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Review: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King

“A superb tutorial for anyone wanting to learn from pros how to polish fiction writing with panache.” –Library Journal *

What I thought:

As I may have mentioned once or twice, I tend to prefer my theory books humorous. While this one wasn’t that, it didn’t suffer from a lack of jokes. The tone was conversational rather than serious do-this-do-that instructions, which made it quite enjoyable for me. And I took so many notes! I’m surprised my notebook app didn’t crash.

When you use two words, a weak verb and an adverb, to do the work of one strong verb, you dilute your writing and rob it of its potential power.

There are end-of-chapter exercises and answers at the end, but one of my favourite parts is that Browne and King acknowledge their answers aren’t correct because fiction isn’t about right or wrong but rather effective and ineffective, and because of that everyone is going to get different results, some better than their own. More often than not, theory books make it sound like their way is the only way, and I loved that this one said the exact opposite.

The surest sign that you are achieving literary sophistication is when your writing begins to seem effortless.

If you’re a writer at any stage of your career you’ll find this book useful. I highly recommend you read it and buy your own copy, too, because you will want to come back to it often!

* Is anyone else annoyed by the blurbs on theory books? They’re either longer than the actual review or so short you can’t really call them blurbs -.-

Have you read Self-Editing for Fiction Writers? 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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WWW 29th November 2017

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 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

Heralding

I’m very nearly done with this and will likely finish it today. My thanks to the author for my ARC <3 Heralding will be out on December 4, so my review will be up next week! If you want to read it before then, you’ll be able to read it on Goodreads 🙂

Edit: I finished it last night (Tuesday night, that is). So. Good.

Blurb:

Life was simple for Eléonore when her biggest concerns were hunting demons, stacking shelves, and pulling off the single mother gig.

But that was before the night at the Citadelle two months ago. The night when she killed an Elder sorcerer. The night she discovered her own destructive powers.

Now Eléonore’s life is defined by questions of will…

Will her dangerous powers and Iníonaofa heritage ever be explained to her?
Will her son’s father make a reappearance in her life?
Will her son discover the terrible truth of her nighttime hunts?
Will the demon who offered her protection come for her due?

With chaos brewing in Daemoniar—the demon realm—and a tyrannical group on the rise, one thing is for certain…

Eléonore’s about to stumble into a whole new hellhole of trouble.

***

What I recently finished reading

Godsgrave

I won’t go into much detail now because I already posted my review last week but this was Good (that’s right – capital G). This series has everything I want and more, and has a permanent spot on my Forever Shelf. If you’re a fan of dark Epic Fantasy, you need to read these!

Blurb:

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

The Language of Thorns

This is probably the most beautiful book I own <3 (Although, it might need to share that spot with Illuminae) The illustrations are stunning, and the stories themselves reminded me of the bedtime stories I had as a child.

My review will be up tomorrow (with some extra pictures to show off the beautiful interior) so I won’t say any more now 🙂 It’s already on Goodreads if you’d prefer to see it now.

Blurb:

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

***

What I think I’ll read next

I don’t know! And that’s quite nice, actually, because I planned all my recent reads ahead and I’m looking forward to being surprised for a change. I made this glass of little pieces of paper which all have a title and an author written on them months ago, but then October happened and I had my Spook-tober reads planned, and then November happened and I had my NaNo reads planned… So, whatever I read after Heralding, it’ll be a random draw from this glass 🙂

(In case you were wondering:

Yellow – High Fantsy

Blue – Sci-Fi

Orange – all other fiction)

***

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!

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A-Z Name Prompts – W

Happy Monday, everyone!

How has November treated you? I got stuck with the cold everyone seems to have and it’s been sapping my energy and motivation like mad! So, today’s prompt is going to be short 🙂

Today’s prompt is:

I can only explain the lack of votes this week with everyone stressing over Christmas being so soon. (tell me I’m not the only one who’s bought no presents yet?) I definitely am! For completely unrelated reasons, I won’t do polls for the last three prompts. I really want to wrap this up before the year is over but don’t want to spam you with three polls in one week, so I’ll pick them at random myself and will get the last ones written before the year is over 🙂 There’s one scheduled for December, and then the last two will be in January.

