(Review) Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

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Novik, Naomi. Uprooted. , 2015. Print. ISBN-13: 978-0804179034.
Formats available: hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. Paperback $10.84. Kindle $9.99.

Synopsis: (Taken from Amazon.com)
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

My Thoughts:
I was recommended to this book in a way, because Karen Marie Moning (one of my favorite authors) shared it on her Facebook, raving about how good it was. Then, when I saw it was a fairy-tale retelling, I knew I had to read it. Its quite a bit different than most fairy-tale retellings in that it is more Fantasy than Romance. This books is beautiful in its characterization and especially in its world building. This is heavily detailed, deep world building with that epic High Fantasy feel. This is absolutely a fully realized world, complete with its own set of rules and history. I was drawn in, at once. The strongest aspect is by far the world building, which is unique, but related to those familiar to us. You get a definite Into the Woods kind of feel here.

The next strength is in the believability of the characters, especially the female characters. None of the characters in this book are fake, or 1 sided. Rather they are drawn with complex, often conflicting thoughts and actions. None of them is “perfect” or idealized, and feel more like real people, who sometimes (or even often) have less than perfect, heroic, or selfless thoughts. I especially enjoyed seeing the envy that occurred between the girl who was supposed to be taken by the Dragon, and her best friend, who never thought she’d be taken. Their thoughts and feelings about their situations were very human and true. This is not a quick read, because it is heavy in its descriptions, and I would not call it fast paced. But it is beautiful and encompassing, the kind of book you lose yourself in.


Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it? 


Extras:


About the Author:
Learn more about Naomi Novik and her books on her website.


Citation & Credits
Book cover image: Courtesy of Amazon.com
Kelsey Bogan. 2015. All rights reserved.

(Review) The Collector’s Society by Heather Lyons

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Lyons, Heather. The Collectors’ Society. S.l.: Cerulean Books, 2014. Print. ISBN-13: 9780990843610.
Formats available: paperback, ebook. Paperback $15.00. Kindle #3.99.

Author: Heather Lyons
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Classic Literature-integration
Rating: 4.5 for its sheer coolness of concept!
Why’d I read it?: A fantasy story that incorporates reimagined characters from classic literature and puts them into a world in which they interact with each other? Um….. of course I had to read it!


Synopsis:

After years in Wonderland, Alice has returned to England as an adult, desperate to reclaim sanity and control over her life. An enigmatic gentleman with an intriguing job offer too tempting to resist changes her plans for a calm existence, though. Soon, she’s whisked to New York and initiated into the Collectors’ Society, a secret organization whose members confirm that famous stories are anything but straightforward and that what she knows about the world is only a fraction of the truth.

It’s there she discovers villains are afoot–ones who want to shelve the lives of countless beings. Assigned to work with the mysterious and alluring Finn, Alice and the rest of the Collectors’ Society race against a doomsday clock in order to prevent further destruction . . . but will they make it before all their endings are erased?

*This is the first book in the adult fairy tale/romance Collectors’ Society series


My Thoughts:

This book is soo cool. Is it the best book I’ve ever read? No. Is it the best romance? Nope. Best characters? No siree. BUT the whole premise is just so flipping cool! Basically the idea is that when an author writes a book, he/she actually creates an alternate dimension in which hat world and those characters actually exist. This alternate dimension is not known to us regular people on earth. We just think it’s a fun story to read. But the characters themselves do live out their lives in these dimensions, and they have no diea that they were created by an author. Each alternate dimension has one item which represents their story, and if that item is ever destroyed, the dimension ceases to exist, and that story and those characters cease to live their lives.

The collectors society is made up of people who are aware of these demsnsions, and who fight to locate and protect these talismens from the villains who hunt to destroy them. This first entry into the series follows Alice, who has returned form wonderland for the second time and is spending her days in an insane asylum. She is visited there by a member of the society who explains to her that she is a character in a book (she is shocked by this accusation), explains the collectors society to her, and asks her if shed like to work with them. He tells her that Wonderland is in danger of being destroyed and since she still has friends and loved ones there she agrees to join the society.

As we go through the book (we do eventually return with her to Wonderland!), we get to meet all kinds of characters who have left their dimensions to join the society. I don’t want to give too much away but the love interest is Huckleberry Finn (he’s grown up now), and we also have Dr. Frankenstein (the nephew to the original), and Wendy (who isn’t really wendy but who is waiting for Peter Pan anyway). We also meet a bunch of other characters who are fighting to save their dimensions. Its just such an awesome premise, and getting to see these classic characters reimagined and taken out of their “stories” to be placed into this “story” is just such a cool concept. Anyone who is a fan of classic literature, books in general, and fantasy really might like this. It is an adult book however and includes actual sex scenes. Despite including a romance, however, this is much more the story of Alice and how she adapts to her new job, everyone around her, the idea that she is a book character, and her loss of her life in Wonderland.


Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it?

The next book in the series is