Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day of the Fish-Zombies~Tom Shutt | Review

Title: Day of the Fish-Zombies
Author: Tom Shutt
Genre: Choose your destiny/Middle grade/post apocalyptic
Length: Varies
Release: October 2015
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I have always been fascinated by the "you choose" novels. They were a big thing in the '80s and '90s and I remember reading one with my brother when I was little. I don't remember what it was about, just that we got to make a choice and follow different roads. I'm excited these seem to be coming back. I think there is a lot of potential in the concept. 
This novel follows you, the main character, as a Fish-Zombie apocalypse begins. There are many choices to be made and many paths to take that will either end in your survival through the day or your death. I haven't yet followed every path, but I've done a few and both lived and died. I'm excited to continue reading and see exactly how many different paths there are to take. You meet new characters on each different path and encounter new obstacles. 

One thing that I really enjoy about this is the writing combined with the fact that it can be read by a wide range of readers. While it's geared toward middle grade readers, it can be enjoyed by many others. The different paths are well connected and a lot of work was obviously put into keeping the story flowing no matter which path is chosen. 

Overall this is a really fun survival story where you get to decide your fate. I think a lot of people would enjoy the adventure offered and the interactive aspect of the story. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tuesday Talks | Thoughts on Synopses

Visit the goodreads group for Tuesday Talks to get involved with the weekly bookish discussions. They are a lot of fun. You don't have to be a blogger or booktuber to participate, just post your thoughts on the thread and/or comment on the discussions of others. 

Thoughts on Synopses
The definition of synopsis, according to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, is: 
a short description of the most important information about something : a summary or outline.
This in itself almost seems like it will give too much information away when we consider books. Some people love a lengthy synopsis that really delves into every aspect of the story. I, on the other hand, prefer a very brief, powerful synopsis. In fact, I don't even generally want a synopsis. I just want a tag line or something. All I need to know about the book is it's genre, a very general idea of the characters/setting, and an interesting sentence or two that drags me in. 

So let me tell you a little about my process of reading in regards to synopses. I may have mentioned this before, but if not this is how I tend to read. When I'm searching for books I will generally read the synopsis (even if it does give away too much information), unless it's a book in a series in which case I would only read the synopsis of the first book. Once I've read the synopsis and decided I'm interested in reading the book, I'll put it aside for a while. Sometimes a few days, sometimes a few months. Then, once I've nearly forgotten all those spoilery details from the synopsis and barely have a clue what the book is about (except for the fact that I wanted to read it), I'll pick it up. I find that I tend to enjoy books more when I read them like this. 

Let me give you an example of what I want in a synopsis. This is from The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. On my paperback copy this is just the first few sentences of the synopsis given. I wouldn't need anything more. 
The Mists rule the night.
The Lord Ruler owns the world.
Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land.
He failed.
So there is more than that given, but seriously, that's all I need. Knowing it's fantasy and this little tad of information is enough for me. In fact, it was enough for me. A friend recommended this book to me and I didn't really read anything about it until I actually read the entire novel. 

So what do you want in a synopsis? Do you think they often have too many details, or do you like them the way they are usually presented? Do you want a full synopsis or just a few lines? Share your thoughts with me!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Something Royal~Maggie Dana | Review

Title: Something Royal (Timber Ridge Riders #12)
Author: Maggie Dana
Genre: Middle Grade Sports/Equestrian
Length: 182 Pages
Release: September 2015
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

This is yet another great installment in this middle grade horse series. The girls are back from England, have survived a wedding, horse camp, boy drama, horse drama, and are now onto more pleasant things. Or so they think. 

One thing that I really like about this series is how real the characters are. They all frustrate me in their own ways, some just a little more than others. But that makes them real and I love it. Out of the two main characters I relate to Kate the most. I practically was Kate as a teenager. Holly, on the other hand, is a bit more of a challenge for me. I do enjoy her, but her boy crazy, girly-girl attitude can sometimes drive me crazy. The side characters, including the girls' parents, are also equal parts endearing and frustrating. It's brilliant. 

This installment adds some new elements to the series. Kate and Holly have a new relationship and you get to see some of the stresses this is causing on their lives and friendship. There's also a bit of mystery included when someone starts stalking Holly. And of course there are horses and the crazy things they throw into life. The girls are growing up and you can see that through the story. They're having to ask themselves and each other hard questions, questions they might not want to answer. And their horses are there every step of the way. 

