Book Reviews

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Elantris (Elantris, #1)Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When you accept authority, you must be willing to take responsibility for it at all times– even when you don’t particularly feel like it.

This book was a pleasant surprise, to say the least.
I had once started this book a couple of years ago, back when I wasn’t this much Sanderstruck. And ended up DNFing it after a couple of chapters, maybe that just wasn’t the right time to start it. This time though, I was positively dreading picking this one up, but I was in so deep in Cosmere verse that I needed to finish this book to get to the other, more cooler ones. But maybe because I have been reading so much grand-scaled fantasy so often lately, this book’s subtleness really felt refreshing.
True, this book is really weak compared to Sanderson’s other work, but considering that this was a debut, one can see its author writing masterpieces like Stormlight Archive in the future.
I enjoyed the simple characters in this the most. They weren’t much complex, rather close to flat. But their arcs were really memorable. And as has become a Sanderson tradition, the side-characters really sparked in this book as well. What pleasantly surprised me a lot was the OTP. Sanderson has only written one book purposefully romantic in his career, and I hated that aspect of Warbreaker. I would never have imagined that he was capable of doing this in such a subtle manner, I really loved the little focus it had on Raoden and Sarene. And these characters, particularly Sarene, had such a misfit vibe to them that they really belonged to each other. Although I can see where most of the complaints about Sarene’s character are coming from, I for one really enjoyed finally seeing a character who enjoys politics. Fantasies are in their heart political books, and in all of them, we almost always end up with the main character who hates politics and isn’t good at it. So seeing Sarene who was not only good but also enjoyed manipulating things, felt such a refresher to me.
The most memorable transformation has to be of Hrathen. He is a unique character and I really enjoyed seeing him, although he frustrated me more times than he didn’t, and I rarely cheered for him, but his perspective felt the most eye-opener to read from.
Overall, it is not as grand as other Sanderson works, but Elantris is a little book of quite some import not only in Cosmere verse but in a reader’s life as well. So I would highly recommend reading it, but still, hopes should dick low when entering this book.

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Book Reviews

Keeper by Kim Chance

KeeperKeeper by Kim Chance

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

More like 2.5 stars.
The book had started on such a strong note, I really enjoyed the first quarter. The small-town setting was done really well, the characters intro was done in a way that I really appreciated. The way the power was being introduced, I was honestly really impressed.
But first of all, when the action really started kicking in, instead of feeling that the story is diving in the actual plot, we got almost the second quarter of the book filled with the main-character whining over her sudden powers. I really didn’t like so much emphasis at that, although I wanted for it to be relatable. But at one point, her reaction started feeling too much.
I really liked most of the side-characters though. Maggie was my favorite thing in this whole book and will remain my favorite for a long time. I liked Gareth a lot and his girlfriend whose name I suddenly forgot. Both of them were great to read about.
And I was really loving Tyler’s character too. Which is rare for me, I rarely enjoy a romantic interest in a YA novel, I really liked his character. (view spoiler)
The downward slope was so steep, at one point I had started to count pages to wait for the end. The plot and world are so rich, but the more it drew close to the end, the more I realized it is not being used to its full extent.
This is a debut book by a new author, and I can see a lot of talent and potential here. But still, this book read a lot like an early draft that still needs a lot of edits.
But I am certainly going to keep up if more books come in this series since I think the story is going to take off and get interesting in the next installment if there is any. But this particular one left a lot to be desired.

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Book Reviews

Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive # 2) by Brandon Sanderson

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2)Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Expectation. That is the true soul of art. If you can give a man more than he expects, then he will laud you his entire life. If you can create an air of anticipation and feed it properly, you will succeed.
“Conversely, if you gain a reputation for being too good, too skilled… beware. The better art will be in their heads, and if you give them an ounce less than they imagined, suddenly you have failed. Suddenly you are useless.

