The State of the Reader: 5/24/17

<–The State of the Reader: 5/17/17          The State of the Reader: 5/31/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week

  1. Oak and Mist by Helen Jones: Passed – Seems like your typical YA “MC finds another world and gets involved in a love triangle with two hot otherworldly boys.”  There was a magic sword she had to find so there’s some Arthurian Legend in there, but it just didn’t grab me.
  2. Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink: Kept – I’ve heard a little bit about the radio show this is based on, but no details.  I enjoyed the magical realism setting and will probably look for a podcast of the radio program at some point.
  3. A Dove of the East by Mark Helprin: Kept – I’ve been in love with Mr. Helprin’s lanauge since Winter’s Tale, so it’s no surprise I kept this one.
  4. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb: Kept – I enjoyed it enough to keep it and besides it’s about an assassin.
  5. The Briar King by Greg Keyes: Kept – This week’s samplings haven’t particularly blown me away, but they’re solid enough for a keep.
  6. The Bone Doll’s Twin by Llyn Flewelling: Kept – Same as the above.  A lot of the books I’m sampling this week remind me of the writing I enjoyed growing up.
  7. Pathfinders by Aidan J. Reid: Passed – I really enjoyed his Spectrum, but I wasn’t overly fond of the ending of Sigil. This one just didn’t grab me, but I’m going to keep my eyes open for anything else he puts out.
  8. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: Kept (RWTR) – Utterly absorbing from the get-go.  I thought only the beginning would be told in the style it is with an interview between the two main characters, but per some reviews I glanced it, that’s the book’s style.  It doesn’t hinder the flow at all.
  9. The Body Electric by Beth Revis: Kept – I think the title is a reference to the Walt Whitman poem, and the beginning chapters are heavily charged.
  10. The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley: Kept (RWTR) – Another magical realism book who’s language I just want to devour.
  11. Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi: Kept (RTWR) – I’m no stranger to John Scalzi.  I read (most of) his Old Man’s War about a decade ago.  I liked it, but I never finished the last few chapters for some reason.  I love the quick, witty language in this book, and if I’m recalling OMW’s correctly, it had a similar flair.  I’m also fond of the title’s double entendre.

Books Purchased This Week: 3

Title: The Bone Doll’s Twin
Series Title: The Tamir Triad
Author: Lynn Flewelling
Date Added: June 9, 2016
Date Purchased: May 20, 2017

Bone Doll's Twin, TheMedia: eBook/Kindle
Price: $1.99
Retailer: Amazon

Title: Eidolon
Series Title: Wraith Kings
Author: Grace Draven
Date Added: May 23, 2017
Date Purchased: May 23, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $3.99
Retailer: Amazon

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 9/21/16

<–The State of the Reader: 9/14/16          The State of the Reader: 9/28/16–.

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: Sigil
Author: Aidan J. Reid
Date Added: June 9, 2016
Date Started: August 23, 2016
Date Finished: September 16, 2016

This is tough.  As you all know I usually review books on Goodreads and Amazon after I finish them. I want to do that with this one, but I had some major issues with it, and this is an indie author who could be really hurt by a bad review.  I know how tough the publishing world is since, well, I’m not even in it due to failure/rejection, and I don’t want to bring anyone else down, BUT I always want to give honest reviews.  If I can figure out a way to do this tactfully, I’ll definitely write one up.

For now I’ll tell you that I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads.  I think it’s a great portrayal of how small towns can hide huge secrets.  The main character is very likeable and admirable, and the book is $0.99 and fast paced.


Books Currently Reading: 4
Change from Last Week: +1

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 16%

I am well entrenched on the second branch of this book.  It’s a little bit more complex what with matrilineal kingship.  The first book was about the New Tribes that were more patriarchal whereas the Old Tribes follow a matriarchal line. There is a character named Bran though, which is something Martin borrowed from in his Song saga so I’m excited.

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Series Title: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Date Added: May 11, 2016
Date Started: August 24, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 81%

I’m really hoping this book doesn’t let me down with the ending.  I can see the direction it may be leading me into, and I’m hoping the author is clever enough to pull a bait and switch.  So far Mr. Riggs hasn’t let me down.