Many old characters continued to make appearances here, including the bratty Angela and her mother Mrs Dean. Aunt Bea (who I'm sure is a fan favorite), was around doling out her advice to those who would bother to listen. Adam (and even Nathan for a little bit) was back, being just as silly as ever. And of course there were some new and exciting additions to the cast of characters that I'm excited to see more of in the future. 

This is the first of the novels that I've read that I really felt like the ending was very open. Not in a bad way, just that the mystery/story for that particular novel (and not the series overall) wasn't complete. There is definitely room for more exploration in the next installment (how many are there going to be? will it continue forever? I hope so!) and I'm excited to see where this goes.

I don't feel like I can give you a lot more information about the story without ruining the reading experience for you, so I'll just say go and read this series if you like horses and girls finding their way in life.    

Friday, October 23, 2015

Inside & Out Tag

This is a really old tag, but I've read/watched a few recently and decided I wanted to do this tag. It was created by MathomBooks on booktube, so check out his channel.  

I Inside flap/Back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough (Discuss) 
Personally I don't really care to read all of the information in the flap of a book (or on the back). I want a two or three sentence hook with just enough information to grab me. Usually I read a synopsis, put the book aside, and read it once I've forgotten what the synopsis said. I tend to enjoy books more when I read that way.

N New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: Audiobook, E-Book, Paperback, or Hardcover?
Hardcover books are actually my favorite. I do like paperback and e-books, and occasionally I enjoy audio, but a hardcover book is just my favorite. If they're made well.

S Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean? (Tell us why)
Scribble! I love scribbling out notes in the margin of my books. It makes me feel like I'm connected to the story. And I love flipping through a book once I've finished (or am rereading it) and seeing all those notes. It makes me feel like I'm reading it for the first time again.

I In your best voice, read for us your favorite 1st sentence from a book.
So I obviously can't read this to you since this is a blog and not my booktube channel. And I'm not really sure what my favorite first sentence is...I can think of loads of last sentences...I might have to just write a post about this later. 

D Does it matter to you whether the author is male of female when you're deciding on a book? What if you're unsure of the author's gender? 
It doesn't matter to me either way. Most of my favorite authors are men, but I've read more books by female authors. I think that men and women can both be very talented and bring something interesting to light with their stories. I do think it's funny when I think the author is a man and it turns out to be a woman (or the vice versa).

E Ever read ahead? or have you ever read the last page way before you got there? (Do confess thy sins, foul demon!) :)
Unfortunately...yes. Many, many times. I try not to. And I've gotten loads better about this, but I do sometimes skip ahead and read pieces or read the ending first. I really try not to do that though.


O Organized bookshelves, or Outrageous bookshelves? 
A little of both I guess. I would say more organized though. I try to keep everything separated by author and then in a certain order if it's a series. Sometimes this gets messed up depending on how I have a shelf arranged. But I've gotten passed having crazy out of control shelves.

U Under oath: have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)? 
Nope. I don't pay a lot of attention to covers. It's usually more likely the title that will catch my attention. Maybe something about the cover, but usually it's words. Title, authors name, series name. Not the visual.

T Take it outside to read, or stay in? 
I really like to read inside and outside. As long as it's not too sunny where I'm sitting then outside is really nice. I get really bad headaches in general and reading in bright sunlight really bothers me. That's one reason I don't love reading on the beach. But under a tree in my yard is a different story. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Guest Post by Mara Dabrishus, (Author of Stay the Distance) & Finding Daylight Preview & Giveaway!

Several years ago, my riding instructor at the time turned to me and asked, “Why horses?” 

I remember thinking that it was a strange question to ask. We were in the middle of working on the barn and bam! The question could have easily been, “Why are you the way you are?”

So I could only answer, “I don’t know. Does anyone?”

Ever since I can remember, it’s been horses. They catch my attention all the time, even now when I feel I should have gotten over the joy of driving by a pasture that happens to contain a horse. There’s something about them that brings out the wide-eyed wonder in people, something so fundamental that asking “Why horses?” seems so very absurd to the people who intrinsically love them.

