My Creations

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Review of Ardulum: Second Don by J.S. Fields

Ardulum: Second DonArdulum: Second Don by J.S. Fields
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The second book was just as good as the first, and I am very thankful I was able to get a free digital ARC.

The characters were constantly growing and being pushed to evolve. They were all flawed in ways that made me want to root for them. The obstacles thrown at them were believable enough to accept but big enough to pose a significant challenged.

The romance subplot is is picking up a bit, though it is still going at an incredibly slow, frustrating pace. This really puts the slow in slow burn. However, the romance really is a subplot, and there is so much more to this book.

The main plot was faster than the romance. I was reading on my kindle. One minute I was at 54%. The next time I looked at my progress, I was 77%, 95% and then I was done. It flew by, and I really wish book 3 was already out. The little teaser at the end of this made me want to read it now!

I may have already said this in the first review, but I loved how different pronouns were used for different species who had members that were neither male nor female, but while the idea of a true third gender was awesome, it wasn’t with the humans.

I have no complaints about this book. I had been reading more fantasy than science fiction, but the authors and editors at NineStar press, with books like the Ardulum series, Dalí, and Trans Liberty Riot Brigade, are reminding me how powerful science fiction can be when it involves complex characters and issues.

Ardulum was entertaining. It kept me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what was going to happen next, and got me through a bad day, but it also made me think. It made me think about gender and sexuality, about human rights, religion, faith, diversity and where technology and advancement can build society up and break it down. Second Don was a little darker than First Don, but it wasn’t bleak and hopeless. Yes, it exposed some nasty flaws, but also offered hope that they might begin to heal in Third Don.

I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.


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Monday, October 2, 2017

Book Review: Ardulum

Ardulum: First DonArdulum: First Don by J.S. Fields
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I originally picked this book up because I wanted to study how the author used gender-neutral pronouns. Once I sunk my teeth it, I was so engrossed in the plot that I kept forgetting to pay attention to pronouns. NineStar Press’ editor really have a knack for acquiring good science fiction, as this is the second space opera series that’s really impressed me.

At first, the plot of Ardulum reminded me of Firefly: a ragged crew doing semi-legal transport on an antique ship picks up a stasis chamber that happens to have a strange girl in it. Thankfully, the characters, world, and other aspects of the plot were complex, deep, and unique.

I loved the flawed characters, the pacing, the description, worldbuilding, and the speculative science behind the spaceships. The presence of advanced 3-D printing grounded the world and made it seem like a future that was truly plausible.

My one complaint was that all of the gender neutral pronouns were for alien characters whose race was either somehow gender neutral or had a third gender and I had been hoping to see them used with a non-binary human. Still, that was a minor thing and didn’t stop me from enjoying everything else about this.

One nice touch worth mentioning was that the future Ardulum is set in is optimistic. With all the tragedy and political BS happening right now, I needed to read something that showed a hopeful future.

If you are a fan of space opera, science fiction, or just speculative fiction in general, this is a must read for you!


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Friday, September 8, 2017

Book Review: Phaethon

PhaethonPhaethon by Rachel Sharp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


From Holly Black to Jim Butcher, I read a lot of books that involve Faeries of one kind or another. Still, this one felt fresh. It had the folklore grounding of a Holly Black novel, but a tone and humor more likely to appeal to Butcher fan’s.

The characters were cute and believable - people I could picture myself being friends with.

The plot was fast paced, and for the most part, I was able to suspend my disbelief and enjoy the ride.

As far as flaws go, sometimes things seemed a little too easy. I laughed a little when one of the characters said humans were fixing Earth, but reminded myself that the political climate may have been more...optimistic...when this book began.

The rest of the story was fun and well thought out, so I can forgive those flaws.

If you like a good blend of science and fantasy, then you will enjoy Phaethon.


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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Review of Wings Unseen

Wings UnseenWings Unseen by Rebecca Gomez Farrell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I recieved an early copy from NetGalley for a fair, honest, review.

Wings Unseen got off to a slow start with a first chapter that almost made me put the book down. However, I am glad I kept reading. I loved watching how a character that repulsed me on the first page transformed into someone I was rooting for, and she was just one of many fascinating characters.

Characters were one of many things I liked about this book.

The juxtaposition of two opposite realms was a fascinating way to explore gender roles, the relationship between the people and the government, and what people can come to accept as normal.

The world was exquisitely developed and describe with language that was beautiful and readable.

Once I got past the first quarter of the book, the pace picked up and suspense made me want to keep reading. The romance subplot was not what I expected, and near the middle of the book, when combined with the pacing the way the writer alternated between pov’s, made me want to cry, yell, or throw the book across the room.

Even though I wanted the characters to take different paths, but the end, the author convinced me they had made the right choice, and the emotions I experienced mid book were probably just a smidgen of what the characters would feel were this real.

Overall, it was worth read, and I would reccomend it to anyone who likes epic fantasy and has patience for a book that burns slowly.






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Friday, August 11, 2017

A Review of Fortitude Smashed

Fortitude SmashedFortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclaimers: I got a free copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I don’t usually read romance.

I generally won’t pick up a book if I know it is just romance, but the speculative element of Fortitude Smashed, the Camilla Clock, got me curious. The opening was perfect -- it had interesting characters, plenty of tension, and just enough world building to show this world was like the real with one slight difference -- the clock that timed out when people met their soulmates.

The characters were complex and fluid. The prose were gorgeous. In fact, the description was so well done that it almost made me want to go to Laguna Beach, even though the southern parts of california are on my list places to avoid (its a pretty long list).

My favorite parts of the book were the ones with the most tension -- when Aiden and Shannon’s past selves collided. However, I did feel like there weren’t enough of these, like it was too easy for Aiden to stop being a thief. Sometimes I got a little bored with all the kissing and biting, and would’ve rather seen a little more cop work and stealing (or trying not to steal).

The other area the writing shined was in the parts of the book showcasing friendships. They were real, raw, and emotional.

If you like romance, literary, and/or science fiction, then I recommend reading this. It’s lyrical and successfully crosses two genres. I’m glad I read it.


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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP (IWSG) MONTHLY POST: WRITING PET PEEVES

What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

Sound.

I can’t deal with certain noises when I am trying to focus on written words, whether I am reading them, writing them, or editing them. I need to be fully immersed in the story, and when I hear people talking or music playing, I just can’t focus. It pulls me right out of the story. Reality slaps me in the face.

Some writers go to café’s to write. I can’t unless the place is empty and there are no people talking in it. I can maybe think of one time I wrote in a café.

Other’s put music on while they write. Now, if I am driving or running, music can help me think of a story, but as a soon as I actually sit down the write it, the music goes off.

The worst, though, is when I am fully immersed in a story and then someone walks in to the room and asks me a question. My brain just shuts down completely. I forget what I am writing, and have not clue what the person said. We both get frustrated. That person thinks I am ignoring them. I am mad that I lost my immersion in the story.

The conversation never turns out to be a pleasant one.

I have other pet peeves, but they have more to do with the stories themselves. I can’t stand it when dogs and cats die in books. I drive myself nuts when I catch my self switching tense five times one page. I hate it when I find myself aimlessly wandering I and stories world without any direction.

Still, even though these things annoy me, none are as bad as someone asking me if I fed the cat when I am in the middle of an epic battle, or worse, a love scene.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

There are less than two weeks left to pre-order Earth Reclaimed. This book is one I am writing about topics I am passionate about -- earth, nature, magic and the idea of being non-binary / genderqueer. Earth Reclaimed is an #ownvoices novel that expresses my love for nature and my gender identity! Please help me make it a reality by pre-ordering it!