T5W (26 April): Authors You Want To Read More From

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes and was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Here’s the Goodread’s group!

 

I finally decided to do a Top 5 Wednesday!! This is a great prompt for me, because I tend to read a book from one author, like it a lot, think a lot about reading more books by that author and then I always end up delaying it to read other books by other authors I didn’t yet had the opportunity to read… And with this, lets start!

 

  • Brandon Sanderson

Last summer I had the awesome idea and opportunity to buy the boxed set of the Mistborn trilogy. So I marathoned the 3 books and IT WAS THE BEST READING EXPERIENCE I’VE EVER HAD. Since then I’ve been wanting to read more by Brandon Sanderson, particularly The Stormlight Archive series… And it still did not happen. I have high hopes for this summer, tho.

 

  • Patrick Rothfuss

Well, this is a special case. The last book I read in 2016 was The Name of the Wind and I loved it (ofc), but… Well, no one ready knows when the 3rd book will come out so I’ve been delaying reading The Wise Man’s Fear. But I really don’t think I can wait much longer. On the other hand my plan B for this situation is to read the 2nd book and then re-read the 2 books when I start to really miss the 3rd one 😂

 

  • Michael Crichton

I’ve read the portuguese editions of Timeline and Pirate Latitudes and I really liked the first one more than the other (but on the other hand… pirates). I don’ know how I still haven’t read Jurassic Park!!

 

  • Victoria Schwab

Have you ever deep down know that you just gonna love some books? Well, this happened to me with Brandon Sanderson and more recently with Victoria Schwab! In March I read A Darker Shade of Magic (in english but this is now published in portuguese!!) and I loved the magical writing style and how magical the story was. I’m pretty sure I can just buy the rest of the Shades of Magic series as well as The Archived and the Monsters of Verity duology!

 

  • John Scalzi

I’ve only read Old Man’s War by him, but I truly think I’ll really like his other books. The fun and light way he writes “”space sci-fi”” is something I need more in my life!

 

And what are the authors you need to read more from? I’d love to know! 😊

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1), V. E. Schwab

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Name: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1)

Author: V. E. Schwab

Format: ebook

ISBN: 1466851376

ISBN13: 9781466851375

Genre: Fantasy > Magic, YA

Sinopse from Goodreads:

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands. There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London… but no one speaks of that now. Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.

Little side note: Well well well… Do you ever get that gut feeling when you hear about a book/trilogy/series/author and you just know that you’re going to love it so you better just buy all the books? Well, that first happened to me with the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. I had that gut feeling telling me I was going to love it, so I bought the boxed set and I LOVED IT. I have the same feeling with… well, all Victoria Schwab’s books, but I ended up only buying A Darker Shade of Magic on ebook right before A Conjuring of Light came out because it was really cheap. Won’t make that mistake twice! I am now ready to buy ALL HER BOOKS. And with this, lets move on to the review!

Review:

The only thing I knew about this book was that its setting involved 4 different Londons from parallel universes: Black London, White London, Red London and Grey London, and that it also involved magic. Some Londons had more of it than others, some were more ruthless than others and one of them was no more. Parallel worlds? Better: parallel Londons? SIGN ME IN. And I have to tell you, I loved this concept from the begining… Just the idea of it! And I also have to tell you, it was wonderfully accomplished. It was so complex, full of mystery and intriguing. We have these worlds, each of them so unique that it wasn’t hard to keep up about which London our characters were in. I could easily keep reading about the world building. The way of traveling between them was also something I loved, aswell as the different languages spoken in each world and how the magic system worked. Here I am, still aching to know more about it, to keep being submerged in these alternative Londons.

About the characters… I don’t really want to tell much about them, let this adventure guide you to them and find it for yourself, I really think you’ll have a better reading experience this way (*fingers crossed* I truly hope you do). I loved the dinamics between the main ones, how the friendship between Kell and Lila evolved, although I’d like to see more of Kell and Rhy’s (Kell’s adoptive brother) friendship, and I also liked how we were able to see some situations from the point of view of some minor ones (very few, though), because I liked knowing that there were also  important things happening somewhere the main characters were not. How the characters from the different Londons perceived magic and how they thought it should be “handled” was also very interesting. Although I would like to get to know more about the characters, I’m fairly sure the next books will give me that.

