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Nevernight 

When the writing is filled to the brim with purple prose, a reader like me has no time to try and infer whatever under it. Writers are supposed to make their intentions clear using as little words as possible not drown it with adjectives to the point it feels as though I trying analyze everything. And the whole substance apart from the pretty writing is completely lacking in substance. 

Mia’s intentions are clear, but they are often boggled with such descriptions that it makes it so hard for me to even link to her. So hard for me to even connect with her. Those passages felt unreal, I wasn’t reading through her, I was reading about her. All of it was described by using descriptions that didn’t warrant so much adjectives being thrown, so much vagueness that it was so hard just to know. That it made me lose the entire reason why I wanted to read this in the first place. 

I wasn’t reading a book, I was trying to understand literary jargon. All of it crammed, without anywhere where I could just be mindless. I want to be to easily read this book, not wading through a thick set of purple prose and still having to infer what was under it. This was the reason why I couldn’t be bothered, not every reader has the patience of a saint to be reading through this, and seeing it with a fine comb. 

The characters in general all lost any chance for me to connect with them through the writing. It just wasn’t my style. It was too long to get the meaning across, I like books uses way less words to get the meaning through. Not find ways to go around it, do so long that I probably missed out on a lot of details and I didn’t care. The writing, was a bore and a pain to read through for me. 

I am not one of those, and I would not reread unless I loved that book to death. And here I am telling you, if you want to read this, read it when you have nothing better to do. Not when you have a slushpile to get through. And I simply don’t have that kind of patience to dedicate myself to be reading this piece of literary masterpiece. 

So, check it out if you feel like wanting something written that is thick. That is heavy. And don’t mind sex scenes right in the middle of it. And also, if you have the patience of a saint. To those that managed to finish this without skimming, I salute you. 

Rating: 1 out of 5

0

Ravensong

 

Name: Raven Song

Series: Inoki’s Game (Book 1)

Paperback: 290 pages

Published Date: March 14, 2016

Publisher: Lucid Dreams Publishing

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1944674004

ISBN-13: 978-1944674007

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29521339-raven-song

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Song-Dystopian-Fantasy-Inokis/dp/1944674004/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/raven-song-i-a-ashcroft/1123510684

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/raven-song

 

Book Blurb:

A century ago, the world burned. Even now, though rebuilt and defiant, civilization is still choking on the ashes.

 

Jackson, a smuggler, lives in the shadows, once a boy with no memory, no name, and no future. Ravens followed him, long-extinct birds only he could see, and nightmares flew in their wake. Once, Jackson thought himself to be one of the lucky few touched by magic, a candidate for the Order of Mages. He is a man now, and that dream has died. But, the ravens still follow. The nightmares still whisper in his ear.

 

Anna’s life was under the sun, her future bright, her scientific work promising. She knew nothing of The Bombings, the poisoned world, or the occult. One day, she went to work, and the next, she awoke in a box over a hundred years in the future, screaming, fighting to breathe, and looking up into the eyes of a smuggler. Anna fears she’s gone crazy, unable to fill the massive hole in her memories, and terrified of the strange abilities she now possesses.

 

The Coalition government has turned its watchful eyes towards them. The secret factions of the city move to collect them first. And, old gods stir in the darkness, shifting their pawns on the playing field.

 

If Anna and Jackson wish to stay free, they must learn what they are and why they exist.

 

Unfortunately, even if they do, it may be too late.

 

Raven Song is the first of a four book adult-oriented dystopian fantasy series, a story of intrigue, love, violence, and the old spirits in the shadows who wait for us to notice them again. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Charlie Human will enjoy this dark magic-laced tale rooted on the bones of what our world could become.

 

Author Bio:

​I. A. Ashcroft has been writing fiction in many forms for almost twenty years. The author’s first book, written at age seven, featured the family cat hunting an evil sorceress alongside dragons and eagles. This preoccupation with the fantastical has not changed in the slightest.

