The Curiosities started out as a collection of short stories that Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff were writing on their blog, ThThe Curiosities started out as a collection of short stories that Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff were writing on their blog, The Merry Sisters of Fate. I don't know that they even intended for these to be printed, but they were there for the public to read, for the three authors to practice and possible write things stories that were not their normal fare. However, what really makes this collection stand out, at least to me, is that each of the three authors were asked to go through and mark up a manuscript, jotting down their notes, thoughts, and critiques on their own and each others' stories. There are notes written to each other, little doodles, inside jokes, and other fun facts strewn throughout the stories. I had almost as much fun reading their notes as I did reading the stories.
Now, I have books by all three authors on my shelves, but I've never gotten around to reading any of them, but when Maggie Stiefvater was doing a signing at my local indie, Schuler Books, they had this for sale, and it seemed like such a clever idea of a book, I decided to pick up a copy. Needless to say, I know want to read at least one book by each of the authors by year's end. I so thoroughly enjoyed working my way through this collection that I would like to see what each author can do with a full length novel.
The stories in the collection are:
The Vampire Box by Gratton A Murder of Gods by Stiefvater The Power of Intent by Yovanoff A History of Love by Stiefvater Girls Raised by Wolves b Yovanoff Date with a Dragon Slayer by Gratton Scheherazade by Yovanoff The Spiral Table by Gratton The Madness of Lancelot by Yovanoff The Wind Takes Our Cries by Stiefvater Auburn by Yovanoff The Deadlier of the Species by Stiefvater Puddles by Gratton The Bone-Tender by Yovanoff Death Ship by Gratton The Last Day of Spring by Stiefvater Cut by Yovanoff Philosopher’s Flight by Stiefvater Ash-Tree Spell to Break to Your Heart by Gratton Rain Maker by Stiefvater Dumb Supper by Gratton Neighbors by Yovanoff Council of Youth by Stiefvater The Summer Ends in Slaughter by Gratton Blue as God by Yovanoff Thomas All by Gratton Heart-Shaped Box by Stiefvater Berserk by Gratton Lazarus Girl by Yovanoff Another Sun by Stiefvater
Nothing against the other two authors, but I think I found myself enjoying Yovanoff's stories the most. There was something about her writing and storytelling that just really clicked with me and I think I'd like to start one of her books sooner rather than later.
Overall, an excellent collection and highly recommended!...more
I've obviously lost interest in this book as it has been sitting unfinished on my bedside for months now. I keep shifting it to the bottom of the pileI've obviously lost interest in this book as it has been sitting unfinished on my bedside for months now. I keep shifting it to the bottom of the pile, so I'm setting it aside for now and will try it again another time....more
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, and I don't think there's a better time to be a fan of the show. So much is being done to celebratThis year marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, and I don't think there's a better time to be a fan of the show. So much is being done to celebrate the anniversary, and one of my favorites is a series of 11 new eshorts celebrating all 11 Doctors being written by some of the biggest names in young people's literature. Each eshort is going to be released on the 23rd of the month, with the eleventh story released on the 50th anniversary date, November 23. They are keeping each of the writers under wraps until early in the month of release for their story, so really, nobody knows who is writing which Doctor.
Eoin Colfer (of Artemis Fowl fame) was selected to write the First Doctor's story. In this new adventure, the Doctor is facing off against the Soul Pirates, a vile alien species that kidnaps children and harvests either their brain power to power their ship or their organs to repair themselves, allowing them to live inordinately long lives. The Doctor had been tracking them and wanted to put a stop to their evil ways, and along the way his granddaughter, Susan, is also kidnapped by the Soul Pirates, thereby making this a personal fight for the Doctor. What follows is a brief but exciting adventure as the Doctor does what the Doctor does best, saving the day.
(Full disclosure here: I've come at Doctor Who more with the New Who than the Classic Who. I remember watching Doctor Who in the late 70s/early 80s with Tom Baker, but I never really understood what I was watching, since I never saw a full story in a row. I've watched several of the William Hartnell stories now, but haven't seen them all.)
The First Doctor was portrayed by William Hartnell from 1963-1966, and his characterization of the Doctor was different from just about every regeneration of the Doctor that we've seen since. He's slightly grumpy, slightly curmudgeonly, and not very proactive. He was more of the think it through type rather than a call to arms type of Doctor, and I've read several reviews of this short that find fault in Eoin Colfer's First Doctor, as that is not necessarily the characterization that Colfer went with. Colfer's Doctor is a little more witty and adventurous than Hartnell's Doctor, and for hardcore Whovians, I can see where this would be a problem.
