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

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”

Parents, Let Your Children Read What They Want

I’m a writer. And as a writer, I write whatever the hell pops into my head. Just the other day, I wrote a flash piece about a necromancer who raises corpses by sneezing. I write whatever the hell I want. I’m also an avid reader and enjoy sharing my enthusiasm with fellow readers, regardless of age. It’s a great escape, it’s a great pastime, and it helps a child’s mind grow.

Continue reading “Parents, Let Your Children Read What They Want”

The War Against

“War as a moral metaphor is limited, limiting, and dangerous. By reducing the choices of action to “a war against” whatever-it-is, you divide the world into Me or Us (good) and Them or It (bad) and reduce the ethical complexity and moral richness of our life to yes/no, on/off.”

—Ursula K. Le Guin

In the last couple of years, nothing has resonated with me more than this quote by one of the greatest writers of our time. For years, when I wrote my stories, when I plotted them, it was always with a good vs. evil plot (hell, The Forger still follows that). I always liked the idea of dark against light, it vs. them, and so on. Continue reading “The War Against”