Title: The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 7, 2015
Date Started: February 8, 2015

Media: Hardback
Progress: 66%

Though this book is a new addition to this week, I was reading it before.  I took a hiatus, but picked it back up when I (finally) finished my last reference The Mystical Qabalah.  This compendium is the history of Westeros from GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire, my favorite (written) fantasy series and my second favorite story of all time.  If you’re a Song fan and you want to know more about the world of Westeros (and Essos and Sothoryos…collectively called Planetos in fan head canons), I highly recommend it.

I’m currently on the section about the Tyrells and before that Old Town, which was a bit chilling as the maester “writing” it mentions that ubiquitous black stone found all over the world.  There’s something very eerie about that black stone not the least of which is its connections with Lovecraftian horror.

TWOIAF only has around 330 pages, but it’s a large book nonetheless.

Title: Khalarea the Fallen
Series Title: Tales of Yagath
Author: Claus Augustus Corbett
Date Added: April 3, 2016
Date Started: September 19, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 12%

I’m trying to remember who recommended this book to me, and I’m failing miserably.  It’s not on my “Blogger Recommendations” shelf, but someone I was talking to mentioned this author because they were willing to risk less sales in order to put a content warning on their work.  Dammit…I think it was someone on WP, but this was before I kept track of who recommended what.

Another draw was how the “Tales of Yagath” sound a bit Lovecraftian to me, too.  Yagath reminds me of shoggoth, but that could also just because I’m weird.  They both end with -th.  I really don’t know.  There is a trope about that though under Names to Run Away From (yes “Sephiroth” is there.  I can’t talk about sinister names that end in -th without mentioning my favorite fallen angel), and Lovecraft, er, loved using it.

This story is about a wandering bard looking for to recount what she knows of the Legend of Khalarea to her friend, but there may be even darker truths to reveal.  This is another book written by an indie author.  I’m trying to keep up my reading with one of those on my Kindle as I go along.  So far it’s a little muddled with tons of character and place names, but I’m hoping things will fall into place soon.  It’s not very long so I don’t envision me taking much more than a week to finish.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 1

Title: Children of Light and Darkness
Author: Chibi Neko
Fandom: Vampire Hunter D
Pairing: N/A

Holy shit.  I’m reading a fanfiction that’s not only not Aeriseph but also not even Final Fantasy VII.  What the hell is going on?  Well first off I added this today after checking my email.  Chibi Neko, the author, had added my Northern Lights to their Favorite Stories list.  Whenever that occurs I always check out the person’s profile to see if they write my fandom and to see what other stories/authors they have as their favorite so I can potentially add more stories to my TBR list.  I didn’t find any fics that way, but I noticed the author has one story to their credit about Vampire Hunter D.

This is D. Yes, he's very beautiful.

This is D. Yes, he’s very beautiful.

I gave the prologue a read, and it’s interesting enough for me to delve into.  Plus pretty goth boys are my specialty whether they have black or silver hair.  There doesn’t seem to be a pairing marked in the story info, but it is designated a drama/romance.

Fanfiction.net doesn’t have a place for content warnings, and the author didn’t put any near the beginning, but if you decide to check the fic out, there’s rape/sexual assault in the prologue (not done by D, ugh, god no).  I’ll never forgot the one story I read by one of my favorite fanfiction authors where she shocked me with it.  It was absolutely harrowing, and I’m not typically triggered by rape/assault, but that particular story bothered me and still does today when I think about it 😦

Anyway, I think I’ll enjoy this.  Though FFVII is my favorite and really the only fanfic I read, there’s no harm branching out.


Books Added to Goodreads To Read List This Week: 8

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Series Title: Chaos Walking
Author: Patrick Ness
Date Added: September 16, 2016

I have to thank the lovely Writing Hufflepuff for this addition, and for giving me another tag post to do (one day lol).  This series was ranked as the most amazing book that defies all other descriptions.  Of course I had to check it out, and the blurb instantly hooked me.  Silence in a world of endless thoughts, and a heart-stopping revelation.  I must know more.

Title: Crane
Series Title: The Legends Saga
Author: Stacey Rourke
Date Added: September 16, 2016

A terse and explosive review from Cupcake and Machetes made me add this one with the added bonus that the book is free on Kindle.  I love reworked fairy tales and folk legends, and this is an add just in time for Halloween.  Not that I’m going to even start it by then (it’s highly doubtful), but I can always load up my TBR list with spooky scribblings for scary soirees.

