Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shadow's Edge

It's seems to have taken me longer than normal to complete the reading of Shadow's Edge by Brent Weeks.  I actually began reading this second book in the "Night Angel" trilogy last week on Saturday as I drove to a neighboring state to visit my parents for the weekend.  That may have lessened my reading time somewhat but mostly I blame the Winter Olympics.  We're big Olympics viewers, especially the winter games, and this past week has seen the whole family gathered in the TV room for hours on end witnessing some of the best sports drama I've seen in quite a while.  So, yes, my reading time suffered.  This book is almost 650 pages long though so I don't really feel too bad.

The plot picks up right after the first book ended, with our hero, Kylar, now having decided to give up the "wetboy" (assassin) life in order to preserve his sanity and pursue a more normal life with his childhood sweetheart.  But, of course, that won't be so simple, as another friend from his young days shows up and informs Kylar that Logan, the heir to the thrown is alive after all and imprisoned in a horrible place.  Only a wetboy of Kylar's skills can get him out.  Throw in to the mix the arch enemy and father of Kylar's major nemesis in book one, the "Godking" that is bent on conquering neighboring lands and we have the making of a great fantasy story.  But that's not all as several intriguing subplots flesh out the story including that of Vi, a female wetboy of great talent but questionable loyalty.

I admit to being a bit scared to start reading this one.  The first book in the trilogy, The Way of Shadows, was among my all time favorite fantasy novels and I dreaded what so often happens...a major let down where the second book serves merely as a bridge to get to the third and final climactic book.  Not so this time.  There were a few points where I thought the plot dragged or where one of the characters in a subplot wasn't properly fleshed out, but overall, this was a very good read.  And I think the book can largely stand alone; i.e. it has its own beginning, middle, and end (as long as you ignore the last paragraph which serves to setup an intriguing third book).  I'll get to that third book pretty soon, but after the Olympics are complete.

"The Alibi" was the next entry in Jeffrey Archer's Cat O'Nine Tales collection of short stories.  This one was a letdown from previous stories.  Just not much to it other than the criminal using conjugal visits to set-up his alibi for additional petty crimes.  It was interesting the way it worked but perhaps I am getting too many of these stories to make them stand out anymore.  Only a few left though so we'll see how it goes.

Next up: time for another Louis L'Amour western: Hanging Woman Creek.  Shouldn't take me a whole week this time.

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

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  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

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  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire