Tag Archives: fantasy novels

Series Review: Mistborn Trilogy

17 Aug

 

It’s FINALLY here you guys! I’m finally reviewing this trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. He is the author of one of my favorite novels – Elantris. So I was interested to read some of his other work. This series really had mixed reviews so I wasn’t that keen on just buying it but my library didn’t have the first one. I eventually broke down and bought Mistborn (book #1) at Powell’s because I couldn’t take it anymore. Thankfully the library has the other two books.

srsrvwmistborntrilogy

Photo by Edgar Guerra on Unsplash

The sci-fi fantasy genre is relatively new to me. Because of that, I didn’t know what to expect in regards to – well, anything. I was most concerned about the sexual content that might be included but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. ( I feel the need to add that when I read any new book that’s not a faith-based author, I worry about this.)  There were a few innuendos in each of the last two but were mild enough that I didn’t feel the need to put down the book.

(I’ve shared the only pics I have of each book. Apparently I never took cover pics of them. I decided to go ahead and share them because they show just how BIG/long they all are! If I remember right, they average 700 pages each) 

IMG_20170522_142311

Mistborn – It took a thousand years for even the memory of hope to die, but the Lord Ruler dominates his world with a violent and dominating fist. Ash falls from the sky and mists rule the night. Kelsier, a mistborn, gathers his crew for the greatest heist in history. By chance, he runs into street-smart and wary Vin, a mistborn as well. For their plan to work, Vin must learn to use her powers as well as trust those around her. They are all in for a surprise when Kelsier tells him the other part of his plan – kill the Lord Ruler.

~Was thoroughly surprised and delighted to find myself drawn into this story as quickly as I was with Elantris.  The characters are interesting and varied and the world Sanderson creates – while hard to imagine with ash falling daily from the sky and the whole world a neutral gray – comes alive. The villain is terrible, although there’s enough mystery that keeps him from being trite. The ending was unexpected and I had a hard time waiting for the next two books from the library.

 

IMG_20170602_152558_515

The Well of Ascension – With the Lord Ruler, the man who claimed to be god incarnate, dead, the world is left in the hands of Vin  and the aristocratic man that she’s fallen in love with. Kelsier’s crew is left trying to learn politics, while a new religion among the people – based around Vin and Kelsier – is growing.  Stopping assassins from killing the new ruler soon proves to be the least of Vin’s problems – the mists now have a strange quality about them. As if they are against her. As Luthadel is beseiged, a legend comes to light. While it seems to offer hope, no one is quite sure what to do about it. Where is the Well of Ascension? And what power does it really hold?

 

~I wasn’t sure what to expect at the start of this book, what with the ending of the first one. The story had me so in its grip though, that I couldn’t wait to delve back into it. The individual characters’ growth were interesting – Sazed, Elend, Vin, Spook, etc, and how they each searched for their role in this new government, this new world. I think Sazed started to shine in this one, becoming the one that I most… identified with. The ending, if I remember correctly, was slightly dissatisfying and didn’t tie up as many loose ends as I thought it would. 

 

20170620_120440

Hero Of Ages – When the Lord Ruler was killed, the Deepness was released back into the world. Creating all sorts of havoc that Vin, Elend and the others fighting to save the world can’t stop – the ash is falling heavier than ever, the mists are killing people and earthquakes are increasing in strength. It seems that humanity is doomed.

~ This book. Where do I even start? This book concludes everything that you’ve been wondering if he’s ever going to tie up – and more that you hadn’t even realized were left dangling. Sanderson is an amazing storyteller, going against the grain of  what you expect to happen and pulling the rug out from under you. And then you go ‘aha! (waking up your significant other in the middle of the night) because you just got what he’s been alluding to. And then later realizing that perhaps you didn’t have it figured out. The turn-about that he does with the Lord Ruler was a brilliant move on Sanderson’s part. I’d say I was slightly heartbroken but also pleased with its ending.

