Review: The Way of Kings

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

Greetings Fellow Booknerds,

Every time I finish a Sanderson novel, I think to myself; “There’s no way that he’ll be able to write anything that can top this.” And every time, without fail he makes me eat my own words.

The scope of his imagination is simply astounding, as if it’s an actual living thing that grows with every story, feeding off of his creative energy until the words take on their own life. He takes you on an epic journey, one that literally knocks the wind out of you, because every time you think you’ve got things figured out, Sanderson punches you in the gut with the truth, leaving you breathless and stupefied.

 

**WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS**

 

51hpm256bgl__sx258_bo1204203200_Book Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

5-stars

The Way of Kings is just one might gut punch after another, and most of them you won’t see coming. This first installment of the Stormlight Archive is an introduction to another corner of Sanderson’s Cosmere, and when I heard that there could end up being at least ten more books in the series, I knew that I was in for a heart pounding, adrenaline pumping thrill ride. You see, when you read a Sanderson novel, there are no dull moments. There are only very brief quiets before the storm, which happen on almost every page.

Like most of his books, The Way of Kings follows the stories of several different characters, whose lives eventually become intertwined in a way you don’t see coming until it happens. A large portion of the story follows Kalladin, a former soldier turned slave who is sold off to work as a bridge man for the Alethi army, who are currently fighting a war against the Parshendi over a highly valued resource; gem hearts.

Another part of the story follows the journey of Shallan, an aspiring scholar with a secret agenda as she seeks to become a ward to Yasna, a genius in her field who is very selective when it comes to whom she is willing to teach. She’s possibly one of my favourite characters, because she starts off as a nervous, sheltered girl who has strayed far from home and into a world she doesn’t know how to navigate, and grows into a bold, witty badass.

And then you have Dalinar, high prince of Alethkar, also known as the Blackthorn on the battlefield. He does his best to aid and serve the new King of Alethkar following the assassination of his brother, Gavellar, an event which fueled the hate and need for revenge against the Parshendi.

There is just so much going on at all times in this book, that it’s next to impossible to go into much more detail without giving anything more away. So, I’ll finish by saying that this book was one of the longest books I’d ever read, and it was well worth every minute I put into finishing it. If you’ve read a Sanderson book before, then you already know more or less what to expect. If you haven’t, then be warned; once you’ve entered the Cosmere, there is no backing out.

Also, I would like to wish all of you who are participating in Nanowrimo this year the best of luck, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Review: The Alloy of Law

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

I fell madly in love with Sanderson’s writing the moment I picked up a copy of Mistborn. I have explored so many words and universes created by authors long before Sanderson began to make a name for himself, and yet very few of them can compare to this intricately thought out and cleverly connected set of stories.

The Mistborn trilogy sets the stage for Sanderson’s Cosmere series, which continues to grow every year with each new book he publishes… which he somehow manages to do mind bogglingly quickly! The Cosmere is a universe in which there are many worlds, each of which has its own unique characters and events, but all of which share a deep rooted connection that may not be obvious right away, but no doubt exists.

 

 

MistbornTheAlloyOfLawBook Review: The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

5-stars

The Alloy of Law is a continuation of the Mistborn series, taking place on the same world, only about 300 years in the future. Things look very different now, as technological advancements begin to take root in society, turning torches into electric lamps and horse drawn carriages into early automobiles. Mistborn’s have been reduced to a legend, beings that no longer exist, and whose very existence at all is in question by some. Allomancy, however, is still very much prevalent.

Waxillium and Wayne take the lead in this story, using their own methods to create justice in the world that aren’t always received with positive views from the local law enforcement. Both scarred by tragedy that brought them together and our of the ruthless and lawless Roughs, they are as different as could possibly be, and their crazy antics will leave you in stitches more often than not.

It has the feel of an old western, sprinkled with magic, and with a dash of conspiracy added to keep things interesting. The chemistry between the two main characters is not unlike that of Sherlock and Dr. Watson, where not matter how annoyed they get with one another, they’ve always got each others’ back. I should also mention that there are some pretty epic gun fights, which you know will be good when alomancy is involved too.

I would strongly recommend reading the original Mistborn Trilogy first, if you haven’t already, as it goes into all of the different metals and what abilities they provide the user. It also helps you to appreciate the present state of the world more when you can see what it was like in the past.

