Wednesday, 22 March 2017

#bookreview: Seekers Trilogy

The Seekers Trilogy starts with Children of Darkness (reviewed here) followed by The Stuff of Stars and The Light of Reason.

The Stuff of Stars (Seekers #2)The Stuff of Stars by David Litwack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Orah and Nathaniel have set off from Little Pond, attempting to cross the ocean in search of the keepmasters' kin. What they discover isn't exactly what they were hoping to find.

The technos, those who still cling to knowledge and wonder, are struggling to survive. A cataclysm has claimed their best and brightest - locking them in the Dream - leaving only the very old and the very young who struggle to keep the city alive.
On the other hand, the greenies who have rejected technology, and those who have been cast out of the city, struggle to survive, barely being able to feed and clothe themselves.

Yet what the city has is still more advanced that anything in the Keep and Orah and Nathaniel must walk that thin line between the warring parties if they hope to return home - with or without their hoped-for tech.

The Stuff of Stars is a delicate web of desires and hatred, each party pulling for their own goals to the detriment of all else. It's told in Orah's voice, giving you the insight and folly of a young woman consumed with the goal of making her world a better place.

As with The Children of Darkness, Litwack pushes the narrative to balance the quest for truth and knowledge against the desire to be right, because in this dystopian world, to seek knowledge is synonymous with seeking the dark and destruction.
The Light of Reason (Seekers #3)The Light of Reason by David Litwack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Orah and Nathaniel are home - but everything they've worked for before they left is gone. The new grand vicar, one they have personal history with, has taken over and is pushing the people back into fear, back into the old ways. Worse - he's taken over the keep and is jealously guarding the knowledge only for his own use.

Nathaniel is slipping down the slippery slope into darkness and Orah can only watch in horror. But she does not know what else to do either. Is violence the only way to win? What if they only thing they can do to counter the brutality of the grand vicar and his men is to be equally violent in return? When will the bloodshed end? Can the light of reason bring about peace when there is so much anger and hurt?

The Seekers' original quest from The Children of Darkness finally comes to a close, laying bare the confusing maze between darkness masquerading as light and light appearing as darkness. What is the truth? Is knowledge and the pursuit of it evil? Or does evil reside in our own hearts, awakened by our insatiable lust for power?

The Light of Reason is a thoughtful book, one that pursues peace through the ravages of war, attempting to grasp the true essence of light amidst the darkness.

Note: I received a free e-copy of this book for review from the author (sometime in Nov 2016 and which should really have been reviewed earlier. Sorry!)

View all my reviews

Monday, 20 March 2017

The #atozchallenge #themereveal: Princesses!



Everybody loves princesses. Or at least we’re conditioned to. Beauty and the Beast just released again (well, not in Malaysia) so there’s Belle to think about. And Mulan is in the works, though she’s not quite a princess. But well, Disney princesses. So much love.

And so much hate.

What you’ll find in this A to Z are 26 princess stories - ranging from the serious to the ridiculous, mundane to the fantastic, the sweet to the annoying. Accompanying these posts will be 26 princess drawings that you can find on ind.elvenstar.net. Because we’re crazy like that.

Here’s the list! (P/S subject to change as I write and she draws.)

Alabaster Admiral
Blueberry Bane
Charmed Chandelier
Diamond Darkness
Egalitarian Elephant
Flamboyant Flamingo
Ginormous Grape
Heroic Herring
Infinite Inglenook
Judgemental Jungle
Killer Kite
Loquacious Llama
Maudlin Monster
Nasty Nacho
Outraged Octogenarian
Potato in Peril / Perilous Potato
Quaffing Quintet
Rag-bag Rabbit
Strawberry Scone
Travelling Troubadour
Unexceptional Umber
Valiant Vicar
Whale-ish Waistline
Xenophobic Xylophone
Yodeling Yak
Zany Zebra

Links go live on the respective days.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

#bookreview: Shorts

Was planning to review the second two books of David Litwack's Seeker trilogy, but... things came up so here're a couple of shorts from recent archives. :)


Hero Is a Four Letter WordHero Is a Four Letter Word by J.M. Frey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hero Is a Four Letter Word is a pretty short read, consisting of 3 short stories.

The first, The Once and Future King was a cute read, featuring a reborn Arthur Pendragon as a baby.

The second story, Another Four Letter Word was my favourite. It's a retelling of Tam Lin and has echoes of all the things I've ever loved from the Turn Series.

The final story, Maddening Science, felt rather meh in comparison, playing on superhero/supervillain tropes. It's good on its own, I suppose, but after reading the first two, it didn't capture me much.