And how does he manage to always outdo himself? That is the question…
So much perfection is such a huge book. When reading the first book in the series, I was convinced that even Sanderson can’t outdo himself now, but he proved otherwise. The book had the Sanderson waterfall effect, the buildup was slow with an epic and breathtaking climax, but as is always the case with my experience in Cosmere books, I enjoyed the journey way too much to even bother about the destination. Yep, a Cosmere fan pun, I managed to crack it. As in; Journey before destination. Ring a bell? No?
Let’s just move forward with the review then.
This book, as promised, focused on another character’s arc than the first book. This time it was Shallan’s. But that didn’t mean that Kaladin didn’t get his own arc again in this book. And what an arc it was.
The characterization in this book was as top-notch as always. Shallan, Kaladin, Adolin, Dalinar, and even other side characters got attention as much was due to them. Each character had to battle their own demons, find their places in the new truth that had been established for them. I really liked the sprens and their character in this book too. Syl is always a fan-favorite, but I think Pattern deserves more love and attention than he is getting from the whole fandom.
Also, there is this thing I really wanted to mention. The last book, the first one in the series, had started with a lot of characters facing really big obstacles. The biggest one must be their loneliness. But by the end of the first book, that part had gotten some closure. Characters had developed relationships, albeit strange as they were. This book had a lot of darkness and action to its credit, but I realized again and again that the fact that these characters had started interacting made it so ripe for humor, and Sanderson used it to its full advantage. There were a lot of moments where I found myself chuckling thanks to these characters. Already so close to me as good friends.
The finale was epic, but the epilogue settled so much of the world-building, promising so many more things yet to come. It makes me want to dive back into the Cosmere books right away. The proportions in which this world is expanding is jaw-dropping.
Overall, I gave this book a full set of stars and really would recommend any passerby and her dog to read this book.

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Book Reviews

Origin (Professor Langdon #5) by Dan Brown

Origin (Robert Langdon, #5)Origin by Dan Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Honestly, when I was about three quarters way through this book, I suddenly started founding it lackluster. I was even contemplating to give it three stars! For a Dan Brown book. I know, I couldn’t believe myself either. It was because the thing that we had anticipated in the most of the book, and I stayed up until four in the morning to get the big reveal, was obvious.
It wasn’t a ground-breaking new insight in the world that I have come to expect from Brown.
But THAT END THOUGH.
The whole reasoning behind the lackluster third act was to not over-shadow the ending. Which was done so subtly, hints dropping with such delicacy; the foreshadowing was subtle yet done really well. And the ending revelation was the classic Brown morphine we have all have came to love.
Definitely a must read!

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Book Reviews

Enchantment Lake (Northwood Mystery #1) by Margi Preus

Enchantment Lake (Northwoods, #1)Enchantment Lake by Margi Preus

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.75/5 stars.
Copy provided to me by the publisher for review.

Enchantment Lake is the story of a young girl, Francie, in pursuit of the acting career in New York when during an audition she receives a call from one of her Great-Aunts. The mysterious call hints on something relating to a murder, she is terrified and gets off to her hometown. That being a small settlement near a lake. The settlement is so remote that they don’t even have a road yet.
There is a talk about making a road going around the town, but most of the old dwellers are against it as they rightfully believe it will ruin the charm of this town and taint it with the same technological era.
But most of those old people are dying, mysteriously. Francie gets drawn to the whole mystery without even wanting to, mostly because her eccentric great-aunts has started a rumor that she is a big detective in New York. While in reality, she only played the role of a detective in a sitcom. A situation which I found quite amusing.
I was actually quite surprised how subtly the theme started playing out in the second half of the book. The theme of forest destruction prevention. I think it was done really well.
The protagonist herself, and most of the other characters in this book is quite eccentric and fun to read. The smalltown setting was done really well, to an extent that I almost knew most of the town myself and seeing those characters would always bring that sense of familiarity. Managing to do that in so little pages is quite a feat in my opinion.
The one issue I had with this book was the small romance aspect. I didn’t like the character mostly because he was the only normal and sane one among all the weirdness. But also because he was just so perfect and boring. The romance aspect wasn’t much explored though, so maybe in the future installment, that particular subplot will enrich. For now, I am not interested in the two of them.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I found it whimsical and magical, albeit being set in our world and had no speculative aspect in it, the feel was still magical.
So I would definitely recommend this book to read. 🙂

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Book Reviews

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by Victoria Schwab!

