Inferno

March 22nd, 2013

Inferno by Dan Brown

Inferno by Dan BrownIn the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

This book will be available on May 14, 2013.

Pre-order your copy.

March 21st, 2013
Patrick Rothfuss - A Wise Man's FearThe innkeeper gave a humorless chuckle as he leaned against the bar. “so much for my legendary silver tongue.” Bast gave a derogatory snort. “The boy is an idiot, Rashi.” “Am I supposed to feel better because I wasn’t able to persuade an idiot, Bast? “

Speaking from Among the Bones - Alan Bradley

March 19th, 2013

Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan BradleyEleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there’s never such thing as an open-and-shut case.

The lovely Flavia de Luce. I've heard so much about her over the past few years, it was past time to join the masses and read one of the books about Alan Bradley's young, science-loving, mystery-solving darling.

I believe I will fall under immediate scrutiny for starting with this, the fifth, book. I wanted to know if you could join this series at any point. I firmly believe that, in any series, you will gain depth and shading from knowing the full story from the beginning. But there may be a variety of reasons why a reader starts later than book one. I started with book five and I was certainly not lost; this book can stand alone. I could tell, as I read, that there was something bigger than just this one plot line at work, but I was at no disadvantage for not being caught up. It just means I am all the more excited to read the rest of the books.

I must admit that I found the story in Speaking from Among the Bones to be a little light. I felt that the entire thing needed some meat on its 'Bones.' Everything moved quickly as if I were led by the hand through a museum at a brisk jog. There were a few moments I would have liked to savor, but on we went. Yet I was still able to enjoy myself; it was still beautiful art that went by so quickly.

Flavia is a delightful serial protagonist. She is incredibly unique and I am glad that I have started reading these books. Now, if you will excuse me, I have more "Flavia" to read.

Amazon

March 4th, 2013
Brandon Sanderson - The Well of AscensionBreeze shrugged. "Manipulation works so well on a personal level, I don't see why it wouldn't be an equally viable national policy."

Rise of the Evening Star - Brandon Mull

October 16th, 2012

Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon MullAt the end of the school year, Kendra and her brother Seth find themselves racing back to Fablehaven, a refuge for mythical and magical creatures. Grandpa Sorenson, the caretaker, invites three specialists -- a potion master, a magical relics collector, and a mystical creature trapper -- to help protect the property from the Society of the Evening Star, an ancient organization determined to infiltrate the preserve and steal a hidden artifact of great power. Time is running out. The Evening Star is storming the gates. If the artifact falls into the wrong hands, it could mean the downfall of other preserves and possibly the world. Will Kendra learn to use her fairy gifts in time? Will Seth stay out of trouble?

Last year Kendra and Seth learned of magical creatures that inhabit Fablehaven, the sanctuary protected by their grandfather. Now, at the end of the school year, that world of magic has invaded Kendra's class at school. Who can they trust? Who can help them get back to Fablehaven? The Society of the Evening Star brought the fight to Kendra and Seth's hometown and is relentless in its efforts infiltrate the sanctuary.

I had a few gripes with the first book in this series but I have none of those same gripes again. In fact, nothing stands out to me except that this is a fun, light and entertaining book that does justice to the series and makes me want to keep reading. I look forward to book three.

Amazon

October 15th, 2012
Brandon Sanderson - MistbornKelsier leaned forward again. "But you weren't born an aristocrat. You're not noble, Vin. You don't have to play by their rules -- and that makes you even more powerful."

Eldest - Christopher Paolini

September 25th, 2012

Eldest by Christopher PaoliniEragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel rule of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesméra, land of the elves, for further training in magic and swordsmanship, the vital skills of the Dragon Rider. It is the journey of a lifetime, filled with awe-inspiring new places and people, each day a fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and Eragon isn't sure whom he can trust.

Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle back home in Carvahall -- one that puts Eragon in even graver danger.

Will the king's dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life...

The book begins in the aftermath of the great battle. Eragon has proved himself a hero and everyone wants him as an ally. He quickly learns that there is as much strategy in politics as there is in war and he cannot wait to begin his trek to Ellesméra where his training as a Dragon Rider will continue. Back home and a world away, the simple folk of Carvahall must band together to protect their own way of life because Galbatorix's thugs set out to find Eragon's cousin Ronan.

At first, the drama was so forced that Eldest was hard to read. Once Eragon was finally on his way to Ellesméra, the author found his stride and the book regained its balance. From there, this just becomes an engaging and entertaining story. The side story involving Ronan was, at times, a pleasant distraction. I was told that this book was incredibly slow, but I never felt that way. I think this book is very different from Eragon (book 1), so it is hard to say which is better; each has merit. Eldest was a fun read and kept me interested in this series. I look forward to Brisingr (book 3).

Amazon

September 24th, 2012
Brandon Sanderson - The Well of Ascension"You have to feel confident that your actions are the best," Tindwyl explained. "you have to know that no matter how bad things get, they would be worse without you. When disaster occurs, you take responsibility, but you don't wallow or mope. You aren't allowed that luxury; guilt is for lesser men. You simply need to do what is expected."

The Emperor's Soul

September 19th, 2012

The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson

The Emperor's Soul by Brandon SandersonFrom the bestselling author of the Mistborn Trilogy and co-author of the final three books of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series comes the tale of a heretic thief who is the only hope for the survival of an empire.

Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic. Though condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor's scepter, she is given one opportunity to save herself. Despite the fact that her skill as a Forger is considered an abomination by her captors, Shai will attempt to create a new soul for the emperor, who is almost dead from the attack of assassins.

Delving deeply into his life, she discovers Emperor Ashravan's truest nature—and the opportunity to exploit it. Her only possible ally is one who is truly loyal to the emperor, but councilor Gaotona must overcome his prejudices to understand that her forgery is as much artistry as it is deception.

Skillfully deducing the machinations of her captors, Shai needs a perfect plan to escape. The fate of the empire lies in one impossible task. Is it possible to create a forgery of a soul so convincing that it is better than the soul itself?

This book will be available on November 1, 2012.

Pre-order your copy.

September 18th, 2012
Brandon Sanderson - Mistborn

"How can you be so optimistic?" Vin asked. "You and Kelsier both."

"I don't know, Mistress," Sazed said. "Perhaps our lives have been easier than yours. Or, perhaps we are simply more foolish."