And then after that I’ve got a weekly serial for you, but more on that in the new year 😉

As always, if the prompt speaks to you, feel free to use it. If you do, please link back here so I can be nosy :3

***

 Ward

(m.; Watchman)

The sky had still been blue when his shift had begun. Humans had still lived in free cities. Ward had stood watch for so many years he barely remembered the feel of it.

Be my Watchman, she’d said with a voice like honey and sorrow. You will know when your shift is coming to an end. It will hurt, my soldier, but keep watch. I will take your pain as soon as I am able.

She’d regretted his need for him, and had apologised for everything she’d taken from him: his wife, his baby daughter, his people. The love he’d felt for them. She’d chosen him for that love and for his loyalty. Ward remembered that much.

But he didn’t remember their names or their faces. Too much time had passed for that. He only remembered that children had laughed once, and that the sky never used to be dark like never-ending midnight.

But now, finally, after who-knew-how-many decades, he felt a shift in the air and inside himself. Felt his soul warm, slowly, like flames that struggled to spark on wet wood.

Sometimes, once a day or once a year, maybe, he heard her whisper. Patience, my Watchman. The day will come soon.

The words lit something inside him, but it never took hold. He couldn’t remember why he was patient, or what he was watching for exactly.

Only that, when it arrived, she would rebuild the world.


For all other writing prompts, check here.

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NaNoWriMo Progress Report Week 4

I’m sad to report that I have nothing to report -.- So, really, this update is pointless :O

I’m one week into what’s apparently a three-week cold, and it’s been eating my motivation and energy like candy! Definitely didn’t see that coming when I prepared for NaNo. I’ve been doing smaller things I could do from the sofa wrapped in a warm blanket, like developing my business strategy, freaking out over said business strategy, and structuring the weekly fiction serial I’ve got for you next year. Sounds full-on maybe, but I’m finding it easier to take notes on paper at the moment than to sit at my computer for 90 minutes to two hours every day.

So, there’s no word count 🙁

Don’t worry, though, I’ve still got character aesthetics and a 1st-draft excerpt 🙂 It’s a big one, to make up for the failed word count 😛

   There was enough room between the bars for a prisoner to stick their arms through. The Parashi had told Reeve to stay far away from the cell because of it. If Ludo wanted, he could have reached through and choked Reeve, taken the keys or his lockpicks around his belt, and made a run for it. But instead he just sat there like a kicked puppy desperate for forgiveness but knowing it had lost the right to beg for it.
   Reeve hated this position. He hated how it made Ludo feel. He hated how indecisive it made him. If Ludo was any other criminal he’d hang. Sparrows didn’t take chances with their regent’s life, but Ludo wasn’t any criminal. Reeve wasn’t convinced he was a criminal in any sense of the word.
   “Ludo. Answer me.” He’d get the truth out of him sooner or later. Without resorting to torture. “Bezcyn.” He hoped Ludo didn’t hear. He hated and loved how Ludo had made him feel. What was it Ludo had said as Reeve had arrested him? Everything he’d said to Reeve had been real.
   But was that just another lie? Reeve balled one hand into a fist and rammed it into the wall next to Ludo’s cell.
   “Ludo, I asked you a question.”
   “Does it make a difference? I’m not an idiot, Reeve. I know what my sentence will be.”
   “I’m here to change that sentence, you big idiot.”
   “Reeve, please…”
   “I mean it.” He turned around, shocked at how exhausted Ludo looked in the right light. “If you don’t say anything you’ll hang, but if you tell me the truth you could live. Rachael is sure you’re innocent.”
   “And how about you?” Ludo’s voice cracked from a lack of water, and he coughed. “What do you believe?”
   Reeve took the jug of water he’d been given, and sought the right key. He’d never even consider this with any criminal. But just this once, he agreed with Rachael.
   And he couldn’t stand the distance between them any more.
   He opened the lock, careful not to spill any water. Ludo watched from his place on the floor.
   “Aren’t you worried I’ll jump you?”
   Reeve forced a smile. Maybe humour was the way to go. He regretted never having been better at it. “You’ve gone awfully far just to tackle me to the ground.”
   He hated how much Ludo’s smile warmed him. “You know I’ll stop at nothing to impress you. It’s not constellations, but I hear physical proximity can be just as good.”
   Reeve handed him the jug. “Drink up.” He sat down next to Ludo and waited until the Tramuran had stopped drinking. “I believe you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whatever happened, they got the wrong man.”
   Ludo met his eyes, so blue and so hopeful Reeve almost couldn’t bare not to hold him. Almost. “You really believe that?”
   He nodded. So Ludo had lied about not being a spy. Or had he? All Reeve could remember was Ludo swearing he hated Arnost Lis as much as anyone, and their talks under the moon.


