07 April, 2008

A Few For the Road

I am leaving for New Orleans so I thought I would post a few more reading suggestions/ratings before I go. I know everyone has been eagerly awaiting this...
Bright of the Sky by Kay Kenyon. For some reason, I really wanted to like this book. That usually means I end up disappointed but not this time. This is the story of a man who has returned from a hidden universe "next to" our own. He believes he has been gone 10 years but it has only been about six months in our universe. He doesn't remember much other than that his wife and daughter are still there. He ends up going back and that is really when the story gains momentum. My only two complaints about the book are enough to keep it from getting a perfect score. First, I think the author could have gone into much more detail. This is a rich, interesting world she has created and I would like to spend more time in it. My second complaint is that the point of view changes mid-paragraph. This is a major pet peeve of mine and I know it doesn't bother everyone. Still... There will be a sequel (or two) and I look forward to them eagerly. Score: 4 out of 5.
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I only picked this book up because Sanderson has been tapped to finish Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Naturally, I wanted to get a feel for the author taking over one of my favorite series ever. And, honestly, at first I was a little worried. But things pick up quickly. It reminded me a lot of The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch although the "long con" being undertaken here has much more vital repercussions than in Lynch's book. My biggest complaint here is the system of "magic" Sanderson has invented. That's not to say it is not well thought out because it certainly is. It's just that, to me, having to swallow a vial with metal shavings in it to access your powers seems kinda lame. Unfortunately, it reminded me of The Runelords by David Farland, a book I abhorred. But overall this really turned out to be an excellent book. I look forward to reading the sequel and, more importantly, the end of the Wheel of Time series. 4 out of 5.
The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. For some reason, this book has seemingly been reviewed by everyone on the Internet that reads fantasy. I'm not sure why but it is what first drew me to the book. And I'm glad it did. At it's heart, this is standard fantasy fare. But it's the unconventional characters that really make this tale stand out. I would say they are reminiscent of the characters in George R.R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series but they aren't quite that dark. But if you've read the Martin series you kind of get an idea of what I mean. The story starts really slow but by the end I really wanted to read the sequel right away (which almost never happens). I give it a 4 out of 5 also.

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