Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Memory of Light: Book 14 of The Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

A Memory of Light marks the end of Robert Jordan's great Epic The Wheel of Time. In this final installment, the forces of Good and Evil finally clash in the long awaited Last Battle. Our heroes are busy fighting the Dark One's forces on various battlefront while Rand heads to Shayol Ghul for the final showdown.

Where do i even start. I've been sitting on this review for a month now, at a loss for words. It's impossible to express my feelings towards this series with mere letters, augh! how do I explain to you the Epicness of this series, the glory of Robert Jordan and subsequently Brandon Sanderson. How?!

When I was 13 a bookstore opened across the road from my house. It was a great moment in my life considering bookstores were few and far between where I grew up and that I was already insane about books. That was were i first discovered WOT. I remember that day  very clearly. Up until then, my exposure to fantasy had been through Y.A. novels (Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, Narnia, etc.) and I fancied myself a fantasy fan. Little did I know that there was a much bigger world out there. i don't know what drew me to the WOT books, but I do remember liking the covers and picking up a random one. I was so intrigued after reading the blurb and disappointed that they didn't seem to have the first book in the series. I eventually hunted it down and thus begin my WOT obsession.

13 years later, I found myself on a plane, finally reading the last few chapters of AMOL, after having read the previous books 3 times, bawling my eyes out over the most emotional and heart wrenching ending that has ever been written. Every paragraph felt like a stab to the heart, I still feel so moved every time I think of the final events.

I can't talk about this without having spoilers everywhere. All I'm going to say is this last book surpassed all my expectations, I could not have imagined a better ending, deaths and all. This has forever cemented WOT as my favorite fantasy and nothing will ever take it's place. Thank you Robert Jordan for leaving this beautiful legacy behind. I see myself re-reading it time and again and always being surprised by things I had missed in previous reads.

The Wheel of Time is an Epic like no other.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

A Good Family- Erik Fassnacht

Reviewing an advance copy received from NetGalley.
This was a good first try. Well written and edited, which goes a long way with me. A Good Family is a story about the Brunsons, a highly dysfunctional family. Henry, the Father, has pretty much abandoned them to fast cars, a nice condo and younger girls. Julie, the mother, is depressed and barely hanging on to life by downing her Zolofts. Their first born son Charlie, had some sort of early life crisis and dumped everything to join the army. Which leaves us with the youngest, Barkley, who's actually the only normal one and just wants to become a teacher. We follow the lives of each of them as they deal with their shit and move on with life.

I enjoyed reading Barkley's and Julie's arcs. I cared about the characters and could clearly see their development and understood how it happened. With Charlie and Henry this wasn't the case. I didn't buy Charlie's guilt over what happened in Afghanistan, it felt forced and cliché. The way he got rid of the guilt wasn't convincing either, how do you fixate on something for so long and then just suddenly let go, just like that? It didn't make sense and I didn't feel like it was given the importance and time that it needed. There is something deeply disturbing about Henry, he's clearly totally fucked up in the head. Is it justifiable though? I mean psychologically justifiable to be this fucked up due to that event in his childhood? More pages were spent talking us through his day to day life than on examining his psyche, which bored me and didn't sell his story very well.

Bottom line, this was a decent first book, albeit unoriginal, that shows potential.