I liked how the plot flowed and unfolded, the way we got to the situation that started this dangerous adventure to save the worlds (oh, the smuggling), the problems that the characters found along the way and how their perspectives were challenged by each other. But… I hoped there was a bit more to the ending, because I felt that, did I not know it was a trilogy, I would think it could very possible be a standalone.

I can not finish this without saying how Schwab’s writing is so, SO amazing! There where times when not much was happening but it was very hard for me to stop reading because the writing style was so compelling and I was appreciating the wording and how well it all fitted together. English is not my first language (I’m portuguese), but most times, while I was reading, I felt like it was (even though I didn’t know some words, but that’s what dictionaries are made for!), it played so smoothly and beautifully in my head.

(Rating) 4,25 stars. Why? BECAUSE I NEEDED MORE PAGES 😭 I really loved it, but I also really need a bit more of this world(s) and this story. I 100% recommend this to anyone who likes fantasy (especially magic), parallel universes, very special characters and a magical writing.

I’m really happy this is going to be translated to portuguese so I can push it on all my friends and recommend it to everyone!

(The Late Late) Wrap-Up: February (2017)

 

Hi! Here it is The Late Late February Wrap-Up! February ended up being a surprising good reading month! I finish reading the book I started in January and read 3 more books. (I hope the rest of the year will be like this 😂)

 

DSCN3279I started Nevernight by Jay Kristoff in January but I didn’t have time to finish it. Although I found the plot quite interesting there were things I disliked about it, specially the fact that it is a problematic book. You can read my (short) review here, where I link up a very important post that talks about its problems. But, once again I have to say it: this cover is stuning!! (2 out of 5 stars)

 

 

 

DSCN3469I’m an anthropology student at college and I’ve been recomended to read Raça e História (the original is in french but it translates to english directly as Race and History) by Claude Lévi-Strauss, by a last semester professor, so I finally picked it up! It’s a really short book (about 100 pages with big font) and although I was expecting something a little more mind-blowing, I liked it. (3 out of 5 stars)

 

 

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I have had The Gunslinger by Stephen King on my shelves for about 2 or 3 years, but 2017 will be the year I will read it, aswell as the second book in the Dark Tower series. Buuut…… It’s a strange fantasy book. It’s a western fantasy and although I haven’t yet watched Westworld I know it’s amazing and mind-blowing and because of it I was really into reading a western fantasy by Stephen King! I kind of DNFed it at page 60, but I’m going back to it during March and, hopefully, finish reading and liking it.

 

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To All The Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han was the cute, light and fun read I was looking for after putting The Gunslinger aside! Sometimes it was painfully funny (in the sense that it was indeed funny but I would die if something like that happened to me) and sometimes I didn’t agree with her (lack) of reactions, but overall I liked it and I really want to read the next books!! (3,5 out of 5 stars)

 

 

DSCN3451I read amazing reviews about The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin and that was what made me pick it up instead of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. And, oh boy, I’m so happy I ended up choosing this instead! It’s such an increadible story about what happens… well, when life happens. And I won’t kid anyone: the fact that it was about a guy that owned a bookstore on a small island AND LIVED ABOVE IT played a great part in how much I liked the book. And the ending… It hit hard. It really is a beautiful story. (4 out of 5 stars)

 

Note to my future self: Remember to post the wrap-ups sooner 😌

I feel like I’m running against time to request books from my university’s library and that’s why some of the books featured in this wrap-up have a white tag. This library has so many books I want to read but that I’m not sure I’ll like them enough to spend money buying a physical copy or that I really want to read but can’t afford right now. Libraries speak to my soul 💖

Wrap-Up: January (2017)

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I wanted to try doing a wrap-up for quite some time, but it was only more recently that I started to read more each month (a year ago I would probably only read a book a month). Sooo I think I’m ready to try this out now!

