Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giveaway: The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson Audio Book

     A big thanks to the generous folks over at Macmillan Audio for supporting this giveaway!!
I really enjoyed The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson, and I'm very pleased to be giving away an audio copy today.
Here's my review.

     So, who's excited?
*Giveaway*(US Only)
One audio copy of The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson from Macmillan Audio

-You must be a follower of this blog to enter
For extra entries:
-Tweet about this giveaway with Macmillan Audio and leave link
-Visit Macmillan Audio and tell me the two books you're most thankful for this year that they have. Is that coherent? :)

The winner we be chosen at 12:00 a.m. on Dec 2, at which point they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Review: The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

        The Alloy of Law takes place in the Mistborn world years after the end of the trilogy. And while it introduces a whole new cast of characters, Sanderson has made it known that this book isn't the start of the Modern Day Mistborn Trilogy he's promised, but rather a side novel, and could feasibly be read without knowledge of the Mistborn Trilogy.
Cover Blurb:
     Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.
     Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.
     One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

        Though not the epic fantasy we've seen from Sanderson before, this book didn't disappoint!
        I loved the snap and crack dialogue between Wax (main character) and Wayne (his sidekick), and even if at some points it was taken to cheesiness, it kept the conversation lively. Wayne was an extremely quirky character. I was in snickers a great deal when reading of him. Wax was the stereotypical Knight-in-Shining-Armor and his inner demons gave depth to his actions. On top of that, Marasi (who often played the Damsel-in-Distress) wasn't a complete airhead.
Characters: 4.5 Stars
        Guns and Fantasy don't usually mix, but in the case of this book they clicked perfectly! It was exhilarating to watch a battle scene unfold in which the protagonist is firing coins using Allomancy powers and dodging bullets as he flies across the room. There was Intrigue in high levels and a crime to be uncovered, giving this read a classic Mystery feel that I rather liked. Alas :), as is so characteristic of Sanderson, the plot was mostly tied up a few pages from the end, but then (in those 
last pages) he knocked me to the floor!  It will not be out for a long, long time, but I will be one of those crazy fanatics camped outside the bookstore for a week in an attempt to get the sequel.
Plot: 5 Stars    
        Brandon Sanderson has built an entire universe for his books, and it was amazing to see how the Alloy of Law fit perfectly into a niche he had created years ago. The development was entirely natural, and I was engrossed in how it related with the Mistborn Trilogy.
Style: 5 Stars

Rating: 4.8 Stars
Source: Amazon
Genre: Fantasy
YA/Adult Fiction

Subnote: See a recent Saturday Snatch for the link to an excerpt. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Review: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The Thief is the Newbery Honor winning first book in a series with four out and a fifth planned.
Cover Blurb:

      The most powerful advisor to the King of Sounis is the magus. He's not a wizard, he's a scholar, an aging solider, not a thief. When he needs something stolen, he pulls a young thief from the King's prison to do the job for him.
      Gen is a thief and proud of it. When his bragging lands him behind bars he has one chance to win his freedom-- journey to a neighboring kingdom with the magus, find a legendary stone called Hamiathes's Gift and steal it.
The magus has plans for his King and his country. Gen has plans of his own.

              This book has definitely just hit my Top Ten Favorites, Ever! Completely MIND BLOWING! Yes, in CAPS.
              Many, many books have well-rounded characters, but there is usually just the tiniest detail that reminds you the characters are just words on a page. I did not get the smallest suggestion of that from this book. To be blunt, they acted like real people in every sense of dialogue and action. Gen, the main character, had so many layers, discovering them kept me excited and on my toes. And the supporting characters were each unique and and had important roles to play.
Characters: 5 Stars
               From the start of the book, the plot was engaging, and the interest was non-stop. Every scene furthered the story instead of filling paper. But the ending, oh the ending! The ending grabbed me by the collar, tied me in a knot, punched me to the floor, then whipped that floor right out from under me. I totally did NOT see that coming! I immediately re-read the book to see if things added up. Turner is a master of foreshadowing. :)
Plot: 5 Stars (a big 5 Stars)
                Megan Turner was able to unfold an entire world and its characters without any of the dreaded info dumping. Everything flowed naturally as if I were there, watching it for myself. And though I could sense a definite style, it didn't interfere with the plot and character developments.
Style: 5 Stars

Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Library
Genre: Fantasy/Adventurish?
YA Fiction