It was always horses. Even more specifically, it was horse racing. Watching Thoroughbreds fly around dirt ovals has been a favorite pastime for me since I cracked open Joanna Campbell’s A Horse Called Wonder and fell down the rabbit hole, where the drama of Ashleigh Griffen and Wonder versus Brad Townsend and Prince left indelible marks on my psyche. Horse racing comes prepackaged with high stakes—ecstatic highs, dark lows—and at the innocent age of twelve I wanted in. Only I had no desire to live the racing life. I wanted to write it. 

There’s something about the intensity of horse racing that keeps me using it as a backdrop for the stories that play out within my books. By its very nature, the sport keeps you perched at the edge of your seat—maybe even jumping up and down while screaming—and it’s fun for me to channel that type of wild atmosphere into writing. I also love the dynamics a racetrack affords me with the girls I write about. Women in horseracing are increasingly common, but it’s still a sport dominated by men, with that lingering old guard attitude of what a woman can and cannot do still very much alive. Horse racing wears its stories on its sleeves, walking this fine line between the emotional sentimentality we feel about horses and the hard truth of human failings and I absolutely love that. As a writer, it’s inspiration catnip. 

My first published short story, Whirlaway, won the Thoroughbred Times Fiction Contest and I followed that up with Stay the Distance, the first in a trilogy about July Carter, Beck Delaney, and a hotheaded colt named Lighter. The sequel is in the works, and I’m planning on turning all of my attention to it this November, while my next book, Finding Daylight, is off with the editors.

I started writing Finding Daylight last year during the prep races for the Breeders’ Cup. The lead up to these huge two days in racing takes months, with horses vying against each other for a spot in the starting gate of thirteen different races. The biggest of them all is the Breeders’ Cup Classic—a race worth $5 million dollars—which arguably consists of the best classic distance dirt runners the world has to offer. It’s kind of a big deal. 

I wondered what would happen if a girl and a filly won the race, and took it from there. Georgie Quinn and Sweet Bells win the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and the world is star struck. Overnight, Georgie becomes the face of horse racing, and Sweet Bells becomes its queen. Although they’re the morning line favorites, Georgie feels like she’s barely keeping her head above water. Her parents’ farm is a crumbling has-been, her jockey career consumes her time, and Harris Armstrong, heir to Tupelo Stud and grandson of Sweet Bells’ owner, won’t forgive her for telling a lie that kept her family together as the truth ripped his apart. 

Here’s a sample of Georgie’s story: 

Crystal champagne flutes sparkled from the party lights on the bar, cutting through the limo’s dark interior. Georgie could make out the faces of Lynsey's father, Oliver, and his new wife, Mabel Armstrong. Mabel smiled winningly, waving at her with charm bracelet tinkling and blown out brown hair bouncing. Oliver, always the handsome, be-suited president of Tupelo Stud, barely afforded a moment to acknowledge her in favor of his phone. That was fine by Georgie, who could not count all the reasons why she did not want to converse with Oliver. Her eyes fell on the corner across from her, where Lynsey's older brother Harrison whispered against his newest girlfriend's neck. 

Georgie couldn't remember her name, and figured she didn't need to know. Harris' girlfriends were often flashy and quickly gone. Diamonds sparkled on this one's ears, and her lipstick stained the champagne glass perched between her thumb and forefinger. Her nails were painted gray. In the dim lights of the limo, Georgie could only make out the straight line of Harris' jaw, the dark hair, and his farm-tanned hands. One was stroking through the girl's bright hair, and the other plucked at the edges of his nearly empty glass.  

The girl put her gray-tipped fingers on Harrison's knee and laughed softly, her eyes darting over to where Georgie sat as the limo cruised seamlessly away from the curb and entered Los Angeles traffic. 

"Here's welcoming the girl of the hour," Samuel announced, lifting his glass and leaning toward the ice bucket in one fluid movement, lifting the bottle by the neck. "I call a toast. Lynsey, fetch two glasses."

"Grandpa," Lynsey started, receiving a look from the old man.

Tupelo Stud, Georgie thought wryly. Proudly providing alcohol for minors since our founding in 1943.

"Don't start, Lyn," he told her, his voice leveling out, revealing the do-as-I-command racehorse owner. "I know your age, and no one in this car gives a good god damn. Get the glasses."

"Yes, sir," Lynsey said, picking up the glasses and holding them out for him to fill. The champagne fizzed up to the rims as Georgie took hers from Lynsey's slender fingers, sniffing the sweet liquid that popped and tickled her nose. 