 

Now, the author dwells in Phoenix, AZ alongside a wonderful tale-spinner and two increasingly deranged cats. Ashcroft writes almost exclusively in the realm of darker fantasy these days, loving to entertain adults with stories of magic, wonder, despair, violence, and hope, bringing a deep love of mythology into every tale penned. The author also loves diverse and intriguing casts of characters.

 

When not buried in a book, one might find Ashcroft learning languages, charting road trips, and playing tabletop RPGs with clever and fun people.

Contact the Author:

Website: http://www.ia-ashcroft.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/i.a.ashcroft

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ia_ashcroft

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15077746.I_A_Ashcroft

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/I.-A.-Ashcroft/e/B01CTY42S0/

Review: 

I did find this okay. Anna and Jackson are both distinct, with their narration being relatable. But for me, it just didn’t work. It just didn’t cut. It didn’t feel like it to me. I simply could not immerse myself in the story, reading it and relating to them was the best I could do. 

As for the world, the future is rather well thought out. Facing radiation, nuclear exposure. It’s true that we would face the problem eventually, but I could have liked a little more development and exploration of this. And making feel more like that world, I didn’t feel that it was really any different. Even though over a hundred years in the future likely would change everything. 

But I just couldn’t feel with them, I didn’t find myself supporting them. It felt as though nothing was happening. Anna and Jackson have a lot more development, yet their interactions was so few and their relationship went to being very friendly really quick. I just couldn’t buy it, and that is a flaw of the book I feel about. 

The plot was also quite a letdown, there was so many ways this could have gone. Whether Anna is someone that lives forever, or whether Anna is extremely wanted because of her abilities. I could see why, she could prevent radiation. Yet, I just didn’t feel that danger here. There wasn’t any tension really driving me, and I really couldn’t feel the emotion of the characters. It just went over me. 

I would say that this is a case of it’s not you, it’s me since it is a very good book. But it just didn’t connect with me, and I couldn’t really enjoy it. But I still recommend you to check it out, and it does have good character development but to me, needs a lot on the plot, the characters interaction. 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Jane Steele 

Jane Steele is surprisingly good, given that Jane here despite all her faults, despite all her murders managed to be sympathetic. She managed to make me feel for her situation. And I couldn’t turn away from her story the moment I read it, where everything goes downhill for Jane very quickly. 

Jane, whose mother may be a lunatic was sent to a schoolhouse where its headmaster is even worse. I really enjoyed how the author portrayed Jane Steele. As a murderer, she doesn’t regret too much. And most of them really deserved it, the fate that they got through the abuse of their power. I really enjoyed that part where Jane murdered them, and at the same time there were consequences for them. 

Even though she murdered one to save herself, the other to save her vest friend. The third for a woman who took her in. Her motives felt real, it felt plausible. And for her who already has her hands stained from the very beginning, she didn’t too much. At best, she was getting rid of another trash for the world. And I really like that. 

And then comes in Charles Thornfield, a man who also has his fair share of secrets and vices. And the moment at the end, where Jane and Charles have a long talk and she reveals all her secrets, I loved every inch of it. There is this charm about him that makes him fascinating, and that he is someone that accepts Jane for who she is. For me, I agree that most of the people she killed had it coming for them eventually. 

The plot is rather simple, and at the same time filled with plenty of obstacles that Jane encounters. Be it from those she killed, or those that she killed for. But it begins to change the moment she becomes a governess at the household she used to work at. Where Charles is introduced, and his character becomes interesting in the way he managed to keep Jane at a distance, yet still grew fond of her. And Jane, wanting to know more or finding the house strange. 

As for the style, where sometimes it breaks the fourth wall given that Jane sometimes speaks to the reader instead. But I found it quite endearing and interesting as an element to the writing. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book for what it is. Jane being a murderess and one that felt bad and at the same time didn’t look back on her victims. Charles who took in all she was, at the end. All the while looking at the society with all their problems, from headmasters abusing their power, to husbands deciding to marry another time. I would say that this is rather interesting and paints the Victorian world a lot less glamorous and lush than it seemed. Unless of course, you were of the nobility. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

2

What is Originality?

