Sunday, September 01, 2013

"Merlin, what happened in the tent...speak of it again and I will kill you."

 Wherein Jack Bids Summer Good Bye

 I had my doubts about this summer. Things had happened during the winter which left me with a certainty that it would be the worse I ever faced. I was not looking forward to it. But once upon a time, a friend told me that even if I have to spend a day, week, or year alone, I should not sit around waiting for someone to show up to make everything better. If I have to be alone, I might as well find something grand to do. (I paraphrased. She worded it different, but that was the jest of it.)

 By spring I had managed to subdue my sadness and was determined to make this summer one of the best, even if I had to do so alone. I didn't succeed. (It didn't pass the summer I spent with a friend of mine, rolling down grassy hills, walking in fountains, dressing up, and watching movies.) But it turned out much better than I thought it would.

 I did things I never did before. I went hiking with friends, I played in the river - something I've been wanting to do for years but was too chicken - I laid out on our swing in the sun (this needs to be done every summer, it isn't summer without it), I competed in and won my first Camp NaNo (though I didn't enjoy it as much as the November NaNo), I made new friends (SHOCKER!), and I read twenty-eight books. (And I published my second book and made huge progress on The Broken Blade!)

 I've not spent a summer just reading since I was about fifteen. It was a lot of fun and I don't regret one moment of it. Which is why I thought I would share the titles of the books I read, a kind of farewell to summer since this is now the First of September and I must now put aside most of the fun reading I've been doing and replace it with text books 8-P.

 Anyways, following is my summer reading list and a brief overview of my thoughts about each book. They are not listed in any kind of order, just listed.

 CassaStar by Alex Cavanaugh
 The book which made me cry. And I don't mean a couple of tears, I mean a good half hour or more of bawling.

 King's Warrior by Jenelle Leann Schmidt, my new found kindred spirit
 This book has about everything you could ask for in fantasy. Dragons, swords, quests, Nymphs, and the mysterious, grumpy type hero which you cannot help but fall in love with.

 Destiny's Son by Katrina DeLallo
 Even though it says in the beginning how this book will end I was still sad. It isn't a very long book, but it is an amazing story.

 Champion in the Darkness by Tyrean Martinson
 I was shocked at how much I loved this book. I didn't think I'd end up loving it as much as I did.

 Star Wars: A New Hope by George Lucas
 A novelization of the movie, but still a lot of fun to read. There were a few more details which couldn't be fit into the movie

 Annabeth's War by Jessica Grayson
 A new favourite of mine and one I will never get tired of reading or ranting about. RANSOM!!!! I want more by Jessica. "I like it! ANOTHER!" There are no words to sum up how much I love this book

 Truth by Molly Evangeline
 Packed full of Elves, gallant heroes, and well depicted battles, this is a fast paced allegory which left me wanting more. (Thankfully, there was more!) Halandor became my favourite out of the book

 The Destiny of One by Sarah Holman
 I have no shame in confessing I fell in love with Quint. What is not to love about him? Australian space smuggler. He is like Han Solo but without the walking carpet buddy (This whole series is basically one of those king stories I love, only in space!)

 Peter's Angel by Aubery Hansen
 I didn't review this book like I did all of the others. To be honest, I didn't like the two main characters, though I LOVED the plot and all of the side characters. It is set during the Revolutionary War, though Miss Hansen put a new twist on a time period in history we all know. (I want to give the book a proper review someday, but I don't like picking apart another author's hard work unless I can do so without sounding rotten about it.) I do plan to read book two when it is out, because the plot is really, really wonderful and I'm dying to find out what happens to all the side characters.

 Firmament: Radialloy by J. Grace Pennington
 This is a book about doctors and is told in first person by a girl. Just about everything I dislike in a story. I was taking by surprise how much I loved this book and I had a hard time putting it down. I want the second one!!

 Horse Charmer by Angelia Almos
 I didn't enjoy this book, but only because I don't like horse stories. They just aren't my thing. But it is a great book, and I know all horse lovers would really like it. So if you love those kinds of books, read this one!

 The Shadow Things by Jennifer Freitag
 One of the few Historical Fiction, Dark Ages books I actually like. It wasn't packed full of boring facts I didn't care about, and the characters felt very real. I cared about what happened to them, and the ending was nice and left my heart intact.

 The Princess and The Sage by Anneliese Blakeney
 A fun book which had me rolling on the floor in a fit of giggles.

 The Destiny of a Few by Sarah Holman
 While I didn't enjoy it as much as book one I did love the plot development and how things moved forward toward the climax

 Monster by Mirriam Neal
 Set in the future after an illness has killed many people, this book answers a question which is being debated about a lot right now. Not only that, the characters in it felt very real and the plot was exciting, I had trouble putting the book down

 Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart
 A fantasy story with a Steampunk feel to it, it is very hard not to root for Twig as he finds himself alone, looking for answers as to where he belongs in a world which has a hard time accepting him

 Predator's Gold by Philip Reeve
 Tom and Hester, more hungry cities, and a lot of ice and snow. While it had a couple things I didn't like, I enjoyed spending another adventure with two characters I've come to love

 A Hero for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi
 While I like Eva, and I had a lot of fun discovering new things about a very different earth, the real reason I read these books is for Rovee.

