Reading this book was kinda lika watching the movie Aliens for me.
See, when I started watching Aliens, I didn't much like it. It was so very differen...moreReading this book was kinda lika watching the movie Aliens for me.
See, when I started watching Aliens, I didn't much like it. It was so very different from the first movie, which I really liked, and I found myself constantly rolling my eyes at the macho military men. "Great," I thought, "these guys are gonna start dropping like flies soon, and I'm not gonna give a shit."
I was partially right. They did start dropping like flies.
But oh god, did I care.
I have no idea how it happened, but I found myself loving those silly macho men and screaming out loud when they were in danger. Hicks, Vasquez, Hudson, even Gorman, although he was a useless little turd... they all mattered to me.
This book was like that. When I started out, I kept thinking: "This is good, but hardly as revolutionary as people make it out to be."
And I stand by that. The world building is very good and the magic system is interesting, but we've seen this before; a small, mötley crew sets out to defeat a far superior force and overcome impossible odds, thereby finding a new destiny for themselves. The characters are your typical band of noble theives; we have the gentle giant, the refined smooth-talker, the grumpy-pants, the newbie, the charismatic leader, etc.
But god-fucking-damn did it hurt when those characters got in trouble!
There were times when I had to put the book down because of the things I was afraid would happen to them. Characters I didn't think I cared about - Marsh! Ham! - elicted crazy emotional responses from me whenever they got in on the action. That's how I realized they were some of my favourites! (view spoiler)[Especially Marsh, oh my god, I kept hoping he'd turn into an inquisitor and then he did and I was like OMG MARSH DON'T DIE I ALREADY THOUGHT I LOST YOU ONCE I WILL NOT SURVIVE IF YOU DIE AGAIN OMG YOU SURVIVED THANK GOD TAKE ME NOW I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE SPIKES BECAUSE YOU'RE ALIVE AND SO BADASS AND I LOVE YOOOOUUU (hide spoiler)]
Vin is a very good main character. She's interesting, strong, vulnerable, and she gets a shitload of character-development. Honestly, that's all I ask for in a female character. If I can at least get that, I don't mind leaning back and enjoying the romance, even if it is a little bit cheesy. Which, of course, it was. But that's okay, because I thought Elend was an adorable little air-head and I do enjoy indulgence every now and again. It was all good, in my opinion.
I only wish there were more women like Vin in this story. The only other strong, female character we ever got a mention of was Mare, but, well... (view spoiler)[she's dead (hide spoiler)]. The rest of the women were either nameless extras, vapid gossips, bitches, or a combination of the three. Here's to hoping for an improvement in comming installments!
Now, I cannot do this review without mentioning Kelsier and the Lord Ruler.
Kelsier is arguably the most important character in the book. He sets the events into motion that comes to change the world forever. He is the charismatic leader of the crew and the mentor of Vin. He is the survivor of Hathsin and the mastermind behind the plan.
And yet, for a long time, I was kinda 'meh...' about him.
I liked him fine, he wasn't bad or anything, I just... I don't know. To me, Kelsier was at his best when he was pushed to the absolute limit. When the shit hit the fan I adored the man to the very bottom of my heart and the strongest scenes in the book undoubtedly belongs to him. I think it's because Kelsier is one of those characters who gets more attractive the more broken down and beat up they get. You know what I'm talking about, don't act like you don't. But before that, he was a little too much like the stereotypical charismatic rogue.
As for the Lord Ruler... Brandon Sanderson wrote him PEEEEEEERFECTLY. I'm not even kidding. I absolutely loved him. The build-up to his entrance, the descriptions of him, the things he did, his backstory... it was all handled incredibly well. I can only applaud Sanderson on such a great villain.
And the world really is set up beautifully too. I love the atmosphere and the descriptions. I love how absolutely everything reflects how shitty the world is, from the weather to the people. It rains ash instead of water, for gods sake!