Title: A Tale of Two Airships
Series Title: Take to the Skies
Author: Katherine McIntyre
Date Added: September 16, 2016

I already owned this book, but hadn’t added it to my TBR list for some reason.  It’s the sequel to my friend and fellow writer’s novel An Airship Named Desire.  I still need to read the first Airship, which is conveniently on my Kindle.

Title: The Forgetting
Author: Sharon Cameron
Date Added: September 16, 2016

I was immediately interested when the first line of the blurb stated that the MC lived in the land of Canaan, which is often equated with the Promised Land so VII Sense tingling even though I know it’s just a shared reference.  I still like it. Then the “forgetting” thing happened.  Every 12 years all memories are forgotten and lost forever unless they’re written down.  Memory is a huge thing for me in stories (it also tingles my VII sense for various reasons, too), and only the main character Nadia retains hers in this strange land.  As the time of forgetting approaches, she has to stop an unseen enemy with an ally who will forget her if they don’t do it before that time comes.

Title: Wicked as They Come
Series Title: Blud
Author: Delilah S. Dawson
Date Added: September 17, 2016

I haven’t read a sexy vampire story since I was into Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series before she went totally porno, and prior to that it was Anne Rice.  I don’t like Twilight for reasons beyond the writing style, and though I did enjoy Elizabeth Hunter’s Elemental Mysteries series, I haven’t had a chance to get back to it.

I have Cupcakes and Machetes to blame again for this addition.  Her review of it was all I really needed.  Not only is it about a sexy vampire, it also features another hidden world.  Those are kind of my favorite as I’ve been trying to get off this planet fervently for the past few years.  Also, the vampires aren’t the bad guys (so it would seem), and in fact may soon be the victims of genocide!  I love tales that mix up paradigms.

Title: The Wonder
Author: Emma Donoghue
Date Added: September 19, 2016

This addition came from a fantastic review of By Hook or By Book.  Emma Donoghue is also the author of RoomI’ve neither read this nor seen the movie, but I hear nothing but wonderful things about the prior mentioned and the author. This particular novel is about a girl who supposedly subsists on “manna from heaven.”  The phenomenon is not that uncommon dating back to Victorian times; however, it may be the precursor to what we know now of as anorexia.  I’m both fascinated by the possibility in the story itself and the sad origin.

Title: Halfway to the Grave
Series Title: Night Huntress
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Date Added: September 19, 2016

I can’t even really put a link since this was recommended to me in a comment by Cupcakes and Machetes.  It has a vampire bounty hunter (as in a bounty hunter who’s a vampire a la D from Vampire Hunter D), and I just can’t say no to a hot vampire dude.

Note: Hilariously, I added this prior to finding the Vampire Hunter D fanfiction above.  This is clearly a vampire week.

Title: The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Date Added: September 20, 2016

I really can’t believe I didn’t already have this on my TBR list for classics.  I was scrolling through my Goodreads newsfeed, and someone had added The Sign of Fours, which made me check to see if I had Doyle’s famous detective on my reading list.  I thought I had it there and on my Kindle, but I was wrong on both accounts.  Well both wrongs have now been righted.  I purchased the complete works for a paltry $0.99.  I’m not sure what my next classic reading will be, but I’ll be sure to fit Sherlock in at some point.

Side note.  I sincerely doubt I’ll be able to read this without thinking of Benedict Cumberbatch’s beautiful rendition of Sherlock *swoon*

sherlock


Books Added to Goodreads To Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: Solid Ground
Author: Katherine McIntyre
Date Purchased: September 16, 2016

I actually read this prior to its release (I was a beta reader), but hadn’t purchased it yet, which I did today.  It’s a quick read at only 26 pages about best friends in love and the distant between stars that could divide them.

Title: Crane
Series Title: The Legends Saga
Author: Stacey Rourke
Date Purchased: September 16, 2016

As fore mentioned it was free on Kindle so I guess I didn’t purchase it per se, but it is now in my possession.


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 9/14/16          The State of the Reader: 9/28/16–.

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The State of the Reader: 9/14/16

<–The State of the Reader: 9/7/16          The State of the Reader: 9/21/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown
Date Finished: September 12, 2016

Mystical Qabalah, TheAfter more than a decade, I finally finished this book (pay no attention to the date added.  I attempted to read this long before Goodreads existed).  I’ll say what I said in my (currently drafted) review.  The reason I read this is due to Final Fantasy VII.  This is probably the first thing I ever read because of that game (I really should make a list of all the volumes I can say this about; both read and TBR).  Since the Qabalah concerns the Tree of Life, which is made up of the Holy Sephiroth, you can probably divine why I made such a choice.  So yes, a video game caused me to take up (more) theology studies.  What’s this about them being worthless wastes of time again?

