It took me a while to figure out what I found so compelling about this book. On the surface, it is nothing special. It is in many ways a typical teenIt took me a while to figure out what I found so compelling about this book. On the surface, it is nothing special. It is in many ways a typical teen fantasy novel, based on mythology, even containing its own version of the dreaded love triangle. The plot didn't grab me, nor did the world. The writing and dialogue was nothing out of the ordinary. It was the emotions described that I related to. In this book is probably one of the best descriptions of depression I have yet read. Sure, the protagonist isn't technically depressed (her altered mental/emotional state is a result of the Everneath rather than her own psyche. But the descriptions of the way she feels are true to life in many depressed people. It's common for depression to manifest primarily as a numbing, deadening force, rather than uncontrolled crying or frequent surface sadness. The entire book felt like the protagonist was gradually coming out of a deep depression. Not everyone will relate to this, but I did. And that is something that, among YA fiction, is fairly unique to this book. There's quite a few angsty protagonists out there, but very few with true depression. As I said before, I realize that Nikki's emotions or lack thereof in the book aren't truly supposed to be the result of depression, but all the same she came across as a deeply depressed character. She's not as "fun" to read as many characters, but I think she is uniquely relatable to those who have dealt with this type of depression. ...more
This was a good book, like all the others in the series. It probably would have been somewhat less good if I had not read all the previous books. LikeThis was a good book, like all the others in the series. It probably would have been somewhat less good if I had not read all the previous books. Like most Ranger's Apprentice novels, the plot is nothing spectacular, but the characters are great.
It had less humor and fewer laugh out loud moments than most of the preceding books. It's more bittersweet; less lighthearted. I didn't necessarily like it less because of this, but it was definitely different in tone. Readers who read Ranger's Apprentice primarily for its playful banter and wit may be disappointed in The Royal Ranger, but I was not. A very solid four stars. ...more
I loved this book. Yes, it is 100% completely predictable. No surprises at the end. But I really enjoyed the protagonist's unique voice and irrepressiI loved this book. Yes, it is 100% completely predictable. No surprises at the end. But I really enjoyed the protagonist's unique voice and irrepressible personality. This kind of story has been done before plenty, but not often this well. Quite funny at times, and always interesting, from the first page on. No complaints.
I really could relate to Scott Jurek, when he wrote about running for the love of running, with childlike joy at the experience. I've never run an ultI really could relate to Scott Jurek, when he wrote about running for the love of running, with childlike joy at the experience. I've never run an ultra, but have completed 2 full marathons and 16 halfs. The way he wrote about running was inspiring. I could almost imagine that I was running while reading this book, and I did run quite a few more miles than usual this week, which I attribute to this book. It was nice to get a few recipes as well, some of which I plan on trying out.
My only letdown was that I really wanted to know the answer to the "why" that he kept asking himself. Especially when he started backing off from running a bit and taking it easier. Why would he drive himself so hard, and why stop for a time? The only semi-answer that arose was the phrase that kept cropping up throughout the book, "Sometimes you just do things." I didn't find that entirely satisfactory, but I respect honesty and I suppose he can't really give us an answer that he doesn't have himself. My curiosity remains unsatisfied though. ...more
Interesting historical fiction, engaging writing and dialogue, a couple of plot twists that weren't all that surprising if you read a lot. Overall a gInteresting historical fiction, engaging writing and dialogue, a couple of plot twists that weren't all that surprising if you read a lot. Overall a good book; I always enjoy a well done historical setting. ...more
My only complaint with this book is that the basic premise seems a little shaky. A red star appears, and suddenly random people are gifted with equallMy only complaint with this book is that the basic premise seems a little shaky. A red star appears, and suddenly random people are gifted with equally random superpowers, but all of them have very specific and different "weaknesses" designed to allow people to destroy them, but only with great difficulty (because it makes a more dramatic story)? Hmmm....
But really, once I started reading and ignored the general improbability of the world setup, it was a fantastic book. The world was very different from any other world Sanderson has written thus far; I don't know where he gets all his ideas. It is truly amazing; I have never encountered another author who can come up with such widely varied settings and stories. Not even close. Another lovable protagonist, with some less developed side characters that I hope to hear more about in future books, some twists but nothing too shocking, and a read that I enjoyed every minute of. Exactly what one would expect from a Sanderson novel. Nothing felt reused from previous novels (and I've read all of them so I should know).
I really appreciated the fact that although it will be the first novel in a series, there is no cliffhanger ending designed to generate sales for the next book. In fact it could have been the final ending without any real problems, although there are certainly openings for followup novels. But the ending was conclusive when it came to the protagonist's original goals and problems. Loved it, even though it's not quite my usual kind of book. Perhaps even because it's not my usual kind of book. Reading all the cookie cutter novels does get old occasionally even if they are well done, and Steelheart was a nice change for me. ...more
My copy of this book arrived the other day and so of course I put down the book I was currently in the middle of, and read this one instead. ObviouslyMy copy of this book arrived the other day and so of course I put down the book I was currently in the middle of, and read this one instead. Obviously, I had high expectations. And I wasn't let down. The book started off at a fast pace and continued with never a dull moment.
