Wednesday, 31 December 2014

New Years Goals

 All in all 2014 was a very successful year for me in regards to the goals that I set for myself, I read all the books I wanted to read, got the job I wanted, started a youtube channel, drew more than I have done previously.
  Next year I am setting some goals again.

 To read 100 books ( That was how many I read this year.)
 To read 15 of my 36 series I have to finish (I know!)
 To read all the books I got for this and last Christmas
 To edit my first Nanowrimo story
 To write my new idea for a story
 To start my new project of illustrations and storytelling (more coming soon)

 I am excited to start on these because they look fun as well as achievable
 Happy New Years everyone!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Happy Christmas

  Today I face a difficult decision. Do I begin a new book. Or, do I wait to see the books I got for Christmas and start one of those tomorrow morning? The challenges I face, let me tell you.
  I am sorry for the lack of videos on my channel at the minute. I have been swamped with work, hopefully it will ease up after Christmas because I have a tonne of videos that I want to show you. Lots of ideas are rolling around my head. I just need to commit them to film. The wait will be worth it. I have however kept up  my reading. Because reading can be done at any point in the day. I have some good news about that actually.
  I FINISHED MY GOODREADS CHALLENGE!! 100 BOOKS HAVE BEEN READ!
  The sense of achievement. It is good. :)
  Just another update
  see you soon. :)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Ready... Set.... Wait What?

 Today is the day of my last exam. This is the last one. Then freedom will finally reign. I was just thinking that this one is the one that I am least worried about. This one is fine. I can handle it. Why? Because I know the stuff. Simple right. Except why is it that I sometimes cannot make myself prepare more? For my other exams I know that I would have been a lot more calm if I had more preparation done. So why is it that I couldn't make myself do it? Eh? Eh?
  That's it. Sometimes I just don't think I'm ready enough, or as ready as I should be even for simple everyday things. That is a scary thought because exams.. well at least you know how to prepare for those. But for random life things? How on earth do you prepare for those?

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Type Writer

  When I was younger and thought about becoming a writer I always imagined me writing everything out by hand. None of that typing business for me. No sir. I was old school and proud of it. I had it in my ten year old head that if at any point I had to type I would get an old typewriter and type on that. That was the type of writer I was. As if it was more legitimate or something. I could see myself looking like Shakespeare with hundreds of pages strewn across a desk and stories in my head and words in my pen.
  Fast forward to today if you will. Today I sat my second of five exams. I sat there with a cramp in  my hand wondering why on earth anyone would willingly write anything academic by hand. I longed for my keyboard so as I could write my usual 50 words a minute.
  I don't know when this occurred. I still love the idea of having a handwritten book, beautifully done with illustrations. But that is no longer how I see myself writing. Now I see myself with my laptop on my knee speed typing. Because, this is now the type of writer that I am. A type writer.


Three

 I have exactly three books left in my goodreads reading challenge this year. Three. I am so close but with exams already upon me and work trying to drown me in shifts its looking as though that is going to be pushing it. I set a goal to read 100 books this year. I am on 97. So close that I can practically taste it. I think 100 books, for me, is a reasonable goal. It is my usual reading pace, I haven't at any point this year felt pressured to read more than I have felt comfortable with.
  Just updating you a little.
  97.
  Wow.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Progress

  You may recall a few weeks ago I set myself a goal that I would read three of the books on my tbr shelves that had been there for the longest amount of time before the end of the year. So here is my progress on that:
  I completed the Poison Study series by Maria V. Snyder (a trilogy that I am counting as one book).

 I also read A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly, which I will do a review of on my youtube channel in a little while. This book is historical fiction, which is partially based on a real murder. Jennifer Donnelly's writing style really draws me in and reading large amounts of her is as easy as breathing, even if the topics are quite heavy. I am so glad that I got around to this book when I did. Definitely a good read if you are looking for a serious realistic novel.


So that is two out of three. There is immense satisfaction that comes with reading books that have been lying there neglected and unread on my shelves for a long time. As if, now, I am a better book owner.
  I have more goals for reading in the future, you can expect lots of them to be made into videos because I am excited to be getting started on them, especially coming up to the new year.
 
bum diddly ada progress!

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Winning Nanowrimo!!

