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on February 17, 2014
Over the years I’ve read lots of quest fantasy books, all trying to tap into the energy of “The Lord of the Rings.” Thankfully, “The Dragon Ruby” - while also a quest novel - has no interest in following Tolkien’s lead. Instead it blazes its own trail, using fantasy tropes (magic gems, elves, thieves, bards, trolls, goblins, wizards, knights, pirates, giants, magic swords, demons and dragons, to name a few) to build a funny story about an evil wizard and his attempts to recover a stolen gem of power. A rag-tag group of characters find themselves trying to steal the gem, then trying to recover it, all while going through a variety of adventures (and misadventures), romantic entanglements, deadly battles, encounters with thieves, dragons and treacherous allies. There’s a wonderful streak of humor running through the novel, with some Monty Python elements rising to the surface. It’s a fun, fresh take on a well-worn idea, and it takes it in new, unexpected directions. If HBO is looking for counter-programming for “Game of Thrones,” this might be just the ticket. Highly recommended!
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on February 27, 2012
I read this book hoping to find it interesting, but I believe it may just be the most trashiest piece of crap that I have ever read.
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on October 22, 2011
This is worse than Conduit 2. I cannot understand why anyone would want to read this. The story in Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 is better than this novel. Terrible.
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on July 15, 2011
One of the first things I noticed about this book is that the authors generally shun fantasy genre conventions in the vocabulary they use. Two of the main characters are named "Bob" and "Neil," and even deities and other supernatural creatures are more likely to be named "Jeff" or "Helen" than anything sounding fantastic. It gave me a chuckle when I first saw it, but for me it got old. There's no reason not to give characters commonplace names except convention, but it just wasn't to my taste for a full-length book.

Additionally, the authors frequently employ a sort of quirky humor that reminded me of the "Hitchhiker's Guide" books at times. It fell short, in my opinion, but they tried. One (overused) joke I rolled my eyes at was based on Bob's and Neil's mounts: donkeys. As best I can tell their primary purpose was to provide material for "my ass" jokes. Most of the humor isn't as sophmoric as that, though. The book is clearly intended to be a lighthearted approach to fantasy.

The characters and dialogue were average. I didn't hate any characters, but I didn't grow too attached to anyone, either.

If this book has a major weakness, I'd say it's the first third or so. A lot of history gets told that just isn't very interesting at the time. For example, some of the main characters get paragraphs of backstory at the beginning of the book.

The strongest point of "The Dragon Ruby" is the story itself. It has a lot of twists and turns, and a number of apparently unrelated plot points end up connecting. I didn't always like the way some of the plot twists were executed (very deus ex machina at times) but at least the authors seem self-aware enough to poke fun at some of the more ridiculous occurences.

Partway through the book I probably would have only rated this book two stars. It does pick up, though, and I started to enjoy it more as I became more invested in the story and the characters.
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on May 30, 2011
Overall, I think the Plott boring and mediocre writing. I mean I've read worse books, but overall I felt that reading this story was just a waste of time.

Who is expensive but at the slight fantasy will like to see this story. However, everything seems wooden and as I said rather boring. Innovative or new ideas are rarely offered. This one has everything a hundred times more comfortable with and most importantly: (
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on May 25, 2011
I picked this book up in at Easons. Now i read a hell of alot of books and i can safely say that this book is WAAaaayyyyy below par on a good read, would not be even hitting the average read.I could'nt relate to any of the characters, and the character development was an utter joke, the way the book is written also is boring and hard to follow, like someone stated before like as if a school kid put it together. Couldnt get immersed in it what so ever. Safe your money and dont buy.
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on May 25, 2011
it's people like this who help keep games good by not fearing developers or publishers. A publisher or developer has no right to bring action against someone who says their game is crap! Freedom of Speech! The developer of conduit 2 is a bunch of cry babies! Make a better game runts!
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on May 24, 2011
The plot is pretty bland, predictable, and seems like the author took scenarios from other books like those of Dragonlance novels and slightly changed them to make it his own. I would highly recommend Dragon Lance novels or other epic fantasy novels that have deep plots, great humor (this book's humor may be fine for someone 12 years old and younger), and better writing style (not elegant, doesn't draw you in with words).
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on May 24, 2011
Well apparently this book is now part of a war with a videogame Conduit 2. Decided to try both and decide for myself. Still haven't played Conduit 2, and probably won't at this point (although I enjoyed the first), but I picked this up at Barnes last night. Well... it's indeed crap. The author really tries to be funny, but comes out as a complete douche. You don't come around caring about any of the characters, and the plot is written like a high-school project. Give it a pass.
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on May 23, 2011
Medieval environments and changes of scene are really shoddy here. It's very visibly a collaborative effort with not much editing on the interim. I felt like a lot of plot elements were gimmicky and arbitrary. A magic ruby? At least Lord of the Rings was inspired by the complex Nibelung Saga. This is inspired by bad videogames or something.
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