I’m going to Kill a Fictional Character! Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson Review

Bands of Mourning

The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metal minds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.

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I feel like I’ve come to an end of an era and have come to realise how terribly anti-climactic it was. An awful sentence to start a review for a book I know I’m going to give 4 stars but finishing this and knowing I have to wait for the next one just feels exasperating. How dare Sanderson not have everything written up already!?

‘“Go,” Marasi said. “Do what you do best, Waxillium Ladrian.”

“Which is what? Break things?”

“Break things,” Marasi said, “with style.”’

 

Let’s talk about Wayne

I will be blunt, I did not like the beginning (I swear I do overall like this book). To talk about the beginning, we need to talk about Wayne. Wayne is Wax’s sidekick…comic sidekick. He has been weirdly harmless for the last two books if slightly on the annoying side. But in Bands of Mourning he actually tries to derail the story. I nearly stopped reading three chapters in because of him!

He’s mad but mad characters require some understandability. You need to empathise with them on some level and I just can’t with Wayne. You have no idea how many times I kept screaming at the book: STOP STEALING THINGS! He’s just mad, MAD! And I’ve had enough of him and just wanted to shake his shoulders for ruining the book.

 

And all the rest of it!

However as the book continued I definitely started to like it more. In this book, unlike the previous, things move forward, rather than backwards. Steris joins our merry band, which I love given she is absolutely my favourite character and I’m glad for all the time we get to spend with her.

‘“What the hell is in this?”

“Other than steel?” Steris asked. “Cod-liver oil.”

He looked at her, gaping.

“Whiskey is bad for you, Lord Waxillium. A wife must look out for her husband’s health.”’

I did, towards the end, genuinely worry it was going to just be a repeat of Hero of Ages and I was ready for a screaming, ranting review but in the end, Sanderson can still surprise me. The last book, Shadow of Self and for good chunk of this book I felt angry and disappointed because I felt like it was just repeating what had come before it. However the ending was smackgobbingly good. I still believe there are too many twists, now more than ever because we’re in a more down-to-earth world, but the ending had me hooked. I’m so irritated I now have to wait like a peasant for the final book: The Lost Metal.

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Trundle, Trundle: Shadow of Self by Brandon Sanderson Review

Shadows of Self shows Mistborn’s society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.

This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.

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Shadow of Self

I must start by saying this review will be quite short. Is it because I’m lazy?…Probably, it’s been a busy week! But I also don’t feel like much can be said about Shadow of Self. I do believe that Law of Alloy, the previous book in the series, is one of my favourite books and definitely the best of the Mistborn series. So this book did have a lot to live up to.

‘“You need to stay where I know you’re safe. No arguments. I’m sorry.”

“Wayne,” Wax said, walking past. “Stop talking to your hat and get over here.”

But instead it appears Brandon Sanderson has also realised what works and has stuck with it. This will be short because there’s nothing new to say here. This book is a lot slower than the ones previously. Not that I don’t mind, this world is a comfortable one to settle into for me and just enjoy the view trundle by. But that is only because of the goodwill I feel to the four books prior, this wouldn’t be a good book to dive into as a new reader.

Also we are once again returning to the world of fantasy and moving away from the western crime world of Law of Alloy. I did enjoy the first three Mistborn books and their grand fantasy epic, but I just loved what Law of Alloy did with the world. There are A LOT of call backs to the first three books. Characters come back into the picture and events look very similar to those set 300 years ago. It feels like a repeat of things that I like but a repeat none the less.

Wax felt a sweeping wave of relief. He hadn’t lost his quarry – he’d simply been led into a trap!

Wait.

Of course there are other things to talk about, the ending made my heart break and the characters are loveable (Steris is now my baby and NO ONE CAN HURT HER). But without anything new in terms of plot, I feel no drive to talk about such things because I say it with every review. Sanderson is good at what he does and I may have already read his best.

We’ll have to see.

 

Everything is DIFFERENT Now! Law of Alloy by Brandon Sanderson Review

Law of Alloy

After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

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Introduction

I was vaguely aware when starting this series that at some point it would skip ahead 300 years. Still it’s hard to start a book without Vin. In fact it’s hard to start it at all knowing everyone I’ve grown horribly attached to is dead. It feels dodgy that this is considered a sequel at all to Hero of Ages, it is set within the same universe, but is in no way the same story. But it is the same writing, with the same down to earth, very dry humour and it definitely shows more in this book given the world isn’t ending anymore.

