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Month: January 2017

World Building in Fantasy Fiction – The Basics

Creating a whole world from scratch is easily one of my favourite parts of being an author – but it’s also one of the trickiest ones. There are so many things to consider and get right that it can seem overwhelming. Where do you start? What does your world actually need?

This first chapter of my “master classes” *ahem* is focused on world building. In today’s post I’ll go over the very basics of your world with you, so that by the end of it the task won’t be quite as daunting! 🙂

Your world needs to be realistic enough that people will believe it and enjoy it, but how do you do that when magic is the norm and whole mountain ranges only exist because some ancient dragon says so?

I won’t go into too much detail now because I’ve got a post planned about this very topic in two weeks. The only thing you need to know for now is that your world doesn’t just suddenly begin when your book does. Your world has existed before Chapter One, before the prologue. Chances are it has also existed long before your main character was born, and showing your readers some of that rich history will make your world far more believable! I love intricate lore and discovering it slowly as the plot progresses – just be careful not to dump too much information on your readers at once!

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I’m agnostic myself, but a lot of my characters are religious and for some of them their beliefs play a huge part in their lives. You may not be religious, either – you may even be strictly against religion – but a world without any religion whatsoever is unrealistic. You don’t have to make it similar to our world’s religion if you don’t want to – you don’t have to use God, Satan, or the Afterlife if you don’t want those in your book. In fact, your religion doesn’t have to resemble ours at all! But it needs to be there, and it needs to make sense.

For example, a lone wanderer might have walked your world searching for meaning. He came to a forest, and got lost. Days later – thirsty and ravenous – he spotted a deer. The deer seemed to want this lone wanderer to follow him, and so he followed the animal until they reached clean water, and bushes full of berries! From there it’s not a long stretch to assume that the lone wanderer might have believed the deer to be a higher being looking out for him. Perhaps he settled down by the stream, invited some friends he met through his travels who also sought peace, and began to worship the deer that led him there. Or maybe they simply pay their respects to the wildlife by offering it berries and a bowl of fresh water at a shrine to the deer. Or by not hunting all the deer to extinction. Or perhaps they consume the deer and drinks its blood to be closer to their chosen diety? Either way, you’ve got a lot of wiggle room!

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It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to explain your world’s greatest mysteries – not all religions do.

Not every country in your world is going to work in the same way. Some countries will be poorer than others, some will have stricter trading laws than others, and so on. For example, say Country 1 places a high value on money and respects those who know how to do well for themselves. What impact does this have on this country’s beggars? On poorer families who can’t afford to go into business with some rich merchant?

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When you first start to think about your world, you might accidentally make every country similar. Your own background might reflect heavily in your world; for example, if you’re from northern Europe than your world might feature countries very similar to yours, simply because that’s what you’re used to. Don’t worry about it – it’s an easy mistake to make! Be sure to include different cultures in your world, and make sure that people from different countries speak different languages, have different habits and traditions – and consider that not all countries are likely to get along.

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Eventually you might start to draw the first outlines of your own world (we’ll get to why you want a map in a few weeks). If you’re anything like me and have no idea what you’re doing, you might do this by just drawing, well… something. I mean, how do you draw a country you made up? Not with smooth borders, for one (unless you have a very convincing argument somewhere in your plot that explains it). Countries and the borders between them are curved, edged, zig-zaggy – and definitely not straight! This is one aspect where you can let your need for perfection go!

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This is perhaps the most important point. Without the people populating them, your countries wouldn’t exist. You wouldn’t have a MC screaming at you to tell his/her story (random writing prompt: What if you character is the only character still alive? What killed the others?). The people make your countries what they are – rich, poor, proud, violent, profit-driven, pious, military strongholds. While not every single person in Country A is going to be devout, religion will still have played an important role in everyone’s lives if the country as a whole is religious. This could show through upbringing (some people go to church every Sunday and pray before they go to bed), festivals (Christmas, for example, or harvest festivals) and even speech habits (never saying ‘God’, ‘Maker’ or similar terms without good reason, or outright fearing their counter parts)

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Truth be told, creating your world from scratch is exciting but it takes work, too. All of the above points are going to take more consideration than a brief glance and a shrug if you want your readers to be invested in your book baby, but they’re a start! From here you can create anything. ANYTHING!

