Posted in Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books

The Way Of Kings – Spoiler Free Review

Stormlight Archive' Book 4 Release Date And Movie: Everything We ...
Book thoughts for The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson. Stormlight Archive, book One.

So, I’m trying to figure out how to do a book review on The Way Of Kings… tell you how amazing it is… and not give you any spoilers. It’s actually a more difficult task than you could imagine. The book is over 1,000 pages, and it’s honestly such an amazing ride. Obviously, you have to be a fan of Fantasy (And High Fantasy at that, though this is also Military Fantasy?) if you want to enjoy this (if you wanna try to get into that genre, pick it up!) It’s a really intricately and just extraordinary written bit of literature.

Bit I say… because… again, it’s over 1,000 words.

Chunk?

Honker?

Big honkin’ piece of literature.

There we go, that’s better.

My friend who introduced me to this book was like, “Uh, how would you give a brief description of it?” And… hmm… that’s a good question.

To sum it up, my cheaty little butt is gonna go and get the quote from goodreads:

According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed…

They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won.

Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself – and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne.

On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few day a young spearman forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn’t understand and doesn’t really want to fight.

What happened deep in mankind’s past?

Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?

Goodreads description for the novel.

So. You’re following the story of three main characters, really. Shallan, Kaladin (KALADIN <3) and Dalinar. I really adore all of these characters, and I look at this book as two different things. First, it’s an introduction to all three of them, as well as a few side characters that I’m fairly certain are going to be important later on…

And it’s also really Kaladin’s story. It’s an amazing, colorful, just overwhelmingly wonderful story. I laughed, I cried, I felt inspired to write. That’s really all that I can ask for as a reader.

I might actually do a spoiler-y review on my blog as well, because I feel like a lot of the things that I want to talk about in relation to this book are just full of things that would completely ruin the story for anyone who wanted to read it. So… if you want to keep an eye out for that.

Otherwise, know that this was a 5 star book for me; I would have given it more if I could have. The plot is amazing, the magic system is great, the creatures are fantastic, and the overall story that was built up in this book is going to be phenomenal to watch unfold.

I can’t wait to read the next one.

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
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Posted in Book Review, Creative WRiting, writing thoughts, Writing Tips

What’s To Come?

Life and Writing

Hello, everyone! You haven’t heard from me since the end of NaNo (I won with around 112,000 words!), and that’s because I needed a break after all of that writing. Well, that and the fact that my little one has been majorly fussy for the past week. I wanted to go ahead though and let you guys know what the future of this blog was going to be, what with the baby, the new year, and everything else!

No worries! Of course! I’m actually going to try to get back onto a daily posting schedule, while maybe taking the weekends as a “could post, but might just nap” time. I will be featuring weekly “What I’m Reading/Author/Book spotlights” or Book reviews, if I’ve finished the novel. I’ll be doing weekly writing prompts again. I’ll also have up writing tips/writing with kiddos tips, more about books and reading, and my overall thoughts! I’m really excited to dive back into it! I’d also love to hear from you guys!

Have you written a book and you want to be featured on the blog? Just hit me up here, or send me an email – amandaleannemccormick@gmail.com! If you have any blog suggestions or any tips that you’d like for me to discuss, I’d love to hear about it. Part of what I adore so much with this blog is getting to interact with all of you! I can’t wait to dive back in to posting every day!

Until then!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Creative WRiting

Reading Thoughts

Deep Magic: A Contemporary Gothic Fantasy by [St. Kevern, Gillian]So, let’s talk about what I’ve been reading. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I went into my Kindle Market and flipped through the free books… and I found this.

It’s called Deep Magic, and it seems to be part of a 3 book series. I’m a sucker for a good trilogy, so that drew me in right away. As is the tradition for a lot of books that are free on Amazon, the first one was free, and it looks like I need to purchase the other two.

I’m not super far into it, but from what I’ve read as of yet, it seems like it is something that I’m going to end up buying the rest of. I’ll go ahead and grab the description for you guys!

