Monday, December 5, 2016

Club Monstrosity & The Monsters In Your Neighbrohood - Jesse Petersen


Buckle up dudes…two reviews for the price of one!

Natalie’s one of Frankenstein’s creations and works in a New York City morgue. So of course she needs therapy. She and her friends—er, fellow monsters—have formed the world’s most exclusive, most dysfunctional support group. What could go wrong? Undetected in the modern world and under pressure to stay that way, Natalie Grey, Dracula, Bob the Blob, and others (including the fetching wolfman Alec) meet regularly to talk about the pressures of being infamous in the Big Apple. Topics include how long it’s been since their last sighting, how their “story” creates stereotypes they can’t fulfill, and—gasp—sometimes even their feelings. But when their pervy Invisible Man, Ellis, is killed in a manner reminiscent of the H.G. Wells novel, it’s clear someone’s discovered their existence and is down for some monster busting. Led by Natalie—and definitely not helped by Hyde’s bloodthirsty tendencies—the members of Monstofelldosis Anonymous band together for security and a little sleuthing. And maybe—maybe—if they don’t end up dead, they’ll end up friends somewhere along the way.





As one of Frankenstein’s Creatures, Natalie Gray knows that unique parts sometimes make up a great whole. Still, leading a diverse support group for monsters—now including Cthulhu!—isn’t an easy task. Especially not since the internet arrived. New York City embraces the different and the bizarre. Still, even for such a fun-loving city, the supernatural and monstrous might be a bit too much. It’s been six months since the members of “Club Monstrosity” overcame the most recent spate of anti-monster violence and they’ve reestablished their routine of meeting in a church basement once a week to (ugh!) talk about their feelings. Still, they also know a war against them is brewing. Natalie and Alec (the werewolf) have begun dating, and the mummies Kai and Rehu are tighter than a bug in a…well, bandage. But when modern means (YouTube, Twitter, bits and bytes) are used to chip away at the solidarity of these ancient monsters, it’s up to Natalie to save the day. #MonstersInNewYork may be trending on Twitter, but this girl’s trending toward saving the day…somehow.



So why two reviews in one blog? Mostly because these two novellas are short, and being that they are related to each other, it makes sense to write the reviews as one.  But mainly, it’s a way to examine an author and their progression with a series of books.

Let’s first take an overlook at the idea of the books. Well, honestly, it’s pretty freaking awesome. I love reimagines on classic ideas. Why couldn’t Dr. Frankenstein not create more than one Creature? Why couldn’t Dracula be a befuddled old man who has an iPhone but doesn’t truly understand how it works? Club Monstrosity is a fun idea that thankfully doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sure, there’s lots of action and a pit of drama packed into these two short novellas, but what Jesse Petersen is amazing at is writing jump starting a story with great imagery and dialogue. If you don’t know who Jesse Petersen is, check out her other book series about marriage surviving a zombie apocalypse. But all the characters are relatable. I mean, listen, all I’m saying is that if I was going to be a monster…it could very well be Frankenstein. Why? Because I need coffee to jolt my ass to life every morning. That’s legit. Though our heroes are the monsters, Petersen can make them have the human experience we all go through. Insecurities, jealousy, rage, embarrassment, confusion...all of it. I love all the snark between the characters. And the relationship formed between Natalie and Alec didn’t feel forced. It came together naturally, as strange as that may sound.