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s clear that I am unable to give Schwab any fewer stars. Her fault, she writes such perfection.
Our Dark Duet took off from exactly the point TSS left off. I can’t delve much into the plot without spoiling anything, but basically, in this series, we follow two main characters, August and Kate, who lives in a futuristic dystopian-isque world where acts of violence have started manifesting into actual monsters. We have Malchai, who drink blood, Corsai who stays in shadows and eat flesh and bone. And lastly, the Sunai, who eats soul through music. The concept alone is awesome, right?
I was at first vary to dive back so suddenly, I even played with the idea in my mind to reread the first book. Alas, my schedule was hectic and I had no self-control thus I picked it up. The whole first book was hinted upon in this sequel in a way that didn’t felt on the nose while all the backstory got clear in my head.
This world was dark, to begin with, but in the second part, it got so much more gruesome. The writing style of Schwab was something that I always adored, but it shone especially bright in this book. Every word was chosen to precisely fit in a melody, each paragraph break was a part of a poem. That is also why it took me so long to finish this book because I savored and reread pages that were especially delicious.
Newer and more interesting were introduced, yet the characterization on the previous ones was not compromised.
My favorite part would be the expanding on the world-building. Not only we saw another city at the beginning of the book, which added much more richness to the story. But we also got to see the world through a Malchai’s perspective. Looking at North city and the actual dirty world of monsters through the perspective of their own was such a great addition.
The ending was as dark as it should be, as this story deserved, yet entirely believable and amazing.
Overall, I just adore this whole series and this writer. And highly recommend it.

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Book Reviews

Nyxia (Nyxia Triad #1) by Scott Reintgen!

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First of all, this is my first ever ARC review. This book is not coming out until September, and I’ve already read it. Yay!
Now with celebrations out of the way, let’s talk about the story.
In this story, we follow a slightly futuristic world. And we as humans have finally discovered a faraway planet named “Eden” (this term alone makes me like something, I am biased towards the word Eden). A company named Babel Corp is in the forefront for researching about this planet. Their first couple of expedition, whilst encompassing a lot of life losses, has resulted in a discovery that the people of Eden have stopped reproducing. Women in them are scarce. And by default, they are softer towards kids. Babel Corp comes with a plan to use that to their benefit and hire a bunch of kids from all over the world.
The only merit required is for the kid to be broken and dirt-poor and enough of a need for money. Emmett is one such kid.
He comes from a small community in Detroit. His mother is suffering from a terminal disease and his father is broke inside out. This is Emmett’s only chance. So he leaps at his first chance to hop in the spaceship.
But only later he and the other kids in his group of ten realize that what Babel has in mind is far darker and deadlier than they had realized at first. The first catch to the offer is that only eight out-of-ten kids will be allowed to land on Eden.
A competition is set up for them in the spaceship. A gruesome and deadly competition.
This book questions morality. Things like the big picture questions like right and wrong aren’t so clear when you look it from up close. Albeit after a slow and slightly boring start, this story picks up and once it catches the pace, this is a hard to put down.
I can’t wait to see it as a finished copy and watch it reach new heights. This book deserves it.

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Book Reviews

City of Glass (Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare!

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5/5 star, but I am rounding up in honor to how much this book pleasantly surprised me. First, let me share with you guys a little story, I started reading the first MI book a couple of years ago. Back then, I wasn’t much into YA genre as a whole. I read it and found the concept interesting but not thoroughly executed. Ever since I had been hammered all around about how amazing Shadowhunters world is and how amazing these books are. And I kept wondering had I read the same book as everyone else? It was good, sure, but not that good. I picked the second book, this time knowing the hype. And was sadly disappointed. Afterwards, I heard that the third book is where the series actually takes off, and I started reading it in hopes that it might be the mind-blower everyone said it was. But the first half of reading turned out to be pure torture for me. Especially because of the hype, I really wanted to find the stuff that everyone else loved so much but was failing to do so.
Exactly through the halfway point, I DNF’ed it.
Fast forward some months, and Lord of Shadows came out. Again the social media was in an uproar. I was trying to escape hype this time since I had made up my mind and believed that this series is not right at my alley. Then I heard some of the reviewers I really trust and some of my friends told me that the MI is a weak series overall, but if you believe the concept is powerful, try pushing through the first series and it will get much better. I decided to read it again but didn’t have the energy to reread the first half and started where I had left off.
Somehow, it caught me completely this time. The second half of this book was so good and so well executed, the problem had raised to such an extent and the conclusion was so satisfactory. With so much good action. I had also been slightly spoiled about something but that was the reason I continued on with this series in the first place. (view spoiler)
And the story and characterization and the world just really gripped me and I kept reading until 4 a.m yesterday. So yeah, I would say that this series is actually worth the hype, it just requires way more patience than a series should. But the wait is worth it, I am already excited to jump in the first book of Infernal Devices, its concept and setting look way more exciting to me in the first place.