"I am sure this will be the first of many toasts celebrating Georgiana and Sweet Bells," Samuel said, lifting his champagne and showing off his white teeth, his blue eyes bright behind his delicate glasses. "You both touched upon glory in the Classic. Sweet Bells will be up for Horse of the Year come January, and Georgie got us here. To Georgie."

Mabel's enthusiastic clapping filled the limo, while Oliver and Samuel took healthy swigs. Lynsey and Georgie traded a look over their champagne as they took dry mouthfuls, swallowing down the bubbles. Across the car, Harris drank, dark eyes on Georgie as the Gray Girl whispered against his shoulder.

"Thank you," Georgie said, clearing the champagne from her throat. "I don't really know what to say. It's all Bell."

"That's generous," Samuel said, leaning back in his seat. He was a tall man, broad in the shoulders and lean everywhere else, honed from years on horseback. His hair was a shock of white, and had been since Georgie was a child, when her family's Red Gate Farm was Tupelo Stud's equal.

These days Red Gate wasn't much of anything at all. 

"Maybe it's all luck," Harris offered from across the limo, drawing glances. Lynsey gave him a pointed stare, because surely now wasn't the time to rain on the parade. Gray Girl settled into her seat next to him, looking self-satisfied. "Our filly is ridden by the girl on the farm next door. Where would we be if not for Red Gate?"

Georgie sat perfectly still, smoothing her hand over the skirt of her dress before she looked up at Harris. He smiled at her and winked. 

He knew exactly what he was doing, pushing all of her buttons. 

"Then I would count your blessings I'm your girl next door," she replied. Lynsey smiled into her champagne. "Besides which, she's not all your filly. You always seem to need reminding."

"Semantics," Harris said, unruffled. Samuel shot Harris a warning glance across his champagne, and just like that the mood turned sour. Mabel glanced between them anxiously, earrings dangling. Oliver kept his attention on his phone, tuning them out while letting them have at it. 

"Hardly," Georgie bit, settling when Lynsey pressed her shoulder against hers. She let go of the tension that was building in her chest, letting out a slow breath. "The second Red Gate sells its half-interest in her, that's when you can talk about semantics. Until then, you know why I'm here."

"Obviously," Harris said, turning his attention from her, finished. The Gray Girl stroked her fingers down his arm. 

Georgie tightened her grip on the champagne and leaned back into her seat. Lynsey tossed her hair over her shoulder and gave her a sympathetic look, her hair shading her face from the rest of her inscrutable family. Georgie lifted a shoulder halfheartedly, because what could she expect? That was Harris for you, always there to show everyone their place. She took another sip of the champagne. Larger this time. The bubbles raced down her throat and popped. 

Harris Armstrong hadn't talked to Georgie with anything more than barely tolerated condescension for over two years. Family history dictated that this wasn't particularly surprising. When the Armstrongs and the Quinns trail-blazed into Ocala, Florida with their horses and their money, they publicly sparred when they weren't quietly colluding, creating a cloud of gossip so thick it was sometimes hard to distinguish fact from fiction.  

Georgiana Quinn, Georgie had overheard in the paddock before her riding her first race, nearly turning to answer before she realized. Didn't her mother and Oliver Armstong have a thing?

Before Lilliana, poor dear.

She'd walked up to her mount in a hurry after that, told Harris to shut it when he started to open his mouth, and rode her mount like a frenzied thing to the finish. She felt frenzied since, a ball of utter resolve working to erase the comments, the stares, trying to replace them with something so huge she wouldn't have to listen to the whispers threading from person to person, all the way back to her.

And now she'd won the Breeders' Cup Classic. Now it was talk of Eclipse Award prospects and future plans instead of shifting glances. 

The Gray Girl glanced her way again, leaning toward Harris to murmur something between her painted lips. His jaw tightened, dark eyes flashing, but he laughed softly under his breath nonetheless. 

Georgie watched them, unabashed.

Maybe whispers never ended.
I go a bit further down that racing rabbit hole in Finding Daylight, which is ever so much about how we survive human failings. And I promise, once I’ve finished Finding Daylight and you’re entrenched in the fallout from the day that changed everything for Georgie and Harris, the sequel to Stay the Distance will be out before you know it. 

