Tag Archive | book review

Book Review: Destiny of the Dead

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,

You know a book was written well when you haven’t read the first two books in a series for a very long time, and yet the chain of events that brought the characters to where you are fall into place almost effortlessly in the time it takes you to finish the first chapter. It was back in high school that I first got my hands on a copy of The Fate of the Fallen, the first in Iran Irvine’s The Song of Tears trilogy, and I couldn’t put it down.

The story was oddly reminiscent of the original star wars story; man becomes obsessed with power and is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to get it, he ends up at odds with his son who is torn between wanting to save his father and defeat him, and an epic battle ensues between the rebels and… well, the bad guys basically. There’s even a love interest, and no, she doesn’t turn out to be the guys sister after sharing a kiss.

A fantasy tale of epic proportions with memorable characters, locations and plenty of twists and turns at every corner, it’s definitely a book that will keep you on your toes, and those who love epic battles between humans nightmarish beasts will find this installment of the trilogy especially appealing.

 

*** WARNING: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THE FOLLOWING REVIEW ***

1914401_130527140338_ggugjgjReview: Destiny of the Dead by Ian Irvine

stars-4

This book I a fitting end to the original trilogy which began with Nish, a physically and emotionally wounded man who was on the verge of death; Maelys, the obedient yet constantly looked down upon daughter of clan Nifferlin; and Xervish Flydd, ex-Scrutator and a rather perverted old man. They are the pillar of our merry band of misfits, each with their own agenda, yet with one common goal between them: to bring down the God Emperor.

Destiny of the Dead drops us in the midst of the battle at the Range of Ruin, where Nish and his dwindling army continue to face off against the God Emperors superior forces. There doesn’t seem to be any feasible way that they can win, but they aren’t about to toss in the towel. Nish must find a way to lead his army to victory… or submit to his father [the God Emperor] so that no one else must die.

Compared to the books that came before, this one is certainly faster paced. There are very few moments when our favourite characters aren’t thrown into a life or death situation, and not to name names, but not everyone makes it out unscathed. Floods of tears and rivers of blood are shed, and if facing off against a god-like human isn’t bad enough, the shape-shifting being Stilkeen has emerged from the void to unleash a fresh hell upon Santhenar in its search for chthonic fire and its own personal revenge.

If there is one criticism I could make about this book, it would be that there are certain moments where something shocking or emotionally jarring would occur, but there would be very little reaction to it from the other characters. This is only the case a few times, and I suppose it could be argued that in the midst of battle, there’s just not enough time to grieve or be taken aback, which I can accept. It also bothered me how oblivious Maelys was when it came to Nish’s feelings for her, right up until the very end. I realize she’s supposed to have a very self-doubting and uncertain personality, but he was being pretty obvious. I do like her increased assertiveness in this book, which more than makes up for her inability to notice the obvious.

Overall, it was a brilliant ending, it tied up pretty well all of the loose ends, and what Irvine did at the very end of the book really took me by surprise, which is something I love in a good story. Obvious endings are boring, and I can honestly say that there is very little that’s predictable about this book. I would even go as far as to say that its almost on par with Branden Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy, which is a huge compliment for those of you who are familiar with Sanderson’s work.

My only regret is not reading this book immediately after finishing the previous two, which I would have if it had been available in Chapters at the time I’d gone to purchase it. Still, there mere fact that I was able to come back to the series after so much time had passed and still feel the same love for it is the mark of a truly talented writer who knows how to create an unforgettable story.

What are your greatest character pet peeves from books that you’ve read? I would love to hear about them in the comments below or on my blogs Facebook page, and until next time, happy reading!

 

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

 

 

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Book Review: A Mistborn Novel Book #2 – The Well of Ascension

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

Yet another summer has come and gone, yet as we lament its passing, we can still look back upon those months with fond memories of the books we read, and look forward to the books we still have yet to enjoy in the months to come. For many of us, this will prove to be a challenge, as some of us will be returning to school, others getting back to work, and the sunny beach weather will gradually transform into the chilly snow globe that is Canada’s more natural state. But remember, time as we know it was created long ago from the human need to organize an otherwise chaotic world, so even in the chaos that is our daily lives, we have the power to use that time to our advantage. Now, before I ramble on for too long, let’s get to the review!

