Book Recommendation: Steal the Stars

Hello Fiction Lovers!

This week I thought it would be interesting to tell you about an audio book that I just finished listening to recently: Steal the Stars. This book is different from books I would normally pick up because it’s sci-fi and includes aliens. I like sci-fi books, but I’m much more likely to read a fantasy book. However, I’m very glad that I decided to give Steal the Stars a try because it was a wonderful, well-written story and it had an ending that I wasn’t expecting, but also felt much more satisfying than the ending I expected. The reason I decided to give it a try was that along with including an alien and a crashed UFO it also includes forbidden love and a heist–both of which are plots that I love to read about.

It was also interesting to listen to, because instead of the standard one or two readers you normally would get for an audio book, they used a whole cast. It was really more of an audio play than an audio book, and they did a good job of making it more immersive by using some sound effects and playing with distance. If a character was supposed to be across the room they really did sound farther away (but the difference was never enough that you had to mess with the volume a lot, if that’s something that annoys you). Another thing to mention is that even though there is a full cast of characters with different voices you won’t have trouble remembering who is who. All the actors did a good job making their character distinctive. There is also an actual book, I believe, that you can buy and read, but I haven’t read it so I’m not sure how it compares to the audio book.

All in all, I would definitely recommend that you listen to/read Steal the Stars even if it has an element that you normally wouldn’t be interested in. You can find it on Audible and Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and please let me know if you have any questions! Also if you have listened to/read Steal the Stars feel free to post your thoughts in the comments, but please no spoilers.

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Reading Recommendation

Hello Fiction Lovers!

Today I thought I’d recommend a book I reread recently: Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce. This book has been one of  my favorites for a long time and every once in a while I’ll take the time to read it–and its sequel–again. Doing so is always worth it.

Trickster’s Choice is about a young woman, Aly, who wants to become a spy in the field but her parents won’t allow it because of how dangerous that work is. However, Aly ends up getting captured by pirates and sold into slavery. From there she is recruited by a god and must use her wits and the spy skills she was taught from a young age to protect a family and help a rebellion.

The book has a good romance that isn’t rushed, interesting magical creatures, complex characters, and is paced well. I enjoyed it when I discovered it in middle school and I still enjoy it now in college so I believe that it can appeal to a wide range of ages. You don’t have to read Tamora Pierce’s other books to understand Trickster’s Choice or its sequel, but doing so can give you a greater appreciation and understanding of Aly’s parents and the family’s connection to several other characters that get mentioned. Her other books are also enjoyable to read as well, and if you like Trickster’s Choice I would highly recommend that you read them if you haven’t done so already. If you have then I would recommend that you read them again for pleasure’s sake.

If you’ve read Trickster’s Choice feel free to post your thoughts on it down in the comments (but no spoilers please). Also please let me know if you have any questions and I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Book Recommendation

Hello Fiction Lovers!

This weekend I was organizing all the books I bought over the years–which made me realize all the books I still want to get in print–and came across some my old favorites. Now I’m planning on revisiting all of the interesting characters and stories they contain over the next few months. I thought I’d share what they are with you as well in case you were looking for something good to read.

The first recommendation is Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series that gives the foundation for many of her other books. It’s about a girl, Alanna, who wants to be knight and has to pretend to be a boy to achieve that goal. I liked watching her grow up as well as the magic and battles that take place throughout the series. Pierce is very good at writing heroines and I would also recommend the other series she’s written.

The next recommendation goes to Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold. It’s the first in a lovely quartet composed of romance, danger, unique magic and monsters, and realistic characters. I believe it’s one of the more distinctive fantasy series I’ve read, in that it did have it’s own distinctive monsters and magic that tied in well together and made sense for the world. It doesn’t rely on preconceived expectations but draws the reader in under it’s own power. It is also one of the best fantasy romances I’ve read to date.

The third recommendation is Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. He also creates a unique world where heroes are reborn as gods and magic is governed by color and Breath. The story involves a reluctant marriage, fear of war, living gods, and a sentient blade. Truth be told, the cover was the thing that first drew me to the book and what really made me want to read it. The cover’s simple but beautiful, and depicts the reluctant bride (so if you’re like me, you can picture her as more than a vague impression hair, hands, and body outline).

Those are the main books I really want to re-read now and I hope you’ll enjoy them as well. Feel free to post in the comments books you would like to re-read and let me know if you have any questions! I hope you have a good week!

Conflicting Emotions

Hello Fiction Lovers!

Lately, I’ve been reading the Last Herald-Mage series by Mercedes Lackey (whose interesting books I would recommend by the way) and her writing and characters have reminded me that characters–like real-life people–can have conflicting emotions. Sometimes when I’m writing I’m so focused on what the character is supposed to feel or how they are going to react that I find I forget that they can conflicting emotions. Having conflicting emotions can make them feel more like actual people and tie in other parts of the story to the scene you’re writing. No scene or dialogue is in a vacuum which means the emotions driving that scene or dialogue can’t be located in one either. People feel lots of different things at once about different things and more than likely they will feel those things at the same time.

Having conflicting emotions can also help with character development and motivation. It can help the reader know what is more important to the character based on what they are having conflicting feels about and what emotion they end up acting upon. A character who really wants a book but won’t go get it because they are afraid of the adult standing near it, and a character who really wants a book but doesn’t get it because they are worried about their financial situation are two very different people. The result is the same, but emotional impact and knowledge of the character is very different. Also, if the reader is told the character wants a book but doesn’t end up getting one without another emotional reason as to why the scene feels unfinished, lackluster, or confusing.

You don’t have to use conflicting emotions all the time but making use of them can make your story feel more cohesive and flow better. It can also break up the monotony of a character only being driven by one emotion–something that becomes unrealistic quickly and that becomes boring. Conflicting emotions can also point to internal vs external conflicts and pressures in the story.

I hope this post helped and let me know if you have any questions. Feel free to post your thoughts or anything you think I missed in the comments. I hope you all have a good week!

Book Recommendations

Hello Fiction Lovers!

Today I thought I’d recommend some of my favorite books to read since there’s little better than sitting under a tree reading a book when the weather is warm, or snuggled up under a blanket with a  book when the weather is cold and rainy. Here they are:

  1. The Name of Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Many of you have probably heard of this book but I couldn’t make this list without it. It’s a frame story where a man tells the story about he became a legend. The book is full of worldbuilding that sucks you into the story and nuanced characters. I just have one warning for those who haven’t read it yet: the book is part a trilogy and the third book isn’t out yet. Still, it and the second book are worth reading now even with the wait.
  2. Naamah’s Kiss by Jacqueline Carey. This book is also part of a trilogy but all the books are out. It follows the story of Moirin, a girl and then woman who has both the magic of her people and the blessing of the goddes of desire. There is sex in the book given the nature of the goddess’s blessing, but the book is more about Moirin discovering who she is and what it means to have a destiny. It’s full of magic and intrigue and complex characters that makes it hard to put the book down.
  3. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. This book, I will admit, I listened to on audible (it was narrated by Jennifer Ikeda) and it was very enjoyable to listen to. There were a few times I cuaght myself doing extra chores just so I had an excuse to listen to it longer. I believe it is also part of a trilogy. The book takes place in the real world, but also includes witches, vampires and demons. It blends science and magic together in an interesting way as well as having new explanations on how vampires and demons came to be and why they are the way they are.

I hope you’ll find something new you’ll like to read out of these three books! Feel free to comment if you have any book recommendations of your own or contact me if you have any questions.