Donnerstag, 20. Juni 2013

Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games Trilogy Review

With the second movie coming up I decided to review this book series.
I really liked the first movie, although some characters are really not like I pictured them.

Let's go with the setting first. It's quite dark and unsettling in the beginning, but as soon as the games begin you kinda forget all about it, 'till it comes back in the later books.

The author wrote the book for a specific audience of teenage girls, I believe. So I can't really say I like the writing style too much. It's too simple for me.
Except for Haymitch I hardly liked any of the characters, considering there are quite a few that's a pretty low rate. Well I'm no teenage girl so what can I say.

The first book for me was clearly the best, second was still ok to read and third just got really painful. It kinda lost everything I liked about it.

If you are a teenage girl I can sincerely recommend this book, if not, I really can't.

‘The Hunger Games’ is set in our world, but in a post-apocalyptic time. The Capitol is the cruel Government of the twelve districts of Panem, which was once North America. As punishment for a revolution in the past, the Capitol created the Hunger Games. One boy and one girl (aged twelve to eighteen) are chosen from each district to fight on live television until only one child remains.

Dienstag, 18. Juni 2013

Joe Abercrombie - The Blade Itself (First Law Trilogy Book 1)

A relatively unknown book. But i was deeply impressed by the writing style, it's dark, it's gritty but can also be really funny at times.
It has a huge variety of different characters, there are witty inqusitors, battle-proven northmen and spoiled younglings.

And Joe Abercrombie makes it work beautifully. Every character perspective is a good read, there are no boring chapters. It's really hard to pick a favorite since all characters are just awesome. 

It's hard to say something about the magic system since not much is explained to the reader, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. What we know about it makes it seem pretty standard although there are some special elements.

The world is beautifully built the cities are well described and you have a definitive image of them if you read the book.

Character developement is one of the greatest things in the book. Every single character has a certain kind of developement. Some of them unexpected some of them expected but all of them help to engage the reader even more.

If you like dark fantasy, black humor and great characters this is a must-buy for you!

Synopsis taken from

Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian – leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies. 

Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules. 

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it. 

Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he's about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glotka a whole lot more difficult. 

Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood. Unpredictable, compelling, wickedly funny, and packed with unforgettable characters, The Blade Itself is noir fantasy with a real cutting edge.

Montag, 17. Juni 2013

Patrick Rothfuss - The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1) Review

Today i've got a real hidden gem for you. Patrick Rothfuss' - The Name of the Wind. Spectacular book.
Loved it, went through it in three days. Same with the second day, took me four days since it was a little bigger than the first.

One of the best main characters of all time if you ask me. Present and past iterations.

Brilliant setting, it plays in the now where the main character is a innkeeper in a sleepy little town and the past where the main character is just awesome

It has magic system where we still don't know much about at the end of the second book, which is kinda annoying kinda intriguing. The world is beautifully built, although we don't know a lot so far.

The character developement is pretty great. And you even start to feel for the characters, which usually takes more than two books for me.

The setting is probably the most remarkable thing about the book. It plays in two different times, the present and the past. The main character tells his own story in the present. 
Something great are the interludes, small chapters in the present which are built between really exciting storys of the present. I initially thought that style would get annoying after a while, but that is not the case. Through all two books those chapters are very well placed and written.

I won't write a synopsis for this book because it's got the best one already written on the back cover.
Seriously! It's the best damn synopsis i've ever read. Instantly after reading it i bought the book.

My name is Kvothe.

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

What are your thoughts on the book? Write me in the comment section!

Sonntag, 16. Juni 2013

George R. R. Martin - A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire)

This is a big one. After hbo decided to make a TV show out of it, its popularity skyrocketed. Well deserved, the show is brilliant. So are the books for that matter.

My first attempt in reading it was when i was a long time ago when i was just 14 years old. Pretty young for this kind of book and, naturally, i couldn't really appreciate it all.
I skipped chapters, hated characters i now learned to love (Daenerys). Well i was young  and much of what happened in the book went right over my head.

But now let's get to the meat of it. The books are great. All of them. The storytelling is superb, it's dark and gloomy which is something i learned to love. Who likes to read about a happy-go-lucky world? No one. 
Characters die. That's so important for a good story if you ask me. If every important person seems invincible there is no way for me to feel any kind of suspense. How can i get emotionally involved if my favorite character is invincible? I can't.
It's a world much like our own, it's just not black and white everything is a shade of grey (not 50). Good people do bad things, bad people do good things. All this happens in this great series of books. I can only applaude George RR Martin, he wrote one of the best fantasy books of all time. And now with the TV show he gets the exposure he deserves.

Since most people know the story already i will skip giving a description, you can find that on amazon.

The only bad thing i can write about the series is how long it takes till a new book gets released. So read slow, if you are able to.

What do You think about Game of Thrones? Write Me something in the comments!

Samstag, 15. Juni 2013

Max Brooks - World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

Today i've got a book which really isn't just fantasy. It might just be a real outlook into our own future! ;)

The book is beautifully written from different perspectives and in different styles. Some chapters are interviews, some are diaries. The characters range from heroes with a twist, to blind samurai. (Yes, samurai with sword an all, awesome.)

Like in AMC's 'The Walking Dead' the world is overrun with zombies. The zombie epidemic starts very slow, Max Brooks did a great job of writing a plausible beginning of a zombie apocalypse, something I personally didn't believe possible. It shows different governments treat the apocalypse in different ways everythings really believable. I was probably more impressed with the depiction of governments than with that of the characters, although some of them are pretty good too.
It is a well thought out book, everything makes sense in zombie kinda way.
 while I didn't like the abrupt ending of it all in all it was a great and quick read. 