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What are the basics of your world? Are there any aspects you have to include, or else it doesn’t feel real to you? Grab a cookie and a tea, and let’s talk about world building!


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All gifs from giphy.com

3 Comments

BIG News! (Need an Editor? Contact Me!)

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If you follow me on social media, you might have seen mentions of big news earlier this week. I’ve hinted at it several times (not always with subtlety) but I can now say that, in roughly three months from now, I’ll be able to officially call myself an editor!

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I’m currently taking an online course on proofreading and copy editing, and am also looking at setting up my own business. I’m also thinking about the discounts I might offer – If you beta read for me, there’ll be a discount for you! 😉

I’ll figure out some of the details like pricing over the next few weeks. If you think you’ll need an editor in roughly three months time, get in touch and we can work something out! ^-^

(*sigh* Sarina Langer – Freelance Editor and Author! Now there’s something I’m not going to get tired of saying!)

I’ll keep you updated when everything is set up and official. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to message me either here or on my various social media accounts (look to the right panel for links) if you’d like more information 🙂


All gifs from giphy.com

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

4 Comments

Birthday Promo With Goodkindles Now LIVE!

The promotion with  Free and Bargain ebooks | Book promotion site for authors is now LIVE! If you want to make this author’s birthday, share the hell out of it ^-^

I’ve pinned it to the top of my Facebook page and Twitter, so you can find it without a problem.

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“Growing up homeless and orphaned in a town that hates her, Rachael must assassinate the king of Rifarne to become queen to a people who once wanted her dead.

Rifarne is a country opposed to magic. When its people demand harsh action, King Aeric sees himself with no other choice but to outlaw those with the gift. Rachael, who possesses the rare gift of a Seer, soon finds herself with visions of her own violent death. When her escape goes wrong and she ends up in the clutches of a vicious Mist Woman lusting for her blood, she finds she is the only person who can stop the war against people like her – and assassinating the king to take his throne may well be the only way to do just that.”

Praise for Rise of the Sparrows:

“Fantasy, action, magic, and abilities- this book has it all.” Goodreads review May 22nd 2016

“I absolutely loved this book. Creating a new and fantastical world is no easy task and this author does it with ease. The prologue was dark and sinister and immediately I needed to know so much more.” Goodreads review January 19th 2017

“It’s no mean feat to create an alternative world that is believable, but the author does this without the usual bogging down of too much detail. Rifarne seems like a real country, with all the politics and problems that can contain.” Goodreads review January 9th 2017

“It’s a story that sucks you in from the very start and doesn’t let go until the final page. It’s action packed and entertaining while at the same time heartfelt and thought provoking. Not to mention, it makes you feel ALL of the feels.” Goodreads review May 31st 2016

3 Comments

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.”

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What I thought:

This book was magic, go read it.

My, that was much easier than expected! 😀

*ahem* *tries again*

The Night Circus is, above all else, about a competition between two young people who had no say in whether they wanted to compete. The game begins in a way every kid ever has dreamed off – when they are children, Celia and Marco begin to learn how to use magic, real magic, and use it to create, to heal, and do accomplish miracles. Neither of them realises what the competition is meant to achieve, only that they have to play it, that they can’t leave, and that it’s over when it’s over. Clear instructions aren’t given, and so they join Le Cirque des Rêves – Celia as the Illusionist, and Marco working from behind the scenes – without really knowing what’s expected of them besides victory.

“I tried to explain as much as I could,” Poppet says. “I think I made an analogy about cake.”

“Well, that must have worked,” Widget says. “Who doesn’t like a good cake analogy?”

(chosen because cake, and because I’m also struggling to explain)

The various tents that make up the circus are seemingly made of magic – with the only exceptions being Celia’s and Marco’s tents, which are actually made of magic. Everything is part of the game, and Celia and Marco are the only people aware of it. The game unfolds slowly and gets more intricate, more wonderful, more dangerous, with every bit that’s revealed. It was so intriguing to see how everything falls into place, especially once the pieces had begun to crumble.

