Brandon Sanderson is such a sneaky little bastard... There was so much in here that I just had no idea to expect, but at the same time it just feels sBrandon Sanderson is such a sneaky little bastard... There was so much in here that I just had no idea to expect, but at the same time it just feels so right. I went into this thinking "It's going to be great to see our band of misfits doing something other than running about Elendel" and that's definitely an understatement.
I was super excited to see both Marasi and Steris getting a lot of time and development. Marasi has been easy to love since the first book in this second Mistborn set, but Steris hasn't really had much time to shine until now. She's such a great counterpoint in terms of her strengths to the rest of the cast of characters, and very human feeling in a way the previous books hadn't quite portrayed.
I'll definitely be pining for the next book... There are so many little twists in here that it's exciting to imagine where he'll go from here. (view spoiler)[I have my reservations as to whether it was actually Rashek that took the Bands of Mourning to the Malwish people, even before the little teaser suggesting that Kelsier's body had a part in the deal with that epilogue, but either way that pans out I'll be happy. Just having that extra level of history is pretty great, and I was excited he's expanded the Mistborn world to include unknown people! I'd always wondered who else was out there in the world. (hide spoiler)]...more
First thing: It's a great thing a release date of January has already been set for the next book in this series. This is very much a satisfying read oFirst thing: It's a great thing a release date of January has already been set for the next book in this series. This is very much a satisfying read on its own as Sanderson is always really good about giving closure to the main story of each book, but man this could lead to so many interesting places for the next book in the series that I wish I didn't have to wait!
While this second Mistborn series can be read without first reading the original trilogy, book two feels far more like you'd really want to for full enjoyment. There are a ton of things readers of only this and The Alloy of Law would miss, and while Sanderson always does what feels like a good job of explaining lore and magic I just can't imagine reading this without the prior knowledge. While The Alloy of Law felt like it was a good standalone, this felt like it was a merging of the old world Scadrial in the original trilogy and the new world Scadrial that has since been established.
The central story around a shady character attempting to undermine the government and sow chaos led to some pretty unexpected and welcome places for me, which I feel is going to be far more fun and surprising for anyone who read the original trilogy.
(view spoiler)[I've been waiting for more to be done with Hemalurgy in this series so I was pretty excited when mutilated bodies started showing up. I did not expect multiple familiar faces from the kandra to start working their way into the story! Plus, that twist right at the end... What a fantastic and heart-breaking surprise. (hide spoiler)]...more
I went into this with quite a few reservations: not only was this not the next Harry Dresden book like I'd kill for but the my last experience with JiI went into this with quite a few reservations: not only was this not the next Harry Dresden book like I'd kill for but the my last experience with Jim Butcher tackling more traditional fantasy was a bust. His third person prose seems to really have improved since the Codex Alera, though, which was one of my main beefs with that series. The characters here also feel better fleshed out and diverse, with a really great cast of ladies that also get in on the action. The ensemble cast works great, without there being anyone too overpowering in terms of POV as some take the lead early on and others moreso later, all of them being interesting chapters for me.
The airship battles were a blast to read and felt like a great mix between spaceship battles with the way they involved shields powered by the ship's crystals for added protection and good, old-fashioned wooden sea ships with their broadside cannons and masts. I really loved the detail work that was put into the mechanics behind how the ships worked.
The world itself felt a bit underdeveloped but this did start up basically mid-action, so it's understandable. Plus, there was the entire concept of the spires these people were living on were created by an ancient precursor race, so there's going to be plenty the inhabitants don't actually know themselves. I'm hoping more of this is going to be uncovered and teased out throughout the series because I'm super curious about the monster-infested surface world and who built the spires!
Not terrible, but after about 50 pages this didn't feel worth the time. Like with Ann Aguirre's solo work, the writing wasn't all that strong and theNot terrible, but after about 50 pages this didn't feel worth the time. Like with Ann Aguirre's solo work, the writing wasn't all that strong and the characters were still feeling really flat. I wanted to give her a second chance with this steampunk series, and while there are some interesting concepts it just wasn't working for me....more
Like the first in the series, this was a fun read, but in the end it didn't catch me quite as much. The pacing in here is pretty erratic, where at poiLike the first in the series, this was a fun read, but in the end it didn't catch me quite as much. The pacing in here is pretty erratic, where at points it's going so slow and other points where everything is happening all at once. I did like the new characters added in here, but they felt a bit like a distraction from the storyline of the series.
