Elijah Dart: Angel of Death by Jonathan L. Ferrera (DNF)

Title: Elijah Dart: Angel of Death
Author: Jonathan L. Ferrara
Illustrator: Aaron Ferrara
Date Added: November 2, 2015
Date Started: June 19, 2017
Date DNF: June 28, 2017
Reading Duration: 9 days
Percentage Read: 58%
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal/Supernatural, LGBTQ, Mid-Grade

Pages: 128
Publication Date: May 29, 2014
Publisher: Self-Published
Media: eBook/Kindle


Before his fourteenth birthday, ordinary Elijah Dart would have never gone snooping around in a graveyard, joined an old ghost for tea, or battled Hellhounds with a scythe. If only he hadn’t followed the Reapers through the graveyard on All Hallows Eve, he would have never been in training to take his father’s place as the next Angel of Death.


This novel is by the author of The Ghost of Buxton Manor, and it contains the same sweet charm.  It’s an earlier work, and there are some editing issues in terms of grammar, punctuation, and a few sentence structure foibles.

The story is cute.  Elijah is kind of a precious, cinnamon bun, so there’s an adorable incongruence with him being the new Grim Reaper/Angel of Death, which is the role he’ll eventually take over from his father in a sort of morbid passing down of the family business.  The Darts have their own personal cemetery (not suspicious AT ALL), and a groundskeeper/butler who reminds me of Dampé from Ocarina of Time.  Elijah stumbles upon a reaper reunion (which I’m pretty sure I could make into a triple entendre if I thought about it hard enough) in said graveyard prior to finding this out on his birthday, which also happens to be Halloween.  Things escalate or rather descend from there.

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The State of the Writer: 7/23/17

<–The State of the Writer: 7/16/17          The State of the Writer: 7/30/17–.

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: 267,081
Prior Word Count: 266,620
Word Difference: +461
Status: Editing
Progress: Pending 4th edit

I finally finished the third edit/revision of Chapter 10.  Since I did so much, I obviously have to do a fourth (and hopefully last) one.  I have a sinking sensation that Chapter 11 is going to be a difficult edit, too.  I’d started it before insofar as doing some color coding, but then I decided I’d hold off until I did the full edit.  There’s never a dull moment in the life of a writer/blogger.

Quote: You did not have to be dragged through hell to dwell in Heaven’s Gate.”

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The State of the Writer: 7/9/17

<–The State of the Writer: 7/2/17          The State of the Writer: 7/16/17–>

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: 266,387
Prior Word Count: 266,754
Word Difference: -367
Status: Editing
Progress: 3rd edit of Chapter 10

I’m so close to completing the third edit.  If I have time I”ll do it tonight.  I decided to keep the graphic nightmare, and in fact I made it “worse” (warnings galore).  I’ve also been in a note writing frenzy, which means I can’t stop taking down potential scenes, most of which won’t find their way into the story, but I always write down every idea, since you never know what you can pull from there.  There are two that I might incorporate in later or earlier chapters.  I am definitely planning on updating earlier chapters, but that’s obviously going to take some time.

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The State of the Writer: 7/2/17

<–The State of the Writer: 6/25/17          The State of the Writer: 7/9/17–>

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: 266,754
Prior Word Count: 267,254
Word Difference: -500
Status: Editing
Progress: 3rd edit of Chapter 10

It amazes me how the smallest change to a story can have a momentous effect, and I’m not even talking about tweaking a plot point.  Deciding what Sephiroth was going to do with his coat in one scene means I have to make sure the text following abides by that decision.  When he was wrapping it around Aeris, that means the cuffs of his shirt are more accessible, but if he’s wearing the coat, she’s probably not going to be able to unbutton them, unless the stick out past his coat, which they don’t because the coat covers his wrists.  One little change and you have to ensure that what follows reflects that.

