[Reread] Wheel of Time – Robert Jordan

I’m currently in the beginning of my epic endeavor to reread Robert Jordan’s equally epic Wheel of Time series. A bit of background – I began reading these books when I was in middle school. I know, I know, the content is WAY too mature for a middle school child, but somehow no one ever stopped me?

Anyway, I made it to book 13 and waited and waited for the final book. Then, I learned that Robert Jordan had died and this wonderful, complex series that had essentially ruled my childhood would be left unfinished. For those of you who don’t know, every book in this series is a monster in itself. I own most of them in the Tor paperback version. Lord of Chaos, the longest one, clocks in at a whopping 987 pages, and the “shortest” one, The Great Hunt, is 681.

The brilliant Brandon Sanderson picked up the series and finished the final book in 2013. By that time, I was in high school, and didn’t even have the time to think about finishing what I had left off.

It’s now 2017. I am determined to finish this series and find out what happens to all of the characters I grew up with and this hugely complicated and populated world. Since I took a 7 year hiatus from the series, I’m starting back at square/book one (gotta refresh my memory!), and I’m going to do a full read-through without a break. That’s right, I’m gonna read all 14 books in one go. I’m currently at Book 4, and I’ll try to record my thoughts as I re-familiarize myself into this epic fantasy series, its characters and its history.

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

 

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Summary

It was impossible, of course.

But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming?

This was so. good. I had high expectations going into this because I loved Laini Taylor’s previous Daughter of Smoke and Bone series (which everyone should also read), and Strange the Dreamer did not disappoint at all. I’m pretty much at the stage where I will read anything she writes, because she is just that good.

 

 

 

 

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Carve the Mark – Veronica Roth

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Summary

Well, this was… not good. Which pains me to say, since I was a huge fan of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series (even if Allegiant epically let me down). I’m having a bit of a hard time pinpointing exactly what I disliked so much about this, which probably just means that every aspect of this book overall was just a big ball of mess.

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Heartless – Marissa Meyer

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Summary

This series is one long investment. Cinder was insufferably boring for the first 80% of the book, and it took me three (three!!) attempts to finish it. All that to say, however, Scarlet and Cress more than make up for it, culminating with the epic Winter that gave me all the feels and the swoons.

Cinder had so much potential; it should have been amazing, but ultimately just fell short. To run through some of points that had me picking it up in the first place, followed by why it didn’t work (more after the jump):

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Heartless – Marissa Meyer

18584855I was really excited for this book because when I first read the blurb on Goodreads, I was like “Queen of Hearts? Wonderland? I need this.” I love when an author takes a classic story and either makes it her own or choose to take a deeper dive into the characters we have come to love or hate. Heartless is Marissa Meyer’s vision of how the Queen of Hearts became the unhinged monarch we know her as in Alice in Wonderland.

Lady Catherine Pinkerton has one simple dream – to be the best baker in the kingdom of Hearts. Her mother and her society, however, have another dream for her, and in their dream, the future Queen of Hearts simply cannot be a lowly baker.

The plot moves slowly, but this is a largely character-driven book where you really get to understand the circumstances and manipulations that shape the kind of queen that Catherine becomes. Looking back now, I don’t think I found the loveline really believable (seemed a little too love-at-first-sight), but regardless Jest is so swoonworthy it ultimately didn’t really matter because I flew through the book.

If you’re familiar with Alice in Wonderland or any of its adaptations, you’ll be thrilled by Meyer’s nods to the source material. Our Wonderland favorites (the Mad Hatter!, the Cheshire Cat!) have fairly major roles in the story, and the world is as quirky, weird, dark, and fabulous as ever.

I’m currently working my way through Meyer’s older Lunar Chronicles series (also fairytale inspired), and I can definitely see how she has refined her writing since then. I found it difficult to get through Cinder, the first book in the series, largely due to the fact that it just couldn’t hold my interest, but Heartless is such an improvement that I think I finished this in two days. Overall, it’s a fun read that builds upon an already beloved and classic world and blends the familiar and the new in a way that makes the story accessible to anyone who enjoys these kinds of classic retellings.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Zodiac – Romina Russell

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Summary

I initially added this book to my Goodreads to-read shelf back in 2015 because I am a sucker for horoscopes and pretty covers – come on, look at that cover! Fun fact: I’m also a Cancer so that is another brownie point for this book. Due to a multitude of factors however (like trying to graduate, find a job, adult things, etc.), it kinda got pushed to the backburner until a few weeks ago.

I had to drop off my phone at the Apple store to get the battery replaced, and I didn’t even realize how dependant I had become on my phone until I was like “what am I going to do for two whole hours without my phone?” Luckily, I was close to the Prudential, so I decided there was no better time to go to Barnes and Noble, sit down with a cup of coffee, and just read a book without interruption for two hours. I was looking for an easy read, so I decided to pick up Zodiac (again, the cover!), and before I knew it, my two hours were up and I was heading to the cashier to pay for the book so I could finish it at home.

It’s not a deep book, but it is a fun read if you allow yourself to be immersed into the setting and the story. I personally had a lot of fun thinking about which House I would belong to if I was living in that world.

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The Martian – Andy Weir

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Summary

Wow, okay, I realized after reading this that I really have no survival skills and that I would be that person who would be the first to die in Lost. I can barely get myself to Chinatown without Google Maps, so imagine me trying to navigate Mars’ desolate landscape by myself. No, thanks. However, that’s the exact situation Mark Watney finds himself in after an accident leaves him stranded on Mars without any means of communicating to NASA that he’s actually alive.Of course, everyone eventually realizes he’s alive, but then the problem turns to how they can keep him alive until the next mission – in four years.

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