Dec 12 2013

Sometimes I Think I Have Too Many Ideas

Posted by Mathias

It’s hard to know whether or not I have too many ideas that distract me from my other, more pressing projects.  For example, I’d really like to get the first drafts of Her Lovely Blood and Cry of the Golden Wyvern done.  Plus I’d like to make progess on Awakening, which is the first book of the Unmaker’s Saga.
(more…)

Dec 15 2012

Review: The Ambassador’s Mission (Traitor Spy Trilogy Book 1), By Trudi Canavan

Posted by Mathias

The Ambasador’s Mission, released in April 2011, is the first book in the continuing saga of Sonea, and a few other characters, from Trudi Canavan’s The Black Magician Trilogy (circa 2001).  We rejoin Sonea, her son, and Cery for further adventures.

The Ambassador’s Mission, as far as its own story goes, drags.  The narrative is chalked full of superfluous text that drowns out more important aspects in favor of droning political intrigue.  When read as a continuation of The Black Magician Trilogy, some of this is forgivable.  But, anyone picking up this story without having read the former will be seriously wanting for explanations.
(more…)

Dec 05 2012

What Project to Tackle Next

Posted by Mathias

Under the Darkened Moon is not yet done, but it is getting close. A few more chapters need polishing. Then it will be off to whatever is next on the list once the novel is sent off to fend for itself in the slush piles of literary agents and publishers. And boy, is that list of potential projects long. I have so many that it is going to be hard to choose.

There are a lot of short stories I am working on. I have considered finishing up enough of those to wrap them up into an small book of maybe 100 pages or so and get something published and available for sale. Right now I am preparing to get two stories (Frist and Second Lessons & The Yoke) critiqued by my writers group. Second Chances is available to do something with too. So that could be the start for this idea. (more…)

Aug 27 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

Posted by Mathias

They say that you should not dwell too much on the negative when writing reviews because it makes you sound mean. The problem for The Hunger Games (the movie adaptation) is that there was so little positive to discuss.

Yes, I finally got around to watching The Hunger Games this past weekend. I was mildly excited to see it having very much liked the first book of the trilogy. The second and third books are another story. Now, having watched the film, I am disappointed.

So, let’s get the few positives out of the way so that people can’t say that I didn’t say anything nice. First of all, I think Jennifer Lawrence pulls off the role of Katniss Everdeen brilliantly. The fact that she was often forced to act out poorly contrived scenes is a side issue. Had it not been for her acting, things would have gone badly for the entirety of this movie. (more…)

Jul 28 2012

Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Posted by Mathias

Warning! Contains spoilers!

Mockingjay is the final installment of The Hunger Games Trilogy. For one last go, we revisit post-apocalyptic Panem where Katniss Everdeen and the rebels are fighting against the tyrannical government. The book has moments of promise, usually when Katniss gets away from her brooding, who does she really love internal monologues. But it also makes me, as a fan of the first book of the trilogy, find it as a less than fulfilling end to the saga.

Look, we all know Katniss loves Peeta by now. Gale is just a distraction for her. But still, this little love triangle consumes so much of the book that it takes away from the final story of the saga. In the end, when Gale essentially gives up on Katniss and never returns to be with her, and Katniss realizes she loves Peeta, the whole thing is so anti-climatic that you wish the author had thrown a curve. But, you also know that if that curve had been thrown you would be just as disappointed had she wound up in Gale’s arms because it was just so wrong on every level. (more…)

Jul 23 2012

Book Review: Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman

Posted by Mathias

WARNING! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!

Feast of Souls is the first book in the Magister Trilogy by C.S. Friedman. The story is that of the first woman to ever master the magical arts and transcend from life depleting witchery to the immortal life of a magister. Here name is Kamala.  Well, that is how the story starts anyway. Later on we learn of the threat of beasts known as Soul Eaters returning.

Ok, bluntly, I was not thrilled with the way the book shifted away from Kamala’s point of view so often. The narrative did so at the expense of making her seem like a secondary, perhaps even tertiary, character in her own story. I think that most of what the other characters were used for could have been transmitted to the reader without going in and seeing it through their eyes. That feeling still sits with me even now. (more…)

Jul 09 2012

The Problem With “Young Adult”

Posted by Mathias

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am really frustrated by the category Young Adult, aka YA, in fiction. I swear, if you ask ten different people to define “young adult” you get ten different answers.

The basis is usually the same and the actual definition is that the story must appeal to a teenage audience and be marketed towards them. But then things diverge quickly from there. Some people claim that the main characters themselves must been teenagers (i.e. Young Adults). Some people claim that the characters don’t need to teenagers, but that they must deal with the problems teens face. Some claim that it is ONLY a distinction in how the book is marketed, i.e. to Young Adults as previously stated. Some people even claim that a story being written in cinema style third person omniscient POV makes a story YA.

(more…)

Jul 03 2012

Current Reading List

Posted by Mathias

So my current reading list looks like this:

Nearly done with Feast of Souls (Magister Trilogy Book 1) by C.S. Friedman

Then I have The Innocent Mate by Karen Miller, The Snow Queen by Joan Vinge, and finally Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

That should handle me for the rest of the month I think.

Jun 25 2012

Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Posted by Mathias

Warning! May Contain Spoilers!

Catching Fire is book two of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It continues the story of Katniss Everdeen and her trials and tribulations after being a victor in the Hunger Games, a sadistic competition put on by the totalitarian government of a post-apocalyptic America. The games pit children against children in a yearly fight to the death.

First off, and bluntly, Catching Fire is not as good as The Hunger Games, the first book of the trilogy. Secondly, it is not a bad book and is quite above average. Thirdly, it suffers from, and even magnifies, one of the major problems with the first book – its predictability greatly detracts from the story. (more…)

Mar 12 2012

Submitting, Editing, Reflecting And New Stories

Posted by Mathias

So much going on. I have finalized my short story Second Chances and am going to starting submitting it for publication. Since it is based as sort of a prologue to my novel Under the Darkened Moon I had to get very close to completion of that project to work out any discrepancies first. As for that novel, it is still in the editing phase. I am about 80% done with my second serious edit. There have been three edits and four versions of the story in all (rough draft, rough edit, first edit and now second edit).

I have learned a lot by writing it including how petty other writers can be and how what one person finds thrilling others find boring. Overall however, reviews from people who have been reading it are positive. You cannot please everyone though. Lots of comments along the lines of, “better than much of what gets published,” in Fantasy literature. So I am encouraged by that.

Right now that novel is sitting as I am working on Her Lovely Blood which is turning into a story that will be not all that unfamiliar to anyone well versed in the stories of ancient Greek gods. No, it is not a copy of one such story. I only mean that it is similar in the sense of the players and how the plot will twist and turn with gods meddling here and there. The trick is going to be to keep the story seeming logical without any, hopefully, unwarranted excursions into the realm of doing something unbelievable to save the story’s heroine from peril.

Right now the novel is 16,666 words and growing by the day. It seems that it will likely be a trilogy or at the least a first book and then a sequel to complete the story arc. The overall ending is unwritten although I do have three alternatives that I am keeping in mind as the story unfolds. This first draft is being free written with very little editing so far.