Dean Wilson is at it again, this time continuing the take of Ifferon in The Road to Rebirth, second in the Children of Telm series. I am seriously astounded that Wilson is able to create a whole world, complete with a whole new religious and mythological system, and put so much life and vigor into every aspect of his series. It took me a while to get back into the story because of the depth put into it, but once I was in I was hooked all over again. Wilson's new addition to the Children of Telm series earns itself 4 out of 5 stars from me.
As with any book, there are things I liked, and things I didn't like about The Road to Rebirth. One of the things I wasn't too fond of was how long it took me to get into the story. This isn't because of Wilson's writing or the plot itself, but rather the intense level of detail put into every part of the story. Many sci-fi and fantasy/adventure sagas have timelines, maps, lineages, or other aids to help readers remember important yet complex parts of the story, and I feel like something would have been useful to remember the different races, tribes, and gods Wilson created.
I also feel like the chapters featuring Melgales and Yavun were particularly difficult to keep track of, owing to their being in two separate places and handling different situations. I like how they were combined because of their connection with the Beldarian, although I'm not sure the ebook formatted the way Wilson had wanted because there were a few parts in these chapters that were unclear in the shifts from Yavun to Melgales and vice versa.
That being said, I have to applaud Wilson for creating a story as vivid and creative as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. He has developed a whole alternate world, complete with a complicated mythological/religious background, and that takes immense skill. I am a huge fan of mythology, particularly Greek and Roman tales, and Wilson's work only whets my appetite for more myths.
While I was overly fond of the amazing imagery and scene-setting in this book, I was also a bit overwhelmed by the number of poems and songs throughout the chapters. They were well placed and added to the culture of Wilson's world, but I think there were just a bit too many for me to truly enjoy as they took me away from the plot itself, and I had to reorient myself to what was occurring.
As I mentioned before, Wilson's style of writing hooks the reader, and creates an emotional bridge between reader and character. The characters in The Road to Rebirth are realistic in the moral and ethical choices they make in each chapter. Nobody is all good or all evil, and each person makes their choices and has to live with the repercussions, be they positive or negative. Elithea and Delin share drastically opposing opinions in what is right to do for Theos' soul, but because there is naught but gray area, either can be right or wrong. How can anyone tell who is truly good or evil in this story, without seeing how the conclusion plays out?
One of my favorite parts of any book I read is finding quotes that really speak to me, and Dean Wilson is outstanding at making his stories as inspirational as they are entertaining. I'll leave you with just a few of my favorites:
"If you draw breath, then this is living. The question is: do you do more than just draw breath?"
"The dark night feels very long now, even if there is the hope of dawn." "There is more than hope... It is not idealism to think that day will follow night. It is a matter of knowing, not hoping."
"Do you yearn for life, even when it is often cruel?" "Yes, because it is often cruel, not always, and when it is not cruel, it is kind beyond any measure, and those moments outweigh the darker ones that precede or follow. Even when night comes and smothers day, there are stars up there in the blackness."
"To try and fail is better than to fail to try. A flower always tries to bloom, even in the bleakest of winters. Often the flowers fail, but sometimes they succeed."
"Sometimes it is best to think less of where you came from, and more on where you are going."...more
I won't lie, I had absolutely no intention of reading this book, thanks to the creepy little girl on the cover. My bookseller friends were all interested in reading it, but I kept taking a pass, until I saw it on an impulse desk at my library. I mean, why not pick up a book then? The lesson that I learned is the age old "Don't judge a book by its cover." I was blown away at how fascinating the story was, and the originality and work involved in creating a story out of a collection of old photographs. In my opinion, Riggs did a phenomenal job introducing characters and plot out of random unconnected pictures, and Miss Peregrine is a 5 out of 5 star series/author debut.
I thought this was a well thought out story; evidently Riggs has imagination aplenty to come up with such a colorful backstory to so many unrelated photographs. I found myself dreading the moment when I had to put the book down to get sleep or go to work or something, eagerly anticipating the next chance I'd have to pick it back up and see what Jacob was up to. The peculiar children are much more interesting, and less creepy, than the photographs suggest, and it was easy to imagine what they would be like if I were to visit Wales and run into them at the crumbling orphanage.