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Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)

“Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she’s told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia suspicions about the Red Church’s true motives begin to grow.

When it’s announced that Scaeva will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end him. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between love and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.”

What I thought:

My books look up to this series so much! <3 Choosing quotes to go with this review was hard. I’d throw the whole book at you if I could.

(There’s a lot of gushing ahead, by the way. In case you hadn’t guessed.)

Let’s start at the beginning. Everyone loves a map in a fantasy book, right? Well, Godsgrave has THREE! And they’re all gorgeous! I was tempted to share pictures just this once, just to show you how pretty they are, but this review is going to be long enough already. So just take my word for it, maybe?

Two passengers met in a dirty alley, in a little city by the sea.

The first was small, thin as whispers, cut in the shape of a cat. It had worn the seeming for over seven years now. It could barely remember the thing it had been before. A fraction of a deeper darkness, with only enough awareness to crawl from the black beneath Godsgrave’s skin and seek another like itself.

There are a lot of capitals in my notes for this review, and it’s mostly Mister Kindly’s and Eclipse’s fault. I love them SO MUCH! I love their banter, I love their sarcasm, I love how they care about Mia in their own ways, and I love that they’re there at all. More books need familiars. Or shadow familiars. Or shadow familiars with sarcasm. *takes notes* This books has a lot of the latter. It’s so good, friends.

The dark humour (and yes, the sarcasm – did I mention it has some of that?) was one of the many things that sold me on Nevernight, and Godsgrave has plenty more. It actually starts with a quick recap of who everyone is before the story itself begins, and I read that even though there was no way I forgot just because it put all the smiles on my face. I feel like the dark humour is the soul of this series.

She’d named him Mister Kindly. It fitted well enough. But somewhere deep inside, the cat who was not a cat knew that was not his name.

I know the footnotes in Nevernight aren’t everyone’s thing, but they’re back and I read every. single. one of them. I’m a sucker for lore and this series has so much of it. It was fascinating for me to read everything that’s related to the world but not necessarily to the story.

The relationships in this were excellent, and while there were some surprises it was the relationship between Mia and Mercurio especially that broke me. It was so special, friends <3 Really I’m lying, though, they all broke me. But Mia and Mercurio had a moment near the end and it stood out to me.

Looking out over the mezzanine to the endless shelves below, the girl couldn’t help but smile. She’d grown up inside books. No matter how dark life became, shutting out the hurt was as easy as opening a cover. A child of murdered parents and a failed rebellion, she’d still walked in the boots of scholars and warriors, queens and conquerors.

I accidentally read the last word in the book when I was only around halfway through (no, don’t go spoil it, don’t let me tempt you) but I’d seen it coming so I wasn’t shocked or felt like I’d ruined anything. And then I read the rest of the last page when I actually finished the book and wow, I don’t I don’t know what to think now! Looks like I’ll be pre-ordering Book 3!