But…and here’s the but…

That sounds bad. Most “But’s” are bad. This one isn’t so bad, but more like a trend I’ve noticed with Petersen’s writing. In her previous book series, Living With the Dead, the last book ended up being…well…I don’t know…a little off. If memory serves, I feel like something happened with the publisher, Orbit, because I remember a different publisher for the last book, The Zombie Whisperer. The strange back and forth POV and the lack of editing. Granted, it’s a book about zombies, but there were elements of that book that caused me to not be able to suspend my reality for the one being presented to me. And that’s the thing with science fiction or fantasy: you must be able to convince the reader that despite the make believe, you can fall into the story and believe that this kind of stuff could happen. Thankfully, with The Monsters In Your Neighborhood, it’s not too bad. I was flung so far out of the book I was pissed. But the whole element with Hyde and microchips and controllers…listen…it was a very close call to me getting annoyed like I did with The Zombie Whisperer. However, for me, what made up for the book, was the simple climax that Petersen wrote. Tired of facing the Van Helsings, Natalie as the leader makes the decision to just stop. That the fighting and the fear mongering was not something worth dealing with (hmmm…sounds a little like real life…if you know what I mean…). Natalie told the monster hunters simply No, that she refuses to take part in their war. She instead takes a call to action to spin the view of her kind, to show that though some might call her a monster, they are simply folks wanting to live their life just like every other person on this world.

And isn’t that there a statement we should all live by? I mean, I know I’m taking two very VERY light hearted and rather sweet novellas that are packed full of language that I use on a daily and making a bold assumption about the underpinning of what the author might be trying to say. But, in the end, what binds us and brings us all together are those around us. To show despite all our quicks and nuances, we are all just a bunch of freaks just trying to make it through life.

Would I suggest these books? Yes. If you are looking for a simple read, something to clean the palette of this heavy-duty thing called life, Jesse Petersen is your gal. Her books are well written and her characters are on a completely relatable scale of life. The situations can get a little out of hand, but don’t let that stop you. Keep reading. Club Monstrosity and The Monsters in Your Neighborhood are the book friends you are looking for.


Friday, June 24, 2016

The Areonaut's Windlass - Jim Butcher


 Jim Butcher…you have my heart and soul. Fully. Completely.

 





Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace. Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory. And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…

 

So this is a biased review. I’m just going to throw that out there. Jim Butcher is for real, my favorite author. I own all of his books. Imagine my excitement when I found out this new book series was STEAMPUNK. Holy Shit. My nerdy heart was elated. But the internet almost ruined it. There were a few folks bitching and moaning about how Jim Butcher was, essentially, a sellout. That he was pandering to a specific audience to make money. And then I remembered I was reading reviews on Goodreads. I love Goodreads. Truly. I love that it tracks my books I read and books I want to read, promotes giveaways (which I’ve one an audio book one time!) and recommendations. Literacy is important and it is what we as a nation need to promote. But all reviews on there, I feel, should be taken with a grain of salt. I mean, it is Facebook for book lovers. Which is cool. But some of these reviews are ridiculous in that these are people who think their opinions while change the world (says the girl with a book review blog). Personally, I don’t go off of reviews. I like to read the summary and make my own decision if I should read a book or not. When I reminded myself of all this stuff, I dived straight into Butcher’s new creation.

And like with all of his books, I feel in love. Hard.

The world is established yet mysterious. No characters are wasted. Rich colors and textures. Witty lines and lots of action. I mentioned it was steampunk right? Oh…it’s delicious.

The youngest of the characters, Gwen and Bridget, are perfect opposites of each other. Gwen is brash and doesn’t think things through completely. Bridget is more reserved, careful, and thoughtful. They weren’t vapid airheads nor were they so tough it was unbelievable. They are teenage girls of noble households, about sixteen years old, forced into a situation where they have to be brave. My favorite interaction between them was after a battle was fought, they are sitting next to each, disheveled and broken, and Gwen apologizes for not being a very good friend after Bridget cries on her shoulder. They share a real connection that is pretty true to life.

The male characters were great to, the leading man, Captain Grimm being just as devilishly wonderful like Butcher’s other character, Harry Dresden (who is my book boyfriend by the way. Oh Dresden…you are so broken…). Grimm is a swashbuckling hero, a typical architype in these steampunk romps. But, unlike other steampunk adventures (which usually end up to be bodice rippers), Grimm is not a condescending hero. Not some swarmy tough guy with a soft creamy nugget center. Grimm is a man of his word, a brilliant tactician. A man who leads by example and has the full respect and devotion of his airships crew.

