Sunday Post – 18th December 2016

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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 another busy week. Last week-end it was lovely to be grannying again, especially as the children helped out with decorating the house and the Christmas tree. On Monday I was up to Coulsdon to stay with my sister and brother-in-law. As well as catching up with my lovely niece and firming up arrangements for Christmas – we are all meeting up at my mother and father-in-law’s house for the Christmas festivities – I also helped with a bit of editing on some work she is doing, returning home on Wednesday evening. We are still horribly behind with our Christmas preparations – I haven’t written my cards yet. However, I have managed to catch up with writing up book reviews and a couple of extra blogs, hopefully getting a few in hand for the holiday season when I’ll be doing something other than sitting at the computer.

I’m also delighted to report that my writing mojo has returned and I’ve managed to tuck into Miranda’s Tempest, continuing with the major rewrite I started and then got stalled on. While I think it’s unlikely I’ll get it completed before Christmas, if I can at least keep the handles wound on it, I’ll be very pleased.

This week I have read:

Rebel of the Sands – Book 1 of The Rebel of the Sands trilogy by Alwyn Hamilton
rebelofthesandsShe’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands. Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from, as she’s destined to wind up “wed or dead”.

There has been a real buzz about this YA desert fantasy offering, and I can see why. Hamilton tips us right into the middle of the action from the first page as Amani’s spiky first person narrative pulled me into the story and didn’t let go. It is a foot to the floor, non-stop adventure where she careens through the vividly depicted landscape that borrows much from eastern influences. It’s a delight and I’m now hoping to be able to hunt down the sequel.

 

Ever the Hunted – Book 1 of Clash of Kingdoms series by Erin Summerill
everthehuntedSeventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer. However, it’s not so simple. The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart.

It was pure chance that I read two YA fantasy adventures back to back. They both featured teenage female protagonists on the run, both had secrets and issues they knew nothing about at the start of the adventure. Both had a romantic sub-plot. Both are cracking reads.
However, Britta isn’t so carelessly, gloriously reckless as Amani – she is wary and untrusting of everyone. The pace in this one isn’t quite so full-on, either, but I thoroughly enjoyed this tale set in a more traditional medieval fantasy setting. There were some pleasing plot twists in this adventure I didn’t see coming – and I certainly didn’t guess who had murdered Britta’s father.

 

Just One Damned Thing After Another – Book 1 of The Chronicles of St Mary’s by Jodi Taylor
“History is just one damned thing after another.” Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary’s, a jsutonedamnedthingdifferent kind of historical research is taking place. They don’t do ‘time-travel’ – they ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time’. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power – especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet. Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document – to try and find the answers to many of History’s unanswered questions…and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back – to the death. And, as they soon discover – it’s not just History they’re fighting.

This is time-travelling adventure is a joy. Funny, anarchic with a reckless sense of derring-do, this tale is told in first person viewpoint by Max as we follow her initial introduction to St Mary’s, training and early adventures. That said, the attrition rate is high and a number of folks die in this – some of whom I was really sorry to see go… I think this would make a marvellous TV series, however – not yet. There are a raft of these books out there and I want to read them all, first.

My posts last week:
Sunday Post – 11th December 2016

Review of A Natural History of Dragons – Book 1 of The Memoirs of Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan

Review of How To Train Your Parents by Pete Johnson

Friday Faceoff – Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world… featuring Undead and Unemployed – Book 2 of the Queen Betsy series by Mary Janice Davidson

2016 Discovery Challenge – November Roundup

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

A Short Analysis of T.S. Eliot’s ‘A Journey of the Magi https://interestingliterature.com/2016/12/15/a-short-analysis-of-t-s-eliots-journey-of-the-magi/ Once more this wonderful site comes up with a superb discussion about this beautiful, complicated poem on alienation and loss in amongst the Christmas story…

Great Gifts for Book Lovers https://kristentwardowski.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/gifts-for-book-lovers/ Kristen comes up with some timely ideas for the bookworm in your life…

500 Words You Should Know by Caroline Taggart https://librarystaffpicks.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/500-words-you-should-know-by-caroline-taggart/ Those lovely people at the awarding winning library site BallyroadReads have highlighted this entertaining book for the wordsmiths in your life…

The Character Evolution Files, No. 14: Aligning the Protagonist’s Character Arc with the Story’s Plot, Part 1 https://saraletourneauwriter.com/2016/12/15/plot-arc-alignment-part-1/ Sara Letourneau provides a thorough how-to article on how to ensure your character’s journey works within your plot.

