Review: Name of the Wind

Hi all.

This is my attempt to get caught up on reviews.  I read this gem in February, jotted down lots of notes for a post, then didn’t write it.  So here I go, I guess?

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.  Where do I even begin?

I was intimidated to pick this book up, honestly.  I’d heard great things about it, but the sheer size of this work coupled with hearing about the beautiful writing (I’m more of a plot kind of girl; elaborate language slows me down – as it should, I guess) had me hesitating to give it a shot.  But I finally decided to.

And of course, I’m so glad I did.

The Name of the Wind swept me up quickly and didn’t put me down until it was over.  I 2495567was instantly invested in Kvothe and his story – so curious about his tragedies, his loves, and his learning.

As I’d been told, the writing and the language was absolutely beautiful.  Thankfully, though, it wasn’t over the top, it wasn’t frivolous, and it didn’t slow the story down.

However, getting what I expected stopped there.  I was thinking this would be more of an epic fantasy where the story starts with some backstory and then the adventure begins.  In a way it does, I guess, but in most ways, it really doesn’t.  Patrick Rothfuss makes it so much more than that, telling the story of Kvothe’s life (or part of it… book two will give me more, and when the long-awaited book three comes out… YES).

The characters were deep and funny – somehow I was rooting both for and against some of them.  Rothfuss’ foreshadowing was downright mean at times (in a good way), making me want to verbally cry out a warning like when you’re watching a horror movie, and they decide to invest that sound.  The lore of this world drew me absolutely, and really, I HAVE to know what book two holds.  There are so many mysteries to be solved.

This was such a good read for me.  I know I’m a little late to the party, but The Name of the Wind really was fabulous.

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Review: Lona Chang

Dear blog friends: hello!

Today, I get the privilege of participating in another blog tour, and this is one that I’ve been looking forward to for SO LONG.  I’ve passed up some recent blog tour opportunities because I’m in the process of buying my first house (truth be told – we’re closing TODAY… WAT), as well as working vigorously on some short stories and a novel, but as soon as I heard Lona Chang was coming out, I told myself that I would jump on that blog train ASAP.

So I did.

So here we are.

If you’ve met me in real life or been to my apartment (house! today!), I’ve probably brought up Awesome Jones to you.  I happily stumbled upon Awesome Jones after stumbling upon AshleyRose Sullivan’s My Year of Star Trek blog (and reading years’ worth of posts in three days… oops).  Oh, what luck.  Just call me Lona, I guess ❤

ANYWAY.  Gosh.

(Also SPOILERS for Awesome Jones – if I mention characters are in Lona Chang, they obviously didn’t die in book 1… you’ve been warned.)

 

Long Chang: A Superhero Detective Story is the sequel to Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale.  Sequels get a bad rep, but y’all – this one delivered.LonaChangCover_1200x800

So many of the same great characters are back – Awesome, Neima, Julia, Andy, Roy, and of course, Lona.  Oh, and Tulie!  Yessss for great dogs who make it to book 2!  These characters are dynamic and fun and real.  They feel things deeply, and they all bring something special to the story, as do the new characters that we meet this time around.

We get face time with many more superheroes/super-humans, which is sweet, and we get more back story about the world and Arc City and the Guild.  And I absolutely eat up origin stories.

All of this is packaged beautifully in a mystery – one that teases you and keeps you guessing.  I couldn’t put this book down.  And of course, AshleyRose Sullivan’s graphics were sprinkled throughout the book.  Her art is clean and whimsical and unique.

Also: AshleyRose Sullivan has such a knack for physical details – in her art and her writing both.  She has a way of making scenes come alive by perfectly describing the shrug of a shoulder, or Tulie’s nose touching Lona’s hand, or the coffee dripping slowly down a mug.  It’s atmospheric in a light, never heavy, sort of way.  Much like Ann Leckie does in her Ancillary trilogy.

So if you like superheroes, mysteries, graphic novels, or underdogs, or if you’re looking for a fun book that has you rooting for the characters SO HARD, check out Lona Chang (or Awesome Jones first if you haven’t yet!  Do it!).

