Monday, September 25, 2017

September's Fantasy Book Club Book

Our book for book club this month was The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson. This is a book that I've been wanting to read for a long time, so I was really happy that it got chosen.

The Emperor's SoulThe Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Category: Adult
Genre: Fantasy

Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic. Condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor’s scepter, she is given one opportunity to save herself. Though her skill as a Forger is considered an abomination by her captors, Shai will attempt to create a new soul for the emperor, who is almost dead.

The Emperor's Soul is set in the the same world as Elantris, but has no other relation to that book. I have to say, this novella really impressed me. Sanderson's magic systems are always wonderfully imaginative and this one was no exception. There is so much brilliance packed into this little story. I absolutely love reading Sanderson's novellas. Because there isn't room for a lot of filler, they do not get as wordy as his full length novels and I like that.

“No person was one single emotion; no person had only one desire. They had many, and usually those desires conflicted with one another like two rosebushes fighting for the same patch of ground.”

Shai's undertaking of forging the emperor's soul provided a wonderfully layered story that was thought provoking. All the many facets of a personality and what makes a person a unique individual; the way Shai is so perceptive of those around her; and in the end her true work of art were things that I loved about this book. This is one of the best books I've read this year. Sanderson created a true masterpiece.

“He found himself weeping.

Not for the future or for the emperor. These were the tears of a man who saw before himself a masterpiece. True art was more than beauty; it was more than technique. It was not just imitation.

It was boldness, it was contrast, it was subtlety.”

And we soul stamped the refreshments :)

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Battlemage (The Summoner, #3)The Battlemage by Taran Matharu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Category: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy

The Battlemage was a good ending to the Summoner series. There were a couple of things that were left open ended that could be revisited if the author ever decides to continue the series, but everything was pretty much wrapped up nicely. What I like most about this series are the demons. I love the giant turtle demon that they encountered and I loved what we found out about Ignatius. Overall this is a good series with all the books being equally likeable. This is a YA fantasy series that I would recommend to any teen interested in reading fantasy. It's fun and not too dark.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

An Inconvenient Beauty (Hawthorne House, #4)An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Category: Adult, Christian
Genre: Historical Romance

An Inconvenient Beauty is part of the Hawthorn House series of clean romance books. This is the second book in the series that I've read, but I didn't read them in order. It worked out ok though as each book stands on its own. I didn't like this one as much as A Noble Masquerade. It wasn't bad, but there were a few things that I found mildly irritating.

I felt there was too much emphasis on Isabella's beauty. I know it played a big part in the whole plot, but it got old and I wasn't really sure if I liked that it played a big part in the plot. On one hand I feel like the book made superficial beauty too important, but then at times it seemed to be trying to say that beauty wasn't so important. I'm not altogether sure what it was saying to be honest.

Griffith's height and size was also mentioned way too many times. Alright already, we get that he is really tall, has long legs, and is a big guy. We don't need to be reminded constantly. The book also employed the often used romance novel trope of keeping things from the person you love. Just tell him what's going on already! Then there is the whole special license thing. One couple in the book decides against it because he doesn't want to compromise her reputation by getting one, but then at the end of the book the other couple gets one. So does it compromise a lady's reputation or not? It just seemed very contradictory.

Those complaints aside, this was a sweet romance and I liked Griffith a lot. Any woman would be lucky to have a guy like him. I also really liked Isabella's cousin Frederica. I kind of wish the book had been about her instead. I also enjoyed getting a peek at what was going on in the lives of Miranda and Ryland from the other book. I'll probably continue on with the series at some point. I like reading these when I'm in the mood for something light.

Thanks to NetGalley for giving me a copy of this book.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

The Iron Jackal (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #3)The Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Category: Adult
Genre: Fantasy

Things are finally looking good for Captain Frey and his crew. The Ketty Jay has been fixed up good as new. They've got their first taste of fortune and fame. And, just for once, nobody is trying to kill them.

I enjoyed reading The Iron Jackal, the third installment of the Tales of the Ketty Jay series. This book was probably my favorite of the series so far. I enjoyed the humor. It kept me laughing which is always a plus. The air chase in the beginning, the train robbery, the part with the bomb, and the race were probably my favorite parts of the book. Oh and the cat and the toast.

