Thank you Goodreads' friends for making me read The Mistborn trilogy. Thank you The Mistborn trilogy for becoming my new favorite trilogy of all time. Thank you Brandon Sanderson for making me cry because your books are masterpieces.
“Lately, I feel like my life is a book written in a language I don't know how to read.”
I don't think I can add anything new that hasn't been said about the trilogy and this book in particular. The plot, the twists, the secrets, the characters - everything was amazing. There is much darkness and despair in this book, but despite all of that the light somehow gets through.
“I ask of you your lives,” Elend said, voice echoing, “and your courage. I ask of you your faith, and your honor—your strength, and your compassion. For today, I lead you to die. I will not ask you to welcome this event. I will not insult you by calling it well, or just, or even glorious."
Goodness, I am tearing up just reading the quotes from this book. Before this review becomes a blubbering mess of emotions I wanted to talk about 2 things from this book that I found particularly great. The depression representation and the romance.
“Breeze turned to look out the window. "You were always the best of us, Sazed," he said quietly. "Because you believed in something.”
Many books try to get depression rep correct and many unfortunately fail miserably. And those who succeed usually do not write epic fantasy. But The Hero of Ages dealt and represented depression magnificently.
Maybe because the character we knew in the previous 2 books was so full of life and hope that seeing him depressed delivered a few extra punches. I could honestly feel his despair leaking off the pages. I could understand his emptiness and his apathy. When a person loses everything - darkness sets in. This darkness makes the person blind to any light, to any hope. Even if other people tell you that everything will be okay - you don't believe them, because you cannot see beyond your own darkness. The only way out is to work through it yourself, step by step. There's no magical pill, no one time solution - and this book depicted it beautifully.
“In the end, I stopped worrying about how strange you seemed. I realized that it didn't really matter if I understood you, because I trusted you.”
I finally found a series in which romance doesn't make me cringe. Not even a little bit. See, many books seem to think that good romance must involve hot make-out sessions, sex and cheesy declaration of love. Umm, how about no? Take away physical attraction and you will be left with two very bland characters who are together just because the guy has "toned and ripped body" and the girl is "oh I don't know, so special". CRINGE!
What many other books don't have is the closeness of two characters who are truly in love. Their conversations, their thoughts, how they view the other person, the utter and complete trust.
I don't know if Vin and Elend are the perfect couple representation, but well, yes they pretty much are. They are the most selfless people who love each other for exactly who they are. They don't pretend, they don't dramatize anything. And most importantly they understand that the middle of the war is probably not a good time to make out.
“Well, then," he said. "Let's do it."
"What?" Vin asked.
"Save the world." Elend said. "Stop the ash.”
I am pretty sure that I proclaimed all of my feelings for this book very poorly, as I tend to have no words for something that I really, really loved. But hey, I tried. Also I'm afraid that after this no other book will satisfy me, so I will have no choice but to just go ahead and read all of Sanderson's other works. I would like to finish this review with some of Elend's dorky awesomeness.
"My insufferable charm and wit?" Elend asked. "I doubt it's my good looks – but, compared to that of an obligator, I suppose even my face could be enviable."
Yomen's expression darkened. "How did a man like you ever end up at a table of negotiation?"
"I was trained by a surly Mistborn, a sarcastic Terrisman, and a group of disrespectful thieves.”
2017 has been a good year for new authors (for me personally). I haven't found many per say, but the ones I did, I really loved. I know the year isn't over yet, but from my planned TBR I already know that I won't be reading any new authors this year, so here's a short list of my new favorites.
1. In the beginning of 2017 I jumped on the biggest band-wagon ever and finally read one of Leigh Bardugo's books. My first ever book by her was Six of Crows and you might imagine how that went. It was love at first sight (or first read, if you will). Since then I read more of her books including The Grisha trilogy (one of my favorites) and Wonder Woman (not one of my favorites). I realized that I preferred her fantasy setting books over her contemporary book, but that didn't make me like her work any less. Leigh has a rightful spot on my favorite authors shelf. Click on the button above to be taken to her website.
