Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Books of The Year

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here The Broke and the Bookish. Go to their site and join in.

On this week Top Ten Tuesday, I get to pick favorites. Yep, it’s time for Top 10 Favorite Books I Read This Year. It sounds really fun, but it turned out to be very difficult. Problem number one, I am extremely indecisive. Problem number two, I cannot choose which book to eliminate. Problem number three, I’m trying to avoid turning this into Top Five Sanderson Books I Read This Year. I finally decided to divide the list unequally to top 4 adults books and top 6 young adults books.

ADULTS Books

1. Words of Radiance & The Way of Kings (Brandon Sanderson)

twok  wrds

See what I did there? Yes, it’s me trying to sneak an extra Brandon Sanderson book into the list. In my defense, I want to use the space for another book so these two books from The Stormlight Archive just have to share the number one spot.
Hmm, I’m sure no one wants to see me blabbering about these books ever again BUT I WILL. If high fantasy is something you enjoy, you need to give this series a try. Remember that number of pages is just that, a number. The first thirty three chapters could be challenging to get through because you wouldn’t understand anything, but hang on, I promise it’ll pay off.

2. A Darker Shade of Magic (V.E. Schwab)

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Four Londons. A thief and a smuggler. And one fabulous coat.
If you need more convincing, just read any of my post, I mention this book in nearly all of them.

3. Warbreaker (Brandon Sanderson)

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The lesser known, lower rated (on GR) book of Brandon Sanderson is surprisingly great. Every character is well-developed. From the witty Lightsong to the brash Siri to the talking sword (yes, there’s a talking sword in this book. A murderous, sarcastic talking sword).
It’s also part of the cosmere, the fictional world Sanderson created for his high fantasy novels (Steelheart and Rithmatist not included). Can I just say how exciting it is to find characters from another book in this book and vice versa (the so-called worldhopper). Side note: I promise this is the last Sanderson book in this list.

4. Sharp Objects (Gillian Flynn)

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Oh gosh Gillian, why are your characters so twisted? I have read a couple of good thrillers this year, but this is the only one that made the list.

YOUNG ADULTS Books

1. Carry On (Rainbow Rowell)

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A little shaky at the beginning, but the moment Tyrannus Basilton Grimm Pitch enters the scene, the book redeemed itself. I am a person who usually favors more action over romance, but I make an exception for this book.

2. Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo)

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SIX DANGEROUS OUTCASTS. ONE IMPOSSIBLE HEIST.
That line alone sold me. The characters, however, are the main reasons why this book made it into the list. The book is so impossibly good and it’s totally worth your time. I SHALL GO DOWN WITH ALL THE SHIPS. (AND ALL THE CAPS)

3. Angelfall (Susan Ee)

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Intense, action-packed, and funny. Plus a ship I’m totally on board with.

4. Lair of Dreams (Libba Bray)

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Lair of Dreams is the sequel to the Diviners, which I enjoyed but did not loved. I didn’t really have any expectation when reading Lair of Dreams, didn’t even pay attention to the synopsis, but even if I did I highly doubt I will see that TWIST coming. I thought I’ll miss Evie, but I really didn’t because the new characters are just so great. Libba Bray could write kickass historical and I could not wait to read more of hers.

5. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertalli)

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Adorkable and fluffy are the perfect words to describe this book. My favorite contemporary of the year. If you haven’t read it, please do so. Please.

6. Challenger Deep (Neal Shusterman)

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Challenger Deep tackles the topic of schizophrenia from first person point of view. The plot follows two parallel timeline, one is the reality faced by Caden the teenager and the other is his hallucination as a crewmember heading to Marianas Trench. This book made me feel uneasy and uncomfortable, and that is a good thing. When Caden hit bottom, I wanted to pull him out so bad. When his reality blurred, it made me disoriented and confused. Bonus point for Shusterman for including the illustrations drawn by his son. They gave me chills.


That’s it for today. Does any of these books make it into your own list? Let me know.


