Tag: Brandon Sanderson


Review – Legion

Posted 15 December, 2014 by in Reviews / 4 Comments

Cover of Legion by Brandon SandersonLegion, Brandon Sanderson

I reread this novella to remind myself of the character(s) and the exact events in it in preparation for reading Legion: Skin Deep. I remember loving it a lot the first time; this time, maybe because I was already familiar with the character of Stephen Leeds, it didn’t work quite as well for me. I ended up focusing more on the plot, which is relatively silly — someone compared it to Dan Brown, and actually, I can kind of see that. The plot itself isn’t that important, though; it’s how the characters deal with the problems, and how Stephen’s multiple aspects work together and how they manage to affect the real world. I think the refreshing part is that Sanderson doesn’t try to fool us any with going back and forth on whether the Aspects are real; he starts off right away with the premise that they’re not.

I’m not totally sure that Sanderson got the diagnosis for Stephen right, though. There’s nothing wrong with Stephen’s perceptions, he just parcels them out between his ‘Aspects’ and deals with everything in that fragmentary way — he talks about being schizophrenic, and yet he still knows where to draw the line between reality and his delusions. Despite the fact that he says he doesn’t have a multiple personality disorder, that seems nearer to the mark to me.

Anyway, looking forward to the sequel, although it worries me slightly that people mention it going deeper into science-y stuff. As you can see from my doubts about Sanderson’s medical research, I’m not convinced by his attempts to pin this down too firmly. He’s famous for his fantasy worlds, and deservedly so; I’m happy with contemporary fantasy, and yet very similar science fiction that doesn’t adhere to what we understand of science drives me bonkers.

Rating: 4/5

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 13 December, 2014 by in General / 12 Comments

It’s been a quiet week, despite the great temptation caused by people’s end of year lists. Like Tor’s Reviewer’s Choice, oh man. I gave myself a limit, though, and I stuck to it.

Ebooks

Cover of Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones Cover of Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson Cover of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Daughter of Mystery and The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet were from best-of lists — possibly even the Tor one I linked. Legion: Skin Deep, I actually picked up two or three weeks ago but forgot to include back then. Mea culpa.

For review

Cover of Nunslinger by Stark Holborn

A somewhat random choice from Bookbridgr!

Library

Cover of Crow Country by Mark Cocker Cover of Fatale by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

Someone in my book group said they wouldn’t rest until I read more of Brubaker’s work, so, tahdah. I thought I’d make sure they could rest. Crow Country was a somewhat random choice between that, Badgerlands and Otter Country; I feel in the mood at the moment to read about Britain’s indigenous species.

Anyway, that’s it for me. Anyone else been getting anything exciting? Or are you saving all the excitement for Christmas?

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Top Ten Tuesday

Posted 2 December, 2014 by in General / 6 Comments

This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday is “top ten books you’re looking forward to in 2015”. Now, I actually don’t keep a very good track of this, so I might not manage the full ten, but we’ll see how I do…

  1. Jo Walton, The Just CityYeah, I know I have an eARC and I’ve borrowed someone else’s ARC, but I’m still looking forward to it being out and getting to discuss it more widely.
  2. Maria V. Snyder, Shadow StudyMore Yelena! I still need to do my reread, but these are totally my popcorn books and it’ll be nice to have more to look forward to. I might actually manage to read the Avry trilogy when I know there’s more awaiting me…
  3. V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of MagicI don’t know that much about it, but it sounds awesome, and I keep being recommended Schwab’s work.
  4. Joe Abercrombie, Half a World. I still need to get round to reading Half a King, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy it, and this is another in the same world.
  5. Catherynne M. Valente, RadianceFrom reading the summary, I’m not quite sure about it, but I adore Valente’s way with words, so it’s going to be worth a try.
  6. Naomi Novik, UprootedI remember enjoying the Temeraire books, and I love reading retellings of myths/legends/folktales/fables, so this sounds right up my street.
  7. N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season. Gimme! Gimme!
  8. Marie Brennan, The Voyage of the Basilisk. I need to read the second book, but still. Still. Badass Victorian lady!
  9. Nicole Burstein, Othergirl. Just spotted this on someone else’s list of upcoming 2015 books. Sounds like fun, and there’s superpowers, sooo. I’m a sucker, I know.
  10. Brandon Sanderson, Firefight. Another one where I still need to read the previous book, but shush. Superpowers!

