Book Review

Book Review: Shadows of Self (Mistborn: The Alloy Era #5) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 383 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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.

Shadows of Self will give fans of The Alloy of Law everything they’ve been hoping for and, this being a Brandon Sanderson book, more, much more.

TALK ABOUT HOLY PLOT TWIST.

I’m still shook. Story: my husband and I have been listening to this together-ish (both when we can but not actually at the same time). He finished the day before I did when I had ONE hour left. Well, the biggest drop in the entire came during that hour and I literally ran out of my bedroom shouting WHAT?!?!? **and more spoiler-ish content I will not say here**. Sanderson is trying to break my heart, I can feel it.

Any who, this was another great installment of his shorter books. I loved listening to it. Michael Kramer is such a great narrator and does all of the voices SO FLIPPIN’ WELL. He’s read all 6 Sanderson audiobooks I’ve listened to so far and it’s been fantastic.

The dynamics between Wax, Wayne, and Marasi are THE BEST. They are a great team with different strengths that pick each other up when their weaknesses show. I love the banter, the love they have for one another and just everything. This is a team I want to be on.

There’s still a Western vibe to this with the gun-slinging vibes. And I’m still into it. I thought I might waver, but the way Sanderson crafts a story has continually left me breathless. I’m seriously trying to work my way through all of his books. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO DO THIS.

These books are much shorter and easier to follow. The amount of twists and story lines that play in from the original trilogy amazes me though. Even if this is a spin-off that I know some people aren’t a fan of, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I love seeing old characters, hearing about the original crew, and learning how their choices have shaped this newer world.

SOMEONE GIVE ME A HAPPY ENDING PLEASE?!

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy / Sci-Fi
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: guns, murder, knives, swords, dueling canes; occasionally a bit bloody

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Give Off an Autumn Vibe

Whoa hey guys, it’s been awhile for Top Ten Tuesday! If I’m being honest, it’s because I wasn’t loving the topic choices and found myself struggling to come up with anything for the posts.

This one is also a struggle for me *shrugs,* so don’t take any of these to heart because this is total autumn books vibes according to Cait. But, I do think these give off some kind of aura that’s perfect for the fall!

I tagged my reviews in the title if they have been posted.

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Pretty much purely based on the cover. Though I did like this book!


The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

There’s something about witches that truly screams AUTUMN.


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I will say I feel like Circus’ give off a autumn vibe too. The dark magic, romance, and a travelling carnival. SO GOOD.


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

As hands down, my favorite movie to watch whenever I want a movie, this has to be on here. This book is so comforting, and fall is all about snuggling.


Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

I’m not sure I have a good reason for this one other than it just SPEAKS TO ME. Maybe it’s the cover, or the darkness, or the library involved in this story. Autumn is somewhere in there y’all.


Lockwood & Co. Series by Jonathan Stroud

I still need to read the last two books for this series, but this is great for fall! It’s got ghosts, mystery, and a great trio of friends.


Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

I haven’t read this…yet (waiting on my library hold!). BUT IT HAS PUMPKINS. And if that doesn’t say autumn well then I don’t know what to tell you.


The Stormlight Archive Series by Brandon Sanderson

What I really love doing during the fall? Picking up a MEGA fantasy and taking my sweet time reading it. These books? PERFECT FOR THAT.


Verity by Colleen Hoover

Need a good book for fall? Look no further than a thriller that will LEAVE YOUR MIND BLOWN. I’m still reeling from it.


Hunted by Meagan Spooner

What’s better in autumn than a retelling? Especially a Beauty and the Beast one? Hunted was a great version!

What books say autumn for you? Have you read any of these? Lets talk in the comments!

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: October 2019

IT’S NOVEMBER.

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY MONTH.

So while October is cool and all, I’m really here for next month.

I read 23 books for October! Some good, some eh, even read some thrillers to get in that spooky mindset.

  • The Art of Falling in Love by Haleigh Wenger – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett – (RTC – ☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – (RTC – ☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Final Girls by Riley Sager – (RTC – ☆☆☆)
  • You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn – (RTC – ☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Bands of Mourning (MIstborn #6, The Alloy Era #3) by Brandon Sanderson – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆☆)
  • A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell #2) by Deanna Raybourn – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • DEV1AT3 (Lifelike #2) by Jay Kristoff – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman – (RTC – ☆☆☆)
  • Hunting from Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) by Kerri Maniscalco – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Spin the Dawn (The Blood of the Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • [ARC] Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy #2) by Emily A. Duncan – (RTC – ☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake – (RTC – ☆☆☆)
  • Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco – (RTC – ☆☆☆)
  • Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archives #2) by Brandon Sanderson – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Heart of the Fae (The Otherworld #1) by Emma Hamm – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Dazzling Heights (The Thousandth Floor #2) by Katharine McGee – (RTC – ☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars #1) by Tara Sim – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Lovely War by Julie Berry – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co. #3) by Jonathan Stroud – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)

Had some really great reads this month! My reviews will be out over the course of November.

