Tuesday 20 June 2017

Mini Reviews: Warbreaker, All Our Wrong Todays & The End We Start From

I rated Warbreaker 4 stars, All Our Wrong Todays 5 stars and The End We Start From got 3 stars.

Warbreaker, Brandon Sanderson
672⎟ Gollancz ⎟ 29th December 2011

WARBREAKER is the story of two sisters - who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, a lesser god, and an immortal trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago.

Theirs is a world in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren's capital city. A world transformed by BioChromatic magic, a power based on an essence known as breath. Using magic is arduous: breath can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people.

But the rewards are great: by using breath and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be performed.

Brandon Sanderson proves again that he is a master of what Tolkien called 'secondary creation,' the invention of whole worlds, complete with magics and myths all their own.

Mini Review
I can’t resist Brandon Sanderson’s epic fantasy stories. The world-building, the magic system, the epic character growth and the connections the characters form never fail to blow me away.

Of everything i’ve read by Sanderson so far, warbreaker was probably the one that was slowest to get going. It’s a long book and I have to admit that I wasn’t really sure how the magic system worked for a good while, but once it was properly explained I loved it - as always.

It’s not my favourite Sanderson but I still really, really enjoyed and I’m excited/sad that i’ve only got Elantris and the Way of Kings series left to go.

All Our Wrong Todays, Elan Mastai
400⎟ Michael Joseph ⎟ 2nd March 2017
Audiobook read by: Elan Mastai

So, the thing is, I come from the world we were supposed to have.

That means nothing to you, obviously, because you live here, in the crappy world we do have.

But it never should've turned out like this. And it's all my fault - well, me and to a lesser extent my father.

And, yeah, I guess a little bit Penelope.

In both worlds, she's the love of my life. But only a single version of her can exist.

I have one impossible chance to fix history's greatest mistake and save this broken world.

Except it means saving one Penelope and losing the other forever - and I have absolutely no idea which to choose . . .

Mini Review
I freakin’ LOVED this book. It’s easily one of the best books I’ve read this year and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished it.

In sitting here trying to find the words to make you rush out and read it, I actually don’t really want to say much about it. All I knew about the novel before diving in was from reading the first few pages of a Kindle sample where i promptly fell in love with the narrative style and  and Tom’s voice. I was so intrigued by the world he was born into and what he did that could have changed so much. That fascination and interest in everything lasted even beyond the last page. It was completely wonderful.

All Our Wrong Todays is cinematic and intimate, funny and sad, fascinating and horrifying - it’s all I could want in a story.

The audiobook is also read by the author and I can’t recommend it enough - Elan Mastai did an excellent job.

The End We Start From, Megan Hunter
140⎟ Picador ⎟ 18th May 2017
Thanks to Netgalley and Picador for the review copy.

In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, as London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, the family are forced to leave their home in search of safety. As they move from place to place, shelter to shelter, their journey traces both fear and wonder as Z's small fists grasp at the things he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds.

This is a story of new motherhood in a terrifying setting: a familiar world made dangerous and unstable, its people forced to become refugees. Startlingly beautiful, Megan Hunter's The End We Start From is a gripping novel that paints an imagined future as realistic as it is frightening. And yet, though the country is falling apart around them, this family’s world – of new life and new hope – sings with love.

Mini Review
I loved the concept of the flooded Britain of The End We Start From and the sparse, distant writing style, but it didn’t 100% work for me.

It’s an incredibly short book - I read it in around an hour - and it really felt short too. I didn’t feel like I had a chance to fully connect with the characters - who are only referred to by their initials - and I just wanted MORE about what was happening to the world around them. London was flooded, water levels high enough to force people from even the tallest tower blocks, but there was no why or how or anything really. It had a much more internal focus, but without the chance to connect with the main characters.

It was an interesting read though and I really did like the beautiful writing, I just wanted more.



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