One of the biggest complaints I have heard about this book is that it wasn't what people had expected from the cover/summary, and honestly I am relieved that it wasn't what I expected. I don't really like creepy or scary, as my overactive imagination tends to give me nightmares. Especially since I read so much at night rather than during the day.
As much as I hate being 'that guy', I've been trying to find more books told from a male POV. So many young adult novels are told by a female, and while I do still read and enjoy them, it'd be nice to be able to relate to the narrator just a little bit more (Hunger Games and Divergent are awesome, but I start fading out when the narrators are discussing the guys they are interested in). Jacob is a confused, lost teenager trying to make sense of what happened to his grandfather, and it was refreshing to be able to identify so well with the protagonist and to not have to cross any gender boundaries. Again, though, I'm not trying to be sexist or anything. I just would like to see more male narrators in the world of young adult novels (and for them not to be about sports and only sports).
Overall I found Miss Peregrine to be unique, inventive, and very entertaining, and I'm looking forward to the release of Hollow City, the second Ransom Riggs novel, in January. If you haven't taken a look at this New York Times bestseller yet, you should definitely get on that :) ...more
After having read and enjoyed their first book in the Destiny's Kingdom series, Legend of the Chosen, I was contacted by these authors again to read and review their second book, A Prophecy Revealed. I can honestly say I was thrilled to be able to get a copy of their second book, because the first book was a 5 star winner to me and I couldn't wait to get back into the world that these two talented authors have created.
Needless to say, A Prophecy Revealed earns itself 5 out of 5 stars for being just as entertaining and fast paced as its predecessor. While it took me a few chapters to get back into the plot, and remember just where all these characters had left off previously, I was just as drawn into the story and anxious to find out if the Chosen are successful in defeating the SanFear. Fantastic blend of action and plot, with humorous dialogue well placed to avoid overly dramatic or emotional chapters (there was a lot of revelation in this book, that left me feeling feelings that Trina was hiding so well through her strength).
There are two quotes that I bookmarked on my Nook and felt that they needed to be shared: The bulb-shaped space station glowed like an ethereal toy top in gargantuan proportion, hanging against the darkness like a decorative ornament might hang. Its honeycomb lower half was a celestial hive with dozens upon dozens of docking berths to accommodate ships of all shapes and sizes. This is a fantastically unique way to describe a space station, and I'm not sure yet how I feel about it..
It is a blind faith we keep in so many of the things we hold most dear. It is that which we cannot grasp and cannot guarantee. But that we simply know. I just really liked this quote, and wanted to share it with everyone.
Almost all my questions from the first book were answered, although I'm still interested in learning more about Shylo and how things will play out between him, the Seer, and the rest of the Chosen. I did, however, get more confused about the Avé. He was almost affected by the SanFear, which sort of implies mortality or at the least a lack of power to fight the SanFear, and I spent the whole time up until this point thinking he was akin to a deity... Is the SanFear really that strong, or is the Avé weaker and less omnipotent than I originally thought?
Overall I was very pleased with A Prophecy Revealed, and definitely recommend to anyone who likes science fiction, fantasy, adventure, or really any type of genre as this is definitely a 'between the genres' kind of book. Elements of so many different topics and genres are introduced and blended so well together, and I look forward to seeing more from Ms. Selzer and Mr. Huber....more
I feel like I'll rethink this in the coming days, but as of right now I really enjoyed the ending. Look for a review of the trilogy on my blog shortlyI feel like I'll rethink this in the coming days, but as of right now I really enjoyed the ending. Look for a review of the trilogy on my blog shortly, I PROMISE I'm getting reviews done before the end of the year....more
Audio books take too damn long. I ended up reading most of the second half of the book from my hardcover edition. Still enjoyed this the second time aAudio books take too damn long. I ended up reading most of the second half of the book from my hardcover edition. Still enjoyed this the second time around (I originally read it a couple years ago when the paperback edition was first published). Look for a full review sometime tomorrow on www.jerseyguyscanread.blogspot.com...more
Honestly, I didn't think I was going to like the back and forth between the present, and Julia's past story, but the writing BLEW ME AWAY. It's rare tHonestly, I didn't think I was going to like the back and forth between the present, and Julia's past story, but the writing BLEW ME AWAY. It's rare that I like a sequel better than the original, but this was just so phenomenal (even though it's going to take me a while to process the ending) that I sincerely hope Grossman writes another novel of Fillory and Quentin's tale. I'll put a real review on my blog within the next few days, I need to take a break from the emotional upheaval of the last 50 or so pages....more
Hmm, I'm not really sure what to write about Ship Breaker. A young adult novel, it wasn't up to par with a lot of the other books I've read lately, writing wise (as in, I'm reading the second memoir in a row, on top of reading another nonfiction novel for school). Naturally, I think I'm a bit jaded. In any case, I did have to give this book 3 out of 5 stars for a combination of fun, fast paced plot coupled with decent characterization and exposition and description that I felt could have been enhanced and done a little bit better.
