Monday, March 28, 2016

Down the Stacks #26: The Alloy of Law

It’s Brandon Sanderson time once more here on Down the Stacks.  I just can’t stay away from the man’s genius for worldbuilding and characters.  This week’s sample from the Cosmere is The Alloy of Law, first entry in Sanderson’s second series set on the world of Scadriel, home of the Mistborn trilogy that put Sanderson on the map.  Alloy is set three centuries after Mistborn, so what spoilers the book contains for the original trilogy are hidden under the veneer of legend and quasi-religious titles for Mistborn’s major players.  For the sake of those who haven’t read Mistborn yet, I’ll avoid mentioning the original trilogy as much as possible while setting the stage.
If you’re still willing, read on ahead.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Other Media Review: Zootopia

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Disney’s latest masterpiece, Zootopia.  I don’t use the term “masterpiece” lightly - Disney has struck real gold with this movie.  The art is fantastic, the message is perfect for its time, the humor is clever without being insulting, and the pacing of the plot is ideal.
I’m going to discuss big spoilers below the break, so here’s the tl:dr: if you haven’t seen Zootopia, go and see it.  It’s worth every penny.  Also, I don’t ship the fox and the rabbit.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Down the Stacks #25: The Finest Creation

There are two big challenges that face any writer of fiction.  The first challenge is coming up with an interesting concept - whether it be speculation about future technologies, a world or society built on an atypical cultural foundation, or simply a kind of creature or magic.  The second challenge is using that concept in a way that helps drive a narrative and make one’s story stand out from the crowd.  It is deeply disappointing to find a book that appears to have met the first challenge, but fails to carry through on the second.  This week’s selection for Down the Stacks is a trilogy by Jean Rabe: The Finest Trilogy, which, sadly, does not quite lie up to its lofty title.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Down the Stacks #24: Skulduggery Pleasant

This week on Down the Stacks, I’ve returned to the Young Adult section of the library to pick up an action-packed, hilarious, and fearlessly dark little fantasy series called Skulduggery Pleasant, by Derek Landy.  It’s got magic, mystery, sarcasm and dry humor, and a smattering of eldritch horror.  Come, check it out.