Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review for Opposition (Lux #5) by Jennifer Armentrout



4 Stars. Holy Alien Babies!

I thought this book was a nice conclusion to the series, however I enjoyed the first half of the book far more than the second. It starts with Daemon and Katy being separated and eventually Katy being captured by the Luxen that Daemon and his siblings are staying with. And, I really enjoyed the tragic love scenario that developed as Katy and Daemon found themselves in the same place, but surrounded by enemies preventing them from being together. As the book progresses, however, the focus changes to more of a big picture kind of plot. Not, that there isn’t plenty of romance along the way, but the focus shifts from being about Katy and Daemon to being about saving the world they live in.

The overall concept of the invading aliens was intriguing. There’s this hive mentality going on with the Luxen and seeing how some of the Luxen fall in line with the Hive while others try to fight against that bond was interesting. 

This book ends in a very different place than the series started. It’s no longer the cute paranormal romance that Obsidian was. Instead it’s become a science fiction thriller. The character’s have grown up and they face some grown up problems, many of them with heartbreaking conclusions. This book changes everything in Katy’s life, and by the end of it, the world she lives in is forever altered.

Overall, I enjoyed how deep Armentrout’s characters were, including her villians. This book, more than any before it, really made you question who exactly the bad guys were. Right and wrong were complicated, and Katy and Daemon are thrown into situations where the right thing isn’t always obvious. They’re both forced to work with people they might otherwise consider the enemy for the greater good, and I enjoyed the level of complexity that was involved in their decisions.

Despite the upped level of seriousness there was still plenty of lighthearted moments as well. I particularly loved the protective brother moments Daemon has with Dee concerning her budding relationship with Archer. And, as usual the language is perfect. Each character has their own unique way of speaking. Overall, if you’ve read the Lux series up to this point you need to finish with this book. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

There are No New Plots

A while ago I did a post discussing the fact that there are only so many plots out there and that as readers we shouldn't be so quick to say that one story is copying another. (Check out Rif-offs, Inspiration, and Coincidences) Recently I saw a video that demonstrated this point well.

The video below compares the children's movie Toy Story, with the horrific AMC drama The Walking Dead. On the surface these two stories couldn't be more different. One is made for the entertainment of children, it's funny, and filled with bright colors and characters that will make you smile. The other is a terrifying drama depicting life after the zombie apocalypse. Yet, the video below will show that at their cores they have very similar plots.

Watch and enjoy.

 

This is just further proof that what makes a story original is not coming up with something that's never been done before (because it's all been done before), but instead by looking at what works, being inspired by something, and making it your own. 

What makes a story unique is the twist the author puts on it. 

Do you know of any other videos comparing the plots of two books, movies, or TV shows?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review for Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse #2) by Charlaine Harris



4.5 Stars. Quirky and Engaging.

Living Dead in Dallas, like Dead until Dark is a fast paced story with an action packed plot. New supernatural creatures and elements are introduced in this book, many of them much scarier than vampires. However, like the first book, what makes this story special is its characters who are each unique and well written. Even some of the bad guys have you rooting for them at one point or another. 

As with the first book I love Sookie’s personality. She’s quirky and a little strange, but her oddities are endearing. Bill continues to have his secrets, but his relationship with Sookie grows in this book and despite the fact that he keeps things from her I enjoy seeing them together.

As for Sam however, I find I like him less and less as this series continues. He’s constantly pushing himself on Sookie, and it feels like he doesn’t respect her boundaries at all. However, there were some interesting developments in his storyline in this book that relate to his love life and I think it will be fun to see how that develops. The supernatural world Sookie was introduced to in the first book in this series is growing for everyone in Sookie's life, particularly Sam.

Eric continues to make his way deeper into Sookie’s life as well, but I don’t find his methods as disrespectful as Sam’s. He and Sookie have developed an interesting friendship, and I do enjoy watching them interact. However, sometimes I think Sookie lets him get closer to her than she should knowing that he has feelings for her. At a few different points in this book both she and Bill make you question just what exactly counts as cheating in their relationship.

Overall I enjoyed this book, and will probably continue with the series.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How to Make Time to Write

I've said before that if you wait around to have time to write that you'll never find it. You have to make time. However, sometimes that's easier than others. Life gets busy sometimes and when things in your life change it can throw off any rhythm you've fallen into with your writing.

Over the last few month's I've graduated with a BA in Psych, bought a house, and started a new job. For those of you who follow my blog I'm sure you've noticed that I haven't been posting as regularly as I used to. I fell out of my rhythm, and it's gotten a lot harder to make time to write. But, I'm working on getting my groove back.

bookofjoe

Below are some tips I've been using to make time to write with my increasingly busy schedule.

1. Use what's going on in your life to inspire your writing, like blogging about how to find time to write when your life seems to be getting busier.

2. Schedule time to write. Put it on your "To Do" list every day, and set reasonable goals, like write for 30 minutes or even just 15. It's more important to write a little every day than to knock out a large chunk of words. You want to be able to accomplish the goals you set.

3. Make sure the time you do have to write is distraction free. Don't multi-task writing and catching up on your favorite TV show. Devote whatever chunk of time you set aside for writing for just writing.

4. Be flexible. Life changes, schedules change. If you can't write for your 30 minutes at your normal time try to fit it in later in the day or adjust your schedule for the next day. Don't give up just because you missed your usual writing window.

5. Don't give up. If you fall into a slump where you haven't gotten any writing done for a while, it's never too late to start up again.


I hope these tips help. If you have any advice to share on how to make time to write please comment below.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review for Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harris

4.5 Stars. Well Paced and Exciting.

The funny moments give this book bit of a chick-lit feel, but the vampires are real vampires, and written in a way that you can believe they exist in our world. I liked the level of believability Charlaine Harris achieved.

Though at first I hated her name, I liked Sookie’s personality. She was straightforward and honest. I enjoyed seeing her being both a strong female lead as well as being protected by the vampire Bill. It felt like there was a good balance between making her a strong woman and keeping her soft. She felt like a real woman. Sometimes, however, her blunt questions and the dialogue that followed felt a bit like an info-dump. In fact the dialogue in general is where this book lost me a little. The author certainly captured the feel of southern speech, but sometimes the dialogue felt strange. It didn’t always sound natural to me. The kids however did sound like kids, and I really appreciated that. Children’s dialogue can be hard to write and too often they end up sounding either like babies or full grown adults. The author did a good job of giving them believable and age appropriate voices.

As for the other characters, I found them deep and interesting, many of them colorful as well, including the vampires. The vampires in this book were not thinly drawn monsters. They were people, fully fleshed out people with problems and issues and personalities. I think that really added to the believability of the story.

This book also had some nice descriptions making it easy to visualize Sookie’s world. Overall I enjoyed this story, and will continue with the series.

Read my Review for Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse #2)