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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

REVIEW: A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle




"A Study in Scarlet" is the first published story of one of the most famous literary detectives of all time, Sherlock Holmes. Here Dr. Watson, who has just returned from a war in Afghanistan, meets Sherlock Holmes for the first time when they become flat-mates at the famous 221 B Baker Street. In "A Study in Scarlet" Sherlock Holmes investigates a murder at Lauriston Gardens as Dr. Watson tags along with Holmes while narratively detailing his amazing deductive abilities.

Book: A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Release Date: 1887
Format: Paperback
Genre: Mystery
Series: Sherlock Holmes, #1
Obtained: Purchased
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (5 Zombies)

I first read A Study In Scarlet in middle school, I believe, but I've been rereading the entire Sherlock canon since I'm thinking about doing my writing sample for grad school applications of the series. Sherlock Holmes was that series for me, the one that made me want to become an English major and then focus on Victorian literature, and since A Study In Scarlet is the novel that introduced me to Sherlock and Watson, it will always have a special place in my heart and on my right ankle*.

One of my favorite things about Sherlock is how he typifies the Victorian obsession with logic and science, but does it in a more emotionally engaging way than I would have thought possible before reading these novels and short stories. Sherlock is hands down one of my favorite literary characters.

If you haven't already read these amazing stories, then now is definitely the time to pour yourself a cup of hot tea, clear your schedule, and find a cozy place to sit for a while, because there is no putting A Study In Scarlet down once you've started it.

* I have a tattoo on my right ankle that says, ' "Elementary," said he. '

Thursday, August 15, 2013

REVIEW: The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss


"There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in a storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man." 

 My name is Kvothe. 

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in.I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. 

You may have heard of me. 

So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view--a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in THE WISE MAN'S FEAR, Day Two of the Kingkiller Chronicle, an escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe uncovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King's Road.

All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, is forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the FAe realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived...until Kvothe.

In THE WISE MAN'SFEAR, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

Book: The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Kingkiller Chronicle, #2
Obtained: Purchased
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (5 Zombies)

I read The Wise Man's Fear immediately after finishing the first book in the series, The Name of the Wind, and at a record-breaking speed because I only had two days to read this almost 1000 page tome before attending a signing that was taking place only twenty minutes away from my college. I loved every second of it.

Despite the lyrical, often very descriptive writing style that characterizes the fantasy genre in general and Rothfuss in particular and the length of the novel, The Wise Man's Fear is actually a very quick read because you just can't put it down. I couldn't tear my eyes away from the pages the entire time I was reading it, and in fact, I didn't use the internet at all from the time I picked it up to the time I put it down. To give you an idea of how amazing that is, I generally spend around 6-8 hours a day on my computer unless I'm at some kind of event that keeps me away from it.

Kvothe is one of the most amazing, heart-breaking characters I have ever read. He's so awkward, yet at the same time completely competent at almost everything, and he has the worst luck ever. He was the first character I've ever read about whose backstory made me cry. Although I disagreed with a lot of the decisions Kvothe made over the course of the book, Rothfuss made it impossible not to empathize with his reasoning, which is quite the feat.

I recommend this series to absolutely everyone who hasn't read it yet. Rothfuss is up there with the fantasy greats like GRRM, Lewis, and Tolkien, and everyone should read this series and then lend the books to all of their friends.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

REVIEW: Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead




They come first.

My vision was growing dimmer, the blackness and ghosts closing in. I swore it was like I could hear Robert whispering in my ear: The world of the dead won't give you up a second time. Just before the light completely vanished, I saw Dimitri's face join Lissa's. I wanted to smile. I decided then that if the two people I loved most were safe, I could leave this world.

The dead could finally have me.


Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir's Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose - for a crime she didn't even commit. She's in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She'll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose's life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back...and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?

Join Rose, Dimitri, Adrian, and Lissa in Last Sacrifice, the epic, unforgettable finale to Richelle Mead's international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series.

Book: Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
Release Date: December 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Young Adult
Series: Vampire Academy, #6
Obtained: Purchased
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (5 Zombies)

When I finally read Last Sacrifice, it had been way too long since the last time I'd picked up a book in the Vampire Academy series, and I was really worried that I wouldn't be able to follow much of the events since it had been so long and I remembered that the plot had gotten especially complicated in the previous novel, but I was able to jump right back in without a hitch. Yay!

Rose and Dimitri are one of my favorite couples ever, and I really loved getting back into their relationship, but I was also worried that one of my favorite characters in the series, Adrian, would end up getting neglected or worse. I won't say what happened with all of that drama, except that I was really satisfied with what happened and Mead managed to stay true to the characters really well.

I was really happy with how the series ended, but my reading of the book was somewhat tarnished by the fact that it was an ending to one of the series that really got me into the Paranormal YA genre. Although I'm super sad to see VA go, I have read and enjoyed the first book in the spinoff series--review coming soon--and I can't wait to see what more Mead has to offer in the future, especially since she's ended so many series lately.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Reading Update

Reading Update


Last week in books:
  • Finished Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb, it was a great end to the series and I can't wait to start her Liveship Traders series as soon as finals are over.
  • Still working on my A Clash of Kings reread. I probably won't read anymore of this until Summer Break.
  • Slowly working my way through stalled out on The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Still. I've been loving it, but I HAVE NO TIME ALKDJFA;OIJFAOHUODO
This week in books:
  • Get at least halfway through A Clash of Kings. OMG. This will be on my list forever. And a day, apparently. Not happening until school gets out.
  • Finish Jews Without Money. O_O oops. Double oops.
  • Get at least 300 pages into The Way of Kings, which is a 1252 page behemoth. Second third fourth time on the list.
  • Don't read for fun when I should be reading textbooks. This will stay on the list for the rest of the semester. Only a week and a half until this is off the list!!!
Wishful thinking:
  • The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. Hahaha psht no. This will never happen. Or will it? Second third week's the charm???

So, I get out of school next Tuesday as you may have noticed after all the times I mentioned it in this post. Between now and then, I have three papers to write, three finals to take, and two presentations to give (you'd think I was only taking three classes, but I have five lol). But as soon as Summer starts, I will have so much time for reading and fun be staffing Anime Expo, possibly attending a day or two of Comic-Con, definitely attending all of ArmadilloCon, turning 19, preparing for Fall formal recruitment with my sorority sisters, visiting my family in Texas for a few weeks, and trying to get a job.

Do you guys have any fun plans for this summer?

That's all for this week. What are you planning on reading? Any good books you've read lately?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Reading Update

Reading Update


Last week in books:
  • 96% of the way into Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb. Only 10% since last week :(
  • Still working on my A Clash of Kings reread. Yes, still.
  • Slowly working my way through stalled out on The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.
This week in books:
  • Get at least halfway through A Clash of Kings. OMG. This will be on my list forever. And a day, apparently.
  • Finish Jews Without Money. O_O oops
  • Get at least 300 pages into The Way of Kings, which is a 1252 page behemoth. Second third time on the list.
  • Don't read for fun when I should be reading textbooks. This will stay on the list for the rest of the semester.
Wishful thinking:
  • The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. Hahaha psht no. This will never happen. Or will it? Second week's the charm???

That's all for this week. What are you planning on reading? Any good books you've read lately?