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The Awakened Mage: Kingmaker, Kingbreaker: Book 2 Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2007
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Harsh? A bit, I'm sure. I don't mean to be. But still, and again, there's -nothing- happening in these books. We have entire chapters devoted to how worried one character is about this, or where these other characters want their location of conspiracy to be (and yet not actually show any conspiring occur), and so forth and so on. I found myself growing anxious as I neared the end of the book, wondering when something large and grandiose would happen. Will Barl's Wall fall? Will the Final Days consume the lands and kill thousands? Will the big nasty bad guy go on a rampage? In the last twenty pages of this 712 page book, yes.
The author seems to prefer set-up over result. She spends a large majority letting us know what action will happen, then skips over the action we crave and summarizes what took place after the fact. And she does it all with characters that never really seem to... change. I waited until this book to pass judgment, and so I have. Many of the characters remain stuck in the cookie-cutter shape the author presented them. The villian was always snarling, racist, and vindictive. (It would have helped to add a little backstory to him.) The "sea slug" character remained a sea slug -- snobby and pretentious. The leading lady, though I could see the author tried with her, failed in convincing me she was anything but conniving and angsty despite her efforts to pass off as harsh and strong.Read more ›
Karen Miller offers us a story more or less devoid of an original setting, decidedly sparse in character detail, and deviously unimpressive in wording. Everything is more or less stock fantasy, you've visited better versions of this world already, and with better characters to inhabit them.
It's a fun bedside/beach book at best, and I've managed to finish the duology without too much discomfort, but no part of this story strikes me as inspiring or original.
Rather than draw us through a sequence of events that teach us about the true nature of her characters and this created world, Miller seems content to spell it out for us... bluntly and repeatedly over the course of over a thousand pages. We're given a cast of characters whose intentions are painfully clear to the reader, or, if they are dishonest, excruciatingly elaborated upon to hammer in the fact that they are as such. It's political fantasy without the cleverness and credibility, combined with the pop fantasy aspect, only without the charm and voice. George R. R. Martin meets Terry Brooks, minus the positive aspects of either author.
My rating was based upon the story, but if I were to be entirely honest, this duology would be demoted to a single star for the multitude of typographical errors commited in the final print by Orbit. Among other things, Orbit seems to have a severe issue with its staff understanding the difference between apostrophes and quotations, and in these books they frequently abuse both devices.
I would not read another book by this author. It was just that bad. There is SO much great fantasy out there... Brent Weeks Night Angel, Collin's Hunger Games, Jim Butcher's Alera (except the last book which I'd only give 3 stars to, but still better than this series).
I agree with whoever it was that asked "How did this ever get published!"
I am convinced that all you reviewers who gave this duology a good review are part of a global conspiracy who's aims are to get me to read trash. Well, you win. I read it, are you happy now?
For all of you considering reading this duology, beware it is a trap! The first book is just barley good enough to get you to read the second, and once you've realized how truly terrible the second book is it's already too late, you've come too far and you might as well finish it. The entire storyline is the worst of cliches, with an ancient Prophecy (With a capital P) about a young backwoods boy destined to wield great power and defeat the evil overlord. The prose is weak, the pace is very slow, the book is riddled with continuity errors, and deus ex machina runs rampant. Not to mention the fact that we are explicitly told that our hero cannot fail because Prophecy (Capital P) will not allow it. That really helps to build tension. Then we get to the character names: Gar, Durm, Barl (a woman), and the evil overlord Morg. I kid you not, Morg. For the last 500 pages I couldn't tell if this was written by Karen Miller or Terry Goodkind. Yeah, it was that bad. The prose took a turn for the purple, every character became a self-righteous, self-satisfied idiot, and Prophecy (Capital P) hung over the entire book like a big fat deus ex machina, serving to kill any tension that might once have been created.
All-in-all this duology was a big steaming pile of trash badly in need of a good editor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It just... I'm not a fan; Everything of import happens in the span of like, 20 pages. Nothing else feels importantPublished 26 days ago by Andrew Bright
This is the second book I've read by Karen Miller (The Innocent Mage being the first), and I was very disappointed. Read morePublished 4 months ago by R. Belanger
Fantastic sequel, wonderful writer, can't wait to read more of her work!Published 5 months ago by Mark
the first book did most of the character development, this book moved along quicker with the storyPublished 11 months ago by Brett Moyer
Good read, a little slow for my tastes. I did go on to read the sequelPublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
Loved the story and the way it brought you in to look through the eyes of the different characters. The only thing that pissed me off was that I had to buy the second book to... Read morePublished 16 months ago by John S Sirrine