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review 2017-08-14 15:45
The Quest of The Last Gunslinger (The Beginning of The Dark Tower Series)
The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger - Stephen King

I had been curious about The Dark Tower for a long time. Since it was published until now, I never did read one book of it. When I heard about the movie adaptation, what compels me to read now was due to the movie. Of course, this year is truly the year of the King...

 

... and for once, reading The Gunslinger, the first book of the series truly peeks my curiosity on a whole different level. And much better than the movie.

 

It begins where a lone man walks into a town, looking for a man in black. He meets the town's folk (almost a ghost town) and soon, the presence of the man in black had corrupted the whole town. Along the way, he met a boy name Jake Chambers, descriptions of another world similar to ours and of course, origins of the gunslinger, mutants and finally meeting the man in black and in the end... another quest.

 

For me, I love the universe created by Stephen King but the plot itself felt ambiguous. While the journey is all about journeying to meet the man in black and going to the dark tower without revealing the purpose, I believed maybe the rest of the novels will. Still, I do enjoy the writing and as always, Stephen King tried his best to deliver some thing ambitious then (he did admit as the series progress, there were changes in his words of when he was young when he wrote and the maturity of his writing towards the end of the series). The Gunslinger works to some extend and hopefully, the rest of the book will explain further once I started reading The Drawing of the Three.

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review 2017-08-08 16:20
The Sequel That Is So Clever and Deceptively Delicious.
The Queen of Attolia (Queen's Thief) - Megan Whalen Turner

Sequels are not an easy read, especially if the author able to write better than the first book. When I read The Thief, I read without any expectations but based upon reviews after reviews from other readers. It is a book that is well-written, filled with a historical universe created rich with myths and adventure. Characters to love and to hate. I felt a lot of great wealth and although, it does felt like a quest story, there is a surprise twist towards the end.

 

The Queen of Attolia is not just more, its some thing so unimaginable that is way beyond my expectations. I finally understood why many readers felt this is a younger adult version of Game of Thrones. The politics, the lies and a war between nations cleverly woven into one epic sequel I have never thought I would be satisfied with contentment.

 

As it is, we follow where Eugenides was left off. He said he could steal anything - steal a man, steal a queen and even a nation to have peace - and he without a doubt, truthful to his words. As a worshiped thief of Eddis and known to his enemies of what he can truly do, war broke out among nations. Politics became dirty, the queen of Attolia trying to do what's best for her nation and the rest is filled with more twist than you can count and you never realize you wanted to read the next chapter it became natural for you to turn the next page. Still, can Eugenides able to do what he said he can do? I was more than surprise that blew my mind that I can't wait to read the next book.

 

There is so much more in The Queen of Attolia - there's more twist, more surprises and more intrigued than before. I love Eugenides and I never thought I would. A written character that surprises me in many ways that shows a whole lot of character is a rarity for me. I never love a fictional character this much but this is one of those that won my heart so much. There is more of EddisMedes and Attolia now and there is so much difference between the first book and this one. Now what deserves a five star rating is truly the story. Every thing in this book is phenomenal. I laugh, shocked, and more than before and even stunned by its delivery. And not just that, the style of writing just begs to be more than it was before. I just can't stop enjoying how wonderful this book is and I am so glad that I started reading this series. Megan Whalen Turner is now my third favorite author and I will read (or wait) any books she will write and will even queued for any of her upcoming books.

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review 2017-07-17 13:53
A Disturbingly Charming Read
Eileen: A Novel - Ottessa Moshfegh

Reading Eileen is a challenge of acceptance. One that is far from being the norm, especially when it comes to understanding human nature at its worst flaw. I read Eileen because of an upcoming book discussion and one of the things that caught my attention was the analytical approach of its description of why 'people are the way they are' in the things they do we are ashamed to talk about. I try to find the main plot line on this book but its actually about a girl (title character) on her last days on a fictional place of what had happened to her and the people she meets along the way before she leaves town. There isn't much of a plot but there is some thing about the writing that is honest and truthful that I tend to agree that what was not dared said is bare here.

 

Eileen is written in a first person of a past memory that she wants to share with the readers. Why she wanted to leave the place she was born, her relationship with her father, her infatuation with a prison guard, her lifeless job in a children's correctional prison and her habitual past-time habits she isn't ashamed of (like stealing a scarf from a store). Then came a new counselor named Rebecca, a young and beautiful girl who give her more attention than others. What happens next lead to a crime that just give a good reason to leave her home town and never look back. Sounds simple and yet uninteresting right?

 

To be fair, I do find the writing and description so well-written that the one thing that did not escape me is how ugly she made out in words makes it so beautiful and honest. There are things we might be ashamed of writing but Ottessa Moshfegh truly embodies the truth of what we don't talk about with other people. You'll get my meaning when you read it. The other thing was not entirely interesting were the dialogue. It felt flat and fake, which is a contradiction in her writing. On one hand, the description of Eileen's feelings and place and the actions she do was very good but on the other hand, the dialogue is surreal. Its like how bizarre the exchange was between father and daughter is unusual. I just can't picture it too well and that really pull part of the book down. By 2/3's of the book, that's where it becomes interesting. Although it was predictable, its just how well Ottessa capture's Eileen's character at its fullest.

