Aliza Galkin

The fat man's monologue by Aliza Galkin-Smith

11:16:00 AM

A popular history lecturer realizes at mid-life that he is not accountable to anyone, and decides to pursue his great passions: food, women and human history. Traveling through northern Italy, Wales, Devon and other locations, he learns and writes about food and the colorful stories behind it. In a charming, funny and witty monologue, he touches on his cravings for food and women, with detours into history. 


First thing , as much this book feels like a memoir , I doubt this is actually one. But it is still such an entertaining and lovely read , specially if you have any passion for food or cooking. The book is in first person , the story of  a history professor whose interest apart from history is to eat and understand what his food is made of. This love for food makes him meet Aviram , an ex student whose journey was partly inspired by the professor's teaching. Together Aviram & the professor navigate various experiments in food - Aviram cooking them , professor eating and providing critical reviews of them which in turn lead to the beginning of a blog post on history and food of different times and regions.

What I realized reading the book was that we all have a similar association with food - based on phases and places in our life , food is always an integral part of the experiences, whether we realize or not. This book , in terms of the women he meets , also explores different diets and food habits without boring the reader much. Also , the journeys that the professor takes to explore history and food , makes one wish for similar travels and to wonder about the places he eats at. The book is really heart-warming , realistically funny tale of a guy who loves food , history and people who like food. It is a happy world he wants to stay and even his flaws make him lovable.


My rating : 3.5/5

The book is free for Kindle Unlimited users

Fantasy

His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik

10:35:00 AM


HIS MAJESTY'S DRAGONS
Book 1 of "Temeraire"

ISBN - 9780345481283
FIRST PUBLISHED - 2006
PAGES - 353 (Paperback)
GENRE - Fantasy
PUBLISHERS - Del Rey

AUTHOR - Naomi Novik

SYNOPSIS - Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors ride mighty fighting dragons, bred for size or speed. When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes the precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Captain Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future – and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire

QUOTES - 

  • And we must still try or we would be leaving our friends to fight without us. I think this is what you have meant by duty, all along; I do understand, at least this much of it.
  • I am beginning to feel the need of a glass of wine to fortify myself against this conversation.
  • I should rather have you than a heap of gold, even if it were very comfortable to sleep on.
  • It seems to me that if you wish to apply laws to us, it were only reasonable to consult us on them, and from what you have read to me about Parliament, I do not think any dragons are invited to go there.


FL Speak -  Temeraire. 

Goodness, it's a tough word to pronounce, isn't it lads? 
(please try to read this in British accent as I'm pretending right now) 

Aah, where do I begin? It's love at first page. Dragons. There you go, mate. That's the magic word. Who doesn't love them? Eragon has one, Harry Potter rode one. The point being, we love them. Now this isn't Middle Earth or Narnia. It's London. And it's building up for a war against the French who are led none other than that arrogant bastard, Napoleon Bonaparte. 

Yes, my dear, it's alternate history. Wars are fought with battleships in the seas, military in the streets and... Yes, the aerial corps comprising of those awesome swashbuckling men and women riding atop those beautiful and deadly dragons. 

That's the setting. Our reluctant older hero finds an egg and before long the young hatchling has decided to bond with him. And as a proud citizen of England, he has no other choice but to report to duty. In this case, vigorous training for the duo. Book 1 was all about duty, those English manners of the 80's, friendship and learning. And in between there were betrayals and wars which is almost normal. Right? 

I can tell you that this is going to be a wonderful series if the later books are penned the same way. I simply love the crisp, simple writing. There's never been a need for additional flair to make a story more compelling. Naomi's greatest strength lies in the fact that her words make it believable. Of course it's complete sane to duel with swords atop a dragon hundreds of feet in the air. It's also sane to believe that Napoleon was a gigantic prick (who also has more dragons btw). Bad guys somehow always have the upper hand. 

DRAGONS.

Oh Naomi, you stole my nights.

RATING - 5/5

Fantasy

The Darkest Road - Guy Gavriel Kay

9:22:00 AM


THE DARKEST ROAD
Book 3 of "The Fionavar Tapestry"

ISBN - 9780451451804
FIRST PUBLISHED - 1992
PAGES - 448 (Paperback)
GENRE - Fantasy
PUBLISHERS - Roc

AUTHOR - Guy Gavriel Kay

SYNOPSIS - And so the time of prophecy has come at last, the final days for those who dwell in Fionavar, first of all worlds. Even as the Unraveller's armies march to battle, even as his rain of death unleashes plague upon the lands, the ancient of powers to aid in their struggle.