Is originality in writing a completely new concept. Or a new view on an existing concept. I would say it is the latter. Nothing is new under the sun, every book has borrowed from somewhere. And so does your work too. 

So, where does creativity come in? In how we display the world, how we explore it. What do we think of it. That is originality, since no person would have the same viewpoint. And this is where we differ. Each writer looks at things differently, would approach certain subjects differently. Otherwise, there would be a lot of ripoffs as it is. Since almost every story has borrowed elements from here and there. 

As such, originality is all about you. Your opinion, your idea of a theme. Even for a retelling, every retelling has its differences. Every retelling examines a story differently. Just look at Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge and A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. Those are retellings of the exact same fairytale but they have a lot of differences too. And this is where creativity and originality comes in. 

So, don’t worry about your story idea not being original. Present it your own way, or tackle it at an angle no one else has thought of yet. Regardless of whether it’s original or not it will shine in its own way. 

Even for works that are inspired by many things, think of it this way. You are merely inspired, not extracting plotlines and exact sentences. You can make your own twist, you can change things. Because creativity is found when you insert something of your own and make it fit. 

So, don’t worry about it being original or purely you. It is all about your opinion, the way you see the story and the world. It is basically also an interpretation of a certain work, genre or theme. 

If you have a different view on originality, please leave it down below. Originality, is a rather difficult topic to discuss and I would like to hear your views. 

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Wintersong 

This was one dark, painful and beautiful ride. The book itself reads like a really dark fairytale, the myths and the tales. The magic and the laws. They were all dark and filled with unknowing price tags that they would have to pay. 

Even Liesel, should she become a goblin queen would have the problem of losing what she loved. What she had. And most importantly, what had always belonged to her. 

The Goblin King too, where he had been the King because he had to be. He who loved games, and he who is an antihero. For forcing Liesel to become his queen and using Kathe to achieve that. And yet, he would make you care for him in some strange manner. His entire character, is one complex one. He is rather pitiful at times, and yet you would feel that he has his own problems too. 

As for Liesel and her siblings, their relationship was developed well and complex in their own right. The way that Liesel would never amount to anything as compared to Kathe and even Josef. One who was well liked and loved, Josef with his talent in music. 

And that she chose to sacrifice herself for her sister, even though at moments there are jealously. There are issues. There are also selfishness between them. This book isn’t driven by the plot, it is purely by the characters. The Goblin King was interested with her, and hence he did all that. Liesel also faces a lot of issues, a lot of problems. And unexpectedly at the end managed to find herself and become comfortable with herself. 

As for music, I loved its motif. Perhaps it’s the fact that I also have learned quite a bit of music in my life, but it was always suitable. Such as when Liesel composed, and she thought that every note to her needed to be revised and thought out. That is the truth for all musicians too, same even for any other writers or artists. I really liked the music overtone and showing me that Liesel was a musician rather than just telling me that. 

But the main issue is that it takes a long time, and often it is very painful and very bleak. So, for those who do not want something as dark without anything light to balance it out, avoid this book. It would make you feel and destroy you too. And that it often dragged at certain points too. 

The ending however isn’t horribly tragic or even sad, it is one where there is hope yet Liesel lost something. 

I would recommend it to those who like romance such as this, a lot of times painful and bleak. All the while having each character be developed in a poignant way. And also, if you prefer fast paced action book, this isn’t the book for you. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

1

The House Of The Spirits 

It does live up to expectations of a saga. As this story slowly unravels and balances the first person narration and mostly third person narration so incredibly well. The main narrator of the entire story is Esteban, who at times disgust me of the way he thought that Clara was his. And that she should be willing to share everything with him. 

As for Clara, in her own right, she is a strong woman. She would put her foot down and leave him, which she does in this book for her own daughter. The way that she is always so incredibly wise and aware of the world, and how she is portrayed is like a clairvoyant sometimes. Where she doesn’t try to speak. And her abilities really quite magical, and the way it is presented places this book into magical realism. Where sometimes certain events barely have any explanation, and this does pass due to the way Clara appears so incredibly aware. 

