Review: Librarian by Brian Fence

Rating: ★★★★★
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 432
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: May 16, 2013

Summary:  Lenna is a librarian. She’s not a mage, an adventurer, or a fighter. She enjoys life between the stacks in her quaint harbor hometown of Port Hollish. But when an old childhood friend comes back under false pretenses, she becomes all these things and more, shedding the life of a librarian. She finds herself in the midst of what she feels is a novel, caught up in the power of one of three Godstones, powerful magic gems that could have devastating consequences should they find the wrong owners.

Review: This is Brian Fence’s debut novel and it was brilliant. I can’t imagine a more skillfully-crafted, original debut for what seems will be a promising series and a promising author. I went blindly into this book after entering its Goodreads giveaway for signed copies (which I did not win). To be honest, the cover caught my attention more than anything (can you blame me?). I bought it for Kindle for $4 and having read it, I would have paid at least double.

I really loved this book. It was fun, imaginative, well-written, and inspired. From the beginning through the end, everything worked for me and the end made me wonder when the sequel will come out. I would like to signal boost this book and encourage any lovers of fantasy, steam punk, or a good adventure novel to read this. It has a disappointing amount of reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and it really deserves more attention.

Lenna, the main character, was likeable. She was honest with herself and the reader, flawed and complex with real motivation that kept her actions consistent through the story. Lenna is my ideal heroine: sometime to admire who isn’t god-like and perfect. The other characters were equally well-crafted and diverse. Some of them were introduced too close to the end for my liking. I would have preferred to read more about them, but it gives me something to look forward to in the sequels!

The writing was absolutely superb. Everything was beautifully described, free of hackneyed cliches, and it had a real rhythm to it. One scene blending neatly into the next without any confusing transitions or lapses in focus. There were some issues with the pacing of the story in my opinion. At over 400 pages, the middle portion was a bit lacking in action and the end was a tad rushed but overall, it didn’t adversely affect my pleasure.

I look forward to Apprentice, Librarian‘s planned sequel and I look forward to anything else Fence writes. I am a faithful fan to a very undiscovered read and I highly recommend buying a copy of Librarian and enjoying the ride for yourself.

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A-Z Bookish Survey

I figure since I’m fairly new on the bookish blogging landscape, I thought I could do a survey. I love surveys and it would be fun to do, plus I’d love to see other bloggers do this so copy pasta away.

Author you’ve read the most books from:
Probably Chuck Palahniuk. When I was in high school, I was in love with his writing and I read everything I could get my hands on. I was also really into Panic! at the Disco so when I found out he was an inspiration for some of their songs, I had to read his stuff.

Best Sequel Ever:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Besides the first book, it’s my favorite of the series and I love it.

Currently Reading:
“Librarian” by Brian Fence. It’s wonderful.

Drink of Choice While Reading:
Coffee, coffee, coffee. Hence the title of this blog. I’m also a big fan of tea (hot and iced). My boyfriend works at a local fair trade, organic coffee roaster so I get free coffee and tea and it is wonderful.

E-reader or Physical Book?
Both, I have preferences for some books. Longer books I enjoy more in physical form but I can’t explain why.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
Ronald Weasley. I’m pretty much dating him now.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
“Slide” by Jill Hathaway, shot in the dark and I loved it.

Hidden Gem Book:
“A Gracious Plenty” by Sheri Reynolds. It’s an unassuming, yet magical book.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:
My parents, brother, and I used to read Harry Potter when they first came out. We read aloud in the living room and went in a circle. It was marvelous and made me really love reading.

Just Finished:
“The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
I’m not really into mysteries but I also feel like I haven’t read any good ones. Also, historical fiction. I’ve never been a history fan, but again maybe I just haven’t read any good ones.

Longest Book You’ve Read:
“Storm of Swords” by GRR Martin at 1200+ pages but I also read the Brothers Karamozov on my Kindle and it didn’t have page numbers but it certainly felt as long.

