The State of the Reader: 8/16/17

<–The State of the Reader: 8/9/17          The State of the Reader: 8/23/17–>

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. The Pendragon Protocol by Philip Purser-Hallard: Kept – Arthurian Knights in the modern day with modern technology doing what they do best.  Certain types of urban fantasy are growing on me.  I like the speculation of how classic fantasy characters and tropes would look with modern technology.  It was also inexpensive, so I now have it on Kindle.
  2. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough: Kept – I hoping this psychological thriller is more satisfying than the last one I read.
  3. Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold: Passed – It just didn’t grab me.
  4. One by Sarah Crossan: Kept (RWTR) – I had no idea this was written in free verse lending it a lovely poetic air.  I was already interesting in it for it’s subject matter (conjoined twin sisters), though I have a feeling I’m going to be a bawling mess by the end.
  5. Dweller by Jeff Strand: Kept (RWTR) – Gripping from the very first sentence, and the monster (or monsters) from the blurb are clearly sentient.  At only $2.99 I had to buy it.
  6. Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory: Kept – This has been a week of cheap samples.  I keep reading samples for books that are really inexpensive on Amazon.  This is a zombie story with a twist (of course, since zombie stories are old news now).  The Mayhall family finds the body of a pregnant teenager with a seemingly dead baby, but though the child has no pulse, he appears to be “alive.”  They hide the child from the authorities who will kill him (sounds similar to The Last of Us), keeping his existence a secret until circumstances force the boy, whom they name Stony, to run.  This is the second Daryl Gregory book I’ll have read, the first being The Devil’s Alphabet, which had a great deal of potential, but was ultimately disappointing.  I hope Raising Stony Mayhall doesn’t fall into the same trap.
  7. The Children of Húrin by Christopher Tolkien: Kept – This was one of those books that had too much introduction, so I didn’t actually get to read any of it, but it’s the work of J. R. R. Tolkien edited by his son, so I have high hopes.  I was also able to borrow it on Amazon Prime.  Apparently, you can do that with some books with the limit being ten at a time.

Books Purchased This Week: 5

Title: The Pendragon Protocol
Series Title: The Devices Trilogy
Author: Philip Purser-Hallard
Date Added: January 15, 2017
Date Purchased: August 10, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $2.95
Retailer: Amazon

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The State of the Writer: 8/13/17

<–The State of the Writer: 8/6/17          The State of the Writer: 8/20/17–>

A weekly post updated every Sunday 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: 266,752
Prior Word Count: 266,754
Word Difference: -2
Status: Posting Chapter 10
Progress: Posted to WP

The process of posting can be as arduous as the process of editing.  I’ve posted Chapter 10 here, as I’m sure some of you have seen (if not I linked it), but I still have three other sites to replicate that on, all with different nuances of method.  I’ll try to get it up on AO3 tonight, since that’s the easiest one.  I’d say the hardest is Deviant Art, since tumblr’s made some updates so I don’t have to go through and add italics any more after I copy and paste, but DevArt is all HTML coding, which I’ve become quite adept at.  The easiest thing to do is switch to HTML on WordPress and copy/paste from there.  Unfortunately, DA has an unknown character limit, so you have to estimate how much you can post.  I’ll have to split this chapter into at least two due to its length.  Once it’s posted where it needs to be, I’ll start editing the next chapter.

Oh!  I also fixed the image for Chapter 9.  How I missed this in my reviews I don’t know, but the words were “Chapter 10 Excursion” instead of Chapter 9 *facepalm*  I’d post a picture of it so you could see what I meant specifically, but it looks like I deleted it entirely.

Project: Book Reviews
Title: Various
Status: Upcoming

I posted the review for Nightshade City by Hilary Wagner (which I DNF) yesterday.  Seems like I’m posting one review a week.  I want to up that. I did post a mini-review of sorts for Tales of the Arabian Nights on Goodreads, which I wasn’t going to do, but some of the reviews I saw for it pissed me off, so it was more of a review response than an actual review.  I talk about this more and in fact copied what I wrote in my upcoming State of the Reader.

