Book Review: Sanctum by Madeleine Roux!

Wow. Just yesterday, I was saying how I was in the middle of this book (only on page 100 out of 340) and that it may take me a little bit longer to get it finished… boy, was I wrong.

I read until twelve at night, headphones in playing some creepy music to help the mood, so determined to find out that happens next.

Unlike my past review, this review contains NO SPOILERS. That’s right. No rant going on here, because I’m kind of satisfied.

Now, this book is actually the sequel to Roux’s Asylum, but honestly, these two books could be book by themselves. Sure, you would probably need to add in some information into Sanctum, change from history blah, blah, blah, but for the most part the plot is very unique from the first book.

Summary for Asylum

For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it’s a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it’s no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux’s teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.

Summary for Sanctum

Dan, Abby, and Jordan remain traumatized by the summer they shared in the Brookline asylum. Much as they’d love to move on, someone is determined to keep the terror alive, sending the teens photos of an old-timey carnival, with no note and no name. Finally, Dan receives a list of coordinates pointing to abandoned houses in the town near Brookline, and he is convinced that the only way to end this nightmare once and for all is to return to New Hampshire College and follow the trail.

But when Dan and his friends arrive under the guise of a prospective students’ weekend, they discover that the carnival from their photos isn’t just real, it’s here on campus–it has returned for the first time in many years. And as they sneak away from their undergrad hosts to visit the houses on their list, they find secrets far darker than anything they’d imagined.

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Would this be the book for you?

Romance? Some but not very much.

Humor? I dare say at the worst times possible… aka Jordan.

Scary? I’ll talk about this further, but it was not very creepy to me at first… until I got to the end.

Vocabulary? It talks a bit about medical terms that I did not understand at first, especially in the first book. But they are easily looked up and sometimes the characters will explain what something is. Other than that, very easy read.

How much will it pull you in? I personally did not get right into it until about the middle of the book, when it gets more in depth with the mysteries of Brookline.

My overall rating…

A 4 Star

If you’re a mystery fan and just looking for something small and easy, this book would be for you. As for me, I enjoyed it because of the creepy setting it gave off and the diverse characters; and I also wanted to learn more about Brookline Asylum.

I want to make a connection to this book and Miss Peregrine’s. If you really think about it, they both don’t have that much in common, but they do both create this ominous tone through their covers and pictures. Both use actual photos to create a story by putting the photos together. By doing so, it makes the whole thing seem so much more real. I love that about a story. I love a good picture book.

So in this story, we meet Dan, Abby, and Jordan. And when I said there is not much romance, it’s more like it’s not the main point the author is trying to get at. It’s obvious that there is something going on between two of the three main characters and it makes you kind of happy when they peck each other on the cheeks and whatnot, but in the end, it’s the friendship the trio have together that really matters in this book. They all stick together, because they know if they walk away on their own… bad things will happen.

What I think is most important about this book is its mood and tone. At first, I honestly did not feel frightened or practically anything… at first. Mostly it was just some small stuff. Oh, okay. You’re in a creepy, haunted house… that’s cool. Don’t die, Dan. That’d suck. But then I was reading yesterday and got this idea to put in my headphones at ten at night and play some creepy random music from Spotify.

Booooooooooyyyyyy, I chose the best time to play the music because that is when things started to go down. One moment we’re all having a good time and the next thing you know there someone is getting their eye stabbed out, someone else is dead, and we’re all sitting together trying to figure out how not to lose our minds. Pretty awesome stuff.

And that is when I started loving on the book. Doors were opened, problems were solved.  The conclusion did not leave off on a happy note, as I will probably figure out why in the next book Catacombs. 

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My predictions? No idea. I hardly understood what “Sanctum” meant when diving into this book. The title itself if a mystery.

The only big issues I had with this book were probably the random senses of humor, (even though it does lighten the mood a little bit but kind of needs to work on when the mood should be lightened and when it shouldn’t) and the reactions of the main characters. Some times I felt like their reactions to certain situation were a little off. They seemed chill at the very beginning. Oh, you see a little ghost boy? Just eat your cereal, Dan. We don’t have time for this. It did get better towards the end, but I mean if you see someone you were just talking to dead on the ground and don’t flip out, you probably do need to see someone about that.

If you have not read either of these books and you love a good mystery, mark this on Goodreads as a To-Read and play some creepy music in the middle of the night. I sure enjoyed it.

Catch the Sparks Within! Chapters 27 and 28 by Alex Abaz

Hey, guys! We’re close to finally finishing this amazing book. It has definitely been a journey.

Click the name of the title to see Kester’s recent review on Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schroder

Click the name of the title to see Kelsey’s recent review Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past by Paul Cude!

Click the name of the title to see Cayli’s recent review The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo!

Also, if you happen to be new to Abaz’s reviews by me click HERE to see the very first post and HERE to see Chapters 25 and 26 reviews! 

As I was linking the first ever review of this amazing book, I just looked at the editting and also looked back to where I was in that time. In retrospect, it was not that long ago, but I guess that’s the magic of time. I feel like I have learned a lot more about WordPress and about this blog as a whole. This is one of the best things I could ever do. I cannot wait to grow even more, and one day be able to moderate giveaways and interviews. I’m not there yet, but I’m willing to take it one step at a time. 🙂 I also noticed around the time I agreed to do these reviews, I also agreed to start a bible study group with three other great women. I feel myself growing a lot with Alex Abaz’s chapters and with the friendship I have in my bible study group.


Disclaimer: I have received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Chapter 27: Being single and independent is hard to do.

This chapter is about the importance of a romantically involved partner. Alex Abaz includes in the very beginning that people are shunned from society when someone chooses to not marry.

And this is honestly true when looking around my high school. People constantly date just because they are too embarrassed to be seen without someone. It’s getting to a point where there is no longer a commitment… They just love the fact that they are with someone. They are in love with the thought of them. I’m sure we have all read a book about this type of central idea. It stands true.

As for me? I have never dated anyone. I have never kissed anyone. And like Abaz (thought I should not at my age), I sometimes worry I will never find someone and everyone else around me will pass that threshold while I am still on the other side.

But even though it’s kind of sad, I don’t let it put me down, you know what I mean? I am not desperate. Yes, I have had boys who have come to me telling me I’m beautiful, telling me they like me. And I turn them down. And why do I do that? Because I have standards. This is not like applying for my first job. It’s deciding who will take care of me for the rest of my life. And yeah, maybe one day I will meet someone who meets my standards, and it may not work out, but at least we tried, right? Date to marry. Not to break up. That’s my number one standard. 

