Friday, January 31, 2014

Unnatural Acts


Today’s post is on Unnatural Acts by Kevin J. Anderson. It is the second in his Dan Shamble series and 325 pages long including a sample of the third book. The plot is told from the first person point of view of the main character Dan Shamble. The cover has Dan and Sheyenne together with a Shakespeare play going on in the background. The intended reader is someone likes funny novels making fun of fantasy and urban fantasy tropes. If you liked the first novel you will like this one too. There is no sex, mild language, and the violence is pretty funny. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- To Be Dead Or Not To Be Dead. In the Unnatural Quarter, golems slave away in sweatshops, necromancers sell black-market trinkets to tourists, and the dead rise up- to work the night shift. But zombie detective Dan Shamble is no ordinary working stiff. When a local senator and his goons picket a ghostly production of Shakespeare in the Dark- condemning the troupe’s “unnatural” lifestyles- Dan smell something rotten. And is something smells rotten to a zombie, you’re in serious trouble…
Before his way of life, er, death, is destroyed, Dan wants answers. Along the way he needs to provide security for a mummified Madame, defend a mixed- race couple (he’s a vampire, she’s a werewolf) from housing discrimination, and save his favorite watering hole, the Goblin Tavern, from drying up. Throw in a hairy hitman, a necro-maniac, and a bank robber who walks through walls, and Dan Shamble’s plate is full. Maybe this time, the zombie detective has bitten off more than can chew…

Review- I had so much fun reading this book. It is funny, clever, and has good characters. I was reading five chapters of this book as a reward to myself as I read one of my nonfiction books about a pretty horrifying topic so I needed all the laughs that I could get. This novel picks up pretty soon after the end of the first one so you do not have to do much catch up and can just jump right into the story. The clients are just as wacky, the case themselves just as weird, and Dan just as funny as the first novel.  One of the funny gags in this novel is that the witches from the first are now ghostwriting, with the help of a vampire, the adventures of Dan Shamble zombie P.I. and I hope to read some of that in the next book. If you are looking for a laugh or urban fantasy series that does not take itself or anything too seriously then try this one. I personally love it.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Stiff- The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers


Today's nonfiction post is on Stiff- The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. It is 303 pages long including a bibliography and is published by W. W. Norton. The cover has feet with the toe tag having the title on it. The intended reader is someone who is curious about what we do and have done with human bodies and is adult. There is some language, graphic content, and no sex in this book. The story is told from Roach's point of view mixing with history of death and dying. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the dust jacket- An Oddly Compelling, Often Hilarious Exploration of the Strange Lives of Our Bodies Postmortem.
For two thousand years, cadavers- some willing, some unwilling- have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They helped test France's first guillotines, answering the question, “Is the severed head aware of its circumstances, however momentarily?” They helped evaluate the army's new rifles in 1904, standing as targets before researchers' guns. They've ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWS Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there, alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet, understated way.
In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries- from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human-decay research facility at the University of Tennessee (a.k.a the “Body Farm”), a plastic surgery practice lab, and a Scandinavian funeral directors' conference on the utopian future of human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

Review- I wanted to like this book. I wanted to read a quirky book about the history of cadavers and how we humans deal with death. This book is that but it is not at the same time. Roach does talk about the history of funeral techniques which I liked and was interested in. Then she will go off on a tangent about searching for someone who may have done something strange or illegal with a dead body but as I was reading those many tangents I could tell that she was looking for urban myths. Then the detail that she goes into about things that have nothing to do with dead people but someone's sick actions in life. There is one footnote that still turns my stomach but it has nothing to do with the dead. It has to do with some other things that one person who was a founder in medicine but it did not add to the overall narrative. In fact because of tangents like that one I am never going to read Roach again. I did not enjoy this book or this author.
I give this book One Star out of Five. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Wicked As They Come


Today’s post is Wicked As They Come by Delilah S. Dawson. It is 395 pages long and is the first in her Blud series. The cover is dark blue with the main male character on it with no shirt wearing a jacket with clockwork gears on it. It is told from the first person perspective of the main character Tish. The intended reader is someone who likes romance, Steampunk, or vampires done in a new way. There is language, sex, and violence in this book so be warned 18 and up just to be safe. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she had no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman had cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life or will she take a change on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?

