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Category Archives: 3 Treasure Boxes

Sabriel by Garth Nix

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Abhorsen Trilogy
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
First Book in The Abhorsen Trilogy
Publisher: HarperTeen; First Edition edition (August 23, 1997), Paperback: 496 pages, ISBN-10: 0064471837, ISBN-13: 978-0064471831

Sabriel is a necromancer, but instead of raising the dead, she returns the dead back into the grave.

Garth Nix has written numerous young adult fantasy novels and series, including: the Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower series, and The Keys to the Kingdom. Sabriel is the first book in the Abhorsen Trilogy and it is told in a third person narrative from the perspective of the main protagonist, a young woman who can control the dead. The story takes place in a world filled with magic that can be controlled through sound. Particularly the sound created by whistling or bells.

The story was intriguing from the first page.  The characters were all interesting and the concept of the world was unique and captivating. I was never too sure where the story was going but I was anxiously turning each page to find out what was going to happen next.  There was plenty of action during the fight scenes against the dead.

“Sabriel” is a standalone novel. There are two other books in the series, but each has its own characters and storyline, which only lightly touch each other. I recommend this book as a very good read.

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The Wyrmling Horde by David Farland

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Runelords
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of The Wyrmling Horde: 3 Treasure Boxes
Runelords, Book 7
Scions of the Earth, Book 3
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc., Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 11 hours and 38 minutes, ASIN: B008S7BBU0

Fallion, the son of the Earth King and a powerful fire wizard, has bound two shadow worlds. One shadow world, the world of Gaborn Val Orden and the place we have come to know from the previous Runelord books, has amalgamated with a dark version of itself. With the combining of the two worlds, there has been a combining of the two versions of the people within, as well as a combining of the land and the magics.

However, the darker shadow world has a ruling class of evil wyrmlings. These creatures are actually loci, sinister parasites that feed on human souls. The wyrmlings are powerful and plentiful. They have created a self-serving, cruel society that seeks to dominate and destroy the world. The wyrmlings have devised a new form of forcible, one of compassion, and it is used to transfer pain. Fallion is captured and has received hundreds of endowments of compassion. He is made to continually experience the pain of others; pain of torture, dismemberment, and despair.

This was a well told story and picks up right after the end of Worldbringer. New characters are added, and some of the older characters have changed and morphed with the combining of the worlds. We learn more about how the one true world split into thousands of shadow worlds, and we learned more about the netherworld. This is a story of good versus evil, with the underlying message that evil can only be destroyed through love.

I really enjoyed the story, but I was shocked when it ended. I did not feel that the story had come to any kind of a conclusion. It felt more like the end of a chapter than the end of the book. Luckily for me the next book, Chaosbound is available. I will be picking it up in the next few days because I am anxious to see where this story is going.

I highly recommend The Wyrmling Horde and all the Runelord books, but they do need to be read in order. These books are all very good reads, and anyone who enjoys fantasy with enjoy these stories.

To purchase: “The Wyrmling Horde” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series MaddAddam Trilogy
Book Review

Book Review

Book review of MaddAddam: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book three of the MaddAddam trilogy
Publisher: Random House Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 13 hours and 23 minutes, ASIN: B00E7YHASU

The world has been remade, because most of mankind has been deliberately eliminated and many new species have been developed. Before he died, Crake developed what he thought was the perfect humanoid, a new species of people that are beautiful, yet socially very different—they do not wear any clothing and they eat nothing but leaves—they are referred to as the Crakers. Now, all that remains in the world are a handful of humans—both good and bad, the Crakers, some sly new creatures including pigoons, pigs who have been spliced with human stem cells to enable the creation of human organs, and the resurgence of vegetation.

Margaret Atwood is a famous Canadian writer born in 1937, and she has written numerous books, short stories, books of poetry and essays. She has won more than 55 awards, both Canadian as well as international. MaddAddam is speculative, dystopian fiction and the story is told primarily in a first person narrative by the main protagonist, Toby, a woman who has survived the waterless flood and the end of mankind. Much of the book is presented in the form of stories that Toby relates to the Crakers about various events that have occurred both before and after the flood.

MaddAddam is much lighter, and included quite a bit more humour than the previous two books in the series. The story is well told and I really enjoyed it. This book continues immediately after the events in The Year of the Flood. Jimmy the Snowman is very ill, the two psychotic paintballers are still on the loose and Adam One is nowhere to be found. The Crakers have relocated themselves along with Jimmy to stay with the group who were once known as God’s Gardeners. Due to Jimmy’s illness, Toby has replaced him in the role of storyteller to the Crakers.

Through and because of the stories, much of Zeb’s past is revealed, which I found intriguing and a bit surprising. It was also interesting to watch the development of the Crakers, and even though Crake created them to be without art or religion, the human need to create and to connect seems to override what Crake intended.  It seems to me, that in light of the potential damage from genetic modifications, that this is an important tale to tell, and it comes across without being preachy, yet it also leaves the reader with an overall feeling of hope.