I’m very happy with myself for starting this new year with an accomplishment of 3 books read and 1 other book started!

 

dscn3348-2I read The Pale Dreamer by Samantha Shannon right away in the first day of the month because it was a novella and only had about 70 pages. I really liked it! I read The Bone Season in November 2016 and really enjoyed it. The Pale Dreamer allowed me to go back to that world before I was able to get The Mime Order (which arrived yesterday 😁). I was very curious and wanted to know more about how Page started her life in the clairvoyant underworld and this prequel gave me what I was looking for, I only wish it was longer… (4 out of 5 stars)

 

dscn3334Next I finished read The Amber Project by J. N. Chaney and you can find my review here. I definitely liked the second part way more than the first one, but I understand we (kinda) needed the world building that was done in that part. But the second part of the book was exactly what I was looking for! Very sci-fi-ish and post-apocalyptic!! I really liked how ponderate our main character was and the friendship he and his friends shared. Although I guessed some things I really enjoyed it and would have bought the second e-book (I initially thought it was a trilogy but it seems it’s going to have more books) right away if it wasn’t only available on Kindle (because I have a Kobo). (4 out of 5 stars)

 

dscn3309I also read a portuguese classic named O Mandarim by Eça de Queirós. It was a nice story about a man who is offered a lot of money if he rings a bell that kills the previous owner of the money (not in a bloody way though, he would just… die). And I mean “nice” because it is also a story with a moral to learn: be careful with what you wish for, your conscience may never leave it alone! (3 out of 5 stars)

 

And lastly, I started Nevernight by Jay Kristoff but didn’t have the time to finish it.

I know, I have to admit that I kinda cheated because 2 of the 3 books I read were really short (O Mandarim has about 150 pages) and the other one I had started last year (but I still had about 250 pages to read), buuuut it was also THE month of my college exams so I think it’s quite fair 😂

I hope you guys have a good reading month! What was your favourite read? 😊

Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles #1), Jay Kristoff

So… I’ve been struggling on how to write this review in the light of what I’ve been reading recently about this…  I have mixed feelings about the book, I liked some things and disliked several others. And I really don’t think this is for a general YA audience, but for a more mature YA audience, it has several graphic scenes of violence and sex aswell as mature (or rough?? I don’t really know what to call it) language.

Despite the content of the book itself I really want to say that I loveeeeed the art work by Kerby Rosanes! This was what really made me want to have this book (and in hardcover). I already followed his work through social media and… It’s just really amazing!! So astonishing!!

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And now to a very important topic.

After I read a blog post by Anjulie I really didn’t want to highlight my level of enjoyment of the book/plot, because that post made me reflect on the issues this book have and, because of that, what I want to highlight in my review are the fact that those issues exist and I think it’s very important to be aware to not only think about own context/perspetive.  I obviously am not fit to talk about this, as a white (and european) person, so I’ll leave here the blog post I read:

Racism, Author Accountability, and Nevernight (Anjulie Te Pohe – Blog)

Here’s a quote from that post that really hit me:

From a storytelling perspective, the fundamental issue with using this trope (aside from it being racist) is that it only works if the readership truly believes in the inherent superiority of anyone (fictional or real) who resembles colonial Western European cultures/people. Whether they’re high elves or steampunk air balloon pirates, the framing of them being the “civilized” heroes and anyone coming from any culture, be they orcs or indigenous brown people, as lesser or “primitive.” These tropes and ideas are rooted in colonialism, racism, and genocide. It is dishonest for anyone to deny that fact.

 

I think that if you care and want to be a more informed person, you should read the post I mentioned. And If you don’t care, you should read it to start caring. I think this is very eye opening, or at least it was for me!

