Monthly Archives: January 2011

Glass, Shadows and Piercing.

I’m in a very ranting mood, so I apologise in advance.

I picked up my copy of The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks the other day. I’ve already read the Night Angel Trilogy, of course, but hey, it’s brilliant, so I may as well re read it another 69 times. It’s part of my nonsexual fetish for assassin (oops, wetboy… wait, I just keep sounding dirty, don’t I?) books. Perhaps I’m just morbid. I also picked up Beyond the Shadows, but nooo, the library can’t give me the second book. Waiting is impatience. I don’t even think that makes sense. But to teenagers wondering about Weeks’ novels, they’re gritty, heavy on themes like sex, swearing, drinking, child abuse, killing, general violence, war… so be wary.

The trilogy was actually recommended to me by one of my very best friends. She always seems to have new release novels, I may have to set up a system with her.

I now have Clockwork Angel in my possession, which I plan to start reading. Soon. I promise.

I just finished the last of Maria V. Snyder’s Glass Trilogy. I knew from the first book that I was missing something. It was written for those who had already met and knew the characters, and the previous story, which happens to be Poison Study, which I am yet to read. Darn, that means that I’ve read it all in the wrong order.

I must admit, I didn’t have high hopes for the first book. I thought it would be –as I call it – a 12 Year Old Book. Such a book is heavily clichéd, uses so many stereotypes that you trip over them, and generally annoys me. I tend to scorn such books a lot.

I had discovered about Storm Glass by me signing up to amazon and looking through the books it recommended me. Wow, it’s a useful thing.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised about Storm Glass. I enjoyed it, a lot. Opal isn’t an in-your-face-I’m-so-much-better-than-thou-because-I-have-magic-rasta kind of heroine. She’s young, gives in and is meek. She’s quite a change from the regular brawn of a fantasy protagonist. It’s a refreshing difference though, and got me to stay up for quite some time in the wee hours of morning.

Another thing that’s depriving me of sleep is my latest piercing, on my ears.

Yes, the rest of this post isn’t going to be about books. I told you I was in a ranting mood…

In a bout of teen rebellion, I went out when those parents o’ mine weren’t about and got my ear lobes pierced.. again. Yes, only lobes, but wow, sleeping is annoying.

When they’re fully healed, I’ll be getting another set done on my lobes, and after that, I’ll set myself up for an industrial piercing. Sorry for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about.

I haven’t had any trouble hiding the newest piercing from anyone, since wow I’ve had practise of hiding my ears – listening to my iPod in class is an art that I’m quite amazing at. Not to boast or anything… :/ But long hair does come in handy. Though I don’t really think that anyone would notice if I tied it all up and left my ears on show. My neighbour did, but that’s because I had been fiddling with my earring.

Really though, how often do you stare at a person’s ears?

Food for thought, it is.

~T

Advertisements

The Black Prism–Brent Weeks Review

I really like cats. Heh, anyway, last night I finished reading The Black Prism. I’ve read other people’s reviews, and they judge it harshly because it isn’t the Night Angel Trilogy. They’re not the brightest crayons in the box, now are they?

Now, some background information on the story:

The book is set in the new world of Chromeria, which is divided into seven satrapies, each with a satraph to lead it. The magic system is intricate, based on seven colours. Drafters –magic users – can use their colour to draft –use – their colour luxin –magic. Sounds confusing, but wait, it gets better.

The luxin is what drafters get when the transform light. Is this reminding you on those science classes with reflection and refraction? It also changes the drafters, and not just by forming a ring of colour around the drafters iris.  The luxin also controls the Drafters personality. Green is wild, Blue is orderly, Sub Red is fiery etc. There is a catch to using too much luxin – each time a drafter drafts, the luxin becomes more part of their body, until the ring of colour around their iris –halo—breaks, and they’re pretty much insane. They are completely influenced by their luxin colour, and are often hunted down. To avoid becoming a colour wight, as these luxin-driven-mad-people are known, most Drafters attend the ever so holy Freeing.

A Drafter can only draft one single colour, where as Bichromes draft two, and Polychromes draft three colours, which is the most sought after. There is only one man that can draft all seven colours whenever he feels the need – Gavin Guile, the Prism and closest link to the god Orloham. Being the Prism means no worries about breaking the halo and descending into madness, although also means that Gavin will die after taking office in a multiple of seven (fourteen, twenty one… Surely you don’t need me to do your timetables!)

The book was quite hard to get into for the first 200 and something pages. If I weren’t a completionist (is that even a word?) I possibly would have stopped reading. But it’s okay! The story picked up and the confusion of this magic system cleared, and that’s when I was actually interested in this fantasy novel.

