Monday, August 25, 2008

Book reviews 8/25

I've been to the bookstore!
The Running Man: The fastest book Stephen King ever wrote, he wrote under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman. The premise is simple: in the not-too-distant future, the only way for someone in the bottom class to make money is to sign up for the games. The Running Man is the story of the man who lands himself with the worst game of all, whose title is the same as the book's. In it he must run from the omnipresent and corrupt law enforcement while being billed as a criminal. The longer he survives, the more money he wins his family. Good deal, right?

All in all, this fast read still manages to pack a Stephen King punch. It's a compelling read, impossible to put down, and has plot twists that only King could come up with. Buckle up tight. This one, Constant Reader, is a race to the finish.

My rating: 8.5/10

The Long Walk: Another Bachman book, this was a publication that wasn't accepted when Stephen King was Stephen King. Bachman was the perfect way to get some of his early stories out to the public. The plot: every May, 100 teenage boys gather around in Maine for a life-changing contest. All they have to do is walk at a sustained speed at 4 miles an hour until they find themselves unable. There's a catch, though. If they win they get the Prize: anything they could psooibly need money-wise and more. But if they stop walking, they get shot. The last one to survive wins the Prize.

This book isn't just a thriller. It's also a pageturner of a character study. You get to know everyone on the Walk, also knowing that only one of them will actually live to the end of the book. So, naturally, everyone on the Walk thinks they'll die, and it gives them interesting outlooks on life. All in all, a solid entry from Ki-- I mean, Bachman.

My rating: 8/10

Last of the Nephilim: The Nephilim, an ancient race of giants, are awakening, but which side will they be on? A plot is being hatched by the successors of Morgan Le Fay to combine Earth, Heaven, and Hades, and it seems unstoppable. The storm is coming, and it's time to call the dragons and Oracles of Fire to the fight. But they can't do it alone. They'll need the help of the heir to Arthur-- Billy Bannister.

I have to admit, while I enjoyed the first two Oracles of Fire books, I felt as if they didn't have much of a reason for their existence. But Last of the Nephilim proves that these books were a good idea to write. Maybe all it took was getting Billy and Bonnie back (say that five times fast), but I think it's more than that. Nephilim feels more like the epic fantasy that it needs to be, containing the spirit of Dragons in Our Midst while offering readers something new. I'm really anticipating The Bones of Makaidos.

My rating: 9.5/10

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