You know how sometimes you read a book, especially as an author, and you close it, and you just want to applaud the author for their brilliance? Yeah.You know how sometimes you read a book, especially as an author, and you close it, and you just want to applaud the author for their brilliance? Yeah. That. I finally got to read Magic Rises last night, the latest instalment in Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series.
Oh. My. Word.
You guys! THIS is how pacing is supposed to be done!
I know the book benefits from the weight of 6 previous novels and 3 previous novellas – and do not underestimate the emotional weight that that can carry – but seriously. This book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I stayed up late the night before my first day on the new job, because I stopped at a point that literally left me emotionally distraught, and although I tried to put the book down by stopping for a shower, I knew that I wouldn’t sleep properly because I was too keyed up – I had to have this plot line resolved for the sake of my own emotions, forget the main character’s! :D On the authors’ website, they have a review snippet that says, “I am emotionally spent. No one can say Kate and Curran are boring now that they are mated. I need a cookie or something.” (Jen of Red Hot Books) Emotionally spent is totally the right description. This book is GRIPPING, y’all. GRIPPING.
So yes, this is my official recommendation: if you haven’t read Ilona Andrews before, and you like urban fantasy with a kickass heroine, highly relatable relationships, romantic tension, cool worldbuilding (including the most GENIUS things with real-life history/mythology), and utterly superb pacing, particularly in the later books (they just keep getting better!), then do yourself a favour and go check out the Kate Daniels series. They are awesome. I heart them. /nodnod. :D ...more
Overview This is a fabulous book on the art of scene creation, and raising the stakes to make every scene conflicty and juicy. Holly takes a couple ofOverview This is a fabulous book on the art of scene creation, and raising the stakes to make every scene conflicty and juicy. Holly takes a couple of chapters to give a working definition of a scene, and to define the different types of conflict (complete with exercises to practice the different types), before moving on to things like the art of storytelling through scenes, pacing, transitions and trouble-shooting for common problems.
High Points Practical, easy to use, lots of exercises. I really like Holly's non-fic work on writing, and her style resonantes with me, so I usually find her books helpful :)
Low Points ? None come to mind.
Rating This is a book for your writing desk, something you can quickly flick through when you need a refresher, and to keep handy both while plotting and drafting your novel ;)...more
My favourite of the Dresden Files books :) I LOVE the way Butcher balances the series arc with the book arc, and the way that religion is incorporatedMy favourite of the Dresden Files books :) I LOVE the way Butcher balances the series arc with the book arc, and the way that religion is incorporated into this book through the character of Michael is awesome....more
One of the best books I ever had to read for my university studies. Ghosh deals with the issues of nationality and cultural boundaries in a way that'sOne of the best books I ever had to read for my university studies. Ghosh deals with the issues of nationality and cultural boundaries in a way that's intelligent, accessible, and thought-provoking - and manages to tell a great story at the same time....more
This is not a book to squee over; this is a book to quietly die for. I really, really don't know how to do this book justice in a revieAmy's Thoughts:
This is not a book to squee over; this is a book to quietly die for. I really, really don't know how to do this book justice in a review, so bear with me while I try.
The Scorpio Races is set on a small island in the UK, and the ocean permeates the story. More. This story IS the ocean. The ocean is vast and deep and dangerous and compelling, moody and tempestuous and utterly, utterly charming while at the same time pervaded by a dangerous undercurrent. Ocean, water, blue-brown-grey, gull crying in loneliness from the craggy cliffs and the wind whipping in your face - this is Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races.
It's quiet, and compelling, and oh, so utterly, utterly true. No, it's not a factual story, but what it says about people and life and grief and love - it's real. It's true.
I've never in my life hated an author before, not even when J.K. killed off beloved characters in her Harry Potter series. I cried, sure, just like I bawled my eyes out for the last three chapters of Marley and Me; but I've never hated an author for something they made happen in a book.