But my favorite character has to be the Etherlists, especially Folly. The Etherilists, by the way, are magic type users. Or that’s the best way I can describe it. But being so close to this magic, they go mad. Folly’s interactions with the other characters in the book are so wonderfully fascinating, talking to a jar of crystals instead of the person speaking to her directly. I anticipate her being a very powerful and very important character.

There are other great and fun characters, from the foul-mouthed ship engineer Journeyman to an enemy Major and his warriorborn sergeant, from Benedict, Gwen’s warriorborn cousin to Rowl, a talking cat who is Bridget’s friend and protector.

Side note: can I mention how much I want Bridget and Benedict together? As much as I love Folly and her strangeness, there was something refreshing about a girl crushing on a boy. And then said boy returning those affections. It’s sweet.

Speaking of…I am so glad this is not a romance novel. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a good bodice ripper…but why does it always have to in steampunk novels? I don’t mind a bit of romance like Bridget and Benedict’s, but I feel like most steampunk writers feel like they are required to have some kind of saucy sex scene. It doesn’t! That stuff feels forced, not like part of the actual story. Like someone has to be like “shit…I need to have these two characters boning.” Give me action and excitement! Give me intrigue and mystery! If the flow of the story has some kind of touching and loving, then so be it.

And that’s what I love about Jim Butcher’s writing: it flows so wonderfully. All the characters are carefully crafted and are put to their limits in crazy situations. And, it’s great fun.

If you’re needing a refreshing taste of steampunk, let me offer up to The Aeronaut’s Windlass. It will leave you turning page after page and chuckling and smiling and gasping. But then again, like I said…I might be a little biased. Jim Butcher is my favorite author after all.

Thank you for stopping by and reading this extremely LONG post. Remember to always be yourself…unless you can be a pirate. Then ALWAYS be a pirate!!

 

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Witch With No Name - Kim Harrison


Like Boyz II Men sang…”It’s so hard…to say goodbye…”

 


Rachel Morgan's come a long way from the clutzy runner of Dead Witch Walking. She's faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She's crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She's lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has become something much more. But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. That time is now. To save Ivy's soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything.


I will be honest. I had this book for a while. Like...a year…I had this book for that long before I had the heart to start it. I didn’t want to say good bye. I didn’t want to be disappointed. I didn’t want it to end. But, all things do have to come to an end at some point. And like with all book series that have ended, I was left a house divided.
On the one hand, this book has great action, which Kim Harrison rights amazingly well. I can read the fight scenes and it creates a little movie in my head. There is amazing tension between characters and also within the world itself. Everything is corded so tight with vampires getting their souls back and the Everafter shrinking. Oh! And it’s all on the Elves. Stupid endangered species…screwing up the world and all. The tension in the action was wonderful.
On the other hand…
*sigh*
I have always felt that Rachel’s relationships were a bit toxic. Ivy. Nick. Trent. Kisten. And the Ghost Witch…I can’t remember his name off the top of my head. All those relationships seemed to bring out the worst in Rachel. And by worst I mean more of a train wreck called bad decisions. The only ones in her squad that had a lick of sense were Al the demon and Jenks. Rachel was so busy trying to save everyone else, that when she needs to save herself, well, she can’t.
But, why can’t Rachel save herself?
I will admit, the last few books have been a bit lack luster for me. They all have strong starts, but everything fizzles out near the end. This book I thought wasn’t going to be that way because of what seemed like a strong ending. Rachel saves the day (eh, sorta) and then the epilogue happened.
I read the epilogue and by the end I had a bit of a headache…why? Because the Rachel there was different from the Rachel from the series. Granted, Rachel is MUCH older by this point in the epilogue, but she seemed too tame…too…flat. After a hard knocked battle and all the shit she went through, there was really nothing there. No dimension or depth in her range of emotions. Just a flustered step-mother type of character who is all mushy gushy with Trent. It was disappointing.
That being said, I will miss this book series. I’ve devoured all the books, good and not so good. Through my annoyance, a heavy sad sigh slipped from me as I read the last sentence and closed the book. For last 10 years (GEEZ!!) I’ve followed these books and got excited when each book came out. I’ll miss that. I’ll miss that excited glee of “oh new book in the series!” I know all things come to an end, and even though this book had misses, it had its fair share of awesome sauce.
At least it didn’t end like the Divergent Series. (I see you Veronica Roth…I see you. Still bitter...)
 

Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to read. If you are looking for a series that is full of action and feels and supernatural beings, check out The Hollows series, all THIRTEEN BOOKS. It’s a fun ride.

Remember to always be yourself. Unless you’re a pirate. Then ALWAYS be a pirate.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Every Writer Needs a Tribe - Jeff Goins

Uga chugga. Uga chugga. Shark bate Uh A Ha!! (Yeah. I can't be anymore clever than that tonight, guys.)



The days of writing the next great novel alone somewhere in the woods and then mailing it in are over. Today, the authors that make the largest impacts and enjoy the most success engage regularly and meaningfully with their specific readership. If you wish to follow in their footsteps, then you must first build your tribe. In this book, you'll learn why constructing your own author platform--catered exclusively to your specific tribe of ideal readers--is vital to the hopes and dreams of digital writers. Moreover, you'll learn how the smart authors are building big tribes that allow their writing careers to thrive. From the five types of platforms to the one weird way to get a larger audience, you'll learn everything you need (and nothing you don't) about nurturing a thriving, raving readership primed to take writing career to the next level. See you inside!

First things first: shout out to my former boss/friend Jeremy for sending me this book. He's still my friend, don't worry. It's not like we hate each other. No way! Jeremy is like one of the nicest and coolest dudes I know! I mean, he let me write on scraps of receipt paper when I was a cashier and he was a manager at a certain office supply store. Anyway. I'm digressing. In short, he knew I was a writer and thought of me when he came across this book. That is super encouraging to know there are folks who seem to believe in me and my chosen art. So, thanks, man!

Alright. Review. Let's do it!

So I read this book shortly after NaNoWriMo was done. Me and my writing partner have this goal to have to have completed works done and then sent off to the necessary folks to make us successful. But as someone who is more of a novelist, I'll be honest. I never thought of my audience. Like, when I'm writing, I'm being selfish. It's all about me, me, me. What do I want to see? What world do I want to create? Writing is, for the most part, is a pretty solitary  form of self expression. 

But this book had me stopping in my tracks. What happens after my dream comes true? How the hell do I get readers? 

Thankfully, it's just by being a decent human being it seems. Jeff Goins reassures me that I'm doing right in that I need to not be afraid to chase the passion of creativity and not look for perfection. Writers...wait. Scratch that. All artists are their own worst critic. Don't get me wrong, there are times where I think I'm pretty damn clever. However, a majority of the time, I'm wringing my hands in worry that one touchstone of brilliance is a fluke. But, if I just put aside the need for perfection and just focus on the story and world I'm creating with the power of my thoughts, then I'll be okay. I mean, all that other stuff...that's what editors are for. 

I was also reminded that we live in the age of self publication and self promotion and to succeed in that, you got to give some a bit of you away to find the people that get you and your writing. Offer a sneak peak of a chapter. Do a giveaway of your book or something else. Anything that will bring in the people that are diverse but inclusive to what you are putting out in the world. And honestly, that's scary. I like the think of myself as confident, but my writing makes me self conscious. I don't know why honestly. I write from my heart and I suppose I'm afraid for it to be broken. But, for me to truly find my audience, to find my home dogs, I gotta put myself out there. This book shared tips and secrets to get out there. It's okay to be AFRIAD. But, like with anything, it's what you do with that fear that matters. 

