Wednesday, May 21, 2014

THE BEAST OF CALLAIRE Review - Saruuh Kelsey

Pages: 200
ISBN#: 9781311817730
My Recommended Age Group: YA to Adult
Released: May 20, 2014
Our Rating:

From Goodreads:

Yasmin is a descendant of the Manticore. A creature of Persian mythology. A Legendary.

But she doesn’t want to be. Unlike the Legendaries in The Red, Yasmin wants nothing more than an ordinary life. She tries to fool herself into believing that she doesn’t change into a beast every full moon and savagely kill innocent people.

But when Yasmin starts hearing a voice in her head and is drawn into dreams that aren’t her own, she is led to Fray—a girl who once saved Yasmin from hunters, who has shadowy memories that hint at her having Legendary magic—and Yasmin is catapulted into a life of Majick and malevolence.

Despite the danger around her and Fray, Yasmin might finally have a chance at being a normal girl with a normal girlfriend. But with Legendaries being killed, a war between the Gods brewing, and the beast inside Yasmin becoming stronger each moon, her mundane life is little more than a dream.

My thoughts:

Quite the adventure.  THE BEAST OF CALLAIRE by Saruuh Kelsey is an entertaining read with enough paranormal elements to keep most readers entertained.  Yasmin is a very fun character to follow and Kelsey does a great job of never making her journey too easy nor too difficult.  I will say that it's best to read this in a quiet spot without a lot of distractions and it can get quite detailed at times, but that's part of what makes the story so robust.

If the drama and adventure aren't enough to get the reader hooked, the romance between Fray and Yasmin should do just that.  A lot of it isn't the in-your-face kind of romance; rather, we get to watch it develop and experience the newness of it along with Yasmin.  Kelsey's dialogue and her flowing scenes help to set the story apart and make it something that is truly enjoyable to take part in.

I highly suggest THE BEST OF CALLAIRE if you're looking for a nice relaxing book to sit down with.


Friday, February 14, 2014

MISTBORN Review - Brandon Sanderson

Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 542
ISBN#: 9780765311788
My Recommended Age Group: Young Adult to Adult
Released: April 1, 2010
Other work
Our Rating:

From Goodreads:

A thousand years ago evil came to the land. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk labor as slaves in volcanic ash fields. A troublemaker arrives. A rumored revolt depends on an untrustworthy criminal and a young girl who must master Allomancy, metal magic.

My thoughts:

I can't even remember when I actually finished MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE.  I know it was a while ago though.  Typically I enjoy a good epic fantasy but seeing as how they're epic and all, it usually takes me a while to read them.  I believe that I first "read" this via Audible and then later via a kindle edition.  The Audible completion was most likely during 2012 and the Kindle edition was probably a few months ago.  Why is a review just now coming?  Well, to be honest, I had a hard time going back and thinking about this story until I knew all the answers.  In a nutshell that means that I waited until I finished the trilogy.

Oh MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE - what can I say about you?  You've been a friend and constant companion for so long that it's hard to look at you objectively anymore.  I've listened to you multiple times, introduced you to family and friends, reread you in "print" form and still I couldn't solve all of your mysteries.

MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE isn't like your typical fantasy books.  There are multiple plot lines, many characters, and a near infinite web of paths that your mind can go down as you experience this story.  This is not a new book so in some ways it almost feels silly to review it, but I've always used this as my own personal space to voice my opinions and generally share my thoughts.  My thoughts on MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE?  What a fantastic story!

Unlike some epics, I did not get lost, necessarily, in the story.  I may not have found all the answers I was searching for, but then again, that's why this is the first in a trilogy.  What I mean is that I found the plot lines and the character shifts very easy to follow and not jarring at all.  Sometimes epics try to fit so much in that it becomes difficult for the reader to really get engrossed in the story and feel like they are a part of the hero's or heroine's journey.  MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE was carefully crafted in such a way to really pull the reader in and allow them to become grounded in the story regardless of the fact that locations, people, and the world would occasionally change just below their feet.

I won't spend too much time here giving you a summary of the book seeing as how you can find that above.  What I will tell you are my favorite aspects of the book and we'll start that with Vin and Kelsier.

Vin is not a butt-kicking heroine.  In fact, for most of the first book, we spend our time learning who she is as well as gaining bits and pieces of knowledge about her history.  As we learn about Vin, we learn about the fantastic world that Sanderson has developed.  This gains depth through the additional use of Kelsier and his mastery of the elements that makes Sanderson's world unique.  I suppose that brings us to my other favorite aspect of MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE - the world-buildling.

Any fans of Sanderson already know that he can develop a unique and complex world full of endless possibilities.  He certainly accomplished that within the pages of MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE.  What was special for me; however; were that most of the elements of his world felt completely new to me.  He really developed some great concepts and ran with them.

If you haven't read MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE, I suggest giving it a shot.  My guess is that, like me, you'll wait all of an hour after finishing it before picking up the second in the trilogy, The Well of Ascension.

Have you read MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE?  What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT Review - Veronica Rossi

Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 341
ISBN#: 9780062072061
My Recommended Age Group: Young Adult to Adult
Released: January 8, 2013
Other work: Under the Never Sky, Through the Ever Night, Into the Still Blue, Roar and Liv, Brooke
Our Rating:

Goodreads Summary

My thoughts:

Immediately upon finishing Under the Never Sky, I logged on to Amazon and purchased THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT.  I wasn't keen on spending the money right then, but my need to know what happened next in this story caused only about a fraction of a second in hesitation.  So it was that about five minutes after the first in the trilogy, I found myself engrossed in THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT, the second in the trilogy.

THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT felt more like Perry's store this go around.  Aria was still front and center, but this time I felt like we really got to dive into Perry's world and see how the Outsiders deal with the increasingly dire Aether storms.  Attempting to help the Tides while maintaining his relationships with those around him may prove to be more than Perry can accomplish.  A major aspect of THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT that kept me hooked was reading on to find out how he would make the major conflicting aspects of his life work together before they destroyed him.

As Perry navigates his place in the Tides and attempts to make sense of what his happening in the world around him, Aria must come to terms with her own new role in this life.  She's not a scared young girl, but she is still fairly new to the Outside.  Luckily, we become introduced to a great new character in the series that adds another layer of depth to the story.  Aria's new missing and this new character kept me hooked in the story when we had to step away from Perry and his journey with the Tides.

Overall, I probably fell more love with THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT than I did with Under the Never Sky.  For me, that's how a trilogy should be.  I want to love the next book more than the first and Rossi accomplished this wonderfully here.  Each new step through these books adds depth, builds up the world, and brings us further along on our journey with great characters.  The conflicts within THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT reached new heights and as we would expect, there are more of them.

In total, THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT took me about four hours to complete.  Of course I immediately went online and purchased the third book in the trilogy, but alas, life called (i.e. children got bored) so I haven't made it more than a few chapters in yet.

Have you read THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT?  What were your thoughts?