Salvatore’s Streams of Silver

So, I’m a few days late on this review, but it’s been a little hectic. See my post next week about my new writing schedule. But I’m happy to be able to talk about Salvatore’s Streams of Silver.

Streams of Silver, for me at least, seems like the typical second book in a trilogy. I’ve seen this a lot, where the second first book stands alone pretty well. Then the second book happens and draws you in to where you want to read the third book. Often times, the plot carries over, we meet more characters who will eventually carry onwards. And that’s totally okay. Just wanted to point that out.

The two best aspects of this book revolve around two characters, and since characters are the most important aspects of any novel, this makes sense.

The first is Cattie-brie. If you read my review of The Chrystal Shard, you’ll see I was a little (maybe more than a little) disappointed with her passivity and lack of agency in the first novel, being that she’s the only major female character. However, we see Cattie-brie coming into her own here in the second novel, no small part due to Artemis Entreri (I’ll get to him momentarily). While Cattie-bri doesn’t set out on the quest for Mithral Hall, she is dragged into it and finds that inner strength that makes her such a formidable and compelling character later in the series. So, I encourage any readers to power through the first novel with the understand that the contrast from where she starts to where she ends up is worth it.

The second character is Artemis Entreri. When someone asks me what my favorite part of a book is, I will often times say it was the villain. A strongly crafted antagonist, with just as many nuances as the protagonist, always catches my eye. And Artemis Entreri is just that. He is the mirror opposite of Drizzt, a warrior just as skilled with the sword but lacking the dark elf’s passions. And the great thing in the end is that they are nearly equally matched. Not to spoil too much for later books, but Artemis is constantly able to hold his own against Drizzt, which goes against the cliche good morals winning over bad ones.

The book, like I said, sets up for the third novel, with Drizzt and Wulfgar chasing after Entreri and Regis while Cattie-brieĀ seeks to reclaim Mithral Hall in honor of her (believed) dead father, Bruenor.

I give this book a solid 3.75/5

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss-Peregrine-Home-Peculiar-Children-Ransom-RiggsThis was an interesting book that I actually got from Facebook. A friend of mine posted the trailer for the movie that’s coming out, so I figured what the heck, I should try reading the book first. (It’s my general policy to read the book before I see the movie, as all book lovers know the book is always better than the movie.) Well, I can honestly say I was pleased with it.

The book tells the story of Jacob, a boy who’s just seen his grandfather get murdered by some three tongued monster. Or he thinks he did? Maybe it was just a pack of dogs? Jacob travels to Wales, where his grandfather grew up, in an attempt to dispel the fantasy of the stories his grandfather told him as a child. After all, his grandfather was a Jew who lived through World War II. It makes sense for him to create some white lies about his past, right?

As it turns out, everything his grandfather said was true. There really were kids with peculiar abilities like super strength, invisibility and the ability to control fire. And they’re still alive now. Jacob even has his own peculiar ability, one that will help keep everyone else alive.

The story is a great coming of age story, with Jacob learning what is real and what is fiction, who to trust and who to stay loyal to. It’s a solid young adult novel with some great action and mystery. While Jacob isn’t the strongest protagonist I’ve ever read (he kind of gets swept along with everyone else) he does have some great internal conflict that redeems him in the end.

I’m definitely interested to see the movie, although it looks like they changed Emma from the fire-wielding hottie she’s supposed to be to be more like Olive, who is able to float and control the air. It should be a good flick to watch. And I’ll definitely be reading the second novel, as soon as my wife finishes it.

This novel gets a 3/5. I’ll be moving on to Salvatore’s Streams of Silver next, the second book in the Icewind Dale Trilogy.

Want to see me review a book? Send requests to kristopherlcampa@gmail.com

The Crystal Shard

crystal shardI just finished Salvatore’s The Crystal Shard. I have to be honest, and you all know I’m a

huge fan of Salvatore from my previous reviews, but this book was a little less than what I remembered. But, I understand it in some sense. Here’s why.

The Crystal Shard was Salvatore’s first published novel. And like any author will tell you, that first book is always the worst. You can only go up from there and improve your craft. So it’s understandable that this book didn’t wow me as much as the Dark Elf Trilogy (the first three chronologically but published after The Icewind Dale Trilogy). The writing was eh, okay. The action was good but it lacked that polish and flash that I’ve come to expect from Salvatore. The plot was a little basic and predictable. But the novel did have a few redeeming qualities.

We get to meet some of the greatest characters we will ever see in Salvatore’s writing. We meet Bruenor, the battle tested dwarf king. We meet Wulfgar, a barbarian who’s life is spared by Bruenor and who learns the meaning of tolerance (more on that in a moment). We meet Regis, the halfling who at times holds everyone together. And of course, there’s Drizzt and his cat, Guenhwyvar. Although, word to the wise, when writing a series make sure that gender pronouns are consistent. Guen is referred to as a he in this novel, and a she in nearly all the others.

The character development is probably one of the better aspects of the novel. We see Bruenor growing fond of Wulfgar, who he will eventually adopt as his son. We see Wulfgar growing from his barbarian prejudices and becoming a strong leader. We even see Regis learning to trust his friends to an extent. Definitely helps pull the story along.

You may think I’ve forgotten a very important character – Cattie-brie. She is the warrior woman of the group, adopted daughter of Bruenor, who plays a large role in later books. I left her to the end because I was a little disappointed in this novel. She plays almost no role in what goes on, other than to tease Wulfgar and get her hurt during the battle for Ten-Towns. I was a little disturbed by the only significant female character in the novel playing such a small role. I’m excited to watch her character develop and look forward to seeing how Salvatore brings her to life like he has his male characters.

All in all, I say a 3.75/5. I’m taking a break from Salvatore for a moment to read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children next. Stay tuned.

Is there a book you want to see me review? Submit a request at kristopherlcampa@gmail.com