 

‘She sniffed. “I had some modest help from you.”

“It might be said that I had modest help from myself, technically.”

“The voices whispering to you as result of sleep deprivation do not count, my lord.”’

 

The Setting Changes

I’ve never read a Western but as a film genre it’s one I like. There’s something comforting about following a man on a horse who drinks whiskey like water and will eventually ride off into the sunset…BOY was I wrong. More on the western front than the sunset one. It reals back the pain factor that I’ve enjoyed in the other books but given how God damn funny this book was, I’ll let it pass.  And although it does start out as a western, this is more a steam punk mystery than a fantasy epic or western. I think Brandon Sanderson writes a lot better in a more realistic genre. I certainly understand what’s going on a lot more in his action scenes.

 

‘Wax cocked his gun softly, then drew a little vial out of his mist-coat and pulled the cork with his teeth. He downed the whiskey and steel in one shot restoring his reserves.’

 

The Character Changes

Wax is funny but also really traumatised, (my favourite kind of main character). I like him because I understand his dilemma, he wants to be one man but knows he must be another. He’s also in essence lost his ability to fight as he can’t face another battle, it’s something he really struggles with and you can sense that conflict all throughout the book.

Marasi also isn’t Vin. They couldn’t be further apart: Marasi is a timid uni student and Vin is a decomposing body right now. There is an easy path to find what works and just keep hammering at that. It would have been easy for this book to be just Final Empire but set in the future. Instead it’s a completely different story. Marking them against one another would be cheating given how different they are but Alloy of Law is a great book on its own merit.

 

‘“Why do they call it research if I’ve only done it this one time?”

“Because I’ll bet you had to look things up twice.”’

 

The Medium Changes

I want to talk about something not story related but book related. This is the first physical book I’ve read in a long time. If you follow me on Instagram (follow me on Instagram) you’ll know I mostly read on a Kindle. But it’s an absolute joy to hold a book in my hands and I stormed through this as it’s a joy to turn and fold real pages. Now I’m stuck between reading as I wish and pleasing my in-laws by using the kindle they bought me.

 

The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump by Rob Sears: Review

36167187Synopsis: What if there’s another side to Donald Trump? A sensitive, poetic side? Driven by this question, Rob Sears began combing The Donald’s words for signs of poetry.

What he found was a revelation. By simply taking the President Elect’s tweets and transcripts, cutting them up and reordering them, he unearthed a trove of beautiful verse that was just waiting to be discovered.

This collection will give readers a glimpse of the Trump’s innermost thoughts and feelings, on everything from the nature of truth to what annoys him about Halle Berry ? and will reveal a hitherto hidden Donald, who may surprise both students and critics alike.

 

Review: This book if fucking dumb and that’s why you should buy it. It’s absolutely hilarious because this is the president of the USA and then becomes scary because this is the president of the USA.

It’s short and sweet, give it a read.

I’m so Sorry Winner’s Curse. Please forgive me!

Synopsis: War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the Empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

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Review: Okay it’s official, I love this book, I love trilogy and I confess it to the world! Let me start off by saying, I have had my doubts about this series since the first book and I had those same doubts going into this one. Doubts of cliqued arcs and relationships. Every plotline I rolled my eyes at. Every mention of love disgusted me. But I found it harder to do with this book, until finally told myself to stop trying to find bad things in great writing, because this is a great book. And I owe the Winner’s Curse trilogy and Marie Rutkoski an apology because the last two books have been good too.

(This is the bit where I apologise):

If you’ve seen my last two review of this series you may get the hint that I don’t like it. But no more, my thoughts on this series has been quite biased and slanted and truly after reading this, I realised how much I bloody loved the last two despite what I’ve said.

(Okay back to the review)!

My favourite thing about this book is that I didn’t know where it was going, the plot lines and steps the book take, feel very organic. The same can be said for the characters, they develop and grow very realistically and it made me genuinely sit on the edge of my seat for most of the final act. I cried and jumped for joy over these characters, their journey has mention SO much to me.

