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Rodney Wilder has commented on (41) products.

Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling
Dies the Fire

Rodney Wilder, September 22, 2014

Visually lush, but conceptually ranges from silly to farcical. There is something infectiously fun in the tribal warmth of its characters, as clans Bearkiller and Mackenzie form their new civilizations. It is beautiful and fun to see, but the suspension of disbelief is hard to maintain in the way these characters think and the unrealistic prevalence of ideologies. More specifically, the way characters are either Wiccan or eventually will be. This isn't a conscious selection of Wiccans; it is a purportedly random jumble of characters who, coincidentally, all are either Wiccans or have so little preexisting religion that they quickly adopt a Wiccan belief system for reasons ranging from peer pressure to nothing. I don't find fault in a book centered around the Wiccan belief system and culture; it is the laziness in justifying the belief systems prevalence that leaves me unsatisfied. This would go for any belief system. There need to be reasons for every aspect of a story, and the pacific northwest is religiously diverse certainly, but not enough to make this a convincing story. Telling the reader something is such-a-way and telling them to believe it 'just because' is lazy writing.

That massive rant aside, I enjoyed the book but don't feel there is enough of a focus to its narrative to keep me reading the series. Even within this book the story meandered too much, didn't feel to have an actual consistent narrative arc. I expect the series to wander in like fashion, and poetic imagery isn't enough to earn my readership.
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Banya: The Explosive Delivery Man Volume 5 by Kim Young Oh
Banya: The Explosive Delivery Man Volume 5

Rodney Wilder, September 22, 2014

Ends too abruptly, but otherwise a fine contribution to the series. Would have loved to see this carried on further. Such gorgeous art.
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The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Giver

Rodney Wilder, September 22, 2014

With a scalpel-sharp economy of words, Lois Lowry fleshes The Giver's increasingly unsettling utopia hauntingly. The reader grows along with Jonas, seeing more and more of the reality and experience, both beautiful and ugly, that hides behind Sameness' grayscale veil. Beautifully rendered, in a way that is engaging but doesn't compromise an affecting narrative for superfluous delivery. A must-read exploration on the place of experience and individuality in community.
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Severed Souls by Terry Goodkind
Severed Souls

Rodney Wilder, September 22, 2014

'Severed Souls' sees Terry Goodkind continue Richard and Kahlan's story, torturing readers with the couple's increasingly tenuous grip on life and each other's place in it. I say torture, and there is no better word for the journey Goodkind leads the reader down this time. For anyone who has grown with these characters - seen their travails book after book, shared in their joys and sorrows - 'Severed Souls' is torture through and through. Not in the regrettable way, though. True, the book suffers from the same artlessness, the same linguistic mediocrity that has simplified Goodkind's recent releases, but the story - the narrative he unfolds here - is as emotionally potent and relentlessly captivating as ever. Goodkind may not put as much emphasis on the way his stories are told as simply getting them told, but taking the book's heartrending last stretch into consideration, I'd go so far as to say he is still at the top of his game in the realms of conceptualization and simple storytelling. The world Goodkind conjures with this series has always been painfully real, and 'Severed Souls' puts the pain in that claim. It reminds the reader just how much of their own souls they've invested in the joys and immeasurable sorrows of Richard and Kahlan.
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The Woodcarver's Wife by Sherry Chandler

Rodney Wilder, May 12, 2014

Sherry Chandler's poetry collected here unwinds with a quaint but smoldering nostalgia. The messages she threads through verdant metaphor and various observational poems come with a power that grabs the attention more elegantly than any poetry I've encountered lately. Poems like 'Ephemera' and 'Christmas Day, 2010' throb with a silent strength, the held breath of witness, and the nature-rich images Chandler conjures here are too potent to resist, sticking in the mind long after the poem has ended, concoctions of tension and authentic emotion like that in the multilayered slow burn 'Jaws of Life', which unfurls with the stillness of a bear trap but left me reeling and headed for a second reading by its ending.

'The Woodcarver's Wife' is a gamut of visceral expression, divulging the embers of eroticism and love while also exploring common thoughts with uncommon lenses. A lovely collection of poetry, and a pleasure to read.
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