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Yearly Targets 2019

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Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (The Locked Tomb 1)  (29)

This was a fun book. The main character is a jaunty 19 year old swordsman and she follows about a slightly younger necromancer as a body guard. The story prose begins a bit purple, which after finishing the story I'm happy to write off as 'first novel nerves'. Tamysn Muir does a good job throughout making the characters feel real, and the plot unfolds nicely. There's a lot of humor, which livens up a story that could be rather dark considering it follows around a group of Necromancers.

Maybe not as strong a showing as other recent new authors, like Pierce Brown with Red Rising, or Poppy War by RF Kuang, but its a solid read, and I'll absolutely be looking forward to her finishing this series. Plenty of world building, plot, and characters, to keep me interested.

If you're looking to read something published in 2019, or for new authors, this is a good choice.

The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks (Lightbringer #4) (30)

Hey, I made it to 30, which was my goal for the year, only a month ahead of schedule. Pretty good.

As for the book, it was good. There's actually quite a bit of emotional depth in this one, clearly written by a man who thinks about relationships, especially marriage, a great deal. Rather refreshing for a series, and a genre, geared more towards other things.

I'm going to jump straight to book 5 from here and finish off the series before the year is out. Its a rather big book and I expect it will take a few weeks to finish. Very excited to see where this fantastic series ends.

The Burning White by Brent Weeks (Lightbringer #5) (31)

A brilliant end to a great series. It ends up being somewhat predictable and tropey, but there is sufficient foreshadowing throughout to make it not feel contrived. Look, I really, really enjoyed this series, and Burning White is the conclusion that it needed. Weeks did something really amazing with this series. The prose isn't complex, but the characters are. The plots are hyper intriguing, but watching the characters navigate it is very fun. The magic is outstanding throughout, though the worldbuilding gets shoved mostly into this last book which does dampen its reception. A bit too little too late - history is more interesting when you can watch it influence the characters, much less so when the book is largely over.

If you're ever looking for a fast, action-y book with heavy focus on magic and characters, absolutely pick this one up!

The Magician's Land (The Magicians #3) by Lev Grossman (32)

Hmm. As a whole this series was great, but I think it suffers from being 3 books when it could have been 2. The first book is where the majority of the worth is. Lev Grossman had a great idea, and really ran with it. The story is hilarious for those raised on Narnia and Harry Potter, its irreverent but with plenty of nods to where it came from, steeped in fantasy/scifi culture yet not afraid to poke fun.

But where book 1 was great all the way through, book 2 has a concurrent timeline to book 1 for most of the book (or at least half). I think this part of book 2 could have been sliced up and interspersed with book 1, creating a nice juxtaposition of the journey of the two heroes. Then, book 2 divulges into a mop up tying together some strangling, which may have been necessary for a standalone book 2, but could have largely been done without.

Book 3 similarly felt like it could have been reduced. Maybe second half of book 2 could have been added together with book 3, allowing for some of the fat to be trimmed and leaving us with a more satisfying finale... But this is not the case. The book does end the series nicely, and it felt shorter than the rest. The adventure not as grand, the stakes not as high, it follows the hero(es) through to the end of their stories, and leaves off like a movie does when it is wishing for a sequel but not really expecting to get it.

Its still a fun book, and a great series, but its a shame that most of the greatness is packed into the first 50% of the text (book 1 and half of book 2). This makes it difficult to recommend as a whole, even though I very much want to. Definitely anyone interested should check out the first book, without feeling hugely obligated to read book 2 (though its very worth it), but book 3 is largely miss-able unless you desperately need loose ends tied up.


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