However, I think Colfer is creating a First Doctor for a new generation. Kids today, and especially their attention spans, probably wouldn't hold up well to Hartnell's characterization of the Doctor, so Colfer took the basic idea of the First Doctor and updated him a little bit. He still thinks things through, but he's a little more proactive in his execution of a resolution. He's still slightly grumpy, but has a certain wit that runs through that grumpiness. I've read complaints that the Doctor drops too many current references (Harry Potter, for instance). I'm sorry, but if he went around in this story only dropping references to things that happened in the 1960s when Hartnell was portraying him, kids today wouldn't understand those references. I think that's the point that many hardcore Whovians are missing, that these stories are written not for them, but for kids, and modern day kids, not kids in the 1960s. Maybe I'm wrong, and Colfer is actually doing a disservice to the memory of the First Doctor and William Hartnell, but for this reader, I think he did an admirable job of taking the old and making it new again....more
Hard to really review/rate these little ebook teasers, as that's all they are, teasers. I guess, this one did its job, though, since I'm intrigued enoHard to really review/rate these little ebook teasers, as that's all they are, teasers. I guess, this one did its job, though, since I'm intrigued enough by the opening sequence and the first couple of chapters to want to check the rest of the book out.
The opening sequence deals with the burning of Mila's house, and the panic she feels as she tries to find her parents in the inferno to rescue them. Of course, we're not given much more than this, but I won't spoil the rest.
The several chapters from the beginning of Mila 2.0 leave me curious about the rest of the book, so I'm sure I'll be picking it up eventually. ...more
I thought the point of these ebook prequels was to whet our appetites for the book coming out? If the book is like this prequel, where the two protagoI thought the point of these ebook prequels was to whet our appetites for the book coming out? If the book is like this prequel, where the two protagonists go at each other with a non-stop diatribe of teenage blathering, which I guess is supposed to show the sexual tension between the two of them, then I'll gladly pass. There is nothing in the "prequel" (which really should have just been the first two chapters of the actual book) that would make me want to read any farther, no foreshadowing of what's to come (unless you count the voices in the girl's head, which show up for all of one sentence), no real lead up to anything. Don't know if I'll be reading the rest of the series....more
I'll just put it right out there, I love Lauren Destefano's writing. Love it. Several years ago, I received an ARC of Wither, the first book in The ChI'll just put it right out there, I love Lauren Destefano's writing. Love it. Several years ago, I received an ARC of Wither, the first book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy, and I honestly wasn't so sure about it. Based on the blurb, I didn't think I was going to like it at all, and to be honest, after reading, I still wasn't so sure but I liked the premise and world-building enough to check out the second book, Fever. That was when my love was firmly cemented for her writing. Now, to be fair, I haven't yet read Sever, the final book in the trilogy, only because I wasn't ready for the books to end and didn't want to wait too long until her next book came out. I'll be remedying that this week.
To see the jump in crafting her writing from Wither to Fever, and now onto Perfect Ruin, has been a pleasure. DeStefano is clearly learning how to hone her writing, and it is obvious in Perfect Ruin. Her style is so immersive and minimalist, she can pull you into a story with such little effort and ease. I quickly grew attached to not only the main characters of the story, but the secondary characters as well. Everyone in the book is an important part in how the story plays out, and she doesn't squander any of her characters.
The story takes place on Internment, a floating city in the sky above what I believe is Earth. Because of the limited space for the current population and no room for an increase in that number, the people of Internment live by some fairly strict rules set in place by the ruling family to make sure the peace is kept (Betrothals, birthing queues, forced lifespans among these rules). The people of Internment live in a forced peace, mostly content with their lives on the floating island, but there are some that wonder what is at the edge of Internment and what is on the ground below them. Those that get too close to the edge are never the same afterward, having been changed both mentally and sometimes physically by the experience, but what it is that forces these changes is never quite explained. In fact, while there is a tremendous amount explained about the workings of the city of Internment (if not explained outright, then through the explanations and reactions of the characters), but there is so much left to discover: What is Internment, exactly? Why is it floating above the Earth? What keeps it afloat? Much of this is kept secret from the reader, much like the residents of Internment are kept in the dark, and I think (hope) we'll find out the answers to these questions as they do. (I already have my suspicions. I'll be curious to see if I'm correct or not.)
These and many more questions secretly float around in the head of Morgan Stockhour. She knows that these thoughts would label her as an irrational, but much like her brother, Lex, who did get to close to the edge of Internment and is now paying the price, she can't get the thoughts out of her head. She knows that she should follow the rules, finish her schooling, marry her betrothed, and carry with her life like she should. She just can't; her mind wanders to the edge too frequently. When the first murder in a generation occurs, it throws the tight knit community into turmoil. Morgan finds herself in increasingly difficult situations, she slowly begins to realize that life on Internment may not be all that it seems to be. The cliffhanger ending to the book is pitch perfect, seriously leaving me gasping for more! I finished the last sentence and had to put the book down for a moment before going back and re-reading the last bits again. The sense of adventure and wonder that I was left with was palpable and I can't believe that I have to wait until who knows when for the next book. Alas and alack, first world problems and all that, right?
Needless to say, DeStefano has created a damned fine book. She avoids some of the YA stereotypes in this volume (Hello, lack of love triangle! So refreshing to see you again!) which I find as a huge plus for this book. Her characters are believable, and I feel for each and everyone of them. The mystery of Internment is fantastic, and as for what that happens next? Well, I will be waiting with bated breath for the next volume of The Internment Chronicles. Thank you, Lauren DeStefano, for crafting us such a fantastic book!...more