Monday, 22 October 2018

NaNoWriMo is around the corner!

Hey! How are you today? I'm good, though I was better last week when hubby was still on annual leave, and we slept in and had an awesome relaxing time.

Now, it's time to get back into the swing of things. And this month, that means thinking about my next writing project.

As you probably already know, because I posted a lengthy post about it last year, I enjoy taking part in NaNoWriMo. And this year will be no different.

Sure, at the moment I have no idea which of my (many) projects I'll be tackling, but that's what I plan to do for the rest of October. I'm going to go through my Idea Files, pick the three loudest ones, and then take it from there.

It worked when my head was cluttered with ideas a few months ago. It's how I ended up picking Monsters, and then spent September caught up in a fun whirlwind of myth and horror. 😁

So, fingers crossed it works again because I gotta squeeze in some NaNoPrep.

Since I mentioned my interest in taking part--and I added another one to the list--I'm going to post a breakdown of my NaNoWriMo history: 
  • 2006: UF (Angie) 
  • 2007: SFR (Shade of Grey) 
  • 2008: SFR (Shade of Blue) 
  • 2009: Horror (Sinful) 
  • 2010: Futuristic (Embracing Sunlight) 
  • 2011: N/A 
  • 2012: UF (Torn from the Shadows) 
  • 2013: SFR (Dash) 
  • 2014: UF (Willow) 
  • 2015: YA Historical (MixedTape) 
  • 2016: YA Horror (Haunted)
  • 2017: YA SF Thriller (Cosmic Girl)

I can't believe this will be my 12th time taking part. It's always so exciting because writing another first draft before the end of the year is very appealing.

Of course, that also means adding more projects to my growing pile of WIPs To Revise, but that's not something I'm going to complain about. And it's a matter to tackle another time. 😁👍

What I really need to concentrate on right now is deciding which story needs to be told RIGHT NOW. I might not have settled on the story I want to work on yet, but I've got several possibilities already in mind. 

It's just a matter of deciding whether I want to work on an adult or YA novel. Am I going back to demons? Or reigniting my love for ghosts? Will I continue to delve into horror? Or maybe I want to tackle that crazy 80s SF idea that's been circling my mind for a while...

Not sure yet.

I'll see how my planning/thinking goes this week. Either way, I'll be sure to keep you posted. As soon as I choose, I'll post about it here, and will be sure to register on the NaNoWriMo website. I won't do THAT until I've made my decision. 

There's so much to think about...

So, will you be taking part this year?

Sunday, 21 October 2018

SAGA, Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Saga, Vol. 8 (Saga, #8)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finally got my hands on Volume 8 & 9, so today I decided to get stuck into this one. And yikes! Vaughan & Staples don't shy away from difficult, serious issues. And they do it in the most imaginative, colourful, humorous and violent way.

It was so good to catch up with all of the characters and meet a bunch of new ones. What Alana, Marko and Hazel are going through is heartbreaking. Not only did Alana and Marko lose their baby, but because she's still carrying him around she's performing magic, projecting an image of him, and pretty much endangering her life. But the planet they visit can help with all of this, if they can survive it.

It's also sad to see how Hazel has to deal with what her parents are going through. Yet, it's nice to watch her mature.

I love this quirky and totally bizarre story, and this addition didn't disappoint. There's no clear way to label Saga because it's a sci-fi, horror, mysterious, supernatural and erotic tale spanning across a dangerous world and the many beings trying to survive. It's so entertaining, and addictive!

Now I can't wait to see what's going to happen next...

Thursday, 18 October 2018

RITUALS by Kelley Armstrong

Choose a side - before it's too late. The gripping finale to the highly acclaimed Cainsville series. 

Olivia Jones must make a choice. 

Caught between two rival supernatural forces, Liv was granted a brief period in which to make her decision. Now that time has run out. 

Whichever side she chooses, someone she loves will pay. Her lover, Ricky. Gabriel Walsh, the man she knows she cannot, must not love. Her parents, already trapped in prison. 

And now there is a new, terrifying power rising - one that doesn't distinguish between good and evil intentions. It feeds on chaos and destroys without mercy. Unless Liv acts fast, no one will survive. 

After putting it off for WAY too long, this week I decided it was time to get stuck into the last Cainsville book. It was time to finally find out how this series ends.

Liv Jones was born with a different name: Eden Larsen. Although she was raised by wealthy parents and enjoyed a privileged life, her biological parents are both in jail for murder. They're cold-blooded killers involved in ritualistic murders. Except, there was so much more to the story.

Just like there's so much more going on in Liv's life. She recently broke up with her boyfriend, Ricky and is now toeing the line of becoming more than friends with her standoffish yet loyal boss, Gabriel.