I’d recommend it to those who have read previous works by Brent Weeks, but can also differentiate that this is a new novel, it’s not meant to be a continuation of the Night Angel Trilogy. Some of the reviews I have read on the Black Prism, people are judging it harshly because there’s no Kylar or Durzo… don’t they deserve a medal! Annoyed

I would think that even regular teenagers that aren’t freaked out by a lengthy novel could manage, there’s minimal swearing (I’ve found more in YA novels, so rest assured) and barely any sex (there’s more vague inclinations).

I don’t feel that I HAVE to own this, however. There’s no compulsion for me to purchase it right now or if I don’t, I will see the devil and he’ll try to steal my heart through my kneecaps. I’ll definitely read the next book, however, but more for curiosities sake than anything.

~T


Ramblings, Reviews and Renegades

My legs feel like they’re going to fall off. This is because I went for a super long walk, so I’ll get over it. In the mean time, I feel the need to notify people.

On this walk o’ mine, I went around the local park to suss out the river, (I live in Australia, and in case you haven’t noticed, the weather around here has turned catastrophic, with flash floods and bushfires raging across the country. I whole heartedly encourage you all to donate to the Queensland Disaster Relief Appeal. It will help people at least regain their homes which have been destroyed in the flash floods, although the people that have lost family members cannot have their losses so easily replaced.)

As I was saying, after I sussed out the river (the ford crossing was flooded, though that’s not anything too special, as it’s like that whenever it rains) I walked to the library, to pick up The Black Prism and Storm Glass, which I had reserved the other day. They came quite quickly, which is always good.

By the time I had walked home, wow, it was hot. It was about a 30 degree day, (almost 90 degrees for you Fahrenheit people) and probably not the best time for me to decide to walk up hills and along bush tracks and down hill and such. I would put in the distance I walked, but I don’t even have an estimate in kilometres, much less miles. (I’d vaguely put it at 7)(kilometres)

Tomorrow is also going to be lovely weather, so I am going shopping.. with my parents. Hey, it means that I don’t need to pay, so I can’t complain nor feel embarrassed. I might be able to sneak a few books in on the sly.

My thoughts on The Black Prism so far:

It is widely different from the Night Angel series, though still with the familiar writings of Brent Weeks. It changes POV every chapter, and follows Weeks pattern of following the characters different stories as they happen, as they all create the greater plot.

I do feel that a prequel is called for, to do some more world building. It is so far a book that I am enjoying, although I am only about 20% complete at the present time. It’s making out to be another enjoyable fantasy series, although I recommend it more to adults. I’m reading it because of my obsession with assassins, and it’s by the author of one of the best (assassin) series I’ve read.

I often feel obligated to read the author’s entire works if I like one of their books. My logic is thus;

if one of their books is such top quality, then ALL of their books must be amazing.

Surely.

Now, at 2:30 am, I think I’ll have to finish reading The Black Prism. It’s possibly going to have me staying up until the lovely birdies wake up, but I am enjoying the story, as I said.

Peace out, Scream and Shout

 

~T


Have You Booked??

Here is the list of books I have reserved from the library:

    • The Black Prism – Brent Weeks
    • Way of the Shadows – Brent Weeks
    • Shadow’s Edge – Brent Weeks
    • Beyond the Shadows – Brent Weeks
    • Clockwork Angel – Cassandra Clare
    • Storm Glass – Maria V. Snyder

As well as that, I am still waiting patiently for Crescendo. I now only have five people waiting before me.

I have already read the Night Angel trilogy, (Way of the Shadows, Shadow’s Edge, Beyond the Shadows) upon recommendation from my friend. My friend’s are not big readers. The majority of them, if they are going to be reading a book, it will be one of the genre of teenage issues. I pretty much despise such books. I can’t stand them, and it was very terrible last year in English class when a book report was to be done on – you guessed it – teenage issues. I made the mistake of once choosing Tithe by Holly Black to review for my class.

One asked if it was based on a true story. If there was an emoticon for /facepalm, it would be inserted here.

Maybe that is the reason why teenage issue books are preferred with such doings. Just to avoid the idiotic questions.

And for those of you that are suspecting, yes, the title of this post is from Fawlty Towers.

 

~T


Wouldn’t it be Nice if…

Dragon Riders of Pern. I’m sure you have heard of the series. It has been around for a good forty plus years. The newest librarian from my local library however, cannot boast the same knowledge.

I had simply asked if it were possible to make a request. I had to explain how the library had ever other book in the series, except for Dragonflight. Which is the novel that starts the entire series. It sometimes helps to read the first book, I have noticed. I also told her that it had been published in ‘68, and may be out of print. I asked if this would be a problem, she didn’t answer, instead, squinted her eyes at me down her rather long nose.

