Book reviews and assorted musings of a book lover

Category Archives: Rants and Random Thoughts

So I was just wandering around on the Internet, when I stumbled upon a link to an artist’s gallery. I clicked and I instantly recognized some of his work. So I looked up his name, and I found an interview over at A Dribble of Ink, a blog run by Aidan Moher.

The artist’s name is Kekai Kotaki. He was born on Hawaii, and moved to Seattle to go to college. He worked at ArenaNet, then left and started doing freelance work.

His work is beautiful. He worked a lot on the Guild War franchise, but he’s done quite a few fantasy book covers. Here’s a few you might recognize:


The Unremembered by Peter Orullian

He’s also done the covers for Hannu Rajaniemi’s Jean le Flambeur trilogy (starting with The Quantum Thief) and a few covers for Alexey Pehov’s books (such as Shadow Prowler and Shadow Blizzard).

I just thought his work was amazing, and I wanted to show you all. Which one is your favorite?

His website: kekai.blogspot.com. Hope you enjoy!


Yesterday I went to my first author event. It was held in New York City, at the 92Y, on 92 Street and Lexington.

I am a huge book fan, but I live in an area that few authors ever visit on their tours. However, NYC is not all that far away, so sometimes I can make it to an event there. I’ve never been to any sort of book event before, beyond local book fairs, so I was a big ball of excitement leading up to Saturday. You’re probably wondering who it was that I met, right?

I saw Brandon Sanderson, James Dashner, and Christopher Paolini. Mr. Sanderson was on tour for his new YA book Steelheart (Which I have already read and loved. Stay tuned for a review), Mr. Dashner was touring for the first book in his newest series, The Eye of Minds, and Mr. Paolini was on tour to promote the release of the 10th anniversary edition of his first book, Eragon.

It was incredible to meet these authors, people I’ve admired for such a long time. I love their work and it was surreal to meet them in real life.

So, anyway, onto the actual event.

I hadn’t bought a VIP ticket, so all of the other people who bought regular tickets, like me, waited in line to be seated. After that, we met all the authors. The moderator, Alex Zalben, was great. He asked good questions that led to good discussions, and he let them talk for a while about each one. It was nice to hear complete answers from all three of them, and not feel rushed at all.

James Dashner was hilarious. He made lots of jokes and seemed very comfortable in front of a crowd. He was very cool, and I liked his goatee. He also dropped a few hints about the movie, Maze Runner (which is set to be released September 19, 2014). I am super excited to see that because I loved the book.

Brandon Sanderson and Christopher Paolini were both very informative. Their explanations and answers to the questions were thoughtful and helpful.

My favorite part of the whole event (besides actually meeting them face-to-face) was when they did their readings. To make things interesting, they switched books with each other. So, Mr. Sanderson read Eragon (the scene where Eragon blesses the child Elva), Mr.Dashner read the prologue to Steelheart, and Mr. Paolini read the first few pages of The Eye of Minds. It was fun and interesting hearing them read one another’s work. Of course, Brandon Sanderson had to read some of the ancient language found in Eragon. For all of you who haven’t read the book, it is very difficult to pronounce, so Mr. Paolini helped him a bit. But it was nice to see that even authors make up their own pronunciations for words they don’t understand in fantasy books.

NYC Author Signing 1

On the left is Brandon Sanderson, in the middle is Christopher Paolini, and hiding in the back is James Dashner.

After that, we moved into an adjacent room where our books were signed. Sadly, I don’t own a copy of The Maze Runner, which I really enjoyed, so I could not get James Dashner’s signature. But I did wait in line for Christopher Paolini and Brandon Sanderson. I got my personal copy of Eragon signed, as well as my favorite Sanderson novel, The Way of Kings. I was a complete idiot, and I really didn’t say anything. I was so overwhelmed.

Afterwards, I went to the top of the Empire State Building. It was stunning. The trek up there was not fun at all, with two separate elevator rides and several rooms with twisting queues, which were all empty because it was seven o’clock at night. But we still had to walk through most of them.

Once you got to the top, though, it was beautiful. I took so many pictures. I wanted to stay up there all night, but it was freezing, so I couldn’t. It was so romantic and I saw so many couples. Everyone talked softly and I had the opportunity to truely appreciate the beauty of the city skyline.

