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Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

Dragon Keeper (The Rain Wild Chronicles, #1)Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb
Fantasy
494 pages
Read Sept 2 – Sept 29, 2018
Rain Wild Chronicles, Book 1
Realm of the Elderlings, Book 10

Spoiler-free blabber

I buddy-read this book with Zezee! This is what feels like our millionth Robin Hobb buddy-read, and it was just as enjoyable as all it’s predecessors. ๐Ÿ˜€

I think that I would have enjoyed this book more if the previous Hobb books in the Realm of the Elderlings series weren’t The Tawny Man trilogy. I say this because to me, Tawny Man is her best works so far. I loved that series. So coming down off that and going into this one, I think my expectations were a bit too high, or I was still not over the previous one.

Overall, I did rather like this book. It was very enjoyable, and I feel like it’s a strong set-up to what could be a really, really good quartet. But, with my mindset still partially on The Fool and Fitz, my heart was still a bit distracted, so I feel like I couldn’t give as much affection to this one because Fitz and The Fool weren’t in it.

The characters that were in it though, were nice and gray and complicated, just how Hobb loves to write and them and I love to read them. Each one within the first book developed distinct personalities and motivations. Some of them I very much like, others I started with disliking and ended up liking and some I started with liking and ended up disliking.

Alise. Probably my favorite character in the series at this point. In the beginning of the book, she enters into a marriage contract with Hest, a prominent trader in Bingtown, which would allow her to pursue her study of dragons in earnest. Alise starts as a character that has never really been the center of attention but by the end of the novel, becomes more confident in herself and her skills and what attention she does receive from the other characters, she revels in. There’s a gray area with her in this though, but saying what it is would be a spoiler, I think. Overall, her character growth in this first book was good to read, and while she is my favorite character, she’s toying a very fine line in morals. It’ll be interesting to see which way she ultimately slides.

Hest. Easily my most hated character. Alise’s husband, he’s a bit of a jerk. I think his character arc was the most easily predictable for me. I was able to guess ahead of time why he acts the way he was acting, and to have to play out almost exactly as I predicted kinda let out some of the steam I had had going for this book. There was only a small detail about it that I had not predicted, but man, that detail is coloring other characters more complicated and makes interactions between others more hypocritical. AUGH I LOVE IT. I don’t like Hest, but as far as his part to play in the story, his actions are going to cause a lot of waves, man.

Sedric. This is the character I started with liking and ended up disliking. In the beginning, I saw him more as a pure and innocent and overall good influence in Alise’s life. But as the story progressed and we got to read from his point of view, we get to see that all is not well in Oz. He’s gray man, his moral compass is all over the place. He’s righteous in some areas and a hypocrite in others. He’s a very interesting one to read from for sure. I feel like his character arc has a lot of room for growth. I hope he becomes even more complicated.

Leftrin. This is the one that I started with disliking and ended up liking. Leftrin original struck me as a sly, manipulative individual, with his actions in the beginning of the book. And he might still be and is just good at hiding it, but seeing him interact with Alise and others, he’s warmed to me. He seems like he genuinely wants to be better, despite wanting to gain a profit along the way. I feel like this character is another one that could surprise me with his growth.

Thymara. I know this character got a lot of screen time, but she is one I’m still the least connected to. I like her overall, but I feel like I haven’t really gotten to read deep enough into her yet. I know her motivations, and I know her personality, but nothing has really struck me about her character yet, if that makes sense. I hope in the next book that she gets more POV time so I can read more from her and hopefully grow to like her as much as I like Alise.


Plot-wise, this book was rather slow. The reading wasn’t slow, I blew through it, but the speed at which things were happening was slow. This book, about half way through it, Zezee and I realized was just set up for the next books. Not saying that it was bad, but nothing really happened until towards the end of the book.

Most of the book was taken up by world-building and character development, both of which were really neat. I feel like Robin Hobb’s ability to build her world in the book with so much depth and distinction without it feeling like an info-dump is one of her best talents. At no point did I feel overwhelmed with trivia, nor did I get bored reading. Everything flowed really nicely and I found myself being able to open the book and read 100 or 200 pages in a single sitting. Her writing was compelling even though, as I said, I felt like nothing super major happened plot-wise. I think it was the anticipation of the next book that kept me going – with everything that was built up in this book, the next book sounds like it’s going to be even more wonderful.

So overall – I liked this book. The character development was good, the world-building was good. I just was hoping for a bit more plot, I guess. Plus, Fitz and the Fool – I want them back, man. MY HEART, IT YEARNS.