While we want to believe that love and passion are the emotions that bring two people together naturally, this is only true some of the time. 

Have you had a friend who thought they were completely in love with their new boyfriend they have had for a week? Who was so in love they ditch their plans with you to go hang out with them, or constantly talked about them? They post on Instagram of them kissing saying, “Love you, bae! Happy two week anniversary!” As I type this, two people are on my mind and I can’t help but smile. Kelsey knows who I am talking about.

But it is so hilarious, because they are guided strictly on love and passion. They have no standards. They believe love is all they need. Back to books and movies, we have all read or watched that movie where the main character and her/his lover are constantly arguing, constantly having different views, constantly mad at each other. Maybe I should throw Mal and Alina in as an example, but I rather not… Anyways, they go throughout the entire series, thinking love with always keep them together: Sorry to break it to you, but this is a load of toad crap. You need guidance, you need trust, you need to have a bond that doesn’t just draw you in romantically, but draws you into a healthy relationship where you two pick each other up in the down times, and you two don’t go to sleep until the argument is resolved. Going to sleep angry is the worse way to go to bed. There has to be committment. 

Now as the chapter goes on, Abaz mentions the role of marriage, and I agree when she says that marriage is not an obsession for me. Like her, I dream now of falling in love with someone and having that commitment, but the dream of growing up, going to college, and making a strong living for myself is so, so much bigger. I won’t work to please someone. When they want to step in and be like, “Oh, cool, you read books and are socially awkward? I like it!” I will happily accept it, but I will not stop and run away from my ultimate goal just to catch them.

Chapter 28: Loss in inevitable.

This chapter is about loss and the grief that comes with it.

I’m going to be completely honest: I have never had someone super important to me pass away. Sure, I’ve gone to funerals and I’ve known some of the people whom I went to see, but I never really had a high personal connection with any of them.

Which frightens me sort of. One day someone important to me will die, and it will be the first time that has ever happened me. How will I handle it? That’s a big fear of mine. I’m afraid of grieving. I see the way it hurts other people, and in truth, no one can make them stop grieving. I have heard from so many people that the pain in a loss never goes away, but it becomes manageable.

“One must feel and process the pain, the anger, and the grief until the hurt gradually subsides.”

Note that Abaz never said “until the hurt gradually goes away.” It just becomes less intense. 

But I do cry for others. Not too long ago, an unexpected death happened in my friend’s family and I went to pay my respects. She was crying when I went up to hug her and it took all of me not to cry with her. I didn’t even know the name of her grandfather, yet I understood how much he meant to her.

And I do believe in an afterlife. I believe in Heaven. I believe when I die, I will be granted the glorious gift to see Jesus, and to live my eternal life with Him. I am so scared at the thought of death. I will lay awake at night sometimes thinking about how one day I won’t be here and my name will wear through the fabrics of time until it no longer exists. That’s a scary thought. (CUE EXISTENTIAL CRISIS…) But I always calm down knowing when I die, I won’t be scared of anything anymore. And I know those around me: my brother, my mom, my dad, my grandmother, they won’t be afraid anymore either. That’s the most comforting thought.

 


So happy to have another review in!

I am currently reading five other books to review! Wish my luck, and look out for my coming up reviews. My next review on one of these books will be Sanctum by Madeleine Roux!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo (more like emotionally unstable rant)

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I think I’ve died multiple times while reading this series.

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Before I get to the dying part, let me fill you in on the summary for the first book so you understand somewhat what it is about. If you have read these series (… help me), I’m so glad, because I really need to let all the rage and pain out.

 

 

 

 

Book One: Shadow and Bone

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Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, she is sure of only one thing: her best friend, Mal–and her inconvenient crush on him. Until the day their army regiment enters the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. When their convoy is attacked and Mal is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power not even she knew existed.

Ripped from everything she knows, Alina is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With Alina’s extraordinary power in his arsenal, he believes they can finally destroy the Fold. Now Alina must find a way to master her untamed gift and somehow fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. As the threat to the kingdom mounts and her dangerous attraction to the Darkling grows, Alina will uncover a secret that could tear her heart–and her country–in two.

So yeah… 

Putting to use our new rating scale! I give this series a…

A 5 Star

I absolutely loved this series. I am going to go onto my bio shortly to change everything. It is definitely a top three types of series.

If you’re confused about the genre, it’s a fantasy-adventure. It’s full of action and romance. Everything I ever want in a fantasy series.

Bardugo does amazingly with every single character within the series. You fall in love with the darkest of characters. You will feel all sorts of emotions and FEELS. Everyone is displayed in a beautiful manner.

The dialogue can be absolutely hilarious when it comes time, but will have you in tears with the beautiful way they talk. They speak more poetic, full of metaphors and lovely arrangement of their words.

And the plot itself is so enhancing. It pulled me in on the first book, carried me through in the second, and threw me out the window in the third. U just got done with it not even two hour ago. I can already tell this is a series that I will never get over. I will always want more of it.

And it killed me. It downright killed me. I’m not alive anymore. I am a ghost. I can’t eVEN ANYMORE. This is a series that will betray you, will murder you, and will tear your heart into pieces. Just saying. :-l

I really encourage ANY fantasy fan to check this out. I recommend it 10/10.

Now I will go through each of the books, explaining my thoughts on each. Keep in mind, Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm I have read a long time ago, so my memory may be a little off–But I definitely know the large and most meaningful parts to me.

After my main point about each of them for those who have not read them, I will get into the spoilers.

Shadow and Bone:

Why you should read it: It is powerful and will pull at your heart. It will make you feel the same way the main character Alina feels, because the author does a real good job at describing everything that she is and what she goes through.

The beginning may be a little hard to get through, but believe me, it gets better real quick. So hang in there, and don’t be discouraged.


Spoiler time…

I felt so much betrayal. I never felt so hurt in my lifetime. Even when I was reading The Mortal Instruments and found out Sebastian was who he was. Not going into detail with that one, but…

THE DARKLING.

When we are first introduced to the Darkling, he was a charming fellow. He knew what to say, when to say it, and blew my mind away. And you must be wondering…

“Cayli, why did you trust someone with the ‘Darkling’?”

Well, I’ll answer that: No clue. Maybe I thought it was just a name. Like the Darkling drew Alina in with his charming smile and handsome face, he pulled my heart with his words. I trusted him, even when he used the Cut–in which I should have saw as a red flag. I was blind, just like Alina was. Then when Baghra said that he was an evil person… Like Alina, I could not believe it. I kept thinking, “No. She’s wrong. She must have messed up with something. She’s lying.” But no. Baghra was right.

My heart split in two.