Oliver Evans spent his youth spinning one tall tale after another until it got him over his head in trouble. Returning as an adult to his grandmother’s cottage in Aberdaron, Olly is determined to put his past behind him and settle down. But the misty Llŷn Peninsula hides dangerous secrets. Olly is torn between the Longing, a powerful force driving him away from the only home he has ever known, and the growing conviction that the merman prince of his childhood make-believe is real–and in desperate need of Olly’s help.

There is more truth in Olly’s stories than he realises. If he is to have any chance of righting past wrongs and rescuing his prince, Olly must navigate the truth in his old stories and discover the magic right in front of him. But Olly has a powerful enemy on the Llŷn, an ancient king who would like to end Olly’s story-telling permanently.

So, it’s a pretty nifty M/M fantasy type romance novel, and I have to say that it’s certainly snatched up my attention and is going to do a good job of keeping it from what I can tell. I’ll admit it to you guys and anyone else who wants to know, I am such a sucker for M/M romance – I don’t know why, I can’t tell you exactly why, but it has to be one of my favorite things to read (and to write, for that matter), so the fact that this contains that is enough to really snatch my attention as well, and keep me reading for a while.

I should be getting more of this read tonight or tomorrow. Hopefully, by next Friday I’ll be able to give you an actual book review and let you know my thoughts on it. So far, it’s fairly well written and I’m enjoying the characters. I’m curious about where it’s going to go.


As far as the novel, that is all that I have on it for right now. But I’m going to give you some more of my reading thoughts in general, and what you can expect to see on these Friday Updates.

What I’m really wanting to do is delve into the world of authors that aren’t well known, books that aren’t really talked about, self-published authors. The fact is, I think that they don’t get enough recognition, when in reality they can be some of the best hidden gems that there are in the novel world. I set myself a goal of reading 52 novels for the year, but even if I only find half of that in good self-pub and lesser known authors, I’m going to be pretty happy about it.

With that being said, if you have a novel that you can recommend, if you are a self published author who wants me to review your book, or if you know someone who could use the publicity of being featured in an in depths review, just let me know. You can either comment here, or send me an email at amandaleannemccormick@gmail.com. It’s one of my resolutions for the year – to reach out, to review self pubs, and to do everything that I can to help authors who aren’t getting noticed enough noticed.

I know how hard they work on their books, and I know how much they deserve it, so!

Now, this isn’t to say that I’m not also going to be reviewing traditionally published books, because I certainly am. There are some releases that I’m excited for, and a few other novels that have been out for a while that I’m going to get to… but expect to see a big variety from me.

That being said, this particular blog is just about wrapped up. I hope that you guys enjoyed it, and I can’t wait to tell you more about the novel that I’m currently reading!

Until next time, you guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Posted in Book Review, Creative WRiting

Review: The Little Paris Bookshop

The Little Paris Bookshop
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Honestly, I was a little disappointed with this book. It was one of those novels that looked so perfect from the cover and the premise… and it was something that I thought I would enjoy as a light little read. Sadly, I was mistaken. I couldn’t get through it, and I didn’t enjoy it. The idea behind it was fantastic, and it wasn’t poorly written. I just couldn’t connect with the story or the characters.

I’m going to stack it up to a case of good book, wrong reader, because it seems to have lovely reviews.

View all my reviews

 

That’s all for this review – sorry it wasn’t that long.

So, until next time, you guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Posted in Book Review, Book Thoughts, Creative WRiting

Review: Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes
Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes by Scott Cawthon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Based on the bestselling horror videogame series, Five Nights at Freddy’s.

It’s been exactly ten years since the murders at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, and Charlotte (Charlie for short) has spent those ten years trying to forget. Her father was the owner of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza and the creator of its four adult-sized animatronic animals, and now Charlie is returning to her hometown to reunite with her childhood friends on the anniversary of the tragedy that ripped their town apart.

Curiosity leads Charlie and her friends back to the old pizza place, and they find it hidden and sealed, but still standing. They discover a way inside, but things are not as they once were: the four mascots that delighted and entertained them as children have changed. The animatronic animals have a dark secret, and a murderous agenda.

