Swinging back to the perspective of John Perry, this tackles the dangers of founding a new colony amid the tensions of Perry's universe. This starts o...moreSwinging back to the perspective of John Perry, this tackles the dangers of founding a new colony amid the tensions of Perry's universe. This starts off straightforward enough, with it looking like it will mainly be about settling on the planet itself and the dangers therein, but it quickly throws the story into a pretty intense political battle. Considering how much in-depth the politics got in the first two books, it's saying a lot that this felt even more so.
John Perry and Jane Sagan's relationship continues to be downright fascinating. I very much love this older, more settled version of them (and Zoe adds a lot to this family dynamic, as well).
This series is staying consistently great and surprising, especially the shocker of an ending that should have some pretty amazing changes for the universe. I'm glad to know there's two more in the series, especially since this included an author's note that this was the last book in the series planned back when it was first published. Glad he saw fit to return after something that should make for some pretty fascinating fodder.(less)
A fabulous follow-up to Old Man's War, tackling the concepts of identity and souls via cloning. While this is a sequel to Old Man's War, there's only...moreA fabulous follow-up to Old Man's War, tackling the concepts of identity and souls via cloning. While this is a sequel to Old Man's War, there's only partial overlap with the characters--no John Perry this time around, but pretty quickly on Sagan plays a solid role in here.
Jared Dirac, engineered to trap a traitor, made for an interesting protagonist. In some ways, I preferred him to John from the previous entry in that he was such a blank slate of a character and through the novel he is seen growing. Definitely some solid character work watching his personality develop and morph, with some fairly interesting twists towards the end.
I loved getting an insider look into the Ghost Brigades, which was something that was fairly intriguing in the first but was much more in-depth here. Plus, there's more in-depth universe politics discussed in here, and it is pretty awesome to see detailed alien societies and their histories.(less)
This was a solidly entertaining and interesting noir mystery that I really wish I'd discovered before knowing J.K. Rowling was the author behind Rober...moreThis was a solidly entertaining and interesting noir mystery that I really wish I'd discovered before knowing J.K. Rowling was the author behind Robert Galbraith. It would have been nice to read this without that fact rattling around, although I did find myself forgetting since the style felt very different than either Harry Potter or Casual Vacancy (which I was personally unable to finish).
Cormoran Strike was a detective I enjoyed following through his investigation--down-on-his-luck, recently dumped, disabled, a former soldier, plus smart despite looking like a slob. His assistant, Robin, was fantastically determined and intelligent, not satisfied with merely being a secretary but going out and taking charge.
The mystery itself was intriguing and, while I did suspect how things were going to turn out, I really enjoyed the journey. Things twist around quite a bit, and there is a ton of dialogue without as much emphasis on the detective's inner thoughts as some novels have. I liked the way this worked out as it didn't feel like the author was skirting around the puzzle pieces in Strike's head like some mysteries end up feeling, and the surprise reveal was handled really well.
Looking forward to more. I'm excited that this is the start of a series!(less)
It's hard to rate a little teaser like this, especially one so short. This is a decent teaser to lead into Mila 2.0, giving a taste of the strength of...moreIt's hard to rate a little teaser like this, especially one so short. This is a decent teaser to lead into Mila 2.0, giving a taste of the strength of her character (braving a burning house because her parents are inside? Yup, that definitely looks like a character I'll like) but not much else. I'd found out about this freebie after picking the book itself up from the library, and I'm glad I did a quick read (seriously, the thing itself is like 5 pages followed by a sample chapter) before diving in. Good little teaser vignette either way. (less)
This was pretty fun, and a good start to what should be a very entertaining series. The various powers and mystery behind the Epics were well fleshed...moreThis was pretty fun, and a good start to what should be a very entertaining series. The various powers and mystery behind the Epics were well fleshed out and the dark, dystopian world of their ruling over America. The world building didn't feel quite up to snuff of his adult fiction, but it was still very detailed and fascinating as I'd expect from Sanderson. I did find this has a lot of similar tones to Mistborn--a group of underdogs going up against an all-powerful being that rules a city shrouded in darkness with a tyrannical fist.
