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L. W. Gulbrandsen "Wild Norseman" (Oslo, Norway)

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The Hero of Ages (Mistborn Trilogy)
The Hero of Ages (Mistborn Trilogy)
by Brandon Sanderson
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good ending., 12 Jan 2009
Having been a bit disappointed by the second book , I was pleasantly surprised by this final installment in the Mistborn series.
It keeps the fast pace and action from the first book, and manages to pull all threads together into an exciting and (to me) surprising finish.

The book also has an extensive summary of the first 2 books, characters and the magic system. Which makes it strange that book start with introducing the magic system again, making in my opinion the Wheel of time error of explaining things already understood by the reader. A minor problem here, but still strange in my eyes.

Overall a good read, and a good conclusion to the series.
I'm looking forward to Sanderson's future books, both the Wot ending and his own works.

Jhegaala (Vlad Taltos)
Jhegaala (Vlad Taltos)
by Steven Brust
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brust does it again., 4 Sep 2008
This review is from: Jhegaala (Vlad Taltos) (Hardcover)
Having read all previous books in the Vlad Taltos series, I can only say that Brust is continuing his excellent work.

This time it is more of a murder mystery story, with Vlad stirring up trouble as he comes to the eastern(human) town of Fenario, looking for relatives on his mother's side.

The story is more serious and darker than usual, and the side characters are not as interesting this time, rather naturally as Vlad is alone in Eastern territory with only his Jhereg companions to rely on.
Still a really good read, was going to read the first chapter before going to bed, ended up reading the whole thing in one go and being rather tired at work.

Well worth buying for fans, for first timers to Vlad Taltos i would recommend starting with another book, see the complete timeline in the forum remarks below.

Well of Ascension, the (Mistborn Trilogy)
Well of Ascension, the (Mistborn Trilogy)
by Brandon Sanderson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a let down after book 1, 30 July 2008
I was a bit disappointed by this book, having liked the first one

The story starts off a few months after the end of book one.
Elend is appointed king and rules the city, while Vin is protecting him and the city from assassins and spies. The Skaa, having won the rebellion and overthrown the lord ruler, is again threatened, this time by a overwhelming nobleman army led by Elend's father, intent on taking the city for himself as the world is in chaos after the Lord rulers demise.

The bulk of the book revolves around the city under siege, with both internal and external politicking, and Vin and Elends relationship.

I found both the politics and military strategies of all parties involved to be at times both naive and unrealistic, and thought that several of the scenarios seemed poorly thought out.
The romantic problems between Vin and Elend, revolves around them both feeling that the other is too good for them, and that they are too different. This whole part did not engage me at all, it seemed very contrived and stiff, not to mention unoriginal.

Although the action sequences are still well written, and the story picks up pace and gets exciting at the end, this was overall a disappointing 2nd book.
It haven't the depth in politics and tactics to compare to other epics fantasy series, and feels a bit shallow in comparison.

I'll still get the final installment when it comes in pocket version though.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 3, 2013 5:24 PM GMT

Mistborn: Final Empire (Mistborn Trilogy)
Mistborn: Final Empire (Mistborn Trilogy)
by Brandon Sanderson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 30 July 2008
I checked this book out after I heard that Brandon Sanderson was picked to finish the wheel of time series, had no real expectations as he was a new name for me.
The story at first glance may not seem terrible original:

The world has been ruled for a 1000 years by an seemingly immortal God/emperor,the Lord Ruler, who according to the legends was a great hero who vanquished a world threatening evil before taking power.
Now he has divided society into Noblemen and Skaa, a slave class seen as subhuman by the nobles and treated accordingly.

The major difference between nobles and the skaa is that the nobles
can be born with a magical ability to increase their strenght,speed,senses and manipulate metals and emotions by "burning" the metals in their body.By eating/drinking flakes and solutions of metals they can replenish the metals they use while "burning" metal.
Different metals have different properties, and usually the ones with the talent can only manipulate one of these,and are called misters. Howewer, some,called mistborn, are able to use all metals, and are essentially superhuman, often used by the noble houses as spies and assassins.

Although hunted, the Skaa also have some misters and mistborn being bastard children of nobles straying outside their class.

A Skaa Mistborn, a former thief having awakened his powers while escaping a slave mine where no one has escaped before,gathers a crew of Skaa thiefs and rebels with a plan to destroy the Lord ruler and conquor the capital.
Essential to his plans is the 16 year old girl Vin, who unknown to herself living as a thief on the streets, is also a Mistborn.