I loved reading more about Hillfred. In the other series, I had always seen him as kind of a placeholder, a person who was only there to add dimension to Arista's character or something. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Royce and Hadrian are back, of course, and with them plenty of great dialogue. I love that a lot of the humor is more subtle. None of it is really laugh out loud inducing, but it is so much fun to read. There is so much more of Royce's human side that comes out, and moments of foreshadowing to catch if you have read the original series. It all fits together seamlessly. Fantastic book.
I will add the one caveat that I don't recommend it to younger readers because there are a couple of grisly/disturbing instances. ...more
My feelings were mixed on this book. I enjoyed it enough that normally I would have given it a strong four star rating, but there's a lot of swearingMy feelings were mixed on this book. I enjoyed it enough that normally I would have given it a strong four star rating, but there's a lot of swearing and language I didn't enjoy. The humor is downright hilarious at times, but also gets quite a bit more crude than I would prefer at others.
With this caveat in place, I will go on to say that I quite enjoyed the storytelling. It's a post apocalyptic survival type story where a virus has killed off everyone in the world except for teenagers because of some hormone that only teens have or whatever. The world has turned into a Lord of the Flies type scenario where many kids have formed gangs and are preying on the weak and even resorting to cannibalism in order to survive. Dark, yes, but I did appreciate the resilient spirit and positive attitude of the main character and her friends. The characters really did come to life for me.
I went on to read the rest of the series, and at times felt guilty about finishing it. I had to skip a scene in book 2, and the language only gets worse. Honestly, as good as the core story was, if I had known everything it would contain I probably would not have started it. Disappointing. ...more
The whole premise of this book is extremely hard to accept: namely, that when children start manifesting strange powers the adults are all okay with sThe whole premise of this book is extremely hard to accept: namely, that when children start manifesting strange powers the adults are all okay with sending them off to "rehabilitation" camp. It wasn't very credibly explained how that came about.
Also, I hated the idea of being able to accidentally erase someone's memory of you. The whole thing was depressing. Depressing and tragic can work if a story is sufficiently enthralling to make up for it. This one wasn't, in my opinion. The main character lacked charisma. When it came down to it, it was just a book that put me in a slightly bad mood without really offering much to compensate. I also felt the cliffhanger ending was a poor choice. A book has to be quite good in order to not make me feel like I've been cheated by such an ending. Maybe I'll read the others, maybe not. Depends how hard pressed I am to find reading material. ...more
This is my first experience reading manga. I enjoyed it, the story was fun, but it was really weird for me having all the pictures and chat bubbles inThis is my first experience reading manga. I enjoyed it, the story was fun, but it was really weird for me having all the pictures and chat bubbles instead of text. It made reading feel like more work. I felt like it was kind of the opposite of that moment in Beauty and the Beast where Gaston says "How can you read this? There's no pictures!" I was thinking to myself "How do people read this? There are all these pictures instead of words!"
I am not a visual person, reading is the way I naturally learn best, so it actually felt like more of a mental challenge interpreting from the pictures what was going on. That was even stranger for me than reading left to right, which didn't really bother me at all.
Regardless, it was a good story, and I plan to read more, especially since it's a series and there is no definitive ending to the first book. ...more
The first book of this series started out so promising. I really liked the characters, and it was better t**spoiler alert** In a word, disappointing.
The first book of this series started out so promising. I really liked the characters, and it was better than the beginning any of the Shannara series I had read thus far with the exception of the original. But the end of this series left me feeling cheated. It seemed like Terry Brooks was more worried about setting up the next series than concluding this series properly.
For starters, none of the main characters even got a happy ending. When I slog through three books where the characters go through hardship, trauma, etc, I expect at least one of them to get a really good solid happy ending, assuming the story isn't meant to be a tragedy. In Witch Wraith the good guys beat the bad guys, but it really falls flat.
Aphen's story ends with her one true love dead (this after her previous boyfriend had died tragically, the girl has some serious bad luck), her sister turned into the Ellcrys, her mother still hating her, and all her friends trying to guilt her into assuming responsibility for the dying Druid order, when what she really wants to do is stay in Arborlon, recover, and be close to her sister. Just miserable.
Redden and Railing...these two were interesting because although they started out seeming more adventurous than any Ohmsford in past books, they both seemed to really crumble under pressure. Even by the end when they had won, they both just seemed sort of traumatized. Railing does end up with Mirai, but I don't count this as a happy ending. I'll explain why:
Mirai was a horrible character. Partway through the series, we discover that she has preferred Railing all along, and knows that both brothers are romantically interested in her, but chooses to just say nothing and continue stringing them both along. Then, later on, when they are on a life or death mission for crying out loud, and Redden's life is in jeopardy, she chooses that moment to try to make Railing jealous by acting like she is interested in Austrum, and refusing to talk to him about it or tell him what is going on. It just seemed so petty, at such a time. Now Railing is stuck married to her. I can't really count that as a happy ending, especially with how awkward that would have to be for him and his twin brother: "Oh, hey. I'm glad you're alive after all. While you were in mortal peril, I hooked up with your love interest. Sorry." Worst love triangle ever.
I did like Oriantha, and I guess it was good that she got to become a druid, but really, I expected more from this series. It could have been so good. I liked Aphen as a character but everything just ends up so awful for her that it was depressing. Really miss the Sword of Shannara trilogy. None of the others have measured up. ...more