Profile for Kara Ortiez > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Kara Ortiez
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,620,067
Helpful Votes: 82

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Kara Ortiez (Hamilton, Canada)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
Sandokan: The Tigers of Mompracem
Sandokan: The Tigers of Mompracem
by Emilio Salgari
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.72

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new generation of Sandokan fans!!, 15 Sep 2007
When I was a child there were two great adventure writers we held above all, Julio Verne and Emilio Salgari. Both men were prolific adventure writers and took us around the world with their stories, introducing us to the people and customs of far away lands in the process. I read Sandokan in Spanish when I was a child and it is still one of my favorite books. Salgari's books were always full of fast paced adventure and Sandokan The Tiger of Malyasia one of his most legendary heroes. When I learned the book had finally been translated into English, I bought it for my 9-year-old son; he loved it. He read it with a dictionary next to him for looking up "pirate" words he didn't know. Now he has lent the book to his cousin who doesn't like to read. She hasn't put it down for two days! These stories go back two generations in my family, and now they have been passed on to our children. Thanks for making Salgari's works available in English!


Sandokan: The Two Tigers
Sandokan: The Two Tigers
by Emilio Salgari
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.14

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sandokan.. the adventure continues, 31 May 2007
Sandokan and Yanez face the dreaded Suyodhana in India. This is a fast paced-book with plenty of action: jungle dangers, battles on land and sea, ambushes... all the classic elements you would find in any Salgari novel. Five years have passed since Tremail-Naik, Ada and Kammamuri set off for India. As always, it's a delight to spend time with these characters and meet a few new ones. It's sure not to disappoint any Sandokan fans!


The Underground City (New Translation)
The Underground City (New Translation)
by Jules Verne
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.91

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun summer read!, 19 May 2007
How can humans survive and prosper 1500 feet below the earth's surface? Jules Verne successfully weaves a dark yet magnificent story set in a coal mine, deep within a cavern world. Life in the mine is peaceful, with its beautiful lake and attractive homes. Yet there lurks an evil presence in the form of the Harfang owl, and fire maidens who dwell in the ruined castle. Unexplainable, malicious, and life threatening occurrences begin.


The Begum's Millions (Early Classics of Science Fiction)
The Begum's Millions (Early Classics of Science Fiction)
by Arthur B. Evans
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 22.52

4.0 out of 5 stars An Early Classic of Science Fiction, 10 May 2007
When two European scientists unexpectedly inherit an Indian rajah's fortune, each builds an experimental city of his dreams in the wilds of the American Northwest. And so begins The Begum's Millions, a masterpiece of scientific and political speculation. This Wesleyan edition features notes, appendices, and a critical introduction as well as all the illustrations from the original French edition. Here's what the Washington post Bookworld had to say: "To read Jules Verne is one of the great treats of childhood. To read Jules Verne later in life is to discover a writer just as satisfying but even richer, one who is not only a natural storyteller but also a mythmaker, a social critic and an innovative artist. ...Give The Begum's Millions or one of (his) other novels a try.... There's a lot more to Jules Verne than what you find in those old, albeit quite wonderful, Disney movies."


Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
by Jules Verne
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Verne the way he was meant to be read!, 10 May 2007
When I was a child I loved reading the stories of Julio Verne. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Around the World in 80 Days were my favorites. This new translation based on the original French texts is amazing, it moves quickly and I discovered things that I had never read in other English versions. You get more of Verne's politics here than in earlier translations including such memeorable phrases as: "The world needs no new continents, it needs new people."

The characters are well developed and you can indentify with all of them and how they view their effective captivity aboard the Nautilus. Captain Nemo is a wonderful character and Verne gives the reader just enough information about him to keep you enthralled but not enough to remove the mystery. The intro relates that Nemo was supposed to be a Polish aristocrat, getting back at the world for the the atrocities the Russians had commited against his family. But when Hetzel his publisher balked at the idea because of the new Franco Russian alliance Verne decided to remove any trace of nationality.

What else can be said? The English is not archaic!! This restored and annotated version, is a VAST improvement over previous English editions. The translation is very well done, and the annotations explain what has been changed and what previous translations accomplished. The wealth of background information also makes this one of the best English translations of this adventure I have ever read.