 

I have to point out that it’s really hard to write synopsis’ without giving any major details of the plot away. If you look these up anywhere online you’ll learn a whole lot more about them but I hate it when I learn a pivotal plot line before I should! So, it’s up to you if you want to know more about them or not.

This series is one that will probably be a yearly-read for me. Meaning that I’ll eventually just buy the next two books! If you enjoy this genre, I recommend that you give it a shot. It sucks you in quick and takes you through every possible emotion – a sign of a good story. I will add that I didn’t end up loving it in the same way as Elantris, but perhaps that’s because this series breaks your heart more often. heh.

Because of the subtle innuendos that are sparsely included, I wouldn’t recommend this for a younger audience.

(Yes, I took these to read while getting my IV’s. The rather huge size of them made them easier to handle while one arm was immobilized. )

~While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.~

Have you read any of Brandon Sanderson? What genre have you recently tried, or have been wanting to try?

~Laura

July 2017 Book Review

1 Aug

Hello hello! I read quite a bit this month – which always makes me happy. There’s nothing quite like getting lost in a good book is there?

july2017bkrvw

 

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – While set in a sleepy town in Virginia, the events that take place in Scout Finch’s childhood, rock the residents of the town.

– I hadn’t read this book since high school and since I seem to be on a classic kick this year, I pulled it off the shelf! I feel like opinions on this novel are very divided – either it’s loved or hated. Well. I’m on the loved it side – I do not know why it took over 10 years for me to read it again! I enjoyed  Lee’s descriptions – the sleepy street, the moonlight on the trees, the rabid dog making its way down the street – they were so vivid I could see them. I think everyone should read this book at least once.  (Now I want to read Go Set a Watchman)

Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson – A full review of this great trilogy will be coming next month! (I promise. the wait will be worth it.)

Seasons of the Heart series by Janette Oke – Watch for a full review of this in the next few weeks!

When God Doesn’t Fix it by Laura Story

Currently Reading:

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Anathema by Colleen Coble

On my To-Read List:

One Thousand Gifts: A dare to live fully right where you are by Ann Voskamp

Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss – I finally picked up my own copy of this book. I’m excited to read it (I’ve been doing an audio version) and finally finish it!

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

 

Book Review – June 2017

3 Jul

Ahhh time for book reviews again. I am trying to write more separate posts but what with the pain levels ever increasing, many end up here instead. I went through my library recently and pulled out some novels to read again to see if I actually want to keep them or not. (I was surprised to be able to pull a few off and easily send them on their way out the door.)  With my limited space, I’m trying to be a bit pickier on what novels I keep (especially since we live so close to Powell’s bookstore and classics keep coming home with me). A few of these I read back in May, so no, I didn’t read this many books this past month.

bkrvwsjune2017

Because – Have you seen the length of Brandon Sanderson’s novels?!?!  (the one I’m currently reading is 552 pages, aka 236 thousand words) 

Timber Ridge Reflections by Tamera Alexander – click the link for my full review!

20170523_160846

My Life in France by Julia Child – When Julia and her husband, Paul, moved to France in 1948, she knew no French and nothing about food. Her experiences with superb food had her soon signing up for cooking classes at Le Cordon Bleu. Her passion for learning the secrets to what made each dish delicious ended up changing her life – and turning her into one of the most beloved cooking teachers and writers.

~ This memoir was enjoyable in every way.  Child shares her travels throughout Europe along with the meals that made such impressions on her. It reminded me of a goal that I had years ago – that of cooking my way through her Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but alas, with all these food allergies, that will never be possible.  Her dedication to detail in her recipes revolutionized the cookbook industry. A fun read about one of the most endearing American personalities. Bon Appetit! 

~These next four novels are the ones I read to decide to keep them or not. All four are getting passed on to my mom! ~

Sweet Blessings by Jillian Hart – Heath Murdock never expected anything more than a hot meal and a dry place to sit for a while when he entered the small diner. He ended up earning the trust and love of independent Amy Mckaslin when he steps in and helps out.

