Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians – Brandon Sanderson

This is a fun book – it’s a middle reader, so goes by pretty fast.

The conceit is that Brandon Sanderson is the name a young man named Alcatraz is using to get his story out to those of us in the lands the Librarians are in charge of. They’re in an evil conspiracy to hide the rest of the magical world from us, you see. The action is completely preposterous, as it really should be for an adventure story for this age group. I would have enjoyed this thoroughly when I was that age.


Knitting Notes

The Swans Island Ikat Watercolors is no more – I’ve kicked the skein. This one took a while. It’s light fingering, so it just kept on going as I tried more things to use it up. I felt oddly accomplished when I completed the last hexipuff.

Soul Taken – Patricia Briggs

It really sucks getting on the bad side of any of the big bads of this world. This particular book features some particularly nasty vampire infighting, with some rather serious implications for everyone else in the area (of course).

This does seem like a bit of a placeholder story – nothing is particularly new, just variations on some things we’ve seen before. It really feels like the set up to a chess match – certain identities are revealed, powers are clarified, and things then seem to simmer back down to normal. I do hope this is setting up something epic.

Jolene – Mercedes Lackey

I enjoyed this book a lot, partially for reasons outside of the actual story. First – I love that to move the Elemental Masters series into America, the author decided to use national treasure Dolly Parton as inspiration, and that she dedicated the book to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The second is that I work with several people that live in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee (one of my company’s main campuses is in Chattanooga). I always thought it was a curiously named town, and it turns out, it was once two different towns, and Soddy was a Company town. You learn something every day.

Story-wise, I enjoyed this. Anna lives with her parents in Soddy – she’s always been sickly. Knowing what this series is about, I immediately figured she must be pretty strong in Earth-based powers, and having the mine nearby was poisoning her. Her mother has an older sister that’s been trying to get Anna to come to live with her for years, and when Anna’s father’s health starts to precipitously decline, he finally agrees to send her away. (There was no love lost between her father and Aunt Jinny.)

Jinny is a witchy-woman who’s living in a holler outside another mine town, but far enough away from the effects of the mine. She quickly realizes the extent of Anna’s power, and starts to train her. There are also neighbors about, including a local farm with an interesting eldest son, and the mysterious Jolene, who appears where she wills, and may or may not be Anna’s friend.

I really liked who Jolene actually is, and how that worked into the story. This is a quiet book – the action feels a little formulaic to bring about the set up that you’d expect, since this is based on a rather famous song. But I really appreciate the setting, and I think it fits well into this larger series.

Knitting Notes

In case it’s not obvious from previous posts, I’m very much in a “it’s a new year and I need to finish up everything outstanding and use up all the yarn” mood. The above is everything from February I did that used up yarn, but didn’t make a completed project. Long term blanket projects for the win!

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Anthology by Tincanknits
Yarn: Sundara High Twist Fingering in the Gilded Midnight colorway
Needles: Size 2.5 and 5 DPNs

I had enough of the yellow mini in this yarn set left that I knew I should be able to pull off a baby hat, and figured if I could find some colorwork, that would be enough to use up the blue as well, which I had mostly used up in the socks I’d bought the set for.   I stumbled onto this pattern (really more of a recipe) in an Instagram post, and I’m really glad I did.    I’ll definitely be keeping this around – it was a super easy way to use up yarn.

Thistlefoot – GennaRose Nethercott

Isaac and Bellatine Yaga haven’t seen each other in years, after Isaac left the family to go off on his own.     They’re called together when they receive an inheritance – one they have to go pick up at a warehouse.   It’s a house with chicken legs, and if you’ve noticed the last name, you know that these two are decedents of Baba Yaga, and her house has come to them.

This was a hard book for me to get into – it jumps back and forth in time quite a bit.     What it ultimately becomes is a story of deep trauma, and how that trauma lasts through generations.     At the end, when that is finally explored, I thought the book was at its best.

Knitting Notes

Project: Paper Crown Hat by Amy van de Laar
Yarn: Swans Island Ikat Collection Watercolors in the Indigo/Teal colorway
Needles: Size 2 DPNs

This is a cute little pattern – very easy to do.   I will definitely keep this one around for stash busting.

The Wizard’s Butler – Nathan Lowell

This is a nice, cozy book about a young man who gets hired to be the butler for a man who turns out to be a wizard.

There are two interweaving subplots about a cursed amulet, and a scheming niece who’s trying to get the wizard sent to a retirement home so she can turn his estate into condos, but at its core, the story is really about Mulligan finding something new for his life when he’d been struggling to find a place to fit into. I finished this in two nights – it was a delightful interlude against heavier reading.

Holy Sister – Mark Lawrence

I try not to read too much about books ahead of time, because I really hate being swayed by other people’s opinions. I accidently found out that this is many people’s least favorite book in this trilogy, so I was definitely a little nervous going into it. I can definitely see where people would have issues – this story jumps around in time in a way the prior two books did not, and that makes it tonally very different. That said, I did enjoy it.

We always knew the end of the series – the first book begins with the convent under attack, and two of the girls we shortly meet as novices are defending it as full nuns. So the question has always been, how did they get there? And I’m very happy with how that happens – Nona and her friends grow into some amazing, kick ass women.