<–The State of the Writer: 12/16/18 The State of the Writer: 1/13/19–>
A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.
Finished Projects: 2
Title: The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 256,067
Prior Word Count: 256,065
Word Difference: +2
Progress: Chapter 13 Second Edit
If things go well, I should have the second edit of this chapter by the end of this week. I don’t think I’ll need a third.
Title: The Vagrant
Series Title: The Vagrant
Author: Peter Newman
Date Added: March 20, 2017
Date Started: December 30, 2017
Date Finished: March 21, 2018
Reading Duration: 80 days
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian
Publication Date: April 23, 2016
The Vagrant is his name. He has no other. Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape, carrying nothing but a kit-bag, a legendary sword and a baby. His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the sword, the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war. But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.
This was a tough one to review. I noted that back when I finished it and I still feel the same way. The novel has both issues and merits, and it’s not a straightforward story, which is not only due to the fact the main character never speaks. The number of enemies/villains also complicates things. There’s the Usurper, the Uncivil, the first, and the commander among others. They’re all part of the tainted essence that made the world the broken place it is now, but it was very hard to keep track of them (the Hammer was my favorite for some obvious reasons).
<–The State of the Reader: 2/14/18 The State of the Reader: 3/14/18–>
Books Purchased: 1
Title: The Diamond of Darkhold
Series Title: The Book of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Date Added: September 17, 2017
Date Started: January 14, 2018
Date Finished: February 19, 2018
Reading Duration: 36 days
It wasn’t as good as the first or second book, but it was better than the prequel The Prophet of Yonwood. What diminished it was the ending where the author just pulled something completely out of left field, and it was a space flea out of nowhere, though she did try to set it up earlier, but there just wasn’t enough. It’s possible I missed something from Prophet, since I didn’t read that, but even so, it’s completely unnecessary to the series as a whole. I’ll obviously be discussing it when I do my review.
<–The State of the Reader: 1/31/18 The State of the Reader: 2/28/18–>
Books Purchased: 1
Books DNF: 1
- Shadow Stalker Part 1 by Renee Scattergood – I knew the main character was going to be a “chosen one” paradigm, and I’m fine with that, but after finishing the first part, I’m going to leave it there. I think what got under my skin was her foster father/trainer told her she can’t stop him when he messes with her mind to calm her down, and that really rubs me the wrong way. Mental meddling is an invasion, and if someone doesn’t want you to do it then you respect that. Also the fact that he’s been doing it her entire life without telling her (leaving her to figure it out) bugs me, too. I get why he’s doing it, but it’s still troublesome. There was a character named Sephir, so…that was pretty cool.
Title: Saga, Vol. 8
Author: Brian K. Vaughn
Illustrator: Fiona Staples
Date Added: July 2, 2017
Date Started: February 4, 2018
Date Finished: February 8, 2018
Reading Duration: 4 days
Do you even have to ask if it was good at this point? Saga is quite possibly the best graphic novel series I’ve ever read. It’s amazing how something that can take place in space involving aliens can be so “human” and relatable. The ending to this volume is almost literally the polar opposite to the ending of 7.
<–The State of the Reader: 1/17/18 The State of the Reader: 2/14/18–>
Books Purchased: 15
- Witch Hunt on Crystal Lake by Brittany Batiste – $2.99 @ Amazon
- The Trial by Franz Kafka – $0.99 @ Amazon
- The Emerald Dragonfly by Shaun Hume – $0.99 @ Amazon
- Evolution by Kelly Carrero – $0.00 @ Amazon
- The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories by Robert W. Chambers – $0.99 @ Amazon
- Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by H. R. Ellis Davidson – $4.49 @ Amazon
- The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley – $8.50 @ Amazon
- The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton – $8.69 @ Amazon
- The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses by Johann Schiebel – $9.95 @ Amazon
- The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – $11.35 @ Amazon
- Modern Man in Search of a Soul by C. G. Jung – $8.95 @ Amazon
- The Luster of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller – $10.20 @ Amazon
- Saga: Volume 8 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples – $9.35 @ Amazon
- The Fall of Lilith by Vashti Quiroz Vega – $2.99 @ Amazon
- Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics by Jim Al-Khalili – $1.99 @ Amazon
Yup, I bought a shit ton of books in the past month or so. Those Amazon gift cards really came in handy. I’ve already finished Witch Hunt on Crystal Lake, as the author asked me to a beta reading, but since I like to support fellow authors, bloggers, and friends, I bought it as well. Obviously, I bought Saga (once I reminded it was out. Thanks Ignited Moth!), and I’m probably going to read it next before I continue with the Death Note series. The purchases were a mixture of eBook and physical (the less expensive ones are the eBooks), and I currently have a box of books sitting under my end table.