I highly recommend Alloy of Law as the next book you pick up before school starts, so you have something to take your mind off all of those textbook readings and assignments. I’m currently reading my way through the sequel to this book, but it could take me a while as I have a lot of creative projects on the go. So until then, feel free to leave book recommendations, or even just some of your thoughts in the comments below or on my blogs facebook page, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

 

Book Review: World War Z

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

I’m what you would call a more ‘traditional’ reader, in that I prefer the feeling of a genuine book in my hands as opposed to a hand held reading device. That’s just how I was raised, and it’s not easy to undo over 20 years of doing something a certain way.

I had convinced myself that I would never EVER enjoy a book that I couldn’t flip open on my lap, ruffling through its pages simply to enjoy that musty smell wafting up as a result of sitting on a bookshelf for many many years… well, that’s what I thought, anyways.

Facing a six hour drive, and in need of something to listen to that wouldn’t lull me to sleep within minutes, I decided to give an audiobook a try. Admittedly, I wasn’t initially convinced that an audiobook would be able to keep my attention long enough to fully appreciate the story. Boy, was I wrong.

The moment it started playing, the world around me disappeared. It was just as engaging, if not more so, than a physical book. After six hours, we managed to get halfway through it, and I could hardly wait until our next road trip so I could hear how it ends! I may be set in my ways, but sometimes, it can be more rewarding than you thought to give something new a try.

World_War_Z_book_coverReview: World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War by Max Brooks

5-stars

First off, I just want you all to keep in mind that this book is NOTHING like that movie they supposedly based off of it. The book follows Brooks, an agent of the United Nations Postwar Commission, as he goes around interviewing individuals who either played crucial roles during the war, or were among those who survived it against all odds. Through the interviews, we gradually uncover how it all started, where the first to be infected were discovered, and how they were able to contain the threat and return things to more or less the way they were before the crisis.

The book goes into so much detail, that there were times while I was listening where I had to remind myself that we hadn’t actually lived through a global zombie epidemic. It can really put you on edge at times, making it seem like you’re the one waking up to find a reanimated corpse trying to break down your door in the middle of the night.

I must confess that I haven’t actually watched the movie adaptation, but based on what I’ve heard and read about it, there is little to no resemblance to the book. Supposedly, even the author Max Brooks wasn’t happy with this Hollywood rendition of his work, and I can see why. The movie is all flash, and absolutely no substance. The book delves into all aspects of the war, not just the blood, gore and violence. Brooks digs deep into the politics, the attitudes of both the masses and the individuals, the degradation of order and structure, the emotional and psychological state of those who struggled to lead amidst the chaos, and so much more.

It’s basically what I wish my grade school history textbooks would’ve read like. There was tons of information and facts, but they were presented in such a seamless and emotionally provocative manner that you felt like you were living through that moment in time. He has brought the horror fiction genre to a whole new level, which is why it’s such a shame that such a movie exists which makes it seem like this book is just another Walking Dead rip off.

The audiobook version I listened to featured a number of different celebrities, each one taking on the persona of the various individuals being interviewed throughout the story. It certainly does add something to a book when you can hear the characters speaking to you aloud, especially when it’s the voice of Alan Alda, Nathan Fillion, Mark Hammill and Simon Pegg, just to name a few. I’m sure there are many different versions out there, but I would highly recommend this one, which is also narrated by Wil Wheaton… okay, he was my least favourite part of Star Trek: Next Generation, but he’s gotten much better at his acting since then, and he really nails it in his reading of World War Z.

I would highly recommend picking up a copy and reading it as soon as possible, especially if all you’ve seen is the sorry excuse for a book-to-movie adaptation. World War Z is definitely worth your time, and I would love to hear your thoughts on it once you’re finished in the comments below. So go out and find this hidden gem, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd 

 

Book Review: Neverwhere

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

I am beyond excited to share with you guys my thoughts and feelings on Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. From the moment I started reading it, I knew it was going to be an amazing literary journey, and not just because it’s Neil Gaiman… although honestly, that’s reason enough. I have yet to be disappointed by any of his books.

That being said, I attempted several times to explain what this book was about to my boyfriend, because I knew he would probably love it as much as I did, but realized that there is just not enough word combinations to accurately describe this epic tale. There’s a little review blurb on the back of the book that described it as a ‘dark version of Alice in wonderland’, which I agree with one hundred percent. The man character is dragged into a world they can’t explain, one that defies all logic and sanity, and which is full of bizarre and colourful characters, both friend and foe.