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Fall Time Cozy Book Tag

With all the winter and holiday book tags getting in full swing, I hope it’s still acceptable to do a fall book tag. If it’s not, well sorry but I’m gonna do it anyway. 😀 I wanna thank Jesse @ Books at Dawn for tagging me and I apologize for taking so long to do this. He gave me enough time, but I procrastinated like you wouldn’t believe it. Yes I know I kept doing that, and I would not promise to not repeat the same mistake because it’s inevitable. LOL

Let’s get to it.

Crunching Leaves

The world is full of colour – Book that has a red/orange/yellow cover

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I’ll go with The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith.

Cozy Sweater

Book that gives you the warm fuzzies

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CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell. #SnowBaz

Fall Storm

Favorite book or genre for a rainy day
I don’t think I have any favorite genre for rainy days. But, if I have to pick a single book I will go with The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan.

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No other reason besides I LOVE this book so much.

Cool Crisp Air

The coolest character that you would love to trade places with
The last time I said Magnus Bane, so I’m going to switch it up a little and choose Hermione Granger. Because… well mostly because she’s Hermione. And I really want to see Hogwarts.

Hot Apple Cider

An underhyped book that should become the next best thing
The ship has probably sailed for this one, but The Host by Stephanie Meyer is a good standalone. I wish more people read it.

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Coat, Scarves and Mittens

Fall is the time to cover up – book that has an embarrassing cover that you would keep hidden in public
Embarrassing is probably not the right word, but I cringe everytime I see the cover of The Demon’s Lexicon. Which is unfortunate because as I mentioned above, I freaking love this book.

Pumpkin Spice

Favorite fall time comfort food/ drink?
My country only has two seasons so I don’t really know… But, I really like hazelnut chocolate drink so I’m gonna go with that.

Spread The Love

I LOVE YOU ALL, but I’m not going to tag anyone. Go do the winter/Christmas/holiday book tags instead. However, if you really like autumn and you want to do this tag before it’s too late, then I TAGGED YOU. 🙂


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Sneak Peek: Truthwitch

This is a review for the preview excerpt that contains the first 15 chapters.

Sneak Peek: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Book title Truthwitch
Series The Witchland #1
Author Susan Dennard
Pages 416
Expected Publication January 5th 2016
Publisher Tor Teen

Official Summary

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Disclaimer: I received a preview excerpt from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review (for Preview Excerpt)

Truthwitch told the story of two young witches, Safiya and Iseult. They live in The Witchlands, in a small city called Venaza City, with their mentors. Until one day, a heist gone wrong leaving Safiya, who is part of a very rare breed called Truthwitch, hunted by a Bloodwitch. Safiya and her Threadsister, Iseult, went on the run to escape the Bloodwitch.

Okay. Before your eyes glaze over after reading so many unfamiliar terms, I’ll let you know that the first few pages of Truthwitch contains many of those. Dennard using so many strange words and throwing them at us without explaining what each term means. It could be daunting at first but soon enough I understood them. In fact, that’s the beauty of Truthwitch. We’ll come to understand what these terms mean, Threadsister, Heart-Thread, and more, without a character come in and explicitly explained them to you ala game tutorial. (note: I don’t know if the complete book has a glossary)

Safiya and Iseult are likeable main characters even though I found that it took me some time to warm up to Safi. There are moments when I feel they’re being childish and whiny, but I like that Dennard doesn’t make them perfect. Before I continue, I have to mention that there are two other main POVs in this book apart from Safi and Iseult. They are Merrik and to a lesser extent, we get the view from the Bloodwitch, Aeduan. I honestly love to see the story from Aeduan’s POV because he offers a unique perspective to the story. Merrik, a prince from Nubreva, came to Venaza City for a summit to discuss truce between the empires in Withclands but somehow became tangled in Safi and Isseult’s trouble. The interaction between these characters is Truthwitch’s biggest appeal.

There are multiple layers of stories in Truthwich. Although it was mainly Safi’s story, Iseult and Merrik bring their own problem to the table. I suspect their problems will interlink with each other, but since I only read the first fifteen chapters, I wouldn’t know (translation: GIVE ME THE BOOK NOW).

