Another entry in the 300 writing prompt journal my son gifted me for Christmas.
When I was a child, or maybe a young teenager, I was lying awake in bed one night. Very late. I thought I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I looked over, and I saw the dresser moving. Left and right. Sometimes slow, sometimes fast. I could feel my skin tighten with goosebumps. I couldn’t move. The dresser continued to move. I finally managed to say a little prayer. Or maybe it was a line from The Exorcist. The power of Christ compels you. Honestly, I forget which. The dresser stopped moving. I felt the foot of the bed rise and drop to the floor. And everything was quiet. I don’t know if any of this happened or not. It could have been a dream, I suppose. You know the one, you feel the bed disappear and you are falling. Maybe similar to that. I don’t know. But I don’t think so. All these years, hell, even decades later, I can still remember the night vividly. I’m not a strictly religious person, but I am spiritual. I’m still leaning towards my belief that this really happened. Maybe it was psychic energy acting out or my imagination. I wasn’t controlling the scene, though. I’m not sure what happened, but I think it did happen.
The things that pop into my mind at any given moment fascinate me.
I was completing on on-line survey. I had to laugh at one of the questions asking which choice was not an ice cream flavor. It gave the choices of chocolate, vanilla, mint chocolate chip, and carpet, not necessarily in that order. In fact, carpet came first. I’m guessing this is to spot robots and people filling out surveys just for the heck of it, breezing through, clicking the first choice, just to earn a reward. Whatever. All of the other questions are multiple choice, though.
So there I am, clicking along, putting some thought into my answers. A written question comes up. Again, whatever, but out of the blue, this one asks about a childhood memory. I wrote down the first thing that popped into my head.
Eating rock candy with my Grandfather on a store-front porch in Amish country.
I looked at what I wrote. I was stunned. I knew that memory was in there, somewhere, but how did that just pop up as the first thing in my mind? This was a very long time ago. My Grandfather passed away when I was very little, maybe four or five years old. This had to happen when I was three. There’s not much else I remember from that long ago. The Moon landing. Nixon leaving the White House. That’s pretty much it.
Some hypnotist/analyst will have a field day with me someday.
My return to Science Fiction reading. I gave it four stars.
I enjoyed reading “Ceres 2525.” There is lots of action; I can easily see this book become a movie. The chapters go back and forth between Ceres Tarsis’ current adventure of being kidnapped by pirates, and events from his life that lead up to his being kidnapped. I believe Nelson handled this well, using chapters detailing Ceres’ past to foreshadow what’s coming up in the next present chapter. The transitions are seamless, leading the reader along and aiding the flow of the story.
In which I learn about Arcs and start to discover maybe stars aren’t for me.
I wrote another book review. This was an interesting situation. I received an email describing an opportunity to get an ARC of a book. I learned that ARC stands for Advanced Review Copy. Authors and publishers send out ARCs to get reviews before the book is released.
I answered the email and got a few choices of which book I wanted to read. I went with “Discarded” by Michael J. Allen, an urban fantasy.
I wasn’t done yet. I was asked for a link to previous reviews I have written. I sent them a link to my Goodreads page. They must have liked what they saw, because a couple of days later, I received my copy of the book.
My apologies to Mr. Allen. I was able to get the review up in Goodreads and Amazon on August 2nd, but, the book released on July 26th.
A main character you won’t soon forget.
The series title, “Dumpstermancer,” alone was enough to make me want to read this e-book. I half expected a comedy, but wasn’t sure. I was intrigued, to say the least.
In a world where you can have a gourmet meal kit delivered, corporate magic seems like the next logical step. Mistakes happen, and the Glamour spell from Thoth is not exempt.
Eli is an engaging character. I’m not sure if I like him, but I definitely won’t forget him anytime soon. A homeless ex-con who was wrongly imprisoned, Eli is brave and has a good heart, but, he is so darn stubborn, I found myself often frustrated with him. And I wasn’t alone. Frustration with Eli’s stubbornness often extends to his allies. Sunny, who runs a homeless shelter, has a heart of gold and the patience of a saint, but, even she reaches her breaking point when it comes to Eli’s nature. I identified most with Kenrith and the Rhett’s, fey rodents and Eli’s would be protectors. On several occasions, the Rhett’s were ready to turn on Eli, and as the reader, I couldn’t say I blamed them.
Don’t get me wrong: Eli is a good character. He’s just so well written, parts of his personality that tick off other characters tend to overflow to the reader. I think that is quite an accomplishment.
Michael J. Allen wrote the book in first person, and I think he did an excellent job. I would have liked more details about the different magics. Too many details about the hows and whys, though, may have come off as an info dump and broke the immersion. I prefer a good story and being left with my own mysteries to solve. The use of magic is very smooth and drives the story.
In short, “Discarded” is a very good read, and I am keeping an eye out for the sequel.
Full disclosure, I received this book as an Advance Review Copy.
I’m not sure if the star-system of rating books is working well for me. You may have noticed I give everything I review 5 stars. If I liked the book, why not give it 5 stars?
I can’t see a reason to give something one star. If the books not for me, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. And how do you decide between a three-star and a four-star rating? And what does a two-star rating mean?
I either like a book or I don’t. If I don’t, I probably won’t finish the book, and that’s not fair to the author.
I can see a one-star if the book is just horribly written. I even have one book in mind, that possibly had a good story hidden somewhere underneath all the crap writing. I have to ask, though, is just giving it a one-star rating helping the author grow, or am I just getting revenge for wasting my time.
If I’m going to keep reviewing books, I’m going to have to discipline myself to finish a book, no matter how much I don’t like it, and then find something constructive to say, not destructive.
And I just re-read what I just wrote, and can’t help but think, “What an arrogant bastard.”
I need to put more thought into this. Please comment if you have any tips.