If I’ve gleaned anything from Gaiman’s creative process, it’s that he loves to throw his protagonists into situations that are completely absurd and without any kind of rules or common sense, and it makes for the most engaging, on-the-edge-of-your-seat story every time, without fail. All of his characters have a life of their own, even if they only appear for a brief moment. I honestly believe that if you were to remove any character from this book, regardless of their significance, then the story would have an entirely different feel.

never    Review: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

5-stars

“Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city.”

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of other realities existing within or parallel to our own, which is probably why I loved this book so much. It opens up the doors to so many possibilities that would otherwise be impossible I our reality, even if some of those possibilities are potentially lethal, which Richard Mayhew is unlucky enough to encounter many of.

I adore the chemistry between Richard and his fellow protagonist, Door, who remains somewhat of an enigma right to the very end. Their relationship is unique in the sense that she is the reason his life gets turned upside down, and yet time and time again, she leaves him to fend for himself. She doesn’t hold his hand and lead him through this foreign world, and she doesn’t beat around the bush when he confronts her about his desire to return to his own reality. And yet, at the same time, she is neither heartless nor unsympathetic to his plight, which makes her even more fascinating as a character.

Without giving too much away, I would have to say that my favourite character in this book is the Marquis de Carabas. He’s one of those characters who, from beginning to end, you’re not entirely sure whether his motives are good or bad, and yet regardless of whichever it may be, you still like him. It’s because he’s so witty, wise and unpredictable, and even though he often acts like he doesn’t care, his actions tend to contradict that.

Even the protagonist is on the rather unique side. I mean, despite having his reality turned inside out, he’s still willing to go along with it all whilst keeping his sanity intact. He wants nothing more than to go back to his normal life, and yet he tries so hard to make himself useful to his group of travelling companions while in the Neverwhere. It’s an endearing trait, as opposed to the protagonist who does nothing except complain about the predicament they’re in and absolutely refuses to accept their situation.

So, if you like quirky characters, strange worlds, delightfully witty bad guys and life or death situations, then like me, you’ll find yourself irresistibly attracted to this book. If you’ve already read it, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, or on my blogs facebook page, and if you haven’t read it, then what are you waiting for! Go grab yourself a copy, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd  

 

 

 

 

 

The Creative Potential of the Chaotic Mind

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

Since it’s been a little while since my last post, I just wanted to let you all know that I’m still here, and that I’m currently reading what is easily among my top ten favourite books of all time. I’m hoping to have finished within the next week, but there has been a lot of things going on in my life as of late that have been interfering with my reading schedule, one of which I will be addressing today.

Like most people in this modern age, I spend a lot more time on the internet trolling social media sites than I probably should be. Facebook is the worst for that, especially when sometimes that’s the only place you can get in touch with friends you never get to see.

There’s something I’ve come to notice after all of those hours clocked online, and it’s that so many people are so careless with their use of the English language. I know that meanings of certain words have changed a lot with the growing influence of popular culture, but there are just certain terms that shouldn’t be thrown about without a bit of consideration for what that term might mean for someone else. There are two words in particular that spring to mind: anxiety and depression.

Far too often, I see someone claiming to feel depressed because they didn’t have the bag they wanted at the store, or that they’re going to have a panic attack because their favourite celebrity broke up with their husband. People don’t realize how much of an impact we have on the meaning of a word based on how we use it, and how something that should be taken quite seriously, is instead turned into something of a joke.

I feel like there are still far too many misconceptions surrounding the idea of mental illness and what it actually is, and the only way to quash some of those preconceived notions is to keep shedding light on the issue until it is no longer the elephant in the room, and we can talk about it as freely as we talk about celebrity gossip or the latest grumpy cat meme.

First of all, mental illness is a lot more common than you might think. There is a very good chance that within your group of friends, at least one or two of them suffer from some sort of mental illness, and you might never be made the wiser because it’s not something that they can open up about so easily.

Second of all, mental illness comes in so many different forms and levels of severity, that it’s impossible to generalize the effects it can have on a person to everyone who suffers from it. It’s not like the common cold, where the soar throat, coughing and sneezing are pretty well the standard symptoms for everyone. It’s also not something you can cure with some cold medicine and a cup of tea… although mind you, I do find tea to be very relaxing for the mind. But I digress.

Thirdly, the worst thing you can say to a person who has a mental illness is that they should just get over it, or that it’s all in their head and they should just ignore it and move on. If it were that simple, then having anxiety or depression wouldn’t be such a big deal, but the reality is that it is NOT that simple, even if we want it to be. After all, you’re dealing with something that is inside your mind, a part of you that has sway over everything you do. There are ways to treat it, of course, but treating something and curing it are two very different ball parks.

