Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Staked: By Kevin Hearne



When a Druid has lived for two thousand years like Atticus, he’s bound to run afoul of a few vampires. Make that legions of them. Even his former friend and legal counsel turned out to be a bloodsucking backstabber. Now the toothy troublemakers—led by power-mad pain-in-the-neck Theophilus—have become a huge problem requiring a solution. It’s time to make a stand.

As always, Atticus wouldn’t mind a little backup. But his allies have problems of their own. Ornery archdruid Owen Kennedy is having a wee bit of troll trouble: Turns out when you stiff a troll, it’s not water under the bridge. Meanwhile, Granuaile is desperate to free herself of the Norse god Loki’s mark and elude his powers of divination—a quest that will bring her face-to-face with several Slavic nightmares.

As Atticus globetrots to stop his nemesis Theophilus, the journey leads to Rome. What better place to end an immortal than the Eternal City? But poetic justice won’t come without a price: In order to defeat Theophilus, Atticus may have to lose an old friend.


What should I say about Staked? How about if you enjoy a sarcastic, action filled book that uses a complex and creative use of different religions and deities as its backdrop to establish ever changing and intricate story lines, then Staked is the book for you.

If not, then I don't really know what to do with you.

But don't stop at Staked being the book for you, the ENTIRE Iron Druid Chronicles is for you! That said, if you haven't read the previous books in the Iron Druid Chronicles then don't start with Staked, not because it's not a great book, but because so much of the story and complexity has been built up, layer over layer, over the previous volumes in the series, that much of the intricacies of the series would be lost on readers who had not read the previous book sin the series. But the good news is if you haven't read the other Iron Druid Chronicles books then you have some fun reading ahead of you!

As for Staked, what makes this book different from the others is the sense of offense that Atticus' new decisions have lead him to. Finally acting instead of reacting, Atticus, Granuaile and Owen face more action than I can remember occurring in a single volume of the Iron Druid Chronicles. Villains in previous books in the series become allies and previous allies become enemies, leaving readers shocked and astounded with the intricate outcomes.

Of course, this increase in action does not detract from any character development or strong writing. If anything, Hearne has improved his writing over the course of the series, exploring different voices and characters in different POV. While I personally like Atticus' POV the best seeing the world through both Owen and Granuaile' POV has helped open up the story to new heights as even Atticus' decisions are questioned, bringing a sense of challenge to the story and world as we know it.

All in all, Staked is another fantastic book in an amazing series. I loved it and personally can't wait until the next book in Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicle.

Finally, make sure you check out where Hearne is stopping in his Staked Tour. I personally am attending the Austin, Texas appearance at Bookpeople, that is occurring on January 27th. If you can make it make sure you can be there as I have heard Heanre puts on quite a show.


Published: January 26, 2016

Publisher: Del Rey

Price: $27.00

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Staked-Druid-Chronicles-Kevin-Hearne/dp/0345548515/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453828818&sr=8-1&keywords=staked

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Bands of Mourning: By Brandon Sanderson



The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metalminds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.


The first thing I have to say is that anyone who has read one of Sanderson's other Mistborn novel will 100% want to read The Bands of Mourning.

The Bands of Mourning may be, in my opinion, the second best Mistborn Novel Sanderson has written, short only to Mistborn itself (please note that I list the first Mistborn novel as one of my favorite books so this is tough competition to compare it to).

What makes The Bands of Mourning so great is the expansion of knowledge it offers both in the Cosmere as well as in Hemalurgy. Hemalurgy is the art that was used to create the Inquisitors in the Mistborn, and Sanderson himself mentions that Hemalurgy will be important to the world of the Cosmere and deals with the Spiritual Realm. As for the Cosmere, readers will be burning with new questions after reading Harmony's conversations with Wayne and following the actions of Suit and the Set, leaving readers just begging for more.

As for the characters if MeLaan was my favorite new character introduced in Shadows of Self, Steris surprised me with how much development and insight Sanderson offered her character in The Bands of Mourning. That's not saying I don't love MeLaan, Wax, Wayne or any other main characters in The Bands of Mourning, in fact, Sanderson once again does a fantastic job developing Wax and Wayne's characters, building them them into more more complex characters. 

All in all, between great character development, hidden gems in the Cosmere and superb action scenes The Bands of Mourning is a fantastic book that will leave readers begging for the next installment. Which is why readers will be positively gleeful in the extra novella that Sanderson posted (mentioned at the end of the book) to help readers cope with the end of such a great book and to help answer more questions raised by The Bands of Mourning.


Publisher: Tor Books

Published: January 26, 2016

Price: $27.99

Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0765378574?keywords=brandon%20sanderson&qid=1453786149&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1