Book Review – The Magician’s Apprentice

The Magician's Apprentice (Black Magician, #0.5)The Magician’s Apprentice by Trudi Canavan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have read several Trudi Canavan books, the best in my opinion being the Black Magician Triliogy, yet this book did not have the same level of enjoyment for me.

The negatives:
Trudi uses the characters internal thoughts to tell readers how the characters are feeling or where the plot could go. This internal dialogue doesn’t seem to be natural to me and I struggle with this technique as a reader.

The positives:
Trudi’s stories are always well constructed, she has good quality cover designs and her books are well copy-edited. She has created a believable fantasy world with starkly different cultures, making good use of the conflicts that arise between them. It is clearly evident that as an author, she knows this world inside and out. The setting is familiar across all of her books (or at least with the ones I have read), which makes it easy to fall straight back into the fantasy world. In this book Trudi has covered topics that are an issue in some modern day cultures and have been prevalent in Western World society, both in the past, and to a lesser extent in current times.

On the whole, I never really got hooked into this book the way I have with some of her others. I will add that I don’t think I’m exactly the target audience for this novel which is probably why I didn’t get into it. I’m only giving this one 2 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Book Review – The Immortal Darkness

The Immortal Darkness (The Kasdtien Cycle, #2)The Immortal Darkness by Christopher Kneipp

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Immortal Darkness is a tale about a boy destined to save not only the world, but a parallel world too – from his evil self. The story has the magic of a new world mixed with the technology of Earth, a delightfully evil antagonist, a dash of romance and a sprinkling of humour.

The Bad Stuff:
I feel the cover art could have been better. As mentioned above, there are a lot of unusual words that have been used to create another race/world/culture, which initially, I found distracting. There are a few instances of ‘typos’ scattered through the book, where a word or a letter are missing, disrupting the flow of some sentences.

The Good Stuff:
This book is an interesting and original tale. The characters are well defined with their own distinct personalities. The author has created a new world with its own cultures and language/terminology, which while I found distracting at first, I now believe adds to the story and will be a huge positive to some.

This is a title from an independent author and friend of mine, Christopher Kneipp. I have to admit that when I started reading this book, I doubted whether I was actually going enjoy it, as there are a lot of strange names and words(which I personally don’t like as they pull me out of a story). At some point though (and I can’t even tell you where in the story this happened), I was hooked! I forgot about the strange names/words and found myself engrossed in the story. If you can get past the few ‘typos’, this book is well worth the read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Why Are Writer’s called Writer’s?

Picture by elefanterosado

Picture by elefanterosado

I thought I would do something different for this blog, I’m definitely no poet, but I have tried my hand at a short, Dr Seuss inspired piece for your entertainment, I hope you enjoy it.

Why are writer’s called writer’s? that’s not all they do,
They write and they edit, they even blog too,
Some create covers and make marketing plans,
They read and to write better, and bleed words for their fans.

As writer’s they write, but that’s not all they do,
They create magic and emotions and give them to you,
They take you to worlds where you’ve never been,
Introduce you to creatures that you’ve never seen,
They make you laugh and then cry, make you happy and sad,
but when you finish reading, for that you are glad.

So why are writer’s called writer’s? that’s not all that they do,
To me they are hero’s with verbal kung-foo,
So next time that you read, take a moment to think,
How much love, how much pain was put into that ink?
How much time seeped from their pens and onto the paper,
Only so you could enjoy reading it later.

Why are writer’s called writer’s? I just cannot say,
But write they do, in their own special way,
And I’m glad that they write, I like it, I do,
So I just want to say, keep writing, thank you!

Searching for knowledge on the road to improvement.

Picture by 6amcrisis

Picture by 6amcrisis

This week has been a busy one for me because I’ve been down in Melbourne with work (for my paid job). A lot of people think it must be great to be flown inter-state for work, but I don’t really enjoy it. It always means getting up around 4.30am to get to the airport, hours of travelling and then it is all go, go, go with a sardine packed agenda trying to fit in as much as possible to get value for money. This time was no exception, however it was a learning experience Continue reading

Line up those juggling balls.

Picture by Thomasin Durgin

Picture by Thomasin Durgin

Okay, so everyone’s life is busy I know, but some days most days, I feel like there just aren’t enough hours. I am currently living within 15 kms of the city, which is convenient because it only takes me 5 mins to get to work, but I’m in the process of building a new home and will be moving a little further out (there goes another 30 minutes of my day in travel time). So while the build is on, I’m trying to re-paint and fix up the old place, ready to sell. The plan being to reduce the mortgage and have a little extra cash I can use to save for a holiday much deserved holiday. I’m also reading two books at the moment and trying to edit a novel. On top of that I’m trying to write a couple of new short stories and teach myself French. I also have my blog to maintain, oh… and don’t forget the day job and the housework.

There are also other things I want to do, but I can’t fit them into my schedule right now – like getting back into Martial Arts training or playing Magic (MTG) with my daughter. When I tell people this, they seem to think I am just being lazy and putting things off. They say stuff like, “You can always make the time if you really want to.” This is true, but when you have a busy schedule, it comes at a cost. Something else has to give, and right now my focus is on the things I am doing now.

It’s a hard slog, I don’t deny that and sometimes I feel tired… very tired, and sometimes I don’t want to write or I don’t want to edit. But you know what? I also love the fact that I have so much to do – it keeps my mind active, it wards off the boredom, and I get a great deal of satisfaction whenever I complete something. Then there is also the fact that with so much going on, if I don’t want to do a particular task on any given day, I don’t, I just do something else.

What are you doing with your time?

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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.

Picture by Sebastien Wiertz

Picture by Sebastien Wiertz

Okay, so I have been trying to edit my book (based on the feedback from my beta readers) and I’m feeling tired and a little bit flat, because I have a lot more work to do than I thought. It is good news in a way though, as it should make my story better and if things go as planned, I will have a short story, a novella and a novel, all from the content I have written so far.

Now, you may recall that I’ve been researching marketing, and getting three pieces of work will fit well with my new marketing plan. This is because after reading up on marketing and listening to how others have been successful, I have decided it would be better for me to release a free, short story, based in the same world, prior to releasing the novel (I will make this available here, on my blog, when it is ready). Stage 2 of the plan is to release a novella at a low price, again based in the same world with the same characters. This will lead onto the release of the novel itself a short time later.

I’m not sure if this strategy will work for me, but I am going to give it a go and I will keep you posted on any results. But first things first, I need to get all three pieces finalised. So, I am going to be setting myself some timeframes to have each piece completed and ready to go. I’ll endeavour to keep blogging while I am doing this, but I apologise in advance if I miss a post or two, or if I run behind schedule with my blogging.

Hopefully, next time I blog I will have made some progress towards completing these goals.

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