Diamond Marked (Tale of El’Anret #1-3) by Melody Klink

Summary

Inside a mortal girl lies the heart of the Queen of Diamonds, true ruler over El’Anret, the world of Faerie.

Inside a Half-Human, Half-Fae boy lives the soul of a Stag King, mysterious and powerful creature of legend, capable of transforming worlds… or destroying them.

And neither of them belong.

In a world of myths and monsters, it will take them both to usurp a renegade queen— one who stole the crown and made the whole of El’Anret bend to her will.

The Faerie world will never be the same.

DIAMOND MARKED: The Tale of El’Anret combines the stories of the Faerie and Mortal worlds into a single collection. Queen of Diamonds, Jack of Diamonds, and King of Diamonds are included in their Author Preferred text editions.

Part 1: QUEEN OF DIAMONDS

I didn’t realize it at the time but this was like watching the first season of Once Upon A Time – terrible but necessary. And just like that first season I don’t know if I would have continued reading from this first ‘section,’ it was very YA and the writing was stilted and somewhat boring. At parts it was even over the top and full of YA tropes. Even though the first book wasn’t very good, it didn’t stay that way. I’m not going to give too much away but I am going to say that I appreciated the end of this. That it wasn’t ‘happily ever after’ and that there were consequences for their actions. I did not connect with Leigh or Gideon which may have been the biggest problem.

Not very good but if you can get through this, I promise the next two parts are worth it. – 2.5 stars

Part 2: JACK OF DIAMONDS

As disappointed as I was in the first book, that quickly faded once Jack comes into the works. It becomes more complicated as it sheds its overly YA skin and takes on a whole new form of awesomeness. Suddenly it is highly imaginative, the plot opens up and even gets a little dark. It was engaging and I found myself turning pages and staying up later than I should to find out what happens. The irritation with the young character in the first section is balanced out here and Jack is such a likable character. I was also really happy to see Leigh come into her own.

I absolutely love this one the best – even with the cliffhanger at the end. – 5 Stars

Part 3: KING OF DIAMONDS

A great conclusion to these short novellas. This book went much darker and showed some overall elements of society that go poorly. That evil wins when good people do nothing. The world also expanded and grew and the battle scenes at the end, though a little long, were awesome. I felt like I finally had a great picture of what the author was trying to portray. The writing also improved and had better flow. Though Leigh’s undying love I came to like Gideon.

It also had a very sweet after ending that was very satisfying. I’m not always happy about those, but in this instance it was wonderful. – 4 Stars

Overall:

If you are going to buy them, you might as well get this box set and read them all the way through. Where Leigh felt a little flat, Jack eventually balanced her out and she came into her own. The world building greatly improves from book to book, as does the writing.

Rating:

4 Stars

Overall I enjoyed this collection of stories. The further I went into the story the more I enjoyed them. If you like YA stories that have fairies – this is a worth while read.

I received this book for a free and voluntarily review.

Advertisements

My Author Interview – Booklattes

I’d like to thank Hannah with Booklattes so much for these awesome questions! If you have any questions be sure to ask them. 

Ya’ll NaNoWriMo starts TODAY!! Where has the time gone?? I’ll mainly be working on edits for AT this year (aka my book with a super secret title) but good luck to everyone participating and cranking out those novels! K.T. Munson is one of my lovely author friends and I send her some writing questions recently […]

via Author Interviews: K.T. Munson author of “The Sixth Gate” — booklattes

Asael’s Nature (A Series of Angels #3) by Joel Crofoot

Summary

When the fallen angel Asael returns to earth, he slips back into his old ways as the angel of punishment by performing in night clubs until he gets an interesting new client – a demon who enjoys his punishment shows.

Isda, a young healer, gets dragged into the ongoing war for her research into a new drug and attracts the attention of demons. Asael is assigned to protect her and the relationship begins to bloom, but her feelings are at odds with everything she has been told about how to behave, and can she compete with the demon that shares a passion of his?