The current and upcoming list is as follows:

  1. Talon by Julie Kagawa
  2. Saga: Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
  3. Stone & Iris by Jonathan Ballagh
  4. Gaslight Hades by Grace Draven
  5. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  6. Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
  7. The Beauty Thief by Rachael Ritchey (DNF)
  8. The Poetic Edda by Anonymous
  9. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Volume 1 by Katie Cook & Andy Price
  10. Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
  11. The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
  12. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess by Akira Himekawa
  13. Goldie Vance Volume 1 by Hope Larson & Brittney Williams

Project: Game Review
Title: SOMA
Developer:  Frictional Games
Let’s Player: ChristopherOdd
Prior Word Count: 1071
Current
Word Count: 1738
Word Difference: +667
Status: Drafting

Just completed some work on the review right before this update.  I’m in story summary mode, which I always have a dilemma with.  Do I summarize and analyze concurrently or do I save the latter for afterwards?  I usually settle on a happy medium: I’m bringing up questions and ideas in the summary that I’ll explore in a thorough analysis afterwards.

What’s also difficult is triangulating all of my information sources.  Neither Wikipedia nor the SOMA wiki adequately recount the story to my liking, but I need some plot point reminders, just enough to spark my memory.  I don’t recall the order of everything, and a lot of the timeline pages I’ve found paint with too broad of a brush, missing some seemingly minor but integral elements e.g. Carl, first encounter with a WAU node, etc., and I think they order the events differently, though I’m less concerned about that as I am missing something vital. This is going to be a long term review project that I might slate for finish the first two weeks of September when I’m on vacation.


What are you currently working on?  Is it a creative writing project, essay, review, or something else?  Have you just started something new or are you wrapping up a long term project?

<–The State of the Writer: 8/6/17          The State of the Writer: 8/20/17–>

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The State of the Reader: 8/9/17

<–The State of the Reader: 8/2/17          The State of the Reader: 8/16/17–>

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. Dreadnought by April Daniels: Kept (RWTR) – When I come across a book with a transgender main character, it’s going on my really-want-to-read list for the representation alone.  It doesn’t hurt that the first page instantly makes you feel for her.  All she wants to do is buy some damn nail polish.
  2. Doon by Lorie Langdon: Kept – This starts off as your typical YA high school drama (and I’m not saying this to diminish the drama that happens in high school or invalidate any of the very real feelings about the fore mentioned), but it comes off realistically and not trite despite the common subject matter of a girl fighting with her boyfriend over another girl.  If the mundane aspects of the fantasy are presented in such an interesting way, I have high hopes for the more magical ones.
  3. Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff: Kept – It was hard not to think of Redwall Abbey while looking at this, since it takes place in Red Abbey, which is a sanctuary for abused women and girls.  The MC’s peaceful life is upended when the newcomer Jai arrives, and I want to know how.  The book was pretty cheap on Amazon Kindle, so I suppose I’ll find out soon.
  4. Nemesis by Brendan Reichs: Kept – Every year on the main character’s birthday, she’s killed by a mysterious assailant, afterwards waking up still quite alive, but like any person who doesn’t get off on their own murder, she wants the cycle to end.
  5. Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke: Kept – This is the fourth sample I read in one day, and I honestly can’t remember what the hell the book is about.  I remember the cover is pretty and I liked it enough to keep.  Haha, what’s the point of me doing this Sample section if I’m not going to have something to say about the books?  Oh, it’s about parallel realities.  Totally up my alley.
  6. Gilded Cage by Vic James: Kept – It’s interesting enough for the library list.  The magic users are the elite and if you’re not one you have to serve a magical family for ten years as an indentured servant.
  7. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge: Kept – It’s about a tree that grants favors if you tell it lies.  That’s not going to end poorly at all.
  8. The Borrowers by Mary Norton: Kept – I read The Borrowers Afield years ago when I was a child, but it was the second book in the series, which I could tell even then without knowledge of the first.  The Borrowers and their life/situation already seemed well established (or rather in upheaval since they had to leave their cozy home).  I’d like to see how it all begins.
  9. Red Rising by Pierce Brown: Kept (RWTR) – The opening line.  “I would have lived in peace.  But my enemies brought me war.”  Yes.  Hell yes.  The language.  The stakes.  The oppression.  I can tell this is an epic tale worthy of my attention.