I recommend this book to someone who needs a reminder of why they write and those who shake in their boots about they thought about sharing their writing. Because if you don't share, how can you find your tribe?



Thank you so much for reading! I hope it was insightful. By sharing my own self doubts and fears, this book has put me step ahead of where I was years ago. Why? Well, I already have a tribe. Granted, it's a tribe of two...but it's a start.

Remember to always be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate. THEN ALWAYS BE THE PIRATE!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Doctor Who: Earthworld - Jacqueline Rayner


My heart is all a flutter. Why? Because this book is featuring the Doctor. And not just any Doctor…my favorite Doctor: THE EIGHTH DOCTOR!

 

The first settlers of New Jupiter were a handful of humans, with androids to help make the planet habitable. Many generations down, the New Jupitan President, John E Hoover, faces a challenge to his hereditary role. His popularity is threatened by the Association of New Jupitan Independence – ANJI – who want to establish New Jupitan Independence. So Hoover has set up an Earth Theme Park – Earthworld. It is nearly complete and will enormously boost the planet's income from off-worlders – and thus the President's popularity. So Hoover has no intention of telling anyone that there are people entering Earthworld who are mysteriously never seen again. Meanwhile, the president has triplet daughters to succeed him in his hereditary role. Unbeknownst to him, they have been tampering with Earthworld's androids – but why? And can the Doctor find out before the problems of New Jupiter get out of control?
 
Let me preface this review by saying this: Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor is my favorite. I root for the underdog and in the history of Doctor Who, this particular regeneration was shafted. All he got was a US made for TV movie. And granted, it is SO dated with big shoulder pads and 90’s hair and some of the acting and actors. But Paul McGann…he was glorious. He brought the Eighth Doctor to life. The Eighth Doctor is a passionate romantic. He is gallant and brave and his hard edges (which all Doctor’s have) are sharp with wit. 
But even though the Eighth Doctor didn’t get the TV series he so deserved, he does have a TON of books, audio plays, and comic books. And can you believe that I am just now getting to reading an Eighth Doctor adventure? Oh! It was so much fun! The Eighth Doctor was completely recognizable and the companions, Fitz and Anji, were wonderful. The book, in essence, is a true Doctor Who tale. Lots of monsters and running and mystery and loony-tune characters. But there is a little more heart in it. It’s not just some creature feature or a gut wrenching tale made by the devil himself, Stephen Moffatt. The author, Jacqueline Rayner, was able to show us the inner turmoil of Fitz and Anji that is churning deep inside them. Rayner made Fitz and Anji reliable narrators sharing their own unique point of views of the Doctor. I loved the story of the book.
BUT………
How can I explain the big “BUT…”(Hahaha! I made myself laugh with that sentence.) This book was a published by BBC Books. The edition I have is a special one for the 50th Anniversary of the character. One would THINK that they would take the actual time and EDIT the book. Like, properly. I’m not just talking about someone saying to the author “I think you might need to go back and fix this bit” or “You know, have you tried this approach” or “This is crap.” I’m talking about simple spelling, grammatical, and CHARACTER NAMES IN THE RIGHT PLACE. BBC makes a TON of money every day off of Doctor Who, especially during the 50th Anniversary from 2013. Take the time to actually make sure you are putting out quality stuff instead of being so concerned pumping out stuff for Whovian’s to through their money at. As a true lover of books and storytelling, NOTHING pulls me out of a tale faster than an editing error. If it’s just like one or two, I’m fine. It happens. You can’t catch everything. I know I am guilty of flubs all the time in my own writing. BUT, there were quite a few things that in my mind, ruined the reading experience for me. I stumble across the obvious mistake and I’m jolted out of the story. Then, I have to dive back in. It’s annoying to say the least. I mean, Hello BBC! You’re a huge corporation. Get it together man.
Other than the whole lack of editor bit, the book itself was not too bad. The format was a little hit and miss for me. The dialogue was a bit awkward in how it was written. I did enjoy the emails that Anji was writing on her phone but never sent until the end and in the end she got a “fatal error.” Anji’s story is a bit sad. As is Fitz’s. I feel like the Eighth Doctor is drawn to and attracts these semi tragically romantic characters. Read the book. You’ll get what I’m talking about.
Now, I don’t regret getting this book. I love it, despite its flaws because the one thing that Rayner did get right was the awe and wonderment of the Doctor through someone else’s eyes. And the Eighth Doctor was perfectly written. (And on a side note...the only Doctor I find so dreamy. Le Sigh.)
I have other Doctor Who books that chronicle different regenerations. All of them are fun because I’m just an avid Whovian. And granted, this one, is by far not the most well written book, but hot damn is it a fun ride.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog! I hope you have an amazing Christmas and New Years!