First off, that's a little misleading. This was not a 'vivid' future. Raw and uncertain, definitely. My understanding is that the world fell into post-apocalyptic ruin (see Orleans, the site of several cities all destroyed by city killers, Level 6 hurricanes). So just off the bat, I feel like there should have been some description of what just happened to the world for it to be so raw and uncertain. In The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins mentions that the US fell apart due to war, natural disasters and assorted nonsense, and Panem rose from the ruins of this once great nation. Bacigalupi fails to really describe just what happened in the world, and jumps right into the plot of his story.
The plot itself was pretty interesting, and as a young adult novel was very easy to follow and get into. Fast-paced and adventurous, there was very little time left for descriptions, characterizations, or any real plot development past what was going on in that moment. Yeah, I enjoyed it and read it pretty quickly, but it would have been nice to see a little more going on between Nailer and Nita and Pima, maybe a little more dialogue and character building. Then again, I'm probably jaded from my time in Westeros with the Game of Thrones novels, but at least none of my favorite characters died in this book. Ship Breaker is what it is, a fast paced dystopian adventure novel for young adults. I got a kick out of it, and will most likely be picking up Drowned Cities, the next novel by Bacigalupi. Mostly because Tool was one of my favorite characters, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of him in this second book.
All told, a little bare in description and development, but a fast paced and fun novel nonetheless. And for $2.99 on Nook/e-book format (as of 5/27, anyway), it's definitely worth it. Go download a copy!...more
I REALLY wanted to give this book 5 stars, I think that it shows a lot of potential and I enjoyed the plot itself. However, I had to give it 3 stars out of 5 for several reasons..
1. This plot is so original, and so creative, I couldn't help but be interested and addicted to this book. I'm not a religious person AT ALL, and I found myself wondering just what Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory were all like, and where I'll likely end up when I die.
2. While easy to identify with individually, I didn't feel the connection/relationship between Amber and Aaron that the author intended. What spark between the two compelled Aaron to follow Amber, and why are they so willing to give so much up for each other? I think there could be some more development of the relationship between them, to make their willingness to sacrifice more realistic and believable.
3. Omniscient perspective/narration is one thing, and I personally like knowing what's going on in each character's mind at a given moment. However, in The Truce, some characters had a small voice in the story while it was mainly a story about Aaron and Amber. It became difficult to keep track of whose perspective I was in, and to understand just what was going on.
4. Some of the characters got a small, paragraph-long back story, which was nice but also detracted from the main plot. Half the time I felt more interested in what happened in Jovan or Cole's life than I did in the war at hand, and Aaron and Amber's predicament.. Not sure what I would like to see changed about this, but I feel like maybe there is a better way to give characters back stories than a quick paragraph in the middle of a battle scene.
5. I think whoever edited this book was not interested in doing so. I found a significant amount of grammatical errors and while I completely understand and respect the work that goes into writing a novel and then publishing it, the errors were a slight distraction to my OCD mind.
Overall, this story shows a LOT of potential and I really do give the plot and story itself 5 out of 5 stars. The execution, unfortunately, just fell a little flat in my opinion. I would hope to see better character development, more fluidity and tightness in the story (between plot and description), and a stronger relationship between Amber and Aaron, and this story would have gotten the 5 stars I wanted to give to it....more
whoops. i meant to read a little bit tonight, and i ended up reading over 250 pages and finishing the book. got very involved in the plot and the charwhoops. i meant to read a little bit tonight, and i ended up reading over 250 pages and finishing the book. got very involved in the plot and the characters, and can't wait to pick up insurgent ASAP. full review on my blog later this week :)...more