Recent Reads

Dresden Files! Book 9 Review

AHHHHHHAAAAaaaa. I’m so good at this. Sigh, almost 2 months since my last update. Well, you know. Things and busy and yada yada, same old, same old. Good news, though. Second book is moving along better than ever. I think having it out this year is definitely a thing that is happening. Probably, maybe.

Anyways. Small review!

White Night by Jim Butcher  4.5 out of 5 Stars

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This one will be a really small one.

Basically, White Night gives us all the things that make the Dresden Files worth reading. A killer on the loose and it looks like it might be Harry Dresden’s half-brother, Thomas. Tommy, my boy, how could you?!!! Dresden obviously doesn’t really think Thomas is behind it, so we get to ride along as he tries to figure out what the hell is going on.

All along the way is danger, interesting characters, and internal struggles.

It, like always, is a fun ride.

So I definitely enjoy this one, but I’ll admit that this book doesn’t exactly do anything new. It does, however, continue expanding on the things that we love and it’s entertaining. And that is definitely good enough for me.

So if you’re into the last 8 installments, I’m pretty sure you’ll be liking this one.

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GAWDDAMMN…I’m still alive, I promise

Geeeeeeez, this blog has been super dead since about June. That’s my bad. My only defense is that I’ve been incredibly busy with work. Plus I’m writing….. And I’m trying to spread my talents into other areas, too.

So all of that means little time for blogging. As I often like to say, I mean to change this. And I will. Someday. Probably soon. I want to finish my little Harry Dresden Review ‘series.’ Then I’ll probably move on to doing a Wheel of Time mini review thing.

Pretty decent Epic Fantasy series if you’re into that kind of thing. Definitely a unique read, as well as an important one. (For me at least, since I want to be an author of the same strain as the talented Late Robert Jordan and the phenomenal Brandon Sanderson) I’m almost done with it. It’s a monster of a series. So lots of reading, which is good, because I like lots of reading.

Anyways, yeah. I will get better at blogging. I swear it on the old gods and the new. (Hah hah, a Game of Thrones reference! Get it?)

Till next time. Which is bound to be soon. Like in a week. Or two? Maybe sooner.. maybe later…….

DRESDEN FILES! BOOK 5 REVIEW

Review on Death Masks!!!!!!!!!!!

Death Masks by Jim Butcher 4 out of 5 Stars

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So this one almost made the climb to 4.5. Almost. It’s good. One of my favorites really, because it had a lot of story going on.

BUT I won’t be getting into much of that story because… go read it, that’s why.

Harry Dresden! What kind of mess is he getting into this time? Well turns out there’s lots of messy things he’s a part of in this book. Duel with a vampire anyone? Psh, yeah and it’s only because he’s trying end this whole war thing going on. Susan is back. She’s got shit to do and she’s half-vampire and cooler than ever. Oh and holy friggin’ knights anyone? What. What. What. Then Nicodemus! Who is he? What is he? And does he like coffee with his murder?

Yeah, seriously, kind of cool stuff there. It gets a bit crazy and I think that’s why I bring it down to a 4. Still, there is more of that sweet, sweet, world building and character building. Included free of charge. (Not really. I had to buy the book, but it’s worth it. James Marsters is a master of narration, so audio book purchase is a must!)

Oh and Ivy. She’s just a seven year old girl and known as the Archive, a living, breathing bank of all the world’s knowledge. Plus all that power she’s got which is awesome. She might be one of my favorite parts of the whole Dresden Universe. She’s such a cool idea and a great character. Seriously, how can you not like Ivy? The correct is answer is you have to like her. You. Have. To.

Anyways. This is probably the book that really started solidifying the series for me. So if you like that kind of thing, read this one. And enjoy it. I did.

Dresden Files! Book 3 Review

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher 3.5 out of 5 Stars

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Numero tres! All right, so here’s where the series starts to get a little better. Though I still give this a 3.5 Stars, it was almost a true 4 (It reaches toward that 4 Stars when you realize how it fits in the series as whole). There some stronger writing and the plot has more weight to it. And what I really mean by that is that there are some real consequences to take into account at the end of it all.