I see a lot of Mal, but at the same time I don’t. He was the thought in the back of Alina’s head. He was the figure that Alina’s love and best friend. When seeing him at the end of the book, I fell in love with him immediately. I knew that whatever was about to happen, he was going cause some trouble, because he’s a “good soldier.” (lol… a late reference, but it fits him.) It hurt me to see him hurt. It hurt me to see Alina hurt.

I hurt a lot.

And it also delivered cold themes, I thought. Like at the end when Alina didn’t want to kill the stag, but then the Darkling ended up killing it. ALina saw its beauty, but in the second book (which I will get to) everything changes as the hunger and power grow.

Siege and Storm:

Now, when it comes to second books in a trilogy, it seems more like a bridge from first to second. It does not hold as much power or strength, but at the same time, we could not be without it.

Yes, this second book was kind of dull compared to the other two, but nonetheless, I fell in love with it. It focuses on the characters individually. You meet even more characters, and fall in love with them. And if you don’t fall in love with one specific character… oh, my heart hurts.


Spoiler time… 

NIKOLAI. NIKOLAI. NIKOLAI. *Raises poms poms in the air*

When we enter this book, we find ourselves quickly on this ship. The Darkling has Alina and Mal captured. The Darkling is making Mal track the second amplifier.

And that’s when we meet Tamar, Tolya, and Sturmhond.

I did not know at first how to approach these characters. They seemed okay enough, but I didn’t really notice them until Sturmhond spoke to Alina for the first time. I liked him in a way that made me suspicious — I had been betrayed once… not ready to do it again. I didn’t know who Sturmhond was, or what his goals were, so I wasn’t ready to give in just yet.

But then there’s another epic battle ans Sturmhond escapes with the Sun Summoner and Mal along with his crew. And then I fell in love with him.

I did not know what I was in for.

When Sturmhond revealed himself to be the Prince of Ravka, I think I screamed in joy. He was hot, he was lively, he was a prince. What else could I possibly want now?

Of course, I never really shipped Alina and Nikolai. They seemed more like the close-friend type. Whenever Nikolai started confessing how he felt, it felt kind of awkward, because I knew it would never happen, yet at the same time I was curious. How far would this go?

I loved how clever he was, how he knew how to say the right thing. He is my absolute favorite character of all time. When he leaves at the end of the book, I got so sad, not because I knew he could die, but because I wouldn’t get to see him for awhile.

And Alina really scared me in this book. I was scared she would actually go off the deep end, take a path that wasn’t what she wanted. Over and over, she would talk about the Firebird and how she wanted it, and Mal was pretty aware of this. He told her she was becoming obsessed.

I became more interested in Morozova and his story. Who was he? What did he accomplish? What did he leave behind?

Again, with Mal, I really felt angry at him throughout this story. He was being a big butthole. “I can’t be Alina.” CRY ME RIVER, MAL .YOU CAN BE WITH HER.

And that time he left his post, and Alina nearly died… I’m laughing now as I think about it, but I was so angry that I had to put the book down. (I am literally uncontrollably laughing right now… hold on.)

Okay, I’m back. But yeah, when he did that, I was so angry at him. I felt everyone’s pain in that one. Mal, why my man. Get your life togettthhherrr.

Ruin and Rising:

So in this book, it is the final part of Alina’s journey. It is filled with emotion and action. It was definitely one of my favorite. It will leave you smiling and hurting and dwelling over everything that just happened.

Bardugo is not kind when it comes to this story (well, maybe in the end). I was constantly worrying about the characters. One moment everything would be fine, and the next the person we were just talking is dead.

So yeah! Give it a read! 😀


Spoiler time… 

Pain.

Sorrow.

Why me?

We don’t really meet any new characters, but for the little cute boy Misha, which I really wish I got to know more. He was adorable.

We are in this underground place. The Apparat is getting on my last nerve, then Mal steps in and saves the day. Because Mal is Mal. And Mal is awesome.

I was so glad to get out of there and get to the surface. It was wonderful to venture out and explore what had become of Ravka since the Darkling took over.

AND THEN NIKOLAI COMES 😀

Okay, so I remember this part a lot, because I was so happy. If I wasn’t in class at the time, I would have been dancing around and singing.

So like the militia are surrounding our group. Looks bleak right? Yeah, it does.

And I don’t really notice it when a guy in the back goes, “How about we give them to Nikolai?”

I just shrug and go, “I mean, sure, that’d be great. But that would never happen.”

Then he starts talking… and talking… and talking.

And the minute he said, “Not bad looking? He’s [outstandingly] handsome.”

Then I smiled. Oh, my goodness. NIKOLAI IS BACK IN BUSINESS. And making quite the entrance. I expected nothing less from him.

It gets deeper and deeper into the story. The mood changes. It gets darker and darker. There doesn’t seem to be a clear way out. I’m freaking out, because I don’t want anyone to die…

And everyone goes downhill the minute Nikolai is picked up by the… *pauses as I look for the word* nichevo’ya (don’t ever ask me how to say that). I’m flipping out. Then Sergei is dead. Nikolai is transformed into some kind of dark monster and flies off. Like I’m dying over here. ALINA DO SOMETHING. MAL DO SOMETHIN-Baghra! She’ll help us!

But then Baghra dies. Thanks for that.

Then they go searching for the firebird. They realize Mal is the last amplifier. Then of course he is willing to die. When he is ever on my side? Never, because he’s a pain in the butt.

And the last battle scene… when they march into the Fold and take down the Darkling. Then Alina killed Mal for the power. I was internally screaming. But everything was okay, because I realized he can just be resurrected or something like that.

And this was when I really felt bad for the Darkling. We finally realize that he did love Ravka. He did want to rule it… he was just so alone. He was his own tragedy. I didn’t want to call him evil after that, because that wasn’t what he was. Yeah, he killed many people. He wanted to hurt Alina, but why? He was lost in his own eternal life.


If you’re still around, hey!

If you have read these books, comment down below about how you felt! I would love to talk to more about it. I will be reading Six of Crows soon. I’m so happy to have made this post for this series. I hope you enjoyed.

All the pictures taken were by me. I made this review out of my deep love for this series. 

 

 

 

 

Catch the Sparks Within! Chapters 25 and 26 by Alex Abaz

Disclaimer: I have received a free copy in return for a honest review. 

Back with two more reviews! Nothing much going on lately. Getting ready for a yard sale to raise money for a mission trip. That’s about it. As I type this, in about two hours I will be preaching to middle schoolers, so wish me luck!

Chapter 25: I am a procrastinator.

