Monday, July 2, 2018

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas




Super powered beings? Good. Victorian England? Good. Clever writing and interesting ideas. Good. There's a formula here for a good story and just the type I like to read. Still, can too much of a good thing turn out to be a bad thing or does this only guarantee greatness? Let's begin.

Evelyn Windum is very bored with her life in society and the endless barrage of unsavory suitors, boring parties, and her mother's constant fussing in regards to Evelyn's "reputation". Her only joy is that she has her sister, Rose, with her for most of the dreadfully boring season. But when her sister suddenly goes missing, Evelyn throws propriety and reputation out the door in order to find her. The only souls willing to help her are the enigmatic "master detective" Mr. Kent, and the brooding Mr. Braddock, who believes that Evelyn and her sister possess some kind of extraordinary powers. Though she's skeptical at first, Evelyn soon discovers that Mr. Braddock's theory is not only accurate, but opens her eyes to a world lying just beneath the surface that she'd never encountered before.

Initially, I was a bit worried about Evelyn as a character. I feared her sarcasm and nonchalance would lead her into the "selfish, tragic Mary-Sue who complains about everything and hardly does any of the work but still gets the credit" territory. Thankfully, I was completely wrong. While she is sarcastic, she is successfully so and actually got some good laughs out of me while I was reading this.  And while her modern (perhaps too modern) mentality about Victorian society was brought up, it wasn't really focused on that much. And, wonderfully, she is proactive in this book. She does things, she fights, she helps others even if she isn't sure she can. She tries her best, even if she doesn't think she can do it. When something bad happens, she doesn't let it get to her. Her parents don't want to help her? Fine, she'll just leave without their permission. She's not allowed to stay in someone's house. Okay, then, I'll just find an inn. She's a strong character, without being cartoonishly silly or melodramatic and I appreciated that about her.

This was also a pretty fun book, even if it was a bit straightforward. It sticks pretty closely to a three act structure, so you can kind of figure out where it goes, even if you can't predict exactly what will happen. The plot is simple: solve the mystery. But there's definite love in this book, and I'm not talking about the relationships between the characters. A lot of thought went into this story, into the characters, the setting, and the mystery and so all the elements come together, even if it sticks to a formula that we're pretty familiar with. Each character was full of life and the powers were an interesting mix. Sometimes you couldn't even tell if what a person could do was a power or if it was just an exceptionally skilled person. It's a neat little touch and I liked that.

The only real problems I have is, once again, the inclusion of the love triangle. Evelyn, for her part, makes it clear that her priorities are on her sister and she's not interested in romance at the moment, but that doesn't stop Kent and Braddock from getting into these really ridiculous cock-fights that just make you want to slap yourself in the forehead and roll your eyes. They're just shoved into theses arm-candy stereotypes but, thankfully, they do have personalities that develop them a bit more than you might find elsewhere. Kent is really funny and charismatic and Braddock has some good reasons for his brooding and deals with a power that is no benefit to him and makes him harmful to others. I didn't dislike either of them, thankfully. I didn't wish ill on anyone, so that's something. The villain of the book, while formidable, didn't leave that much of an impact either. We don't see him very often and, when he did show up, he just kind of came off as the mad-scientist-with-superiority-complex type that we see a lot. Other than those two things, I did have fun with this book and think anyone with an interest in it would find it amusing.

Final Verdict
A fun, quick, and interesting read. Good characters, an easy to follow story, and great humor and dialogue make for a nice, chill read. If you have an interest in it, defiantly give it a shot because, in my opinion it is worth your money at your local bookstore.

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Please make sure to Follow Midnight Readings for instant updates. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer

If you would like to read my book, Powerless, you can find it at:

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Powerless-Shelley-Miller/dp/1543482546/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519062043&sr=8-1&keywords=powerless+by+shelley+miller

Xlibris: https://www.xlibris.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001175242

Next Time: You might be cool, but you'll never be flat-planet-balanced-on-the-backs-of-four-elephants-riding-on-the-back-of-a-giant-turtle-floating-through-space cool.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco



Having put Stalking Jack the Ripper on my Best of the Shelf list last year, I was as eager as anyone to get my hands on the sequel. The characters I enjoyed from the first book going after another ancient, blood thirsty monster of history...sign me up! Did the book deliver as well as the first one? Well, let's see for ourselves.

