Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Kingkiller Chronicle - Patrick Rothfuss

The Kingkiller Chronicle - Patrick Rothfuss

Book 1 - The Name of the Wind

Book 2 - The Wise Man’s Fear

Book 3 – The Doors of Stone (Yet to be released)

Plot – The plot multilayered and complex. There is a primary story, which takes place in the past, and a secondary story, which takes place in the present. After finishing the second book you begin to get the sense that the “secondary” story, or present, is going to become the primary story. I can’t wait until that happens because it’s going to be exciting. Although it’s a fun read, it’s long and at times. I found myself getting a little bored with how slow some parts developed. The lengthy plot does develop the characters well, but I’d prefer it to be more streamlined.

Characters – Kvothe is one of the most well developed interesting characters I’ve ever read about. He’s ingeniously clever, a quick study, and amazingly talented. I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather be like. Denna, also known as many other names, is the main love interest. She is musically talented, willful, spontaneous, wily and a wanderer. She makes a great character that many females might admire. Bast is Kvothe’s student and assistant in the present storyline. He’s involved enough in the novels for the reader to learn his personality and to discover that he has an agenda. It seems like he cares greatly for Kvothe and admires his past deeds, but he has a plan of his own.

Romance – Romance is a major theme in the novel. It doesn’t take up a huge percentage of it, but it is paramount to the story. At times, I liked how the romance was developing and at other times, I was less interested in it. I’m hoping that the romance in the third novel sparks my interest again, but I’m worried that things will be tragic.

Creativity –The “Magic” system in this series is both original and clever. The system is comprised of two unique types of power that are based on similar principles— in short, dominance over matter and energy. Like in most fantasy novels, some characters are more powerful than others. The main character, Kvothe has an aptitude for magic, like he does for many other things. The novels are also rich with detailed history, interesting fairy-tales, and well-written songs.

Writing Style –the writing style is strong. It’s not flowery, but it describes scenes well and moves the plot along excellently. The dialogue is stellar. Kvothe shows that he’s clever with his words countless times. I never felt bogged down with the writing. 

Overall - I strongly recommend the novel for anyone who likes fantasy with an amazing primary character. Also, if you are a musician or an actor it will probably be even more interesting. As a former traveling musician, Kvothe is an amazing lute player and is excellent at acting. I wish the romance worked better for me, but some people might like it more. The storyline is amazing, and I have a feeling that the third novel is going to be great as well. I’m excited for its release and can’t wait to learn what happens to Kvothe.

Rating: Five Stars (so far)

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Prince of Thorns - Book Review

Prince of Thorns - Mark Lawrence

Overall - I strongly recommend the novel for anyone who likes fantasy or science fiction and who isn't squeamish.There is violence and gore in the novel, but only a little more than other fantasy novels. It didn't bother me at all, but it's tough to bother me and could upset some people. I can't wait to read the second novel in the series, "King of Thorns."

Creativity -At first, "Prince of Thorns" feels like a standard fantasy novel with the standard elements of nobility, melee battles, and magic. After further reading, "Prince of Thorns" develops into something much more grand and well thought out. 

Characters -Prince Honorious Jorg or Jorg for short is the main character in the novel. He is ruthless, cunning, and deadly and he's only fourteen. He is extremely well developed early on in the novel. I read several reviews on amazon about how they didn't like his personalty, that he's nothing more than a sociopath. Maybe that is true. I certainly wouldn't want to be friends with him, but I loved him as a fantasy novel character. Beyond Jorg, the other characters were much less developed. I can't quite remember anything in particular about their personalities, but it is more difficult to develop characters without viewpoints.

Plot - It's weird. Although there didn't seem to be many plot points in the novel, I was excited to read it every time I picked it up. The few plot points in the novel worked really well for me. Toward the end of the book you feel a much grander plot begin to develop.

Romance - While there isn't much, there was the beginnings of a romantic connection. It could developing into something more in the next novel. The novel does quite well without romance though. If you are looking for romance, you should probably look elsewhere.

Writing Style -Simply the single best writing style in existence! I loved it. It's easy to read, but insanely imaginative. His similes and metaphors are very creative and would take me years to think of them all.

Rating - 4.5 Stars

If you liked "Prince of Thorns" check out Talent Storm

Friday, April 26, 2013

Talent Storm - Post Apocalyptic / Dsytopian Fiction

Talent Storm

A Post Apocalyptic / Dsytopian Fiction novel by Brian Terenna

You can purchase it here: Purchase Talent Storm 

Similar novels:
The Hunger games by Suzanne Collins, Divergent by Veronica Roth, and Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. 