I was too tired for two nights in a row, so I wasn’t even able to work on it, but when I finally sat down to edit, I realized it wasn’t going to be quite as difficult as I suspected.  There are parts of the scene where she has her hands on his black shirt, and I initially thought “How the hell am I going to change all of that??  I need to rethink the entire scene D:” Then I remembered that he could just unbutton his coat and everything would be much easier *headdesk*  This is why you don’t edit tired or drunk.

Unfortunately, since I’ve made significant changes this time around, and I may make more since I’m also rethinking the nightmare scene I wrote later in the chapter, I’m going to have to do a 4th edit.  Usually though, by the time I get to that point, it’s just a read-through so long as everything flows properly.  Let us hope.

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The State of the Reader: 6/28/17

<–The State of the Reader: 6/21/17          The State of the Reader: 7/5/17–>

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. Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden: Kept – There’s a Harry Potter vibe to this story with the orphanage being a combination of Hogwarts and Privet Drive, and the dourness of that extends to the mien.  There are some really bad “people” after the protagonist.
  2. Cracked by Eliza Crewe: Kept – I’m a sucker for just dessert stories (I wouldn’t have written about an assassin who only kills the most reprehensible if I wasn’t), and that’s exactly what this is.  The main character has the Dexter like desire to kill, but only focuses it on those who deserve it.
  3. The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan: Kept – Books like this are the reason there’s no hard and fast rule about prologues.  Sometimes they’re integral in setting  not only the scene and mien, but also more subtle revelations about the world of the book.  Humans have found a way to exploit dragons for their literally blood, and what we’ve done to them is frankly horrifying.  This is all revealed in a report about a terrible accident involved massive loss of life.  However, it’s revealed more in the clinical details about the happening, reported as mere facets of information that upon rumination are quite disturbing.  Terms are sanitized: calling dragon blood “product’ as it is “harvested” for a corporation, and when the dragon manages to escape, there is mention of the cauterized stumps of its wings and how it was robbed of its ability to breathe fire.  Stories like this set up a reckoning that humanity is never prepared to answer.
  4. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare: Kept/Library – I was pleasantly surprised by this was, though the person who recommended it did tell me it was a bit different from The Mortal Instrument Series, which I couldn’t stand.  It takes place in the same world, but Clare’s work seems to have matured.  I’m genuinely interested in where this one’s going and the main character Kit’s involvement in it.
  5. Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt: Kept (RWTR) – Tell me a good story and you’ll instantly draw me in.  Keturah’s stories are certainly worthy of Death’s attention, and the reason why he spared her is exceedingly clear.  The sample for this ended far too soon for my liking and is currently on my to-buy-next shelf.
  6. Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon: Kept – First book in The Deed of Paksenarrion series, and I’m very impressed.  I love Paks’s character, and I’m curious what she did to cause her father to change his tune about her as plainly shown in the far future prologue.  She refuses to accept the choice her father made for her (against her say so) to be married to a pig farmer, so she up and leaves, walking 30 miles in a day to join a military unit that accepts women.  I like that the man who becomes her commanding officer doesn’t seem to care a wit that she’s female.  He’s impressed that she walked 30 miles in a day to join up, is strong, knows how to march, and follows orders.  He also doesn’t take nonsense from any man in his unit that attempts to shame or vocally leer at her because of her gender.  I think I’m going to enjoy this novel/series.
  7. The Ill-Made Mute by Cecilia Dart-Thornton: Kept – This is one of those books I saw for years in bookstores, but it never caught my interest then.  Now, it’s both disturbing and intriguing.  The beginning is so vague and yet so horrifying in partially explaining how the ill-made mute became that way.  He’s not really ill-made at least naturally, and I don’t think he was always a mute.
  8. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence: Passed – Reprehensible protagonists just aren’t my thing.  I’m assuming he becomes more sympathetic later on in the story, but the leader of a band that murders villagers and rapes their daughters just doesn’t do it for me even if there is a major Heel Face Turn at some point.
  9. The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias: Kept – I love creepy, religious centered fantasy where people sell their souls or make a deal with the devil.