Brandon Sanderson made the biggest impact on my reading career this year. Every book of his is truly a masterpiece, and the world he has built with his characters is simply astonishing. My first book by him was The Mistborn, and while in the beginning it took me a while to get into it, once I did - I was sucked in with no way of ever returning. If you've never read anything by Branderson and the sheer volume of his books scares you - try one of his novellas, The Emperor's Soul in particular. It's a 130-something pages masterpiece and it will definitely do you some good. It is one of my goals to one day read all of his books, but I admit that it is quite a hefty goal. Press on the button above to be taken to his website.
While I've only read one book by Hannah Kent, The Burial Rites, but it has made such an impact on me that she immediately became one of my favorite authors. Burial Rites is heartbreaking and bleak and I recommend it a 100 percent. The book deals with many important issues and the writing takes the reader on a very personal and painful journey. She also recently released another book called The Good People and I cannot wait to read it. Click on the button above to be taken to her website.
Honeyman's debut novel Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine took the reading world by storm - and it had every right to do so. It was simply brilliant. I fell in love with Eleanor, the prickly pear or all prickly pears. This book has so many emotions and so many funny moments - it's a true gem. I still cannot believe it was a debut - it was just SO good! I already want to re-read it. Press on the button above to be taken to Honeyman's Twitter.
I discovered Marissa Meyer by reading Heartless, and while that story didn't blow me away, as I found it to be too un-original for my liking, I still really enjoyed her writing style. So I gave a chance to her The Lunar Chronicles books and I was very pleased. I really liked Cinder, enjoyed Winter, absolutely adored Cress and had some problems with Winter - but in general I thought that those were some pretty good series with great characters. I will be reading Renegades shortly, and hopefully that one will be a great one. Meyer is a hit or miss for me, but despite of that I enjoy her writing style and her way of story telling very, very much.
As you can see I've been on a diligent Agatha Christie kick. I think that the month of November makes me want to read mysteries - must be all that grayness and rain.
“Where do one's fears come from? Where do they shape themselves? Where do they hide before coming out into the open?”
Once again this turned out to be a re-read for me, and once again I couldn't remember anything from my first time reading. I only knew that I've read it, because it felt very familiar. About 8 years ago I read many, many of her books. I kept reading one after the other, so no wonder most of my reads now are re-reads.
“Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.”
A fair warning, if you are looking for a mystery novel where Miss Marple is up to her elbows with solving crimes - this is not the book for you. Miss Marple is literally present in less than 30 pages. The book is told from a perspective of a recovering pilot, who came to a remote village with his sister for some piece and quiet. And while he is not the one who uncovers the truth behind the mystery - his train of thoughts is what leads the reader to correct assumptions. I know many people probably won't enjoy not having the famous Marple much in this book, but I actually really liked this format. It was different and quite refreshing.
This was just as good the second time around and I've picked up more on many things. It actually astonished me how many things must have went over my head the first time I was reading it. The sass in conversations, the bright feminist streak and even the sheer meanness of some of the characters.
“If you’ve been snubbed, or ignored, or frustrated, and your life’s pretty drab and empty, I suppose you get a sense of power from stabbing in the dark at people who are happy and enjoying themselves.”
I think that The Moving Finger did an excel job exposing petty corners of society - shining light on gossip and all the damage that it can do.
House of Furies, an all-new gothic horror series from the New York Times bestselling author of Asylum.
After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.
I am stuck in mediocre book phase and I can't get out!!
I picked up this book at a library on a whim - only because the page design and illustrations inside of it caught my eye. I am saddened to tell you that the illustrations remained to be the best thing about this book. Because the book itself was very meh.
It is not a bad book per say, it's just - useless? 400 pages of no apparent plot and no satisfactory ending. Apparently it will be a series (which I didn't know) so the book never actually ended, but rather created an opening for the next book. When I was done reading it I felt like I just wasted all of my time for nothing - because nothing really got resolved.