 So after my last post I went forward to write a total of 7338 for the day. I had not expected that. I honestly think that if I had not written consistently for that day it would have been much harder to stay motivated to finish.
  I had not intended to write quite that much. I thought that I would reach about four thousand and then given up. I think of anything this is proof that no matter how far behind you fall you should never lose heart because success is never out of reach.
  This is the earliest that I have ever finished Nanowrimo and the feeling of relief is immense.
  Now I am going to take a well earned break and... I don't know, eat or something.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Writing Life

  I am determined that today I will officially catch up on Nanowrimo. Today I will do it. I am as close as I have ever been to catching up. I actually want to get ahead. After I post this I will.
  It is my goal to finish Nanowrimo at least a day early. It's one of my goals that is like using up an entire pen without losing it (which I do on a regular basis -thank you OCD for the value I get out of pens) Or like wearing away the keys on my keyboard (Which has never happened yet but it's still less than a year old so there is still time.) These are goals that don't make much sense. I want to achieve them so bad but what do they prove? That I'm a hard worker? That I am determined?
  This is not advice I follow but advice that I will give none the less. Don't judge yourself on the amount of pens you use up, or on how faded the 'a' 's' 'd' 'f' 'j' 'k' 'l' ';' keys are, value yourself because you have strived to achieve something and are continuously working on it.
 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Not even the Monsters

  I risk sounding a bit like a psychopath by writing this. But sure, why not.
  When I was younger I was scared of monsters. That is not unusual. A lot of kids are scared of monsters. The monsters I was scared of live up stairs. And on the stairs. Or in the stairs. They could come out of the wall, the head of a lion with the skull of a goat and rotting flesh. They would come through the walls and grab me.
  All this, does not sound too out of the ordinary.

 Next part of the story.

 So years pass, and occasionally when I am home alone it is as though I can hear the ghosts of these monsters laughing at me, because I never really got over them. They sit around in their hellish circles and stare at me through the walls, because I give them the power to do so.

  I remember one time coming home after the worst day. One of the many worst days. I can't even remember what had happened now.
  I came home to an empty house, and I remember feeling so fed up, so angry and so scared all at once. I was sick of their hellish laughter. I decided it was time that I face my demons. I was a grown-up for goodness sake. And so I made the adult decision. I stood at the end of the staircase and shouted:
  'Take me!' at the staircase.
  'Come on, I want out. Take me! I'll go.'

  Naturally nothing came.
  Not even the monsters came through for me in the end.

Rainy Days and Wednesdays

  Have you ever felt like a character in your own story? Today I had a rough day, some people taking advantage of my niceness.
  Essentially I had to stay where I was, and cancel some plans I had with a friend. I am standing in this fancy event, complete with guest list and celebrities, and I am the help (well, not really, but you know working, not partying hard). I found myself not caring that I was warm inside with a nice job and wishing I could be out in the pouring rain. It was one of those cases where you had sent a text, but couldn't tell if it had sent, but couldn't check because tension in the job was so high that if you took your phone out then someone's head might explode.
  Every few minutes I found myself going to the window of my job and looking out into the wet street counting down the minutes until I was finally free.
 
  I was walking through Dublin's fair city. In the pouring rain (classic). It was raining huge raindrops the kind you feel go splat and then continue to roll down your forehead. It was dark, and I had a to-go cup of Christmas Starbucks honey and almond hot chocolate, the only thing to keep my hands from shaking with cold.
  It doesn't sound that bad. It wasn't really. I usually love walking in the rain (so long as I don't have to be somewhere looking good).
  I realise that there is no real point to that story. But for some reason it felt very much like a story. Have you ever thought that we are all just stories being read out by ghosts?

 

Time Machine

  I have discovered the secret of Time Travel. So this is it. Can I trust you with this secret? This is what you do:








  1. Find someone you really like. Go on. There's someone.
  2. Sit beside them in class. You can do it. It's a free country.
  3. Say; Hey! you have awesome hair (or some equivalent).
  4. And when they look at you like ... eh... thanks I guess, now don't talk to me, then,


BOOM! You are thirteen. 

Feel free to test this theory. You are welcome.

