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Profile for David Krieger > Reviews


David Krieger's Profile

Customer Reviews: 28
Top Reviewer Ranking: 147,031
Helpful Votes: 143

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David Krieger "Aghrivaine" RSS Feed (Venice, CA)

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The Thousand Names: Book One of the Shadow Campaigns
The Thousand Names: Book One of the Shadow Campaigns
by Django Wexler
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
80 used & new from $3.93

5.0 out of 5 stars Flintlock fantasy with nuanced characters and great military action, November 2, 2015
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If Sharpe's Rifles took a vacation in Westeros, you might have something like "The Thousand Names." But that doesn't do Wexler's wholly unique world justice, as it is complex, serious, informed by very real human motives, and something utterly fresh. When you get a writer who can create memorable, likeable characters, put them in tense, constantly rising action in a world that's unlike any other - and imbue it all with writerly skill and believable military action, you've got a great, really great, fantasy epic.

In "The Thousand Names" the Old Colonials are a Vordainian army, supplied with flintlocks, cannons and bayonets. They are in retreat from The Redeemers, a new and fanatical movement in Khandar that has overturned the old order and put the Vordanians to flight. Their campaign is re-invigorated by reinforcements from home, including their engimatic military-genius of a new commander, a spy with a dark secret, and lots of fresh troops utterly unready for the dusty reality of their desert battleground. They join the old campaigners - an idealistic company commander in charge of a cynical army, a promising young ranker who is secretly a woman posing as a man, fleeing her past, and a cast of other supporting characters who are each three-dimensional and unique.

The principle characters are each unique, with interesting takes on gender roles. They have diverse and complex motives that all interact to make a very nuanced, complicated plot out of the fairly simple war narrative. Wexler's command of Napoleonic tactics is very good, and the battles are tense and feel authentic. And like any good modern fantasy writer, none of his characters are all good or all bad - or even consistently one way or the other, depending on circumstances.

It may be that audience for flintlock fantasy is somewhat narrow, but it certainly includes me. This is the book I've wanted to read for so long I tried to write something similar myself - and I'm delighted Wexler has brought so much skill and brio to the genre.

Wishenpoof Season 1
Wishenpoof Season 1

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Kids Show, dangerous side-effects., October 23, 2015
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My daughter loves this show, and it has given her the ability to magically grant wishes. Four stars - I'll change it to five just as soon as I figure out how to switch back from being a cat-pony.

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War
Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War
by P. W. Singer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.11
81 used & new from $10.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Utterly plausible near-future tech war, October 12, 2015
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After taking a while to get into it, I recommend Ghost Fleet. What makes it different from your typical military sci-fi is an utterly plausible near future setting. This war novel is as much, or even more, about hackers, compromised micro-chips, autonomous drones, weaponized social networks - as it is about people shooting people. It pre-supposes that China and Russia agree to attack America, and get the drop on the U.S. by exploiting hacks they've spent decades getting in place.
What follows is partly a story about getting back to solid-state technology with old guys doing the work, and partly about technological innovation in the 21st Century. The authors, P.W. Singer and August Cole really understand the doctrine of all the armed forces, the procurement process, and the modern battlefield. They also understand insurgencies, occupation of a hostile populations (in this case American partisans) and the horrors of power-point driven military leadership.
I had a hard time getting into it, because sometimes it reads like a textbook about tech and the military and how they combine. It has basically forgettable, generic characters. But the tech lore is deep, the action is good, and he paints a pretty progressive picture of future war. Gay soldiers? Women in combat? Not even wroth a special mention, it's just the way things are.
This is some top notch research into doctrine, technology, and projecting how things could really go down in a next-decade conflict. Drones! Co-opted networks! Space battles! Space battles that are way more boring than you'd hope, but seem very plausible! Old guys bringing mothballed ships up to fighting trim! American preppers having their worst fantasies come true! Female marines having little use for doomsday preppers because they can't follow orders and have no discipline! Chinese generals quoting Sun-Tzu a lot! Sardonic, world-weary Russians! This book has it all. Ok, no, it doesn't have it all, but it has those things. Read it.