Review: The Amber Project (The Variant Saga #1), J. N. Chaney

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Ebook version of The Amber Project by J. N. Chaney (and Charlie making an appearence in the background)

 

I was really looking for a post-apocalyptic story that was not about zombies or vampires (really not my kind of post-apocalyptic stuff, I’m always looking for Revolution and The 100 kind of stuff), when I came across this on InstaFreebie and then I did some research and also found it in the author’s website!

The Amber Project is the first book in a saga set in a post-apocalyptic future. Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

In 2157, a mysterious gas known as Variant spreads across the globe, killing or mutating most organic life. The surviving humans take refuge in an underground city, determined to return home. But after generations of failures and botched attempts, hope is beginning to dwindle. That is, until a young scientist makes a unique discovery—and everything changes. Suddenly, there’s reason to hope again, and it rests within a group of genetically engineered children that are both human and Variant.

Terry is one of these children, modified and trained to endure the harsh conditions of a planet he cannot begin to understand. After years of preparation, Terry thinks he knows what to expect. But the reality is far stranger than anything he can imagine—and what he will become is far more dangerous.

 

So… now on to my  opinion.

I have a lot of  thoughts on this, specially about the first part because I had some problems with it. To begin with, we are given dates in the begining of chapters and sometimes there were fashbacks and sometimes they were the dates of the present time. I got really confused several times and had to go back and forth to know if it was a scene from the past, or if had past some days, months or years. So, as we follow Terry, sometimes I didn’t think his reactions were the ones of a kid his age, it seemed like he was older (although there’s the whole genetically engineered thing, so they’re not 100% “normal” kids and not treated as such), but I wasn’t ever certain of his age (or the other kid’s).

I really did not like a male character, a professor, that is introduced to us a few pages after the begining. He’s just awful to the kids. On one hand I kind of get why he was like that, but it doesn’t change my overall opinion, being like that is several types of wrong.

The politcs play a great deal in the first part of the book and I understand that was necessary to set up the context and all of that. It wasn’t totally boring, but didn’t get me very invested either.

There were also a little diversity represented, but I had a hard time noticing it, although I’ll admit english is not my first language and some descriptions are hard do grasp, so it could just be my fault I didn’t pick it up sooner. (I’m working on this!)

But the second part (literally after 50%) I really enjoyed! I won’t get into detail, but my problem with the dates and even the professor were almost totally gone. It was what I was looking for since I began reading it! I also really liked the setting, it was totally what I wanted for a world that had to endure such a change, and also how the plot went after they got to the surface.

I reallyyyy liked how Terry reflected on the things that were going on and made ponderate choices, as well as the relationship with his friends. For a moment I thought that it was heading to a miscommunication type of plot (and that really annoys me), but it didn’t! For me there were not made stupid decisions just so they would run to danger or to have some “””plot twist””” and I realy liked that. I was like “yes, that makes sense”. There were just two things I found predictable, but it didn’t bother me a lot, just a little bit, so I’ll leave it be and blame it on the naivety of their age and lacking experience of… Life, I guess (although they have quite a training and conditioning… Mixed feelings).

So, I really liked it, especially the second part, but I can’t ignore the first one. I think J. N. Chaney did a really good job in this sci-fi post-apocalyptic book and it gave me the vibes of Fragment by Warren Fahy (this was the book that got me into sci-fi, but that’s a story for another day).

It took me forever to write this review because I couldn’t decide about the rating. So… I’m gonna go with what was a 3,5 star reading, but I’ll now round it up and give it 4 stars! As I said before, I got the ebook from free, but I was when I noticed that the ebooks are only available on Kindle because I have a Kobo… I would really like to continue with The Variant Saga, I’m just not sure on how or when, but I really recomend it!

 

Have you read The Amber Project, another book in the trilogy or have you read them all? I would love to hear about it, so leave a comment below! 😄

 

TBR: Beat The Backlist 2017 Reading Challenge

 

I decided to participate in the 2017 Beat The Backlist Reading Challenge created by Novel Knight! You can find all about it in the original post right here. You really should check it out as well as her other posts!