So, I suppose that I should start this review by saying that I’m a really big fan of the FNAF franchise. It’s not that I love jumpscare games (I do love jumpscare games, who am I kidding?). The fact is, Scott Cawthon does a fantastic job of storytelling, and the lore involved within the games is just fantastic. When I realized that a book had come out, and it was only 2.99? Of course I had to swoop up on the opportunity. I looked into it to see how canonical the novel is to the rest of the series, and Scott basically said that it’s as cannon as anything else, but you can tell that this story runs a different timeline. That said, I took the background and framework – basically all of the lore that we learn – in this story to be true. The fact that it’s a bunch of teenagers in the restaurant is the part that you have to take with a grain of AU.

That being said, let me get into my actual review. I honestly found this to be a really fantastic book. People have complained, due to the fact that it’s not exactly edited properly… and they’ve said that the writing is a bit amateurish… but honestly? I found that to be extremely entertaining, and part of the charm of the book. It’s not pristine, and it’s not perfect. Scott clearly didn’t sit and worry about what big word he could use in order to tell the story. He simply told a story – and that’s what Scott does best.

The main character is a treat for me – she’s got some real inner conflicts going on, and it’s only as the story develops that you get to delve into what happened to her, and why she behaves the way that she does.

For the cons, I would say that some of the characters seem superfluous. We could have done with about 3 less friends, and the novel still would have been done just as well. I can see how it would be a bit slow to get into, if you weren’t on the FNAF hype, but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t know the story of these games…

The only other critic? No… hm… warning? I guess the only other thing that I can say in negative light to this is that, if you’re expecting the animatronics to move around immediately, you’ve got another thing coming. It takes a while. I, personally, wasn’t expecting it. I loved the pacing, so that wasn’t an issue for me – but it has been for other people, I’ve noticed.

I do think that the pacing of this novel was great, and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t just lore, and it wasn’t just horror. There was also an element of watching people and how they deal with grief, how they deal with terrible events that happen in their lives. I really did enjoy the overall atmosphere of the story, and it left me wanting more. I think that Scott did a fantastic job, and if he wants to release a dozen other AU novels, I’m going to pick up each and every one.

4/5 stars. It was fantastic. I’m certainly going to end up reading it again – after all, I devoured this book in one night.

 

Until next time, guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!~

Author Amanda McCormick

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Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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Posted in Book Review, Creative WRiting, harry potter

Going Back to Hogwarts Announcement

Going Back to Hogwarts

I’ve decided that I have a particular blog segment that I want to do – it’s something that I’ve actually been wanting to do for a while. I’m not sure which day I’m going to do it on, but I’m going to start re-reading the Harry Potter novels. In doing so, what I really want to do is blog about my thoughts and feelings as I go through them. I’m sure that a lot of you already understand the feelings that I have for these books, because you have the same feeling.

I’m one of those kids who grew up with Harry Potter. I came into the books when book three had just been released, and I was at every single Midnight release after that. I grew up with the group, I grew up with the novels… and they were certainly one of my major influences on becoming a writer today.

More than that, J.K. Rowling was a huge inspiration to me, because she came from practically nothing, and managed to become this amazing writer who did what I want to do more than anything as a writer… she changed people’s lives. When I was sad and depressed, or upset when I was younger, I could always turn to the Harry Potter novels to make me feel better, to give me strength, to make me want to keep on fighting. She brought joy into my heart, and into the heart of so many children… and that’s one of the things that I want as a writer – I want to be able to inspire people, to make people feel better when they’re sad… to give them a world to escape into, because that’s what books did for me, more than anything else in this world.

So, I’m going to be doing a weekly or twice weekly blog series entitled “Going Back To Hogwarts”, where I talk about my thoughts and feelings for each chapter as I read them, and I really hope that you guys can join me for the ride! I think that it will be great. I’ll probably start this segment sometime this week or next week, depending!