As for the characters: Pinn grew on me a lot in this book with his antics. Frey was still Frey. He's definitely a love/hate type of character. His obsession with Trinica could get very old, but I kind of ship them. I'm probably as foolish as he is. We finally find out all about Silo's past, and Jez continues to battle the daemon inside her. Jez is still probably my favorite character in the series and I've enjoyed her exploration of her abilities. Malvery gets to shine a bit here, and Harkins does as well, even if it's in Pinn's name. Crake and Samandra Bree meet up again, something I was looking forward to as I ship them as well. There is also a new crew member, Ashua. It remains to be seen how she will impact things overall, but I think she is a good addition.

There was more digging into the characters and the world in this book and I liked that. The world building was interesting with the strange hybrid type creatures they encounter later in the book, and I like the combination of fantasy with the guns, vehicles and electricity, etc. There's one more book to go in the series and I'm looking forward to reading it.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Fairchild (Fairchild, #1)Fairchild by Jaima Fixsen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Category: Adult
Genre: Historical Romance

Good English families all have a house in the country with a deer park, a trout stream, and an army of gardeners. They should have a son and if it can be managed, he should be handsome. Cleverness isn’t important. Daughters in limited quantities are fine so long as they are pretty. Bastards are inconvenient and best ignored. It's not a big problem, unless you are one. Unfortunately, Sophy is.

Fairchild was yet another really good, clean historical romance that I got for free from Amazon. The characters where very well drawn and I couldn't help but love Sophy. I did feel like Sophy and Tom's feelings for each other happened kind of sudden, but the secret meetings and glances at each other were quite fun. I just wish we had gotten a little more of those in detail. The book was mostly focused on Sophy, but I felt the author did a great job of introducing us to Tom and fleshing his character out despite the limited amount of time we spend with him in the book.

This was such a sweet romance novel. There is a companion novel, Incognita, about Alistair, one of the other character's from this book that I immediately wanted to read and I ended up enjoying it almost just as much. I'll post my review for that one in the near future.

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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Ready Player One 80s Book Club Party

For our book club night this week we decided it would be fun to dress 80s since the book was Ready Player One. From Top Gun to Madonna to Mullets to 80s preppy to Ghost Busters to striped tube socks, the 80s were well represented. We all had a great time!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Elissa Blue (The Winged #1)Elissa Blue by T.K. Perry

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Category: New Adult, Young Adult, Christian
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Dystopia

Reading Elissa Blue is like watching The Bachelor, only everyone has wings. Initially I thought this was going to be a book about fairies, but it ended up being about human-butterfly hybrids. It's hard to classify this book. It has a bit of a fantasy feel with some dystopian elements that are not all that fleshed out, but it also is a romance with a definite Christian aspect to it as well. The age of the characters make it fit into the new adult age group, but it's completely clean and reads like a young adult novel. The overall theme of the book is, be wise about who you choose to marry and spend your life with.

What I liked about this book the most was that it somehow kept me glued to it despite the fact that I thought the whole human-butterfly hybrid thing was pretty silly, and the main character drove me crazy at times with her wishy-washy indecisiveness. She went back and forth between three guys so many times.

Now about the guys. I think I met and dated a guy exactly like each of them in college. There is the one that you like and is really nice, but are not attracted enough to. The one who is very attentive and takes care of you and is fun to be around. The one who is attractive but rough around the edges, has a good heart, but maybe isn't all that smart. The one that you know is bad for you, but the attraction is strong. I'm not going to spoil who is who here, or which one Elissa ends up with, but I was happy with who she chose.

Things that I thought could have been improved upon were:
-The story was a little long.
-Too much going around and around in circles with the guys and her feelings about them.
-The days felt super long. Two days felt like two weeks to me.
-Too insta-love like for me. A couple of days isn't enough time to get to know a person.
-The dystopian aspect of the book was underdeveloped.

Things I liked were:
-The funny last names based on types of butterflies. Mr. Sootywing and Mr. Hairstreak, :) :).
I actually looked up these butterflies to see what they looked like.
-The fact that the book kept me glued to it.
-Mit and Holis :)
-The choice she makes about who she will marry.
- The overall theme of the book.

Thanks to the author for giving me a copy of this book for review.

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