Immortal Architects

Immortal Architects by Paige Orwin is the sequel to her first book The Interminables…and it’s amazing!  She did not disappoint at all.  Unlike some authors who start out strong and end up going not at all where you expected (or enjoyed).  Edmund and Istvan are still the main characters of this series and they are so wonderfully tortured.

I loved it – especially her introduction of a new character that’s transgender.  She only has a minor role at this point, but I like her so far.  And I just love how matter-of-factly Orwin presents it too.  The story was also…very life like.  It was basically a conglomeration of one big mistake followed by an even bigger one and, boy, does it take you for a ride.

Again, the dynamic between the two main characters is absolutely stunning.  And heartbreaking and moving and just…gorgeous.  Despite how episodic Orwin’s books have been so far, I just love her writing.  Absolutely stunning and very realistic (ironically).

So, she doesn’t have anything else out yet, but Paige Orwin has been officially added to my favorite author’s list.

Check out the YouTube version of this review here!  Warning: video contains spoilers.

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Switching Gears

I have been so incredibly stuck on my main project – like absolutely nothing is coming to me no matter how long I think about it.  More than that, I’ve somehow put myself into a circular thought trap where I know what I don’t want from what I’m working on, but that leads me to ask myself: so, what do you want?

I don’t know!  Or maybe…nah, that’s stupid.  And then we start all over again.  So, I decided to take a step back for a while by shifting my focus to a mini-project I’ve been working on over the weekends which is going to be…

No, wait, I’m not supposed to tell you that yet.  I’m not writing!  Shhh, tell no one!  I said nothing about an online mini-series!  There’s no website being worked on!  I repeat: there’s no website being worked on!

Ahem…as I was saying, sometimes to find inspiration, I sometimes just need to put it out of mind for a little while.

Lord Mouse

Lord Mouse by Mason Thomas is an amazing, adventure-filled fantasy that follows a thief by the name of Mouse.  It was a little short, but this book was awesome!!!  That’s right, I just used three exclamation points – it’s that good.

So, the story is really about Mouse trying to complete an extremely lucrative job in which he rescues a nobleman from political imprisonment.  It’s not his usual line of work and it is so fun reading all the ways he clears the obstacles that just seem to keep on coming.  And the best part?  Mouse happens to be gay.

That’s right – just happens to be.  It’s not a focus of the story because this is a full blown fantasy adventure and not a gay romance in disguise like The Last Herald-Mage trilogy ( still loved it, but there wasn’t a story – you can see my reviews here: Magic’s Pawn, Magic’s PromiseMagic’s Price ).

Now, let’s talk about Mason’s writing style.  It’s very fast-paced and draws people in very quickly.  I almost didn’t sleep one night because I was so invested in the story.  And you know all those things I’ve complained about before: archaic dialogue, tangential backstories, a cliche medieval Europe setting (have I talked about that before?) – yeah, they were all in there, yet it didn’t bother me because of how he used them in his story.  His set-ups were fantastic in such a way that made every scene completely believable and he mixes up classical (cliche) fantasy elements in his own unique balance.

However, there is one thing that bugged me, though I think this was more the editor’s fault than his: he used some of the wrong homonyms including insure instead of ensure.  Despite that,  I will certainly be reading Mason Thomas’ work again, if I can find it.

Check out the YouTube version of this review here!  Warning: video contains spoilers.

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Using the Right Homonyms

Okay, this is my biggest pet peeve ever!  I hate it when I’m reading something in a book and people use the wrong homonym in their writing.  First of all these: they’re, their, and there; it’s and its; you’re and your – come on people, you learned this in grade school.  I can understand if English isn’t your first language or maybe you’re dyslexic or something, but, editors, – it’s your job to catch this! (Obviously I’m excluding online situations in this little rant)

Now let me go into ones that people are less likely to catch, though they still drive me crazy.  When you’re talking about someone’s walk, it’s gait, not gate.  A gate is what you go through before entering a walled city or board an airplane.

But, this one – oh, this one – is my biggest pet peeve of the pet peeve, especially since I see this in job ads: ensure vs. insure.  For future reference:

ensure – make certain that (something) shall occur or be the case

insure – 1. arrange for compensation in the event of damage to or loss of (property), or injury to or the death of (someone), in exchange for regular advance payments to a company or government agency. 2. secure or protect someone against (a possible contingency).

When in doubt it’s ensure, not insure.  Definitions courtesy of Google.

So, make sure you proofread and don’t just use spellcheck on Word – Word knows nothing.

The Interminables

The Interminables by Paige Orwin is a stunning masterpiece of a first novel.  …Okay, no, I’m probably hyping it up way too much, but it was a fabulous book.  Taking place in a post-apocalyptic timeline of Earth, The Interminables follows two characters whose existence lends itself to the title: Edmund, a wizard who has been “thirty-five for seventy-five years” (literally) and Istvan, a ghost of the First World War.

