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Robert "Dimndbangr" Hicks RSS Feed (Honolulu, HI)

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Death Masks (Forgotten Realms)
Death Masks (Forgotten Realms)
by Ed Greenwood
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.56
47 used & new from $17.20

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's finally over, June 18, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The little tagline means that the punishment of reading this book is finally over. I have been reading Forgotten Realms books since 1994 and have read them all and thus is why I continue to subject myself to reading Ed Greenwood's FR novels. I don't know what happened from his earlier works that were really good. Stormlight in The Harper's series as well as Spellfire and Crown of Fire also the Shadow of the Avatar trilogy was a fun read.. Elminster, The Making of a Mage and Elminster in Myth Drannar were great. What's happened since I couldn't tell you. Now it is just the same old droll in a certain city.

So now that previous places have been ruined, Ed Greenwood now turns his sights on Waterdeep. The City of Splendors has now become just another big city full of whining nobles, treacherous lords, and dastardly deeds thwarted by Elminster, Mirt, and Laerel. Once again we have a book of a million characters which are uninteresting and have hard to pronounce names and of course the reader is subjected to their full names most of the time. To make matters worse, now the cool places I've read about by other authors are either destroyed or plague ridden so as to make them uninhabitable. Downshadow, made popular by on of my favorite realms authors Erik Scott di Bie, has parts of Waterdeep falling into it from sinkholes and there is rumors of a plague down there. Then there is Mistshore, another area made popular by Jaleigh Johnson, is now burnt to the shoreline. I wonder if Steven Schend may be a bit upset with the way Mr. Greenwood has downplayed Vajra Blackstaff and turned her into a weak brainless character. If I were to pick a character that was interesting to read about, it would be Mirt. He was the only one who was likable and I was able to connect with. Everyone else felt 2 dimensional and uninteresting.

The writing for this one is all over the place. It should not be called AD&D but ADHD. It constantly jumps from one view to the next. I constantly found myself having to re-read passages to get back on track with what was going on. There is so much that I could go on and on, but I think this is enough.

The reason for 2 stars is there were some times when the story was engaging and entertaining and I upped it from 1.5 stars which is where I would have put it and don't think it was horrible enough for a 1 star rating. If it wasn't for the fact that I want to continue to see where the realms are going and continue with realms lore, I would quit reading Mr. Greenwood. The only other 2 authors being published right now are R A Salvatore and Erin M. Evans whom I think is hands down the best author to date. It does look as though Troy Denning will be writing for the realms again as well and that will be a welcome change.

Happy reading,
Dimndbangr
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2016 4:03 PM PDT


Ravensburger In Piedmont, Italy Puzzle (1000-Piece)
Ravensburger In Piedmont, Italy Puzzle (1000-Piece)
Price: $15.30
28 used & new from $12.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and easy, October 24, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
All the pieces were there and I had a great time putting it together.


Prophecy's Queen: An Epic Fantasy: Prequel to The Triadine Saga
Prophecy's Queen: An Epic Fantasy: Prequel to The Triadine Saga
Price: $0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Too much prophecy, July 10, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I understand this story relies heavily on prophecy, hence the title of the story, however, it became so redundant hearing about it that it was detracting from my enjoyment.

The story itself was well done for a short novella about how the main characters were to meet and come together to see the prophecy along the proper path. The characters were likable enough and the reader could connect with them. Basically it was just a drama story to provide a background for the trilogy and flesh out some characters. There is no real threat or danger to the characters.

If this were all I had to read to sell me on purchasing the first book in the trilogy, I would be hard pressed to do so. The inclusion of the first chapter of the first book I the trilogy was more a deciding factor and now I'm intrigued to add The Triadine Saga on my to read list.

Happy reading
Dimndbangr


The Gilded Rune (Forgotten Realms)
The Gilded Rune (Forgotten Realms)
by Lisa Smedman
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
22 used & new from $0.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent addition to the realms, April 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Disclaimer-If you read the review and feel there is a spoiler in it, please let me know and I will remove that section. Also, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Thank you.

The Gilded Rune is a stand alone novel by Lisa Smedman. Other book by here are the House of Serpents trilogy Venom’s Taste, Viper’s Kiss, and Vanity’s Brood, The Lady Penitent trilogy Sacrifice of the Widow, Storm of the Dead, and Ascendency of the Last, as well as book four of the War of the Spider Queen series Extinction, a short story in Halls of Stormweather with a follow-up novel Heirs of Prophecy.