Plenty of interesting characters in here, especially Prof and Megan. All of the supporting cast was pretty good about having a variety of personalities and history, but those two rang a bit truer as people with a more troubled history. David was actually the weakest character of the bunch--he was a bit too much of a perfect hero. Granted, he had spent 10 years researching Epics and how to kill them, but I'd like to have seen him with more faults other than being headstrong and bossy.
I'll be looking forward to more, especially with some of the interesting twists towards the end. (less)
A pleasant start to Sanderson's new young adult series, happily with his trademark intricate work on a entirely new magical system that has complex ru...moreA pleasant start to Sanderson's new young adult series, happily with his trademark intricate work on a entirely new magical system that has complex rules and interactions. This even has some really solid worldbuilding--I was disappointed briefly when I realized this was set in America, but it quickly because apparent the Earth this is set on is insanely different from our own. Leonardo da Vinci's "springworks" inventions have taken off as a primary technology and he's become a saint. The "states" of America are actually separate islands, and deeper in they are infested with creatures called "chalklings."
Joel and Melody both took some warming up to, but both settled into a fun dynamic between the characters--I especially enjoyed an exchanged near the end of the book where Joel complains how "girly" unicorns are and Melody threatens to also draw flower people.
The central mystery itself manages to be pretty creepy as Joel, Melody and Professor Fitch get closer and closer to the truth. The details of the Rithmatist magical system are explained slowly throughout, as well as the history of the United Isles of America (and this alternate version of Earth, although to a lesser degree than America). The balance between the characterbuilding, worldbuilding and main plot all worked excellently and definitely have me wanting for more. (less)
Oh, wow. I was able to force myself to spread this out over two weeks, because it's not often I get new Jim Butcher into my hands anymore and I wanted...moreOh, wow. I was able to force myself to spread this out over two weeks, because it's not often I get new Jim Butcher into my hands anymore and I wanted to make sure it lasted for all it could. It was super, super hard to spread this one out. Typical of the series, this moves fairly fast and is pretty action-packed (even Harry's "healing time" at the beginning is exciting. Poor man!) and it's incredibly hard to put down.
I loved the way the new twists of the series are working to fit in with what the series had been up until the aptly-named Changes. This series has morphed into something quite different than it started out as, but it's still at its heart an investigative noir set in an urban fantasy universe. Plus, this has Harry struggling more with his darker nature, which is something that's always been a factor in the series but it's definitely coming more to the fore-ground in here.
The ending was pretty fabulous, as well. Thankfully it's not the huge giant cliffhanger like the last two have felt, but I was not expecting more game-changing twists this soon after Changes and Ghost Story. Just...man. Butcher knows how to really get me, and the wait for the next book is going to be really hard.(less)
A short story dealing with some of the history of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. It's a pretty interesting little story, especially for fans of the...moreA short story dealing with some of the history of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. It's a pretty interesting little story, especially for fans of the series, and saying much more could be a whole lot of spoilers since this is so short. I was happy to see this as a freebie for my Nook and was able to finish it easily on a 15 minute break at work.(less)
This entirely lives up to how much fun Legend was, with its strong characters and interesting dystopia. I was a bit disappointed that this is falling...moreThis entirely lives up to how much fun Legend was, with its strong characters and interesting dystopia. I was a bit disappointed that this is falling into the love triangle pattern that so many young adult dystopias rely on, since the first book made me so happy that it avoided that, but it was handled well and without a whole lot of angst. Otherwise, this feels pretty much like a nonstop adventure, with only a few moments for the characters to catch their breath before things pick up again--definitely a quick, hard-to-put-down story.
The final action sequence was handled fabulously, and I loved watching Kaede shine. And, of course, was shocked by how things got twisted around and had one of those moments of both loving and loathing the author for surprising me.
Really looking forward to the third book and seeing where she takes these characters and their war-torn America.(less)
I was super excited to hear Libba Bray was returning to historical fantasties, as my favorite of hers was still her Gemma Doyle trilogy. Plus, the 192...moreI was super excited to hear Libba Bray was returning to historical fantasties, as my favorite of hers was still her Gemma Doyle trilogy. Plus, the 1920s are an interesting time of change in our history, and throwing a supernatural serial killer story with teens that have special powers just couldn't go wrong (okay, it could, but there's no way it could go wrong with Libba Bray).
