Book Review

Book Review: Firefight (The Reckoners #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Dystopian/Sci-fi
Length: 416 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: January 6th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Babylon Restored, formerly Manhattan, may give David answers. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David’s willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic—Firefight. And he’s willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers. 

UNPREDICTABLE.

I’m not a general sci-fi fan. Is Sanderson changing my mind? At least about his sci-fi books! I am really enjoying this series. I am luckily clicking with all things dystopian and sci-fi in this young adult series.

I ADORE David. Oh my goodness. I legitimately laugh out loud multiple times as I was reading. I know his inability to craft puns/similes is ridiculous, but it truly adds to his charm. He’s a brave character who has a stubborn streak. I love seeing David grow over these books and after that ending I can’t wait to see how it all comes together.

Firefight could have been in this a bit more (I mean, it is titled after her?). Really could have used more of her throughout. The new location and villains were solid additions. It added a change of pace to the storyline and spread out the entire plot. We even got some more information on Calamity itself. I love the way Sanderson drops in the information and tidbits for an epic conclusion.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult dystopia / sci-fi
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical, superpowers, murder, guns (not gory, but is fairly violent)

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: Rhythm of War (The Stormlight Archive #4) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: High/Epic Fantasy
Length: 1,232 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: November 17th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The eagerly awaited sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling Oathbringer, from an epic fantasy writer at the top of his game.

After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage.

Now, as new technological discoveries begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength.

At the same time that Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with his changing role within the Knights Radiant, his Windrunners face their own problem: As more and more deadly enemy Fused awaken to wage war, no more honorspren are willing to bond with humans to increase the number of Radiants. Adolin and Shallan must lead the coalition’s envoy to the honorspren stronghold of Lasting Integrity and either convince the spren to join the cause against the evil god Odium, or personally face the storm of failure.

READ IT.

How do you write a review for a book you basically consider perfect?

There aren’t words.

I loved this so much (and also highly recommend on audio, the narrators do a FANTASTIC job).

The incredible character development for every single person in this book was off the charts. The amount of emotion put into the words and scenes broke me down (no really, I almost cried a few times). I also found myself laughing, fist-pumping and preparing to pummel some characters too. There’s a clear raw, beautiful talent to Sanderson’s writing and you hardly notice you’ve spent 1,000 pages enraptured by the lives of these people.

I have more, lots more, but for fear of hinting at *any* spoilers I’m keeping it more brief. If you’re looking to try a fantasy or a big book, look no further. Read this series and come to be caught up in it all as the rest of us. It’s an amazing and stunning piece of literature.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: war depictions, swords, magic, battle scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: depictions of grief and depression, suicidal ideation, a lot of discussion on mental health (struggling with it, coping, and finding help, etc.)

Instagram || Goodreads

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

Instagram || Goodreads

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

Instagram || Goodreads