Since Truthwitch is a high fantasy, world building is very critical. Dennard succesfully differentiate the busy Venaza City with the small settlement of the Nomatsi. The diverse races, including—unavoidably—discrimination, also take a somewhat center role in how the plot was weaved. Culture, belief, and tradition also play important parts in this book.

The fifteen chapters I read are action-packed and never boring. I hope that the rest of the book is at least as interesting.

Verdict

Although limited by the amount of chapters available to me, so far I am enjoying Dennard’s writing. I cannot wait to explore The Witchlands in Truthwitch and its planned sequels. If magic, witches, and fantasy are something you enjoy, I think you’ll want to give Truthwitch a try.


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A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part VI

A Darker Shade of Magic Reread Header

Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the 6th part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week, we’re going to cover Part VI Thieves Met.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
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SPOILER WARNING FOR PART I – V

It’s starting! The black magic Kell released from the black stone is now out in the wild. The first victim was the man with the royal sword who attacked Kell near Ruby Fields. When we left him, he was frozen by the magic. Now, the shell has melted, not away from him but going inside of the man. The man, now with two black eyes, walked away. For now.

Well, there’ll certainly be repercussion to that.

Back to Grey London. Lila, fresh from pick-pocketing Kell, was back in the Stone’s Throw. But when she returned to her room, a man walked in, not from the door but from the wall. It’s Kell. These two haven’t been acting nice to each other. Kell asked Lila to return the stone. Lila asked Kell how did he get in. They both lunged for the stone, or at least Lila did. Kell decided to lay down on the floor. Dude, you cannot just pass out in a room of a badass thief. It might lead to bondage trouble. Lila considered dumping Kell’s body, but when she realized he was still alive, she settled for hitting his head with a book. How romantic resourceful.

Chapter III began with this sentence: “When Kell came to, he was tied to a bed.”

Okay, Schwab, we see what you did there. Kell continued his streak of having doomed conversations with Lila by using this opening line: “One of your eyes is lighter than the other.” Not quite there, but it definitely show attentiveness on his part. Also, it might be important. See, Kell is an antari with one black eye and one blue eye, so it totally make sense that he’ll pay attention to other people’s eye color. After yet another poor attempt on conversation, Kell told Lila the facts, namely he came from other London and entered her room using magic. At this point, one would start yelling and call him a liar. But Delilah Bard believe him, perhaps because Kell put on a magic show for her or maybe because she has touched and felt the magic from the stone.

Speaking of the stone, Lila—upon realizing that the stone contains magic—tried and succeeded in creating a black sword from thin air using the stone. And then she proceeded to create Kell doppelganger… and made him (it) to do a striptease (of course she would). Before he (it) finished taking off his clothes, Kell noticed that the doppelganger face starting to shift—or maybe he was just saying that to try protecting his dignity. Kell told Lila to dispel it. Lila, as expected, didn’t know how (it’s not like she studied magic for years), but before the doppelganger could hurt her (more), the real Kell dispel it. After dispeling the fake Kell, the real Kell trapped Lila’s hands in the wall (show off) and left her there.

Whoa that was intense.

After managed to pried herself free from the wall, Lila found the black sword in her room. Then, considering what happened before, she decided to get rid of it no matter how beautiful it was. I told you she’s a smart girl. Lila hurled it down from the window in her room. Unfortunately, the sword (was) found (by) a man named Booth. The black sword decided it like Booth and refused to let him go, even went as far as killing him and possessing his body. *shudders* Similar to the frozen man we encountered before, both of his eyes turned black and he walked away, away from the Stone’s Throw.

Favorite Convo

Lila: What are you?

Kell: Tied to your bed.

Lila: And?

Kell: And in trouble.

Favorite Scene

Kell and Lila in her bedroom attempting to (not) rip each other’s head off.

INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V


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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Authors I Discovered This Year

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here The Broke and the Bookish. Go to their site and join in.