I recommend this book, as a very good read. However, to truly appreciate the story it is important to read all the books in the series in order which I recommend to anyone who enjoys speculative, dystopian fiction.

 

 

To Purchase: MaddAddam from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series The Farseer Trilogy
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Assassin’s Apprentice: 3 Treasure Boxes
The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1
Publisher: Tantor Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 17 hours and 18 minutes, ASIN: B003ATP9VI

A young boy, FitzChivalry, is an outcast, because he is the bastard son of the King-in-Waiting. From the day he was dumped at court by his grandfather, he never felt connected to anyone or anything, except his little puppy. Fitz has magically bonded with the little dog, but soon learns this is an evil thing to do, and has his dog cruelly ripped away from his life. King Shrew has decided to earn Fitz’s loyalty by turning him into an assassin. During his training Fitz is faced with many different tasks and challenges, including uncovering a sinister plot that if successful will place a cruel and uncaring man into power. Meanwhile, the red ship raiders have a secret weapon that turns the captured citizens of the Six Dutchies into living, soulless beasts.

Robin Hobb is a pseudonym for Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden and she has written numerous books, primarily in the fantasy genre. Assassin’s Apprentice was written in 1995 and it was the first book in the world of the Six Dutchies and is the first book in The Farseer Trilogy. The Tawny Man Trilogy was released in 2001 and continues the story, but from a different point of view. Assassin’s Apprentice is in the epic fantasy style because in this world there is a form of magic, no modern conveniences and there is a ruling class of aristocrats, including kings and princes. The story is told in a first person narrative from the point of view of the main protagonist, FitzChivalry.

The magic in this fantasy novel is subtle. There is a mental type of control, called The Skill, and it is where, if one has the ability and is properly trained, a person can enter into the mind of another person. There is also another gift, a deeper, darker gift, that is considered evil or dirty, and it is the ability to join minds with an animal. The story is original and enjoyable. Fitz, even as a young boy, is a danger to the crown as the bastard son of the King-in-Waiting. For this reason, King Shrew decides to keep him close and to earn the boy’s loyalty by secretly training him to become an assassin.

Fitz is a great character, and there are other interesting characters in the book, but most of the other players are not well developed. They tend to be one-dimensional without any real depth.  Unlike most epic fantasy novels, this story does not have any real action, but it is well told and well paced with a steady stream of tension throughout.

I recommend this book as a very good read. The story was intriguing and from start to finish, I was never quite sure where it was going and I found it hard to put the book down. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Royal Assassin.

To Purchase Assassin’s Apprentice from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar

Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of The Art of Choosing: 2 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Hachette Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 10 hours and 36 minutes, ASIN: B003D7S8W4

What is the science and psychology behind making choices, and why do we do what we do? The Art of Choosing looks at what drives our choices and Ms. Iyendar backs up her claims with research. She discusses freedom and control and how these affect what we choose.  In Chapter one, part two Ms. Iyengar says, “When we speak of choice, what we mean is the ability to exercise control over ourselves and our environment. In order to choose, we must first perceive that control is possible.”

Ms. Iyengar has written numerous essays, but The Art of Choosing is her first book. It is non-fiction and it analyzes how people make choices. It was shortlisted for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2010.

The Art of Choosing is supported by research and surveys with some surprising results. It was insightful to learn how cultural upbringing affects choices. Ms. Iyengar tests children of different backgrounds and those with an Asian upbringing were motivated if they felt their mother made the choice for them, whereas Anglo-American students felt the exact opposite. The same results were observed within factories in these different regions. Ms. Iyengar included research that was done on animals, which I felt uncomfortable reading, but the results cannot be disputed. The information is related in an interesting manner that includes stories, facts and draws the reader in through some well placed questions.

I recommend this book as a good read that provides some fascinating information. Although, I am not too sure what benefit I received other than entertainment.

To Purchase: “The Art of Choosing” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Cassie Scot Series
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book 1 of the Cassie Scot Series
Publisher: Twilight Times Books; First edition (April 4, 2013,) Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc., File Size: 484 KB, ASIN: B00C7VR69I

Cassie Scot, a “normal” young woman, is a misfit both within her family and within the community. She is the sole ungifted person among a family of powerful sorcerers. She has become a private investigator and although she advertises that she will only work on normal cases, she gets pulled into solving a paranormal mystery. While she is struggling to find her way, and her independence, she becomes entangled with a handsome, but mysterious sorcerer.

Christine Amsden has written both science fiction and fantasy. Recently she released a science fiction book, The Immortality VirusCassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective is the first book of four expected books in The Cassie Scot Series and is a contemporary fantasy. The story is told in a first person narrative from the main protagonist, Cassie Scot. Books two to four, have been written and are expected to be released over the next few months. The expected titles are: Secrets and Lies, Mind Games, and Dreamer.

