Thursday, 16 February 2017

Mini-Reviews: Arcanum Unbounded, Scrappy Little Nobody & Long Way Home

I’m starting to struggle to find the time to write full review for everything I read, and even find the time to read enough to post enough full reviews to fill the schedule I used to. SO. My reviews from now on will be as and when I read three books and compiled into a collection of mini reviews. Just keeping you guys in the loop!

I rated all three books four stars and ‘Arcanum Unbounded’ was sent for review by Gollancz.

Arcanum Unbounded, Brandon Sanderson
672⎟Gollancz⎟24th November 2016

These wonderful works, originally published individually, have been collected for the first time and convey the true expanse of the Cosmere. Telling the exciting tales of adventure Sanderson fans have come to expect, Arcanum Unbounded include the Hugo Award-winning novella 'The Emperor's Soul', an excerpt from the graphic novel 'White Sand', and the never-before-published Stormlight Archive novella 'Edgedancer'.

I’ve been slowly working my way through Brandon Sanderson’s backlist over the last few years so I was super excited when this popped up on my radar.

This is a collection of 9 stories, but I wasn’t able to read two of them as they contain spoilers for ‘The Stormlight Archive’ and ‘Elantris’ which I haven’t read yet. I really don’t want to spoil anything or anyone with this one so I’m just going to talk about my two favourite stories.

‘The Emperor’s Soul’ is the first story in the collection and it was amazing. It’s inspired by Asian mythology, features a super cool magic system surrounding soul stamps and the seriously badass Shai. It’s perfect as a novella, but I could easily have read a full-length novel about this story. ‘The Secret History’ is the longest story in this collection and the best. I can’t even tell you who it’s about or what, but I can say that it’s set in the background of the original ‘Mistborn’ trilogy and it’ll give you some much-needed answers.

This is an incredible collection that’s perfect for any fan of Sanderson, and wherever you are in hs backlist. It’ll hook you if you’re a newbie and it’ll reunite you with some of your favourite characters if not.

Scrappy Little Nobody, Anna Kendrick
304⎟S&S⎟15th November 2016

A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

 Anna Kendrick’s autobiographical collection of essays amusingly recounts memorable moments throughout her life, from her middle-class upbringing in New England to the blockbuster movies that have made her one of Hollywood’s most popular actresses today. Expanding upon the witty and ironic dispatches for which she is known, Anna Kendrick’s essays offer her one-of-a-kind commentary on the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture.

I love Anna Kendrick so I was really excited to read her first book. And it was totally worth the wait.

Though I pre-ordered the hardback, my favourite way to read memoirs to to listen to the audiobook when it’s narrated by the author. Anna’s humour comes across so vividly in her reading of the book and I raced through this six-hour audiobook in only a few days. It’s funny, sweet and honest about Anna as a kid as well as her journey through drama camps, theatre and her first movie roles to become the star she is today.

I really loved how down to earth she’s stayed and her stories of being awkward in social situations and experiences of meeting people she admires. It was funny and refreshing. I think she really respected her teenage audience in the way she discussed her relationships and sex as well - it was honest and blunt and self-aware.

Highly recommended, especially if you love Pitch Perfect or are interested in how celebs become celebs.

Long Way Home, Katie McGarry
448⎟HQ Young Adult⎟1st February 2017

Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving.

It's the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it's up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she's known and loved her whole life.

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she's forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends…and forgiveness.

Caught in the cross hairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she's strong enough to be the one person to save them all.

I love Katie McGarry’s books. A new one from her is one of my reading highlights of the year and ‘Long Way Home’ was no exception. It was just what I needed, when I needed it.

Motorcycle clubs in themselves are problematic and I think that was really tackled with Violet and Chevy’s story. The position of women, the way they’re treated and the inherent violence and rivalry that comes with them. It was the most aware and most clever books in the series, while still being steamy and addictive and tackling big issues. It was just really well done. When I wasn’t reading ‘Long Way Home’, I wanted to be.

I think this might be the last in the ‘Thunder Road’ series, and if it is I’m looking forward to what’s coming next, but I do hope there will be more.


1 comment:

  1. I LOVE Anna Kendrick. Gah, I should have bought this ages ago. I need to head to a bookstore soon. I've been a fan of hers for a long, long time so I really can't wait to read this.



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