Monday, September 1, 2014

On Writing:

Happy Labor Day, Everyone!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday weekend. I may be somewhat absent from the blogosphere this week. I have a ton of stuff going on this week and, what with the holiday weekend, am not going to get much done in advance. So, I may be on less than usual. But, I'll be back next week. In the mean time, here are some humorous Labor Day sentiments for you to enjoy! Have a great one! :D

Happy Labor Day, Everyone! 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Knife of Dreams Read-Along, Week 7

Welcome to week 7 of our Knife of Dreams Read-Along! This week we read chapters 27-31. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk. I'm hosting this week.

Semirhage (Source)
) Why do you think Semirhage's disguise of the Power failed? Did you see the Rand-losing-his-hand thing coming?

It's hard to say for sure, but it may just be another example of things in the world that are failing as Tarmon Gai'don draws near. Even the Forsaken aren't immune as the Dark One extends his touch throughout Randland. 

Rand's hand was foreshadowed in prophecies and dreams, but it wasn't super obvious. Most people probably wouldn't have concluded it the first time around. Or at least I didn't. :D

2) Do you think Mat's plan against the Seanchan is a good one? Will it turn the tide?

As always, Mat's battle plans are super-smart. If anyone can turn things around, battle-wise, with the Seanchan, it's Mat.

Tam al'Thor (Source)
3) Tam showed up! (Yea!) What did you think of his reaction to confirmation that Rand is the Dragon Reborn?

I thought it was kind of sad, but also kind of sweet. Tam, true to what we know of his character, didn't freak out or melt down or anything. It was fitting, I think. And I think it's awesome that Perrin immediately put him in a high military position. 

4) Masema shows up at an inconvenient time to (somewhat) ruin Perrin's plans. What do you think he's doing? What's his endgame?

Well, as Perrin often observes, Masema is totally loony. And yet, one would expect him to be a total idiot where Perrin's plans are concerned. The fact that he showed up that way, and wasn't where Perrin thought he would be, says maybe he's not as much of an idiot as he seems. He may be mad, but he's not stupid. Perrin needs to watch his back. Especially given what Aram said, it's obvious that Masema is trying to have Perrin assassinated.

Aram (Source)
5) All kinds of crazy stuff in this chapter! Aram tries to kill Perrin and dies himself. Tylee captures Sevanna. And Galina ends up in Therava's clutches, headed for the Waste. What did you think  of all these twists? Did you wish for other outcomes? How do you think they'll affect the story going forward?

Aram's story line really came to a head here. He's gotten more and more twisted as the story went along, and his ending is really quite tragic, because he allowed himself to be so thoroughly duped by Masema, and actually turned on Perrin. His death was anything but valiant or honorable. 

Oh, and Perrin killed Rolan. (Forgot to include that in the question. :/ ) I remember reading this through the first time and wondering how it would all turn out. I just couldn't figure out what would be fitting or what I would want best. Then, as soon as Perrin killed him, I realized that was the only way it could have ended. It was the only fitting way to tie up this entire story line in a way that wouldn't compromise Perrin and Faile's relationship. Well played, Robert Jordan. Well played. :D

I was SO happy that Sevanna across Tylee's saddle. Tylee's enough of a hard case that she can give Sevanna what's been coming to her for a long time!

Galina's fate was fitting as well. She's a Darkfriend, she double-crossed Faile. Yeah, maybe the Waste will be a good character-builder for her.

Overall, so much great stuff going down in this section. I couldn't have asked for better outcomes.

Elayne Trakand (Source)
6) Elayne encounters some black Sisters and, in her haste, ends up in hot water. We had a cliffhanger on this. What do you think will happen next? Were you surprised that it was actually Careanne that was Black Ajah, contrary to Elayne's suspicions?

This was something of a twist, wasn't it? I won't say anything about what happens next, but with Brigitte right outside, it's not as though Elayne is on her own, right? Of course the Black Sister would be the one Elayne didn't expect. (It always is, isn't it?) But this could be a major turning point. After all, our super girls have been after some of these particular Black sisters since book 2. Yikes!

What other bloggers thought:     Dab of Darkness     Coffee, Cookies, and Chili Peppers

What did everyone else think of this section?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Follow Friday: Trading Places

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!

Tell us about a book character you’d trade places with 

Oh there are so many! Is there a way to pick just one?


