The Rithmatist

rithmatist

Set in a world full of springwork trains and horses, where the North American Continent is instead a giant clustering of islands (although I’m not certain of the state of the other continents of Planet Earth), The Rithmatist is one of three attempts by Brandon Sanderson to venture into the world of Young Adult fantasy/science fiction.

 

While I enjoy Brandon Sanderson’s works, I don’t looove all his YA works.  I really enjoyed the first two books of the Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians series (I have yet to read the rest) and thought it was a rollicking good time.  The Reckoners was a fun take on the Superhero genre, though the final book was a little bit of a let-down to me.  The Rithmatist sounded like a mashup of Steampunk and alchemy (thought I was wrong about the alchemy bit), and I was excited.  While I really enjoyed the book, I am once again reminded of how much Brandon Sanderson loves his exposition. Continue reading “The Rithmatist”

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Memory Wars: Locked Within

locked within

Paul Anthony Shortt’s Locked Within, the first book in his Memory Wars trilogy, is an urban fantasy set in New York City.  While you may start reading it and go, “Oh no, vampires again?” (Like I did), if you keep reading past the character’s first introduction to the magical world teeming beneath New York’s skin then you will find a fascinating world of “reborns” versus immortals, the Conclave versus the Council of Chains.  Vampires do exist in this book, but I got the feeling they were more of henchmen to the big baddies instead of the big baddies themselves.

Locked Within follows Nathan Shepherd, an office clerk who likes to do some unofficial crime investigation on the side. When he receives paperwork he’s supposed to process for requests for more information on mysterious groups of deaths that occur every ten years, the investigative bug bites Nathan, and he goes out to investigate what he can about those past deaths. He finds himself in a deadly situation involving vampires, barely escapes with his life, and discovers a body of a woman who died with a look of pure horror on her face. Continue reading “Memory Wars: Locked Within”

Rereadable: The Book of Three

Book_of_ThreeI remember when I was little watching Disney’s The Black Cauldron.  During it, I fell in love with Gurgi (as a character–don’t judge me) and was terrified of the Horned King’s army.  Imagine my dismay when I finally read The Book of Three, quickly followed by The Black Cauldron and found that 1. Gurgi isn’t a cute little dog creature, and 2. The Horned King isn’t as creepy in the book as in the movie (although movie Horned King didn’t burn people alive in baskets as part of a pre-war macho exercise), and that movie Horned King was more a representation of Arawn.

With Disney picking up the rights to film the entire Chronicles of Prydain, I decided to buy the entire box set and start rereading them (and, honestly, I’m not sure why I never did finish the series.  I think The Castle of Llyr was checked out at my school’s library, and at the time I was too shy to put anything on hold…and then I moved on to the next Harry Potter book).  I must say, I am still in love with these books and am ashamed that I never did finish the series as a child/teen. Continue reading “Rereadable: The Book of Three”

Monster Boy by Ruth Fox

monster boy cover artGood evening, fellow readers!  Tonight, I’ve got a special treat for you.  It’s my first-ever review of a book I received free for the select purpose of writing a review.  You may be used to my old format of rambling my way through my impressions of the book.  This will continue, but I’ll also give a brief biography of the author at the bottom.  I’ll also give links to pages where you can purchase the book.  In that way, it’s slightly like an advertisement, but it’s the least I can do to show my appreciation for the free book.  And, as much as I like reading books, I love sharing the works of up-and-coming authors!  This will be the only time I give this so-called disclaimer.  From now on, I’ll assume you can figure it out for yourself.  Author bio + links to purchase = I got a free copy.  Anyway, on to the book!

Welcome to Silvershine! This city, on a little island in between New Zealand and Australia, is pretty much cut off from the rest of the world.  It has its own television programs, its own car manufacturers, its own smartphone factories.  It also has its own secrets.  You see, a vast wall cuts Silvershine in half.  North Silvershine is an idyllic city with safe neighborhoods where kids often run off to play Monster Tag at night.  South Silvershine, on the other hand, is cloaked in a dense yellow fog that corrodes metal and destroys any technology that’s exposed to it.  Monsters lurk within the fog, peering out through a hole in the wall, and North Silvershine’s residents wonder when the monsters will come through. Continue reading “Monster Boy by Ruth Fox”

Review: Alloy of Law

alloy of law coverI am pretty sure I’ve mentioned Brandon Sanderson in other posts.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that I’ve compared other novels to Brandon’s works, whether or not I was fair in my comparison.  So, if you’ve followed my blog, you would be right in assuming that I am a fan of Brandon Sanderson.  So, when I received Alloy of Law for a Christmas gift a few Christmases ago, you’d assume I would just hop right into the book and devour it.  Well, I’ve been nervous–very nervous–about this book because I knew I would compare it to the original Mistborn trilogy. I knew Mistborn before the title was changed to The Final Empire, first book of the Mistborn series. I was shocked when certain characters died, when other characters betrayed them, and I enjoyed every high-fantasy twist and turn.  So when I heard that the next trilogy (quadrology, soon?) would be a Western-style Mistborn, I was excited, but wary. Continue reading “Review: Alloy of Law”

Beatrysel by Johnny Worthen

beatrysel cover artBeatrysel, by Johnny Worthen, is a very interesting novel.  Set in Portland, Oregon, it centers around dark and occult deaths caused, if not by the self-made Mage Julian Cormac, then by someone close to him.

Julian has just come out of a drug-filled stupor prescribed by his psychiatrist after he exited a mental hospital to find that something is very wrong.  His friends the Crabs, so called because they frequent a quaint bookshop called the Crabtree, are being targeted by a serial killer that kills by luring their victims to their deaths by Magick. Continue reading “Beatrysel by Johnny Worthen”

Ellie Reads–Audiobook Edition

You may be looking at the title of this blog post and going, “Wait, Ellie. Your blog is about books you read, not books you listen to. What nonsense are you trying to pull?” Well, let me tell you something.

Once upon a time, I worked in a laboratory facility cleaning mouse cages. And the only thing that made it bearable was listening to music. Then, one day, my parents bought me the complete collection of the Chronicles of Narnia radio plays, and it was magical. I listened to the series once a year for all the years I worked there as a poor college student. Continue reading “Ellie Reads–Audiobook Edition”