3.75/5 stars

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Posted by on 10/07/2018 in blabbers, Books, Review

 

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September Currently Reading | ’18

Currently Reading

The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks

The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer, #4)

This is my main focus right not, not including my buddy reads I’ll mention lower. It had been on the back-burner for ages, but recently I came out of a big-blook slump and picked this up again. Much enjoying it.

The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1)

Thiiiiis is still on the back-burner. I’ll likely focus on this one again when I finish The Blood Mirror

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P Beaulieu

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (The Song of the Shattered Sands #1)

This one I am buddy reading with a friend, and surprisingly, neither of us have really touched it lately. We don’t really wanna DNF it or anything, but it’s not really drawing us in if that makes sense.

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel, #1)

I am absolutely adoring this one. I’m reading it a bit slower than usual, because it’s an ebook and I tend to read it only when I don’t have a physical book around, but gosh I LOVE IT. I NEED A PHYSICAL COPY.

Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik

Victory of Eagles (Temeraire, #5)

I’m about 2/3rds through this one at this point, hoping to finish it up within a week and then start Tongues of Serpents. I loooove this series, guys.

Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

Dragon Keeper (The Rain Wild Chronicles, #1)

This is my latest buddy read and I’m so excited! I’m reading this with Zezee and this is the… ninth? eighth? Hobb book we’ve read together. Ugh I love Robin Hobb so much and am hoping to love this book too.


And that’s it! Notice a lot of the books I’m reading now are the same one I was reading last month – as I mentioned, I hit a bit of a slump, so while I did read a lot of books in August, they were mostly manga because they were quick. Slump is hopefully gone now so goal is to completely change this list come October. Wish me luck! Happy reading!

 

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The Tawny Man Trilogy | Series Blabber

The Tawny Man Trilogy by Robin Hobb
Fantasy
Read Sept 17 2017 – June 15, 2018
Books 7-9 in the Realm of the Elderlings world

Spoilery blabber, also spoilers for the Farseer and Liveship Traders trilogies.

I finished these books almost a month ago and it’s taken me this long to collect my thoughts on them. Robin Hobb is a master at taking your emotions and twisting them into knots.

This trilogy was a culmination about everything I loved from the previous two series in the overarching one. It broke my heart and mended it and broke it and mended it so many times. Over and over, I found myself agonizing and then rejoicing just a few chapters later. Ugh, I’m not going to be over this one for a long time. This is the reason why it took me so long to be able to write something that actually sounded semi-coherent.

The first book begins with Fitz being summoned out of his secluded life to retrieve Prince Dutiful, who has been whisked away by the Piebalds. One of my favorite parts of this series occurred before that, when the Fool came to retrieve Fitz in the first place – the two stayed at Fitz’s home for a while before departing, and the care free easiness the two displayed for each other, the deepness of their bond, was wonderful to read about. I’d read an entire series of the Fool just being around Fitz. (If you can’t tell, the Fool is my favorite character. He’s my little bean.)

Once the main plot picks up, new characters are introduced, old ones are reintroduced, and a sense of nostalgia takes hold. I didn’t realize how much I missed reading about Fitz, The Fool, Kettricken and everyone else until I was able to do so again.

Out of the three, I think the first book is my least favorite. I’m not saying it was bad by any means – it still got 5 stars from me – I just loved the other two all the more. The first book was largely a set-up book in my mind. The errand that Fitz departs on to retrieve Dutiful was a bit aggravating to me, and the reasoning behind Dutiful’s disappearance in the first place had me grinding my teeth. Dutiful’s absolute obsession with the woman-cat left a bad impression about him for me. I can understand why he did it, but the teenage trope of ‘I know exactly what I’m doing, I don’t care if you’re older and wiser’ bugged me. It bugged me when Fitz was a teenager in the original trilogy and it bugged me now. The rest of the characters and the plot made up for it though, and the fact that Dutiful himself quickly learns his lesson and then is much better at squashing out that ideology in himself afterward than Fitz ever was really helped as well.

The second book is probably my favorite, and that’s because The Fool gets so much screen time. I love reading about his character, his motivations and learning about his past. Each persona he takes on as well, is a joy to read about. When Fitz discovered that one of The Fool’s personas was Amber, a woman who had basically declared her love for Fitz by carving Paragon’s face to look like him, Fitz took it as a personal insult, which… really annoyed me.

