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February 12, 2012

[Note: I originally posted on, then at my personal site,; posts have migrated over time to here]

Finished off some books:

  • Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  • Shockwave by John Sandford
  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King (audio book)

Mistborn: The Final Empire

Brandon Sanderson created an interesting melu with his Final Empire setting and the magic of Allomancy. Storyline moves somewhat sporadically, but does move forward nicely. This first of what is called a trilogy does have an ending that could have been left alone, though it would have left a lot of back-story incomplete. I’ve not read the second and third, so can’t comment on how it moves the back-stories forward or if it has a conclusion that nicely wraps up the storyline. While I will eventually finish off the other two (I do have them in hand), I wasn’t so captivated that I continued directly into the next book, but decided to take a break and read something else. If you do enjoy fantasy, they are nicely done and worth adding to your reading list.


What can I say, I’m a Sandford fan, enjoy the Virgil Flowers stories (of which this is one) as well as the Prey novels centered around Davenport and the Kidd novels as well. If you aren’t a reader of John Sandford, his is of the police detective theme, and he does them well. Somewhat less action-packed than the Prey novels — though all Sandford books tend to be more about the process and not the climax — it moves along nicely, some routine twists and turns to keep it interesting, and a nicely done conclusion. Another satisfying read from Sandford, and that’s all I ask for.


Normally I buy Stephen King novels in hardback to add to my collection, and pick up the short story collection in audio books for my long work commute, but the word I heard was this was an alternate history story and I tend not to get into alternate history stories, so got the audio version. But this wasn’t the standard “What if _The South Won the War_, _Germany, Not the US, Invented The A-Bomb_, _What if Kennedy Wasn’t Assassinated_ (which I thought this one was), followed by the author’s view of the differences that would have transpired. Even though I don’t really care for these books, come’on, it’s Stephen King!

As a quick aside, I noticed in moving all of my old posts to this web location that I had been less than effluent in my praise of his work. I think I’ve read (and I consider audio books as “read”) almost everything he has written. When I knock Stephen King stories, it’s a relative thing compared to other Stephen King books. They can’t all be the best book he has written, they can’t all be in the top ten books he has written, but you wouldn’t really want to miss the experience of a single one.

In any case, this wasn’t a standard alternate history story, though it has significant elements of alternate history involved. It’s 50% alternate history, 50% a love story, 50% morality play, 50% thriller — yes, the sum of its parts make it more than the individual pieces. 🙂 As always, nobody handles character development better than King and you grow to feel for the people, even the bit players. It’s worth a read.

And speaking of being “worth a read,” as mentioned I did this one via the audio book format. I will say, of all of the audio books I have listened to (and it’s a fair amount now), by far the best narrator I’ve heard is Craig Wasson. He also did some of the stories in King’s Full Dark, No Stars and I immediately recognized him when this one started. For the most part, I prefer reading to listening but Wasson’s narration adds much to the book, and I thoroughly enjoy his work. To the point, I’ve actually began looking at his work in narration as a possible criteria in trying some writers I might not have tried in the past. If you decide to give audio books a try, so far in my listening he’s the standard to measure against.

So, that’s the latest in my reading, no disappointments in the three. My current selections are in the left panel of this web page, though it’s what I’m reading at the time you read this post, not necessarily while I’m writing it.

From → Books

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