Similar authors: 
Robin Hobb, Mark Lawrence, and  Peter V Brett.


Hundreds of years after the Great World War, America is a distant memory. In the ashes, new civilizations have risen up from the Wilds. Locke’s Coalition and Liberty Kingdom, bitter enemies, have been at peace for seven years. War is never far from politicians’ minds though, especially when one is the tyrant Archduke Goldwater. For all of human kinds’ positive traits, the character flaws of corruption, greed, anger, and revenge are etched into our DNA.
In the new world, little technology remains and advanced weapons are in short supply, but today’s soldiers fight with innate power. They fight with talent… the psionic powers that develop in a random few.
A young Coalition citizen, Jaden Stone, dreams of graduating, having fun, and falling in love. As if his hard-nosed uncle, schoolyard bullies, and exams weren’t hard enough to handle, he discovers that he wields Talent. He’d now be forced to serve in the military, forced to train and fight, all for an organization that killed his parents.
Will Jaden work hard for his people or will his desire for leisure win over? He’s forced to decide when a tragedy shakes his core.

Talent Storm Video Trailer

Novel Excerpt:

Ben turned away from me before picking up a few small rocks. “Let’s see if you’re any stronger from lifting all those weights. Maybe you’ll beat me for once.”
Nodding and smiling, I pointed at him. “You first.”
Ben stood, then stretched, his back popping as he rotated his torso. Hefting a rock, he wound up and then threw it. The projectile crossed the wide creek and bounced in the distance before skidding to a halt. Lips pressed in a straight line, I shook my head, annoyed. He topped his last week’s throw by a yard; he always beat me. He turned and smiled, stretching his long toned arms above his body.
I shrugged. “Eh, an all right throw,” I said with a wry smile.
Ben faced me, his eyes crinkling. “Riiiiight,” he said, while slowly bobbing his head. “Okay… beat me then.”
Images of my uncle’s flushed-face appeared before me, fueling my strength. I gritted my teeth while drawing back my arm. In a flash, I whipped my arm forward, releasing the rock. It sailed over the creek, whizzing through the air. With a loud crack, it slammed into a birch tree, punching a hole through the trunk. My jaw dropped halfway to the ground.
Out of the corner of my eye, Ben wavered, looking like he’d topple over. He shook his head, his hazel eyes wide. “Wowww… how did you do that?”
What had just happened? I lowered my head to stare at my hands, turning them over repeatedly.
I slowly raised my eyes to fixate on the hole again.
“Jaden? Hello… Jaden.”
“What?” I asked, just realizing Ben was speaking to me.
Ben patted my arm quickly, conferring a sense of urgency. Reluctantly, I tore my eyes away from the hole to face Ben.
He leaned in close, shaking. He spoke in a low voice, eyes darting side to side. “I think it was green.”
“What?” I shook my head, attempting to re-ground myself in the world. What was going on?
Now, he spoke louder, emphasizing with his hands in rapid motion. “The rock… it was green. It glowed green. Don’t you see? You’re one of the Talented.”

You can purchase it here: Purchase Talent Storm

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Hunger Games Trilogy

Suzanne Collins

Book 1 -The Hunger Games
Book 2 - Catching Fire
Book 3 - Mockingjay

Summary - The Sci-Fi, Romance trilogy takes place in a post apocalyptic future America. Essentially a capital city rules twelve districts. The capital is ruthless and makes two children from each district fight to death each year to pay back the districts for a past revolt.

Overall - I recommend the series if you like Young Adult, fantasy/sci-fi type books even though I didn't love it. Although the series had a lot of potential, it fell short in the end.

Creativity - The series is creative. Collins creates a future world with a new government structure and new fashions that feel real. She adds some interesting touches in like mutated animals called Muttations. A few examples are the Jabberjays, who can repeat human speech and the Tracker Jackers, whose stings cause hallucinations.

Characters - The characters are pretty well developed, but I didn't like them very much. At times I really liked the main character Katniss Everdeen, especially when she was being tough. At other times Katniss annoyed me with her sheer stupidity. A few other characters were well developed and showed nice character flaws like Haymitch Abernathy the alcoholic.

Plot - The plot starts out slow in the first book and is really quite basic. The plot in the second book picks up and becomes much more exiting. I almost wish that she only wrote the second book. I didn't like the direction in which the third book went. It had a much different feel than the first two books.

Romance - The romance shows potential for the first two books, but then complete falls flat during the third book. It almost seemed like an after thought at the end of the third book. 

Writing Style - The writing style in the first book is somewhat basic and doesn't show enough rather than tell. The styles of the second and third books are much improved. Her sentence structures flow better and she shows much more.