~This is the second book in the Mckaslin series, but the only one I’ve ever read. It’s a sweet story of learning to let go of the past, forgive yourself and accept God’s love. It being a novella, I feel like the story could go deeper but Hart still brings depths to her characters. 

The Bride Bargain by Kelly Eileen Hake – Clara Fields can’t believe that her and her widowed aunt were abandoned by their wagon train on the way to Oregon. When help is offered by the owner of the general store in Buttonwood, Clara strikes a bargain that in exchange for marrying his son, she’ll get the house so that they will be independent of any man. But when she meets the son, a handsome doctor, sparks fly.

~A short story, the characters are engaging and the story is well-written. The struggles that Clara faces – inward and outwardly – as well as the son, a Dr. Reed, are often in opposition to the other, creating tense or confused moments! A fun, light read. 

Secrets by Robin Jones Gunn – Jessica Morgan just wants to live her own life and forget her past. She heads for a small town in Oregon to teach at the high school, hiding her true identity. She finds it harder than she had imagined when she meets a caring paramedic who just wants to help her and a devious woman who’s trying to destroy her. Will she let fear or love win in the end?

~ This was a sweet christian romance story that I read in one day. I’ve read it before, a few years ago so couldn’t remember it too well. The faith portion was well-shared and the plot was sweet and happily resolved. I’d recommend this if you’re searching for a light read! .(I just realized that it’s book 1 of a series but I don’t think I’ve read any more of the series)

Forgotten Justice by Lois Richer – All John Riddle can remember is a date – October 29th. He knows nothing else – not who he is or where he’s from. He’s found a temporary home in Camp Hope and a friend in the beautiful and determined lady in a wheelchair. As time goes on though, he wonders, is his presence at Camp Hope putting her in danger?

~ This is #2 of the Camp Hope series, but is still enjoyable as a stand-alone. I liked how Richer slowly revealed things in this romantic suspense. Near the end of it, I thought I’d figured out who John Riddle was but was totally wrong! Which, is always fun when they keep you guessing til the end. I told my OH that I’d love to read it as a lot longer story – maybe as 500 pages? I feel like there could be so much depth added to it! But it is a fun, quick suspense just as it is. 

20170523_160906

Revision and Self-Editing : Techniques for Transforming your First Draft into a Finished Novel by James Scott Bell – This was SUCH a great book on self-editing! I grabbed it from the library on a whim one day but really think I’ll end up buying it. It had some great tips throughout along with exercises to do so that you can practice what he’s teaching. I took a whole lot of notes on it, and this is the only time I wrote on on my novel in June – working off his suggestions. I highly recommend this as a book to help you polish up your novel! 

Messianic Jewish Manifesto  by David H. Stern – click for a full review!

IMG_20170522_142311

Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson ( watch for a review soon!) – I know guys, I know, I’m not going to tell you a thing about this series until I finish the third book. If you really can’t wait, google it. 😉 

What I’m Currently Reading:

When God Doesn’t Fix It by Laura Story

Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

Once Upon a Summer by Janette Oke

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss ( I’m still listening to this on audiobook, might have to get it from the library so I can actually finish it)

Linking up to The Reading Roundup again!

Reading Roundup

What are you reading lately? 

~Laura

Book Review – January ’15

29 Jan

bookreviewjan'15

Welcome to the first book review of 2015!!! How exciting!! On goodreads, I have a goal of reading 50 books this year. Seems quite reasonable to me, that’s only 4 books a month, right? Easy peasy. I mean, I’m currently reading 4 right now, with another one on the bottom of the stack to start whenever. My fellow book-lovers, that made perfect sense to you, I know it did.

Well, I’ll get right to the reviews!