The Well of Ascension
A Mistborn Novel #2: The Well of Ascension

By Brandon Sanderson

stars-5

The first book was amazing. I had a hard time putting it down for even a second. I didn’t think it would even be possible for Sanderson to write anything that would top it… and yet, somehow he did it. The Well of Ascension is a brilliant masterpiece, and I’m not just saying that either. I don’t know how he does it, but right up until the very end of the book, I honestly had no idea what was going to happen. I was even sure to read it very closely, to see if I could pick out any of the subtle hints that would give me the answers to some of the major plot points, yet every time I found my mind being blown by something that should have been obvious, yet somehow wasn’t.

 

**Warning: The remainder of this review may contain some spoilers, although I will do my best to be as discreet as possible with regards to any major plot points.**

The second book takes place a year after Vin killed the Lord Ruler, which may have brought freedom for the many skaa who had been oppressed by his rule, but it also through them into chaos. With the Lord Ruler, they at least knew what to expect in life, and what was expected of them. Now, they were without direction, and to make matters worse, certain noblemen have taken it open themselves to try and put themselves in the Lord Rulers place. Elend Venture, however, has a different idea in mind.

Now the new king of Luthadel, he seeks to create a government that will give the people the power to affect their own change. He has big ambitions, and even bigger ideals, but unfortunately, neither the skaa or the noblemen are ready or willing to go along with it. Most of Kelsier’s crew are still warming up to him, not used to taking orders from a nobleman, and Vin is doing her best to act as Elend’s bodyguard, while at the same time trying to deal with a lot of her own problems, most notably of which is the mysterious thumping that fills her head night and day.

Politics, assassins, betrayals, mind games, prophecies, a complicated romance, a plot riddled with unexpected twists and turns, combined with some of your favourite characters from the first books and some new faces you quickly grow to love, and with a dash of Sanderson’s uncontainable wit, and you’ve got a book that someone will have to tear from your hands to get you to stop reading it. It’s really hard to put my feelings for this book into words that would do it justice. You’re just going to have to read it to understand… no pressure or anything 🙂

Now, no book is perfect, and I tried to find something about it that I could pick on… but there was nothing. I mean sure, he killed off some of the characters I really liked, and he threw in all these little hints that I felt I should have noticed after the fact, but those are just some of the things that mark him as a great writer. No one wants to read an obvious story. The obvious has already been done. We want to be thrown for a loop, taken on a completely unique journey where the possibilities truly feel infinite, and that’s exactly what Sanderson delivers.

To learn more about The Mistborn Trilogy, and other Sanderson novels, you can visit his website at www.brandonsanderson.com . If you’ve already read the book, I’d love to hear what you have to say about it. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below or on the blogs facebook page, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Book review: Night Over Water

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

I’m usually rather tentative when it comes to purchasing things online, since it’s not as easy to know exactly what you’re getting when all you have is a picture and a brief description to go off of. Still, when you have an amazon gift card in your grasp and a list of several books you’ve always wanted to read… well, it doesn’t take much more convincing than that. So, I now have three more Neil Gaiman books to add to my collection, which I will hopefully get to reading sooner rather than later.

That’s something to look forward to in the future though. Back to the present time, I am both excited and relieved to say that I have finally finished reading a book I borrowed from a friend of mine well over a year ago… I would also like to apologize to said individual, if you were looking for it at any point forgetting that it has been in my possession. I kept it safe and sound all this time, so there is no need to fret over its wellbeing, and I shall return it to you as soon as humanly possible.

Night Over Water by Ken Follett

 

220px-NightOverWater

Night Over Water is one of those books that ten years ago, I would never have had any interest in reading at all. What kind of book doesn’t have magic, dragons and epic battles? My reading bubble was very small back then, limited to books that at least on some level resembled Harry Potter or The Chronicles of Narnia. It wouldn’t be too far off to say that I was a shallow reader, for which I am rather ashamed, but I am happy to say that I have improved a great deal since then, and this book is proof of that.

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but what I love most about Ken Follett’s writing is that no matter how big or small the character is, every single one of them is integral to the over-arching plot, each thrust into a complex situation that reveals not only the type of person they are, but which also serves as a reflection of the time in which they exist.

Night Over Water takes place during World War II. The Germans are advancing on Britain. Some choose to remain behind and take part in the war efforts. Others, for one reason or another, support Hitler’s fascist ideals and hope to curry favour with him and help to create the world he envisioned. Then there are those who seek to escape the destruction and bloodshed, and those are the ones who have found themselves aboard the Pan American Clipper as it embarks on its journey towards America. You would think being in the sky would be much safer than being on the ground, but it just wouldn’t be a Ken Follett novel if that were the case. Scandals, lust, politics, thievery and sabotage abound as the lives of characters coming from various walks of life intertwine with one another, and not always for the better.

