Girls of Paper and Fire By Natasha Ngan

Book Review

Girls of Paper and Fire By Natasha Ngan

YA. Sexual Abuse. Fantasy.

2 Stars

Great story idea that didn’t deliver.

In this richly developed fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it’s Lei they’re after — the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learns the skills and charm that befit a king’s consort. There, she does the unthinkable — she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

Such a beautiful world. A lovely story. But too much fluff.

At first, reading Girls of Paper and Fire was beautiful. The rich descriptions of the setting put you right there. I felt like I was in a magical version of Memoirs of a Geisha. Then, I wondered where we were going and if we were ever going to get there.

The themes were slammed down your throat. We get it. Tell the story.

At around 60% I just wanted it to be over. And the last page? I rolled my eyes. I like a good cliche as well as the next, but there was just too much. Unfortunately, I just don’t care enough to find out what happens in the next book.

Give Wren her own story; the story of her life leading to the palace, and I’ll pick that up.

Happy Reading 🙂

Down Two Paths: Borderline Series Book 2

Book Review

Down Two Paths: Borderline Series Book 2

By Taya Devere

5 Stars

Literary fiction. Women’s Fiction.

A fabulous continuation of Dee’s story! Can’t wait for the next installment

As the two paths push Dee deeper into her survival journey, one path threatens suffocation, the other exhaustion. Which offers a chance of salvation?
In Reality One, Dee goes to California. Her new beginning pushes aside the past—and the trauma she escaped. Life here is filled with challenges, though: choices between right and wrong, dealing with thorny personalities, and trying to hold on to the laughter and love of Dee’s new family.
In Reality Two, life in her home country lulls her into a feeling of safety as she embarks upon the most important task of her lifetime—taking care of her baby. Her new, unconventional family of four is the center of Dee’s being, but despite their immeasurable love for her and her child, she still questions whether they would all be better off without her.

Taya Devere’s style sucks you in until you are the character. It’s why I love these books so much. The volume and intensity of feeling invoked are unique and beyond what most reading experience is like. If only a quarter of this passion is evoked in my readers, I would be proud! Well done, Ms. Devere!

The only thing negative I have to say is: Why did the end come so fast!

If you loved book 1, there is no reason not to dive right into book 2. Dee’s hopes and dreams and achievements and failures, on both sides of the border, are real and relatable and turn the human condition into something warm and great and magical, even in the face of overwhelming adversity. Sometimes, it’s all in how you look at. Others, it just sucks, but how will we face that? Both Dee’s teach us something about this, and ultimately, about ourselves.

Happy Reading 🙂

Free the Dark: Elwood Legacy Book 3

Book Review

Free the Dark: Elwood Legacy Book Three

by Nicola Rose

5 stars

This stunning conclusion pulls no stops!

The world is descending into devastating chaos. There’s a new enemy to mankind on the horizon… it’s me.

I’m ready to let go of morality. It’s time to play.

But how much ‘fun’ is too much when you’ve accidentally triggered the vampire apocalypse?! Are there any lines left that shouldn’t be crossed?

There’s a brand new hunger under my skin, and it wants more. More of Alex’s darkness, more of Zac’s light—

The two don’t go together, but that doesn’t stop the pull in my chest, or the ravenous shadowy beat that strikes a constant melody in my soul, driving me forward, destruction in my wake.

Can I really side with vampires and stand by as humanity is lost?

Because once that darkness is set free, pulling it back might be beyond my capabilities…

Just wow! This conclusion gave me everything I wanted. Dark romance, twisted love, hard choices, harder consequences, and a finale that leaves room for more! The best one yet.

Not to mention the rebrand of this series! Check out the new covers! Well done!

I’m looking forward to new adventures from Nicola Rose.

Happy Reading 🙂

…plus thirty pounds

So many accomplishments!

Last June, I (self)published my first novel. Since then, I’ve published three more (one under a pseudonym). Four total novels in less than a year. Yay me! Sure, two-and-a-half of those books were the split of a project I’d been working on for twenty years, but I don’t think that takes much away from this.

Pat on the back complete

In that time, I also managed to gain thirty pounds. Well, I was up fifteen from when I quit my gym life, than add another twenty. Add the weight I lost and gained back, well with that math it’s much more than thirty, so lets just keep this PG.

It’s great that I finally found the courage to put my stories out in the world. I love the days of falling into my creations, of spending hours at my keyboard crafting adventures. But I crashed, hard, into the downside of this life. There were days I got less than five hundred steps IN THE WHOLE DAY. I just stopped wearing my FitBit. Who needs that kind of negativity in their life?

I’ve been trying to be better. Trying to make sure I don’t skip physical activity time. I’m a month ON. I started in January- that lasted three weeks. I re-started in February. Was it even a day? This last attempt is good. Real good (I know, my way with words astounds you).

Much of this success is due to pictures of myself I saw after a recent trip to Disney. I can’t even look at them. When did I get so chubby! Oh yeah, this past year…

That did it though. Rather than share my great time with my visiting sister at Epcot and Animal Kingdom, I buried the pictures in the deleted folder of my phone. I don’t like that. I don’t like that I had to get rid of most of my wardrobe because I couldn’t wear it anymore. You’d think that would have been my first motivator. Eh. For a few seconds, but cookies…

How do you stay on track?

What’s your biggest struggle with spawning fiction? Do you let your work overwhelm you?