We are all Selfish Artists

  I study English. I read a lot of literature. Recently, we did some classes on Romantic poets. How they were influenced by what was going on in France and America and all that.
  This got me thinking that what I write is purely entertainment. The things I write about are not political or about massive social events or cultural significance. How can I call myself a writer and write such fluff? Don't I see the important things that those who have written before me have written?
  But you know, that is complete and utter crap. We, all of us, are selfish artists. The things we do to write or draw or sing, they are done to express ourselves. They may have the benefits of uplifting others or influencing them, but to be honest, and lets be honest here, art is a selfish thing.
  For this part I am strictly talking about myself, I am very possessive of my art, writing, drawing (that's what I do). I am highly competitive in these areas. If I did it, it is mine, even if I give it to you. It's got that Emma stamp on it in indelible ink.
  No artist in the past painted purely for others, besides maybe those who did it as a trade and for no other reason. But artists, we are selfish. It's part of the game. If you're not. I envy you.
inspired by Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

I Gotta Write Mo' in Wrimo

  So now I am at the point in my story where I am invested in the characters and want to know what happens next.
  But that seems to be the problem. What happens next? I want to turn the page and see what happens but the thing is, I decide what happens, and that is daunting.
  My characters are dealing with things that have never happened to me. They are in situations good and bad that I have no experience with and I want to give them a realistic solution. I am terrified that someone will read what I have written and declare it fake.
  Oh, innocent Emma! That isn't what happens when this happens! So naive, so clueless! Ha!
  And I suppose I wouldn't be so intimidated if it were unusual situations like discovering superpowers or if an alien came down. Because how many people are going to relate to that? But some of these situations that my characters are in are quite everyday.
  This is where I am a fraud. I need to convince not only those who read my story, but also myself a little bit. Let's pretend. And then let's write it down.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Nanowrimo - The Writing Days.

I'll keep this short, I'll keep this sweet.
I didn't sleep and forgot to eat.
 
But I'll write and write forevermore
Then leave this page and write some more.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Off to Find my People

So this is the slightly longer version of the poem/story type video I did on my Youtube....which I will link here: Off to Find my People


 Off to find my people, and on my journey go,
to find some adventure, in places I don't know.

First stop on my travels, brings a people cold and naught.
Trapped in their own heads, finding others to be caught.

Hard to realise that these phantoms with whom I spend my time
Would snarl and mock and jeer me, as they were never friends of mine.

Who are these green-eyed monsters? Who stole my friends from me,
And told me things about them I didn't want to see.

Who are these green-eyed monsters? Who to keep me in their snare
Whisper flattery laced with poison to keep me safely there.

Who are these green-eyed monsters? Who send my sense afloat,
Who giggle, smile and whisper with their hands around my throat.

Who were these green-eyed monsters? Who tear away at me,
And make me doubt and second-guess who I ought to be.

So I'll leave their hate behind, and leave another shore,
And search within the mist, just as I've done before.

And come upon a continent of wealth and beauty made.
To find that all the people here are silent and afraid.

With silent wars a-raging, and littering the view,
Is death and carnage flailing. Was it peaceful before you?

Who say, 'Child what have you done? The battle nearly over,
The victory almost won. You've tossed your flag to the enemies side.

And claimed this fence is where you'll reside, one foot in one camp,
One foot in the other. Time now to choose between each of your brother.'

I'm caught in the crossfire, ready to bolt.
Though it was I who commenced the revolt.

Time now to leave, and take again to sea.
Seems with each people, the problem is me.

And now to see lights shine through the dark.
A fairytale world in which to embark.

Not heeding the warning before now so clear.
Oh! What a time to fall on deaf ears.

Not careful of the fairies as I signed my life away,
Nor of their contract and what it didn't say.

They had promised music, and they had promised joy.
To me, their temporary, human, disposable toy.

The sweet and blissful music, to which I dance for days
Has me blinded by its hypnotic and its dulling haze. 

Eventually down I look and to my horror see
A round and bloody pock mark where a footprint used to be.

The music and its sweetness now sours in my ears.
Curdling my sanity and enhancing my fears.

They didn't tell me lies you know, of that they're true to kind.
But I had found to what I had agreed wasn't what I'd had in mind.

To make a quick escape is vital 'round 'bout now.
To sail my ship far, far away to a distant town.

Brought abruptly to a stop, upon a twinkling shore.
Void of human life, unlike any I've seen before.

