Book review. A long way to a small, angry planet.

Title: A long way to a small, angry planet.
Author: Becky Chambers
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 5 stars

This book had my attention from page 1 until the end. Reviews had already prepared me for something good with their references to Firefly. They were right.

The story takes us on a journey along the stars and through worm holes that are being made while we travel along on the Wayfarer. Meeting all the crew was a wonderful surprise (I fell in love with Kizzy, tell her ‘hi’ if you happen to meet her).

If you like adventurous science fiction with humour and a big slab of Firefly feeling then this is a book you shouldn’t miss.

The magic of the Bull

Yes, dear reader,

It’s finally going to happen.

The English translation the book that’s become my labour of love for the town where I live. It’s going to be out for sale in all the usual places on March 25, so in 10 days.

What is this book about?

Cuijk, a small town in the Netherlands. After lightning hit the statue of the famous Exporum Bull, strange things are visible there… but not for everyone! Fleur, her brother Bram and even their parents experience something they could never have suspected in their wildest dreams.
Around the Bull things happen that bring back the past and also pose two major questions: “How do we get home?” and “Who looks after the dog?”

I hope you love reading about this Dutch family as much I enjoyed writing their story!

Book review. Kraken War by Hannah Steenbock

Title: Kraken War
Author: Hannah Steenbock
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5 of 5

This book is the sequel to Dorelle’s Journey. We meet fierce dragons and their strong (and not so strong) riders.

Their world is plagued by Kraken that attack fishing boats and the many wings of dragons are needed to beat them off. Who is behind those attacks? And why are two dragons plus riders suddenly gone?

Read this book and you’ll know.

It looks like I’m doing nothing, doesn’t it?

Dear reader,

Time flies by like a clock on steroids.

Hilda 19 is out since a while and you hear little from me. Part of that has to do with things in life. Things involving jobs, new jobs, other workplaces and so on. Those take up time and energy. Still I hope that someday I’ll be as good a writer as for instance Stephen King or Ursula Le Guin. That’s something for later, when I grow up. As I try to write this, my cat Grimalkin is walking over the keyboard, attracting attention.

So what’s happening in the area of real interest: books.

I’m working on book 20 of Hilda which is always a pleasure. Carol and I are still working on getting the sequel to “Wanted: hero” out there. The next book to come out will the “The Magic of the Bull”, which might be closer than you think. 🙂

In between all that I have also updated the cover for “Charisma, the young witch.”

I think this looks a lot better than what was there before!

 

 

Do you remember Sandy?

Dear reader,

A Girl Named SandyLong time ago, in March 2014, I published a book called “A girl named Sandy“. Until this day I still consider this one of my best books.

The story has an open ending. Somehow that just happened. Of course this begs for a sequel. A few people mentioned that to me also, which is understandable. Who doesn’t want to know what happens to Sandy and Paul after everything they went though?

At some point in 2015 I started writing a sequel. The start of that looked promising but the further the story progressed, the more I lost interest. It wasn’t what I was looking for. After a few more attempts to revive the story I thought, “Bugger this. This isn’t going to work.” And so I left the not even half complete manuscript lying around on a hard disk where it refused to collect dust. (This is because hard disks are made to be dust free.)

 

Now, fast forward from 2015 to the start of this week.

On the way to work (yes, your favourite author still has a daytime job to manage the bills and such) I sat thinking about a world that’s not just Science Fiction and not just Fantasy but an intriguing mix of the two.

Can you see it in your mind already? You can?? Let me see! Oh, right. That’s interesting enough but… 😉

Grimalkin, a.k.a. Grim

Anyways, that idea popped back into my head when I was out doing some grocery shopping today (don’t ask me how my mind works, I don’t know either but it gets me through the days) and then I remember the dustless manuscript of the Sandy sequel. And a star was born! Or at least an idea. I shall retire the entire failed manuscript and start from scratch. (Hmm, suddenly one of my cats comes along for a scratch. Is she reading along here?)

So, to everyone who’s looking forward to a sequel to Sandy, there might actually be one someday. Don’t expect it to be out soon, though, Carol and I are still working on the sequel to “Wanted: hero” and there are some other things on the stove. (Why do I think of Hilda’s kitchen now?) But it’s definitely maybe going to happen!

Book review. The Jakkattu Vector

Title: The Jakkattu Vector
Author: Pavarti K. Tyler
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 5 of 5

When the world has been messed up by the best of the best, there’s not much to hope for, it seems. Until help from outer space arrives. But is it really help? Do these beings really want the best for what remains of Earth’s population?

