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My Novels
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Sep 16, 2014

Review: Timepiece by Myra McEntire


by Myra McEntire

Hourglass Novel #2

My Summary:
Dealing with the backlash of Emerson saving his father's life, Kaleb tries not to fall back to drinking to keep the emotions of others at bay. A new threat emerges as a man who calls himself Poe tells Kaleb those with Hourglass need to find Poe or risk their timeline being reset against their interests. The only thing that makes the prospect of finding Jack less awful is that it means Kaleb needs to spend as much time with Emerson's best friend Lily as possible.

My Review:

I was a little worried when I started this book. In Hourglass, I was not a fan of Kaleb. And whenever the narrative changes POV between two books, I get nervous. I shouldn't have been. Myra managed to take a character who rubbed me the wrong way in the first book and make him a protagonist I not only enjoyed reading, but actually cared about by the end.

The escalation of the plot from the first novel was perfect. Not a repeat of the last one, and not a leap so far distant I worried we'd taken a step off the deep end.

Jack's involvement in this books plot was much like it was in the first. He's kind of there, but almost untouchable. I do appreciate the ambiguity of the new villain(s) in this book. It's a "don't know who to trust" situation and that felt so perfectly real to me. There was one random moment with Cat that I think.... should have been left out? or she should have been in the book a tiny bit more. It felt very thrown-in.

Some of the secondary characters needed a bit more of a reintroduction than they got. It was pretty clear that Dune was going to be the protagonist of the next book... but I didn't really remember who he was without some help (from outside the text of the book).

I love the idea of the rips... I want to live in this town, have the time gene and just sit on a park bench and watch history repeat itself.

Expect a review of the final book soon!

Sep 15, 2014

My Thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy... and Why It Took This Long to Share Them

We saw Guardians the weekend it came out... and the weekend after that. And I've been meaning to talk about ever since.
My attempt at dancing Groot lists heavily to the right....

The new era of marvel movies have been a lot of fun, some of them have been a little off (Thor needed another 20 minutes to allow for the character growth to have made sense) some of them have been a bit too heavy (I get that there's no way to write the Captain America origin without slogging in the Nazi mire) but for the most part, this film franchise has always been an enjoyable escape from daily life.

In all honesty, Guardians is the Space Opera film I have been waiting my entire life for - or at least as close as I think I'm ever going to get.

It's masterfully produced, visually stunning, with a plot and dialogue that doesn't take itself too seriously, but manages to never even glance in the direction of cheesy.  The overwhelming feeling I walked out of the theater with was "Oh my heck, that was fun." And that's exactly what the movie is: it's fun.

Why it took me so long to talk about is due to the films problems - because yes, every film has them.
[Spoiler ahead if you're one of the three people in the country who hasn't seen it]

As I said above, this is probably as close as I'm ever going to get to that perfect Space Opera film. Which is - in and of itself - depressing. It does not pass the Bechdel test, it barely passes the Mako Mori test (which still feels like a cop-out)....

There is the lack of female character diversity (which Lauren Duca explains perfectly for the Huffington Post). Why do women always have to be "hot"? Why can't we be weird and creatively designed as well?

And then there's the fact that no movie ever gets human physiology in the vacuum of space right (Kyle Hill gives a pretty comprehensive rundown of what actually happens to humans in space on the Nerdist). Now, the revelation at the end of the film that Peter is only half human could explain away a bigger part of that discrepancy... however. The fact he is clearly holding his breath threw me out of the scene.

Sep 12, 2014

Why I Plotted out the Series in Whole

As with the plot of a book, a series has its own beginning, middle, and end. Usually it’s simple to spot in a trilogy, as the books themselves fall into that particular order. (This does not apply to novels like the Culture series, or to most detective style novels.)

When I sat down with the Flynn Series, I realized that what I was writing would look more like a television series… each book an episode that lead to a final conclusion. At least, that’s the way it worked out in my head – the only way I could reconcile the thirteen pieces of the story.

Now, I wrote the fifth novel first. Not on purpose. It was the first Flynn story that sprung to mind and so I wrote it. But, having written that book and sitting on it for a while, I realized…. I’d written the exact middle of a series. And so I sat down and plotted away from that book in both directions.

Before I knew it, I had twelve documents. Twelve detailed chapter maps that spelled out a story I needed to write. So I sat down, and I started writing.

Things changed in those first books, as they always do. Notes piled up for each of the books after and within those chapter maps, the details grew. The upshot of these notes are that each book becomes easier to write… the downside, I sometimes forget if I’ve actually written that part of a narrative yet.

The Flynn Monroe series is like a gigantic book in its own right. It has a beginning, a middle, an end, and an epilogue. Without that preplanning, I’m pretty sure none of the books would make sense with each other. 

Sep 9, 2014

Review: Sword of the Bright Lady by M. C. Planck

I had the opportunity to read an ARC of this novel that comes out today, here's my review of it. Definitely go check it out.

Sword of the Bright Lady 

World of Prime Book 1

By M. C. Planck

A vicious twist on Epic Fantasy

My Summary:
Christopher Sinclair wakes up in the wrong world and finds himself embroiled in a political fiasco and smack dab in the middle of a war between gods. How does a mechanical engineer survive in a world of swords and magic? More importantly, how does he get home?

My Review:
I won’t lie, this book starts off a little slow, but the payoff is worth it. Planck has created an oddly intriguing take on a genre that sometimes feels as old as time itself. 

As with many sword and sorcery stories, Sword of the Bright lady begins with a hero thrust into an unknown world with strange rules and stranger people. In this incarnation we find that the world is both a fascinating and ominous place where death has become it’s own sort of currency. 

The Tael was an interesting concept within the realm of magic, lending use of that magic a special brand of moral questions. However, I could not stop thinking about Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask because of it. Which is an odd thing to associate, but did occasionally bring me out of the story.

The protagonist was not always likeable, but what human truly is. There were moments when he seemed too smart for his own good. Overall, though, I do believe he showed a decent amount of growth even though there is clearly room for more.

I’ll be interested to see what comes of book two.

Sep 8, 2014

A Full Plate

I've got one.

Metaphorically speaking, of course.

I'd say that was a bad thing, but I seem to thrive on (so long as I keep it all organized). The only real problem I run into is that when I'm on a tear... I want to add more and more to that plate. I start to think I could be getting more done. And I have to keep myself from getting overwhelmed.

So.. 'scuse me while I go grab a fork and get to work.