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective is a twist on the contemporary fantasy genre. The main protagonist, Cassie, has no magical abilities, but she fully understands how the paranormal world operates. She is doing her best to find acceptance in the magical world and within her own family, while at the same time, protecting herself against magical attacks.  Cassie is a likeable person and her character is well developed. One of the themes in this book is family relationships. The story was interesting and I found it hard to put down.

This is not a standalone story, but is an intriguing beginning. I recommend Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective as a very good read and it is a great start to what proffers to be an interesting series. The book captured my attention from the first page and the story included several surprising twists and turns. I am looking forward to the next book, Secrets and Lies, because I am curious to see how Cassie is going to deal with the situation she now finds herself.

To Purchase: “Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Winter of the World by Ken Follett

This entry is part 2 of 1 in the series The Century Trilogy
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Winter of the World: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book Two of the Century Triology
Publisher: Penguin Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 31 hours and 48 minute (818 pages,) ASIN: B009CMO4JU

Five different families living in separate countries are each trying to live with, and against, the fascism that seems to be gaining strength.  It is 1933 in Berlin and Hitler along with his Nazis regime are brutally taking over Germany. The Red Army is infiltrating Germany and working with citizens who despise Hitler’s tactics but are afraid to speak out.  This story follows the next generation of families from The Fall of Giants as the Second World War breaks out.

Ken Follet has written numerous novels in the suspense and historical fiction genres. His most famous work is Pillars of the Earth, which was produced as a mini-series in 2010. The Century Trilogy is a series that starts in 1911 and the first two books span both World Wars. The final book, with a working title of Edge of Eternity is not yet released but will conclude with the final events in the 20th century and it is expected to be released in late 2014. These books are historical fiction and follow the lives of five interrelated families. The stories are told in a third person narrative from different characters within each of the families.

Winter of the World gives a detailed description of the brutality of WW2, but it also shows how people can make a difference and can fight against injustice. It is an inspiring tale of integrity and shows the importance of making the right decision, rather than the easy one. The historical tale told through the eyes of the participants was fascinating and really well done. It covered the Spanish Revolution, the rise and fall of Nazism, several key events within the Second World War, even the threat of British Fascism, and the beginning of the cold war.

I enjoyed this story more than The Fall of Giants because the characters were already established and many of them grew and developed as the tale unfolded. I recommend this book as a very good read although I did find it a long book and at times it dragged a bit. I am looking forwarding to the release of the final book in the series. I am curious to see where Mr. Follett goes with the final installment of this trilogy.

 

To Purchase: “Winter of the World” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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Cold Days by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 14 of 13 in the series The Dresden Files
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Cold Days: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book Fourteen of The Dresden
Publisher: Roc; First Edition edition (November 27, 2012), Hardcover: 528 pages, ISBN-10: 0451464400, ISBN-13: 978-0451464408

Harry is no longer dead, no longer a warden of the White counsel and no longer a professional wizard for hire. Instead, he has a new job and a new identity; he is now the Winter Knight for Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. The Winter Knight is a tool of death that the Queen dispatches with a whisper and his first assignment is the assignation of an immortal. Not only does Harry need to discover how to kill an invincible being, he also has to investigate the threat of a devastating magical explosion.

Cold Days is the fourteenth book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher is currently working on book fifteen, Skin Game. He has also written six books in the Codex Alera Series, which is closer to high fantasy than The Dresden Files. See my review of these books at https://books-treasureortrash.com/series/codex-alera-series/ The Dresden Files are considered contemporary fantasy and are sometimes referred to as urban fantasy. They also fall into the detective genre since Harry is a detective, who is also a wizard, and in each book he solves a case involving the supernatural. These stories are told in the first person narrative from Harry Dresden’s point of view.

When Harry first returns from the dead, he needs to recover from his ordeal, which he does in Arctis Tor, the capital of the Winter Court of Faeries in the Nevernever. He spends his first three months preparing for his new job by recovering his strength, doing physiotherapy, and fending off frequent, deadly surprise attacks from his new boss. A few new characters are introduced: Sarissa, a woman indebted to Mab the Winter Queen who helps Harry during his initial recovery; Cat Sith, a vicious faerie who is available at a moment’s notice to help Harry; Lacuna, a fairy of the little folk, who Harry has taken as a prisoner; and He Who Walks Before, who is related to He Who Walks Behind and is an outsider.

This book really moves the plot along and provides a lot of information about the outsiders, who they are, where they come from and what they are trying to do. Additionally, more information is released about the Adversary. However, I did feel that a few of the solutions to some of Harry’s predicaments were a little too pat. Harry has his own personal struggle dealing with the mantle of the Winter Knight including the predatory feelings that this magical position inspires, but Harry is still the smart-mouthed character that I have grown to love. There was plenty of action throughout this novel, it started in the beginning at Harry birthday party and continued pretty much up until the end. The suspense kept on building and building and the ending was shocking. I never saw it coming and was really surprised by the final outcome.