I hated Ms Stiefvater. At a certain point in the last quarter of The Scorpio Races, I wanted to throw it against a wall and scream in outrage and horror at the unfairness of it all. But I couldn't, because what she'd written was right; it was true. And I couldn't bring myself to not read the end, not see how it finished. And I'm so, so, so glad I did finish it, because the ending was worth waiting for, and is so bittersweetly beautiful that I'm literally crying again now remembering it.
I love this book. If you love human-animal connections, real romantic relationships that are more about mutual respect and understanding than mushiness, difficult decisions, wild places, bittersweet endings and of course, killer water horses, please: love this book too.
Final Conclusion: This is the most heart-wrenching book I can ever remember reading. I want to carry it around with me forever to remind me of all that is beautiful and important in life - and what exactly love is. ...more
This is one of the few books I bought myself over Christmas (2009) that I'll be teaching come term-time, so I have to admit, I was expecting a dry, boThis is one of the few books I bought myself over Christmas (2009) that I'll be teaching come term-time, so I have to admit, I was expecting a dry, boring read. Huzzah! I was wrong! This, ladies and gentlemen, is what theatre is supposed to be like. It's clever, entertaining, and deals with huge and important themes in a way that's sensitive, funny, and startling all at once.
Arcadia follows two plot lines, one set ~100 yrs ago (too lazy to check precisely O:)) and one set in the present, both in the same old house - the same room, in fact. The people in the present are academics trying to piece together events of the past, and the juxtaposition of the 'truth' - what really happened - and people's interpretations thereof in the future is beautiful.
Dealing with themes like passion versus logic, science versus religion, belief versus proof, and the sheer magnitude of genius, this is simply a gorgeous play. READ IT! Especially if you like science :o) And huzzah for a play I'm actually looking forward to teaching :D...more
THIS is one of my MOST FAVOURITEST books EVER. It's a picture book, entirely wordless, by OH MY FLUFFY PINK FROG! The story it tells!
The Arrival is abTHIS is one of my MOST FAVOURITEST books EVER. It's a picture book, entirely wordless, by OH MY FLUFFY PINK FROG! The story it tells!
The Arrival is about immigration, in general terms. In more specific terms, it's about a man who leaves his family behind to go to a foreign, scary, alien place. He meets new friends, navigates the strange, unintelligible signs of the new world to get a job, and eventually, his family joins him. But seriously, picture = thousand words. This book is all pictures. Nothing I can say will do it justice. Just go BUY IT already and READ IT, for the sheer beauty of the imagery, the talent behind the drawing, and the incredible complexity of the story demonstrated only in images. So pretty!! ...more
This is one of those awesomely quiet books that, when you read it, you think are 'nice': a good read, a satisfactory story and conclusion, but nothingThis is one of those awesomely quiet books that, when you read it, you think are 'nice': a good read, a satisfactory story and conclusion, but nothing... sparkling. And yet, somehow the impact of the book doesn't quite mesh with that initial impression. Another book that did this to me was The Thirteenth Tale; it's quiet and unassuming, with (objectively) nothing to really keep you intrigued - and yet, somehow, it does, and you remember it for the rest of your life.
No Small Thing is like that. It is, essentially, a book about a boy from a struggling single-parent story who sees an ad in the paper: Pony, free to good home. They used to have ponies, back when Dad was around, but Queenie, his younger sister, was too little then to remember. And she wants a pony more than anything. And he wants one too.
This quiet story follows (MC) through a year of his life, showing the effects that one small act - responding to the ad, bringing home the pony - has on both his life and the lives of his family. It reminded me of the way that sometimes, even when everything else in life is rubbish, all that's needed is for one thing to go right, and that's enough. It's a beautiful story about a boy and a horse, set against the backdrop of a broken and real family that somehow connected with me deeply, and left me satisfied after what was superficially a quick, light read. This book truly is No Small Thing. ...more