Books et al's Blog

All about books, reviews, thoughts and more

Book update – Mistborn Series December 1, 2012

Hi there.

I felt compelled to write a quick review on a book I am reading.

I read voraciously and rate books I have read on my twitter post @australis14 but have decided to only post reviews to my blog when I think the book is great or needs some kind of further mention.

The Final Empire: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson is just such a book. This is book one of the Mistborn series.

Sanderson has created a unique fantasy world that is bleak and dark in its scenery- the world had been under a cloud of continuous ash for 1000 years, and hopeless in its dark age feudal system, religions and classes but full of intrigue, magic and hope – the latter brought about by two of the main players Kelsier and Vin, who happen to be very good thieves and magic practitioners.

The development of a plan by their group of low born but intelligent thieves to win freedom against oppressive slavery and to bring down the evil ‘omnipotent’ god-king is at the core of the story. The key characters ( and some of their enemies) have the ability to create magic and power with the help of metals, either by ingesting them (something only the Mistborn or the Mistings can do to varying levels) or by using metals as storage for internal power. These types of magic are known as Allomancy and Ferromancy respectively. It’s a brilliant concept, particularly as each metal has distinctive properties which affect what the practitioner can do. I love the fact that each metal and alloy has a paired one which creates an equal and opposite reaction. The world of the Allomancers drew me in very quickly. I would love to be able to fly through the air using a pocketful of coins!

I have got to be honest I haven’t even finished the book, though I am almost at the end and desperately don’t want to leave the world of the Mistborn.

Imagine my excitement when I realised there were at least three more after this! I have already lined up the second book so there are no delays in continuing my Mistborn experience.

I am so glad I stumbled upon this book.
If you would like a meaty high fantasy book to get stuck into, that carries you along with excitement , intrigue, treachery, magic, hatred and love then this is the book for you! It certainly is for me.



Book review: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova April 21, 2010

The Historian

The Historian

I meant to read this book when it first came out. In fact every time I went into a bookstore I would pick it up but then put it back down again when I had to narrow down the amount of books I had in my arms.

It wasn’t until I found myself in a very rainy Spain, with a friend who had a copy with her, that I finally began to read The Historian. It wasn’t long before I realised what a fool I had been.

It has all the elements of a good read: troubled souls, mysterious pasts, good versus evil, a motherless girl in search of her father, a mystery that must be solved before its too late. The book travels backwards and forward in time, opening up the atmospheric European and Academic worlds it is set in, both past and present, in a slow yet captivating fashion, revealing something new in each chapter. I found myself rooting for the young girl who has lost her father, and for the father who has lost his way… To tell you more would kill it’s magic.

A remarkable book, definitely worth a read, and then another, and then another…


Book review: Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh April 20, 2010

Nalini Singh

It was really hard to decide which book to review for my first review. In order to narrow down the choices, I decided I had to have finished the book to be reviewed recently, and it had to be fairly recently out either in paperback or hardback. That narrowed the choice down to nine books. In the end I went with the one that surprised me the most.

Angel’s Blood was a book I picked up at the airport, ( I always buy books at the airport, it marks the beginning of a joyful holiday experience). I wasn’t sure what I would think of it, it wasn’t really my thing, but it seemed a light read, and something different as holidays are a time when I indulge in easy, quick reads, outside of my usual genres.

I started reading and straight away I was taken with the premise. This book is set in a New York City run by angels, and where the Archangel Raphael is top dog. Now it’s not what you think. These are bad-ass angels. They are immensely powerful and strong, and as they are immortal, have little regard for humans. Every once in a while they “make” vampires, who are kept in tight rein – sometimes – but often go rogue embarking on a killing rampage among the human population that leaves a horrific and lasting imprint. The archangels hire the Guild Hunters to track down these rogue vampires and bring them back. This idea was one I hadn’t come across before and I was immediately intrigued.

The novel’s heroine is a human Guild Hunter – a Hunter Born which means she has superior instincts, senses and strength from the other humans and Hunters. Elena Deveraux is considered the best which is why she is employed by the greatest and most feared of Angels in New York – Raphael the Archangel. It’s not a job for the faint hearted – one wrong word and Raphael could kill her instantly – but her instinct for self-preservation abandons her whenever she is around him and she stands up to the cold Raphael, repeatedly, all whilst tracking the worst possible nightmare on his behalf – an archangel turned very, very bad.

Action abounds, so the story feels quite fast paced – there were no parts where I wanted to skip pages or paragraphs. In fact I didn’t want to miss one word. If I tell you more it will give the story away, and I really think you should read it yourself.

Inevitably there is also a good helping of adult romance – definitely an adult book, ’nuff said!

It’s not a novel I would normally have chosen, “Paranormal Romance/ Urban Fantasy ” is a fairly new category for me, (having dined off fantasy and historical fiction for years) and it certainly is not high literature, but it’s definitely fun, powerful in a very gritty, urban way, and completely irresistible. So much so that I had to buy the second guild Hunter novel “Archangel’s Kiss” immediately, and I have devoured that one too. I am even disappointed that the third novel isn’t out until some time in the second half of this year. According to the author’s blog, Nalini is currently making changes to the draft, hopefully for submission for publication. Don’t delay please, Nalini, I am in need of more Elena and Raphael!