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Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum: A Magic: The Gathering Set Novel Mass Market Paperback – April 6, 2010

3.2 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Magic the Gathering
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786954760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786954766
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #957,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a long-standing fan of the books that have been released for the Magic: the Gathering sets. I was quite eager to read the book for the Zendikar cycle, because I was particularly interested to know about the Eldrazi, and to see characters like Sorin Markov in action.

When I first started reading the book, I was quite taken in by it. The character of Nissa Revane was decently fleshed out, and the distinctions between the Joraga elves and the Tajuru elves were intriguing. Sorin Markov's introduction was just about everything I hoped it would be. I was quite eager to read more.

The longer the book went on, the more my enthusiasm for it dampened. The poor was very poorly edited, and typos were everywhere. At points, I had to reread sections to make sure I understood what was going on, due entirely to the typos. I was blown away when I noticed that the main character's name was misspelled, consistently, throughout the entire book. It's even spelled correctly on the back of the book, but then screwed up every time it appears in print. I've seen a lot of Mass Market Paperbacks that were obviously slammed out in a few months in order to coincide with something like a set release or movie release, but few of them suffered from such a lack of editing as this book.

The story itself is interesting, and reasonably gripping, but I'm afraid that this is mostly due to the subject matter itself, and not the author's clever craft. This was Robert B. Wintermute's first novel, and in reading the text, it becomes fairly obvious. Things that are meant to be suspenseful are painfully obvious, and numerous plot points that get built up in suspense fizzle out in a pathetic manner when they finally occur.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase

As a dedicated Vorthos who has read most of the Magic: The Gathering novels from the past fifteen years (and a dozen of them again quite recently in anticipation of Karn's return), I was extremely disappointed by Robert Wintermute. This book was a chore to read.

First of all, "Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum" is riddled with technical errors. Typos abound, and Wintermute's syntax and word choice seem better fitted for a middle school assignment than a popular fantasy series. A staggering number of sentences follow a "Then [...] and [...] and [...]" pattern which sets the tone for the flat, repetitive plot. Fight scenes have no punch. His descriptions about the various locales of Zendikar are interesting enough, but Wintermute has yet to grasp the concept of "less is more"; there are only so many wide expanses of rocky ground or jagged mountain I can stand to have explained at length before I stop caring entirely.

"Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum" also lacks for content. I read Magic: The Gathering novels to learn more about the characters and epic storylines only hinted at in the cards and in magicthegathering.com articles. I do not read them in order to experience a fruitless quest with cardboard cut-outs in real-time. Nissa Revane begins the novel as a proud warrior out of her element and doesn't change or learn a thing for the next 311 pages. Sorin Markov has an exciting introduction and seems like a witty, mysterious foil to Nissa's serious staleness, but nothing ever develops between the two.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
To sum up what I say below, as far as MTG books go, this is the worst I've seen. It does nothing for the reader in telling the story of Zendikar and the Eldrazi, which is the main reason any MTG fan would buy it, and the whole time I felt like breaking out my red pen and fixing all the errors I found, with half a mind to send it back to the author demanding these mistakes be fixed. If you want a book that tells a story and gives answers, this isn't it. The only thing this book does is give a little background to the actual story. I expected a lot more out of this book and didn't get it and that is why I say avoid it.

Unlike many of the other MTG novels this one does nothing to give an accurate account of the battles on Zendikar between the unleashed Eldrazi and Zendikar's natural inhabitants and the Planeswalkers, namely Jace Belerin and Gideon Jura, who help to fight off the titans and their brood lineage. Rather, this story works to tell the story of Nissa Revane and Sorin Markov and their journey to the, as the title of the book names, the Teeth of Akoum. In the storyline of Zendikar, this sequence of events follows those seen in the MTG webcomic that focuses on Sarkan Vol, Chandra Nalaar, and Jace Belerin when they accidentally awaken the Eye of Ugin and begin the awakening of the Eldrazi menace. So, unlike most other MTG novels, this book does not tell the story of what happened in Zendikar, but works more like a sort of prelude to the Eldrazi cataclysm and how the Eldrazi titans were completely unleasehed onto the plane of Zendikar.

For those Magic fans looking for answers on how the Eldrazi dilemma was solved, you won't find them in this book.
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