While I can’t even say that I’m remotely adept in Western Occultism, I do have a wonderful, metaphysical diagram for how I think (at the very least).  I believe with every problem you can’t just look at one issue but how it connects with everything else, which is integral to understanding the Tree of Life.

I should have my review of it up by this evening.  I’m desperately trying not to just talk about how it equates to FFVII, because ASOIAF deserves so blog time, too :p

Suffice it to say that (with only a few caveats) I highly recommend this volume, if you’re looking for a comprehensive study of the Qabalah/Jewish Mysticism.  While it’s not something you can just skim through, Fortune does break it down as simply as something so esoteric, philosophical, and metaphysical can be rendered palatable to those willing to consume.

Now I have to pick another reference book, but I think I already decided on The Poetic Edda (which is another volume I’m reading due in part to FFVII).


Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week:
-1

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 14%

I finished the first book or “branch” yesterday and started reading the next part “The Children of Llyr.”  I only got through two paragraphs because I had other things to do, but Walton’s writing is so engrossing plus I’ve head the name Llyr before in The Prydain Chronicles.  One of the books is called The Castle of Llyr.  I think Pwyll is mentioned in the Chronicles, as well, but I can’t quite recall where.  Either way, I’m going through this much faster than I thought.  It’s not nearly as stodgy and stuffy as you might expect such a compendium to be.  If the book keeps up the momentum, it’s on its way to a five star rating, and I need to look at some of Walton’s fiction/fantasy works.

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Series Title: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Date Added: May 11, 2016
Date Started: August 24, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 54%

This book is so damn good, and it gets more interesting with every reading session.  I’m now at a point where I have an idea what might go down, and I can’t wait to see how the author handles it.  It’s probably going to be heartbreaking and brutal.  I won’t give anything away.  I’m so happy I started reading it before I knew anything about a movie.

Title: Sigil
Author: Aidan J. Reid
Date Added: June 9, 2016
Date Started: August 23, 2016

Medium: Kindle
Progress: 81%

I feel like I’ve slowed down in reading this because I’m not at work (ironically).  There seems to be a ceasura in the action, the deep breath before the storm.  I hope I’m right.  Reid delivered very well before with Spectrum, so history is on his side.

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The Goodreads Book Tag

This is one of the many “tag” posts I found months ago that I saved for when I had more time.

I found this on Callum McLaughlin’s blog a while ago and put it aside to do later.  It’s currently later, and I’m excited to finally do this tag.  Like Callum, I encourage anyone to add me as a friend on Goodreads!

Let’s get to it.

  • What was the last book you marked as “read?”

The Red Rose by Fia Black from the Submissive Beth Mysteries.

This book and the one before it got me into the mystery genre, something I need to do since I want to write in it at some point.  It also has the extra bonus of portraying the BDSM scene a lot better than some more well known series out there.

  • What are you currently reading?

Four books right now:

Since I discovered that I could easily fit some Kindle pages in during lunchtime at my job, I’ve added an additional book to my reading trio.  Oddly enough, now that I’m on my vacation I’m reading less of Sigil than I was during work.

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The State of the Reader: 9/7/16

<–The State of the Reader: 8/31/16          The State of the Reader: 9/14/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 4
Change from Last Week:
0

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 90%

I am so close to finally completing this book.  I’m at the Editorial Update section, which is the very last one before the appendix.  I’m glad I kept on reading after the book proper as it’s been very symbolic and informative especially when it comes to how the Tree connects to the tarot.  I believe I’ll have this completed before my update next week.  I’m not sure if or how I’ll review this, but I’m sure I’ll have something to say about it.  I mean it did take me ten years to finish it.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 10%

I finished the first half of the first book or branch.  The language remains just as mellifluous and engaging.  I need to look into and possibly add more of Miss Walton’s works to my TBR list.

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Series Title: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Date Added: May 11, 2016
Date Started: August 24, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 39%

I only put this book down when I have to.  Something majorly interesting just happened.  It’s on my day planner to read today.  Even though I’m only at 39% complete, I could see myself finishing this before the week is out, especially since I’m on vacation.

