The Last Page

The link is "http: In 'the last page of the internet ; ' discussion on February 16th, , T. Halvorson shows Rita Bronnenkant several links to variations of this meme, of which, all but one are now defunct, asking her which is the original source as part of his "never-ending quest for the authenticity of documents and information found on the Internet". With her legal expertise, Rita Bronnenkant replies that several of these sites hold a copyright from Darrin Maule [4] , though it cannot be said whether he is the creator of this meme.

The name of the website is a pun on the "www" and ". According to Alexa , "www. The search engine preview on DomainTools shows that at some point in time, there was text on the website which said:. The Wayback Machine archives the site to August 11th, It initially appeared as an e-commerce site called Rendezvous.

The name likely refers to the registrant, Arthur Hutchins. By December 13th, , the website simply redirected to "www. The Wayback Machine shows that "www. By September 28th, , "www. Though now defunct, Dennis G. Jerz noted that on April 9, , the "http: At one point during its history, a "Personal Web Page" service similar to Geocities was offered. Neither Alexa or DomainTools has any useful information about this site. The webpage had a white background, displaying the following text:.

A popular quotation from Internet Relay Chat , archived by Bash. Around , a user named "Bombscare" had said this ,. Google Reader features this meme. If one clicks "Next" until no items are present, Google Reader displays this message ,. The website's abandonment may have served as a reason for changing the text. The defunct link mentioned on the left once displayed this message on the right. However, most variations are merely aesthetic. Unlike other internet memes rooted in Web 1. Production of this meme has ceased in the early s, though some existing websites dedicated to this meme have been maintained for over a decade.

Jerz's website was created in and continues to be frequently updated. The older, Web 1. On June 7th, , Dennis G. Jerz discussed this KnowYourMeme article on his blog. He is an author of a book called Law of the Super Searchers: He also wrote How to Avoid Liability: The primary problem I had was that the combination of the author's baroque prose and the unusual worldbuilding complete with made up words made it difficult to really immerse myself in the book when I kept breaking off to try to understand how the world was supposed to be working.

The characters, too, didn't quite work for me. I thought Caliph was surprisingly easy to get into the head of, but I really am not interested in yet another prince who doesn't want to be king. Sena, on the other hand, I had the opposite problem: I found her role as a beginner spy to be extremely interesting, and I thought the author was doing a good job of avoiding the obvious problems of turning her into nothing more than a sexy spy, but I never felt like I could get into her head at all. Which might be a valid choice, characterization-wise, for a spy, but I can't say it's one that makes me want to read.

May 04, Stefan rated it liked it Shelves: The Last Page by Anthony Huso is an exciting debut novel that, despite some rough spots here and there, delivers thrills and originality in spades, and promises great things for the future. It takes a handful of chapters for Caliph to leave the college and assume the crown, giving the first 50 or so pages of the novel the feeling of an elaborate and slightly confusing prologue.

As soon as Caliph moves to Isca and becomes High King, the novel becomes considerably more interesting and exciting. Caliph is dropped into a political firestorm and a brewing civil war, because not every province in his country is ready to support the former crown prince, and various factions have their own agendas to advance. A large part of the novel takes place in Isca City, the capital of the duchy and a fascinating metropolis with several individualized neighborhoods.

Very occasionally Huso tends towards the predictable, and some scenes feel unnecessarily shocking, but more often than not he finds the right balance and shows true promise for the future.

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Attention: You have reached the very last page of the Internet. We hope you have enjoyed your browsing. Now turn off your computer and go outside. The Last Page, released in the United States as Man Bait, is a British film noir produced by Hammer Film Productions starring George Brent, Marguerite.

The Last Page is a very busy novel, filled with everything from zeppelins to blood magic, from steampunk-like technology to Cthulhu-esque beings from beyond. In addition, many names in the novel use non-Roman characters, mainly vowels with added diacritical signs — e. The Last Page would frankly have been more readable without the pardon the expression weird letters and obscure words. Despite some weaknesses, The Last Page delivers enough originality and excitement to rank as a noteworthy debut. This is a good novel that with some more polish could have been excellent, but nonetheless promises a bright future for a new and original voice in fantasy.

