Saturday, 22 December 2018

Review: Sweet Black Waves; by Kristina Perez

Well, well, well. What do we have here?

A book review, that's what!

I thought I should get more posts out, so I figured I might as well do a quick review of a book I read earlier this year.

As in, this summer.

Yeah, I should probably review more things...


This review may be a bit late in the year, but this is still a new release (as in, came out in 2018).

(What? Me reviewing a new release instead of a book that's several years old? What is this sorcery?)

Let's get the technogobbledegook out of the way first.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Review: Age of Swords (Legends of the First Empire Book 2); by Michael J. Sullivan

Several months ago, I said I would review the Legends of the First Empire books, and keep up as each one comes out.

Well, now I'm finally getting to book two.

I'm not going to get into spoilers, so don't be worried about that. Also, if you haven't read my review for the first book, Age of Myth, check it out here.

Ayway, let's get on to book 2 of Legends of the First Empire.

This is my review of Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Villains

Hello again, dear readers.

Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday.

Welcome to the topic I had been VERY MUCH HOPING FOR in this month's Top 5 Lists.

That's right. Time to talk about VILLAINS!

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you might have seen that last year I did an entire villain-themed month for October. (Links will be at the bottom of this post)

By the way, if you would like to see my previous Top Five Wednesday, check it out right here, and you can check out the Goodreads Group for Top 5 Wednesday right here.

Anyway, I love villains, so this was a particularly interesting list to narrow down. Since I want to keep my Top Fives to books only, the main top five list will only be book villains. However, I will have a few honourable mentions from other mediums at the end of the post.

Also, these aren't really in a particular order, these just happen to be my favourites, but I can't really put them one over the other. I love them all for different reasons.

Without further ado, let's talk about villains!

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Magic Systems

Welcome to October, dear readers, and welcome back to another Top Five Wednesday!

If you don't know, I am part of the Goodreads group Top Five Wednesday, which is an open group where a topic for a top five list is given, and everyone gives their rankings for that list. (Check out the group right here, and you can see my previous top five here.)

Anyway, today's topic is a really exciting one to me, and that is the Top Five Magic Systems!

As a person who is a huge fan of the fantasy genre (and, for that matter, mostly reads fantasy), I have a certain love of magic systems that has developed over the years. I've even actually written a full blog post talking about some of the basics of magic systems some time back (Check it out right over here, if you feel so inclined).

And so, without further ado, here are my top five magic systems to kick off the month!

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Favourite Book Covers

It's Wednesday again! Welcome back to another top five!

If you missed my post a few weeks ago, I recently got into the Goodreads group Top Five Wednesday, which is a group where a topic for a top five list is given, and everyone gives their rankings for that list. (Check out the group right here, and you can see my previous top five here.)

You may have noticed that I didn't do Top Five Wednesday for the past two weeks, and that's because I just didn't connect with the last two topics. I looked at them, and couldn't come up with anything whatsoever.

This topic, however, made me SUPER EXCITED!


I. Love. Book covers. I'm a really visual and artistic person, and beautiful book covers make me so VERY happy.

And that also made this list a bit...difficult, since I had to narrow down the book covers I love to my top five.

But I did it. Somehow, I did it.

So, without further ado and not actually in any particular order since I love them all and there are many others that could also rank up here with them, here are five of my favourite book covers.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Favourite Friend Groups

Hello, everyone! Happy Wednesday to you!

...or Thursday...I didn't quite get this post finished at a reasonable posting time yesterday...



So for the past while, I've been seeing a thing called 'Top 5 Wednesday' on YouTube. When I saw that it was an open-to-join group on Goodreads, I thought I'd join in.

(You can check the Top 5 Wednesday group out right here if you like.)

Basically, the gist of it is that every Wednesday there is a new prompt for a top five list, and everyone does a list of their picks for their top five.

Today's topic is, as you can probably see in the title, the Top Five Favourite Friend Groups. People are allowed to take from all media for these prompts, but I want to keep the actual lists book-centric. I will have a couple honourable mentions, though.

So, without further ado, here are my picks for my Top Five Favourite Friend Groups in books.

Monday, 27 August 2018

A Very Specific Set of Skills: Choosing an Assassin's Method


You. Yes, you.

The "assassin".

Theoretical assassin.

You have your target. You have your wardrobe.

You look fantastic.

Now it's time for the fun bit.

Let's. Get. STABBITY.

...or not stabbity. Many assassins fight without stabbity weapons, and every assassin should be at least proficient at all methods of dealing death, and many also have a specialty that they like to fall back on as their preferred technique.

But, anyway, it's time to get to my favourite part with assassins: the thing that makes them badass.

Let's talk about some assassin methods.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Dressed to Kill: Choosing Your Assassin's Wardrobe

So. You're an assassin.

...just play along for a bit, alright?

You're an assassin. You've been given a mission. You are now starting to get ready to go kill some fools for some sweet, sweet cash.

So. What are you going to wear?

(If you can give me an honest answer as to the right clothes you prepare to wear while killing people...please stay away from me. Maybe turn yourself into the police. Seek help. Don't kill people. Please. Please.)

This might not seem like that big of an issue, but the wardrobe of an assassin is actually quite a big deal. How the character dresses can tell a lot about this character's culture, worldview, methods, and, overall, their personality.

Do they hide themselves completely when they kill? Do they kill in plain sight? What is their purpose behind their killing? How does their wardrobe play into the method itself?

The way an assassin dresses can make them stand out and can tell a lot about them, so let's get talking about dressing your killer.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Writing Assassins: Five Questions to Ask When Making a Killer

Assassins sure make cool characters, don't they?

