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review 2017-07-21 13:30
The Rose Society by Marie Lu
The Rose Society - Marie Lu

I knew this series would be dark based off of the first book, but wow this series went farther with that than I originally expected it to. Honestly, I'm so glad this book went there. It stands out from the numerous young adult books that feature characters with special powers.

 

The main character, Adelina, is not the typical main character you'd expect. She fully embraces darkness and feeds off of others fear. She revels in the deaths that she causes and her ambition drivers her further to being a villain. It's incredible to read about because it's such a unique story and Marie Lu artfully depicts Adeline's ambition, as well as her madness. 

 

Adelina is not the only stand out character in this book. Due to events at the end of the last book, a new set of characters becomes the main cast of the story, aside from Raffaele and Teren. Teren is very clearly crazy and dangerous and I really liked the direction his character went in. It was believable, but also chilling, especially when it's clear that his mind isn't all there. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about Raffaele though. His chapters seemed the slowest, but honestly he seems like the only one in this series with his head screwed on right.

 

The main reason that I wasn't blown away by this book was because it didn't shock or wow me in any way. I enjoyed the characters and the story, but the plot played out almost exactly as I expected it would. I was hoping that this ending would surprise me like the last one did, but I had predicted how it would end before even picking up the book.

 

The romance in the book didn't overwhelm the plot, but there is somewhat of a love triangle. There also seems to be a bit of insta love with Magiano and Adelina. Honestly, I don't know why someone full of joy would be attracted to Adelina in any way, but somehow that happened. There wasn't really a build up to the attraction and I'm kind of confused by it. I quite like Magiano, but he deserves better than Adelina, especially because she still pines for Enzo.

 

As much as I enjoy the characters and where the story has gone, I was looking for a little more from this book. The beginning was fairly slow and consisted mainly of planning and setting up for the action at the end of the book. If you can get through the slower part, then the end definitely makes up for it with plenty of action.

 

Overall, I did enjoy this book though and I will be picking up the next book. However, my need for The Midnight Star is less than the need I had to read The Rose Society. I'm not sure if it's because I feel like I know how the series will end or if it's because this book didn't end nearly as dramatically as The Young Elites.

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text 2017-07-20 07:56
East Van Saturday Night - submissions, round two

 

East Van Saturday - four short stories and a novella, has just been sent out to three more Canadian publishers.

 

The process began in November of last year when I decided that self-publishing another work (currently I've self-published eight novels and two plays) wasn't going to achieve what I wanted.

 

What do I want?

Critical, serious consideration for my writing and you're not likely going to receive that as an self-published author.

 

Why? Because it's now dead easy to self-publish and guess what, everybody's doing it. In 2015 alone, 625,327 ISBN numbers were issued for individual indie books.

 

In the past six months I've submitted to five publishers. If you think sending out submissions is easy, well, I guess it depends on what you're comparing it to.

 

Consider:

- publishers are obsessively specific about how your manuscript should be presented: what font style, what type size, margin widths, headers, etc.

- part of the submission package is to explain why you think your work is a good fit for them,

- you must provide details on how you're prepared to market your book,

- in most cases they will not accept simultaneous or multiple submissions,

- they won't let you know they received your submission,

- you are under no circumstances allowed to contact them in any way,

- they won't let you know if they reject your work, they'll just shred it, using "a secure process".

 

Okay, so it's not that difficult, it's just extremely annoying to have to deal with their arrogance - and that's without ever having the opportunity to speak with any of them.

 

To make it even more galling, in 2014-15 these guys (and gals) received $30 million dollars in Canadian government subsidies - that's my tax money.

 

And what exactly do they do for this money now that all the services: editing, cover design, production, marketing and distribution can be done by the author or purchased from experts relatively inexpensively?

 

One thing.

 

They're the gatekeepers to literary acceptance. If you're an indie author you're a joke, if your traditionally published you're accepted by the literati.

 

Not that I'll make any more money. Emerging authors are lucky to receive a fifteen percent royalty on traditionally published books.

So here we go again.

 

East Van Saturday Night - four short stories and a novella, are to some degree autobiographical and impart to the reader why you can take the boy out of East Van, but you'll never take East Van out of the boy.


Though the stories are all set in East Vancouver (with the exception of Hitchhike, which is a cross Canada misadventure during the "summer of love"), the themes have universal appeal and the music, the fashions and the culture are distinctly familiar to "boomers".

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

Amazon Author Page   https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

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review 2017-07-18 13:30
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity) - Victoria Schwab

I can't believe this is my first Victoria Schwab book. I've been putting off reading her books for awhile now and I honestly don't know why. This book has such rave reviews, so I knew I had to at least give it a shot. I was really hoping that I would love it because it sounds amazing. Maybe it was my high expectations, but I'm not in love with this book as much as I wanted to be. I was expecting to be wowed, to feel things, to never want to stop reading, etc., but while this is definitely above average, it wasn't the flawless masterpiece I was expecting.

