AK's Reviews

For easier navigation there are tables of all my read/reviewed Books, Films, and Video Games

Otherwise, you can also browse this section by book, film, and game reviews.

Game Review: Game of Thrones S08

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD RATING: 5/5. So all you losers whining about the Battle of Winterfell, or: The Charge of the Dothraki Brigade. You’re approaching this as you would a real medieval battle, criticizing show writers D&D for giving Winterfell such an absurd order of battle (cavalry go first; trebuchets out in front; palisades right behind the infantry; […]

Film Review: Game of Thrones S07

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD RATING: 3/5. I largely lost interest in Game of Thrones by the end of Season 5 (the only TV series I follow through the excellent cable alternative qBittorrent). So much so that it was not until just a week ago that I realized Season 8 had already started. As I explained in […]

Book Review: Andrew Yang – The War on Normal People

~7% Chance This Guy Will Be President Come 2020. Let’s Review His Book.

Book Review: Best Books on WW1

Best Books While I have read quite a few books on WW1, only a couple really “stand out”: Niall Ferguson (1998) – The Pity of War: Explaining World War I [download] does justice to its subtitle, boldly reinterpreting most of the standard narrative through vivid statistical argumentation. For instance, the claims that there was widespread enthusiasm […]

Book Review: Joseph Tainter – The Collapse of Complex Societies

Joseph Tainter – The Collapse of Complex Societies (1998) Rating: 5/5 Notes: Can be downloaded here. Access my other reviews here: https://akarlin.com/reviews/ TLDR: Joseph Tainter argues that the root cause of civilizational collapse is because of over-investment into and declining marginal returns on complexity. Societies invest in complexity to solve their problems and typically need to expend […]

Book Review: Vladimir Voinovich – Moscow 2042

Vladimir Voinovich (1986) – Moscow 2042 Rating: 2/5 TLDR: Good perspective on sovok-liberal Russophobia. Vladimir Voinovich died the other day. In the Anglosphere, this only seems to have been noticed by RFERL, where this Serb/Jewish literary dissident worked during his exile from the USSR in the 1980s. Like Solzhenitsyn, Voinovich opposed the Soviet regime – but that was […]

Book Antireview: Karl Marx – Capital

Karl Marx – Capital. Rating: 2/10 I did earnestly try to read Capital on about three separate occasions in my early twenties, before I wised up and stopped wasting my time on a pointless historical relic. At a basic level, Marx is just a very poor writer, and I say this as someone who read Adam Smith’s […]

Book Review: Steven Pinker – Enlightenment Now

Steven Pinker – Enlightenment Now [buy; don’t]. Rating: 1/10. My impression on getting through a third of Enlightenment Now is that it was essentially a summary of Better Angels, followed by running commentary on the graphs from Our World in Data and Gapminder. But I don’t begrudge him for that, since I agree with him (and Lord Kelvin) on […]

Film Review: The Legend of Kolovrat

RATING: 9/10 NOTES: “Russia’s 300.” Also reminiscent of Ironclad, and perhaps Valhalla Rising. See my other reviews here: https://akarlin.com/reviews/ The Legend of Kolovrat (English: Furious) is a reasonably faithful retelling of the Tale of the Destruction of Ryazan [in Russian; not aware of an English translation], a medieval chronicle describing the Mongol invasion of Rus in 1237-40. The story starts with a […]

Game Review: DOOM (2016)

Gameplay: 9/10 Aesthetics: 8/10 Story: 3/10 (but who cares?) TOTAL: 8/10 It is the 22nd century, resources are running low, and the world is almost exclusively powered from a Mars base owned by the Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC), a ruthless Mega Corp that has hit upon the idea of creating an interdimensional rift on the red planet and […]

Review: Game of Thrones Season 6

SPOILERS UP TO END OF SEASON 6 Review: 6/10 I am no longer a big fan of the series (the only TV series I follow through the excellent cable alternative qBittorrent). It’s not even that I’m a stickler for book accuracy, or a “bookfag”; as I have pointed out, I believe that some things the […]

Film Review: The Martian

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD RATING: 8/10. (Please note my ratings system is harsh and virtually no films get a 10). In 2011, American sci-fi giant Neal Stephenson bewailed the pessimism prevalent in the genre and called for writers to start thinking more positively about the possibilities of technology in order to inspire new generations to “get big stuff […]