The thing I loved the most about this book.. okay, 2 things. First of all, the protagonist's love of books, despite, at first, being unable to read. TThe thing I loved the most about this book.. okay, 2 things. First of all, the protagonist's love of books, despite, at first, being unable to read. There is something almost admirable about it. Second, the use of language to remind you that the story is being told in Germany. Occasionally, a German word will slip through, reminding you that these people are German. And they also aren't monsters.
This book really knows how to tug your strings, and to think, I bought it on a whim whilst doing some food shopping....more
This has to be added to my list of favourite books! It has a brilliant story and is, of course, hilarious. I did find the last book to be a little weaThis has to be added to my list of favourite books! It has a brilliant story and is, of course, hilarious. I did find the last book to be a little weak but was well worth it for the marvellous ending. I can't believe it's taken me this long to finally read the damn thing....more
This book was a brilliant read and I look forward to reading the following books in the series! The first person perspective really helps you to conneThis book was a brilliant read and I look forward to reading the following books in the series! The first person perspective really helps you to connect to Yelena, and to love and hate the characters. The idea of a fantasy novel based around assassination, rather than epic quests, is great and I loved every moment of it, as you can see it took me less than a week to read. I did find myself wondering how exactly the characters were measuring time as the environment was medieval-esque and there were no mentions of clocks or watches, just the position of the sun, however, I'm sure that's just my overactive imagination. Would definitely read again!...more
I didn't even have to think about the rating for this one. I haven't been this hooked on a book since I read Harry Potter and that was a fair few yearI didn't even have to think about the rating for this one. I haven't been this hooked on a book since I read Harry Potter and that was a fair few years ago. The Final Empire has easily moved up to being my favourite book. It wasn't perfect, of course, but it was enjoyable.
Brandon Sanderson weaves between the characters Kelsier and Vin, building them up so well that you do become quite emotionally invested. If a book can make you laugh and cry and frown and smile and all of those things with the turnings of the story, it is a good book. This one did exactly that.
I found that I worked a few things out fairly early on, but the story's twists and turns constantly proved me wrong and left me surprised. Another brilliant feat for a good book. The ending itself was really one of those kick yourself moments, but my god I was shocked by it.
I love the characters in this story. Sazed the Terrisman steward is absolutely fantastic (and oddly reminded me of Iggy from Ergo Proxy). Vin is an amazing female lead, and Kelsier is a loveable male protagonist. The world building in this novel left me able to imagine exactly how everything must look in quite some detail without leaving me bored. I love the mists, and the ashfalls, and the way "magic" works in Mistborn.
Sanderson has set us up well for a good trilogy, leaving a fair few things open, whilst ending the book well enough to not be too annoying a cliffhanger. I'm officially a fangirl - without all the creepy obsessiveness....more
I started reading The Name of the Wind when I first bought it about 4 years ago (I think it was about that.. perhaps closer to 3 and half *shrug* doesI started reading The Name of the Wind when I first bought it about 4 years ago (I think it was about that.. perhaps closer to 3 and half *shrug* doesn't matter), in fact, it was the last book I was reading before I stopped reading for a few years, which perhaps left an impression on me that it wasn't a great book, but honestly, I read upto the part just before Kvothe meets Chronicler, which can't be must past page 60. Those first few chapters feel very disjointed, as you're following the story of an innkeeper and his student, but there is clearly more to them than at first glance. And so it goes on, leading you into a "what the frick is going on here?!" mindset, which I think when you barely feel like reading and you're sat on a train is difficult to shake. This does kind of break off after page 200 or so, but those first 200 pages had me wanting to put the book down so many times, I just kept pushing on.