  • Torah Rediscovered -by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz –  This book shows how Jews and non-Jewish believers can honor the Torah. And also how years of neglect and abuse have muddled the difficult issues in the Torah, and clarifies them.  You might recognize this title as I started reading it mid last year, but as I never finished it, I am starting it all over again and will finish it this time! It is such a well-written book, and written so that I can understand!
  • Happy Wives Club – by Fawn Weaver – One night, Fawn started a club to get women who love being married together and speak positively about marriage. Very quickly it spread like wildfire across the world – and Fawn traveled around it to speak with some of these women/couples in order to find the secrets of a great marriage. I have enjoyed reading this so far. I am reading it as a part of the Meaningful Marriage Study group that I am a part of on facebook. It is a light read and getting to ‘meet’ these couples has been a joy and through each couple something new stands out to me and makes me pause in contemplation. I very much recommend it!                                                    bookreviewjan2015
  • Wildwood Dancing -by Juliet Marillier – Jenica and her sisters and father live in the Transylvania woods, in Piscul Draculi – a castle that hides a portal to the Other Kingdom. Every month, with her sisters and pet frog, on the Full Moon, they go through the portal and dance the night away. But at home, in their world, everything is changing, and soon, events will bring their two worlds together and change everything. Forbidden love – Unswerving anger over an act of betrayal – an enchanted frog – and the ultimate test of trust. I mean, really, can you get any better than that in a story?? Sigh of contentment. A friend suggested this book to me years ago and I now read it a few (or several) times a year. I am pretty sure I’ve talked about it here on SGL before too. If you like a bit of magic and fantasy, this book is for you. (for those of you that are not sure, let me also say that I don’t read very much magic/fantasy but still love this one) Plus, my OH surprised me recently with a copy of my very own!

             bookreview-jan2015

  • Mrs. Mike – by Benedict and Nancy Freedman – A love story between a young Irish girl, Katherine Mary O’Fallon, new to the Canadian wild, and Sergeant Mike Flannigan of the Canadian Mounted police.  I am only a quarter of the way in, in this book so cannot give it a full recommendation yet. I can say that the opening is fantastic – it sucked me in quickly. It did lose me a little bit as it went on though, with a drunken right-hand man and some other random scenes that I can’t quite recall. But, i give it a tentative review so far. Check back next month for a full review! ( this was a Christmas gift from a friend, and you can see the packaging in the back of the photo, I didn’t waste any time starting it!)
  • Lousia May Alcott : Her Life, Letters and Journals – Edited by Ednah Dow Cheney – This book gives an intimate look at one of America’s most beloved authors.  It was originally published in 1889 (!!), just one year after her death. Combining her letters and journal entries with comments from a family friend (Cheney), shows how ‘faithfully and fully she performed whatever duties circumstances laid upon her’.  I really enjoyed this book, even though it took me over a month to complete it. I talked about it here and still recommend it for any young/older woman to read as motivation to keep at our tasks of loving and taking care of our families.

And for the book that’s on my list to start in the near-future – Heal Your Headache by David Buchholzm M.D. – this book has the “1-2-3 program for taking charge of your health”.  With answers to questions that nearly all headache sufferer asks, this book is a treasure-trove of information, based on ‘the breakthrough understanding that virtually all headaches are forms of migraine.’   “Step 1 – Avoid the Quick-Fix. Step 2 – Reduce Your Triggers. Step 3 – Raise Your Threshold” – I have owned this book for a few years now, after having been recommended to it for years by several doctors. While I have read bits and pieces of it, I haven’t ever read all of it. I highly recommend it to fellow headache/migraine sufferers from the bits I’ve read though.

Two boards for you to check out on my pinterest page – SGL (that way you’ll never miss a post if you don’t want an email!) and my quotes and books board!

Happy reading friends!

~Laura Starr

Blissful Scribbles

Musings through the journey of writing my first novel

AlwaysShawna

CHRONICALLY BLESSED

Me Set Free

If Christ has set us free, why do we keep on picking up those chains

Wordsmith Weekly

Your Inspiration Station

beautyfullmess.com

a life journal