Oof, I managed it. What’s anyone else looking forward to?

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Top Ten Tuesday

Posted 25 November, 2014 by in General / 20 Comments

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is books on the winter TBR. I’m not very specific about stuff like that, and I’m dreadful at getting round to books on time, but here’s more or less what I’m planning…

  1. Mary Stewart, the Merlin trilogy. The first book was a reread, but with The Hollow Hills I’m breaking new ground. And enjoying it, thankfully; I still think Rosemary Sutcliff has just about everyone except maybe Steinbeck beat, but I’m enjoying Stewart’s work more than I remembered.
  2. Jo Walton, The Just CityI got distracted from finishing this off by family visiting, and because I can’t take it to clinic with me (I’m only allowed my ereader because it’s quite discreet!). So I’m planning to finish it… probably before the start of December, really.
  3. Tanya Huff, The Enchantment EmporiumAlso been on the go for a while, whoops. And it’s fun!
  4. Ben Aaronovitch, Foxglove SummerBecause omgggg.
  5. Garth Nix, ClarielBecause I’m dreadful and still haven’t got round to it after I wasn’t able to read it on the Eurostar on my last trip.
  6. Brandon Sanderson, Steelheart. Because superheroes! And it’s about time.
  7. Samantha Shannon, The Bone SeasonI’ve been meaning to pick this up for a while, and with the next book out soon, it seems like it’s about time.
  8. Guy Gavriel Kay, The Lions of Al-Rassan. I’m still working on reading all his books in chronological order (by publication), so this one’s up next.
  9. Henry Marsh, Do No Harm. I’m starting the long road to becoming a doctor, in theory. Marsh’s topic (brain surgery) fascinates me, and I feel like I should be learning everything I can and just soaking up the knowledge in that way I have of gaining things by osmosis. (Ask my mother. I don’t know how to pronounce a lot of words because they just slipped into my vocabulary via books, without me ever hearing them. She thinks it’s funny.)
  10. Bernard Cornwell, The Winter KingBecause there’s no better time, with a title like that, right? But also because the Mary Stewart re/read is putting me in the mood for other historically based versions of the story.

What about everyone else? Share!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 25 October, 2014 by in General / 42 Comments

Hi everyone! It’s time for Stacking the Shelves again. I thought I wouldn’t have a big haul this week, but I did spend my Kobo voucher in the end, and picked up some books at the convention I went to. Oops!

Dead tree books

Cover of Six Against the Yard by The Detective Club Cover of The Sorceress and the Cygnet by Patricia McKillip Cover of The Cygnet and the Firebird by Patricia McKillip

Cover of Mistress of Mistresses by E.R. Edison Cover of A Fish Dinner in Memison  by E.R. Edison Cover of The Mezentian Gate by E.R. Edison

Cover of Moon-flash by Patricia McKillip Cover of Nova by Samuel R Delany

Patricia McKillip! No one is surprised! Got a compliment at FACTs about my taste in books, hee. Been meaning to read more Eddison for a while, I think I’ve mentioned, and Nova is one that Jo Walton’s spoken highly of. I’ve already read Six Against the Yard, and the review should be up tomorrow.

Ebooks

 Cover of Dreamsongs by G.R.R. Martin Cover of Dreamsongs by G.R.R. Martin Cover of Wild Cards ed. G.R.R. Martin

Cover of Infinity Blade: Awakening by Brandon Sanderson

Wild Cards sounds fun, and I’ve been meaning to read more G.R.R. Martin, so, voila. Infinity Blade: Awakening is based on a game, apparently, but reviews say you don’t need to know the game. And maybe I’ll decide I want to play the game, too!

Aaaand my one review copy, which I think I requested because someone I know gave it a good review:

Cover of The Hawley Book of the Dead

So what’s everyone else been getting? Comment, link, etc — I always visit your blog in return if you visit me!