At first it was also very hard for me to get used to the format of writing. Maybe because it was in first person, or maybe because it was different (not in a bad way) but it took me a while. But I have to say that when I did get used to the writing I really enjoyed it.
On numerous occasions I found myself wanting to DNF the book, because the plot was going nowhere and everything was just dragging, but I persevered for one big reason - this book is not your typical YA cliche book! It doesn't have the overused tropes, it doesn't have "girls turning stupid over boys" and it didn't have "Insta-love" (there was an instance where I thought it would go that way, but it didn't and I was very happy for it) - and those were reasons good enough for me to keep reading! It was refreshing to read something very different, even if in the end it all added up to pretty much nothing.
That said, it was a solid 4 star read till the last few chapters - that was when I realized that this will just end in a cliff-hanger (although I wouldn't call it exactly a cliff-hanger, as it wasn't dramatic and it didn't leave me wishing for more).
Also this book is claimed to be gothic-horror, well it wasn't. Sure it was gothic, and there was one very disturbing instance, but it wasn't horror. It wasn't scary. If anything it even felt a bit like middle-grade novel, and not even YA.
I am genuinely surprised that this novel of Christie's is not talked about more. This is one of my personal favorites and this time it was actually a re-read for me.
I've read Five Little Pigs for the first time about 7 years ago, and now that I have picked it up for the second time all I could remember was that I liked it a lot. I didn't remember who the murderer was, or how the book played out - so in a sense, my experience was like reading it for the first time.
“One does not, you know, employ merely the muscles. I do not need to bend and measure the footprints and pick up the cigarette ends and examine the bent blades of grass. It is enough for me to sit back in my chair and think."
This novel is quite different from all others from Christie. To start of - there's no crime scene and no looking for fresh clues, this is a murder from the past. Poirot takes on a task of uncovering the truth of a murder that happened 16 years ago. Such interesting premise makes for a completely different novel structure - and I think that it was because of this that I enjoyed it so much.
“What do most people mean when they say that ? So young. Something innocent, something appealing, something helpless. But youth is not that ! Youth is crude, youth is strong, youth is powerful-yes, and cruel ! And one thing more-youth is vulnerable."
Poirot himself is not very prominent in this book, although he is in every scene, he takes a background and lets the story weave itself, just occasionally butting in and asking questions. It's very uncharacteristic of him, as he is normally very pompous and quite weird little man. The whole book is comprised of him talking to people who were present at a murder scene - trying to get to the truth of what really happened that day.
Boring? You'd think so, but believe me it is not.
Agatha Christie did a great job on this novel - weaving a story of hints and small details, leading the reader on and on, until the very end. I kept suspecting different people at different times, and in the end it wasn't the person who I thought it was. And I loved that!
“With women, love always comes first.”
Another great mystery to the collection. I highly recommend this one.
The Woman in Black is said to be a scary ghost story. It's promised to be 'a ratting good yarn' (whatever that means). It's claimed to be 'nerve shredding'. Well, I am here to tell you that it is neither of those things. It's not scary, nor thrilling, nor chilling. Not even a little bit!
And I scare easily.
Now that I am done reading it I don't think that it's a bad book, I just don't think this is a scary book in any way. I don't know, maybe it's scary to a five year old? The problem is - it had the potential to be scary. Terrifying even. But the way it was written - in past tense, reassuring - killed the scary mood completely.
I found myself skimming most of the book, which is so not me. The book is only 165 pages, and I almost NEVER EVER skim books. Why did I keep reading then? I kept waiting for something to happen, for scary stuff to begin, but alas I was not rewarded. The only reason it got an extra star was for the last few pages - that ending is where it's at! Basically this whole book was just a preparation for that ending.