Major book hangover because of:
“Insurgent” definitely gave me a bit of a book hangover. I didn’t read anything for a while after that.

Number of Bookcases You Own:
Well, I’m in the process of moving so it’s hard to say. I still have a very large one at my parent’s house filled with my high school books. I have a big box packed right now that used to be on a bookshelf in my current apartment, and then I have an old printer cabinet filled with all my favorites. But my Kindle is my main source of books since college.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
“Animal Farm” by George Orwell. I’ve read it so many times because the first time I read it, I was about 8 or 9.

Preferred Place To Read:
Outside if I can but I end up reading the most on the bus.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:
“Not all who wander are lost.” -JRR Tolkien

Reading Regret:
Not being able to spend enough time reading.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):
The Lord of the Rings (haven’t read 2 or 3)

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:
Cloud Atlas, The Charmed Sphere, Harry Potter (all of them)

Unapologetic Fangirl For:
Fantasy and sci-fi

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
The rest of A Song of Ice and Fire

Worst Bookish Habit:
Buying books faster than I can read them.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
As I mentioned, most of my books are in a big giant box so I’m going to do this with my Kindle and pick the 27th book: Les Mis! I haven’t read it yet, hence why it’s so far back in my Kindle.

Your latest book purchase:
“Born in Flames”  by Candace Knoebel

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
Between work and school, I haven’t had time to stay up late. I think Cloud Atlas probably. It was so long, it kept me up many nights.

Weekend Brew: Placing Literature

placing literature

Check out this cool, new literary tool that was launched last month: Placing Literature is a map where you can plot and find real-world settings in literature. It’s already grown enormously thanks to user submissions. Find out if there are any books with locations near you or plot your favorite locations yourself if they’re not already listed. This could also be a great resource for self-published authors trying to promote their books. Add the locations you use in your book and let readers find you.

placing literature 2If you go on vacation, use the map to plot a literary journey and check in to places along the way. You can experience the real world like your favorite characters and experience first-hand the settings and places they go. Next time I need a vacation, I plan on using Placing Literature to plot out a road trip of literary adventure and hit all my favorite books’ settings.

Find Placing Literature on Facebook and WordPress.

Friday Reads (& First Post!)

Happy Friday, Readers! Welcome to my brand-new blog and the first edition of Friday Reads. Starting a reading blog on a Friday sure makes coming up with a first post easier.

I look forward to going home from the office later today and curling up with a good book, some peace and quiet, and the knowledge that the weekend has begun. Here’s what I’m reading now and hope to read in the future.

Currently Reading: “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach

So much of one’s life was spent reading; it made sense not to do it alone.

Goodreads | Amazon

Before I bought this book, I had heard quite a lot about it. I contemplated the meaning of the title for quite some time sans research, missing the perhaps-obvious clue of the typography. It wasn’t until I began reading that I realized it was about baseball, and if I had known that, I probably would have picked it up a lot sooner.

The fact is, I love literature and I love baseball so for me, this is a sublime combination. I remember reading the Baseball Card Adventures series by Dan Gutman in elementary school, but I wasn’t into baseball then and haven’t picked up a baseball-related book since. Since my team has been in a long-running rut this season, this is the perfect book to get my baseball kicks.

I’m about a fifth of the way through (it’s a dense 500+ page-turner) and I love it. Something about the way Harbach writes baseball action makes it so visual and real. Trust me when I say, you don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy it. It’s also about love, literature, friendship, and escaping parental expectations in college.

To Read: The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

Between A Song of Ice and Fire, Divergent, and the MaddAddam trilogy, I really don’t need to be picking up another hefty (incomplete) fantasy series. However, I recently (as in yesterday) discovered, they’re making movies. The book reviews have been mixed at best, but something about a literary-film conversion makes me feel like I just need to read the book. While it’s unlikely I’ll get to it before the release, it’s getting added to my to-read pile. Due to the inconsistancy of reviews, give me your feedback. Is the series worth a read?

That’s my first post, folks. I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what make up your Friday Reads.