Remember to always be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate. Then always be a PIRATE!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

NaNoWriMo: Reflecting on an Adventure in Writing Dangerously

And now for something completely different....






Hello!!

Yes. I live. And I thought I would do a little something different with the blog. I want to share with you NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month) and my journey through this grind of story writing. I have done NaNoWriMo four times and Camp NaNoWriMo at least 2 times. Each time, I learn something new and grow as a writer.
Essentially…I survived. Again. Throughout the whole process, I was just keeping my head above water when I was struggling for my word count goal. In the past, I would have freaked out. I would have been kicking myself for not being focused enough. I would be kicking my husband for pestering me as I try to write. Now I am just happy to write. I have accepted the fact that as a married mom of two who works a full forty hour work week, there is not a lot of time for writing. So, I make work my writing in whenever I can. I write on my breaks at work and then late into the evening. I was able to find a really amazing app so I write on my phone a majority of the time. When NaNoWriMo was over, I transferred it all over to my computer/flash drive. Which, let me say, was a slightly terrifying and scary process.
Let me be honest. The piece I’m working on, well, it’s an unfinished project. It’s got like two more chapters left. I can feel it. I mean, I want to finish my post-apocalyptic wanderlust filled with mercenaries, clones, and evil corporations. I have other stories that are chomping at the bit begging to be writing. I got a super hero tale, a contemporary romance with a twist, a steampunk paranormal mystery, a fantasy screenplay with a bit of political overtones to it. OH! And a completed novel and screenplay that need to be edited. Busy busy busy bee! So I really want to finish this project (tentatively called The End is Nigh. Dumb title, I don’t like it, but I needed something to fill the space).
But you know what? I love it! I love the creative process. I plug my headphones in, crank up my music, and just get lost. I love the multiple people walking around in my head screaming and yelling to be brought to life and live out wonderful adventures. Any writer will tell you that we put a little bit of ourselves and the people around us into our tales. I love being tortured by my characters and then in return putting them through the ringer. It truly is writing dangerously.
Really though…is there any other way to write? I mean, I’m are submerging myself in a make believe world of my own creation. Some would see this as the development of being a crazy person. But, maybe I am. But that’s writing dangerously. Writing dangerously is allowing the written word to sallow you whole and take you down the rabbit hole. As writers, you force yourself to make the wound bigger, to poke and prod and dissect a range of situations and how human emotions react to them.
I will only write dangerously. I mean, there’s no other way. I want to write something that matters to me, but I also want others to read what I write and either get what I’m trying to say. Or, perhaps they take my words and see a different path.
For me, NaNoWriMo time allows me to not have any excuses. I am forced to stick to a regimented schedule to reach a goal. This is writing dangerously as well. It’s like Mission: Impossible for writers. WILL I REACH 50,000 WORDS IN A MONTH?!

I might not be finished with my novel…but I did meet my word count.

Therefore…

I’M A WINNER!!
 