There’s a lot of heavy swearing, gory blood shed, and sex in Godsgrave. I love that it doesn’t shy away from any detail, but it might not be your thing if you’re not into graphic detail and strong language. Otherwise, I’m recommending this series and insist you read it now if you haven’t already! It’s taken its place on my Forever Shelf alongside Nevernight, and I can’t wait to add the next one.


Have you read Godsgrave? 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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All About Writing – 7 Reasons Why You Need to Write that Book for Yourself

Happy Tuesday, friends! After October’s NaNo prep sessions and a breather, we’re finally back to this series! YAY! *throws confetti*

How are you all getting on with your NaNo projects? We’re nearing the end (if you’re behind, like me, and this is the last thing you want to hear, ignore me and pretend everything’s fine) already, and I expect your sanity levels aren’t doing too good. Which is why it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t be writing this book for anyone but yourself.*

You’ve probably received similar advice before, but what does it mean and why is it so important?

* and all the people who said you couldn’t, of course.

Writing a book is hard work, friends. Whether you’re a plotter, a pantser, or a plotster like me, you need to have your world figured out, you need to know your characters, your plot needs to make sense, the words need to get written, and there are all these other things you need to pay attention to besides.* Don’t let anyone convince you this is easy money!

The last thing you want to do is go to all this effort for other people, because–and this might hurt a little–other people won’t care about your book like you do. Sure, there’ll be readers who fall in love with your fictional babies and create fan art in their honour, but no matter how much work you put into it, there’ll always be someone who hates what you’ve created. This is much harder when you write your book to please someone else, because that someone might be the same someone who now hates your book.

I’m not saying you should write for yourself just because rejection will be easier to accept.** There are loads of reasons why you should write for yourself, and today we’re looking at seven.

* like always having enough tea in your cupboard, and not running out of snacks.
** I won’t deny that’s not a plus, though!

When I started my first ever blog, I was studying photography at university. It had been drilled into me that being professional was everything, but it wasn’t stressed enough that you can still be yourself, too. As a result, my first blog lacked personality and didn’t sound like me at all. To be honest, I’m still working on that now! You might get that I’m an honest girl who smiles a lot from my blog posts, but do they accurately convey my sarcasm or that I swear enough for my swear jar to fund a new library for my colleagues at my day job?* Fuck no! Something to work on next year, I think.

But I digress. I found it difficult to write posts for said first blog since I felt I couldn’t be myself, and that drained my motivation to keep it up.

The same is true for your books. When you get too focused on sounding a certain way, you adjust your voice so much you no longer sound like you, because you think whoever you’re writing for might enjoy it more. And then your book will lack all the things that make you you–all the wonderful things that could make your book uniquely yours!

And guess what? Those people who don’t get your voice and want you to change it to suit them? They’re not your target audience. So there’s no need to try and please them.

* not that I have a swear jar… If we had one, we’d be able to get a decent-sized library built between me and some of my colleagues! Maybe we should look into this!

Writing is hard enough as it is. There are times when your characters ignore what you planned for them and go their own way. Times when you’ll run out of tea and snacks. Times when you’ll curl up into a ball and cry in a corner because writing a book is slowly quickly robbing you of your sanity.

The more you focus on what other people want, the more you’ll cut what you want, and the less happy you’ll be with the end result. When you create something like a whole new world from bloody nothing, you should at least feel proud of your achievement by the end of it. When you’re consumed by what everyone else wants, this’ll be harder. You might feel happy for them, but how about for you, hm? This is your book–it should be your pride and joy, too.

My favourite books are the ones that made me feel something. I feel like I’ve connected with the author, have shared their vision for the brief time it took me to read the book. When you write the book you want to write, you pour a part of your soul into it, and that’s when your readers are going to connect with you. It’s that clear, brutal, amazing honesty you just don’t get from books that lost sight of their authors.

There are plenty of stories out there which mimic each other to a degree*, which lost their unique voices to play it safe, and which, I think, lack something vital.

* I’m not talking about all the books of one genre, or all the books with orphans who get adopted by their aunt and/or uncle and go on to save the world. These can still be amazing, and they often are.

