Thursday, August 25, 2011

NEW BOOKS: New Purchases

So I ended up back at AllBooks4Less (where everything is $5) and after scouring the entire store I found some goodies!

  • The Thief-Taker's Apprentice by Stephen Deas (did not even know this was out)
  • The Terminator Gene by Ian Irvine (didn't really enjoy The Last Albatross but I thought I would complete the series)
  • Lost and Mirror Mirror by Gregory McGuire
  • House of Chains by Steven Erikson (slowly starting to buy this series in dribs and drabs)
I also forgot to mention that a couple of weeks ago I won a competition on Ian Irvine's facebook page and he sent me the Well of Echoes quartet, all personally signed. The series that I own has two trade paperbacks and two mass-market paperbacks which has always annoyed me, and now the set I won is all mass-market. But I also feel attached to my old set and am not sure what to do with them ...

I officially need to get a new bookshelf as there are now books piled on the floor in front of the shelf ...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

REVIEW: The Order of the Scales by Stephen Deas

Firstly, I don't think I am a fan of books that continue to flippantly kill off the protagonists. It seems that by the end of every novel by Deas, all the characters who told part of the story end up being killed. But not in any kind of satisfying way ... in The Order of the Scales, one of the protagonists from the beginning of the series managed to die without even having the honour of it actually being communicated to the reader. We pretty much find out when some other character happens across his body. In one way it's kind of interesting, because it's genuine and realistic, but then again it also sends everything that has been invested in that character straight down the gurgler.

tOotS (Toots, haha!) really is a fast and ruthless read. I decided that I wanted the series to be much longer and fleshed out. There is so much potential for parts of the story that were left untold to be written and I don't think it would be to the detriment of the novel. For instance, all of Jehal's past including the demise of his family, Jaslyn's relationship with Silence, the PoV from Zafir and Valmeyan ... all were kind of missing from this book. On the other hand, I did appreciated the maturity of this approach, not spelling everything out for the reader.

The ending was a little dissatisfying, especially since I was under the impression that this was a trilogy. The Black Mausoleum which is the next novel was kind of branded as a sequel rather than a continuance of the same set. Nothing was really resolved, a few key characters were killed and then it just ended, with some serious foreshadowing.

Keeping track of the names of the Kings and Queens was a little hard as it has been a while since I read the previous two books, especially in the absence of the lineage chart from this book ... and I'm the kind of person who likes to know all the names, how they're related and what kingdom they're from!

All in all, very happy with the story ... quite rich and complex but still fast moving at the same time and a good balance of action and character development.

In a moment of weakness I bought The Wise Man's Fear which I have to say is one of the more beautiful books I have purchased. Next read ... The Shelters of Stone, mostly because I feel obligated to finish it. Really want to get onto The Name of the Wind but I am aware of the upcoming releases by Christopher Paolini and Isobelle Carmody for which I will need to reread both series ... and I will be hard pressed to resist reading them immediately as they are both the long awaited conclusions of the series!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Wishlist

[Updated 17.03.2012]

With me buying books willy nilly, I decided it was time to construct the ultimate wishlist and only buy things on this list ... titles in blue are those not currently released here.

Isobelle Carmody
-The Red Queen

Ian Irvine

Cinda Williams Chima
-The Crimson Crown

Stephen Deas
-The Black Mausoleum

Kristin Cashore

Tom Lloyd
-The Stormcaller
-The Grave Thief
-The Dusk Watchman

Jennifer Fallon
-Dark Divide

Steven Erikson
-Memories of Ice
-House of Chains
-Midnight Tides
-The Bonehunters
-Reaper's Gale
-Toll of the Hounds

-The Crippled God

J.R.R. Tolkien
-The Book of Lost Tales 1
-The Lays of Beleriand
-The Shaping of Middle-earth
-The Lost Road and Other Writings
-The Return of the Shadow
-The Treason of Isengard
-The War of the Ring
-Sauron Defeated
-Morgoth's Ring
-The War of the Jewels
-The Peoples of Middle-earth
-The Children of Hurin
-Tales from the Perilous Realm

Terry Pratchett
-Guards! Guards!
-Moving Pictures
-Reaper Man
-Witches Abroad
-Small Gods
-Lords and Ladies
-Men at Arms
-Soul Music
-Interesting Times
-Feet of Clay
-The Last Continent
-Carpe Jugulum
-The Fifth Elephant
-The Truth
-Thief of Time
-The Last Hero
-The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
-Night Watch
-The Wee Free Men
-Monstrous Regiment
-A Hat Full of Sky
-Going Postal
-Making Money
-Unseen Academicals
-I Shall Wear Midnight

Robert Jordan
-The Eye of the World
-The Great Hunt
-The Dragon Reborn
-The Shadow Rising
-The Fires of Heaven
-Lord of Chaos
-A Crown of Swords
-The Path of Daggers
-Winter's Heart
-Crossroads of Twilight
-Knife of Dreams
-The Gathering Storm
-Towers of Midnight
-A Memory of Light

Wow ... that's a lot! In other news, I discovered a book story in the DFO today where EVERY book is $5!! Turns out they have a website where this is also the case ... I'm assuming it's all the run off from book store closures. I bought Naamah's Curse and Treason Keep. In order to keep the all the same size, I also bought the trade print of Namaah's Kiss from somewhere in the UK.

Order of the Scales is going very well ... I don't want it to end!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

REVIEW: The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel

This book was a long time in the reading because of my development and special study at Uni, so it ended up being a 15 minutes before bed affair. The last quarter was a hard-to-put-down read and so I read most of it this week.

As predicated, it featured exorbitant amounts of environmental description and sexual encounters which rarely strayed from the same repetitive formula. For the first two thirds of the book I think it's safe to say that NOTHING happens except maybe Ayla fell over once or something ... I really enjoyed the encounter with Attaroa, if only the rest of the book was like that! This was the first ever book that I skimmed (several pages at a time mind you). At least Auel structured it so it was east to skip pasted the 15 paragraphs on the 74 types of grass growing in the area.

In spite of this I am looking forward to the next book, although I worry that it was be very similar to The Mammoth Hunters and the meeting of every other tribe from The Plains of Passage. You could pretty much just change the names and you're reading the same scenario.

I bought the new release The Order of the Scales, the last in the trilogy by Stephen Deas, so I think I will read that before The Shelters of Stone. I also preordered Inheritance (WEEE!!!) and got the coolest hard cover book about the world of Algaesia for free. It has things you can scratch and rub and little things that pop out. Speaking of, I am going to have to reread all of that series (for the third time) before the last book comes out because I don't remember anything. AND IN EVEN MORE IMPORTANT NEWS!!! The last books from the Obernewtyn series are FINALLY being released. It seems there are two which are coming out at the same time which is strange ... The Sending and The Red Queen. It is safe to say that they day these come out I will be holing myself up in seclusion until they are done. Actually, I will have to reread all of those too ...

At the moment, my to read list is ordered as such:

The Order of the Scales - Stephen Deas
The Shelters of Stone - Jean M. Auel
The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss (possibly followed by Wise Man's Fear)
The Black Prism - Brent Weeks
The Novice and The High Lord - Trudi Canavan

This of course doesn't take into consideration the release of Inheritance and required pre-re-readings or the release of The Gray Wolf Throne and its ambiguous publishing date ... or the release of a paperback of The Land of the Painted Caves.