Review- This was a fun read. After all the heavy and very dark reading that I have been doing this was a fun, light-hearted, non-serious break that I really needed. Dawson is a solid writer who can world build very well. She does not take her plot or characters too seriously and really with this set up she does not need to. The only I could not do was give the character’s accents as I was reading. I have no idea why I could not do that but I could not. With the exception of Tish all the characters are a type of British. The world that Dawson created is like ours but just a little off and I liked seeing the differences and the similar features. I doubt that Dawson will return to Tish and Criminy but I would like to know more about their lives after the book. Tish does change the world in this book and I know that we will see the fall out but I like to experience it with her. That said I will be buying her novel Wicked As She Wants when I money to do so.

I give this book a Four and half out of Five Stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.

Friday, January 24, 2014



Today’s post is on Broken by A. E. Rought. It is the first in a trilogy I think and is published by Strange Chemistry. It is 366 pages long. The cover is blood red with Emma as a white figure in the center and the author/title in black. The intended reader is young adult but if you are a Frankenstein fan you should give this one a try. There is some language, some violence but no sex in this novel. It is for YA and up not for children like just Frankenstein. The story is told from the first person point of view of Emma. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry’s boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetery and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.
When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned surgeon, she’s intrigued. He is strangely… familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel; even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel’s. The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there’s something very, very wrong with Alex Franks.

Review- I really enjoyed this book. It is a sort of retelling of Frankenstein more of a reimagining. Whereas Frankenstein is the narrator in the original novel; but in this he is just a side scary side character. The point of the story is Emma and Alex. I am a fan of Frankenstein but I never liked the doctor or felt sorry for him. I pitied the creature and again Alex was the one who I felt for. Emma is a good heroine with some fire and some brokenness. Alex is a magnificent character. He is very drawing and pulls feeling of sympathy from the reader. His father is insane, the life he had before is gone, and the one girl who he cannot get out of his head is just a confused as he is. Rought creates a believable town which someone unbelievable happens in. She brings to life these characters with grace, wit, and a little black science but I loved every minute of it. The one scene that I will warn about is when Emma goes to visit Alex in his home as a surprise. That is when she discovers what is really going on behind those closed doors and it was very intense. Rought truly brings home how monstrous Dr. Franks really is. So if you are looking for an excellent reimagining of Frankenstein then look no further than Broken.

I give this book a Five out of Five Stars. I get nothing in return for my review and I was given this book as an ARC for free.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Shakespeare’s Restless World: A Portrait of an Era in Twenty Objects


Today’s nonfiction book review is on Shakespeare’s Restless World: A Portrait of an Era in Twenty Objects by Neil MacGregor. It is 320 pages long including a bibliography, references, picture credits, and an index. It is published by Viking Press. The cover is white with of the objects on it and the title in red.  The intended reader is someone who is interested in history. There is no language, no sex but violence is discussed because of the time period. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- We feel we know Shakespeare’s characters. Think of Hamlet trapped in indecision or Macbeth with his burning ambition or Cleopatra and her obsessive infatuation. They are so vital, so alive and real, that we see aspects of ourselves in them. But their world was nothing like our own.
In this brilliant work of historical reconstruction, Neil MacGregor brings us twenty objects that capture the essence of Shakespeare’s world. Together they transport us to that pivotal moment when politics, science, religion, even the basic facts of geography, all had to be rethought. This was when modern man and woman- questioning, self-conscious, committed to their beliefs but curious to discover the world- came into being.
A medal forged to commemorate Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the world invites us to imagine what it felt like to witness the age of exploration. A Communion cup captures the most sacred and divisive act in Christendom at a time when Catholics and Protestants were at one another’s throats. A bestselling manual for murder testifies to the perils of kingship, and a dagger and rapier remind us that questions of honor were often determined by the sword.
“Napoleon famously said that, to understand a man, you need to understand the world when he was twenty years old,” MacGregor writes in his introduction. For the men and women who grew up in Shakespeare’s time, daily life was exhilaratingly uncertain. This magnificent book, illustrated with color photographs throughout, invites you to touch, smell and feel what life was like when humankind leap into the modern world.

Review- I loved this book. It was so easy to read and fun. I read MacGregor’s first book and so when I saw that he had a new book out I grabbed it. MacGregor has an easy way with words and he helps the reader to truly understand why he chooses the objects that he did. The objects chosen range from a pedlar’s trunk that helped a Catholic priest tend to his flock to a beautiful and big indoor clock. There was so much more going on in Shakespeare’s time than I was aware of. Shakespeare’s work is of course timeless but to know more about the world that he was living in helps to understand the way that Shakespeare thought. MacGregor does that and so much more in this book. He explains the politics, the inventions, and way that religion was changing a this time between the dark ages and the age of enlightenment. I highly recommend this book.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Never Fade


Today’s post is on Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken. It is the second in her Darkest Minds series and is 507 pages long. It is published by Hyperion. The cover is dark grey with the title, author’s name, and a compass in lighter silver. The story is told from first person point of view of the main character Ruby. The intended reader is young adult but the series is so good that an adult could love it too. There is language, violence, but no sex in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the book jacket- Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.
When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children- and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts- has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is saved in only one place: a flash drive in the hands of Liam Steward, the boy Ruby once believed was her future- and who now wouldn’t recognize her.
As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam- and answers about the catastrophe that had ripped both her life and America apart- she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what is winning the war means losing herself?