QUOTES

  • All the roads are dark. Only at the end is there a hope of light.
  • Do you know the wish of your heart?


FL Speak - This is going to be a really, really short review. First things first, fuck you author. On to some more interesting stuff, the Darkest Road is actually a dark road for absolution, sacrifice and anything that is in the light. 

Goodness knows I wept like a 2yo throughout this book, I had goosebumps, laughed and was drunk on euphoria, tch tch'd on a few choices and I've lived my life in Fionavar with these characters. If you're expecting a great final battle between the forces of evil and light (like the 200-page epic finale of Wheel of Time), forget it. But the skirmishes till then. Oh, it saps your strength and gives your tear ducts some good massage. 

This is a grand, grand tale of how you do the best of what you're dealt with, how you always have a choice to follow your own heart, how you sacrifice yourself for others even though the heart of your life is awaiting your victory, how you stop being a tool to be used and how you never give up on the power of light. Love stories, friendships, ego clashes and understandings all come to head in this final book when the forces of light unite for one final time to rally against the dark. 

And the dark, and the dark has a weapon no one planned for. 

Scintillating stuff.

RATING - 4/5

Brandon Sanderson

The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

1:32:00 PM

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more? 

In Brandon Sanderson's intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage — Allomancy, a magic of the metals.

I do not know when I left reading international fantasy fiction. This book was the Book of month  for December on the FB Broke bibliophile page and I think it was enough for me to make another dive into fantasy fiction. This is my first Brandon Sanderson book and if the genral opinion has to be trusted , it is not his best. I mean really ?? Çause for me , this was such a great read to end the year with.

The empire , the characters and the rules that govern the society were set up very elaborate and with a good logic to back it up. Once you understand it , you would feel like a part of it. Let me first talk about Vin , the central character who is not a born heroine , but rather comes to take her rightful place and direction in life after she is found by the troublemaker , the survivor of Hathsin ,  Kelsier. Kelsier has done some pretty unbelievable things already and yet , he thinks of the impossible this time - to overthrow the Lord Ruler.

Oh boy , Lord ruler is one of the few negative characters whom I loved. I would have so much liked to know more of him and yet the way he is shown in the book , it is awe-worthy.  he is ruthless , calm , patient and yet there is an air of indifference to him. One of my favorite scene is when he meets Kelsier in the end. And before I forget , i loved Elend more than Vin . He is the usual misfit sort of person who has a lot of ideas on how to run things. He is kind of man I would fall in love with easily and I did. There is charm and certain innocence to him that keeps you rooting for him even in the second book.

Kelsier, Vin and the crew together make for a fun filled adventure. There are elaborate tales , enchanting parties, lovable casts and courage that shines in every page. Fantasy fiction was what hooked me to books whenever my interest faltered. This book was a Savior. My reading slump of one month got cured with this. And how awesome !!

My rating : 5/5


“But you can't kill me, Lord Tyrant. I represent that one thing you've never been able to kill, no matter how hard you try. I am hope.”

“I think given the choice between loving Mare - betrayal included - and never knowing her, I'd chose love. I risked, and I lost, but the risk was still worth it.” 

Read all reviews of this Triology  here

Fantasy

The Wandering Fire - Guy Gavriel Kay

10:42:00 AM


THE WANDERING FIRE
Book 2 of "The Fionavar Tapestry"

ISBN - 9780451458261
FIRST PUBLISHED - 201
PAGES - 375 (Paperback)
GENRE - Fantasy
PUBLISHERS - Roc

AUTHOR - Guy Gavriel Kay

SYNOPSIS - The Wandering Fire is the second novel of Guy Gavriel Kay’s critically acclaimed fantasy trilogy, The Fionavar Tapestry. A mage’s power has brought five university students from our world into a realm where an ancient evil has freed itself from captivity to wreak revenge on its enemies.

The ice of eternal winter has reached out to enshroud Fionavar, the first of all worlds. For the Unraveller has broken free after millennia enchained and now his terrible vengeance has begun to take its toll on mortals and immortals, mages and warriors, dwarves and the lios alfar, the Children of Light.

Only five men and women of our own world, brought by magic across the Tapestry of worlds to the very heart of the Weaver’s pattern, can hope to wake the allies they so desperately need. Yet none can foretell whether even these beings out of legend have the power to shatter the Unraveller’s icy grip of death upon the land


QUOTES - 

  • I am afraid to try for more light lest it mean more dark.
  • Unless the perfidious wolves have the temerity to disobey the High King's plans, we should meet Shalhassan's forces by the Latham in mid-wood with the wolves between us. If they aren't,' Diarmuid concluded, 'we blame anyone and everything except the plan.