I’ve mentioned before that these first few books are the stepping stones to something greater. And this is the book that marks the accession to something greater to come in, what I think, is probably the clearest way.

So what do we get in Grave Peril? The story itself. Let’s see, some ghost, nightmares, killer vampires, and somewhat terrifying fairy godmothers. So cool and cool. Shit is going down! There is a lot that goes in this book, but the pacing is well done so it never gets too overwhelming.

Then there is Susan, who really makes an impression in this one. We find out what she’s really like and what she means to Dresden. There is also an introduction to Michael (A Holy Friggin’ Knight) and Thomas (Sex Vampire [incubus] of the White Court), both of whom are well thought out characters. Even Murphy becomes better in this book. But if I’m honest, her being better than she was in the last book doesn’t take much.

However, Dresden does seem to be making a habit of falling and failing and being completely spent until the last moment where he can come back and win the day. Grave Peril sort of suffers from this more than the other books in the series because some of his power  is ‘stolen’ from him. It was sort of an eye rolling moment for me, but maybe that was because I knew there was a book 4-15 following this installment, meaning Mr. Wizard Man Dresden ain’t about to be losing his powers forever. I think this book came out in like 2001, so that is my fault for not having read it 15 years ago.

(Holy crap, I’m old enough to say 15 years ago and it not mean I was some diaper wielding maniac [aka baby/toddler]. Though, in my defense, I probably was still too young to be reading the Dresden Files. Sigh…)

Anyways, yeah. This book is good. I liked it quite a bit. And I was quite looking forward to Summer Knight (Book 4) at the end of this one.

Last Note:

So I’ve read some comments and reviews regarding Butcher’s description of women throughout the series. They’re all sexy women with clothing that hugs their breast and yada yada yada yada. Basically, they’re good looking ladies who amount to sexual objects first and actual characters second. This is a fair assessment of Butcher’s portrayal of women. Practically every woman he ever meets is one suggestive wink away from making Dresden jizz his pants. I get why lady readers could be annoyed by this. And I would be lying if I, a straight male, said it didn’t annoy me sometimes. However, I also think its not entirely that far fetched that someone like Dresden would look at women this way. Yeah, it is sort of dumb, but Harry Dresden is sort of dumb too. I think when it’s looked at through that sort of lens, it is easier to accept. But I get it. Really I do. And I’d like to say it gets better as the series goes on, but it really doesn’t.

But if you can power through those small bits, the rest is still worth the read.

Till next time!

Dresden Files! Book 2 Review

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher 3 out of 5 Stars

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I’ll start off by saying that this book in the Dresden Files is probably one of my least favorites of the whole series. In fact, while writing this I changed my original rating from 3.5 down to 3 Stars. I’m probably still being a little lenient there if I’m honest. This is a shame since I happen to actually like werewolves. (Well the idea of them, anyways.) But, as with this story, most of the time they’re used in books or movies or whatever else, they end up being a disappointment.

So Fool Moon introduces us to werewolves and all their complex glory. There are a few different types and they all play some varying degree of roles in Fool Moon. With that in mind, let’s get down to the basics. Someone dies, it looks awfully like a big bad werewolf is responsible, which means we have another whodunnit handed to Harry Dresden! As I said in my previous review, this series likes to stay in its given formula and this one does just that. (Which, again, is fine. Dresden is a wizard-private investigator after all. He needs something to investigate!)