1. Nynaeve al'Meara of Wheel of Time -- just so I can channel the One Power and marry Lan. :D

2. Arya Stark of A Song of Ice and Fire -- I totally want all Arya's adventures. I wish I was as brave and adventurous as she is. I totally want to be here. Uh, but you know, to know all the things the reader knows that she doesn't. :D


3. Harry Potter (or maybe Hermione since I'm a girl) so I can attend Hogwarts. 

Those are the first three that came to mind, but this list could go on for awhile...

What character would you change places with?

Thoughts for Thursday: Endurance

Thoughts for Thursday is a new feature hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is Endurance!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Review: Outpost

I finally finished Outpost, book 2 of Ann Aguirre's Razorland series. (It's taking me forever to finish books these days. *sigh*) As you probably remember that was very underwhelmed with book 1, Enclave. (My full review HERE.) I will admit to liking book 2 more than book 1. While I'm still not in love with the writing style, this story and these characters are growing on me.

Plot: The plot picks up where book 1 left off, with our characters in Salvation, trying to figure out themselves, each other, and where they fit in this new community. This is definitely a YA novel. There's a lot about Deuce trying to fit in with other girls her age and how different she is than them. There's also a lot of her trying to figure out what the dynamic will be, both between her and Fade and her and Stalker. It wasn't bad, by any means, but it felt very teenager/high school, which most of you know isn't my favorite thing.

I will say that the plot was more engaging in this book than in the previous one. The muties/freaks seem to be gaining intelligence, which is downright terrifying at times. The Salvation community, it seems, may be living on borrowed time, but Deuce and a handful of others are the only ones who realize it and actually want to do something about it. I did get very engrossed in the plot as this book went along.

Characters: As I said above, there was a lot of teenager drama, but there was other good stuff too. Deuce has a home and family for the first time, and it was nice to see her settle into what for the first time in her life is normal, filial connection. The stuff with Fade is quite romantic as well, despite Stalker as an added point on the love triangle, and I really like how their romance is progressing.

Writing: Okay, I still have a problem staying in the story. It's not that the writing is clunky or bad. I just get bored. I think I figured out why, in this second book. Deuce, by definition, is very much in her own head. She thinks much more than she talks, which isn't a bad trait by any means. But on top of that, this is a first person narrative. 

Often in my own writing group, the other members tell me that something ought not to be told in the narrative, but shown some other way. They tell me to have someone say it in conversation or something that will make it stronger, rather than just telling it. Now, sometimes I get frustrated with them because, while they're usually right and telling in the narrative shouldn't be overused, I believe it can be used to great advantage at times. But, in Deuce's case, I'd say ninety percent of the story is told in Deuce's thoughts. If more of it were shown in dialogue and action, it would be easier to stay in the story. As I said, the writing isn't bad in the least, but for me, it's just kind of boring. Which is weird, because the story really isn't. Anyway, it's probably just me being weird, but that's still how I feel.

Ending: No spoilers, as usual, but the ending was left completely open for book 3. While I'm still not crazy about the writing, I'll admit that the ending left me wanting to know what happens next. There was enough tragedy and angst to keep me hooked and make me disappointed when I reached the final page.

Overall: I have so much to do and read that I probably won't run out and buy book 3 (I don't currently own it) but should a copy fall into my hands in the future, I might the entire thing. Just sayin'. :D

Has anyone else read Outpost? Or Horde for that matter? What did you think of them? Would you recommend book 3?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Knife of Dreams

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Today's teasers come from Knife of Dreams, Book 11 of Wheel of Time. I've been participating in a read-along of this epic series for some time now, and we're six weeks into book 6. It's awesome! Enjoy the teasers! :D

"This is a new kind of war," he told her harshly. Light, it was silent on the road but he could still hear the screaming. "They'll have to wait for their own to give them aid."
Tuon murmured something half under her breath. He thought it was, "A lion can have no mercy," but that was ridiculous. (pg. 603)

What are YOU reading this week?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Creative Challenge: Fantasy Image

So today, I'm doing a creative challenge. Check out this evocative image below (courtesy of Pinterest) and tell me what you think is happening in it. What is this story about, who are the characters, and/or what is going on in the scene? Just thought it might be a good way to get the creative juices flowing on a Monday morning. :D Answer in the comments.

Also, make sure to hop on over to my LKHill blog for a roundup of great writing posts!

What does this image make YOU think of?