Monthly Archives: January 2014

#33 Gamesäge Episode 009 Betrayal at House on the Hill

Well met, my friends!

Here is the short – well, short-ish, it’s still at eight and a half minutes, even though people keep telling me that five minutes is the youtube threshold – review of the board game “Betrayal at House on the Hill”.

It’s not my usual kind of game, as it has several issues. However, the game has a high cool factor and contains some wacky ideas, for example those sliders on your five sided character sheet to denote stat improvements or the two scenario books to provide different pieces of information to the different players. There is a downside to those two scenario books as well: everyone, who plays, needs to be an experienced gamer, since the traitor cannot ask anyone else for rule clarifications and must be familiar with gamer lingo. Nevertheless, it’s certainly a great game that everybody should pick up.

Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

#32 Book review: The Spirit Eater

Well met, my friends!

One of my new year goals (I call them goals instead of resolutions, since resolutions carry that stigma of being broken within the first weeks of January) is to read twentyfour books this year, so I figured I might as well write some reviews and turn those into blog posts.

Yesterday I finished reading Rachel Aaron’s “The Spirit Eater”, which is the third book of the Eli Monpress five part series.

The review rules:

I’ll start with the genre and my rating of the book, followed by a synopsis, explaining what the book is about. Since this will be done from memory after I’ve read the book, it may not be entirely accurate. The rating will be as follows: 5 / 5 is reserved for those awesome books that completely blow me away. Think “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss or Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. 4 / 5 are great books that are worth reading. Most likely this will be the majority of book reviews, as I probably won’t spend the time to write up reviews of mediocre books. Still, for completeness sake, 3 / 5 are good books, 2 / 5 are books I would not read, if I were able to go back in time and warn myself about them and 1 / 5 books are the ones that are so aggravating as to incite anger.

After this subjective rating, I’ll talk a bit more about the book in the actual review and list what I thought was great about it. This will contain spoilers!

Rachel Aaron’s “The Spirit Eater”

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4 / 5

Synopsis: Eli Monpress, self proclaimed world’s greatest thief, and his team are lying low after their risky adventures in books one and two. Their rest is short lived, as one of Eli’s friends is in trouble and he sets out to help him. Just like in the previous two books, during their adventure, the spiritualist Miranda Lyonette is in hot pursuit.

Review (spoilers!): Eli Monpress’s third adventure deviates from the previous books: this time Eli doesn’t go somewhere to commit a crime and Miranda Lyonette doesn’t become the unlikely ally. Overall the book is much darker than the previous installments. It seems that Rachel Aaron found her stride with this book and it nicely sets up the antagonists for the remaining books. I can’t wait to find out how the three big threats – the shepherdess, the demons and the immortal empress – are overcome. My two favourite moments were the inspirational talk given to Nico by Tesset and how Dunelle died. The latter was sad, which is surprising considering the character in question only has a brief appearance and is an object. The Spirit Eater is an excellent, entertaining fantasy story that accomplishes the difficult task of being self contained, while also hinting at the rising stakes of the following books.

Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

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