Jul 07, Derek rated it it was amazing Shelves: This contains view spoiler [partially as an object and macguffin and partially as a enigmatic character hide spoiler ] the best and most interesting rendering of a Necronomicon descendant that I've ever seen. Huso opens the veil a bit on his book of dark knowledge, the Cisrym Ta , revealing enigmatic Inti'Drou glyphs, complex fractal looping mind-distorting things--some of which are actually unsettlingly depicted on the page--representing compound syllables in a language thousands of years dead This contains view spoiler [partially as an object and macguffin and partially as a enigmatic character hide spoiler ] the best and most interesting rendering of a Necronomicon descendant that I've ever seen.

Huso opens the veil a bit on his book of dark knowledge, the Cisrym Ta , revealing enigmatic Inti'Drou glyphs, complex fractal looping mind-distorting things--some of which are actually unsettlingly depicted on the page--representing compound syllables in a language thousands of years dead, a multiform construction that incorporates both the ink and the whitespace around it and which is a complex mathematical argument that may or may not have to do with the fundament of this or some other universe.

Previous owners, possibly of some precursor species, have added their own marginalia in equally cryptic markings. The whole book is like that, importing tropes and concepts that genre readers take for granted and extruding them horribly in new and interesting directions. We've all seen the Lovecraftian monstrosities from beyond the stars. These crawl between the branes of reality like some worming mobile pustule.

These exist with mentalities and realities beyond human ken, but they have a plan, and they manipulate their human tools to that end, and it is very likely that things will not end pleasantly for the buglike humans. And sluglike prehuman overlords in the sewers below the feral borough of the city, and their crossbred progeny. We've seen steampunkery and science and magic. The magic is science and is long mathematical proofs and arguments drawn in blood. Isca City is yet another Dickensian squalor that goes on the list of really interesting places that I have absolutely no desire to visit.

A place that laces modernity and Victoriana and the ancient world: And body horror manipulation of animals. We've seen the youthful proteges develop. These two, Sena and Caliph, are weirdly codependent and intertwined and self-loathing. Each is skillful and untested, young and adult, formidable and vulnerable, determined and unsure, obsessed and doubting. Their characterizations are enthralling, especially as events--war, exposure to a particularly dangerous bit of reading, grappling with completely immoral power sources arcane and political --drive them up to and partially over the edge.

And to The Last Page, into a strange aftermath. View all 4 comments. May 03, edifanob rated it it was amazing Shelves: From language point of view this has been the most challenging read in It was impossible for me to read The Last Page without using several online dictionaries! You should know that English is not my first language. The world is compelling. While working on my full review I decided that this is definitely a five star book compared to my other ratings and therefore I changed my rating from four to five stars.

Read my full review over at Edi's Book Lighthouse. Jan 04, Ranting Dragon rated it liked it Shelves: With its mixture of fantasy, steampunk, and horror elements, I expected to breeze through it in a matter of days. It took longer than I anticipated, but I felt rewarded for my patience. The story centers on young Caliph Howl, a student trying his best to avoid graduating and returning to the Duchy of Stonehold where he is to become the High King. Caliph meets Sena, a sensual witch an http: Caliph meets Sena, a sensual witch and heir to the Shradnae Witchocracy leadership, and they share an exciting romance.

Sena and Caliph eventually graduate and leave to pursue separate agendas. Caliph returns to Isca, capitol city of the Duchy, where he begins his reluctant reign as High King. He learns alarming government secrets, is faced with a pending civil war, and finds himself at the center of political maneuvering. Meanwhile, Sena sets out on her search for the mysterious Cisrym Ta, a book whose pages possess powers unknown. When the two lovers reunite, they must balance the complexities of their relationship, contend with the scheming of those around them, and face the deadly consequences of their individual pursuits.

Each of these issues is compounded by her tireless search for the meaning of the Cisrym Ta. Although reluctant at first, Caliph adjusts surprisingly well to being High King. It started off slower and at times he was overshadowed by other more interesting characters spymaster Zane Vhortghast in particular , though scenes in which Caliph and Sena interacted are enjoyable and well written — and thankfully, occur frequently.

