Thursday, May 30, 2013

Book Review: The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist is a young adult novel written by Brandon Sanderson. I feel it hasn't been advertised as much as some of his other books and novellas. Even now you hear more about Steelheart, his next novel, than about The Rithmatist. And that's a shame, given how fun The Rithmatist is.

This is a story set in an alternate Earth where certain people, Rithmatists, can use geometry-based magic. By drawing lines of chalk, they are able to produce physical effects that help them in the never-ending battle against wild chalklings. These wild chalklings are controlled by no man, yet flow forth from a mysterious tower. In the midst of all this, students at a prodigious school start disappearing, seemingly kidnapped by a rouge Rithmatist. Joel, a young boy without Rithmatic abilities, but all the desire in the world to be one, quickly gets involved in the investigative work to figure out who is behind these kidnappings.

Read on for my full review.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This is quite different from the sorts of books I read. It's not even remotely science fiction or fantasy. I've read it as part of a book club I'm joining here in Chile. It's a suspense novel about a marriage of a sociopath and a narcissist and it has gone horribly wrong. It may not be what I'm used to, but I actually enjoyed it!

Here's my review.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Book Review: Reaper's Gale by Steven Erikson

Reaper's Gale is the 7th in Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

For long series like this one, it's sometimes difficult to split the thoughts into each individual book. However, now that I think about it I realize that the Malazan series tends to have a unique and separate focus for each book, which greatly helps to keep them apart:
In Book 1, we see the fall of Darujhistan as part of the Malazan conquest of Genabackis. In Book 2, we see the Seven Cities rise up in the Whirlwind Rebellion. In Book 3, the Malazan empire gives answer to the threat from the Pannion Domin in Genabackis. Book 4 introduces us to the very interesting Karsa Orlong and his role in the Whirlwind and the House of Chains. Book 5 places us among the Tiste Edur and we see the Emperor of a Thousand Deaths emerge. In Book 6, the Malazans confront the remnants of the Army of the Apocalypse in Seven Cities and set off to answer the growing threat of the Tiste Edur. And all throughout these books we see the influence of the Crippled God and the rise to power of his House of Chains.

My review of book 7, Reaper's Gale, now follows.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Smog in Santiago

Santiago, Chile: April 30, 2013

Santiago has some of the worst air pollution of any city I've been to. Last week, I took a few pictures from my office that very vividly illustrate the problem here. The first is above, for the next few and some discussion, keep reading.