Friday, January 28, 2011

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Warbreaker
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Rating: Like (I think)
Alerts/Warnings: Violence, Sexual Innuendos
Premise: "Warbreaker is the story of two sisters who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, the lesser god who doesn't like his job, and the immortal who's still trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago." "Their world is one in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren's capital city and where a power known as BioChromatic magic is based on an essence known as breath that can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people." "By using breath and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be accomplished. It will take considerable quantities of each to resolve all the challenges facing Vivenna and Siri, princesses of Idris; Susebron the God King; Lightsong, reluctant god of bravery; and mysterious Vasher, the Warbreaker"--Book jacket.
Opinions: I am of mixed opinion on this book. So I will list the pros and cons and let you ultimately decide if you would like to read it or not. As in all other Brandon Sanderson books I have read, the world in Warbreaker is incredibly descriptive. The imagery is detailed and the characters wonderfully three dimensional and fascinating. I kept trying to determine which was my favorite, but that kept changing throughout the whole story. I love Lightsong and Siri the most I think, but there were so many vivid and unique characters. The biggest allure of this book for me was the mystery. Attempting to ascertain who is behind the threat of war, who is truly an ally, and what is the true secret behind and underneath the Court of Gods. I love mysteries just as much as I love fantasies and that made this novel doubly intriguing to me. Every time I thought I knew what was going on I had the rug swept out from under me to discover nothing was as I thought. And Brandon Sanderson did a fantastic job of doing that to me repeatedly throughout the story.

Now that the praises of the book have been sung, I need to alert you to the downsides. This book is incredibly bloody. I mean for one there is a sword that mysteriously brings death wherever it is found. There are mercenaries throughout the book who will kill anyone, as long as they are paid. Then there are those who in secret play with people's lives disposing of anyone who gets in their way. In other words.... a lot of people die in this book and usually by someone else's hands. The second aspect of this book that made me uncomfortable is the sexual innuendos. There are a lot. Most of them comes from Blushweaver, one of the Hallandren Gods, who uses her feminine wiles quiet frequently and opening to achieve her manipulations. Then there is the fact (and this is a small spoiler) of Siri being sent to the God King for the sole purpose of producing an air. There are no open sex scenes in this book. However, there is one scene when Siri learns that the God King's priests are listening through the walls to ensure that she is doing her part to make a baby. At this particular time, nothing has happened between Siri and the God King (won't tell you why), but her life feels threatened enough that to appease the listening priests Siri jumps up and down on the bed imitating the sounds of intercourse. Then once she is certain that the priests are satisfied and have left the room next door she curls up on the bed and goes to sleep. Personally, I understand why she did it, but its more than I wanted to know.

So overall, I enjoyed this book because of the mystery and several of the characters, but you will have to personally weigh the pros and cons to determine if you are comfortable reading this book. Then please let me know what you thought of it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Blue Noon (Book 3 - Midnighters Series)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: YA Fiction/ Science Fiction
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: Mild Language and fantastical violence
Premise: "The five midnighters from Bixby discover that the secret hour is starting to invade the daylight world, and if they cannot stop it, the darklings will soon be free to hunt again." (King County Library System)
Opinions: The final book in the midnighter's series is my favorite of the trilogy. In this book the ground work laid in the first two books finally comes to fruition and the issues they deal with no longer just affect each other, but could affect the world. I love getting to see the midnighters tenuous relationship put to the test and their sense of what they know to be true questioned. I love seeing Jessica's sister Beth take more of an active roll trying to figure out what is truly going on. I must say that the ending surprised me and the first time that I read it several years ago I was upset by it. Now that I've had the chance to read it again, I see that it fits very well (Though it still seems an unusual end, I liked it this time.) Overall I felt that this book helped the midnighters take on more responsibility and make tough decisions that lead them into early adulthood. On a side note - Dess is now tied with Jonathan for my favorite character of the series. Once again I must say (in case you didn't see it before) if you like Twilight, then please give this series a try. Granted personally I'm still not an overall fan of Rex.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Touching Darkness by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Touching Darkness (Book 2 - Midnighters Series)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Teen Fiction
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: Some language, some violence relating to battling evil
Premise: "As they continue to battle evil creatures living in an hour hidden at midnight, Jessica and her new friends learn about Bixby, Oklahoma's shadowy past and uncover a deadly conspiracy that reaches beyond the secret hour." (King County Library System)
Opinions: This book picks up a few days/weeks after the conclusion of book one. I liked getting to know the characters at a more complex level in this book, though Rex and Melissa tend to annoy me (however, I think that was the author's intent). I still worry about kids getting the wrong idea about sneaking out when they think their parents are asleep. However, I really loved learning more of the history of the Midnighters in Bixby and to find out that now they have to be aware both night and day of what or who may be coming after them. Once again I think that if you enjoyed reading the Twilight series that you would enjoy reading this series as well (even though it isn't about Vampires).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

and Stephanie out ......(for now)

Hello friends!

I realize that I haven't been posting reviews recently. I have a big list to get to and hopefully they will come at some point. The past couple of months have been a bit crazy in my life. My husband and I got new windows, curtains, paint, light fixtures, etc. Construction zone = not good for posting. And then we were getting ready for our adventure of 2011. My husbands boss asked if we would be willing to go to China for 3 months and so in two days we are off for our Shanghai adventure.

I do have some books to read and some reviews to do, but let's be honest. I probably won't be posting anything here until I get back in April. By then I will probably be excited to read something new, different and exciting. So send us some reviews. I'm sure Karen would appreciate it. I know I would. I would love to hear what you are reading and loving so I can get some ideas for when I get back.

I wish you Happy Reading and a wonderful 2011.