Crepuscular spiral staircase I enjoy the thrill of discovering a new word. Unfortunately, with The Last Page, that thrill became a distraction. Eventually, I decided to just read through. For all the effort and inventiveness Huso put into finding arcane words, the dialogue was overflowing with expletives. The F-bomb was dropped more often than necessary by almost every character, sometimes even when speaking with the High King! This often made the characters seem crass. The use of vulgarity in certain situations is understandable and necessary for realism, but there were times when it felt excessive.

Sprawling cities, blood magic, hideous creatures, chemical weapons, living meat: His world was dark and fiendishly surprising. Why should you read this book? The Last Page is a book that is best read knowing what to expect. I appreciated that Huso did not dump heaps of information into my lap; however, there were times when his lack of clear explanation, coupled with his excessive use of obscure words, made The Last Page a slow read at the start.

The pace picked up significantly in the second half and new life was breathed into the book. Huso has woven together an interesting new genre-bending fantasy that will reward the patient reader and those with voluminous vocabularies. I was glad I stuck with it. Sep 20, Adam rated it liked it Shelves: An inventive modern fantasy from a promising first time author.

Nerdisms like invented languages…especially the invented slang I tell you authors be wary of its use…hard to ever take seriously. Beautiful elevated language which occasionally clunks but usually is a thick stew that pulls back for intimate characters moments. Intimacy and excess, too much and not enough of something and it stumbled in the initial school sequences.

Like the high language as it provides a beautiful feeling of other An inventive modern fantasy from a promising first time author. Like the high language as it provides a beautiful feeling of otherness that fantasy requires. Frustrating and uneven with some segments unsettlingly beautiful then crude character dialogue which works maybe better than trying to elevate the dialogue but is tonal shift nonetheless, I guess if it was more artfully handled and the character less distant to me it would work better.

Also for an author who creates such superb terms for things why call airships zeppelins? Is there a Count Zeppelin living in this alternate world? A mix of new weird, high fantasy, steampunk that is full of wonder and has me impatient for what is next. Jan 12, Beth rated it did not like it. While the fantastical elements are interesting, the world building my kind of complex, what it didn't have was a character I cared about. I read three chapters, but only because I forced myself to do so. The first two chapters dealt far too much on the relationship of two characters and how much they would sacrifice to "be together" making some of the most ridiculous and often juvenile choices.

The other major issue I had was the made up languages. I don't have anything against made up languages While the fantastical elements are interesting, the world building my kind of complex, what it didn't have was a character I cared about.

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I don't have anything against made up languages in general, but these seemed to have no actual linguistic reasoning behind them; just letters smashed together because they sounded cool. To be fair, give the reviews that actually read the entire book more credit than this review. I simply had much better reading to get to than spend time on this. Highly original and rife with elements of the weird it is a fantasy novel quite unlike any I have ever read. The Last Page is a novel unlike anything on the market today; an important distinction since its unique style and willingness to borrow conventions from outside the typical fantasy genre called to mind the old school fantasists featured in the pages of Weird Tales authors like C.

Moore and Fritz Leiber. In a genre that has become somewhat insular and self-referential The Last Page is a rare exercise in invention and originality. The Last Page initially centers on Caliph Howl a young man finishing his studies at school while reluctantly awaiting the summons home to assume the unwanted kingship of Isca. Caliph, in the last year or so of his studies meets Sena a fellow student and the two students quickly form a bond.

Sena is not quite what she seems; Sena is a Shradnae witch who seeks the mysterious Cisrym Ta; an ancient grimoire of unknown power. The book is locked by magic and in order to open it she needs to betray someone who loves her. One thing I should note is that the invented language and unique characters used throughout The Last Page look completely terrible on my nook. Secondly, and another pitfall of reading The Last Page on an e-reader is that the glossary and pronunciation guide for these letters and words is located at the end of the novel.

It is a chore and a distraction to flip to that information while reading. To be fair my first choice for reading The Last Page was print, but as happens here in the library, it has seemingly disappeared off the shelves. Like I mentioned at the start of this review The Last Page is a difficult novel.

The original elements like the invented language, and a complex cosmology require a bit of a stretch for readers more familiar with traditional fantasy. Those flexible readers who feel confident in their ability to stretch their expectation will be rewarded by an engrossing story in a strange world.

