Mistborn Review: A Hero’s Struggle

Mistborn Review: A Hero’s Struggle

My Rating:  ★★★ ★ ☆

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Before I opened this book I wasn’t too sure about whether I’d like it. I love Brandon Sanderson and all the books of his that I have read so far have been amazing, but I read a few iffy reviews of Mistborn and was a bit nervous.

Those nerves quickly subsided when I started reading it though, cause I was hooked by the end of the first few chapters.

What really got me interested, which isn’t usually something I find in books, is that the entire plot of the book was laid out very early on.

The premise of the book is that there is a group of thieves and criminals, and they plan on overthrowing the government.

What’s beautiful about it though, is that their entire plan is spoken about. We know exactly what steps need to be taken in order for this all to work.

Some might think it’s annoying because there is less suspense, but I firmly disagree with that. I think there is so much opportunity for suspense and potential failure that the story benefits from it.

There are some cheesy moments that all books fall prey to. Two people falling in love after meeting one night, ruining the plans you’d have to kill them is the first one that comes to mind.

In knowing the overall story, we just know that something will go wrong. There’s no way that the story can go perfectly as planned right? There’s no way our heroes can do exactly what they need to, cause where’s the fun in seeing them succeed so easily?

There is a sort of joy in seeing heroes struggle, even though we want them to win.

It’s sort of weird if you think about it. We all want the hero to win, so why do we want him to suffer and struggle? Why shouldn’t he win easily? Why do we want the hero to get beaten, battered, bloody and bruised.

We should want him to complete his goals with ease.

But that’s boring.

A story wouldn’t be much fun if we didn’t overcome some obstacles. That’s what makes them a hero though. They are a hero because they overcome great adversity and triumph in the face of defeat and despair.

A hero that struggles and goes through pain is a hero because of it. Because all that pain and hardship is what relates us to the words on a page, or the character on the screen.

Mistborn gives us two main heroes. Two characters that are the same in so many ways, but so different too.


My one big complaint about Mistborn and the world it is in is the “magic” system. What’s cool about it, Allomancy as it’s called, is that it uses metals that are absorbed into your body.

What isn’t so cool is that you sort of forget what each power does over time. Some of the powers are used enough, or are written in a certain way that the meaning comes across in a memorable way, but there are just about as many that you confuse.

Without spoiling anything, there are 8 different “powers” and each sort of has an opposite. Some of the powers are easy to understand, and the names for them give away their meaning.

Some of them aren’t really used often enough, so when they are mentioned it takes you a second to remember what power is being used.

Overall, fantastic book. I have the other two books in this trilogy and can’t wait to get my hands on them, but I promised myself I’d take a crack at IT before going back to The Wheel of Time, which I need to read before coming back again to Mistborn.


My question to you is simple, what is your favourite magic system that you’ve read. Harry Potter’s straight up wand use, or maybe Twilight’s magical creatures? Is it Game of Thrones subtle magical world, or something else entirely? Let me know in the comments.

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Book Review: A Crown of Swords

I just finished up A Crown of Swords just last week, and since I am morally obligated to review any book I finish recently as soon as I can, here it is.

Every time I open up a Wheel of Time book, I get a bit nervous about what’s coming for me.

I mean there are 14 books in the series, some of them are bound to be a bit more dull than the others.

Game of Thrones suffered from some dull moments, and there are less than half the amount of Wheel of Time books. So far, I haven’t been disappointing. For the most part, Wheel of Time books have a lot of moments that are spectacular, and some that are dull, but necessary.

A Crown of Swords fit that description, but one thing I will give it, that I don’t remember happening to me in any of the previous books, was that the events in the book seemed to fly by.

I’ll probably do a bad job at explaining it, but when I was reading it, I would sometimes find myself chapters further in the book, and twenty minutes had gone by.

You know the old saying, Time flies when you’re having fun. That fit perfectly when I was reading this one, and I don’t think I had experienced it in any other Wheel of Time book.

I think what made the book fun for me was Mat. As of now he is my favourite character, and he was heavily prominent in this segment of the series. That, mixed with other character plots and setting up future events in the series really made me enjoy the book a lot more than I was hoping for.