NYC Skyline

What a way to end the night

All in all, it was a fantastic day. I met some authors that I really admire and who really inspire me to continue my writing.


Face it, everyone buys books based on their covers.

I am a huge fan of books, but if the cover isn’t appealing, chances are I’ll pass it over for something else. For me, if I’m looking for a new book that I haven’t already read or heard about, I look at a few things. The title and spine design, the cover, the blurbs, and reviews.

I DO sometimes buy books solely based on their title, or if an author I love gave the book a great review, but I mostly choose my books based on their cover and blurb.

The cover of a book serves the purpose of drawing potential readers in. It’s supposed to represent the story, or an aspect of the story, in a single image. Everything is important when there is so little space to work with. The font, placement, and most of all, the art. Obviously, what appeals to one person won’t necessarily appeal to someone else. Certain colors, fonts, or setups could perk someones interest, or make them put the book down. I know I like books whose cover doesn’t give any details of the story away. I like symbols, things that represent the story or a character. I like a little mystery when I pick up my books, I don’t always want to know everything about the book.

This applies to both the cover and the blurb on the back cover or inside flap. I want to know what the main point of the book is, but I never want to know how it ends. There are certain covers out there that instantly draw me to a book. Every time I see these covers I say to myself, “I need to read that”, even if I’ve read it already.

Here is a list of book covers that I absolutely love:

I can’t get over how much I love these covers.

Wool by Hugh Howey– I like this one because it gives nothing away. I know it had nothing to do with the book, but I like the simplicity and colors. The paperback copy I have is also the perfect size. It’s between mass-market and trade. The blurb is what really got me. I could not possibly read anything else until I read this. You can read it HERE, as well as my review.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien– I already had a copy but I bought one with this cover because I liked it way better. Again, it’s simple, but the colors are so vibrant. I already have a beautiful set of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I wanted this edition as well. May I also add, that the Hobbit is the perfect thickness. Every time I stack my books, there is always a dead space, where nothing will fit, but the Hobbit always fills the empty space.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson– This cover basically sums up the entire book in one picture (which is it’s job). The two figures are characters (who I will leave nameless), and the clouds and landscape actually play a huge roll in the plot. The bright colors really drew me in and besides, I love Sanderson so much, so I was going to buy it regardless.

Divergent by Veronica Roth– This is the cover that inspired this post. Every single time I look at this book I want to read it all over again. The cover is a symbol for one of the factions in the book (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read the book yet). The colors are absolutely gorgeous and the font isn’t too big. The single line at the top is amazing too, “One choice can transform you.” I’m getting goosebumps. If you don’t know already, Divergent is going to be movie, starring Shailene Woodley. It comes out on March 21, 2014. I’m so excited.

The Unremembered by Peter Orullian– When I first saw this book, I said to myself, “What a beautiful cover.” Then I read the excerpt, and I said, “I NEED this book.” So I bought it and I haven’t read it yet. I’m a terrible person. The overall story-line basically steals everything from Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World. So I stopped reading it, but I still think it has a gorgeous cover.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch– The copy I own actually has a different cover, but the only reason I picked it up is because I saw this cover on Goodreads and thought that the style of art was very good. So I picked up my copy and read it. I loved it and you can read my review HERE. Both this book and its sequel have absolutely amazing covers. I can’t wait for the third one!

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare– This cover is the movie-tie in edition, and it’s beautiful, isn’t it? I almost bought a second copy just so I could have it. I love the reflection of the city and how different runes are included in the design. I also, for some reason, am very drawn to the lighting. I love the soft sun in the back round and how it makes the city look.

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas– I love this cover so much. It’s killing me that it’s not out yet. I love, again, the reflection and how different the opposite sides are. I love how realistic the water is and the faint outline of a castle. I want this book so bad!

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey– This is one of my all time favorite covers. It really symbolizes how alone the main character (Cassie) really is. I like how dark it is, and the sunlight really stands out. I also really like how the title is in the center of the cover, and is not too big. This cover just feels real to me, like it’s a picture of a real girl. The book is absolutely amazing, and you can read what I thought of it HERE.

There must be hundreds of other covers I’ve missed. Tell me your favorite covers in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!