The main plot of The Gilded Rune is the spreading of a Stoneplague through the dwarven race. The main character Torrin Ironstar is a human who feels he is a dwarf whom has been forged into the wrong body. Some subplots involved are Torrin’s quest to prove he is in fact a dwarf and the adversity he faces, his search for the Dwarf God Moardin’s soulforge which he aims to use a unique item he has acquired to transport him anywhere he wishes, and others that would lead to spoilers.

The pace of the novel is perfect. This one builds right from the beginning and brings the reader into the characters and what is going-on with everyone while providing adventures before even coming to the main plot of the story. I felt there was just never a dull moment as the novel progressed. The story flowed nicely along just taking the reader from one stage to the next and nothing really broke from it. The characters were easy to connect with. For me this is a realms novel that has been long in coming for enjoyment. It even takes me back to the old days of FR when the reader could catch glimpses of the gods and even see the stakes in which their immortality becomes threatened.

Some criticisms:

1. The only one that I can determine here is the lack of a real antagonist. While there is a real threat to the survival of the dwarfs, there is really no true villain to focus the reader’s dislike. Once it is finally revealed how everything was started and the reasons why, it felt like “oh, ok, they are to blame.” This however is a minor criticism and does not take away from the enjoyment of the story.

Some positives:

1. The characters are awesome with this one. They really drew out the emotions of the reader whether it was to sneer at their prejudices, celebrate their accomplishment, or morn with them during their loss.

2. Of all the books post spellplague, this is the one that should have come out first as it had woven the elements of pre and post spellplague events nicely. While there are still hints of what the spellplague had done to the realms, there was enough of an old time feel to the story to keep even the seasoned veteran of the realms engaged and enjoying the story.

This was a great realms novel. I really wish Ms. Smedman had more to offer the realms as she is a prime example of what is right in the realms when it comes to providing excellent storytelling. If you are new to the FR universe, then I can easily recommend this one. Heck to anyone wanting to read about the realms or fantasy in general, I highly recommend this story.

Happy reading

-Dimndbangr


The Rose of Sarifal (Forgotten Realms)
The Rose of Sarifal (Forgotten Realms)
by Paulina Claiborne
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
20 used & new from $7.25

2.0 out of 5 stars Skip this one, March 30, 2014
Disclaimer-If you read the review and feel there is a spoiler in it, please let me know and I will remove that section. Also, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Thank you.

The Rose of the Sarifal is a stand-alone novel by Paulina Claiborne. The story takes place in the Moonshae Isles which were made popular by Douglas Niles in the late 1980s with the Moonshae Trilogy. While it was nice to look forward to returning to one of my favorite areas in the Forgotten Realms, this book just completely destroyed what I was hoping would be a return to a beloved place.

The main plot was to have a band of adventurers retrieve a part of a princess for the queen. The queen paid them half up front and kept one of the crew to ensure they did not part with their payment since they had to ship off to another island. There are many subplots and they are all over the place. The subplot involving the crew member Suka whom was left behind was the only one that was worth reading about. The pacing is disjointed and destroys the flow of the novel.

Some criticisms:

1. The language is awful. I don’t mind swearing in a novel, but this one felt like the episode of South Park where they were able to say s*** and so did it at every point they could. This book is no different. Not only that, but the book has lycanthropes and so the author has to let the reader know every time they are defecating or marking their territory.

2. The characters were really flat and uninteresting. There is not much more to go with than that.

3. The ending, if it were to be called that, was just dumb. While it is mentioned about where some of the characters will later find themselves and explain to one another about the adventures they had while separated, it still left the reader missing a final battle. This book wasn’t left open for a sequel, it was just left open.

Some positives:

1. As I mentioned before, Suka was the only character who made the novel interesting. I would like to get into it more than that, but it would lead to spoilers. Of course there were some things about her character that didn’t mesh well with the story such as her having a dog tattoo on her tongue and also having it pierced. That just felt like pandering to the younger generation.

This book would be best left out of the list of FR books. There are a few books I have not cared for in the realms and this one I think makes my worst FR book ever read. Whoever decided to publish this one should be fired. I can think of better books that should have been published such at Erik Scott de Bie’s Shadowbane - Kingdom of Night

Happy reading

-Dimndbangr


Canon EOS Digital Rebel T3i 18MP SLR Camera 18-55mm & 75-300mm 16GB Bundle!
Canon EOS Digital Rebel T3i 18MP SLR Camera 18-55mm & 75-300mm 16GB Bundle!