Still, this series is good for interesting characters with pretty fleshed-out backgrounds. There's some pretty stilted and cheesy dialogue at times, especially regarding the romances, but it was still a fun story....more
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 BA 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....more
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 tI 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....more
This is an interesting take on the steampunk genre, with the setting more of a western and there being magic and otherworldly creatures called the StrThis is an interesting take on the steampunk genre, with the setting more of a western and there being magic and otherworldly creatures called the Strange (which were along the lines of the Fae).
I did quite like Cedar Hunt's story, and was somewhat disappointed to discover that the narrative is split between characters. I actually did like both Mae and Rose, it's just with how short this book was (well, in comparison to the monstrosities I normally read that have multiple POVs) it didn't give a whole lot of room for getting fully into their heads. They're all interesting characters with quirks and backstories, but unfortunately there just wasn't as much room in here to do them justice.
Entertaining story with some good characters, and I'll definitely be picking up more in the series when they're released. I'm hoping for better character development in the next installment....more
A sequel to Rapunzel's Revenge, but from the perspective of her partner, Jack. This gives some backstory on him (obviously mirroring Jack and the BeanA sequel to Rapunzel's Revenge, but from the perspective of her partner, Jack. This gives some backstory on him (obviously mirroring Jack and the Beanstalk), and the two of them travel to the city where he grew up to find it in ruins and under attack by ant people.
This wasn't quite as good as Rapunzel's Revenge, and I think some of that was Jack just wasn't as appealing a narrator as Rapunzel was. He spent most of his past being a liar and a thief, pulling "tricks" on honest people in order to steal from them. Now, I have a fondness for rogue-ish characters and antiheroes, but Jack just didn't hit that mark--he just seems like a mostly selfish kid that has reformed a bit by the end.
Still, this was cute, and it reads super fast. The art in here isn't as strong as in the first, but it's still bright and clear, without the problems of some graphic novels where it's hard to decipher what is really going on. The steampunk elements here really didn't seem to serve much of a purpose, and were more to pepper the art with some more character....more
I'd noticed the fantastic cover art of this novel for a while, but for whatever reason had never actually paid any attention to the subject matter. OnI'd noticed the fantastic cover art of this novel for a while, but for whatever reason had never actually paid any attention to the subject matter. Once I finally picked it up and read the description, I was immediately sold. I mean, how could I possibly not enjoy something that is steampunk, and involves zombies, air pirates, and mad scientists?
I really loved the world that Priest built here, an alternative history during the Kondike Gold Rush and American Civil War, set in a Seattle that has been partially destroyed by the machine of Leviticus Blue. The Boneshaker was invented to drill through the ice in Alaska, but instead something happened and the machine tore through the underground of Seattle. All the real details of what happened are slowly revealed through the novel itself, but what is known at the beginning is that the catastrophe released a gas into the city that turned everyone into zombies and that the city center has been sealed off by walls.
Briar and Zeke were both easy-to-like characters for me, especially Briar. As the widow of Leviticus Blue, she is a social outcast and and works long hours in order to support herself and her teenage son. She comes off as a very blunt and strong female character, and definitely one of the better heroines I've seen in a long time. When her son runs off into the infested portion of the city to do some soul-searching and try and uncover some truths about his family, she takes charge and follows him in. The supporting cast of characters is a real treat, as well.
The part where this had issues is the rambling storyline, of running and hiding constantly. I can understand that in the setting, there would be a lot of running from rotters and various criminals, but since the story was from two different perspectives it seemed like there was an extra lot of running scenes. The plot was definitely gripping and interesting, I just felt at times there was a bit of redundancy.
Definitely looking forward to more in this series!...more
I remember enjoying the first book quite a bit, but I just had to give up around page 100 because I realized I just didn't care how things were goingI remember enjoying the first book quite a bit, but I just had to give up around page 100 because I realized I just didn't care how things were going to be resolved. It's a shame--I really wanted to enjoy this, and I was quite excited when I found out he had written a sequel since the first ended so abruptly, but it just wasn't catching my attention enough to bother with 400 pages of chaos that judging from other reviews doesn't really even resolve itself....more
I enjoyed this one, but felt that Pullman got in way over his head and the story suffered for it. There are plenty of times when I found myself wishinI enjoyed this one, but felt that Pullman got in way over his head and the story suffered for it. There are plenty of times when I found myself wishing he'd just "get on with it" and that the book would be over, because I honestly just got bored with it at times.
I couldn't get over the feeling that a lot of this book was basically filler material--Father Gomez, for example, felt entirely pointless. The whole underworld bit was interesting, but it felt overall unnecessary in the amount of detail--it felt like Pullman was trying to inject some Dante's Inferno on us in an overall pointless fashion.
