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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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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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: Cover Redesigns I Loved (&A Few I’m Not So Sure About)

This was so hard!? I also didn’t realize how many cover redesigns there have been. It’s practically every other book had a redesign at some point.
There are definitely more cover changes I loved so I included more of them, but at the bottom you’ll find a few that I’m not so sure about. I don’t hate them, they just wasn’t what I was hoping for.

Though, I will say I’m NOT counting any cover redesigns that involve movie changes. I HATE WHEN COVERS CHANGE TO LOOK LIKE THE MOVIE. I will wait forever to see one that I do like.

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

Cover redesigns I loved:

An Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir

I love the addition of putting the characters on the cover! They deserve the spotlight and while I wish I could get all of the other covers (one day!) I love having the third (and fourth soon!) in this new design.


The Winner’s Curse Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

I never quite got the first cover. It’s pretty, and I love the dress. Maybe a nod to her nobility, but the new covers actually show Kestrel for what she is. A strong minded warrior.


Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson

These first covers were all just…odd haha. Showing Vin in a better light and more realistic is so much better!


Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

OH I’m ecstatic these changed before I even started reading them. That first cover is awful. Sorry not sorry. I love the eyes and think it’s really creative!


Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

We all know the new covers are AMAZING. I loved seeing every new design (especially the backs with those dresses!). I didn’t even realize this was a cover change when I started reading them.


Anna and the French Kiss Series by Stephanie Perkins

Ooomph. I love the bright, bold colors that these cover redesign went too. INFINITELY BETTER.


The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

I WANT THE NEW COVERS SO BAD. THEY’RE SO PRETTY.


Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

I LOVE the new covers. They are more colorful and inviting. Makes me want to pick them up and read them.

Cover redesigns that I’m on the fence about:

But wouldn’t say hated, just not quite what I was already loving.

Shattered Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima

I do love the new covers, but I really wanted them to all match the first series in this saga, Seven Realms. I’m on the fence about these. They aren’t bad, but I like fluidity in novels on my shelves when possible.


I don’t know. I like the addition of Amani on the cover, but the first cover WAS SO PRETTY. I have the book on the left and the other two books as the new covers.

Do you love or not like any of these covers? What’s a cover change you loved or hated? Lets talk in the comments!

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Fantasy Book Series That NEED to Be a Movie (Page to Screen Freebie)

We live in an amazing day and age where CGI is actually worth our time. The technology advances towards movies has jumped leaps and bounds.

That’s why I declare that these ten series (or standalone) NEED TO BE A MOVIE. As someone who doesn’t watch movies (no really, my husband is amazed at how often I will watch a movie — which is to say, once every 6 months, at least) I put a lot of stock in choosing ones worth my time.

THESE WOULD BE WORTH MY TIME. If they were exactly. like. the. book.

Okay, let’s get started. Happy Top Ten Tuesday y’all!

A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas


Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas


Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber


Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson


Arc of a Scythe Series by Neal Shusterman

Final book, The Toll, coming soon.


The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty

Final book, The Empire of Gold, coming 2020.


Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden


Strange the Dreamer Duology by Laini Taylor


The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Have you read any of these? Which do you think should be a movie too? Lets talk in the comments. Happy Tuesday!

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Inspirational/Thought-Provoking Book Quotes

Howdy y’all! Happy Top Ten Tuesday to all.

Okay, I’m not a reader that writes out a lot of quotes or remembers them for that matter. The way I came up with these quotes today was in all honesty, remembering books I enjoyed. The only book quote I religiously remember is the first one from, A Court of Mist and Fury. The following are quotes I looked up from Goodreads that stood out to me from some of my favorite books.

“There are good days and bad days for me — even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”

– A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2) by Sarah J. Maas

“If you give up what you want most for what you think you should want more, you’ll end up miserable.”

– The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

– Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

“The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.”

– The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown (I’m clearly a big fan of hers)

“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.”

– Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

“Each scar marks me as a survivor. A warrior of the wild.”

– Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

“Unknowing ignorance is preferable to informed stupidity.”

– Warbreaker (Warbreaker #1) by Brandon Sanderson

“You don’t have to be fast. But you’d better be fearless.”

– Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

“We turn memories into stories, and if we don’t, we lose them. If the stories are gone, then the people are gone too.”

– What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

“But maybe it’s better to go after something, and not get it, than to not even try.”

– The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms #4) by Cinda Williams Chima

And this is only a small portion of the quotes I could have chosen. Isn’t it amazing how words from all of these books we read affect us? Going back and doing this was actually really enlightening. Like remembering dear friends who hold wise words.

Do you like any of these quotes? What is one of your favorite though-provoking quotes?

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Book Review

Book Review: The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Epic fantasy
Length: 572 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: October 14th, 2008
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Tricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world.

UPDATE: THIS IS THE LAST BOOK TO MAKE ME CRY.

Note: I listened to this through Audible (not an ad, just a FYI). The narrator was Michael Kramer — as all 3 books have been — and it was fabulous. He’s a great narrator and did the books a lot of justice in this format.

I’m really disappointed in myself for taking so long to get around to reading these. The Mistborn series is everything a fantasy should be.

Emperor Elend becoming a firm ruler was amazing. I loved it. I love how he grew over the books and became the King his people needed. Vin was absolutely stunning herself. Sanderson’s ability to create these flawed, strong, unique souls is utterly captivating. The only thing that would have floored me is a little more romance between them (No, not sex or anything like that! Maybe some deeper acknowledgment of feelings). Though, y’all, that ball scene with them dancing together, YES YES YES!! I had all the heart eyes for that. So presh.

Dark Sazed had his own amazing story-line. To think he went from being a servant, to falling in love, to greater things was mind-blowing! I never thought that is where his story would lead, but I thought it worked out best.

There were so many times that I’d be listening where information would come forth and I’d be like “Oooooh, I see I see,” then shout WHAT!? right after because how did I not see that coming!? Sanderson weaves this tale where all of the little details actually mean something and create a completely thought out ending. I felt like no stone was left unturned.

Hero of Ages is a bleak book. I felt like things were only ever getting worse and since this is the first series I’ve read of this author’s, I wasn’t sure that it was going to end well. While it wasn’t the happy ending I usually go for (tears were definitely in my eyes as I got to the end) it was still the best situation put forth. The epilogue made my heart understand and be at peace with how the world is now.

Overall audience notes:

  • High/epic fantasy
  • No language
  • Romance: a cute ball scene
  • Violence: a lot (it was a war); physical, swords, allomancy (magic system), fire, blood & gore
  • Trigger warnings: contemplation of suicide, depression