Oathbringer Review

Oathbringer

Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3)Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oathbringer is huge. It took me months to get through. And part of the reason is that the middle dragged on and probably could have been cut down, which is why this book only gets 4 out of 5 stars. Other than that, it was great. I’m still trying to process everything, although my lingering question is how Brandon Sanderson plans to have seven more books in the series. Like the first two, this book culminates in a big battle, so I assume that the rest will have something like that as well at each climax, but can he keep making each book feel fresh? If each book is the equivalent of a trilogy, then the rest of the series is about 21 books long. That’s a lot.
But as to this book, it was good. I liked how the world building grew and we found out what led to the Recreance, although it wasn’t quite as earth shattering as promised, although I’m not sure it ever could have lived up to it. It was also interesting to see Dalinar’s past and how much he has changed, as well as how it came back to haunt him. Odium’s presence was different than I expected, but made more interesting than a pure evil being.
Brandon Sanderson has so many interesting ideas for world building, it’s hard not to feel jealous of him, but it is easy to enjoy his books. I remain a fan.

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Gone Girl Book Review

Gone Girl

Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was frustrating to read. There are some interesting things about the unreliable narration, especially in the first half, but the book convinces you to hate both characters so much that the ending was not very satisfying. It is good in that it constantly makes you reevaluate what you’ve thought before. The problems I had were more toward the end of the book, although the whole time Nick is making stupid choices that make things worse for him, which annoyed me. 
(view spoiler)
Listening to the book on disc, I didn’t really enjoy the language, probably worse than if I had read it. But the actors did do a good job with their voices. I’m just glad I’m done with this. And that my wife isn’t that crazy.

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City of Stairs Book Review

City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, #1)City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My Review

I have some mixed feelings on this book. For the most part I liked it, but some things didn’t work so well for me. So I’m going to do a pro vs con list for my review.

Pros

The setting is different from most fantasies. Set in a semi modern analogue to Russia, conquered by an analogue to India, it makes things a bit more diverse, especially when the heroine is a little brown girl with big glasses.
It has an air of mystery and wonder to it throughout the whole novel, juxtaposed to the aforementioned setting.
It has a rich mythology.

Cons

Shara, the heroine, feels like a Mary Sue. She seems just a little too smart. Her companion, Sigrud, is a Gary Stu when it comes to fighting. Between them, there isn’t much suspense when they get to the action.
There are some parts that go deep into exposition, especially one part where Shara explains everything while cooking. While there was a lot of stuff to explain, some of it should have been parsed out more.
Along with telling too much, there was some showing too much. One time when a monster attacks, we see several viewpoints telling us basically the same thing, just how powerful it was. After the second or third, I was like, “I get it already.”
Some of the mythology seems to be a critique on organized religion, especially religions like Catholicism and Judaism. It seemed like the message was, “You don’t need God, nor should you follow any rules religions proscribed.” It kind of rubbed me wrong.

I see that this is book number one of The Divine Cities, but the ending pretty much wrapped itself up, so I don’t know where any other books would go with it. Not that I wouldn’t mind returning, but the way it ended, I don’t know how much more there is to explore. We’ll see.

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