Sara’s Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (audiobook)

Steelheart (Reckoners, #1)

Steelheart (Reckoners #1)
written by Brandon Sanderson
published by Delacorte Press, 2013

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
I love, love, loved it! I listened to all 12+ hrs of the audiobook in less than a week. I was totally hooked!

I have always enjoyed Sanderson’s world building, and this book is no different. Despite it being less fantasy and more real-world based, I still loved it. It’s interesting to think about what would happen to our real world if all of a sudden people with superpowers appeared. And in our reality, would we really expect them to be heroes rather than villains? Seems to me this is a dim yet truthful representation of mankind.

I loved the characters! David is a fun protagonist to follow—he has a hilarious habit of using awful metaphors that had me (and characters in the story) laughing out loud. I actually found myself wondering how the heck Sanderson managed to come up with all the ridiculous metaphors David used. He must have spent a good deal of time thinking about metaphors that don’t make any sense, because they really don’t come to you easily.

Also, either David or Sanderson really really Really doesn’t like handguns . . . I felt like at least 1/4 of David’s dialog is about how rifles are infinitely better than handguns. I have to say I really don’t care, nor am I confident that I could identify a rifle if my life depended on it. For the first half of the book I was thinking of a shotgun every time they talked about a rifle, so needless to say, I was a bit confused by why David thought his rifle would be more accurate than a handgun . . .

The plot is exciting and moves well. I did find it a tiny bit hard to believe that David as the 18-year-old newcomer to the Reckoners joins the team and becomes the “expert” when the rest of the team has been fighting Epics for half a decade. And as for David’s “Plan to Defeat Steelheart”—that’s his life’s work? Well, let’s just say I wasn’t too impressed . . . it seemed like a pretty weak plan to me, and yet the Reckoners are totally willing to throw all-in with this detail-less plan.

As for Megan, I loved her! I knew a little bit about her secret because of having already read Mitosis (you can read my review here), but I was certainly in the dark about the twist until right before it’s revealed. I am excited to find out whether we will learn more about Megan in the second book as her ending was a little uncertain.



Would I recommend it: This is an awesome book, and I started into the second book right away after finishing it. I would certainly recommend this book! Pick it up and enjoy!


About the book – from Goodreads: 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.



Sara’s Review: Mitosis by Brandon Sanderson (audiobook)

Mitosis (Reckoners, #1.5)Mitosis (Reckoners #1.5)
written by Brandon Sanderson
published by Delacorte Press, 2013

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: I really enjoyed this novella. I picked it up because the audiobook was free as a promotion for the second book in the Firefight series. When I downloaded this, I had not yet read the first book in the series, but I am a Sanderson fan, so I thought I would give it a shot. Mitosis is a teaser novella that takes place between the first and second novels of the Reckoners series. Despite not having read the first book, I wasn’t totally lost, and I ended up being intrigued by the world and the characters! As a matter of fact, as soon as I finished it, I downloaded Steelheart (first in the series) and started listening to it!

I love the idea of a real world in which superhuman beings actually exist! To top it all off, they are almost all evil. I was also very interested in the character development — even in such a short story. I really wanted to learn more about the characters and their history, so I was thrilled to have a whole series to look forward to!

The best part was that there aren’t even any big spoilers. Despite reading this out of order, I was still able to enjoy the first book of the series without missing out on any of the secrets!



Would I recommend it: I sure would! If you are a Sanderson fan or not, pick up this series! This novella is a quick fun read and a wonderful addition to the fantasy world.


About the book – from Goodreads: From “New York Times” bestselling author Brandon Sanderson’s action-packed novel “Steelheart” comes “Mitosis,” a short story set in the world of The Reckoners series, exclusively available in the digital format.

Steelheart may be dead, but Epics still plague Newcago and David and the Reckoners have vowed to fight back.

Catch all the action before “Firefight,” the exciting sequel to “Steelheart,” hits shelves in January 2015.



