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Point of Hopes (1995)

de Melissa Scott, Lisa A. Barnett

Sèrie: Astreiant (1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
3371257,599 (3.88)20
Nicolas Rathe is a pointsman, a dedicated watchman in the great city of Astreiant. During the annual trade fair, with a city filled with travelers and merchants, someone is stealing children. The populace is getting angry and frightened and convinced that a foreigner must be to blame. Rathe calls on the aid of both an out-of-work soldier, the handsome Philip Eslingen, and the necromancer Istre b'Estorr. The art of astrology is a very real power in the kingdom and plays as much a role in politics as greed and intrigue. Rathe finds himself struggling to find the children before a major astrological event brings about catastrophe. The first in a series of fantasy novels filled with adventure, intrigue and gay romance.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 11 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Phew, that was a monster read. It seemed to take forever but I enjoyed every minute of it. I particularly liked the last 20% when our MCs were finally in the all the same scenes. Up to this point they spent more time apart than together. That said, although there appears to be the start of an attraction, there is no hint of a romance in this book. I'm hoping in book two they have more on page time together and this blossoms into a relationship of sorts.

That said as a work of fantasy this was amazing. The world building was quite excellent, the story superb and it work its way to a climax that went off with a bang.

Loved it.

NB My only real issue was the editing. There were occasions of no full stops, double commas, missing speech marks, two different characters speaking in the same paragraph, and 1st person internal thoughts stuck into the middle of paragraphs with no italics or other indicators. ( )
  Lillian_Francis | Feb 24, 2021 |
Well written with a complex and engaging story line. I couldn't put the book down! My only problem was that the world was a bit TOO complicated at times. Hahaha. It made my head spin though I understood what was happening . . . essentially. It was still an amazing read. You should pick it up. You won't be sorry. ( )
  Isana | Jul 7, 2020 |
Points of Hopes is a fantasy mystery with a historical feel, although it’s set in a different world. In the city of Astreiant, children are disappearing. Rafe is one of the watchmen investigating the case, but there are few clues as to who is taking the children. And in the mean time, the city simmers on the edge of its boiling point.

This book was not suited to me, especially during final exam season. The prose is dense, and my mind kept drifting off as I tried to read. It was also really slow going. I did want to learn what was happening to the children, but so very little happened in the first two hundred pages. I also think that the authors needed to drop more clues as to the solution of the mystery earlier on, since the necessary information came almost out of the blue. Or maybe they did drop a clue and I missed it because I wasn’t paying close enough attention?

Astreiant wasn’t my favorite fantasy setting ever, but I do think it was well developed. The people of Astreiant have an obsession with the stars, which predict everything from your death to which careers would best suit you. It’s also a world that has no trouble with same-sex relationships, which are considered a normal part of society. Both the main characters are bisexual, and while there was no romance in this book, I’m told they get together in the sequel.

It’s hard for me to evaluate how well the protagonists were characterized. I never felt connected to them or had much of a sense of them, but someone who was more engaged in the book might feel differently.

I can see other people liking Point of Hopes, but it didn’t work for me. Something about the writing style didn’t jive, although it’s hard for me to describe it beyond “dense.” I’m not likely to be recommending it, but I wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it either.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | May 13, 2016 |
Set in a fictional fantasy world similar to seventeenth century England. The main difference is that astrology is real--and not only can it be used to accurately predict the future, it can be used to change it as well. The premise and plot are pretty good, but it gets bogged down in minutia. I know what the two main characters had for literally every meal of the week the story covers. I know how they hang their jackets, I know where they buy their ale--every single conversation, meal, and clothing-buying expedition is documented in detail. Very boring. The most disappointing aspect was, however, the relationship between the main characters. One a mercenary, the other a police officer (or "pointsman"), they're supposedly highly attracted to each other. They even move in together and declare lemanry (a fictional version of a civil union). And yet, not a single kiss between them. No moments of passion, no thoughts on how sexy the other looks--nothing.
( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Here's a book that started out promising but didn't have the depth to pull it all off in the end. It's a mystery story in which the culprit is revealed in the prologue without any attempt at distractions, red herrings, or the casting of doubt. It advertises itself as a gay romance, but by the end of the book there has been barely a hint that the main characters are even interested in each other. Its worldbuilding, which is the strongest element in the book by far, is interesting, but nonsensical at times. All in all, Point of Hopes was a disappointment, mainly because during the first third it promised some great reading and was unable to keep that promise as the plot went on.

The basic premise is this: A pointsman (policeman) and sword for hire end up teaming up to deal with a case of missing children in the city. The setup takes a good chunk out of the beginning of the book, and then the rest is a rather dull procedural, in which the reader, who already has a good idea of who's responsible, must follow the protagonists around as they go about their day, ask questions, get answers, and generally figure very little out until near the end. There are some side plots involving scapegoating and shady businessmen, but the authors were never able to convince me that things were not going to go just as I expected them to, and I was right in that assumption. It's hard to make a mystery compelling when the reader is confident that no one is at any risk of getting hurt.

While the story is not compelling, the world that this story takes place in is. There are some details that did not make much sense to me, but overall Point of Hopes paints the picture of a world both alien and familiar, and does a good job of showing how things like two suns, and culture heavily dependent on the interpretation of horoscopes might affect day to day life. The writing isn't quite strong enough to push the exposition though smoothly, but since the world that was being described was interesting I didn't mind.

Fantasy is not known for its mastery of prose, and this book is no exception. I'd say the writing was slightly below average, mainly due to a number of typos and grammatical errors that kicked me out of the story on a semi-regular basis. The writing isn't consistently bad so much as it is decent and sprinkled with what appear to be bad habits on the part of the writers. There's lots of abuse of "raised brows but said nothing," "added silently," "made a face," and so on and so forth. But the book is not unreadable. The action is clear and the writing doesn't go purple.

If you're looking for something amazing, this is not it. But if you want a world with good flavor, a passable story, and are willing to read the sequel for the promised romance, it might be worth it. I probably won't be bothering with the next book, myself. ( )
  bokai | Jan 10, 2015 |
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Barnett, Lisa A.autor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat

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Nicolas Rathe is a pointsman, a dedicated watchman in the great city of Astreiant. During the annual trade fair, with a city filled with travelers and merchants, someone is stealing children. The populace is getting angry and frightened and convinced that a foreigner must be to blame. Rathe calls on the aid of both an out-of-work soldier, the handsome Philip Eslingen, and the necromancer Istre b'Estorr. The art of astrology is a very real power in the kingdom and plays as much a role in politics as greed and intrigue. Rathe finds himself struggling to find the children before a major astrological event brings about catastrophe. The first in a series of fantasy novels filled with adventure, intrigue and gay romance.

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