Sunday Post – 28th August

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Sunday Post

This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

It’s been a vile week – a heartbreaking week. When a single issue pounced from the corner, ambushed and overwhelmed me. And just to crown it all – my writing, which is my refuge and defence when Life smacks me around, isn’t going all that well. I’m in the process of ripping apart one of my manuscripts and rewriting it. It’s not the first time I’ve done this, but cutting out a major character is a messy process. It might work but right now the remnants of the damn thing are lying in shards around my ankles and as I’m on the last stages and reaching the climactic final stage – it feels like I’ve ruined it. I’ve worked so very hard all through this year – putting in hours and hours. And for what? Right now, I don’t know. Nothing makes sense or feels worth it. Anyway – enough with the whining.

This week I’ve managed to read:

The Obelisk Gate – Book 1 of The Broken EarthTrilogy by N.K. Jemisin
theobeliskgateTHIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS… FOR THE LAST TIME.
The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever. It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy. It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last. The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.

I was delighted to learn that The Fifth Season won the Hugo Award for the best novel – and deservedly so. This sequel of an extraordinary novel whose world is an amazing feat of imagination, scoops the story up and takes it further. I’m still reeling and buzzed from it… Thank God for books like this, there’s times when they are lifesavers. Though DON’T pick it up until you’ve read The Fifth Season or you’ll flounder. I reviewed this gem yesterday.

 

American Monsters – Book 3 of The Demon Road trilogy by Derek Landy
americanmonstersBigger, meaner, stronger. Amber closes in on her murderous parents as they make one last desperate play for power. Her own last hopes of salvation, however, rest beyond vengeance, beyond the abominable killers – living and dead – that she and Milo will have to face. For Amber’s future lies in her family’s past, in the brother and sister she never knew, and the horrors beyond imagining that befell them.

The action and violence ramps up another notch in this last book with some truly creepy moments – and the climax holds a poignant sting in the tail that completely winded me. This YA offering should be vetted, as I wouldn’t be happy letting any of the younger teens in my life read it.

 

 

 

Unraveled – Book 15 of the Elmental Assassins series by Jennifer Estep
What could go wrong when you’re trying to unravel a decades-old conspiracy?unraveled
As the current queen of the Ashland underworld, you would think that I, Gin Blanco, would know all about some secret society controlling things from behind the scenes. I might be the Spider, the city’s most fearsome assassin, but all my Ice and Stone elemental magic hasn’t done me a lick of good in learning more about “the Circle”. Despite my continued investigations, the trail’s gone as cold as the coming winter. So when Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, gets word of a surprising inheritance, we figure why not skip town for someplace less dangerous for a few days? That place: Bullet Pointe, a fancy hotel resort complex plus Old West theme park that Finn now owns lock, stock, and barrel. At first, all the struttin’ cowboys and sassy saloon girls are just hokey fun. But add in some shady coincidences and Circle assassins lurking all around, and vacationing becomes wilder—and deadlier—than any of us expected. Good thing this assassin brought plenty of knives to the gunfight …

The perky first person viewpoint is accurately portrayed in the blurb. While this offering is full of death and mayhem, it is unabashedly classic urban fantasy with snarky dialogue, plenty of action and dollops of humour. Estep’s bouncy approach provided some much-needed solace and I’ll reviewing this book during the coming week.

 

The Thousandth Floor – Book 1 of The Thousandth Floor series by Katherine McGee
the1000thfloorWelcome to Manhattan, 2118.
A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose. Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched. Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart. Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one? Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies. And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

This intriguing book starts with one of the girls featured in this ensemble piece plummeting to her death – and then the narrative timeline jumps back two months to show why she ends up falling off the roof… This YA offering could have so easily descended into an angsty mess – but McGee’s slick handling makes this futuristic thriller a real page-turner that I thoroughly enjoyed and will be reviewing it in the coming week.

My posts last week:

Sunday Post – 21st August

Review of Across the Universe – Book 1 of Across the Universe series by Beth Revis

Teaser Tuesday – featuring Unraveled – Book 15 of the Elemental Assassins by Jennifer Estep

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Spellbreaker – Book 3 of The Spellwright Trilogy by Blake Charlton

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of American Monsters – Book 3 of The Demon Road Trilogy by Derek Landy

Friday Faceoff – Looking Out on All I Own featuring The Poison Throne – Book 1 of The Moorhawke Trilogy by Celine Kiernan

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Obelisk Gate – Book 2 of The Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin

Other interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

I Went to a Funeral, and I Never Went Home https://mommyisawidow.com/2016/08/17/i-went-to-a-funeral-and-i-never-went-home/ A beautiful, heart-wrenching piece on bereavement

