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Orcs Paperback – September 8, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
I bought this book on a whim, as part of a little retail therapy. Well, that's why I bought *a* book. I bought *this* book because the cover features an endorsement by Tad Williams, a brilliant sci-fi/fantasy writer whose Otherland series is awesome.
So either Tad's standards are way lower than mine, or he sold out, or he was shamefully misquoted and should sue someone. If it's b or c, I feel I deserve to get me a piece of that pie. I don't need a full refund- half of my $15 investment would be OK.
Alright, alright, on to the actual review. The book is OK. Just OK. I did read it all the way through, as there is a hint of a worthwhile fantasy topic in there. But although the third "book" (this is a three-in-one deal) got just a hair more complex as the key mystery is revealed, the finish was as lackluster as the rest of it. Anti-climax doesn't begin to describe.
Nicholls likes to write detailed, gory fight scenes - thrusting swords, knuckles cracking, stumbling on bodies. OK, fine. He likes to write some detailed dialogue. OK, fine. A lot of the dialogue was pretty simplistic and repetitive, creating characters that have 1.5 dimensions at best. Yeah, I get it - person A and person B like to bicker. Person C is touchy about his age. Still. Again.
The plot? Super thin, and rather simplistic. Maybe appropriate for a high schooler, or someone just getting into the fantasy genre. Character development is barebones, even for the main plot-driving characters. Secondary folks are kind of like those cardboard cutouts at the mall, except some of them get to speak.
There are a ton of logistical details that make little to no sense.Read more ›
The story-line is fairly simple and moves from battle to battle. Mr. Nicholls seems to relish writing battle scenes and they are quite detailed. But, after the endless repetition of blocked blows and slashed throats and impaled chests, the battles become quite tiresome. You will find yourself flipping through the battle scenes just to see what comes next. Mr. Nicholls also makes his orcs seemly invincible. Throughout the book I kept on wondering if all orcs were this good at fighting, why they hadn't taken over the entire land.
The human enemies are cartoonish and stereo typical: puritanical Christians that want to burn and kill anything that is not one of them and pantheistic pagans that want to put right the evil done by humans. And throw in an evil half-human queen that sacrifices people to maintain her power. It should also be noted that there are two extremely graphic and violent sexual scenes that are completely out of place and render this book appropriate only for mature audiences.
I could go on, but it would only be piling on. Do not bother with this book as it is not worth the effort to read. I have not read anything else by Mr. Nicholls, but hope that his other works are better crafted.
The story kicks off with some fast action sequences, and for a few pages I was thinking "Jeez, another book about stupid orcs." Well, there are a few stupid ones in the book, but there is also a culture and a tradition that is pleasantly detailed and respectable. The characters are well-defined quickly and with flavor enough to be distinct. Author Nichols made a real effort to create and maintain a baseline of behavior for his characters that gives a starting point and, by the end of the story, something to look back on and say "They've come pretty far."
Enough banality. The reading is good, fast-paced and while there are a few phrasing issues (mostly cause by the differences between English and American) that stumbled me for a moment, those are seldom and minor. The narrative is solid and well done.
The characters are plausible, respectable and man, they are stubborn. But hey, they're orcs (that's praise, by the way). Before the end of the first three chapters, I was solidly in the protagonist's corner.
Nichols does a great job of pacing the book, so the action is moving, moving, moving and the reader almost starts feeling and breathless and tired as the characters. The fight scenes are good; not too detailed, not too vague and good movement from character to character.
I short him one star because the ending was a little jarring. It made sense, mostly-sorta, but it did kick me off the rhythm that had been developing. Readers will have to take a leap of both faith and a little forgiveness.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed the ironic twist of the story being from the orcs perspective. In fact the whole series was great.Published 3 months ago by Sideshowspaz
An amazing read from Stan Nicholls!
We have such a misconception about these creatures. they're simply magnificent, yet so misunderstood. Read more
Interesting plot line. Could deal without the graphic sex and violence, but all in all a decent read.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
This novel is 3 books in one and it was extremely laboring to get through. I found it hard to cheer for the orcs because they are so forgettable. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Evan
I am sorry, as an author who has gone through the professional editing process, been harshly critiqued to the point of tears, and had to tear up manuscripts and throw out chapters... Read morePublished on May 14, 2014 by Christopher P.
Great quality. Exactly what I wanted and was expecting. Really great read, however not for young kids as I expected. Read morePublished on April 24, 2014 by Hannah Melvin
The title really just about says it all. This is the first book in years I went to the effort of actually returning for a full refund after reading it to completion, because I... Read morePublished on August 19, 2013 by Sage
It's no secret that orcs have it rough. Orcs don't even really have their own identity. Tolkien-codified as squat, ugly, greyish, rank, and crude, orcs have been the go-to... Read morePublished on August 3, 2013 by KOTLDR