This was how Raine met Tam, and it was pretty much spot on what I expected. My picky self wants to cut out a few redundant paragraphs, but overall itThis was how Raine met Tam, and it was pretty much spot on what I expected. My picky self wants to cut out a few redundant paragraphs, but overall it was just a fun little story....more
3.5 After a bit of debate, I decided to add some thoughts to my stars. Libriomancer was simply awesome. For a sequel to live up to it would be a lot o3.5 After a bit of debate, I decided to add some thoughts to my stars. Libriomancer was simply awesome. For a sequel to live up to it would be a lot of hard work. Codex Born didn't make it. The entire first half hovers around the three star mark, but a few five star moments convinced me to pull it up to a four. But all throughout, Codex Born is clunky at best.
One of its worst flaws is that it simply doesn't meet its potential. It has a LOT of great concepts sprinkled throughout, but none of them feel sufficiently developed. At. All. (view spoiler)[(Example: I got so excited when I made the connection between Bi Wei's book and the snippets from Lena's perspective at the opening of each chapter. But then nothing was *done* with it. I seriously hope this is played with in the next book, otherwise it's reduced to, "Hey, look! Lena's backstory is even weirder than you thought!" :p) (hide spoiler)] Then there are also a lot of things that feel thrown in for no reason, or at least no apparent reason, which just add more words, not interest. It basically read like Jim Hines didn't have a clear picture of exactly what he wanted out of this book, except to make it to the next one.["br"]>["br"]>...more
I did enjoy this more than I expected. America was a sympathetic character (boy angst and all) and whether the author intended it or not, the story maI did enjoy this more than I expected. America was a sympathetic character (boy angst and all) and whether the author intended it or not, the story made me think of Queen Esther.
Unfortunately, the whole "rebel" setup was a glaring crack in suspension of disbelief for me. Illea seems to be set up as a reasonably powerful nation. First of all, they're enforcing this whole caste system across what we're led to believe is the entire North American continent. That's a lot of territory, even if there's been a technological decline. Second, as the Selection goes on, Illea is also supposedly diplomatically involved with other large nations.
So why is their palace routinely being invaded? Routinely. Repeatedly. On a regular basis. Is there any powerful nation that has ever had rebels repeatedly invade their ruler's home? Robert E. Lee never rifled through Abraham Lincoln's drawers. Not even once. Can you imagine Queen Elizabeth II's family photos being ripped from her mirrors and torn to pieces, then afterward everyone shrugs and moves on? Maybe *maybe* in the embattled MIddle East could I imagine one of their leaders being told essentially, "Well, those rebels were at it again, ripping bricks off our building and chucking them at the windows." But even that is a stretch and that isn't the kind of nation Illea is supposedly set up to be.
This leads me to two conclusions: 1) the author expects us to simply accept this dynamic for the sake of the plot, or 2) Prince Maxon and his royal parents are no more the leaders of a powerful nation than the talk show host. #2 isn't the impression we're led to believe, so I'm sadly left with #1.
I do think I will pick up book 2, but I hope to find better answers there....more
One of the things I loved about Alloy of Law was that you didn't have to read any of the Mistborn trilogy first. Unfortunately that is definitely notOne of the things I loved about Alloy of Law was that you didn't have to read any of the Mistborn trilogy first. Unfortunately that is definitely not true of Shadows of Self. It's still a good book, but if you have no idea what happened in the previous trilogy (set centuries earlier than this timeline) you'll be completely lost by the end....more
Edit: After seeing the movie, I had to bump this up a star for the author's hard work trying to make up for Disney's laziness. ALL of the world buildiEdit: After seeing the movie, I had to bump this up a star for the author's hard work trying to make up for Disney's laziness. ALL of the world building is here. The movie uses it as a crutch. I hope Melissa de la Cruz is someday given a chance to work with a real plot for these characters.