Tales of the Wellspring 5 – the White Spring of Glastonbury https://zenandtheartoftightropewalking.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/tales-of-the-wellspring-5-the-white-spring-of-glastonbury/ Another wonderful article from a gifted writer…

Day #15 – Doors closing, doors opening #30 Days Creative http://mhairisimpson.com/2016/08/day-15-doors-closing-doors-opening-30dayscreative/
A reminder that sometimes all you can do is just keep putting one foot in front of the other – and if you are lucky there are fab friends to help…

Saying Goodbye to the Sun https://richardankers.com/2016/08/24/saying-goodbye-to-the-sun/
A steady stream of short and micro fiction pours from the pen of this quirky, original author – the very hardest writing to get right. And this is a gem…

Writer’s Music: Ramin Djawadi https://jeanleesworld.com/2016/08/25/writers-music-ramin-djawadi/ Though you don’t HAVE to be a writer to want to get your hands on this music – I’m guessing one or three Game of Thrones fans might also like it…

Many thanks for visiting and taking the time and trouble to comment – and may you have a wonderful reading and blogging week.

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46 responses »

  1. I have been so back and forth about The Thousandth Floor. I was going to request an ARC, but then someone posted a couple of quotes in a Twitter chat and they were cheese ball, so I didn’t, and then I saw a glowing review from a blogger who has similar taste to mine and I wished I had requested. Then after that a saw both love and hate reviews, ha ha, so I am still undecided. I hope you have a better week this coming week. 🙂

    • It is definitely aimed and written for the YA market – but I really enjoyed it. I think it has been well written and executed – that said, I don’t generally read contemporary high school/teen reads so the issues and entanglements might be tired retreads, not that they felt like it… The multiple viewpoints were deftly handled and I thought the pacing and characterisation was well done. The final climactic scene was also well executed. It certainly isn’t dire – I’d like to know your take on it…

  2. Hi Sarah, so sorry about all the troubles. I hear your frustration with the writing. I also tend to revert to writing when things are messed up. And I also lately struggle a bit with that. Lots of things going on. I’m still looking at The Thousandth floor, but maybe I’ll give it a go. For now I just need to get through all the lists that I am so behind with. Hope the upcoming week will be better for you…! Here’s my Sunday Post: http://marelithalkink.blogspot.co.za/2016/08/the-sunday-post-double-up-to-100.html

    • Thank you for your sympathetic words. Yes… I also have a lot going on, which does become an issue when the wheels fall off my life quite so dramatically. As regards The Thousandth Floor – I think it’s worth a go. I was impressed at the overall quality of the writing.

  3. So sorry for your vile week and the major rewriting that you are undertaking. Hopefully when you take a few deep breathes and just get stuck it, then it won’t seem to overwhelming.
    The Thousandth Floor sounds good and I love that it wasn’t over angsty!

    • Thank you for your kind words, Trish:) Yes… I was completely sideswiped by this one, but now the only way is up. Yes – I enjoyed The Thousandth Floor and found it a gripping, entertaining read.

    • Thank you for your kind words… Yes – I shan’t give up on the rewrite, but right now it really isn’t much fun. As for the rest – I’ve got to come to terms with it and keep going forward. Hopefully next week won’t deliver another almighty shocker! Take care and have a good week, while I’ll endeavour to have a better one.

  4. Ugh..rewrites. Good luck. The Elemental Assassins series is one on my massive backlist. Right now I am working on BDB and and Psy-Changeling. Hope this week is a good one. Enjoy the 3-day weekend.

    • Thank you! Hopefully by the end of this holiday w/e, I’ll have broken the back of this m/s – literarlly. I really enjoyed this slice of the Elemental Assassins and I’m sure I missed a lot of nuances and allusions, but Estep is very adroit at drawing a newbie like me right into the story without slowing up the pace. And it’s fun, which was important this week.

  5. Sometimes, ripping apart what you’ve spent so much time putting together can lead to a positive new beginning…but in the midst of it all, it only feels like a waste. Like devastation. Here’s to pulling it together in a new way.

    Enjoy your week….and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

    • You’re right and I’ve only recently managed to achieve a really positive rewrite. I THINK that once the messy process of cutting out the residual sections and rejigging the storyline and tightening the writing, it will work. But this last week, when I was reeling and heartsick wasn’t necessarily the best timing to have to continue with this task. Thank you for your kind encouragement.

  6. I am sorry to hear you had such a bad week and even your writing isn’t going well. I hope next week is a better one!
    It does sound like you had a good reading week, reading four books. I am so behind on the elemental assassin series, but I loved the books that i have read. i think i got to book 6 or so? I hope this week will be a good one!