Hi guys. I’ve finally done it, my first ever Top Ten Tuesday! I didn’t even plan to, but I opened wordpress reader and found out that this week topic is top ten new-to-us authors in 2015. Guess what. I have a draft titled 10 Authors I Discovered This Year collecting dust in the bottom of my post stash I saved for rainy days. Well, better post it before it’s too late, right?

Let’s dive in.

10. Nicola Yoon

Last month, I rambled about Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. I mentioned, among others, how disappointed I was that I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. Gah. Nicola is a very creative author and I did enjoy her writing, so I will give her next book a chance.

9. Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of The Wind is one critically acclaimed book if I have ever seen one. I, sadly, couldn’t get into it. There was something about Kvothe that made him too far away for me to connect. I will admit, however, that Rothfuss is a BOSS when it comes to world-building and complicated magic system. I am still unsure whether I am going to read the rest of The Kingkiller Chronicle (too much time investment), but I will give his writing another chance one day.

8. Ernest Cline

I read Ready Player One out of curiosity and because it was supposed to be adapted to the big screen. Although I didn’t get many of the 80’s references, I still very much enjoy the book. The idea of living in virtual simulation to forget about real life hit close to home. Although I never plan to do that, I still remember my days playing The Sims all day and night.

7. Jenny Han

Always want to try a Jenny Han book, but never knew which one to start. I finally decided on The Summer I Turned Pretty and it was just the perfect reading for my lazy Sunday. I connected with Belly, albeit not immediately, but I could totally see glimpses of my 16 year old self in her.

6. Susan Ee

I’ve just recently dig my TBR and decided I should read Penryn & The End of Days. Upon starting Angelfall, I simply CANNOT STOP. It was a compulsive reading and very fast-paced. I have now finished all three books which I very much enjoy.

5. Gillian Flynn

I read Gone Girl because it was everywhere, and I read Dark Places and Sharp Objects because they were included in the bundle I bought (yes, I’m thrifty). And WOW, can this lady write. If you think Gone Girl is good, wait until you read Sharp Objects. All three of her books are being/have been adapted into film. Gone Girl received critics praises, but Dark Places unfortunately did not. Why do I say unfortunately? I never watched the movie so I cannot judge it, but I’m worried that the bad movie will keep people off her book. So, if you have seen the Dark Places movie and you think it was bad, don’t let it stop you from picking up the book, please. Sharp Objects is going to be made into TV series, which shall be interesting.

4. Becky Albertalli

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is my favorite contemporary published this year. It was sweet and beautiful and I thoroughly enjoy Albertalli’s writing. And it’s only her debut novel. Can you imagine how GOOD her next books will be?

3. Leigh Bardugo

I have seen her Grisha trilogy many times, but something always stop me from buying it. Mixed reviews, for one. However, upon conducting my research of new releases, I found out she’s releasing a new book titled Six of Crows, which has very exciting premise about six crew members trying to pull off a heist. I immediately bought it and OH MY WORDS, was it good. You can find my review here. I’m still in doubt whether I should go and read the Grisha trilogy, but I cannot wait for Crooked Kingdom, the second book in Six of Crows series (duology?)

2. V.E. Schwab

Haha, yes, I just stumbled upon Schwab this year. There’s nothing like reading first few pages of a book and feeling like you have just met your long-lost friend. That’s how I felt when I read A Darker Shade of Magic. If you read more than one of my blog posts, you will see how obvious I am in my love for Schwab and ADSOM (and how I couldn’t wait for A Gathering of Sha—OH MY GOD Windie, STOP!)

1. Brandon Sanderson

It’s crazy how I never read any Sanderson’s book until this year. I saw Steelheart and Firefight in my local bookstore so many times, but it was not until my sister shoved Mistborn in my hands that I found a new favorite author. Although it was Mistborn that started it, The Stormlight Archive series are the ones that cemented my faith in his writing. I have now read 7 of his books, and I am very happy to find that he has many published books that I can pore over read while waiting for Stormlight #3. Then, after I finish, I would reread them to try finding all the cosmere connections.

News Round-up #5

book news round-up

Welcome to another news round-up post. This post is about two days late *coughoneweekandtwodayslatecough* but I am still excited about these news.