But, as much as I liked A Crown of Swords, it was not perfect. In fact, there were some classic Robert Jordan moments in it that get on my nerves whenever they happen.

Jordan likes to have an overarching villain throughout the series, which is fine, and give him some Lieutenants that sort of do his dirty work while we wait to get to the main villain.

I don’t mind the concept. In fact I’d prefer it because we can sort of see the main characters grow and become stronger over time, defeating more and more bad guys.

A problem that Jordan has though, is that he will introduce some bad guys, fleshing them out three or four books before they become relevant again, and then in a snap of your fingers, the main characters win against him/her.

Nynaeve’s conflict against Mogedhien was completely relevant. We know there’s a grudge there, and we know that the two of them fighting in some way was going to happen.

Rand and Sammael had a conflict brewing, and we knew the fight between them would happen eventually, but to me it sort of seems their fight this book was rushed and unnecessary.

Rand is scheming all the time, and I understand that, but he literally wakes up from nearly dying a few days earlier, and instantly he brings some allies to go kill Sammael.

I know the battle needs to happen, but the second after he wakes up after being passed out for a few days, and against an opponent that I don’t think was mentioned more than once in the book previously.

Rand has a lot of wasted time in this book, so giving him a few chapters to better set up the conflict between himself and Sammael would have made a lot more sense.

And the battle itself ends in almost an instant. Rand shoots off some Baelfire, and BAM, fights over. Rand doesn’t even confirm that Sammael died, he just assumes that nobody could survive that attack and leaves it there.

As annoying as this was, I am excited for what Jordan did for Mat at the end of the book.

In his last chapter, Mat is searching Ebou Dar for Olver, as the city is being attacked by the Seanchan Empire. Mat basically gets thrown and crushed by rocks as they attack the city, and that’s where it stops.

I hope that the book continues from there, or not long after. I know in The Path of Daggers, he isn’t present because of his injuries in the attack, which was the same as Perrin earlier, but Mat’s storyline is one of my favourite ones in the books, so I am excited to see where he goes from his present situation.

overall, A Crown of Swords is a great book. I’d put it in the upper half of the Wheel of Time books I’ve read so far.

Book Review: Lord of Chaos

So since I started A Crown of Swords this morning, I thought it would be a good idea to review the book right before it, The Lord of Chaos.

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Author: Robert Jordan

So this is my first time reading through the Wheel of Time series, and as you probably know by now, I am in love with it. Like I said in past reviews, I bought all 14 books before I had even finished the first one.

Lord of Chaos is by far my favourite of the first six books though, and probably by quite a bit.

Lord of Chaos doesn’t necessarily have my favourite moments for each character (though Mat is just the coolest 24/7), but all of the character’s stories put together as a whole provided the best overall story.

The one problem I found with Lord of Chaos is it comes at the point in the series where people are becoming ‘bored’. There aren’t many series out there with more than a few books, because it’s just the way things work. Turning a world and a story into three books is going to be much easier than into 14 books, but I still think Robert Jordan has done a pretty good job of it.

Over the first five books, the style of Jordan’s enemies are on the verge of being repetitive, but in Lord of Chaos, Jordan moves away from his regular plots/characters and changes up the style of bad guy, which is sort of just a less good, good guy.

Rand has fully come into his role of being the main character, but Perrin (he’s back from his honeymoon), Mat, Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne are back in action and bad ass as always.

My favourite part of Lord of Chaos was that it set up A Crown of Swords, and yes that probably sounds dumb because all books set up the next one if it’s a series.

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What I mean by that is this book didn’t solve all of it’s issues. There are still a few story lines that weren’t resolved by the end of the book.

For the other four books before this one, Jordan has each of them contribute to the overall story line of the series, but each book has its own story line that is wrapped up. In Lord of Chaos it isn’t completely wrapped up, which came at a good time in the series in my opinion.

It’s an important thing for writers, more so those with long series, to know how to keep readers interested. That’s why people often shoot for a book series that is somewhere from two and four books long, because each book introduces more risk of losing readers.