 

The book really shines with the unique world that Schwab has created. Monsters that are born from violence made by humans is so original and the idea kept me engrossed in the story. I wanted to the know the the whys of everything. Throughout the book I kept thinking "how could this possibly be resolved/fixed" and that makes me want to keep reading. I loved the little song that pops up throughout the book about the monsters, it's creative and chilling.

 

I really loved August as a main character, if not only because his character plays the violin (I have a weakness for violin playing characters, don't ask me why). I did enjoy his character for more than his music though. I really liked how he's a monster dealing with the fact that he doesn't want to be one. It's not a unique idea, but I really loved how it was executed in this story. It felt fresh and out of all the characters, I think I felt for August the most.

 

The story falls a little flat in the beginning. Kate and August are both new students, they're kind of drawn to each other/keep running into each other without meaning to, and at first they don't seem to like each other much. It's not a very original start to the story if you take out the monsters, but the story redeems itself with absolutely no romance. Honestly, I didn't see that coming. I thought for sure there might be some sort of romance, so I was pleasantly surprised that a friendship developed instead. I didn't dislike Kate, but she also wasn't my favorite, but I loved her friendship with August and how it developed.

 

The second half of the book is intense and so many things start to happen. I absolutely loved it and the ending left me kind of chilled. I really need the next book and I've heard it's even better than the first.

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text 2017-07-13 18:43
Readercon updates
Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha Lee
Raven Stratagem - Yoon Ha Lee
Wings of Fire Book Four: The Dark Secret - Tui T. Sutherland
Grave Matters: A Night Owls Novel - Lauren M. Roy

I'm going to lounge a little before going to Quincy.   Eat.   Relax.   Shower.   Nap.   Gather books I want signed. 

 

I have to say this is just annoying me though.   Look what conflicts with the Okarafor signing!

 

 

Whyyyyy?

 

Of course, I think I can view it online eventually.   Because I'm going to that signing.  I might be able to sneak in mid-talk, but, damn it.   Damn it all.   

 

I did sneak in four more book purchases after seeing that Yoon Ha Lee and Tui Sutherland were going to be there.  I knew about Lauren Roy but was shy of spending more money before Readercon, but since I was determined to buy a new copy of Tongues of Serpants - I can't find my read copy, blargh - I ended up splurging on this, too.   You only live once and this and Inhumans are my last hurrahs before I bury myself in grad school!

 

PS: I don't want to annoy myself.  Unlikely I'll read or talk about SE until Readercon finishes, maybe a week or so after that, too. 

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review 2017-07-11 12:00
No Good Deed by Kara Connolly
No Good Deed - Kara Connolly

This book immediately caught my eye because there aren't that many Robin Hood retellings and I remember a couple years ago I was really interested in reading a retelling of that story and I never got around to it. I'm so glad I got the chance to read this.

 

This story different from a lot of retellings because it involves time travel, most don't have the main character aware that they're participating in the retelling of a classic story. I actually really enjoyed the awareness Ellie has about her role as Robin Hood because it provided a bit of comic relief. I definitely enjoyed Ellie as a character because even though she was in the middle ages, she didn't let her gender allow people to boss her around or tell her that she can't do something be it's not ladylike.

 

I also enjoyed the side characters, especially Will and James, even Guilbert. I thought all of them were interesting and I enjoyed that Will and Guilbert were flawed. I don't remember James having an obvious flaws and usually that bothers me because then the character is too perfect, but I still really enjoyed his character because he was just a really good guy. I'm not really familiar with the details of the Robin Hood story, but I don't remember ever hearing about a character named James. If he is a new character, then the author did a really good job of incorporating him into the story so that it seems natural for him to be there. If he's not a new character, then I should really go back and reread the story of Robin Hood.

 

I actually really enjoyed the fact that there wasn't really any romance throughout the book. There was a little bit of romantic tension during certain parts, but it definitely didn't go further than Ellie noticing that James is attractive and her occasionally thinking about that. It's probably a good thing that nothing happened there because that would probably do something bad for the future. As is, Ellie probably messes a little too much with the past

 

There were a few parts of the book that I didn't enjoy that much, one of them being the dialogue. I'm not historian, but the characters seemed to talk a lot like Ellie or at least they used very similar language, when they weren't speaking in french. It probably made it easier to understand, but at the same time it sometimes took me out of the world. I also would have liked more descriptions of the world and the characters. The story was good enough to make up for a lack of some descriptions, but I definitely wanted a more clear picture of the time period and the people that Ellie encountered.

 

The ending of the story tied everything up really well. I thought it was really sweet, but also bittersweet. It was a nice fast paced and fun read. I'll definitely be looking forward to more books from this author. 

 

*I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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