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Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum: A Magic: The Gathering Set Novel Mass Market Paperback – April 6, 2010

3.2 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Magic the Gathering
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786954760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786954766
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,234,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a long-standing fan of the books that have been released for the Magic: the Gathering sets. I was quite eager to read the book for the Zendikar cycle, because I was particularly interested to know about the Eldrazi, and to see characters like Sorin Markov in action.

When I first started reading the book, I was quite taken in by it. The character of Nissa Revane was decently fleshed out, and the distinctions between the Joraga elves and the Tajuru elves were intriguing. Sorin Markov's introduction was just about everything I hoped it would be. I was quite eager to read more.

The longer the book went on, the more my enthusiasm for it dampened. The poor was very poorly edited, and typos were everywhere. At points, I had to reread sections to make sure I understood what was going on, due entirely to the typos. I was blown away when I noticed that the main character's name was misspelled, consistently, throughout the entire book. It's even spelled correctly on the back of the book, but then screwed up every time it appears in print. I've seen a lot of Mass Market Paperbacks that were obviously slammed out in a few months in order to coincide with something like a set release or movie release, but few of them suffered from such a lack of editing as this book.

The story itself is interesting, and reasonably gripping, but I'm afraid that this is mostly due to the subject matter itself, and not the author's clever craft. This was Robert B. Wintermute's first novel, and in reading the text, it becomes fairly obvious. Things that are meant to be suspenseful are painfully obvious, and numerous plot points that get built up in suspense fizzle out in a pathetic manner when they finally occur.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase

As a dedicated Vorthos who has read most of the Magic: The Gathering novels from the past fifteen years (and a dozen of them again quite recently in anticipation of Karn's return), I was extremely disappointed by Robert Wintermute. This book was a chore to read.

First of all, "Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum" is riddled with technical errors. Typos abound, and Wintermute's syntax and word choice seem better fitted for a middle school assignment than a popular fantasy series. A staggering number of sentences follow a "Then [...] and [...] and [...]" pattern which sets the tone for the flat, repetitive plot. Fight scenes have no punch. His descriptions about the various locales of Zendikar are interesting enough, but Wintermute has yet to grasp the concept of "less is more"; there are only so many wide expanses of rocky ground or jagged mountain I can stand to have explained at length before I stop caring entirely.

"Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum" also lacks for content. I read Magic: The Gathering novels to learn more about the characters and epic storylines only hinted at in the cards and in magicthegathering.com articles. I do not read them in order to experience a fruitless quest with cardboard cut-outs in real-time. Nissa Revane begins the novel as a proud warrior out of her element and doesn't change or learn a thing for the next 311 pages. Sorin Markov has an exciting introduction and seems like a witty, mysterious foil to Nissa's serious staleness, but nothing ever develops between the two.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the 7th "Magic: The Gathering"-novel I've read.
In this novel, we get a nice impression and portray, of Nissa Revane - and the mysterious Sorin Markov. The story begins excitingly and progresses onwards at a nice pace, but then stalls - with way too much "we walk we walk we walk". After reading the book, I actually felt a bit cheated for the story I was expecting - but in the end, the book reveals nothing or very little, that is not explained in the Eldrazi-set online at the Wizards of the Coast website. Actually, there's a lot of info there, which is not in the book.

In the past, I've enjoyed reading novels from the Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms and other fantasy universes; this book is one of the most tedious and boring I've encountered so far. My expectations were somewhat high, after having read the other Planeswalker novels (which are pretty ok) - but hey, maybe they'll publish a successor to this book... I surely hope so, and I'm ready to give the upcoming book a try :)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have to start out by saying that I have been reading the Magic the Gathering novels for quite sometime. While some can be amazing, others are mediocre at best. This novel falls into the latter category. I will not go into all the details as I am pressed for time, but the core storyline of Nissa, Sorin and Anowon going to the eye to stop the Eldrazi from rising and destroying the world is a generic fantasy plotline. Insert hero, quest, and evildoer here, shake and serve. It boils down to the characters going on a journey to save the planet, arguing, walking, arguing and then the book ending.

The fight scenes themselves are even dull, as it never seemed that the powers of the planeswalkers were properly addressed. One minute they would seem all powerful, and the next minute be knocked unconscious while having to be saved. You can plug in any of the characters for this role, as they switch between the roles of savior and saved.

Although the companions do fight to save each other, the relationship between Sorin and Nissa never develops past two strangers heading in the same direction. There is no bonds of trust or loyalty that develops, even though they are continously having to rescue each other during their journey. This makes the book feel like it lacks depth, and takes away from the story that is trying to be told.

This is only a brief review, but overall I felt the book was lacking. It had a boring story line and poor character development that made it a chore to read. This worries me for the upcoming Magic the Gathering book, Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn, because it is written by the same author. Hopefully he puts more time in developing characters and the story and redeems himself after the letdown that is Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum.
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