By far my favorite parts of The Last Page were those that dragged in elements of horror. Like a cattle yard, where butchered animals were hung on hooks to drain. Only these great carcasses were alive and three times size of a butchered cow. Three heavy chains hooked onto iron rings that pierced their upper portion and suspended each living meat several feet above the floor. They were vaguely the shape of a human heart and the iron rings that suspended them pulled the tissue into painful-looking triangles…The meat had no arms or legs.

It had no skin but a translucent bluish white membrane that covered the dark maroon muscle tissue and bulging blue veins underneath. Lumpy patches of yellow adipose clustered in grooves and seams where the muscles joined in useless perfection. Cable-thick tubing ran from above, bundled together and coupled into various implanted sockets for reasons obviously associated with sustaining dubious life. Occasionally, muscles twitched or a sudden shudder wen through the enormous cohesion of mindless flesh and sent the body swinging in the slow tight spiral allowed by the chains.

At the bottom of the meat, near the pointed but snubbed posterior, something like an anus spewed filth with peristaltic violence into a square depression in the floor. Urine dribbled or sprayed from hidden hole proximal to the defecating sphincter, help to wash soupy piles of shit and blood toward runnels in the floor. That is disgusting and brilliant in a very twisted kind of way. Huso, simultaneously throws at us a scene of gory horror and a complex social and moral issue. For me, fantasy must play chameleon in exactly this way, offer beauty hidden in horror; promise loveliness then suddenly throw its head back and scream.

This is something I think horror on its own struggles to do because I always suspect it. But fantasy can go both ways. The horror can dissolve suddenly and unexpectedly into bliss, which I think enhances the sense of unpredictability. It is surprise and uncertainty, especially the uncertainty of how to react, that I prize. It is the kind of novel that after reading it once I want to explore again just to examine the details that my initial read is sure to have missed.

May 04, Mike rated it really liked it. Jul 19, Andrew rated it it was ok. It's rare to see someone get the New Weird tone right. It's not about transgressive body squick and creepy monsters although those never hurt ; it's the modernist tone taken to fantasy. Technologies of magic, bureaucracy of necromancy, financial transactions of the soul.

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Mixed metaphors that turn unexpectedly literal. Set it in this world and you get Matthew Swift; invent a new world and you have Mieville. We will discuss Max Gladstone at another time. This book gets the tone right, but the st It's rare to see someone get the New Weird tone right. This book gets the tone right, but the story isn't strong enough to support it, I'm afraid. It starts out great: Not my university experience but I'll accept it as a fantasy motif.

Post this introduction, however, it gets thin. The protagonists are the heir to the High Throne and a witch. The witch wants to locate a magic book of magicness. The prince wants -- well, it doesn't matter what he wants, because a civil war just started and he's got to play realpolitik. Nothing wrong with that stuff as a setup; I just don't think the author carries it through very well.

The conflicts are all blunt and uninteresting. The witch needs to betray the prince to open the magic book, but she secretly likes him; the prince needs to use technology to save his city, but the technology is evil; the spymaster has a plan Then, later, the plot outruns the author's ability to clue me in on what's going on. People scheme, go insane, run around, and betray each other. I didn't understand why. There's a royal ghost. The language is fruitily over-the top. I wound up feeling drowned in synonyms.

Well-chosen synonyms, but way overused. Ironically, at one point the witch explains that magic is most powerful when it uses as few words as possible. I think the author failed to re-read that bit. I'll spare you examples. I think they were in the style of romanized Vietnamese script? I think I want to revisit this author in a few years, when he's gotten some more experience.

Will skip the rest of this series, try again on his next one. Sep 03, Jason rated it liked it Shelves: I have mixed feelings about this rather long, dark, and imaginative fantasy by first time author Huso. There is a lot to like here. This is a very dark fantasy, the characters are flawed and real, the plot is simple and time tested, and the magic is extremely cool. This is a sort of steam punk novel,where zeppelins, bizarre machinery, and state of the art science rules the world.

Blood magic is the supernatural element that permeates the landscape of this story. The story is overly ambitious and I have mixed feelings about this rather long, dark, and imaginative fantasy by first time author Huso. The story is overly ambitious and as a result there are far too many loose threads that fray at the main plot.

