Book Review

Book Review: Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult dystopia + sci-fi
Length: 384 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Ember
Release Date: September 24th, 2013
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

David wants Steelheart — one of the Epics said to be invincible, who killed David’s father. For ten years, David has studied and planned for revenge. He wants to join the Reckoners. These rebels assassinate the Epics, super-powered tyrants. He has seen Steelheart bleed.

ALWAYS ON EDGE.

Does anyone else feel that way reading a Sanderson book? No? Just ME?

I feel like every time I read his books (and this is my…10th? book) he keeps me on edge constantly. No matter the genre, characters, setting, etc. I never know quite what’s going to happen, and when it appears a touch cliche, I am then TOTALLY caught off guard by the reveals. And this is why I keep coming back.

I absolutely loved David. Oh my goodness, so cute and adorable. I laughed out loud so many times reading this because his attempts at being smooth were undeniably precious. He was a gem of a main character who really grew up and took in the world around him to survive in the post-apocalyptic waste land.

My feelings towards dystopian books dropped off after reading The Hunger Games and Divergent so I haven’t picked up many (if any) since. I kept putting Steelheart off for this reason. But no longer! I must finish this series. The world building around these Epics and all of their powers is completely fascinating. Sanderson knows how to create a masterpiece in regards to magic/power systems so I can’t wait to know the final details for this one.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult sci-fi / dystopia
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: murder, gun violence, magical powers (energy blasts, control of elements, etc.), physical altercations, car wrecks
  • Content warnings: witnessing the loss of a loved one

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Book Review

Book Review: Elantris (Elantris #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 638 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: May 1st, 2005
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

A rare epic fantasy that doesn’t recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It’s also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.

AMAZING. PER USUAL.

I’m never surprised that I always end up loving any book by Sanderson. Occasionally with a favorite author, you run across a book that just doesn’t click, 13 books later, and I DO NOT HAVE THAT ISSUE. I love them all.

This was no exception. Elantris is one of Sanderson’s older titles that I *think* some claim is a lesser novel of his? While no Stormlight Archive, it’s still a superb read. I listened to it on audio and thought the narrator was great too.

One of my favorite parts was the romance (who’s surprised?). It’s nothing major or anything, but the lost loves finding one another was precious and just sweet. I adore Sarene and Raoden as characters. Talk about a power couple. Both strong, courageous, and didn’t take a thing laying down. One of the best character arcs was for Hrathen. He went from someone I hated, to someone I understood and appreciated as a POV in Elantris. All three of these characters had points-of-view and it really gave angles to all sides of Arelon and Elantris.

I loved the magic system and the way the world worked in general. I thought it was interesting how heavily the world’s religions played into the characters and the nation itself. It was a solid combination of all of these that kept up the intrigue and mystery.

I hope one day we do get a sequel because there’s clearly plenty more story lines that Sanderson could pursue. This one ends without any cliffhangers and with a great close out that doesn’t leave you hanging.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses
  • Violence: poison, sickness, physical, demons, swords; not overly gory

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: April 2020

Y’all. This month started out so great, then I got really sick for a few weeks (NOT COVID, don’t worry y’all) and the last half just plummeted. I’m not in an awful book slump where I can’t even get myself to read a few pages a day.

I know its not a huge ordeal to stop reading for a bit, and this too shall pass, but it’s still weird not reading so many books. I’m focusing solely on the ARCs I’ve already received and titles that I’ve already pre-ordered so I can try to at least keep up with those.

I dd manage 17 books in the first chunk of April, and some good titles at that!

My favorites this month were: King of the South, Dark Skies, Voyager, Elantris and a A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.

My least favorites were: The Kingdom of Back, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird and The Honey-Don’t List.

  • King of the South (Belgrave Dynasty #1) by Calia Reed – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • [ARC] Dark Skies (Dark Shores #2) by Danielle L. Jensen – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • A Murderous Relation (Veronica Speedwell #5) by Deanna Raybourn – (☆☆☆)
  • Elantris (Elantris #1) by Brandon Sanderson – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu – (☆☆☆)
  • Imagine Me (Shatter Me #6) by Tahereh Mafi – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Empty Grave (Lockwood & Co. #5) by Jonathan Stroud – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Voyager (Outlander #3) by Diana Gabaldon – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Breath Like Water by Anna Jarzab – (☆☆☆☆)
  • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #1) by Holly Jackson – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver – (☆☆☆)
  • Moment of Truth by Kasie West – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Best Laid Plans by Cameron Lund – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren – (☆☆ 1/2)
  • [ARC] The Tourist Attraction (Moose Springs, Alaska #1) by Sarah Morgenthaler – (☆☆☆☆)
  • You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle – (☆☆☆)

There we have it! My reads for April. Were any of these books you read too? See some favorites? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Epic fantasy
Length: 1,248 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: November 14th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In Oathbringer, the third volume of the New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe with numbers as great as their thirst for vengeance.

Dalinar Kholin’s Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost: The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction, and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put aside Dalinar’s blood-soaked past and stand together–and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past–even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.

STUNNING.

Yet again. I’m sitting here wondering how I read 1,200+ pages and never felt bored. THAT is the wondering world of Brandon Sanderson and his ability to create these magnificent tales where I don’t even care how big the book is, I’m picking it up stat.

But also, how do you even put into words a review for a book so long? Just know, I really do love these and hope if you’ve been considering reading them you will. Take a chance on the big books! The audio book is the best too. I love the narration, the voices, the fact I can easily listen at a faster speed. All good things.

Some of my favorite pieces in Sanderson books are the later stages when bombs start being dropped. When the world literally gets turned upside down and you aren’t sure what you read is making any sense because it’s completely changed the entire book. Oh how I love these moments. It’s hard to even guess what they will be so enjoy the ride and know you’ll never know who dies, who lives and if the world will actually survive.

The massive world built with intense magic systems that are intricate yet you can understand everything. I feel apart of the political landscape, the characters lives and the fate of the world.

I could talk forever about all of these characters. How I love them so. All of them have strengths, weaknesses, great moments, and moments where you want to shake them. I love how human they really are. There’s emotion and turmoil that leads their decisions and connections. Nothing is laid out in black and white. In this installment I got to see Dalinar’s background and at last got all the answers and more. I love that each book is dedicated to an in-depth look at a character. I’m curious who book four will be about!

Overall audience notes:

  • Epic/high fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses
  • Violence: battles, swords, magic; intense and violent

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