Series: The Broken Earth #1
Published by Orbit (8.4.2015)
Genres: Adult, High Fantasy
Format: Audiobook, 468 pages
Length: 15 hours, 27 minutes
This is the way the world ends. Again.
Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze -- the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization's bedrock for a thousand years -- collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman's vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.
Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She'll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.
Black sheep yet again. Womp womp.
I’ll start with the things I liked first. The world was really unique and interesting – a bit weird, sure, but it was cool. I liked that it had second person point of view, and the twist was great. I appreciated how all of the points of view came together. But that’s where my enjoyment stopped. I couldn’t connect to the characters at all and I just didn’t care about anything that was happening. The pacing was really slow and I was bored for most of the audiobook, even though the narrator was pretty good. It’s kind of hard to follow, too – many other readers said it was confusing and I found that to be true as well. I wanted to love it, but sadly I just didn’t.
Writing style: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 2.5/5
Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
Series: The Atlas #1
Published by Tor (3.1.2022)
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction
Format: Audiobook, 375 pages
Length: 15 hours, 59 minutes
Narrator: James Patrick Cronin, Siho Ellsmore, Munirih Grace, Andy Ingalls, Caitlin Kelly, Damian Lynch, David Monteith, Steve West
The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few...
- Libby Rhodes and Nicolás Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
- Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
- Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
- Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
- Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.
When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them.
After seeing this book EVERYWHERE, my curiosity was piqued. The hype for this book is unreal, and the reviews are pretty polarized. I’m not gaga over dark academia – I don’t dislike it, but it just doesn’t do anything for me either way.
I have never met a cast of such unlikable characters, oh my lord. In the beginning literally EVERY SINGLE ONE was awful!! Snobby, pretentious, entitled dickheads all of them (okay, except maybe Libby, but she was just plain annoying). I will say that they did grow on me as the book went along…all except Callum, he can eat a bag of dicks. I think my favorite was Nico, but I actually found myself liking Parisa by the end of the book as well.
The shining part of this book for me was the narration. Each character has their own narrator, and it’s got a few that I love. Steve West and James Patrick Cronin are amazing! Without the fantastic narration, I probably would have DNFed this book to be completely honest. It wasn’t bad, but I felt very apathetic about the story and the characters.
Writing style: 3/5
Overall rating: 3/5