The Goblin Emperor is a fantasy novel that is primarily interested in character development, relegating plot and action to the sidelines, and, in that sense, it is, at least, a breath of fresh air. However, the book’s focus exacerbates its most glaring flaw: its characters are not complex enough to sustain the constant gaze directed towards them.
The narrative follows the ascension of a half-goblin to the throne of the Elflands, after a disaster kills the rest of his family. This half-goblin – which means he has dark skin – is called Maia. He is young and inexperienced. He had lived his whole life as a pariah, consciously forgotten by his father, the Emperor, and being raised [...]
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is a competent, albeit problematic, conclusion to the Millenium series, written by the Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson. The book brings together the trilogy’s best features, with a narrative that is socially engaged and especially concerned with violence committed against women, alongside many of its worst flaws, such as useless plotlines and dialogues full of exposition.
The story begins immediately after the end of the previous book, with the protagonist Lisbeth Salander being taken to the hospital after her encounter with the criminal Alexander Zalachenko, a Russian spy who sought political asylum in Sweden. Since Mikael Blomkvist is [...]
The first volume of the Millenium trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, was very successful in being both an engaging thriller and a relevant social critique of the situation of women in modern society. However, its sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire, despite keeping its social function intact, presents a very slow paced narrative that never seems to know exactly which characters and threads are better to focus its attention on: instead of always following the protagonist, the story often digresses, highlighting useless points of view that never interfere in the book’s climax.
It is Lisbeth Salander who deservedly takes the lead role here. After investigating the frauds [...]
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo may be an efficient detective story, but, before everything, it is a cry about the situation of women in modern society. Stieg Larsson creates, in the first volume of the Millenium trilogy, fascinating characters and an engaging feeling of suspense, but excels when putting at the basis of his story the problem of how women are explored and discarded in our brutal masculine world.
The protagonist is Mikael Blomkvist, the Swedish editor-in-chief of Millenium’s monthly magazine, who was a hated, but respected journalist until he accused a powerful businessman of corruption without the necessary evidence and was convicted in the process. [...]
Written by N. K. Jemisin, The Killing Moon is a page-turner, a fantasy novel with big ideas, strong narrative arcs and good character development. It introduces the reader to a fantastical world, based on dreams and religion, where war and corruption are supposed to be extinct. Its main characters, however, start to discover that those are elements intrinsic to human nature, and that a society which claims itself free of them is just a hypocritical one.
The protagonist of the book is Ehiru, a priest of the Goddess of Dreams, Hannanja, who has the task to bestow peace – by death – to those deemed tainted by corruption or who are in desperate need to escape life in a painless [...]
Written by Philip Reeve, Mortal Engines is a fantasy novel that builds a preposterous but intriguing world, telling a story with a lot of ups and downs, but that ultimately delivers with its good set of characters and great amount of creativity.
In the world of Mortal Engines, cities exist on wheels. They are moving entities that are always looking for prey: here, one city can eat another with its metal contraptions just to take its resources and people. Aboard London, Tom Natsworthy is a young apprentice who, one day, finds himself in the position to save the man he considers a hero, Thaddeus Valentine, from the assault of a mysterious girl. The young man, however, learns [...]