One of my favourite aspects are the different sections. At the beginning of each new part, you get a brief but detailed insight written in second person. That way, Morgenstern takes you through her circus, not as a reader but as a visitor, and it’s a magical experience.

“But what’s the use in seeing the future if I can’t do anything to stop it?”

“You cannot stop things,” Celia says. “You can only be prepared for them to happen.”

I hope I’ll have the time at some point to read this again. There’s so much going on that I don’t think it’s possible to notice everything the first time around. I might even take notes next time! Word of advice? Pay attention to the dates and locations at the beginning of every new chapter, and savour every glance into the individual tents.

Also, do yourself a favour and read this.

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Have you read The Night Circus, or would you like to? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

5 Comments

WWW Wednesday 25th January 2017

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

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What I’m currently reading

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Siege and Storm

Progress on this is going more slowly than I’d hoped. Late last week I received an ARC which I need to have read by next week Friday, so that’s taken priority. I’m hoping to read bits here and there if there’s time, but it’ll be a short while before I can dedicate all of my reading time to this again.

Blurb:

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

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What I recently finished reading

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Shadow and Bone

I really enjoyed Shadow and Bone <3 I had high expectations after SoC and CK, and was initially surprised to see first person narrative but got used to it fast. While I didn’t like it as much as the duology I still really enjoyed it, and since the trilogy is her earlier writing I expected it. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series!

Blurb:

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

and-

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Touch

I’d been meaning to read this for a while, so when it was free one weekend I couldn’t resist. I haven’t read many plays before, and this one was my first one-act play. I really enjoyed the dialogue-heavy text, and because it’s so short I read the whole thing in half an hour!

Blurb:

The Seeker has grown up in a world where deliberate physical contact is a crime, and for most of her life, it hasn’t bothered her. But when some of her classmates are arrested for touching, she decides to try the most forbidden of things and touch another person. When she discovers the power of touching, and how it changes her and those around her, will the Seeker be content to return to a life without it?

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What I think I’ll read next

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Ruin and Rising

Not sure when I’ll get to it, though, since I already can’t dedicate all of my time to Siege and Storm. The struggles of a book blogger, eh? 😛

Blurb:

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

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Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

6 Comments

A-Z Name Prompts – G

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Today’s prompt is going to have to be a very quick one due to time reasons (I’ll explain everything on Friday…It’s very exciting/terrifying!).

Thank you as always to everyone who voted for today’s prompt! The winner is…

As always, if the prompt speaks to you feel free to use it. If you do and publish it, please link back here so I can be nosy ^-^

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Garner

(m.; gathers grain)

“What do you say in your defence?”

I didn’t look up. I’d really fucked up this time. What could I say? The failure of our colony was my doing. No amount of ignorance, no matter how much hope I’d felt at my find, would change that.

“Speak up, Garner!”

I forced myself to do as Jackson, our leader, said, but it was hard to make eye contact with the five council members before me. Their faces were red, covered in pustules, and gaunt – my doing. All of it. Even my Jenna had died because of my mistakes. Our youngest was too weak to move.

“I have nothing to say in my defence.”

We were the first human colony on this planet. It was a small colony, only one hundred people strong, but that made my job all the more important – to scout our surroundings for edible fruits, nuts, and any seeds I could find. The seeds I had brought back a month ago had scanned as save. Why had everyone fallen ill? They had been supposed to save us, not destroy us.

Jackson sighed. “I’m sorry, Garner. You know the sentence. You are to be hanged at dawn.”

I knew I was missing something, but I hadn’t figured it out since the first people had fallen ill, and my mistake had become obvious. I had eighteen hours before dawn; eighteen hours to figure out what had gone wrong. Could I figure it out from behind bars? I had to try.

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For all other writing prompts, check here.

For CookieBreak’s homepage, click me.