Audrey Rose Wadsworth, fresh of the Ripper case, is on her way to Transylvania with the mysterious Thomas Cresswell. Together, they intend to enter into an academy of forensic sciences to master their skills as investigators. While the prospect of autopsies and forensic science has always been a great delight for Audrey Rose, she enters the program with some trepidation due to a venomous Headmaster, sexist classmates, being pitted against Thomas for a spot in the academy...and several horrific murders taking place in the school. People from the nearby village and even some visitors at the school are being impaled with wooden stakes, attacked by bats, and drained of blood. The village fears the return of Vlad the Impaler, horrific tyrant of old, said to have risen from the dead to devour blood. Audrey Rose and Thomas must get to the bottom of this case, lest their own lives be lost next to this mysterious, bloodthirsty fiend.

As I was a big fan of the first book, I did have some pretty high expectations for this one. In essence, this was everything I was expecting it to be. A whodunnit murder mystery, much like the first, with ties to history and real-life places. Once again, creative liberties were taken with much of the historical facts in order to tell a good story, but I didn't mind them so much this time around. Probably because there weren't as many and, aside from the fact that Bran Castle has never really been a forensic academy, nothing too major was changed. Plus, much like the first, there was a lot of great depictions of gothic architecture and atmosphere that I really appreciated.

Now, most people who have read these books will go on and on about how Thomas is their favorite character and how much they loved him and how charming he is and yada yada yada. Okay, I don't dislike Thomas as a character but...I'm sorry, but his flirting starting to get real annoying. She's obviously trying to go for a will-they-won't-they thing with Audrey Rose and Thomas but his flirting just got super old super fast in this book. Not only was every other thing he said hinting about how badly he wants to get with Audrey Rose but, at times, it just seemed inappropriate. Now, I don't mean inappropriate as in what he said was patriarchy or rude or anything, but that he says stuff after finding a person's dead body or when they are in eminent danger! Time and place, buddy. Time and place.

Another problem I had with this book was that the pacing was much slower than the previous book. I had a hard time finishing it, not because it was poorly written or the characters were unlikable or anything, but because it was drag on and on in certain places. It got the point where I think I zoned out and missed some important details. My only major nitpick about Stalking was that I figured out who was behind everything fairly quickly. This time, I was genuinely surprised....then really confused. Even after the usual "get the villain monologuing to save ourselves" scene we can sometimes get with these stories, I still didn't really get what was going on. We're supposed to be impressed by the intelligence of this character but the way they go about their plan...seriously didn't make a lick of sense. I think it just needed to be thought out a bit better because that was seriously the most flawed part of the book.

Final Verdict
Not as good as the first, but still enjoyable enough. The writing is still good, I still like Audrey Rose, and the mystery was a good one but the conclusion was confusing and didn't make a whole lot of sense, Thomas got annoying, and so I'm going to say to maybe wait for it on paperback.

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Please make sure to Follow Midnight Readings for instant updates. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer

If you would like to read my book, Powerless, you can find it at:

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Powerless-Shelley-Miller/dp/1543482546/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519062043&sr=8-1&keywords=powerless+by+shelley+miller

Xlibris: https://www.xlibris.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001175242

Next Time:  Victorian England needs more superheroes...

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Thirteenth Princess by Nina Clare



Need a book where you can just kind of sit back and enjoy the ride? A book that's not trying to hard or attempting to cash in on popular tropes? It's always nice to find a book such as that and this, I must say, was a refreshing read. Going back to reviewing a fairy tale retelling, and having it actually be a positive experience, was just what the doctor ordered. Let's dive in.

The thirteenth princess of the kingdom of Cataluna has always been looked on like a curse, to the point where she doesn't even have a name other than Princess. Surrounded by her beautiful and talented sisters, Princess dreams of adventure and freedom from the home that looks on her like an unwanted problem. When whispers of rebellion force the princesses' uncle, the current ruler, to find them husbands, Princess isn't so sure at the prospect. With her sisters longing for love, her uncle scheming against them, and a long line of princes arriving from all over the world, Princess must step out of the shadows and be the hero she longs to be.