Enter the rafflecopter below to win a copy of Stay the Distance! But first lets get some rules out of the way. 

*You must live in the United States 
*You must be at least18 years old or have parental consent to enter
*The winner will be contacted by email and must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

No True Echo~Gareth P Jones | Review

Title: No True Echo
Author: Gareth P Jones
Genre: Middle Grade Science Fiction
Length: 288 Pages
Release: October 2015
My Rating: 3/5 Stars

I Received a copy of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love time travel books and books that mess with time in general, so the idea of this book was immediately appealing to me. Basically Eddie lives in a town everyone finds boring, until a girl shows up that Eddie feels like he knows. And she's doing some pretty odd things. The people who seemed stable and constant in his life are suddenly flighty. And then alternate time lines get involved. Nothing will be the same again. 

This book was a lot of fun to read. I found the idea of the Echo Technology fascinating. The concept of being able to create echoes of your life in different time lines where things are almost, but not quite right. When books mess with time it's just plain interesting. I also really liked the change in perspective that would take place. Some chapters were first person from Eddie and others were third person from the perspective of Officer Liphook. Again, changing perspectives is something I really enjoy. 

The main reason I didn't fall completely in love with this book was the characters. While I really liked them all and think they had potential, I never really felt invested in any of them. With more development into their personalities this could have been a four or five star book. I need strong characterization in general to really enjoy a book and I just felt that somewhat lacking. There was potential, it just wasn't fully reached. 

The explanations about the time travel and Eddie's place on the sidelines was also a bit confusing, particularly later on. Obviously it's difficult to give a great explanation of the technology, since it doesn't exist. But I think this could have been explored and explained with a bit more detail and I would have been able to follow along better. 

While I didn't think this book was fantastic, it was really enjoyable and I would recommend it if you enjoy time travel and middle grade stories. Definitely enjoyable.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tuesday Talks | What Publishers Should and Shouldn't Do

If you want to find out more about Tuesday Talks, visit the goodreads group. It's run by Janie and Janelle and we have a new bookish topic every week. They are always a lot of fun, so you should check it out.

Publishers: The Should's and Should Not's
Over my time reading I haven't ever put a lot of thought into what I think about publishers and how they market and things. Recently I've started paying more attention as I've started reading a wider variety of books from various publishers and independent authors. So we'll see how many thoughts I have to share today. 

While I don't tend to pay attention to covers all that much, one thing that I definitely thing is a Should Not is switching cover styles part way through a series. So many people collect their favorite series' and I think this is just kind of a turn off for them when they can't have a matching set. And the thing is, the publishers would probably end up making more of a profit if they released the original covers and then the new and improved ones because those who already love the series would probably go buy the new ones too. And it opens up to a new audience. 

One thing that I do really like publishers doing is having previews on their sites and allowing authors to write blogs and share snippets of their projects on social media. It's always nice to get the first few chapters early or to read about what the author is experiencing with a certain character/story. I love going through twitter and seeing posts from authors answering questions about their stories, it's a really nice way to show readers that they are appreciated. 

Those are really the only things I can think of right now that I have a specific opinion about. What do you think? Are there certain things you do or do not like that publishers tend to do? Let me know. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Interview with Donnielle Tyner, Author of The Caelian Cycle

Today I'm bringing you an interview with Donnielle Tyner, author of The Caelian Cycle, a young adult dystopian/science fiction series. I highly recommend them if you enjoy these genres and stories about people with super powers. 

You can can find Donnielle at her website, on twitter, facebook, pinterest, and tumbler.
Lost (Caelian Cycle #1) can be purchased through online retailers. 
You still have a little time to win a digital copy of Bound (Caelian Cycle #2) here

Now onto the interview! 

Describe Lost in five sentences or less.
The Caelian Cycle is a YA SciFi based in an alternative reality about a girl who comes into her Talent (powers) and inadvertently catches the attention of an egomaniac who wants her for his own purpose. Sadie is a strong female character who overcomes her insecurities and learns how to navigate her own grief while learning it’s okay to open her heart to another. She discovers secrets about her past that brings a new danger to light, pushing her to fight not only for her life, but for those she loves.