Inspirational Bernard Williams’ Quotes http://logicalquotes.com/bernard-williams-quotes/ Some of these are gems – and if you enjoy reading strong, interesting quotes by a range of folks, then swing by this enjoyable site.

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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19 responses »

    • Yes… I think we’re all busy pounding away at the keyboard in advance of next week’s festivities, Steph. Have a lovely Christmas and let’s hope next year is a better one.

  1. I’m ready to get through the week and start Christmas! LOL It does seem tiring near the end. And I know it’s hectic when I can’t spend the time I want to at my computer. Me thinks I may have missed a post here this week. Yikes!

    My Sunday Post

    • Please don’t worry about it – I’m afraid I missed a few at the beginning of the week because when I returned home, I was just too overwhelmed:). As for Christmas, still horribly behind… Have a Happy Christmas, Laura!

  2. Just One Damned Thing After Another caught my eye and looks fascinating. Even though it’s not my usual read.

    Enjoy the upcoming week and the holidays….and thanks for visiting my blog today…twice!

  3. Must’ve been fun to have your kids help with decorating the house! Good luck with your writing, that’s great your writing mojo returned and you also got some reviews written! I hope you can get all the preparations finished in time for Christmas. Looks like you had a good reading week. Have a great week!

    • And you, Lola – have a happy Christmas:). Thank you – yes, it’s always great having the grandchildren to stay, they are such poppets. Yes – it’s always hard when the writing/editing spark goes on walkabout, so I’m delighted it’s returned. I’m not going to panic about Christmas – it’ll either get done or it won’t!

  4. I’ve seen several reviews of Ever the Hunted today from the Sunday Post, and yours has me thinking maybe I’ll try this one. I’ve been skeptical as I’ve been reading less YA fantasy, but I don’t know… something about this one. Maybe it’s the nice cover. 🙂

    Glad you had a good week! And hope your holidays are wonderful!

  5. I love reading about people’s Christmas plans, and yours promise to be the best! It sounds as if your Christmas will be full of family and fun. We are looking forward to making calls and texting with our blood kin on Christmas day. We will also have Christmas dinner with our 101 year old friend and her family. (This was not the only invitation we got–we are a popular couple!). I am saving the Thanksgiving (frozen) turkey that I was saving for Christmas day for New Year’s Day at this point.
    I am glad you are again making progress on Miranda’s Tempest. What an undertaking…what an accomplishment when it is finished! I definitely want to read more YA adventures after reading Conor Kelly, and I am sure I will like Book 1 of the St. Mary’s series. Have you reviewed it yet? I may wait to see the review to decide. I have posted my Sunday (Evening) Post at http://powerfulwomenreaders.wordpress.com. I hope you will drop by again. You are such a nice visitor!

  6. Thanks so much for sharing the Character Evolution File link, Sarah. 🙂

    It sounds like things are starting to ease out a little. I know you were stressed out the past couple weeks, so as I read this post I sensed you were calmer and happier (or as calm as you can be, with Christmas around the corner). And I’m glad to hear you’re back in the swing with Miranda’s Tempest! 🙂

    I just noticed your review of Rebel of the Sands and will read that later. That and Ever The Hunted are on my “library-borrowing” list. It’s something I’ve started to help me prioritize YA fantasies that might be good comp titles to use for my WIP (and also to curtail my book-spending *blushes*).

    Before I forget: When I send you the TKC manuscript, should I send it to the Gmail address we’ve corresponded with before? Also, would you prefer PDF or Word for the file format?

    • Things have eased somewhat, though there is a major problem:(. Don’t see the situation being resolved anytime soon, so we need to grit our teeth and settle down for the duration. Yes… I’m delighted I’ve got my mojo back regarding Miranda’s Tempest. My email address – sjhigbee@hotmail.co.uk. And I’d prefer a Word file so that I can use TrackChanges for easily, so long as you’re happy for me to use it, please. Looking forward to reading it:).

  7. Glad to see you writing mojo back! Triple “Yay!” for that. (I know I’m late to the party, so I hope the mojo didn’t wander off in the meantime.)
    As usually, I’m looking forward to your reviews (which might be already up and I’ll read them when I catch up) – especially that few books have caught my attention.

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