After page 200 or so it does really pick up. I love the layering of the telling of the tale, and the tale itself. I felt that was very well done, and the idea that he would take 3 days to tell his story really sets up well for a good trilogy. Once he gets to the University, the story becomes fun to read. There wasn't really much change in pace or events, but it really did improve a lot. And as for the "this is like Harry Potter for adults" comments - I don't really see it. I suppose that comes from my not liking to compare one good thing to another good thing for fear of ruining one of the good things out of comparison, and becoming disappointed that there isn't an owl called Hedwig in it. Sorry for the spoilers, but Hedwig isn't in The Name of the Wind. This is a fantastic fantasy novel, it's not fair to pin Rothfuss up against another novel that is completely different to this one. His imagination is brilliant and I loved the magic system in place, and the creatures and colours and buildings described. Excellent world building. And such a way with language!
The story is wrapped up as well as you could wrap up something that is so clearly laid out to be written as a trilogy. Many people he said how the story seems to just stop, but now I see why, and if it had wrapped up really well, the way most trilogies do, I don't think it would have worked as well. My thoughts regarding this book, overall, were, "Wow. If this was the foundation for the story, how good are the next two books going to be?! And will there be a sequel series?" I don't see a reason why not. This trilogy is the life story of Kvothe, as far as we are aware. What's to stop Rothfuss from creating further novels based on the later life of Kvothe, or Bast, or perhaps somebody else entirely in the same world? Because it would work. It's a shame that the third novel won't be available for a while, but I am glad I waited this long to finally read it, and I did read it at the perfect time. I can't wait to see where he goes.
Originally, I planned to give it a 3.5 rating, because there were so many times I wanted to put the book down for a bit and pick up the next Mistborn book, but I'm terrible at giving books a break. I knew it might be a long time before I picked it back up, so I kept with it, and I'm so glad I did. I'm still a little torn over whether it deserves a 4.5 or a 5 star rating, because 200 odd pages of wanting to put a book down is a very large chunk, but I really think the rest of the novel picked up enough. On Goodreads, it's a 5. ...more
Obviously a classic, I had the separate books listed before but decided I'd rather list them as the one book. (No pun intended). As that is how I origObviously a classic, I had the separate books listed before but decided I'd rather list them as the one book. (No pun intended). As that is how I originally read them, and how they were originally intended. The cover's wrong, I have Gandalf (John Howe illustration) on my copy, but it's the right edition. I read these books when I was about 13 or 14, and though I remember loving them, I would like to read them again sometime. We will see when....more
Did I really just read a 1,000 page epic fantasy novel in 2 weeks? Wow. I expected that to take me a month, but see, that's the thing with Patrick RotDid I really just read a 1,000 page epic fantasy novel in 2 weeks? Wow. I expected that to take me a month, but see, that's the thing with Patrick Rothfuss. He is such an utter genius with words that you can't help but be completely drawn in by them, completely tantalised in the story. There is a story on the cover jacket from Ursula Le Guin that sums it up much better than I could, and she is spot on: "It is a rare and great pleasure to find a fantasist writing not only with the accuracy of language that is essential to fantasy-making, but with true music in the words as well. Wherever Pat Rothfuss goes with the big story that begins with The Name of the Wind, he'll carry us with him as a good singer carries us through a song." I have a feeling this is a quote from the Name of the Wind jacket, but I believe I might well have a first printing of that one so there aren't many quotes on my copy.
The characters who we already know from The Name of the Wind have been developed a little further. Wil and Sim have a lot more character to them than they did in book one, and I found myself really despising Denna. The newer characters to the story are a lot more well built than sub-characters in the first book. It's nice to see Rothfuss' growth as a writer in that sense.
As for the story, I found myself utterly enthralled in parts, and a little bored in others. However, Rothfuss never seems to fail to bring my attention back with a change in pace, perhaps an interesting conflict thrown in, sometimes even a change in scenery. That is what keeps the story feeling fresh and enjoyable to read, and that is why The Wise Man's Fear is as good as, if not a little better than, The Name of the Wind. ...more
I took so many notes for Clash of Kings that I'm confident my review is going to be just as long as my Way of Kings review. I think I had somehow letI took so many notes for Clash of Kings that I'm confident my review is going to be just as long as my Way of Kings review. I think I had somehow let it slip my mind how fantastic George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire world is but now I'll definitely be working through the rest gleefully. And also, finally getting to watch series 2 of Game of Thrones.