I did enjoy the writing style though, but the plot and the scary parts were basically non-existent. The whole story also felt very repetitive, I felt like the author was trying to feed me the story with a spoon - whenever scary parts were coming up, right after it was all smoothed over and made good again.
Disappointing read all around. I was looking for a good Halloween scare and I did not get it! (I've never seen the movie, but I heard that it was pretty scary, so maybe in this case the movie is better than the book?)
I cannot believe that October is OVER! It flew by so fast I didn't even get a chance to blink. Or to enjoy the beautiful weather... And now October is over and it's cold. But I read a lot. Comparing to my meager 3 books I've read in September I was able to read 10 this month.
1. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (3/5 stars)
I picked up this book for two reasons:
- Goodreads was raving about it.
- It seemed so perfect for October.
It could have been great - it had all of the potential, but it just wasn't.
- I could have looked past the inconsistent character development.
- Could have looked past the fact that I knew who the murderer was from the very beginning (it was as obvious as a sunny day).
- I could have looked past a romance that I wished wasn't there (not that it was bad, I just want a horror book with no romance in it - you know).
But what I absolutely couldn't look past was the fact that one of the MC was so blatantly ripped off from the famous Sherlock Holmes. And I'm not talking about the movie, or the BBC tv-show ( I enjoyed both tremendously by the way). I am talking about the original Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Read my full and a bit rant-y review
2. Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo (3/5stars)
This was one of my most anticipated reads of this year.
But the most anticipated read quickly turned out to be the most disappointing read ever. I think my expectations were SKY-HIGH, so that didn't help either.
Here's the deal - as a Wonder-Woman-hero-novel - this book BLOWS big time. As a greek-mythology-inspired-ya-book-with-Percy-Jackson-vibes - this book is pretty darn good.
Read my full review
3-6. Pretty Little Liars series (books 3-6)
Flawless (4 stars)
Perfect (3 stars)
Unbelievable (3 stars)
Wicked (2 stars)
Pretty Little Liars is my guilty pleasure reads - the series are not that good and the writing is kind of really bad, but somehow I still got addicted to it?
7. And then there were none by Agatha Christie (5 stars)
Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine.
No wonder this is considered to be the best book of Agatha Christie's ever - it is truly a masterpiece.
This was a re-read for me and it was just as great the second time around. It was so perfect for October too - I highly, highly recommend this novel!
One little Indian boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.
Read my full review
8. The Emperor's soul by Brandon Sanderson (5 stars)
"The Emperor's Soul" deserves all of the stars. All of the praise.
You know what this book's only flaw is? It's way too short.
Oh, don't worry, the story is all perfectly wrapped up and beautiful. There just needs to be more of this because "The Emperor's soul" is a masterpiece. I could easily read 500 more pages of this.
Brandon Sanderson very quickly climbed his way to my number one author of all time - I am so happy that I've discovered him this year.
Read my full review
9. The inexplicable logic of my life by Benjamin Alice Saenz (2/5 stars)
And here is the DNF of the month - and my only 4rth DNF of the 2017.
I tried and tried to read it for long 12 days, but I just couldn't. The writing, the characters, the non-exictsent plot - I just didn't care for it at all.
It's not a bad book in any sense, it just didn't do anything for me.
I read one other book by Benjamin Saenz - Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe - and I really loved it. Aristotle and Dante showed me reasons why I should give ya contemporary a chance. But The inexplicable Logic reminded me all of the reasons why I hate ya contemporaries.
Read my full review
10. The language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (3.5/5 stars)
The Language of Thorns is comprised of six short stories - 3 of which are old and can be read anywhere on the internet and the other 3 are completely new and never seen before. I guess I wished for more of new material? Only 3 new stories are not enough to comprise a full book, in my opinion. I've also liked the older stories better than the new ones, which was also a little disappointing. The new ones weren't bad in any way, the writing was amazing and the stories were good, they just didn't do much for me personally. I found myself largely underwhelmed.
Read my complete review with separate ratings for all of the stories