My favorite this month was Words of Radiance or Lovely War.

My least favorite was Final Girls and The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

Have you read any of these? What was your favorite read of October? What are you looking forward to in November? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: The Alloy of Law (Mistborn: The Alloy Era #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy / Sci-Fi
Length: 332 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: November 8th, 2011
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. 

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.

I LOVE THIS PARTNERSHIP.

Wax and Wayne ALL DAY LONG. Also, that’s a really great naming pair. And I just realized that it was probably done on purpose and I love it.

I was nervous going in because I didn’t know how it would all shake out being 300 years after the end of Mistborn (which brought all the tears, of course). Sanderson never fails though. I was completely captured by the modern and updated cities. What was the most impressive was the addition and evolution of the magic system.

The magic system now contains people who have twin powers and mixed blood of the different races that were around during the original Mistborn. I don’t want to go into too much detail for fear of spoiling, but trust me. It is amazing how Sanderson creates his worlds. I am forever in aw of how every little thing makes sense.

This was like a western movie. We had gun-slinging cops, damsels in distress, a duo who are best pals with one of them always adding humor, a gorgeous girl and much more. I LOVED IT. That’s pretty much all I have to say because I enjoyed it that much. It had everything I was looking for and even better, the audio was top notch (as usual, because it’s the same narrator he’s had for all of his books).

If you’re curious about trying this new era out, DO IT. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Romance: some mentions of becoming engaged, and liking different people, but nothing explicit
  • Language: none
  • Violence: guns, magic, swords, explosions

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Book Review

Book Review: The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Epic fantasy
Length: 1007 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: August 31st, 2010
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths:

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again. 

EPIC FANTASY IS RIGHT.

I am once again kicking myself for not picking up Brandon Sanderson’s novels sooner. I HAVE LOVED THEM ALL (Current total: 5). I also listened to this as a FORTY FIVE AND A HALF HOUR audio book. It admittedly took me months to get through. But, now I want them as actual books because hot dang. I love his fantasy writing.

So much world building. And it’s clever to boot. The more intricacies that are woven into the daily life of everyone astounds me. I can’t even begin to imagine how he comes up with all of this to make anything coherent. I find it fascinating and entrancing to listen to how Sanderson’s world comes together for his characters.

Speaking of characters, Kaladin. KALADIN. I am here for the greatest that this man will command. He was fearless, lovable, and I would be in his bridge crew too (but not really because that sounds awful). Dalinar was amazing too. In audio books, I know it always takes me longer to get into them because I’m trying to remember who’s who and where people are. And after that point I was heavily invested in these lives colliding. They’re so many other characters I can point out and talk about, but trust me. Everyone is well thought out, serves a purpose and makes this book what it is.

I love how I can never quite figure out where Sanderson is taking us. It’s not until the last chapters of the book where you realize where everything has been building towards. I love being on my toes and being hooked by this kind of format. There’s enough teasers along the way that keep you flipping pages (or in my case listening, but either way you have to love it to do this for 1000+ pages).

Overall audience notes:

  • Epic fantasy
  • Language: bastard used a few times
  • Romance: a kiss, some hugs
  • Violence: war and battle scenes, swords, creature battles; all fairly detailed, a bit gory & bloody

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Read That I’d Like in My Personal Library

Ohhhh this post hurts my heart.

Why?

BECAUSE I JUST WANT THESE BOOKS IN MY LIBRARY.

I am counting any books that I don’t physically own. A couple of these I have digitally or as an audio book. I really want the physical books so I can stare at the pretty covers all day.

Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova

Air Awakens | Fire Falling | Earth’s End (5 stars – RTC) | Water’s Wrath (5 stars – RTC) | Crystal Crowned (5 stars – RTC)

I don’t think I will ever not shout about this series. IT’S AMAZING. AND THE COVERS ARE SO BEAUTIFUL. I only own these on my Kindle, and I desperately want them as physical books. Anyone want to do a book trade? (I am absolutely serious).


Arc of a Scythe Series by Neal Shusterman

Review for only the second book (third book will be out in November): Thunderhead

This series is INSANE and makes me worry every time I read about it. I never want a world like this, but I do love them as a book!


The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden

I have reviews for the last two books: The Girl in the Tower | The Winter of the Witch

OH MY GOODNESS. Top 10 favorite all-time series. And I read it from the library. All I want are these books y’all. Seriously.


The Bone Season Series by Samantha Shannon

I know this series is far from completion, but I really enjoyed binge reading these 2 years ago. Book four is hopefully being published in 2020. YAYAY.


Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes

I only have reviews from the last two books: Crystal Storm | Immortal Reign

This was an amazing series! Lots of POV changes, ships sailing, trickery, death and tender moments. And I really love these covers.


Alexander Hamilton and Grant by Ron Chernow

Not gonna lie, the only reason I want these is proof I read two 1,000+ books in a month. These were also fantastic history books, but yes. I would love proof *shrugs*.


Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson

The Final Empire | The Well of Ascension | The Hero of Ages

My hubs and I both loved these so much that we want them for our personal library (we listened to them through Audible). We’re slowly growing our Sanderson library.


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

I LOVED THIS ROM-COM. It was the first one that really got me onto rom-coms. I have picked up a great handful since then.


The Great Library Series by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone | Paper and Fire | Ash and Quill | Smoke and Iron

I am so excited for the last book!! This series is a bit different than I usually go for and it’s probably the reason I’ve really enjoyed it.


The Bridge Kingdom Series by Danielle L. Jensen

MY FAVORITE BOOK. AND I DON’T PHYSICALLY OWN IT. UGH. But, I’ve listened to it twice and flippin’ think it’s fantastic. So there’s that. You should read it too.

What books do you want for your library? Are any of these already on your shelves? Lets talk in the comments!

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Characters from 2019

This week for Top Ten Tuesday is a Character Freebie!

I wanted to highlight my favorite characters from this year! My only rule is that is has to be new characters. I will only choose characters that are new to me in 2019 (so no series that I am continuing). I hope to highlight some new books you may not have read yet!

Though as I made this list I realized I loved too many from one book so I did combine as necessary. WHOOPS.

I will link as many reviews as I have!

SpensaSkyward (Skyward #1) by Brandon Sanderson

If could name all of the things I love about Spensa we would be here all day. She is strong, tenacious, unwilling to back down, but is also fiercely loyal and loving to those around her. This book was AMAZING and I literally have no chill about reading Starsight this fall.


Alyssa ana’Raisa – Shattered Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima

Flamecaster || Shadowcaster || Stormcaster || Deathcaster

When Lyssa walked onto the scene in book two of this fabulous series I was DONE. I love a warrior heart that I want to cheer on through every facet of a book.


Persephone, Suri, Brin, Moya & Arion – The Legends of the First Empire Series by Michael J. Sullivan

Age of Myth || Age of Swords (RTC – 5 stars)

I am obsessed with these ladies y’all. I’ve only read the first two books (Age of Myth & Age of Swords) because I’m waiting for my library copy of Age of War (book three of six). And I am loving this so much. These women hold their own and are bright and cunning. If you’re a fantasy love (especially like Sanderson) check out these!


Alex & Sage – The Traitor’s Circle by Erin Beaty

The Traitor’s Kiss || The Traitor’s Ruin || The Traitor’s Kingdom (releases TODAY!!)

One of my latest OTP’s (I have many). I love these two even when their lack of communication in book two had me anxious and shouting at my book. STILL LOVE. I am so excited to finish out this series Tuesday! I especially love that Alex doesn’t hinder Sage. He trusts and believes she can and will do what she says. Nobody holding her back.


Squad 312 – The Aurora Cycle by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Aurora Rising

I LOVE EVERY MEMBER OF THIS TEAM (especially Kal, of course) . This book was absolutely amazing and I love this writing duo.


Jackaby – Jackaby Series by William Ritter

Jackaby || Beastly Bones (RTC – 4 stars)

Jackaby is so clever! His antics actually make me laugh out loud. I love his dynamic with his work partner Abigail Rook. I need to finish this series stat.


Lara & Aren – The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

MY NEW FAVORITE NEW ADULT FANTASY ROMANCE.

Take note and look for my review on July 15th. I loved every single piece of this book and can gush for hours. I need more people to read this to discuss!


Bayr – The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon

I love anything Amy Harmon writes, this was no exception and I absolutely fell in love with Bayr. You watch him grow up in the book and UGH if it doesn’t pull at all the heart strings. All I wanted while reading was for him to get his happy ending.


Vhalla & Aldrik – Air Awakens by Elise Kova

RTC – 4 stars

I’ve only read the first book (and part of the second), but you know when you read a book and know in your bookish soul that you will love these characters? This is how I feel about them.


Percy & Annabeth – Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief (RTC – 5 stars) || The Sea of Monsters (RTC – 4 stars)

Another series I’ve only started (and am only getting to now – I KNOW I KNOW), but I am loving these two! I feel like I’ve seen some spoiler-y stuff that they’re endgame? I SURE HOPE SO. But I also love where their friendship is and how much they care and respect one another.

Have you read any of these books? What is on of your favorite new to you characters of 2019? Lets talk in the comments!

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