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A Secret Worth Sharing: Tress of the Emerald Sea

5 Apr

On March 1st, 2022, Brandon Sanderson surprised not only his fans, but fantasy book lovers and aspiring writers across the globe when he announced he had written four surprise novels during the 2020 lockdowns and would be having a Kickstarter for his fans and those interested in these new projects. The Kickstarter would then go on to be one of the most successful ones to date, reaching over $6.8 million by its completion. Now, one year since its announcement, Secret Project 1, also known as Tress of the Emerald Sea is now available as an ebook, with the print copies just released yesterday.

One of the unique things about the novel is that it’s being told to us by Hoid, a well known character within Sanderson’s Cosmere universe who travels from world to world. It is through him we are introduced to one of our main characters, Tress, and her friend Charlie. After Charlie disappears at sea, it’s up to Tress to find and rescue him from the clutches of The Sorceress.

The charm of the narration takes center stage and the readers find themselves in a novel with high stakes but still a sense of whimsy that carries on through Tress’s and Hoid’s adventure. The worldbuilding is imaginative with a surprisingly fresh take on the sea and magic tech that is intertwined with the use of spores as both a weapon and practical device.

Both Tress and Hoid carry the story well, each one engaging through the shared adventure they are on and Hoid’s additional quips to us as the narrator of this tale. For those familiar with Hoid as a character, this novel gives us a unique insight into his thoughts and opinions on things during the novel and serves as a potential teaser for things to come if you listen to Sanderson’s reveal in the Postscript of the audiobook.

Tress is also quite the interesting protagonist, a character who is intelligent and brave without falling into the “perfect, strong female character” trope that is quickly becoming prevalent in other works of fiction.If you’re looking for a whimsical adventure in an imaginative setting and fun characters, look no further than Tress of the Emerald Sea.

Written By:
Lauren Lapinski
Information and Digital Services Assistant

An Audiobook, You’ll be Glad You Checked Out: I’m Glad My Mom Died

1 Mar

My children are fans of Jennette McCurdy in her various Nickelodeon roles (roles she despised), so it was perhaps inevitable that I would listen to her biography, I’m Glad My Mom Died.  

Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to not listen to this book with my kids, because, watch out, as the title implies, this book is dark.  Like pitch-black dark.  It’s really a remarkable tale of Jennette’s abuse at the hands of a family member (her mom) and the erosion of her own identity to fulfill her mother’s wishes.  And the hits keep coming!  When you think, “this is terrible,” another thing comes along and you’re like “this is more terrible.”  And that happens from the beginning to the end of this book!  

I listened and didn’t read this book which I feel is the appropriate format because Jennette narrates her own tale.  I think if you are triggered by familial abuse you may want to either steer clear of this book or read it, that may make it more palatable.  Ultimately, this is a tale of recovery, because Jennette has been doing the work to get better.  This book is Exhibit A. 

Written by:
James Cox
Special Collections Manager 

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