I mean, just think about it. Who doesn't want a story where a threatening, morally dark, often enigmatic character appears to turn the tables or rattle the cages?

Let's face it: saying "A knight walked into a bar" is interesting, but saying "An assassin walked into a bar"...well. Now you have my attention. Speak on.

Assassins have particularly seemed to become popular in the past couple decades, stealing their way into our hearts and heads alike with their dastardly deeds, wicked wit, and often antagonistic/anti-heroic antics.

With hundreds of stories from Nevernight to Night Angel, John Wick to Assassin's Creed, or Shadowdance to The Farseer Trilogy, assassins have come to infect our media with stabs and shots, and it's a wonderful thing.

So that brings us to the topic of today's blog: how do we write one? How do we make a convincing assassin character?

Well, like all characters, it comes down to this:

It's time to sit that character down, and start interrogating them.

Or, maybe it would be better to politely interview these ones from a distance. You know. With them being assassins and all. Probably better to stay out of reach...

Anyway, here are five questions to ask when writing an assassin character.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Review: Age of Myth (Legends of the First Empire Book 1); by Michael J. Sullivan

So, if you don't know (and, since I haven't talked about this on the blog before, most of you probably don't know), the author on my shelf who is most likely to be called my favourite is Michael J. Sullivan. Ever since I read his first series (The Riyria Revelations) and fell for his dynamic mercenary/thief duo, I was hooked on his writing.

And so, I eagerly have been buying every book he has put out since.

His newest series, The Legends of the First Empire, obviously falls under that category.

Last week, the newest book in that series, Age of War, hit the shelves. However, since I think it would be weird to start reviewing a series on book 3, I thought I would do something different.

Start on book one, work my way up to book three, and then review the rest upon their release in the next while.

You know. Stay up to date and all.

So, long story short, that's why I'm reviewing Age of Myth. The one that came out in 2016.

Let's get started, shall we?

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Magic Systems 101

What makes a fantasy a fantasy?

Well, there are obviously many things. It takes place in a different world, tends to have lower technology, has new and mysterious cultures and creatures...

Arguably, though, there is one thing that comes to mind immediately when people hear the word fantasy: MAGIC.

Magic sure is fun, isn't it? Adding it into a story can bring mystery and mysticism to the mundane, uniqueness to things that could otherwise be ordinary.

Magic also happens to be everywhere.

Every fantasy world seems to have a form of magic. From Middle Earth to the Nevernever to Narnia to the ever expanding Cosmere, Magic Systems are in just about everything fantasy.

So what sets each of these apart? What makes the magic in Harry Potter different from the magic in Mistborn?

Well, it's all about spectrum, really.

That's right. Time to get to some magical definitions.

Oh, yeah.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Monday, 21 May 2018

Killing the Darlings: Giving Impact to Character Deaths

It sure does suck when a favourite character dies, doesn't it?

I mean, there's not many feelings quite like it. You're just sitting there, reading or watching or gaming, and then suddenly POOF! Character dead. Gone. No more.

All it takes is a snap of the writer's fingers, and a favourite character is forever written out of the story, never to be seen again...


(So I'm a mean writer. So what?)

AHEM. Returning to the point of the blog...

As much as it can hurt to have a character die, admittedly sometimes there are character deaths that are just...well...

Let me put it this way: As much as I know I should be caring about the character dying, all I feel is something along the lines of "Meh. Guess that's that."

Kind of surprising how often this happens, now that I think of it...

So that got me thinking. What separates the deaths that make me go 'meh' from the deaths that tear my heart out, stomp it into tiny pieces, and then offer it back to me in a mess of broken shards and sticky glue?

Well, I have a theory that might shed a bit of light on the subject...

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Book Review: Cruel Beauty; by Rosamund Hodge




Ahem. Anyway, this is going to be a review of Cruel Beauty, by Rosamund Hodge.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Repeating Yourself: The Art of Bookending

We all like a cohesive story, don't we?

There's something incredibly satisfying about a story that has a cohesive feel, where it ends with a tight plot and a nice little bow on top. Ambiguity is nice, too, but there's just something wonderful about a perfectly tied together ending.

Of course, there are many, MANY ways to do this. Everyone has a different answer as to how to make a satisfying and cohesive conclusion for a story, and it's just not a subject that can really be tied down.

One way, though, is the Bookending Technique.

Odds are, you may have heard of it before. If not, you may be able to assume what it is.

(If you are lost, don't worry. I will explain it shortly.)

This is a technique I see more in film than in books (unless I'm just reading the wrong books for it. I don't know) and it's a technique/subject that was brought to my attention by a friend of mine, who I asked for ideas for topics to write on. (He's really into film, so I wanted to see what topics he thought would be interesting to talk about.)

This is what he requested, so let's get started.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Holding my First Beta Read

So you've finally worked your novel to a place where you feel at least vaguely comfortable with letting other people read it. You have a sense of pride in your work, and you are finally ready to show your hard work to the world.

You're ready for a Beta Read!

How do you hold a Beta Read so that you get the most out of it?

My personal experience with Beta Reads has been a bit of a learning curve, to be honest. For my first book, as an example, I held three separate Beta Reads, trying to pin down what the heck I was supposed to actually do (and consulting the powers of Google when I ran into problems).

Needless to say, I went into my first read knowing absolutely nothing aside from the fact that I needed people to read the book and give me an opinion on it.

This turned out to be far more complicated than expected.

That's what brings me to the subject of today's blog: the Top 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Holding My First Beta Read.