I have to confess that this is one of those books that I couldn’t just sit down and read at any time. For me, I had to be in the right mood and with the right mindset before I could dive in, and that’s because even though it’s a fictitious story, it is based on a very bloody and heart wrenching part of human history. Also, even though I watch a lot of television that’s filled with sex and violence, it has a very different feel to it when you’re reading it in such detail, which is another mark of a Ken Follett novel. When I am in the right mood though, it’s a hard book to put down.

Overall, I enjoyed it. Admittedly, war themed novels are not usually to my liking – I would go into why, but I don’t feel the need to start a debate on ideologies at the present time – but this novel focuses less on the war and more on how the lives of these characters – from the rich to the less well off – are affected by it instead. There are also some interesting perspectives shared on the various political ideologies that were both popular and unpopular at the time, which is something I found to be most intriguing.

That’s one more book I can add to my read shelf. If you have any questions about the book, or if you have read it yourself and would like to share some of your opinions on it, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post, or on my blogs Facebook page. As always, I look forward to hearing from you, and until next time, happy reading!

 

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

Book Review: Good Omens

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

First off, to all my Canadian followers – heck, anyone who’s a fan of sparklers, fireworks and celebrating where you came from – I hope you all had a happy Canada Day. In all honesty, it has been a very long time since I’ve done anything to truly honor the occasion. I usually just spend that evening consoling my dog as the fireworks next door drive him into a barking frenzy. This year, being my first summer spent in Ottawa, I decided to do something special, and ended up joining a friend of mine in taking part in the creation of a Human Flag in downtown Ottawa. I’m always up for trying something new. Granted, it seemed like a rather strange way to spend my time at 9am in the morning, but after seeing the picture they took, it was totally worth it.

Downtown-Rideau-Living-Flag-2015

It’s always amazing to see so many people coming together to volunteer for something like this. Granted, we still could’ve used a few more people to fill in the spaces, but it still turned out pretty incredible.

Ok, down to business. As is almost always the case with me, it takes me time to get through a book. I tell people that I’m a very detailed and thorough reader, and that’s why it takes me a bit longer than most. Yes, that is one reason. I think another reason is because I’ve never been a fan of reaching the ending of things. What I love about books that come in series is knowing that there’s always going to be another one, but even they eventually reach an ending point. I was pretty much curled up in my bed in tears when I read through the last Harry Potter book. Just the other day, I watched my boyfriend play until the end of The Last of Us, and the fact that the game ended on a cliff hanger made me more upset than all of the other stuff that happened throughout the game. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very heart wrenching game that made me tear up more than once, but the only thing that bugs me worse than something coming to and end is when the ending only leaves you with questions! Great game though 🙂

There is a point in all of this, and that point is that as much as I love reading books, I’ve learned to take my time, because I know that no matter how great of an ending it might have, it will still have an ending… That being said, I have finally managed to read one of my greatest literary obstacles: Good Omens. I say it’s a literary obstacle because for years I’ve been meaning to read this book, and I only just got around to it about a month ago. All I can say is that I honestly regret not getting around to it sooner!

Good OmensGood Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

stars-5

Angels, demons, the apocalypse, and the fate of the world resting in the hands of an eleven year old boy, who also happens to be the anti-Christ. This book has been around for over 20 years, and yet there’s still nothing quite like it out there. It’s not your typical ‘good vs. evil’ story. In fact, they make it very clear that it’s not so much a case of angels being inherently good or demons inherently bad, they just both have their jobs to do in order to keep the world running. I know, it seems like I only have positive things to say about the books I read. Well, give me a bad book, and I’m sure I’ll be able to pick some good things out of it to. That’s what I like about books; no matter what the intention of the author is, I can feel free to interpret it any way I so choose. Of course, there are some books that even I cannot salvage any words of praise from… like Twilight. It is possible to write a good romance story about humans, vampires and werewolves, but I have yet to read it.

Ok, back to Good Omens. There is very little to critique about this piece of work. The writing is amazing, the characters are brilliant, and the storyline is the perfect level of comedy and drama without going over the top. Admittedly, there were a few points where I wasn’t a hundred percent sure what was going on, but I think it’s because the book isn’t written from solely one perspective. It’s constantly jumping back and forth from one characters viewpoint to the next, even within the same chapter, which sometimes makes it hard to keep up. The good thing about that is you get to see the events occurring through various eyes, allowing you to connect with all of the characters on some emotional level. I figure if I were to read it again, I would be able to follow it much more smoothly, but that will have to wait until I finish going through the rest of my library.

