Sensate Saturday: Fantasy is the Highest Form of Fiction

Hey all I’m back this week for Sensate Saturday with a quick essay on my feelings about Fantasy. Fantasy is the Highest Form of Fiction, in my opinion!

What do you mean highest form?: I mean that if Fantasy is done correctly it’s the best genre in all of fiction. It serves the purpose of literature to allow readers to experience things they otherwise couldn’t, and while many contemporary fiction books cover rare or hard to experience situations and events, they aren’t out of the reach of people, just costly or impractical, or illegal.

Why?: Well if Fantasy is done correctly than no other genre of fiction can really take you to completely alien worlds and cultures. I’ll point to any of Brandon Sanderson’s many Cosmere works as shining examples of what I’m talking about, and they are also my personal gold standard for judging any and all books. The Cosmere novels completely take you away to worlds that just don’t exist, and yet they make sense to us and we can easily relate to the characters. Not many authors can achieve the mastery of the genre as well as Sanderson, and the masterful way he comes up with complete worlds, with customs, cultures, religions, magic and many other things is truly spectacular. That isn’t even including his incredible pace for writing either.

Why isn’t (Insert other Genre here) as good as Fantasy?: Because if done correctly it’s still a world that is Earth, or a culture we can relate to because of it being distinctly “Terran”. That isn’t to say there aren’t masterworks in other genres, I’m not arrogant enough to believe that and I personally love many other books that just aren’t in the Fantasy genre. The Harry Bosch series is one of my favorite series of all time and yet it’s completely grounded in American culture. Connelly pulls off amazing mysteries, but they just aren’t as unique or otherworldly as stuff Brandon Sanderson writes.

This is all of course my opinion as is everything else I write and personally I’d love to read other’s thoughts on the matter. Do you agree or disagree with my claim that Fantasy is the Highest Form of Fiction? Leave your comments down below.

Bookish Wednesday: Books to Watch for in 2017

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This week for Bookish Wednesday I’ve got a list of books to look forward to. It’s Books to Watch for in 2017!

Etched in Bone, The Others series, by Anne Bishop: This is the latest book in an awesome Urban Fantasy series, if you haven’t been reading it yet you need to. It’ll release on March 7th, 2017. Possibly the final book in the series, we’ll see.

Silence Fallen, the Mercy Thompson series, by Patricia Briggs: This is the 10th entry in another amazing Urban Fantasy series. I’m looking forward to it, as Mercy has always been a favorite heroine of mine.

Oathbringer, Stormlight Archives, by Brandon Sanderson: Another in the Cosmere Mega-series, this is releasing sometime this year in the fall.

Cold Reign, Jane Yellowrock series, by Faith Hunter: This will be the 11th in this Urban Fantasy series, another female heroine I enjoy quite a bit.

Honorable Mentions:

Peace Talks, Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher: It’ll be the 16th book in the series, hopefully it’ll be out this year, but I said that last year too.

Doors of Stone, Kingkiller Chronicle, by Patrick Rothfuss: I really hope this releases this year, but again I said that last year. Maybe it’ll come true, at least I’ll have something else to look forward to, in this year that has been anything but hopeful thus far.

Winds of Winter, A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones), by George R. R. Martin: Supposedly it’ll release this year, I’ll believe it when I see though.

That’s it for this week’s Bookish Wednesday, are there any books I missed that you feel I should’ve included? Leave a comment with their names below!

 

 

Bookish Wednesday: Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

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This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the second entry in the Mistborn Adventure Series. It’s Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson!

Plot Synopsis: The trilogy’s heroes are now figures of myth and legend, even objects of religious veneration. They are succeeded by wonderful new characters, chief among them Waxillium Ladrian, known as Wax, hereditary Lord of House Ladrian but also, until recently, a lawman in the ungoverned frontier region known as the Roughs. There he worked with his eccentric but effective buddy, Wayne. They are “twinborn,” meaning they are able to use both Allomantic and Feruchemical magic.

Shadows of Self shows Mistborn’s society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.

This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism.

Plot: The plot is excellent, and I appreciate the fact that the Mistborn Adventure series isn’t as depressing as the original trilogy. I love the original trilogy, but it’s hard to go back and enjoy it because it’s so depressing. This book is great though, and I love how it expands on the world we were reintroduced to in Alloy of Law. Scadriel is now entering the late stages of the industrial revolution and it’s great to see how that affects a world where people use to be able fly through the sky by using magic to “push” against pieces of metal. It also has plenty of action and I love it. I’m also incredibly happy that I don’t have to wait more than a few months to get to read the sequel to this!

Characters: We get introduced to a few new faces, and we even get to see some old faces from the original trilogy sort of. I won’t spoil who pops back up, but I’ll just say that they still aren’t as good as Wayne when it comes to making me laugh out loud. Wayne is probably my favorite character in this series so far, although Sterris isn’t far behind. Wow I never thought I’d say that, as Sterris was a bore in the first book.

Overall: An excellent sequel and entry in the Cosmere mega series. Keep an eye out for everyone’s favorite world-hopping wanderer!

 

Video Game Tuesdays: Expectations

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“Expectation. That is the true soul of art. If you can give a man more than he expects, then he will laud you his entire life. If you can create an air of anticipation and feed it properly, you will succeed.” Hoid, from Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson.

That’s the topic for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

Why Expectation?: Because all of us, myself included are prone to expecting more than we get sometimes. If we expect a person, or company in terms of Video Games, to constantly produce masterpieces we’ll be upset and angry way too much. That isn’t to say we can’t hold people accountable for poor work, but expecting perfection from everyone all the time is unreasonable.

