Monday, May 25, 2015

The Iron Ship - Review

Title:  The Iron Ship
Author: K.M. McKinley
Series:  The Gates of the World #1

Synopsis:  “The Twin flees across the sky, bringing in its wake the Great Tide.  The Earth trembles under the shadow of its brother.  Times are changing.
     “The order of the world is in turmoil.  An age of industry is beginning, an age of machines fulled by magic.  Sprawling cities rise, strange devices stalk the land.  New money brings new power.  The balance between the Hundred Kingdoms is upset.  For the first time in generations the threat of war looms.
     “In these turbulent days, fortunes can be won.  Magic runs strong in the Kressind family.  Six siblings strive – one to triumph in a world of men, one to survive murderous intrigue, one to master forbidden sorcery, one to wash away his sins, one to contain the terrible energies of his soul.
     “And one will do the impossible, by marrying the might of magic and iron in the heart of a great ship, to cross an ocean that cannot by crossed.”

ReviewThe Iron Ship is a well developed novel with an immense cast of characters and an excellent story.  The effort that McKinley put forth on this novel is evident in the development of the world, and the people in it. 
     Don’t let the title and the cover fool you, this is not just a story about an iron ship; there is only one chapter of the novel that is actually set at sea, aboard the ship.  There are a lot of characters in The Iron Ship, the story is focused on the siblings of the Kressind family, but draws in other characters as well.  There is a lot of head hopping that occurs, which was distressing to me at first, however it is so well handled by McKinley that the switches are smooth and not distracting from the story. 
     I kept having trouble putting The Iron Ship down, the quality of the world building was such that I kept getting lost in the story and forgetting that I do not actually live in the Hundred Kingdoms.  My only complaint is that the book ends too soon.  When is the next one coming out?  I want it!

**I received a free copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review, via NetGalley**

Publisher:   Solaris

If you like this book you may want to read:

The Sentinel Mage (The Cursed Kingdoms Trilogy #1) by Emily Gee (Read BookGirlR’s review here)

Chronicles of the Necromancer by Gail Z. Martin

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Heir to the Jedi - Review

Title:  Heir to the Jedi
Author:   Kevin Hearne
Series:  Star Wars (Empire and Rebellion #3)

Synopsis:The Galactic Civil War rages on after the destruction of the Death Star and Luke Skywalker struggles to learn more about the Force without the aid of Obi-Wan Kenobi – or indeed without any aid at all. But the few memories he has of Obi-Wan’s instruction point the way to a stronger control of the Force, and he is encouraged to pursue it by a new friend in the Alliance. When Luke, R2-D2 and his new ally are tasked with liberating a valuable asset from the Empire and delivering her to a safe planet where she can aid the Alliance, their journey across the galaxy is fraught with peril – and opportunities for Luke to discover the mysteries of the Force.”

Review:  I would like to start by saying that I am a huge Star Wars fan and also a Kevin Hearne fan.  So when I saw that Heir to the Jedi was a Star Wars novel written by Kevin Hearne I was so excited I squealed a little.  I enjoyed Heir to the Jedi.  But I did have a couple of issues to begin with.
     The first person POV set in Luke’s head is unsettling and kept throwing me off for two reasons.  First, the vast majority of other Star Wars novels are written in the third person POV; so it was strange to be reading a Star Wars novel in first person.  I think I could have gotten accustomed to this were it not for the fact that the POV character is none other than Luke Skywalker, which is my second reason for being unsettled at first.
     Luke is such a well known character from the movies and previous books that most Star Wars fans already have their own ideas of how he should think, and how he should act.  So being told what Luke is thinking, and not having it match what we think he should  be like (and let’s face it, we all have different opinions of what he should think and how he should act), was strange and unsettling.  Had this novel been told from the first person POV with a minor or new main character I think it would have been fine.  But since it was Luke I think third person POV would have been a better choice.
     The plot itself is great. It’s a rollicking good adventure, and I eventually did get past my issues with the first person POV.  I am glad that I stuck with it and was able to get past my initial issues with Heir to the Jedi.

**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review via NetGalley.**

Publisher: Lucas Books

If you like this book you may want to read:

Razor’s Edge (Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion #1) by Martha Wells

Honor Among Thieves (Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion #2) by James S.A.Corey

The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne (See BookGirlR's review of Hounded here)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Afterworlds - Review

Title: Afterworlds
Author: Scott Westerfeld

      “Darcy Patel is afraid to believe all the hype. But it’s really happening – her teen novel is getting published. Instead of heading to college, she’s living in New York City, where she’s welcomed into the dazzling world of YA publishing. That means book tours, parties with her favorite authors, and finding means sleepless nights rewriting her first draft and struggling to find the perfect ending… all while dealing with the intoxicating, terrifying experience of falling in love – with another writer.               “Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, the thrilling story of Lizzie, who wills her way into the afterworld to survive a deadly terrorist attack. With survival comes the responsibility to guide the ghost with whom she shares a surprising personal connection. But Lizzie’s not alone in her new calling – she has counsel from a fellow spirit guide, a very desirable one, who is torn between wanting Lizzie and warning her that… BELIEVING IS DANGEROUS.”

Review: I enjoyed reading Afterworlds. What Westerfeld has done with this novel is awesome. I loved reading about Lizzie’s life and her struggle to adapt to life as a published author and life as an adult, alternating chapters with her first novel. When I first started reading I wasn’t sure I was going to like the alternating chapters, but as I got further into the story I began to enjoy it more and more as I followed Lizzie’s struggle with copyedits, and then read the sections of her novel with which she had been having such issues. I enjoyed the meta aspect of reading a novel that contains a character writing a novel and the novel as it’s being written.
      I recommend Afterworlds for fans of YA and fans of paranormal genre fiction.

Publisher: Simon Pulse

If you like this book you may want to read:

The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle (read BookGirlR’s review here)