And fourth… okay honestly, there is no end to this list, so I should probably just try to get to the point. There are so many people in the world, heck, in our own neighbourhood, who are struggling with some form of mental illness on a daily basis, even if we may not notice it. Many of us deal with it internally, because we don’t want to scare people off with all of the chaotic thoughts that plague our minds. It saps so much of our energy just trying to deal with it… which is why it’s not uncommon for them to turn to creative outlets to channel it all and achieve at least some peace of mind.

As a child, I would often spend hours reading books. I loved the feeling of being part of this grand adventure, while remaining in the comfort of my own room. Even back then, my imagination was always running wild, and at some point reading became my gateway to creative writing. As I grew older, I became more and more obsessed with books, until one day, I realized that I was no longer just reading books for enjoyment and inspiration, but as a way to escape from the anxious thoughts that were becoming more pronounced every day.

This actually put me off reading for a time, because the last thing I needed was another means of escape instead of dealing with my issues head on. So that’s what I did… for a time. However, this did not last, as it soon became clear to me that I was looking at it all wrong. I wasn’t reading books to escape reality, at least not entirely. What I was really doing, without realizing it at first, was trying to look at reality through the eyes of other people, in some cases those who see the world much like I do, in the hopes that I could understand myself better and perhaps once again find the inspiration I once discovered as a child so long ago.

The authors of some of my all time favourite books have suffered with mental illness for most of their life, and yet you wouldn’t know it with how famous they have become and how amazing their writing is. John Green, for instance, who has written many a tale of love, loss, and finding oneself, has struggled with anxiety and obsessive compulsion disorder for a long time. I fell in love with the Nerdfighter community him and his brother created before I even knew he was a writer, but even in his videos, I had absolutely no clue. You wouldn’t know it when reading The Fault In Our Stars or Papertowns, but that’s the thing about mental illness; it’s not always smack-you-right-in-the-face obvious.

Whether you’re a world renowned actor, artist, musician or poet, everyone is susceptible to developing a mental illness, and in some cases it’s the reason a person is able to take their social status in the world to such great heights. It’s human nature to want to push beyond our own limits and discover the true potential that lies within each and every one of us. It can be more of a challenge for some than it is for others, but that just makes it all the more rewarding when we’re finally able to overcome our own obstacles.

I’ve struggled with anxiety for a very long time, but something I’ve found interesting is that in spite of that, I’ve managed to find a sense of peace and solace in the one thing I love to do most; write. My anxiety has hindered many things in my life, but the moment I have a pen in my hand or a keyboard at my fingertips, then those irritating thoughts and feelings become nothing more than background noise.

When you lose yourself in something you truly love and feel passionate about, and I mean really throw yourself into it body, mind and soul, it becomes possible to forget that you even have a mental illness. Of course, there will always be days when we doubt ourselves and our abilities, giving into the lies that anxiety spreads throughout our minds, but there will also be good days, and that’s our opportunity to shine the brightest.

BookNerd

 

 

 

Book Review: The Law of Nines

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

There are so many defining elements that one can use to determine whether a book qualifies as being good or bad. Does it have a relatable protagonist? Is the plot of the story unpredictable? Does it abide by rules that make sense? Is it something that no one has ever done before?

Those are all  important elements that can amount to an amazing story, but to me, it doesn’t mean anything if the book doesn’t somehow engage you on an intellectual level. I want a book that makes me think; a book that gets me to question everything I thought I knew about life. I’m basically saying that I want a book that goes out of its way to mess with my mind, forcing me to see the world from perspectives I’d never even considered before.

In The Law of Nines, Terry Goodkind creates a version of our reality in which we truly are not alone, but not in the way you might think. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that the world Goodkind created in the Sword of Truth series and our world have a lot more in common than you may have thought. In this book, we get the chance to see our world from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know how it works, and is fascinated by things as simple as making tea or using a hair dryer.

Now, how much do I like it and would I recommend it? Let’s take a look!

9780515147483_p0_v1_s260x420

Review: The Law of Nines by Terry Goodkind

Three stars

Synopsis:

“Turning twenty-seven may be terrifying for some, but for Alex, a struggling artist living in the Midwest, it is cataclysmic. Something about this birthday, his name, and the beautiful woman whose life he has just saved has suddenly made him – and everyone he loves – a target. A target for extreme and uncompromising violence…”

I knew absolutely nothing about this book going into it, except that it was written by one of my favourite authors. From reading the synopsis, I was able to glean that it was a story of a conspiratorial nature, that focused on a guy named Alex. Then there’s the ‘beautiful woman coming into his life and changing everything’ cliché, a rather overused premise, but one that can still hold some intrigue if done right.

