Thursday, November 03, 2011

Review Day

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

The Town (R):
This Ben Affleck film is a heist movie where the heists actually take a backseat to the characters. I found it entertaining but not game-changing, probably because I have no sentimental tie to the town of Boston. This applies to pretty much any film where reviewers say "the setting is so well-done that it's one of the characters!"

Final Grade: C+

Home Improvement: 20th Anniversary Set:
This complete boxed set comes in a toolbox that contains a functional tape measure. Cute, but of limited utility when I already own three. Although this was one of the few shows I watched religiously as a kid, I seem to have missed far more episodes than I caught. The show is at its strongest in the early years before the boys Hermioned their ways through puberty, and the last couple seasons are obligatory and derivative. However, it's a harmless, fun show to have on in the background, and the set is cost effective, at about $0.36 per episode.

Final Grade: B

Initiate's Trial by Janny Wurts:
The Wars of Light and Shadows continues to be my favourite fantasy series of all time, to the point where I purchase the books simultaneously in multiple formats and am the sole contributor to the official Wiki for the series. This series is deep without feeling sprawling -- you may not need to remember the names of all five hundred cousins of the King, but you will constantly find that a passing remark or observation is unfolded in a later book, forcing you to completely reevaluate your perspectives. The onion-layered prose is thick but manageable, and rereads are always rewarding.

Initiate's Trial is the first part of the two-part Arc IV, Sword of the Canon. It's a brisk read, with a different storytelling style than previous books. Although the book begins long after the end of Arc III, it covers a very short window of time, which adds to the immediacy and intensity of the story. This time gap provides some much needed freshness to the story, as many events have happened in the intervening time, and bits and pieces of this hidden history are dangled in the present day as bait for your continued reading.

Specific to the Kindle, the world maps (a must for any fantasy series) are impossible to decipher in e-ink, but I know them by heart anyhow.

You can read my complete review on Amazon.

Final Grade: B+

Fire at Magic Castle is no Halloween trick
Snake in a cash machine
Woman gets cold cash rather than cold cuts

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