Author Site:
Megan Whalen Turner

Subnote: See last week's Saturday Snatch for an excerpt. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Snatch: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

        The Thief is a Newbery Honor book by award winning author Megan Whalen Turner and the first in a series with four books out and a fifth planned.  
            I'm actually reading this book to review right now, and I'm loving it so much I wanted to share it with all of you, my wonderful blog readers!
           First four chapters-
~*The Thief*~
 Tell me what you think! :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Have Been On My Shelf the Longest But That I've Never Read

     Top Ten Tuesday is a fabulous weekly meme hosted by Broke and Bookish! Every week they post a new topic of Top Tens to answer, and anyone can join.
           This week's  Top Ten is Books That Have Been On My Shelf the Longest But That I've Never Read, and Holy Cow! There are way more than ten of these on my shelf! I must admit that I am a person very strongly drawn by a beautiful cover. After all, who isn't? So many of the books I haven't read are very blandly covered, or they were a library discard and so the cover is no longer legible. Hmm . . . Which ones are my Top Ten?
Top Ten is Books That Have Been On My Shelf the Longest But That I've Never Read
1. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (play)
           I loved the movie for this one! I'm not sure how true to the book it was, but it was fabulous!
2.Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
           I'm sure I'll read it eventually.
3. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
           This one sounds so interesting! But, yet again, I never had time.
4. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
           I really enjoyed the beginning of this book. Umm ...
5. Hard Times by Charles Dickens
           I've had good recommendations for this one. Someday I'll follow through.
6. Emma by Jane Austen
           It been on my TBR list. I keep bumping it down.
7. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
           I tried reading this one. But it was years ago, and, well, I got bored.
8. The Calender Papers by Cynthia Voigt
           It's a Newberry Honor book, and I know they have wide range, but one day I'll get to it. :)
9. The Three Musketeers by Alexadre Dumas
           I started this one too. But life got busy and I sort of forgot about it.
10. Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
          I think I'm cheating a teeny bit on this one. I have distant memories of a read-aloud long, long ago, and I'm almost sure I know the plot. That counts, right?

Okay! That about sums it up. Any recommendations as to which to read first?

Book Review: Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

           Goliath is the third and final book in the steampunk series that started with Leviathan and continued with Behemoth.
Cover Blurb:
      Alek and Deryn are on the last leg of their round-the-world quest to end World War I, reclaim    Alek’s throne as prince of Austria, and finally fall in love. The first two objectives are complicated by the fact that their ship, the Leviathan, continues to detour farther away from the heart of the war (and crown). And the love thing would be a lot easier if Alek knew Deryn was a girl. (She has to pose as a boy in order to serve in the British Air Service.) And if they weren’t technically enemies.
      The tension thickens as the Leviathan steams toward New York City with a homicidal lunatic on board: secrets suddenly unravel, characters reappear, and nothing is at it seems in this thunderous conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s brilliant trilogy.

                 For being fifty-second on hold for this book at the library, the time sure went fast! I'm half convinced that everyone ahead of me gave up and bought the book. However, I persevered, and now I finally have it. :)
    The characters in this book kept true to how they were portrayed in both the first and second books of  trilogy. I could clearly see how Alek had developed in confidence while still clinging to the earnestness that made him so likable, while Deryn remained the cocky one of the pair and overcame every conflict courageously  Borvil, the perspicacious Loris-probably my favorite character- grew more perspicacious and quirky every day! I did feel that some of the minor characters were rather repetitive. But, overall, they blended fairly well.
Characters: 4.7 Stars
     In most series, the last book may be too late to bring in an almost completely new character and story line, but Goliath pulled it off with style. Fitting in with the theme of Leviathan and Behemoth, there was a new exciting goal to accomplish. And, spoilers withheld, I can say that a big secret is revealed to most of the characters, adding several wild ups and downs. I had some issue with the ending, as it felt that the plot line lost sight of the big goal and settled for something less the the story was capable of. But it did leave them in a good place and tied up most of the loose ends.
Characters: 4.3 Stars
      Scott Westerfeld has an enchanting style that brings his worlds to reality. I loved the phrases, such as "barking spiders" that made his characters so endearing. His alternate history was very authentic, and the steampunk spin on World War I created a setting that had me hooked!
Style: 5 Stars