Review- I loved Darkest Minds and the sequel is just as good. It started about six months after the end of the first book with Ruby in the Children’s League. Cate who was thought to be a serious bad person in the first novel changes to not being one but we do not really see much of her. The real changes come from Ruby as it should be. This is a journey novel so if you do not care for those then this story will probably not be much fun for you but I love the journey stories. As Ruby crosses the country in search of Liam, she finds some of the characters from the first novel including the villain. Overall the story is great with plot twists, seeing more of the world from a different perspectives, and character growth. Bracken ends the book in a good place if a little sad. The death toll is not as high in this novel which is nice. I cannot wait for the third book in the series.

I give this book a Five out of Five Stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Friday, January 17, 2014



Today’s post is on Hero by Alethea Kontis. It is a companion to Enchanted her first book. It is 282 pages long and is published by Harcourt. The cover has the main character Saturday looking up at the reader with a sword in her and in a dress but I will get to that in my review. The intended reader is young adult but if you like fairy tales retold or read the first one then you should like this. It is told from third person close of the two main characters moving from one to the other at varying points in the story. There is no sex, no language, and all violence is fantasy like. 12 and up should be fine. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the book jacket- “You got a sword and a destiny. That’s more than most people get.” For rough-and-tumble Saturday, it’s no fun being the only one in the family without any magical talent. Too tall, too strong, too normal, that’s her lot in life- until the day she accidentally creates an ocean in the backyard.
Suddenly things are looking up. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on the sudden sea, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the mountain at the top of the world. Held captive by a blind witch who gives her a series of impossible tasks, Saturday is aided by a very appealing young man who knows all the witch’s tricks. But he turns out to be under a spell that only Saturday can break- and that will only happen when this seemingly normal girl digs deep enough to find her own hidden talents.

Review- I really enjoyed Enchanted but this one was not as good. I think that because Kontis is gearing up for a series or at least another book. So that made this book feel for me undone. Now about the cover Saturday never wears a dress with one exception in this book and it is not blue or pretty. Saturday would not be caught dead in a dress. That said I liked the book. All the characters are fun and believable and I am looking forward to the next one in the series. I do not know what sister will the main character but I cannot wait to find out. Great and fun magic with humor and some romance but not too much in this one. The main point of the story is about Saturday getting to see herself in a new way. In Enchanted Saturday does not think that she is special in a very special family. But by the end of this novel she knows that she is and that she has a great destiny before her. Expect a fun time with good writing, fun characters, and an interesting world.

I give this book a Four of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Contagious: Why Things Catch On


Today’s nonfiction post is on Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. It is 200 pages long including notes and is published by Simon & Schuster. The cover is orange with a light bulb base and a dandelion flower in the center. The intended reader is someone who is interested in business or brain science. There is no sex, no language, and no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- What makes things popular?If you said advertising, think again. People don't listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?
Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. He's studied why
New York Times articles make the paper's own Most E-mailed List, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children. In this book, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.
Contagious combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories. Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheese-steak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the seemingly most boring products there is: a blender. If you've wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread: for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you're a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on.

Review- This was a fascinating read. Berger makes business sense into something that can be used by just about anyone for anything. He has what he calls ‘STEPPS’ which is an acronym for Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical Value, and Stories. Berger uses his STEPPS to break up the book by chapters. One chapter per letter and he gives many ways to use the letter. He talks about nonprofits uses to selling a $100 cheese steak sandwich. Berger helps you take what he is talking about in small doses so that you do not get overwhelmed by all the great ideas. He does this within chapters by chapter breaks. From one chapter break to the next he will start with on story then move to a new one and at the end of the chapter Berger will wrap everything up. I really enjoyed this book.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I won this book from a giveaway on Goodreads.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Vampire Empire- Book One: The Greyfriar