Have you always been a writer? Who/what first inspired you to write?
I started writing in Junior High as an outlet for all the crazy that was going on in my life at the suggestion of one of my teachers. She gave me a book of poetry and suggested that I keep a journal. I took her advice thinking nothing would help the depression I was in, but I couldn’t have been wrong. At first the entries were just moody poetry, but eventually it evolved as I grew older. Now I work as a freelance writer when I’m not working on my next novel.

What type of research have you had to do for this series?
Google has been my best friend and probably my worst enemy. My husband jokes that I’m most likely on the government terrorist watch list with my searches, which is scary in of itself, but I wanted to make sure that my books were as close to fact as possible. Most of my research was for the second book in The Caelian Cycle, Bound. I read plenty of first-hand accounts and government records involving actual terrorists in order to get certain scenes as accurate as possible.

What is the hardest thing about writing for you?
Time. Always time. I have two small kids at home and as a stay at home mother it is hard to balance the two, but I always try to make sure I can get at least an hour a day to write. If not, I feel on edge.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?
More of a plotter, but there is plenty of flying by the seat of my pants. I do plot out the entire book, but sometimes as I’m writing a character will change the story or I will get an idea on how to make it better or more suspenseful. Usually I don’t stray too much from the original plot, but sometimes I’ve made big detours. It’s never my fault though. Characters seem to have a mind of their own sometimes.

Do you have any favorite authors or books you would recommend?
I have plenty of favorites and it’s hard to choose just one, but I really enjoy Claire Farrell’s novels.

How long does it typically take you to write a book?
It really depends on my family life, but I can usually finish a book in two to three months, but it’s the editing that takes up most of the time.

Are any of your characters inspired by actual people?
Yes. John is character based off my brother. I didn’t start it off that way and at first he had a different name, but as the book progressed I noticed how John and my brother were similar, so I ran with it. Mrs. LaMotte was based off the teacher who gave me the book of poetry in junior high. She gives Sadie that tough love I admired in my own teacher.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment (writing or otherwise)?
My children. They are the light of my life and being able to stay at home with them at watch them grow up has been the greatest gift.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read. I always have my Kindle with me and every moment I am not doing something for my family, my nose is in a book.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Shadows of Self~Brandon Sanderson | Review

Title: Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Genre: High Fantasy
Length: 383 Pages
Release: October 2015
My Rating: 5/5 Stars

After reading the original Mistborn trilogy and The Alloy of Law again this year, I was so excited for this book. I was already looking forward to reading it, but that just had me extremely excited since everything was fresh in my mind. I received the first seven chapters from Netgalley and read those, waiting for my preordered copy to come in the mail. I was hoping for something insane and epic, and this definitely delivers. 

I can't say that I had extreme expectations or thoughts as to where the story would go after Alloy, but this book surprised me. In a really good way. After rereading Alloy I assumed that the criminal organization The Set was going to be more of the main focus of the story, and in some ways they were, but there was so much more going on. Within those first seven chapters the novel took a turn that I did not expect. And I'm really glad it did. 

What's amazing about these stories is that Sanderson has taken the Mistborn world and moved it forward in time, showing the changes in the magic system and society as time has progressed. The characters that I knew and loved from the first series are now deities in most cases and the society is shaped around their ideals in various ways. And even though I love the magic in the original series, I almost like Wax and Wayne's abilities more. 

One thing that I did not expect was for the kandra to play such a huge role in this story. They were not really featured in Alloy, but their role here was insanely important. And we even get to see some of our old kandra friends. I was insanely excited for that. Really, you have no idea. I think I drove the people around me crazy. 

In this installment Wax, Wayne, and Marasi are faced with trying to protect their governor when civil unrest threatens to overthrow the world as they know it. There are plenty of action scenes with Sanderson's usual skill and fascinating magic. Each of our three main characters is forced to grow. We even get a small portion from Steris's point of view, which was really fun because she's such an outsider to the main story. There is so much background about our three leads and the struggles they've had to overcome and the ones they are still fighting. Wayne was hilarious, as usual. Wax was faced with things he (and I) never expected. Marasi is trying to find her place among her friends as well as colleagues, trying to force people to notice instead of forget her. So much happens.

Based on what I know about the third novel at this point, this was an excellent introduction. The ending was sad, but beautiful. And it definitely leaves me wanting the next book. If you haven't read this yet, go and do so now. If you haven't read the original series, go pick them up and read all five. You can have them all finished by the release of the third book in January of 2016. If you like fantasy, you won't regret it.