January Mini Reviews (2014)

January Mini Reviews (2014)
Mini Reviews

Well, y’know… Here’s the part where I pretend to review all the stuff I read last month that didn’t get full reviews.  One of these is a reread that I never reviewed the first time around, and a good chunk are novellas. I was considering doing a dual review for the Infinity Blade series, but honestly it was just too problematic so I decided to keep them as minis. Oh well!

Full Books & Audiobooks

The Child Thief by Brom (Reread)

The Child Thief by Brom5 Stars
Badge-Cover-DesignI absolutely loved this book the first time around. It’s one of my all-time favorites, and it’s one of the books I recommend the most, so naturally it was top of my list for Reread Month. (Little did I know how difficult that would turn out to be, but we won’t talk about that here.) This book was just as beautifully written and haunting as I remembered it. Every time I sat down to read it, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. This was satisfying and relieving and awesome. I learned two things from my reread of The Child Thief: 1) I am a die-hard Brom fan, and 2) I am just not cut out for rereading books — not matter how much I loved them the first time! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver 3 Stars
My friend’s grandmother chose this one for book club, and I was keen to read it because I’ve seen the author’s name around a lot. First jarring observation: this book is written in third person present tense, which I really dislike and found awkward at time. The story was okay, and I actually did learn a few interesting things about Cherokee history. I found a lot of the plot to be predictable (not all of it, though), and some of the characters were quite frustrating. It’s one of those stories where I understand that without the stupid decisions the MC makes there would be no story, but that’s kind of what bothers me. Overall: interesting, but I didn’t like it enough to keep my copy (I gave it away).

Novellas & Short Stories

Infinity Blade: Awakening (Infinity Blade #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Infinity Blade: Awakening by Brandon Sanderson 4 Stars
I have to admit that I bought these two novellas because Brandon Sanderson mentioned that they were one sale — I knew nothing about them. This first part, Awakening, was a really interesting read. I loved the way its fantasy setting felt familiar, but introduced some new ideas. Just like every other Sanderson read, the narration was easy and enjoyable. There was a a great sense of adventure, and even a bit more humor (or at least, a bit more crude-ish humor) in this story than he usually has, but I liked it all. By the end of this novella, I was entranced, and was surprised to discover that it was written as a companion to a video game series! It felt so fully *Sanderson* that I was shocked to realize that it wasn’t all him to begin with! Needless to say, I went straight from this one to the next one, because I was hungry for more.

Infinity Blade: Redemption (Infinity Blade #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Infinity Blade: Redemption by Brandon Sanderson 5 Stars
Oh my gosh, Redemption was even better than Awakening! This novella does something that just about put me over the moon. Interspersed among the regular chapters of the main fantasy story, there are Deviation chapters that go back to a very distant past (which is, interestingly, actually an imagine future from where I sit right now), and eventually they come together and explain the way things came to be in the “present” of the main story. IT WAS FASCINATING. I love the way the high-tech science of the “past” (OUR future) eventually turned into these mythical, almost magical artifacts in the WAY FUTURE. Definitely one of the coolest things I’ve read in a long time. After this, I was dying to get my hands on the game, only to discover that they’re only available for iOS (pfffft).

The Little Android (Lunar Chronicles #2.5) by Marissa Meyer

The Little Android by Marissa Meyer 4 Stars
When I heard that this novella was coming out, I was super psyched. First of all, it’s part of The Lunar Chronicles, so of course I was dying to read it, but even more importantly was that it’s about Iko! This retelling of The Little Mermaid was just freaking adorable. Marissa Meyer has such a knack for taking fairy tales and spinning them into her own stories in this sci-fi/fantasy futuristic world, while still giving clever and enthusiastic nods to the original stories. This one is no exception, and I found myself admiring Mech6.0’s curiosity, tenacity, and heart from the beginning to the end. I was a little bit confused about the ending, however, which is why I’ve only given this one four stars, but I still really liked it. (And yes, it’s available for free online!)

Read 3 comments

  1. Was The Little Android about Iko? I kept thinking it was but then it didn’t really seem like it was? I do know that I still loved it because it made me teary in the end (ah my hormones are messed up still!). But Yeah, anything in the Lunar Chronicles series must be read! The Little Mermaid is one of my favourite fairy tales too.

    As for the Infinity Blade books, they sound pretty good. I haven’t read any Brandon Sanderson (hide head in shame). Maybe I should give them a read. What game are they based around?

    I’ve never read The Child Thief either. It’s too bad that rereading doesn’t work out well for you.

    • I expected THe Little Android to be about Iko, but just like I kept getting confused on whether it was or not. By the end of it, I think I had decided it wasn’t about Iko, and I was a bit disappointed. But then I realized that it probably WAS About Iko, because the girl’s name was Miko, right?

      Oh my gosh, the Inifnity Blade novellas — SO GOOD! Apparently there’s a set of three games in the Infinity Blade series (that’s what they’re called); but yeah, only for iOS, so I can’t play them. :(

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