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Top Ten Tuesday

Posted 23 September, 2014 by in General / 4 Comments

This week’s top ten list prompt from The Broke and The Bookish is “Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read list”. Which is a little difficult for me, because I don’t really sort my books into appropriate seasons or anything. I just have a perpetual, massive, glorious to read list. But here are some books I’m looking forward to getting round to…

  1. Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal. This is actually a reread of a book I wasn’t wild about the first time round, but now I have this urge to reread it and read the rest of the series, and I suspect I’ll like it more this time around. We’ll see, but I’m hopeful.
  2. Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett. This is a reread, too. I know I’m going to love this one because I always have before, though I somewhat over-read it so that I could virtually quote it, and thus have given it a couple of years’ rest.
  3. River of Stars, by Guy Gavriel Kay. I’ve had this since it came out, but it’s at the end of a long list of rereads of GGK’s work, so I can watch his craft developing. I started pretty well but stalled on A Song for Arbonne, which is funny, because I do like that book and it covers exactly the sort of historical period I’m very familiar with and have done work on. So hopefully I’ll get through them all and get onto this new one sometime this fall.
  4. Friday’s Child, by Georgette Heyer. Because I haven’t read it yet, and it’s Heyer.
  5. Blindsight, by Peter Watts. Because it’s been recommended to me a couple of times, I got a free copy, and it’s been mentioned quite a bit in one of my book groups.
  6. Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. Because it’s about bloody time.
  7. Tam Lin, by Pamela Dean. Ditto. And the opening, with starting at university and settling in and all of that, it seems a good time of year for that, even if I’m not a student this time.
  8. Possession, by A.S. Byatt. Speaking of scholarship and stuff, I’ve been meaning to read this for a long time.
  9. Little, Big, by John Crowley. I’ve had this book around far too long, and I’ve been meaning to read it. I just… never seem to have found the time. About time I fixed that.
  10. Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson. I generally enjoy Sanderson’s work, and this one includes superheroes. So very sold.

What about everyone else? Comment, link me, you know the drill.

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 10 May, 2014 by Nikki in General / 34 Comments

Aaand time for Tynga’s Reviews‘ Stacking the Shelves. It’s been a busy week, book-wise. I didn’t think it would be, but then I ended up in an indie bookshop, plus I ordered one book Jo Walton recommended, and have now ended up ordering the whole series. Most of them haven’t arrived yet, though, so I’ll save them for next week’s post!

Review copies/ARCs

Cover of The Bluffer's Guide to Rugby by Steven Gauge Cover of My Real Children by Jo Walton

Library

Cover of Attachments by Rainbow Rowell Cover of Elantris by Brandon Sanderson Cover of The Rook, by Daniel O'Malley

Bought

Cover of Jhereg by Steven Brust Cover of Yendi, by Steven Brust Cover of Teckla by Steven Brust Cover of Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley Cover of A Different Kingdom by Paul Kearney Cover of The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy

The Vlad Taltos series is the one that’s dragged me in kicking and, well, not at all complaining, just flailing vaguely to get my book-balance. Enjoying it very much, so far. Will probably have finished Jhereg by the time this post goes live. That’s the plan, anyway. And of course I’m very excited to have My Real Children, though time and Steven Brust are conspiring against me getting round to reading it.

What’s everyone else up to?

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Review – Warbreaker

Posted 9 May, 2014 by Nikki in Reviews / 2 Comments

Cover of Warbreaker, by Brandon SandersonWarbreaker, Brandon Sanderson

There were some flaws for me with Warbreaker — like many other reviewers, I felt that the wrapping up at the end went way too fast — but all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve found that I like Brandon Sanderson’s world-building a lot, no matter what he’s doing: he seems to bring a flair to it, seems to be able to make it that bit different from the rest of the fantasy fare around. I wasn’t sure anyone could pull off some of the stuff in Warbreaker, like the princesses whose hair changed colours with their mood — it seemed like something right out of some kind of wish fulfillment fanfic, which generally doesn’t do much for me. I mean, it’s usually changing eye colour in those stories, but the super specialness applies.

The other thing is that Sanderson manages to keep things consistent. None of this felt like a deus ex machina, even when it kind of was: the various sacrifices, discoveries, etc, all seemed perfectly foreshadowed by the text. I didn’t find all of it terribly surprising — I figured out some people weren’t as trustworthy as they seemed to the princesses, for example — but I did enjoy it, and I felt it makes sense. The storytelling, too, works for me: it goes along at a great pace and kept me interested and going ‘just one more chapter, just one more’ again and again.

