Book Reviews

Warbreaker-Book Review(No spoilers)

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Series: Warbreaker #1

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Summary: “Warbreaker is the story of two sisters who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, the lesser god who doesn’t like his job, and the immortal who’s still trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago.

Their world is one in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city and where a power known as BioChromatic magic is based on an essence known as breath that can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people.

By using breath/i> and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be accomplished. It will take considerable quantities of each to resolve all the challenges facing Vivenna and Siri, princesses of Idris; Susebron the God King; Lightsong, reluctant god of bravery; and mysterious Vasher, the Warbreaker.” -From Goodreads

Review: I don’t why it took me so long to read this book, because it was amazing.

Warbreaker has a different feel to it compared to other fantasy books I have read. Especially with its story, magic system, setting, and the characters.

The story was interesting a different. It didn’t feel like a story with a different skin. It felt like I was reading a book that almost had the same feel as A Song of Ice and Fire. The magic system Brandon Sanderson created was unique. It also wasn’t too hard to understand as you continue to read the story.

The writing, I felt, was easy to read. Brandon Sanderson did a great job of describing scenes, fight scenes, and characters. He didn’t need to use any cliches or anything. He wrote a story that felt different in an amazing world. He used gods in a way that was not like anything I read before. he also did a great job with the different perspectives.

The characters were well written. They actually felt like real people and not just characters on paper. They all went through developments that made them stronger and a better person.

I hope the sequel gets written because I need it now.

If you love fantasy or have read any of Brandon Sanderson’s other, then you should definitely give this one a read.

Have fun reading!!

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Book Reviews

Catching Stars-Book Review(No spoilers)

Author: Cayla Keenan

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Summary: “Witch. Betrayal. Hunted.

Jayin Ijaad is in hiding. A witch with powerful abilities, she carves out a life for herself in the slums of Pavaal, a city rotting from the inside out. When an old acquaintance tracks her down, Jayin is dragged back into a world she tried to escape — and is determined to escape again.

Maddix Kell is on the run. After two years in prison for crimes he did not commit, Maddix escapes and seeks out a legendary order of witchhunters who are his only chance to find justice.

But all is not as it seems and Maddix soon finds himself on the run from the people he sought as allies. When their paths collide, Jayin and Maddix must put aside their prejudices and forge an uneasy alliance that could crumble at any moment. But if they want to survive in Aestos — a brutal kingdom where magic and corruption lie hand in hand and enemies lurk around every corner — they must first survive each other.” -From Goodreads

Review:

*Was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

This book was different than any other book I have read before with its characters, diversity, setting, and magic system. It felt an adventure I was living and seeing, not only just reading with my eyes.

The writing in this book is well done with the author showing the scenes as they happen, as well as showing the emotion the characters given. The author does a great job grounding the reader into the world and keeps them in interested throughout the book. The use of different perspectives felt like a right choice as it gave a weight to the story

The characters were interesting. I loved Jayin. She felt like a different female character than I have read before. Maddix was a character I wanted to know more about as the book went on since he felt mysterious. The side characters were written well, including the main characters, and felt important instead of just being on the side.

Catching Stars is a debut people should read if they liked Truthwitch with a hint of Six of Crows.

 

Pre-order on Amazon:

Writing

Writing Tip #4-Write Short Stories

This week a publisher writer came to my writing class to talk and answer questions that my class had about writing and the publishing world. Something that he mentioned was how sometimes you might have to write short stories and get them published before you will be able to get a novel published.

Which is something a lot of other published writers at my school will say as well.

Now, I’m not saying that will always happen or that this is what you should do. But, what I’m trying to say is, don’t only write novels. Write short stories, including poems. Since, what you could do as you are sending out your novel or working on your novel, you could be sending out some of your short stories to get published.

I understand that some people can find writing short stories hard and others find it easy, but I think the only way to get better at something is you need to keep doing it until you get the rhyme of it.

The reason people might love to read short stories is that it isn’t a long commitment like a novel is. Writing short stories are fun because you have to write a story in not many words and you get to give it that punch in the gut at the end.

Just keep trying, because all that trying, all the effort, and all the time you put into your writing, whether it be writing novels or short stories, it will pay off. Just keep believing you will make it as a writer and to keep on writing.

Book Reviews

The Girl in the Tower-Book Review(No Spoilers)

Author: Katherine Arden

Series: Winternight Trilogy #2

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Summary from book one: “A magical debut novel for readers of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman’s myth-rich fantasies, The Bear and the Nightingale spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind–she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed–this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.” -From Goodreads

Review: This was great, if not better than The Bear and The Nightingale. Like both books are amazing, but I felt like this one was just better than the first book in my opinion. If you have not read the first book, then go read it, because it’s a great written story that I would recommend people to read.

The writing in this book was almost poetic in a way. The author did well of showing the scenes and getting the emotions of the characters on the page. The use of folklore was done nicely, as well as woven into the story.

The characters were nicely developed, and thankfully, didn’t do a 180 that some characters seem to be doing in sequels. All were interesting, making me want to know what they would do or what would happen to them. The relationships of characters were done well, including developed.  Especially the sibling/family relationship between some of the characters.

Why I liked this book more than the first book is because so much more stuff is happening than in the first book, though that could be because a lot more happens in this book and more folklore gets put into this sequel.

