Recommended Reads: Mistborn

I came across Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn a year or two ago when an accquaintance literally threw it at me. My friend had been reading the chapters of my novel that I e-mailed him, and he threw Mistborn into my lap, saying my character reminded him of the one in this book. It sat on my shelf for a time until I randomly picked it up and read the first page.

I can’t remember how long it took me to put it down, but only the necessity of eating stopped me from continuing.

This book has amazing twists in it, the kind that make you jump up and down and shout (as if the author could hear you) “How could you do this?!” and yet still be in love. One of the best parts of this book is that it is followed by two others.

The back of the book tells you a hero tried to save the world, but failed and allowed the world to become “a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler.” The horrid, depressing world is described so wonderfully, I look out my window and am surprised to find it is not raining ash.

Inside that world are incredible characters, from the brave street urchin Vin (the novel’s protagonist), to the charming and powerful Kelsier, and the mysterious Lord Ruler himself. These people really drive the story, and there is no way to quit reading before the last page.

The system of magic Sanderson sets up is completely new, and the way it influences the political atmosphere of the Final Empire is incredible. I’m so happy I own a copy, because I can’t wait to start reading it again. The story is strong enough for the first book to stand alone, but you will not want to ignore the others of the trilogy (The Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages).

Mistborn will blow your mind no matter how many times you read it, and you will not be able to resist turning the pages.

Recommended Reads: Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel

Here is a book I happened upon, read a few pages, then bought and thoroughly enjoyed. This is the first steampunk novel I’ve ever read, so I’m not sure how it compares in its field, but it has been nominated for Steamcon’s 2011 Airship Awards, according to the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences webpage.

This has easily become one of my favorite books, and as soon as I’d finished it, I wanted to start all over again.

Agent Eliza D. Braun is lovely, witty, and prefers dynamite to reinforcements as she works as a field agent for Her Majesty’s Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. Once being assigned to assist Archivist Agent Wellington Thornhill Books in the Ministry’s vast archives, she finds herself itching to return to the field.

Wellington, on the other hand, is a reserved gentleman who previously organized all the cold case files in the archives single handedly. When Eliza’s curiosity and restlessness prompts her to investigate an unresolved case that belonged to her former partner, Wellington finds himself joining her dangerous investigation–without the rest of the Ministry knowing.

I fell in love with each of the characters, and I can’t wait for the next book and the next mystery. The story pulled me along and I could not stop turning the pages. (I even brought it to work with me to read on break.) Aside from telling a spectacular story, this book made me think of some areas of my own writing that could use some refining.

I would definitly say go to your local bookstore or library and pick up a copy. If you read it, I’d love to know what you think!