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A good read, I'd like to see more.

4/5

Conn Labro is a very entertaining character and the whole book was a fun read. This is the 2nd book I've read from the Planet Stories line. It's done great to improve my outlook for future books I purchase in the line.

That being said, I had a good idea from the beginning how the book would end. It ended fairly close to what I imagined it to be. Because of this I only give it four stars.


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Gets two stars for names right off the bat.

4/5

The author's name and his character's name are what really attracted me to this book. Something about the name Manly Wade Wellman really speaks to me. Silver John also has a very folktale like sound to it. I knew I had to read it. He gets 1 star for each name right off the bat.

It actually took me a while to read this book, but that isn't because it wasn't good. It's because of all the short stories in it. While I could read through them quickly, I always did it in spare time. So I'd fly through a story and then be able to tear myself away and do other things I needed getting done. Where as other books with one main story draw me in and don't let me tear myself away so easily. But that's alright because it let me enjoy Silver John's adventures for a longer time.

Silver John is a wise, smart, and down to earth hero. I like how he is able to outsmart the bad guys when he can, but isn't afraid to get physical when he has to. A man I'd very much like to know.

It would get 5 stars, but I found some of the stories predictable. Maybe I've just been exposed to too many things and thats why I'm able to tell what's happening. As it is I'd like to give it 4.5 stars, but the Paizo system only allows five ratings, I have to give it what wha the system will allow.

I look forward to reading more of Mr. Wellman's work.


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Entertaining read.

4/5

I can't decide if this is really an homage to the John Carter novels or something else...

In either case it is a fun light read. I enjoyed it and Moorcock sticks to the same style and pace as the Burroughs novels.

I flew through the pages with ease. I look forward to the remaining books in the series, despite the reviews some of them have.


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Not my cup of tea...

2/5

This book just bored me.

I can't quite place my finger on what it is that I don't like, but I went into it expecting something more.

I made myself get through the first two shorts in the book, "Black God's Kiss" and "Black God's Shadow". I started "Jirel Meets Magic" and read the first couple pages and couldn't go on. It just didn't captivate me. I tried it again a week later and got through the same first couple pages as I didn't even remember what had gone on. I struggled on and got four pages read before I just realized I had better things to be doing. Its been sitting where I left it about a month ago. I'm fairly sure I won't get back to it. In the mean time I've read through three Adventure Path modules and other various books and magazines. I enjoyed them all very much.

C.L. Moore paints a vivid environment, and I can easily picture the Dark God's world in my minds eye, but the angst, pointless anger, and inner dialog is so maddening that my mind wanders. There just seems to be no point in her adventures. She sets out to do things just because she needs to do them, with no idea what she is going to do when she gets there. Then by some stroke of luck she manages to achieve what she set out to do, essentially wandering blindly the whole way.

I see that another of the Planet Stories books is written by her. It's still a few down the list in my queue, but I hope that it's better than Jirel's adventures.


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Wishing it were wonderful!

3/5

What can I say about this book? It is difficult for me to sum it up. I started a subscription to Planet Stories based on what I read about it. I had really high hopes for it, that being said, perhaps my hopes were set a bit too high. This book is not a great book, as far as books go, I'm waffling on even calling it a good book. It's not to say that there weren't some really great parts of the book, but over all it was lacking and left me wishing it could have been better.

Part of the problem is it didn't have a real overall story format, as least not what I was expecting. I went in to it thinking it wasn't going to be a heroic Bildungsroman story, which in the end I actually think it turned out to be in some respects. I didn't expect the wandering personal journal that it felt like though. The story skips around from one adventure to another, sometimes unrelated, with seemingly no real point. While it does fit the chaotic life of a bunch of pirates, at times the adventures drag on and I found myself bored by them. These slow parts were difficult to read. Just about the time it would get almost unbearable, something interesting would happen and I would fly through a couple chapters. Overall I found this a difficult book to read, not because it is written at a high reading level, but because of the boring parts. I found myself wanting to finish it none the less. I think the story could have been told just as well with 100 fewer pages. I don’t want to have to read about being held captive again for quite some time.

Now for the good stuff, there were parts of the book I really enjoyed, in particular I loved the part about Drake's Goulash. It's not often that something I read will have me laughing out loud, but I couldn't stop laughing reading that section. With all his flaws, he is a likable character. His remembrance of those who died is also surprising and shows his humanity. I also really like Jon Arabin, Walrus Mike, and even a couple of the other minor characters. I did end up feeling a certain kinship with them after finishing the story, and mourned the losses the characters experience. At times the repartee and interaction between the characters is very engrossing. I can easily imagine pirates would really act, interact, and react to the things going on around them the way the characters in the book do. The unique monsters were also a nice change of pace. This is not the place to find Tolkienesque monsters.

Mr. Miéville says that Drake doesn't learn from his mistakes or mature, but I think he does both by quite a bit by the end of the story. The book covers about 5 years of his life from 16 to sometime in his early 20s, and while you definitely see some of the 'nothing can harm me' attitude and stupidity of a teenage boy, he has grown up by the end of the story. It makes it quite ironic and poignant when Drake makes comments about some new shipmates near the end of the story.

Some may be turned off by the vulgar callousness of the pirates, or incest (which is quite mild and doesn’t go into any details on), or even a rape scene (which holds nothing on the Thomas Covenant rape scene in the book Lord Foul’s Bane). If you can’t handle these kinds of things, this book definitely is not for you.

The author does not hold punches characters die unexpectedly, cities are destroyed, valuable gear is lost and destroyed, and nothing is sacred. Ultimately I liked the book, but it is not one I’m likely to read again, or even recommend to others without a strong warning about the above points I make. I would definitely have a hard time making room in my reading list for other books in the Chronicles of an Age of Darkness series. If I could give it 3 1/2 stars I would, so I gotta give it a 3 as it doesn't deserve a 4 in my opinion.


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Pathfinder RPG, Outstanding Value

5/5

I picked this up at my local store, having no idea that Paizo was releasing their own RPG. I was hesistant at first and didn't pick it up for a couple weeks. I would open it and page through it some each time I went to the store. Finally the visual treat that this book is won me over and I purchased it. I'm glad I did as it is well worth it's price. Full color and well constructed, it is the way books should be made.

It has some much needed changes to 3.5 and gotten rid of some things that were unneccesary. I had grown tired of some things in 3.5 and stopped playing prior to 4.0. My group and I didn't want to play 4.0 when it came out as it doesn't fit our idea of a good set of rules. I had looked at other games but never really played anything else. This plus all the other Pathfinder campaign products has rekindled my desire to play again. I see a Pathfinder campaign in my future because of this book!


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