And it's about zombies, who doesn't like that?!

Freitag, 14. Juni 2013

Ever Thought Of Writing Yourself? Podcast For Authors

Today i'd like to present a podcast relevant to writing a good story.
I believe most people who read a lot of books, especially the fantasy genre, dream of writing their own book. I recently found a really nice podcast about writing! It covers everything you need and is already in it's 8th season. It's a team of writers (most notably Brandon Sanderson) who talk about basically everything you need to write a book. Be it worldbuilding, inventing a magic system or creating a villain. It also has writing prompts which animate you to write. 
Because sometimes, starting is really the hardest part.

Here is the link to the first season. Writing Excuses

Donnerstag, 13. Juni 2013

How To Choose The Right Book

Choosing the right book isn't always easy. Luckily we are in good times right now, the internet is an invaluable source to find the just the thing you want.
In times of free preview chapters choosing the right book might seem easy, but it really isn't. 

How often did you start a book but after 50 pages thought: "Ah well, not for me.". A few times? A dozen times? Happpens to everyone. Sometimes the story seems interesting but the author just can't get the point across. Some books just seem to be plain boring. Sometimes you have to power through and get rewarded endlessly. That doesn't happen often, though.

I usually first take a look at the Amazon Bestseller list. Right now Game of Thrones is ranked #2, but everyone knows Game of Thrones already, so no surprise here. I click through all the pages and open every book that sounds interesting and sounds like it fits my genre in a tab for later browsing. Every genre book that's in the general Amazon Bestseller list has to be quite popular, and most of the times those are really good books. 
Next filter for your genre and look at those Bestsellers, in my case: Sci-Fi and Fantasy.
Now a whole new world opens up. Again click through the pages and open everything that sounds good to you in a new tab. 
After having everything open start clicking through 'em and just read the summary. Don't read the first chapter, don't read any reviews yet. Close everything that you don't find appealing.

In my opinion just a great idea is enough to sell a book. Let's look at Stephen King's - Under the Dome, a small city that suddenly has a huge invisible barrier around it. That's a great idea. Also since the author is quite known, that alone is enough to buy it.

But now you have about two or three books left, look at the amazon reviews, sometimes books are marketed at an audience that doesn't include you, teen vampire novels are a big example. Liking good hard fantasy usually doesn't mix too well with teen vampires.

So you're now left with one book. Look inside. Like what you read? Buy it. Still not quite sure? Google respectable review sites, such as this one right here!

Let's not make too much of a science out of this. There are probably more good books than you will ever be able to read in a lifetime. Picking one isn't hard, but it sure is fun. 
Back in the day when people still bought papercopys and didn't use the convenient method of digital download, I always looked forward for a book I really wanted to read to arrive. Good Times.

Mittwoch, 12. Juni 2013

Jim Butcher - Storm Front (Book One Of The Dresden Files)

This one I read a while ago. It's a really good 'snack' book. Something for inbetween your big reads. 

I went through it really quick, three days. Not only because it's not too big but because it's really well written and exciting.

It's about Harry Dresden, a private investigator who is also a wizard. Yes, wizard investigator, sounds awesome, is awesome. He will not only find your lost things but also catch the fairy who took it. He's also the consulting wizard for the Chicago P.D.
Harry one day gets contacted by the Chicago P.D to help them in a case of a mysterious death. And just like this, the story begins, it got all the things a good book needs, a mysterious but beautiful woman, a gangster boss and a talking skull pet.

It's a really good blend of the real world with a fictional twist. The author does a good job of letting things seem really natural. Characters are quite cliché but that doesn't really take anything away from the book.

I recommend reading it between two more complex books, as I said it's a nice 'snack' read but not much more.

Dienstag, 11. Juni 2013

Book Recommendation: Brandon Sanderson - The Way of Kings

I just want to recommend this book. It is a great book. And right now dirt cheap on amazon. Only 3,08$ as an kindle ebook. Doesn't get any better than that!

It's one of those books which actually stole my sleep for a few days. Couldn't stop reading it, even at a time where studying should've been my focus. It's a great book, can't praise it enough.

The Stormlight Archives is planned to be a 10 book series with epic proportions. 

Taken from

Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own, one every bit as ambitious and immersive.

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths,

Life before death.

Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.

Robert Jordan - The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time Book 1) Review

This is the start of one of the best fantasy epics of our time.

First some things about the series:
It has 14 Books (15 if you count the prequel), it took nearly 23 years to finish, and it is a long read. 
The author (Robert Jordan) sadly passed away in 2007 but he prepared and left extensive notes behind so another author could finish the series.
Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn, The Way of Kings) a long time fan of the series was chosen to finish it. He did so in 2013.

I first started reading it as a kid, I was around twelve then, and absolutely loved the series. 
So now that it's finally finished I went back and read it again.

The story is still awesome. The magic system is compelling. And the characters are great.
Robert Jordans writing is something you have to get used to. It does lack at some points in my opinion. But it does get better the more you advance in the series.

It is about three boys from a farming village, Emond's Field, where usually nothing ever happens. 
Just before the big festival of Bel Tine, strangers appear in and out of the village.
Strangers who will upset the festival and show the village folk that they aren't exactly forgotten.

The Eye of the World isn't the usual hero story, where a weak boy learns to wield magic and destroys the evil emperor. It's so much more. It has some great twists and turns which sets it apart from those kinda storys.

Ultimately it's a great book which I highly recommend reading. Because of it's sheer number of characters, everyone will find a favorite one. But be careful, there is a high possibility that you can't put it down once you started.