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* does...moreI 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. (less)
The sequel to Assassin's Apprentice, and second in the Farseer trilogy. Yet again, Robin Hobb weaves her magic across the Six Duchies, further develop...moreThe sequel to Assassin's Apprentice, and second in the Farseer trilogy. Yet again, Robin Hobb weaves her magic across the Six Duchies, further developing the subtle story of the Farseer trilogy, and creating these characters with such depths that they annoy us, yet we fall in love with them, and hate them. Well, that's how it goes for me anyway. And my God I hate Regal. Hate. He's a phenomenal bad guy.
I also wasn't sure whether to take a quick break after this one before picking up Assassin's Quest, but Hobb has perfected that ending. It's not a cliffhanger in an annoying way, but she definitely hasn't closed the story and it has left me with this hunger to read the next and see what happens. What happens to everybody in the end? The way she writes, will we even know what happens to everybody? I'm a little dubious that the story will be left open. Not in the way that a film is left open to make way for a sequel, but in the way that a true artist will let your mind fill in the gaps for yourself.
Hobb is definitely what I think fantasy should be, and I can only hope that other fantasy authors I have yet to read are as diverse and subtle as she is.(less)
How to review this without spoilers... That's quite a difficult one isn't it. Reviewing the last in a series without spoiling the ending because all y...moreHow to review this without spoilers... That's quite a difficult one isn't it. Reviewing the last in a series without spoiling the ending because all you want to do is discuss how everything was wrapped up, what you thought of the way such-a-body acted, what was sad, what made you smile. I guess I can safely say that Hobb is fantastic at letting her story fall into place. Giving justice, sadness, and happiness in equal measures, ending her story as it began - balanced. And to me, it almost did come around in a circle, starting the way it began. I think the best literature successfully mirrors itself.
The first half of the novel was a struggle, I will admit. I felt as thought the same times were happening again and again and I almost took a break from it, right in the middle, and then something changed and the story dusted itself off and got going again, and I didn't quite expect it to go where it did. Some things I anticipated all along, some things weren't even trying to be twists, which is fine, not every change in a story should be a twist, but the things that you don't expect, you really don't expect, or perhaps you're given plenty of clues, and you have an inkling, but even so, the twist comes and slaps you in the face, mocking you for missing it so easily.
Hobb is a genius with words, and though I'd probably have rated this one more at 4.5 stars for the first half of the novel, the ending was brilliant and ended the Farseer trilogy perfectly, and so it was closer to 5 than 4, based on the ending and her writing style alone. If you haven't read it yet and like fantasy, I recommend you go and get yourself a copy of Assassin's Apprentice.(less)
This review may well contain spoilers for the Soul Screamers series up to book 2.
My Soul to Save continues almost two months after where My Soul to Take left off and I found it even more unputdownable. I'm not sure exactly why. Perhaps it's because we now know Kaylee and Nash, we've been through Kaylee's discovery of her bean sidhe powers, and now we're able to follow the stories and properly connect with the characters. You don't just want to know what happens next, you need to know.
We find out a little more about the Netherworld and even see a little of it. This is something I'd been looking forward to and was not disappointed. It's chilling and entirely nightmarish, and I fell a little bit in love with it. The creatures within are creepy, the landscape is like something from a Salvador Dali painting, and even the plant life is scary! It is not a place to venture into lightly.
There are more interesting characters in My Soul to Save, as well. We met a few in My Soul to Take, such as Tod, but they are built upon further in this book. Tod we know to be Nash's dead bean sidhe brother, but we start to see his human side which didn't really show so much before. He becomes a more solid part of the Soul Screamers series as opposed to simply a side character and I really like that. His personality is fun to read as he continually causes mischief to keep himself entertained. We also meet Addy, Tod's ex girlfriend who happens to have sold her soul for fame and fortune, unknowingly condemning herself to eternal damnation by demand of Dekker media. The thing I loved the most about this particular storyline was how big a pop at Disney it was! It really made me giggle until it was revealed exactly how dark it really was. Libby the 3,000 year old reaper was also pretty awesome. Despite not meeting her too much, she still made quite an impact on me which is definitely something worth mentioning. And I still like Nash.
Considering how difficult it was for me to put this series down for just a little while during March, I am very much looking forward to picking back up with My Soul to Keep!(less)
Dead on the Delta surprised me. I’d been growing more and more tired of the strong, stubborn female lead arch...moreOriginally published on Once Upon A Time.