How to Avoid Huge Ships
How to Avoid Huge Ships
by John W. Trimmer
Edition: Paperback
22 used & new from $93.13

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inferior to First Edition, but still good., August 13, 2015
Captain Trimmer's accumulated wisdom is well presented in this - but I regret to say it is inferior to the First Edition. We can't know for sure why, but some key huge ship avoidance techniques were omitted from the Second Edition. That the publisher was acquired by Maersk is perhaps not coincidental?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 8, 2015 5:51 AM PDT

Disney Pixar Monsters University Sandwich Container
Disney Pixar Monsters University Sandwich Container
Offered by BabyJ's Closet Bargains
Price: $4.75
5 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Does not contain Monsters University sandwich, August 13, 2015
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V. Disappointed. Did not contain a Monsters University sandwich at all. Arrived empty.

Sevylor 34" Splash Paddle
Sevylor 34" Splash Paddle
Offered by GoCampingCheap
Price: $9.26

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 15, 2015
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This review is from: Sevylor 34" Splash Paddle (Misc.)
Great paddle for my toddler to learn with!

AGPtek Beautiful Long Dark Red Hair Spiral Curly Cosplay Lady's Full Wig hair wigs
AGPtek Beautiful Long Dark Red Hair Spiral Curly Cosplay Lady's Full Wig hair wigs
Offered by Mambate USA
Price: $12.99
2 used & new from $10.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 15, 2015
Great wig for the price!

The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty)
The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty)
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $10.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Asian fantasy that honors and subverts epic fantasy convention., May 30, 2015
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Grace of Kings is in many ways a familiar work - the epic fantasy narrative of a young man, used as a pawn of the gods in a struggle that takes him from callow youth to dashing rebel. It departs from the mainstream in delightful ways; it is far more influenced by Asian myth and history than European, it seamlessly include gay characters, presenting them as simply part of the world, and it subverts some standard fantasy tropes, like the "perfect warrior" archetype, and just what happens after he dethrones the corrupt Emperor. Turns out the corrupt Emperor had some good ideas, and the perfect warrior hasn't the faintest idea how to govern or even identify with other humans. This is a deeply empathic narrative, that never forgets the terrible cost that the people pay when great powers war with each other. What a treat, for a first (novel-length) showing from a promising author - I can't wait for his other works.

KONOV Jewelry Mens Stainless Steel Bracelet, Gothic Dinosaur Skull Skeleton, Silver
KONOV Jewelry Mens Stainless Steel Bracelet, Gothic Dinosaur Skull Skeleton, Silver
Offered by KONOV
Price: $199.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, February 2, 2015
Beautiful bracelet.

Zombie Cajun Hot Sauce Gift Set, Gourmet Basket Includes 4 (6oz) Bottles of the Best Louisiana Hot Sauce - Garlic, Jalapeno, Habanero, and Cayenne Pepper, Plus a  Zombie Gifts Book
Zombie Cajun Hot Sauce Gift Set, Gourmet Basket Includes 4 (6oz) Bottles of the Best Louisiana Hot Sauce - Garlic, Jalapeno, Habanero, and Cayenne Pepper, Plus a Zombie Gifts Book
Offered by Response Able Supply
Price: $35.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Zombie Cajun Hot Sauce is zompacalypitcally delicious!, August 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have a thorough-going zombie apocalypse survival kit in my car at all times. One important item that most people forget - but I learned the hard way in the Army how important it is - good hot sauce. And this is the perfect solution! See, in the hard world of post Day-Z, getting your hands on fresh, delicious food could be pretty hard. But a dash of zombie cajun hot sauce, and you'll be in much better shape.

The sauces in this variety are all excellent. My family's particular favorite is the garlic hot sauce, which has a deep, many-layered garlic flavor with just the right amount of heat to give your tongue a jostle, but not completely kick it in. The hottest of the bunch, the extra-hot habanero flavor is just (in my opinion) the right amount of "a little too hot." Because sometimes, you want to suffer a little - to make that burn hurt...but not without a good, complex flavor. Honestly, I think habeneros are the pepper with the best flavor, they're just so hot you can only take a bit of them, unless you're one of those people that scoffs at big pepper heat. You want your bloody mary to be kickin', but still delicious? This is the extra hot sauce for you.

The standard model zombie cajun sauce is good stuff. It's maybe about as hot as a traditional tabasco, but with nuanced, savory flavor that is superb with say..jambalaya, or hash browns, or anything a little starchy. The burn is there, but it fades fast, leaving you ready for more. The langiappe pepper hot sauce is cajun-licious. Turn your gumbo into gumb-Ohh-my! It's a unique flavor with a delicious bite.

Look, we're all worried about the zombie apocalypse. But no need to fear a lack of flavor in the inevitable end of human civilization. Zombie Cajun Hot Sauce is so delicious, even the zeds will give up brains for it!

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