Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson

Can you actually read this?
BAM! Five Stars! That was a no brainer for me. Any book that keeps me up until 3am because I Can't. Stop. Reading, gets a top-notch review from me. Don't believe me? Check out my fitbit captured stats the night I finished Hero of Ages.

I'm crazy addicted to reading, guys. Totally obsessive compulsive, and I LOVE IT!

So, back to Mistborn. This will be a review on the first three books in the series, The Final Empire, Well of Ascension and Hero of Ages, since it's all one continuous story. I half read, half listened to the books. Michael Kramer once again narrates, but this time he also does the female POV's. Although I missed Kate Reading, Kramer does an excellent job as always. His character accents helped bring the story to life and were pretty consistent all the way through. There was also one character whose voice deepened by the third book, which I thought was an very good portrayal of growth, because... well.. that character had seen some shit by then. It was a nice touch.

The series is more of an urban fantasy, and is set in a world that was conquered by the Lord Ruler one thousand years in the past. There are Noblemen (the Lord Ruler's followers) and the Skaa (the slaves punished by the Lord Ruler for not following him.) Pretty simple set up.

The Lord Ruler is a very mysterious entity and Sanderson did a fascinating job with his slow unveiling of this particular big bad. The Lord Ruler is seen as a god, his powers in Allomancy (the worlds magic system) far greater than any of the Noblemen that follow him. The Skaa have little to no hope in achieving freedom until our antagonist, Vin, joins up with a Skaa thieving crew intent on the impossible task of overthrowing the Lord Ruler.

The three books mostly follow Vin, who is only sixteen when we first meet her, but the books span a few  years and she grows into a competent young woman by the end. Although some of the reveals were pretty heavy handed, I'll admit that Sanderson really had me wondering how he was going to wrap everything up. Not one possible ending that I thought up was even close to what happened, and that night spent reading until the wee hours of the morning was truly worth it. Tears were shed. I was so caught up in this world that I had to take a short hiatus before I started my next book.

Which is Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf. Can I get a WHAT WHAT from the Drizzt fans out there? Oh, yeah! (I'm already halfway through... Did I mention I'm behind on reviews? NEway...)

So Camp NaNoWrimo is starting tomorrow, and I've entered in the estimated 25k words I have left to write for the first draft. That should be an easy goal to hit, so a release by the end of this year is looking highly likely! Are you Phoenix fans excited yet? If you weren't aware, you can find the prologue online over here. Just a little taste of where this next installment is heading... at least for one of our loveable Phoenix, anyway.

Well, that's all I have for today! Have a great week and happy reading, as always!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Darkness Of The Womb, By Richard B. Knight

Here we are at another wonderful Tuesday! I hope everyone is enjoying their week so far!

Yeah.... nevermind. I'm not this cheerful in the morning. Honestly, it's dangerous to talk to me before 10am. I am not fully functional. There's a good chance I could have forgotten to brush my hair before I left the house. For best results for all parties involved, contact me after noon.

We should probably just move on to the review, whadaya say?

Recently, I finished another indie book, Darkness of the Womb, by Richard B. Knight. This is the first book by a very promising new author and one to keep an eye on.

Darkness of the Womb is a good mix of fantasy and horror, and it's the good kind of horror. Psychological. The story is about an unborn child who doesn't want to be born. He is on a mission to abort himself and the story details the journey of his parents as they try to save him. Human traits are personified as antagonists and unlikely heroes, each one identified with signature colors that result in a very vivid story.

Although the structure of the story felt weak in some places, it was still an enthralling read. Knight did an excellent job with his characters and I found myself invested in the side characters as much as the main. I would call it a dark fairy-tale, and it receives a solid 4 stars from me. I enjoyed the book so much, I will probably be grabbing his second novel as well.

When I finished Darkness of the Womb, I jumped into Mistborn... Man... what a wild ride that was. That will probably be my next review.

Aside from all the maniacal reading I've been doing lately, I've put in a lot of work on the consolidation of After and I'm pleased to announce that the paperback and e-book are available now! With a brand new cover! If you've already purchased all three books, the consolidated book doesn't offer any new content, although it might be a bit cleaner as far as editing goes. It does however, have the first teaser chapter of Dreamland at the back.

Oh my!

No need to rush out(over?) and buy it just for the teaser. I have a brand new page up for Dreamland updates alone, and you can find it there. You'll also notice I've finally added a timeline for publication as well as some interesting stats. That date isn't set in stone as of yet, but I do plan to be finished with the first manuscript by the end of April. Things have been going so well with the writing lately, I don't want to say anything else or I'll jinx myself!

Read up and enjoy!

And try to survive until Friday!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Maze Runner, By James Dashner

I am BACK! Woohoo!

Finally, the day job weekend conversions are OVER and I can get back to normal again. Well, I've already started that, actually, I just haven't made it over to the blog for a while. It seemed somewhat pointless since I didn't have anything to talk about but boring day job conversion weekends. No one wants to hear about those, my poor husband least of all. At least he was there to suffer through these trials with me...

Speaking of trials (cough) I did manage to finish The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure, books 2 and 3 in The Maze Runner series. I read The Maze Runner sometime last year, but only reviewed it on Amazon... or Audible... I can't remember which. Way to be on top of my game, eh?

Anyway, The Maze Runner as a series gets a solid four stars from me. I really enjoyed the set up of the first book, but something seemed to happen with the second. I'm not sure what exactly, the book was good and there was non-stop action, but I felt a disconnect from some of the established characters. However, some new characters are introduced in book two that quickly became my favorites. I enjoyed The Death Cure as much as I enjoyed the first book.

*** Minor Spoiler Below ***

I've read some reviews that revealed a lot of people didn't like how book three ended. Some stated there was too much information left out, but I felt we got the perfect amount. No, we never end up finding out what motivated Thomas prior to joining the Gladers, but do we really need too? That wasn't our Thomas. Our Thomas started the moment he woke up in the box and we were with him from then on. The mystery that still lingers about his past was not something that I was missing from the story. Also, the whole tie up at the end with WCKD was brilliant.

I really want to say more, especially concerning Newt's storyline, but since the movies are being made, I'll keep that to myself. Those that have read the books will probably understand where I'm going with this.

In conclusion, I found this to be a very entertaining YA novel/series. I even recommended it to my daugher, who blew through the three books at top speed. I think she finished The Death Cure in one day. Whew!

Now on to other things, like what's going on with The Phoenix Curse right now?

Well, all three parts of After are now available for digital download across Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Apple, Scribd, Oyster and a few others.

After - Part Three's paperback proof is in the mail now... WOOWOO!! Keep you're fingers crossed on that one, because I spent two weeks fighting with the cover for that before it got accepted. Oy, why does it have to be so difficult? Let's hope the cover is perfect when I get it, so I can hit that publish button right away.

Next on the paperback/hardcover list of things that are happening, After, the complete book one, will also have a wide release soon. I'm only waiting on one thing to get started on the formatting... The teaser chapter for Dreamland that is already in the hands of my beta reader!

Can I get a HELLZ YEAH??

Not to worry, (if you're the worrying type.) You won't have to run out to buy the full book to get the teaser. That will be posted on my blog as soon as I get it back. Yes, I'm anxiously awaiting that too.

And lastly (I like that word), some juicy tidbits on Dreamland. Mmmhmm. The book is shaping up to have about 9 chapters. I'm halfway through writing chapter 4, and plan on a spring break marathon to see how much closer I can get to number 9 this month. You might be seeing Dreamland - Part One by the end of the year! That's currently my goal, but if I can get it out to you prior to that, I will.

And that's all I have for now.

Except for this... The dress is white and gold.