Reading List – Mini-Reviews

Well, I guess it’s a good thing when I’m two weeks into 2012 and have made considerable headway on one of my goals. Granted, it’s my “read everything I own that I haven’t read yet” goal, which is probably the easiest one on there, but still! I’m accomplishing something!

Here’s a brief update on a few of the books I’ve read since posting the list:

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
I started this back before Christmas and have been steadily making headway on it for the better part of a month. Not surprising, considering it’s a 1000-page behemoth, and it is dense.

The Wise Man’s Fear and its predecessor, The Name of the Wind, are quite possibly some of the best fantasy novels of the last few years. It’s rare to see a fantasy novel told in first-person POV, but Rothfuss makes it work.

He does get a little too much into describing things, and I do think he could stand to shave a few thousand words off the next book, but by and large, if you are at all into fantasy and you haven’t picked up this series, you need to remedy that now.

One unexpected bonus in (finally) finishing the book: this Penny Arcade comic makes a lot more sense now.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
This was a surprisingly brisk and refreshing read, especially after The Wise Man’s Fear. As a shameless geek, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I didn’t get all the references — I was a bit too young when the ’80s ended for that — but it was a lot of fun nonetheless.

I did have some problems with it from a technical standpoint — far too much time was spent with Wade as Exposition Man, for example. I found myself skimming at a lot of these points, especially the points where he has to stop and explain certain gaming mechanics and history to ensure the non-geeks can follow along.

Overall, though, I really, really liked it, and if you’re at all into the geeky side of life, pick this up.

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson
I love the Mistborn series so very, very much, as you may be able to tell from the picture on my “About” page. So, it’s understandable that another book in that world has been in my to-read list since I found out it existed.

Unlike Mistborn, this is more of a steampunk/western romp than a fantasy epic. Action, suspense, betrayal, deceit, and a bit of romance…all of it comes together to make a wonderful, entertaining book that I practically flew through, finishing it in less than a day.

Plus, I love the little additions they have: the old newspaper pages interspersed throughout the book, the maps at the beginning, and as always, the Ars Arcanum that Sanderson includes at the end of each of his novels that sums up the magic system in a bit more detail.

I really, really hope there’s a sequel, not just because of the questions left unanswered at the end of the book, but also because I really want to spend more time with the characters created here. Wax, Wayne, and Marasi made a great team.

Have you guys read anything good lately?

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4 comments on “Reading List – Mini-Reviews

  1. Alloy of Law sounds excellent! And I’m going to have to read Wise Man’s Fear and Name of the Wind as well because my fantasy trilogy is written in first-person. I know it’s not that common for adult fantasy to be written that way and I’d like to see how someone else goes about it, especially since you said he does so successfully. =) I’ll add it to my other behemoth-to-read collection with things like Pillars of the Earth.

    If you like all the little extras hidden in Alloy, read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It’s a fast, exciting read (kept me completely glued to the page) and it’s full of old carnival photos that describe the characters. Loved it!

    • thebnc says:

      The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear are interesting in that they’re framed stories. Kvothe, the main character, is telling his story to somebody who’s writing it down. When it’s in the present, it’s in third person, but it’s in first person when he’s telling his story.

      Another fantasy book that handles first person pretty well is Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. It occasionally has comments or phrases that make it sound like Phedre, the main character, is narrating her life story many years after the events of the novel have happened.

      If you’re interested in The Alloy of Law, I would encourage you to read the Mistborn trilogy first. Phenomenal books, and you’ll get some more of the sly references in Alloy.

      And I’ll put Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to the list! It sounds really interesting. 🙂

  2. […] you don’t like.) If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino Twilight by Stephenie Meyer Ready Player One by Ernest Cline The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon City of Bones by Cassandra Clare The Moon is a Harsh […]

  3. […] books have you read? Six of them. I’ve read: Mistborn The Well of Ascension The Hero of Ages The Alloy of Law Elantris […]

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