Archive | August 2016

Mini-Review: New Spring (Wheel of Time #0) by Robert Jordan

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This prequel to the Wheel of Time series hits all the right notes.  It has a strong story at its’ core and gives us some important history for several characters (namely Moiraine, Lan and Siuan.)  We witness Moiraine and Lan’s first meeting and the circumstances that led to his being bonded as her warder.  Even more importantly, we learn what precipitated Moiraine’s search (obsession?) for the Dragon Reborn.

What I enjoyed most was the insight into Moiraine.  She is a strong female character who presents a sometimes harsh face to the world.  It was nice, for lack of a better word, to see a younger version who hadn’t yet mastered the Aes Sedai stillness.  And, two friends who enjoyed playing pranks and laughing together.

Almost 5-stars but the ending was a little too abrupt.  4.5/5 stars.  A must read for Wheel of Time buffs.

Review: The Shadow Rising (Wheel of Time #4) by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time is an interesting study in fantasy series reading.  The world and character building are top notch.  The overall story arc is interesting and engrossing.  And, Jordan has weaved a complicated tale of good versus evil that has this reader hooked.

However…

I can see why some readers have issues with this series and some fantasy in general.  While the pacing isn’t bad in The Shadow Rising, it does drag in a few areas.  Then you are hit with action that is heart pounding (one scene in particular had me jumping off the couch – “What did Jordan just do???”).  If you are already invested in a series or just a lover of big, wordy books, then you won’t have an issue.  I love words.  My husband, though, wants a writer to get to the point.  When I tried to read a passage to him, his reaction was less than positive.  This series isn’t for him.

My only real complaint is something I mentioned in my review of book three.  There is a good bit of repetition in Jordan’s writing.  The specific example that always comes to mind is Nynaeve tugging her braid.  Because he mentions it EVERY.SINGLE.TIME she is on the page.  Another example that really started bugging me was Jordan stating that characters were unconsciously doing something.  I know that it’s technically acceptable to say that Nynaeve tugs her braid unconsciously.  But, he uses the word ALOT and because of all the grammar police out there that like to say it should be subconsciously instead (they are incorrect, by the way), I still picture Nynaeve pulling her braid in her sleep.  It wouldn’t be something that would normally bother me but because he chose that word so often it became an ongoing joke in my head.

Anyway, this was a great book (outside of my own neurosis) and I am fully in love with this series.  4/5 stars.

Review: The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time #3) by Robert Jordan

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I started pulling together my review for The Dragon Reborn and realized that it was almost word-for-word identical to my review for book 2.  Once again, I had moments where I felt a little lost.  But, quite honestly, that doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of a fantasy novel.  Real life is a little crazy for me currently and I know I am not at my “reading best”.  So, yes, I probably miss some details here and there that lead to a few HUH?s.  That’s okay.  What I need right now is a story in which to immerse myself – with characters who are believable and a magic system that excites me.  The Wheel of Time has all of those things and more.

Is it perfect?  No.  Many of the reviews talk about repetitious writing and they are right.  Jordan does tell us that Nynaeve is pulling or tugging her braid way too often.  He also drags out certain scenes unnecessarily.  It could have been a much tighter book.  But it isn’t and I can live with that because the pros outweigh the cons by leaps and bounds.

4.5/5 stars.  Highly recommended.

A Red-Rose Chain (October Daye #9) by Seanan McGuire

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Seanan McGuire publishes a Toby Daye novel like clockwork each September.  As soon as it is available for pre-order, I click the button to secure my copy.  Then, I get it and put it on the shelf.  Wait, what?  You don’t read it immediately, Mary?  No.  I force myself to hold it until I’m close enough to the next installment.  Seeing a new Toby book on the shelf allows me to know I always have one in the queue.  Now that we are only a month away from book 10, I finally allowed myself to read book 9.  Strange, I know.

A Red-Rose Chain is just what I’ve come to expect from McGuire’s Toby Daye series.  It is urban fantasy that focuses on the world of the fae.  But, really, it’s all about the relationships.  And, I love them all.  Toby and Tybalt have become my favorite UF couple.  Quentin, May, Jazz, Arden…I could go on and on.

This series is a must read and highly recommended.

5/5 stars.

Mini-Review: The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time #2) by Robert Jordan

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“The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.”

When reading an epic fantasy series, you sometimes have to accept that you won’t fully understand everything the first time through.  Such is my experience with The Great Hunt.  There were moments of frustration when I felt that Jordan was overdoing it and I was having some trouble keeping up with the characters and their locations.  However, when you love fantasy (as I do), you reach that point in a book where it starts to become a part of you.  Then, you aren’t really reading; you are there inside the pages with the characters.  I experienced that with TGH.

While this wasn’t quite as strong as book one, I still found it to be an excellent installment.  I cant wait for book three and The Dragon Reborn.

4.5/5 stars