Ultimate Blog Tour: The Die of Death

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Title: The Die of Death (The Great Devil War II)
Author: Kenneth B. Andersen
Rating: ★★★★☆

Philip’s adventures as the Devil’s apprentice have changed him—in a good way. Although he misses his friends in Hell, he has made new friends in life.
But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, Philip’s help is needed. Death’s Die has been stolen and immortality is spreading across the globe.
Philip throws himself into the search—and discovers a horrible truth about his own life along the way.

The Die of Death is volume 2 in The Great Devil War-series and winner of the ORLA-Award.

The Great Devil War-series is a humorous and gripping tale about good and evil, filled with biblical and historical characters, such as Judas, Goliath, and Pontius Pilate, as well as modern figures such as Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and many more.

Hello my dear readers, it is finally my stop on The Ultimate Blog Tour! For this tour, a bunch of us bloggers took a look at Book 2 in The Great Devil War series by Kenneth B. Andersen.

I was pleasantly surprised by the first book, and immediately jumped at the opportunity to read the second book.

Before I begin, I just want to let you know that I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

Shall we get going?


The Character of Phillip

Phillip comes off a bit juvenile in this book, maybe even a little more so than he did in the first one. I’m hit and miss on this aspect.

On one hand, it’s nice seeing a kid be a kid and have an innocent point of view. On the other hand, it almost seems fake, because that’s now what kids are like any more.

Though he seemed a bit predictable at times, I didn’t think any of his actions were too obvious that it ruined the book for me

I think Phillip knocked Satina out of the spotlight a bit, which isn’t necessarily bad, but she was one of the things I enjoyed about the series so far, and I wanted to see her a bit more this book.


The Worldbuilding

Worldbuilding is something that I look for in books. It is one of the things that can easily turn me on or off to a book.

Andersen does a good job at worldbuilding, in my opinion. I think he did a great job in the first book, and kept that going in this book.

Though we are already somewhat familiar with Phillip’s world, we got a bit of a peak behind the curtains to Purgatory and Heaven in this book.


YA Category

Though I would consider this book Young Adult, it definitely is nearer middle years. Yes, it is a bit dark, but it comes off very child-like to me. If the dark aspect of the book wasn’t present, I think this book would definitely be middle years.

I don’t read a lot of YA these days, but I pick one up now and then, and it’s refreshing. They’re usually simple reads with interesting premises, so I enjoy exploring their pages.

This was definitely true for The Die of Death. It was a lot of fun diving deeper into the world that I enjoyed so much in the first book.


Slow and Steady Doesn’t Win the Race

Anderson’s pacing is one of his strengths when it comes to his writing. He seems to have mastered the pacing of the books in the series, knowing exactly when to press on the gas, and when to ease up just a little bit.

He makes it feel a bit stressful. Like there’s always something happening, and that the stakes are high.

This helps add to the connections you feel with the characters. You feel like they’ve achieved something, like they’ve failed or succeeded in their goals.


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If you do a little digging, it won’t be hard to find a bunch of other bloggers with reviews out there of this book. It was a lot of fun to read, and I can’t wait till I can get to book 3!

Let’s talk about The Die of Death in the comments, or on the social media!
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March Madness (2)

Hello again dear readers. You are only a day and a bit away from the weekend! Just don’t forget to enjoy the moment while you’re looking to the horizon.

If you missed last week’s March Madness post, you should probably go check it out here.

To simplify it for you, I want to hold a March Madness tournament, but for books.

I narrowed the books down into four more popular categories, each having 16 books.

I decided on these genres and these books doing some pretty thorough research into popular books in each genre.

I will make a post about the rules for this, and what will be happening during March a few weeks before it goes live, but you can check out the list of books in each genre down below.


These are the 16 Books in each of the four categories:

Horror

  1. Rosemary’s Baby
  2. The Haunting of Hill House
  3. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
  4. Carrie
  5. Dracula
  6. Frankenstein
  7. Pet Semetary
  8. The Shining
  9. Let the Right One In
  10. Gothic Tales
  11. The Exorcist
  12. Interview with the Vampire
  13. Ring
  14. The Turn of the Screw
  15. The Woman in Black
  16. The Tell-Tale Heart

Mystery

  1. The Maltese Falcon
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  3. Gone Girl
  4. In Cold Blood
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  6. The Hounds of Baskerville
  7. The Girl on the Train
  8. Rebecca
  9. The Firm
  10. Murder on the Orient Express
  11. Davinci Code
  12. And Then There Were None
  13. The Godfather
  14. The Alienist
  15. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  16. A is for Alibi

Fantasy

  1. The Lord of the Rings
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. Assassin’s Apprentice
  4. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
  5. The Lies of Locke Lamora
  6. The Name of the Wind
  7. The Eye of the World
  8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  9. Malazan Book of the Fallen
  10. American Gods
  11. Mistborn
  12. Wizard’s First Rule
  13. The Golden Compass
  14. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  15. Outlander
  16. Eragon

Science Fiction

  1. Dune
  2. 1984
  3. Ender’s Game
  4. Brave New World
  5. Starship Troopers
  6. Fahrenheit 451
  7. The Handmaid’s Tale
  8. The War of the Worlds
  9. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  10. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  11. Star Wars
  12. Slaughterhouse-Five
  13. Watchmen
  14. The Martian
  15. The Hunger Games
  16. A Wrinkle in Time

If you like the idea of this March Madness for books, please follow the blog, or find me on social media!
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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.

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.