I had no idea, until the main character’s last name was revealed, that this book had any connection whatsoever to the Sword of Truth series. It didn’t give that impression at all, what with the lack of seekers, confessors, magic and Gar’s. Granted, it’s been a while since I read any of the Sword of Truth books, so it’s possible that there’s something in one of the –  I want to say fifteen, although when I started reading them there was only ten, which is how you can tell it’s been a while since I read them – books that hints at some kind of connection between these two different storylines. This made it a little confusing for me once the two storylines collided, but it did succeed in making it refreshing, yet still familiar.

Designing a good female character who is the perfect balance between strength, courage & tenacity, and empathy & femininity is challenging. If they’re too much of either, I find they become immediately unlikeable, like Sansa Stark during the first season of Game of Thrones, and Cersei Lannister during… well, the entire series, really. On the one hand, you had Sansa, who very much behaved like a proper lady, and dreamt of meeting a handsome man who would sweep her off her feet and make her feel like a queen, both figuratively and literally. Now, this isn’t the bad part of her personality. The bad part comes with how incredibly naïve she is about the ways of the world, especially her inability to see that Joffrey is a sadistic creep, and the worst possible choice for a husband. Her life just keeps getting worse and worse, but you can’t help but feel that it’s her fault because of those aspects of her personality.

Cersei’s character is an example of a female character from the other end of the spectrum, one who is very strong, manipulative and understands very well how the world and the minds of men work, which aren’t bad qualities in and of themselves, but she portrays them in a way that basically make her look like a… well, you know. Not a very pleasant person, let’s put it that way.

Both characters have admirable qualities, but they lack balance, resulting in characters that you love to hate. In The Law of Nines, the female protagonist Jax is what I would consider a decent balance between the two extremes. She’s strong, vicious even when she needs to be, extremely loyal, and despite how out of place she feels being in our world, she learns quickly so that she doesn’t get taken advantage of. Jax is certainly one of the main reasons I kept reading this book, but sometimes, one reason is just not enough.

My overall impression is that it’s not a great book, but it’s still worth the read. It’s certainly an interesting side story, and there are several moments where I could feel my heart pounding against my chest when our protagonists found themselves with their backs against the wall and their lives on the line, but it was a bit of a struggle to read it through to the end. The story felt rather repetitive at times, even a little simplistic in its plot, and from start to finish, it kind of felt like I was reading two completely different stories that only sort of meshed together.

There was one part of the book that I really liked though, and I feel like that alone made it worth reading. I actually mentioned it in a previous post, which you can check out here. In short, the protagonists Alex and Jax were having a deep discussion about the similarities between magic and technology, and what our world would be like if we suddenly didn’t have access to any of our modern day technology. I find myself often saying that I’d be able to live without my phone and my computer if I had to, but I never stopped to consider it on a global scale, where the majority of humanity relies upon having access to technology to survive.

I also enjoyed the conspiratorial tone at the beginning of the book, evoking plenty of paranoia and suspense, as neither you nor Alex had any idea what was going on. I even enjoyed how they introduced Jax, this mysterious woman who comes out of nowhere, and initially gives Alex the cold shoulder following his rescue attempt.

So, not a great book, but not altogether terrible. If you want a sneak peak into the Sword of Truth series before reading it, then The Law of Nines might not be a bad place to start. I would classify it as the kind of book you read a few pages of before going to sleep every night. I don’t normally like to give a book a bad review, but I just found it too difficult to lose myself in this one. However, even bad or moderately good books have their merits and deserve to be read. You never know what you might glean from them.

What do you look for in a good female protagonist? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or on my blogs Facebook page, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Dragongirl

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

 

I think what I love most about dragon myths is that regardless of whether these mythical beasts are portrayed as good or evil, they are still amazing to me. After all, what’s not amazing about a giant reptilian creature with wings that can breath fire? It’s something that could never exist in our reality, and yet they might as well be real given how much they appear in our literature, our movies and our imaginations.

I’m not sure where my own fondness for these ancient legends comes from, but it feels like something that has always been there. That’s why when I first got my hands on Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series, I knew I would be hooked for good.