For a retelling of the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, this story takes things to a different level and balances the line of staying true to the story and adding enough details to make it more three-dimensional. It breathes life and personality into the existing characters and creates interesting new ones to build the world and enrich the story. Princess (who could totally be a Time Lord with that name, that would have been awesome) is a fairly spunky character without trying too hard and making her overly tough or willowy. She felt like a real person, the youngest child in a large family with successful siblings...yeah, her feelings in this story are pretty genuine and realistic and I appreciated that about this story.

Now, the story is a fairy tale and it knows it. That being said, we were allowed to have things like magic and faeries and spells, none of which I remember the actual story having. However, it doesn't feel forced given the story and established world that we're given. Even when the characters themselves are surprised that magic exists, the reader isn't. We could sense it from the beginning, because we're reading through the eyes of an intuitive character. The inclusion of a villain character also fits snugly and he had such personality and funny moments that he was probably one of my favorite parts. It kind of made me think that if Disney were to make a movie around the Twelve Dancing Princesses, it might look something like this.

If I had to nitpick, and I do, I will admit that the story does drag at times. Mostly this is due to the fact that the story is trying to establish twelve princesses and give them personalities. Yeah, the title characters of the fairy tale that we're basing this story off of are ironically the Achilles Heel in this story. There's a great deal of time to naming the sisters, naming their hobbies and interests, describing their dresses, meeting their princes, going to their parities, making their rings and on and on and on. I can appreciate it was trying to turn them into characters and not bland or uninteresting but I don't think it worked too well. At the end of the day....there's still twelve of them. I'm just not going to remember each and every one of them. It was a valiant effort, but the sisters probably had a bit too much time devoted to making them stand out.

Final Verdict
It was fun, it was light, it was interesting...yeah, I liked this book. Was it the best book I'd ever read in my life...probably not, but I did appreciate it and what it was going for and trying to do. The protagonist was good, the ideas were clever and I'd say this book is worth your money at your local bookstore!

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Please make sure to Follow Midnight Readings for instant updates. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer

If you would like to read my book, Powerless, you can find it at:

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Powerless-Shelley-Miller/dp/1543482546/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519062043&sr=8-1&keywords=powerless+by+shelley+miller

Xlibris: https://www.xlibris.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001175242

Next Time: From the Ripper to the Impaler...this chick has her work cut out for her....

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Black Witch by Laurie Forest




Fantasy can be such a wonderful genre, full of creativity and opportunities that reality cannot have. It's also a good way for people to tell deep stories about real issues but in a new and unique way....given that it's well written. Is this one such fantasy? Well, let's just take a look.

Elloren Gardner is of the revered Gardnarian race, but a powerless one raised in a small village by her uncle and kept apart from those who would judge her for her legacy. Elloren is the granddaughter of the Black Witch, the Gardnarian mage who liberated her people and made them the power in the land. But Elloren just wants a simple life, where she attends Verpax University and becomes an apothecary. But as she finally joins the University, she learns a great deal about the other races of creatures that share her world, and learns that being the granddaughter of the Black Witch is no gift, and Elloren must decide how she is to live her own life, even if it means turning her back on all she believes.

I kind of need to be careful with this one. Books about overcoming prejudice can spark some really hot conversations that I really don't want to get into and have no plan on getting into. So, for this purpose, I'm just going to stick to the experience I had while reading it. I'm going to talk about characters, plot, the writing and how I felt for most of the story. For my two cents on this book's approach to addressing prejudice and discrimination...I've read better. Let's leave it at that, shall we?

Now, the point this book wants to get across is that discrimination is bad, prejudice is bad, and Elloren's journey to overcome these things and become a better person. The thing is...she was already a pretty good person to begin with. She didn't have to learn anything because, since she had a sheltered upbringing, she had only her personal opinions to go off of. She's a bit naive, yes, and has been exposed so some of the prejudice but when she arrives in the city and sees the extent of her people's racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and all the rest, she's put off by it. She doesn't like how others are being treated so there's no point in her reinventing herself. All she needs to do is learn and make some opinions of her own.