As for the magic, it's also a great system. I can't wait to see all the boundaries they'll stretch in the next book, and all the new discoveries they will make! Sanderson is also a genius when it comes to writing action scenes. Every scene had me on the edge of my seat, picturing perfectly every move, every strike that the characters recieved and dealt out. It was wonderful to read.
In conclusion, Mistborn: The Final Empire may not be as revolutionary as reviews have led me to believe, but it's still a damn good book. I would like to end this review in some clever, thoughful way, but since I'm not a very witty person I'm just going to recommend it warmly! You will not regret reading it! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
From the very first scene of this book (speaking of which, can I just say: HOLY SHIT!) you know that shit just got real! This book is extremely intens...moreFrom the very first scene of this book (speaking of which, can I just say: HOLY SHIT!) you know that shit just got real! This book is extremely intense, very well-paced, and though I'm new to the comic-book scene, I think it had some really sweet action and characterization! On top of that, the artwork is absolutely stunning!(less)
This book is better than Blood Promise. Really. It is. It's better paced, there is far more action, all the characters we know and love are back (for...more This book is better than Blood Promise. Really. It is. It's better paced, there is far more action, all the characters we know and love are back (for the most part), and the plot twist at the end is decent.
But... well, there's no point in beating about the bush, is there?
Rose... Oh my god, Rose...
Even if you mixed the DNA of Bella Swan, Regina George, and a female dog to create some kind of super bitch, the resulting hybrid would not come close to the absolute monster Rose becomes in this book. In my review of Frostbite, I stated that one of the two things which made that book nearly unbearable for me was how absolutely shallow Rose was.
Well, the good news is, she's not (as) shallow anymore.
The bad news is she has replaced it with hypocrisy, selfishness, entitlement, manipulation, exploitation, and gold-digging.
Can anyone say "Character derailment"?
This is most apparent in her relationship with Adrian, whom she strings along relentlessly, uses for money, (and then gets angry at him when he puts his foot down, claiming that "Even if we're together, we need to have boundaries". Oh Rose, you little hypocritical ass-wipe, I wanna punch you so fucking hard- Oh shit, I'm digressing) and then has the nerve to toss aside. She constantly looks down on him, constantly berates him for his drinking-problem, never gives him any appreciation or support – the list goes on. But no, it's not limited to Adrian. She endangers the lives and careers of the friends who love, trust, and believe in her, and gets countless of faceless innocents killed. And then she has the nerve to say something along the lines of "It's amazing what friends will do for each other".
No, Rose. Just your friends. When the hell was the last time you did something for any of them?!
It is so very frustrating, because every now and then, you catch glimpses of the character Rose could have been: A strong, witty young woman who wasn't afraid to stand up to anyone, and always tried to do right by her friends and her morals. That scene in the church... great! And then she follows it up with the fiasco with Adrian! For fuck's fucking sake!
It's like Mead if taunting us: "Look what you could have had! Look how funny and endearing she can be! Oops! There it goes, down the toilet, along with my credibility as an author!
It pisses me off that a single thing can ruin a book for me like this. I still love Christian, Lissa, Eddie... and Dimitri wasn't bad either. Everything else was at least bearable, even if Mead's writing style is painfully repetitive and simplistic, and the prose was about as flat as it gets. I could have put up with that, honestly. But I just can't recommend a book that tells us it's okay to be completely selfish and use another person solely for our own gain. At least Rose's shallowness in the earlier books didn't hurt others (much). This is just... Oh, I'll try not to get started again.
I'm not sure I'll read the last book in this series. I'm sure as hell not gonna pay for it. I'd rather wait until my birthday, and that's in November. That's how much Rose ruined this series for me.
In the meantime... there are numerous books to read, and a limited amount of time to do it. Next up: Eona. FINALLY! :D
Also: Eddie. Second half of the book. Where the fuck did he go?! (less)
So yeah, my worries about this series going downhill after Throne of Jade were completely unnecessary!
A few mindblowingly...moreTEMERAIRE IS BACK, BITCHES!
So yeah, my worries about this series going downhill after Throne of Jade were completely unnecessary!