For in a pretty mirror maze I stand tall and bright
With a thousand similar faces reflected in my sight.

A thousand courageous warriors ready to face the world.
From me they take instruction, the strong and steadfast girl.

When some small noise in darkness, an echo in the night,
A small stone or pebble flashes across my sight.

A thunderous tinkling music, glass shatters at my feet.
A thousand courageous warriors. Choose they now to be discreet?

Yet here lone I stand and on myself I must reflect.
Was I the only warrior. The chosen. The elect?

A maze once filled with mirrors, in which I once believed.
Hallow with distraction, was I so easily deceived?

To board again my ship is almost more than I can bear.
What learned I from my travels? Found I comfort there?

I sail amidst the waters and declare that I am free.
And if there be a similar people, their quest be it to find me.


And would you believe that that's the version I edited down? The original was much longer with many more types of people. But unfortunately it was accidentally deleted. Yep. 

I mashed together a few poems I had written over a while for a class in college. I like to think of it as my Epic told in the style of Dr. Suess. 

I hope you enjoyed that. I'm quite proud of it. 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Na Na Na Na Na Na Na NOWRIMO!

 So, like life does, things go along at a nice pace and you get comfortable then BAM! Ten things are all happening at once and you're wondering how on earth you ever could have had free time and wasted it. Free time is to be treasured.
  College has me buried under essay writing.
  Work has me searching for it.
  Youtube is calling to me.
  Books are waiting to be read.
  Church takes up time too.
  And what's this? I want to write a 50 000 word novel as well? Hahahahahaha! Good one!
  Seriously though.
  You'd think I enjoy putting the pressure on myself.
 

  Who's excited for Nanowrimo? I am! Because though I have done it for the last two years in April and July this will be the first time that I am doing it in November. That is a daunting thought because I want to do it, but I will have so much less time than before. I think I'm up for the challenge. Maybe. Sure why not?
  I thought that this time I would branch out and maybe try and write a contemporary. So far I've only ever written fantasy- or at least it's the only genre that I've written anything of significant length. I have very little plans made for it so far so this is definitely going to get interesting very fast.
 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A Year in Notebooks

This is the one that I keep book reviews in 
  So on Sunday I reached the one year anniversary of when I started keeping reviews of the books I read and I realised that I have read a lot in one year. I started keeping my book reviews so as I would remember my first impressions after reading a book before I was influenced by watching reviews or hearing what other people talk about it. I review every book, every novella and play that I read. It's really interesting to look back and see what I thought of something minutes after I finished it. Of course, the thing is riddled with spoilers but as its just for me that's not really a problem.
  But I thought I would show you some of my notebooks because I have collected some really pretty ones over the years and I just wanted to show them to you... some notebook candy, if you will....
This is perhaps my favourite cover!  
This is so much fun.. you can
 actually do the puzzle on the front!

I love this quote- I wish I
 knew where it was from






 Notebooks make me excited so I thought I would show them to you 'cause I'm cool like that.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Procrastination! Are you ready? If so, let's go.

  This week I started reading Poison Study by Maria V. Synder. So far I am loving it. It's just the kind of fantasy world that I love to pick up and live in for a while it just seems like such a full world if that makes any sense.
  The thing is that this trilogy has been on my shelves for over a year now and every time
 that I look at them I think 'I'll leave them for another time.' I do this all the time. Why do I do it? Sometimes I feel like I'll appreciate a book better at another time or that I'm just not in the mood for that book now. But as I read Poison Study I know that this is a book that I would have loved no matter when I picked it up.
  I think I'm going to make it a goal to read more books that have been on my shelves for the longest. Wait, what? This is completely out of the blue but I think I'll make a goal to read three more of the books that have been on my shelves for the longest before the end of the year. Three. Yeah, I can do three.
  I'm going to try and live in the book-moment and just pick up whatever I want when I want to read it. No procrastination. Because it is unfortunate when a series that I know I'll love gets put off. After a while they begin to lose their appeal. Which is such a shame. I find myself feeling regretful in a bookshop because I won't get the chance to read a new book for a long time. Well not for long. I'm working through that TBR pile one book at a time.
  That's all I think. Three of my oldest unread books by New Years. A new goal. They're always fun.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Wild Wolves are Dead

Wild wolves are dead.
They're dead and gone.
They've left us far behind
But other monsters stay here now
To terrorise the wild.

Because now all the trees are gone
And all wild wolves are dead.
Who now are the predators?
They've become man instead.

Fear, threat and danger
How will this predator fall?
Wild wolves aren't dead.
They've just changed shape, that's all.
Emma Fagan (i.e. me)

So the book that I'm currently reading (Chime by Franny Billingsley) mentions that all the wild wolves are dead. At least they are here in Ireland and in Britain. This at first made me upset because wolves are such beautiful majestic beasts.
Why are they gone?
Well, because they've been hunted down. Why were they hunted down?
Well, because they would attack farm animals and small children.
 Right. Liking wolves less now.
  But then I was thinking, a dangerous thing I know, at least, now we're safe to walk through woods alone. Except that we're not.
  Isn't it so infuriating and saddening that what now poses the most threat and danger to us is ourselves? Is other people? People are what now make it dangerous to walk home alone- I mean, that's always been a danger but now it is the main danger. Isn't that sad? Isn't that tragic? Isn't that so vexatious?
  The current trend of dystopian books shows this too. The over-the-top exaggeration of peoples worst qualities and what the world will eventually come to if we don't 'mend our ways.'
  I don't have a solution. I can't fix mankind. It just makes me sad. That's all.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Just a Quick Hey, Hi, Hello and Welcome Back!

From my Instagram art_inapaperbinding
which doesn't have much to do with books,
 but is pretty. 
How are you? Are ye well? So I pulled a bit of a disappearing act for a while. I haven't updated this blog for a long while. But, you will be only delighted to hear that I'm back! That's right!
  While I was away I was not idle. No, that's not true. I was a bit idle. But not entirely. I even started a YouTube channel called TellerofTales which I am proud of myself for starting because, in all honesty, I didn't think that I would ever have had the confidence to start one. I haven't told a lot of people in real life about it. I feel a bit like a super hero leading a double life. I was waiting until I knew it was going to stick. Also, until I got a few subscribers so as I could be like:

 'Oh you didn't know I had a YouTube channel! Here it is!'
TellerofTales My YouTube channel..
where you get to see me talk
about books.TellerofTales

   At which point I would show whoever my hundred billion subscribers and the would exclaim:
 
'Wow! So many subscribers I didn't realise you were so AMAZING.'

 And then the inevitable fake modesty would kick in and they would be left in awe of my brilliance. However, it has been much more of a challenge than I anticipated. But that's good because I have to work for it.
  I'm hoping to keep this blog up-to-date, as well. I'm going to make it a goal to upload at least a new post every Wednesday. I know I've left you before but this time I'm going to try much harder. Because, hey, writing is what I love. So I'm going to write to you. Yep.

  Oh, it would really (now, I'm not just saying this) make my day if you looked at my YouTube channel. I would love you for it. I really would.
  Self-promotion at its highest there.
  I will see you soon.
  Promise.

Monday, 21 April 2014

No Time for Elephants

  I was in a lecture the other day where the lecturer was discussing Nero and his attempt to pull his chariot through Rome with a couple of elephants. This was obviously over-the-top extravagance. The Roman people didn't seem to appreciate it. It also didn't work because the elephants were too big.
  Sometimes it's like that with books. Where there is a really good story. You know the ones I mean, the stay-up-all-night-reading ones, the get-up-early-and-keep-reading ones. And you think it was a one of a kind excellent stand alone. But wait, what's this advertised in the back? Another book, a second one? Brilliant right? Can't even contain yourself excited.
  And so you wait. You bide your time. And there it is, in your hand ready for the reading.


 But this one wasn't so good. In fact, it changed your opinion on a lot of the characters and the plot. It stank. But you, loyal reader that you are, continue reading it to the end in hopes that it will pick up soon. It doesn't.

  Not only that but you've noticed in the back that the author or publisher has decided to make it into a 8-piece series. And that's it. A perfect book ruined.

  Sometimes I wonder about books that would have been better left as a stand alone, or a series that would have been better as a trilogy. (Yes I'm talking about the Mortal Instruments here-Though I am of course reading the last one when I get my hands on it). Sometimes I think it's best just to leave things when their on a high. That's easier said then done, I'll always continue with something if it's there to be continued with. Not only in books, but also in movies-Disney's particularly bad for adding awful sequels, and yet, I will watch them. Why? I do it to myself, I know. I know the temptation to run back to something you loved, but as it is, there is no time for elephants.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Emotional Replacements

  Recently I had an excuse to buy the new special edition Harry Potter books. It was my birthday and they finally arrived. They are beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous. I literally tore the box open and looked at them for ages. And while I admired them and stared my little sister asked if she could have my old set. She's 18.
  Nope.
  I'm sorry.
  But regardless of the fact that my old set is missing all the dust jackets, pages are torn and taped back in, the covers are bent and damaged and the pages have all yellowed. I am sentimentally attached to these books. They have come with me in school bags, and on holidays, they helped me through sick days and have been re-read more times than any other fiction I own.
  They are not just books that I love, they are a safe haven and a world that I escape to when this one is simply too complicated.
  I love my old set. I love the new set. I can't wait for them to become mine, and by that I mean to re-read them.
  Both sets have pride of place on my favourites fantasy shelf, both there to be displayed and read. Mine.
 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Leading Lady

  I've been thinking over time why I write.
  Is it that that's how I express myself?
  Is it to tell a story?
  Is it to feel connected in some way to others?

  Why does anyone write?
  Why bother to tell a story? Preach a moral? Give a warning like old fairytales? Give comfort? Give hope?

  But if this is the case, would I say the same things to people in real life? Would I care if they needed hope? If they needed comfort? I'd like to think that I would. But maybe I wouldn't.

  Maybe writing is a place where I can do the things I want to do, before reality stops me. Sometimes I wonder if I'm a strong enough lead for my story.
  If I found the rabbit hole,
 If I found a wardrobe that lead to Narnia,
If Hagrid showed up and said 'Your a witch Emma.'
  Would I go? Would I drop everything and leave?
  Maybe.
  Probably not.
  At least not now.
  Thats probably why I write that I would.


Monday, 31 March 2014

The Dark Redemption of Chaotic Creatures

So I thought this week I would review a series that I didn't like. Which was disappointing because I really wanted to like this series.
  The series I will be reviewing is Beautiful Creatures series, or the Castor Chronicles, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
  I was a bit late reading this series, I jumped on the wagon after the movie was out, (though I haven't seen it yet). I'd seen the trailer and was really excited, it looked like something that I would love.
  The first book was ok, slower moving than I would have liked but it wasn't bad. It's set in the small town of Gatlin, told by the viewpoint of Ethan. Nothing much ever happens in this town, until, one day a new girl arrives, Lena. She is different to anyone that Ethan has ever met, and strange things keep happening whenever she is near. Ethan can't help but be drawn to lena, and as he grows closer to her what he discovers is shocking, she is a castor. On her sixteenth birthday she will ether be claimed for the light or for the dark, either way will have disastrous consequences.
  There were many elements of this book that I did actually like, I loved that the house reflected the mood of the occupants, and reading about each castors different abilities. I also liked that Lena was a more independent female lead than I was used to.
  We're headed for the spoiler section now...
  What I didn't like about this series comes mostly after this book. I felt that when at the end of the first book when Lena has procrastinated her claiming, it just drags. It seems that everything after that is a repeat of the first book. Must stop claiming. Must not go dark.
  In the second and following books I found that Lena was a much more annoying character. I also thought that things seemed far too easy to figure out, like everything was brought to light just as they needed it.
  The third book also seemed unnecessary, only the end seemed to matter. To be honest, apart from the ending I don't even remember too much of the third book. I was surprised to see that the start of the fourth book wasn't a miraculous recovery. Ethan jumps and was killed, and I was annoyed because I didn't see why it had to be Ethan, even though he was the Wayward, I didn't understand why that was significant enough for him to be the only one who could make the sacrifice.
  I felt that things picked back up again in the last book. It too seemed a little longer than necessary, especially at the beginning. Once communication was made with Lena, we got to see from her point of view, that was interesting, though at times it was hard to remember that it wasn't Ethan speaking.
  I liked the 'epic' type twist to it, I like when there is a quest and things that must be done to pass certain boundaries. So I liked to see the end. Though I was sad to see Amma go, I felt like that tied in better than the sacrifice that Ethan had made.
  I felt the end, was a little confusing, did Ethan go back in time? Were the others still aware of what happened?
  Overall, I thought that this series had a good idea, but didn't really deliver on it. I felt it had been too drawn out, and that a lot of things didn't make sense, as if things were just added in later on and not fully thought through. I probably won't read these again, but this is one of the rare occasions where I think the movie will be more interesting than the book.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Fans and Rainbows