FL Speak - 

Previously on the Fionavar Tapestry:
We have had our five main characters moulded in the world of Fionavar to be heroes, catalysts and guides. For better amd some specially for worse, they have returned home and now the plot thickens anew. 

This is that part of the tale where the pleasantries are dispatched off for there lies war ahead. Game faces on, folks. The ride just went up a notch. What we missed in the first book was a direction. There were so many situations occurring at any given time that it was not easy to grasp which ones to focus on. As it should be. Here, in this book, those are dealt with. 

There's more action, more wars, more sleeping with goddesses, sacrifices and a love triangle that's longer than Merlin's beard. There's also plots brewing, fires kindling, love blossoming, hopes blooming in the dark and terrible winter. 

Book 2 ended on a deeply satisfying note. If not for the deaths, it would have been quite a high. But there's nothing like death to wake you up to reality, is there?

RATING - 4/5

Fantasy

The Summer Tree - Guy Gavriel Kay

11:08:00 AM


THE SUMMER TREE
Book 1 of "The Fionavar Tapestry"

ISBN - 9780451458223
FIRST PUBLISHED - 2001
PAGES - 303
GENRE - Fantasy
PUBLISHERS - Roc

AUTHOR - Guy Gavriel Kay

SYNOPSIS - The first volume in Guy Gavriel Kay’s stunning fantasy masterwork.

Five men and women find themselves flung into the magical land of Fionavar, First of all Worlds. They have been called there by the mage Loren Silvercloak, and quickly find themselves drawn into the complex tapestry of events. For Kim, Paul, Kevin, Jennifer and Dave all have their own part to play in the coming battle against the forces of evil led by the fallen god Rakoth Maugrim and his dark hordes.

Guy Gavriel Kay’s classic epic fantasy plays out on a truly grand scale, and has already been delighting fans of imaginative fiction for twenty years.

QUOTES - 

  • There are kinds of action, for good or ill, that lie so far outside the boundaries of normal behavior that they force us, in acknowledging that they have occurred, to restructure our own understanding of reality. We have to make room for them.
  • We salvage what we can, what truly matters to us, even at the gates of despair.
  • Alluding and attacking, summoning a courage, embodying a gallantry of defiance that hurt to see, it was so noble and so doomed.
  • One didn't stop to talk with creatures from one's nightmares.


FL Speak - There are books which draw you in with their huge cast of interesting characters and there are some whose magical systems leaves you speechless. There are books of war and death, of friendship and weasley brothers, of coming of age and well, of aged wizards (I'm looking at you Raymond Feist) 

And then there are books which are poetry in motion. Beautifully structured, gracefully written which deserves the recognition of being an art in the world of fantasy. This is one such tale. 

The first thing that comes to mind when you read this book is Dragons and Dungeons. The second thing would probably be Narnia or Harry Potter. But unlike the latter two, this isn't a world which exists within one nor you're as young as you'd like to be when you discover FIONAVAR. 

Summoned to a world between worlds and the balance of the entire cosmos lies in the hands and fates of five young people. Five people, completely different from each other, each with their personal issues. And in the world of Fionavar, bonds are broken before they can be made. This is a spectacular tale of black vs white vs grey. 

I love the way Guy Gavriel writes. He doesn't waste time in doling out words just for the sake of making it beautiful. Forget words, he skips out sentences and actions. Too often, I've found myself anticipating if something is going to happen only to turn the page and find oh well, it did. 

Book 1 ended with a dire warning. The gongs have sounded, the Gods have spoken and the darkness has spread forth. Will these 5 be the catalyst and where their paths lie is yet to be determined.

RATING - 4/5

Fantasy

Furies of Calderon - Jim Butcher

12:37:00 PM


Furies of Calderon
Book 1 of "Codex Alera"

ISBN - 9780441012688
FIRST PUBLISHED - 2005
PAGES - 503 (Paperback)
GENRE - Fantasy
PUBLISHERS - Ace Paperback

AUTHOR - Jim Butcher

SYNOPSIS - For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the furies - elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal. But now, Gaius Sextus, First Lord of Alera, grows old and lacks an heir. Ambitious High Lords plot and maneuver to place their Houses in positions of power, and a war of succession looms on the horizon." "Far from city politics in the Calderon Valley, the boy Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans' most savage enemy - the Marat - return to the Valley, he will discover that his destiny is much greater than he could ever imagine." Caught in a storm of deadly wind furies, Tavi saves the life of a runaway slave named Amara. But she is actually a spy for Gaius Sextus, sent to the Valley to gather intelligence on traitors to the Crown, who may be in league with the barbaric Marat horde. And when the Valley erupts in chaos - when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies - Amara will find Tavi's courage and resourcefulness to be a power greater than any fury - one that could turn the tides of war.