Fitz is the type of character that I love but I can easily be annoyed by at the same time. And it’s not that his character is badly or inconsistently written, it’s that he has this poor impulse control when it comes to jumping to conclusions. He gets petty in a way that irritates me because I know he can do better. It’s like he’s acting in a way that is below him, and it’s aggravating that he doesn’t take time to just stop and think ‘hey maybe this wasn’t about deceiving me at all and people are allowed to have parts of themselves they don’t tell me about’. But nope, Fitz is a bit self-centered, and that flaw in his character is both what makes him feel real and what makes him a butt head sometimes.

The Fool however, is wonderful in this one. He recognizes this flaw in Fitz and calls him out on it. It’s just so wonderful to read, The Fool sticking up for himself and his actions. It causes a bit of strife between the two, but it also allows Fitz to realize what I said above, that The Fool doesn’t owe him every aspect of himself. It’s so refreshing to see two characters in a complex disagreement come to terms with it.

And that ending, man. The ending of Golden Fool, where Fitz called The Fool ‘Beloved’, just melted me. The Fool’s reaction, covering his mouth briefly with his hand, as if he wasn’t sure if he was hiding a smile or trying to keep himself from crying… just. Sigh, The Fool is my favorite. I loved that scene. I think this scene is that one that made Golden Fool my favorite in the trilogy.

And the final book in the series, Fool’s Fate, is the one that really sent me on a roller coaster of emotion. The amount of times that this book had me near (or actually reaching) tears, and then turned around and went ‘no it’s okay, be happy’ only to rip that happiness out from under me again was insane. I feel like this is one of the most solid endings to a trilogy that I’ve read in a long time. Everything wrapped up nicely – not everything happily mind you – but nicely enough that I felt rather satisfied with the ending. It left me knowing most of the characters were in more or less a good place, but that the next trilogy concerning them (which I’m totally looking forward to) could easily take that all away from them again.

I’m even weirdly okay with Molly coming back into the picture and being with Fitz. For a long time, I wasn’t. Burrich and Fitz were going back and forth about her when they were on Icefyre’s island and I’m sitting there going ‘Nobody is asking what she wants, dammit’. And then when she finally shows up, she calls Fitz out on that – I really love Robin Hobb for this. I’ve read too many books where the love interest is just like ‘I’ll wait to see who claims me’ instead of actually forming an opinion and even getting offended over the idea of two people deciding who will get them. I like adult Molly in this series – she’s very opinionated, strong-minded and has her family’s best interest at heart. I feel like I’ll like her just as much in the next trilogy that she’s in.

Overall, this trilogy was just amazing. Any irritation I had with it turned out to be included in the plot and was at a point called out and corrected. I adored it. I cannot wait until the next series.

5/5 stars each


Side note: I learned two things reading this. 1 – I need to start using tabs while reading if I intend to review. There was so much material I feel like I’ve forgotten the details of and therefore couldn’t mention. 2 – books like this basically need a buddy reader. I feel like I wouldn’t have gotten nearly as much enjoyment out of them if I couldn’t yap at Zezee about them all the time (so thanks friendo :D).

Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 07/14/2018 in blabbers, Books, Review

 

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Top 5 books of 2018 so far

Copy of Top 5 Wednesday Banner

Hello, happy Hump Day! As you’re reading this, I’m not at work (woo, 4th of July and paid holidays. I’m gonna cherish it). Today’s topic is favorite books of the year so far! I’ve actually already hit my goodreads goal of 40 books, so I have quite the selection to pick from. All of the below books were a solid five stars. Rating them 5 through 1 is a bit superfluous, so take their order with a grain of salt.

If you’d like to participate in Top 5 Wednesday, you can do so here!


5. A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape From North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa

A River in Darkness:  One Man's Escape from North KoreaGenre: Nonfiction – Memoir

This is a very recent read for me, I just finished it last week, but it’s definitely made its way into my heart. This book is a memoir written by a man who somehow escaped from the North Korean totalitarian regime. It’s written in a very matter-of-fact way – it doesn’t shy away from the suffering that Ishikawa or his family felt. It doesn’t give you an illusion of a happy ending.

This book is powerful, heart breaking, and will stick with me for a long time.

 

 

 

4. The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3)Genre: Fantasy

The Broken Eye is the third book in Weeks’ Lightbringer series, which is one that I’ve been raving about for a long time. The series follows a slew of characters in world of political and magical upheaval. The magic system, based on colors, is really, really cool. The users of the magic are able to visualize a color and morph it into physical matter. Most can do one or two colors, but the Prism, one of the main characters, can draft them all.