Books Purchased This Week: 1

Title: Maresi
Series Title: The Red Abbey Chronicles
Author: Maria Turtschaninoff
Date Added: December 18, 2016
Date Purchased: August 5, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $2.99
Retailer: Amazon

Total Price: $2.99
Average Price: $2.99

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The State of the Reader: 7/19/17

<–The State of the Reader: 7/12/17          The State of the Reader: 7/26/17–>

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. Bambi’s Children by Felix Salten: Kept – I enjoyed the first book, and this one appears to have the same charm.
  2. The Catalyst by Helen Coggan: Kept (RWTR) – I only read a few pages of this, because I’m trying not to read as much of my samples, just enough to know I’ll like it.  When I get to read them, I don’t like to reread what I already have to save time, but I often feel obligated to at least skim it to reacquaint myself.  I’d rather have less to skim.  Anyway, this starts off with a hole being ripped in the sky similar to the Futurama movie The Beast with a Billion Backs.
  3. Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland: Kept (RWTR) – PI summons 12th level demon who proceeds to apprehend the burglar who very unwisely broke into her house coincidentally at the same time she was doing said summons.  Also, there’s a promise of a really hot angel character.
  4. Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child: Passed – It didn’t hold my interest.  I like mysteries, but there just didn’t seem to be much new infused into this one.  I think this is just a personal preference case.  The story and writing don’t seem bad, and I think it would be enjoyable to someone who likes museum or Indiana Jones-like mysteries.  Not saying I don’t, but they’re not my usual reading fare.
  5. A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn: Kept – Victorian mystery where the main character is a recently orphaned, practical young lady.  Sounds good to me.
  6. The Rains by Gregg Hurwitz: Kept (RWTR) – I barely read two pages before I knew this was a keeper for the RWTR shelf.  The characters are likable, and I already know the plot is going to be compelling.
  7. Lotus and Thorn by Sara Wilson Etienne: Kept – I almost put this on the RWTR shelf, but I decided against it.  It starts before the main character is exiled to the desert, and I’m guessing she’s about to commit the act that gets her thrown out.  There’s a character named Lotus whom I’m assuming will be important, though in the first chapter, she seems to almost be brushed over.
  8. Double Dead by Chuck Wendig: Kept (RWTR) – A vampire protagonist in a world full of zombies.  He’s been asleep for a while, and when he wakes up the world has gone to hell.  If you ever wondered if vampires can feed off of zombies, this book has your answer and much more.

Books Purchased This Week: 0


Books Declared DNF This Week: 1

Title: The Beauty Thief
Series Title: Twelve Realms
Author: Rachael Ritchey
Date Added: February 5, 2016
Date Started: July 13, 2017
Date DNF: July 19, 2017
Reading Duration: 6 days

Percentage Read: 25%

I was really excited to read this one, so much that I threw it on my really-want-to-read shelf, and initially, it was really engaging.  I liked that the characters were royal, but they weren’t corrupt.  While they were a little bit too good to be true (no Game of Thrones grey in here), tyrannical rulers has become a bit cliched, so it’s almost a subversion to read about people who aren’t, and I liked that the princes and princesses were properly disciplined for misbehavior by being forced to do chores typically associated with “commoners.”  True rulers know that their task is to serve.  Caityn, the main character, also mentions she’s taught or read at the local school in addition to comforting orphans and widows.  It was sweet and really laid the foundation for what kind of realm this was.

Then Princess Eliya shows up.  Eliya is Theiandar’s (Caityn’s betrothed) sister, and you instantly know something is up with her.  I was okay with that, because everyone can’t be perfect, and her jealousy towards Caityn, which was grounded in the fear she was taking her only brother away, was understandable.

The reason I stopped reading was the novel has way too much exposition.  The author tells too much instead of showing.  The conflict of the story was washed out by the exposition/explanation on everyone’s state of mind.  Theiandar is wholly devoted to Caityn, which is plain to see in his behavior.  It takes away the mystery that every book should posses a little of to constantly comment on it though.  Let us doubt a bit.  Let us see it in his words and his actions.  Show the devotion more than you tell me he’s devoted.

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