Check out more info on AshleyRose and the blog tour below!

 

NewAuthorPhoto_LatestAbout the author: Originally from Appalachia, AshleyRose Sullivan lives, writes, and paints in Los Angeles with her husband and their many imaginary friends. Her work has been published in places like The Rumpus, Barrelhouse, and Word Riot and her novels, Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale and Silver Tongue are available from Seventh Star Press. She can be found at ashleyrosesullivan.com.

 

Tour Schedule and Activities

3/7   Book in the Bag  – Interview

3/9   Jordan Hirsch – Review

3/10  Sheila’s Guests and Reviews – Guest Post

3/11  MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape – Interview

3/12  Book in the Bag – Review

3/12  Jorie Loves A Story – Review

3/13  deal sharing aunt – Review

Review: The Stone Sky

Well, y’all, this is my final Summer Read – a few months late, but I didn’t start till the end of July.  So there.

It seems completely fitting that I started Summer Reading 2017 with book 1 of the Broken Earth trilogy and ended with book 3.  Oh my, has this series changed me.

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(As per most of my series reviews, I’ll keep this short and vague, so as to be as spoiler-free as possible.  If you’d all just got read The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate like you should, I wouldn’t have to do this..)

The Stone Sky doesn’t answer every question that The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate raised.  Oh, sure, it answers some of them.  But in N.K Jemisin’s mastery, she left us wondering about so many things (in the best way).

The Stone Sky doesn’t bring redemption to every travesty in the pages of the previous two books.  How could it?

The Stone Sky does give absolutely captivating background on certain characters and events – particularly one character with whom I’ve become a bit obsessed.  I love them even more now.  It deepens the world and the plot, complicating some things and making others so much clearer.

The Stone Sky made me ugly cry.  I know, I know – many books have done so.  But there were so many moments of absolute heartbreak.  Bof.

The Stone Sky continues pushing the envelope and asking hard questions just like its two predecessors.  Goodness.  I wasn’t sure how Jemisin could keep going and keep pushing and keep challenging.  But she did.

Friends, The Stone Sky by N.K Jemisin is phenomenal.  Seriously, I can’t find another word for it.  This is a beautiful conclusion to a mind-blowing and heart-wrenching series.  So good and so worth the hours you;ll spend not sleeping because you can’t put it down.  For real.

Go find a copy of The Fifth Season and get started.

Review: Who Fears Death

Hi, blog friends.

I just wrapped up book five of Summer Reading 2017, and let me tell you: it was a doozy.  I’d heard absolutely great things about Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor, and it definitely lived up to the hype.  I’m always skeptical of hype, but GOODNESS, this didn’t disappoint.

Who Fears Death is a fantasy story of racism and sexism, war and abuse, love and magic,81h8QE+MbAL growing up too quickly and too slowly.  And much more.  All of this takes place in a dystopian future Africa, with vivid landscape descriptions that place you right in the middle of the pages.  It was captivating and beautiful.

The main character, Onye, is so deep and lively and complex.  She’s strong and fragile, independent and needy.  She is severely flawed, but only in ways that real humans are.  The same can be said of the rest of the amazing cast of characters: Binta, Luyu, Diti, Sola, Aro, the Ada, Onye’s parents, Mwita.  Oh, Mwita – how I love you.

I quickly became invested in each of these people’s lives, making the book so hard to put down.  Okorafor’s writing is AMAZING – so lyrical and raw, making the pages fly by.  There are some graphic scenes; the author doesn’t stray away from or gloss over hard topics.  But the violence is always for a purpose – it’s never gratuitous, which I appreciate.

If you’re looking for really good fantasy, books about race and ethnicity, books that will surprise you and break your heart over and over again – Who Fears Death should go on the top of your list.  It’s that good.

Review: Thunder Horizon

Hey there!

I’m taking another brief pause from Summer Reading 2017, but it’s for good reason, I promise.  Today, I get to partake in the Rayden Valkyrie celebration blog tour!  And there’s so much worth celebrating: two great books and a TV pilot for this amazing series.