So Dresden teams up with Karen Murphy, Chicago’s most toughest tough as nails female with short man syndrome law officer of justice … If you can’t hear my annoyance, I’ll get this out of the way. My absolute least favorite thing about this book is Murphy (She actually represents something I find annoying in lots of different stories)  She basically seeks help from a Dresden to, ya know, have him help solve the case or whatever, only to start mistrusting him because he is helping in a way that seems too suspiciously suspicious. (Is that a spoiler, I’m sorry if it is. I mean I still think you need to read it to really get it in context)

Well I’m going to give you a little context anyways. It would be like Commissioner Gordon lighting up the bat signal to call Batman and ask him for help about something which only Batman had information on. Batman gives Gordon this information to, ya know, help, but then Gordon turns on him and announces, ‘You’re under arrest, Batman. Ya know, for trying to help me solve this case which you’d never would have been involved in unless I called you in the first place’…..

Basically, Murphy was stupid-annoying this book and all we get to show for it is Dresden basically feeling bad about her being really fucking annoying because reasons?  (Excuse my, language or don’t. Whatever………….)

BUT with all that said, this book isn’t all bad. Really it isn’t. It has some annoying bits. So annoying that I almost wanted to give up the series, but yet again it is saved by a great narrator who really does justice in playing Harry Dresden. (Thank you again, James Marsters!)

Dresden is by all means resilient and resourceful throughout this book. And it is kind of a joy to see him get out of the madness he is thrust in to. Not only that, we get to see some new character get into trouble with him and help him. It’s not perfect, but it is pretty cool . Plus ya know, werewolves.

So definitely give this one a read (or listen I should say cuz audio books rule!!!) and try not to get hung up on the stupid parts. Underneath that, there is still a robust lineup of interesting characters and an ever building world of magic and mischief that is a necessary stepping stone in the long run.

Really, the series does actually get better but Fool Moon is as mediocre as they come.

Recent Reads June/July 2014

Since I’ve gotten behind on posting on my blog, I’ve decided to combine my last two Recent Reads into one glorious post. I’m kidding. I’ve not read very much and putting it all into two different post will be slightly embarrassing. Plus, this is easier.

Hooray for easier!

A Game of Thrones Graphic Novel by George R. R. Martin 5 out of 5 Stars

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I read this all the way back in June. Is it really August already? Dear mother of Zeus, it’s really August. Well I read this two months ago. It was brilliant then, so I’m sure it will be brilliant now. I want to get more of the graphic novels that have come out for this awesome series. But money. I needs that money to do it. Of course, you’ll all probably suggest for me to go to the library and simply borrow the book. Silly humans. I need it for my own personal library!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 4 out of 5 Stars

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A departure from my normal fantasy, sword swinging, magic casting, adventure having ways, BUT I am better off for it. This book was uniquely written and had some great characters. I honestly think that if you enjoy those two things, you’ll enjoy this book.  It is a subtle book that is quite long and some parts seem like they’ll never end. It can be boring, but all the same I still liked it. 😀

Dendrobates 1-6 by Youji Ishiwata, Akihiro Yamane (Illustrator) 3 out of 5 Stars

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Dendrobates had a sort of interesting premise for a manga, but it was overly mediocre across the board. The story, art style, characters, just everything ended up being a bunch of meh. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t very good either.

And that was all for those two months. Sort of pathetic, I know, but I’ll get around to reading more someday. Yeah, definitely probably maybe.

Recent Reads – May 2014

Alright. Some books that I read. Let’s talk about it. 😀

 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 2 out of 5 Stars

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As I said earlier this month. I read this. I didn’t really care for it. I put my review of it on Goodreads. LINK POWER ACTIVATE!!!!….. check it out.    https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/945788030

The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

4 out of 5 Stars

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5 out of 5 Stars

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5 out of 5 Stars

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This trilogy was brilliant. Honestly. It really was freaking brilliant. I’d probably say that all three of the books have a more accurate rating of 4.5, since there were some parts that I didn’t exactly love. However, the story was masterfully told and I think that my enjoyment of it was certainly enough to give the last two books 5 stars. I want to eventually put together some suitable reviews for each book but they deserve to be digested first. Seriously check this trilogy out if you like some awesomely unique magic and a well thought out world. Brandon Sanderson has become one of my favorite authors. I can’t wait to get my hands on some more of his work!