Books Purchased This Week: 0


Books Finished This Week: 2

Title: Saga, Volume 6
Series Title: Saga
Authors: Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
Date Added: June 11, 2017
Date Started: June 17, 2017
Date Finished: June 22, 2017
Reading Duration: 5 days

The epic continues, but I’m not sure how I will when I finished the 7th and last one that’s currently out.  It’s a long time until January 2018.

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The State of the Reader: 6/21/17

<–The State of the Reader: 6/14/17          The State of the Reader: 6/28/17–>

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. Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey: Kept – I’ve only read one book that involved Mercedes Lackey, and it was a collaboration with Piers Anthony, If I Pay Thee Not in GoldThis held my interest enough to give it a try.
  2. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco: Kept (RWTR) – This is currently one of the many books with giveaway contests on Goodreads.  I doubt I’ll win, but I’d buy I plan to buy it eventually anyway.  It’s so beautifully written with such a dark premise.
  3. Darkness on the Edge of Town by Brian Keene: Passed – This comes off as overly religious and preachy.  I love religious symbolism, but this book seems like it’s going to have some judgmental moral at the end of it as to why the town is shrouded in darkness, and I just have no interest.
  4. The Young Elites by Marie Lu: Kept (RWTR) – I saw this book in Target a few months ago, but didn’t make the purchase because I wasn’t sure.  I regret not doing so.  The beginning is haunting as the main character Adelina overhears her father literally sell her to a merchant in order to pay off his debts, because no other man would want her due to the ravages of the “blood fever.”
  5. The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Green: Passed – The beginning is very confusing and jumbled.  I’m guessing the author wants to introduce the premise of what it feels like to “jump” into the minds of other species, but that’s already enough of an odd concept that obfuscating it even more makes the narrative damn near impossible to follow.  I was hoping for something akin to how GRRM describes warging in ASOIAF, but the beginning of this book is unfortunately a convoluted mess.  The blurb sounds really interesting, and I hate to pass on it, but it really lost me at the start.
  6. The Water Mirror by Kai Meyer: Kept (RWTR) – I’m surprised by this one.  I thought I was going to pass on it and didn’t consider it would wind up on my really-want-to-read list, but the way the people of this fantastic version of Venice are subjugating and abusing mythical creatures such as mermaids and stone lions calls for a great reckoning.
  7. Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson: Kept (RWTR) – This book was fascinating from the start.  Set in the Gold Rush Era, the main character is a girl who can sense gold, yet her family is still struggling.  Her father has some kind of ailment, and her parents don’t seem as overjoyed with her ability as you’d think.  I’m guessing because if anyone knows about it, they’d try to exploit her, and this seems to be the catalyst of the story.
  8. A Thread in the Tangle by Sabrina Flynn: Kept – I think if I hadn’t added the last two books to my really-want-to-read list I would’ve added this one, too.  Sometimes I reconsider and do that later, if a story stays with me, because this one is introduces some fantastic dynamics.  The one character (who appears to be more than human) is clearly not afraid of the emperor, and he seems to care far more about the monarch’s daughter than her father does (what is the title for an emperor’s daughter anyway?  I guess you could still use princess), seeing as the emperor is threatening to lock a four year old in the dungeon until she can be sold.  WTF.
  9. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender: Kept (RWTR) – This book is a dream to someone who loves both magical realism and angels.  The main character may not be one for true, but having the wings of a bird is close enough for me.  The  language is lush and beautiful, and this is firmly on my to-buy-next shelf.  I could’ve purchased it on Kindle, but this is one of the novels I want to own a physical copy of.