Until then! Keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Posted in Book Review, Creative WRiting

Review: Eve: The Awakening

Eve: The Awakening
Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci

My rating: 3 of 5 stars (No ❤ 3.9/5 stars!)

Eve is an outcast. A chimera.
After years of abuse and rejection, 19-year-old Evelyn Kingston is ready for a fresh start in a new city, where no one knows her name. The esteemed Billington University in sunny Southern California seems like the perfect place to reinvent herself—to live the life of an ordinary human.

But things at Billington aren’t as they seem. In a school filled with prodigies, socialites, and the leaders of tomorrow, Eve finds that the complex social hierarchy makes passing as a human much harder than she had anticipated. Even worse, Billington is harboring a secret of its own: Interlopers have infiltrated the university, and their sinister plans are targeted at chimeras—like Eve.

Instantly, Eve’s new life takes a drastic turn. In a time filled with chaos, is the world focusing on the wrong enemy? And when the situation at Billington shifts from hostile to dangerous, will Eve remain in the shadows, or rise up and fight?

Before I begin, let me say – my rating does not reflect the fact that I completely 100% recommend this book to anyone who likes scifi, romance, and some awesome ass-kicking adventure! Now, please, resume your regular review!

Above is the description for Eve the Awakening, and I have to say that it’s a really interesting description. I want to start off by saying that I actually wanted to give this book a 3.5. Hell, if I could have, I would have given it a 3.9 – I wished that I could have given it a 4. I really do. Honestly, I wish that I could have given it a glowing five-star review, with no problems whatsoever. I adore Jenna Moreci’s youtube channel. I think that it’s both insightful and a near invaluable tool for both new and veteran writers. She speaks like she could write a masterpiece without any issues… and I went into this book thinking that she was an expert at what she was doing. Honestly, it’s a bit unfair of me, because this is her debut novel, and for a debut novel, it is stunning.

Welcome to the biggest compliment sandwich you will ever see, where the bread is thick and we have one teeny piece of criticism in between. First, I will say that the story was completely compelling and imaginative. The concept of chimeras, the fact that she didn’t just call them mutants, and throwing in the fact that there is also an alien race that is vying for attention as ‘strange thing’ for the novel? It’s an extremely lovely concept that had me very interested from the get go. More than that, the character of Eve (who is a chimera), is actually really well done. She’s easy to relate to, she’s snarky and sarcastic, and she’s a tough female character. I honestly think that having novels with strong female leads is a very important thing… and Eve more than delivers on that front. In fact, she’d probably elbow her way up to that front and then blow away anyone who tried to say that strong female leads shouldn’t exist by melting.

Speaking of melting (which is what it is called when a Chimera summons up their powers), I thought that the way that Jenna described the Chimera ability was extremely well done. There was quite a bit of focus on that, and I really appreciated it. It helped to develop a sense of knowledge, and a base so that we could understand how all of these powers were being used, and how exactly it functioned.

Now… for my few complaints, and I’ll make them quick. There were quite a few cliches in this novel – honestly, I don’t mind that much? I’m actually pretty okay with cliches (checking yourself in the mirror for description, waking up from a dream.) My three main complaints are the fact that some of the fight scenes really dragged on much longer than they should have (in my opinion), and there was never any real sense of danger. We were given clues through the novel that nothing bad was really going to happen to the main characters… and it didn’t. (I won’t go into why, because spoilers).

My second main complaint actually has to do with the writing style itself. We are in third person, so I know that the focus doesn’t have to stay on Eve – it gives the author the freedom to bounce around… but, 90% of the novel is focused on Eve. It’s a narration of her life. And then, there’s the 10% where we randomly jump to someone else. I found that jarring, and it actually put me off of my reading stride. I had to sit back for a moment and readjust to the fact that we were in someone else’s head space, basically… and by the time I did that, we’d jumped back to Eve.

The last complaint that I really have is the language? Not the cursing, because lord knows I’m a sailor… but some of her word usage. The setting is a college setting, but I feel more like the students were in High School. It was a bit daunting, but easy to overcome, because the writing itself was fantastic.

