Afterworlds is two stories rolled into one, told in alternating chapters. In the first story, Darcy Patel just graduated high school and she's managedAfterworlds is two stories rolled into one, told in alternating chapters. In the first story, Darcy Patel just graduated high school and she's managed to land a literary agent, a huge book deal from a New York publishing house and enough life changes to make anyone's head spin. Determined to be a 'real' writer, Darcy moves to New York, leaps into the literary scene and struggles to figure out who she is as a person and a writer. In the second story, Darcy's soon-to-be-published novel, 17-year-old Lizzie survives a terrorist attack by playing dead so convincingly that she falls into the afterlife and meets a hot Vedic death god. When Lizzie returns to the world of the living she discovers that she can see ghosts and that everything about her life has changed. Torn between her mom & friends on one side and the call of the hot Vedic death god on the other, Lizzie tries to get her life in order.
This book is a perfect example of meta-fiction (fiction ABOUT fiction). It's basically a very long and tongue-in-cheek ode to the YA writing community, the book publishing industry, the YA reading community and life as a young New Yorker. It's one part satire, one part love note to an industry Westerfeld has been entrenched in for years and one part literary romp. I loved it, but then I'm a bit biased as I love most of Westerfeld's books.
Unsurprisingly, the book has drawn some harsh reviews and some pissed off people. I figure those people probably haven't spent much time in YA land wallowing amid the books, following authors on Twitter, YouTube, at conferences and book signings. Their loss. For anyone who has, you will recognize aspects of your favorite YA authors in these pages and get a fascinating glimpse at one aspect of the publishing industry.
That isn't to say this book is perfect. Because there are definitely a few issues, but they're minor. A few reviewers are howling about how unrealistic Darcy's story is, in regard to her publishing experience. That is a legitimate gripe. I attending a book talk by Westerfeld just after Afterworlds came out and he said that he and his friends know young authors like this who get fabulous book deals. He also told another attendee that it's not that hard to get a literary agent. Here's the thing guys, Westerfeld and his friends, at this point, are like YA royalty. They're part of a group of highly successful authors and they've been publishing for years. The book market today is lightyears different than it was just five years ago even. I am certain that the young authors Westerfeld meets, and therefor partially based his book on, do get fabulous crazy deals, but he's meeting them because they are the outlyers and not the typical author who gets a book deal these days.
The hard truth is, getting a literary agent is tough and it takes luck, talent and persistence. Six figure book deals use to be, if not common, then at least not scarcer than hen's teeth in the literary world for a debut author. These days, however, most authors have day jobs and don't earn enough from their writing to write full time. A $15,000 advance is far more realistic than a $300,000 advance. However, as I said, their are always exceptions and Darcy is one of those - she gets lucky, basically.
On the one hand, I think that Afterworlds may encourage a lot of young writers and that's never a bad thing. On the other hand, I have a feeling it's going to create some unrealistic expectations among those same young writers. But in the end, this book is fiction after all and as far as I'm concerned it accomplished it's main goal: it entertained, enthralled and dragged me into another world. Two of them as a matter of fact. I'm not complaining about the journey....more
The latest installment of the Jane Yellowrock books has Jane caught up in preparations for the European vamps unprecedented arrival in New Orleans. AsThe latest installment of the Jane Yellowrock books has Jane caught up in preparations for the European vamps unprecedented arrival in New Orleans. As Leo's main enforcer Jane has a lot to shoulder and long-time flame Rick is out of the picture, for good it seems, but George Dumas, Leo's former right-hand man, is more than ready to step in and sweep Jane off her feet. Juggling her feelings for George, the murderous plans of a pair of ancient and terrifying vamps & their blood servant (charmingly nicknamed Satan's Three) & several strange encounters with a rainbow, light dragon that's seemingly out to get her - Jane doesn't have a moment to rest.
Just as fast-paced, fun and engaging as the rest of the series thus far, Broken Soul does not disappoint. I was hooked every moment of the book and finished it far too quickly. Clearly Jane's adventures aren't over and I'm so glad there's more to come. This remains one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series and Hunter has yet to deliver anything other than an enthralling read. ...more
When Adam's ex-wife, Christy, shows up and insists on moving in, it becomes clear pretty fast that she wants to replace Mercy and come back to the pacWhen Adam's ex-wife, Christy, shows up and insists on moving in, it becomes clear pretty fast that she wants to replace Mercy and come back to the pack. Unfortunately Christy's also got a psycho ex-boyfriend after her and worse still, he seems to be some sort of super-powerful supernat Mercy and pack have never encountered before. Bodies are piling up and the pack is in trouble as Mercy and Adam try to track down the bad guy and keep Christy from splintering the pack with her usual dose of drama.
Another fantastic addition to the Mercy Thompson series. There's a lot of action, some nice twists and a few more details about Mercy's past offered up. Christy's presence was a nice, unexpected complication. I love how Briggs keeps the story interesting even though the main love interests, Adam and Mercy, have gotten together. They say in TV and often in books, when the love interests FINALLY get together it's a death knell for the series. This book certainly proves that wrong for the Mercy Thompson series. I'm just as in love with the series now as I was when I first read Moon Called and there is nothing to disappoint in Night Broken. ...more