And each time a magic user drafts a color, it brings them slightly closer to their deaths.

The world that Weeks has created is so great. I love the plot development, I love the characters, I love the humor. I love it all. I’m currently reading the fourth book, The Blood Mirror and am loving that as well. I hope the fifth (and final??) book comes out soon so I’m not left in a deprived state. DON’T LEAVE ME HANGIN’ WEEKS, OKAY? OKAY.

3. Prince’s Gambit by C. S. Pacat

Prince's Gambit (Captive Prince, #2)Genre: Fantasy, M/M Romance

Really, this one and King’s Rising deserve this spot, but I’m keeping it to single books, and I’m trying to keep one series from hogging multiple spots in the list. So think of it as this book with the third book peeking over its shoulder.

Prince’s Gambit is the second book in the Captive Prince trilogy, which has also become one of my favorites this year. Out of the three, this one in my opinion is by far the best. The other two are good as well, but this one is my fave.

This series, taking place is a fantasy world and dealing with politics and war, is not for the feint of heart. It contains gruesome violence, rape, and just unpleasant situations. It’s gritty. But it’s just so addicting to read. The two main characters – the prince of one land and the prince of the other, find themselves in a situation where… well, read the synopsis of the first book and it’ll be rather clear.

This series is not by any means a modern classic, but holy cow did I have fun reading it. I couldn’t put it down.

2. Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku vol 1 by Fujita

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku, Vol 1 (Otakoi: Otaku Can't Fall in Love?!)Genre: Manga – Slice of life/Romance

Yep, a single volume of a manga gets the number two spot. I loved this so much.

It kinda came out of nowhere – a comedy youtube channel I follow did a review of the first three episodes of the accompanying anime, and it made me curious enough to go pick it up. I buzzed through the first season in two days, and then I got the ‘need more’ itch I couldn’t scratch. So, my husband bought me the first volume of the manga as a surprise, because I’d been blabbering about it non-stop. I thought that I would like the manga less, only because I had just finished watching the same plot material and figured it might be repetitive from the closeness of consuming to two.

But hoo-boy was I wrong. This manga is even better than the anime. I absolutely adored it and am a fan for life. And I’ve only read the first volume! There are two currently out, the third being released in English in October. You bet your butt I’m going to suck them into my collection.

My favorite part about this series is its simplicity. It follows two mid-20s working individuals, both nerds in their own way, who decide to date each other because they’re most likely to understand each other’s obsessions. It’s cute, it’s light, and it’s drama-free. There’s no teenage angst, there’s no miscommunication… it’s just fun and adorable and funny and I really, really enjoyed it.

1. Golden Fool by Robin Hobb

Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2)Genre: Fantasy

Again this is another ‘this book and the third one in the trilogy’. Not saying the first wasn’t just as good – it was, but technically I read it in 2017. ๐Ÿ˜›

I’ve been making my way through Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings world for almost two years now. I started Assassin’s Apprentice back in 2016 I think, and by the time I got to Assassin’s Quest (Or was it Royal Assassin?!) I had begun buddy-reading everything with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks. We’ve covered all the books since then up through this series… and this one by far is both of our favorites. Golden Fool in particular was just so wonderful. So much character development! So much heart-throbbing-ness, so much suspense! AH, BELOVED. โค

This series will be getting a blabber from me very soon – I still haven’t been able to calm down enough after the end of Fool’s Fate (book 3) to articulate my thoughts in an even semi-coherent manner. I’m reeling! I’ll get there.

But this series, this book, by far, is my favorite read of the year so far. It’s tops, and I love it. Robin Hobb has a fan for life.


And that’s it! Out of the forty books I’ve read so far this year, these ones are the top of the top, they’re the cat’s pajamas, they’re the bee’s knees!

Have you read any of the above? What were your faves? Happy reading!

 
14 Comments

Posted by on 07/04/2018 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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24 in 48 Readathon

24in48

Guess what Iiiii’m doing! Well, at the time that this post is published, I’ll likely be sleeping (thank youuuu wordpress post scheduling). I had actually lost track of this readathon – I knew it had to be coming up but didn’t know exactly when until I saw Ranty Runt of a Reader‘s post about it (so thanks for posting it at the right time for my eyeballs to see it, friend).


If you’d like to know more about the readathon or sign-up super-last minute (if the sign up is still open, no idea), you can do so by following this link to the readathon’s blog.

It began this morning at 12:01am (I’m scheduling this post for 6am) and will continue through midnight Sunday night. The goal, as the title states, is to read 24 out of the 48 hours in the two days of the readathon.

We’ll see if I can get there, hah. Honestly, if I make 24, I’ll be totally shocked. If I make it to 12, I’ll be very satisfied with myself ๐Ÿ˜€ So wish me luck!

Aside from this post, I’ll be making periodic updates on my instagram account, so if you’d like to see photos of books (and… coffee and cats, let’s be real here) feel free to poke around. :”D Also, lemme know your usernames so I can follow you!

24 in 48 TBR

Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb

Ship of Destiny (Liveship Traders, #3)I’ve mentioned this one quite a lot recently, so I’m not gonna go into detail about its plot. This is a buddy read I’m doing with Zezee, so I’m only gonna read up to what we have alloted for this week. So it counts towards the readathon, but I’m not gonna binge it.

 

 

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3)I’ve been reading this book for months – it has been neglected lately though, so I’m gonna pick it up and buzz through hopefully a good bit of it. It’s a chunker, so I don’t see it getting finished, but who knows, anything is possible.

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (illustrated) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)I’ve had this book on my shelf for ages – with the 3rd illustrated version coming out in October, it’s about time I read it.

 

 

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And that’s it! I might pick up a graphic novel here or there if I find myself feeling slumpy. Ideally, I’ll get all of these down (minus Ship of Destiny because mentioned above) – 24 hours should be plenty for that. Let’s just… hope I can read that much, hehe.

Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 07/22/2017 in Books, Readathon

 

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May Wrap Up | ’17

Happy end-of-May! This month a bunch of stuff happened – I graduated college (again), I got a salary position as a software developer, I planned out a vacation… all sorts of stuff. And I still have a lot of stuff left to go, yeesh.

Speaking of, I need an oil change. Guess who’s going to the mechanic after I finish writing this, woo.

ANYWAYS. This month I read one non-fiction, two novels and two manga/graphic novels


The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb

The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders, #2)This is the second book in Hobb’s Liveship Traders trilogy and the fifth in her Realm of the Elderlings world. I wrote a blabber on the thing of you’d like to know more fully about it, but it sums up to: I really like this series, but it kills my brain and heart more with every chapter.

4/5 stars

Chew vol 1 by John Layman

Chew, Vol. 1: Taster's ChoiceThis is one of those series that I’ve known about for a while but never really popped into my ‘wanna read this’ list. I found it for super cheap and picked it up on a whim… and honestly, most of the way through it, it basically was what I expected. It was okay. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t anything special… until the end. And dammit, now I want volume two. It lead me into a false sense of ‘this is decent’ security when it was really hiding how good it was ’til the end. Well butts. Now I’m buying this series, too.

4/5 stars

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)This was probably my most anticipated release for this month and I started reading it the day I came out. It was decent! I rather liked it. I wrote a blabber on this one too, if you’re interested. I feel like it was a rather solid (if not predictable) ending to the series.

4/5 stars

Attack on Titan vol 12 by Hajime Isayama

Attack on Titan, Volume 12I’m slowly workin’ my way through this series. One day I’ll catch up. One day. ONE DAY.

4/5 stars

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Gene: An Intimate HistoryAnd the non-fiction for the month. I’m really bad with non-fiction usually – it doesn’t hold my attention for very long. It’s not the book’s fault most of the time, it’s my own. I just… lose focus. But this one, I listened to on audio and while it did indeed go into the history of the gene and all sorts of experiments and conferences and breakthroughs, it did so in almost a narrative format. It was really neat and I was able to stay focused on it. ๐Ÿ˜› So.. props to him for writing a non-fiction a dunderhead can follow? ๐Ÿ˜€ It was really good and I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot, too!

4/5 stars

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Everything was 4 stars this month. Hooda thunk.


r/Fantasy Bingo 2017

I’m the template provided by Millenium_Dodo here, which you can as well if youโ€™re participating. ๐Ÿ˜€

FantasyBingo2017Template.png

So two out of the five books I read this month qualify. Woot woot :”D


Blog Activity

12 posts created (including this one):


Reading Goals

Progress on 17 in 2017:

  1. A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin – Currently reading
  2. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson โ€“ Complete!
  3. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  4. Calibanโ€™s War by James S. A. Corey
  5. The Traitor Comorant Baru by Seth Dickinson โ€“ Complete!
  6. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  7. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  8. Weaveworld by Clive Barker โ€“ Complete!
  9. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
  10. Dragon Wing by Margaret Weis
  11. 14 by Peter Clines
  12. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  13. The Edge of the World by Kevin J Anderson
  14. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  15. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
  16. Harry Potter and the Sorcererโ€™s Stone (illustrated) by J. K. Rowling
  17. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (illustrated) by J. K. Rowling

Progress on 2017 Reading Goals:

Complete a Goodreads Reading Challenge of 50 Books: 26/50

Count how many books I own and determine how many are not yet read โ€“ Was complete, need to do again.

