Auguste de Rivera
БУ-принтер гораздо хуже БУ-бабы. БУ-бабе износу нет, опыт плюсом и картриджи сама меняет.
Done with Wise Man's Fear.

All in all, an enjoyable book, except:

1. Too many hanging frayed plot threads.
(Yes, I'm aware that's how it happens in real life. I'm also aware that people don't speak in books like they do in real life. Like, interjections and, uhm, stuff. Also, incomplete sentences.) Three chapters for a hangover, one paragraph for a stereotypically eventful sea journey (storm, pirates, etc). There's no rhyme or reason for these elaboration discrepancies. (Maybe the author doesn't know nautical terms. I found the book extremely easy to read, which wouldn't be the case if it was peppered with dictionary-class words.)

2. Title, WTF.
Other reviewers complain about lack of an antagonist, which is unfair to a loooong slice-of-life. The overarching theme is myth-busting (digging for facts) and myth-building (obfuscating facts): the hero searches for some info on the legendary villains and legendary badasses of yore, and the things that happen while he's at it become legends in their own right. "Things" have to do with magic, or love, or both. "Name of the Wind" refers to the hero searching for true magic (which is very rare and considered fiction by many), in particular, "the ever-changing name of the wind", and true wuv (by analogy, also presumed fictitious), embodied by a woman who keeps changing her name to evade suitors.
The words "wise man's fear" are encountered once, as a title drop, and refer to "the anger of a gentle man". Aaaaand... it is completely absent from the book. In 1000+ pages, no one suffers ill consequences for getting gentle men angry. In fact, no gentle men ever get angry. Wut.

3. No advancement of the overarching plot.
Disappointing, to say the least. The one revealed new fact was that the villains are a lot less powerful and mystical than the first book suggested. This would be a good development for a book espousing the virtues of enlightenment (think a glorified Scooby-Doo), but this book is very clear that stuff in the past was actually better: awesome magical artefacts, secrets and legacies abound. The first book had Harry Potter vs. Sauron and his nazguls. This book has Sailor Moon vs. generic bandit leader (Wiz 5, notable equipment: scroll of teleport, tactics: intended recurring villain, teleports the fuck away, does not engage the PCs for fear of being RLT'ed). If the trend continues, the third book will have Superman vs. kindergarteners playing cops and robbers.

4. As-you-know induced stupidity.
There's some decent culture-building, which goes along well with myth-building and myth-busting. However, for some reason (possibly to inject drama) the facts are not presented in an offhand manner, or explicitly as first-person author's words, but as "hero does something extremely retarded and gets chastised". Terribad.

5. Bad feminism.
Not terribad, just the regular flavor of bad. The default culture is patriarchal with all the prejudice against females taken for granted, the counterpart culture is matriarchal with all the prejudice against males taken for granted. The setup has a very "men from Mars, women from Venus" feel.

5.1. Actually, the culture itself is sort of meh: there are clever bits, but the result is pop-asian pop-communism. Airbrushed North Korea, seriously.

6. Gay issues fail.
Dear author: if you don't want gays in your book, gloss the issue over. But noooooo: first we have a faaaabuous artsy gay couple, then... nothing. There's that matriarchal society, where people believe sex and pregnancy are unrelated and men are completely unnecessary for conception (a more stupid version of patriarchal incubator women). When the hero brings up the correlation "no sex = no pregnancy", the woman he's talking to brushes it off with "who's so stupid as to abstain from sex?" Uhm... aren't there any lesbians then? No, they don't have any unreasonable taboos concerning sex. It just never occurs to any character or the author himself. Fail.

7. The ending of the main story falls flat.
The promised epic resolution the wrap-up chapters suggest is "My girlfriend had trouble breathing and I provided first aid by means of magic. Then we hang out and I got cockblocked." Which is a good way to make the reader know how a cockblock feels, but a shitty way to pause the narrative.
(The framing story has its high point immediately afterwards, which sort of offsets it.)

7.5. Motherfucking rosebud wallbanger finale DERP.
The main story in book 3 ends with the hero being remarkably rich, paying debts, repaying old favors and throwing a huge party. The source of his wealth is this: a wealthy noble has agreed to pay the hero's university tuition, and the hero subsequently strikes a private deal with the university treasurer to drive up the tuition and thus fleece the noble in exchange for a portion of the payment.
Now... brace for it...
Since tuition is set according to exam performance, he then proceeds to perform poorly at his end-of-term exams to rack up the tuition and thus get rich.
Well excuse me here.
It's one thing if the treasurer was sending fake requests for money and pocketing the difference. But this is not the case: the treasurer drafts exactly as much money from the noble as the ruling council sets, which should presumably all go into the treasury. The hero has no agreement with the ruling council; instead, he fucks up exams by saying stupid shit, being drunk, etc. In the very final chapter, one of the his enemies becomes chancellor and sets an outrageous tuition, the hero goes "haha pwnd" and uses the money to throw a party while laughing all the way. The whole thing reminds me of people on CharOp gloating about supposed "exploits" that do not actually work (and of Citizen Kane whom no one heard to say rosebud).

Moral: buy dead tree books. E-readers do not give the same satisfaction when thrown at the wall, their aerodynamics is all wrong.

8. Uhm I think you made a typo Eragon-level-originality DERP.
The shadow-cloak is named "shaed" in the faerie language (while the faerie language itself is yet another Elven). That's Saturday-morning-cartoon-subtle.

The good: everything else.
Daily events are believable, verbal quips are neat, children’s rhymes are still excellent and creepy, other poetry is still meh, the description of people’s perception of art is still awesome, major conflict resolutions are sufficiently epic.

Improvements (compared to Vol.1):
The characters in a framing story stopped being fucking annoying and started being really cool.
Jabs at the hereditary nobility. There *is* a stereotypical perfectly wise pop-zen-espousing community leader (meh), but hereditary nobility is mightily ridiculed and this is awesome.

@темы: bookz, repost