Welcome to the first installment of my 2013 Book Round-Up!
Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
My dear friend, Sabrina, fell in love with Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy years ago and because of her intense love, I decided to check the books out.
After the 693,428 word epic I felt ready for some shorter books. The world of Vin, Elend, and the rest of the Mistborn cast is amazing by all counts–no, it’s not amazing, it’s flawless. The magic is amazing, beautiful. The characters are amazing. Sanderson is a master. The only complaint I have is the word count. I know all of his scenes had value, but at a certain points I just thought, “Alright, let’s get this story moving along.” It’s long. Very long. Very, very, very long. Rewarding. But long.
Also, there were a few maladroit word choices–like the overuse of maladroit for example. First book blues. I’m going to keep reading his work.
Codex Alera by Jim Butcher
I have no clue WHY I tried Codex Alera, but I did. I read the first book, Furies of Calderon and fell in love with the world and the plot (the characters, not so much). Butcher’s idea supposedly came from someone daring/betting/challenging him to combine Pokemon and Roman legions. I love Pokemon, I play Pokemon, the furies in Calderon are not Pokemon. The legions ARE legions.
I feel like Codex Alera was more than a Pokemon/Roman Legion challenge but also a challenge to see how many times Butcher could write “frown.” I swear, I SWEAR if you popped these books into Wordle, FROWN would be so big, it’d take over the world.
Anyway, loved the world of Codex Alera. Butcher created at least three races, the Marat, Canim, Icemen, and Vord were amazingly created races whose beauty I envy.
If Butcher had put more effort into his characters and his writing, this series would’ve been perfect.
Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
I picked up Soulless because I wanted something steampunk to give me an excuse to get back into working on my novel (and by excuse to get back into I mean a distraction). I ended up devouring these books rather quickly, one after another, until I was left, parasol-less and empty inside. Or full.
I have nothing but praise for Carriger’s hilarious and ingenious work with the Parasol Protectorate. Her vampires and werewolves were amazing; I fell in love with all of the men and women in this series and cannot say enough how much I think YOU should read it.
The Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire
I decided to read Wicked because I had seen it around. Sometimes I like to wait until the bandwagon on something has just completely passed by and then I run after it saying, “Wait, this is actually okay!” I read through Wicked and Son of a Witch and got stuck on A Lion Among Men because it was a little slow and boring. But, Wicked is definitely a great novel to check out and I really, strongly recommend it. I love rehashes of old stories, as long as they’re good, and Wicked most definitely is. It’s a long book, so don’t expect to rush through it like you might be able to with the Wizard of Oz.
I’m still hoping to see Wicked live soon.
Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris
Let me be 100% unashamed as to why I read these books and my thoughts on them. I love, love, love Trueblood. I’m a sucker for Eric Northman (please see Trueblood poster below for any of you that aren’t familiar). I’m also in love with, in a friendly way, Lafayette. He’s a great character, he’s amazing. Sookie, Bill, meh. So, I fell in love with Trueblood and decided to check out the inspiration.
I was disappointed. Harris’s novels are lacking in the plot department. The screenwriters REALLY ran with her original idea and made it beautiful, so beautiful I for once applaud Hollywood. Kudos, guys. They created the tension, the passion, the intrigue–basically everything that makes Trueblood great.
I know a ton of people love these novels but I am not impressed.
Ender’s Saga by Orson Scott Card
It took me far too long to actually read Ender’s Game. First, it was published before I was born. Second, I put it off. It wasn’t that I didn’t think it would be good, I just rebel against reading books other people think I should read. I know, I am very strange. I think it’s part of being in graduate school and being FORCED to read certain books. Anyway, it took too long. Don’t let the same thing happen to you!
I loved both Ender’s Game and Speaker of the Dead. So much so that I’m currently reading Xenocide, the third book in the series. Card’s world is great and Ender is an amazing protagonist to travel with. Though Ender’s Game is YA, the rest of the series is not. The stories travel along a different path than that of a YA with a lot more thought. Not saying a young adult wouldn’t enjoy them but they’re not in the genre. They’re on the philosophical side of science fiction and throughout, Card channels Robert Heinlein but that doesn’t make him a copy-cat. His stories hold their own, in my opinion.