Challenger Deep Movie Rights Acquired by Chernin

First up is a movie adaptation news. Neal Shusterman’s book about a boy dealing with schizophrenia, Challenger Deep, has been acquired by Chernin Entertainment. Neal is supposedly going to co-produce and adapt the screenplay.

My reaction?

I am excited because movie adaptation means more recognition about this very important issue, namely mental illness. However, I am also worried. Challenger Deep is a very “visual” book. The power of the book came through vivid description of what Caden experienced as well as illustration drawn by Neal’s son, Brendan who had to deal with schizophrenia himself. I hope the movie can do it justice. It’s still in early stage though so maybe I shouldn’t worry about it too much. More details about the movie here

Speaking of Challenger Deep, the book itself recently won the National Book Award. If you’re looking for a book tackling mental illness, specifically schizophrenia, I highly recommend Challenger Deep. It’s written from first person perspective and it alternates between real world and Caden’s journey as a crew member in a ship bound for the Marianas Trench. It’s truly dark and heartbreaking.

The only thing you have for measuring what’s real is your mind . . . so what happens when your mind becomes a pathological liar?

There are the voices, and visual hallucinations when it’s really bad—but “being there” isn’t about voices or seeing things. It’s about believing things. Seeing one reality, and believing it’s something else entirely.

The scariest thing of all is never knowing what you’re suddenly going to believe.

Veronica Roth’s New Book

Veronica Roth, the author of Divergent series, recently talked about her upcoming book. Finally, the news that her fans have been waiting for!

Here’s a description from her tumblr:

So. My new book is a sci-fi fantasy story set in a time of extreme political unrest (hence the “Star Wars” comparisons you might have heard!). In it a boy named Akos, along with his brother, is kidnapped and brought to an enemy nation. When the dictator of that place threatens his brother’s life, Akos has no choice but to work with a girl named Cyra (the dictator’s sister), to save him. But Cyra’s trust—and her kindness!—are difficult to earn…to put it mildly. And the intense friendship Akos and Cyra form puts them in more danger than they could ever have imagined

More information to come the closer we get to 2017!

Source: Veronica Roth’s Tumblr


That’s all for today. Let me know what you think about the upcoming Veronica Roth book. And tell me if you have read or plan to read Challenger Deep. Are you excited for the movie?

REVIEW: ELANTRIS by Brandon Sanderson

Book Review: Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Book title Elantris
Series Elantris #1
Author Brandon Sanderson
Pages 638
Year published 2006
Rating

Elantris—Brandon Sanderson’s first published novel—was every bit as promising as a great fantasy debut should be. Now I know why he made it this far.

Official Summary

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

A rare epic fantasy that doesn’t recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It’s also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.

Review

My introduction to the cosmere world—the fictional universe within which nearly all Brandon Sanderson high fantasy books are set—began with Mistborn: The Final Empire. Only after I read three more of Sanderson’s books, did I go in search for his debut novel. I have to admit, I was worried that Elantris will disappoint me after reading Brandon’s masterpiece that is The Stormlight Archive (will be referred to as Stormlight for the rest of this review).

I should not need to worry. Elantris—notably has less pages than each book in Stormlight—is a solid fantasy novel. Note that I call it a solid fantasy novel, not a solid debut fantasy novel. It was a pleasant surprise. Sanderson has always been a strong in worldbuilding and Elantris is a prime example of it. It has arguably less extensive worldbuilding than The Stormlight Archive, but this “weakness” can also be seen as Elantris’ strength in the sense that Elantris is much more edible and easier to understand than the giant that is Stormlight.

For those who have read Mistborn, some might be disappointed in how the story progressed, at least in the beginning. Sanderson took his sweet time setting up the scene. It was 20 chapters in when I realized I was hooked. After the pace picked up, the book was impossible to put down. The story took many twists and turns to finally arrive at quite satisfying conclusion.

