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Category: Celeste’s Reviews

Book review: The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3) by Brandon Sanderson

Book review: The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3) by Brandon Sanderson


The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I am, unfortunately, the Hero of Ages.”

The Hero of Ages is exactly as epic a conclusion as I remembered. I feared that knowing all of the big twists and reveals might lead to it not being as powerful upon rereading as it was when I experienced it the first time, but those concerns were unwarranted. My anticipation of said reveals made for a reading journey that was just as fulfilling as my first read-through. Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy isn’t quite a perfect series, but it’s very, very close. With fantastic world building, high stakes and palpable tension, mysteries to be solved and a whole plethora of wonderful characters to root for, philosophical musings on belief and hope balanced with brilliant action scenes and some of the most cinematic and interesting magic systems I’ve ever encountered, I don’t think it’s at all a stretch to call Mistborn a masterpiece.

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Book Review: Slewfoot: A Tale of Bewitchery, by Brom

Book Review: Slewfoot: A Tale of Bewitchery, by Brom


Slewfoot: A Tale of Bewitchery by Brom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brom is almost distressingly talented. Not only is the man a brilliant artist, he has a deft hand and quick wit when it comes to storytelling. Krampus was the first book I had ever read by him, and it was one of my top reads of 2021. This book didn’t hit me quite as hard, but it did prove to me that Krampus was definitely not a one-off. Slewfoot is an exploration of control through religion, the subjugation of women under the patriarchy, the dangers of suppression when mingled with superstition, and the near mystical ability of nature to heal herself from wounds inflicted by man. And on top of all that, it’s just a fun, if brutal, story.

“Angels must often do dark deeds in the name of the Lord.”

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Book Review: A Spindle Splintered (Fractured Fables, #1) by Alix E. Harrow

Book Review: A Spindle Splintered (Fractured Fables, #1) by Alix E. Harrow

A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“..Even among the other nerds who majored in folklore, Sleeping Beauty is nobody’s favorite. The romantic girls like Beauty and the Beast; basic girls like Cinderella; goth girls like Snow White. Only the dying girls like Sleeping Beauty.”

A Spindle Splintered is a spitfire of a novella. Here we are introduced to Zinnia Gray, a dying girl who is doomed to expire young. Because of this, Zinnia has been obsessed with the story of Sleeping Beauty since she was a small child, and has basically made that fairy tale her entire personality. On the eve of her twenty-first birthday, as she begins to feel her time running out, Zinnia finds herself thrust into a fantastical, impossible situation. Is she the damsel in this situation, or does she finally get to become the hero?

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Book Review: The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, #7) by Stephen King

Book Review: The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, #7) by Stephen King


The Dark Tower by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Dark Tower is the pentacle of Stephen King’s magnum opus, and I’ve been terrified to get to it. King isn’t known for nailing his landings, and this one is especially controversial. I was afraid that, after reading 8,781 pages, or 3,951,408 words, on my long road to the Tower, I would be left feeling woefully disappointed, and as if I had wasted my time. I’m here to tell you that, thankfully, that isn’t the case. After reading the final pages of The Dark Tower I can safely say that this is my favorite completed series of all time. I’ve never read anything else like it. The only series that I think will eventually surpass it is Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives, but it will be well over a decade before that is completed. In the meantime, The Dark Tower stands alone among completed series for me. As it should.

“The road and the tale have both been long, would you not say so? The trip has been long and the cost has been high… but no great thing was ever attained easily. A long tale, like a tall Tower, must be built a stone at a time.”


There will be some vague spoilers here, though I’ll not mention any name save Roland’s. I simply don’t know how else to discuss a final book in a series so large. Skip to the end or turn back now if you wish to go into or continue this series knowing as little as possible.