Today’s post is on Vampire Empire- Book One: The Greyfriar by Clay and Susan Griffith. It is the first in the Vampire Empire trilogy. It is 308 pages long and is published by PYR. The cover has the two main characters looking cool and intense. The intended reader is someone who likes Steampunk, vampires, and action with a little romance. There is language, lots of violence but no sex. So 16 and up just to be safe. The story is told from various points of view of the main characters changing from scene to scene. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the back of the book- In the year 1870, a horrible plague of vampires swept over the northern regions of the world. Millions of humans were killed outright. Millions more died of disease and famine due to the havoc that followed. Within two years, once-great cities were shrouded by the gray empire of the vampire clans. Human refugees fled south to the tropics because vampires could not tolerate the constant heat there. They brought technology and a feverish drive to reestablish their shattered societies of steam and iron amid the mosques of Alexandria, the torrid quietude of Panama, or the green temples of Malaya.
It is now 2020 and a bloody reckoning is coming.
Princess Adele is heir to the Empire Equatoria, a remnant of the old tropical British Empire. She is quick with her wit as well as with a sword or gun. She is eager for an adventure before she settles into a life of duty and political marriage to man she does not know. But her quest turns black she becomes the target of a merciless vampire clan, Her only protector is the Greyfriar, a mysterious hero who fights the vampires from deep within their territory. Their dangerous relationship plays out against an approaching war to the death between humankind and the vampire clans.
The Greyfriar is the first book in a trilogy of huge adventure and alternate history. Combining rousing pulp action with Steampunk style, the Vampire Empire brings epic political themes to life with a story of heartbreaking romance, sacrifice, and heroism.
Review- This is a fun book if you looking for a Steampunk vampire political book. I liked it. The setting was interesting, the characters were well drawn, and the action was good. The only thing that I wish was better was the dialog. It is not bad dialog but it was not groundbreaking. Still that is really my only complaint about the book. One strange that I liked about this book was that the chapters were not very long. I think that it is because I was reading a nonfiction book with 100+ page chapters so this was a wonderful relief from that. If you are into Steampunk then read this, if you looking at Steampunk and want to give it a try, try this. If you are neither of those then read of my other reviews and find something to read. I feel a little bad about one thing and that is how long this book was on my TBR shelf. I was given this book before it was released back in 2010. But I have read it now and I will be reading the others in this series.
I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I was given this book as an ARC from DragonCon years ago.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The World Above


Today’s post is on The World Above by Cameron Dokey. It is part of the “Once Upon A Time” series and is 175 pages long. It is published by Simon Pulse. The cover has a pretty young woman standing by and looking at a beanstalk. The intended reader is young adult or someone who likes fairy tales. The story is told from Gen’s point of view. There is no sex, no violence, and no language in this book but it is written for a young adult reader in mind. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Gen and her twin brother, Jack, were raised with their mother’s tales of life in the World Above. Gen is skeptical, but adventurous Jack believes the stories- and trades the family cow doe magical beans. Their mother rejoices, knowing they can finally return to their royal home.
When Jack plants the beans and climbs the enchanted stalk, he is captured bu the tyrant who now rules the land. Gen sets off to rescue her brother, but danger awaits her in the World Above. For finding Jack may mean losing her heart…

Review- This book is a lite, fun read and just what I needed after finishing the Mistborn trilogy. It is a combination of Jack and the Beanstalk and Robin Hood. I liked Gen and her world a lot. I cannot think of anything that I did not enjoy about this book. It was not reinventing the genre of retelling but it a solid and fun retelling. I normally find Jack to be very annoying but he is not in this book. That could be because he is not the main character and not really on camera too much. The setting is what makes this book really fun. Dokey can describe a world. She makes it very vivid, real, and interesting. But I keep comes back to the word fun when I think about how to talk about this book. It is fun. If you are looking for in-depth character study then this is not the book for you. But you want a fun read that you can just enjoy then pick up this or any of the series.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I was given this book as a gift.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Abominable Science! The Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and other famous Cryptids


Today’s nonfiction post is on Abominable Science! The Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and other famous Cryptids by Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero. It is 411 pages long including notes and an index. The cover has a yeti on it looking very fierce. The intended reader is someone who wants to know more about cryptids or about cryptozoology. There is no language, no sex, and no violence in this book. The information about the cryptids is given in interviews and papers by both believers and skeptics. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- Throughout our history, humans have been captivated by mythic beasts and legendary creatures. Tales of Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness monster are part of our collective experience. Now comes a book from two dedicated investigators that explores and elucidates the fascinating world of cryptozoology.
Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero have written an entertaining, educational, and definitive text on cryptids, presenting the arguments both for and against their existence and systematically challenging the pseudoscience that perpetuates their myths. After examining the nature of science and pseudoscience and their relation to cryptozoology, Loxton and Prothero take on Bigfoot; the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, and its cross-cultural incarnations; the Loch Ness monster and its highly publicized sightings; the evolution of the Great Sea Serpent; and Mokele Mbembe, or the Congo dinosaur. They conclude with an analysis of the psychology behind the persistent belief in paranormal phenomena, identifying the major players in cryptozoology, discussing the character of its subculture and considering the challenge it poses to clear and critical thinking in our increasingly complex world.

