April 19, 2014

People of the Thunder by Kathleen O'Neal Gear & W. Michael Gear

So, this is the one book in the series that I can't say can be read as a stand-alone.  Although, only The People of the Weeping Eye needs to be read before it.  So as the sixteenth book in a series, that's not too bad if you want to pick and choose what you read.  And while I don't think this one had quite the shine to it that The People of the Weeping Eye did, it was still pretty good.

We are midway through the story of Trader, Seeker and the Contrary (and a whole slew of other characters).  Having learned that Power wants them to return home, they embark on a perilous journey that will lead them through war, angry factions, and to a city where there are evil people in positions of power.  Home is also where Trader's long lost love is and more complications will arise because of that as well.

Trader is a great character.  He's humble, kind, and still enough of a bad boy to make him interesting.  Not to mention he seems to have everyone's best interests at heart.  Seeker is a little more boring to me.  At least we learned his story finally, but it was drawn out long enough that I lost interest in it.  And Two Petal, the Contrary, was also not as interesting in this second half of the book.  She didn't provide comic relief and I thought her part of the story a bit strange and disjointed.  I could see where the authors were trying to go with her character, but it just didn't work for me.

Since this wraps up the story from the first book I was pleased with it.  I really wanted to know what would happen and even though it was a bit rushed and anti-climactic, it was still a decent story.  There was more rape, and violence, and terrible things, but the description wasn't nearly what it was in previous books.  So while it's still not for the timid or easily grossed out, it's not going to make you stare in shock at what's on the page either.  I was glad that the mystical was toned down in this book again too.  It's not nearly as blatant or weird as it was in the first few books and it actually seemed to fit with everything else that was going on.  So while this is sort of the last book (they have a few more that loosely tie in I guess) I'm glad to see that the authors improved as time went on.

An interesting series.  I'd definitely recommend this book and its first part, the rest I could probably take or leave.

People of the Thunder
Copyright 2008
496 pages

April 16, 2014

People of the Weeping Eye by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear

So, despite this being the fifteenth book in the series, it is also part one of a two book saga.  So while you can read it as a stand alone, you'll have to read the book after it to know how it ends.  Which, considering this is probably the best book out of all of them I've read, isn't really a bad thing.  It gives me hope that the next book will be just as good.

Seeker has always been looking for something.  From a mysterious past, he has never stayed anywhere long, and now, having picked up a girl known as a mystical Contrary, he finds himself drawn home.  Along the way they'll meet up with a man known as Trader, who is from the same city as Seeker and also left without ever going back.  But he too has a fate in store for him that he must return for, and as the three journey back, they have little idea of what awaits them.  For a man bent on his own needs is stirring up trouble and a war is brewing.

So the evil people are always just too evil for words.  It's how it is in this book.  There aren't really shades of grey, just the good and the bad.  I didn't really care for Seeker too much.  If there's too much mystery and not enough explanation, I just lose interest.  Trader on the other hand I found interesting.  He had a mystery about him too, but more was told about him and it made you drawn to his story.  Two Petal, the contrary, I found amusing and she almost provided comedic relief.  Everyone else I could take or leave.  Sure their stories were somewhat important, but they weren't the main draw to the book for me.

There is a lot of violence and description of sex and rape in this book.  Granted, all of the books were like that, but for some reason it was just more noticeable in this one.  But it was realistic.  There is still a spiritual element to this book but I almost feel like it's been toned down a bit, that it's more understandable than it used to be.  Either everything is finally sinking in for me after reading all these books, or the authors are writing it a little better.  I also was amazed at how fast pace this book was despite it being rather long.  I was disappointed when I got to the end and discovered it wasn't "the end" and I would have to read the next book to find out what happened.  Of course that just means I'll be starting the next book right away.

One of the better ones of the series.  I would have to say that if you read any of these, it should be this one.  It's a lot more enjoyable than most of the others.

People of the Weeping Eye
Copyright 2008
419 pages

April 13, 2014

People of the Nightland by W. Michael Gear & Kathleen O'Neal Gear

This book took me forever to get through.  It was just so hard to get into.  And although by the end I found it easier to read, the initial struggle was a bit much to get over.  Seeing as how this is the fourteenth book in the series, I've already done my share of trudging through books this year (although this can be read as a stand-alone). 

Where before Ti-Bish was an outcast, now he is a Guide.  Raven Hunter, the Nightland people's God has given him a vision.  He is to lead the people back through the ice to a place of paradise.  But that will come at a price.  Mainly the destruction of the Sunpath people to the South who worship Wolfdreamer, the other brother who came through the ice originally.  Stuck between these warring factions are many innocents.  And unless a small boy can Dream the way, it may be that all the peoples are destroyed.

Keresa was about the only character I actually liked in this book.  She was strong, loyal, and had to make tough choices based on her own morals.  But she was willing to do all that and showed a lot of courage.  The rest, I found their personalities too strange.  They'd be one person on one page and a completely different person the next.  And there were a lot of characters to keep track of.  Also, just once, I'd like the antagonist to be a woman.  It seems like it is always an older man who is screwing things up for everyone.  Seems a bit unfair.

In every one of these books there is a struggle between tribes.  It seems that peace is just never something that will be achieved.  However, after this many books, it seems like they could branch out in the plots some.  The mystical was actually a little more interesting in this book though.  I liked that it was more philosophy than magic.  It actually made it easier to read than it normally is because you could follow it rather than wonder why so many spirits were doing random things to the people.  It should be warned that there is sex, violence, murder, rape, and so many other hard topics.  But again, that's all of these books, if you've read any of the others, you know this already.

I just can't really say I liked this book.  It was ok, but pretty average overall and repetitive after reading all of the other books.  Luckily, I've only got a few more books in the series to go.

People of the Nightland
Copyright 2007
477 pages