QUOTES - 

  • In for a sheep, in for a gargant.
  • Because a sound tree doesn’t have bad roots, Amara. No enterprise of greatness begins with treachery, with lying to the people who trust and love you.
  • The course of history is determined not by battles, by sieges, or usurpation, but by the individuals. The strongest army is, at its most basic level, a collection of individuals. Their decisions, their passions, their foolishness, and their dreams shape the years to come. If there is any lesson to be learned from history, it is that all too often the fate of armies, of cities, of entire realms rests upon the actions of one person's decision, good or bad, right or wrong, big or small, can unwittingly change the world. But history can be quite the slattern. One never knows who that person is, where he might be, or what decision he might male. It is almost enough to make me believe in destiny.


FL Speak - 

I've mixed views on this one. It ain't that I didn't like it, far from it. It's just that I am finding it a little difficult to jump from a Harry Dresden setting into a TolkiEn era.

So what do we have here?
Vast empire, political sabotage, special units, love and loyalty and a magic system that makes the use of Pokemons, or something like that. First things first, politics rule but is overshadowed by sheer action. Hello Tavi, one of the main characters who's furyless. That means, he can't do any special moves with Pokemons.

Almost everyone in the Empire has one or more furies. Furies are elemental. Earth, wind, wood, fire and whatnots. Each fury elemental is different and has different abilites. Fury crafting of earth summons an earth animal/giant/pokemon. Firecrafting plays with emotions, watercrafting lets you control the water and use it mainly for healing purposes. Blah Blah Blah.

And then there's Tavi, without a spark of fury in his blood. And Amarra, who's a Cursor and a windcrafter. Cursors are the elite special forces of the realm. More like Aurors, only way cooler. You need to read this one. ASAP.

Back to the book then. Furies of Calderon is an apt title for the war in Calderon Valley. Months of planning and scheming, a fearful enemy force and the might of the will clash at this iconic valley. The war scenes are gory, as they ought to be. Jim Butcher doesn't shy away from deaths and barbaric rituals. Furies of Calderon transported me to a world where I wanted to root for the underdog despite knowing that it might not be the best. For my heart and the Realm.

For any fantasy series, foreshadowing is a vital element. Some half-truths, some whispers in the dark and a lot of missing information made sure I picked up the second book. There is love in the air and fear in the wind.

I'm loving it. 

RATING - 4/5

inspirational

#BookReview : The five people you meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

9:52:00 PM

Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination, but an answer. 





Another year , I have stuck to the ritual of starting the year with Mitch Albom . Unlike other years , I picked the one , I had not read before  - The five people you meet in heaven. All these years , I avoided this book thinking that this would be about people from the central character's life and would not mean that much for me. Perhaps I doubted Mitch Albom is his brilliance , in his magical lessons and making each story valuable to the reader.

This year , I learned about sacrifice and choice ; how every action of ours is linked to even people we do not meet ever in our lifetime. I learned of forgiving the loved ones for their actions, no matter how much it hurt. Most times , there always is their version of love and care that remains unexpressed in all the silence. I felt at peace reading the story of Eddie , like it gave some meaning to reading , to my life at the moment and to my hopes for myself.

This is a beautiful story and I think we all can have some take away from the people Eddie meets.

Sacrifice is a part of life. It's supposed to be. It's not something to regret. It's something to aspire to.” 

“The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone.” 

My rating : 5/5

british

Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman

10:00:00 AM


NEVERWHERE

ISBN - 9780060557812
FIRST PUBLISHED - 1996
PAGES - 370 (Paperback)
GENRE - Fantasy
PUBLISHER - William Morrow

AUTHOR - Neil Gaiman

SYNOPSIS - Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.

QUOTES - 

  • You've a good heart. Sometimes that's enough to see you safe wherever you go. But mostly, it's not.
  • I have always felt that violence was the last refuge of the incompetent, and empty threats the last sanctuary of the terminally inept.
  • So the day became one of waiting, which was, he knew, a sin: moments were to be experienced; waiting was a sin against both the time that was still to come and the moments one was currently disregarding. 
  • So many things to see, people to do.
  • Can't make an omelette without killing a few people.