The only other issue that I had with the book was the fact that the hatred that people have for Chimera needed to be explained a little more, I think. It was almost used as a device to further the plot without really explaining it. Honestly though, Jenna can easily explain that in her next novel, so I’m not nit picking about it too much.

/End the complaints. Resume the praise.

All in all, I really do think that for a debut novel, this is extremely fantastic. It’s well written, it’s funny, it’s got a lovely romance and the setup for more. It has absolutely amazing characters (I’m all for the gay boy, I won’t lie), and it was an extremely fast read for being over 500 pages. By extremely fast, I mean that I devoured it in under two days. All and all, the pros of the book outweigh the cons by so much that it’s more than worth picking up. Even the things that I mentioned above, the cliches and small issues? They don’t impact the overall story telling of the novel, which is the most important. All books have issues – it’s if the author has the capability to overcome those issues and still manage to tell an amazing story that we truly see someone who is going to continue to write amazing things.

Jenna Moreci managed to do that.

All and all, even though I gave the story a 3.9 (you can’t stop me, Good reads), I would recommend it 5/5 times. It’s fantastic, it’s worth reading, and I will certainly be purchasing everything that Jenna releases in the future!

View all my reviews

Posted in Book Review, Book Thoughts, Creative WRiting

Book Thought Friday!

Book Thought Friday

I made a new banner for Book Thought Friday – never you worry, I will still be doing book reviews and posting them as I do them… but Book Thought Friday can either include a link to those reviews, or just have me discussing the books that I have read/am currently reading.

Basically, it’s a way for me to get away with having multiple days to post about books. I don’t have a reading problem, you have a reading problem! 

Ahem.

So, let’s see if I can start with what’s changed up in my reading habits, because there has been a huge change. My husband decided that he wanted to get me an early birthday present; the fact that he knows me so well shows through, because he got me a tablet that functions as an e-reader. It’s perfect, because it’s the size of a paperback novel, can fit into my purse, and I can bring it with me everywhere I go. I’ve named it Danse, and it is now my constant companion.

While this doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal, it actually is. I’ve never owned an e-reader before, in my entire life. So, this has opened up an entirely new world for me. I can now do reviews in exchange for copies for e-books (Which is amazing), and I have access to basically any book that I want, at the thought of a button. (Which is also amazing.) With that said, let’s go over what magical adventures I’ve had in reading this week, thanks to Danse.


So, the first thing that I should mention is the book Horns, by Joe Hill. I’m almost finished with this, so you can expect a book review up on a few days. I took the time to watch the movie before I started the novel, because I wanted to make sure that I could enjoy the film.

It was good that I did, because there are quite a few differences. However (as I feel like it most often is), the book is really amazing. I’m enjoying the witty dialogue, the characters, and the way that the author has the novel itself laid out. We travel both in the future and in the past, so that we’re really getting to know the characters involved, what they’re doing, how they became who they are, etc. For those of you who don’t know what the book is about, basically a man named Ig is accused of killing his girlfriend; he wakes up one day with a pair of horns growing out of his head… and these horns give him the ability to bring out peoples innermost thoughts and desires. Whether he likes it or not.

I would really recommend this, and I’m not even finished reading it. Expect a full book review for it up before the week is out.


Guys, I’m not going to lie. I re-read the Twilight book in one night, because it was the one thing that I had a copy of. Guess what, it’s not any better than it was the first time.


also got a hold of a copy of IT by Stephen King. This is actually something that I’ve wanted to read for a long time. While I’m not usually the type to read multiple books at once… I can admit that the novelty of my e-reader had me reading the first few chapters of anything that I could get my hands on, just to get the feel for how amazing it was to have a book, anytime, anywhere.

With IT, I’ve only read the first 20 pages. This is one of those books that I’m going to have to do chapter updates on, however, because… my lord… it’s a long, long, novel.

So, expect weekly updates on this baby until I’m finished – and then we can get to the full review that you know is coming. For now, I actually don’t have much to say on it. We were introduced to the opening scene – the one that’s quite iconic from the movie. We all float down here. I’ll have more thoughts on this later.