Having sung all the praises for Elantris, I now have to discuss the weaker points of the book. The characteristic of Brandon Sanderson’s books has always been fantasy interspersed with science fiction. Elantris is not an exception to this. Since I have read Mistborn and Stormlight, I could not help but compare Elantris to the two series (as you might have already realized). I found Elantris to be the slightly weaker book in terms of writing. THIS is a good sign because it means that Sanderson has only grown better in writing. I also found the explanation regarding some fantasy/sci-fi elements to be rather lacking, although I do hope it’ll be explained more in the planned sequel. But let’s be real, I probably wouldn’t understand them either way. :p

The book was told from multiple POVs, namely Sarene, Raoden and Hrathen. From these three, at first I enjoyed Sarene’s the most, but as I read more, I became enraptured in Hrathen’s. What bothers me about the characters in Elantris is that some of them are quite similar to the characters in The Stormlight Archive. This is not Brandon’s fault per se. I mean, he didn’t know I would read Stormlight before Elantris. Truth be told, if the order was reversed, namely I read Elantris before Stormlight, I probably wouldn’t notice the similarity. The problem is I feel like I have come to know Stormlight’s characters more intimately thanks to Sanderson’s painstakingly detailed storytelling in Stormlight. Having known Kaladin and co, I couldn’t help but feel that some of the characters in Elantris are the less interesting version of them. This is also why I found Hrathen to be fascinating, as his internal conflict is something I haven’t encountered in my short time being a Sanderson reader. His journey is the one that touch me the most, even though he is not a likeable character.

Overall, however, all three POVs offer an interesting insight into the story. I like that the bad and good is not written as black and white. Sanderson masterfully showed us how one’s good intention might be seen as malice to others, depending on whose POV are you looking from.

Verdict

Elantris is perfect for people who enjoy high fantasy, detailed worldbuilding, and solid characters development. It often cross my mind that Sanderson highest priority is character development, with fantasy took a close second. It absolutely doesn’t mean the fantasy wasn’t there, it’s just that he dedicated so much time developing his characters. Hence, patience is of utmost importance if you’re going to read Elantris.

If you’re looking for an Introduction to Brandon Sanderson Books, you might be better off with Mistborn: The Final Empire because it’s more fast-paced or alternatively—as I was told—Steelheart, but I haven’t read that one.

For people who have read Brandon Sanderson’s books before and wondering if Elantris is any good, well I have four letters for you: R.A.F.O.

RAFO

Final Score


4 stars (out of 5 stars)


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A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part V

A Darker Shade of Magic Reread Header

Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the 5th part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week, we’re going to cover Part V Black Stone. I also change the format a bit so let me know which one do you prefer.
Without further ado, let’s go!
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SPOILER WARNING FOR PART I – IV

When we left Lila back in Part III, she was retreating to her room in the Stone’s Throw. Now, however, she was back to her daily thieving activity and was hauling back fair amount of coins to the tavern. Upon returning, she passed a beggar and decided to share a couple of coins. This, as anyone who has read enough fantasy books could tell you, is a bad idea.

Me: he’s so going to get killed by some thugs because of that money

Real scene: the thugs took the coins, but the boy escaped unscathed (thankfully, he has enough sense to not fight the thugs)

Lila—the thrill seeker she is—obviously went off to chase the three thugs who took the boy’s money…

On the other side of the parallel universe, Kell was delivering the letter he received at the end of Part IV. He quickly realized that something was amiss when he noticed someone was watching him and that the letter was nothing but a blank paper. At this point, I sat up excitedly. I mean, I have read this before but I still couldn’t help but get excited upon the (terrible) possibilities. (YES I AM EVIL)

Quiz time. You have been caught red-handed carrying illegal stuff you smuggled from another world. Do you: a.) reason with the captor or b.) flex your magic and make them tremble upon witnessing your power.

Answer: Kell c.) ran. Uh yeah, I didn’t expect that. I suppose it made sense in retrospect. He’s a messenger and traveler, not a soldier. (And I would totally do the same thing. While screaming and yelling)

And do you know who else decided to run? Delilah Bard. When she realized she was trapped between the thugs who wanted to capture (kill) her to get the reward money, she did the thing she had to do even though she hated it. You didn’t survive in the street using only your muscles and not using your brain, especially if you are a girl seems to be the message. And it’s a good one.

