lag, dass er es so geschrieben hat. (Kryptisch, sodass man keine Handlung verrät. Aber ich möchte meinem Missmut hier nochmals nach sovielen Jahren etwas Luft schaffen.)

Umsetzung der Story zum Hörbuch würde von mir 9/10 Punkten bekommen. Mitreissend!