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Review: The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress #1) by Rachel Aaron

The Spirit Thief

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Eli Monpress is talented. He’s charming. And he’s a thief.

But not just any thief. He’s the greatest thief of the age – and he’s also a wizard. And with the help of his partners – a swordsman with the most powerful magic sword in the world but no magical ability of his own, and a demonseed who can step through shadows and punch through walls – he’s going to put his plan into effect.

The first step is to increase the size of the bounty on his head, so he’ll need to steal some big things. But he’ll start small for now. He’ll just steal something that no one will miss – at least for a while.

Like a king.

 

 
This one was a slog.

I bought this as part of omnibus based off of a great blurb. I started and stopped it a couple of times but I finally buckled down and read in starting in January.

It took me forever to finish this book – it’s not particularly small but it’s not that big, either. It’s well written and the writing is engaging.

So why was it such a slog for me?

I’d have to say it was the characters. Well, one character in particular: Eli. Eli Monpress is supposed to be rather charming. I’m guessing he’s supposed to give the reader a “gentleman thief” kind of feel – someone extremely likeable but untrustworthy – maybe like Pierce Bronsan’s Remington Steele or Scott Lynch’s Locke Lamora.
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Review: Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) by Steven Erikson

Gardens of the Moon

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The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…

Conceived and written on a panoramic scale, Gardens of the Moon is epic fantasy of the highest order–an enthralling adventure by an outstanding new voice.

There are no words. I just don’t have the words to describe this enough to get out a review.

I don’t have the words to express my relationship with Gardens of the Moon.

I am…my mind is BLOWN.

It’s genius.

It’s intimidating. The sheer scope of what was going on is amazing. There’s so much going on and I don’t know what to even say. The world is so textured and layered.

There are ten books in this series. O_O

I went through a gamut of emotions – the emotional roller-coaster had me strapped down and didn’t let me off until the end.

The sheer…magnitude of the book was on the scale of what I [previously] would have thought to be impossible.

During my reading of this book I felt confused, I felt astounded, tired, irritated, exhilarated, exhausted, engaged, exasperated, drugged, emotionally traumatized…and totally at Erikson’s mercy.

O_o
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Review: The Voyage of the “Dawn Treader” (The Chronicles of Narnia, #3) by C.S. Lewis

The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader"

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Lucy and Edmund, with their dreadful cousin Eustace, get magically pulled into a painting of a ship at sea. That ship is the Dawn Treader, and on board is Caspian, King of Narnia. He and his companions, including Reepicheep, the valiant warrior mouse, are searching for seven lost lords of Narnia, and their voyage will take them to the edge of the world. Their adventures include being captured by slave traders, a much-too-close encounter with a dragon, and visits to many enchanted islands, including the place where dreams come true.

Note: I love this series to pieces so this is more of my thoughts than a review.

Let’s start with great first lines: “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

The Voyage of the “Dawn Treader” starts with Edmund and Lucy Pevensie going to stay with their aunt, uncle and their annoying son, Eustace. Eustace…is originally characterized as a snotty little asshole that was training up to become a psychopath. He liked dead bugs. *ew* Eustace also enjoys harassing people, hurting feelings, tattle-telling and embarrassing others. Not. Fun. So when Lucy and Edmund are pulled into Narnia (and to the Dawn Treader), Eustace comes with them – bad qualities included. I wonder, sometimes, about Eustace. What was Eustace’s purpose and why do we [the reader] get him instead of Peter and Susan?

King Caspian has set out on a long voyage after getting Narnia settled nicely. Caspian is (heroically?) searching for seven Lords of his land that his dictator Uncle Miraz sent off to sail the world. I always wondered how a King with no Queen and no progeny could do something this irresponsible but, hey…*shrug*
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2014 Series Challenge Update: Week of Jan 12-18

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Book: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia
Author: C.S. Lewis
Book#: 1 (Publication order)
Review: 5 Stars
January Goal: 1/1

Scoring:
Book in a series (re-read): 10 points
Review: 25 points
Completed monthly goal: 50 points
Total: 85 points

 

 

 

Prince Caspian
Book: Prince Caspian
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia
Author: C.S. Lewis
Book#: 2 (Publication order)
Review: 5 Stars
January Goal: 2/1

Scoring:
Book in a series (re-read): 10 points
Review: 25 points
Completed monthly goal: already achieved
Total: 35 points

 
 
 
Grand Total: 120 points

Review: Prince Caspian (The Chronicles of Narnia, #2) by C.S. Lewis

Prince Caspian

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The four Pevensies help Caspian battle Miraz and ascend his rightful throne.

NARNIA…the land between the lamp-post and the castle of Cair Paravel, where animals talk, where magical things happen…and where the adventure begins.

Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are returning to boarding school when they are summoned from the dreary train station (by Susan’s own magic horn) to return to the land of Narnia-the land where they had ruled as kings and queens and where their help is desperately needed.

A prince fights for his crown. A prince denied his rightful throne gathers an army in a desperate attempt to rid his land of a false king. But in the end, it is a battle of honor between two men alone that will decide the fate of an entire world.

I love the Narnia series and I’ve read it many, many times. Whenever I read this series, I always read it in original publication order – as it should be.

It’s hard to review books you love so this is more like…a smattering of a review combined with my general thoughts and feelings.

Prince Caspian introduces one of my favorite characters: the talking mouse Reepicheep. Reepicheep is fierce and I love him to pieces. When I first read this series, I was taken with Reepicheep and with every re-read I realize what a wonderful character he is! The bravery, loyalty and honor along with the slight arrogance make Reepicheep a very human character.
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2014 Reading Challenges!

I am doing four reading challenges this year! That’s right. Four. Yes. I am a little obsessed with reading, lol. I’m doing these challenges in conjunction with two bookclubs and I’m rather excited about all of them.

 
The Challenges

1. Series Challenge: This challenge is the most complex and has the most rules. It’s geared to finishing up the millions of series that we’ve all seemed to have started. You know, since no author seems to be able to write standalones anymore. *rolls eyes* This challenge is scored but I’ve not included the scoring guide here (it’s too complicated).

The Rules:

1. This is a reward based challenge, with points assigned for meeting certain goals. It is not meant to be a competition between participants. That is, you don’t have to cut each other over high scores. Your competition is yourself, and your own habits of series reading.

2. The goal is to complete one series book per month. Or two, or three. Each participant can set their own goal.

3. The reward for reaching this goal (besides knocking out series books) is a credit that you may use to start a new series. Say I reach my goal in February, then I can start a new series without a scoring penalty.

4. There is scoring, but as I said it’s a self tracking system. Yes, we’ll have an overall leader in points, but since everyone will be setting their own self-goals, the scores will mean different things to different people.

5. Points are cumulative.

2. Review Challenge: It is what it is, lol The goal is to review all the books read during 2014.

3. TBR Decimation Challenge: The goal of this challenge is to try to read as many books off of my TBR (to be read) list as possible. Considering that my TBR list has grown to the point that I have dubbed it “Mt. TBR” I think I have a pretty large selection to choose from.

4. Purchase Challenge: This will be the most difficult challenge for me in 2014. The goal of this challenge is to try to limit my book purchases to no more than $20 a month. This is going to hurt but it is what it is. I’m pretty lucky because I bought a ton of books at the end of December 2013 (that are still coming in) so I think January 2014 will be the easiest month for book purchase control for me. 🙂