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review 2017-02-15 07:15
Quick Reading Updates, Book Bingo, & Musings on Writing
Hellboy, Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction - John Byrne,Mike Mignola

 

I finished Hellboy Vol. 1 Seed of Destruction & loved every bit of it. I would have loved it even more, if there was more Liz to go around. The artwork is so beautiful but what do I know because I haven’t read more than ten graphic novels/comics in my life.

However, that is all about to change!

 

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Another graphic novel that I am loving because look how pretty!

 

Almost done with Asimov’s Science Fiction: Hugo & Nebula Award Winning Stories, which is the book that got me thinking. At the moment, I am engrossed in one of the stories featured in it, Barnacle Bill the Spacer, by Lucius Shepard. It is so unabashedly geeky and based on barnacles that I had to stop and think. It includes chunks about Barnacle biology & yet I am loving it. It reminds me of my 5k-word long short story, The Better to See You With. Not being able to publish it so far, I have been thinking if its the science that is preventing its acceptance. Shepard’s story has given me hope. Now all I have to worry about is that it might not get published because it is a sucky story. Phew!

Book Bingo continues with my girls from work. We already finished one round of reading & rolled the dice a second time. Check out the categories that we included in that super-bad picture below:

 

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My teammate & I have complete our book for O i.e. New to You Author & are now looking for a book that will fit the requirements for N i.e. Non-Human Character. So far, I am looking at these three:

 

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text 2016-09-06 16:07
Amazon's Kindle Scout Program

Anyone familiar with this?  How's it working out so far?

 

Kindle Scout

 

With Kindle Scout, you can read excerpts from unpublished manuscripts and nominate your favorites to be published to Kindle. If a book you nominated gets published, you will receive a Kindle copy of that book for free.

 

To get started with Kindle Scout: Visit kindlescout.amazon.com. If you are not signed in, click "Hello. Sign In." in the upper right corner and enter your Amazon account information.

 

  1. Read excerpts of the available Kindle Scout books and nominate your favorites to be published by clicking Nominate Me. You can nominate up to three books at a time.

 

Each book’s detail page displays how many days are left in the book’s campaign. When the campaign is over for a book you nominated, you’ll be notified via e-mail whether the title was selected to be published.

 

You will receive a free copy of the Kindle book if a title you nominated is published.

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text 2016-08-19 20:26
Norse Mythology Set in Modern Times
Midnight Burning - Karissa Laurel
A Nordic myth loving-fest with action, mysteries and sexy Nordic men.
Solina is morning the death of her brother. She goes to the small town in where he lived and worked to find answers and settle his affairs. She suffers from dreams, terrible nightmares that involve her brothers death and a wolf like creature. she wants to find some answers. First she must deal with two very different men who knew him well.
Aleksander Thorin looks like a Viking, ice blond, imposing body with a side of menace. He comes off gruff and cold. This Nordic hunk was her brothers employer.


Val was his friend, and is excited to have her in town. He is the flirty fun guy that her brother brought home with him before.




Both imposing, both sexy, both hiding something, secrets hidden always come out eventually.
This town, these people, the mystery changes everything as Solina knows it. Her light will finally shine, as the truths unfold. As her knowledge increases so does the danger. She must place her life in the hands of these men, but she doesn't do it blindly. She keeps her head centered on the goal, and doesn't fumble into rescue me princess mode.
Fantastic urban fantasy, with just the right amount of action, danger, mystery, hunks, gods, tease of romance, and mythology to make my reading heart happy. Wonderful world building and character development, and this is a first book ! Absolutely, an author to watch and follow if her first book was this great.

" He was beautiful...in the same way a size hundred pound feral tiger is beautiful."- this is about Thorin, meow, get me some catnip

"Regrets are like scars-emotional wounds that never heal quite right."- truth
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review 2016-08-15 19:36
13 Dark Tales
Dark Tales: 13 New Authors, One Twisted Anthology - Vincent V. Cava,J. L. Rach,Nthato Morakabi,Jessica T. Hopkins,Danatblair,Emilio Alterman,Ryan Winters,Dillon Murphy,Willow Dempsey,Creepy Pasta

An interesting, entertaining and enjoyable collection of short stories that can be classified as horror/ urban fantasy and just plain weird.

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review 2016-04-10 18:58
The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley
The Mirror Empire: Worldbreaker Saga 1 - Kameron Hurley

This book made waves when first published, but it took me awhile to get around to reading it because it is brutal and alien and I have to be in the right mood for something like that.

The Mirror Empire will appeal most to those who like high-concept dark fantasy: there are parallel worlds, populated by different versions of the same people; there’s carnivorous plant life everywhere; there’s a large world with widely varying societies. The Dhai, the book’s primary culture, have group marriages, choose their own genders, and eat their dead as part of funeral rituals though they’re otherwise vegetarian. Meanwhile, the empire of Dorinah has a gender-reversed version of the stereotypical patriarchal fantasy culture (men are kept at home as ornamental husbands, unless they’re prostitutes, while the army is made up entirely of women). In one world the Dorinah are a powerful empire and keep those ethnic Dhai within their borders as slaves, but in another the Dhai were triumphant and are on the move, seeking to invade other worlds.

All that is interesting, and Hurley does not hold the reader’s hand, so you have to pay attention to figure out what’s going on, especially in the first part of the book. It’s nice to read a truly imaginative fantasy rather than another version using the same old familiar shortcuts. And it amuses me to see how uncomfortable some of the gender relations portrayed have made some male readers. Suck it up, guys, this is nothing compared to what female readers tolerate in most epic fantasy written by men. Two of the four most prominent point-of-view characters are male, neither is defined by his relationship to a woman (the book easily passes a reverse Bechdel test) and only one sexual assault by a woman against a man is portrayed. There are not any sexual assaults against women in the book, though otherwise it’s as violent and gory as any grimdark fantasy.

So I think those looking for unique and imaginative fantasy will enjoy this. As for the plot, it’s most interesting toward the beginning and end, but sags in the middle. In particular, the plotline dealing with Roh in the country of the Saiduan seemed like a distraction to me. But although the fighting-an-evil-invasion aspect of the plot is standard epic fantasy, in its details it is original and I was rarely able to guess what would happen next. The writing is simple and no one is likely to be delighted by Hurley’s turns of phrase, but the starkness of it suits the story. Although 500 pages long (plus a lengthy glossary at the end), fairly short chapters and a reasonable font and spacing mean the book moves quickly.

But the character development is the book's weakest aspect. Even the protagonists are mostly flat: what you see at the beginning is what you get, with the rest of the story adding little in terms of layers or nuance. Lilia, the first protagonist we meet, is your basic orphaned teen with magical powers she doesn’t understand. (She’s the book’s most sympathetic character, mostly just because she has asthma and a bad foot and these limitations humanize her; like everyone else in this brutal world, she’s quick to take desperate measures.) Akhio is your basic scholar thrust into a powerful position for which he’s unprepared, and Roh your basic teenage boy seeking adventure. Ghrasia the war-weary militia leader, Zezili the villain protagonist and killing machine, and Anavha the none-too-bright battered husband are not the gender you'd usually expect for such characters, but otherwise are flat and standard-issue. And those are the major characters; the many secondary and minor ones have no personality and few distinguishing characteristics, which makes keeping track of them a challenge.

I’m calling it a 3.5 because although usually a character-oriented reader, I’m curious enough about what happens next (there’s little resolution here) that I probably will read the second book. I have no hesitation about dropping a series after the first book if it doesn’t seem worth the time, so on some level the storytelling clearly worked for me.

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