Title: Sigil
Author: Aidan J. Reid
Date Added: June 9, 2016
Date Started: August 23, 2016

Medium: Kindle
Progress: 70%

Well the titular sigil has shown up, and I’m a little bit concerned.  Not about it per se, but about what’s going to be done with it.  I’ve really liked this novel so far.  There are many characters that are all quite eclectic and idiosyncratic, but this new element has the unfortunate potential of being a bit trite, and since I loved this author’s other work Spectrum so much for its originality, I’m hoping he’s not going that route.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 3

They’re all FFVII; they’re all Aeriseph (or have that pairing in them), and I found them all today.  Familial Ties came about due to a interchange with someone on Fanfiction.net about my story Borrowed Lives.  She left me a lovely review about it, and I replied and said she’d probably like Northern Lights.  Well it turns out she’d already read that on Archive of Our Own, and I already knew her there under another name.  So that was a nice conversation.  I started following her on both sites, and I added not only her fore mentioned story but two others she had on her favorites list on FF.net.


Books Added to Goodreads To Read List This Week: 3

Title: Anne of Green Gables
Series Title: Anne of Green Gables
Author: L.M. Montgomery
Date Added: September 2, 2016

One of my friends from high school consistently posts about this story.  It’s not my usual fare, but I’m willing to step outside of my fantasy box and give such a classic a try.

Titles: The Hero, The Sword, and The Dragons
Series Title: Chronicles of Dragon
Author: Craig Halloran
Date Added: September 2, 2016

This is a story about a man destined to be a dragon.  That’s so bad ass that I had to add this to my list.  It’s written for younger readers, which is even better.  Give the millennials hope, because there’s very little to find in this world.

Title: Chasing Embers
Series Title: Ben Garston
Author: James Bennett
Date Added: September 5, 2016

This story shares something in common with another add this week, and had such a glowing review from By Hook or By Book that I had to add it.


Books Purchased This Week: 0


Books Added to Goodreads To Reread List This Week: 0


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 8/31/16          The State of the Reader: 9/14/16–>

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The State of the Reader: 8/31/16

<–The State of the Reader: 8/24/16          The State of the Reader: 9/7/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 4
Change from Last Week:
0

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 82%

I finished the part of the book initially written by Fortune, and while I was  on the fence with whether I’d continue into the Subjective Pathworking section, I’m glad I did.  In many ways it’s more engaging than the book proper.  There are other reasons I’m happy I continued.  I came upon something extremely meta that I never would’ve known about had I not.

Fortune in this latter section strives to explain the concept of Astral Light, and I immediately thought of two other ideas, one bleeding from the other, with the source concept very well known in popular culture:

“It is held to extend like a tenuous yet viscid atmosphere throughout the entire cosmos, interpenetrating all dense substance, and acting as the medium for the transmission of subtle forces.”

I read that and thought, “…wait, that sounds a hell of a lot like the Force.”  *letting the geek flag fly* “And wait again…the Lifestream from FFVII is inspired by the Force…and this book is about the Holy Sephiroth, omg holy meta, Batman, wheels within wheels.”  Do I think Squeenix delved that deeply into this concept?  Probably not, but I do believe they did some preliminary research, nor is it farfetched that they’d use philosophies from the Qabalah, as it’s quite commonly if not knowingly utilized through the fantasy and sci-fi genre.  It’s one of those theologies that’s prevalent in the zeitgeist, though it’s not necessarily named.  I’m pretty sure GRRM is using it to with his followers of R’hllor, the Red God, in the ideas of light and darkness, as there aren’t two trees, but rather the tree and the shadow it casts.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 7%

I read more, but only a little bit.  Apparently, I didn’t put any reading on my to do list so I didn’t do any (except for what I can from my phone) since Saturday.  Wtf.  I’ve remedied it, but I’m a bit annoyed since I really like this and the one below.

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The State of the Reader: 8/24/16

<–The State of the Reader: 8/17/16          The State of the Reader: 8/31/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: The Red Rose
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: August 8, 2016
Date Started: Unknown
Date Finished: August 23, 2016

This was a nice quick-read mystery that I highly recommend along with the first book in the series The Jade Dragon.  I’ll be writing a full review of this hopefully by the end of the week.