I love this book. It has a great pace and fascinating characters that live in an amazing world. Sabaal and Julip, two characters from the story, rock.

Well done, Pavarti. I’ m looking forward to more of your books.

Book review. The ‘Mortal Engines’ series, by Philip Reeve

Title: Mortal Engines (4 books)
Author: Philip Reeve
Gerne: Steampunk
Rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Apparently this is a series for younger people but let me assure you that adults will enjoy these books as well. Mr Reeve paints an amazing world where cities have put on wheels and tracks, and started roaming the lands. London isn’t restricted to England any more.

The main characters, Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw, stole my heart. I’m not telling more about them but they’re an amazing and intriguing couple of people. And let’s not forget the Stalker named Grike who is brilliant in his own way.

The stories are loaded with amazing details, many of which require some knowledge. Let me share one of them that appears in the last book, “A Darkling Plain”. In it is a moving city called Murnau. It’s a German city. In that city is a location where airships can fly to a docking area, which is called “Uber den Linden” (Over the lime-trees.) In East Berlin there’s a place called “Under den Linden” (beneath the lime-trees). It’s that kind of detail which made me fall in love with these books even more.

The last chapter of the last book… will not leave your eyes dry. Well, perhaps it will but I cried. It’s beautiful but painful.

I’ve heard that Peter Jackson is going to make a film of this series. I plan on not watching it.

It happened yesterday. Hilda’s 19th adventure.

Yes, dear reader,

Here it is. The new Hilda-book, in which of course William, Baba Yaga and Shevaughn also have roles.

Hilda – Witches’ Myths

An odd book is the start of a new series of adventures for our magical heroes. A book acquired by William who can’t keep his hands away from books. Are you ready to meet Baba Yaga and Shevaughn again? Are you prepared to swim up one of the strangest rivers you’ve never seen? If you’ve said ‘yes’ to at least one of those questions, you’re ready to step into the world of Witches’ Myths where the most incredible of the incredible becomes credible. And deadly. Yes. Deadly. No other book in this series has more murder on its mind than this one. Do you still feel ready? Yes? Let’s go then.

The e-book is available at Smashwords, Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, (and DE, NL, IT, FR, ES, CA, AU), Barnes&Noble, Apple iTunes and Kobobooks.

If you are looking for the paperback, that’s available through Lulu.com.

 

Book review. City of Bones.

Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: paranormal/fantasy
Rating: 5/5 *****

A gripping tale. Meet Clary who is tossed into a world she’s never heard of when her mother suddenly disappears.

It’s hard to say something about the story without spoiling it at the same time, but if you like great good guys, and bad guys on motorbikes that have special features, you can’t go wrong with this book.The action is fast-paced, the characters are well worked-out and there are surprises around every corner. The rest of the series is definitely on my list.

 

Here’s how the writing’s going.

Dear reader,

I hope you will appreciate this little update on the progress of my writing projects. First:

Hilda’s 19th adventure.

Yes, it’s really coming. Final edits are just about done now and the creation of the actual books (e-book and paperback) is underway. This, I think, is also a good moment to sneak you a peek of the cover so you have an idea of the title of this book.

Okay. Here we go.

No more delay.

Tada!

Yes, the title of the new book is “Witches’ myths”. It is about the myths of witches, which is an entirely different ballgame from the myths that ordinaries deal with. You’ll read all about it as soon as possible! I might add that the moment of as soon as possible has a final date too. On February 1st of this year the e-books will be available at all the usual e-book holes! (The paperback will come when it’s ready, I am waiting for the proof print.)

The magic of the bull

This is progressing well. It is the translation of a Dutch fantasy story I wrote. I’m very proud of it. The story tells things of Medieval times and the Roman era, so if you want to brush up your knowledge on that, this is the book for you.

Wanted: hero

Wanted: heroDo you remember this book? Yes? Good.

I’ve written a sequel to it which I’m currently checking for the worst errors before Carol will go over it with her fine comb to take away the stupid things I left in there.

I’ll tell you that the title of the sequel will be “Wanted: adventurer”. Some ingredients of the story are Sabas and Reny (which should not be very surprising) and there will be more Artors.

It’s been hard work getting this story done in the way it should be done but finally the end is coming nearer. I hope to publish this book this year. No promises though.

Lily Marin – the second novel

Yes, there is going to be another steampunk novel around Lily and Billy.

As it was with the first book, this one is putting up a tremendous fight so it will take a lot of time to write and tame it. But it will be done!

And that wraps up the updates for me.

I hope you all are doing well in this new year and I look forward to telling you when Hilda’s Myths are available!

Paul