What I find a bit harder to swallow is that these people of these other races, and some from her own race, see her as this woman who could one day redefine the world and reshape it to how she sees fit...and decide the best thing to do is physically abuse her, destroy her property, humiliate her, and constantly threaten her with death and great bodily injury. Um...okay, guys. You all think she's going to be some wonderful power in this world who could either liberate or destroy you...and your big idea is to treat her like crap? Did none of you think that you should...oh, I don't know...BE NICE TO HER!? That having her on your side would be a GOOD THING? No? Just me? Okay, then, why are you all so surprised when she goes to the people willing to help her (that are so obviously evil they might as well be sitting in revolving chairs and stroking cats every time we see them) and those people then threaten your lives and families? WHAT DID YOU THINK SHE WAS GOING TO DO!? I'm sorry, but there was just a lot of stupidity going on with the way people think in this book. All it would take was one or two smart people and this whole thing would have been much shorter and more to the point instead of Elloren going through tons of pointless abuse so we can feel sorry for her. Oh, and the reason that everybody treats her like crap...she "looks like her grandmother". I'll come back to this.

While the subject matter being written about and the intelligence of the characters were not to my liking, I am willing to say the "voice" of the book was pretty good. I use of language was good as well as descriptions were well-thought out and brought some impressive imagery. However, it can't save everything. That "look just like your grandmother" thing I mentioned? Yeah, if you were to turn how many times someone says Elloren "looks like her grandmother" or any variation of the phrase into a drinking game...you'd die from alcohol poisoning. They say it so dang often! I got real sick of it real fast. It's also just kind of a pet peeve of mine where I can't stand when people are judged or abused because "you look just like" somebody else. Oh, yes, how dare I have the gall to resemble someone I am related to! Shame on me for an aspect of my person that I have absolutely no control over! Seriously, people, get over it!

Final Verdict
I definitely felt strongly about this book...just not in a good way. The characters all had victim complexes, the villains were unbearably obvious, and pretty imagery and some imagination regarding the races wasn't really enough to make up for it. If you want to read for yourself how this book goes, go right ahead...but save your cash and check it out at your local library.

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Please make sure to Follow Midnight Readings for instant updates. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer

If you would like to read my book, Powerless, you can find it at:

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Powerless-Shelley-Miller/dp/1543482546/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519062043&sr=8-1&keywords=powerless+by+shelley+miller

Xlibris: https://www.xlibris.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001175242

Next Time: Princess Who?

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Between the Shade and the Shadow by Coleman Alexander



I was always fascinated by stories of creatures roaming the woods, snatching unsuspecting victims, luring you in until it's too late. But we often hear stories of such creatures from the points of view of the humans that interact with them, rather than from the perspective of the creatures themselves. What are their lives like? What does the world look like from their eyes? Well, this book is answers those questions perfectly for us. Let's dive right in.

Ahraia is a shade, a creature of darkness, living in the deep woods and venturing forth only when it's dark out, as any light stronger than soft moonlight is harmful to her kind. Her kind are bound to certain animals, whom they call their shadows. The shades and shadows have a strong bond, working as constant companions until the day they are separated and the shade becomes a sprite. Ahraia is a rare shade whose shadow is a wolf, Losna, which means she will one day stand in a place of leadership among her people. But becoming a sprite is an alarming thing for her as the time draws neigh. The more she learns, the more Ahraia realizes what it means to be a sprite...and that she wants no part in it.

One thing I noticed pretty quickly about this book was that the world building had a lot of thought and effort put into it. The set up of these creatures and their way of life is really in-depth and impressive. The idea of binding with all living things and bending them to your will, either to make use of them or lure them into a false sense of security, was a very interesting idea. I speaks to how people are lured in by creatures of the dark, even if they know better. While this story doesn't take place in our world (we don't have three moons as far as I know of), it can still be related to in folklore the world over. I really appreciated that about this book.

At the heart of the story, the core idea is Ahraia and facing who she is and what she's told to be. She has to be malicious and use her gifts to kill or manipulate, but doing so is very difficult for her. However, losing is not an option, and so the major conflict is in how she can be free of her obligations and avoid becoming something she doesn't want. I was a little worried when they kept talking about how special she was, fearing the story would turn into a "girl starts revolution" type of thing, but it stays pretty self-contained. Ahraia's journey is a deeply personal one and, while it does involve facing against figures of authority and besting them, it never gets to complicated. It's about Ahraia wanting to be free to be who she wants to be, and her bond with Losna help her realize that. The story is kept to one of personal discovery and fighting to be true to yourself, which I think a lot of people will like.

