Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Because Gold Cat just wouldn't sound as good

I hope everyone had an excellent Independence Day, and the digit count remains at 20. I know we had a blast (hehe, pun) here attempting to make more noise then our neighbors. Living on the top of a mountain has some serious perks. Cleaning up from the celebrations the next day made me a little late for the release of The Copper Promise by Jen Williams. Catch the review below.

The Copper Promise by Jen Williams

I clicked request without really knowing much about the premise of this novel for two reasons. 1.) Angry Robot Books--I have really enjoyed every author I have read from them so far. Their selection for publication is pretty top notch. 2.) The description included mages, monsters, and gods. My kind of fantasy.

Now, when I started to read the novel, I felt an instant disconnection. I'm not really sure why. The story just didn't seem to fit the description for the novel I had requested. Maybe I was in a completely separate mindset from when I hit the request button. This does not make the book terrible; it just meant I had a loss of interest to overcome. And I did--when a giant dragon popped out of the ground. Not what I was expecting from the rather vague depiction of "monsters" in the teaser.

We go adventuring with Wydrin (aka The Copper Cat), Sir Sebastian (the exiled knight), Gallo (the charmer), and Lord Frith (the dead prince who isn't quite dead). A pretty typical gang for an epic fantasy quest. While the crew is pretty textbook, there are some interesting elements to the magic that keep it in the house of epic fantasy without being completely overplayed. There are creatures with an intriguing dynamic (hello brood army, I'm talking to you). And then there were some elements I could have completely done without for purely personal reasons. 

The novel has a clear conclusion to the misadventures of the epic questor, but the story has clearly been left open for some sequels. The plot has movement and multiple points of climax which sort of turned anti-climatic for me. You really can't go wrong if you are looking for some swashbuckling, magic-ridden fun. Overall, 3 stars for the initial effort; let's see what book two brings to the table.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Like sands through an hourglass...

It is July. The heat is rising. The fireflies are out in droves to the accompaniment of a cricket orchestra every night. Corn on the cob. Grills. The summer season has really begun. Click on the Book Giveaway tab to grab yourself what I would consider to be the perfect summer read-- Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina. The tenth novel in the series is due this fall so get started now.

White Sand by Brandon Sanderson

It is no secret that I am a massive Sanderson fan. A friend of mine recommended the "Mistborn" trilogy back in high school, and I have been reading ever since. When I first began the books, it was not apparent that all the different series and stand-alones he was producing would be connected. A decade later and readers have been informed by Sanderson that there is a bigger picture--Cosmere. It is all connected. The lands and magics. They all come from something larger than any individual series. That scope--that is amazing.

He has written middle grade fiction, young adult fiction, fantasy, epic fantasy, and he even completed the "Wheel of Time" series. Now, he is trying his hands at graphic novels. It seems impossible that any reader could not be a fan of Sanderson. He has a format for anyone. White Sand enters the graphic novel scene with a new set of characters plus some others previously introduced--but don't worry, you won't need to know any of it as all of his stories can stand alone despite their unity. 

I'll be honest; it is not my favorite of his endeavors. Sanderson builds a mighty picture. He is a man of words. Graphic novels just do not have the space for the kind of set up I expect out of Sanderson. BUT; I was very aware of this when I requested to read the Advanced Copy. 

The overall read was not disappointing. 5 stars for the layout, graphic style, color palette, and all that artsy stuff. The introduction of the characters and conspiracy were just a little crunched for me. For what is there, it is Sanderson level 100% and certainly worthy of 3 stars. Sanderson magic systems just hook you in with their depth and viability--sand mastery included. Total package is 3.5 stars and certainly on my recommended reading list. An absolute must for Brandon Sanderson fans.