I used to be one of the biggest procrastinator. But then high school started… constant worry about getting things done. Especially in English…. even if I do love to write and when I get in my zone, it’s all good… I can’t help but hate the anticipation about starting. I am not the type of person who likes to section an assignment. I like to get things done all together.

Which brings me to what Abaz says in this chapter:

When our expectations are unrealistic or blurred we get discouraged.

I get easily discouraged. Again with writing, I can get so discouraged when it doesn’t represent what I want my writing too. After that, it goes downhill for a while and I fall into a writer’s block. I don’t consider what “all” means when it comes to my writing. I want it all done now, I want where I want it now, and I want to get my ideas through now. That’s my main problem when wanting to become an author. It’s something I have to work on. Writing is not a patient task for me.

And back with high school. I can’t lay things off anymore. I have to get it done if I want to be stress-free and tear-free. Having it done means I can put it aside. I don’t have to worry about it until the day it is due. In addition, putting things off means it won’t be your very best… sometimes, you won’t have it completed. I have been in that position many a times and I hate it so much.

It’s so hard to discipline myself. I can’t make myself write when I don’t see progress in my writing style. I quit and wait later to try again. I get discouraged. Really, I only have myself to push me to keep trying, so it makes it ten times harder.

Chapter 26: Homemade pizza tastes different from store-bought pizza.

Ever have that habit that is just so unhealthy? Where do I start?

I have an unhealthy habit of biting my nails and my lips when I’m nervous or uncomfortable. I keep doing it until I draw blood. Yuck, I know. But it’s a habit I thought was harmless at first, but then it escalated into something I can’t stop doing.

Abaz reveals this problem by comparing it to home-made pizza and store bought pizza. At first, I was a little confused, but by the end, I understood.

I love store-bought pizza. Not as much as home-made pizza WHICH IS THE BOOM.COM but I could settle with some 20 minute pizza.

Store-bought pizza is unhealthy though. And so many people buy it because it is way easier and simple. It’s a habit to go after these small things that make our lives a little easier, but in the end, it damages us.

I have family members who damage themselves through smoking and other horrible habits. Then they turn around and say that they are having to go the doctors all the time because of it. Yet… they don’t stop? I understand that smoking is addictive. Just like drinking. Once you get into the habit, you can’t stop. At one point, my dad had this problem. He smoked, he drank. But then I heard before I was born, he forced himself to stop smoking for my sake. Then not too long ago, maybe two-three years ago, he went through a lot to top drinking. He actually did it. With the right motivation, you can do it too. It wasn’t easy for him. He had to make a commitment.

So try that homemade pizza. See if you like it. If you don’t, what habits make it hard for you to like the healthy things in life?

Catch the Sparks Within! By Alex Abaz – Chapters 23 and 24

Hey, guys! I missed last week. 😦 My Tuesday was taken up and I lost my only chance to post. But I am here again, and this time actually on a Tuesday. Since I’m so irregular with posting, especially these coming weeks with Kester’s blog tour, don’t think I’ve give up just because I missed a week or something. It’s probably going to happen more often as all these other posts are in session.

Let’s roll into the post, shall we?

Chapter 23: We all aspire to being patient and loving with our children, but they do try our patience.

As a child, I am deeply offended. LOL Just kidding. I do get on my parents nerves a lot, because I can be so hard-headed. I guess I’ll be reviewing this in a child’s point of view, because as you know-I’m just in high school.

Whenever I think about growing up to marry and have kids, I have this perfect false reality of it all: Lovely mornings eating chocolate chip pancakes, perfect relationship between all my children and husband, all smiles with Game Nights every Friday. I want to be an awesome parent. Like yeah, I’m pretty young, but I look into the future a lot, even if it’s a long way away. How would I want to raise my child?

If anything, I always wanted to raise my children to look at the world in a different perspective as it is something very important to me. I want them to see the world and realize its beauty–not the ugliness of the people at school or the rudeness of the daily pedestrian.

But this chapter also talks about patience, which I have very little of. And I know I trample on my mom’s all the time. It’s not that I mean to, I just don’t like the whole “waking up” part of the day. I am not a morning person.

My parents and I will argue a lot. Some moments more than others. But nonetheless the thought of leaving one day to go to college terrifies me. I won’t be next to them like I have all my life. I may try their patience, but I do love them both a lot. They’ve never failed at taking care of me.

I honestly have no idea how else to approach this. I’m saying this all in a child’s perspective, so it’s really hard to relate to this chapter other than saying my parents try my patience as well. But I know they do it because I love them, and I try their patience because I have no idea what I’m doing.

Chapter 24: Our lives can change on a dime.

I will admit, I’m that person who goes on a church trip for the weekend and brings luggage big enough to last me the week. I’ve gotten better deciding what I definitely don’t need. but my mind over-thinks everything as I stare at my empty suitcase. Not kidding, these are the things that go through my mind:

What if it rains and I get soaked? I should pack an extra shirt and jeans. 

What if it gets really hot at the hotel? I’ll throw in some shorts to change into. 

Okay, extra socks. Extra socks. I need extra socks. I got to have them.

Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, face cleanser thingy, more soap, razor, makeup… Oh, which one do I put in? This shampoo dries my scalp… I just throw in extra bottles just in case. 

Like, it’s awful. I double check everything. I make sure I am prepared. And it’s always that I forget to bring my toothbrush or something and I’m left sitting there with thirty bags going, “I’m so ill-prepared…”

My life is a world of unexpected events. If I hope for something too much, it will not happen. If I think something won’t happen, it ends up happening. So like that extra pair of jeans I brought in case it rained? Never rained. But when we went skiing, guess what I didn’t pack? The bottom part of my pajama outfit. And it’s not like I can just put on my leggings or something, because EVERYTHING IS SOAKED. Oh, my life. Lol!

Abaz is right. Things will be thrown at you left and right. It can be so hard to catch it all. It’s important to stop moping in your situation, because you are only sitting there. You can only get out if you move. It’s best to look up instead of down. It’s important to see your goal. It’s best to think you can do it. Stay strong. Don’t let anything throw you off and mess up anything. These unexpected events in our lives are like the holes in our path. We might be able to jump over some of them with ease, but sometimes we’ll trip and fall. And the ground becomes quicksand instantly. And freaking out and twisting is only making you sink faster.

Anger will not cure an injury only aggravate it. 

Guilt and regret are downward spirals.

Shame contaminates the spirit. 

Secrets embolden the perpetrator and trap the victim. 

And sometimes you can’t get out of the quicksand all by yourself. You need someone to hand you the rope.

