Recently a reviewer described my novel Melokai (In the Heart of the Mountains #1) as grimdark. I’ve been calling it epic fantasy, but as it does fit with the grimdark sentiment, I’m embracing it wholeheartedly! So, just what is grimdark?
Audiobook Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (published by HarperCollins)
I absolutely loved the audiobook narration of this one. The actor Jeremy Irons did a brilliant job bringing this mystical tale to life, with the character’s voices and with the flow and pacing. It’s a shame that I didn’t love the story more.
Visiting new places, travelling around the world or venturing into areas near where you live for the first time can all spark your imagination and help you write more compelling, vivid descriptions of settings, characters and dialogue.
I’ve been very fortunate to travel around the world for long periods at a time, as well as live in the Middle East, and all of these new peoples, cultures and landscapes have filtered into my fiction.
Book Review: The Mirror Empire (The Worldbreaker Saga #1) by Kameron Hurley (published by Angry Robot)
The Mirror Empire confused the crap out of me! But the worldbuilding was refreshingly unique and weird. So, although some of the time I wasn’t sure entirely what was going on in this epic grimdark fantasy, I really enjoyed it.
Book Review: The Waking Fire (The Draconis Memoria #1) by Anthony Ryan (published by Orbit)
This is one dense fantasy novel! There’s a lot going on, and a lot to take in but I really enjoyed it. The Waking Fire is set in a world where there are still ‘empires’ in the traditional sense but also ‘empires’ in terms of a corporate entity that has grown big and powerful. Both the empire and the corporate empire are after the same thing – drake blood, or ‘product’.
Book Review: Everything but the Truth by Gillian McAllister (published by Penguin)
This psychological suspense thriller is a good read, which starts with the action and intrigue immediately. Rachel is pregnant with Jack’s child. The couple have only been together for a few months and are trying to learn everything about each other before the baby arrives. Rachel accidentally sees an email in the middle of the night that implies Jack has a dark history, one which he hasn’t told her about. She sets off on a compulsive and obsessive mission to find out – but the thing is, Rachel also has a secret…
Have you ever read a non-fiction book that made you stop everything and think, “Whoah, I didn’t know that, and now I do my entire worldview has changed”?
Well, here are five books that did exactly that to me when I read them, and I feel a much more informed and enlightened human being because of them.
Book Review: Behind the Throne (The Indranan War #1) by K.B. Wagers (published by Orbit)
This science fiction novel definitely did not live up to its description of an ‘action-packed’ ‘Star Wars-style science fiction adventure’ for ‘anyone who wonders what would happen if a rogue like Han Solo were handed the keys to an empire’. Instead it was a story of political/court intrigue where the main character Hail, a princess turned gunrunner turned princess again, spends most of her time going to a lot of brief meetings within the palace and a couple of public events where she’ll invariably survive an assassination attempt. There’s some action (or what I would call action) near the end.
Audiobook Review: The Dry (Aaron Falk #1) by Jane Harper (published by Macmillan Australia)
This audiobook was a great listen. I loved the Australian narrator – a great change from British or American accents. The Dry is a mystery thriller that focuses on the story of Aaron Falk, a police officer in Melbourne who focuses on money fraud. When his childhood best friend dies in the same rural, farming town where Aaron grew up, he returns and – on the insistence of the dead friend’s father – becomes involved with the investigation as to what happened.
So you’ve written a first draft, be it of a scene, short story, chapter, entire book. And now comes the fun part – at least, I find it fun. Some writers find editing a slog, procrastinate over doing it, get overwhelmed or down because they think what they’ve written is not good enough.
Book Review: Kings of the Wyld (The Band #1) by Nicholas Eames (published by Orbit)
This is a fun fantasy full of action, rock and roll references, humour and LOTS of strange, bloodthirsty creatures. Kings of the Wyld tells the story of an old mercenary band who reform nineteen years after they disbanded to save the daughter of one of the band members. She set off to start a band of her own, only to be caught in a siege by a great, angry horde of aforementioned creatures.
Book Review: James: Witch-Hunter by K.S. Marsden (published by K.S. Marsden)
This paranormal / urban fantasy book is a prequel to the author’s Witch-Hunter series and focuses on one of the characters from the trilogy called James. It can be read as a standalone, but, in my opinion having never read the series, is also a great warm up to the main event.
Audiobook Review: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (published by Penguin)
The audiobook narrated by British actress Helena Bonham Carter was absolutely excellent. Her reading helped to make this story come alive for me, adding humour, emotion and a vibrant personality to Anne that I probably wouldn’t have imagined if I had read the text.
Much of the action in my epic fantasy Melokai is set in a matriarchal country called Peqkya. The society is ruled by women and women’s interests are valued above the men.
One thousand years before the story takes place, the country was a war-torn, ravaged and frightening place to live – for both the men and the women. A woman, Sybilya, wrenched power from the tyrannical, savage men who then ruled, and the women have maintained control since.
Book Review: The Blinding Knife (The Lightbringer Series Book 2) by Brent Weeks (published by Orbit)
After absolutely loving the first book in the series, The Black Prism (read my review here) I couldn’t wait to read The Blinding Knife. I loved this one too, but not quite as much as the first. It picks up immediately after the end of book one on the ships that escaped Garriston. The Prism, Gavin Guile, must find somewhere for a lot of war refugees to live. But first, he must battle a sea monster…
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