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Too many questions left unanswered and a questionable ending bring the overall feel of this novel down a few notches. I am giving this book 3 stars because of it's highly imaginative magic and wonderful stempunk-esque setting. Huso is an author to watch but this one suffers a little from first time mistakes. Dec 19, Jrubino rated it liked it. After about pages, nothing in this novel kept me interested. Oh, the writing style is good. The descriptions spot on and the world-building well done. Nothing really new to be found here, but no horrible missteps either.

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I put the book aside and totally forgot about it for a week. I won this book through First Reads. I started out really liking this book, as it seemed different than how I usually think of fantasy books, but as I got further into it my feelings became mixed. On one hand I thought some parts were interesting and creative.

On the other I thought it was a terribly boring read. I found myself spacing out during long descriptions and half the time I couldn't remember the names of characters or what part they played in the story. Then again, I don't really read I won this book through First Reads. Then again, I don't really read fantasy books and I can't see myself reading many more in the future.

Dec 01, Nicole Jackson rated it did not like it. I did not finish this book as I found it not to my taste. The plot wasn't even revealed until halfway through the book. It was slow, wordy, and the worldbuilding was really sloppy. Jun 16, Seregil of Rhiminee rated it it was amazing Shelves: Before I say anything about The Last Page, I'll say that it looks like the best debut fantasy books of come mostly from Tor Books: Blake Charlton's Spellwright is a fantastic traditional fantasy book, Ian Tregillis' Bitter Seeds is a fascinating alternate history book and now fantasy readers have a chance to read another fine and exciting book, Anthony Huso's The Last Page.

I'm glad that I had a chance to read the advance uncorrected proof of Anthony Huso's The Last Page, because this book i Before I say anything about The Last Page, I'll say that it looks like the best debut fantasy books of come mostly from Tor Books: I'm glad that I had a chance to read the advance uncorrected proof of Anthony Huso's The Last Page, because this book is fantastic! When I finished reading this book, I said to myself: It made a huge impression on me and I can recommend it to everybody who likes good adult fantasy. It's a delightfully steampunkish and sophisticated fantasy book, which grabs hold of you and won't let go until you've reached the final page.

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Anthony Huso's prose is good and the story is amazingly addictive — once you start reading it, you won't stop until you've reached the last page. I read the whole book as soon as possible, because it was so good that I couldn't stop reading it I had to find out how the story ends.

The Last Page feels surprisingly fresh and interesting when compared to many other debut books. Huso's tight and descriptive writing style is charming. Glen Cook has said that The Last Page is "a first novel of unusual scope, power, and imagination" and David Drake has said that it's "an excellent story told in High Style". I totally agree with them, because Anthony Huso's debut fantasy book rises clearly above many other debut books. Categorizing The Last Page is a bit difficult, because it contains several different kind of elements and it's quite dark.

It isn't exactly high fantasy and it isn't steampunk either, so it's difficult to say what it is, but perhaps it's enough to say that it's perfect fantasy for adult readers. Here's some information about the characters: The main characters, Caliph and Sena, are interesting and believable characters.

The other characters are also interesting. The story begins when the main Caliph and Sena are students and become lovers. Later they're a bit older and they meet again under different circumstances. In the beginning Caliph is a student, but later he's a king, and Sena is a witch who is ordered to do certain things. Caliph is desribed as a reluctant king and that makes him an interesting character. Anthony Huso writes carefully about his life, duty and feelings. Anthony Huso also writes carefully about Sena and makes her a complex character, who has an obsession to find out more about Cisrym Ta, which is an ancient arcane text.

Sena is a witch and she's the pupil of Megan, who's an older witch and a Coven Mother. Sena's life can be called difficult and the choices she makes are interesting. The motives and feelings of Caliph and Sena are handled in a sophisticated manner. Both characters are almost like normal people and that's why they're both likeable characters.

I think that several readers will feel sympathy for both of them. The witches are fascinating characters, because the Shradnae witches are described as women who are willing to do almost anything to get what they want. Their sex life is interesting, because they use sex for their own purposes — sex is almost like a tool for them. Being a witch is dangerous and a witch has to work in secrecy and follow the orders of the Sisterhood. The servants and other characters are also interesting characters and they make a good supporting cast. For example, spymaster Zane Vhortghast Mr.

Vhortghast is a good and mysterious character and Caliph's friends from the college are also good characters. The official synopsis of The Last Page reveals a lot about the story, but it leaves many important things unsaid. It only scratches the surface on certain things, so here more information the world and other things: The world of The Last Page is a steampunkish and fascinating fantasy world.

