Rage – Review

I RATE THIS NOVEL, FOUR OF FIVE STARS!

I played the video game Rage some time ago and I absolutely loved it. It took me four days to read this novel, maybe because I still have the appearance of the world from the game still so fresh in my mind that it was extremely easy to visualize everything happening. Whatever the reason, I rushed through this awesome story and I loved it.

There was a spelling error every so often. Inconsistencies also, at one point, Raine said he had three grenades left and after only throwing one, he had one left. When he picks up his rifle, his pistol, and his shotgun, it says he grabbed his “rifles”. Simple things like these can really break the immersion into the world.

But aside from those things I truly loved the book. Characters like Dan and Halek Hagar were both expanded upon and you got to know them better, some characters and factions were more friendly and some were less friendly, mostly less friendly. But that’s what made it awesome.

Raine is an Ark survivor, one of those chosen to help lead the future into a better direction than the past after a meteorite ruined the world we know and love. These ark survivors have information, skills, and technology that the world wants and the easiest way to get it is by converting them, killing them, or selling them out to those who could.

The world is full of bandits that capture, kill, rape and steal from anyone not in their clan. Mutants are also a problem and they’ll kill and eat you, you also better hope it’s in that order.

Some nice people and even worse people end up dying either by Raine’s hands, for Raine or at least because of Raine. The world after Apophis is a scary one, a crazy one, not one that someone from the past would enter willingly. And Raine, not knowing what the world would be like, left the doomed world he knew to enter one he didn’t.

In this new world, those that survive are the ones who make deals, who may have to compromise on the occasion. People don’t do things for strangers out of the kindness of their hearts and even worse, if there’s a better deal after helping them, they’ll sell them out just to be even better off. It’s a “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” world where you still have to make sure a knife isn’t slammed into your spine mid-scratch.

The characters might be a little bland in this world, but in a place like that, you aren’t going to be sharing any deep dark secrets or heartfelt feelings. You keep it to yourself, you stay strong, you stay tough or you die trying. If you let fear control you then you’re easily controlled and if you let sadness cripple you then you are no good to the other survivors. To be hard and cold is to survive.

In the end, I enjoyed the story. Many of the differences between the game and the book made it more enjoyable because I’m a sucker for brutal stories. Because of the quality of the plot but also because of the mistakes, Matthew Costello gets 4 of five stars for his book. Not bad, not bad at all.

Rage – Review

Shadows of Imeria – July 2017 Update

Damn, if I had known last month how much effort needed to go into this, I would have started sooner.

I estimated around 15k for the worldbuilding document, which I thought was reasonable. By theĀ time the fifteenth of July came around, I had turned it into a 29k word document with 60 pages. Absolutely crazy I tell you.

After that, I managed to fix the travel trajectories and timelines. So I was able to carefully and accurately detail how long it took to get from one place to another and give my novel a decent timeline. It takes a long time to travel around a continent once or twice without the luxury of a car.

I then worked on the timeline in order to get a better understanding of how much time has really passed in the world that Imeria rests in. From 5000 BBD all the way through to 1746 ABD which is when the first novel begins. I haven’t included the main events from the novel into the timeline just yet, but I will as I go through the editing of the novel which comes after this revision stage that I have reached.

And there is the revision stage I was just talking about, showing a good 12 months and 250k words worth of work in one workspace. I started it on the 20th of this month and as of today, I am halfway through it. All of those revisions will soon turn into edits on my computer towards the second half of this next month. Not only that, but I will be adding a lot more content, removing content and even changing some of the content that already exists. All of the worldbuilding I have been working on is going to pay off tenfold and I hope you will all see it show in my writing next year when Shadows of Imeria gets published.

This next month I am going to be even busier, maybe even too busy to read a new novel. Although that saddens me, I think the work I put into my novel will be worth it. I hope to see you all again soon!

Shadows of Imeria – July 2017 Update

Magic Study – Review

I RATE THIS NOVEL, FOUR OF FIVE STARS!

So I have to admit, I read 200 pages before even starting this review. I was just so into it after the first book that I almost completely forgot about writing a review. But Maria V. Snyder captured my attention and imagination with Magic Study, the second book in her Yelena Zeltana series. 

Whether there are spelling, punctual or grammatical errors, I couldn’t see any. The story was once again good enough to pull me away from the part of my brain that edits everything.

So after we left the first book, Yelena went on an adventure to discover her roots. She leaves Ixia behind and all of her friends with it (not for good though). When she finds her family, she is met with a warm and loving welcome, except when it came to her brother.