The first book in the original series was published all the way back in 1968, gradually giving birth to dozens of stories which took us to every intricate part of the universe McCaffrey had envisioned. The interesting thing is that I started reading the books after I played a video game that was based on the series. Admittedly, the game was nothing to write home about. It was made for the Dreamcast, and even though it had a lot of potential, the game just wasn’t as great as it could have been. That being said, I really loved it. Not for it’s graphics, or it’s dialogue, or even it’s gameplay. No, I loved it because it painted a beautiful image of the bond between humans and dragons that I’d always wished to see if dragon’s ever did turn out to be real… I guess not all childhood dreams come true, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop dreaming them.

When I discovered that the game was based on a series of books, I immediately purchased the first three and fell in love. My first surprise came when I learned that they aren’t actually classified as fantasy, but science fiction! I understood why as I began reading them. For those of you unfamiliar with the Pern universe, here is my simplified summary of it from one of my previous blog posts:

“Basically, it’s a story set in a future where most forms of advanced technology no longer exist, reminiscent of a more medieval time period where the people are governed by lords, the lands are divided into different Holds and Weyr’s, and of course there are dragonriders – hence the title – which is really all the allure you need to get into it.

Humans have colonized a planet called Pern, located in the Rukbat system, and which is under the constant threat of Thread, which is some kind of space spore given off by the another planet called the Red Star every fifty years or so. The only means they have of defending themselves during the Threadfalls, as they call it, are their dragons, an indigenous species on the planet along with fire lizards and other native and non-native organisms, who are able to produce a phosphine gas from the consumption of firestones, which is not only very flammable, but also very potent against Thread.”

 

Anne McCaffrey created a version of our future where dragons are not only a reality, but they are also the key to our very survival as a species. She had such an incredible vision, and even though she sadly passed away in 2011, I was surprised when I found out that Pern’s legacy had been passed on to her son, who has carried on the series to this day.

Dragongirl is the third book to be published with Todd McCaffrey as the sole author, and even though I didn’t read the sequels, it was written so well that it took me very little time to figure out what was going on, what had taken place prior, and the direction in which Todd is looking to take the stories. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey:

*Note: As is the case with most book reviews, there is the possibility of spoilers. I will try my best to keep it spoiler free though.*

51W+hRyELmL__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Review: Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey

stars-4

If you can’t decide whether you’re in the mood for science fiction, fantasy, or romance, then you definitely want to read this book. With plenty of time travelling, epic battles between Dragon and Thread, complex love triangles and a group of memorable and loveable characters, Dragongirl is a beautiful addition to Anne McCaffrey’s legacy.

Dragongirl continues the story of Fiona, a young Weyrwoman who has travelled back to the present time after helping a group of dragons reach maturity in order to continue the long and arduous battle against the deadly Thread that continues to threaten their survival on Pern. She sought to bring hope to the hopeless, and even though most welcomed her with smiles and open arms, the hearts of some were not so easily won over.

It also didn’t help that many of the dragon’s were succumbing to a mysterious illness for which there didn’t appear to be any cure. Needless to say that things were not looking so good, and after the disaster that befall Telgar Weyr, it seemed that all hope was lost to the citizens of Pern.

A very interesting aspect of this book is the relationship that Todd McCaffrey created between Fiona, a seventeen year old Weyrwoman who is very much driven by her emotions, and Lorana, a much older and wiser former Weyrwoman and the protagonist from Dragonsblood, who suffered a great personal loss, and who has not only the ability to hear other people’s dragons, but somehow Fiona’s thoughts as well. This connection they share is both a blessing and a curse, and it makes for a very unique character dynamic between the two.

This book also explores the effects that travelling Between [aka travelling though both space and time] can have on both dragons and their riders. Time travelling, as a concept, is always a tricky thing to deal with in writing, because there are so many different variables and strains of logic that you have to take into account. For instance, if you travel to a certain point in the future and witness someone’s death, can you do something in the past that will prevent it from happening? It also addresses the issue of what kind of physical affects it can have, and how often you can travel to certain points in time.

Admittedly, it took a bit of getting used to for me. Despite his knowledge of the Pern universe and its history, and his ability to give a crucial role to every character in the story, Todd’s writing style is visibly different than his mother’s, and I feel like he has a bit more to learn about story development and pacing. Overall, though, I was very leased with his work, and I look forward to seeing what other stories he’s able to come up with in the future.

What do you look for in a good science fiction story? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on my blog’s Facebook page, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd