The Undays of Aralias Lyons by K.L. Horvath

undays

(Note: This was an early release copy given to me from Netgalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review. There might be some changes in the final copy of the book.)

Aralias Lyons can fall back into time, He can’t go forward (not anymore) just back.

Clara Elizabeth Heartwell is an archaeologist That provides a lot of help in this adventurous tale. She is smart and full of spirit and she is not the type of girl to sit around or run when friends are in danger.

Jack is Aralias’ son. He is kidnapped by a power mad, crazy person and must be saved. He has the same gifts as his father, except he can go forward into the future.

Together with various allies Clara and Aralias must race against time to save Jack and the world!

Some of the crazy things they come up against are: iron dragons, marsiders, derailed trains, prison and an army of clockwork men.

The story itself races along at a good pace. I read most of the story in a day and didn’t really get tired of it at all.

I found all the characters interesting, with unique quirks and problems. The worst I can say is that some of the side characters aren’t very well drawn or interesting really, but that is made up for by the mains.

The setting was interesting and full of cool inventive ideas. A big plus for me was the fact that I love time travel stories. If a book (or movie or TV show) has interesting take on time travel that seems plausible and doesn’t confuse me or use it to cover up plot holes, I’m most likely going to like it.

Maybe my favorite thing about the book is, well….It’s fun! I miss reading fun adventurous stories. As you get older there is pressure to leave such things behind and read “important” books only. It’ why people look down on others for reading and enjoying YA novels, I suppose. I think that’s a load of BS. Read what you want!

Ahem, ANYWAY, I really liked this book! I found it fun, adventurous and exciting! I liked all the characters and the world it was set in was very well done.

(you can find out more about the book here: Goodreads )

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The Prosekiller Chronicles: Rise of the Spider Goddess — An Annotated Novel by Jim C. Hines

spider

I really liked this book. Oh, not the super cliched and generic fantasy tale, no that was boring and well…cliched, no I like the pretty amusing “annotations” made by the author, Jim C. Hines. I’ve read his books before: Libriomancer and Codex Born and I hope to read this one soon, Unbound. Although I did have a few problems with his books in the past, for the most part I enjoyed my experience reading them. They were fun and full of great 3 dimensional characters, which is not to be found in this story. And That’s OK! Which is really the best part of reading this book. First drafts and first novels that you write are often terrible, but the best writers push on and improve.

This is actually a pretty hard book to review. The story itself is state and banal. I read a *lot* of fantasy stories and I can say the the worst ones share these traits. However the story itself isn’t why I picked up this book. I picked it up because first drafts and sometimes first books are usually not very good, some are even awful. I think this is an important concept to understand and recognize if you are going to try your hand at writing. I’d guess that many people after putting down a book that is maybe not-so-great will exclaim, “I could have done better!”, I posit that no, no you wouldn’t. I’d say that although some authors are fantastic right out of the gate, many more (perhaps almost all) need to work at it just like any other skill.

Writing is just like any other creative pursuit, the more you practice the better you get. As I said up above that is really the best take away from this book: Nobody is good right out of the gate, but if you work at it you can improve greatly.

The sarcastic annotations are fun too!

Long Hard Road Out of Hell by Marilyn Manson (with Neil Strauss)

Manson

Hey this blog still exists! Damn you life always getting in the way of reading books. When my schedule cleared up and I started to thing about what I should read next everything in my TBR pile looked uninteresting. So I decided to look at books I bought years ago but hadn’t read yet. This is what popped up. It was…..something.

Well, this is certainly a Marilyn Manson book about Marilyn Manson. I had purchased this book ages ago but forgot about it. After sorting through things to give away to Goodwill/charity I found it again and decided to read it. It was certainly an experience.

The book is written 1st person by Marilyn Manson (with Neil Strauss) and it is basically exactly what you would think a memoir by Marilyn Manson would be like. This is basically the story of his early days, both growing up and the start of the band. I found it reasonably interesting and pretty entertaining.

It’s always hard to decide what is really and fiction in any memoir written by a celebrity, and Marilyn Manson is no exception. I would say it’s even harder in this case. So much of his stage persona is tied up in being the most outrageous with the “shocking” childhood. Is any of this true? Well, most of these tales I’ve actually heard repeated in various interviews over the years. The backstage stories told after the band achieved some measure of success seem plausible, if overblown and full of hyperbole. Which seems just about right for a book about Marilyn Manson.

Overall, this book is entertaining and interesting but probably only really for fans of Marilyn Manson (the person or the band).