Dear readers, I admit to being in a bit of a pickle.
In youth, life seemed limitless, infinite.
Writing was the same, I just wrote, not a lot of stopping to think.
Such is the power and joy of youth.
And as we age limitations don’t just come from the outside, but from your own body:
Sagging (oh no, those should still be much higher).
Weird spots randomly attach themselves to your skin (“Out, Damned Spot!” doesn’t work, believe me, I’ve tried).
Eating cake may seem more exciting and less work than other, er, strenuous activities…
But if you’re not aging, you’ve discovered the Fountain of Youth (good for you, care to share?), or you’re dead and you just don’t know it yet.
Sigh, so many things I wish I’d done or not done.
Sweet dreams lost, given up, given away, or stolen…
Sweet dreams fulfilled, waiting in the wings, and yet to come…
There’s also a certain grace, a wisdom, a knowing that comes with age, even for books. Remember how those new and shiny ebooks were going to destroy the book industry? Make books into relics only viewed in museums? Those dire predictions may have been premature. The texture and weight of a book in your hands tells you so much about the content; ebooks all feel the same.
Deep in our DNA, we’re storytellers, not just those who write, but those who read. We don’t just want to experience the stories, we want to share the stories. It’s about connection.
Many of those stories are by independent authors, not backed by a marketing budget larger than most of us will earn in a lifetime. Does that make them somehow less? Personally, I never cease to be amazed at the talent, the passion, the wonder never appreciated, just because it isn’t a bestseller.
I’ve reviewed books on and off for 30 years, yet ironically, I’m not always a fan of book reviews. I don’t enjoy a book report disguised as a review (we got it, you read the book, now, why should I?) and being told I should like or dislike a book. That’s silly, no one can tell you if you’ll like or dislike something, just why they liked or disliked it.
I love a story that transports me, takes me with the characters on their journey. I want to be there, a part of the story, which happened when I called upon Atonement, Tennessee…and never wanted to leave.
Teagan Riordain Geneviene kindly and brilliantly invites us to visit a small Southern town where things are not as they seem, but instead, is full of mystery, intrigue, murder, dashes of magic, romance…even a cat naturally more attuned and intelligent than her human counterparts (guess that goes without saying).
I admit being a tad miffed Atonement, Tennessee didn’t come with a warning label, something like: Don’t start reading if you have anything else you need to do for the next couple of days. Of course, obsessively reading this book also helped me cast the movie and/or TV series, let’s see, how about Ian Somerhalder, Richard Armitage, and David Tennant? Look how cute and cuddly they are…oh, and there’s cats too!
This is fantasy at its finest, but still left me wanting more…more…more…
And thanks to technology, we can have more on Teagan’s wonderful blog, including her online serial, and even hints of a sequel, Atonement in Bloom (waiting with bated breath): https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/
Maybe I could 100% honest review your books too, just contact me, see, over there to your right – ‘Sending Me Stuff’.
Age can sure make you restless, even more so than in the bloom of youth, for we have the knowledge of what has been, what never was, and what could be. I guess what I’m trying to say is, no matter what your age, and the only real limits are those of your courage and your convictions.
I wish I could pretend I wasn’t drooling waiting for Book Six of The Mortal Instruments series, City of Heavenly Fire to hit the shelves. But my drool has a mind of its own. It was worth the wait and saliva.
It’s a shame when people miss out on fantastic books because they’re a certain genre. While I’m neither young, nor a hopeless romantic, I’m biologically an adult and I’m not going to miss out on a good book just because it’s categorized as YA.
One day I picked up City Of Bones, the first in The Mortal Instruments series and by the time I finally lifted my head again, I was hooked.
Cassandra Clare’s flare is plucking readers out of their environment and directly into the story.
I love a story that takes me away.
I want to be walking down the halls of the Institute, my shoes clicking on the marble floors. Walk through the streets of The Shadowhunter’s world of Idris. Feel Valentine’s obsession. Cheer for Simon. I want to feel the heat of the fire. I want to know if Clary and Jace will or can be together…
A book doesn’t have to change the world, just be entertaining, oh, and be available to read, for free. But if I could, I would buy these shiny and new.
Drawbacks? This is fan fiction so the characters are hyper-romanticized for the hard sell. The action can get ubercheesy and the outcomes over obvious. The pace can falter especially when Clare gets circuitous, but overall, each book has its own charm and makes for pleasurable reading. It’s fantasy, it’s escapism, not rocket science.
The Mortal Instruments is the 3rd chronologically out of 5 in The Shadowhunters Chronicles. I really enjoyed Clare’s The Infernal Devices series, also Shadowhunters, but in the Victorian era.
The Dark Artifices has been announced, apparently set 5 years in the future, 2015 release date.
There’s also The Shadowhunter’s Codex and The Bane Chronicles (don’t get too excited, no Tom Hardy, this is the warlock Bane) written with fellow YA authors Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson.
Let’s speed this up a bit by saying, there’s a lot of Clare’s works available, a lot. And for Holly Black fans, Clare and Black are friends, and they work and play well together.
I’ve read complaints of people saying this is ripped off from this or that and so forth, that would be up to courts to decide, the way I look at literature, there’s really nothing new about any of it, except in the way the story is told; that’s what it’s about. There are only so many stories.
As for the film version of City Of Bones while there were significant variations from the book, but that’s why it’s called an adaptation, right? The life-force of the book was there and the cast was amazing, including: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Lena Headey, Kevin Zegers, Robert Sheehan, Kevin Durand, Aidan Turner, Jemima West, Godfrey Gao, C. C. H. Pounder, Jared Harris, etc.
City of Ashes will film in 2014.
The Mortal Instruments series is really just a love story with the obligatory and relevant youth messages of tolerance, diversity, love conquers all and good triumphs over evil.
Still, the underlying theme of each book that flew out at me is power.
Gaining power, losing power, using power, abusing power.
Discovering your power and what to do with it once you know what it is.
Obviously having the supernatural elements attracts and keeps people reading, but these books are about the relationships between the people.
It’s all about the story.
I’d like to crawl inside Neil Gaiman’s head, just briefly, although I imagine it’s intense. I’d also like to do a Vulcan mind meld on some people, yet where would that lead, aside from the hollow paths of: interesting, boring, extreme, creepy? You’d still just be a visitor.
Gaiman has a remarkable ability to plop you inside his stories and against your better judgement you decide to stay to see how it ends.
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is no exception. Like a worm that gets inside you, a feeling that scuttles through you, a scratching in the dark, this story and it’s inhabitants don’t give you answers, just a sensation of contentment and fear and something else you know you probably shouldn’t identify just yet, if ever.
As with all Gaiman’s work this ingeniously focuses on the imbalance of power, between adults and children, men and women, good and evil, right and wrong, man and nature, even between worlds.
I’ve already learned the most significant things I’ll ever learn in my entire life, I think, and Gaiman’s works always reinforce these, for me.
What we know is not nearly as important as what we don’t know.
We don’t need to know everything.
But what if we do?
OK, weddings are well-known for bad food, tacky decorations, heavy drinking, theatrics, awkward conversations, and general self-absorption, but Game Of Thrones always takes wedding issues nuclear. I’m guessing George R. R. Martin has a general distaste of weddings.
Trying not to do spoilers, but good thing they have servants to return all those wedding gifts. Anyone else cheer during last night’s episode of GOT?
Margaery Tyrell (the talented Natalie Dormer) goes through husbands quickly. And anyone shocked by Joffrey (the most hated guy around and I’d be surprised if he ever acted again which would be a shame because he’s brilliant, Jack Gleeson) really needs to read the books. He’s been dead since around 2000. Love to say we’ll miss him, but it’s amazing how you don’t miss sadistic idiots. Although he was riveting.
I was on the edge of my seat, as always, watching the intricate machinations, the drama…the characters just keep me coming back for more.
Resurrection. Although the ABC series is based on a novel, The Returned by Jason Mott you can see the resemblance to the French series Les Revenants/The Returned as well. The similarities while subtle are significant. Sadly, the US version is more sanitized; the French series is raw, with a creepier edge to it.
Resurrection and The Returned are just zombie stories, but these aren’t your standard flesh-eating zombies (mostly).
These dead return to their lives as if time never marched on. Family and friends never moved on.
These dead step back into their lives as though they never left.
But what draws us to these zombies? Unlike the ravenous flesh-eating zombies, these symbolize our loss and our hope.
The mystery of where they were, how they came back, why they came back continues to intrigue us.
It makes us wonder, could it happen?
What would you do if someone you lost, someone you loved, returned?
We are fascinated by books, movies, TV series about the dead returning. It dominates our media. Perhaps it taps into our deepest feelings and fears. It helps us explore our troubled times in a safe mode, so to speak.
And so the Dead walk through our books, our phones, our TVs, our theaters, our tablets, e-readers, laptops, computers, graphic novels, our parties, and sometimes even our streets…clearly they have found our hunger for them is as great as theirs for us.
1. You identify yourself with one of the kingdoms, houses, and/or families of Game of Thrones.
2. You make White Walkers with your children instead of snowmen.
3. You name your new kitten Khaleesi.
4. You name your baby Khaleesi.
5. You get your money management advice based on GOT, although not a bad idea. A Lannister always pays his debts; Master your money and don’t let it control you; always look for opportunity and so on.
6. You start trying to make candles that will make your house smell just like Winterfell.
7. You think more about who will sit on the Iron Throne than who will lead your own country.
8. You know the whole history of GOT yet know little or nothing about The War of The Roses that inspired the books/series.
9. When you’re out walking your dog you think you see a dragon egg, nope, just a part of a Mountain Dew bottle.
10. You love hearing, “Winter is coming”.
11. You change your Christmas Carols to We Five Kings; God Rest Ye Anyone Who’s in GOT Too Long; and Lannisters Are Comin’ To Town.
12. You can’t sleep at night thinking about the dragon has three heads prophecy (hint, there are three dragons so they need three riders).
13. You worry what Jon Snow with think when he finds out about his past.
14. You find yourself using the language like: sweetling, imp, serving wenches, smallclothes, my moon and stars, kissed by fire, I wager, etc.
15. You used to get really upset when a main character died and now you just kind of shrug and think, that’s life…unless it’s Brian on Family Guy, that’s totally different.
16. You’re scared when you’re invited to a wedding…and not for the usual reasons.
17. You give family and friends only GOT-related gifts. And they should be grateful.
18. You think of learning to swim as Greyjoying.
19. You don’t have to look up how to spell: Viserys, Daenerys, Rhaegar, Targaryen, R’hllor, Arya, Dothrai, Khaleesi, Khal Drogo, Melisandre, Stannis, Maegyr, and more.
20. No one argues with you because you simply say, “It is known.”
21. You memorized and live by the Night’s Watch oath.
22. You worry about what happened to Lyanna Stark and want to know more.
23. You check out your window to make sure The Others aren’t coming.
24. You love the mechanisms of the opening credits, but know little or nothing about the Leonardo di Vinci’s machines.
25. You start talking about the characters in GOT as though they’re friends, even using their first (fictional) names…
Jaime is so hot…
Joffrey is so evil…
Cersei is creeping me out…
I wonder what Tyrion will do…
Littlefinger should be running our economy…
I think Arya needs more adult supervision and less pointy things…
Daenerys, don’t bother the dragons when they’re eating…