While the story was interesting, I did feel kind of exhausting at times. So much happens and the pace moves so fast that I felt like I'd read fourteen pages when I'd only read about five. As such, I'd read and read and felt like I hadn't moved much. Thankfully, it's not just constant action and does take time to slow down and catch its breath, which the story needed. It's nitpicking at it's utmost, but that's what I'm here for, right? But the story was interesting, the villains properly despicable, and the overall journey was well told. The story is definitely open-ended and if another book comes out, I'd be happy to pick it up.

Final Verdict
Great world building, imagery, and an interesting story that I actually really enjoyed. Most fantasy fans will be happy with this one, I'm sure and, if it sounds like your cup of tea, then I'd say it's worth your money at your local bookstore!

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Please make sure to Follow Midnight Readings for instant updates. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer

If you would like to read my book, Powerless, you can find it at:

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Powerless-Shelley-Miller/dp/1543482546/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519062043&sr=8-1&keywords=powerless+by+shelley+miller

Xlibris: https://www.xlibris.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001175242

Next Time: It's up to her to decide the future...so you'd think people would respond to her a bit better....

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh




I'm having a hard time trying to describe how I feel about this one. I picked this book up because I was promised a story in which the dead are taking over and those who raise them are given positions of power. While I wasn't too excited about it, I'd heard good things about it (and, I'll admit, I got hooked in by pretty cover art....sue me) so I decided to give it a try. And so...well, let's just get this things started.

Odessa lives in a land governed by the dead. The royal family has been revived by the Necromancers for years, continuing their reign for over a hundred years. As far as Necromancers go, Odessa is revered by many as the Sparrow, she who flies between the world of the living and the world of the dead in no time at all. But things change when the dead are being captured and turned into Shades, deadly, mindless creatures with only death and destruction on their minds. As Odessa suffers a terrible loss, she soon becomes aware of a plot to destroy the royals and her way of life completely.

Okay...in short, I can sum up my problem with this book in three words: trying. too. hard. There's just...too many things going on in this book and it tries to be too many different things. It wants to be a complex, fantasy dystopian (like almost every other book nowadays). It wants to be a deep, thought provoking tale about overcoming grief. It wants to be about diversity and overcoming addictions and the positive effects of change and...a lot of things. As a result, everything it tries to be just doesn't pan out very well. The plot the story starts out with pauses for about a hundred pages while it goes on a tangent. The story just stops for the longest time in the middle of the story and barely picks up again towards the end. As a result, the pace is incredibly slow and the story drags.

Odessa is a bisexual person of color but that alone isn't enough to make her stand out. She has little to no personality, makes incredibly stupid decisions, and some of her inner monologues are...alarmingly self-pitying and destructive. When she suffers a tragic loss, she becomes addicted to a potion for the sole reason that it causes her to hallucinate about the person she lost (I got some SERIOUS Twilight PTSD flashbacks from that little tidbit). The other characters...I don't remember crap about them besides their assigned diversity tropes: the token gay guys, the freethinking Disney princess, the third wheel, the rebound....I'm sorry but I just had the hardest time caring about any of them. The world was just as flat as the characters as well, unfortunately. For some reason, a person's eye color is what determines their power in this world....how? Why? I don't get it. What the heck does eye color have to do with magic powers? How does having blue eyes allow you to bring back the dead? How does having green eyes make you control animals? I don't know. Nobody knows. It's unexplained. The undead king has outlawed change during his absurdly long reign...why? What's the big danger with change? Why are hot air balloons so horribly forbidden but recycling the same dead people over and over again totally okay? It felt more like the author just cobbled together the world based on "wouldn't it be cool if" logic. It just didn't work.

Now, poor characters and weak world building can be...tolerated...if the story is at least good, right? Well, no such luck because I saw everything coming in this book. And I mean everything. Every twist was obvious, every detail was standard, I just didn't care for it. Now, it tries to say meaningful things. It almost does at times. The stuff about overcoming grief had promise, it really did! But in the end...it took her a week to overcome addiction and a new, potential love interest to get over the person she loses. The speed of it all just makes takes all the impact it could have had. It's too easy and it's not nearly as strong as it wants to be.

