As with all short story collections, I found this one to be a mix of stories I enjoyed, stories I disliked and stories I didn't really care much about...moreAs with all short story collections, I found this one to be a mix of stories I enjoyed, stories I disliked and stories I didn't really care much about in either direction. As indicated by the title, the uniting focus is on darkness, although that is quite a subjective thing.
My favourite piece in here is 'Candy' by Ephiny Gale, and I'm pretty sure that's not just my bias talking. It has the pared-down structure that I enjoy and that I think several other pieces in this collection could have benefited from employing.
I also enjoyed 'Pushers' by Sean Logan and 'A Mother's Love' by Alyssa Cooper. I struggled most with 'The Door in the Wall' by Stephen Owen, as I found the hateful way the protagonist described his wife very unpleasant to read.
NB: I have intentionally not rated this book, as my partner is one of the authors, and I don't want to annoy people by contributing to the star average given my connection.(less)
I'm definitely not the key audience of Adrift, as I tend to dislike both historical fiction and anything about pirates – oh, and I generally steer cle...moreI'm definitely not the key audience of Adrift, as I tend to dislike both historical fiction and anything about pirates – oh, and I generally steer clear of fantasy, too ;) Despite this, however, I found a lot to keep me reading. To my surprise, it was the parts of the book set in the past that I found most appealing. The reader learns of what caused the protagonist, Jaclyn, to take up piracy and follows her personal journey during that era. I liked the fact that Malcolm doesn't let the story get bogged down in too much history. So often, historical fiction becomes an exercise in the author letting you know just how much research they've done, which leads to the story itself being buried underneath unnecessary facts. That doesn't happen here. There are enough signposts to let you know where and when the book is set, without those details overwhelming the plot.
Alternate chapters of Adrift tell of Jaclyn's time in contemporary New York after she is sent hundreds of years forward in time. While I found the events of these chapters a little less engaging, they nonetheless develop the character of the protagonist and make possible the change and growth that leads towards the book's ultimate ending. I think one of the reasons I enjoyed the chapters set in the past more than those set in the present was that I found characters like Turtle/Ejiogu much more likeable than Dick and Max. I quite like the fact that this is the case – after all, there is skill involved in making pirates seem more honourable than toymakers!
While Adrift combines the genres of historical fiction and fantasy, in the end it's a story about the personal experiences, choices and growth of one individual. In that sense, there's something here even for those readers who (like me!) do not usually read a lot in those genres. Malcolm has also published several short stories in this universe, so look them up if you want to read more set in this world :)
Reviewer Disclosure: It is easily discoverable knowledge that the author of Adrift is a good friend of mine. For that reason, I have not added a rating to my review, as I know there has been much (negative!) discussion about friends and families influencing the average star rating on Goodreads. (less)
This is quite a basic book, really. It was on the recommended book list for my Masters, but I'd personally only recommend it to people without much ex...moreThis is quite a basic book, really. It was on the recommended book list for my Masters, but I'd personally only recommend it to people without much experience of writing. It's full of activities, but I'm not sure I'd do any of them myself, as they would feel very artificial because they're not in keeping with my own writing process.
On the upside, Grenville has taken her examples from Australian authors, which is a nice change! And I do think The Writing Book could be helpful for those new to fiction writing – just not so much to those of us who have been doing it for many, many years.(less)
I almost didn't read this. When I first picked it up, I struggled a lot with the writing style, because I was expecting it to be YA due to the book de...moreI almost didn't read this. When I first picked it up, I struggled a lot with the writing style, because I was expecting it to be YA due to the book design. Once I realised it was actually more a MG book, I was able to get used to the writing and focus on the plot and the universe.
It's the latter that really makes Everlost for me. It's such a clever universe, which is very well fleshed-out. The plot is nice and adventurey, which is a nice change from all the paranormal romances I've been reading begrudgingly of late. I also liked both Nick and Allie as protagonists. Mary and the McGill were both good characters as well.
I shall definitely pick up the second book if I spot it in my travels.(less)
An excellent workbook for learning and applying the key techniques involved in DBT. Useful both in conjunction with professional psych treatment and f...moreAn excellent workbook for learning and applying the key techniques involved in DBT. Useful both in conjunction with professional psych treatment and for going it alone. Well organised, with incremental activities for the user to attempt in order to master the four concepts. (less)
I kept seeing later books in this series in my local library and being intrigued, so when the first one popped up at a library book sale, I picked it...moreI kept seeing later books in this series in my local library and being intrigued, so when the first one popped up at a library book sale, I picked it up. I wasn't expecting much at all, but I actually found it really entertaining. I have a soft spot for things about witchcraft, and this seemed to be a little more true to Wiccan doctrine than other similar books out there, which added an interesting element.
By no means is it a work of great literature, but it pleased me in the same way that Sweet Valley books please me, and I personally saw interesting parallels between Kate's fear of acknowledging the fact that she is performing rituals and associating with other witches and the concerns associated with the process of coming out as a gay, lesbian or bisexual teen or adult.
I look forward to delving further into the Circle of Three series when I get the chance.(less)