Tag Archives: Terry Brooks

I’m doing my part for economic stimulus

After the last couple of posts I think it’s time to lighten the mood a little. I’m going to lay out my plan to help the ailing economy. Nothing like a little consumerism to do that.  Is consumerism even a word? In any event here are a few of my upcoming contributions.

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Aug. 23 – Terry Brooks : The Measure of the Magic – This is the last book of a duology that I started. It comes out shortly but since eBook highway robbery is going on I’m going to wait for a price drop. Seriously. They thought I was crazy enough to pay $14 for an eBook when the hardcover costs $14.51. I won’t be a victim of price fixing. Particularly when the product is so readily available via other avenues. Eh, who am I kidding? I’m number 7 on my library’s wait list. So much for helping the economy.

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Sept. 13 – NHL12 – I’m a hockey guy and I’ve always liked the EA Sports NHL games. This year has Legends mode and Steve Yzerman returns to the Detroit Red Wings. That alone escalated my level of excitement but there is also rumor of Gordie Howe joining the cast of Legends. Stevie Y? Mr. Hockey? Consider me sold. Careful I don’t hip check you on the way into the store.

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Sept. 20 – Gears of War 3 – It’s hard to say goodbye to Marcus and the other Gears but it’s time to wrap the trilogy. At least until a new trilogy is announced. Epic, makers of this game, would be foolish to let this cash cow dry up. Gears has a cover system that is still the best in the industry. Run and gun will get you killed, fool. Who do you think you are? A Spartan? One of the more interesting story points for me is the continuation of Dom’s story. Gears 2 left him broken after a long search for his wife Maria, who is a tortured shell when she’s found. Off camera he pulls a trigger and ends her misery. In Gears 3 we find his brother. Epic sold shirts (virtual and physical) to decide his brother’s fate. Does he live or does he die? Can Dom’s fragile mind handle another difficult loss? We’ll find out soon enough.

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Nov. 8 – 11/22/63 : Stephen King – I guess the premise of this book is that an English teacher named Jake Epping has a friend who owns a diner that has a portal to 1958 in it. Jake enters the portal on a mission to prevent the assassination of JFK. He takes on a new identity and if I understand correctly even befriends a loner by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald. Sounds like an interesting premise to me.

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Nov. 15 – Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary – The game that established Microsoft and the Xbox as legitimate competition to Nintendo and Sony is being remade in high definition. Same physics, Same AI, modern graphics. It’s time to step behind the visor of Master Chief once again. I expect a great deal of nostalgia. The last time I played this game was 2002. I was a very different person then. I was travelling extensively with work. On long trips, more often than not, my Xbox was packed in my luggage and there were many nights me and co-workers would gather around and slay Covenant forces until early in the morning.

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??? – Verizon 4G Android Phone – The picture above was of the phone I was sure I was going to buy… last month. Then it got delayed…again. And in the time I’ve been waiting, newer models have been rumored and are closer than they were last month. Ask me to wait three months for the next great thing and it’s going to be a lot harder than asking me to wait one month. By the time the Droid Bionic is finally released the Droid HD (which looks and sounds nice) may be shortly behind it  but we’ll also be closer to the rumored Nexus Prime which may be the first phone to rock Google’s next Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich. Decisions. Decisions.

So there you have it. My contribution to the struggling economy. I can’t do it alone people. So I encourage you to make your own list and get cracking. With any luck we can steer this 800lb gorilla back in the right direction.

Review: The Magic Kingdom of Landover: Volume 1

The Magic Kingdom of Landover: Volume 1 (Magic Kingdom of Landover, #1-3)The Magic Kingdom of Landover: Volume 1 by Terry Brooks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

How do you review an omnibus of three books without giving away any spoilers? I don’t know so I’m not going to try. These are the first three books in the Landover series of fantasy novels by Terry Brooks. It is a story that is continually crossing over between our real-world Chicago and a magical Kingdom named Landover.

Book one opens with Ben Holiday, a successful lawyer and partner in a law firm who still grieves the loss of his wife, Annie. He opens a holiday catalog that is exclusive to people of affluence and finds an ad to purchase a magical kingdom. He debates but ultimately buys the throne of Landover.

Upon entry into Landover he finds things are not quite what he expected. The kingdom is rotting away as a result of Landover not having a king in so long. The magic of the land is tied to the magic found in having a king on the throne that commands the mysterious Paladin. The mystery of the Paladin permeates the first book and the conclusion is ultimately satisfying and if I’m being honest, I think it’s pretty bad ass.

Ben pretty quickly encounters his most loyal followers who play a prominent part in the remainder of the three books. The court wizard, Questor Thews, the court scribe, Abernathy, who is actually a dog who talks and walks upright on account of a spell gone wrong that turned him from a man to a dog. He also has two kobolds in his service, Bunion and Parsnip. The latter of those also serves as the royal chef.

If I have any complaint at all it is that the Kingdom of Landover has a very claustrophobic feel. Ben sets off on a mission to visit all of the different peoples of his Kingdom and it seems to last only three or four stops. In fact a quick look over at a Landover Wiki reveals only five particular locations of note within Landover and one is not visited in the first three books, if it ever is.

Of course the list of major characters is only 13 people deep with most of them having already been introduced. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you form a close bond with them; instead I seem to be more fascinated in what happens next rather than who might live or die.

In conclusion, I think Terry Brooks has created a likeable story and universe in which I’ll love to visit, though not as eagerly as Shannara. These books are quick, enjoyable reads that have a more YA feel to them than their Shannara or Word & the Void counterparts.

Again, I wish there were half-star options because I’d love to give it a 3.5 out of 5 or something. But I definitely couldn’t justify a 4. If you like Terry Brooks, you’ll very likely enjoy Landover as well.

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