In conclusion, a great read, and if you love a good satirical and speculative fiction, laced with the combined wit and sense of humour of Gaiman and Pratchett, you should definitely add this book to your collection.

As always, I welcome any thoughts you may have on my review, or perhaps you have an opinion about the book you would like to share. Either way, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, or visit my blogs facebook page and comments to your hearts content. Either way, until next time, happy reading everyone!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Book Review – Star Wars: Dark Force Rising

 

 

 

 

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

I realize it’s been a while since my last post, but that’s what happens when you move to a new place and get your first job out of university. In other words, life got busy. Surprisingly, I’ve had a lot more time to set aside for some of the more simple pleasures, like reading for instance, which has allowed me to reward all of you wonderful followers with the first book review since… well, whenever my last one was.

Oh, and I should also mention, in case you haven’t noticed already, that I am changing the look of my blog. As much as I love the colour red, admittedly it was getting a little hard on the eyes, not to mention a little boring. Unfortunately, this change means that I need to spend a bit of time fixing a few things that the new theme went and altered, so if you’re unable to read some of the posts or if something is acting funny when you’re trying to click on it, then that’s probably why.

So, without further ado, here’s what I thought of Timothy Zahn’s “Star Wars: Dark Force Rising”.

 

Darkforcerising

stars-5
WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS (I always try my best to avoid spoiling a book for others, but I can’t make any guarantees. Hopefully anyone reading this is already aware that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father, and if not… Oops :P)
I previously posted a mid-way review for this book, figuring it might take a while until I actually made it to the end with everything that’s been happening lately, and I felt it was my duty to share at least some of my thoughts with you guys. Since then, my impression of this book has only improved. My favourite parts in this book are definitely the interactions between Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker, mostly because she has her sights set on killing him, and yet it ends up with either him saving her life, or her begrudgingly going to him for help. It’s my new favourite example of a love-hate relationship… that’s not to say that they’re in love with each other, but there’s definitely some kind of connection between them that cannot be ignored.
My next favourite, of course, is the Lando – Han tag team, getting up to all sorts of shenanigans as usual, mostly Han dragging Lando into missions that he doesn’t really want any part of. Probably due to past experiences that didn’t always end so well for him. They definitely had more presence in this book, most likely because the conflict between them and the new imperial fleet had amplified substantially.
That’s another thing I really liked about this book. The first one was more of an overview of what was going on with all the members of the original star wars gang since they blew up the Star Destroyer and the Empire crumbled beneath the feet of those who had chosen the path to the dark side. That’s not to say that nothing happened, but this one was definitely a lot more actioned packed, and you can tell that a whole lot of s*** is gonna be going down in the next one with the lovely little cliff hanger he left at the end.
Then there’s the crazy Jedi master C’baoth, who has clearly spent a little too much time by himself. At first I thought it might just be a character quirk, like when Luke first met Yoda. He was a little weird, speaking mostly in riddles and rummaging through his stuff. It was a delightful quirkiness that made you smile when you saw it. C’baoth is just… nuts! He has been driven mad by his own ideals, which pretty much involves Jedi becoming the rulers of everything and everyone. Now, maybe he turns out to be a good guy in the next one, and that everything until now has been an act, although I find it hard to believe after what happened at the end [don’t worry, I’ll keep the details to myself].
Overall, it was a damn good read. It was one of those books where the more I read, the more I wanted to keep reading, which surprised me because I was originally hesitant to read these books in the first place. Now, I can’t wait to find out what happens next, especially after what they discovered at the end of this one… let’s just say that certain events are seem to be repeating themselves, and it doesn’t look to good for the good guys.

I’m actually gonna take a little break from the series to finish another book I had started reading a while back, but set aside to start reading this series. Good Omens is a novel I’ve wanted to read for a very long time, ever since a friend of mine used to read it to me on the bus on our way to school. I used to be able to read books in any moving vehicle, but after a while I found myself getting a little motion sick, which is why I was very grateful that she was willing to read to me. Also, I didn’t own the book at the time, and she was giving it so much praise that I knew I had to read it myself someday.

In the meantime, feel free to leave your thoughts on this book, or any other book, in the comments, and as always, happy reading!

 

Cheers,

BookNerd