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Book Reviews

The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1) by Alison Goodman

The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1)The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Politics, it seemed, did not stop to mourn.

4.5/5 star
A really amazing setting, great cast of deep and uncliched characters, and a good mystery. A great book to read all in all. But then, why did I gave it 4.5 stars?
Because the beginning of this book was super-dense. And things kicked of awfully slowly, at least in my opinion. But once the story took on full swing, there was no stopping the action.
In this story, we follow a girl named Helen who lives in a posh society in the era of Regency England. She is a daughter of someone who is considered to be a betrayer of the kingdom, though no one knows the real story behind it, Helen is always haunted by the past of her mother’s bad-reputation. Especially so because of her uncle, also her guardian, always holds her mother in such a bad light and has a biased opinion towards Helen because of that too. Though her aunt is really nice and gracious, with bland priorities expected from a mother-figure. To marry Helen to someone respectable.
Although Helen is different in most ways, and her priorities aren’t much focused on getting married. She believes this is the better course to go, and for the most part, tries to do as is expected from her and is living a restless, yet comfortable life.
Until strange things start happening. And she discovers this under-world where there are creatures lurking as humans and she is one of those few with the power to stop them.
This plot is intriguing, and the setting makes it way more gothic and fun to read.
But what got most stars were the characters. Especially of Lady Helen. I really like how unlike most novels with female leads I normally read, Helen was a girl with priorities to actually stay in the bounds put on her by society and actually do what her family wanted. I really enjoyed how the duty by having powers and the reputation of her family kept fighting inside her. She never was selfish on both ends. She genuinely wanted to help protect the world through her powers, yet she also wanted the happiness and safety of her own family. That really got the most points from me, her internal struggle. The pressure of who you are supposed to be and who you can be was just done the right way if that makes any sense.
Every other character was just as intriguing and memorable too. For the most part of this book, especially the third half, I really enjoyed how delicious the whole mystery aspect was.
There is not a single poor character whom I have not doubted to be against Helen, everyone felt slightly grayish and shady. Something I really appreciate.
Lord Carlston reminded me of Rhett Butler, which was awesome. He just has that cool vibe in him and I loved reading the scenes where he got the forefront attention. He was one of those characters who really didn’t give a damn about how he was considered as in the society and was arrogant yet kind. So awesome.
But other characters were amazing too. Darby, Helen’s maidservant, and confidante. Her brother Andrew, and the Duke of Selburn (I don’t remember his name, Regency books make me dizzy with remembering not only names but titles too). Although I still believe there is something going on with this particular character, so far nothing much is revealed aside from his blind love and undying need to marry Helen, no matter how things go. Which does makes me question him. That’s a huge reason why I can’t wait to pick up the next book real soon.
The only slight complaint I have is the dense beginning, and I am sure it will put off most of the readers when they first start it. Some of my friends have DNF’ed it too, that’s why I know. But trust me guys, once the story picks up, the wait will seem like worth it.
Overall a great book, I highly recommend it.

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Book Reviews

Wires and Nerve! (Wires and Nerve #1)

Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerves, #1)Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book got one additional star just because of the nostalgia alone. Not only that, but also the fact that this volume encompassed a lot of Thorne, my most favorite character in the whole Lunar verse.
So, I can’t tell much about this graphic novel. Since it is sequel series to the Lunar chronicles. And no, you can’t read this without completely spoiling Lunar chronicles (in fact, there are a lot of recaps riddled all over the book which tells the whole story of the Lunar chronicles).
I loved this graphic novel. I don’t read them much. But the format suited it pretty nicely. I liked seeing all of the characters I loved. Most of all, I loved seeing Iko in this new light.
It was a small novel, you can easily finish it in a single sitting. But if you liked and enjoyed the Lunar chronicles, this is a definite worth read.
The first volume mostly focused on kicking things off though. Just when it felt things would start, the book ended. But still, so much fun. Highly recommend it. (But if you prefer reading it when the series end, I think that would be a smarter move since I had no idea how small graphic novels are)

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