Characters

Asael is adorable. I don’t know any other word that describes him perfectly. Yes he is sexy and dominating but for some reason he just was too cute! Isda was a great balance for him. It was really nice to have such a smart female lead. Then there was Heather and Audrey. Audrey is a demon that is starting to rise like Jahi did—I was impressed with her and I hope to see her in future romances. Not to mention her super cute friendship with Heather.

Plot

There was more going on here then just the romance, but I’ll talk about it first. Asael and Isda have this attraction that sizzled off the page. If you like a little dom and sub, this had it in a tasteful way. Asael There was Audrey’s story and the demon’s plan. Not to mention Heather and one of the angels…I won’t ruin it for you. It was very enjoyable.

Overall

If you loved the last two books, this one is a for sure great read. If you haven’t read them, they bring so much more to this third book so go and get them so you can read this one! I can’t wait to see where the author is going with this story but I’m in suspense about the next book!

Wonderful writing that is easy to follow. Interesting characters who are starting to feel like your friends that you get to visit with every new book. Even the few inconsistencies from book 1 & 2 to book 3 were easy to overlook because of how good this is. I was a little disappointed by that, but it was so minor.

Rating

5 Stars

I loved it! Another amazing book in the series that I’m looking forward to the next one.  If you love you Paranormal Romances, this is a must read!

I received this book for a free and voluntarily review.

Genesis: The Battle Within (Pillars of Creation #1) by David J. Tucker

**Cannot be read as a standalone**

Summary

“I am all that is left of the man Genesis. I exist in the dark so Earth’s last candle may burn …

“They rebuilt me, tortured and forged me, to be a harbinger of hope. But still they want more … they always want more. My sect – Earth’s one true religion – trains us to be elite assassins, yet they celebrate us as their beacons of hope and peace … what a farce we have become.”

For Genesis, survival has become an art he has honed well. As a Roach from the slums of Earth he learned to thrive amongst repression and pain, well enough to escape and be adopted into an ancient, powerful sect, which acts as the spearhead for all humanity. But to belong, he must adopt the ways of a heretical master, navigating the deadly apprenticeship and world of the Immortals, and somehow still hide the darkness that beckons him.

Characters

I’m going to start this off by saying I really liked Genesis. He was such a rewarding character to follow. There is this constant battle within him that really highlights the surviving core values of the man that was before the other two ‘aspects’ got involved. The longer the book went the more I liked him and just wanted to know his story. I also liked his AI, Me’lina, especially as the book went on. That being said I struggled with some of the other characters. Rotas was awesome but her story just seems to drop off about mid book. Osiris just monologues for what feels like half of the book which is something I just couldn’t get past to actually connect or even form an opinion of the character. There are a few other characters but these are the primarily.

Plot

You could tell from the way the book was going that it was just building to a bigger story. There were times it felt like it was a way to introduce the world and characters. From the information on the back of the book I felt I was a little mislead on what the book was about. Furthermore I felt there were scenes and sections purely created to give the author a platform to give the information to the reader, not necessarily relevant to the plot. It was amazing the amount of detail the author had in the world and the depths it went to, but it was too much and not all of it relevant. This could have been amazing if it had only dispersed the information more and weaved it in better and made it relevant. For example, I thought Osiris’s had way too much page time.

In the end I think this book was about Genesis and his inner struggle. It was about him changing via an encounter with a particularly nasty alien. It was an origin story done in flashbacks and inner musings.

Overall

This book is massively creative and the world that was built was expansive and imaginative. That being said the world building was sometimes done in info dumps which were a struggle to get through. I didn’t think I’d see the day that a character outdid the monologue done by Ian Malcolm in The Lost World; but this book does and not for the better. It created a lecture format of reading about the book, more of a text book about the world then a fictional novel where you could get immersed in the story.

There were some amazing action scenes though they do run a little long they were well done. It was very much a science fiction with aliens, space battles, and nano technology.  It reminded me of the video game Destiny in parts and more than once I thought “This would make an awesome video game.”

Rating

3.5 Stars (rounded down)

“It was okay” aptly describes what I think of this book. Despite its shortcomings it was impressively thought up story and world. Although it is amazing concept for a video game it fell a little short in the book arena.

I received this book for a free and voluntarily review. More reviews at creatingworldswithwords.wordpress.com.

World Building Tips and NaNoWriMo Check in

One week is already done and I’m behind…but I’m ahead in my editing of The Nowhere Gate so am I really losing? I don’t think so! Last weekend I edited 5 chapters and two more over the last two days bringing me over the 50% mark. Completely rewriting one because I didn’t like the way the character was acting at all! So this NaNoWriMo check in is I’m just shy of 5,000 words!

For those of you stuck on world building here is some tips to help out!

Don’t get overwhelmed by world-building.

Start from a single point or image. From there determine what is important to the story based on genre. Consider:

  • Culture
  • Religion
  • Government
  • Climate
  • Advancement (industrial, technological, medical, magical)

Choose a single idea or concept and build from it. For example in one of my books, 1001 Islands, I started from a single scene. From that I decided I needed a world consisting of 1001 islands, which is full of pirate like activities in the middle and witches. From there I built in 3 major islands, each have their own culture, government, and climate.

Time

Another item to consider is time. How long has this world existed? Inventing a history for your world is as important as creating the present. This is where you build in quirks. A king that died from choking on a feather and a stone that people kiss to get the gift of gab. These have happened in our history, why not make something similar happen in your fictional world? In short, Earth’s history is weird, consider the same when building a world.

Senses

Use all of your senses when talking about time and events. What does the city smell like? What are the sounds? Think back to a book you’ve read recently and see if you can remember what a place smelled or sounded like.

Sketch a map. 

I am a very visual person and when I am starting I decide what the world is going to look like. I usually do a terrible drawing or use paint on the computer to give myself a springboard. This helps with judging distances, placing cities, and deciding climate. Especially when you have multiple worlds.

The small things.

After you have a general building block things start to get complicated. What is the social standing of people, clothing like, normal food, and buildings made of? Consider the infrastructure of basic society; like economy, military or security, political, and philosophy. That just to touch on a few. Once you have the framework these sorts of questions are easier. Drill down into the details – even if they never make their way into the book. This will create a three dimensional society.

Don’t overshare.

Once you build all of this the first thing you want to do is share EVERYTHING. Don’t do this. What is awesome to create as the writer isn’t always awesome to read as a reader. Stick to what is important to the plot and characters and build the world around that.

Hope this was helpful! Any other questions feel free to comment.

And so it begins…

Halloween has ended but that’s okay, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has begun! If you don’t already have me as a friend on NaNoWriMo be sure to add me (it is K.T. Munson).

I’d like to start off by saying that this isn’t so much about winning but about writing. It is about setting goals and realizing they are goals you can actually obtain. For those of you returning and those of you who are new, set your goals and strive to achieve them – whether it is 10,000, 50,000, or 100,000 words in November.

My goal?

It is 25,000 words. I very narrowly met this goal last year and I had to do a lot that last weekend. I hope to put the same effort in this year.

What is your writing goal?

Don’t set an overly daunting goal. If 50,000 seems crazy, set a smaller goal and then you reach that goal, move the bar up. Start at 1,000 words. When you achieve that, don’t rest, raise the bar. Now make it 2,000 words, then 4,000 words, next thing you know, you’ll have 10,000 words. Set a goal and strive to achieve it!

Not sure what NaNoWriMo is? Make sure to go check it out: NaNoWriMo. It is a great community.

Tell me about your novel! What are your NaNoWriMo aspirations?