Oh, so I need to come back in and edit for this. Last night, while my insomnia was being horrible and not letting me sleep, I was browsing Kindle and I ran across Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci. I watch her blog, and I adore it – I downloaded the first few chapters of this book for free… and I actually really enjoyed it. It tells the story of Eve, a girl with a past – she’s a chimera, and that’s apparently not such a good thing in society in the future. I didn’t get to read enough of the book to actually get a decent impression on it, but I’m going to buy it as soon as I can afford to spend a few bucks, and you should see a full and detailed review of it once I do – from what I saw, I really enjoyed it. I do adore self-published authors! They go through so much, and put in extra effort to make sure that what they’re bringing us is quality work, and you can see it in the writing, in the way that the novel unfolds, and in those first three chapters that I got to read.

I’ll have more on this book later, once I manage to get myself a copy of it, so be on the lookout for that!


Finally, I am making progress on A Game of Thrones. I’ve gotten through the first 3 or 4 chapters… and this novel runs pretty parallel to the show. I’m thinking that I might actually do this particular series in its own blog – or I might just save the bottom portion of book thought Friday as my GRRM update. As of yet, we’re just getting introduced to the characters, so I don’t have many thoughts on it thus far; but trust me, I am quite sure that I will by this time next week.

I really do love Martin’s writing. I usually feel like books this long have superfluous words that aren’t really necessary to the plot and only exist to make more pages, but I actually feel like he makes every word count. It’s refreshing, and a lovely thing to read. So far, I’ve only read the opening chapter, a chapter for Bran, a chapter for Cat, a chapter for Dany, and a chapter for Ned. Soon, I’ll be deep enough into the book to really give you my thoughts, so keep an eye out for that!


And that concludes my book thoughts for this week! I’m actually really enjoying my e-reader (though I will never not love my physical copies) and I’m actually hoping to have a bigger variety to read on there, with my Birthday coming up! If you have any recommendations, let me know! Otherwise, I will leave you guys to reading over my book thoughts, and I’d love to hear it if you have any thoughts on the above mentioned novels as well! I’ll have the actually full reviews for them up as a finish, and I’ll make sure to link those in my book thought Friday when I do.

Until next time, guys. Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Posted in Book Review, Creative WRiting

Book Thought Friday

Book Review

I just realized that I have a graphic for Book Review, but not for just a reading update – I’ll have to remedy that at a later date, but for now… this will have to work. I can’t do an actual book review, because I haven’t read a book this week. I have made progress on more than one, however – I’m being naughty and trying to figure out exactly what I want to read… so, instead of a book review, let me give you a tiny preview of my TBR top picks (if I did my actual TBR, we’d be here all night.)

Ahem.

So, first of all, I am reading A Game of Thrones.

200px-agameofthrones Yeah, I wanted to go ahead and reread this book, because I want to read the entire series. I read this novel a while ago, but I have this thing about starting a series over if I haven’t been on it for a few months. So, I’m a few chapters into this book… and I have to say that I’m enjoying it just as much the second time as I did the first – if anything, having watched the show, I’m enjoying it more. It’s easier to keep up with all of the characters and locations, now that they’ve been given a name and a face in the television series. Maybe it’s not the best way for me to get to know the characters as far as making sure that I keep cannon, but it’s actually been pretty helpful in helping me to follow along with the book. I am, of course, enjoying the writing style that George R. R. Martin has – I’ve always thought that he was extremely clever in his style; though the book is enormous, I don’t feel like he’s wasting a bunch of words, which is fantastic to me.

Secondly, I am reading Frostbite, the second novel in the Vampire Academy series. I read the first one recently, so I’ve been wanting to get into this – I am about 40 pages into it. I just haven’t had that much time to read lately, so I got a little side tracked with everything else. A Game of Thrones, I just read a few chapters here and there, by the way – but everything else, I generally try to focus down on one thing at a time. I will probably finish this before I finish anything else on my list, just in case you’re curious.

