What I’m Reading: Mitosis by Brandon Sanderson

In case you missed it, I posted a review of the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners Series, Steelheart, last Saturday. I picked up Book 2, Firefight, and began reading but kept coming across this mention of a battle with Mitosis, which sounded familiar, so I checked, and sure enough, Mitosis is a standalone story that falls between Steelheart and Firefight.

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Mitosis was fairly short and I finished reading it in under an hour. It was a good piece of action between the two main novels. I wouldn’t say it’s a must read. I think one could just go from Steelheart to Firefight and not feel like they’re missing much, but it did add a nice bit of backstory during the passage of time between Steelheart and Firefight, which is a few months.

If you’re a Sanderson fan, or just need to read every piece of lore in a universe, then you probably won’t want to skip Mitosis.

4/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Young Adult Book Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

I’m going to admit that this post might be a little biased because I’m a big Brandon Sanderson fan. I love his epic fantasy, both the Mistborn Trilogy and the Stormlight Saga, but this was the first Young Adult work I’d read by him. This is actually his first young adult series, though he has also published some middle grade stuff that I haven’t read yet. But I’m such a big fan that I plan on reading all if it at some point in time.

About a year ago, I read the prologue for Steelheart and felt a little blah about it, and I put the book down for a good while. I finally picked it up again last week, and began on Chapter One, since I’d already read the prologue a long time ago (though I had forgotten a few details). Beginning from Chapter One, I fell right into the book and loved it, which left me wondering if it really needed the prologue. I mean, the prologue was alright but… Well, maybe it’s just me. Did you read the prologue? Did you like it?

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Anyway, moving on. The main character in Steelheart is 18 year-old David, a regular human in a world that’s been invaded by comic-book type bad guys. I loved that. There are no Supermen or Batmen, just bad guys. And the regular folk have to figure out how to take them out. Needless to say this book is full of action. It is also full of that smart, witty humour I love.

“I was like the guy who had brought the spoiled shrimp cocktail to the party, causing everyone to throw up for a week straight.” Yep, our main character David is really bad at metaphors, which I found to be really entertaining.

Like I said, I might be a bit biased, but I give this book 5/5 Stars.

JEH

Books In Strange Places

I have that wonderful spring feeling again! Yesterday it was 7 above, things were melting, and I went out for a walk in weather was finally incapable of freezing me to death in hours. I had books on my mind (of course), and thought, you know, that my upcoming reads would probably like to get some fresh air too, so I decided to do a little book photo shoot for  your enjoyment. Featured books are ones I’m currently reading or am hoping to get to soon. But, of course, there’s never enough time for reading.

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My current “On the Go” Read, What Light by Jay Asher
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Air Awakens by Elise Kova
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Hiding the Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
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A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir
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Reading On The Go, From Great Heights
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A Reader’s Self-Portrait

JEH

Choosing Your Next Great Read

Last Friday I spent all day absorbed in a book. it was so good that I just could not put it down. I mean, I did have to actually put it down now and again, but i picked it up immediately as soon as I was able. That book was The Girl on the Train. I loved it, but I’m not going to review it on here, because it is out of the norm for what I do review. What I am going to talk about is how to choose your next great read after having an epic-ly good time reading something else. Or rather, how I choose my next great read. Especially on a snow-bound weekend.

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Every reader is familiar with that post-good-book lull. The, ‘that was fun but now what’ blues. I find they always leave me floundering. How do I choose my next book? I have an easier time choosing my next read after finishing something okay or so-so. I have a really easy time choosing my next read after reading something I didn’t particularly enjoy (because anything seems entertaining after that). But after reading a really great book…. SIGH… I flounder.

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After finishing The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, I picked up about five different novels, read a paragraph or two, flipped through the pages and debated. What did I want to read now? I already had a stack of books next to my bed, the ‘read-next’ stack, which I order and rearrange on a regular basis. In the stack was, The Invasion of the Tearling, Steelheart, Seven Dead Pirates, Jane Eyre (which has been waiting half finished for over a year now), Fate of Flames, Splintered, and What Light. So I bounced, from book to book to book attempting to find something to hold my attention.