Books Currently Reading: 4
Change from Last Week:
 +1

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 77%

I finally finished the chapter on Malkuth, and I’m about to start the one on the Qliphoth or Unholy Sephiroth (emanations from the left hand of God).  After that the format of the book changes to be more instruction like for practical workings so I’m not sure how much of that I’m going to read.  We’ll see when we get there.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 7%

I read two and a half chapters in one setting this week instead of my customary one.  This compendium continues to delight.  Ms. Walton has a wonderful way with language.

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Series Title: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Date Added: May 11, 2016
Date Started: August 24, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 13%

I added this book on the May 11, 2016 State of the Reader post.  The instant I picked this volume up in the bookstore a tingle ran through my bones.  I knew it was going to be extraordinary, and I have not been disappointed.  It grips you from even the prologue, which is amazing since prologues are considered out of vogue these days and Ransom Riggs is a new writer, (or rather this is his first published book) so I know the story is fantastic since newbies are usually castigated for making that faux pas (I removed the prologue from my original WIP for that very reason).

This is a mystery that involves a murder, but the murder is only the start.

Title: Sigil
Author: Aidan J. Reid
Date Added: June 9, 2016
Date Started: August 23, 2016

Medium: Kindle
Progress: 10%

I added this book on the June 16, 2016 State of the Reader post.  Like the first story I read by this author, Spectrum (reviewed here), Sigil immediately grips you.  Each chapter so far hangs you on a cliff and you have to see what happens next.  Murder-mystery in a sleepy (Irish) town is certainly something that’s been often done, but the unconventional priest detective puts me in the mind of another unconventional murder-mystery 3 Gates to the Dead by Jonathon Ryan (which I’ve reviewed here).  The author himself is from Northern Ireland so there’s a powerful and authentic voice behind every word.

If you didn’t notice I’m currently reading four books instead of my customary three.  I noticed I was getting a bit of reading done on my Kindle right before bed with The Red RoseI’d already decided I was going to read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children next, and realized that since Kindle reading (on my phone at least) doesn’t require a light, I could snatch some pages up before going to sleep.  I used to read from my Kindle prior to jazzercise (back when I was able to go ;_;) and have noticed I can even get some chapters read at work during lunch.  I’m always trying to get as many finished read as possible especially considering I’ve over 500 on my TBR list.  Since I managed to read 10% in only about a day, I think this plan has merit.

Therefore I’ll now be doubling up on my fantasy/general fiction reading since I can have both a physical book and a kindle copy going concurrently.

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The State of the Writer: 7/23/16

<–The State of the Writer: 7/16/16          The State of the Writer: 7/30/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Content Warning: Discussions of rape and rape rhetoric.


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 273, 963
Prior Word Count: 274,492
Word Difference: -529
Status: Editing
Progress: 2nd Edit of Chapter 2

Angel Wing Pin

I started the second edit of Chapter 2 this week and thoroughly abandoned any ideas of finishing the full edit by Christmas.  Second edits tend to go smoother than firsts, since many of the worst tangles have been worked out.  I can usually edit more pages the second time around in one sitting.  Last night I made it through three.  It was also late, and I was tired, so it’s possible in more ideal conditions, I could edit more.  I’d like to say the second edit will be finished by weekend’s, er, end, but I always seem to be wrong with these things, so I’m not going to bother to predict.

The angel wing pin picture above comes with a background story.   When I initially reached this point of the story, I was 90% certain I was going to make him mayor of the town.  I’m not sure what the 10% negative was, but once I realized I’d again be making a Les Miserable reference, I was all for it.  Northern Lights takes a great deal of inspiration from Les Mis, and The Broken Rose is arguably an alternative spinoff of Northern Lights. 

After seeing the latest rendition of Hugo’s social masterpiece, I realized how I’d begin NL with Sephiroth chained in Midgar.  Granted that’s also a major Paradise Lost reference, but it was the scene in Les Mis where Cosette sees Jean Val Jean’s shackle scars that solidified it for me.  While Sephiroth has no (visible) scars, that scene in the movie made me visual Aeris finding him chained somewhere in the city.

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Spectrum by Aidan J. Reid

Title: Spectrum
Author: Aidan J. Reid
Genre: Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction

Pages: 35
Publication Date: June 18, 2016
Media Type: Kindle

“The human brain decodes only 0.0035% of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. A tiny fraction which our eyes recognise as ‘visible light’.

BioLuminary Enterprises conduct early clinical trials and breakthrough medical research for pharmaceutical companies. Pushing the boundaries of science, they have developed a controversial new study and are actively seeking volunteers.