The world is full of different kind of things — trains, power sources, newspapers, airships, guns etc. These things make the world interesting, because it differs from normal medieval fantasy worlds. I think I can say that the world Anthony Huso has created is a strangely familiar place, but it's also a profoundly different place. The worldbuilding is done with care. Anthony Huso writes fantastically about the world, the people, the cities and the wilderness.

He describes things with care, but he also leaves room for the reader's imagination. The Last Page combines different kind of elements — fantasy, steampunk, witches, sex, magic, political situations etc — in a splendid way. It's almost amazing how entertaining and well written this book is.

Although Anthony Huso uses several basic fantasy elements and writes about typical fantasy situations, he manages to create something new and wonderful. His fantasy is inventive and engrossing. Sexual situations are handled well in this book, because Huso writes fluently about sex and desire.

Magical things are also handled flawlessly. In my opinion political situtations and other similar things are surprisingly interesting in this book. Some scenes are simple while others are more complex. This is good, because it creates diversity. In one fine scene Caliph has to prove to the Council that he's capable of being a king.

This scene shows that Huso writes fluently about political situations — the character interaction works well in this scene and the reactions of the characters seem realistic. There are several other good scenes, but I'm not going to analyze all of them. I'll only write about one more scene and then I'll write about other things, because I don't want to reveal too much about the story and I don't want to spoil anybody's fun of reading the book. In the beginning of the book Caliph is reluctant to become a king and he runs away from the college to find Sena. In my opinion this scene is powerful, because it demonstrates how unwilling Caliph is to become a king, but it also shows that he's capable of making difficult choices when necessary.

The Last Page contains lots of similar deftly written scenes, which will easily charm the reader. Now I'll write about other things The sense of wonder is always present in The Last Page and the magical things are fascinating. As the story begins to unfold Anthony Huso shows the reader almost an amazing mount of wonders and inventions from the shocking meat industry to strange power sources and much more. As the story develops, the plot becomes more interesting and nuanced, and the ending is good.

I think that the author has done his best to create an absorbing, imaginative and vivid fantasy book for adults and he's succeeded in it beyond expectations. I'm sure that he'll become a successful and respected fantasy author. I was positively surprised when I found out that this book contains darker magic blood magic than other new books. This kind of magic has always fascinated me in fantasy books, so I was thrilled to read about it. Holomorphy is a good invention, because the reader wants to know more about it. The meat industry of Isca is a brilliant invention it's one of the best inventions in this book.

This meat industry is probably a shocking surprise for most readers, because they will never suspect what will be revealed to them. I'm not going to write more about this subject, but I can mention that the author has used quite a lot of imagination when he's written about this meat industry. I think that horror readers will love Isca's meat industry, because horror literature is the only place where you'll be able to find similar shocking and disturbing visions. I loved this invention. The fauna of the world is also quite interesting, because Anthony Huso mentions strange animals.

For example, there are sarchal hounds and horrible otter-things which lie in wait below the lakes. The pronunciation guide at the end of the book was useful. It helped to clarify certain things. I could write much more about The Last Page, but I won't do that, because I think I've already praised this book too much. There's only only thing, which I haven't written about and that's the map of the world. The uncorrected proof doesn't contain a map of the world, but the final book will contain maps. The map isn't necessary to understand what's going on in this book, but it'll be interesting to see the map of the world.

According to Anthony Huso's official website, he has sold The Last Page and its sequel to Tor Books, so there'll probably be at least one sequel. I have to confess that I can hardly wait to get my hands of the sequel, because The Last Page is an amazingly good book. Some readers may probably wonder if The Last Page is worth reading.

I can say that it's definitely worth buying and reading. If you like good and inventive fantasy, you'll love this book. I think that The Last Page will be like a breath of fresh air to several readers who are fed up with mediocre and unimaginative fantasy books. This book is pure quality from the first page to the last page. If you're looking for a new and a bit different kind of fantasy book, you must read The Last Page. I can recommend The Last Page to all fantasy readers, because it's an exceptionally powerful debut book, which deserves all the praise it gets.