Sara’s Review: Clariel by Garth Nix (audiobook)

Clariel (Abhorsen, #4)Clariel
written by Garth Nix, narrated by Graeme Malcom
published by HarperCollins

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book:
 Yes and no. I have been waiting for this book for years, literally. I had very high expectations for it. I fell in love with Nix’s Old Kingdom when I was just a teenager. The first three books in the trilogy are what prompted me to fall in love with the Young Adult Fantasy genre in the first place, and when I heard Nix was writing a prequel for the series, I was over the moon!

When I finally found the time to dig into this book (after its release in October), I was disappointed to discover that I don’t even like the main character. Clariel is a cold, distant loner who really only cares about herself and getting to go live in the forest alone. She cares nothing for the rich history of Charter Magic that she has inherited or the political intrigue that fills the city. These two elements are some of my favorite aspects of Nix’s Old Kingdom Series. I love his world building and the wonderful descriptions of the all-encompassing Charter that flows within us all. I spent most of the book being bitter with the titular character for not embracing her magical heritage because for goodness’ sake, I would take her place in a heartbeat.

I know that it is a prequel and that she is going to become an antagonist in the later books but still, her character wasn’t compelling at all. The young female heroines from the rest of the series are strong, brave, selfless, women who would do whatever it takes to save their world and the people they love. They were characters that I looked up to and wanted to be like. Clairiel . . . not so much.

Despite having little to no positive feelings toward the main character, I managed to enjoy the book. (Mostly by riding the memories of how much I enjoyed the original trilogy.) I enjoyed my little visit to Nix’s Old Kingdom. I loved the political strife intertwined with magical creatures trying to undo the world (I mean, who doesn’t like that stuff?).

The narrator, Graeme Malcom, did a fabulous job bringing the different characters to life and keeping me interested (despite the fact that I couldn’t stand the main character). I especially enjoyed his portrayal of Mogget, the Charter bound Free Magic creature and companion to the Abhorson who has appeared in all of the previous books. I felt the narration really captured the complex character and brought him to life.


Would I recommend it: If you are interested in the genre, I would recommend you read the first three books in the series. IF you really need another Old Kingdom fix once you’ve finished those, Clariel can scratch that itch, but it will most likely leave you wanting more.


About the book – from Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Clariel is not adjusting well to her new life in the city of Belisaere, the capital of the Old Kingdom. She misses roaming freely within the forests of Estwael, and she feels trapped within the stone city walls. And in Belisaere she is forced to follow the plans, plots and demands of everyone, from her parents to her maid, to the sinister Guildmaster Kilp. Clariel can see her freedom slipping away. It seems too that the city itself is descending into chaos, as the ancient rules binding Abhorsen, King and Clayr appear to be disintegrating.

With the discovery of a dangerous Free Magic creature loose in the city, Clariel is given the chance both to prove her worth and make her escape. But events spin rapidly out of control. Clariel finds herself more trapped than ever, until help comes from an unlikely source. But the help comes at a terrible cost. Clariel must question the motivations and secret hearts of everyone around her – and it is herself she must question most of all.



Guest Review: March of the Ants by Anna-Christina (audio)

March of the Ants

March of the Ants
written by Anna-Christina
published by Busy Bees Publishing 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Goodreads, Music Audio Stories

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this audio book: 
There is one word for this story: Adorable! The voice actors are dynamic, full of expression, and truly bring to life the smallest ant in the colony, Sid. The catchy musical soundtrack beautifully complements the elements of drama and suspense as the listener waits to discover the fate of Sid and the rest of the ant colony. Not only was the story entertaining, my 2-year-old was so interested he actually stayed silent for the entire 4 minute story and immediately asked to listen to it again (we did). The character of Sid is a great role model for small children – he demonstrates that even the smallest of creatures can make a big difference!


Would I recommend it: I sure would! We listened to it several times in the car and everyone enjoyed it. Any story that’s entertaining to adults and children (even after the 13th listen) gets 4 stars in my book.


~ Sara ~


About the audiobook – from Goodreads: It all began with an adventure about an ant called Sid. The music and story was already written as a college assignment but the story was developed further after we began to more seriously work on it. We recorded all of the characters voices ourselves which was very amusing and began to delve into the world of sound effects to try to create the whole atmosphere of the story.