Brandon Sanderson never ceases to amaze. I was skeptical about this series, if for no other reason than his excellence in writing in period-fantasy geBrandon Sanderson never ceases to amaze. I was skeptical about this series, if for no other reason than his excellence in writing in period-fantasy genres. I wondered how he would adapt to writing something in a post-apocolyptic future. I should never have doubted.
Steelheart was a really good book. But I don't know that I appreciated his world as much as others. However, with Firefight, Sanderson proves that this series deserves as much praise as his others, and I am now looking forward to Calamity as much as I am book three of his Stormlight Archive.
Like his other books, trying to summarize the plot of this book just makes it sound stupid. A supervillain whose weakness is generic-brand Kool-Aid? A water-spurting jetpack? A tool that evaporates metal? On their surface, these seem kind of lame. But Branderson's talent lies in expertly weaving these unorthodox elements into amazing storytelling.
Indeed. Although Shakespeare may be the great poet, Branderson is the great storyteller. I am now convinced that all he has to do is invent any setting, throw in some bizarre changes to reality, and a five-star story will follow.
After Mistborn, Branderson established himself as my favorite author. After the first two books in Stormlight and Reckoners, he has cemented himself there....more
Phenomenal read. Had elements of Surrogates and Almost Human. Great plot.
Scalzi gives us a brief background of the setting, and then drops us on thePhenomenal read. Had elements of Surrogates and Almost Human. Great plot.
Scalzi gives us a brief background of the setting, and then drops us on the middle of it. The first chapters were a little confusing because the details of the important parts of the story were revealed slowly, which at first I found off-putting, but once I understood what was going on, I actually really appreciated the different approach.
Intriguing setting. This takes place sometime in the future, presumably after some world catastrophe, in some land far from civilization where historyIntriguing setting. This takes place sometime in the future, presumably after some world catastrophe, in some land far from civilization where history is mostly forgotten, as is most technology. In it there are lords, ladies, queens, and all of the trimmings of a feudal society. And traces of magic. It was an alternate universe worth visiting. ...more
I'm not sure how I normally know a book is meant for women sufficient to avoid reading it, but my machismo detector or whatever it is failed me this tI'm not sure how I normally know a book is meant for women sufficient to avoid reading it, but my machismo detector or whatever it is failed me this time.
Like a perfect woman, the book had inherent femininity that was readily apparent, but not overbearing. It was delicate on in its romanticism, even subtle, such that the budding relationship between the two protagonists was a (very) slow crescendo and even a feeling-less brute like me could appreciate the slow buildup of the most powerful emotion—love.
Given that I was expecting a book of fantasy focusing on magic, adventure, and intrigue like other books on my GoodReads bookshelf, I felt duped, much like I would if asked out by a woman who proclaims a love for Star Wars only to find out halfway through our date that she is very passionate about Ronald Reagan's early-eighties anti-missile defense system but has no idea what a moisture vaporator is and wouldn't know the difference between Tattooine and Hoth.
Even so, I don't feel betrayed. The book, which I never would have opened had I gone in with both eyes open, was a captivating read. Discounting my recurring confusion in the first half with the frequent and unfamiliar sensations that in retrospect I can only describe as "feelings," or at least stirrings of something resembling emotion, the book's pages and the author's voice did not detract at all from the story.
Given the extraordinary length of the book (it was really long), I expected a fairly comprehensive wrap-up of the various conflicts in the plot. About 100 (Kindle) pages from the end, I realized that the author was playing the long game, and that even the book's central plot device—which played in the forefront of the first half of the book but lurked in the shadows subtly pulling strings in the latter half—would go largely unresolved in this book.
Even the heroes' relationship was left unconsummated even though their marriage had been effectuated in at least two different—albeit unconventional—manners. (Not that I care whether two creatures consummate their relationship.)
At the end of the day, I would not have read the book had I known more about it, but am not so proud to admit that I can enjoy something clearly meant for someone with more refined tastes....more
People compare this to Harry Potter. I guess I can see sort of resemblance in the first part of the book. However I think it was more like the ChronicPeople compare this to Harry Potter. I guess I can see sort of resemblance in the first part of the book. However I think it was more like the Chronicles of Narnia than anything. Even then, it wasn't enough like any book that it doesn't stand well on its own.
The story was engaging, and the characters were fairly compelling. The plot was well woven in the loose ends were expertly tied up.
It was a page turner, and I enjoyed most of the book. My biggest complaint is that the author was trying too hard to make it an adult book. He could very easily have made it a lot cleaner without any loss. In fact, there were a couple of "adult" parts that were gratuitously added and completely unnecessary.
I don't get why this was voted the best GoodReads book for its genre. It was a decent enough story, but nothing to write home about. A good, quick reaI don't get why this was voted the best GoodReads book for its genre. It was a decent enough story, but nothing to write home about. A good, quick read, but not something you'll be thinking about for more than a few minutes after you turn the last page. ...more
As young adult fiction goes, Rebel Heart is fast-paced, engaging, and multidimensional.