I can honestly say that The Last Page is one of the best and finest fantasy books I've read this year. You won't regret reading this book, because it's a damn good fantasy book! Buy it, read it and love it! Everything about it is cold. Even the red-hot lovers that are the central characters are just cold people. Anthony Huso does his best to not let the reader in. It's like he thinks that by making his world inaccessible to the reader that he's more likely to be seen as a genius.

And he might be, by some. I'm reminded of Neil Gaiman and Stephen Brust's metaphor for writing. If you don't know it, I'll repeat it here because it's really a great metaphor: Popcorn is pretty obvious. Anyone here enjoy The Destroyer novels by Sapir and Murphy as much as me? Steak is the stuff you can bite into, chew, swallow, and gain sustenance from.

Some of us use spices on our steak, or do interesting things with it by stir-frying it, adding ginger and various vegetables, and so on. In my case, paprika. But at the end of the day, it is steak. Niel writes particularly good steak--range fed, the spicing is different every time, always delectable, and some of it obviously comes from places where cattle are not indigenous, making you go, "Wow. How did they ever think of doing that? Gene Wolfe and John M. It is a lot of work to get to.

You have to open the can, you have to make sure the refrigeration is exactly perfect. You have to have the right atmosphere, and you have to approach it with the proper reverence if you're going to get anything out of the experience. But if you do, my god, is it worth it! Celery is that stuff you have to chew and chew and chew and, by the time you're done, you've gotten even less nutritional value from than the popcorn.

I won't name any names. Some turn up their noses at popcorn. Just don't bring 'em to a ball game. Most of us like steak, in one form or another. Some object to caviar because they have just never got into the glories of eating--into food that is worth the work. For them, the payoff just isn't there. The interesting thing, to me, is that there really are people out there who like the celery because it is so hard to chew, and the fact that there's nothing of substance there doesn't bother them. Brust Huso definitely, unequivocally, falls into the celery category.

I'm sure he thinks he's writing caviar, but sorry, there's nothing of substance to this story. It's so much celery I felt like slicing the book up and using it in a stew. And that's a shame, because there are some incredible ideas presented very briefly by Huso, who them forgets them and moves straight on.

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I could write much more about The Last Page, but I won't do that, because I think I've already praised this book too much. The world of The Last Page is a steampunkish and fascinating fantasy world. On the other I thought it was a terribly boring read. Lists with This Book. She seems to be a hard, powerful woman but it is clearly shown that she favors Sena, view spoiler [makes every effort to save her life, and has worked to promote her through the ranks of the witches hide spoiler ].

Instead, we are presented with three main "plots" I use that word loosely, because there's not much story here , all competing with each other to see which one can be more insipid; which one can be the one that keeps readers at arm's length more successfully. Caliph Howl, or "Muslim Leader Bellow", as I like to call him, is a young royal who's just been made High King, and finds himself falling in love with a young witch, Sena Iilool, after the two meet at school.

I kept telling myself I'd get used to his ridiculous name. Her name isn't much better. Caliph's placement on the throne begins a civil war, which starts apparently for no other reason than one his Lords Bannerman thinks he'd be a better king. That's the plot in a nutshell. Oh, there's lots of material that keeps the pages filled up, but it's just there so that Huso can present his confusing jumble of half-formed ideas, many of which look like they'd be amazing if only he'd just develop them a little further. And he gives it all to us in perhaps the most inaccessible method, a method that makes me think Huso takes great pride in being able to utilize an onomasticon.

I'll give you a few seconds for that one. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? It remembers Faulkner as one of those guys college students read and talk about in order to feel smarter than their peers. Huso is of the Faulkner school of writing. He fills his pages with paragraph upon paragraph of rich-sounding drivel, using the biggest word his onomasticon can give him, and the more he does it, the more convinced I am that he desperately wants you to think he's a genius.

I've read other speculative fiction authors like Gene Wolfe, Frank Herbert, JRR Tolkien natch and Steven Erikson, who can make you believe there's a great deal going on in the worlds they've created, far more than is on the page. They can drop you into a story, tell you "sink or swim", and yet you feel very much like you're actually in the water, the deep end, even. Maybe it's hard to swim through. Maybe you have to read the book or books several times in order to understand it all, but you feel there's something there to understand.

