12 July 2012

Mistborn Trilogy - Brandon Sanderson

Unless you've been living under a fantasy rock for the past couple of years, you'll know that Brandon Sanderson is well on the map for fantasy fiction. His work is articulate, complex and intriguing, and his writing style is excellent. He's even ghost writing the rest of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.

I was mesmerised by the covers of these books, and the story sounded equally compelling, so I borrowed this particular set from my boyfriend and I was not disappointed.

What if the Dark Lord won?
(If that isn't an interesting first sentence to a blurb then I don't know what is.)

Vin is a lonely, abandoned girl working in a thieving crew when Kelsier strolls into her life. After learning that she is actually a very gifted Allomancer, he takes her in and gives her a life she had never dreamt of before - one where you trust others and laugh, and eat enough food. But Kelsier is about to turn everything on it's head. He is planning to overthrow the oppressive and cruel Lord Ruler, and with Vin's help, they may just succeed.

So that's just the premise of the first book. After that, the plot grows into a twisting mass of story, each book more detailed and grander than the last. Never mind trying to defeat a tyrant, there are bigger things in store.

The Mistborn trilogy is and engaging read, set in a world where mists always come at night, where people ingest metals to wield powers we could only dream about, where strange creatures roam and terrible things happen. It is full of suspense, action and mystery - in others words, it is every fantasy-lovers paradise.

The writing is perfect. There is a touch of humour, which balances the slightly gruelling subject matter. There is a level of detail that is very well thought through. Sometimes you wonder how someone can think of a world where everything makes perfect sense according to the laws there - the balance of forces, the explanations for everything that goes on in the plot. The history, the religions, the species. It amazes me how beautifully they all combine to create these books.

I like the characterisation, though it did take some time for me to warm towards Vin. But overall, every character was very different, and given different drives. It always disappoints me to see similar characters whose voices or feelings you can't recognise straight away. But here you know who is talking without having to read the name.

I can't actually say too much without giving the plots away for each of the books, so I will leave you with this: You need to read these books. 10 out of 10.

PS: I can't wait to get on and read the other Mistborn novel, The Alloy of Law

3 July 2012

Fever - Lauren DeStefano

I was casually walking around an Oxfam bookshop, not really wanting to buy anything in particular, when I saw this little beauty. The first one was great, and I was waiting for the oppurtune moment to pick this one up on the cheap from Amazon. But at a meagre £2.00, I just had to snap it up. It was so much cheaper than anything else I would ever find.

In my experience, trilogies always have one downfall: The second book is never quite as thrilling as the other two. The first one tends to be a story in itsself, and the third one is the huge climax. The second, therefore, is the build-up. There are only a few exceptions, and I'm sad to say that Fever is not one of them.

While the storyline was very good, I found that it lacked the goal that we had in Wither. Although I absolutely loved the characters, I found it harder to sympathise with them in this book.

However, the plot was very good. It has intrigue, love, loss, and it always keeps us wondering what is going to heppen to our beloved characters. Their time is running out, and their mortality is more pronounced. This time, you really can't see where it is going to lead you. I thought the ending in Wither was rather obvious, but here there's a twist that you don't see coming. Again, the cover perfectly encapsulates the story, though you don't see it at first.

A little review, this one. As there's not so much more to say about the writing, the characters or the themes that I didn't already say in my review for Wither.

7 out of 10 this time. But I have more hope for the final book, Sever, which should be out early in 2013.