SpeculativeFiction


The best movie in theaters you've never heard of...

Yesterday, I went to see Fearless, Jet Li's recent martial arts epic. It was pretty good, but also pretty much exactly what I expected. While there, I saw that the theater had allocated one of its screens to a flick called The Illusionist, a movie I had never heard of or seen previews or promos for. Based on the little title strip with showtimes, it looked interesting, and a few minutes wirelessly checking the reviews on Rotten Tomatos suggested it wasn't awful.

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Sat Sep 23 14:26:16 CDT 2006 by matthew@infodancer.org. Comments

A Triumph of Souls

The final installment of the Catechist trilogy isn't much different from the previous volumes, other than a few twists at the end. Etjole, Simna, Hunkapa, and Alitah cross an ocean and a salt plain, do battle with a townful of demons and a forestful of undead, and make an agonizingly easy entrance into Hymneth the Possessed's stronghold. Aside from not having read the Evil Overlord List, Hymneth actually does have some character depth, though this is not really explored.

If you got through the second book and are still interested, read on - the ending is satisfying, though it remains fast and light like the rest of the writing.

Sun Sep 03 22:56:58 CDT 2006 by tsarren@infodancer.org. Comments

Into the Thinking Kingdoms

Having crossed the Sea of Aboqua, Etjole Ehomba and his companions must find passage west across the Semordria Ocean somewhere in the Thinking Kingdoms. Though these kingdoms are supposed to be (and in some ways are) bastions of civilization, they harbor their own unique man-made hazards.

Surmounting obstacle after obstacle, the story remains fresh only in the strangeness of the situations; Etjole's seeming invulnerability lends a faery tale quality to the writing that some might term 'shallow'. Sadly, there is no real character development, despite ample opportunity for such, including the addition of another member to the party.

In the opening chapter we are treated to our first glimpse of the villain, who is frighteningly cliched. Beyond this diversion, there is little to distinguish this volume from the first in the trilogy. One or two of the trouble spots in which the party finds itself gets resolved in some mysterious way other than Etjole pulling something out of his pack.

If you enjoyed the lighthearted playfulness of the first book, by all means continue. The writing doesn't get any heavier, but there is always something weird just around the corner, and for some people that's reason enough to keep turning pages.

Sun Sep 03 22:21:42 CDT 2006 by tsarren@infodancer.org. Comments

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