Book Reviews

Mini Book Reviews: Skyward, Starsight (Brandon Sanderson) and Recursion (Blake Crouch)

I try to write a little about everything that I watch and read but I’ve fallen really behind with writing about the books I’ve read recently. Now that we’ve entered a new year and I’ve started a Goodreads challenge I want to start fresh, so here’s a few words about 3 books I read towards the end of 2020 that I never got round to reviewing properly.

Skyward, Brandon Sanderson – The first book of the Skyward series. I’ve loved the Sanderson novels I’ve read so far but was a little hesitant going into this series as it’s Sci-Fi and I don’t have a lot of experience with that. It was an incredible read though. I might know next to nothing about space craft and war but Sanderson’s style of writing means none of that matters, it’s so easy to picture what he’s describing. I fell in love with the main character, Spin. She’s so headstrong and doesn’t let anyone get in her way. The real star of the show however is M-Bot, the ship that Spin finds with a highly advanced AI.

Starsight, Brandon Sanderson – I got so absorbed by the first Skyward book that I went straight into the second one the very next night, which in hindsight was a huge mistake because the third book hasn’t even been written yet so I’ll be waiting a while. I wasn’t sure about Starsight at first because it takes place in a completely different location and leaves behind a lot of the original book’s main characters, but the host of new ones were very easy to get interested in and I found Starsight just as impossible to put down as Skyward.

Recursion, Blake Crouch – This book is so hard to talk about. If you’ve ever read any of Crouch’s other books you’ll know why. Recursion is all to do with our memories. Imagine right now that you could travel back to a big memory of yours, perhaps a huge regret, and not only re-live that moment, but continue living in that life? That’s what Recursion is all about. It’s less to do with time travel, and more with parallel universes. It was a fascinating read but so complex that I really struggled at times. I wasn’t blown away by Recursion like I was with DarkĀ  Matter (a stunning read!) but that’s by no means an insult.

Book Reviews

Mistborn: The Final Empire, Brandon Sanderson

After reading a pathetically small number of books in 2018, I decided 2019 would be much better, and although I didn’t set myself an exact number of books to read, I told myself that once I went to bed I wouldn’t play games on my phone, and instead I would do some reading. My one stipulation was that I would first finish reading the book I started last summer, Mistborn: The Final Empire, the first in the Mistborn series written by Brandon Sanderson.

On the positive side, a mere few days of the new year was all I needed to finish the book. The downside is that since reaching the end, I’ve really struggled to do any more reading, but I have a valid reason why, which I’ll get to!

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When I was younger, the Fantasy genre was always my go-to choice for reading. I immersed myself into anything I could get my hands on at the library and when I was older and trying to get back into reading, I fell in love with The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. From reading his blog he always had high praise for Brandon Sanderson, and I’ve seen the Mistborn series mentioned more than once in other blogs I read, so it quickly became my next target.

The Final Empire centers around a young street girl named Vin, who learns after joining a thieving crew that she is in fact Mistborn. In this world, certain individuals have the ability to ‘burn’ metal that they’ve ingested, a magic known as Allomancy. Most Allomancers can only burn one metal for its power, but a very small handful of Allomancers are Mistborn, giving them the power to burn them all.

Vin learns to use her Allomancy through Kelsier, the leader of the thieving crew and a legend amongst the poor (Skaa) as The Survivor of Hathsin. The job that Kelsier has taken on is impossible – he plans to raise an army of Skaa to take down the Lord Ruler and overthrow the entire kingdom.

I fell for the charm of Kelsier and his crew instantly. The main characters are so well written, and the book takes constant twists and turns that had me putting the book down for a few minutes to digest what had just happened. It’s not a short book by any means, but once I reached the halfway point I found it difficult to put it down.

help-meSo, why am I finding myself struggling to read anything else after finishing The Final Empire? Veiled spoilers ahead…

Naturally, after finishing it I wanted to start straight away with book 2, The Well of Ascension. In fact I did start reading it. But my favourite character is dead, and not only did I not see it coming, I just can’t come to terms with it. It’s silly, really. It’s a fictional character. But they were the heart of the book, and I don’t know if the next can be anywhere near as good without them.

If you’ve read the book you’ll certainly know who I’m on about. Help me – should I stick with it? I haven’t been this upset over a character death since Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series!

Book Reviews

Book (so far) Review: Mistborn: The Final Empire, Brandon Sanderson

It feels a bit silly to write about a book I haven’t even finished yet, but I have my reasons. Firstly, it was one of my resolutions to read 6 new books this year, working out at a generous 2 months per book. Well, it’s the last day of February and I haven’t managed it yet. Secondly, it’s been ages since I’ve written about a book here, and I didn’t want to wait any longer!

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My favourite book series’ are The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss and The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks. I’ve re-read both multiple times and so I’ve been on the hunt for something similar to sink my teeth into (and obsess over) for a while now. The name Brandon Sanderson has cropped up many a time and so I decided my first book of the year would be the first of his Mistborn trilogy, The Final Empire.

I don’t know where to start in describing the story so far, because the worldbuilding is just so detailed! The main fantasy element however is called Allomancy, and it’s fascinating. Basically, Allomancers are people with the ability to ‘burn’ a metal within themselves to use it’s power. There are 8 basic metals and 2 higher ones, and each has it’s own special ability. Allomancers can only use 1 type of metal, but there are very few people out there who are Mistborn, meaning they can ‘burn’ all metals.

The way Brandon Sanderson describes the use of these powers is brilliant, I can picture the action so clearly in my head. It’s taken me a while to familiarise myself with the many characters involved, but I’m half way through now and definitely into the pace of it all by now.

What I found weird was when I first started reading the book, I got the craziest feeling of deja vu, to the point I knew how the first chapter was going to end. I can only assume I started reading it years and years ago perhaps from my local library and never carried on further!

Anyway, I’ll be back sometime soon with a proper review once I’m done, but I am loving the book so far! Has anyone else read the Mistborn trilogy? What did you think? I’m hoping it doesn’t take me the entire year to finish, because I have a feeling I’m going to want to start book 2 straight away which is even bigger than the first…