#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 07 December, 2016

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

heartlesscoverI mentioned last week that Heartless by Marissa Meyer had come in for me at the library. I read it over a few short days and loved it. The ending felt like a bit of a punch in the gut but I’m not sure what else I was expecting for an origin story about the Queen of Hearts. My review will go up on Monday.

thetwocoverI also finished listening to The Two by Will Carver. I didn’t enjoy it as much as Girl 4; I felt there was a bit too much misdirection so the twist didn’t feel so much like a twist as it becoming a completely different story.

Then I read a graphic novel version of the Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, which is not on GoodReads! I know I could add it myself but I’m lazy. 😛

elenorecoverAnd last but not least, I finished Eléonore by our very own Faith Rivens (who was kind enough to provide me an ARC), and quite enjoyed it, particularly in the second half. I’ll have a review up on Friday.

I’ve also posted reviews of Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen by Dylan Horrocks and Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven this week.

What are you currently reading?

fairestcoverI have started reading Fairest by Marissa Meyer. It’s the Lunar Chronicles prequel focusing on Queen Levana. Possibly reading this so soon after Heartless will leave me feeling rather down, but oh well. This should be quite a quick read, I read the first 15% in my half-hour lunch break.

What do you think you’ll read next?

lettersendoflovecoverI mentioned last week that my last Australian Women Writers Challenge book for the year is Letters to the End of Love by Yvette Walker. I definitely want to read that next. I did post a full December TBR last week. I’m hoping to finish the challenges I signed up for at the start of the year. I’m so close!

What are you reading this week? 🙂

wednesdaybannerThe other blog hop for this week is WIPpet Wednesday. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us in this one by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

This week I’ve added the digits of the date and the month together and I have ten sentences. Clara has just been forced to witness the execution of her parents. Maybe. They just disappeared in a flash of blue light so I’ve left myself open. Either way, Clara is assuming the worst. She’s in a room in the palace, the execution takes place outside in a courtyard.

“No!” Clara screamed, finally finding her voice.

As heads turned towards her, the guard who had opened the window hurriedly closed it again.

“No!” she screamed again. “No, no, no, no!”  She pounded on the glass with her fists before she was pulled away and the curtains were drawn. Once again she was being dragged out the door, down the corridor. She struggled in the soldiers’ grip, but it was to no avail. They were far stronger than she. When that failed, she let herself go limp in their arms; she wasn’t going to make it easy for them. They grunted as they were forced to support her entire weight, but they continued to drag her along with them.

On the upside, this does at least lead to Clara escaping (temporarily) from the guy who is rather successfully taking over her kingdom right now.

That’s it from me for now. I will do my best to get to your blogs this week, but I have choir practices tomorrow and Friday nights, then an audition and our concert on Saturday. But I’ll try to squeeze it in!

~ Emily

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“What will this experiment hold for her?” // Review of “Heat and Light” by Ellen van Neerven #aww2016

Title: Heat and Light
Author: ellen van Neerven
Genre: Literary fiction/queer fiction
Date Read:
28/11/2016 – 30/11/2016
Rating: ★★★

Review:

This is quite an interesting book, split into three sections. The first two, I really enjoyed, though I have to admit, I didn’t quite “get” the third one. Still, the writing is gorgeous and this is a fabulous debut novel.

In Heat, we meet several generations of the Kresinger family, and see the effects of the matriarch, Pearl, on her descendents. In Water, we see a dystopian Australian future, where an ancient spirit still thrives, and in Water, we see the effects of familial ties on a struggle for identity.

In these stories, aboriginality, sexuality, and womanhood all intersect. These three themes are not usually dealt with all at once and it was really interesting seeing them explored together. Water was my favourite of the three stories, perhaps because it took the form of a genre I prefer over the other two, which were more literary and contemporary.  It also dealt with issues of displacement and race, using a metaphor that was , while fairly obviousk still nuanced and never heavy-handed. Water was also more linear in its storytelling, while the other two parts are more fragmented, jumping between characters and between time periods.

The characters in all three stories read as genuinely Australian, and genuinely aboriginal (from my, admittedly limited, experience). The writing style is really beautiful; it flows really naturally and never feels like it is trying too hard (apart from maybe that fragmented style). As I said earlier, I didn’t really get the third part quite as much. It did seem more disjointed than the other two pieces. I read in some other reviews that this part actually tied in with the first, but if that is the case, I missed the connection.

Ellen van Neerven is definitely an author to keep an eye on. She has a great way with words and a way of exploring complex issues without feeling too pretentious or over-the-top.


This review forms part of the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge for 2016. Click here for more information.

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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 30 November, 2016

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

heatandlightcover

I read the first of the graphic novels I got from the library, Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen by Dylan Horrocks. I liked what it was trying to do but I felt it got a bit caught up in the message it was conveying and forgot about good storytelling.

By the time I post this, I will have also finished, or very nearly finished reading Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven. I really liked the first two stories, but didn’t quite click with the third one as much. This is the second-last book for my Australian Women Writers 2016 Challenge! And I have the last one sitting on my bedside chest, woot woot!