What does this have to with Video Games?: Because we all get disappointed when we start playing a game and realize it doesn’t meet with our expectations. We realize that we imagined something better than we get, and in the end are always holding this misconception against the developer. I try to avoid doing this for more than a few seconds, as it’s a futile and pointless venture.

Give me an example!: Well anytime a company advertises it’s wares it’s playing upon your expectation and feeding it to make you interested in buying their product. Bungie for example did this perfectly leading up to Destiny’s launch. Granted that they screwed up terribly with actually delivering on even 10% of that expectation to us as gamers, but they did an amazing job playing on our expectations to get us interested in Destiny.

So what?: Give people a break, nobody is perfect. That being said if something is vastly different than was expected like Destiny than you have every right to be angry at the people, as they did cheat you out of your money.

A man will find a single coin in the mud and talk about it for days, but when his inheritance comes and is accounted one percent less than he expected, then he will declare himself cheated.” Hoid, from Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

 

Book Series Wednesday: Legion Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson

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This week for Book Series Wednesday I’m back with the sequel to Legion. It’s Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson!

Plot Synopsis: Stephen Leeds, AKA “Legion,” is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills.

Plot: The novella is a bit longer this time, which I love because I love all of Sanderson’s works. Stephen is still searching for his benefactor and only other person who knew what was going on in his head, and while that plot thread doesn’t get resolved I’m looking forward to the third book for it to be tied up. As for this story it’s great, quite a bit like the first one it’s very fast in terms of pacing. However considering it’s a novella by Brandon, I’m not too surprised at that.

Characters: I like the new aspects we get to meet in this book and while I still would love to learn about each and every single one of them, it would have made the book much longer and taken more of Brandon’s time from the Stormlight Archive and Alloy of Law’s sequel.

Audiobook: Definitely a great Audiobook, and since this is one of Brandon’s shorter works it’s perfect for those who haven’t read any of his books yet. This is availiable via Audible.com. Here’s a clip from the Audible version.

Overall: Worth a read or listen to as it’s another one of Brandon Sanderson’s amazing works.

For those who like: Great Plots, Excellent Characters, Fast Paced Books, Urban Fantasy, and Brandon Sanderson.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but how can you hate that?

Book Series Wednesday: Legion by Brandon Sanderson

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This week on Book Series Wednesday I’m covering a story I really liked.  I generally don’t like shorter stories, as they don’t feel complete to me most of the time. That being said it’s different when it’s Brandon Sanderson writing them. It’s Legion!

Plot Synopsis: Legion tells the story of Stephen Leeds, better known as ‘Legion’, a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate multitude of personae. He is a brilliant problem solver, rich and quite good at what he does, helped by his hallucinations. However, he would rather be left alone, and that means no researchers or psychologists who want to get to the bottom of his abilities.

Plot: The story is quite short, being only about 5 hours long in Audiobook format, but I didn’t mind that at all, as I always enjoy Brandon Sanderson’s work. Legion is a well done story that still feels complete despite being a very short read or listen. I won’t go too much into the plot as it’s so short and I couldn’t avoid any spoilers.

Characters: Stephen is quite a character and his Aspects are quite interesting to read. I really do like all of them as it’s quite fun to read about someone with a clear mental disorder having an adventure, even if that person doesn’t really want to have one.

Overall: Another win for Brandon Sanderson in my books, this is well worth the read or listen.

For those who like: Urban Fantasy, Great Casts of Characters, Great Plot, Shorter Stories, Brandon Sanderson.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Book Series Wednesday: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

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This week on Book Series Wednesday I’m covering another of Brandon Sanderson’s amazing series. It’s not a Cosmere series, but it’s still just as good as the rest of his works.

Plot Synopsis: The United States, and other parts of the world, was changed when a burst in the sky known as Calamity gave normal people powers. These people came to be known as Epics. The story is told through the perspective of David, an orphaned teenager living in Newcago (formerly known as Chicago). Newcago is ruled by the extremely powerful Epic named Steelheart, who has created a society run by other powerful Epics, with normal people living with normal jobs. Steelheart is apparently invulnerable, is able to fly, can hurl blasts of energy, and can turn inanimate matter to steel; he has turned all of Chicago to steel for kilometers around and into the ground. Compared to other places in what was the United States, Newcago is well run, with normal people generally having access to food, water, electricity, jobs, etc.

Plot: First off while this is marketed as a Young Adult novel, I don’t think it detracts at all from the book. If anything it just means I can give this book to a cousin of mine in a couple of years instead of six or seven years. The plot is quite good and while there are obvious plot threads left dangling by the end, it’s because Brandon plans on making the series a trilogy. In fact the second book just released last week. I’ll review that once I can get my hands on the book. I won’t spoil anything plot wise, but Brandon’s excellent crafting of Magic Systems is quite apparent in this book.

Characters: I love all of the varied cast of characters, particularly Megan who is from Portland, Oregon. Cody comes a very close second, Megan beats him only because she’s from my home state of Oregon. David isn’t a particularly bad main character, and in fact I find him a lot more enjoyable than I did most other Young Adult leads, like Katniss (I’m sorry you Hunger Games fans she’s just not as amazing as you think.)

Overall: If you love Brandon Sanderson, or just want to read a great Urban Fantasy book you must read this one.

For those who like: Brandon Sanderson, Urban Fantasy, Superheroes, Great Casts of Characters, Amazing Plots.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.