What I’m Reading: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Young Adult Book Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling is one of those books I heard a lot about for a long time before I finally decided to pick it up. Graceling is the story of Katsa, a fun, fearless, kick-butt female hero who reminded me a lot of Aelin from Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass Series. Published in 2008, Graceling came well before Throne of Glass, but came in the same year as The Hunger Games and the now very well known Katniss Everdeen.

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Since I was a child, female hero’s have definitely become stronger, more independent, and just as deadly as any male counterpart. And I love this. Graceling is very much a classically written epic fantasy, with slow moving, but beautiful passages of description, and less dialogue. There are good guys and bad guys and of course a few love interests.

I really enjoyed Graceling, though I felt this book had a good ending, and though there are two more books in the Graceling Realm Series, I don’t feel pressed to pick them up, as the books are about other characters. Sometimes I like this, and other times I fine with one book being just one book.

A solid 4/5 Stars.

JEH

What I’m Reading: Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

Book Review: Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

A month ago I had the amazing experience of attending the When Words Collide writing conference in Calgary and listen to Guy Gabriel Kay read. I’ll be honest, I’d never read a Guy Gabriel Kay book prior to learning he would be a keynote speaker at the 2017 festival. Tigana was the first book of Kay’s that I’d ever read, and I loved it.

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Tigana is one of those fantasy books that doesn’t feel like fantasy because the world is so concrete, so real, that you can taste the blue wine and drink the details. Tigana might be set in a fantasy world based on renaissance Italy, but it comes alive on it’s own. With a myriad of characters, there was a lot to discover in Tigana, and it one of the most wonderful endings I’ve ever read.

So, if you’re like I was and you’ve never read a book by Guy Gabriel Kay, now is a great time to start.

5/5 Stars

JEH

Making Goals, Taking Breaks, and the Inevitable Arrival of Fall

Somewhere in the past week I was sure that I’d posted an update, but I guess my much needed break ran away with me. It is an amazing feeling to accomplish a goal, even if it is last minute and by the tip of your pinkie. But I did it, I typed the last word, wrapped up one last project, took a break, and now it is time to switch goals. And what a good time to do it as the season is also changing!

As part of my celebration I went out and purchased some of my favourite things: books! I also drank coffee, gorged on mouth-melting cinnamon buns, and made salsa fresh from my garden. Over the next couple months, I plan on reading and getting The Torc ready for publication.

The next twelve months are going to be a year of rewriting. I will still work on some drafts, but I’m slowing down my word count in order to focus on beautifying my completed first drafts that have been gathering dust for months to years, and I’m truly-possibly for the first time ever-looking forward to rewriting.

Like I said, a complete change of pace. I’m still going g to blog about what I’m reading about and what I’m writing about, but of course there will be no word count updates, but project updates.

Join me. We’ll have a blast!

JEH

What I’m Reading: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman

Young Adult Book Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Starbound Trilogy #2)

Early this year I reviewed These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, book #1 of the Starbound Trilogy. I loved that book, so I wasn’t surprised when I feel right into This Shattered World. The second book of the trilogy has two different main characters, Jubilee and Flynn, but the tension, world, and romance were similar enough that I found the transition easy. Because the mystery is bigger than the characters themselves, it is easy to get hooked.

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I listened to This Shattered World as an audiobook. It was nice that the book was ready by two narrators, one for the part of Flynn, and one for the part of Jubilee. Without two separate narrators, I might not have so easily been able to tell the chapters apart. There’s one more book left in this trilogy, and I imagine I’ll be listening to it soon.

4/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Young Adult Book Review: Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep (Mythos Academy #1)

I recently had the privilege of attending a writing conference, where Jennifer Estep was one of the Key Notes. I had never read anything from her before, and I wanted to be familiar with her work before the conference, so I picked up Touch of Frost, the first book in Estep’s Paranormal Young Adult series, Mythos Academy.

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Now, the Mythos Academy name tells you almost everything you need to know to get started reading Touch of Frost. First, it relies heavily on world mythology; Second, the Gods are back (bad and good), and Third, you’re in for a whole lot of fun. The main character in Touch of Frost is Gwen, who’s a gypsy newly arrived to a school full of warriors, most of which are also blessed with some sort of bonus magical power. Of course, as always happens, things go wrong and Gwen ends up attempting to sort things out.

Touch of Frost was a quick, easy read, set in a world that I would love to live in. There were a few weak elements with the plot, but I could overlook them because the pace was quick, and there was never a slow moment. There are currently six books in the series (apparently #7 is currently only going to be release in Germany. But six books is plenty to keep me reading for a while.

4/5 Stars

JEH

Writing 365,000 Words in a Year Update #29

Well, this is it. I’m getting near to the end. There will be one more post after this one, to end on a nice round number, and then this series, and hopefully my goal, will be complete.

As it stands right now, I’m 43,767 words behind my target of 365,000, and I have until September 4th to get there! Now, I would be panicking if I hadn’t already signed up for the 3-Day Novel Wring Contest and have the entire long weekend booked off for writing. Not to mention that since I’ve returned from vacation, I’ve also returned to my writing groove.

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At the moment, I’m catching up on blogging (obviously), and then I’m going to get today’s words wrapped up, hopefully with a couple more than the required 1,000, so that I can make a dent in my deficit. Now that I’m nearing the end of my writing year, I’m realizing what a huge goal I set myself—especially considering that I have a full time day job and two small children. And then there is my 60 book reading goal for 2017! Next year I’m already planning to take it a bit easier, but more on that later. Time to get my daily writing done, sone enough it will be time to relax.

JEH