So, this librarian, who I must point out was obviously not a fantasy reader, needed to first clarify that I was actually telling the truth. Apparently, teenagers with a tendency of wearing black, chewing gum and borrowing seven books does not sit well with that woman. How odd.

Then she was convinced the book I was enquiring about was titled Dragon-fright. Then fight. Once I had kindly spelt out FLIGHT to her, she needed to see if the title was one word or two. Then she proceeded to google the book. After opening instructions of how to create an origami dragon in flight, she found the Wikipedia article (which is much higher on the page of search results than origami instructions, I’d like to point out). She then told me that the book was published in 1968.

I must disclose that I am a smart arse. I am sarcastic. I cannot deal with people such as this librarian. Or small children, on that note. It was incredibly difficult for me not to roll my eyes, or stare this woman down with a death glare. So I had to smile as pleasantly as I could manage, though I doubt it was successful.

She read through the Wikipedia article for a bit, seeming to disapprove about how the book was not a telling of real life. Really, with a name like DRAGONFLIGHT, you would think she had caught the fantasy element. Dragons… mythical creatures that breathe fire and fly…

Maybe that was too much to expect from her. She finally wrote down my name and my card number on the back of a crumpled receipt. She dismissed me with a “I’ll see what I can do. We may need to have it sent in from another library, and you’ll have to pay the fee of $3 for an inter-library loan. Have a nice day.”

I wasn’t very happy. At all. I managed to thank her and stalk out with my books and card, without a parting glare. Somehow though, I doubt that crumpled receipt will stay out of the bin for very long.

~T


Wanted: Friends

I need a job. Yes, I am unemployed. But one of the main reasons I would love to actually have a job is so that I could buy books over the internet. That is possibly where the majority of whatever it is that I would earn will be spent on.

I also just signed up to Amazon, after finding out that it can recommend me more books based on what I view. Handy!

I also remembered to check my Goodreads, even with the page not loading correctly. It may just be Firefox, as the site is in all it’s glory on Safari. I really need to install Chrome onto my laptop, only every time I try, the installing just cuts out.

Back to Goodreads, I shall be taking part in the 2011 Reading Challenge. I may as well, since I already keep track of the books I read on a Word Document, but now I can have a bit of healthy competition. Goodreads keeps telling me that I need friends. Don’t make me resort to offering baked goods to bribe people to be my friend.

I’d also like to point out that I’ve signed into Goodreads 3 times, tops, so I have not yet had the chance to add every book I have read. I also need to remember to add in the date I finished them, from now on.

Goodreads keeps reminding me that I have no friends. It’s kind of awkward. Just putting it out there… Winking smile

~T


Audiobooks, Rashes and Shopping

I’m rather annoyed.

That Christmas list, largely made up of books, well, hasn’t been ordered yet. And apparently won’t be ordered. Why? Because I don’t get to bed early.

OF COURSE I DON’T GET TO BED EARLY, WHY MUST YOU WITHHOLD THE PROMISE OF NEW READING MATERIAL?!?!?!??!

/rage

Arghh. That is super annoying.

Today was a rather good day for books. First, I stopped off at the library to pick up some books that I had reserved – Including Torment by Lauren Kate on audio tape. I don’t know how I feel about audiobooks. It’s going to take 9 hours to finish. I could finish the actual hard copy book in less than a third of that. 2 hours, tops.

The most recent audiobook that I have experienced was A Certain Slant of Light. I mostly listened to it while I was just going to sleep.

The reason why I had to get the audio copy of Torment was because the three hardcopies had an average of 10 people waiting before me. Since I’m not exactly the most patient person, I chose the quickest form.

I also browsed through the pitiful teenage fiction collection. It is literally one rack. Most of the books on said rack are there because of me, I’d just like to point out.

After going to the library, I had to stop by the chemist because the other day I found that a certain brand of sunscreen I seem to be allergic to. So my arms are covered in a really bad rash that looks like ‘german measles’ according to my mother. I had to pick up some Intensive Vitamin E. It is amazing stuff – anyone suffering from funky rashes, I highly recommend.

I then visited the op shop, browsing the books. A lot of Robert Ludlum and other hard cover sci fi / crime / mystery books. I did manage to find some good ol’ YA fantasy, as well as some very good condition discworld novels. Yesss.

I also got a lamp. It’s not a lamp, why do people call genie lamps lamps? Really, they look mAbstract Teapot or Genie Lamp? ore like a teapot… Anyway, this is a pretty awesome kind of abstract gold-coated brass teapot thing. I really like it, even if I did have to break my general rule of not spending over $10 in an op shop. Oh well…

So, with my stockpile replenished for now, I bid you a happy new year.

 

Farewell, kind sirs and madams.

~T