Still, with all my complaints I still enjoyed the loose ends being tied up and the conclusion (I always approve of non-Hollywood endings) was satisfying. It probably could have used some heavier editing and been slimmed down--it's fairly daunting to get through, even with all the action and suspense....more
I originally read this about 6 years ago, and thought it was an awfully boring book and hated the whole series. At the urging of a few friends who lovI originally read this about 6 years ago, and thought it was an awfully boring book and hated the whole series. At the urging of a few friends who loved the series, I gave it another shot.
I don't know why I was bored the last time. I really don't. The action of this picks up so fast, and all of the intrigue had me going from the first page. I remembered Lyra as being an irritating character, but this time I really could get behind her and thought she was a great protagonist.
I mainly fell in love with the strange, unearthly world the book was set in. It's a little off-setting when you go in expecting it to be set in our Earth, and realizing more and more that it's a really strange steampunk version of England. The daemons are a very fascinating idea that I absolutely adored, and later the panzerbjorne are such an interesting idea! All-in-all, Pullman set up a great fantasy world for his series.
All of the controversy over the anti-Christian themes of this (which, honestly, I didn't even notice when I read it as a kid--then again, I wasn't exactly raised Christian, so it wasn't ingrained into my brain to notice all of that)... To me, he tells a damn good story and we should accept it based on that. I don't denounce The Chronicles of Narnia for shoving Christianity down my unsuspecting throat....more
This is a very interesting story of a young orphan boy, Hugo Cabret, who works as a clock keeper after his uncle mysteriously disappears. At the sameThis is a very interesting story of a young orphan boy, Hugo Cabret, who works as a clock keeper after his uncle mysteriously disappears. At the same time, he steals small clockwork devices from the local toymaker in order to work on an automaton that his father had been trying to repair before his death.
The automatons were a neat subject which I knew little about, so it was extra-fun to learn a little about that (I'm definitely going to be pulling up more information about them!). Selznick pulled a very interesting footnote in history and made a great story out of it! It's a fun story that is full of mystery, and I found myself pulled right along without any dull moments. I also learned a bit about early film-making!
While the book is long (weighs in very heavy at 533), this book only took about an hour to get through because more than half of it is beautiful black-and-white illustrations. Also, there's a number of illustrations and stills from Georges Melies, an early film-maker that features quite a bit in the novel. It's an interesting way to tell a story--most of the descriptive passages that a normal novel would have are removed and instead we're given long series of illustrations. There's a chase scene that goes on for page after page in illustrations, and it's just a great way to get the story of Hugo running away than it might have been through only words.
This is definitely worth the short amount of time it takes for anyone interested in the subjects it deals with.
Now I need to see if I can hunt down some Georges Melies films somehow......more
Pullman really does know how to write an addictive story with some excellent twists thrown in. While his writing can be pretty cheesy and weak at timePullman really does know how to write an addictive story with some excellent twists thrown in. While his writing can be pretty cheesy and weak at times, I'm willing to forgive him for just how complicated the story was and how interesting the characters continue to be.
I'm always really satisfied when characters aren't good or bad, but rather somewhere in between where they're very much human in their actions and feelings. I've been reading the fantasy genre for years, and after a while it does get tiring to have the villains be mindlessly evil with no realistic characteristics and the heroes be all sugar and nice without anything twisted about them. There are no characters that are either completely evil or completely good in the series, which is great by me. Even the children that are the center stage of this novel (Lyra Silvertongue and her new partner, Will Parry from our version of Oxford) have some dark sides to their characters.
My only real issue is the writing itself, which at times goes exactly against what any creative writing teacher will drill into your head--show, not tell. There are times when I feel like the narration is so dumbed down and hand-feeding the reader, rather than letting the reader understand things for themselves. The feels quite awkward at times, especially when one second it's telling and the next we're getting huge speeches from scientists that are rambling about their theories on Dust that can be a bit hard to follow if you're half-asleep.
On that note, I still am a bit surprised that these books are geared towards children. They seem a lot more adult in subject, and while they're fun adventure stories I imagine a lot of kids get lost with all the theoretical and religion bits. As an adult reader, I appreciated it, however.
I did enjoy the addition of a third world (there's Lyra's earth, Will's earth, and then the third earth that is a step between the two), with the very scary Specters that would only attack adults and would feed off their souls like vampires. I liked the extra layer it added to the theories on Dust, and how it really gets you curious as to just what the stuff is....more