Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Mini-Reviews: The Bands of Mourning, The Edge of the Abyss & Rising Action

The Bands of Mourning, Brandon Sanderson
448⎟Gollancz⎟5th January 2017

The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metalminds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.

As a whole, I don’t think the second Mistborn trilogy is anywhere near as wonderful as the original, but The Bands of Mourning took this series to the next level. And I loved it.

The star of the show in the penultimate volume of the second era of Mistborn was definitely Steris. I really loved the way the relationship between her and Wax really started to become one of mutual respect and admiration instead of politics and duty; it made me so happy how well they began to fit together.

The stakes were the highest they’ve been and The Bands of Mourning was a real rollercoaster - I’m gutted I’ve got to wait at least a year for the finale!

The Edge of the Abyss, Emily Skrutskie
296⎟Flux⎟18th April 2017

Three weeks have passed since Cassandra Leung pledged her allegiance to ruthless pirate-queen Santa Elena and set free Bao, the sea monster Reckoner she'd been forced to train. The days as a pirate trainee are long and grueling, but it's not the physical pain that Cas dreads most. It's being forced to work with Swift, the pirate girl who broke her heart. But Cas has even bigger problems when she discovers Bao is not the only a monster swimming free. Other Reckoners illegally sold to pirates have escaped their captors and are taking the NeoPacific by storm, attacking ships at random and ruining the ocean ecosystem. As a Reckoner trainer, Cas might be the only one who can stop them. But how can she take up arms against the creatures she used to care for and protect? Will Cas embrace the murky morals that life as a pirate brings or perish in the dark waters of the NeoPacific?

The first book in this series was one of my surprise hits of last year so I couldn’t wait to read the next instalment of Cas’s adventures.

Emily Skrutskie really upped her game in The Edge of the Abyss and I loved everything in this book. The tensions between Cas and Swift, and Cas and Santa Elena, and Swift and Santa Elena, were at boiling point. It makes the risks riskier, the promises and the secrets even more crucial and I just couldn’t pull myself away. It was sexy, tense and totally captivating - I want more from this world. Please?

Thanks to Flux and NetGalley for the review copy.

The Wicked and the Divine 4: Rising Action, Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
144⎟Image Comics⎟11th October 2016

Every ninety years, twelve gods are reincarnated as young people. They are loved. They are hated. And sometimes - just sometimes - they fall into open Superstar wars.

Volume 3 in this series was really quite lacklustre for me - I was confused and lost my connection to the characters with the whole volume being split my different issues by guest artists. I was nearly ready to be done with it.

Rising Action was definitely a huge improvement and I feel like the story is getting back on track, but it’s still lost the awesome punch of the first two volumes. I felt like I had more grasp on what was happening and I was so glad we were back to Jamie McKelvie’s art - it’s truly stunning.

I’m hoping for the next volume to be back on form, or I’ll have to give this series up, I think. I don’t care enough for how expensive they are.


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