ThunderHorizonCover_1200X800 (1)But I’m here to tell you specifically about Thunder Horizon, book two in the Dark Sun Dawn trilogy.  In this sequel, we get to follow Rayden Valkyrie, the sword and axe wielding bad-ass lady-warrior, into more adventure, danger, and battles.  Rayden has to fight both human and non-human, physical and supernatural enemies, and she does it with intense courage and unwavering integrity.

I’m a huge fan of Rayden Valkyrie as a character, and she’s not the only one.  Eigon was great, too, and I was super fascinated by Manak.  I loved scenes that he was in, and he’s one that has stuck with me since finishing the book.  Alcedan was another favorite, though honestly, I feel like each and every character was absolutely bursting with life.

I also loved the theme of reconciliation that ran through Thunder Horizon.  The idea of putting aside differences with your enemies to fight alongside each other for the greater good is so powerful.

And obviously, there were amazing battle scenes – no surprise, there.  The Dark Sun Dawn trilogy is so much more than that, though.  While there are notes of Xena and Beowulf (both of which I LOVE), it’s an incredibly unique series in all the best ways.

My biggest overall thought after reading Thunder Horizon?  Stephen Zimmer loves what he does – and that hands down makes the best books to read.

Friends, check out this trilogy, starting with Heart of a Lion.  You won’t be disappointed!

Oh, and head on over to Youtube to check out the teaser trailer for the TV pilot!

 

Want to know more about Stephen Zimmer?

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Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based out of Lexington Kentucky. His works include the Rayden Valkyrie novels (Sword and Sorcery), the Rising Dawn Saga (Cross Genre), the Fires in Eden Series (Epic Fantasy), the Hellscapes short story collections (Horror), the Chronicles of Ave short story collections (Fantasy), and the Harvey and Solomon Tales (Steampunk).

Stephen’s visual work includes the feature film Shadows Light, shorts films such as The Sirens and Swordbearer, and the forthcoming Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot.

Stephen is a proud Kentucky Colonel who also enjoys the realms of music, martial arts, good bourbons, and spending time with family.

 

Want to check out the other stops on the blog tour?

8/16     The Temple of the Exploding Head – Guest Post

8/16     The Page Turner – Guest Post

8/16     BOOKS TO CURL UP WITH – Author Interview

8/16     Bookishly me  – Author Interview

8/16     DarWrites – Guest Post

8/16     Sheila’s Guests and Reviews  – Guest Post

8/16     Sapphyria’s Books  –  Guest Post

8/16     Deal Sharing Aunt  – Top Ten’s List

8/17     DarWrites  – Review

8/17     Bookin Around Town  – Author Interview/Podcast

8/17     Full Moon Bites  – Character Interview

8/18     BOOKS TO CURL UP WITH   – Review

8/18     The Sinister Scribblings of Sarah E. Glenn – Top Ten’s List

8/18     I Smell Sheep  – Guest Post

8/19     Paranormal Pleasures  – Review

8/19     The Page Turner – Review

8/19     Bella’s Book Reviews – Review

8/19     Jeni’s Bookshelf – Guest Post

8/20     3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Guest Post

8/20     The Seventh Star Blog  – Guest Post

8/20     Stuart Thaman Books  – Guest Post

8/21     MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape – Author Interview

8/21     SpecMusicMuse  – Author Interview

8/22     Beauty in Ruins  – Guest Post

8/22     Discover New Authors  – Author Interview

8/22     Butterfly’s Booknerdia Blog – Review

8/23     The Occult Detective  – Review

8/23     Bookishly me – Review

8/23     Jeni’s Bookshelf – Review

8/23    Jorie Loves a Story  – Interview

8/23     Readers Life With Trisha Ratliff  – Review

 

**This eBook was provided to me in exchange for an honest review; no compensation was provided.

Review: The Obelisk Gate

Hey all!  I’m back from vacation and am getting caught up on reviews 🙂

And my obsession continues!  I finished reading The Obelisk Gate by N.K Jemisin, and I’m really excited to share my thoughts with you.  (Check out my review of The Fifth Season, book one of the Broken Earth Trilogy, if you haven’t already!)