Okay, I see what all the fuss is about now. I had the same feeling reading this book as I did on my first read through of Harry Potter. That feeling oOkay, I see what all the fuss is about now. I had the same feeling reading this book as I did on my first read through of Harry Potter. That feeling of utter immersive-enjoyment. I wish I had time to pick up Catching Fire right now but I still have a few review books to get through. Review to come.. with a twist....more
Elena is living a normal life in Toronto with her boyfriend Philip, well as normal as you can get creeping out in the small hours of the morning to chElena is living a normal life in Toronto with her boyfriend Philip, well as normal as you can get creeping out in the small hours of the morning to change into a massive wolf. She is the only female werewolf and is trying to live apart from her Pack, but when she receives a desperate phonecall from her Alpha, she knows she has to go to them, but can she stay away? Can she risk her life for the people who dragged her into this life?
A little while ago I was searching for a good werewolf-based urban fantasy as up until now I hadn't read any and I seem to have a thing for werewolves and I decided this just would not do. Almost everybody recommended this one and they were spot on, this was exactly what I was looking for. I became utterly engrossed in Elena's world of werewolves and this is the first book I have read in a very very long time that I was sad to see end because I just wasn't ready to leave Elena and the Pack behind. I wanted to see how her relationships continued and developed after everything that happened and how they celebrated Christmas. The best thing about Bitten is how perfectly executed all aspects of the story are. The legend, mythology, and history of the werewolves is deep and involved, the characters all have their backstory, unique personalities, and flaws, and instead of these things making them angsty, they made them who they were as people. It is the perfect balance of dark supernatural, lighter moments of fun between Pack members, mystery, and just a little bit of romance.
The first-person writing style puts you directly inside the mind of Elena. You know exactly what she thinks and feels, even when she isn't being true to herself because her emotions practically burst off the page. It draws you in. And the world-building is expertly done, slowly feeding us Elena's and everybody else's backstory throughout the novel, building upon their world. You feel as though you are a part of Elena's memories rather than just being fed information, it is very immersive. The characters are strong and the world is believable.
I did notice an undercurrent of sexism in Bitten, how in the human world women are expected to behave a certain way. They're expected to be these calm, gentle creatures who have babies and do as they're told. We see this in the way the Bear Valley folk treat and look at her, Philip's family presuming she's into shopping and wedding planning, and more so in the new mutts, which I won't go into for the sake of spoilers. Elena wants to conform to these ideals believing that this is the way to have a 'normal life', however she has lived a decade with a Pack of werewolves who treat her not as the only female werewolf but as one of them. And man she knows how to kick some ass. I believe that Kelley did this intentionally in a bid to prove that hey, women can kick butt too without being sex objects, and I love that message!
I will be getting my hands on the rest of the series as soon as I can to devour because I loved the overall feel and story of this book so much, as well as a copy of Bitten for my shelf as this was a library copy and I do believe I will be re-reading this one at some point, it's fantastic. Thank you to everybody who recommended it to me! I know Laura of Book Chick City initially told me to read Bitten and Stolen, and Hanna from Booking in Heels kept nudging me.. a lot, and when I asked for werewolf recommendations on the Fantasy Faction forums, Mark also recommended it. Great book!...more
From the gorgeously elegant cover art to the utterly cheerful atmosphere of the entire novel, Miracle on Regent Street is a book that I will definitelFrom the gorgeously elegant cover art to the utterly cheerful atmosphere of the entire novel, Miracle on Regent Street is a book that I will definitely be rereading and recommending for years to come and it has got me into the Christmas spirit more than any tinsel or music ever could without needing to vomit Christmas. The entire novel is split into chapters and then days as it counts down the time Hardy's has until store closure and the time Evie has to secretly transform the store and hopefully draw in enough customers to vastly increase profit takings in that time.