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It might have been easier to just toss a coin. But it probably wouldn’t have been as fun. I read the first chapter of Fate of Flames, and enjoyed it, but it’s an e-book, and I decided I felt like reading a paper book. I read a few pages of The Invasion of the Tearling, but discovered I needed something faster paced following The Girl on the Train. I read a little bit more of What Light, which I’ve been slowly reading on my phone whenever I’m on the move, but couldn’t commit to it fully. I continued to ignore my beautiful copy of Jane Eyre because no matter what, I always just seem to feel too tired to pick it up. Then I picked up Steelheart and was like I FOUND IT.

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So, how do you choose your next great read?

JEH

Novel Title Reveal!

Alright, I’m finally ready to tell you all the title of my new project. This is a Young Adult Science Fiction Mystery the I’ll be releasing in Late April or Early May of 2017. I has a few rounds of rewrites to go through yet, but I look forward to sharing tidbits with you each week as the launch gets closer.

So, here’s a mock cover I did when I drafted the book a number a years ago (yes, years). The actual cover is still being worked on by the amazing Leah Keeler. But don’t worry, I reveal it sometime before the launch.

So for now, the title: Under Jupiter

It’s going to be awesome.

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JEH

Writing 365,000 Words in a Year Update #19

Ah, let’s just start this post off with a nice cup of tea, shall we?

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Ah, that’s better! *refreshed*

Right, well. What have I been up to lately? Writing, writing, writing. Though I still haven’t got up to my target word count. I’m almost exactly halfway through this personal challenge, and I’m feeling pretty darn good about what I have accomplished so far this year. As you can see from the table below, I’ve begun tracking which projects I’m working on when. Hopefully this will help me develop more consistency with projects, and not jump around so much. I’m supposed to be focusing on UJ, which is a rewrite, which means that somedays I have to write other things to get my 1,000. The good thing about my rewriting process is that I tend to add words. I write clean, plain first drafts, and fill things up with detail on the second go around. I started rewriting UJ at around  63,000 words, and already I’m up over 67,700 words.

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As for the gym, I know I haven’t updated that one in a while, but I have been going more regularly, usually at least two times a week. I’m still listening to audiobooks when I’m there, and I love it. I’ll have an audiobook review up this weekend.

As for my GoodReads goal, I set it for 60 books this year and I’ve so far finished 9 books, and GoodReads tells me I’m one book ahead. Yay, me! I’m also nearly finished two other books so I should be at eleven books soon.

Going back to the abbreviations above, I’m sure you’re all dying to hear the name of my new novel. Well, it’ll be here on the weekend, too. I can’t wait to reveal it.

JEH

What I’m Reading: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

Earlier in the year I mentioned that I’d be blogging more about the books I read that aren’t Young Adult, so long as I think they are a reasonable match to the YA books I know and love. I think Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman fits this bill.

Dovekeepers is an historical fiction about the persecution of the Jewish people by the Romans. I hadn’t ever read anything about this period of time before and Hoffman did a great job at inspiring my interest in both her characters and this specific piece of history. One of my favorite pieces of the novel was the touch of magic. The magic was never written about as ‘real’ magic, but it was written as real as the people of the time would have believed. Or maybe it was real, who knows? Sometimes I think that magic are the little things that happen that are overlooked by our modern sensibilities.  There was a strong romantic element in this book, and also quite a bit of violence, as it is depicting a true and brutal time, but it is never over the top.

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This book is written in four parts instead of chapters, and it took me until the second part to get into the book, but I was glad I did. Each part features a different character. This was really refreshing to me, reading something that didn’t follow the usual novel conventions.

If you enjoy historical fiction, especially about strong women, then I recommend checking out this book.

4/5 Stars

JEH