A few mindblowingly awesometacular things Black Powder War brough to this series:
-Tharkay. That is all. Tharkay alone is enough reason to read this series. Without spoiling anything about him, I can pretty much guarantee that you will find Tharkay, in and of himself, mindblowingly awesometacular.
-The trip around the world was way, way better executed in this book. It gave us some seriously awesome scenes, and the world-building in this series is downright astounding.
-SOOO many awesome fight scenes. SOOOO much funny! SOOO much intrigue, drama, love and just-ansjalcnasf!!!
-Lien and Napoleon Bonaparte are working together. Awesome team up is awesome!
-Dear god, the men in this series! Laurence - the stoic, heroic, bloody sexy gentleman I fell in love with in book 1 - is back, along with his lovable Second in Command Granby, and now we have Tharkay too! (READ. THIS. SERIES. IT GAVE US THARKAY!)
-Iskierka! To avoid spoilers, I will say only two words: EPIC WIN!
And that, folks, in only the tip of the iceberg! If I was to list all the awesome things about this series, I would be here all night, but I'm sleep-deprived as it is. I will, however, end on this note:
PETER FUCKING JACKSON HAS OPTIONED THIS SERIES!!! HE'S DEBATING WHETHER TO MAKE IT A MOVIE OR A SERIES! I BEG OF YOU! I WOULD WATCH THAT SHIT TO DEATH! PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! (less)
I read it when I was nine years old, which is why I forgot about it for so long, but now that I remember it, I really, R...moreThis series is simply amazing.
I read it when I was nine years old, which is why I forgot about it for so long, but now that I remember it, I really, REALLY wanna re-read it.
From the kick-ass Warrior Queen Kira to her brilliant, magic twin-brother Kim to the world-bulding (including Panthaurs, Merfolk, fen-fires, dragons and hundreds - that's right: I said HUNDREDS - of other creatures) these books are bound to blow away young readers.
It pains me a little that it's never become popular, and also that I forgot about it for so long, but if I can get my hands on these books in the future, I'll definetely have my children read them. Seriously: strong female role-models, a wonderful balance between the genders, action, adventure, and honest-to-god romantic romance. I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to put it up there with Tamora Pierce when it comes to fantasy for kids.
I finished this book a week ago, but due to a storm here in Sweden, my internet has been fucked up (pardon my French). Eh, whatcha gonna do?
This book...moreI finished this book a week ago, but due to a storm here in Sweden, my internet has been fucked up (pardon my French). Eh, whatcha gonna do?
This book is stunning. I was gonna wait until Christmas and ask for the sequel as a present, but I can't wait that long. I'm buying it tomorrow (waited this long only because I had to make room in my otherwise tight budget). There is not a single aspect of it that I disagree with. The story-telling is superb, I love all the characters, the concept is fresh and engaging, and the battle-scenes literally had my hands shaking!
Oh, and did I mention: FUCKING DRAGONS!!!
I haven't been this blown away since I read Harry Potter at the tender age of eleven, and that was the book which opened the world of literature to me, and made me realize my dream of becoming a writer. If I wasn't already a hard-core dragon-fan (and by the way: why the fuck hasn't there been a huge dragon-hype yet?! I mean we get some true masterpieces every now and then, like "How to train you dragon" and, well... this, but nothing along the lines of the vampire, angel or dystopian-hypes. Why the hell not?! They're DRAGONS! Do I even need to explain how fucking awesome they are, and how many different concepts you can come up with?! THEY'RE DRAGONS!)
Ehrm... sorry about that... Where was I?
Moving on! As far as story-telling goes, Naomi Novik uses a brilliant technique: every time I got even the vaguest thought that 'this is getting boring', she jumped ahead to a more exciting part. It was like she could FEEL when the reader needed something new, and responded to it. How did she do that?!
And if you're worried that this technique harms the flow in any way: don't be. It doesn’t happen often at all (because honestly? There’s very little boring stuff in this book to begin with) and she flawlessly weaves in all the information you need, until the jump feels as natural as breathing. Brilliant!