I’m actually listening to King by Lauren Aquilina right now as I write this, and I’m actually tearing up writing this because this and the song relate a lot. And also because I am struggling with this right now. I don’t know… just writing out what I should do really helps me, and it’s thanks to Abaz. She helps to start the ball rolling. She is literally my inspiration. I hope I could do that for someone one day. 

“You’ve got it all,

you lost your mind in the sound.

 

There’s so much more, 

You can regain your crown.

You’re in control, 

rid of the monsters inside your head.

Put all your faults to bed.

You can be king again.”

Put everything useless away. They are distractions. Bring out the rope. Bring out those you love and trust. Bring out your success. Hang in there, says the cute kitty.

And know you’re not alone. We all are struggling by these things that pop up in our lives. It’s a matter of how you approach these situations… it will change the effect of it all. I encourage everyone of you to see the glass half full. It can be hard. Some of us need that push. We don’t like walking outside that zone of comfort. We’re that terrified person in the corner in a horror movie. The killer isn’t going to stop and give you pity just because you’re sitting there with your hands over your eyes. Get up and fight back. Show the world they can’t keep you down.


So happy to have another review in! I should be free next week so expect one next Tuesday. 🙂

The Narnia Book Tag!

This is my first book tag, and it is a pleasure be tagged by Reading With Rendz (find her tag HERE) to do this.

I have my co-blogger Kelsey with me as she has read these books as well (way before I did actually)… I would hate to leave her out of the fun! I’ll have some of her reviews linked below.

Before I start, I wanted to say how I fell in love with the Chronicles of Narnia. I started the series last year in the 9th grade when my youth pastor gave me this huge black book and told me to read it. Instantly I fell in love with it. I have been a fan ever since!!

As for Kelsey, her parents would read her the books at night as a good story to fall asleep to! So she has been there since the VERY beginning of her reading hobby. Lucky…

 On to the tag!


This tag was originally created by Clémence @ Clemi’s Bookish World (Find her Narnia Tag HERE).


NARNIA: What magical world would you love to visit?

Cayli’s answer: I would love to visit the magical world of Percy Jackson from Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (plus The Heroes of Olympus…. plus Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard… plus the Trials of Apollo… I-I think that’s it… Wait no, The Kane Chronicles…). It would be so awesome to be able to just visit Camp Half-Blood/Camp Jupiter or walk through Valhalla for a day or two (Though I rather not die by the end of the visit). I think it would totally awesome to train with demigods and save the world from smelly, old monsters. Dude, if I could meet Leo Valdez or Percy Jackson… I just may faint on spot.

Kelsey’s answer: I would love to visit Camelot, Hogwarts, or Neverland. If I were to visit Camelot, I would love to meet King Arther and learn some magic from Merlin. If I went to Hogwarts, I would want to befriend all of the mythical creatures and maybe even learn some magic as well. And if I went to Neverland, I would want to be one of Captain Hook’s scallywags or one of Pan’s lost boys.


 MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW: A book you think is underrated?

Cayli’s answer: Reboot by Amy Tintera! You won’t believe how much I love this book. It’s one of my favorites out there. I actually bought Tintera’s second book Rebel so I can fangirl over all the characters again.

Kelsey’s answer: Heart- Shaped Box by Joe Hill. It’s absolutely stunning. It’s the only book that’s actually given me nightmares.


The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: A classic that you love?

Cayli’s answer: The Outsiders by SE Hinton! I bought this book along with the massive book haul I had last year from McKay’s. I read it last semester on my own and could not put it down. Stay gold, Ponyboy.

Kelsey’s answer: Les Misrables by Victor Hugo. I haven’t read many classics but this one will stay in my heart forever. And the play is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!


The Horse and His Boy: A book you picked up without knowing what it was about?

Cayli’s answer: Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo. I picked up this book mainly because I saw it featured a lot on BookTube. Everyone was saying they were in love with it. When I randomly saw it in my public library, I snatched it up to give it a read. I didn’t have any idea about what it was about or what I was getting myself into. Now I have the complete series on my bookshelf and in the middle of finishing the second book Siege and Storm! (my battle cry as of right now: NIKOLAIIII)

Kelsey’s answer: This is a hard one because I usually always read what the book is about before getting it. But I think The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry was one I didn’t read about until I bought it . I remember seeing an ad for it and knew immediately I needed it because of the cover and tile.


PRINCE CASPIAN: A sequel that you loved?

Cayli’s answer: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs. I CANNOT express it enough on how much I LOVE Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Next to Infernal Devices (my all time favorite) Miss Peregrine’s is right there next to it. Hollow City was pulled at every heart string. I teared up more than once. I fell in love with each character, and there were a lot of characters. Good job to Riggs for making a balanced story with so many lovable characters. This is not a suggestion…. READ. THE. BOOK.

Kelsey’s answer: This is also a hard one for me because I don’t usually read series. The one series I can remember reading is The Station series by Trish Marie Dawson. I read the entire series in a week, I absolutely loved that series.


THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER: What quest would you love to be a part of?

Cayli’s answer: This is actually a pretty hard question. There are so many quests I would love to be a part of. A lot of the adventures that went down in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments  would be something exciting to be a part of. Like the one at the end of the series in The City of Heavenly Fire when they went to go destroy Sebastian by going through the demon realm. I would probably pee my pants, but hey, I loved that quest. Alec and Simon was there, Jace was there too, but I doubt he could protect me… :/

Kelsey’s answer: I don’t really know if you would consider these as quests but I would love to travel Indiana with Violet and Finch from All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.


THE SILVER CHAIR: What book did you not expect to love?

Cayli’s answer: This one is hard since I hardly pick up anything I don’t think I will love… I guess I have to go for the book that I was forced to read in school. I did not expect to love Night by Eli Wiesel, but reading it in class, it was one of the best books pertaining to WWII. It was so sad and so heart-wrenching. This book got me into reading more WWII related novels.

Kelsey’s answer: Probably Ten by Gretchen McNeil. I mean I knew I was going to like the book, I just didn’t know I was going to love it as much as I do now.


THE LAST BATTLE: A perfect ending to a series you love?

Cayli’s answer: What book have I read that actually ended the way I wanted it to? Not many. I was going to go with The 5th Wave trilogy, but then I thought more and more… Nah… I have to go back to Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian. It was such a cool ending that didn’t make me cry. I was so happy and I just wanted to love the world. It was amazing. Unlike other stories I have read, this book actually ended to where everyone was smiling and everyone was happy but for a few. I guess it’s because it was more of a children’s book, but hey! I can read Percy Jackson if I want to.