The setting is an alternate America, whose history and name asAs young adult fiction goes, Rebel Heart is fast-paced, engaging, and multidimensional.
The setting is an alternate America, whose history and name as we know it evolved differently because the British—magic-wielding mages—were able to use their superior power to overwhelm the magicless war hero George Washington.
Because technology threatened to nullify the advantage magic provided, the British outlawed it—a proscription that they zealously and jealously enforced.
The technomancers—an underground resistance trained to use technology—formed the rebellion whose aim is to unseat the tyrannical mages and earn "Meryka" it's freedom.
Calvin Adler, a technomancer-in-training is a relatable protagonist, flawed but driven by loyalty and love of a country whose history he is only beginning to uncover.
During his journey he encounters natural predators, duplicitous bullies, harsh training, a pure-hearted girl, and much more.
You'll like Calvin as much as you want to be him.
Rebel Hearts is a quick read and will leave you impatient for its 2015 sequel. ...more
I don't normally read books that make me examine my life or that make me feel any of the discomfort associated with the harsh realities life presents.I don't normally read books that make me examine my life or that make me feel any of the discomfort associated with the harsh realities life presents. I typically don't stray too far from fantasy fiction, where I can lose myself in wonderful alternate realities free from burden and discomfort.
So when I began reading Pictures of You, I wasn't quite prepared for the grief and angst that are so masterfully woven through the fabric of the story.
The first few chapters I read slowly, needing periodic breaks from the weighty matters that made those first few chapters so heavy. But before too long, the plot thickened, so to speak, and I was too engaged to pull myself away even to escape the emotional baggage I found myself carrying with the protagonist as I read.
And so I proceeded. I waded through depression, anger, confusion, acceptance, love, betrayal, and ultimately, forgiveness—all vicariously experienced in a manner all too real to someone used to light reading.
Don't approach this book cavalierly. It won't work. Set aside some time when you can be alone and read and experience real—sometimes less-than-pleasant, but ultimately satisfying—feelings. ...more
It was fun reading a book that took place between episodes four and five, but I thought Han Solo's character was too much like the settled-down versioIt was fun reading a book that took place between episodes four and five, but I thought Han Solo's character was too much like the settled-down version of Han from Return of the Jedi than the cocky, brash pre-carbonite version.
The story was otherwise fairly good, but not exceptional. ...more
In Uncle Remo, Chris Near deftly leads the reader into a world where mediocrity is exceptional and eccentricity the norm. Sometimes shocking, often juIn Uncle Remo, Chris Near deftly leads the reader into a world where mediocrity is exceptional and eccentricity the norm. Sometimes shocking, often juvenile—This Isn't Heaven... It's New Mexico is consistently hilarious....more
I used to live in this wonderful world where there were lots of Brandon Sanderson books I had not read yet, so I could immerse myself week after weekI used to live in this wonderful world where there were lots of Brandon Sanderson books I had not read yet, so I could immerse myself week after week in a new fantastic world. Now I live in a world where the only new Brandon Sanderson books that enter my life are the new ones he publishes. Lucky for me, Brandon Sanderson has to hold the land-speed record for published words written per minute because it seems like he has at least two new books out every year. And they aren't novellas, either.
Words of Radiance, like every other Sanderson work, is imagination fodder in print. Although this one started a little slow, the last 950 or so pages were a pleasure to hand my mind over to.
On a macro level, the story is not anything new. It's a coming-of-age book where the main character (like Luke Skywalker, Clark Kent, Eragon, Rand Al'Thor, Yelena Zaltana, etc.) discovers he has powers and must develop those powers to save the world. Along the way he must figure out the difference between right and wrong, form a bond with someone he originally dislikes, and then participate in a truly awesome post-metamorphosis battle scene.
And so even though in a general sense, you know what's going to happen, you find yourself giddy about eventually reading about it. Plus, the details of the journey prove to be mostly unpredictable.
And then in those moments when it all comes together, you find yourself covered in goosebumps, unable to stifle your silly boyish grin, and praying that not only do they turn this into a movie, but they cast you as Kaladin.
This book, like the first, is incredible. The only thing that let me put it down was the realization that I had read the same page six times and fallen asleep every time because I was up way past when sane people go to bed.
The chapter headings—the quotes and codes and whatnot—I found distracting, though. Either they were fairly empty and meaningless (doubtful) or they were beyond my ability to comprehend because they didn't really add much for me. I bet people with more time or intellect probably found some deep meaning to them, though, and they were so unobtrusive, that I didn't dock my rating because of them.
The artwork was very good, and adds a layer of depth to the book absent in most fantasy books.
I highly recommend this book. Of course, if you've read the first, there's no way you won't read the second, so you know what I'm talking about. ...more
The castle must be huge to have so many expansive secret passageways that no one knows about. The love triangle is unorthodox. TBetter than the first.
The castle must be huge to have so many expansive secret passageways that no one knows about. The love triangle is unorthodox. Throw in some unexpected tragedies, magic, mystery, and a couple surprise twists, and you've got yourself a fun way to kill a few hours with this book. ...more