 

Anyways. So only four books this month. Not bad, but certainly not great. And technically, I finished The Hero of Ages yesterday so it shouldn’t really count toward May… but I’m counting it anyways. In my defense. Time is moving much too quickly. It’s already June…

 

On to the next book!

Recent Reads – April 2014

Books! I read them and so should you.

I didn’t read that many books this month, but I read some good ones so I can’t complain.

 

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot #10) by Agath Christie 4 out of 5 Stars

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If you haven’t read this book, you should. Really, you should do it. I’m not particularly well rounded in the mystery department( something I plan to change), but I freaking enjoyed the Mystery Queen’s writing. Hercule Poirot, you brilliant man you, expect to see me in the future because I’ll be reading more of you soon.

 

THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE by Neil Gaiman 4 out of 5 Stars

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As with the previous book, you should read this one. It was my first Neil Gaiman book, but it shan’t be my last. Really bloody unique book and I mean that in the best way. As I said in my Goodreads review, it’s haunting, mystical, and simply enchanting. I say it again because I mean it. It’s hard to put in words really. It had a few, not so enchanting moments, and that’s why it didn’t get the full five stars. Still. You should read it. I’m talking to you…all of you.

THE RITHMATIST by Brandon Sanderson 5 out of 5 Stars

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A lot of first for me this April. My first experience of Brandon Sanderson. I’m kind of mad at myself for having waited so long. Seriously, my favorite book in a while. I freaking loved this book. I wanted to shed a tear after I found out that the second book in the series wasn’t out yet. I mean, I would if I could shed a tear, but ya know… me=too macho…. that’s me…ahaha hehe…..

Anyways. I don’t really give out 5 stars too often. Even though, my Goodreads profile would sort of say otherwise. I did that originally when I made my profile, because I thought it was more necessary than it actually is. It isn’t. I should change some 5 Stars on there immediately. I probably will change that soon. Promise. But no matter. This book. The Rithmatist.  Man is it good. Chalk drawings that scare the bajeebus out of you. CHECK. An awesome magic system. CHECK. Some cool characters that you definitely want to keep following as this adventure unfolds. CHECK. And a super cool world. DOUBLE CHECK. I really am having some trouble waiting for the next book to come out. I’m looking forward to it. “Believe it!” (Feel the Naruto quote wash over you… Feel it!)

STORMDANCER (The Lotus War #1) by Jay Kristoff — HAVE NOT FINISHED YET…the shame… oh the shame…

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This one has really slowed down my reading pace. It took forever to get into. Then I just became a bit busy to be reading. And just yeah. It’s taking a while, I gots to read the whole thing, before I make the final judgemen. That’s best left for another day, though.

Till next time!!!!!!

RECENT READS – MARCH 2014

So March was a pretty bad reading month for me. It wasn’t on purpose, but with all the Doctor Who watching and what not, I didn’t give much time to reading.

That being said, I did read one book.

Guardians Inc.: The Cypher – 3.5 out of 5 Stars

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So this Young Adult novel is a bit fantasy and a bit science fiction, blending the two together quite nicely. There are plenty of interesting ideas that are mixed into the story it definitely has a Percy Jackson kind of feel. The main character Thomas is enjoyable to follow and his adventure is  full of mystery. It also helps that he isn’t to shy or whiny about the things that are happening to him which I like a lot. The book also includes an array of interesting side characters, who I hope will all be better explored in the following novels in this series. I’d have to say my favorite part of this novel though is how everything isn’t looking black and white. This is most evident with what happens with Thomas’s grandfather.

All that beings said, this book isn’t overly memorable. I don’t know if it’s because of the writing or just the story itself, but it ended up flying by with out really leaving much impact. I think I’ll definitely check out the rest of the series.

 

That is all for my March reading. I’m definitely planning to get some more done for April. I’ve even bought a few new books which I’ve been meaning to get for a while. I think I’ll do some sort of small blog book haul for my next post. Yeah. Probably.

Is that a thing? It’s probably a thing.