Thursday, January 03, 2008

I just finished Forest Mage by Robin Hobb, the 2nd book in her latest fantasy trilogy.

Hobb is one of the best writers in fantasy and I've been a big fan based on her previous trilogies, particularly the Liveship Traders books. She does a great job of creating interesting characters and then putting them in very difficult situations. Also, she avoids a lot of the pitfalls of modern fantasy. First, she sets her books in worlds not based on medieval Europe. The current trilogy is based in a world that is most similar to late 18th century America. Second, she writes trilogies rather than endless series and the individual books can almost be read as stand alone novels.

If you're interested, I recommend starting with some of her earlier books. This trilogy is good but the first book in the trilogy is not as strong as the first book in some of the other ones.

Amazon Link: Forest Mage

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Over the Christmas/New Year's holidays, I saw two movies - Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and I am Legend.

Walk Hard is a parody of music biopics, particularly the Johnny Cash bio I Walk the Line. It's uneven, particularly at the beginning, but has quite a few funny moments and songs.

I am Legend is an adaptation of the Richard Matheson novel, the third to make it to the big screen, but is not really similar to the novel other than sharing the idea of a world taken over by savage diseased humans. In spite of that, it is a pretty good movie, much more intelligent than most big budget films of any sort. The one big problem is the CGI creatures in the movie. Their motion and look doesn't feel realistic and it reduces the scenes they are in to a more cartoonish level.