Note: I received a digital ARC of this book via Story Cartel


Flash Fiction Magazine - Issue 1Flash Fiction Magazine - Issue 1 by Flash Fiction Magazine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Flash Fiction Magazine is a mash up of everything. Of many beautiful anythings. From bite-sized stories lasting no more than a paragraph to those that run to a few pages, they cover almost all aspects of life: love, joy, sorrow, pain - and the plain weird.

There are some really beautiful pieces in there, which linger a little with you, alongside some which I just didn't get, but that's what it is: 50 little glimpses of life from 50 different perspectives.

I received a free review copy from one of the authors in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Hokay. Now back to doing exciting betas and excruciating edits.
(I apologise for the sudden lack of consistency in book reviews and other posts. In other words, I am simultaneously winning and failing in life at the same time. Just gotta get back on track...)

ALSO, BETHEL WORSHIP NIGHT THIS WEEKEND WOOHOOOOOOOOO.
(See: another win - yay concert; also another fail: ugh timmmeeeeee)

Monday, 13 March 2017

#musicmonday: No Other Name | Hillsong



Find hope
When all the world seems lost
Behold
The triumph of the cross
His power
Has trampled death and grave
Our life found in His name
The greatest name of all

---

Because nothing seems like triumph right now, this is the verse that needs to be on loop.
Because the world seems lost. The world is lost. But we need hope, if only to push us on a day forward at a time.

I cannot see the triumph, but it is there

And maybe if I sing it louder, speak it louder, I will see beyond the veil, see through that which shrouds the rightful future from me. Beholding

Behold!

The death in me has been defeated. The grave holds no sting. The power of the cross is triumphant.

Behold the triumph of the cross.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

#bookreview: Love's Promise by @melstormauthor

Love's Promise (The First Street Church Romances Book 2)Love's Promise by Melissa Storm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love's Promise is sweet. Definitely saccharine, diabetes-inducingly sweet. In a very clean, old-fashioned, charmingly pure way. Which is probably why I loved it and am not ashamed to say so.

Kristina Rose Maher has always been not-the-one and she knows it. Attempting to take her life by the reins, she opts for a gastric bypass. But recovery is difficult - food has always been her comfort go-to, but is definitely off the list forever. Then there's the way Jeffrey Berkley, her coworker, is suddenly everywhere in her face, and she's not quite sure if she should really dare hope after squishing all her feelings for so long.

Whilst it feels like the major focus of a romance should be the actual romance, it seems that the major bulk of this story actually focuses on one theme: acceptance. Kristina must learn to accept herself as she is, Jeffrey must accept that his dreams in life will never meet his father's approval, Elise must accept and trust God's timing, even if she thinks it's wrong.

Note: I received a digital ARC of this book from the author as part of the book launch.

View all my reviews

Melissa Storm is a mother first, and everything else second. Her fiction is highly personal and often based on true stories. Writing is Melissa's way of showing her daughter just how beautiful life can be, when you pay attention to the everyday wonders that surround us.

Melissa loves books so much, she married fellow author Falcon Storm. Between the two of them, there are always plenty of imaginative, awe-inspiring stories to share. When she's not reading, writing, or child-rearing, Melissa spends time relaxing at home in the company of her four dogs, four parrots, and rescue cat. She never misses an episode of The Bachelor or her nightly lavender-infused soak in the tub. Because priorities.

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Friday, 10 March 2017

#fridayflash: Breathe


"You're angry." A statement. Not a question.

She didn't reply.

"You're spiralling." Another statement.

A flash of something. Dark. Hard. Angry. "What of it?"

"Why?"

Did it matter? Did anything really matter? She shrugged off the hand that was slowly creeping onto her shoulder.

He tucked his hands away. "I didn't do anything."

"That's precisely it."

"What are you really accusing me of?"

She shook her head. She didn't know. Didn't know anymore. All she knew was that tight fist of anger nestled beneath her breasts, the stiff clench of hatred settled along her jawline, the burning fire of resentment in her belly, that wouldn't go away. Wouldn't abate. Wouldn't be quenched.

"Did I promise you anything?"

The word fell from her lips like bitter medicine. "No."

"Then why are you angry?"

Because I'm tired. Because I'm lonely. Because I'm afraid. Because I'm stuck here, one step forward, two steps back, and everyone is leaving. Because I'm not enough. I'm never enough. 

He stepped up behind her, wrapping his arms around her and this time, she didn't push him away. "Breathe."

Thursday, 9 March 2017

We have winners!


CONGRATS!

You should have an email waiting for you (because I just sent them out) to tell you how to claim your prize.

Congrats and enjoy!