Kelsey’s answer: Like I said before, I haven’t read many series so I’ll have to go with The Station series by Trish Marie Dawson again.


THE PEVENSIES – A siblinghood of friendship you’d love to be a part of?

Cayli’s answer: The Blackthorns from Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare! Wow! I love these group of kids so much. They are hilarious and unique and everything about them just makes me tear up. You have Jules, who is the caretaker of his younger siblings (touch his family and you feel his wrath). You have the twins who strive to be strong and courageous. Little Tavvy who is the youngest. You have Dru who is the group’s Nudge from Maximum Ride by James Patterson. Then you got Mark. Mark. Marrrrkkk. He’s ADORABLE.

Kelsey’s answer: The Baudelaire’s from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. Although they had a rough life, they still remained together after everything.


EUSTACE SCRUBB – A character who grew on you?

Cayli’s answer: Caleb from the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. A lot of people still have not warmed up to him, which I understand. He grew on me because I am a very forgiving person. He always tried to get forgiveness from his sister and her friends, though with Tris being the person that she was, had a hard time with that. I do love him, he’s a very unique character in this series. A coward, but… ya know. STOP GIVING HIM HATE. JUST LEAVE HIM ALONE.

Kelsey’s answer: Ty from Stolen by Lucy Christopher. Just like Gemma, I too fell slowly head-over-hills for him.


TUMNUS – Your favourite mystical creature?

Cayli’s answer: Pegasus… Griffin? No, a sea serpent? OOOOOH. A HOLLOW? Okay, to be honest, a Hollow is a made up character… not really like a mystical creature like a pegasus or a sea serpent. In the book, though, they were huge, ferocious beasts that hunted little peculiars. But by Library of Souls, I actually felt really bad for them, because Jacob felt bad for them.

Kelsey’s answer: Buckbeak from Harry Potter. OR maybe a Phoenix? A Pegasus is pretty cool as well. Oh I don’t know, can I choose ALL OF THEM!!!


CASPIAN – A character with regal qualities?

Cayli’s answer: Prince Nikolai from the Grisha trilogy. He’s so elegant (yet he can be a bit sassy sometimes) and smart. He knows how to win over a crowd wherever he goes.

Kelsey’s answer: I don’t really know of any regal characters. I guess, Eowyn from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. She is a noblewoman who is dutiful and fights fearlessly against the forces of evil.


REEPICHEEP: A loyal character?

Cayli’s answer: Dan from Asylum by Madeleine Roux. Dan is a very loyal character, not towards other friends, but towards his role in this book. He wants to understand who he is and where he comes from so that he can find the secrets around him. While he friends give up on him, even though they found connections as well, Dan keeps fighting.

Kelsey’s answer: Buck from Call of the Wild by Jack London. We are talking about a sled dog here. Of course he’s loyal.


THE WARDROBE – Your favourite hideout/place to read?

Cayli’s answer: I usually read in school when I’m bored and have nothing to do. However, I read in my room most of the time. If I’m making pizza, I’ll sit on the counter and read until it dings. I can pretty much read anywhere. But my room is where my true hideout is so I can fangirl all I want.

Kelsey’s answer: I’ll read anywhere but my favorite place to read is in my room.


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The Enemy Within by Scott Burns!

Hey, guys! I’m back with another review. I kept having to delay this one due to changes. As for delays, I just wanted to talk about Catch the Sparks Within for a quick second. I know I said would do them ever Tuesday, but it’s been getting hard and harder to do that. This week there was a change where Tuesday was taken. I have no idea if I will have the chance to post my review for this week. So sorry…

the enemy within

But let’s get onto the review you clicked on!

I am so thankful to have gotten this chance to review this book, The Enemy Within! I am a lover when it comes to sci-fi novels. Interested? Here’s a quick summary!

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Max has always felt like an outsider. When the agonizing apocalyptic visions begin, he decides suicide is his only escape. He soon finds himself in an institution under the guidance of a therapist who sees something exceptional in him. Just as he begins to leave the hallucinations behind, Max discovers the visions weren’t just in his head. There are three others who have shared those same thoughts and they’ve been searching for Max. Like him, they are something more than human. Each of them possesses certain abilities, which they’re going to need when a covert military group begins hunting them down. As the danger escalates, Max doesn’t know which side to trust. But in the end, his choice will decide the fate of both species.

My rating for this book: 3.5 out of 5

This story holds a bunch of potential. The idea with the Eye was so intriguing. What does it do? What is it even? What is its purpose?  I enjoyed the four characters: Jamie, Vincent, Noah, and Max. I was very interested in how their friendship would turn out.

Though Max was the main character, I think Vincent was my favorite (for those who have read it may have just went why like him? Lol…) Max to me was a little annoying to me at times. I never understood why he chose to do something. It felt like his thoughts were a little rushed and unrealistic to me. Vincent was the same way, but I guess since I never really got to see into Vincent’s thoughts, he felt like a better character. towards the end, I really did not understand the reasoning behind Max’s actions to have done what he did. It moved the story along very rapidly, and I am guessing it was just part of his character.

Speaking of mind reading–Oh, boy I was constantly scared of Jamie. Every single time Max would think something, the first thing I think of is how Jamie can hear every word you’re saying. She gave me the cchhhiiillllss… (I love those kind of characters by the way lol!)

Honestly, I really felt like this book could have gone on a lot longer than it did. It felt very rushed. The plot was amazing! Don’t get me wrong, but I thought if given enough time, this story could have been enhanced so much more. That’s really my big issue with it other than the decision making.

The loved the whole concept of them being the offspring of alien and human. I really wished I could have gotten more information of their parents. I was really wondering how it all worked. I understood the Eye was what protected them, but I kept wondering what was beyond the Eye.

AND THE ENNNNDDDDDIINNNNGGGG… I really do not want to spoil it at all, but the ending made me want to cry and punch something at the same time. In about one paragraph, I am going to start ranting after this non-spoiler part so prepare yourself….

But anyways, yeah, this story could go a long way. It’s concept is so interesting. It really makes you think about a lot of things. You begin to like the characters Max meet. I actually liked it when Max said he liked his doctors. I don’t know about you, but I have seen a lot of stories where characters say their teachers and doctors and parents are just cruel. It was really interesting to see a different point of view.

 

Now for the rant…

 

ATTENTION. SPOILER WARNING. PROCEED WITH CAUTION… LOL. REALLY. 

why. Why. WHY? HOW DID THIS EVEN HAPPEN? I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND. ONE MOMENT EVERYONE IS ALIVE AND THE NEXT THING YOU KNOW SHE HAS A SPEAR IN HER CHEST AND MAX IS LEAVING TO GO SEE HIS ALIEN FAMILY. IT WAS SO UNEXPECTED. LIKE I WAS SEEING THEM BECOMING A FAMILY BUT NOOOOO VINCENT HAD BE A JERK AND DESTROY ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS. WHY NOAH. NOAH DID NOT DESERVE IT. HOW WHEN WHY WHERE WHAT.