Rating - Trilogy - 4 stars
             The Hunger Games - 3.5 stars
             Catching Fire - 4.5 stars
             Mockingjay - 3 stars

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mistborn Trilogy

Brandon Sanderson 

Book 1 - Mistborn
Book 2 - The Well of Ascension
Book 3 - The Hero of Ages

Overall - I highly recommend the Mistborn series. It's a classic good verses evil plot that unfolds slowly and expertly through three books. If you like Brandon Sanderson or fantasy, you'll really like Mistborn. Brandon Sanderson is an amazing author. 

Creativity - The series is very creative. The system of magic is interesting and extremely original. Although it seems that all of Sanderson's systems of magic are original, the system in Mistborn is the most clever.

Characters - Two of his main characters, Kelsier and Vin are well developed and interesting characters. I like how Vin progresses throughout the first book. The protagonists are excellently painted. My favorites are the Lord Ruler and the Inquisitors. You really feel how evil and powerful they are when you read it.

Plot - The plot builds well, revealing information throughout the series. There are several interesting twists and turns along the way. I really liked the plot of the first and second books, but wasn't as into the plot of the third book. I didn't love the direction that it went in. .

Writing Style - Sanderson writes in a simple flowing style that is amazing. It's fun and easy to read, yet paints scenes and imagery excellently.

Rating - Trilogy - 4.5 stars
             Mistborn - 5 stars
             The Well of Ascension - 5 stars
             The Hero of Ages - 4 stars

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Malazan Book of the Fallen series - Steven Erikson

 The Malazan Book of the Fallen series - Steven Erikson

Fantasy Book Review

Overall -  the Malazan series is a very worthy read for someone who has the time to read nearly ten thousand pages. The imagery, action, and imagination are some of the best in all of fantasy. While it would be worth reviewing each of the ten books. I'll let someone else do that. I will say that book four developed one of my favorite characters of all time, Karsa Orlong. Karsa alone makes the Malazan books worth reading.

Creativity - The books are extremely original. Erikson creates an entire universe with countless, varied, and amazing characters, magics, gods, and races. Out of all the authors that I've read, he is the most imaginative.

Dialogue - Overall the dialogue is excellent. Some of the banter between characters, is impressively done. The banter between the characters Bug and Tehol was some of the funniest that I've ever read.

Plot - Overall the plot is amazingly thought out and well put together. The scope of the book is so grand though that some smaller plots get forgotten. There were also some slow points, but that's to be expected in a huge series. The last two books resolved the plot well, but didn't feature a few of the best characters. It was a disappointment to me.

Writing style - It's very good in a lot of respects, but not my favorite. Erikson's dialogue and showing of actions is great. He has an amazing ability to paint scenes. His sentences can be too long for my taste though. I prefer a smoother simpler style like Brandon Sanderson's style.

Other - The series should have been edited more. He could have cut out around 20% to streamline it. It would have been much more enjoyable. There were some unnecessary smaller plot lines that never got resolved. It's not very suitable for younger readers due to the adult nature of the books and the complicated writing style.

Rating -  4 stars. It is a must read for any fantasy love that has time.
I would have given it 5 stars  if it was more streamlined

By Brian Terenna
Brian Terenna's Facebook author page 

Warbreaker - Brandon Sanderson 

Fantasy Book Review

Overall it was an excellent book. Anyone who likes fantasy or especially Brandon Sanderson will love the book.

Story - The book ideas were very original.  The system of magic that he created is one of the greatest I've ever read. It's up there with Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson.

Dialogue - The dialogue is witty and humorous at times. It's believable and impressively done. One of the male leads' dialogue is extremely clever. I was very impressed. You'll see it if you read the book.

Characters - His characters are very well developed. The two lead women have deep personalities and make decisions based on those personalities. One of the male leads is a really fun character to read about. The interactions between characters is also well done. While the romance is slight, I enjoyed reading it.  Everything in his book is shown and not told, so that the reader feels that they are a part of the story.

Plot - During most of the book, he is slowly developing the plot and characters. Although the plot is fun to read throughout, the last 25% picks up dramatically. Throughout the book he builds up mysteries and then answers them all in an explosion of excitement at the end.

Writing style - Sanderson's writing style is my favorite. He is one of my influences. His style is a nice flowing simple style. He shows the scenes magnificently, but doesn't use long winded boring sentences that are hard to follow. 

Other - I listened to the graphic audio version. It was excellent. There are many actors and actresses as well as music and sound effects. I strongly recommend insisting to this version.

Rating -  Five stars.

By Brian Terenna