(Also, I’m going to interrupt myself for a second to say that this is the first year that I’ve been able to follow Worldcon in real time (the convention where they announce the Hugo Award winners).  I was rooting SO HARD for The Obelisk Gate to win best novel this past Friday, AND IT DID.  I literally screamed when it happened.  So excited.  N.K Jemisin deserved it again this year.)

Since The Fifth Season leaves off on somewhat of a cliff-hanger, I was thankful that book two picks up right where it left off.  N.K Jemisin plunges you right back in to the compelling world of the Broken Earth trilogy.  She quickly reminds you of everything that was going on at the end of book one without being too heavy-handed with it.  Oh, how I love a good but not-too-detailed recap.

I loved the first book.  Loved it.  But book two?  Somehow even better.  Seriously.  The story really gets going, the stakes are somehow raised, and we see some great character development (not great as in good – some people are still bad; great as in well-done… anyway…).  We also get to see even more crazy awesome things that Jemisin put in Broken Earth.  Two words, specifically: Boil.  Bugs.  SICK (both in the cool way and in the gross way).

As if that weren’t enough, the helpless romantic in me was swooning all over the place in a way that even I didn’t foresee.  I was surprised at who I was rooting for, but let’s just say I’m rooting hard for them.  Super hard.  The romantic elements were subtle and only added to the overall story – just the way I like them.

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So pretty.  This is going to look so great on my shelf.

The Obelisk Gate takes you on a wild ride, and things are going to come to a head in a big way, I think, in book three.  Which – everybody squeal with me now – COMES OUT TODAY.  I pre-ordered The Stone Sky from Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore here in Minneapolis; just waiting on a call from them so I can go pick up my copy 😀

Here are some reviews to look forward to in the coming weeks:

  • Prophetic Lament by Soong-Chan Rah
  • The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
  • Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
  • Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Plus, I’ll be reviewing Thunder Horizon by Stephen Zimmer as a part of his blog tour!

Review: The Fifth Season

Hello, everyone who’s reading this.

I am so incredibly thrilled to finally kick off my Summer Reading 2017 reviews!  I know there’s been a lot of hype around this, and you’ve all had to wait a long time to FINALLY hear about what books by people of color I’ve been reading – sorry to take so long.  I’ve been writing so much lately – creating new stuff, revising old stuff, submitting short stories – and my reading and blogging have suffered a bit.

But never fear, the Summer Reading reviews are finally here.

And dear friends, let me tell you: I have a new obsession.

I kicked off this year’s reading list with some double-dipping – this one is also a Hugo Award winner.  And I could definitely see why from the beginning.

N.K Jemisin’s The Fifth Season is an amazing work of fiction.  The world that Jemisin creates sucks you in right away; it’s so unique and mysterious and compelling.  Seriously, I love the world of The Fifth Season – even now that I’ve finished the book, I still think about it nearly every day.

Jemisin_FifthSeason-TP
Y’all, this cover is gorgeous.  So much so that I went out and bought a copy for myself before I had even finished reading the library’s.

The characters, too – I don’t know if there was a single character that I really liked.  Maybe one.  But oh, were there some characters that I loved to hate.  Jemisin did a great job of giving each character intense flaws, while making you feel sorry for most of them even when they were intentionally making poor choices.  I often found myself frustrated that I was feeling sympathetic toward them – which I loved.  Her characters were deep, complex, and moving.

The Fifth Season is a book that you can easily get caught up in; I definitely did.  There were twists I didn’t see coming, and I could hardly contain myself after reading the last page – left hanging there, needing to know what would happen next.  So I got on my library’s website, put The Obelisk Gate on hold, and will be reading it VERY soon.  Very.

If you’re looking for a dark, magical, fascinating book, get your hands on The Fifth Season – and be prepared to seek out its sequel right away.

Next up on my Summer Reading list:

  • The Untamed State by Roxane Gay
  • The Obelisk Gate by N.K Jemisin (surprise, surprise)
  • The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu