Friday, December 6, 2019

Book Review | The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Eye of the World is the first book in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, and Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

I spent the last month reading this huge novel of epic fantasy. Even though the Wheel of Time series has been on my wishlist for the last almost 20 years, I don't know much about Robert Jordan or the background of this series. I plan to read the series of articles (I've read the first few) and listen to the White Tower Pod podcast to gain more insight, but I decided to wait until after writing up my review.

My initial impression with The Eye of the World was it was extremely derivative of The Lord of the Rings. The first or second Tor article said Jordan did this on purpose to evoke the feeling of The Lord of the Rings. For me, it was beyond evoking a feeling. It was pretty much a rip off a LOTR, but I tried not to worry about it too much. The Wheel of Time series is HUGE. It can only be carried by LOTR so far. The amount of material taken from LOTR, however, did distract me heavily. I didn't start connecting with The Eye of the World until I was at least halfway through the book. (And it's 700 pages.)

I'm looking forward to becoming fully invested in the story. There were some great moments in The Eye of the World, but I don't think I'm there yet. I've already ordered book two, though, and I plan to continue with that one this month. I have a lot of hope for the series, and I'm happy to not only finally be reading it but happy to be reading it before the TV series is released, too. It was time!

I'm not recommending the series to anyone yet, but I'm anxious to see where the series goes. I'm also anxious to find out more about Robert Jordan and why he relied so heavily on existing fantasy tropes. If you have any spoiler free resources for The Wheel of Time series, please feel free to share!


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Sunday, December 1, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | December 1

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. December! Is anyone else panicking about the books you didn't get a chance to read this year? I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's best of lists this month! I'm going to get crushed by my TBR pile.

Posted Last Week

I posted my ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review of the Silo Series by Hugh Howey.

I shared a few books that recently made it onto my wishlist.

I shared my ⭐⭐★★★ thoughts on Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand.

Finished Reading

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - So good! How does he do it?!

Currently Reading

I dove straight into Starsight when it arrived, but things were really crazy for my family throughout Thanksgiving and my concentration for reading did not exist. My goal is to finish The Eye of the World this weekend. Then I'll pick Starsight back up!

Recent Acquisitions

2nd and Charles had a Buy 5 Books, Get 5 Free sale for Black Friday. I found six books for me and four for my son. These are my six picks.

The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks
Greenglass House (Greenglass House #1) by Kate Milford
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn
The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn
Stepping on the Cracks (Gordy Smith #1) by Mary Downing Hahn

Current Distractions

I loved Frozen II, I did not love Knives Out, and Klaus was cute.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or watching) this week or leave me some links!

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Book Review | Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Sawkill Girls is a YA horror novel by Claire Legrand.

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.

Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.

This is going to be a hard review to write, but I'm determined to review all of the books I finish reading. Sawkill Girls just didn't work for me. It has gotten a lot of love so there is definitely an audience, but I'm not in that population.

There was a lot going on with Sawkill Girls. Instead of being a blend of genres, it felt like it meandered from one to the next. It was a very long read for me, but a lot of reviewers I trust dug it so it might still be a good fit for you. The writing within the story was great. I would be willing to read another horror novel from Legrand. I just didn't mesh well with this one.


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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

On My Wishlist {24}

On My Wishlist is where I share a few books that have recently made it onto my wishlist. These are the books that have recently caught my eye:

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Tor Books

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he's given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

This queer fantasy romance needs to be on my shelf next year.

Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel #1) by Josiah Bancroft
Published January 16th 2018 by Orbit

The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he'll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

I keep thinking I need to read this series. Have you read it?

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
Expected publication: May 19th 2020 by Gallery / Saga Press

Peter Straub’s Ghost Story meets Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies in this American Indian horror story of revenge on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends.

I already have my preorder in for this one. I cannot wait!!

Are you planning to read any of these new or upcoming releases? What books have recently made it onto your wishlist?

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Monday, November 25, 2019

Series Review | The Silo Series by Hugh Howey

The Silo series is a dystopian/science fiction series by Hugh Howey.

Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1) by Hugh Howey

Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1) by Hugh Howey

For suspense-filled, post-apocalyptic thrillers, Wool is more than a self-published ebook phenomenon―it’s the new standard in classic science fiction.

In a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.
Back in 2014, I read Wool and loved it. You can read my review here! I tried to read Shift (book 2) not too long after, and it just didn't hook me. After Tracy fell in love with Wool last year, I was anxious to try again. Tracy and I buddy read the last two books in the trilogy, and I'm so glad we did!

Shift (Silo #2) by Hugh Howey

Shift (Silo #2) by Hugh Howey

In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform that would one day allow robots smaller than human cells to make medical diagnoses, conduct repairs, and even self-propagate. In the same year, the CBS network re-aired a program about the effects of propranolol on sufferers of extreme trauma. A simple pill, it had been discovered, could wipe out the memory of any traumatic event. At almost the same moment in humanity’s broad history, mankind had discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall. And the ability to forget it ever happened.
Shift is quite a different read from Wool. Where Wool feels very much like a dystopian novel, Shift is more of a thriller. The characters are different and the tone is different, but it's very good.

Shift does eventually converge with the characters and happenings of Wool, but it requires a little patience and faith going into it. Shift is where we learn how everyone ended up living in the silos and who's really "in charge". I was excited to read more, and I knew I wouldn't wait so long to read the final installment in the trilogy.

Dust (Silo #3) by Hugh Howey

Dust (Silo #3) by Hugh Howey

In a time when secrets and lies were the foundations of life, someone has discovered the truth. And they are going to tell.

Jules knows what her predecessors created. She knows they are the reason life has to be lived in this way.

And she won't stand for it.

But Jules no longer has supporters. And there is far more to fear than the toxic world beyond her walls.

A poison is growing from within Silo 18.

One that cannot be stopped.

Unless Silo 1 step in.
The folks who told me I should try again to read Shift because it was worth it to finish out the rest of the series were right! Dust brings us back around to the characters and happenings that were taking place in Wool while still maintaining the thrills and characters from Shift. There is a lot happening! And there were a lot of revelations I was not expecting. I very much enjoy the way Hugh Howey writes. The only reason I'm giving Dust 4 stars instead of 5 stars is because you absolutely have to read Wool and Shift to understand what you are reading in Dust. The overall series as a whole, though, gets 5 stars from me.

Silo Series: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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