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Book Review: The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

Book Review: The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd


The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Cartographers is one of those books that I added to my most anticipated list as soon as the cover and blurb were released. A literary mystery revolving around maps and map-making, with a dose of magical realism to boot? That sounded so very much up my alley that I snatched it up as soon as Book of the Month announced it as a March pick, and have been very much looking forward to it. The fact that it was only in my house for a couple of months before picking up is saying something, as even highly anticipated have my massive TBR to compete with before I manage to get to them. But unfortunately, I think my experience with The Cartographers is a case of letting anticipation spoil whatever is being anticipated, because it fell quite flat for me.

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Book Review: Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy

Book Review: Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy

 

Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m not a lover of thrillers, especially domestic ones. I try, because they often sound so intriguing, but I almost without fail guess the twists so far in advance that I get frustrated with the characters for not seeing what I see. And speaking of the characters, the main “protagonist” is so often a troubled, unreliable female narrator who is billed as highly intelligent but who is constantly making stupid decisions, and I think it’s a trope that has been radically overdone and should be laid to rest. But after hearing Goodnight Beautiful described as brilliant by readers I trust, and being told to go in as blind as possible, I just couldn’t pass this one up when it was offered as a Book of the Month pick. Except, then I didn’t read it for a year and a half.

When I finally did pick up Goodnight Beautiful, I was pretty blown away.

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Book Review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Book Review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry


Book Lovers by Emily Henry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Sometimes, even when you start with the last page and you think you know everything, a book finds a way to surprise you.”

Book Lovers was one of my most anticipated reads of 2022, but it was also one of the books I was most nervous to read. I adored Beach Read and The People We Meet on Vacation, Henry’s two previous adult fiction novels, so a part of me was afraid that Book Lovers might not measure up. Also, romance isn’t a genre that I was very into until last year, when nearly half of my 192 reads for the year were romance. I felt like I had gorged on them so much that I was sick of them, and I feared that any romance I read this year would suffer through no fault of their own, but simply because I was burned out. Thankfully, neither factor effected my experience with Book Lovers. It was just as lovely as I could have hoped; different enough from Henry’s other novels to not feel redundant, and with enough plot outside of the romance itself to keep from feeling nauseatingly sweet.

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Book Review: The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Book Review: The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2) by Brandon Sanderson


The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I first read Mistborn: Era 1 a little over 7 years ago. While I loved it in its entirety, I remembered thinking in hindsight that The Well of Ascension was significantly weaker than the first and third novels in the trilogy. I was mistaken. While it wasn’t quite as fast-paced as its predecessor, this was still a phenomenal book in its own right. It’s not quite perfect, but it is much stronger than I recalled. And there was so much that I had forgotten! As with all of Sanderson’s work, The Well of Ascension is brimming with fascinatingly scientific magic systems, a compelling plot, mysteries that don’t give themselves away too quickly, and characters with flaws but a ton of heart. Rereading this series is reminding me of why Sanderson is one of my favorite authors of all time. He never lets me down.

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Book Review: Elektra, by Jennifer Saint

Book Review: Elektra, by Jennifer Saint


Elektra by Jennifer Saint
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nothing reeks of trauma and death and shattered dreams quite like a Greek tragedy. Even the more heroic epics, such as The Iliad, often see the heroes victorious but slain among their enemies. But what of those left behind, those doomed to pick up the pieces in the aftermath? What of those stepped on and over by these so-called heroes on their path to glory? What of their “prizes,” those they claim as trophies after their victories? In other words, what of the women?

“Can’t you see that it just goes on, over and over? The gods demand their justice, but we suffer for it, every time.”

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Book Review: Darling Girl by Liz Michalski

Book Review: Darling Girl by Liz Michalski

Darling Girl: A Novel of Peter Pan by Liz Michalski
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Darling Girl sounded like something that would be incredibly up my alley. A dark retelling of Peter Pan? Yes, please. However, I found myself pretty disappointed with the book overall. While I didn’t hate it, I found that the tale and the structure and especially the characters left much to be desired.

“Once the forbidden fruit has been tasted, there’s no going back to paradise. For anyone. Even Peter Pan, it seems. Innocence, once lost, is impossible to regain.”

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