Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The Blog Fantastic 037: Last Sword of Power Review (Unread 012)

Have you ever built up an author (or director, musician, etc.) in your head as being one of the greats? Maybe even a genius in their respective field? Now I don’t think David Gemmell is a genius, but I’ve always considered him a skilled writer who excels at certain types of stories. Those stories often focus on tough men put in situations where their survival is in question but the situation often leads to their redemption as heroes for having done the honourable thing in said difficult situation. I’ve pointed out his weaknesses as a writer before (female characters!) and his stories can be similar when looking at them side by side (yet they’re usually varied enough in the details to remain separate individual works). Sometimes he plays with big ideas and when he does, he rivals many of the other great fantasy authors. To be clear, I think David Gemmell is pretty great and up until a few weeks ago, at least, he was one of my favourite fantasy authors, comfortably sitting amongst the other greats in the literary pantheon of my mind.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Blog Fantastic 036: Elantris Review (Unread 011)

I don’t read as many books as I would like to, especially in certain genres. There’s too little time to get around to everything that interests me. Because of that, sometimes I try a book by an author who has caught my attention only to be disappointed by the sample of their work. It sucks when that happens, and it happens regularly. That’s why I’m thrilled when I discover a writer whose work I really enjoy, especially when that other has plenty more books to offer and all of their books are readily available. For me, Brandon Sanderson has become one of those writers in the last two years or so. I’ve known of him since he was handpicked to finish writing Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, but I only got around to giving one of his books a try until a couple years ago. Since then, I’ve been enjoying him work. I still have plenty of his books to read (he writes at superhuman speeds) which means I’ll have several more Sanderson reviews to write in the future.

Elantris is the most recent book by Sanderson that I’ve read. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I enjoyed Warbreaker and The Emperor’s Soul. The novel is Sanderson’s first published work, though not the first book he’s written. As his first published book it’s certainly something to be proud of because there are loads of really good things about it. One of those things is the prologue which instantly grabs the reader and sucks them into the world of Elantris. The setup is pretty simple. There once was a city of gods. It was a city filled with magic and limitless possibilities. A few decades ago that city died and all its gods became decrepit wretches, now living a cursed life. This event was called the Reod, the fall of the gods. Still, the city lives on in a way because the magic that chose people among the populace of the surrounding cities to become gods in the famed city of Elantris continues to work. Though now, the Shaod (the Transformation) is no longer a blessing, it’s a sentence to a miserable new life. 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Gunpla Build Review: Master Grade RX-79 (G) Gundam Ground

It’s been nine months since my first Gunpla review. Since then, I’ve only had time to build one more model and it’s of the same Gundam suit. This time though, I built a Master Grade version of the RX-79 (G) Gundam. Regular readers will know that I’m a big fan of The 08th MS Team series and it just seemed natural to me to seek out the main Gundam from that series to build as my first Gunpla kit. Why then would I buy a kit for the same Gundam as my second build? The answer is simple enough. I’m extremely new to Gunpla building and I wanted to build a kid that would help me differentiate between High Grade and Master Grade kits. It seemed to me like the best way of doing that was to build the same Gundam in both grades.

Even though I had recently built an RX-79, I got quite a bit of enjoyment out of the Master Grade version. I simply like this mobile suit, so building it is a treat on its own, but the real delight came in comparing the High Grade kit to the Master Grade. Best of all, I found the Master Grade to be superior in all areas which led to this build being more enjoyable than my first one. Part of that definitively has to do with me being familiar with the building process and knowing the basics. That helped me a lot this time around.