Dead on the Delta surprised me. I’d been growing more and more tired of the strong, stubborn female lead archetype who falls hopelessly in love (see: lust) and makes mistakes aplenty whilst vampires etc. roam the city, and so I had anticipated more of the same from this one but sure, whilst it was a little, it was also a breath of fresh air. Once Annabelle finished whining about this, that and the other at the beginning of the novel, she was actually quite a loveable and snarky character in whom we do see a little growth despite her instabilities. And whilst I did question her romantic decisions towards the end and may have liked to hit her over the head repeatedly for them, she’s just a little indecisive as opposed to the quite frequently seen ‘girl who is unable to make her own decisions’.
The story itself is great. Okay, so latter parts of the novel did get a bit weird for my liking but nowhere near the level of some other novels. Stacey Jay’s overall writing style was good enough to pull it off and keep me reading and enjoying the novel throughout. We have a murder case which gets more disturbing as the novel goes along, a hidden drug ring with more to it than meets the eye, a freakish cat who was oddly quite loveable, venomous and nasty faeries who drink human blood and one bite will either cause instant death or slow insanity amongst the 95% non-immune, as well as a romance that could be considered questionable at best.
If you enjoy urban fantasy and haven’t read Dead on the Delta yet then you need to get your hands on a copy soon. It is a fantastic read. There is something refreshing about it and the ending wraps up nicely, yet opens up enough of a follow-up to leave you yearning for the next installment.(less)
Book two of the Sookie Stackhouse aka Southern Vampire Mysteries aka True Blood series follows on with the story of Sookie the waitress in the small,...moreBook two of the Sookie Stackhouse aka Southern Vampire Mysteries aka True Blood series follows on with the story of Sookie the waitress in the small, Southern town of Bon Temps. This time finds Sookie and Bill heading off to Dallas to make use of her powers in solving a missing person case.. if you can call a vampire a ‘person’. Just as book one was in essence series one of the True Blood HBO series, book two is series two though with a few more differences this time, which I think may be why this book appealed to me a bit more than Dead Until Dark did.
Although it was mostly the writing style and the plentiful sex in Dead Until Dark that had me cringing from time to time, the blandness of reading such a familiar story must also have had something to do with my lack of enjoyment, though it wasn’t awful, it wasn’t really for me. However, I have heard that after book three the series improves greatly and I adore the HBO series so, as I have books one to nine already, I decided to keep going and this time I was pleasantly surprised. The writing style either improved in Living Dead In Dallas or going in expecting it, I realised that it was actually a brilliant depiction of this Southern woman’s character, but it didn’t put me off at all this time and the sex didn’t bother me at all1, though it did feel like there was less of it. There are also new characters, and the more familiar. There are twists right from the start that I never expected which did grip me, and the intrigue of the supernatural world.
One thing that bothers me in these paranormal romances that seem to be springing up like dandelions at the moment is that the protagonists, no matter how badass they may or may not be, seem to allow themselves to become ‘kept women’ when they enter these supernatural underworlds. But not Sookie Stackhouse. She is in love with Bill, intrigued by him, perhaps even addicted to him, but throughout, she tries to keep herself to herself. Though she might not always succeed at being her own person since meeting the vampires, she at least tries, which gives me much more respect for her character than any other that I have read or heard about so far.
I’ve given Living Dead In Dallas a 3 star rating because I did enjoy it, but it still didn’t quite ‘wow’ me. I suppose having seen the series first and knowing the ins and outs already and roughly where the stories are going to go doesn’t entirely help, because they do seem to be very good books and the way Harris has written her vampires is wonderful, however, I fully expect once I get onto the more unfamiliar stories, I’m going to like them a little more.
I can recommend these books to, obviously, fans of the HBO True Blood series, and also to adults who enjoy paranormal stories particularly featuring vampires. Do be warned though, they aren’t really suitable for children as they can get a little graphic.(less)
I first read The Colour of Magic when I was about 13 or 14. At the time I didn't really enjoy it or take much in, so a fair few years on I decided to...moreI first read The Colour of Magic when I was about 13 or 14. At the time I didn't really enjoy it or take much in, so a fair few years on I decided to reread the Discworld books I'd read as a kid.
