I am sorry I have been absent for so long. Twitter, reading, work and an active 12 year-old daughter have occupied my time, energy and thoughts throughout the last year. I assure you that I am still thinking and working about books, technology and my library. My goal is to pay more attention to the blog and to my writing to keep my spirits up and perhaps inform others about what I am up to. My vow is to post at least one post about books per week, so let’s all hope that I am up to the task. I am sure that my blogging and writing will improve over time and hopefully I will really get my act together and start reviewing on Netgalley again.
I attended a great workshop on Nonfiction with Kathleen O’Deen yesterday and my next post is going to be all about nonfiction, her ideas and my ideas that were inspired by her. First, a little blog about YA fantasy because I am a big believer in dreaming, magic and great storytelling.
The first novel, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, is truly the classic tale of good vs. evil symbolized by light vs. darkness. The ruler of the land is even named The Darkling. The story itself is far more complicated – Alina and Mal are raised together as orphans are drafted into the army to protect the land against the Fold – an unnatural darkness populated by flesh-eating volcras (flying monsters – in my mind I thought terrible pterodactyls). As they are traveling into the Fold, they are attacked. Alina becomes the savior of the army when they are attacked by the volcra. Unbeknownst to her, she has incredible powers that may save everyone from the creeping darkness. She is whisked away to serve the ruler Darkling and to become a member of his magical elite, the Grisha, leaving Mal behind. Alina must decide how she will use her power and who she will use it for as she wrestles with her feelings for Mal, who she has left behind, and for the mysterious leader of the land – The Darkling.
The sweetheart of Twitter right now is Sarah Rees Brennan, author of Unspoken – the first volume of The Lynburn Legacy. She is a prolific Tweeter and responds to her fans frequently. Lately she has been receiving tweets expressing exasperation, shock, awe, love and astonishment that we all will have to wait until August for the second installment of The Lynburn Legacy. I will suffer, along with all of her other fans, as many of us readers do in the fine tradition of interminable waiting for THE NEXT ONE like we did with the Hunger Games and the guy with the initials H.P. Kami Glass has been hearing a voice in her head from the day she was born. She knows everything about Jared and Jared knows everything about her. Kami decides to start a school newspaper and her first story will be about the return of the Lynburn family to their ancestral manor that overlooks the village of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Don’t ask me if the author was trying to be cheeky with the sorry in the vale nomenclature, but I got a little giggle out of it. Unspoken has all of the classic fittings of a great Gothic novel with the foreboding woods surrounding the manor house and the strange family that resides within it. Kami wishes to expose the secrets of the Lynburns and the history of Sorry-in-the-Vale as she writes her article. As she is investigating all of the mysterious happenings that have begun with the Lynburns arrival, she begins to find out the truth about Sorry-in-the-Vale and the identity of the voice inside her head. Besides being a thriller of a Gothic novel, Kami is also extremely skilled in the martial arts, knows how to take care of herself and she is a welcome relief from the heroine who needs to find her confidence as she struggles to survive that we have met in far too many YA novels lately. In other words, Kami knows how to kick $## already and I almost feel sorry for anyone who crosses her path. If you are ready for some action, adventure and magic, read Unspoken. It goes without saying that you will be eagerly waiting for the end of the summer just like me.