Wednesday, November 29, 2017

[Review] American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Rating: 5 stars

Published: July 2001
Format: 10th Anniversary Edition Mass PB

Goodreads Synopsis:
Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.
But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow's best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.
Life as Wednesday's bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies...and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing - an epic war for the very soul of America - and that he is standing squarely in its path.
I never read Gaiman before this. But he's the favorite author of so many of my friends, and Victoria Schwab (my favorite author), also draws from Gaiman's storyteller vibes, so of course I had to read his works!

This is also a good time to mention that I had to read The Graveyard Book for my seminar English class in the same week I was reading American Gods. But that is for another review. 

I'm also reading the expanded version, which was a thick chunk of text. It was so worth it, though, those 700ish pages. Every single page.

Monday, November 27, 2017

[Review] A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Rating: 4.5 stars 

Published: August 30th 2016
Format: HC

Goodreads Synopsis:
Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.
Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.
But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.
Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.
I read An Ember in the Ashes a little more than 2 years ago, so I was worried that I would have some problems remembering who was who, but luckily I had my old review on Goodreads!

We enter Torch in the midst of the action - Elias and Laia are running for their lives, trying to evade capture as they travel north to Kauf prison to rescue Laia's brother Darin. Helene is the newly titled Blood Shrike, with Marcus as Emperor. She's tasked with capturing her former best friend, but the Commandant is trying to put a hole in her plans, and assigns her her spy and torturer, Lieutenant Avitas Harper. 

It's just as bloody and brutal as Ember, but this time, I feel like the stakes were higher and everything was much more intense. No one is safe in this book, let me tell you. Sabaa Tahir knows how to draw you into this world and keep you there.