As for the characters… where do I even start? Contrary to many others, Temeraire is NOT my favourite (though he’s high on the list, make no mistake).
I’m actually kind of in love with Laurence. He’s kind, he’s brave, he’s honourable and confident – a true gentleman in every sense of the word. This is the kind of guy I want to marry. As a matter of fact, if I ever have any daughters (Instead of the triplet-boys I’ve got planned), I’m gonna make them read this book and be like “Girls, if you’re gonna go all boy-crazy on me, make sure that this is the kind of guy you’re drooling over, and not some drama queen-vampire with eyebrows so heavy that they’re practically crushing his eyes.” You know what? I might take it one step further! If anyone ever asks me what I look for in a man, I’ll hand them this book and tell them to do their homework. And I don’t give a crap that my ex-boyfriend thinks that books are one of the biggest turnoffs on the planet!
But anyway… aside from my Laurence-crush, the other characters, while rather in the background, were wonderfully vivid as well! Berkely, Maximus, Harcourt and Lily had rather small roles considering, but I liked them anyway. Another honourable mention goes to Granby, whom I also kind of love, and Jane Roland. Dear god, that woman was made of pure awesome: her personality, her looks, her role as a skilled aviator and Laurence’s on-off lover… what a woman!
Oh, and Temeraire is pretty much the most adorable and awesome dragon ever. That goes without saying.
What’s next… ah, yes. EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN FLIGHT-SCENE WAS UNIQUE AND WONDERFULLY VIVID. HOW DOES SHE DO THAT?! HOW?! I HAVE TO KNOW!
Furthermore, the concept and setting… it’s the Napoleonic Wars with dragons.
Do I have to say anything more? Do I really?
It actually boggles my mind how anyone can NOT like this book – and that’s not something I say very often. I can usually understand why people feel a certain way about a book, even if I don’t agree. But this… this is just so awesome.
One of the main complaints I’ve heard while browsing the reviews is that the book doesn’t have a plot: that it’s just a bunch of very nice scenes and no overall issue. Needless to say, I COMPLETELY disagree with this. Laurence and Temeraire’s lives, the way they get intertwined and face hardships together… that’s more than enough plot to last a lifetime, in my opinion. It’s not like they have no problems; there are plenty of conflicts – social, personal and political – all of which comes up naturally as the story progresses.
I just don’t understand… what is it, more specifically, that these critics think should be in there?
So, in conclusion, this is definitely one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I can’t wait to read the sequel!
Oh, and one more thing: the titles of all the books in this series are so kick-ass! (less)
**spoiler alert** Pretty good. That's the best way to sum up this book. It's pretty good.
The summary is really misleading and actually hurts the book...more**spoiler alert** Pretty good. That's the best way to sum up this book. It's pretty good.
The summary is really misleading and actually hurts the book, at least when it comes to readers like me. I was instantly put off by the "mysterious, dark stranger watching her from afar" and the "forbidden luuuurve" and yadda yadda yadda. "Never seen that before," I thought.
But then I read the book. And it was pretty good.
I love the mythology and world-building. The beginning of this book was creepy as hell with Meghan seeing stuff here and there, and her brother seeing things, and stuffed bunnies with their heads ripped off and whatnot. It was also great once they got to the land of the Fae; I recognized SO many creatures from Norse folklore, and it made me very happy indeed!
The book doesn't start to loose points until a good way in, when Meghan, instead of growing a backbone, continues to be the annoying dumbass in distress that has to be saved by the boys all the time. I lost track of how many times she stumbled and Ash had to help her back up – after a while, he even started sighing while doing it, as if thinking "This broad is so stupid she can't even walk." That part was hilarious to me.
Don't get me wrong: Meghan's not a completely hopeless case. She has a few smart moments, and when the boys actually DO fall off the stick, she grows some backbone, but overall, she was a pretty annoying narrator. I can only hope she gets better in the next book.