Catch the Sparks Within! by Alex Abaz: Chapters 21 and 22

I have received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. 

Spring break, guys! So happy to have this week to work on everything. To be able to read and just have a week where I can just catch up on everything outside of school. It’s amazing!

I am here with the next two chapters of Abaz’s outstanding book. I encourage you to go check it out whenever you can. It’s an easy read, and it really opens up your mind.

Chapter 21: My Heart is Your Harbor and My Arms Your Shelter

I love the name for this chapter. I’m a sucker for metaphors.

In this week’s first chapter, Abaz starts to talk about Gypsies. Believe it not, their neglection is still happening today. In third-world countries, Gypsies are left poor and in shabby homes. I honestly never knew why exactly. I always thought they are a group people just did not like. I kind of knew that people thought they had magical powers or whatnot, but I never truly understood it all.

Abaz clears this up. People don’t like them because they are afraid of them? Because of that fear, people do not like to step out there and help these people. They are scared they will get pulled into something they cannot get out of.

But this is where the kindness of heart shows. With kindness, you go out of your way and you help those in need, no matter what their background is. No matter what they have done. No matter what other people think of them. It’s  picking up the books the bullies knocked out of nerdy kid’s arms. It’s also telling someone who has done something horrible that they can overcome it.

I’m going to quote another book real quick. This is a devotional guide that I do every week. All Things New by Kelly Minter. This is what she says…

“Kindness can mean moral goodness in action. While patience is reactive, kindness is proactive. It is often related to helpfulness, actions or words that benefit others, or having a generous spirit.”

I really love reading from authors like Abaz and Minter. They really express their thoughts on a subject. As for me, I like to soak it all in. I love to see what I connect to and what I need help on. Kindness? In some ways, yeah, I have kindness. I want to help everyone. The minute their life goes downhill, I forget everything and just want them to get better. But how far does my kindness go? I have no idea. To have kindness, I better not have lost my patience. If my patience is gone, my kindness is right on its heels.

Abaz actually mentions this in this chapter. When someone drops by to live in your house, you’re okay at first. Yay, I have people over. We’re going to have a great time. But then they are still over after a week or two. You just want your house back. You just want to be left alone. The patience and kindness are drifting away.

But you want to help. You desperately want to help. You want your arms to be their shelter. You want them to trust in your love for them. Abaz gets it. WIth kindness, you have to be willing to go all out. It’s honestly worth it in the end.

Chapter 22: “If One Day is Cummy, the Next has to be Better.” Is That Right?

This chapter actually a different turn than I thought it would. It was talking about mental illness.

When it comes to mental illness, it always makes me feel awful. Mental illness is a whole other branch in the medical field. It’s a branch that is still unsolved in most cases.

.Just like a physical disability, it affects your daily life. It makes it harder to live a normal life. You see a lot of people today, especially in my age group do I see this a lot, suffering from Anxiety or Depression. Some are not about to comprehend as easily as others. And it’s a medical part where doctors are always stumped.

So some people, they find the happiness in their daily lives even if the the last one was crummy. I’ve seen people do it. I’ve seen people making the best out of the worse and it is so inspiring.

Alex Abaz talks about the brain and how complex it is. And it really is.

“While it may be hardwired to the rest of us, it is elastic with a virtual capacity. It is known now that the brain can regenerate and if necessary can transfer a function to a different part of itself-real metamorphosis.”

It’s almost like there is no limit, not stopping the way the brain works. Constantly, our minds are reshaping ourselves to fit our experiences. These memories are forever inside of us. Abaz is correct when she says that if we lose our memories, we lose ourselves. It’s hitting that restart button. I could not imagine what it would be like for me personally to wake up one day and not know who I am, where I am.

The one show that pops in my head is Beyond, which I think comes on after my show Shadowhunters. I actually tried watching the first episode, and it’s actually pretty good. If I remember correctly, he doesn’t lose his memories, but he goes into his coma for most of his childhood, waking up when he’s like seventeen. And knows his parents and his brother, but then he doesn’t. Things have changed around him, and his mind is constantly trying to cope to things. (I really need to get caught up on that show, now that I think about it…) He’s disconnected from everyone because his mind is still progressing the lack of information.

Then you have all of these other stories that I can compare to. Like the book I am currently reading The Enemy Within by Scott Burns. He sees things no one else can. The girl Jamie can actually speak into his mind. I’d honestly be scared if the person beside me could read my mind. Like my mind is my mind, stay out of it. Anyways, he is obviously different from everyone. His mind is something that is unique from everyone else’s. A talent unlike any other.

Authors can literally do anything if given the writing prompt to use the mind. There are even more stories out there that involve the mind, how it works, what it is capable of. It’s so interesting to me.

And as Alex says in the end of this chapter….

There is magic and malice in the mind. It’s the source of our smiles and our sorrows.

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Post with Devorah Fox! Pros and Cons of Fantasy Writing

Hey, guys! Its Spring Break for the crew and I have had a fun couple of days. I tried to go to the our lake nearby and it started storming! I tried to get my friend to go a contemporary moment with me by standing in the middle of the park’s road and raise our hands to the blasting winds and stormy lightning, but she just ran to the car. Then I got to drive to Dairy Delight and get my a Hot Fudge Brownie Supreme. Yummm…. So today and tomorrow are my working days. Today I’m working on these posts and then later read as much as I can for reviews I will post as soon as I can. I’m excited to get my thoughts out there!

Remember my review on The Lost King by Devorah Fox ? Well, I’m so happy to post her own guest post on this very here blog!


About the Author

Devorah Fox has written for television, radio, magazines, newspapers, and the Internet. Publisher and editor of the BUMPERTOBUMPER books for commercial motor vehicle drivers, she has branched out into developing smartphone apps including the Easy CDL apps for the iPhone. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives in the The Barefoot Palace in Port Aransas on the Texas Gulf Coast where she writes the “Dee-Scorveries” blog at http://devorahfox.com


The Lost King is an adventure filled story I’m sure any fantasy reader would appreciate the hard work put into it. I know I loved the story and really loved the aspects of her fantasy world.