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent bundle, December 30, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this for my wife for Christmas and have to say this is an amazing camera and the picture quality if first rate. It is really easy to use and the 300mm lens gets some really close up pictures. All the items you get for the price are well worth it. Everything came packaged well and it made for an awesome Christmas present as I was able to pretty much get the majority of my shopping done with this one purchase.


Shadowbane: A Forgotten Realms Novel (The Shadowbane Series Book 2)
Shadowbane: A Forgotten Realms Novel (The Shadowbane Series Book 2)
Offered by Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Price: $7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Now this is how a realms book should read., December 30, 2013
Disclaimer-If you read the review and feel there is a spoiler in it, please let me know and I will remove that section. Also, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Thank you.

Shadowbane by Erik Scott de Bie is the continuation of Downshadow. Other FR books by Mr. de Bie are Ghostwalker from The Fighters series, Depths of Madness from The Dungeons series, Downshadow from Ed Greenwood presents Waterdeep, Shadowbane - Eye of Justice, and forthcoming (possibly) Shadowbane - Kingdom of Night.

The story in Shadowbane takes place a year after the events in Downshadow. Kalen Dren (Shadowbane) has left for Luskan in search of Myrin. Luskan holds some bad memories for Kalen and what he finds there is more than he could have expected, even for a city known for its filth and miscreants. After he discovers what has become of Myrin, he now joins in to save a city that may be beyond saving. Some sub plots involve an apprentice wannabe, past dealings with a gang leader, a complicated relationship, and a few more that lead to the next book.

First off, I want to say if you own a copy of this e-book or are thinking of purchasing it, there is a short story added after the book concludes. Read that first if you want to read the story chronologically as the short story takes place a few months prior to Shadowbane. The flow of this book is smooth and transitions nicely from moment to moment and never is the reader confused about what is going on, even in the height of all the action. The pace is nicely dispersed into break neck action and moments of rest where the reader can catch their breath for the next action packed scene.

Some criticisms:

1. The only criticism I have has nothing to do with the story itself. I love print books. I feel that WotC is pushing its best writers to the wayside by making them e-books only. Mr. de Bie is up there with the greats of the realms and deserves not only to have print books but hardcovers as well.

Some positives:

1. Epic. This book felt like an epic piece of storytelling as there is so much that happens in the mere 297 pages (according to my Nook) that when I was done, I felt as if I had read one of Brandon Sanderson’s huge novels and didn’t feel like anything was left out.

2. The characters were a joy to read and I felt I could really connect with all of them, even poor Rhett who always seems to be just on the edge of getting somewhere and then…denied. Every last character has their place and even the secondary characters fit well get their due screen time.

3. The language is done superbly and I’m not just talking about some of the language he gets away which is tluining awesome - Mr. de Bie you can correct me if I used that one incorrectly - with but the words he uses to get his points across and give you the feeling you are right there in the worst city you have ever been to.

Overall this was an excellent novel and I’m looking forward to jumping right into Shadowbane - Eye of Justice. If you are looking for a good dark and gritty fantasy, this here is your ticket. However, if you have not read Downshadow, that comes highly recommended prior to delving into this one. I feel most fans of fantasy will like this one, even those who look for the huge epic novels can find enjoyment here.

Happy reading

-Dimndbangr


Men's Sublimated Print Race Cut Short-Sleeve Biking Cycling Jersey (X-Large, Key Lime)
Men's Sublimated Print Race Cut Short-Sleeve Biking Cycling Jersey (X-Large, Key Lime)
Offered by MaksActivewear

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice riding shirt, November 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Of my new shirts, this one is my favorite. I like the color and it fits very well. I wear it all the time and the material is holding up and doesn't show any wear.


Head Tiger LSR+ Adult Swim Goggles, Black - Tinted Lens
Head Tiger LSR+ Adult Swim Goggles, Black - Tinted Lens
Offered by Prime Scuba
Price: $18.99

3.0 out of 5 stars I have problems with them leaking, November 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The goggles are fit nicely and are very clear, however, I still have a problem with them leaking even if I tighten them to the point of a headache.


Blodsvept
Blodsvept
Price: $13.79
24 used & new from $9.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent new CD, November 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Blodsvept (Audio CD)
Fintroll is back with another awesome CD. Of all my favorite bands that came out with new albums this year, Fintroll is by far the best of them. The traditional folk atmoshphere combined with Christianity stomping troll metal makes for a most excellent musical endeavor. Even with the addition of horns to the music, it is in no way hindered and even adds a wonderful appeal. Now if only Korpiklaani, Tyr, and Ensiferum could have continued with their original direction, it would have been a great year, but I only get one excellent offering and it comes in the way of Fintroll.


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