It is written in the present tense which usually throws me off for a little while when I first pick up a novel but not this time. The beauty of Ali's gorgeous descriptive imagery drew me in so quickly that I didn't even notice the tense. If anything, it added more to the novel as you feel just as if you are there watching over Evie's shoulder. "It feels as if I have been magically transported back in time as I cycle into Portland Place. No vehicles are on the streets and I can't help but imagine them when they were cobbled and filled with horses and carriages." Evie herself is quite the dreamer and the descriptive passages reflect greatly on this as she imagines how things could be and might have been, and the writing style is just so warm and delightful, the only thing that was missing was a big mug of hot chocolate. I read most of this book with a smile on my face and when I wasn't smiling I was either frowning at a nasty character or trying to ignore the tears in my eyes when the big emotional scenes happened near the end. Miracle on Regent Street is a book that just makes me happy and it's extremely hard to put down. Seriously, if this book isn't made into a movie one day I will be sorely disappointed!
But the thing that really made the novel for me was the amazingly diverse characters. Evie, for starters, is such a kind-hearted individual who just wants to be noticed. She's let herself fall into obscurity and nobody she works with on the shop floor even knows her real name. However, underneath her mask of plain, invisibility she has this creative flair and very chic retro style that is so perfect for her task at Hardy's to secretly transform the store into a great place to shop once more. She is just so easy to love with all of her self-doubt, I think we've all been there at some point. It does bother me, however, when characters overhear part of a conversation, jump to conclusions and run off crying without even attempting to confront anybody about what they have heard. Evie does this a lot and I just wished she would go to the person and say, "Excuse me, are you doing x?" Because then they could have chance to explain themselves! Perhaps it's just me. The drama as a result does bring about a gripping story after all. As for everybody else, every single character is so different from the next with different looks, styles and personalities that you really believe they could exist, and alongside all of the Christmas cheer there is also the bitter drama of real life from all angles. It's very real and I like that, but it is by all means a highly animated story.
I knew I would love this book before I even started it because it just sounds so wonderful, doesn't it? As such I have already recommended it to several people and I will continue to do so but now with more knowledge of just how wonderful it is. With all of its' cheer and sparkle, Miracle on Regent Street is a fantastic book to beat the Winter blues and I can't praise it enough. I love it!...more
This review may well, and probably does, contain spoilers for books in the Morganville series up to 11.
I’m so happy to have finally caught up with all of the currently available titles in the Morganville series because that was fantastic. Last Breath didn’t feel the same as any of the others, not even when Bishop came along and left everybody feeling as if there was no end in sight, and not when they left town. This was something else and I liked it and I really, honestly could not put it down.
The guy mentioned in the blurb, Magnus, is very creepy. Last Breath has quite a sinister, almost nightmarish feel to it as vampires slowly disappear without a trace and the vampires in general are frightened. More so than when Bishop showed up.
We also see the return of different character perspectives in Last Breath, though unlike Shane’s passages in Bite Club, these didn’t turn me off from the story but in fact added to it immensely. As usual, the main viewpoint is Claire’s but we also get the chance to see inside Eve’s, Shane’s, Michael’s, and even Amelie’s heads and it is fascinating. We see a little more from vampire headquarters that not even the main characters see and from time to time, we know more than the characters do. It’s very odd, but also interesting to see how everybody reacts. Truly.