FL Speak - 

This was my first Gaiman book and truth to be told, I'd need to read a few more of his before I join his exclusive cult.

Neverwhere is a pretty straightforward story. Anyone who says otherwise needs to read more books. God gave Gaiman an idea and he turned it into Alice in Wonderland. Although, I'd say I liked Alice more. Richard, our protagonist and odd hero, really got on my nerves. I got dead tired of his whining and wondered if I should simply skim his parts. Well, as it turned out, he's almost in ALL the pages. That pansy, crybaby!

Enough of that. Neverwhere introduces you to London Below. A shady place beneath the roads of London where time works differently. London Below is not a place of evil, however you'd find all sorts of people and things (yes, I said things) living in the dark. It also has some fantastic places, like a Floating Market which never opens at the same place again. And then, there are metro stations that actually live up to their name. Earl's court is actually a court and Angel station is (no points for guessing it)

By far, the strength of this book lies not in the plot (which was completely obvious), neither in the god awful humour. It lies solely on the characters. Gaiman has done some wonderful magic on the characters and they shine throughout the book. Except for Richard, of course. Door is good, the twins who look nothing at all like are better but Hunter and de Carabas are the real ones you should read about. They steaaaal the show. I really wanted/wished for one of them to kill Richard and proceed on with the story. That would've been so much better.

So we have a Gaiman book, world building which is fantastic, a plot which is extremely predictable and characters you'd hate to love and vice versa. So what's missing? I'll tell you what's missing. The finale is missing. The answers are missing. The whys and hows are missing. The ending was a gigantic piece of shit. It's like Gaiman got tired of writing the book and suddenly had to be somewhere else. So all we got is a haphazard finale without tying it off. You ask me, what's not tied off? Read the book sweetheart. If you finish it, we can go through Q&A later.

I'd really want to read another book with Hunter or De Carabas in it. Or even Door. Just to placate my curious mind about the shitstorm this ending left behind.

RATING - 3/5

Claire North

The Sudden Appearance of Hope - Claire North

11:34:00 AM


The Sudden Appearance of Hope

ISBN - 9780316335997
FIRST PUBLISHED - 2016
PAGES - 468
GENRE - Fiction
PUBLISHERS - Hachette

AUTHOR - Claire North

SYNOPSIS - Listen.
All the world forgets me. First my face, then my voice, then the consequences of my deeds.
So listen. Remember me.

My name is Hope Arden, and you won't know who I am. We've met before - a thousand times. But I am the girl the world forgets.

It started when I was sixteen years old. A slow declining, an isolation, one piece at a time.

A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A teacher who forgets to chase my missing homework. A friend who looks straight through me and sees a stranger.

No matter what I do, the words I say, the people I hurt, the crimes I commit - you will never remember who I am.

That makes my life tricky. But it also makes me dangerous . . .

The Sudden Appearance of Hope is the tale of the girl no one remembers. But this gripping story – of love and loss, of hope and despair, of living in the moment and dying to leave a mark – is novel that will stay with you forever.

QUOTES - 

  • When you are alone, even the quiet is full of monsters.
  • He who is silent is seen to consent.
  • The world is boiled down to aphorisms and fairy tales.
  • They are . . .in their own, unspectacular way, to which no ballads are written or songs sung, in a domestic, daily, life-being-lived way,. . . happy.


FL Speak - I love Claire North. Have I mentioned it before? It should be written on stone. Her books her gold. Solid.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope is an interesting read. But Claire did refine her writing in the previous books. What do you do when someone forgets you the moment they look away? Now that's a gift I'd ask my Santa for. In reality, though, you'd be lonely as hell.

But oh the possibilities of crime and one night stands!

What starts as a pretty beginning for a petty thief soon turned out to be a worldwide hunt for revenge and self-discovery. I loved the character of Hope Arden. In a world, where time stops for none, it stopped for her. This is a helluva tale of a single girl taking on a behemoth, making the wrong decisions, changing her life, schooling herself in discipline and above all, find a place for herself.

This is the first fiction novel where I came upon the darknet. I'm pretty sure other books cover it too but I haven't read those yet. If you do not know what the darknet is, google it and possibly stay away. I came upon darknet a couple of years ago when I was researching on some illegal ideas. Nevertheless, the dark web is free for you to wander through. But be assured, that you are being monitored. I digress.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope is a beautiful story of a girl who is capable of immeasurable things. 

