Tag: fantasy

Soundbite Sunday – The Well of Ascension

September 7, 2014 Audiobook, Fantasy, Fiction, Review 2 ★★★★

Soundbite Sunday – The Well of AscensionTitle: The Well of Ascension
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Source: Bought
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

 

As always, listening to a Brandon Sanderson book read by Michael Kramer was a fun experience. The character growth was, as usual, a real strength of the book. Some of the characters were a bit angstier than usual, but they always fell just short of becoming annoying. A new character, who became one of my favorite characters in the series, was introduced in this book and brought with him some interesting new hints about the world the story is set in. There was a huge twist at the end which was believable because of previous clues without being obvious or expected. My least favorite thing about this installment in the series is that it did drag a bit. There’s always the possibility with an audiobook that a story feeling slow can be attributed to the format and that might be part of it here. However, I’m also certain that the characters spending the whole book trying to achieve one goal and making very little progress also slowed the story down.

Do you find that audiobooks often seem to drag more than a book you’re reading yourself?

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Beyond the Pale

September 1, 2014 Fantasy, Fiction, Gothic, Magical Realism, Urban Fantasy 4 ★★★★

Beyond the PaleTitle: Beyond the Pale: A Fantasy Anthology
Author: Gillian Philip, Heather Brewer, Jane Yolen, Jim Butcher, Kami Garcia, Nancy Holder, Peter Beagle, Saladin Ahmed
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: I liked almost all of the stories included in the collection and loved the diversity of the mythologies on which the stories were based.

This collection of short stories includes those I would categorize as paranormal, urban fantasy, magical realism, and a few bordering on horror. All stick relatively close to reality but step “beyond the pale”, including some mythical element. Several previously published authors contribute short stories related to their published series, but all of the stories can easily be read on their own.
Read more »

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Soundbite Sunday – Mistborn: The Final Empire

August 17, 2014 Audiobook 4 ★★★★

Soundbite Sunday – Mistborn: The Final EmpireTitle: Mistborn
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

 

As with Words of Radiance, I’m probably rating this book less highly because I read The Way of Kings first. Compared to The Way of KingsMistborn seemed like a younger sibling, a scaled down version perhaps intended for a younger audience. There are a lot of similarities between the two books: a world with a tyrannical ruling class; a male and a female narrator; chapters beginning with quotes from books; and similar magical combat. This is a good thing because these were strengths of The Way of Kings, but it’s also a bad thing because Mistborn felt much less novel. Mistborn also had a similarly consistent magic system and great character growth. Unfortunately, the epic scale and impressive world building of The Way of Kings were missing, but hopefully that will come as I read the next two books in the trilogy. Michael Kramer’s narration was spot on as always.

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Soundbite Sunday – Words of Radiance

August 3, 2014 Audiobook 3

9781427233080Title: Words of Radiance
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Narrators: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
Rating (Story): ★★★★☆
Rating (Narration):★★★★★

This is a book I would probably give 5 stars if I weren’t comparing it to the first book in the series, The Way of Kings. The plot is similarly complex, interesting, and expansive. There is once again great character growth, with personal plots nested within the overall story. The magic and worldbuilding retain their internal consistency. However, while I wouldn’t say this suffered too much from second book syndrome, I did feel as though less happened than in the first book. Read more »

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Soundbite Sunday – The Way of Kings

July 27, 2014 Audiobook, Fantasy 7

The-Way-of-Kings-610664Title: The Way of Kings
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Narrators: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
Rating (Story): ★★★★★
Rating (Narration):★★★★★

Many authors do one thing exceptionally well: world building, character creation and growth, or an intricate plot. Brandon Sanderson does an incredible job at all three. The world is very unique, with creatures and a magic system I never could have imagined. The world and the magical system are also notable for their internal consistency. The creatures described seem like the sort that would evolve together. The magical system follows clear, consistent rules. The world building take place through slow, constant information sharing, in parallel with both an epic, world-wide conflict and moving personal stories. The story wasn’t always straight forward or predictable and I loved the unexpected obstacles which forced every character to grow and change in order to succeed. Read more »

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Small Town Witch

June 8, 2014 Fantasy, Fiction, LGBT, Young Adult 11

17888783Title: Small Town Witch
Author: Kristen S. Walker
Source: from author for review
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This book exceeded all my expectations with natural-sounding dialogue, perfect pacing, fascinating world-building, and a main character who doesn’t create her own drama.

“Teen witch Rosamunde thinks she has it all: friends, parties, a happy family, and magic at her fingertips. But something dark lurks underneath the surface. When Rosa uncovers strange spells in her house, the illusion of the perfect life begins to crack, hinting at family secrets she never imagined. With the help of her friends and the handsome kitsune Kai, Rosa peels back the layers of lies. Her search for the truth will take her far from home, into the dangerous Land of Faerie . . . but if the truth threatens her family’s apparent happiness, will she choose to live with the lie or break the enchantment that binds them all?” (Source) Read more »

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The Falconer

May 11, 2014 Fiction, Steampunk, Uncategorized, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult 2

15791085Title: The Falconer
Author: Elizabeth May
Source: from First Reads giveaway
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: This was a fun, light adventure with  cool steampunk elements, not too much romance, and a very abrupt ending.

Killing fairies is hard enough even when you don’t have to look like a proper lady at the same time. After Aileana’s mother is killed by a fairy, she has very few friends to turn to as she navigates balls and teas. Fortunately, she does have a fae mentor to help with fairy killing as she seeks revenge for her mother’s death. As the fairies Aileana battles become more dangerous, she has a tough decision to make. Is she willing to give up appearances and the proper, married life she dreamed of in order to exact her revenge? Read more »

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Way of Kings Read-Along – Part VI

February 5, 2014 Blogger Events 2

wayofkingsralI’ve been having a little trouble keeping up on this read-along because my ipod has started skipping at one spot in the audio. I’ve re-downloaded the audio and not fixed it, so if anyone has any ideas, it would be much appreciated! In the mean time, I’m just listening on my computer. Read more »

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Touch of Power

January 29, 2014 Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 3

Touch of PowerTitle: Touch of Power
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Although this dragged a bit for me, the writing was practically perfect and the world building was fascinating.

Avry is the last of the healers. After a plague the healers couldn’t cure decimated the Fifteen Territories, all of the healers were hunted down and killed. On the run, Avry is eventually captured by a band of men who, surprisingly, value her healing skills over the bounty for turning her in. Unfortunately, they want her to heal the man Avry blames for the healer’s demise. The decision she has to make is a tough one, since he might also be her land’s best chance at peace. Read more »

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Defy

January 27, 2014 Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 6

17406847Title: Defy
Author: Sara B. Larson
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: The author included all the things I love in YA fantasy – gripping action, relatable protagonist, fascinating world-building – but she lost me with the annoying love triangle and pointlessly unhappy ending.

Only by disguising herself as a boy is Alexa safe from a fate worse than death. Fortunately, her impressive fighting skills quickly earn her a place in the elite prince’s guard. In that position, she’ll have to decide where her loyalties lie, with her prince or her kingdom. Her decision will influence the fate of her world. Also, there is a love triangle. Read more »

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