Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Slow Regard of Silent Things - Patrick Rothfuss

The Slow Regard of Silent Things
By: Patrick Rothfuss
Reviewed by Jeff
Published: October 28th 2014
Publisher:  DAW Books
Pages: 159
ISBN: 0756410436
Format: Hardcover

Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place.

Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows...

In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world.


AUTHOR’S FOREWORD

You might not want to buy this book.

I know, that’s not the sort of thing an author is supposed to say. The marketing people aren’t going to like this. My editor is going to have a fit. But I’d rather be honest with you right out of the gate.

First, if you haven’t read my other books, you don’t want to start here.

My first two books are The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear. If you’re curious to try my writing, start there. They’re the best introduction to my world. This book deals with Auri, one of the characters from that series. Without the context of those books, you’re probably going to feel pretty lost.

Second, even if you have read my other books, I think it’s only fair to warn you that this is a bit of a strange story. I don’t go in for spoilers, but suffice to say that this one is ... different. It doesn’t do a lot of the things a classic story is supposed to do. And if you’re looking for a continuation of Kvothe’s storyline, you’re not going to find it here.

On the other hand, if you’d like to learn more about Auri, this story has a lot to offer. If you love words and mysteries and secrets. If you’re curious about the Underthing and alchemy. If you want to know more about the hidden turnings of my world...

Well, then this book might be for you. (Goodreads)
 I want to get something out of the way before starting a small review. So here it goes. I don't understand the negativity surrounding this novella. Especially those saying this book is a "money grab" or some other ridiculous baseless statement about him delaying the third instalment. Listen, with all respect, don't buy it if you think it's just for profit. There is a beautiful thing called choice that we all have, feel free to exercise that glorious human right. Instead of directing all this hate why don't we thank a brilliant author for not only this beautiful novella but also thank him for his amazing works, and allow him whatever time he needs to put out a product that he feels is adequate. He even had the decency at the beginning AND end of this novella to explain that it wasn't for the every day reader, yet haters gonna hate right? I said my piece.

As for this book, I understand both ends of the spectrum in terms of its contents. I understand those who may not fully appreciate or downright hate it, to those who love it. I tend to fall in the category of the latter. This book is Auri. If you have read either of the instalments of kingkiller chronicle then you know what I mean. Auri is an enigma, and so is this book. It was so wonderfully rich with a dark and beautiful "Auri-esque" world. One that lacks of comprehension but screams with skin deep innocence and darkness at its soul. I loved it. To hate this book is to not understand Auri as a character, or maybe I look at her through a different lens then others. Thank you Mr. Rothfuss for giving us the opportunity to glimpse into the madness and brilliance that is your mind. And thank you for allowing us to try to understand Auri.

5/5 Carls

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Words of Radiance - Brandon Sanderson

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2)
By: Brandon Sanderson
Reviewed by Jeff
Published: March 4th 2014
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 1087
ISBN: 0765326361
Format: Hardcover

Brandon Sanderson's The Stormlight Archive sequence began in 2010 with the New York Times bestseller The Way of Kings. Now, the eagerly anticipated Words of Radiance continues the epic story and answers many of your questions.

Six years ago, the Assassin in White, a hireling of the inscrutable Parshendi, assassinated the Alethi king on the very night a treaty between men and Parshendi was being celebrated. So began the Vengeance Pact among the highprinces of Alethkar and the War of Reckoning against the Parshendi.
Now the Assassin is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. His leading role in the war would seem reason enough, but the Assassin's master has much deeper motives.
Expected by his enemies to die the miserable death of a military slave, Kaladin survived to be given command of the royal bodyguards, a controversial first for a low-status "darkeyes." Now he must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin, all while secretly struggling to master remarkable new powers that are somehow linked to his honorspren, Syl.
Brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path. Despite being broken in ways she refuses to acknowledge, she bears a terrible burden: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. The secrets she needs can be found at the Shattered Plains, but just arriving there proves more difficult than she could have imagined.
Meanwhile, at the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable. (Goodreads)
 Probably actually a 5 but I have to take into consideration that it didn't start off too well for me. I WILL say though that kaladin and his story might be top 3 of my favourite story lines. Obviously this book is incredible. The ending and synergy of the characters and plot is just awe inspiring especially at the end of this second instalment. I will admit and accept the potential flak I will receive for saying this, but I don't like Shallan. She got better (obviously) as the story went on but I just can't connect. And considering this book is by and large from her perspective, might be the reasoning behind the 4. She kind of a tiny bit reminds me of Sansa from GoT and I HATE Sansa with such fury. But alas I also must admit that this time in my life has been super busy with multiple things, so my reading dedication has been nil. End of the day another great Sanderson novel, glad to have conquered another behemoth read and looking forward to the next!
5/5 Carls

Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living - Nick Offerman

Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living
By: Nick Offerman
Reviewed by Jamie
Published: October 1st 2013
Publisher: Penguin Audio
ISBN: 1611762189
Format: Audiobook

Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman shares his humorous fulminations on life, manliness, meat, and much more in his first book.

Growing a perfect moustache, grilling red meat, wooing a woman—who better to deliver this tutelage than the always charming, always manly Nick Offerman, best known as Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson?  Combining his trademark comic voice and very real expertise in woodworking—he runs his own woodshop—Paddle Your Own Canoe features tales from Offerman’s childhood in small-town Minooka, Illinois—“I grew up literally in the middle of a cornfield”—to his theater days in Chicago, beginnings as a carpenter/actor and the hilarious and magnificent seduction of his now-wife Megan Mullally.   It also offers hard-bitten battle strategies in the arenas of manliness, love, style, religion, woodworking, and outdoor recreation, among many other savory entrees.

A mix of amusing anecdotes, opinionated lessons and rants, sprinkled with offbeat gaiety, Paddle Your Own Canoe will not only tickle readers pink but may also rouse them to put down their smart phones, study a few sycamore leaves, and maybe even hand craft (and paddle) their own canoes. (Goodreads)
 If you are a fan of Parks and Recreation and Ron Swanson, this is a MUST read! 

I listened to this on audiobook which I think is the best way to go for these types of books! Nick Offerman's outlook on life is so incredibly fantastic, I loved this book! He does jump around quite a bit through different times in his life which got a little bit confusing at times, however he is still an awesome person and a great story teller!


Love this man.
4/5 Albi Cats


Throne of Glass - Sarah J Maas

Throne of Glass (#1)
By: Sarah J Maas
Reviewed by Jamie
Published: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 404
ISBN: 1619630346
Format: Paperback

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien. 

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world. (Goodreads)
 *4.5

I LOVED THIS BOOK!

Oddly enough it wasn't at all what I had excepted, there is a lot more love then I thought there would be, but I didn't mind it at all! This love triangle has me intrigued and I already know who's side I'm on!

I loved Celaena, SO much, she was totally bad ass, yet still feminine and soft and loved to dress up! I loved her playful attitude and the banter between her and Dorian was to die for! The reason I didn't give this book a flu 5 star was because I found the beginning to be quite slow, however, once I got into the book I was blown away! 

I cannot wait to read the second book!

This must be how Celaena felt about everyone around her..
4.5/5 Albi Cats


Isla and the Happily Every After - Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3)
By: Stephanie Perkins
Reviewed by Jamie
Published:  August 14th 2014
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 352
ISBN: 0525425632 
Format: Hardcover

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last? 

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. 

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, √Čtienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series. (Goodreads)
HOW CUTE WAS THIS BOOK???!!!????

This was for sure my favourite of the three books, I loved everything about it, the setting, the characters, the love story, the integration of old characters with new, it was just wonderful! Of the three couples, Isla and Josh were by far my favourite, they were so relatable and their love story felt real and you really felt for them when they had their ups and downs. I really liked how we got to go back to Paris in this book and enjoy its magic one last time! I also really liked Kurt, he was a great sidekick!

I of course recommend this book as well as Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door! If you love love, this is for you!!

Well done Stephanie Perkins
5/5 Albi Cats


The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1)
By: Brandon Sanderson
Reviewed by Jeff
Published: August 31st 2010
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 1007
ISBN: 0765326353
Format: Hardcover

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soiless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths,

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again. (Goodreads)

If there is one thing I have come to appreciate from Brandon Sanderson, it is his ability to give up little bits of info as you go. He continuously keeps you guessing. My sweet Jesus this book is awesome. He has built such an expansive world and the character development is amazing. I mean really did I expect otherwise? This guy is a genius plain and simple.
5/5 Carls

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