Discard books I donโ€™t like or lose interest in reading โ€“ None this month, but I kept my eye out.

Read all of the books on my 17 in 2017 list โ€“ 3/17, gonna be 4.


And May is done, man. That’s it. Time for sleep.

Happy reading!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 06/03/2017 in Books, Wrap-up

 

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The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb | Blabber

The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders, #2)The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
850 pages, mass market paperback
Read Feb 23 – May 7, 2016
Book two in the Liveship Traders trilogy
Spoilery Blabber

“Tomorrow owes you the sum of your yesterdays. No more than that. And no less.”

Every time I read a Robin Hobb book – this is the fifth one I’ve buzzed through now – I get an emotional hangover. This series in particular, I’d even call it an emotional flu.

Since this is a spoilery blabber, I’m going to assume if you’re here you’ve either read it already or don’t care about being spoiled. I’m also going to assume you already know the premise of the series. I’m also going to just write a bunch of thoughts out – this is not a ‘coherent review’. ๐Ÿ˜›

This book picks up where the last left off – the returning characters are just as despicable and wonderful as before. I grew to like characters I disliked before… and really really hate characters I already hated. Hah.

So the main theme of this book is obviously character development. Sorely, sorely needed character development. And it was wonderful.

Robin Hobb is really good at writing awful characters. I don’t mean awful as in badly written, I mean awful as in I hate them. They feel like real people but they are not people I would get along with. Kennit for instance. That bastard. Never have I despised a character so much that I actually would get angry while reading from their POV. If that isn’t a well-designed character then I don’t know what is.

I hope in book three, Kennit gets knocked down a few pegs. Seriously. So far he’s managed to manipulate Etta, Vivacia and now even Wintrow to his will. Gaaah I want someone to see through his bullshit so badly. He needs good, solid punch to the face.

Another character that went through a lot of character development, but in a positive direction instead of negative was Malta. It’s unfortunate that the loss of her father was what had to trigger it, but it really woke her up to the world around her. Towards the end of the book especially, I really loved her. Her snaps at the satrap were just fantastic. (I hate him too, so it was lovely). It was such a complete turn-around from her character in the first book, which seriously irritated me. I like Reyn too – he’s a decent fella.

This book I noticed spent about as much time away from the liveships as it did with them – about half the POVs weren’t anywhere near the water – it really lent to the largeness of the plot and all of the interesting subplots that I know are going to come together in book three. I seriously liked this book, especially towards the end. I reached an ‘AHHHHH’ moment and kinda buzzed through the ending (after…. taking a two day break to finish my coding project. You have NO IDEA how hard it is to reach the AHHHH part in a book and then put it down to do important schooly things, bleh)

All the subplots are starting to wind together at this point – we now know why it kept jumping to a bit of eel-y things in the water and why some of them seem sentient and others don’t. There’s a dragon flyin’ around and Paragon, darling Paragon, has developed a sense of multiple selves. Paragon I think is my favorite character in this series – he’s just so amusing, I wanna hug him. Granted, he’d likely either punch me in the face or cry hysterically or hug me back. It would really be up in the air. I think that’s why I like his character so much – he’s so out of character all the time that everything is in character. It’s neato. :”D

I will say though – and it’s a thing that I mentioned above – that this book is tiring. It’s so emotionally saturated that it becomes a chore to read it. Not because it’s bad, but because just so much heavy stuff happens to the Vestrit family, I kinda get worn out just reading about it, yeesh.

Rating: 4/5 stars


So yes, overall I dug this book. Made me feel droopy though. And my thoughts, as you can see, aren’t really coherent, hence a spoilery blabber instead of a non-spoilery review. :”D I’m thinking I”ll do a trilogy review on the whole thing once I finish the third book – that one will spoiler-free and more uh… readable instead of a bunch of tangent-thoughts, hawhaw.

Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 05/09/2017 in Books, Review

 

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