The parts of Last Breath that really made an impression on me are pretty big spoilers so I won’t discuss them but I do have to say: wow. If you haven’t read Last Breath yet and you are a fan of Morganville, stop what you are doing and pick it up right now....more
Working Stiff is yet another in a stream of novels recently that has gripped me in so tightly that I simply couldn’t put it down and finished it in juWorking Stiff is yet another in a stream of novels recently that has gripped me in so tightly that I simply couldn’t put it down and finished it in just a few days without even realising how quickly I was reading. The main thing I took notice of about this book is that it isn’t a zombie novel in the traditional sense, in fact, the only thing that made this a zombie novel is that Bryn is a reanimated corpse. There are others like her as well, but they live just like normal human beings, or as close as you can get when a private corporation is keeping you on a tight leash and would rather see you rot than keep you alive, the only catch is that they are dead and must receive daily shots of this drug – Returné – to keep alive else they horribly and painfully decay. But there is no mindless staggering to find brains to eat at any cost, just a desperate struggle to remain alive when all but two, maybe three, people would rather you be otherwise. With all of that considered and the fast-paced action inbetween as they find a way to not only keep Bryn going with regular shots but also attempt to take down the company that they are owned by, who watch their every move, Working Stiff is most definitely an urban fantasy. And a damn good one at that.
I am fast becoming a Rachel Caine fangirl. I have now read three of her books and I have devoured each and every one. She is a genius at creating delightfully ordinary characters and thoroughly unique stories which are easy to read with just a sprinkling of humour and plenty of energy. This is exactly what I look for when I look for my next good read and Working Stiff has it down to a tee.
I was immediately drawn in by Bryn and how very like you and me she is. It begins with her first day working at Fairview Mortuary and her nervousness towards trying to impress her new boss and that her cheap clothes would make her stand out too much in such a rich person’s environment. She is so very human and in some ways that makes her the perfect candidate to become a zombie because rather than forgetting what she is, you see her humanity shining through. She has a crazy, but loving, family and a brilliant bulldog called Mr French who might be one of my favourite characters of all time, though I did wonder what became of him in the last part of the novel. Joe Fideli is a warm and funny character with skills aplenty and a wife and kids, and Patrick McCallister is the kind of character that you slowly warm to throughout the story, not really letting on anything about himself until much later on. There are some nasty bad guys to hate, heart-pumping, tense scenes to keep you on the edge of your seat (or wherever you happen to be reading), and some horrid situations that are pretty upsetting, and I have only the utmost respect for any author that can make me feel strong emotions. Rachel Caine has created a very believable story in Working Stiff that shall be going on my ‘to re-read and recommend’ pile.
Honestly, if you don’t tend to enjoy adult urban fantasy then I doubt this will be for you, but on the other hand if you are a fan of unique, dark stories with sympathetic heroines then read Working Stiff. If you also happen to enjoy the odd crime novel on the side, I have a feeling this will be right up your street. Personally, I don’t, but it is an excellent urban fantasy....more
Originally posted on Once Upon A Time. This review may well, and probably does, contain spoilers for books in the Morganville series up to 9.
Ghost TownOriginally posted on Once Upon A Time. This review may well, and probably does, contain spoilers for books in the Morganville series up to 9.
Ghost Town was one of the more enticing Morganville instalments for me. A favourite and most definitely proof that I’m becoming a bit of a fangirl over this series, particularly when it comes to Myrnin and his vampire-bunny slippers. I really like Myrnin, he’s showing some heart now. In fact, if you haven’t read this series yet and I haven’t tried to book bully you into picking it up, it’s only a matter of time.
I love the casual, fun builds ups and Claire and Shane’s sweet, goofy banter, although I do get a little tired of all of these groundshaking kisses. But they’re so good together so that kind of makes up for it, though I can’t help but think that they’re going to be shaken up soon.
There are rising tensions between Amelie and Oliver, though that’s a lot more complicated than it seems. And when Amelie loses her memory it is a stark reminder of how much she has changed since Sam’s death and since meeting Claire.
And oh my god I was not expecting an ending like that. It sent chills through me and I teared up a little bit. Everything was wrapped up nicely but it was so bittersweet. So sad but perfect.