Final Verdict
Boring. Just...just boring. Generic. Unimaginative. I didn't like this one at all. I'm sure this will be up someones alley and, if you enjoyed it...that's cool but I just don't get it. If you still wanna give it a shot, save your cash and check it out at your local library.

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Please make sure to Follow Midnight Readings for instant updates. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer

If you would like to read my book, Powerless, you can find it at:

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Powerless-Shelley-Miller/dp/1543482546/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519062043&sr=8-1&keywords=powerless+by+shelley+miller

Xlibris: https://www.xlibris.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001175242

Next Time: The creatures of darkness lead some pretty interesting lives, it turns out....

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin



I've wanted to get a chance to read these books since I saw the Tales of Earthsea movie that came out a few years ago. Like any movie based off a book, I did suspect that the books would be pretty different, especially when I heard the author wasn't crazy about the film. But even with this in mind, I wanted to give the books a try and figure it out for myself because I often find I can enjoy a book no matter how its movie turned out. How'd this one do? Let's dive in.

This is the tale of Ged, or Sparrowhawk as he's known in public. He grew up in a family of goatherds, but knew he was destined to travel the world and become a great wizard. He learns the secrets of the world, learns the true names of the elements and nature, and bends them to his will. But Ged's recklessness and ambition may be too much for him, leading him down a path of destruction and dark powers that nobody should meddle in. As Ged moves on with his life, he must face his mistakes and learn what it is to respect magic and the world at large in order to become truly great.

The thing about this book I actually kind of admired was the simplicity of it. It's just the story of this one wizard's life in a world where wizards are an accepted norm, have important jobs, and are generally welcomed in most of the world. It's not like Ged is another "chosen one" who was "prophesied of" or anything like that. It's just the story of this kid and how he grows up and learns. It's a coming of age story that happens to have magic in it. Not that some of the things Ged sees or discovers or does in his life journey isn't very impressive, it is impressive. But that's not what it's about. It's just the detailed backstory of this one character and how he came to be. If you were introduced to it like I was, through the movie, then you remember that Ged was an older, mentor-like character and this was how he came to be who he was in the movie. While it's not quite as dynamic, I certainly found it interesting. It's almost like what reading Obi-wan Kenobi's backstory would be (I'm sure that's out there somewhere), I liked it.

The set up of this world and the magic involved in it is actually pretty smart. Wizards use magic by learning somethings true name and almost asking it to do what he wants (it's more complicated than that but that's the gist of it). Names are a big deal in this world, which is why people don't use their own real names in public. Also, being a wizard is almost like a trade that can be learned. The different cultures are set up nicely, I really liked the school that Ged attends, I liked learning how he got his boat, just little things like that that fit together to create this character was really fun and interesting. I liked the world building and finding out how it works.

Now, probably the biggest thing about this book is that it does move pretty slowly. We get downtimes and whole years roll by with Ged just kind of going where the wind takes him. It kind of feels like there isn't much of a goal, especially after Ged makes a mistake at the academy that could be pretty disastrous. However, I did like that he grew from the experience. When we're teens and maybe even older, there comes a point when we have a revelation like Ged's...that we're not as strong as we thought, or as smart, or as capable, or what-have-you. Sometimes it comes sooner, sometimes it comes later, but we all get that at some point or another. Ged's lesson is what saved his character, in my opinion. Before that, he was a little hard to like, honestly. Pretty vain and cocky in the beginning of the book, Ged's character development is handled very well. He grows with each experience, he learns and I appreciated that about him. It just takes time, and so the plot isn't as fast-paced as most other fantasy stories can be.

Final Verdict
It was a simple story full of character development and world building and I liked it really well. It's not a difficult read and allows you do to kind of just kick back and witness the beginnings of this one wizard, which I really appreciated. If this sounds like something that's up your alley, then I'd say it's worth your money at your local bookstore!

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Please make sure to Follow Midnight Readings for instant updates. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer

If you would like to read my book, Powerless, you can find it at:

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Powerless-Shelley-Miller/dp/1543482546/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519062043&sr=8-1&keywords=powerless+by+shelley+miller

Xlibris: https://www.xlibris.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001175242

Next Time: Long live the King...even though he's dead....