Books Purchased This Week: 5

Title: Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
Author: David Eagleman
Date Added: May 7, 2017
Date Purchased: June 17, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $16.00
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

Title: Tigana
Author: Guy Gavriel Kay
Date Added: February 9, 2016
Date Purchased: June 17, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $22.00
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

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The State of the Reader: 4/12/17

<–The State of the Reader: 4/5/17          The State of the Reader: 4/19/17–>

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: 12

  1. Order of Seven by Beth Teliho: Kept – I was kind of hoping the twin main characters would be similar in skin tone to the African tribe they’d been found with, but I can’t deny I’m curious about the mystery behind that.  I’d initially had this book on my really-want-to-read list, but finishing the sample bumped it down a bit.  Not that I’m not still interesting, but there are other books that seem more intriguing (I know…you’d think a book about the order of “seven” would be number one on the pile, but it doesn’t always work like that).
  2. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor: Kept (RWTR) – This is another book with a focus on the African continent, and I’m more interesting in it than the one above.  The main/titular character is the first of the Himba people to ever be offered a place at the most prestigious galactic university, and she leaves home secretly against the wishes of her family.  The sample did an excellent job of showing how Binti was a stranger in a strange land even on the transport to space.  I felt for her for so many reasons.
  3. The Dragon Tempest: Tales of Fantasy and Adventure by Dragon Knight Chronicles: Passed – It didn’t grab me, and there were too many cliched tropes without any subversions to shake them up.  The language was also really simplistic, which can be brilliant in the hands of a seasoned writer, but seems juvenile to the unadept.
  4. A Father’s Protection by by K. J. Hawkins: Kept (Purchased) – I really, really hate when the sample isn’t long enough to get past any forewords, acknowledgments et al.  There were only three pages in this sample, which mean I didn’t even get to read a word of the story.  Then I realized it was only $0.99, so I bought it.  Even if I hate it, it’s only $0.99.  Not that I think it’s going to be the greatest story I’ve ever read, but I’d hate to miss something I might enjoy.
  5. Clairvoyance Chronicles – Volume One: Natacha Guyot: Passed – Same issue as two above.  The writing is very simplistic without the promise of something much deeper lying beneath.  It seems almost like it’s mid-grade or YA, but since I just reviewed one of those (The Quantum Door) where the writing style was geared towards that age group, but still accessible to the older crowd, I’m a bit less inclined to just accept that as a reason.  It’s also possible that English is not the writer’s first language, which a quick click on her name proved true.  She’s French, and I’m wondering if the book was originally written in that language then translated into English, which is why it loses its finesse.
  6. Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty: Kept (RWTR) – I knew this was going to fall on the kept/really-want-to-read list, but I still wanted to test the sample out anyway.  It seems just as good as the first book, which I reviewed here.
  7. Sorrow’s Heart by G. S. Scott: Kept (RWTR) – I just marked this as a really-want-to-read.  I couldn’t stop thinking about how fucked up it is.  Children kept naked in cages by a cruel master who does experiments on them so heinous, many end up dead.  The first sample chapter ends with the main character’s brother one of the bodies on the pile.  I have to find out what happens.
  8. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison: Kept (RWTR) – The language in this is lush and poetic like all of Ms, Morrison’s work.  It pulls you in with magical magnetism and sumptuous metaphor just begging to be unraveled.
  9. Through the Portal by Riley J. Dennis: Kept (RWTR/Purchased) – Riley is one of my favorite YouTubers, and when I found out she’d written a book, I immediately added it to my Goodreads list.  I was even happier to find out it was fantasy, which is my favorite genre.  Within just the first few pages, Ms. Dennis makes you feel sympathy for the characters, and you want to know more about their lives which seem to only contain each other for comfort.
  10. The Grimm Chronicles by Isabella Fontaine: Passed – I didn’t like the voice.  The author used too many emphases aka italics, which is making me wary of how often I use them, and colloquialisms.
  11. A Pale View of the Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro: Kept (RWTR) – In contrast to the book above, I absolutely loved the voice in this.  It spreads out before you with so much mystery between the words.  The author reveals not only plot coupons but promised revelations to come.
  12. Elijah Dart: Angel of Death by Jonathan L. Ferrara: Kept (RWTR/Purchased) – JLF’s charming writing style again does not disappoint with this story.  Elijah is immediately endearing (and immediately in peril).  There’s even a reference to Rupert Davies (the main character from The Ghost of Buxton Manor)!
  • Kept – 9
    • RTWR – 7
  • Passed – 3

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