  I thought I'd actually review a book for once. I originally thought that reviews would mostly what I used this blog for, but it turns out I've hardly done any.
  Today I'm going to talk about FanGirl, by Rainbow Rowell. This book has been given a lot of hype in the reading community.Though I don't read a lot of contemporary books I was excited, and a little late, to read it.
 Like before I'm not going to give much of the plot away, just more describing it as a whole


(you will be warned of spoilers don't worry).
 I want to start by describing how much I love the cover, I love its simple design. I also LOVED the inside of the cover, because I wasn't expecting it. Inside the cover are illustrations of some of the main characters. They are so cute and stylised, really helped me to picture the characters in my own head. On the inside of the back cover is a little comic-book-style, scene from the book. It was brilliant, like a teaser trailer.
  The actual book its self was really easy to get into, the characters were so real. I related a lot to Cath, who doesn't get out much or talk a lot to people.
  Is it weird that I wish I was a little more obsessive? Cath dedicates so much of her time to writing her fan fiction. I wish I had that much dedication and persistence.
  I liked that the 'Simon Snow' series was so familiar, almost running parallel with the Harry Potter series.
  I loved the college setting, I wish I had read this a few months ago when I had started my first year of 'proper' college. The situations were so familiar, and the people I could almost match up to ones in my own life.
  There was a good bit of swearing, just saying for the younger readers out there, growing up in Ireland I'm used to hearing it, but seeing it written down, was strange.
  At the end (now comes a few spoilers, skip if you want to the next paragraph), I loved to see how she didn't agree to take credit with Nick. I loved how she didn't give him the inch it would have taken him to take advantage. I also loved that she was able to see passed the imaginary deadline for finishing her fan fiction. I know all about imaginary deadlines and how stressful and all-important that they can seem, so seeing Cath see past that was really reassuring in a strange, personal way.
  All in all, I loved this book. I loved how familiar the characters seemed by the end of it, how much I could relate to the main character. I loved the familiar circumstances and how cute the relationships were. I would read it again in a heartbeat.
 

Monday, 17 March 2014

The Inner Workings of the Kingdom

  What is it that makes a kingdom? What is it that makes people think, "I'm gonna follow them and do what they say." What gives someone that control and that power?
  I love my fantasy. Fantasy kingdoms and worlds are where I live when I'm not at home. So, naturally I put a decent amount of thought into their inner workings. I think, one of the key factors in a liveable kingdom is a believable monarchy. What makes a believable monarchy? I always think of my favourites first. Not always strictly speaking about literal 'monarchies' and 'kingdoms' but the same kind of thing in whichever story. 
  First off, I always think of Voldemort. While he was not 'ruler', he was definitely a leader. How did he build his group? Was it just his charisma and prowess? Did he get lucky? How did the Dark Lord rise in power? How did he maintain it? Why did no other Death Eater gain control when he was gone? Even though I have a few questions, I believe it. It makes sense that Voldemort was the only one who could have done it. 
  Next, I think of a different sort of authority. Aslan. He is the Christ-like figure, which maintains his power through the belief and devotion of his followers. The opposition, comes from those who don't believe that he exists at all. Not that they do not believe in his policies, but that they don't believe in his existence and therefore that he can not carry them out. Yet, Aslan, is the definite leader of Narnia. The kings, princes, queens and anyone else, are only just standing in on his behalf.


  So, is it divine power or is it, the power given by the people that creates a ruler? Which is the authority that readers crave? 
  I personally think that it is partially both. Dependant on the fantastical society in which the 'kingdom' resides. 
  A ruler with divine authority will ideally have the citizens devotion, but if they disagree with the choice of monarchy, if there is discontent in the kingdom then will divine consent be enough? for everybody? For a ruler to be powerful, for a ruler to be great, then they must also have the loyalty of the people.