All writing belongs to the author, Sarina Langer

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Big Promotion with Goodkindles next Thursday! (26th January)

Exciting news, everyone! On Thursday next week, as a birthday gift to myself, I’m doing a big promotion with Free and Bargain ebooks | Book promotion site for authors. I’d really appreciate it if you shared the hell out of it on the day ^-^ If you can’t find the links, take a look at my social media pages – I’ll pin everything to the top for that day 🙂

(No banner because it’d take up more space than the writing)

I’ll do another (proper) post on the day, too 🙂

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“Growing up homeless and orphaned in a town that hates her, Rachael must assassinate the king of Rifarne to become queen to a people who once wanted her dead.

Rifarne is a country opposed to magic. When its people demand harsh action, King Aeric sees himself with no other choice but to outlaw those with the gift. Rachael, who possesses the rare gift of a Seer, soon finds herself with visions of her own violent death. When her escape goes wrong and she ends up in the clutches of a vicious Mist Woman lusting for her blood, she finds she is the only person who can stop the war against people like her – and assassinating the king to take his throne may well be the only way to do just that.”

 

4 Comments

Review: The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #1)

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“Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smell very much like our own, but which looks completely different. Particularly as it’s carried though space on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown). It plays by different rules.

But then, some things are the same everywhere. The Disc’s very existence is about to be threatened by a strange new blight: the world’s first tourist, upon whose survival rests the peace and prosperity of the land. Unfortunately, the person charged with maintaining that survival in the face of robbers, mercenaries and, well, Death, is a spectacularly inept wizard…”

www-23112016-2What I thought:

I have no idea what I’m doing! 😀 Honestly, I don’t how to review this. You’ve either read this already, or, if you haven’t, you still won’t need me to tell you that Terry Pratchett is kinda a big deal in the magical word of fantasy stories. This isn’t the debut novel by someone nobody knows yet, it’s Terry fudging Pratchett!

So I’ll try to keep this short and save us all some time 🙂

I’m pretty sure that I’ve read The Light Fantastic some time last year year, or maybe it was the year before that… But I thought I’d start at Book 1. When I read the second one we didn’t have The Colour of Magic in my library, but we’ve recently ordered the shiny new copies which create a lovely rainbow on the shelf, and I really needed something mad and magical! And that’s precisely what I got – a bit of magic sprinkled with rather a lot of madness. It’s not often that Death is your favourite character, but the chap is a cat person, so there.

Picturesque meant – he decided after careful observation of the scenery that inspired Twoflower to use the word – that the landscape was horribly precipitous. Quaint, when used to describe the ocassional village through which they passed, meant fever-ridden and tumbledown.

The Colour of Magic follows Rincewind, a failed wizard who knows but one spell (when I say he “knows” a spell… It’s there, somewhere, at the very back of his mind but it’s shy, I guess?) and Twoflower, a tourist with the incredible ability to not recognise danger when it punches him in the face. He also has this awesome little luggage which runs after him and eats people who threaten him. Rincewind shows Twoflower around, who has a long list of dangerous things he wants to see and do – the kind of situations no sane person would want to place himself in on purpose. Twoflower is oblivious to any form of mortal danger and confuses it with adventure on a regular basis, while Rincewind is a massive coward, so there’s a lot of natural conflict between them.

“But you’re a demon. Demons can’t call things weird. I mean, what’s weird to a demon?”

“Oh, you know,” said the demon cautiously, glancing around nervously and shifting from claw to claw. “Things. Stuff.”

Also there’s dragons. Not real ones, as such, but imagined ones, who can get a little see-through when the imaginator’s focus wavers. It’s fine, though, they’re perfectly save to fly. Unless you’re terrified of hights, like Rincewind, and remember an event from the future where you fall from a great height, like Rincewind.

If you haven’t read this already by some miracle, please do. Even if fantasy isn’t your usual genre, even though this book was like nothing I’ve read before in a good and very mad way, I think it should be on everyone’s tbr list. Terry Pratchett isn’t the Father of Fantasy for no reason. This is a must read for everyone!