 

While this is actually her first book, its a fast read and an interesting one. I can't help but read it to find out where it is leading and part of me felt this is like American Psycho plotline indie kind of story. As realism gets, its the purpose of Eileen on why she need to leave town that makes it understandable on her reasons of doing that. This is some thing I would recommend people to read because to me, its refreshing. Unlike some authors I read when it comes to writing disgusting scenes, Ottesa makes it sound beautiful in her own way of acceptance, like 'yeah, we do that and that's okay'. For me, it deserves a 4 out of 5 star rating and its a book I would recommend for any readers that accepts true reality of life.

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review 2017-07-10 03:18
A Historical Young Adult Novel Introducing An Incorrigible and Loveable Thief That Could Steal Anything...
The Thief (Queen's Thief) - Megan Whalen Turner

I love a good fantasy historical stories. There wasn't any thing that interest me that is simple and enjoyable (although I know there are some good historical fiction novels that are good) but there is one that caught my attention that has a simple title - The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. What was more interesting was how it was written and the characters that are so loveable and incorrigible, I wanted to know more about the world of The Queen's Thief series. But first - The Thief.

It started with a simple setting - a thief was imprison because he got himself into trouble and when a king from Sounis send him a task to steal a legendary stone that was near impossible to obtain because its a tale of legends, the king believe that this thief can steal anything. Accompanied by a magus and two apprentice - their mission is off to Attolia where the legendary stone is.

 

Yes, the plot may seem boring and plain but it was the written and delivery of the work that is most impressive. I was astound by the description of the place, characters and the scenes (action or other wise) as it was so well-written. And then of course, the characters! I love Eugenides - he is witty, funny and (to me) loveable with sarcasm when he delivers smart remarks. Then of course, the tall tales of legends, given in historical form that is interesting, even though have done before. Given much on 2/3 part of the book, there is a twist I did not foresee. Maybe I was too busy dwelling into the world of Attolia but it was done well. Although the introduction of the characters were brief (not much depth is known about the rest of the characters or even Eugenides), I am looking forward for the next book to see what happens next, even though it does feel like it ended in one book (and rather, not in an exciting way).

 

To me, The Thief is well-written. Its not exciting but it does has a way to capture my attention as I read. Its direct to a point, which I like when it comes to reading books, and it doesn't waste a lot of time in explaining back stories or flashbacks. What was more interesting is how Megan Whalen Turner manage to even fill a normal daily chore scene that makes it interesting. For that, The Thief have my 4 out of 5 star rating. On to the next book.

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review 2017-06-27 14:20
A Book About Existence Found In A Place That Nobody Knows It Exist.
Britt-Marie Was Here: A Novel - Fredrik Backman

Stories of slice of life may not be anyone's cup of tea (or coffee). There are times when I read such stories, I don't get move by how its meant to be written. When I read My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry, it was messy to me. Yes, its the point of view from a 7 year-old girl that her grandmother send her a quest of fairy tale stories that sort of mixed up with reality... for me, I can't tell which is which. Then came the unexpected spin-off - Britt-Marie Was Here and I find it much better than Fredrik Backman's previous book before this one.

 

Britt-Marie Was Here focus on the title character herself. In the previous book (not a sequel, mind you), she was annoyingly weird (to me that is), a nagger and fussy like hell. But here we get to see and understand who Britt-Marie truly is. Her life, what she was before and who she is now is deeper than we think. After what happen to her in My Grandmother Asked Me... , she traveled to Borg, a fictional place that nobody knows of and literally, its like non-existence. As Britt-Marie gets a job in a recreational center, she encounters unexpected characters that will change her life or how she change theirs. Plus a conversation with a rat, soccer and lots of baking soda and Flaxin plus cutlery. Oh yes - this book and like all Fredrik Backman's books has that same formulated story and theme. In A Man Called Ove, we have those kind of unexpected characters and a cat. In My Grandmother Asked Me..., we have an apartment of unexpected characters too and a dog (even the car Renault is a character of its own). There's no difference here. I can see how his books are written now. But is Britt-Marie Was Here a one-trick pony? Well... yes and no.

 

You see, there's some thing I enjoy reading this book and its just what message Backman is trying to say here. Its a good one and there's some realism about how people are too comfort in their current lives and afraid to break free and do some thing for themselves when their whole lives are about doing some thing for others. When we try to assure ourselves that the right way is to go back what it was before, its what's happening now. The book does show us that scenario... but of course, I can't give out that ending but I can say, its one I believe that is good. And then of course, Britt-Marie always felt nobody thinks she exist that she makes herself known she does and in the end... well, I can't reveal that either. What I enjoy most is how now the chapters are short and direct, it is a much easier feeling of reading that I took my time no longer than I had with the last book.

 

I can't say that this book is great but its a read that gives me a subtle warmness towards it, that I like when it comes to slice of life. And this is one of those books that I would say its worth reading for those who are lost in a course of their lives should pick this up.

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