I welcomed the short story at the end of the book, Worth Living For, just to cheer me up after that ending. It was from the perspective of Shane and the first Morganville short I’ve read. It exposes to us how much Shane cares and a lot of the things that he keeps inside. All in all it was a nice feel good little story. And though it’s set between Fade Out and Kiss of Death, it slotted in perfectly at the end of Ghost Town....more
While I thought this one tailed off a little at the ending - I guess that's the trouble when the magic of a tail resides on its' mystery - The Night CWhile I thought this one tailed off a little at the ending - I guess that's the trouble when the magic of a tail resides on its' mystery - The Night Circus is a solid and fantastically dreamlike read that I recommend to EVERYBODY. Some might not like it, and that's okay, but at least try it. Please.
This series is definitely a favourite in urban fantasy. I love the mix of witches and magic and faerie and ghosts and reapers and all of that combinedThis series is definitely a favourite in urban fantasy. I love the mix of witches and magic and faerie and ghosts and reapers and all of that combined and ... arg. It's good, okay? And by the end of this one I was actually invested in the love interest too. Mebbe soon I'll actually review them both on the blog and convince you all to give them a try if you haven't already? Promise they're worth it.
It feels like yonks ago I read and fell in love with this book, looking at my Goodreads page, I suppose aReview originally posted at Once Upon A Time.
It feels like yonks ago I read and fell in love with this book, looking at my Goodreads page, I suppose a month ago is a fair while, but hey that’s why I take notes and I do remember how much I absolutely adored this book, to the point that I told off Ms. Lucy on Twitter for making me actually cry and I couldn’t read anything else for three whole days afterwards and I told a random lady in Tesco to buy it because it’s really really good (as well as many other people). *ahem* Yes.
Lucy’s writing style pulls you in from the very first page when Fran is telling us about how and why her friends broke into her flat, only to be disgusted by the state they find her in, and demanding that she go on this “Eight Date Plan” while on her 3 month break from her boyfriend Michael. She has this fantastically hilarious way of wording things, and it’s such a British sense of humour. So often I’d burst out laughing at something or other1 and I’d get the “what are you laughing at?” look from my other half.
“Walking out of the building and into the cold, hard afternoon sun, I caught sight of Michael’s bottom. I’d not realized I was a bottom sort of girl until that moment but Michael’s was exquisite. Small, manly and firm, with just a hint of muscle. I wanted to cup it gently. And then firmly. And maybe give it a soft slap just to be sure.”
My only major criticism of the writing style itself was the overuse of exclamation marks. Whilst they did add a lot more excitement to the text, often they added a little too much.
Fran is just so absolutely mental and Bridget Jones-like with her clumsy, drunken, lovesick stalking ways. She has low self esteem yet loves her life and when she suspects her currently ex-boyfriend of dumping her on her birthday to date a posh, gorgeous girl called Nellie Daniels she gets a little crazy. Whilst it could all have been fixed by a simple text, it did make for a hilarious read and things wouldn’t have worked out quite the way they did. And that was a pretty freaking epic ending. I’m also completely in love with the side characters. Dave the Glaswegian cameraman who always seems to have a cigarette in his mouth and there for Fran through thick and thin. Barmy Stefania the nutty European, exact origin unknown. Duke Ellington the evil cat. And the dates! My word, they’re so hilarious! Though it isn’t all hilarity. Fran’s mother has been dealing with an alcohol problem for years and there are some very heartfelt dealings with that problem as she tried to get her mum to go to Alcoholics Anonymous. They all give the story a kick of life and it wouldn’t have been quite the same without them.
Should you read this book? Hell to the yes. There is a lot of swearing and a teeny tiny bit of sex but it’s not too adult in my honest opinion. I thoroughly believe that it’s too brilliant to miss. Often, I find chick lit has a lot of trouble with predictability but here I just didn’t see any of the twists coming and.. Kay, finished gushing. If you have a secret penchant for chick lit while nobody’s looking or a great stonking love of it, give The Greatest Love Story of All Time a go! I love it so much and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it....more