It feels real to you. That's what a good writer can do. Huso drops you in head-first and says "sink or swim" but after a few splashes you realize you're in a wading pool. Huso has thrown some pool toys in, some of which are odd-looking and don't seem to do much, but all the toys in the world don't really distract from the fact that you're in about a couple of inches of water, and nothing real or important is happening, or going to happen. Also, I've got to mention his dialogue. Rarely have I seen dialogue so at odds with the bloviated prose. When writing prose, he's a poor facsimile of Faulkner but practically as soon as the characters open their mouths, what comes out is so distressingly modern that it takes me right out of whatever spirit I was in to read these books.

Characters use phrases like "How's it going? He also commits several sins that all bad writers commit: Those last two are particularly egregious. In one scene, for example, Sena goes down into a series of catacombs and, from what I could gather, begins to feel creeped out, and imagines that monstrous, Lovecraftian beings have followed her down here, and are staring at her right now.

Later, she thinks about her "close encounter" in the catacombs and I realized that she actually was followed by these creatures. As for those plot lines that come and go, that's one of the downfalls of writing inaccessibly. A concept is introduced, and then we get seven chapters that have nothing to do with it, and are written in an infuriating way, and then finally it gets re-introduced, making you have to go back and look for when it was initially introduced in order for it to make sense. For example, there's a novella that is set between this book and its sequel, that supposedly reveals the mystery of, "What did Sena bury in the bogs?

We get it, Huso, we all know how to use character map, too. But all its other uses? Even worse are some of the ancient beings, whose names are given like this: What part of that entices you as a reader? So, ultimately, while I spent about three fourths of this book trying desperately to find something to like about it, I'm afraid I can't recommend this one.

It's not that I'm just not smart enough to get it; you can feel when a book is truly brilliant as opposed to continually trying to convince you that it is. It's that despite all the obscurantism that Huso engages in, it all feels like the window-dressing that it is. And I never liked celery. I forgot to mention one other little thing that drove me nuts. He keeps referring to dirigibles as "zeppelins". As this is a completely alternate world a different planet, as far as I can tell, as it has two moons , that is extremely unlikely.

Also, at one point he wants to describe a cannon as being extremely huge. So what word does he use? It's at this point that I became sure that he was just flipping through an onomasticon by the way, that's a thesaurus, for those of you who didn't get my earlier joke for the biggest and most obscure words he could find.

No, it's from Gulliver's Travels. Now, unless this planet ALSO has a Jonathan Swift, and he ALSO happened to write a fantastical story about a man who traveled to various islands, including one called Brobdingnag, inhabited by giants, there is no way that "Brobdingnagian" is a legitimate word there. Jun 22, Anna N. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This will never effect how I like or rate a book. You know what, I'm proud of myself for finishing this book. Most will say they wont waste their time finishing a bad book but for me I hate not to.

Especially if I plan to do a review for it then I need to make sure I actually finish the book. It wasn't easy but I did it. And oh boy will there be spoilers concerning the ending. I actually finally took notes for a book so that Rating: I actually finally took notes for a book so that I could bring up all the different things I wanted to say for the review. Now granted I should of been doing this before with the other books I've reviewed. Finding I've often times forgotten to write about one more thing that I forgot to say. Still none of them needed it as much as this book did.

Let me bring up one of the good things first though before I get into ranting about the bad. Or the one that shows the landscape and the zeppelins. It is absolutely beautiful. Whoever designed that is a artist. It's so detailed and really helps visualize the world of the book. The other cover I've seen with the eye is nice but this one seems just perfect for the story. So great choice on that. You want to know what else is detailed? Everything is this book. There were so many details that you literally couldn't go one paragraph without hitting a whole bunch.

Now this did help you to visualize every little thing but at the same time it did become overwhelming and well some things I just really didn't care about knowing. Do I really need to know how exactly Sena managed to take her urgent piss or Caliph relieving his bowels? Don't worry, he wiped afterwards.

As if that didn't already feel unneeded something else was even more not wanted. That would be the constant comparisons of things. It seemed everything had to be compared to something so that the reader might better understand what was happening. Sometimes it helped and other times it just felt pointless or sometimes even crass or just disgusting.

They sucked floods down an ineluctable network of straws like a fat girl at a soda fountain and pushed them through turbines toward the bay where powerful geysers of odious water gushed into the sea.