The dynamic between these two characters is reason enough to enjoy this book, but the story was very beautifully written.  An incredibly mismatched setting that couldn’t possibly have been inspired by a Doctor Who episode mixed with just the right amount of confusion to actually immerse you into this world.  There was also a character development that I was pleasantly surprised by, though I can’t really go into it since I do think it is an essential plot point.  It was certainly nice to see the human side of what could be considered superheroes after the end of the world.

Orwin’s writing style was also very on point.  She kept it as third person limited between the two main characters and it was pretty easy to tell which perspective we were reading (most of the time).  Although, I do have one complaint about the format she chose.  When someone writes dialogue like this: <This is dialogue.> , I view that as a telepathic conversation, not someone speaking another language; it got a little distracting at times.  Overall, though, her work was very engaging and I’ll be sure to pick up the sequel.

Check out the YouTube version of this review here!  Warning: video contains spoilers.

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It’s Working!!

…Sort of.  As I’ve mentioned about a dozen times before, I experiment with different writing schedules to see if they’ll work for me.  Lately, what I’ve been doing has really helped.

So, what I did was create an Excel spreadsheet that lays out my goals for each day for upcoming months all the way to August.  I find it’s helpful for me to move deadlines around if I need to in that visual format…which is where the “sort of” comes in.  I don’t always meet my goals and often find myself playing catch up, but when it becomes just a little too much, I push the self-imposed deadlines around.

But it still works better than what I was doing before.  I’ve also integrated writing into my daily routine during lunch at work – even if I’m not actively “writing”, I still use that time to work on my current project…unless I don’t.  With a little luck, I might actually have it submission ready by the time WorldCon rolls around.

I’ve made a ton of progress on my second draft.  I pretty much scrapped the entire last half of the original story and am now writing that from scratch – at least now, the story makes a whole lot more sense.  And I’m only slightly distracted by reading books.

The Daylight War

I can’t stand it – I just can’t stand this series anymore.  There’s lots of good story elements and I was invested up to this point, but…will you please stop with the sex scenes!

Okay, let’s try this again.  The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett is the third book in a series called The Demon Cycle…which I will not be finishing.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Brett is a good writer and I loved The Warded Manbut I swear this series deteriorated into the annoying.  (If you want to read reviews for the other books of the series, go visit The Critiquing Chemist – she liked it and that just proves these actually aren’t bad books)

So, I mostly skimmed this book rather than reading it, I was so irked by it.   That said, I’m not entirely sure what it’s about other than a culture clash.  My favorite characters were acting annoying and making decisions that made no sense, nothing seemed to really happen, and the usual demon fighting scenes were somehow boring!

I have to say, though, despite all of that, what really kills this series for me is all the frickin’ sex.  We do not need a sex scene in every chapter and people don’t talk about sex as much as Brett seems to think we do!  Seriously, what is with this obsession?!  I didn’t sign up for fantasia erotica when I picked up this series!

Brett’s writing style for this particular book was repetitive and mind-numbingly boring.  Not to mention, all the retconning he did with his characters.  Look, I get it; sometimes, you want to add something you didn’t have before, but if it was never mentioned once in the first two books, then don’t pretend it was always that way.  That’s all I have to say on that matter.  If you can get past the whole sex, sex, sex aspect of this series (or, even if, maybe, you enjoy that sort of thing), then by all means read it.  It’s not the worst thing out there.

Check out the YouTube version of this review here!  Warning: video contains spoilers.

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40 Followers – Yay!

Just wanted to take some time to thank all of you for following my blog. I’ve only been doing this for a little over a year and I already have so many wonderful people reading what I have to say. 

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you Wednesday!

The Ship of the Dead

Oh, how I love Rick Riordan.  He never ceases to entertain.  So, The Ship of the Dead is the final installment (please ignore the sound of me crying in a corner) of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, a Percy Jackson universe series that is focused on Norse mythology.  I’ve already reviewed the last book, The Hammer of Thor and all I can say is that my demands were definitely met in this book.

Even though it’s definitely not the point of the story, it was so much fun seeing the interactions between Magnus and Alex (the gender-fluid love interest) as Riordan built their relationship.  Aside from that, the actual plot in which Magnus and company are off to…actually, you know what, I can’t say anything without spoiling the first two books, but the main villain is Loki.  When it comes to Norse stuff, everyone knows that it’s always Loki, so that’s not a spoiler.  What I can tell you, though, is that the story was an incredibly fun adventure with plenty of humor, as can be expected of anything from the PJ universe.  And the ending was just perfect!

Likewise for the writing style: typical Riordan and always a joy to read, especially since most of his stuff is in first person.  Character connections are also a pretty strong point in his writing.

And, even though this may be the last we see of Magnus (…for now), there is still plenty more from Riordan that awaits, including the third book in The Trials of Apollo coming out in May which I am definitely getting my hands on.

Check out the YouTube version of this review here!  Warning: video contains spoilers.

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