What are you currently reading?

thetwocoverI’ve started listening to The Two by Will Carver, which is the sequel to Girl 4, which I mentioned in last week’s post. I’m not getting through it quite as quickly as I did Girl 4, and I’m not feeling quite as much tension. But it’s still well-written and I do want to find out what’s going on, so I will continue with it.

I had to return Six of Crows to the library unfinished as I had been struggling to find the concentration to read, and the due date snuck up on me! Unfortunately, the way our library system is set up means that you can’t renew books when people have them reserved after you, so I’ll have to get back to that one in the new year.

What do you think you’ll read next?

heartlesscoverMy last Australian Women Writers Challenge book for the year is Letters to the End of Love by Yvette Walker. Heartless by Marissa Meyer has also come in for me at the library and I’m pretty excited to read that, so it’ll probably be next. I also have Stars Above on hold and it has been saying on my record that it is in transit to my local branch for a week now! So I’m going to ask them about it when I go in this evening.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

wednesdaybannerThe other blog hop for this week is WIPpet Wednesday. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us in this one by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

I’ve added the 3 from 30 to the 11 from the month and I have five sentences for you today. Max is trying to get into the King’s chambers to obtain a possession of the King’s. No one is sure whether the royal family is alive or dead, but if they can get something owned by one of them, they can perform a magic trace to check. Of course, the King’s quarters are being guarded by soldiers from the invading force, so Max has aided himself with a shield and enhanced strength.

Max took a step back just in time to avoid the soldier as he lurched forward. He felt a pulse through the air around him as the soldier’s fist hit against his invisible shield. The man cried out in pain. Max smiled grimly to himself. It was good to know for certain that he had activated the runes correctly. 

That’s it from me this week! I will hopefully make it around to as many of your blogs as I can as soon as possible. I have a visit from my landlord tomorrow so I need to power through the rest of our tidying up tonight, and then I have choir tomorrow after that, and I’m going to the theatre Friday, but we’ll see how it goes!

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 23 November, 2016

Hi all! I’ve finally finished the three week run of The Merry Widow, which really knocked me out. Even on nights I wasn’t performing, I was just exhausted and not doing anything useful. Now that the run is completed, though, I should be able to get back to reading and blogging regularly. I’ve missed you guys!

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

girl4coverI finished reading Doctor Who: Big Bang Generation by Gary Russell. It was, to be honest, pretty awful, but I ticked off another challenge item with it. My review will go up on Friday.

I have also finished the audio book of Girl 4 by Will Carver, which was a thriller with a serial killed on the loose. It was an interesting format, and definitely gripping. I enjoyed it. I’ll have a review up next Monday.

I review Artie and the Grime Wave by Richard Roxburgh last Friday. You can read that here.

What are you currently reading?

sixofcrowscoverSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo came in from me at the library, so I’m finally getting to see what all the fuss is about! I had thought it was a trilogy so I was holding off reading it, but when I learned that it was only a duology and that Crooked Kingdom is the conclusion, I decided to get onto it sooner.

I’m also listening to the audio of The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen. I’m enjoying it, but the narrator has a sort of whiny voice which is a bit annoying. It’s fairly short, though (a bit over 8 hours) so I’m putting up with it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

heatandlightcoverI picked up Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven fro m the library today, so I’ll probably pick up that next. It will be one of my books for the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I also have a feeling this is going to be one of those weeks where I end up with a whole heap of my library holds coming in at once, so I will have a few more in the next few days. Oh, and I picked up a couple of graphic novels today as well, beacuse they had a display of them  when I walked into the library and I couldn’t resist. They won’t take long to get through.

thetwocoverOn audio, I think I’ll pick up the sequel to Girl 4, which is called The Two, once I finish The False Prince. I think it’s a trilogy in the vein of I Hunt Killers, rather than a long series of unrelated stories with the same investigator, if that makes sense. Though if I really love The False Prince I might want to immediately continue with that one. We’ll see.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

wednesdaybannerThe other blog hop for this week is WIPpet Wednesday. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us in this one by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up. Today I added the digits of 23/11 together, then also threw in the 2 from 2016, for nine paragraphs.

The last sections I shared from Operation: Sugarplum were from Clara’s POV. Now it’s time for something from Max’s. He’s just walked in on a conversation between the people intent on taking over the palace and the Kingdom.  He’s a member of an Order called the Aligarian Mages, and the room is half-filled with them.

“And you are?” asked the man who had been speaking.

“Maxwell Drosselmeier, Aligarian Mage, second level. Who are you?”

“My name is Josef Bauer, and as of this morning, I am in charge of your order, as well as your country.”

“You led the attack?”

“Yes.”

Max looked around the room. “And the rest of you are just letting this happen because…” The unfinished statement hung in the air.

“Max, perhaps you should wait until General Bauer is ready to address all of the Mages,” said a woman, Sofia, finally.

Max bristled. He was often talked down to by virtue of being significantly younger than the rest of the  Mages, and the newest addition to the Order, but in this case, it seemed more condescending than usual.

“Fine,” he said finally. “I’m sure this is all just some grave misunderstanding and everything will become clear soon enough.”