Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

The Farseer trilogy has been recommended to me time and time again, so I figured that now was as good a time as any to pick it up. When I pick up a new high fantasy series, I expect it to start slowly. There's generally a lot of worldbuilding, particularly in the first 100 pages. Despite that expectation, I was often annoyed at the pace (or lack thereof) of the book. I enjoyed some of the characters, and what little we learn about the types of magic that exist in this world were interesting to me, but even by the end I found it difficult to fully immerse myself in the story, which is unusual for me. I'm going to give the second one a try soon, hoping that I'll enjoy it more than the first.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Invisible Library, The Masked City, and The Burning Page, by Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible Library.
As a bibliophile, there are very few things more appealing to me than a magic system based on language, and a group of librarian spies. Add to that the diverse and intriguing cast of characters and this book is definitely a win. This book is well-written and engaging, and left me wanting more of this world and the characters. The series is about a group of librarian spies (yeah, librarian spies, how awesome is that) whose goal is to collect rare books or editions of books that are specific to particular dimensions in order to tie the Library to those dimensions. Along the way they encounter Fae, dragons, wizards, and all sorts of other interesting characters. The type of magic we become most familiar with is the Language, (which is similar to me to the concept of being able to manipulate an object or person if you know its true name) which changes based on the grammar and idioms of specific worlds. 


The Masked City
The Masked City was a great continuation of the Invisible Library series. It's just as fast-paced and well put together as the first one, with intriguing new characters and places. I wish we'd gotten to experience more of the actual culture of alternate Venice than we did, but I enjoyed the little glimpses that we got.

The Burning Page
I got an ARC of the Burning Page through Goodreads Giveaways, and was not disappointed. We get more of the actual Library in this book, which I found really interesting, and a bit of background on Irene, plus a few new mysteries, which keep the book from feeling like it wrapped up the series. The Lost Plot is planned for release next  year, and I'm hoping it will be just as good as the first three!  

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Life's a Beach by Claire Cook

I didn't really enjoy this book. The characters were quirky but largely one-dimensional, and there wasn't much of a plot. I didn't particularly like the main character (a forty-year-old woman living above her parents' garage and behaving like a child), and by the end of the book, I still didn't care about her or any of the other characters.


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

I read the Lunar Chronicles last year and really enjoyed them. I like retellings in general, and Marissa Meyers's retellings are really well done. I've been excited about Heartless since it was first announced, but hesitant to actually start it because I knew it couldn't possibly have a happy ending. (I mean, what happy story ends with the words "off with her head".) Once I finally started it, I enjoyed it right away. Reading it gave me intense sugar cravings (I still want a chocolate croissant every time I think about it) and left me sad, but satisfied. The characters were well-written and interesting, and I loved the idea of "dreams" in this version of the world. My one disappointment with this novel is that it's meant to be a standalone, which means we aren't guaranteed any more of Meyer's version of Wonderland.

Fangirl & Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

I read a lot, but rarely review and I decided it's time to change that. Since I'm new to reviewing, I'd appreciate any and all feedback.

Fangirl
Fangirl has been on my TBR list forever, and I finally picked it up a couple of weeks ago. I usually read fantasy, so I was honestly a little surprised by how much I enjoyed it despite how little seemed to be going on. I loved Cather, and Rowell's portrayal of anxiety was incredibly close to my personal experience, which I really appreciated. I also appreciated the depth that went into the supporting characters, I'd love to have more of them.

Carry On
I picked up Carry On immediately after Fangirl, largely because I wasn't ready to leave Cath's world, and reading her fanfiction seemed like the next best thing. I didn't enjoy it at all. When I read Fangirl, I thought that her fanfiction was basically just Drarry fanfiction with the names changed to avoid a lawsuit, and the entire time reading Carry On, the similarities to Harry Potter drove me crazy. The way it was written also made it feel as if it were the third book in a trilogy, rather than a stand alone novel, and I think that's part of why I didn't feel attached to any of the characters. I found the way the spells work really interesting (it reminded me a bit of the Language in Genevieve Cogman's Invisible Library series) but aside from that, I didn't feel that Carry On had much to offer.