Book Review · General · reading

Book Review: Dragon Spawn by Eileen Wilks

I read Dragon Spawn by Eileen Wilks a few months ago. Every since, I have been quite speechless. It is hard to describe my disappointment.

I normally really look forward to this series. Dragon Spawn was no different.

But then I read it. It started out alright – lots of action and characters that I really like. It seemed like it was moving fast.

Then it ended. Just ended. Nothing was resolved, none of the problems mentioned in the beginning, none of the conflicts ended.

It is okay if one or two or even three of the conflicts are not resolved by end. This is a long-running series and that is just the nature of the beast. You have to leave something dangling for the next book. But this book resolved nothing.

It felt more like the middle of the book rather then the end. I feel like someone chopped the book in half and decided to publish in pieces.

I have no words for how much of a disappointment this book is. I really don’t. I have spent some time trying to say and I can’t.

I will read the next book, if only to find the next book. But I can’t really recommend this one. Until the next one comes out and I find out if there is an ending.

General · reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: Sustenance

My next read!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.

teaser

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:

51jdkq422bzl-_sx331_bo1204203200_More bad news from the States: the Committee continues to wreak its havoc, pursuing their policy of forcing those who disagree with their political positions to lose their jobs, their positions in their communities, and any chance of following their established professions in the United States of America, all in the name of freedom. The press has supported their hysteria, increasing the air of crisis that continues to grow, joining the repressive elements in the government in continuing to denounce citizens of Communistic inclinations, without any proof of wrongdoing beyond rumor and innuendo.

– Sustenance by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

fantasy · reading

Coffin Not Broken When Zombie Rises

I was reading an Anita Blake book. She’s raised a zombie, put it back and now they are digging up the grave, to see if there are problems with the zombie.

So the characters dug and talked. If this was a modern grave, they would have to open the coffin. Even if something had gone wrong with putting the zombie back, they were perfectly safe because it would be in the coffin. Modern coffins are steel.

I am thinking: The zombie would have broken the coffin, steel or not, to get out in the first place. When you put it back, the coffin would still be broken.

It is so weird. So very, very weird.

General · reading

L is for Lycanthrope

If I Google lycanthrope, it tells me this:

ly·can·thrope

/ˈlīkənˌTHrōp/

noun

noun: lycanthrope; plural noun: lycanthropes

  1. a werewolf.

Origin

early 17th century: from modern Latin lycanthropus, from Greek lukanthrōpos ‘wolf man’ (see lycanthropy).

So wolf man turned into werewolf. These days, in urban fantasy, it means werelions, werepanthers, wererats, pretty much any type of animal that the author decides a person can turn into.

I also know there are so many werewolf stories that many, many people are tired of them. They abound in romance and in urban fantasy. They used to be a staple of

Jason: on my favorite werewolves from the Anita Blake series.

horror (I think they were still a horror trope) but I am not familiar enough with horror to know how often they occur now.

The thing this, I am not tired of them. I am more careful than I used to be, yes, but I would really to find more good werewolf stories to read.

I am not quite so welcoming of the werewolf story close cousin: the vampire story. I continue to read series I started years ago, but I don’t look for new ones and I think I am pretty close to burning out entirely on vampires.

I am not sure why I should be so much closer to burning out entirely on vampires, but there it is. Maybe the concept of a person who can turn into an animal(s) is just a lot more interesting.

How about you?

General · reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: Night Broken

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!

I’m doing a reread of Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

My teaser:

“I only like a little bit mean,” Adam confided in a low-husky voice that made my heartbeat pick up. “Withholding cookies is world-class mean.”

– Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

fantasy · work in progress · Writing

World Building and Urban Fantasy

image

I have stopped working on my current WiP because I’ve come to a crises of world-building. It’s urban fantasy and up until now I imagined that it would take place in NYC. Different from the real city, because of what I need from the world, but still the city. The city I would recognize.

(Yeah, the city. Like there aren’t any other cities in the world. Like this is the archetype and all other cities are just pale, pathetic copies.)

Now I am not so sure. I’ve reached a point where I am questioning some of the world choices I made. I’ve realized some things about the world, about how this world works. It changes things.

I had thought originally that it was the same world, complete with the same wars and conflicts. Just with more magic. Lots more magic. And science as something that developed slightly more slowly, looked down upon, but widely used. Especially by those with weak magic.

I have a better idea now about changes I need than before I started the story. But I am not certain how to incorporate the changes. I can do one of two things:

1) change the world. Change the city’s name. Change the whole city. This would turn the story into a more traditional fantasy.

2) keep the current world, but to incorporate the changes I need, add more wars in the history. Change up national boundaries maybe, change the war outcome too maybe. Add more conflict, more tension in the present.

They would both be a lot of work. I don’t know which to choose, which would be better.

So I haven’t written anything in more than a month now.

General

Book Review: Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard

 

Blurb from GoodReads:

Year One-Knife, Tenochtitlan the capital of the Aztecs. The end of the world is kept at bay only by the magic of human sacrifice. A Priestess disappears from an empty room drenched in blood. Acatl, High Priest, must find her, or break the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead.

This book is pretty damn good. A lot better than I expected. I have to admit, I read the blurb and decided it couldn’t be interesting. I mean, the whole Aztec blood magic thing. I wasn’t into it.

But it’s really good. I stayed up too late to read this and I really like it. The end is perfect. I did not see it coming, but at the same time, it makes perfect sense. Really. Just the kind of ending I like best.

I have to admit, I wasn’t too crazy about the book when I first heard about it. The idea of an Aztec priest and a murder mystery. I mean, the Aztecs are known for blood sacrifice, human and otherwise. I figured there would be both in the book and I wasn’t crazy about the idea.

But it’s not bad. Yes, they sacrifice animals and the temple keeps a collection of animals to sacrifice. And there are mentions of a new king having to go and gather prisoners for sacrifice to prove himself fit to be king. It’s a little disturbing, but that’s not the focus.

The writer gives all the characters Aztec names. There is a lot about the gods, what sacrifices each like, what offends them, the other temples, about the government. How the king becomes king and the politics surrounding both (both meaning the temple and the government). I don’t know how much of it is real and how much is made up out of whole cloth, but I loved it. World building is one of the things I love most and this was pretty fantastic.

The main character has personal issues – issues with his brother, his father, his choice to become a priest instead of a warrior. Despite a lifetime as a priest, he’s still struggling with all of those issues. Due to someone else’s political muddling, he became the High Priest of his order. It’s a role he still needs to grow into. He’s not exactly leading it at the beginning.

I thought he was a woman at the beginning, too. LOL Well, it’s written in 1st POV and it has the feel of a lot of urban fantasy novels so . . . yeah. I thought he was a girl. Most urban fantasies are written from the female POV so I think I might be forgiven.

Despite the Aztec world, the lack of sex, it feels a lot like urban fantasy to. But if you associate urban fantasy with a paranormal version of our world, instead of the other elements, this one might feel more like traditional fantasy to you. IMO, it’s a most wonderful mix of the two.

The most memorable part for me was when our hero discovers the first villain of the piece (a pawn, more like, who allowed herself to be used unto death) gives herself to another temple rather face immediate death. The temple will prepare her and drown her as a sacrifice to their goddess. Their goddess likes her sacrifices to be drowned and not killed in some other way.

I do recommend Servant of the Underworld.