The Colour of Magic is of course excellent, and Pratchett is a genius. It is funny, and engaging, I'm glad I reread it, even if it did take me a few months and a break to read a few more books inbetween. Now for The Light Fantastic, its' follow up.(less)
I really tried to pick this book up but it just wasn't there for me. The writing is subpar - Acaster's comma useage is too liberal, it breaks everythi...moreI really tried to pick this book up but it just wasn't there for me. The writing is subpar - Acaster's comma useage is too liberal, it breaks everything up too much and makes it difficult to read and enjoy, and I really believe it would benefit from some more editing, and some honest advice. It is a shame because it spoils for me what could otherwise be a wonderful story. I won't rate it, but I will say that if what I've said doesn't bother you: give Torc of Moonlight a read.(less)
What a great gem of a chick lit Single in the City is! I've had this book on my wishlist for yonks and I finally got hold of a copy of it when Michele...moreWhat a great gem of a chick lit Single in the City is! I've had this book on my wishlist for yonks and I finally got hold of a copy of it when Michele offered Misfortune Cookie to myself for review (and I absolutely have to read in order) and I am so glad I finally got around to reading it!
Single in the City is such a delightful read. Written in a fun and very comical style, vaguely reminiscent of the likes of Kinsella herself, I found it entirely unputdownable as I laughed from one of Hannah's exploits to the next. My favourite absolutely had to be the cultural discovery of British men generally being uncircumcised, which I honestly didn't realise was a thing in America. I was caught in the midst of a good old guffaw several times while reading, that one in particular being cause for running in to tell my boyfriend all about it.
As Hannah (great name by the way) comes over to London and fumbles her way through the unexpectedly different culture, we get the privilege of seeing her first observations of Londoners through her eyes. As a Brit myself, I already knew many of the things Hannah is learning throughout the novel so it was a lot of fun to gauge the reactions of somebody who isn't at all used to British norms. From something as simple as ordering a sandwich:
"Salad?" I don't see any salads. "No, no salad." He closes the sandwich and starts wrapping it. "Uh, can I please have some tomatoes?" The lady next to me is staring at me like tomato is a dirty word. "You didn't want salad." "That's right, no salad. I want tomatoes."
To the idea of liquid lunches and London's public transport system. All the while, Michele details the Americanisms for us Brits in the form of footnotes and boy do I love them. There are many things I've learned from watching American TV but there were still many things for which I was most grateful for an explanation!
I did have a little issue with the non-existent scene breaks which often broke up the story a little. When you're happily reading along and suddenly it's two days later, you just have to stop and get your bearings for a moment. It breaks the flow and I just wished there were more scene breaks but that was my only real issue with it.
Hannah herself comes across as being a little bit shallow. She's big into fashion and labels and almost missed a chance with a great guy because of this. However she's a wonderfully quirky character, spontaneously moving to London with a nonrefundable and expensive ticket on a drunken dare without a plan and improvising her way through London life. As such she ends up going through all sorts of hilarious dating exploits, work issues and accidentally falling into a life she comes to adore and I love her. I really do. She has taken life by the horns and ran off with it, which is an admirable thing.
So guys, Single in the City is a great book with a warm ending. By the end you'll be pining for more so if you're into chick lit and haven't read this one yet - do so!!(less)
Surrender was never released in the UK and as such, we Brits had to accept that our Haunting Emma collections wo...moreOriginally posted to Once Upon A Time.
Surrender was never released in the UK and as such, we Brits had to accept that our Haunting Emma collections would look something like this:
Thankfully, it is a trilogy worth making do with mismatched covers as it’s a delight to read. And I did spend a fair while making bets with myself over the colour of book three. I think I went with orange but I guess we’ll never know!
It had been a long while since I’d read Betrayal, book two of the trilogy, and so it took me a while to work out who was who, who was where, and what was going on and get back into the narrative style all over again and I didn’t feel as though previous events were re-explained very well so I do think this series works much better if you read all three in one sitting. I also found it funny reading this as I was in more of an adult chick lit mood, whereas reading the first two I was in the mood for this kind of series so the teenage angst bothered me so much more this time around but it’s still a good read.
Aside from the masses of angst and the assumption that you have a photographic memory, I also noticed an awful lot of moments in which the characters proved themselves to be glaringly oblivious. There were things that had me screaming at the book in a, “They’re behind you you dolt!” kind of style. But I felt that the fun of reading Surrender overrode my annoyances.
The Haunting Emma trilogy is the kind of series you read when you don’t want to think. You want to sit and enjoy your fantasy world and have a well resolved ending. It feels comfortable to read, the battles are fast-paced and just a little epic, and the characters are loveable and fun. It is certainly worth reading even if just the once.(less)