Thursday, March 25, 2010

Character Connection: Magnus Bane

Today is the first day of a new meme created by Jennifer over at The Introverted Reader, I'll faithfully be participating in this meme, as it's one of the most creative I've come across in my short time as a book blogger. The idea of this meme is to post about a character you like in any book that you've read. It's a pretty open ended meme, and its content is open to creativity.

Magnus Bane

Magnus Bane, from Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments, is probably my favorite character from this amazing series. He's apparently described in the book as looking to be around 19 years old (although I must have skipped over this part, as I don't remember it, I've always imagined him as 25ish) Magnus is a warlock, the high warlock of Manhattan in fact, and he's probably one of the most flamboyant characters in any book I've read. Throughout the series his clothing is constantly being described, and it's always bright colors and interesting hairstyles. That alone should make him a good character, but there's so much more to Magnus! He's constantly a source of consternation to the characters, especially in the first book, but he slowly becomes friend and ally to the group. I like to describe him as an antagonistic protagonist, it just seems to fit, and it's probably why I like him so much.

He's also gay, and that, in itself, should be of note. I haven't read many books where there are gay characters and it always makes me happy to see them in books, especially good books, and especially especially popular books.

So there you have it, my first contribution to the first day of Character Connection, make sure to head over to The Introverted Reader to check out the others who have decided to participate in this great meme! 

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Final Empire (Mistborn Book 1)

Recently I purchased a nook (one of the best purchases I have ever made) and after reading The Final Empire on it I can honestly say that most of my book reading will now occur in digital form!

The first book that I decided to read on my nook was The Final Empire, and what a book it was! Although this book was published some time ago (2007) I had never heard of it and after reading the synopsis I was drawn to it by its innovative presentation of the "mystical" powers in the book. Allomancy, an ability that allows users to "burn" metals in their stomach to gain superhuman abilities, is one of the most original ideas that I have ever been presented with in any book that I have read, simply fantastic.

...For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark....

The Good
 It's been a while since I've read a book that I simply could not put down, for any reason whatsoever. I was literally shushing people and moving from room to room because people were bothering me while I read this book. The story and the action is so brilliantly captured that it almost brought a tear to my eye while I read it. Allomancy is the most innovative and original "magical" powers that I have come across in any book. 

The characters in The Final Empire are some of the most likable characters you will ever meet, even the psychologically damaged Vin and the self absorbed manipulative Breeze. I felt like I actually know these people in real life, or at least I want to know these people in real life.

The Bad
Other than the fact that it ended eventually and that the end was extremely heart wrenching, I found nothing wrong with this book whatsoever. 

Actually, that's not true, the author uses the word "Maladroitly" way too often. Who cares though right?

The Verdict
Go out and buy this book immediately if you haven't already read it, and if you have already read it recommend it to all of your friends and family. It's that good. You'll enjoy every action packed page of this book, Blogger's Promise (however much that's worth). Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be reading the next book in the series.

Review: Always Forever (Age of Misrule Book 3)

Well I finished this book several weeks ago, and I'm finally getting around to writing a review for it, and I'm glad that I am because it's helping me remember exactly how good this book, and this series, is. It's not often that I find a book that seriously makes me think at the end, a book that makes me care for the characters, even after the last page is turned. In my review of World's End (the first book in the series) I mentioned that I struggled through the first book because the beginning of the book turned out to be nothing like the end of the book the events had changed things so much. I think my initial struggle with this series lay in the fact that I have no knowledge of English topography and so many of the places that are mentioned in the book went right over my head, as well as the highways and street names in London. Once, however, I got on Google earth and looked at many of the places, I began to see the events transpire a lot easier and learned something in the process. O.K enough prattle, let's get on with the review. 

The eternal conflict between the Light and Dark once again blackens the skies and blights the land. On one side stand the Tuatha de Danaan, golden-skinned and beautiful, filled with all the might of angels. On the other are the Fomorii, monstrous devils hell-bent on destroying all human existence. And in the middle are the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons, determined to use the strange power that binds them to the land in a last, desperate attempt to save the human race. Church, Ruth, Ryan, Laura and Shavi have joined forces with Tom, a hero from the mists of time, to wage a guerrilla war against the iron rule of the gods. This is the stunning conclusion of a powerful fantasy saga by one of Britain's most acclaimed young writers.

The Good
The final book in the Age of Misrule series ended in the way that every good series or stand alone book should end, leaving more questions, and the possibility of more events to come (not necessarily a sequel though), it should leave of making you think, and that's exactly what Always Forever did. These three books weave an epic tale that every good fantasy fan should read, the story is nothing new to the fantasy genre, but it is presented in a way that makes it a fantastic and a thrilling read. Set in a world where technology and the age of science have failed, the events are presented in a way that really make you think "what IF all the technology in the world were to stop working?" 

The Bad
As a series I found absolutely nothing wrong. There is, however, something about this book that makes me cringe, it's a little thing but it irks me none the less. The characters, lovable as they are, seem to have the same interactions over and over again; dreading what is to come, talking about what they miss about technology, and disparaging the state of the world as it was before the start of the book. It just all seemed very repetitious in some points. Although this took almost nothing away from the story itself, I feel that there could have been a lot more depth to these books if the character interactions were tweaked a little. 

The Verdict
Overall a brilliant not so modern day fantasy series capped off by a thought provoking ending that left nothing to be desired, except for maybe another book. I would most definitely recommend this book for fantasy fans.

Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain