General · reading

Teaser Tuesday: Darkness Rising, part 2

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read

* Open to a random page

* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Still reading the same book as last week! I haven’t made much progress, but the week’s been very busy.

My Teasers:

He nodded, glancing at me. “You sound relieved.”

“I am. I mean, vampires can be nasty, but I wouldn’t put them in the same league as something that’s crawled from the gates of hell.”

– Darkness Rising by Keri Arthur

Writing

My Creepy Meter is Off

Yesterday for my teaser Tuesday, I posted the first couple of lines from Darkness Rising by Keri Arthur.  A lot of people said it was sad, which I agree with.

But a lot of people also said it was creepy, which I didn’t see until people pointed it out. I thought those lines were a little sad and lot interesting. It makes me wonder if my creepy meter is off.

It could be. I mean, some people think half the stuff I read is horror. I think it is urban fantasy. I mean, you find it on the SF shelves. But some people also think vampire=horror.

Beyond that, I submitted a story for a flash anthology and the editor accepted for a horror anthology (she’s the editor for both). I thought my story was urban fantasy. But, no, it is apparently horror. And horror is supposed to be creepy, right? It’s not just about gore and monsters. It’s the scary and creepy factor of a story that makes it horror (you don’t need gore for that).

I am thinking now I misjudge how creepy stories are in general, both the ones I write and the ones I read.

I mean, I loved ghost stories, monster stories and mystery stories as a child. A good chunk of my childhood reading came from the library’s horror section. The children’s horror section was pretty small and there were never enough ghost/demon/monster stories. The mystery section was much bigger, so I read a lot of mysteries, especially the ones about haunted houses.

I guess what I am saying since I’ve spent a good chunk of time reading stuff like that, I just don’t see it as creepy anymore. Maybe stuff that other people read and think “creepy”, I go “ohhh interesting.” Maybe stuff I think of as creepy, other people think of as scary.

It’s a little worrisome, because it means I can’t judge my own writing effectively.

General · reading

Teaser Tuesday: Darkness Rising

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read

* Open to a random page

* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:

The house still smelled of death.

Two months had passed since Mom’s murder, but the air still echoed with her agony and I knew if I breathed deep enough, I’d catch the hint of old blood.

– Darkness Rising by Keri Arthur

Book Review · General · reading

Book Review: Unbound Darkness by Keri Arthur

From Keri Arthur’s website:

Risa Jones is as extraordinary as her heritage. Born from a lab-enhanced clone mother and an Aedh father, she can not only talk to the souls of the dying and the dead, but she can see the reapers and walk the gray fields that divide this world from the next.

They are skill she rarely uses, however, preferring to concentrate on the business she shares with her two best friends. But when her mother asks her to help the parents of a little girl locked in a coma, she reluctantly agrees. What she discovers scares the hell out of her. Because the little girl’s soul no longer resides in her body, and it wasn’t death and the reapers that took her.

Someone had ripped her soul from her flesh.

As it turns out, a creature consuming the souls of the innocent–and not so innocent–is the least of her problems.

Because someone wants to rip open the gates that divided hell from earth, and Risa is a key component in their plans.

And the only person standing between her and disaster is a reaper who isn’t exactly on her side.

I loved Unbound Darkness! It’s clear and fast-moving.

The plot is complex, but the author presents everything so clearly, you over look that. But truthfully, only 2 of maybe 4 or 5 plot points get resolved by the end – the whole ripping soul the summary above talks about.

The summary also talks about ripping open the gates of hell. I expect the series plot arc will come from this. Unbound Darkness introduces the idea – and that’s all this book does. It’s complex and involves a lot of players. Half of them have been hinted at, but not introduced yet. I don’t even know who the villain is yet, if you can believe that. I suspect the author left out so much because it would be too much for a single book. I foresee quite a lot of books in this series. 😀

I expect (I hope!) it will be related to the smaller single-book-size plot of someone stealing souls. Maybe. I want it to, but this minor villain might not related to the bigger series plot.

I remember Risa as a little girl from the Riley Jenson stories. But in this book there is no doubt Risa is all grown up.  Even though she can’t change into a wolf, she’s still a half-wolf and perfectly comfortable in the wolf clubs. That’s not surprising. But I think I expected her to go grow up and be a psychic for a living, just like her mother. Instead she owns a restaurant. Go figure.

But the most surprising – the most astonishing part! – is that Risa makes a deal with the devil herself: Madeline Hunter, leader of the vampire council.