    • Thank you, Lola. I’m fervently hoping this coming week will be a better one, too! Yes… I managed to read a reasonable number of books. I’m afraid I just plunged straight into Book no 15 – I hadn’t even realised it was part of series when I requested it from NetGalley. In the event, it wasn’t a problem. Take care and have a good week.

  7. I really hope things start to work themselves out and the vision for the story you’re waiting starts to unfold and become clear to you. I have so many books in the Elemental Assassin series (I’m on book 3), I hope you enjoyed it.

    • Oh yes – Unraveled was great fun. I really liked the writing and the story. Thank you for your good wishes regarding the m/s – I’m on the last lap now and hope that once I’ve completed the final act it will all make sense. That’s the plan, anyway… Have a great week and many thanks for dropping in.

  8. Oh no sorry to hear you had a rough week. Hang in there with the writing- I’m sure it will all come together even if it seems like a mess now. I always sympathize with writers when something like that happens- I know when George RR Martin scrapped his infamous 5 year gap and rejiggered things I could only imagine the stress and angst that must have caused, given the complexity of the story. Must be tough.

    The Obelisk Gate sounds interesting, I’m not always up on all the latest science fiction but I’m intrigued by it. Oh and Across the Universe- thanks for the review. I like generation ship stories and your review has convinced me to take the plunge. 🙂

    • Thank you for your kind words Greg:) I’m hoping that the manuscript will come right once I’m out the other end… If you’re minded to give a sci fi read a go – try The Fifth Season – you won’t have read anything quite like it… Do let me know how you get on with Across the Universe. Hope you have a good week and many thanks for dropping in.

  9. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had such a bad week. And to also be rewriting your story like that has got to be disheartening and stressful, but in the end I’m sure it’ll be for the best. Better to put in the work and end up with the best possible story, right? At least you read some great books! Hope things get better for you this week!

    • Oh yes – and I wasn’t whining about the need to rewrite the m/s, that’s a given if you’re serious about writing – it was the fact that I’d got to a tricky, disheartening stage just when a chunk of my personal life took a massive sideswipe. However, I got my head down and wrote the last ‘grotty’ bit last night and now I’m definitely on the last lap and it’s all looking a lot better. As for the other stuff – one foot in front of the other and trudge, I guess. Many thanks for taking the time to send me such a kind, encouraging message, Kristin. To be honest I’ve been blown away at how many people have taken the time to do so:)

  10. *gives Sarah a hug*

    I’m sorry to hear that last week was tough both creatively and personally. I can’t think of other advice that other commentors haven’t shared yet… But keep your chin up. This week will be a better week; and once you’ve finished the rewrite, I’m sure you’ll have a better manuscript than you did before.

    • Bless you, Sara:). Thank you so much for your kindness. I’m just writing the last section and I THINK I’ve pulled it off… It’ll need a whole lot of tidying up, of course. And yes – I think it’s tighter.

  11. I’m sorry to hear that you had a difficult week, that also had affected your writing. I’ve been wondering: have you try to write something short and “sweet”, just for fun? I found that what helps me when I’m down is writing some funny or sarcastic story (which is interesting: I write dark and brooding stuff when in good mood, but when depressed, my writing is all cheerful). I think you deserve such break (if something like that would work for you): working through challenging bits of a book when life is difficult feels more like a painful chore than an escape.

    • Funny you say that! I wrote a poem about the whole wretched situation at 4 am on Sunday morning – and it really, really helped. It relieved my feelings and also gave me a chance to actually read and edit something in its entirety! It’s no great work of literature, but that’s not the point. And as regards the m/s, I worked hard on it yestereday, which was as much fun as gargling with broken glass, but I’m now through the grotty bit and am once more enjoying it… Still hard to tell, but I think it’s significantly improved. Let’s hope I’m not the only one that thinks so…

      • Great! I love when writing helps. 🙂
        And I think that it’s completely fine to write not-so-great-works-of-literature for as long as we recognize what they are.
        And I’m glad you got through the rough patch. I hoping I’ll follow your footsteps when it comes to my WIP…

      • The hard bit was that this is a m/s I’d written a while ago that I was asked to redraft – and I found it very difficult to get back into the world, as I’ve been immersed in two other worlds this year. Truth to tell – it’s all something of a hot mess at the moment… Still, it was an acute suggestion, as it was exactly the right thing to do to help steady myself and roll up my sleeves to get going again.

  12. I am so sorry last week was such a rough one for you. I hope this week has been better for you. The Thousandth Floor stands out of all your recent reads to me, but they really all sound good.

    • Yes, it was a blessing that I was able to dive into some lovely books. Thank you for your kind words – hm… This almighty mess isn’t going anywhere, sadly. But at least I don’t feel quite so blindsided and despairing. I definitely can recommend The Thousandth Floor as an entertaining YA read with plenty of pace and incident and an intriguing plot device that was well handled.

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