The Language of Thorns: The Beauty of Books

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I think writers often get so wrapped up in putting words into their computer that they forget how gorgeous the final product can be. All they see is words and a blinking cursor, no beauty in sight.

But in a finished book, there will be touchable, textured pages, an illustrated, colorful cover, and solid, unmovable words. As any book-lover knows, these things are beautiful.

It can be easy to lose sight of the final product, especially during writing slumps. Sometimes you need a particularly lovely book to remind you of the potential of words on a page. Leigh Bardugo’s collection of short stories The Language of Thorns is just such a book.

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Beaumont and Beasley Book 3: Expanding a Universe

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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The third Beaumont and Beasley has arrived! (Okay, it’s been out for several weeks. I’m a little behind) You can read the synopsis for The Stroke of Eleven on Amazon and check out Kyle Robert Shultz’s website. You can also see my reviews for Book 1: The Beast of Talesend, and Book 2: The Tomb of the Sea Witch.

Does anyone else get stressed when there’s a book with a gorgeous cover, because they worry the story won’t hold up? This is definitely my favorite cover of the series so far (because colors), but that means heightened hopes, which means heightened apprehension.

I didn’t need to worry.

The Stroke of Eleven is just as good as its predecessors, even as it does so much more. Not only is this moving the main story forward, but it also expands the world and hints at further stories.

No spoilers ahead.

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The Traveler: How to Write Opinionated Main Characters

5172bsbicmglThe Traveler is the first book in Lost Empire trilogy by E.B. Dawson (check out her website!).

This book was so good, people. The characters were excellent and unique, the story and themes were captivating, and the world was intriguing. You can’t get much better than that! Check out the synopsis on Amazon.

No spoilers ahead, so if you’re trying to decide whether to read The Traveler or not, you should and here’s why.

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Heroes of Olympus: Writing Female Characters

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Viria is amazing. All the images are credited to her.

Okay, here we go. Spoilers ahead.

I’m not a fan of the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. Honestly, I’m not fully sure why. I had issues with how it expanded the world (for the same reasons as in The Kane Chronicles), how it tied up (or dropped) most of its plotlines, and the lack of lasting consequences (especially with character deaths). Or maybe I was just too old when I read it. But the main issue I’ll address is the female characters. Yep, this is the ‘strong female character’ post every blog needs.

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Ender’s Game: Your Audience as the Problem

enders-gameEnder’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, is one of the best books I’ve read, and I don’t say that lightly. Both the story and the characters are compelling, and even though it’s a prime example of genre fiction it still has several strong themes.

One of the biggest things that stood out to me was the twist at the end. It changed my whole expectation of the world and the morality the author was operating under, and it explained a theme that had been building, unnoticed, through the book.

(Spoilers ahead)

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The Name of the Wind: How to Handle Mary-Sue Characters

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The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss, is a wonderful book. The writing is beautiful, the story sucks you in like a movie does, and the characters are engaging and loveable- especially Kvothe.

It’s good that Kvothe is loveable, being the main character and all, but I was actually surprised by how much I liked him. He’s the ‘more clever and skilled than everyone’ character that can so easily be flat and boring. His ‘flaws’ are a fiery temper- which is often a praised character trait- and pride, which is well-founded due to his talent. To top it all, his eyes change color based on his mood. In short: Kvothe is a Mary-Sue.

But despite the general hatred for Mary-Sues, it works.

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Beaumont and Beasley Book 2: Sequels

I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review. And my honest opinion? I loved it.

img_0462-904x758I’ve been eagerly awaiting the sequel to The Beast of Talesend by Kyle Robert Shultz (check out his website!) You can find my review of book one here, and the synopsis of book two on Amazon.

However, sequels are often hard to pull off. Not only do they need to be great books on their own (and we all know how hard writing those are), but they need to advance the world, further develop the characters, and raise the stakes. As if that wasn’t enough, they need to be sure to appeal to readers of the first book. But as far as I’m concerned, The Tomb of the Sea Witch pulls it off.

No spoilers ahead.

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Find What Works For You

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I remember reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians, by Rick Riordan, for the first time. It was technically my brother’s series, so he got to read them before me. I read faster than him, so I would wait in agony for him to finish the next book. I felt like Tantalus- so close to what I needed, but still so far… Good times.

This series is up there with The Hunger Games and Harry Potter for books I’ve reread too many times to count. But why is that? Is Percy Jackson amazing literature? Nope. But it’s something that, in some ways, is even better. It’s a lot of fun to read.

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Shadow and Bone: Bad Boys- Like, EVIL Bad Boys

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Shadow and Bone is the first in a series by Leigh Bardugo. While the book as a whole was pretty underwhelming, one thing took me by surprise: the attractive, brooding ‘bad boy’ love interest was actually evil. And portrayed as evil. And the main character thought he was evil. And he had nothing explaining away his evilness. He was the bad guy. Crazy, right?

(Spoilers ahead)

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