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