As far as the eye can see…”


Though I finished Patrick Rothfuss’s The Slow Regard of Silent Things prior to reading Spectrum, I decided to review the latter first as Mr. Rothfuss’s first Kingkiller Chronicle book has over 20k reviews, but Mr. Reid’s brief masterpiece has seven.  This needs to be remedied.

I discovered this story on the author’s own blog, and added it accordingly.  Briefly…it’s phenomenal.  I was hooked by the opening line.  To say too much would be to give the story away, but the main character is an unnamed young woman with a slew of problems (drugs, alcohol, and homelessness more than likely due to the prior) is offered an opportunity by a medical research company.  She takes it and the story is a record of her experiences.

Reid flawlessly shows us how certain people are considered expendable, which is especially evinced by an extremely chilling section at the end.  The limited point of view forces the reader to look outside of what the narrator can see (if you read the story, you’ll understand the meta in this description) and realize just how much she’s being taken advantage of as a marginalized member of society.  Even though she’s been living on the streets and comes off a bit rough around the edges, she has an almost childlike trust of what this company’s representatives are telling her.  The end is an absolute gut punch made more brutal by how quickly the drop occurs.

At 35 pages Spectrum was an incredibly quick read, which was facilitated by my inability to put it down.  It is a brief but powerful commentary on bioethics, and it forces us to question what may very well be going on right now.

I’ve added Mr. Reid’s other books, Pathfinder and Sigil to my to-read list, and if Spectrum is any indication, I will thoroughly enjoy both reads.

5 stars.

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The State of the Writer: 7/16/16

<–The State of the Writer: 7/9/16          The State of the Writer: 7/23/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 274, 492
Prior Word Count: 275,045
Word Difference: -553
Status: Editing
Progress: 1st Edit of Chapter 2

Bedroom with Canopy BedI am still on Chapter 2, and it’s almost been two weeks.  I came to a conclusion that I thought was going to be a hard truth, but once I arrive at it, it forced me to be easier on myself.

I realized I’m not going to finish editing this by Christmas.  I would have to edit a chapter a week, and I’ve already fallen behind with that.  I started the current chapter on 7/3.  It’s 7/16 and I still haven’t finished the first edit.  It’s just not going to happen, and pushing myself to already stretched limits will just make me break.  Editing is also on my planner every day, and that needs to change.  I fully intend to edit most days of the week, but it’s just not feasible for me to edit every day especially when I have other things to work on.  Like the essay I’ll talk about below, book reviews, game reviews, game playing, etc.  I also want to reedit and repost some of my older fanfictions and reedit and resubmit some of my old original work in addition to reediting the paranormal romance novel I put on hold.  I worry about disappointing people who are interested in reading my work so I want it out now, but one, most of the people who’ve expressed interest understand that writing/editing takes time, and I’m starting to think about that like I think about GRRM and The Winds of Winter.  Of course I want to read it, but stories don’t come quickly or easily.  Even though I’m a nobody and he’s the author of the greatest fantasy epic of our time, at the very least I can extend that same, small courtesy to myself.

So I will be taking some time (probably on the weekends) to edit some of my older fanfictions.  I really want to revise my very first one Forgiveness and Redemption and get that back up here and elsewhere (it’s an FFVII Aeriseph one, too).  Same with Borrowed Lives.  Although that one is up; I have a little bit of tweaking to do with it.  Then my short story Threads of Sorrow needs to be reedited and resubmitted in a process that will surely include rejection and heartbreak.  Don’t get me started on the paranormal romance The Serpent’s Tale.  And I have ideas for new stories, too.

So *takes deep breath* now that that’s out of the way, I can talk about my progress on this edit instead of worrying about the completion of the edit.  The picture above is a potential one for the chapter.  It’s close to what Aeris’s new bed and bedroom look like.  Not…quite perfect, but it’s a start.  I figured out that I want to have a picture of her room to represent the chapter, because her having not just a new home but a home is a major point in this part about gentleness.  I want to look up others, and would love to find a picture of a bedroom with a canopy bed and a view out a window to a balcony.  If any one locates something like this and tells me, I would be beyond grateful.  In my mind’s eye, the canopy’s drapes are a dark color, maybe rich wine red, and the carpet is plush and white.  It is a place I would love to awaken, though no one deserves to awaken in Aeris’s state.

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