I quite liked the magic system in this book,the metal "burning" system feels both new and fresh, and is well conceived and used. The writing is good and fluent,with both humour and action sequenses that work, the characters are interesting if sometimes a bit shallow.
The story feels familiar for anyone who's read some fantasy and sci-fi, but still works.
Overall a good read and a interesting premise.

Passage: Sharing Knife 3
Passage: Sharing Knife 3
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good conclusion to the series., 21 July 2008
A clear improvement from the second book, Passage concludes the trilogy with Dag and Fawn cutting the ties to both the Farmer and Lakewalker sides of their family, and starting out on a journey to the sea, to find their new selves after leaving the old roles behind.

Having seen almost an whole village of farmers succumb to an Malice out of ignorance (in book 2),Dag decides that the old lakewalker way of dealing with "civilians" must change, and sets out for a way to educate farmers about Lakewalker ways and "magic", and the threats their fighting, something that goes against all Lakewalker tradition.

Most of the book takes place while traveling on a riverboat down to the sea, and revolves around the companions they collect and meet along the way.

As always with Bujold, it's a well written book that draws you in and keeps you reading, but in comparison to her earlier works it feels a bit lacking in both characterisation and story, and overall feels a bit light.
An entertaining read, but not something that you want to reread frequently for the pleasure of it.

But overall a good book and good ending to the series.
(And if you thought the plot outline was a bit thin, I wanted to stay away from spoilers, as I felt the blurb on the book gave away to much :D)

Mass Effect (PC DVD)
Mass Effect (PC DVD)
Offered by GeeksWholesaler
Price: 9.49

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Will have an Massive Effect on me the next weeks., 5 Jun 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Got this at a store here in Norway yesterday(4 june), which made me pleasently surprised as the release date is tomorrow.

Only played for about 4 hours so far, so not much to base a review on, but I'll make a mini one anyway.

I haven't played the x-box version, so can't compare the versions.

Graphics are very nice, probably the best I have seen in a rpg maybe excepting the Witcher. Had some trouble with pixelated shadow's in cutscenes, and some of the personell movement using the ingame graphic engine seems a little stiff sometimes, but nothing major.Also heard that there is ini fix for the shadow trouble on the bioware site, haven't checked yet.

Sound has been great so far, great voiceacting and sound effects, haven't really noticed the music yet, so it's neither epic or irritating, I guess ;-). Had a problem with some cut-scenes were the sound seemed slightly out of sync, heard rumour of an ini fix for that,as well.

The action sequenses are in real time, with the opportunity to pause the game to issue orders to your team mates. Play's like a 3rd person shooter, and works okay, but isn't brilliant compared too other action games.I also miss melee weapons.

The main feature in this as all Bioware games is the story, and so far it seems to be as good as Kotor. Lot's of dialogue, interesting plot and as said good voice acting brings the story alive.
The good vs evil choices you have seems a bit to clear cut, I miss the more grey areas of moral that Witcher introduced.

The inventory system(allways important in an rpg), is bland and uninteresting, and a bit of a disappointment.

But overall, if you like me enjoyed Knights of the old republic and Bioware's other games, this is looking like another classic rpg.

Night Of Knives: A Novel Of The Malazan Empire (Malazan Empire 1)
Night Of Knives: A Novel Of The Malazan Empire (Malazan Empire 1)
by Ian C Esslemont
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: 6.39

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good addon for the Malazan series, 13 May 2008
I've read all Erikson's Malazans book's so far, and find them to be among the best fantasy books out there at the moment.
The only drawback is keeping up with the complexity and scope of it all. Keeping places,time and people(especially people) apart is a chore if it's a long time between reading the book's, and that's a problem in this book aswell.
Although short in comparison to other Malazan books, and also somewhat confined in terms of places and people, Esslemont's Night of knives does expect you to be familiar with the Malazan universe. I would at least have read the first book of the series to get some understanding of things.

Other than that, this is an interesting sidestory to Eriksons main plot, also including characters we have met before. Fast paced and well written,
it kept me guessing at the outcome,(couldn't remember how things turned out from Erikson's books). An entertaining read, if not epic like the Malazan novels.

