Search

writingthedreamblog

The Fantastic and Mundane Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer

Tag

ya fantasy

My Musings: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

IMG_0388

Synopsis in a sentence: High Lady Feyre of the Night Court, along with Rhys and their friends, must gather an army to save the world from the evil King of Hybern and the deadly weapon he wields.

Given that Sarah J. Maas is one of my favorite authors, I was looking forward to this book, expecting epic plots, sharp dialogue, swoon-worthy romance as well as fully developed and interesting characters that pulled me into their world. While the last part of the novel delivered on all of these accounts, the first hundred pages were surprisingly and disappointingly slow being as they were filled with too much description and not enough action. Instead of becoming invested in the worldbuilding and characters—something that had never been an issue for me in Maas’ other works—I found myself constantly bored and disinterested. Rhysand went from being a swoon-worthy character of mystery and excitement to one that was almost annoying in his unmatchable saintliness. Feyre, too, was portrayed as being overly perfect—a fact attributed to her suddenly becoming the first High Lady of a realm—and, therefore, unrelatable. Rather than showing adequately how Feyre had become a stronger and more confident leader as well as warrior through her actions, Maas seemed content to simply remind the reader over and over again of this fact. In some ways, Feyre came across as an almost weaker protagonist in this latest installment than in any of the previous ones. It was only in the last part of the novel that the pace and plot finally picked up and returned to the quality that made Maas’ other books successful. Overall, while disappointing in some parts, this was a good conclusion to the series, and I am looking forward to the later spin-off novels set in the same world.

 

📚✔︎ Would recommend for fans of romance and fantasy.

If I could summarize the book in five words: good, not amazing, but good

Check out the official summary of a Court of Wings and Ruins by Sarah J. Maas on goodreads.

My rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★1/2

 

onlinelogomaker-072117-1533-2952
The Fantastic and Mundane Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer

My Musings: Angelfall by Susan Ee

IMG_0402

Synopsis in a sentence: Tough girl needs the help of an enemy angel to find her kidnapped sister in post-apocalyptic Northern California. 

Angelfall by Susan Ee didn’t have a slow passage in it. From the first page, the pacing was fast and the plot suspenseful. Penryn is a strong and ruthless yet heroic female protagonist, and the sarcastic banter between her and Raffe is one of the most fun aspects of the entire novel. Raffe, too, is a likable character, with just enough mystery and broodiness to fit the relatively stereotypical YA love interest mold. While the plot was entertaining overall, the world building was average at best. I understand that it takes place in a world ravaged by supernatural war, but more details regarding the angel culture and mythology as well as the incorporation of additional multi-dimensional characters would have greatly enriched the story. The ending with its multiple plot twists that led up to it, however, ultimately leaves the reader wanting more and makes up for any other flaws in the narrative.

📚✔︎ Would recommend for fans of post-apocalyptic fiction or angel mythology

If I could summarize the book in one word: suspenseful 

Check out the official summary of Angelfall by Susan Ee on goodreads.

My rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★

onlinelogomaker-072117-1533-2952
The Fantastic and Mundane Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer

My Musings: The Queen of All That Dies by Laura Thalassa

img_0380.jpg

onlinelogomaker-072117-1533-2952
The Fantastic and Mundane Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer

 

After hearing so many good things about this indie novel, I was excited to finally read it. Unfortunately, I found The Queen of All that Dies to be disappointing for a number of reasons. Because my feelings toward this book are so jumbled, rather than writing a typical essay review, I am going to separate my thoughts into different sections.

What I liked:

1) The pacing-from the first page of the novel, I was hooked. The relatively simple, yet suspenseful prose was riveting, and even when the plot was lacking, I still wanted to continue because it was such a fast and easy read.

2) The potential– This goes along with the pacing in that in the first thirty pages, there was so much potential to build a rich and original apocalyptic setting as well as a seemingly impossible, but epic love story. In the end, however, the reader was given neither, which ultimately leads me to…

What I didn’t like:

1) The pacing-While at the beginning, the fast pacing was originally what drew me in, as the novel progressed the succession of events became almost dizzying because they happened so quickly. Rather than spending adequate time with each scene by including appropriate and enriching details, it felt like the author was rushing through everything almost with barely any thought.

2) The plot– …I just didn’t get it. I mean, well I understood the basics; The female protagonist has spent all her life fighting against an evil king of the world only to be forced to marry him and fall in love with him while turning on her own people. Sure, there were twists, but instead of a compelling storyline, the reader was left with only a skeleton of a plot that’s events were half-hazardly strewn together.

3) The worldbuilding– There was none. Usually when I read, I can at least visualize the characters and settings to a certain extent, but when I read this all I could see was the black font and white paper in front of my eyes.

4) The romance/characters-Once again, in the beginning I liked the main character Serenity. She was tough if a little bit one-dimensional. But I liked her.

King Lazuli, on the other hand, was downright horrible. Oh, in the first part of the book, he was charming, and I seriously thought the author would reveal some good side to him, some possible reason or motivation–however misguided–for performing all the horrendous things he did. Only…she didn’t. There was nothing, NOTHING redeemable about this character. He was a power-hungry mass murderer who felt no remorse for any of his actions. Even as a potential villain, he was entirely one dimensional, and the fact that he was supposed to be portrayed as a love interest? I couldn’t believe it.

