Mini Reviews: Heroic Edition

Welcome to the heroic edition of Mini Reviews!  Today we have three books, as always, that somehow conform to the name of this edition: The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss; Atlantis Rising, by T. A. Barron; and Ender’s Shadow, by Orson Scott Card.  The last one isn’t heroic fantasy like the other two, but it was awesome, so I’m including it.  If you haven’t read any of these books, don’t worry– it’s all spoiler-free, and I have a section on what I’ve learned after each review.  I hope it’s helpful.

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Mini-Reviews: Series Edition

Once again, after reading a host of books that I loved but didn’t have time to review, it’s time to throw them all together into a mini-review post!  Since this one contains books dominated by fantasy, this is the fantasy edition.  All reviews will be spoiler free, followed by three things I learned from that book in particular.  Even if you haven’t read the books, it’s safe to read.  Our three books today will be The Demon King, by Cinda Williams Chima; The Runaway King, by Jennifer A. Nielsen; and Found, by Sarah Prineas.

First, The Demon King.  The review for this book will serve as the review for the Seven Realms series, because I devoured them as if they were one book.  I have to say, I liked this a whole lot more than I expected to.  Sometime last year I read Chima’s Heir Chronicles.  I found those books pretty good, but somehow I didn’t expect these ones to be quite the same.  And really, they weren’t.  The world was amazing.  The characters were lively.  The writing, though it had a few oddities here and there, carried the story smoothly.  I enjoyed the first book so much that the next time I was at the library, I got the next three. Continue reading “Mini-Reviews: Series Edition”

Mini Reviews— Ghost Edition

I’ve read too many books to ever review alone, so I’ve decided to do another edition of Mini Reviews.  I’ll review three books without spoilers, but with stuff I learned from them that you might find helpful.  Since two out of the three books include ghosts, this is our Ghost Edition.  The three books today are Ghost Knight, by Cornelia Funke; W.A.R.P.: The Reluctant Assassin, by Eoin Colfer; and The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman.

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Mini Reviews– Dystopian Edition!

Ta-da!  On this installment of Mini Reviews, two out of three of the books we will cover are dystopian– therefore, we have a dystopian edition!  To recap: these are miniature book reviews, simple as that.  At the end, I’ll try to come up with a few things I learned from the book, which might be helpful.  All reviews will be spoiler free.  The three books are Fragments, by Dan Wells; The Maze Runner, by James Dashner; and The Magic Thief, by Sarah Prineas.  Let the reviews begin! Continue reading “Mini Reviews– Dystopian Edition!”

Terry Pratchett: A Few Reviews

This is a double book review for Guards! Guards! and Good Omens.  The former is by Terry Pratchett alone, while the latter is both Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.  They will be spoiler free and mostly an essay on the reason I don’t enjoy Pratchett that much.

I’ve tried to read four Terry Pratchett books.  I’ve only succeeded with these two.  The first two failures were Going Postal and The Colour of Magic.  Both had potential.  Both were funny.  But neither were well-written or any good.  At last, I struggled through Guards! Guards!  I started on Good Omens, thinking that Neil Gaiman’s influence would keep the book on track.  I definitely enjoyed it more than the former, and I wonder if I should try Gaiman in another book.

My problems with Terry Pratchett books in general can be summed up in the following points: Continue reading “Terry Pratchett: A Few Reviews”

Partials, a Review


This spoiler-free review is in three parts: the overall opinion for those who haven’t read the book, the review for those who have (still spoiler-free), and a what-we-have-learned section at the very end, full of tricks I learned too small for individual posts.  I encourage you to read the whole thing, read the book itself, then read the review again to see if you agree.

Partials, by Dan Wells, was extremely good.  I bought it on a whim last Friday night, and finished it just before midnight on Sunday.  Partials is a post-apocalyptic science fiction (also known as dystopian) in which almost the entire human race has been destroyed by a single virus known as RM.  This came at the end of the war with the Partials, a race of super-soldiers manufactured to win wars who eventually turned on their makers.  The last surviving humans, immune to the RM virus, have barricaded themselves on Long Island, NY, constantly fearing an attack from the Partials or the rebel group known as the Voice.  Unfortunately, because of the RM virus, any newborn babies will die within minutes of birth.  Humans are going extinct. Continue reading “Partials, a Review”

Seraphina, a Review

This spoiler-free review is for Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman.  I first heard of this book from its sparkling starred review by Kirkus (called the best of 2012), as well as its listing among the Top Debuts of 2012 on the Publisher’s Weekly website.  (Note: I glanced at both websites in passing– I’m not so much of a publishing nerd that I follow all the news.  Nevertheless, both are reliable sources for good books.)  In all the reviews I read, Seraphina was described as being an original YA fantasy about dragons– how could I resist?  A few more favorable reviews from trusted sources followed, prompting me to pick up the book as soon as I saw it on the shelves.  Here is the usual summary:

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life. Continue reading “Seraphina, a Review”