Rating: 4.7
Source: Library
Genre: Steampunkish?
YA Fiction

Subnote:  Goliath is scattered with beautiful, detailed illustrations done by Keith Thompson!
Sub-subnote: See my review of Leviathan  here. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday Snatch: The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

The Alloy of Law is Brandon Sanderson's most recent stand-alone novel set in the future of his Mistborn world.
            In honor of The Alloy of Law's recent release, I thought I'd feature the first six chapters that Tor is offering as today's Saturday Snatch! I did go to the release party, but unfortunately had to leave before I could get a copy. But I'm ordering it from Amazon today  . . . Along with Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. Eeeek!
      Okay, have fun with these and let me know what you think! :)
~*The Alloy of Law*~

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November Giveaway Hop

             Welcome to the November Giveaway Hop hosted by Inspired Kathy at I Am a Reader Not a Writer and Tristi Pinkston. Thanks guys! What a way to celebrate November and gear up for the big season ahead, right?
I'll keep this one fairly simple~
*Giveaway*(US ONLY)
                                           I'll be giving away a $10 email gift-card to Amazon!

-You MUST be a follower to enter this giveaway.
-For an extra entry, tweet a link to this giveaway, and leave link.
-I'll pick a winner randomly on November 12 at 12:00 a.m. the winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.
Ok, go ahead and fill out the form, and thanks for stopping by :)

Have fun with the rest of the hop!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saturday Snatch: Divergent by Veronica Roth

           Divergent is a debut dystopian book from exciting author Veronica Roth.
              I really have to apologise for the late post. Goodness, where did the day go!! But here's the link to a good chunk of the book, thanks to Harper Teen!
             I actually haven't read this excerpt yet, I was planning on reading it tonight. :) Please, Please! Let me know if there is any content I should be aware of. Hope you enjoy! :) 
Tell me what you think in the comments.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Book Review: The Far Side of Evil by Sylvia Engdahl

Cover Blurb:
          Elana, newly graduated from the Federation Anthropological Service Academy, is sent immediately into danger on the planet Toris-a world poised on the brink of nuclear war. She is ordered to merely observe, and must not reveal her alien origin or interfere with the planet's natural course of evolution. But how can she stand by and watch? Her fellow agent, Randil, is not properly trained to work in the field, and his compassion for the Torisians may lead him to intervene. Yet his very actions may bring about the holocaust that he is so desperately trying to prevent. Elana must make a crucial decision: side with a renegade agent, or stop him at any cost. . . .

        "[A] surprising, haunting, poetic book ...full of provocative philosophical and psychological questions as well as tense adventure and romance." -Commonweal
           I couldn't have said it better! Mind-blowing book!
                   Elana is such a gorgeous character for me because I can really look up to her. She was everything and more the hero is meant to be. In a few situations, she would have been completely justified in lashing out at others, but she always went for the greater good, and she didn't come across as snooty at all! Though Elana was much older in this book, I could still see the personality that I so loved in The Enchantress From the Stars. Randil and Kari were very well defined and interesting. It was possible to understand where they were coming from, and how their experiences had shaped them.
Characters: 5 Stars
               Can I just say, it took every last ounce of will in my being not to skip ahead and read the end! Riveting from the very first pages, The Far Side of Evil is pure Sci-Fi while still exploring the contours of an oppressed society. Several unexpected twist and turns. To be cliche, I was on the edge of my seat till the last pages! I do wish the ending had been a little stronger, but it tied things up quite nicely while still leaving the reader room for imagination.
Plot: 5 Stars
               This book posed so many philosophical questions that kept my mind working for some time after I finished. It reads more towards an older audience than The Enchantress From the Stars, but could possibly be classified as YA. The Far Side of Evil is written as a diary, in a style that left the future unknown. I loved it!
Style: 5 Stars

Rating: 5 Stars
Source: From Author For Review
Genre: Sci-Fi
YA/Adult Fiction

Author Site: Sylvia Engdahl Where you can learn a ton about her books!
Twitter: @SylviaEngdahl

Subnote: See my review of The Enchantress From the Stars HERE. :)


       And we have some winners! Chosen by, these are the winners to both the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop and The Death Cure giveaway. So, without further ado, drumroll . . .

baugh20724-The Death Cure
Carol Thompson-$15 Book
  Thanks to all who entered! I had a fabulous time! Check back November 8-11 for the fall giveaway hop! :)