Even worse, as soon as Serenity falls in love with him (though Thalassa never explains how she could actually love such a monster in the first place) all her strength vanishes. Seemingly within a handful of pages, she turns on her own people and believes that Lazuli is rightfully the king of the world even though he was directly responsible for *Spoiler* the murder of her entire family. 

In conclusion, this novel started out strong, but left a bad taste in mouth for days afterward.

📚✔︎ Honestly wouldn’t recommend. I was looking for a compelling romance and what this book provided was an unhealthy, controlling and bordering-on-abusive relationship.

If I could summarize the book in one word: disappointing 

 

Writing Update: What to Do If Your Manuscript’s Been Rejected

onlinelogomaker-072117-1533-2952
The Fantastic and Mundane Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer

IMG_0363

Hello, everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t been updating lately. These past few months I’ve been trying to regroup after sending my manuscript out to several agents. Unfortunately, so far it hasn’t been successful, and while initially, I couldn’t help but be discouraged, I’ve since found a way of coping: writing another story, of course!

This isn’t to say I’m giving up on my previous manuscript, but I have, however, found great joy in starting another story. So far, the only things I can share about this newest project are that it’s a young adult fantasy and involves a love story.

In my experience, dealing with rejection regarding a manuscript is always hard. After spending so much time and effort giving everything you have to a story only to several literary agents give a simple and curt “no thanks” (in a usual pre-formed rejection email), it’s difficult to not take it too personally.

For all those fellow writers out there who may be in the same situation, here’s a short list of things you can do to regroup after facing rejection.

  1. Take a Break! 

It’s ok, even empowering, to take time to regroup. I love writing, but it was nice taking some time off to relax and focus on other things besides writing which leads me to the next tip.

2. Find inspiration

Aside from simply enjoying watching scifi/fantasy movies and reading books of the same genre, I also find I can glean a lot of inspiration from them as well. Yet this tip isn’t necessarily limited to focusing on things you think could lead to inspiration. In other words, I’ve found that inspiration often comes unconsciously and when you least expect it as well. I also think that while looking for inspiration is almost always beneficial, it isn’t a process that can be forced. Keeping a relaxed and open mind in regards to any creative activity is one of the most sure ways to find inspiration.

3. Start writing again

I would say this is can be both one of the hardest and easiest tip on this list. If you keep thinking back to how your last manuscript was rejected and all the overwhelming odds stacked against the possibility of you becoming a published author, then yes, picking up the pen to write again can be next to impossible. However, on the other hand, if instead of focusing on past disappointments and the unpredictable future, you focus on the story you want to write, on developing the characters and setting and everything about your current manuscript to the best of your ability, then this process will be rewarding no matter the outcome.

I hope these short tips help, and if anyone else has any please feel free to share! Most importantly, however, I believe if you have a story to tell, you should write it. Don’t mull too much over the details of if it will ever be published or anything else that isn’t directly related to your process of writing. In the beginning, just focus on getting your thoughts on page even if a story isn’t fully formed, and you may be pleasantly surprised by what adventure it leads to.

Good luck to all of you in your writing endeavors!

IMG_0364

My Musings: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

tumblr_oeg60q6ok81ubg0oto1_540

This book was everything I hoped for and more. Maas’ worldbuilding and character development was amazing, and in my opinion the best it has ever been in this novel. Aelin’s growth over the entire series has been amazing to watch, and the difference between her character now and in the first book is unbelievable. I also loved how after getting to know each of the main players in the series, we finally see all of them interact in this latest installment. Maas has created such strong characters that each of their voices and personalities come alive on the page without the danger of any one of them being lost or fading into the background. The romantic relationships in this book—both new and old—were interesting if somewhat predictable, though that didn’t stop me from becoming fully invested in them anyway. The plot-twists in this book were entirely unexpected, and as usual, the heart-wrenching ending left me yearning for more.

📚✔︎ Would recommend for readers of epic fantasy with a band of loveable heroes and villains you can’t help but love to hate.

If I could summarize the book in two words: utterly consuming

Check out the official summary of Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas on goodreads.

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Musings: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

tumblr_o7lbccVtYl1ubg0oto1_540

The sequel to Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses far surpassed everything about the first. The plot, the characters, the worldbuilding, and especially the romance were all so much better developed, and while I didn’t fall in love with the first book I definitely did with this one. In my opinion, this novel was close to flawless. I wasn’t a huge fan of Tamlin as the love interest in the first place, and this latest installment simply expounded on why. I loved Feyre’s growth throughout the story and how she finds her own strength through not only relationships with those around her but also with the acceptance of herself and who she has become. Rhysand’s character was revealed to have far more depth and maturity than what we saw in the first book, and the friendship to romance between him and Feyre was both entertaining and heartbreaking to watch at times.
To put it simply, I thought this book was amazing. I was thoroughly addicted from the first to last page, and reading this reminded me why I fell in love with fantasy in the first place—because when everything, when the words, the characters, and the story all coalesce to fit perfectly, the result can be magic.

📚✔︎ Would recommend for readers looking for a beautiful love story within a fantastic and magical world

If I could summarize the book in one word: mesmerizing 

Here’s an official summary on goodreads.

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️+ (honestly, I wish I could give it an even higher rating)

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