Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mini Reviews: Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Branson Sanderson + World After (Penryn & the End of Days #2) by Susan Ee

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Reckoners #1
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction
Rating: ★★★★★
Pages: 386
Published by Delacorte Press on September 24, 2013
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
There are no heroes.

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics... nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.
This was just a random read for me. I was using the app Overdrive, and I had downloaded this book as a test for using the app. I didn't actually plan on reading it anytime soon (I had three weeks to get it read, and hey, 300 pages is easy). But then one day I was at school, and I didn't want to read the book that I brought with me (Eat, Brains, Love), and so I pulled my phone out. And it took a lot of restraint to not open the Nook app and read Shiver or The Darkest Minds, because those were some titles that I'd been wanting to read for a while. But no, instead of opening those, I opened Overdrive, and I had a moment of weakness where I opened up this book and read it.

Hell, that was one of my best weakest moments ever. This book was great, and I definitely didn't expect to like it as much as I did. Yes, there are cliffhangers. Yes, there are twists. And yes, there are bamf'ing girls and guys in this book. There was only one thing that I could've guessed by the end of the book, and that was a certain somebody's actual identity. Other than that one thing, I couldn't have guessed any of the other stuff at all.

Brandon Sanderson definitely knows how to write a great superhero-esque novel that knocked my socks off (figuratively). I saw on Goodreads that he has another fantasy series. I'm definitely going to be getting that book so I can buy it and enjoy it.

World After by Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & The End of Days #2
Genre: Angels, Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★
Pages: 314
Published by Skyscape on November 19, 2013
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose? 
This book, although a bit slow at first, ended amazingly. I just felt like there wasn't enough. Raffe wasn't present for the majority of the book, but the appearances that he did make made his final appearance even more impacting. This book wasn't as strong as Angelfall, but it was amazing nonetheless. There were twists and turns that I never expected, which I loved. (I hate guessing the plot by the end of the book. I'm big on the whole "reveal" thing at the end of books.)
The characters were constructed carefully and flawlessly. Penryn is very relateable with the way that she's afraid of her sister as well as her yearning for Raffe and the truth. Raffe's sword is a big deal in World After, and its name Pooky Bear is just wonderful. I loved this sequel so much, and I think it's well worth the read.

Lindsay goes into more depth about her reasoning for loving this book in her review, which you can check out here. And you can also check out her review for book one, Angelfall, here. 

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