 

This seems like a fun (and long) challenge that will certainly be very useful since everytime I look at my shelves and see its oldest residents that haven’t yet served their purpose I realise that I haven’t been doing a good job of picking them up… So this is basically the purpose of the challenge: knock off your TBR list that keeps growing because of new releases throughout 2017.

 

And there’s also a mini-challenge included: Hogwarts House Cup! I’ll be playing for Ravenclaw! I confess I went to pottermore just to find out my House for this challenge. I was planning on doing that only when I finally read all the HP books (I have only read the 3rd because for some reason is the only one my sister bought), although I had a feeling Ravenclaw would probably be my House 😊

 

Without more delay, here’s my long-time-waiting-TBR list at a random order (all the unread books I have on my shelves/future-Kobo):

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Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs

3,25 ofstars

Read from 8 August to 24 August

 

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This is the first book of the trilogy Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, being fantasy>paranormal and Young Adult.

 

Strange happenings lead to a family tragedy that has a strong impact on Jacob, the lead character, and make him leave on a trip with his father to a remote island in Wales to discover more about his grandfather’s past. There starts a new and dangerous adventure to discover more about himself and his grandfather’s mysterious life, mainly during his adolescence.

The story is set mainly on a island in Wales, where the weather is not nice to its inhabitants (and even less to the visitors), but it definetly helps to create na atmosphere of mystery and gives a little creepy touch to the events.

 

I have to admit that when I started the book I found it a little creepy and for a moment I questioned if the story would only follow that like, but in truth it wasn’t all like that. There is always a sense of dangerous mystery that accompanies the happenings, but it’s nothing that terrifying or something like that (unless you’re sensitive to it, because there are always a touch of it here and there). There is a moment that has a small touch of psycological thriller that I also liked a lot, aswell, definitely, as the dangerous mystery atmosphere that there is from the beginning to the end. (I have to say that there is a small touch of a somewhat diferent than the usual kind of time travel too, which scored more points with me because… time travel, am I right?)

 

However, I don’t want to say much about the plot because I think the story is much more interesting if you go without knowing much, exactly because of the mystery and danger atmosphere.

 

About the characters… I really liked the strong connection between Jacob and his grandfather and, although the relationship with his parents isn’t as strong as that one, I think that the importance he gave to a decision that would afect them both was really important, there was a lot of indecision about the consequences of his actions and i liked it. Through the book are several old pictures which help to tell the narrative, with fantastic stories that go about them and add one more fantastical touch to the story and there also is a big variety of (peculiar) characters, which were the aspects that I liked the most!

 

However, I confess that, although the characters and the story were very interesting, I was not able to be 100% invested in the book… Sometimes I became uninterested about what was going on with the characters, but then there was one plot point or another that got my attention again. There was also a (love) relationship that because of reasons I found a bit weird, altough I could understand the perspectives of both characters on the matter, but i found it funny how this perspetive of mine was also referred.

 

To me, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was a good peculiar story because of the fantastical and dangerous mystery elements. So, I recommend it to whoever wants to read a book with these elements! Being the first book in a trilogy, I am curious enough to read the next ones!

 

Review: The Final Empire, Brandon Sanderson

5 out ofstars

Read from 26 June to 7 July

The Final Empire

 

 

The Final Empire is the first book in the fantasy trilogy Misborn. In the Final Empire people are basically divided in two categories: the skaa – the submissive, hopeless and opressed slaves; and the aristocracy – they control the skaa, think of themselves like superior and don’t really consider skaa people. In this universe the magic system is called Allomancy and some people can ingest some metals and when they “burn” them inside have habilities that depend of the kind of metal. I still don’t know many magic systems, but this was the thing that made me want to read this trilogy (I knew about it from Regan from PeruseProject), as well as other reviews from other booktubers. I never before had heard of something even remotly like this and it had my attention right away, i coudn’t let go of something so peculiar!

