The Latest in Book Reviews, Short Stories, and All The Rest

Greetings! Welcome to my wrap-up for the month of April. Today I’ll be looking back at the books I read throughout the month, and talking a bit about what I have planned for the near future of the site.

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

April Book Reviews

Following will be review samples of the books I finished this month. The first is a biography, with the other two being my most recent experiences with the works of modern fantasy author Brandon Sanderson.

Isaac Newton by James Gleick

This one surprised me, perhaps because it was the first serious biography of this sort I’ve read. It certainly leaves me wanting to learn more about Newton and his discoveries. Gleick handles the topic excellently, weaving together the history and science to a point where they are satisfying but not overwhelming. He includes wit when appropriate, and talks from all angles in Newtons life, doing what he can and not wasting a single page.

Says Newton, ‘To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. Tis much better to do a little with certainty & leave the rest for others that come after you.’

[…] Here’s my full review on goodreads.

Dawnshard by Brandon Sanderson

Dawnshard, a short novel detailing events between books 3 and 4 of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive sequence, was a satisfying read, and lived up to all my expectations. I won’t get too descriptive here except to say that this short tale, while not being a “must,” is still a very hearty “should.” Events in it are mentioned on several occasions in Rhythm of War, the most recent installation into the magnificent series. Continue Reading →

(Disclaimer: The remainder of this book review deals with characters and minor plot aspects. Proceed at your own risk.)

Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

What a magnificent installment into what is quickly becoming one of my favorite series of all time.

I’ll admit that this one didn’t impact me as much as the first two had. Oathbringer, the third book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive sequence, had done less for me than those, and this installment continued that trend. However, I want to point out that this is no fault of Sanderson’s. Naturally, as the series progresses, the characters will start to figure out what’s going on—with the magic, world, and other characters—and the magic of mystery will begin to dwindle. It is this magic that keeps me so enraptured, and while it was certainly still present in this book, the series of dramatic reveals in Oathbringer had left it somewhat drained.

Now, minor grievances aside, lets do a quick summary of some of my favorite aspects. I’ll be vague so as not to spoil the book for those who have not finished it yet.

I think what really made this book, for me at least, was the character arcs. People praise Sanderson for his complex magic systems, but I think where the system in The Stormlight Archive really shines is in how it incorporates the individual characters. He lets the characters define how the magic works, and is always striving to achieve new, unique and explosive moments for each of the main viewpoints. This book had one of the greatest climaxes I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading in a Sanderson novel. This is something I still swear by: The “Sanderlanch” gets better every time. Continue Reading →

(Like with Dawnshard, the rest of this rather long review deals with plot and characters, containing minor spoilers for the novel.)

New Short Story and Plans for May

To conclude the month of April, I have a new short story baked and edited which is now public on Goblin Opinions for those who are interested. You can find that story here. To provide some background, it is the first in a series of five short stories currently in the works. Throughout the month of May, I plan on publishing the rest of them on this site, one a week on Saturday to compliment the usual post.

The stories are all interconnected, taking place in the same city, though there is a nineteen-year jump between stories #3 and #4. More will be revealed in due time. For base-level information, they fall under the fantasy genre (though in a low-magic setting), and as such are in a fictional world of my design.

And that’s about it for this week. This was a short post and lacking practical advice, but I hope it was fulfilling nonetheless.

Thanks for reading as always—I hope to see you around.

Quote of the Month

Straight roads do not make skillful drivers.

Paulo Coelho

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