The Witcher (PC DVD)
The Witcher (PC DVD)
Price: 5.49

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Rpg in a long time., 29 Oct 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Witcher (PC DVD) (Video Game)
I have an older cpu P3 1.8ghz, but 2 gb of ram and a Gainward Nvidia 7600 gt, (if i don't remember incorrectly).Still far from a state of the art pc.
I have set the graphics om medium( with some adjustments) and the game runs fine and generally smoothly, some choppiness at times while running through city's and densely populated areas, but nothing that takes away from the experience.

There are a lot of graphic options too twiddle, for those of you who like to optimize to get the best performance.

I am a great fan of rpg's, been playing them since M&M 6 back in 97, and have played most rpg's that come out both before and since. Favourites would be Planescape torment,Morrowind and Baldurs gate 2.

Bought this one on friday (monday now)and have played...alot. I would take a guess at around 16-20 hours, and being a rather thorough player i've only come to chapter 2.

The graphics are great, voice and sound great, story( so far) great, good cutscenes.I used the over-the-shoulder (ots) camera with wasd movement, and while awkward in the beginning it soon becomes second nature. I still get turned around a bit much while fighting multiple opponents, get to excited I guess.

I also like the fact that they have stay true too the books and gone with adult content, with both swearing, nudity and immoral behaviour, and a more "grey" moral compass than usual in these games.
The fact that your decisions have consequences that reach beyond the present, makes you think more on the choices you make.Helping someone early in the game, might give you an advantage later, or even prove a detriment. You also get a cutscene explaining what choice earlier in the story gave the outcome.

So far i've found the battles intensive and fun, where you not only have to regard which swordform and magic to employ, but also plan ahead of the battles regarding which potions to use, and which oils to coat your blades with to make them more effective against different opponents.
A change in tactics might change an impossible fight to a piece of cake.

The journal interface works well, giving you information on quest's, characters, monsters,ingredients,alchemy formulas, history and locations in an easily used system that updates information during play.

They have also released an updated patch that deals with 200 major and minor bugs. I have not experienced more than a couple of minor ones, some minor graphic clipping and some quest items that were not deleted, and a crash to desktop at times after several hours play.

Other than that i only have minor complaints. They have made the inhabitants a bit too generic.Seems they only bothered to make 15-20 facetypes, which means that all old hags look the same, and the same goes for the peasants, hookers, merchants and travelers++.
They have also implemented an autosave you can't turn off, which is in use in most "important" buildings, so if your'e running from house to house in a city, the loadtimes gets a tad long.

But overall, a brilliant rpg, run out and get it now.


Now releasing a revamped version in august/september 2008, with vastly cut loading times and lots of extra content and dialogue,including editor, also adding 50 new faces to the crowds. So they have effectively fixed all the faults fans had, very good support from these developers. Will be released as a patch for those who bought it and an Final store version for those who missed this gem.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2007 4:22 PM GMT

Legacy (Sharing Knife)
Legacy (Sharing Knife)
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite up to her earlier works., 16 Aug 2007
This review is from: Legacy (Sharing Knife) (Hardcover)
Overall a good read, but a bit lacking in both action and wit in comparison with the Chalion and Miles sagas.

The plot is mostly about Dag and Fawn dealing with the lakewalkers dim views of their marriage, as it goes against all tradition and "sense".
Dawn tries to find a place in lakewalker society, but it all seems to be cut a bit short, and lacking in depth and substance.
I got no real sense of getting anywhere, and it felt very like a typical book 2 of a trilogy, setting up the stage for the final part.

Bujold still writes good books, but this is not one I will read again and again, as have been the case for most of her earlier works.

Ranger's Apprentice 1: The Ruins of Gorlan
Ranger's Apprentice 1: The Ruins of Gorlan
by John Flanagan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.24

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice portal into the fantasy world for kids, 6 Aug 2007
A quick and light read.
Being a bit quick ordering my last batch of books from amazon, I bought this solely on the positive review on this page, and was a bit shocked when I received it. It's an young adult book, meant for ages 10-15, which I don't think this page very clearly convey's.
Other than that, it's a well written book, not terribly original but with enough twist to make it exciting. Finished it in an afternoon while sunbathing, should be a quick an easy read for kids and first timers to fantasy. I would not compare this to Tolkien or Potter, it's more like Timothy Zahn's Dragonback adventures for young adults.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 7, 2012 10:35 AM BST

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