RATING - 4/5

Freelancer

The Passage - Justin Cronin

11:25:00 AM


THE PASSAGE 

Book 1 of "The Passage"

ISBN : 9780345504968
FIRST PUBLISHED : 2010
PAGES : 766 (Hardcover)
GENRE : Sci Fi/Horror
PUBLISHER : Ballantine

AUTHOR - Justin Cronin

SYNOPSIS - An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.

QUOTES - 

  • We live, we die. Somewhere along the way, if we're lucky, we may find someone to help lighten the load.
  • So perhaps the greatest worry of all was that one day you would realize that all the worries of your life amounted to one thing: the desire to just stop worrying.
  • It's different being afraid when there's the hope it will amount to something.
  • He breathed once more, holding the air in his chest, as if it were not air but something more--a sweet taste of freedom, of all cares lifted, everything over and done.


FL Speak - Oh boy, this was long pending.

Welcome to the end of the world. As the world explores immortality, life fucks you back.

I'm not a big fan of post-apocalyptic books but this one hit where it hurts. The Passage brings out the horror in a realistic model of the current world. Amy, a child of a thousand years is probably the answer to everything that went horribly wrong.

The book started with intrigue, continued with boredom and ended with the question "there's more?" What was supposed to be an uber secret mission to extract super bat DNA to make soldiers turned out to be the key to doomsday. Trust the armed forces to fuck things up. Fast forward to the future and there's no technology and a lot of vamps/virals roaming the world, hunting for game, breeding to continue existence and probably pod in pod with the girl you once slept with.

The first half set the ball rolling, the second half struggled to keep up and the climax was over before I could pull out. I'm fucking glad that this wasn't a "shoot-you-in-the-head" vampire story. I was expecting them to become smart as the years progressed and am glad that they did. There wasn't a vamp as classy as Count Drac but some of them were pretty neat sans the fashion sense.

I just read the synopsis of the second book and saw none of the characters from book 1. Well except Amy and god knows what she's becoming.

Should I continue this series? Hmmm... 

Oh yes, worth the bullshit midway. 

RATING - 4/5

Brandon Sanderson

Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection

11:58:00 AM



Urcanum Unbounded : The Cosmere Collection 

Book 2.5 of "The Stormlight Archive"

ISBN : 9780765391162
First Published : 22nd November, 2016
Genre : Fantasy
Pages : 672 (Hardback)
Publishers : Tor

AUTHOR : Brandon Sanderson

SYNOPSIS : Brandon Sanderson's first story collection: novellas and short stories set in the Shardworlds, the worlds of Stormlight, Mistborn, Elantris, and more.

An all-new Stormlight Archive novella will be the crown jewel of Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection, the first book of short fiction by #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson.

The collection will include eight works in all. The first seven are:
“The Hope of Elantris” (Elantris)
“The Eleventh Metal” (Mistborn)
“The Emperor's Soul” (Elantris)
“Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania, Epsiodes 28 through 30” (Mistborn)
“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” (Threnody)
“Sixth of Dusk” (First of the Sun)
“Mistborn: Secret History” (Mistborn)

FL SPEAK - 

Everyone knows my love for Sanderson.

So without much gushing (I'll try to limit it this time), let me get into the groove of reviewing this one. Arcanum Unbounded is what I said previously, a treasure trove. For the new readers, these short stories will open eyes and for the faithful ones, provide some much needed answers about the Cosmere.

I try to keep myself knowledgeable about the Cosmere. I do not follow it blindly lest spoilers ruin it. However I had completely no idea what was in store when I started this. The maps, the drawings, the little hints, it all comes together.

Kelsier. Remember Kelsier, the survivor of Hathsin? Apparently his story didn't get over . My jaw dropped open when I realized the implications of what he was upto. And trust me, the whole Cosmere will reverberate to his antics. For the first time in my life, I'm happy to be my age. If things go well, I will live quite long to finish this epic tale.

I had already read The Emperor's Soul before. But Sixth of Dusk (which btw is apart from the Cosmere) was new to me. So was White Sands which I believe is a marvel in itself. Here's to hoping more of that. But what completely blew me away was Edgedancer. Based in the Rosharan system, this more than a short story was a book in itself. A book between Way of Kings and Words of Radiance.

As per latest update at brandonsanderson dot com, Brandon has started working on his 3rd draft of Oathbringer. That means, it's a mere months away.

RATING : 5 outta 5