It’s said that everyone has a story inside them–you’ve heard of this saying, yes? Only you can tell your story your way. This is why, even though so many scenes and whole plots get repeated, we still enjoy them over and over again, because different writers add different things to them.

It’s insane how often people have said ‘Wow! You’ll be the next J.K. Rowling!’ since I announced I was writing a fantasy book back in 2015. But here’s the thing: I don’t want to be the next J. K. Rowling. I want to be the first me. I grew up with Harry Potter and love the books, but they’d be very different books if I’d written them. Our voices are completely different! Harry Potter was J. K.’s story to tell, not mine, and only she could write them in the magical way she did. Just like only I can write my books in the way I do.

Just like only you can write your books in your way.

It’s so liberating to just write and let the words flow however they want to come out. It’s easy to get bogged down under so. much. detail! when you’re really just trying to get a first draft written. You want to get the names of every town and river right*, you don’t want to mess up the lore you created, you keep referring back to the map you’ve drawn–this is tough enough as it is, friends. When the words finally flow without you interrupting yourself, they definitely shouldn’t stop because you’re worried about what someone else might think.

* never mind the names of your characters *ahem*

At the moment, readers love strong female MCs, BFFs who comfort each other and fight sometimes maybe, and same-sex couples. That doesn’t mean your book needs to have all of the above. If your main character needs to be white and male because he was born to white parents and doesn’t have boobs, that’s fine. Let him be male! If he’s straight, let the boy be straight!*

Listen to your characters. If it turns out you were wrong and they have a better idea of who they are, let them make the decisions. I wouldn’t change a straight character into a gay one because readers happen to be into those characters right now. I also wouldn’t change a transgender character into a straight one because I’m straight. My characters are who they are.**

Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t hurt to see what the general bookish market loves or hates right now. If we all wrote the same type of characters depending on what readers love right now, all books would be too similar. You can absolutely treat what the market wants as a guideline, but don’t feel so pressured by it that you end up changing the core of your manuscript.

* Your characters will ignore what you plan for them anyway, so you may as well just give up now and listen to what they’re telling you.
** Example: One of my characters in Darkened Light started out as a straight girl, but turns out I was wrong and he’s actually a gay man because what do I know, I’m only writing the thing??

When you put so much of your time, effort, and soul into something, you’re allowed to do it for yourself. If others love it, great. If not, who cares? As we’ve already talked about, some people will hate it anyway, so you do you.

For those times when you don’t know what you want and your characters choose that moment to give you absolutely nothing, having an ideal reader can be a massive help. Your ideal reader can be someone you know who shares your love for the genre you write and understands you and your writing. It’s often easier to ask yourself what someone else might do, but if this someone doesn’t understand your book and maybe doesn’t even like the genre, your book is going to drift off in the wrong direction. I have two ideal readers, and when I’m stuck and ask myself how they would solve the problem I know I’ll still move forward in a way I’m happy with.


And that’s it for this series! It was a short one, I know, but I hope you took something away from it. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, ask away–or better yet, have a look if I’ve covered it already! In this very brief series, we’ve talked about:

The next series is about the basics of blogging, so if you’re new to the blogging game or just want some pointers, keep an eye out for the first post in two weeks time 🙂

Do you have an ideal reader? Do you write for yourself, or do you worry your voice won’t appeal to too many people? Make yourself a tea, get some biscuits, and let’s chat!


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NaNoWriMo Progress Report Week 3

Happy Friday, friends!

How are your NaNo babies coming along? Aren’t they just growing up so fast? :O

My first two weeks were a little slow, but I’ve caught up this week! *pours a shaky cup of tea* This week, I wrote 11,048 words.

That brings the total to:

25,042

#smashedit

Honestly, though, I’m a little worried that we’re over halfway through NaNo now and I’m only just at the halfway point word count wise. I’m starting to accept that I might not make it this year. I’m trying to build my business alongside writing all the words, so most days it’s a delicate balance struggle. What’s more important? Writing half of a first draft or finding clients so I don’t stay broke? You get why I’m torn.