One thing I didn’t like so much was Vivenna’s character development. Or Siri’s, in a way: I liked that Siri became capable, learned to value herself, learned what she could do. I wasn’t enamoured of the way they basically swapped roles, though. And we spent an awful lot of time with Vivenna being self-important and self-righteous, neither of which are traits that appeal to me. I wasn’t, in general, very attached to Vivenna and Vasher at all; their stories were necessary for the plot, but emotionally I didn’t get attached. I suppose really, I was mostly attached to Lightsong and Llarimar: Lightsong’s character development was something I really was interested in.

The ending wraps up extremely quickly, and leaves things wide open for another book, but the story itself is self-contained as well, which is rare enough in this time of trilogies (and trilogies of trilogies). I loved that it wrapped up within one book, leaving things open and uncertain in the future for the characters, but without leaving any big gaps.

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What are you reading Wednesday: the sleepiest edition

Posted 8 May, 2014 by Nikki in General / 0 Comments

What did you recently finish reading?
Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker. I was riveted in a way I haven’t been for a while, in that rare enchanting way that makes you want to grab everything written by the author. I still need to write up my review, but I think that’ll have to wait for tomorrow. I enjoyed it, though: he comes up with really cool ideas, and creates fantasy worlds that don’t feel in any way typical.

What are you currently reading?
I’ve rescued Elantris (Brandon Sanderson) from the stack of books languishing on my currently-reading pile, on the strength of Warbreaker and a memory of enjoying what I did read of it. I’ve started over to make sure I remember all the details, so I’m not very far into it.

The other two books are The Buried Life (Carrie Patel), which I still need to finish, and My Real Children (Jo Walton), because now I have an ARC. I’m only two chapters into that, which is only really enough to whet my curiosity. Must try and turn down work tomorrow, and just curl up in my nest of teddies, pillows and blankets to read.

What will you read next?
It’s pretty much been established that if I claim to have any real idea, I’m telling lies, but I think it’ll be a library book. My library today had a fun discussion with me on the somewhat baffling subject of how many books the machine will let me have at once: it started at twelve, spiked to fifteen, and then dropped again to twelve — only for me to find out that it’s only meant to let me have ten! Quite bemusing, but they checked out the books I wanted anyway, which made me a happy bunny. So I think The Rook (Daniel O’ Malley) or Attachments (Rainbow Rowell) might be next — though The Rook annoys me by, in the very first page, announcing that Myfanwy is pronounced like Tiffany. Granted, it notes that it isn’t the traditional pronunciation, but still. Arrghh.

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Review – The Rithmatist

Posted 3 May, 2014 by Nikki in Reviews / 4 Comments

Cover of The Rithmatist by Brandon SandersonThe Rithmatist, Brandon Sanderson

I haven’t read much of Sanderson’s work yet, but I have a generally good impression of it. I was hesitant about The Rithmatist (I think I preferred the original title, Scribbler) because it’s YA and some people have made comments about the magic system being too complex, some even feeling it’s boring. But! I actually loved it.

In a way, it’s nothing new. It’s essentially set at a wizarding school, there’s a Snape-like character, there’s a red-haired sidekick (more Ron than Hermione, despite being a girl), there’s people who can do magic and people who can’t, and various divides between them… I was also reminded of Garth Nix, somehow; something about the world-building, I think.

There are differences, too, of course: it’s definitely a world of its own, and I liked the magic system a lot. I didn’t find it boring at all — beyond me, at times, yes, but not boring. I loved Joel’s enthusiasm for it, his boundless wonder for the whole thing. His interest made what could have been boring, all the detail of the magic system, quite interesting.

I loved that some things weren’t typical: a second chance at something doesn’t always make you special and fix what went wrong the first time, I didn’t see Joel’s conclusions at the end coming, I don’t feel that romance between Melody and Joel is inevitable at all (possible, I guess, but definitely not so clearly telegraphed that it warps their personalities and the plot)…

All in all, I read this in a couple of hours, and even stayed up late when I really shouldn’t to finish it and get my work done. I thought it was a lot of fun, and I’m glad I did pick it up to fill out a three for two offer way back whenever!

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