Originally: 3 stars. Not bad for what it is, which is basically a character introduction for the upcoming Disney channel movie....more
I remember loving the Cheney Duvall books in high school. Re-reading it now, it's a bit rough around the edges but the characters are interesting andI remember loving the Cheney Duvall books in high school. Re-reading it now, it's a bit rough around the edges but the characters are interesting and engaging. Still a good read, even years later....more
I really, really, really hate to say it, especially being a Camy Tang story, whose writing I usually love, but this felt... clunky.
(Mildly spoilish thI really, really, really hate to say it, especially being a Camy Tang story, whose writing I usually love, but this felt... clunky.
(Mildly spoilish things coming.)
Maylin and Geoffrey are alright as characters taken on their own, but as a couple they really never seemed to click. Their individual, internal character conflicts remained internal and remained their own, "resolved" with a quick summary in the epilogue instead of assisting each other to work through things as a couple should. Over the course of the story they have a lot of soulful staring with "Ooo, I really like him/her, but...", with not a lot of real interaction. They don't seem to trust each other with their troubles, despite their shared external conflict. There's also not very much development of these internal conflicts, and it felt like there was a lot of repetition, especially on Geoffrey's part. Lots of allusions to his time in Japan, but no detail until the end. Until then, his character simply feels distant; not in a good way.
For the external conflict, it starts before we know or care anything about the characters, and the way the story opens is more confusing than intriguing. It doesn't feel like a real mystery/thriller until nearly halfway through, when FINALLY there's more detail on what the heck is going on. The entire story felt like there was no foundation. Maybe if it had been with established characters, rather than introducing new ones, the "jump right into the action" opening might have been better. Yes, Monica is there, but she feels peripheral. There's barely enough of Maylin and Geoffrey to get a whiff of their characters before the guns start shooting (though Maylin's makeshift bombs were nicely revealing about her character, it felt like it was never expanded on. She's obviously smart, and the hinted internal conflict with her ex-boyfriend was also telling about her character, but it really never felt RESOLVED. Dang it).
The way details and clues were presented also felt clunky. The way they were placed in plain sight made it obvious they would be important, rather than being smoothly worked into the narrative as clues in a mystery should be.
In short, it didn't feel fast paced, it felt rushed. :( ...more
The bulk of this book was largely "meh," exacerbated by names that could get confusing and a largely unpronounceable language system (fara'ip? dra'aj?The bulk of this book was largely "meh," exacerbated by names that could get confusing and a largely unpronounceable language system (fara'ip? dra'aj? Trere'if?), with characters that were a bare shade away from "blah." But some of the concepts were interesting, and I enjoyed the tail ending....more
I'm not going to give this book a star rating, because to do so feels like a disservice. Unbroken is brilliantly written and exhaustively researched,I'm not going to give this book a star rating, because to do so feels like a disservice. Unbroken is brilliantly written and exhaustively researched, with a depth of detail going far beyond a simple biography.
The sheer numbers of men lost to simple mechanical failure, accident, or error staggered me. My grandfather was stationed in the Pacific with the B-25 Mitch the Witch. I couldn't stop thinking about what it must have been like. ...more
I had trouble deciding how to rate this book. In the past, there have been 600+ page books that I've read in 24-48 hours. This wasn't one of them.
VashI had trouble deciding how to rate this book. In the past, there have been 600+ page books that I've read in 24-48 hours. This wasn't one of them.
Vasher, who is used in the prologue to hook the reader and establish interest in the world (and the book itself), doesn't do anything of significance (and barely appears at all) for more than four hundred pages.
Honestly, the plot doesn't actually start moving until then, but you can't simply skip the first two thirds of the book, because there is important information scattered in tiny nuggets through this section.
The writing itself is good, and the characters are good (a few of them are excellent), but I wish Brandon Sanderson had been less hung up on trying to hide the "twists" and simply told the story (or even shortened the entire first section, given more of the last hundred pages, and actually shown the rest of the resolution to the conflicts). Vasher's side of the conflict and his interactions with certain characters would have had a much better emotional weight in the climax if there wasn't so much effort put into making him "mysterious."
Basically, if you love complex magic systems and don't mind slow pacing, it's worth a read, but if it's easy to lose your attention, try Elantris....more