So, if I don’t write another 25K in the next two weeks, I won’t be too hard on myself.

I know this word count is a big priority for many of us this month, but don’t forget to look after yourselves, too <3

    “It’s time, Sparrows. You all know what we’re walking into, and you all know why we’re doing it. The queen needs our help, and we’re her private army. It’s our duty to keep her safe, no matter the odds. Rachael’s safety is our priority.” He swallowed hard. He wasn’t prepared to lose any more of his family. “But that doesn’t mean you can be reckless. You can’t help Rachael if you’re dead, so I expect you to be smart and stay as safe as the situation allows. If you have to fight, give it everything you’ve got but don’t get killed while you’re at it. These demons aren’t like you and me, and they don’t die like you and me. Hold out your weapons.”

   While all of them had their weapons enchanted, it couldn’t hurt to strengthen the magic that ran through them. If the enchantment wore off—if that was even possible—he didn’t want it to happen while they were fighting for their lives.
   Kaida stepped forward, and made each weapon glow in turn until hungry flames burst from each of them. Their fires burnt hot for a second, then slowly died down to allow the Sparrows to sheathe their weapons.
   “You are my family. Rachael may be our queen, but she has made herself a part of that family, too. Protect her because she is your ruler. Fight beside her because she is your sister. The enemy is fast, but we’ll be faster. The demons are linked through dark mist magic, but we are linked by a connection they will never understand. When we get to Kaethe we will show them what happens when they take our queen from us. When we get to Kaethe, we will make them regret taking our sister. For Rachael!”


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You can find all original images on my Pinterest Board.

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

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Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

“Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.”

What I thought:

Fair warning, friends – there’s a big spoiler lower down. If you’ve read this book ignore my warning, but if you’ve yet to read it you may want to skip it. I’ve marked it accordingly so you can’t miss it 🙂

I find reviewing classics difficult. Raise your hands if you don’t know anything about Frankenstein? No one? My point exactly! I always worry a classic will be hard to read, but this was easy to get into and I enjoyed it–right up until the end which was anti-climactic and left me feeling let down. The spoiler explains why, but I do recommend you skip it if you haven’t read the book yet. Unless you don’t mind spoilers, of course 🙂

Frankenstein is about a young man obsessed with the need to create something he believed would be an end to all sickness, but who was so repulsed with the result that he rejected it. Things escalated from there, and his creation sought to destroy his life and everyone he loved. It’s a reminder that just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

And that’s the plot in a nutshell, really! 🙂

I felt sorry for the monster. Rejected by the man who created him, all he wants is to be accepted and loved rather than feared and rejected by the rest of society. That doesn’t sound unreasonable to me. It’s what everyone wants, after all, but not only does Frankenstein reject the monster, he also gives him hope just to shatter it later. Anyone would be angry after that, right?

Now, look away if you don’t want the ending spoiled:

SPOILER The whole plot builds toward this epic fight between creator and creation. Frankenstein himself wonders several times how he can possibly win since his creation is so much stronger and faster, he only knows that he has to defeat his creation. So, when Frankenstein dies of sickness and exhaustion at the end of the book without even facing his creation one last time, I felt somewhat let down. The monster itself sails out to sea never to be seen again. Nothing gets resolved. If you’re a writer and have wondered why anything you foreshadow needs to be realised, here’s an excellent example. SPOILER END

So, while I enjoyed the book, I was also disappointed with the end. It’s incredible that Shelley wrote it when she was a teenager, but I still feel like I was robbed of this one thing she promised.


Have you read Frankenstein? 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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WWW Wednesday 15th November 2017

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

There hasn’t been much any movement since my last post, so this will be quick!

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

***

What I’m currently reading

Godsgrave

I’m fewer than 30 pages away from the end as I’m preparing this post on Tuesday, and I don’t want it to end!! IT’S SO GOOD, FRIENDS! My books look up to this with unrivalled hero worship<3

My review will follow next week Thursday once I’ve made sense of my feelings.