I had a blast with this! I loved how creepy and horrific it was at times, paired with the varied cast of characters who all have their own troubles to deal with on top of some old prophecies that seem to be coming to life in here. Evie wasn't the normal young adult fiction protagonist at all, either, which was a fun change. She felt better-defined and less of a stereotypical quiet girl, which the genre generally relies on.
Naturally, the ending was absolutely evil and I'm very much looking forward to the next book. It's one of those endings that tied up just enough of the plot to not make me rage, but left so many questions that I need more right now. (less)
This was just as hard for me to put down as The Passage was, and I had to force myself to spread it out so I didn't finish it in only a couple nights....moreThis was just as hard for me to put down as The Passage was, and I had to force myself to spread it out so I didn't finish it in only a couple nights.
I wasn't expecting the shift in the timeline right at the beginning--I'd expected this to pick up during the almost 100-years post-apocalyptic time with all of the familiar faces, not jump to the time period as the apocalypse was happening to help incorporate some new faces into the storyline. I really, really liked how this ended up working out. The new characters were fascinating additions, with more rich histories like the first book was great for, and despite knowing that the story would jump nearly 100 years into the future later on it was hard not to get attached.
The post-apocalyptic future with Alicia and others was still an excellent read, as well. Things heat up really fast, and it gets to be pretty action-packed and hard to put down. Some excellent twists along the way, and an ending that has me really itching for the next book. (less)
A fun adventure story full of a wide cast of characters, fast-paced storytelling and steampunk goodies. This reminded me quite a bit of the good old B...moreA fun adventure story full of a wide cast of characters, fast-paced storytelling and steampunk goodies. This reminded me quite a bit of the good old Brian Jacques' Redwall books, although Windshifter's world really doesn't resemble Mossflower at all. Something about the charming story of the young dragon journeying to find his long-lost parents and meeting so many fun and interesting characters on the way sparked that happy feeling I used to get when reading the Redwall novels, back before they got too formulaic.
This reads pretty fast and was great escapism, and I really enjoyed having it set aside as my break-time book of choice at work.(less)
So happy that after years of waiting the series is concluded, and in excellent fashion. While I was slow reading this, what with traveling and visitin...moreSo happy that after years of waiting the series is concluded, and in excellent fashion. While I was slow reading this, what with traveling and visiting, I really did enjoy the finale.
I can't say I liked this as much as the first two in the series--it seemed like it suffered from the characters spending a lot of time traveling and running and hiding, which luckily wasn't too bad but it was enough to make it a little more difficult for me to dive right in.
The twist towards the end was definitely an upsetting shock, whereas the romance was pretty obvious from the beginning. So, while I wasn't happy about the twist, and I do think things could have been handled better, I did like the way everything wrapped up. I was also happy they explained why, in the future, George (view spoiler)[doesn't make the connection between Pounce and Faithful, despite having read all these memoirs of his ancestor. It was nice to also have some straight-up confirmation on that bit! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I was worried this wouldn't live up to the original trilogy, but thankfully having this set 300 years into the future of the world after the trilogy t...moreI was worried this wouldn't live up to the original trilogy, but thankfully having this set 300 years into the future of the world after the trilogy takes place worked fantastically. If this had been set any closer to the original trilogy, I don't think it would have worked out so well, but instead it's like getting to re-learn and meet the world again.
Having the magic systems of Allomancy and Feruchemy mixed with the budding of the Industrial Age worked great. Not only have the systems changed over the generations since, but the modernization of the world has changed them as well. It was pretty neat to see the way the original trilogy characters were incorporated into this more modern world. There are little references to them here and there, since religions have since cropped up following specific heroes. There's some pretty overt fan service in here.
The new characters, unsurprisingly, were all great to get to know. Sanderson really has a knack for writing well fleshed-out characters. There's less POV hopping than he normally writes, but it worked well to have the bulk of this from Wax's POV, and later bring in some other views in order to get to know the other characters better. Since this was quite a bit shorter than his normal books, splitting the narrative up as much as he normally does probably would have messed up the flow, and Wax was a great character to follow.
Only complaint? That this wasn't twice as long as it was. Or three times as long...or, really, I just wanted a lot more, and had an incredibly hard time putting it down. I can't remember whether he's doing a direct sequel to this or not (with the ending, it really feels like he is), but either way I really want to read more about these characters.(less)