However, to mar a great book, the final few chapters of the resolution really were lacklustre. I felt that a lot of loose ends were not tied up, perhaps because they couldn’t be, perhaps they were too huge for the author to deal with. But either way, it left me feeling pretty empty after what was such a good final book.

Despite this, I implore you to read this. I’ve been on such an adventure with this series that I’d invite anyone to go on it too.

Love this book, love this trilogy.

comment-belowHave you read this series? Did you like it? Comment below!!

Unity Game by Leonora Meriel: Review

Thank you to Author Assistant for the free book for an honest review.

Synopsis:

A New YorThe Unity Game_Coverk banker is descending into madness.

A being from an advanced civilization is racing to stay alive.

A dead man must unlock the secrets of an unknown dimension to save his loved ones.

From the visions of Socrates in ancient Athens, to the birth of free will aboard a spaceship headed to Earth, The Unity Game tells a story of hope and redemption in a universe more ingenious and surprising than you ever thought possible.

Metaphysical thriller and interstellar mystery, this is a ‘complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel’ from an exciting and original new voice in fiction

 

Review:

This book’s annoying to talk about. Because I can definitely can see the effort put into the research and philosophy because it’s definitely trying to be clever… but it makes no goddamn sense.

One part of me wants to think I’m just not getting it, another part knows it just makes no damn sense. It’s trying way to hard to be clever and by doing so it leaves no way to empathise with its characters or understand its plot.

Do you know what I’ve learnt from this book: referring to characters by ‘it’ really makes them unsympathetic. One of the three characters is referred as such and I felt nothing for them, especially since the language is so twisted, like the author looked in a thesaurus for each word, that you can’t understand what’s going on.

It’s got beautiful imagery that again, makes no sense, but it’s imaginative…that’s really all it has. And the ending, I wouldn’t say it predictable but because of how clever the book’s attempting to be, the ending’s not surprising.

I don’t know, maybe I’m too dumb for this book, but I don’t think that can be an excuse for anything.

Plus I’m a genius.

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Have you read Unity Game? What do you think? Comment below!

 

Shtetl Love Song Review

Thanks to Noir Press for giving me a free copy of Shtetl Love Song for a honest review.

Snyponsis:

Grigory Kanovich’s autobiographical novel ‘Shtetl Love Song’ is based on real events from the life of the author’s family and the small town characters that peopled the world of his early years. It has been described as being a requiem for the pre-war Lithuanian Jewish shtetl.

In ‘Shtetl Love Song’ Grigory Kanovich writes about his mother, and in doing so peels back the surface of the rich community that lived in pre-war Lithuania. It is a requiem for the pre-war Jewish shtetl, for a people and a way of life that was destroyed.
Shtetl Love Song won the Liudo Dovydeno Prize awarded by the Lithuanian Writers’ Union.

 

Review: Shtetl Love Song is a not the kind of book I usually read. I usually stick to YA fantasy mostly, but when Noir Press asked me to read it, I was like ‘Sure…why not?’ And I don’t regret that decision. 

For starters this book has a heavy emotional weight to it, as the author states: this is his final book and the book he’s been meaning to write his entire life. The story follows his young mother’s life and though the author is in the story, it is mainly focussed on his parents and their struggles.  

It’s a biography which isn’t really the type of the book I’m used to. Lives don’t normally have action packed scenes and three-act structure. It makes it a much slower and easy-going read. Which given what I’m used to, I wasn’t expecting to work. 

However, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s very engrossing read. There are definitely bits where it lulls and it’s clear that the author is trying to be as close to the truth of life as possible, but in book form it makes for a couple of dull chapters. But the rest of it was a pretty good evening read and I enjoyed reading about such a fascinating time and place, especially when you know these people and lives were real. It adds a lot to the reading experience.  

Conclusion: This was a beautiful read, with an amass of well-rounded driven characters and easy plot that I think you should check out. 

 

Buy the book!

http://www.noirpress.co.uk/buy/shtetl-romance-grigory-kanovich

‘Shtetl Love Song’ by Grigory Kanovich
Noir Press
ISBN: 978-0995560024

Numen the Slayer (Review)

SynopsisNumen: Numen Magnus is heir to the castle of Magnus Keep, but has everything taken from him by a barbaric king. With his home destroyed and family murdered, Numen must fight to survive in the uncharted wilderness of Umbran. Along his journey, Numen discovers something significant about his heritage and seeks to turn his enemies to ash. Numen the Slayer is a fantasy underdog story where one young man can decide the fate of a kingdom. The Gold Phoenix rises!