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Have you read The Colour of Magic, or would you like to? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

5 Comments

The Rapid Fire Book Tag

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I was going through my posts looking for… something (my memory is short and selective), and guess what I found instead of the thing I actually wanted? Two forgotten tags! From way back last year! So, I thought, why not have a little fun (and, admittedly, be lazy) and do one while I wait for last week’s poll to close? (if you haven’t voted yet you can still do so now here, but it will close in a few hours!)

I found this tag over on Donna’s lovely blog chocolatenwaffles, which I highly recommend you visit and follow if you love books and, well, tags!

eBooks or physical books?

Heh. Right to the point, eh? I like that in a tag! I prefer physical books because they’re pretty, they sound amazing when you leaf through the pages, and New Book Smell is a perfectly real thing, but my bookshelf is small. If it’s a book by an author I love, I prefer to get the paperback. If it’s a book I’m not sure about or a book by an author I’m not yet familiar with, I’ll get the eBook. Also, because my tiny bookshelf fills up rather quickly, I’ve vowed to make my next book-buying binge an electronic one. Just you watch as I fail miserably!

Paperback or hardback?

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Paperbacks all the way! As awesome and amazingly beautiful as hardbacks are, paperbacks are just as awesome and beautiful, and I may have mentioned this already briefly in passing, maybe, but my bookshelf is small (not as small as the picture makes it out to be). Hardbacks take up more room. Decision made! (Ignore the one hardback sitting on my shelf)

Online or in-store book shopping?

I like online shopping because it’s fast and easy. I adore in-store book shopping because I’ve found many treasures that way, and because bookstores are my happy place. So it’s a draw!

Trilogies or series?

Who cares? If it’s awesome and I enjoy it, I’ll read it!

Heroes or villains?

Both, if they’re written well! A well-written villain is just as much fun to be invested in than a great hero.

A book you want everyone to read?

Mine? *awkward cough* *it’s Rise of the Sparrows* Right, I’m gonna cheat and do two 😛

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This, because everyone who’s ever spent any time working in retail will laugh/cry reading this. Don’t scoff at this book if you’ve never been behind the till before and dismiss these as fake. They’re true. Even the disgusting ones.

And these-

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The duology counts as one, right? *ahem*

Shame on you if you still haven’t heard of these! (Where have you been hiding??) Go read them NOW!

Recommend an underrated book.

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I chose this one because for some reason I can’t find anyone who’s read her books. I know lots of people who’ve read Six of Crows, The Night Circus, and all those wonderful reads, but when I mention Karen Miller everyone stares at me. Click the picture to be taken to its Goodreads page, and add it now! I want to talk about these!!

The last book you finished?

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Easily readable in one sitting! I did it in half an hour.

Weirdest thing you used as a bookmark?

I don’t think I’ve ever used anything weird. I’ve always had bookmarks handy, and when I didn’t I used paper strips. While those technically aren’t bookmarks I wouldn’t call them weird, so… BUT I work in a library and I found a book with naan bread stuffed between the pages once! (also, don’t do that.)

Used books, yes or no?

Of course! For £2 I can’t think of a single good reason not to!

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Top three favorite genre?

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Young Adult. (consider all sub genres of fantasy included)

Borrow or buy?

Usually buy, but since I work in a library it’s too convenient not to borrow books on occasion! I don’t borrow often, but I’ll likely borrow the entire Discworld series since my poor bookshelf would fire me as its owner otherwise.

Characters or plot?

Both. While awesome characters you’re rooting for can drag an underdeveloped plot along, I don’t see why writers wouldn’t make an effort to ace both. I know different readers will enjoy different aspects, and one person will hate a plot another adored, but from a writer’s perspective I say both are equally important.

Long or short book?

That depends entirely on what my last read has been. After I finished The Wise Man’s Fear (which I read immediately after The Name of the Wind) I was in the mood for something short, but I’m now reading the Grisha trilogy and each of those books is quite short, so I’ll go for something longer next time.

Long or short chapters?

I don’t care. Each chapter is different, and I’d rather have a mixture of long and short chapters than see short chapters lengthened and drag, or long chapters be cut and lose important information to match the rest of the book.

Name the first three books you think of.