I highly recommend reading this trilogy. It’s different from other books out there and has interesting Russian folklore.

Have fun reading!

Book Reviews

Sightwitch-Book Review(No Spoilers)

Author: Susan Dennard

Series: The Witchlands #0.5

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Summary: “From New York Times bestselling author Susan Dennard, Sightwitch is an illustrated novella set in the Witchlands and told through Ryber’s journal entries and sketches.

Before Safi and Iseult battled a Bloodwitch…

Before Merik returned from the dead…

Ryber Fortiza was a Sightwitch Sister at a secluded convent, waiting to be called by her goddess into the depths of the mountain. There she would receive the gift of foretelling. But when that call never comes, Ryber finds herself the only Sister without the Sight.

Years pass and Ryber’s misfit pain becomes a dull ache, until one day, Sisters who already possess the Sight are summoned into the mountain, never to return. Soon enough, Ryber is the only Sister left. Now, it is up to her to save her Sisters, though she does not have the Sight—and though she does not know what might await her inside the mountain.

On her journey underground, she encounters a young captain named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he got there. Together, the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, their road filled with horrors, and what they find at the end of that road will alter the fate of the Witchlands forever.

Set a year before TruthwitchSightwitch is a companion novella that also serves as a set up to Bloodwitch, as well as an expansion of the Witchlands world.” -From Goodreads

Review: this book definitely worth reading if you have read the other two Witchland books. In my opinion, I don’t think you should read this book before reading the other two books, because there isn’t much world building done in this book compared to Truthwitch, so you might get confused while reading this book.

Susan has a way with words that is hard to explain. As soon as I start reading I am immediately hooked in. Her writing is able to show me the scenes, as well as the emotions the characters are having during them. Throughout this whole book, the story is told through journal entries with some illustrations.

The characters were interesting and written well. Ryber was a character that I found myself loving and caring about as the book continued on. The side characters are interesting and lend themselves to the story. It was nice to see how this might connect to Truthwitch and Windwitch. Also, I love that Susan continues to show positive female friendships in her books.

If you have read both Truthwitch and Windwitch, then you should give this book a read. It will help with the wait for Bloodwitch.

Have fun reading!

Book Reviews

Ever The Brave-Book Review(No Spoilers)

Author: Erin Summerill

Series: A Clash of Kingdoms #2

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Summary from Book one: “Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.” -from Goodreads

Review: I’m on the fence with this book. I liked some things about it, but there were some things that I didn’t like at all.

Britta was amazing in this book. You can tell that she changed from the first book to this book. She had a good grip on who she was and wanted to be better. Cohen was the same in a way. Maybe a bit better. There were some things that I didn’t agree with that he did. The new characters that were introduced in the books were interesting and written well that I enjoyed reading about them.

In this book, Erin Summerill writes in three perspectives (Britta, Cohen, and another character) all in the first person. At first, I was afraid that all three would sound the same, but actually, they didn’t. They sounded different from each other and I was never confused as to which perspective I was reading from. Also, her writing was so much better in this book than in the first book.

I do want to slightly mention the romance. The way the romance was done in this book annoyed me. Mostly because there is the use of a trope that is usually used as a way to create drama within a relationship that was already established. The reason I was not happy with it was that there feel like a reason for it other than for drama.

Not to give too much away about the ending. I found it to be more of the author telling than showing. Also that it could have been longer instead of the length it was.

Do I think that this is a grounded sequel worth reading? Yes. I think if you loved the first book or felt iffy about the first book, then give this book a try. I do think it is done slightly better than the first maybe even more, but I just had some problems with it. I will definitely be reading the next book when it comes out later this year.

Have fun reading, everyone!

Writing

Writing Tip #3-Learning From The Books You Have Read

As a writer I’m sure you read books in the genre that you love/are writing or in a genre you are trying to read more or even a genre you don’t like and are wanting to try it out again.

No matter which one, you are still learning from those books you are reading.

It might be writing techniques or how to be able to world build or how to be able to make a characters voice strong. Those book are teaching you things you can put into your writing to not only make it better, but stronger.

For me, I find that I learn so much more from the books that I didn’t like or hated. I learn what made they strong, but as well as what I didn’t like about them so I try to do it better or I can notice what they might have done wrong and try to correct it if I write a story that might be similar in a way. I do learn from books that I love, but not as much. I do learn quite a bit about world building when reading books that I enjoyed, including characters.

There’s a reason why so many authors say to read and read and read, because you learn from those books you have read. You get to see what stories you like and what genre you enjoy.

As some who has gone to college for creative writing, even though I did learn some such while getting my degree, I found that I could have easily taught myself writing and grow as writer if I just read more of what I wanted to read and kept on writing my stories instead of being afraid with what my classmates would say. I’m not saying getting a degree in creative writing is useless, because it’s not. But realize you don’t need to have a degree in creative writing or go to school to become a better writer.

I believe there three things you need in order to be a great writer.

  1. Yourself
  2. Read books
  3. Keep writing

There might be more, but those are the only three I can list off the top of my head.

So, keep on reading.

Now, if someone asks you why you are reading a lot, answer one, because I love to read and two, because I’m learning about how to be a better writer.