The Lost King Summary: img_6090-1

When all you have owned, everyone you have loved and everything you have done are gone, who are you? King Robin Bewilliam awakens one morning to find himself mysteriously transformed from a beloved and respected ruler to a homeless vagabond. His quest to uncover and break the bewitching spell that plagues him and regain his kingdom sets him on a journey of adventure, romance, and self-discovery.

Devorah Fox.PNG

Fantasy Writing: Pros and Cons


Setting The Lost King, Book One of The Bewildering Adventures of KinBewilliam, in the Middle Ages was an example of heeding the Muse. Im not an avireader of stories set in that time period, although I do have a few all-time favorites such as Rebecca (Sir Walter Scott) and Stealing Heaven (Marion Meade). For the most part I read contemporary mysteries and thrillers. However, from my first imaginings, KinBewilliams story demanded to be told in a “once-upon-a-timefashion. I planned taddress traumatic life issues such as divorce and career displacement and felt that the reader would find them more accessible in a fairytale setting

History was never my best subject in school and I did not have years of study to call upon. At first I had no plans to research the Middle Ages. I was simply going tmake up a world set in a “time long ago.I was writing a scene in which King Bewilliaaka Robin takes something from his pocket and found myself wondering if they hapockets in those days. I did a little research and sure enough, they did not. They hacountless clever devices for waging war, for killing and maiming each other, but thehad yet to invent on-seam pockets. Instead, they carried their belongings in pouches and purses. I rewrote the scene

From that moment on, I couldnt write a syllable without researching it first. Did they have that? Did they say that? Did they eat that

The downside was that The Lost King and all the other King Bewilliam novels were National Novel Writing Month projects. National Novel Writing MonthNaNoWriMo, for short—is an organized marathon that challenges writers to writ50,000 words in 30 days. Thats about one-half to one-third a commercial length novel. Im not a speedy writer to begin with, and having to conduct research made it a reachallenge to meet the daily goal of 1667 written words. On occasion I would leavmyself a digital note to look this upand I would move on to the next scene. However, for the most part, I had to do the research before I could write. I couldnt just writaround it. I had days during the marathon when I didnt reach my word count goal until mid-afternoon, after which I still had hours of work to do for my day job.

The upside was that the research often inspired me. I did not know what I walooking for until I found it. That meant a lot of surfing the Internet and I washed up osome truly foreign shores where I found hidden treasures. For example, in Book Two, The Kings Ransom, I wrote myself into a corner. King Bewilliam had to find a way tescape an enemy fortress. I got him in with no plan for getting him out. Researchincastle construction turned up a solution and saved the day, not to mention the kingI have since found that the need to do research doesnt end even when Ive set stories in contemporary time. My Mystery/Thriller stories take place in the US in th1990s. I lived through those times but its long ago enough that I dont remember everdetail, especially with regard to technology. I had to look up when certain devices ansoftware first made their appearance. In some ways it was harder to research what didn’t happen than to investigate what did happen

Someday perhaps I will write a story that’s a complete invention. However my current works-in-progress that my planned stories all require research. My history teachers are probably having a good laugh.”


The Heart of Stone Guest Blog Post and Review! 

I have received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. 

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Hey, guys! I’m so excited to be bring to you The Heart of Stone by Ben Galley! He has come to me to read this very, very excellent story. I was very grateful to have the opportunity to be able to read it.

My rating? A nice 5 out of 5!

I’ll try my best to keep the spoilers out of this review, but just know there is so much that goes down in this book!

The Heart of Stone is a story of war and humanity, told from the perspective of a 400 year-old golem – Task. As a war-machine, he’s been purchased by the losing side of a civil war that has been raging in the far reaches of the Realm for almost a decade. He’s withdrawn, cold, and resentful of anything and everything human, until a waif of a stable-girl decides to prove him wrong.

Romance? Not much

Humor: I chuckled here and there

Action: EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU TURN THE PAGE

Characters? Diverse and hard not to love! (Except for Huff. Everyone should hate Huff.)

Easy to read? Eh. There are a lot of new words due to it being a new world, and there are some vocabulary that I didn’t understand. 

When I read a fantasy novel, I always find myself loving it. It’s so different because there is no room for cliques at lot of times.  You can expand so greatly, and I’ve read so many books that are so different from one another. Dystopians? They get pretty repetitve sometimes, I dare say. 

This is exactly what I got from Ben’s book The Heart of Stone. It was special in its own way. I persoanlly never read a book in a golem’s point of view.

The characters were my favorite part in all of this. I loved Task so much. He goes through so much change in this story, and it all starts with Lesky. Lesky is so adorable in my mind. She’s so strong and so full of spirit. And did I mention her heart shows Task a new light? 

Galley did so well in playing out the plot. There was never a dull moment. One minute you’d be talking to a guy, and the next thing you know he’s dead. 

I felt so many emotions. At first, I felt so angry at how people treat Task (like some animal). But then as the story progresses and you get to understand more characters, I began to change my thoughts about a lot of them. Like Alabast. At first I did not like him, but as the story went, he became one of my favorites because he was that comic relief. Yeah, he’s can be a messed up man sometimes, but he’s hilarious! (And also I kind of felt bad for him.)

I’m so happy to have this review up. I’m been so excited to tell people to read this book if they’re a hardcore fantasy fan. I was not disappointed. I can’t wait for its final release. Go check it out on March 30th! 


Guest Blog Post!


 

About the Author

Find his website here: Bengalley.com 

Ben Galley is an award-winning fantasy author from the UK. He is the author of the epic Emaneska Series, the weird-west Scarlet Star Trilogy and the brand new standalone The Heart of Stone. When he’s not dreaming up lies to tell his readers, Ben works as a self-publishing consultant, helping fellow authors to self-publish and sell their books at www.shelfhelp.info


So I asked him a question that I am honestly very curious to understand. I asked him about the diversity in characters. In a story, like I said above in my review, I look for good character development. If a story is mellow and cheap, I would probably blame it on how the characters looked at their own world. For the most part, we are retaining information through the eyes of the characters inside the book. Even in third person, in what way do the characters think that make them different from everyone else? I asked Ben how he makes his characters so diverse from one another and this was his response:

“In regards to diversity, I try to work out characters based on their desires, and that usually ends up creating different and overlapping intentions that define the character. I also use Myers Briggs personality matrix to work out traits. Other than that, it’s whatever feels right in the scene.”

Now I actually had no idea what the Myers Briggs personality matrix was, so obviously I looked it up. Quite interesting actually. I hope I will think of this in my own writing.

Basically, it’s to show your personality in the form of a four letter code. I will put the link down below so you can go check it out for yourself, because the Myers Briggs has a lot more to it than just a test.

Myers & Briggs Foundation