The Name of the Wind, Six of Crows, and GAH, SO MANY! – The Making of Gabriel Davenport!

Books that make you laugh or cry?

Well, most books do that! It doesn’t take much for a book to make me cry, so if you want a full list you’ll be here for a while! I love both. If you’re asking whether I pick books because they’ll make me laugh or cry then that’s a no. I don’t know before I read a book what it’ll do to me, so I’m not sure how I could choose a new book based on that.

Our world or fictional worlds?

I’m happy with either as long as it’s done well. If a book is set in our world then the information in the book needs to be accurate, and if the world is fictional it needs to have been built well.

Audiobooks: yes or no?

I’m not against audiobooks but I’ve never listened to one.

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

Constantly! A book’s cover is the first impression a potential reader has. Most people decide whether they’re interested or not in the first few seconds of looking at a book, and if the cover doesn’t convince them they’ll walk away and pick up something that appeals to them more.

Book to movie or book to TV adaptation?

Oh God, please, no. Neither. Most of the time this just doesn’t go well. I know there are exceptions, but most of the time it’s a wreck! I’m still shivering from The 5th Wave movie adaptation 🙁

A movie or TV adaptation you preferred to the book?

I can’t think of one! Harry Potter worked pretty well, obviously, but can I say that I preferred the movies to the books? I don’t think I can!

Series or standalone?

Both! I’ve read more series than I’ve read standalones, but I’ve read a few fantastic standalone novels, too!

If you’ve visited Donna’s post you may have noticed that she published it way back in October, so I won’t tag anyone. If you want to do this, go ahead – you’ve been tagged!

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For Cookie Break’s home page, have a look here.

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Review: Surrender by G. R. Thomas (The A'vean Chronicles #2)

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“Sophia Woodville’s life is anything but ordinary. You can’t be ordinary when you’ve discovered your’e an Earth-born Angel. Alone and suddenly powerless in the stinking heat of the Daimon realm, Sophia has been betrayed by the one person she trusted most. She must find a way to escape and continue her quest to unravel the clues left for her eyes only, fighting the Zombie-like Rogues to preserve the prophecies of Enoch. Only then can the Fallen Angels return to their homeland and humanity be released from the grip of Yeqon and his evil horde.”

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What I thought:

I really enjoyed Awaken (Book 1 in the series) and fell in love with Thomas’ writing then, so I knew I had to have this one, too! I was especially chuffed when she offered me an ARC (or rather, I begged for one), so my repeated thanks to the author! ^-^

It was really nice to be back in Thomas’ world. Her writing has this odd familiarity to it, which made this read just as smooth as the first book in the series.

Because of everything that happened at the end of Awaken Sophia missed everyone badly, and I did, too. Her characters are so real and human that reading about them again felt like a small reunion.

The fire in my palms burned harder, yet my resolve weakened. I had nothing, I thought I had nothing, but right there on the floor under threat of an excruciating death, I had something. And I couldn’t let that go.

If you’ve spent any time on here at all you’ll know that I love a good plot twist, and this book has a few which packed one hell (… no pun intended) of a punch, especially towards the end. One right near the end specifically hit me hard.

We already knew that there’s someone amongst Sophia’s newly gained family who spied on them and betrayed them, and in Surrender the mystery thickened. I really hoped it’d be someone I knew and loved because that would have hurt more, but I guess I’m just a little masochistic when it comes to plot twists.

The characters developed beautifully, especially Sophia who had to decide between her loved ones and the greater good several times. She has grown a lot in Surrender, and it was great to see how she coped with these decisions.

A place of dread both had only ever heard talk of, and there they were, in the central station of Earth’s very own Hell.

My personal favourite was a scene near the end; a conversation between Koi and Belial. It was such a thoughtful exchange and so beautifully written that I’ll be marking it for future reference.

Surrender is a fantastic sequel to Awaken. It has answered some of the questions from Book 1, and has left plenty others to be answered in the concluding title. If you haven’t read this series already I highly recommend that you do!

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Have you read Awaken or Surrender, or have I tempted you? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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