Another thing I would really like to see in the next book is some romantic development. This one ticked me off, and not only with this series – it concerns all of YA.
What the hell do you people have against slow romantic build-up? (And by you, I mean the hypothetical YA-author who will probably never read this review.) Slow romance is one of the greatest things on the planet, according to me, and it was a long, looooong time since I read it. In every single book nowadays, it’s all “Now we meet, now we horny, now we kiss, now we in luuuuurve.”
It’s so unfulfilling. It’s shallow and boring and unromantic.
You know what I think is romantic, hypothetical-YA-author-who-will-probably-never-read-this-review? When the two love interests get to know each other, while we get to know them. When the two love interests learn to work together. One of the sexiest scenes I can think of is when two love interests fight the bad guys side-by-side, as complete equals and partners.
But I digress.
The third issue I had with this book was the whole Iron King-thing. It’s the bloody title of the book, yet we only get to see him during the last ten pages of the book (and he’s defeated within those ten pages). It’s anti-climactic, to say the least, and especially sad, since he had the makings of a good villain.
Other than that, there are minor nit-picks, like inconsistencies here and there, but I’ll spare you that because you’re probably already bored.
At the end of the day, though, there's no point denying it: I did like the book, I will recommend it to my friends, and I will read the next instalment. I think it’s one of the more original concepts out there, and it kept me interested with beautiful imagery and interesting mythology.
Let's face it: this is as good as the "teenage-ification comics" (word? It is now!) are going to get. Stories of this nature will always be a little s...moreLet's face it: this is as good as the "teenage-ification comics" (word? It is now!) are going to get. Stories of this nature will always be a little silly, but in the case of Young Avengers, there's a huge emphasis on the "A LITTLE".
In the foreword by Jeph Loeb, he says that Young Avengers should have been a disaster, a train wreck, and he is right: it very easily could have been. But the comic's greatest strength lies in how much it respects its own characters. Devoid of stereotypes or generalizations, Eli becomes so much more than just the black kid, Billy and Teddy are not just the gay couple and Kate is absolutely kick-ass. In fact, I dare say that this comic is a study in how you should write characters of different ethnicities and sexualities!
And that's not the only thing it's got going for it! The dialogue is wonderful: effective, believable and had me laughing out loud at several points! The plot, while rushed in a few places, was very good too. I especially love Billy, Teddy and Tommy's backstories. The cameos from various Avengers had me fangirling all over the place, though I'm sad that my favourite is dead at the moment. And lastly, the artwork is superb!
It is not perfect. The silliness I spoke of earlier especially comes out in some of the fight-scenes, and a few things feel taken out of the blue, but if one isn't a nit-pick, that's not much of an issue. I say if you have the chance, check it out! This was obviously not half-assed. These people put a lot of work into this comic, and it shows! (less)
Seriously, people. Where do I begin? Where to I even begin?
Okay, so... read this book. You need to read it. Yes, you. I'm talking to you personally. You need to go out, to a book-store, or onto the internet, and get this book. Because there is no way I can put into words what this book does to a person. Heck, I tried earlier tonight to give my best friend a brief summary, and I ended up going "Well, there's this kingdom with twelve dragons, and uh... there's a lot of political power-struggle and a war happens and, uh... this girl who dresses up as a guy and nobody knows and now she must, uh... save the world and... and... it's complicated."
Like the masterpiece that is Fullmetal Alchemist, there are numerous layers to this story, and they are all handled with care. On one hand, we have the twelve celestial dragons and their dragoneyes, which is a fascinating story all of its own. The book could have easily focused on only that, but no. Instead, it is masterfully interwoven with the political situation of this kingdom, the power-struggle between the rebels, the emperor and the treacherous high lord.
On the other hand, we have Eona and the rest of the cast, which is so complex and delightfully multifaceted that it almost feels like Mrs. Goodman isn't showing enough sometimes. I don't know about you, but I could have easily gone with more Ryko and Dela action, not to mention Chart and Rilla and Kinra and Lillia and Yuso and, especially, the delightfully evil villain that I love to hate: Sethon.