Cold Days is a standalone story, yet it is also part of a larger tale. I found the book hard to put down, and I recommend it as a very good read. All the books in this series are well written with great characters within a fascinating and unique universe. I am anxious to see what is going to happen next, and am waiting for the release of the next book in the series, Skin Game.

 

 

To Purchase: “Cold Days” click here or on picture above

 

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Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 12 of 13 in the series The Dresden Files
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Ghost Story: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book thirteenth of The Dresden Files
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 17 hours and 56 minutes (624 pages,) ASIN: B005EJFVAQ

Harry has a new case, one where he needs to find his own murderer. The only problem is, he is in ghost form and unable to access solid matter. In Changes, Harry was able to save his little girl and in the process he wiped out the entire race of the Red Court Vampires which also ended the war, but caused someone to want him dead. What he didn’t anticipate is the havoc  in the supernatural world that would be created by the absence of the Red Court Vampires.

Ghost Story is the thirteenth book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher has written 14 books in this series, and he is currently working on book 15. He has also written 6 books in the Codex Alera Series, which is closer to high fantasy than The Dresden Files. See my review of these books at https://books-treasureortrash.com/series/codex-alera-series/ The Dresden Files are considered contemporary fantasy and are sometimes referred to as urban fantasy. They also fall into the detective genre since Harry is a detective, who is also a wizard, and in each book he solves a case involving the supernatural. These stories are told in the first person narrative from Harry Dresden’s point of view.

Ghost Story took an interesting twist in the Dresden Files universe which included new layers in the story’s supernatural world. We learn more about Harry’s past through a well told flashback, and even as a ghost, Harry was still the same smart mouthed goof ball. His friends couldn’t see him, but they knew it was him based on some of the comments that came out of his mouth. Several of the characters, including Harry, showed growth and development in their characters; perhaps death has helped Harry to mature.

Harry gets to take a ride within Bob’s skull, which it turns out is a really awesome place. Evil Bob makes an appearance, and at first I was confused about why Evil Bob and Good Bob both appeared simultaneously in the book. However, it was later explained that Evil Bob was accidently created in Dead Beat when Bob eradicated all his Kemmler knowledge. Molly’s new title is the Ragged Lady, and her powers have grown exponentially. She has replaced Harry as the protector of Chicago, while hiding from the White Council. Mortimer Lindquist plays a big role in this book, which is not really surprising because he is an ectomancer, a person who can see and communicate with ghosts, and Harry is now a ghost. The story included lots of action and several surprise turns, including an awesome ending.

I recommend Ghost Story as a very good read. I found the book hard to put down and it included a satisfying resolution to the cliff hanger at the end of Changes. I recommend all the books in this series, which are well written with great characters. I am anxious to see what is going to happen next, so I am planning on reading the next book in the series, Cold Days.

To Purchase: “Ghost Story” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 10 of 13 in the series The Dresden Files
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Turn Coat: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book Eleven in The Dresden Files
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 14 hours and 40 minutes (464 pages,) ASIN: B0026HQAMC

Morgan, a fellow warder, appears at Harry’s door looking for help, but this is the last person Harry would expect because Morgan despises him. He has stalked and tried to kill Harry many times, but is now looking for help. For all intents and purposes, Morgan appears to have turned traitor against the White Court.

Turn Coat is the eleventh book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher has currently written 14 books in this series. He has also written 6 books in the Codex Alera Series, which is closer to high fantasy than the Dresden Files. See my review of these books at https://books-treasureortrash.com/series/codex-alera-series/ The Dresden Files are considered contemporary fantasy and are sometimes referred to as urban fantasy. They can also fall into the detective genre since Harry is a detective, who is also a wizard, and in each book he solves a case involving the supernatural. These stories are told in the first person narrative from Harry Dresden’s point of view.

Turn Coat was full of action, including lots of excitement with many surprising turns. There were several duels against an incredibly strong skin-changer, resulting in some sad repercussions. There was a mystery to solve surrounding Morgan and the death of a leading member of the White Council. Throw into the mix Molly’s misguided decisions, add in a bad situation for Thomas and you have a great story.

I liked the writing; Harry Dresden is a wise cracking guy and his witty comments are always fun to read. I recommend Turn Coat as a very good read. This book follows the usual Harry Dresden style, and you just got to love that guy. The story is stand alone, yet it is also clearly part of a bigger picture. I recommend you read all the books in order to get the most enjoyment out of the series. I have already started reading the next book, Changes, and it grabbed my interest from the first page.

To Purchase: “Turn Coat” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

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