It didn’t take long for Yelena to wind up in trouble again and her adventure became wrapped up in plenty intriguing situations, one of which is joining her fellow mages in trying to uncover the identity of a serial rapist and murderer who targets young women. All while learning the art of magic.

Yelena stays true to herself but softens in the more friendly part of the world called Sitia. She meets new friends and is treated with much more kindness than she was in Ixia.

Damn you, Maria, nearing the end you made me cry like a baby (and It was in public too). Your ability to tell Yelena’s story is wonderful.

Now for the bad. throughout this book, Yelena grew more and more arrogant. She also seemed to forget her cautious nature, deciding that since she has magic now, she can take on the world. I hope she loses her arrogance and starts to acknowledge the fact she’s not invincible.

And Valek, poor Valek. Did your love for Yelena really ruin you so much? I love the love they share, but not only did he get soft, but he was also captured and almost killed. If we meet him again, I hope he becomes the Valek I grew to love.

A book worthy of four stars.

Magic Study – Review

Shadows of Imeria – June 2017 Update

To start with, I have to tell you all I made an amazing revelation. Suddenly, while working on the worldbuilding for Shadows of Imeria, I realized I can turn the first book into two books as I will have enough content for it. Things will have to be changed a little, but it will definitely turn out to be better in the end. It will increase the length of the story and will definitely not ruin the plot or pacing. It’ll give me room to truly show you how beautiful the world is that the continent of Imeria resides in.

Now, onto progress, every single character profile has been completely finished and printed off for reference points when I get to the editing stage. There were twenty character profiles completed and they stand between 3k and 5k words each, it was tedious and a little annoying at times but I am glad that I managed to get them done, because now the characters feel even more amazing and I managed to get so much more to write about them in the books. I also realized during that time that there was a character I needed to cut out and one character who isn’t who he seems (sorry, can’t spoil too much for you all).

Worldbuilding has almost been completely finished, with villages, cities, and settlements truly becoming what they were meant to be. I turned the measly 5k and 12-page Word document into a 12k and 36-page document so far and I’m still going.
I’ve finished detailing the entire history of the world and how it came to be. I’ve figured out how education works, how the economy figures into everything, and a few more things.
I still need to finish detailing wars that have been waged by writing them out, who waged it, who won, how many casualties, etc. I need to complete city details such as the histories of cities and their reason for existing. Write up the start of organizations, who leads them and what their purposes are. Flesh out the culture of each race and how they came to be the way they are. I am working on the magic system and that is developing nicely too. My world is becoming more and more beautiful with each passing day.

When it comes to worldbuilding, there’s a lot of work that needs to go into it. I needed to, and for some things still need to:

  • flesh out each culture
  • make a somewhat stable economy
  • fix any problems I have with the factions/groups in the story
  • create cuisine and know what kind of foods are available
  • create and organize governments, to figure out how each city is governed
  • mend any holes that are in the history of the world
  • add more structure to the magic system
  • figure out the military powers in the world and what kind of structure and rules they follow.
  • create medicines and remedies used by the inhabitants of the world
  • flesh out the details of the people in the world
  • add more to the settings that the story takes place in
  • diversify and manage the races of the world to become even more unique and amazing
  • add incredible amounts of details to regions and the cities that dwell there
  • create and add more when it comes to religion, faith, and belief
  • create and discover what kind of technologies are used around the world
  • write the details of each war that has occurred in the past

With almost everything done, I just need to give it a light polish, I will be printing off the worldbuilding document and then I will be starting the revision of my novel. The revision should start in or just after the first week of next month. I am still super excited about being able to turn this novel into two separate books and I hope you all are as well!

Shadows of Imeria – June 2017 Update

Poison Study – Review

I RATE THIS NOVEL, FIVE OF FIVE STARS!

Over the last two months I haven’t read much, and this month I finished reading my first book in that time. I chose a book from my shelf, Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study and boy was I impressed.

I have to say, a book in first person, especially from a female’s perspective isn’t something I’d usually read, but the concept intrigued me enough to keep moving forward.

Imagine you were a slave, oppressed by your master. Lead to believe you were special but was abused sexually, physically and mentally for years. Until one day, you killed your oppressor and ended up in prison with your sentence to be an execution. But, instead of being executed after a year of imprisonment, you’re given a choice, become the commander’s food faster (to check for poison) or be executed. What would you choose? That’s the choice the main character, Yelena is given.

The thoughts that go through Yelena’s head are logical and reasonable in pretty much any situation she ends up in throughout her story. The dialogue between characters worked well and I believe the story was a sad, but beautifully told one.