I don’t think she had to make that deal. Personally, I hope Madeline Hunter ends up dead by the end of this series.

reading

Reading Books Straight Through

Last week, Nathan Bransford did a post about reading books straight through. It got me thinking: Why don’t I read books all the way through?

I have a habit of skipping around in books. I think I first started doing it in high school when the book was so boring I couldn’t read it. So I would read the last chapter, than a few chapters in the middle and eventually finish the whole thing.

This habit got worse in college. I sometimes read only half the book (first chapter, last chapter, 1 or 2 middle chapters) and still managed write A+ papers. Yeah, not very good of me. But I didn’t have time and I figured out first, last and middle chapters gave me everything I needed for the paper.

At some point, this habit carried over into the books I read for pleasure and I not entirely sure when it happened.

Part of it is that there are some writers I’ve been following since 9th grade. I know how they write, the kinds of phrases they like to use and sometimes it’s okay to skip a scene or two.

It’s harder when I skip whole chapters. Sometimes the book is that boring, but lots of times, I just want to know more about one particular character.

I mean, I did that when I still read the World of Time series. I don’t remember which book it was, but I skipped through the whole book looking for Rand’s scenes. There were lots scenes from other characters’ POV, but I didn’t care about them. I did this with Game of Thrones, too. Not just for Jon Snow (I liked him best) but a couple other characters.

Other times I’ll read the first couple of pages and then read the last page/chapter. I did that just yesterday with The Tempering of Men by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette. After I already had it, mind, because no matter how the book ends, I am still going to read the whole thing. I wanted to know how it ended just that badly.

And sometimes I read books straight through. That’s how I read Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur. No skipping, no hopping, no searching for anything, just chapter after chapter.

I suppose all this means I am more likely to go chapter hopping if one character is more interesting than any other character; if I am bored or if I just cannot wait to know the ending.

I don’t think it’s especially helpful since I don’t know how I’ll react to any given book. And isn’t just silly? Wish I was more regular in my reading habits.

General · reading

Teaser Tuesday: Darkness Unbound

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read

* Open to a random page

* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

 

My Teasers:

The older folk in the area were still boycotting McDonald’s to protest losing their local watering hole, but I couldn’t see the point. Especially since those of us who liked to party late could get something to eat at all hours.

– Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur

Book Review · reading

Book Review: Mercy Burns by Keri Arthur

Product Description from Amazon:

DARKNESS DESCENDS.
LOVE ABIDES. BUT . . .

MERCY BURNS

Mercy Reynolds is a reporter in the San Francisco Bay area, but she’s also more—and less—than human. Half woman, half air dragon, she’s a “draman”—unable to shift shape but still able to unleash fiery energy. Now something will put her powers to the test.

Mercy’s friend Rainey has enlisted her help to solve her sister’s murder. Then a horrible accident claims Rainey’s life, leaving Mercy only five days to find the killer: If Mercy fails, according to dragon law, Rainey’s soul will be doomed to roam the earth for eternity. But how can Mercy help when she herself is a target? With nowhere else to turn, she must join forces with a sexy stranger—the mysterious man they call “Muerte,” or death itself, who’s as irresistible as he is treacherous. But can even Death keep Mercy alive for long enough to find her answers?

Mercy Burns begins with a car crash and doesn’t lose momentum. It’s a quick, easy read and it sizzles on the page.

I like how it goes deeper into the draman than the first book, Destiny Kills, did. The romance and suspense are good, too. For a while I thought the romance wouldn’t work out, that there would be a second or even a third book before the romance is concluded. But it does, and it does so in a very believable way.

Mercy’s best friend dies and worse, she dies before the dragon death rituals can administrated. That’s why Mercy hunts her murderers, so her soul can rest. That’s the same reason Damon, Mercy’s love interest, has for hunting the same people.

My favorite part is when she melts lock off her prison door. The part when Damon comes back to her is pretty good, too.

But for all that, Mercy Burns is missing something. I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s just not as compelling as the Riley Jenson books or as Destiny Kills (the first book in this series, written a long time ago). It’s not the characters or the plot, where aren’t bad. The plot isn’t terribly complicated, but that’s not a bad thing.

It’s a solid story, just not as interesting as the Keri Arthur’s other work. I can’t think of any scenes that were boring or that should have been left out. It’s solid. But also disappointing and I don’t know why. 😦

reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: Mercy Burns

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

The screaming of tires as Rainey stomped on the brakes, trying to stop us from being shunted through the guardrail. The roar of the truck’s engine being gunned, and a second, more crushing sideways blow that buckled the doors and forced us through the very railing we’d been so desperate to avoid.

– Mercy Burns by Keri Arthur