Blurb:

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

***

What I recently finished reading

… Nothing. *ahem*

***

What I think I’ll read next

The Language of Thorns

I’m still really looking forward to this. The way I’m getting through Godsgrave I’ll either start it today or tomorrow at the latest. The illustrations are so stunning and Leigh Bardugo is my queen, so I can’t wait to get to it.

Then again, I don’t want to finish Godsgrave so I have mixed feelings.

Blurb:

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

Heralding

WonderWoman Warbringer will have to wait while I read this ARC <3 My thanks to the author for sending me a copy. I loved the prequel Eleonore last year and can’t wait to get to this! It’s on my kindle ready and waiting ^-^

Blurb:

Life was simple for Eléonore when her biggest concerns were hunting demons, stacking shelves, and pulling off the single mother gig.

But that was before the night at the Citadelle two months ago. The night when she killed an Elder sorcerer. The night she discovered her own destructive powers.

Now Eléonore’s life is defined by questions of will…

Will her dangerous powers and Iníonaofa heritage ever be explained to her?
Will her son’s father make a reappearance in her life?
Will her son discover the terrible truth of her nighttime hunts?
Will the demon who offered her protection come for her due?

With chaos brewing in Daemoniar—the demon realm—and a tyrannical group on the rise, one thing is for certain…

Eléonore’s about to stumble into a whole new hellhole of trouble.

***

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!

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A-Z Name Prompts – V

Hi, friends!

It’s occurred to me that I’ve been rather terrible at posting these little prompts. My apologies :/ To be honest, I completely forgot to do the poll for this one two weeks ago, and then I almost forgot to do the poll again last week. There’s been so much going on recently that writing short prompts just hasn’t been a priority.

But I’m here now, so let’s get on with it! 🙂

Here are the results from the last (and very late) poll:

I blame the low numbers on me not doing it sooner -.-

As always, if you want to use the prompt go ahead! If you publish it please let me know so I can be nosy ^-^

***

Verrill

(m.; loyal)

Loyalty was everything. Loyalty was the only honour that mattered. Verrill had grown up believing it, and he’d sat by his Da’s death bed swearing it.

But loyalty was difficult when your king told you to slaughter a village of women and children.

“Your orders, captain?”

His men stood behind him, awaiting orders. Thirty women and five children knelt before him, heads lowered in fear and whimpering, awaiting his judgement.

He had come so far. Just one more step.

He wasn’t sure he wanted to take it.

“Captain?”

His men had never seen him falter. He’d been raised to the rank of captain because he acted quickly and always–always–for the benefit of his king.

He had been against the creation of these villages in the first place. They were breeding grounds, a means for his king to control the population, and they were wrong. He hadn’t voiced his concerns. It wasn’t his place. His king would have Verrill hunted and executed if he sensed any sign of disobedience.

But to kill 25 innocent people because they hadn’t birthed enough children?

Every good man had his limits.

“Captain? Orders?”

Verrill stood straight. “These people are traitors to our glorious king. I will kill them myself.” He swallowed. He’d never been a good liar, and his men knew him too well. “Go watch the camp. I will return when I’m done.”

“Captain?”

“Go back, and leave me to it. Now.”

He didn’t miss the glances his men shared, but they did as they were told. Loyalty was the only honour that mattered, after all.

He waited until his men were out of earshot, and sheathed his sword.

“Leave this place. Never come back here.”

The women didn’t get up. Bloody Mercy, they were too scared to even try to run for their lives.

He sighed. Dropped his sword as a sign of goodwill.

Finally, they looked up.

“Get out of here. Now. If you leave the country, the king can’t touch you.”

They stumbled to their feet, and, still whimpering, ran with their children in their arms.

Verrill knew he’d done the right thing. If it saved lives, it had to be right.

He just hoped none of his men would question the lack of blood on the soil.


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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