 Third on my rather large TBR of my TBR list is House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski. Now, I hadn’t actually intended on reading this book – I didn’t even know anything about it until my friend brought it over and told me it was basically creepypasta, novelized. I am a huge horror fan, and I had to have a look at it – I settled down and read about 30 pages of it to see if it was something that I was interested in… and I have to say that I’m really enjoying it. I won’t go too into detail, because I feel like I will have a long blog about this book, once I’m finished with it – so, we will hold off until then.

And last on my enormous list of things that I should have finished reading some time ago is World War Z by Max Brooks. I actually started this book nearly a year ago, got half way through… and now I’ve decided to pick it back up. I couldn’t just start back in the middle where I was, so I’m having to start over. I should be finished with it fairly soon, however. So, look for a review of this as well!

So, yeah. That’s my TBR of my TBR pile (Maybe someday I will do my entire TBR for you guys). Those are the four books that you should be hearing about in my Friday Book Reviews/Reading updates for the next little bit. If you have any suggestions of other things that I should read, I would of course love to hear about it. I’m always open for new books… and I’m always looking for an excuse to get another book from the store.

I’m a book addict. I have more bookshelves than I have room for, and I still need more. Someday, when I start doing vlogging, I’ll do a tour for you so that you guys can properly see. Until then, I can just firmly say that I need more shelf space.

I always need more shelf space.

I kind of turned my pantry into another bookshelf, and I don’t regret it for even a moment.

So, until my next blog, guys! Expect the next one to be more of a discussion of my thoughts and feelings, as far as the aforementioned books are concerned. I actually want to have proper book discussions every Friday – even if I don’t finish the novel, I think that it could be a fun experience to document how I feel about it every week as I continue to read through them… so, keep an eye out for that, because it’s what is going to be upcoming on Friday!

 

Until then, I hope that you guys enjoyed the blog, and I will be back for another soon!

 

Author Amanda McCormick

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Posted in Book Review, Creative WRiting

Review: Vampire Academy

Book Review

Vampire Academy
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, I can honestly say that I came into this book not expecting it to be very good. I’d watched the movie (I know, you never judge a book by its movie), and I’d read the first few chapters a few odd years ago when I first purchased the series collection. I hadn’t really gotten into it then, and I’d assumed that I wasn’t going to get into it now.

However, I friend recently requested (see: begged in a good way) that I give the series another shot. I’ve been meaning on starting weekly book reviews up again, and the Vampire Academy books are fairly short and quick reads… so, I figured… why not? The worst that could happen would be that I put the book down again, and my friend is disappointed.

Low and behold, after I got past those first chapters that had given me pause before… this book was amazing. I spent the first few days dragging myself to page 116. Last night, I decided I’d get about 50 more pages of reading in before going to bed – somehow, that translated into me marathoning the rest of the book. I got hooked, and I got hooked hard… and I wasn’t even sad about it.

That beings said, let’s begin on the actual review:
“Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .”
(Taken from the Goodreads site)

I’ll touch first on the writing – that was never my issue. Richelle Mead is a very fantastic author, and she’s capable of making her writing both realistic and witty, charming, fun to read all at once. She does a lovely job of making sure that each character that she portrays in the books, from Snarky Rose to proper Lissa, has a distinct tone of their own. When an author can manage to make each character stand out so wonderfully, I’m certainly hooked and appreciative of the series.

Aside from that, I actually really enjoyed the story. Once you get past the two girls getting caught out in the world and they’re returned to the Academy, once Rose starts trying to figure out the mystery of what’s going on with Lissa (and getting her training sessions with Demitri – guilty as charged, folks), the pace of the novel really starts to pick up, and therein lies the trap of staying up for hours past when you intended in order to finish the book.

Overall, I would give this a 5/5 stars, simply because it shocked me with how good it was, and I am already starting on the second novel in the series. I’m suddenly glad that I own them all, and my compulsion to have an entire series on my shelf, even when I haven’t read it, holds true!

 

So, that’s all for this review, and I will see you guys again next Friday!

Until then, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

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