Nanowrimo update and a short book review

Hello everyone,

It’s the reading writer again. Or the writing reader. Anyway works.

A few days ago I finished reading a book by Naomi Novick called ‘Uprooted’. The title was provoking enough for me. It is totally different from her Temeraire books but amazing in its own way. If you like magic, good characters, wicked evil and plots in plots, this is a read for you.

Uprooted

Next: Nanowrimo. Going strong and Baba Yaga is meeting more and more people. I’m still trying to find my way into getting her into the adventures she’s already mentioned but the story isn’t in a hurry. I hope that’s fine with you as you will have to read through all of that. I promise you it’s not boring though!

So far I’ve done 105 pages of the story and it’s going strong. So much for this update, I hope that next time will have something more interesting. Let me leave you with this snippet from the Baba Yaga story:

The wagoneers had a fast way of doing things. While the first half went for food, the other half dealt with unloading things that would stay in the town. Those were only a few crates and boxes. By the time they were done the other half was done eating and the unloaders went to eat. Supplies were bought and stored. By the time that was done everyone was ready to leave. Bearskin man, who introduced himself as Alexey (“Call me Al”) told Baba to get up on the driver’s seat of the first wagon. He grabbed the reins of the horses and climbed up as well. The other wagoneers gathered around and watched as he explained Baba how to guide the horses. “Slowly does it. They do the work. Just make sure you don’t jerk the reins.”

Babs felt quite insecure at first and at times wondered if she should throw in some magic to keep the two horses under control, but once she had figure out the movement and the way to steer them, the animal almost moved by themselves. “This is fun,” she said in the end.

“I know,” Al said. “And you have a feel for them, I can tell. Dolopov will be pleased to learn that a cute girl is taking control of his wagon.”

“Dolopov? That’s an odd name.”

Al nodded. “It’s from up north. He is too. Now turn this thing around, get us back and then put the wagon at the front of the line again.”

That of course was easier said than done but with some tips and tricks from Alexey she managed it. When the wagon was ‘parked’ Babs felt some sweat trickle down her neck. “That was… interesting.” Al praised her though. He said it was some fancy driving she’d done, which wasn’t bad for a newbie.

“Where are you heading to?” Al asked after they’d climbed down from the wagon.

“I’m not sure. I’m on an adventure journey,” Babs said, sticking to the truth. She realised her reply sounded strange.

Book review: The Eyes of the Dragon.

Eyes of the Dragon

Author: Stephen King (yes, that same one)
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5/5

“The Eyes of the Dragon” was suggested to me by a very dear friend. It was an excellent suggestion. Dive into this book and meet a story teller who delivers to you the story of a king who slays a dragon and what happens to his two sons after he died.

“The Eyes of the Dragon” is a book by Stephen King who also wrote the Dark Tower series. This is definitely a different class of writing, one that appeals to me. A fantasy story / fairy tale he wrote that’s rich in views and characters. Definitely something to read if you like fairy tales.

Book review. The Final Empire.

Title: The Final Empire.
Author: Brandon Anderson.
Genre: Fantasy.
5 stars.

Mistborn

This was a big book. Big in size and big in surprises. I discovered surprises behind many a corner, and each flip of a coin (yes, this relates to the story in so many places) bounced me to new places and allowed me to meet new characters.

The only thing I sometimes wondered about while reading this book was: would it be possible to convey the same information in this story with fewer details. I think that is what turned this book into such a long one. Don’t get me wrong: the book was never boring. I just wonder about this as I am a writer who tries to keep as many details away from people. I think it’s good for the reader to develop their own interpretation of a world, a building or a person.

Book review. The Windup Girl

Cover of “The Windup Girl”

Title: The Windup Girl
Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
Genre: Cyberpunk
Stars: 5 of 5

This is a difficult book. Very difficult. That makes it all the more worthwhile to read.
Dystopian? Check.
Cyberpunk? Check.
Threatening? Check.

This book is loaded with genetics, manipulation, history, views and visions, hopes, dreams… you name it and I probably found it somewhere.

All of this and also the background of each character is intriguing and takes you on a trip through a Bangkok you’ve never seen before. I think that’s a good thing, although having a peek at a Megodont would be amazing. It’s difficult to say much about this book without giving things away. If you like a peek into our possible future you need to read this. Again, it’s not an easy book if you really read it.

Book review. Miss Peregrine’s home for remarkable children.

Title: Miss Peregrine’s home for remarkable children.
Author: Ransom Riggs
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 stars

About the book.

A peculiar book. Very much so. At first I found the book was very slow in picking up speed. Perhaps it was necessary to solidify the background of the main story but I feel it could have been done a bit quicker considering it’s not a very long story. That’s why I cut off half a star.

All in all however it was a very interesting and engaging story, painting a remarkable (peculiar) world inside our world. An enjoyable read for certain.

Note – there be spoilers and such after the cut, so proceed at your own convenience…

Continue reading “Book review. Miss Peregrine’s home for remarkable children.”

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.

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.

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.

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.