 

The characters are all so incredibly build, the good ones and the bad ones, main and secondary, i found them to be real and relatable! They grabbed me from the begining, i was always curious and worried/excited about what was happening to them and about their past. And ahhhh, if there was breathtaking moments and moments to shed a tear…! It has also funny moments and good humor. The story revolves around a thieving crew, lead by the charismatic Kelsier who wants tho change the reality they live in. We also have a strong female character that we like from the very first start and there are few things that are so satisfying as follow the development and growing of characters and this was, undoubtedly, Vin’s case. However, she was not the only one!

 

I loved the peculiar setting of the Final Empire, with it’s crimson sun and the almost constant ash falling from the sky which mades everything dark and don’t let the plants have their “natural” colors (green, with vivid and full of life colors, as we know it) and rather be brownish and almost lifeless. This version of the world it’s the one that’s “normal” to their inhabitants who never saw things differently.

 

About negative points… I don’t have anything to say, I honestly found all moments to be relevant because they added somthing important to the narrative.

 

It was, without doubt, the characters, the writing and the PLOT that made it very difficult to me to put this book down.

 

Other comments/Reflections

 

The setting was really one of the things that made me think… Have you tried to imagine? The scenary which is described made everything easily more opressing and I think this english edition cover shows it very well. Living in the countryside, I tried to imagine how would it be if the vibrant green that covers everything was replaced by a lifeless brown and, honestly, it hurt inside. It made me realized how much I appreciate the green and gorgeous landscapes and the price we pay everyday for desflorestation, urbanization and fires.

 

Thanks to this book/trilogy (because i bought the boxed set) I’m now a fan of the english editions with it’s small and light paperbacks!

In portuguese, the Misborn trilogy is edited by Saída de Emergência.

 

The Final Empire (and the whole Mistborn trilogy, i’m sure) is highly recommended for people who like fantasy, a diferent magic system, a strong female character, thieves and revolutions!

 

Review: Dune, Frank Herbert

3,5 out ofstars

Read from 2 June to 23 June

 

Note: The Dune book i read was divided into two volumes, but this review is not about the first or the second volume, but the book as a whole.

 

Duna

 

In this sci-fi classic, we quickly see ourselves in an unknown and desertic world: Arrakis, also known as Dune. There, the water is scarce and the heat is overwhelming. The mysterious spice which holds big economic importance (and dependency) to the Empire, comes from there.

 

From the beggining we get to know a lot of complex characters with rich and diferent backgrounds: from Bene Gesserit witches to the human thinking machines known as mentats, Dukes, Barons, and many others; but this story revolves around Paul, Duke Leto Atreides and Bene Gesserit Jessica’s son. We fall right into the political intrigue about the dominance of Arrakis and its spice.

 

I liked the unique setting of Arrakis with its hard weather (although I found it a bit difficult to imagine the landscaping and what was going on there) as well as the unique characters. I felt really curious about most of them, I wanted to know how they got there and what they intended to do. I confess it took me quite some time to get into the story and a bit more to relate with the characters (i didnt always understand Paul nor his mother, Jessica). The last 150 pages of the second part where, without doubt, the ones that grab my attention and within two days I finished the book.

 

Other comments/Reflections

 

Arrakis made me think about our use of water in the daily life, because we all know we end up always wasting more water than we should and we must be more careful about it and use it with caution. In a desertic planet where which drop of sweat can’t be wasted in vain, it’s easy to see how the water becomes the wealth which holds such importance in the lives of the inhabitants. I loved how this matter became an important part of the story, it turned out to be much more than just a moral concern and a question of survival: it was the story’s story, it grew deep down on the costumes, changed mentalities and became a mean to an end. The fremen’s brutality is understandable, “normal” even. The religion has also an important role on Dune: it was faith that kept them doing something that was bigger than them and when religion is cultivated with care… Well, its implications reach a bigger scale.

 

Most people recomends this book as a stand alone but… to be honest, it doesn’t work for me, I think it’s clearly missing something, however I don’t know if I’m going to read them all or even the next one. I’m sad I didn’t enjoy it as much as I though I would, maybe I was expecting something different, but it really is recommended! It has an intriguing plot and a different setting, it is of a spetacular geniality!