Review: Numen the dragon slayer is the fantasy novel written by Grady P. Brown. The author clearly loves the world he has created as well the history of the characters’ that inhabit it and truly does wish for others to feel the same way. However this is the book’s own downfall. By trying to squeeze so many characters and so much lore in to the book, it does mean there isn’t a lot of time devoted to developing the emotions of the main characters. Despite this it isn’t a confusing book, the characters and their environments are so separate from one another that it’s easy to follow. The book does feel like it has it’s own world, it’s extensive, everything planned out from the environment to the economic income of each kingdom and the author does devote a lot of time to these kingdom developing them throughout the book. It’s a book for people who love worldbuilding over character development, which I’m certainly partial to.

Conclusion: I did enjoy this book, it is an easy read to get through and something nice to wind down with.

What do you think? Would you read it? Have you read it? Comment below!

Thanks to Grady P Brown for giving me a free copy for a honest review.

 

The Curse of Fantasy YA (Review)

A royal wedding should be a celebration, with fireworks and dancing till dawn. But for General’s daughter Kestrel, betrothed to the Crown Prince, marriage is a trap.

Just as they fell in love, Arin became her enemy. Kestrel aches to tell him the truth – that her engagement was the price she paid to save his life. But in a world of lies and intrigue, how can she trust him if she doesn’t even trust herself? The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn the high cost of their crime…

Winner's crime

I have a confession. A horrible confession.

I hate the YA fantasy genre….

Okay granted it’s not something I keep secret but my point is, is that I expected all fantasy YA books to turn out the same. Same plot, same beats, same surprises. And this is because what feels like the same story a thousand times over. So, entering a YA book, I’m nervous and wary.

So, I feel I have to apologise to Winner’s crime because while it’s a good book, I can’t escape the worry that it’s plotline will be the same as every one of its pretentious. It’s good, even I’ll admit that. This world is immersive, it’s characters diverse. It was an interesting read for sure. Let’s try and go through it’s good point without being too biased.

  • Main protagonist: I like Kestrel, and really do understand the horrible situation she’s being put in. I like Arin for bad reasons: I like him because he isn’t a carbon copy of Kestrel, he’s actually kind of dumb, which made him interesting, but really, I never felt sucked into his storyline like Kestrel’s.
  • There’s a reason they can’t be together: I won’t go too into this, but the fact that they can’t be happily together is simple, common sense, actually. Doesn’t make it hurt any less but at least it has context.
  • It doesn’t really suffer from middle book syndrome…maybe: While the ending did essentially move the plot backwards, stuff did happen in this book and not all of it went to waste.

So yeah those are my main good points with the book, but all of that is over shadow by the looming threat of a predicable plot. I don’t want it to be predicable but…it is. It’s pretty and written beautiful but it’s predicable and I’m so afraid the next one will just ruin it all with the same finale that’s just like every other YA novel. I hope it’s not.

Only one way to find out…

In the end I’d recommend this as a great starting point for YA fantasy, it just shouldn’t be your 100th book.

 

What do you think? Would you read it? Have you read it? Comment below!

The Song of the Stork- review

Synopsis: Fifteen year-old Yael is on the run. The Jewish girl seeks shelter from the Germans on the farm of the village outcast. Aleksei is mute and solitary, but as the brutal winter advances, he reluctantly takes her in and a delicate relationship develops.

As her feelings towards Aleksei change, the war intrudes and Yael is forced to join a Jewish partisan group fighting in the woods.

Torn apart and fighting for her life, The Song of the Stork is Yael’s story of love, hope and survival. It is the story of one woman finding a voice as the voices around her are extinguished.

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Review: This book is an amazingly beautiful especially in displaying the bleakness of humanity. A lot of this book is spent talking about what is left of humanity when hope is gone and how evil anyone can become and this book never lets you forget how horrible the world is. It also creates incredicbly real, reable characters that truly drives the story. It isn’t a book of happy endings and romance, it is a book of harsh realities and this is what makes it so good.

I would recommend this book to anyone who can read and please tell me your own thoughts on the Song of the Stork.