As for the family, which they are all rather crazy. Esteban with his obsession with Rosa and became a reason why he married Clara in the first place. Clara with all her abilities yet choosing not to interfere in many of her fates. Blanca, and her eventual life working hard and doing what she likes. All the while giving birth to a daughter. And Jaime and Nicolas, both of which finds their own strange path. Nicolas moving from one point to another without much thought, Jaime and his constant need for helping the poor. 

I really liked how their entire family became part of politics eventually. Such as Esteban running as a conservative, Jaime standing on the opposition side. As for eventually what happens to Alba and her, I would say that another party has come into power and one that is indeed a cruel tyrant. 

As for the story slowly beginning and ending, it all ends with Alba. And this saga has been quite entertaining really. Such as Clara deciding once and for all leaving, even though they still kept up appearances. Blanca and her affair, Jaime and Nicolas where both their paths diverged so incredibly much. And Alba, who grew up in this ridiculous environment.

So, this is a good book. More in the part that it developed characters over the years, and yet still kept their essence in the way that I could still recognize them. All the while spanning years and years with three generations of the family. And well, this books handles it all well. With how bizarre some of them are, and eventually having Esteban realise that he on some level had faulted. And Blanca deciding to let her first love go, after seeing that he was unwilling to be chained to her. 

And the way Alba views the world at the end. I would say that all this took a lot of work and planning, given how each character eventually had their own role to play and their own role to fulfill. And even seeing Esteban begging on his knees was nice indeed, and the way that he simply wants Alba back is really heartwarming too. 

So this is a family saga, and centered about their entire family and lives. And the way that somehow a lot of things eventually come back to them, and a lot of times there aren’t a lot of answers seeing as how Alba changed, and how mysterious she was at the epilogue. So, I would say that this book is more about the family than anything else. And each character was handled well for me, at least within the Trueban family. 

Rating: 4 out of 5′

1

Vicious 

I really like this book, with how it handled the themes of superheroes and whether they should exist or not. And even making both characters, neither actually is the better choice. Victor is quite vicious, but doesn’t think that the EO needs to be killed. Eli, on the other hand thinks that they are unnatural and deserving of death. 

In the middle of it all, it Sydney, who is important since she can revive the dead. Even till the very end. I think out of all, Sydney is the kindest of all of them. Though, I do admit that I did enjoy the fact that she had a lot of spotlight. And is extremely helpful to Victor in hunting Eli. All the more, she went through quite a lot too, when Eli tried to kill her and well, she was shot. 

I really like how it is more about the concept of superheroes and how at the same time they are viewed as monsters by Eli. And their papers, are they unnatural and should be destroyed or useful. This doesn’t give you a clear answer. But it tells you that killing people for the sake of the greater good isn’t always the best. 

And really, doesn’t justify sacrificing these lives just so the rest can live in peace. 

Particularly, I liked how Serena and Eli were partners. And how essential she was to ensuring that he remains a hero in their eyes. If not, well, we can say that it didn’t turned too well for him. Since he is a murderer rather than someone who is a hero. 

And the flashbacks were all perfect in giving depth to each character in just one book. I would say they are very relevant in revealing just what they have been true, and changes characters as it goes along. 

So, this is mostly a book about superheroes and the fact that sometimes there are really no good answers. At the end of the day, he it ends is like how this book should end. The villain gets captured rightfully under the law. So, I would say that the ending is suitable to the tone of this series. 

Overall, I would recommend this to those who want something a little more about the theme of superheroes. And see two people who are at opposite ends of each other, and one is the antagonist of the other. There is no real villain, they are just simply the opposite of each other. And well, both are neither the hero yet not completely a villain and well I relished this book on this fact. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

I normally wouldn’t add a quote, but this is probably one of the most true quotes I have ever come across. 

You don’t understand,” gasped Eli, “No one understands.”

“When no one understands, it’s a clear sign that you are wrong.”