If only she didn't have to deal with choosing one side in an ancient supernatural fight. If only the people in Cainsville would answer all of her questions. If only there wasn't a new dark force threatening to tear everything apart...

Wow. This book is definitely awesome.

All through this series, I've loved Liv's voice and struggles. Enjoyed how she slowly accepted the truth about her bloodline's legacy, and who her biological parents were. Liked how she got so close to both Ricky and Gabriel, regardless of the tragedy their endless cycle usually ended in. And the final addition to this series didn't disappoint. It strengthened everything that's been building, intensified the sense of doom bubbling beneath.

Like the four previous books, there was a mystery at the heart of the story. This one happened to be the return of Gabriel's mother. Since Seanna Walsh died years ago, this certainly throws a new problem into the mix, introduces a new lot of questions, and leads to the darkness manipulating and pulling the strings all along.

There are a bunch of twists and turns, heaps of revelations, interesting additions to the fae mythology, expansions to the world, and Liv's love life takes another sexy, unexpected turn that I thought was very cool.

The majority of the book is told through Liv's POV, but the addition of others adds to the overall story. Not to mention that the other POVs help take the worldbuilding even deeper. They also make the jigsaw puzzle come together smoothly, leading to an unexpected--but amazing--conclusion.

Rituals is an intriguing, fast-paced urban fantasy dripping with mythology, and quite a bit of horror. It hooked me instantly, and kept me glued to every page. I got so lost in what was going on that I lost track of time. If it wasn't for the need to sleep, I wouldn't have put the book down. I loved every minute of this genre-busting book, got lost in the ongoing mystery, connected to new and old characters, and didn't want the roller-coaster ride to end.

Liv went through a lot of confusion, self-discovery, physical and emotional pain during this series, but she grew and changed. And most importantly, accepted her place in a world with so many secrets.

This was a great way to end a fantastic series. 

Rituals, July 2018, ISBN 9780751561296, Sphere

Saturday, 13 October 2018

CLOCKWORK CITY by Paul Crilley

Cop. Drunkard. Low-grade magic user. 

My name is Gideon Tau, but most people just call me London. (Because that's where I'm from. Get it? Hilarious.) Three years ago, someone killed my daughter. I sacrificed everything (the human race included) to learn his name - and then had to allow that knowledge to be erased from my mind in order to save the world I'd doomed. Fantastic. 

Now I have to start over from scratch, and who do I have to help me find my daughter's killer? The reanimated corpse of my boss, a low-rent P.I. who's heavily into conspiracy theories, and my alcoholic, foul-mouthed demonic sidekick dog. 

Our journey will take us from Durban, South Africa to London, England, where we'll have to contend with Fae gangs fighting for territory, the murder-suicide of two Delphic agents and the seven deadly sins. 

Oh, and did I mention planning a heist to break into the most secure bank in Faerie? Because that's on the agenda too. And if we fail? An ancient horned god will destroy London. (The city, not me. Although, to be fair, I don't think I'll survive either.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, and for some bizarre reason had forgotten I had this sitting in my TBR pile. 😬 

This week, I decided it was time to get back into London's strange and dangerous world.

After London--aka Gideon Tau--discovered the name of the one responsible for killing his daughter, he was forced to forget in order to save the world. But what he didn't forget was that his daughter wasn't killed, but taken. And that she's still alive.

So every time he's on a case for the Delphic Division, his need to find Cally is first and foremost on his mind. However, when he ends up going to London (the actual city) he'll have to deal with the Fae gangs ruling the place, solving a murder-suicide, an Oracle, and the Seven Deadly Sins.

But with London under siege by crazies determined to unleash an old god, his team will have to venture into Faerie to perform an impossible heist. One that will either save, or destroy the human world... 

Okay. Like I mentioned above, I enjoyed the first book. A lot. So it pains me to admit that this one disappointed me.

I pretty much loved every minute of the first half of this book because the characters are cool, the magic world is intriguing and the supernatural cases are interesting. But when I got to the heist in Faerie, everything fell apart.

There were too many POVs added, some bits that didn't make sense--the story was all over the place. The more I read about the team's time in Faerie, the less I felt invested in what was happening and even how it would turn out.

There were a few twists and turns I liked, but the fact so much is left up in the air and there's no clear indication if there will be more books in the series, made the ending not so sweet.

Clockwork City is an action-packed urban fantasy book and packs quite a punch. It managed to hook me in from the beginning, dragged me around into the middle because I wanted to see where everything would lead, and even kept me interested past that. It wasn't until the heist section that my interest crumbled.

After that, it was hard to stay invested. It's a shame when that happens, but what can you do? I'm still glad I read this.

Clockwork City, July 2018, ISBN 9781473631670, Hodder Paperbacks

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