If you’re writing a book there’s a big risk of becoming too in tune with your writing style, and you end up writing a bland story that is repetitive and makes people lose interest in your story.

I’m not a master of books, or literacy, or reading or anything like that, but I think Jordan did a good job knowing the status of his story at this point and changing it enough to keep people interested.

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I did a little bit of digging as I was writing this post, and it seems like Lord of Chaos isn’t one of the most popular books in the series, but it is generally ranked higher than all of the books coming before it, and usually lands about the mid way ranking in terms of popularity.

I think the reason is because Jordan switched it up and changed his formula enough to get people interested again.

What is your favourite book in the Wheel of Time series? Let me know in the comments, or give me your ranking of all of the books in the series!

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Author: J.K. Rowling

Before I even begin this review, I am letting everyone know that it wasn’t written by someone who is obsessed with Harry Potter. I am not the type of person that tells people the house I’ve been sorted into, if you want to know you can ask. If you don’t want to read a review by someone who just likes the books and isn’t talking about them every two minutes then it’s best if you leave now. 

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Now I never said I hated Harry Potter, in fact I remember them being pretty good, but I don’t remember them being very special.

Yeah, I would get each of the books as soon as I could after they came out, and yeah I would read them as fast as I could, but I don’t remember anything really sticking with me when I read them.

I even gave them all a second read through a few years ago, and honestly liked them a little less, I think because of all the hype that has been put on them for years.

Rowling has done a marvelous job at creating a world that has kept millions of people around the world interested in and engaging with, but I am not one of those people.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone was our first peek into the magical world, and honestly I wasn’t too disappointed. We got to explore the world as Harry did, learning most things for the first time just like Harry did too.

Being a boy right around the same age as Harry, I was amazed by all the magic, and I can remember having ‘Harry Potter’ fights with my cousin when we were kids.

There are two things about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that bother me though.

The first is that it seems sort of rushed. I know it’s a relatively short book, and Rowling’s writing style is a faster paced one, but it seems like a lot more could have been hashed out in order to have readers better understand and enjoy this new magical world they had discovered.

My second problem is that Harry is just a boy being introduced to the magical world for the first time. I get that he’s the protagonist and eventually we find out is the chosen one and all that, but he’s an 11-year-old boy who is going up against a freaking dark lord!

Yeah, sure, Voldemort isn’t at full power, and yeah Harry beats him with luck more than anything (which happens again and again and bothers me), but Dumbledore seems to have all the answers and should be able to help Harry out, or at least have someone else do it, but barely lifts a finger to do so until book six.

I get that the protagonist needs to be the one to save the day and all that crap, but I find there is a difference between the protagonist winning on luck/skill/allies/masters his powers and the protagonist winning just because he has too.

It annoys me that Harry isn’t an exceptional wizard at all. He’s not smart, he’s lazy, and doesn’t really show much promise as a great wizard like Dumbledore, but constantly gets lucky with beating Voldemort every school year.

And yeah don’t give me that friendship is true strength crap either because I wouldn’t call  the trio a friendship. More like one guy who constantly depends on the other two just to survive most days.

Rant aside, I did really like the house point system that was introduced in the book, which we don’t see as often as the books go on. I thought it was a cool little mechanism to learn about the do’s and don’ts of Hogwarts, and was a nice little victory for the main characters, even if Dumbledore cheated and gave them the win for free.

I did also enjoy that the book follows the school year. It seems kind of cliché that all of the books only take place during the school year, but it’s a nice little touch, and it makes sense if you think about it. I mean yeah, the school year takes up a majority of the year, but at the same time it’s when Harry adopts his magical life. When Harry is home for the summer he basically becomes a muggle again, living an especially miserable life.

I hope you guys made it this far, and I am sorry that I’m not more of a fan. I did enjoy the books, I’ll never deny that, I just don’t understand the hype that everyone holds the books up to.

I would like to take a quick poll of my readers to see what houses everyone has been sorted into. For some reason I feel like I have a lot of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, but we will see.