Now, there were a few things I didn’t enjoy, but they hardly lower the overall quality of the story.

Right away, on the first page, in three paragraphs, there was an excessive use of the word “had”. About eight or nine in all, that’s around three per paragraph and it took me out of the world already. By the end of the novel, I couldn’t even pick it up if this kind of thing happened again, I was so into the story that my proof-reading mind switched off. Which is honestly pretty hard to do to me.

I do have to say that she knows too much though. I mean that in a sense that we’re in her head and she seems to know so much about the world even though she grew up in an orphanage of sorts. It’s been said in the novel that she’s well educated, but I doubt with what she’d been through that she’d learn as much about the world around her as she has. From animals to politics. It just doesn’t feel realistic.

All in all, I had to say that first person from a female perspective wasn’t my kind of thing before reading Poison Study. After reading it, I can say I really enjoyed it. I didn’t really get surprised throughout the story but the content was original and fantastic to read. Since I already have it, I plan to read Magic Study, the next book in the series for my next read.

I can’t really rate it higher or lower when it comes to content, I’d say it’s five out of five, but writing style has me at about four. So I’d set it in the middle at four and a half out of five if I could actually put that as a rating. So I guess Poison Study, for me, is a solid five stars!

Poison Study – Review

Shadows of Imeria – May 2017 Update

And, there’s no update. I’ve been hit by the worst, the biggest, the ugliest spurt of procrastination and lack of motivation in my life.

I’m now working six days a week, eight hours a day and it’s killing my motivation and imagination. By the time I get home, after eight hours of work and almost two hours of travel (an hour to work and an hour back) I make my dinner, eat my dinner, do some kind of fun activity, relax for a moment or two and then I go to bed.

The only day off I get is a Sunday and I usually try to clean my house, fix social media, socialize, get some photography in and then I get to write a little before going to bed. It’s a continuous cycle of draining, busy weeks.

All I can say, guys, is that I’m trying. I’m still trying to work out a decent schedule so I can get more writing in. So this update was more to do with me complaining about how much less time I have for writing these days rather than how much writing I’ve got done.

I’m really sorry guys. I’ll try better next month, try even harder.

Shadows of Imeria – May 2017 Update

Cost of Being a Writer

As a writer, I almost always have the want and the need to write. So you can imagine that every time I get inspired, my need to write is felt ten times, if not a hundred times stronger. It never matters where I am or what I’m doing. I stop it and I start writing what I need to write (much like this blog post you’re reading, it’s 1 am and I just had to start writing).

I’ve been in the shower, scrubbing away the grime from my body when I get a burst of inspiration. I’ll turn off the taps, wander out and either on my phone or my computer, I’ll write what I need to write. I’ve sat down on the edge of the bath with my phone in my hand for almost an hour while the shampoo sits in my hair until I’ve finished writing. Then I will finish with my shower.

I’ve been on a date and suddenly cut my own side of the conversation short in order to write an idea out, taking about five minutes of my time away from the date. When I stopped, she seemed a lot less interested in anything I had to say. It’s safe to assume that the date never ended up going anywhere.

Countless times, I’ve stopped to write. While watching movies with friends, while cooking dinner (that one is a dangerous one, trust me on that), while at a party (try explaining to your drunk friends that you were in the bathroom to be in a quiet place while you wrote for thirty minutes…),

At least I haven’t done it in a job interview or during a sexual experience, imagine either of those…

Hiring Manager: So, why would you like to get a job with us?
Me: Hold on, just a moment, I need to write something.

Partner/Girlfriend/FWB: Keep going, I’m about to- (you can finish that sentence yourself)
Me: Wait, I need to do something, I will be right back!

I can definitely seeĀ both of those turning out negatively. Sure, I could ignore the fact I need to write, but my body starts to fidget uncontrollably and my mind starts to wander off and not pay any attention at all to what is happening around me. When my mind wanders like that, I don’t pay attention to conversations, where my bus stop is, how hot the food is that I’m eating, and plenty of other things. Getting the inspiration and creativity out of my head (be it temporarily) helps me function as a human being.

In a way, it has ruined many moments in my life for me, but writing is my life and without it, I would be lost. Every time I write while I’m inspired, I have this feeling that rushes over me, that overwhelms me completely, it’s something that I’ve never been able to feel from anything else in my life. It is perfection.

You ever seen a scene in a movie and your hair stands up on end, you forget to breathe, you feel it in your entire body? The exhilaration? That feeling of fulfillment and beauty? That’s what I get every time that I write while inspired. I wouldn’t give it up for anything or anyone.

Cost of Being a Writer