Review- If you are a skeptic but still like crytids and cryptozoology then you should read this. Loxton loves cryptozoology and started out as a believer who now is a skeptic. Prothero is a hard-core skeptic but he does not let that stop him from hearing people in cryptozoology culture. The book overall is about the most famous crytids. The book discusses the evidence from videos to pictures and makes them stand up to true scientific study. Now that I have this book I can watch some of the Bigfoot shows and I can see where the flaws are. The writing can get a little stale at time but considering that this is a hard core science book that is not surprising. If you are having trouble with it this is what I did- I would one section then do or read something else. However if you are a believer then read this book with knowledge that the authors are not. They take every piece of evidence of crytids and they work with it to the end of disproving the crytid.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The 5th Wave


Today’s post is on The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. It is the first in a new series and is 457 pages long. It is published by Putnam. The cover has one of the main characters on the cover with golden light making the trees and her be in shadow. The intended reader is older young adult and adults and I think that is for the best. There is strong language, hinting at sex, and very graphic violence; so be warned. The story is told in both chapters and sections. Sections change the point of view from one of the four main characters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th Wave, just one rule applies: trust no one.
Now it’s the dawn of the 5th Wace, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother- or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
From award-winning author Rick Yancey comes a gripping epic of catastrophic loss, unthinkable odds, and unflinching courage.

Review- I am a pretty big Yancey fan and I do not think that he disappoints with this new series. The story is fast-paced and goes places that I was not expecting for a YA novel. There are some very strong language and child soldiers in this novel. The scenes are intense and very emotional because of what Yancey is talking about. I do not think that he is making a statement about the use of child soldiers but he does not color code it. He shows a very brutal world with little compassion and less trust. Cassie is tough and I liked her. I like how normal she is in spite of everything going on around her. One of the other main characters Ben I did not really care for. I cannot put my finger on why but I just did not connect with him and I really did not care that he survived the story. I look forward to seeing where Yancey is going with this series and I hope that his new publisher treats him and his series better than his old one did.

I give this book Four and half stars out of Five. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Hero of Ages


Today’s post is on The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. It is the final volume in the Mistborn trilogy. It is 748 pages long including a list names and terms list at the end. It is published by TOR. The cover has Vin and Elend, two of the main characters, standing with a ruined city behind them. There is no language, no sex but a lot of violence in this novel but the violence is not very graphic and very fantasy-like. The story is told from varying points of view moving from one of the main characters to another as the story moves. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Killing the Lord Ruler to end the Final Empire was obviously the right thing to do, wasn’t it? With the return of the lethal form of the ubiquitous mists, increasingly heavy ashfalls, and ever more powerful earthquakes, Vin and Elend are no longer so sure. Long ago, Ruin- one of the primal beings who created the world- was promised the eventual right to destroy all things. Now that Vin has been tricked into releasing him from the Well of Ascension, Ruin apparently intends to collect.
The conclusion of the Mistborn trilogy fulfills all the promise of the first two books. Revelations abound, connections rooted in early chapters of the series click into place, and surprises, as satisfying as they are stunning, blossom like fireworks to dazzle and delight. It all leads up to a finale unmatched for originality and audacity that will you rubbing your eyes in wonder, as if awaking from an amazing dream.

Review- This has to be one of the best final novels and best trilogies that I have ever read. When I finished the book I had tears in my eyes because the ending was just so beautiful. Only once before has a finale moved me so much and that was for The Darkangel trilogy’s final volume. Sanderson does so much right in this novel and series that I hardly know where to begin. The screws of the plot just get tighter and tighter as the story goes on. When I would stop reading I would say that. I love Vin so much. She is a real person, Sanderson makes her so awesome and real. She has thoughts, hopes, and dreams. Vin is the heart of this story but she is not the Hero of Ages. When the Hero comes to realize who he is; that is one of the most beautiful moments in the story. The ending to this series is perfect. I cannot think of anything that I would change about it. Sanderson has made a lifelong fan out of me.

I give this book and series Five out of Five stars. I bought with my own money, I proudly own it, and I will recommend this series to anyone who like high fantasy.