I almost feel like this story should have been a character ensemble because there was so much development of personalities, motivations, and relationships going on. Then again, that would have meant giving up Eona as a narrator, which would have been a terrible loss, since she is so very conflicted, so very complex, and so very human in everything she does.
Eona, as a character, most certainly won't appeal to everyone; she is very frustrating to read about. The trick, for me at least, is that we can understand her choices. Half of the time, you have no idea who to trust; who is manipulating whom, and what hidden agenda is behind every word. If you, as the reader outside the story, can't see that, how is Eona, caught in the fray with her heart, life, and soul at stake, supposed to cope?
As for the situation between her, Kygo and Ido (I refuse to call it a 'love-triangle', because that would bunch it up with Twilight and the Hunger Games.
I will never, ever, ever, bunch this book up with Twilight and the Hunger Games.)
That being said, their situation was handled with skill: it was creepy and twisted, but also kind of intriguing and sexy at the same time. I had such a hard time categorizing Ido, until I realized that there was no need to categorize him; that he was just as much of a flawed, human character as the rest of the cast. That, to me, is great writing!
So, if I liked this book so much, why not the Big Five?
Well, that is simply because I wanted more, after the end. The climax was amazing, but I have so many questions about what happened then. I'm not only talking about the big ones, such as "How do they rebuild and cope?", though I certainly wouldn't have minded some exploration of that. I'm talking about what happened to Vida, and Chart, and Rilla. I wanted to see how the relationships that had been put under so much strain would recover, or if they fell apart completely. I wanted to see the grief, the moving on, the hope for a better tomorrow.
But, all in all, Eona took every issue I have with Eon and made it right. While you may not love every aspect of the book, this is one of the few books that I dare recommend to everyone, because I do believe that there is something for everyone in it. Don't miss out!
There's an authenticity to this book that I haven't felt in a long time. Alison Goodman knows her shit: the world-building is rock-solid, and I can't...moreThere's an authenticity to this book that I haven't felt in a long time. Alison Goodman knows her shit: the world-building is rock-solid, and I can't think of a single time when I saw the strings, so to speak. However, the great portrayal of culture had both its upsides and downsides: I loved the story in its entirety, but found myself hating parts of this world - most prominently: the slavery - just BECAUSE it was so well-portrayed. In other, less real books, when I read about suppression and discrimination, it never quite touched me in the same way, because hey, I can feel that it's not real. Here... it hit a little too close to home.
That being said... I'm not seriously going to complain about a book telling the story TOO well!
A sense of realism isn't all Eon: Dragoneye Reborn has got going for it. Goodman's writing-style is equally wonderful: simple but elegant. The characters are vivid, interesting, and believable, the themes of gender and sexuality handled with maturity and an open mind. The political intrigue also felt very real, and thankfully didn't rely on any stale love-triangles or forced plot-elements. (YA, I'm looking at you.)
It wasn't all fun and games though. While the book is interesting all the way through, the twists were painfully obvious. And I mean PAINFULLY! It was incredibly frustrating to read about Eon's fear and confusion - even more so because Eon is a very intelligent character. And I don't just mean that the writer says she's intelligent (YA, I'm looking at you again), but you genuinely get the sense that this is a person with a good head on their shoulders. I found myself thinking 'Come on, Eon, you're too smart to miss something this obvious'.
At the same time, when they finally did reach the right conclusion in the last 200 pages or so, the relief I felt was so much greater. And speaking of the last 200 pages: WOW! What a climax! Starting from (view spoiler)[the Emperor's death (hide spoiler)], I really could not put the book down. I read for nearly two hours past my usual bedtime, because I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!
So, overall, an amazing read! It met my expectations, and surpassed them in some areas! I would highly recommend this to everyone!
Okay, I'm off to order the sequel! (view spoiler)[Here's to hoping for a romance between Eona and the Pearl Emperor! (hide spoiler)] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)