 Courage by Molly Evangeline
 Another Fantasy adventure with Makilien and her friends. This book, unlike the first, ends in a cliff hanger so have book three ready

 The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
 I read this one to John, not that he had to ask too many times. I never get tired of returning to Narnia

 Tintin in America by Herge
 Another John and I read together. He read it for Snowy, I read it for Tintin

 The Invaders by John Flanagan
 A slow start, but it is worth it! As always, the middle was edge of seat exciting - though I can't say I like Hal more than Will. Will has a special place in my heart

 The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen
 Finished in two days, it is equal to The False Prince and left me sulking because book three isn't out yet. This series made it to my Have to Buy list.

 The Destiny of a Galaxy by Sarah Holman
 This was the only series I finished over the summer. While it didn't end as I thought it would, I was very happy with the ending and went away feeling satisfied. No unanswered questions, nothing left hanging open, but there was enough to show that the characters went on to have many more adventures

 The Ankulen by Kendra E. Ardnek
 One of the books I beta read. A story about an author who is able to get into her own world, only to learn that her imagination is being eaten. This book will be out soon! If it isn't on your to read list you should consider putting it there.

 After the Twelfth Night by Abbey (I don't know what last name she is going to use yet)
 This has a Tintin feel to it which I LOVED! It was a fast read, where the impossible happens, but it didn't matter because it was so much fun. Another book I beta read and which is coming out soon ish. If you like the Tintin books you will enjoy this one.

 (Then, of course, I read two of my books while I edited them, so I counted them because they are books and I read them.)

 And that is the end of it. Right now I am reading Trust, the final book in the Makilien trilogy, but I'm not making fast progress in it with school and editing Abolished Impracticality - which is coming along well for anyone who might be wondering. I just need to get to work on the cover.

 That is about all I have. Except for today's quote, which is from Merlin, after Gwen kisses Arthur to break a spell he is under - and of course, Merlin sees and cannot pass up the chance to remind Arthur that he really does love Gwen and should  marry her even though he's the prince and she's a servant girl.




  1. It certainly sounds like you had a pretty decent summer. Publishing a book is cause of celebration.

    And that's quite a reading list you have there. I don't think I did nearly as well.

  2. Lots of books... I didn't finish many books this summer... and I'm now wondering of I finished any. I read The Hobbit to my younger siblings, but we still have one chapter left.
    I did read The Princess and the Sage, and Do You Take This Quest? earlier this year. Both were lovely. :)
    Right now, I'm reading Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson and Les Miserables.

    ~Robyn Hoode

    1. Aw, I loved both The Princess and The Sage and Do you take this Quest? Both are good books. I am eager to read the second book in the Quest series.

      I've never heard of Mistborn, but I am going to look it up. The title sounds good.

  3. Jack ~ I'm glad you put this list up. Even though I work in a library, it can sometimes be hard to find books worth reading (The deplorable state of modern literature and all that :-) Having a list of recommendations handy is always nice.

    That story I mentioned isn't so much of a story, as the germ of a story. I got the original idea after reading far too much Tolkien, and Tolkienish fairy tale type stories back to back. It started out as a very short story about a fellow who sailed Into the West and reached the Far Islands, which show up uncommonaly often both in legend and in historical accounts of the earliest explorations. Somehow, the Islands themselves ended up being more interesting than the character, and, while I still want that to be a part of the story (when it gets back to *being* a story again) for the most part, I just wander about, exploring the country and its people and its culture.

  4. I'm glad you had a nice summer. Laying in a swing in the sun sounds just perfect.
    I'm sort of in that, "I might as well find something grand to do" position myself. It's not all that fun...and sometimes it downright stinks. But I think it's really brave that you're going to college and I hope you end up enjoying it.
    As for wanting to hide under your desk, well, most teachers have that affect on people. I don't know why. Aren't they suppose to be kind and nurturing? Make you *want* to learn? *Sigh* lol.

    Thank you for the book list. When I get the chance I'm going to head to the library and see if I can find some of them. Seriously, I have had no luck with books lately. So I'm reading C.S Lewis' book, "Mere Christianity" to make up for it. He was a very clever man and I'm enjoying it a lot. :)


  5. Sounds like a very productive and fun summer!

    I need to read more books...

    Let me ask my husband about your wordpress question... and get back to you... :) He said something about needing a domain name and your own hosting site... I guess wordpress doesn't do that? (we use for hosting, if that's helpful...) but I'll ask him if he has any other thoughts on why the download didn't work.

  6. P.S. I ordered your first book and amazon told me this morning that it shipped (which should be right in time, as I am finishing up a series and will shortly be in need of something new to read!) I am so excited!!!! Hooray!


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