I don’t know what I’m going to be covering next week, not that I’ve been following it much lately anyways. I’ll have something for you I promise, I just can’t think more than a few hours ahead of me at the moment, but hopefully this will go away soon.

 

Weekly Recap

In case you happened to miss one of my posts this week here they are:

Manga Review: Bleach

Type it Out Tuesdays

Wednesday News: January 23

Top 5 Manga/Anime Characters

Quote of the Day: January 25

As always I hope you guys enjoy.

Channel Update

Alright so I originally started this blog as a school assignment but I really started to like it and spent some free time during the term figuring out whether or not I should take the blog full time, and how I would be able to do that.

Well good news is I figured out how I can do both of those. I’ve got new ideas for the blog and plan on updating it every day, but I’m not guarenteeing anything with school going on.

So here is the updated schedule of what the posts will look like:

Monday: Book Review

Tuesday: Type it Out Tuesdays (post different writing prompts for people     interested in writing themselves)

Wednesday: Book related news (books being adapted to movies/tv shows, new books coming out, etc.)

Thursday: Thursday Thoughts (different thoughts I have on book related things ex. My Top 10s, Book related life stories, seasonal book topics, writing challenges etc.)

Friday: Quote of the Day (from the book I reviewed that week)

Saturday/Sunday: Taking a break to relax

I also have some channel updates coming out too. I want to update the books I’ve read/want to read  and throw in alphabetical shortcuts so it’s easier to find the author.

I’m also gonna make a Facebook group book club so theres an easier platform for more people to chat about a book. The book club will be one book a month to start instead of every week.

I’m also going to update some pictures and minor pages on the blog itself.

I hope everyone is as excited as I am for this update.

Book Review: A Game of Thrones Graphic Novel 1-3

These three books were the first ever Graphic Novels I had ever read and honestly I was pleasently surprised by the whole experience.

I’ve read some manga in the past so I guess I had some experience with reading narration and speech bubbles, but I really enjoyed seeing a book and TV series I love come to life by an artist and writer’s imagination.

AND…The three graphic novels were definitely a nice break from reading the 1000+ page novels I’m so used to.

On a different note, I may be alone in thinking this but I believe that some characters from a book just can’t be portrayed on a TV or movie screen properly.

Personally I enjoy this look to Robert Baratheon much more than the one we got on the show. This look appears a bit more natural and a good mix of king and drunk fat man. The Robert we got in the show never was much more than the latter.

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After looking at those panels I know what you’re thinking. WOW this artwork is really good!

Well you’re right, I’d dare to say its fantastic. Every little inch of each panel has so much detail to it. It is so beautifully made. Like look at Danaerys’ dress. It’s so perfectly drawn.

The art is done by a guy named Tommy Patterson and I really think you should look him up. He does a hell of a job.

Here’s a few more of his creations in the Graphic Novels

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Look at all of the individual swords that make uo the Iron Throne. You can’t imagine that, and you sure as hell can’t show that on TV. This was one of the best moments that won me over in the books.

This quality of art and the depiction of the book series into pictures has definitely turned me on to looking at more graphic novels in the future.

Another thing about Graphic Novels that I thought of while reading these 3 is that graphic novels are the perfect middle ground for people who don’t read much, but want to read a book series of their favourite television shows.

They’re not text heavy. They can actually be read in probably a few hours only. Plus they offer really beautiful visuals that might surpass even your imagination of what things really looked like.

I know that was the case for me. Looking at the Graphic Novels actually made me imagine a few characters to be different than when I originally imagined them.

Verdict: Worth the read, especially if you’re not a regular reader but want to better understand Game of Thrones as a whole or if you want to see the beautiful depictions of the characters and the story.

Let me know in the comics what graphic novels you’re reading. I’m new to the genre, but so far I’m hooked so I’d love to start exploring some more.

Next week I’m gonna take a look at a book I read back in high school. Theres a guy named Matthew, and he has some sort of effect on people. Stay tuned 🙂

p.s. news coming on an updated schedule in the next few weeks.

 

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