 

If you are a writer or interested in writing, I give you this advise: just do it. Don’t be afraid. Get that idea that has been nagging you out on paper. Is it going to be amazing right off the back? Heaven’s no! I look back at my stuff and just laugh at it. BUT, my idea was there. It’s just waiting to be refined. Massaged. Manhandled and Caressed into something wonderful. It can be done. Read. Listen to Music. Take a Walk. Find a writing buddy. Do whatever you need to do to stay inspired and to pursue the sometimes solitary world of writing.
I know this blog post was a bit of ramble, but I wanted to share with everyone the strange beast of NaNoWriMo and what it does to me every year. It makes me mad enough to howl at the moon. And as long as it’s around. I’ll be participating.
Thank you so much for swinging by. More reviews and blog tours to come. 2016 is going to be an amazing year filled with books and writing. I can feel it in my bones….my leg bones…my arm bones… (and thank you for those that get the Bob’s Burgers reference there. I love that show….)

Remember to always be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate…then always be a PIRATE!
 
 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Mistborn: The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson


Epic. Sweeping. Magic. A tragic hero and the legacy of a broken world ruled by an evil overlord. Forgive me Gods and acolytes of fantasy…I am so sorry I just now reading this book.


Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land.
He failed.
For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably.
Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn.


I am taking a momentary break from my own adventures in novel writing (thanks NaNoWriMo!), stepping outside of my world to finally do a review on this book that, honestly, should have been done a while ago. But, book tours and other books and writing and Netflix got in the way. So, here we are and here is this review.
I’ve seen Brandon Sanderson’s name all over the fantasy genre work and I have wanted to read this book for a long time. And when I got some handy dandy “Wellness Bucks” from a work healthy incentative program, they had books as something one could get, and you best believe when I saw the first three books for The Mistborn series in a set, I snagged it up. No more excuses for not reading it anymore!
This book totally peeked my interest because I love slightly vague descriptions of books. It sounded oh so mysterious and wonderful new take on an established genre. Allomancy. What the heck is it? Well, it’s the power to take metals and harness certain attributes in them and use them to do some awesome superhero shit. That is of course, the super abridged Idiot’s Guide to The Mistborn Series definition. The world that Sanderson created is so big and complex, and so wonderfully written. But to review the entire world in blog review is just too great an undertaking. Well, that and my brain a wee bit fried from NaNoWriMo.
So, how should this book be reviewed?
Well, I’ll go with this angle: If you love fantasy…you need to have this book. You need to devour this book. It has all the right elements. An honorable quest to overturn a tyrant. A tragic hero with questionable tactics and motivations. A young heroine saved from the gritty world of criminals, cultivated to rise up and be a leader. An evil unimaginable. Unique characters. Magic. Tension. Love. Heartbreak. UGH. I could go on and on. Sanderson pulls and pushes us along with Kelsier and Vin with their highs and lows and drags us down into the heart of danger and despair. I was sucked in deep. The world was big and sometimes hard to follow, having back track just to make sure that I properly understood terms and settings, but in the end, it was the characters. It was Vin and Kelsier. This is a character driven piece. We are propelled forward by what these characters HAVE to do and what the NEED to do to live and survive in a very cruel world filled with so much pain. But, they preserve and are still able to smile. It’s just a big big beautiful story.
Can you tell I loved it? I did.
So I apologize for this review being a bit short and sweet, but I feel like if you haven’t read this book, you should, and I don’t want to risk any type of spoilers. Generalizations was the key for me talking about this book. I will say, there is a TON of world building, and that can get tedious, but kind in mind this is the first in a long series that just keeps getting bigger.
I have read book two, The Well of Ascension.  I did start book three, The Age of Heroes, but had to put it down because I felt the desperate need to write. I’m hoping to pick it up after the first of the year and finish that part of the series. If you haven’t read any Brandon Sanderson, this is a great introduction into his writing style and storytelling. Oh, and it’s like part of the Fantasy Genre required reading…if there is a list like there out in the world…

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Remember to always be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate…then ALWAYS BE A PIRATE!