Her Twitter feed.
Her YouTube channel.
Titles I've written about:
It's a totally solid, competently-written thriller with a likable protagonist and an entertaining cast of characters. It moves along at a quick clip, and the plotting is just as complex and convoluted as a story about time travel should be.
Jackson Meyer is in college. He's well-off, working on a double major, has a girlfriend he adores, and a job he enjoys. Things are pretty good.
Eight months ago, he discovered that he can travel through time. He can only go backwards, and any action he takes—whether it be an interaction with a person or an object—seems to be erased when he jumps back into his own time, but still. He's only told one other person about it: his science-loving friend Adam*. Together, they've started running experiments in order to better understand Jackson's new ability.
Then, tragedy—in the form of two strange men—strikes, and Jackson's girlfriend Holly is shot. Devastated, scared, and bereft, Jackson is catapulted two years into the past. Trapped in 2007, he is forced to:
A) Fool everyone—including his father—into thinking that he's two years younger than he actually is, and
B) find out what the crap is happening to him,
in order to:
C) get back home, and
D) save Holly.
Fun stuff. Not only does it feature time travel (yay!) and Jackson's ever-increasing powers over it, it's also got a secret maybe-evil-maybe-not time traveling society, some CIA shenanigans, combat training, and a good amount of nausea. Also, there's romance of the he-knows-her-in-the-future-when-he's-twenty-one-and-she's-of-age-but-now-he's-in-the-past-and-still-twenty-one-but-she's-seventeen-so-that's-weird-but-also-sort-of-fun/creepy-because-he's-got-the-upper-hand-in-that-he-knows-all-of-her-likes-and-dislikes-and-also-he's-pretending-to-be-poor-and-also-hiding-the-fact-that-he's-from-the-future-and-that-her-life-might-be-in-danger variety.
Is it likely to win accolades based on its lyrical strength? No. But it's a totally solid, competently-written thriller with a likable protagonist and an entertaining cast of characters. It moves along at a quick clip, and the plotting is just as complex and convoluted as a story about time travel should be.
As Tempest is about a guy in his early 20s, it could reside either at the older end of YA or at the younger end of adult—the realm that some people are starting to call New Adult.
*Classic Adam line: "Seriously? All the crazy shit that's happened to you and you think I'm insane because I mention parallel universe theory?"
Book source: ILLed through my library.
From the Baltimore Sun:
Mary Hastler, director of the Harford County Public Library, read James' first two novels before determining that the series doesn't meet her library's selection criteria. She hasn't read the third novel.
"These books are a very different take on traditional romances," she said.
"In my personal opinion, it's almost like a how-to manual in terms of describing bondage and submissive relationships. A lot of the reviews that came out very publicly and quickly identified these books as 'mommy porn.' Since our policy is that we don't buy porn, we made the decision not to purchase the series."
I don't know if the library director is equating erotica and porn—as far as I know, 50 Shades is considered erotica—but her library very definitely stocks erotica.
La la la la la.
From her blog:
If there are people in the world who hate puppies, Harry Potter, chocolate, and/or bacon, then there are people in the world who hate your book. Put in that perspective, things aren't so bad, huh?
This issue picks up not long after the first one ended: the body of the murdered man—one of the Young—is now being prepped for autopsy. Everyone is still at a loss about the hows of the death—the as-yet unidentified man hadn't been impaled, incinerated, or decapitated—let alone the whos or whys.
While we see the beginning of CI Suttle's investigation—including the identification of the victim, some research into the strange burn marks on his neck, and a conversation with his valet—as well as a bit more about Suttle's household, including Louisa's reaction to being newly-Young, this issue is really more about providing some background about the world.
Artwork? I'm still not blown away, though I just noticed that all of the Young appear to have amber-colored eyes. The faces, especially, still aren't doing much for me, though I noticed something cool: while the faces of the Young all share a bland similarity (beyond eye color, I mean), the faces of the humans are more varied, and some of them have features so exaggerated that they almost resemble caricatures.
Storyline? As this issue provided more backstory, it got a little infodumpy as it caught new readers up to speed and then introduced more history, but not in such a way that it was egregiously offensive.
I especially like this aspect of the world: the Young (vampires) and the Bright (human) are divided not only along mortal lines, but along class lines. The Young are the upper crust, and the bright are the working class. Which means that the ruling class is very concerned with keeping the details of this murder quiet—if it gets out, as Suttle's superior says, "We won't seem so bloody superhuman and immortal after all, will we?"
Keep going? While this issue didn't do a ton for me, I'm going to keep reading because I do love the premise. I hope very much that ultimately, I'll love it for the story and the characters as well. But my hopes for the series are a little less high than they were.
If you're into epic fantasy and haven't started Alison Croggan's Pellinor series, the first book is priced at $1.99 today.
I haven't, so here I go: click.
In this installment of The Daily Circuit, Kerri Miller interviews Sarah Coyne (author of the recent BYU profanity study), Pam Alleyn (founder of LitWorld and LitLife), and partway through, Andrew Karre (editorial director at Carolrhoda Books and all-round rockstar) shows up.
While it was, for sure, an interesting (and polite, thankfully) conversation, I admit to getting a tad worked up a few times. And you might do so as well, regardless of whether you're pro- or anti-ratings.
A few thoughts:
- More than once, Coyne mentions that she'd like to see some sort of notation about "gratuitous" profanity. Later in the conversation, that gets extrapolated out to touch on violence and sexual content as well. My question, of course, is: who's to say what's "gratuitous"? It's a pretty obvious question, and was asked (I think) by both Alleyn and Karre, though I don't think it was ever answered. It was also pointed out that worldview/experience would drastically affect one's opinion on what is (or isn't) gratuitous.
- There was a male caller who expressed his support for book ratings... and he said he'd like to see those ratings include "immorality". No one ran with that, but holy cow, if "gratuitous" is murky, "immorality" is more nebulous than... well, something full of mondo-nebulosity.
- Andrew Karre (bless him) brought up the fact that ratings are inherently subjective. A point that was driven home by a (pro-ratings) caller who called in about a rape scene in a YA manga, and said, "That's a book that I would have wanted a warning on." Well, sure. Because it's a topic that upsets you. For that matter, it's one that upsets me, and quite often, I, personally avoid books that deal with it. (Sorry, Marbury Lens. And also Deerskin.) But in slapping a SEXUAL ASSAULT warning label on the back of the book, the book is suddenly defined and judged by that one event, rather than by the entirety of the story.
- Karre also questioned the logistics of who would do the ratings and how the system would work, which is hello, important. And wanted to know if only YA books would be rated, or if crossover books (like Alex winners) would be rated, too.
- And finally, thankfully, someone brought up the point that Tweak—the book that keeps getting batted around as being so rife with profanity—isn't a novel: it's a memoir. That was originally published for the adult market.
Anyway, like I said, just a few of my thoughts.
If you have the time, give it a listen for yourself.
But maybe try not to drive your office-mate away with all of your crazypants muttering.
Speaking of, I should go and tell her that it's safe to come back now.