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on November 3, 2012
I know this review will be filed under the listing for the solutions manual, but I'm writing about both the text and the manual and, quite frankly, they share parallel flaws and errors. So here goes...

If there's anything enjoyable about Shriver and Atkins' "Inorganic Chemistry" (5th ed), it's the presentation. Nice organization of material with broad scope and colorful figures. The book itself is relatively lightweight too. It certainly doesn't seem as though this text is a typical undergraduate chemistry book.

Unfortunately, that's a statement that applies as much to this book's flaws as it does its (few) strengths. Atkins' explanations are terse and lean, and his definitions of terms lack the clarity that a first-time student of inorganic chemistry - like myself - so often desperately needs. Examples are plentiful, but their 'solutions' vary between superfluous (and poorly - or even arrogantly - worded) and insufficient, and most end-of-chapter exercises and problems are either unclear in their desired solutions or only tangentially related to the 'skills' (whatever they're supposed to be - the text does very little to build up problem solving skills) presented in each chapter.

Which also brings me to the solutions manual, where one unfortunately finds even more flaws: not just lean explanations, but also plenty of errors and mistaken assumptions that could easily have been resolved had the manual's authors bothered to re-read what they wrote one more time. (For a glaring example, find a copy - don't buy one if you don't have to! - and consult the solution for Exercise 1.2. (The good news: the book's website has a free PDF of solutions to the self-tests and exercises.) Don't panic if you somehow find your arithmetic disagreeing with the authors'; it really should be 102.) I'm starting to suspect that Shriver and/or Atkins deleted whatever this other team had to offer and wrote in the solutions themselves.

Unlike many of the other reviewers who have posted their opinions here, I can't offer any alternative texts for Shriver and Atkins' version. But if you're looking to learn from a good text, look elsewhere.
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on March 3, 2014
As my title describes, I am completely dissatisfied with this book. It it vaguely written. It does not clearly and concisely explain concepts or questions. It is written as if it is NOT an introductory textbook. It assumes you know principles that an introductory student does not know, which contributes to the poor explanations. The practice questions in the book are vague as well. Most of the time, it is difficult to understand what is even being asked and the wording is confusing rather than clear and to the point. There are multiple mistakes in the book and answer key (the answer key has most of the mistakes and explains things with concepts not even described in the book, but I'll save its comments for its own review). I would not recommend this book. I would actually strongly discourage it and recommend "Inorganic Chemistry" by Gary Miessler or Catherine Housecroft.
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on March 20, 2014
Pros: Nice pictures, some fun random chemical information. The first few chapters are OK.

Cons: The text is repetitive with no coherent narrative or intellectual structure to most of the chapters. It is painfully boring -- I love chemistry, I even like reading chemistry textbooks, but this book puts me to sleep. The solution manual has many significant errors -- totally unacceptable! For most topics, the intellectual depth is low. There is an enormous amount of detailed information, but a lot of it is uselessly specific, and the few truly useful nuggets of information get lost in the sea of irrelevant information.

Overall, the book is hampered by trying simultaneously to give lots of detail and not going in-depth enough conceptually. So, I end up skimming the chapters and ultimately giving up in disgust. There's probably only 20-30 pages of really good discussion, distributed unevenly throughout the text.

I don't know of a better introductory inorganic book, but it can't get much worse than this.
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on April 4, 2014
Great book, (I also found the pdf of it online). It really covers everything very nicely and it's very clearly laid out. I like how the layout helps break up the pages so that it's not like just looking at a block of dry text (inorganic and physical chem books tend to do that a lot - See Ira Levine, Physical Chemistry 6th).
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on February 10, 2013
The explanations are pretty good. However they are a bit lacking for some fundamental and difficult concepts such as constructing MO theory orbitals and how it is done. The first chapter is rather dry and easy to just skip, but should just be review from lower level chemistry courses. I will try to update this review as I follow the book through the class. Thankfully my professor is amazing.

Edit: Further in the semester and decreasing the score from a 4 to a 3. The book barely touches on hard/soft acid/base chemistry which is a huge topic for predicting reactions. Some theoretical topics are covered in great detail, but are wholly useless for the level this book is written at. They explain lattices to great detail but lack sufficient explanation for all the ways Born-Haber cycles can be used. Equations aren't always presented well (not in their own paragraph) which makes reading difficult. Example problems aren't well explained. Basically, the book covers information very well, but it doesn't cover the information it needs to cover for a course well enough.
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on May 20, 2012
honestly there is no good inorganic text out there. the assigned text for my class was M&T's inorganic chemistry which I think is the standard book that other inorganic texts are compared to.While that text covers a wide range of topics, it is quite bland and not clear on explanations.some sections are well written but the authors do not explain in great detail making it hard to learn from.

i only found this book after i had finished my 1 semester inorganic course (which was more on descriptive inorganic chemistry covering a wide range of topics from coordination chemistry, bioinorganic, hsab theory, solid state etc). Now that i found it, i wished i had this book during the semester as it wouldve been a great help in understanding the material.i have also used atkins physical chemistry book and while i admit he is not the best at conveying information in a simple manner, this book compared to M&T's inorganic chemistry is much more readable
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on November 28, 2011
has the answers for the examples and self test, helpful if thats what you need, not so helpful if you're looking for answers to the problems.
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on September 15, 2015
I have to mention that that the author, Atkins, also writes textbooks for physical chemistry. That partially explains why the content is taught in a linear fashion with mathematical formulas. It seems to give only brief explanations of certain topics, where the assigned problems, in the book, ask questions where you are required to use equations not even mentioned in the textbook. This textbook feels incomplete; there isn't even a mention of Slater's rule or using Vsper theory alongside MO theory. It is definitely lacking.
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on January 21, 2015
As a chemistry major, I hate this book. WAY too much jargon, extremely difficult to understand, very long passages in almost fine print (hurt my eyes). Very few figures to really explain chemistry (most chemistry is visual) and this book does a horrible job explaining what you are looking at, sometimes it doesn't even explain it. Better off using google or a different book.

At least the book comes in great condition. (because why even open this piece of garbage)
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on January 19, 2016
Note to publishers: school was forced to endorse newest edition, but grad students and peers alike all suggested pirating a copy. For good reason, this book sucks for the following reasons:

1) Book has tons of potential, however a new edition every 2/3 years (yes, 8 months) ruined it.
2) Each newer edition, had thinner and thinner pages.
3) Tore page 7.
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