So let’s recap. Kell brought something he shouldn’t bring to Red London and now he’s on the run. Lila was after street rats who took the money she gave to a beggar, but now she’s also on the run. This is going to be exciting. *flips page*

Kell ran to his hiding place, the Ruby Fields, but of course the shady people have put a tracing curse on the parcel he smuggledcarried. The parcel itself turned out to be a black stone that came from Black London. And of course, it’s a magical stone. The stone contains so much magic that Kell could freeze a person while his own magic bleeding out of him. Still bleeding, our red-haired magician ran to a place where no one, save for one person, could follow him. Kell traveled to Grey London.

And now, for the big moment we’re waiting for.

Kell, meet Lila. Lila, meet Kell. Have fun and try not to kill each other, okay?

And here’s Lila, of course, interpreting the very definition of ‘fun’ as ‘go find trouble’ as she relieved Kell of the black stone he carried. *groans* Next time, make sure the item you steal is not cursed, okay Bard? Okay, we’ll see what happen to these two next week!

Favorite Scene

Lila stealing from Kell the moment they met, as one would expect.

Favorite Quote

“Careful now. Someone might think you’ve got a heart under all that brass.” –Barron

INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV


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Real Neat Blog Award!

I was nominated by Ashleigh @ A Frolic Through Fiction and Marian @ Bookception21 for Real Neat Blog Award.

Thank you so much Ashleigh and Marian! 😀 I’m sorry that I took forever to do this award, I really appreciate the nominations.

The rules are:

  • Thank and link the person who nominated you
  • Answer the 7 question your nominator has provided
  • Nominate 7 other blogger and create new questions for them

Ashleigh’s Questions

Who are your auto-buy authors? (Authors where you would buy any book they release)

I have so many (that explains why I am forever spending money to buy books). JK Rowling, Rick Riordan, Rainbow Rowell, Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, and Michael Crichton to name a few.

Which book-to-movie/TV adaptations you are looking forward to?

I am looking forward for In The Heart of The Sea, Fantastic Beasts, A Monster Calls, Ready Player One, and the Shadowhunters TV series (hopefully it’ll be better than the movie).

What do you not like seeing on a book cover, and puts you off buying it?

Umm people staring/glaring at you from the cover. I am not opposed to having models on book covers, but I don’t like it when they’re directly staring at me (it creeps me out I guess?)

When you’re not reading, what else do you do in your spare time?

Messing with some programming codes, usually. Also, SLEEP. A lot.

Which fictional world would you NOT want to visit – at all?

The post-apocalyptic world in the 5th wave seems pretty horrible and I do not want to visit it at all.

If you could be any character from a book, who would you be?

Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices. Magnus looks like he’s always having fun despite having been around for so long. He also gets to know Will and Jem and Tessa and Simon and all those characters from TMI and TID. And he has magic! Plus, I get to date a cute blue-eyed boy.

What books do you hope to read before 2016?

Cress and Winter by Marissa Meyer.
UnDivided by Neal Shusterman.
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson.


Marian’s Questions

1. What’s your favourite book of the year so far?

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve been raving about this book too much so I’ll just stop here. :p

2. What book have you read that was out of your comfort zone?

I haven’t found any. Maybe I play it too safe when picking books or maybe I just have too high tolerance when it comes to reading.

3. Which storylines do you like reading about the most? (e.g heist, redemption, road trips etc.)

Heist is always a fun one. I also like stories involving magic school and mystery/crime-solving (either together or separately).

4. Hardbacks v.s. Paperbacks?

Paperbacks. I am very clumsy when it comes to hardbacks. The dust jacket is forever coming off and I some times lost the jacket pleasedontkillmehardbackfans. I am also very lazy and usually in supine position while reading. Hardbacks are harder to wield (no pun intended) when you’re reading in bed.

