Fantasy I’m Excited For

DARK IMMOLATION, by Christopher Husberg

Let me preface this by saying I was fortunate enough to beta read for Dark Immolation, which means the following opinions are preexisting.

An amnesiac assassin, a child vampire, broken religion, and a drug-based magic system: what’s not to be excited about? Dark Immolation picks up several months after the events of Duskfall. Winter fears her friends and husband dead; Knot, Cinzia, Jane, and Astrid fear winter dead. The Cantic religion is in flux; Knot is being consistently overwhelmed by multiple personalities; Astrid is keeping secrets about her true motivations; and mad gods are pulling strings.

Dark Immolation is one hell of a sequel, one of the most interesting I’ve read in a while. Plenty of contemporary fantasy (Duskfall included) favor a breakneck pace, and while that’s fine I tend to personally favor stories a bit slower, which is why Dark Immolation really worked for me. I felt like I got to know the characters and the world more, and the story progressed at a more even pace while retaining the intrigue, magic, and mystery established in Duskfall.

**Let me also so that in addition to being a fantastic storyteller Chris is an equally talented teacher of the genre, possessing an MFA in creative writing. Any time I’ve asked him questions I come away feeling like an unofficial mentee.

8.5/10—Highly recommended

Comparable title: Mistborn: The Well of Ascension

 

AN ECHO OF THINGS TO COME, by James Islington

I manage a bookstore; I think it’s one of the coolest jobs. I mean, who wouldn’t love to work with books every day? I’m always looking for something new to read, so when The Shadow of What Was Lost came into the store I was immediately enthralled by the cover. Then I read the description and the reviews on the back…

For the first time since I discovered Brandon Sanderson, my immediate reaction was “Holy shit—I NEED to read this.”

And I was not let down. Davian, Asha, Wirr, and Caeden are all interesting characters in their own rights; each has a believable arc and I found myself sympathizing with their situations pretty easily. The magic systems utilized by the Augurs and the Gifted were complex and awesome, helping to put into perspective just how powerful some of these characters are and will become.

One of the coolest parts about The Shadow of What Was Lost was the way in which time travel was employed. Not everything is as it seems on the surface, which is important when it comes to such a tricky plot device, but Islington handles it deftly.

An Echo of Things to Come will be released August 22nd, 2017, which means I’ll just sit here impatiently in my corner until then.

9/10—Highly Recommended

Comparable title: The Eye of the World

On NaNoWriMo and Writing

I did a  post last year regarding NaNoWriMo and my current projects, so I figured it was fitting that I do something similar this year. While I have never actively used the NaNoWriMo website to keep track of my progress, I still do participate in the monthly event. My goal is never 50,000 in a month. It’s usually just to finish whatever it is that I am working.

shield-nano-blue-brown-rgb-hiresStarting  in September, I began revisions on THE FORGER. These past 2 1/2 months have been as challenging as they were fun. The opportunity to expand and improve upon my world building skills is always welcome, and I got to learn even more about my characters.

I’m very near the end of these revisions. I could almost call them half rewrites, to be honest. I ended up rewriting probably 20% of the novel, with a few more additions to come.

My reasoning for the aforementioned is thus:

-I wanted to redo the magic system, to make it more believable, and I think that’s something I achieved

-I wanted to remove the numerous ticking clocks I had in the novel. To give you an idea of what I mean, I had several instances where the characters were waiting around for a specified amount of time to pass before they could actually progress toward their end goals. That is been thoroughly fixed.

The biggest, most rewarding part of the entire process was getting the opportunity to turn my antagonist into a character I could actually root for, no matter how malevolent it was. I was able to give this character a past—a past that allowed me to incorporate elements from my previous project, SEWN FROM SEEDS.

Once I’ve finished the last thirty or so pages, I’ve still got a new prologue and two interludes to write. When all is said and done, I can confidently say that this is a book you’re all going to see on shelves in bookstores.

 

Recommended Reading:

Gardens of the Moon, by Steven Erikson

Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection, by Brandon Sanderson

The Language of the Night, by Ursula K. Le Guin

Duskfall, by Christopher Husberg

The 2016 Presidential Election

I’m not sure where to even begin. As I write these words I feel immensely ashamed that man as horrible as Donald Trump is the next president elect. I feel immense pain for the people that his words and actions have harmed. I feel disgusted that America could and did elect such spiteful human being to represent our country.

In electing Donald Trump, America has set itself back by about fifty or sixty years. People claim we are a country of freedom, and for the most part we are, but we are also a country with a deep racial divide perpetrated by insensitivity and ignorance. We are a country that, for the last year or so, has seen racists and bigots and homophobes come crawling out of the wood work en masse. We are a country that has lost its way and has no idea where to go. Donald Trump is change, yes, but he is not the change this country needs. Whatever your opinions about President Obama are, whether or not you believed in his tenure as POTUS, you cannot deny he was kind and considerate. There was love to be felt. Trump and Mike Pence threaten to undo all of that and then some.

You might have different opinions on this than I do; some of you may very well have voted for Trump, and I suppose I can respect that. We live in a free country and you are free to vote for whom you believe will run our country the best. What pains me, what I cannot respect (while still respecting your right to free choice) is voting for a man with so much hatred in his heart.

The next four years are going to be tough, and as citizens of the United States we owe it to ourselves not to let Donald Trump and Mike Pence ruin what kindness, love, compassion, and freedom still remain in our nation. Who are we to decide what women can or can’t do with their bodies? Who are we to decide whether or not someone is allowed to marry the person they love? Who are we to decide that people of a darker complexion or those who have different religious beliefs are not American?

Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be human.

 

A Reflection: #AmReading & #AmWriting Epic Fantasy

This is something I’ve thought about for a while. I’ve been writing fiction for the better part of thirteen years. I can recall the first few books I wrote (or attempted writing). It was a series called Fenix Griffon (teenage Luke was terrible with names). Its first iteration was a horrendous portal fantasy that ripped off Harry Potter far more times than it distinguished itself from the latter. The second attempt, though? Not so bad. Still very amateurish writing, but then again, that’s how all writers start out: as amateurs. Continue reading “A Reflection: #AmReading & #AmWriting Epic Fantasy”

A Moment of Panic

Brace yourselves for several paragraphs of disorganized but kind of organized thoughts.

In moments of clarity, I sometimes think that stress and deadlines go hand-in-hand, especially with my writing. In moments of clarity, I sometimes also think my stress is illogical, as was the case a couple of weeks ago. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m well into some heavy revisions for The Forger and more or less have a solid idea of what those revisions will look like upon completion. What I had not anticipated, though, was the three or four-day span of stress and irritability that would accompany these revisions. Continue reading “A Moment of Panic”

Compelling Antagonists

Compelling characters make a story go. For a while now, I’ve written about and referenced Ursula Le Guin and “The War Against,” highlighting my desire to tell stories that focus on the evolution and make up of my characters as opposed to some war they have been fighting for ages. In my novel The Forger, my protagonist, Theailys An, is tasked with stopping a creature called the Darkener from releasing the Origin and ending the world.  Continue reading “Compelling Antagonists”

Writing and Paying it Forward

Paying it forward is something I believe in as a writer. As a writer, I think we are obligated to provide a helping hand to those who are starting out, or maybe someone who is looking for advice. I am by no means a professional writer, but I have worked hard to hone my craft. I have taken creative writing classes, read books on the art, and listened to seasoned professionals talk about their approach to writing, whether it’s character creation, world building, or even how they break their story up. Continue reading “Writing and Paying it Forward”