Wednesday, 31 January 2018

My last 5 books: Fantasy and sci-fi

1. Stockholms Undergång, by Boel Bermann. This is a short story collection all about the apocalypse and Stockholm. I got pretty odd looks on the train for reading this :P But it was a fun read. There was everything from vampires and zombies to a rainbow which sucked the colour out of the world and turned emotional people to ash. There's one where rats take over the world and another where people fall asleep without warning. Another one how people lose all inhibitions due to a brain virus and turn into cannibalistic maniacs. There's something for everybody. I'm used the apocalypse scenarios only being in America or possibly the UK so to read about it in Stockholm feels almost too personal, too close, too realistic... And I love it. I love how I know exactly where all the characters are and I can see their surroundinds exactly how they look inside my head. It gives the story a bit of realism that makes it so much scarier.

2. Dracula, by Bram Stoker. I tried to read this once when I was fourteen or so and I just thought it was so extremely boring. Now it went a lot better and I really liked it. The only complaint I really have is how Jonathan treats Mina, but that probably just reflect the time period when it was written. What struck me the most was how different Dracula looks in the book compared to the Hollywood version. Nosferatu's Count Orlok is actually more similar to the books' description than Bela Lugosi's Dracula. There's really no need to get into the story as everyone knows it, but it's worth mentioning that it's a story told in letters, diary snippets and newspaper articles. I found it really difficult to follow the story due to this when I was fourteen, but now that was no problem. And one more thing. Miss Lucy's blood transfusions made me facepalm so hard. How great are the odds that miss Lucy and five men all have the same blood type? Your frickin transfusions could very well be what's killing her, Van Helsing!!! 19th century science *rolling eyes*

3. The Final Empire, by Brandon Sanderson. I'm going to a wedding this autumn and the theme was set to Mistborn. Which meant I had to read the book. I had avoided Sanderson for such a long time because an ex of mine really liked his books and it felt a little too close. But I had surprisingly no issue with it. I absolutely fell in love with Kelsier's persona and throughout my reading this I kept thinking "Why isn't this a game?!" In my mind Kelsier looked exactly like Garrett in Thief and whenever the book described him using his Allomancy I got images from Thief and Dishonored in my head. This book would make an amazing game. I have a few issues with it though. This book was too vague about the fact that metal piercing the body or inside the body couldn't be used by Allomancers. I actually didn't realise this until the final battle and throughout the whole book I thought the Steel Inquisitors must really be at a disadvantage. Also the introduction of Allomancy was a mess. The first mention of it was: "Kelsier burned tin." I read that sentence several times trying to understand what it meant. But it wasn't actually explained until Vin showed up. All in all I really enjoyed this book, the issues aren't big enough to make me think any less of the story.

4. The Well of Ascension, by Brandon Sanderson. Since I liked the first book so much I decided to have a go at the second. But the driving force (Kelsier) of the first book was gone and the whole thing felt flat. The Well was barely even mentioned in the first half of the book and most of that was Elend whining and Vin whining and Sazed being confused and Tindwyl being exasperated. It was too much of the teenage romance bs that I hate "Oh I like him but I'm not sure he really likes me and how do I know I'm in love and should I stay or should I go he really deserves someone better but I like him so much" *siiiiiiiiiiigh* My favourite part of the book was when the battle actually started and the whole action of that because something was finally happening. And the ending was so extremely obvious. Sanderson has spent two book grooming this character and showing his readers how this character grows. No way is he going to die he's going to miraculously survive to grow a little bit more in the third book. This book was a disappointment after all the expectations the first book gave me, still the action in the end and also the sheer existance of Zane made me still somewhat enjoy it.

5. Cirkeln, by Mats Strandberg & Sara Bergmark Elfgren. This book was so hyped up a few years ago and I've been planning on reading it for ages but never got around to it. Until now. The hype was just that imo. This book was boring and it felt flat, as if they were keeping the story to a minimum so as to not be confusing, as if they had been forcing themselves to not divulge too much of the coming story and instead ended up with something that felt flat and stilted. To the point where none of the deaths even felt shocking. As for the characters I absolutely love Linnea (no surprise there) and Minoo. Vanessa I was just indifferent towards for the most part of the book but I 100% ship her with Linnea. Anna-Karin on the other hand is exactly the way I was back in high school (minus the dysfunctional family) and my heart breaks for her, because I know what it's like to want to be able to turn invisible. I know what it's like to get so good at being quiet and unnoticed that you actually get surprised when someone talks to you. My feelings to Anna-Karin may have contributed to my feelings for the book, because every time I read about her I got so sad.

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What's the first thought in your head after reading this? Let me know!