5. The 5 books you’re most anticipating in 2016

ONLY 5? I will definitely forget some books, but here are some I can mention off the top of my head:
Tell The Wind and Fire (Sarah Rees Brennan)
A Gathering of Shadows (V.E. Schwab)
Stormlight Archive #3 (Brandon Sanderson)
Lady Midnight (Cassandra Clare)
The Hidden Oracle (Rick Riordan)

6. Favourite book of the year so far

Since I already mentioned Words of Radiance above, I will go with A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.

7. Harry or Ron?

Ron. No wait, Harry. Okay, Ron.

Spread The Love

I nominate:
Symone @ Symone Books
Jessica @ The Awkward Book Blogger
Emma @ Emma The Book Lover
It’s totally okay if you don’t want to do it. 🙂

(I totally cheated and only tag three because I did a quick scan and found out that nearly everyone has done this tag, but if you haven’t, I tag YOU too.)

My Questions

1. Do you prefer reading ebooks or prints?
2. Fantasy or contemporary?
3. Which book of yours is your most treasured possession? (could be for any reason)
4. What’s your favorite place to read?
5. Name a book you read that you considered as a total waste of time (if any)
6. What’s your dream place to visit?
7. Blogging or reading? (evil question is evil)


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December New Releases

Welcome to my monthly upcoming new releases post. Today I’m bringing you my most anticipated YA releases for the month of December. There aren’t many books in my most anticipated releases, four to be exact. Please note that some of these books are sequel or part of a series as indicated in the “stand-alone or series” box.

Release Date: December 1st 2015

Their Fractured Light (Starbound #3) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner | GOODREADS PAGE

lght

Stand-alone or series: part of a series, it’s the third book in Starbound. Each book in Starbound trilogy told the story of a different couple, but they’re all interconnected somehow. From what I gather, it is possible to read the second book first (i.e., you’ll have no problems understanding the story), but you might see spoiler from the first book, etc. Therefore, the suggestion is to read the first two books before this one.

Genre: sci-fi, romance

Starbound is a 3-book series about three star-crossed lovers battling the same enemy, LaRoux Industries. It was star-crossed (planet-crossed?) in the literal sense, meaning the stories from each book took place in different planet about two people from different world. If sci-fi romance is something that interest you, you might want to give the trilogy a chance.

Nexis (Trickster #1) by A.L. Davroe | GOODREADS PAGE

nxs

Stand-alone or series: the first book in a new series. You can start this one … umm RIGHT NOW. It’s out in the wild already.

Genre: science-fiction, dystopia (?)

Nexis, the first book in Trickster series, is about Ella, a girl who–after an accident–lost her father and her legs. She immersed herself in a virtual reality game called Nexis as a way to cope with her life.

The summary reminded me of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which I read recently and thoroughly enjoy. The concept of blending virtual reality and real world dystopia into one book is one that interests me. I hope it’s as good as the premise.

Release Date: December 15th 2015

Frozen Tides (Falling Kingdoms #4) by Morgan Rhodes | GOODREADS PAGE

frz

Stand-alone or series: The 4th book in Falling Kingdoms series. Highly recommend to read #1 – #3 first if you want to read this one.

Genre: high fantasy

I have just begun this popular series last month and the 4th book is going to be released in 2 weeks. I didn’t read the summary because I don’t wanna be spoiled, but click on the link above to be taken to the goodreads page.

UnBound by Neal Shusterman | GOODREADS PAGE

unbnd

Stand-alone or series: technically it’s more of companion book of Unwind Dystology, but judging from the synopsis, it’s LIKELY to contain MAJOR SPOILERS of all four books in original dystology. I would suggest to read UnWind, UnWholly, UnSouled, and UnDivided first (UnStrung—the novella telling the story of Lev—is optional).

Genre: dystopia, utopia, fantasy, science-fiction

UnBound is a collection of short stories that take place after UnDivided. Find out what happen to the main characters after the conclusion of Unwind Dystology.
(PS. If you haven’t read Unwind, please do yourself a favor and get it/borrow it now)

 


That’s it for this month. Let me know if any of those books is on your most anticipated releases for this month. What other books are in your list?


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