Gamma by M Wiggins

Summary

Often broody, suspicious of those he doesn’t know well, islander, Alec Ellison, has spent his whole life hiding what makes him different. Then uninvited newcomers arrive to bring him to his rightful home, a world where he is so much more than DNA. Oppressive or not, though, life on Gamma is all he’s ever known and leaving doesn’t come easy for him. When he learns that the island and its inhabitants will likely be destroyed if he leaves, he struggles to decide if free will is worth the senseless loss of life.

There are only three ways onto Gamma, an island where liberty is an abstract facade: you’re born here, arrive by invitation, or you sneak in. Invited newcomers are rare and serve only two purposes: to keep the existing population from growing bored, or to increase the population with their approved genetic blue-print. Either way, once an islander, always an islander, and leaving the petri dish is not an option.

The Stone Davis Corporation owns all, controls all, and makes all your decisions. You accept what they give, and what they take away, but understand that management takes way more than they give. Everything you know is a lie. To escape is to resist and no battle worth fighting has ever come cheap.

Wherever law ends, tyranny begins. A war is coming, and GAMMA is the cradle of its genesis.

Characters

There are almost too many main characters in this book to talk about them all but I’ll try to touch on the main ones. Meg changes a lot through the book and I was most conflicted about her character. Although I liked her sometimes I didn’t like some of her choices and I felt like she was a slave to the plot rather than a driver behind it. Alec is probably my least favorite character, he continually disappointed me throughout the book. I was unsure of Tavis at the beginning (am I the only one who had a hard time not reading Travis? I thought she was a he at first). However, by the end of the book she had grown on me. Jack…I’m still now sure about Jack. I liked him sort of in the start, but something about him always…just didn’t sit right. Favorite character by far was Sebastian. I loved the relationship between him and Tavis. I can’t talk about any other characters without giving stuff away, but be aware there are lots of them.

Even though the characters became unique and interesting, it was difficult to read at times be of the constant POV shifts. Trying to keep up with who’s point of view was very confusing. It would sometimes change multiple times in a chapter. I’d be in Tavis’s head then Sebastian’s and then Jack’s without any warning or transition.

Plot

I’m not sure this book knows what its plot was. It was a dystopian sci-fi, with a focus on meta humans, but it wasn’t that simple. There was romance (more so in the beginning) then later. It was more of a family saga with a sci-fi twist. The biggest issue was all the minuta. I felt like I was drowning in useless scenes and day to day activities more than once that I couldn’t always figure out how that had anything to do with where the book was going. However, there were more than a few scenes and plot points that caught my attention and really shined. This plot was more about the characters then the story, which was evident by the progression of the plot. The characters were all distinct but the plot had a few logical fallacies.

The author held a lot back and introduced new ‘secrets’ that were revelations on the characters and help drive the plot. I wasn’t sure all of the were necessary and some of them felt convenient. Again I think that is because this book was more character driven then plot driven.

Overall

I’d like to start off by saying I don’t like really long books and this book was over 600 pages and took me 10 HOURS TO READ! If you love long intense sagas, this is for sure something you’d love. I struggled through it on more than one occasion. What was worse, after the big conflict there is a character who proceeds to monologue for pages on end as part of the resolution’s. It was all very predictable in more than one way but also complicated. I wasn’t necessarily surprised by some of the developments – they’d been hinted at – but it was subtle and could be easily overlooked.  If all of the chapters could have been more like the epilogue I would have enjoyed it more.

That being said I was impressed by the sheer dedication to detail. It didn’t leave anything to the imagination (for good or bad). With the exception of the setting. The world building was very vague. The complexly woven story and the many twists and turns created a interesting structure. Overall it felt like a very long origin story, which I expect is the first in an equally lengthy series.

Rating

3 Stars

It was okay. This was a speculative fiction that delves deep into the characters lives and felt like a historical saga of their progression. If you like the deep dive into characters lives and thoroughly detailed scenes, then this book is for you.

I received this book for a free and voluntarily review. More reviews at creatingworldswithwords.wordpress.com.