<–The State of the Reader: 12/20/17 The Final State of the Reader–>
Books Purchased: 0
Books DNF: 1
Title: The Prophet of Yonwood
Series Title: Book of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Percentage Finished: 21%
Not nearly as engaging as the other books. This prequel wasn’t compelling in the least, and it’s disappointing since the lead up to what caused the existence of Ember could’ve been a rousing tale. We could’ve found out if there were other underground cities and/or how the rest of humanity survived, but the author choose to focus on prophecy and proselytizing instead of that. I still have the final Book of Ember to read, which I’m looking forward to, as it involves Lina and Doon’s return.
Books Finished: 3
Title: Strange the Dreamer
Series Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Date Added: April 18, 2016
Date Started: August 26, 2017
Oh my god this book was so good. I don’t know how I’m going to review it, since I can’t say much without spoiling, but it took so many familiar tropes, cliches even, and yet they didn’t come off as trite. While I figured it out about a chapter or two before the reveal, I still covered my face with my hands. All the pieces just fell together beautifully, and I think it worked because it’s not like the author doesn’t give away an integral part in the very prologue. I kept going back and forth from there to my current place just to make sure all of the ends matched up. They did…to tragic effect. I hope the sequel comes out sooner rather than later sometime this year.
<–The State of the Reader: 4/12/17 The State of the Reader: 4/26/17–>
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: 8
- An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: Kept (RWTR/Purchased) – A slave turned rebel and an unwilling soldier. Neither of them is free. I can’t stop thinking of a picture I recently used, and I couldn’t stop reading the sample then I reached a part that made me say, “Holy shit, I have to buy this book immediately.” So I did.
- Spelled by Betsy Schow: Passed– The writing style isn’t for me.
- Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror by Eden Royce: Kept– I was on the fence with this one. It seems to have potential, but it’s just not pulling me in. Alright…I just looked at the blurb again, and it could just be the first story isn’t for me; the others look promising. I’m keeping it on my TBR list and relegating it to the “library” shelf.
- Lavender by Sophie Welsh: Kept (RWTR) – This almost ended up on the passed pile, because the underlying premise of it is such patriarchal bullshit that it really pisses me off. The titular character is a free-spirited 13 year old girl who just wants to explore the forest near her house, but both her and her mother are under her blacksmith father’s thumb. The worst part is that he really isn’t presented in a “bad” light even though he won’t let her eat until she agrees to marry the village elder’s son. He makes her feel bad for not knowing how to cook, clean, or want to marry, and while I get that it’s “that time,” I’m too old, grumpy, and feminist to not have that piss me off. What saved it was the village elder’s son Eldrin, ironically enough. He seems just as reluctant to marry Lavender as she does him, and while he does kind of follow her around like a lost puppy, he doesn’t seem forceful or aggressive, so I’m curious where this story is going to go.
- The Shock of Night by Patrick W. Carr: Kept – The first chapter kills off the people introduced in the prologue, and the main character seems to be a medieval detective of sorts trying to piece the crime together. It’s interesting enough to keep on my list.
- The Battle for Oz by Jeyna Grace: Kept (Purchased) – I honestly didn’t have high hopes for this one. Rewrites of classic stories tend to go for the edgy, snarky, and/or modern viewpoint, and that’s just not my cup of tea (it’s one of the reasons I passed on that other novel that took place in the Emerald City), but this started out showing someone I believe is/was the Red Queen being ousted from Wonderland. She retains her retinue of guards (and her bitterness) and discovers a way to get to Oz. From the sample and the blurb, I believe this story has Dorothy and Alice working together to banish her once and for all, and I’m curious what their personalities are going to be like in this iteration and how they might collaborate/clash. I wound up purchasing it, because it was super cheap (as you’ll see below).
- The Stolen Child by Peter Brunton: Kept – The first chapter didn’t show any hint of fantasy until the very end, and it was very realistic about what would’ve happened to 14 year old, homeless Rachael if any authority became involved. I want to know what she either ran away or is keeping away from. The second chapter has no seeming connection to the first (save for that fore mentioned bit of fantasy), and I want to see the bridge. Is she the titular stolen child?
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (J. K. Rowling): Kept – Even though there was barely any sample, of course I kept this book in the extended Harry Potter universe. I’d still like to see the movie, too.
Books Purchased This Week: 6
Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Series Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Date Added: December 30, 2015
Date Purchased: April 14, 2017
Retailer: Barnes and Noble