Mathias Sandorf
Mathias Sandorf
by Jules Verne
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Verne's epic Mediterranean adventure!, 27 April 2007
This review is from: Mathias Sandorf (Paperback)
I first read this book as a child in Spanish over 40 years ago. It's been impossible to find in English, and I was excited to see it finally back in print. This is classic Verne, the adventure is fast paced and stretches over 20 countries around the Mediterranean. It employs many of the devices that had fared well in his earlier novels: islands, cryptograms, surprise revelations of identity, technically advanced hardware and a solitary figure bent on revenge. There are Vernian gems sprinkled throughout the novel, social commentary, keen insights and some highly amusing moments. Pescade and Matifou, two French acrobats enlisted to help the doctor in his plans of revenge are by far my favorite characters. The novel gives the reader a glimpse of the customs of Europe and Africa as they were over 100 years ago, illustrated with 111 drawings by Bennet. Well worth the read!


Beau Geste
Beau Geste
by Percival Christopher Wren
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three brothers join the French Foreign Legion, 4 Jun 2006
This review is from: Beau Geste (Paperback)
In the 19th century adventure writers used to imbue their tales with the morality of the time. Made simple, people will come across good and evil in their lives, it's how you face it that defines who you are. Honor is an admirable quality, acting dishonorably is, well, dishonorable.... And it is worth struggling through adversity for a good cause. Acting with courage and strength, can yield great reward. GA Henty, H. Rider Haggard, P. C. Wren, C. S. Forester, Anthony Hope and Baroness Orczy crafted their careers on these very foundations with, thankfully, a lot of page turning action.

About 25 years ago, I tore through BEAU GESTE, BEAU SABREUR, and BEAU IDEAL one after the other and had a great time reading them. Having recently become reacquainted with `the swashbuckler' as an entertaining read, I thought I'd pick up a copy of Beau Geste and see if the excitement still held. I wasn't disappointed. What's not to like, really. Three noble English brothers battle a sadistic sergeant, fight violent desert tribes in North Africa, and unravel the mystery of a stolen jewel. Great stuff! Sure the story telling technique and the world view may come across as a little old fashioned to many a modern reader, but all I can say is there were a couple of very late nights where I was literally unable to put this book down. Enjoy!


Scaramouche
Scaramouche
by Rafael Sabatini
Edition: Paperback

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sabatini's masterpiece, 4 Jun 2006
This review is from: Scaramouche (Paperback)
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad," so begins Scaramouche, Rafael Sabatini's 1921 novel set during the French Revolution. That single and unforgettable sentence propelled me back to my childhood and awoke in me nostalgia for the excitement and adventure I once held for books and movies.

Scaramouche is a tale of revenge, an astonishing tour de force - every single page seethes with incident, color, and detail. How could it no be? It is the story of a man born on the wrong side of the blanket, fugitive from the King's justice, star of traveling players, and the finest swordsman in all of France. A tale of revenge and revolution.

Scaramouche helped me rediscover everything I loved about the classic swashbucklers of the 40s starring Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn and Robert Donat. Sabatini also led me to other great tales of adventure by Alexandre Dumas, PC Wren, Emilio Salgari Henry Rider Haggard and Samuel Shellabarger. Scaramouche definitely has a special place in my heart ;)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 23, 2012 3:54 PM BST


The Dragon and the Raven
The Dragon and the Raven
by G. A. Henty
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great tale of adventure, 4 Jun 2006
A century ago Henty was the children's author of choice throughout the British Empire. His adventures were filled with great characters, perfect role models for British youth. The stories are well paced and give an interestign insight into Victorian England. They are also well written, fast paced adventures.

The Dragon and the Raven is a novel about the days of King Alfred. Like all Henty's books, this work aims at historical accuracy and reproduces the faith and concerns of the era. King Alfred is too little known today; his faith, and his reliance on God's law, make him of little interest to modern man.

Henty gives a vivid picture of the horrors of the Danish invasions of England. For two centuries and almost three, Europe was almost shattered by the waves of invasions by the marauders from the north. The resistance to them, the gradual conversion of them, and the new Europe that emerged constitute a dramatic story. In the Dragon and The Raven, Mr. Henty gives us a fine fictional tale of one portion of that history. The hero is Edmund, a young Saxon thane, who enlists in the service of King Alfred. You'll be surprised to find how Alfred persevered through years of struggle.


The Sea-Hawk
The Sea-Hawk
by Rafael Sabatini
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action from cover to cover, 4 Jun 2006
This review is from: The Sea-Hawk (Paperback)
I find it hard at times to pick up novels written a century ago or so, the language can be archaic, the pace a little slow... Not so this novel. It amazed me how quickly I could adapt to Sir Oliver and his world. The heroes were larger than life, the villains deliciously captivating. I found it incredibly hard to put down. It's just nice to read about a hero that stands for something, a person true to their beliefs. Purists would say Sabatini relies on coincidence to move his plot forward, but the world he creates makes it all believable. If you are hesitant about reading the prose of classic swashbuckling literature, read the first three chapters, I guarantee you'll be hooked ;)


Page: 1 | 2