Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Teaser Tuesday #27: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Make sure you do not include spoilers
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Teaser Tuesday #27: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

'What's that?' he yelped.
'Don't worry,' said Ford. 'they haven't started yet.'
'Thank God for that,' said Arthur and relaxed.
'It's probably just your house being knocked down,' said Ford, downing his last pint.
'What?' shouted Arthur.

I've just started this classic, but I have to say it's pretty awesome. Quite confusing, but I like the humour. Looking forward to read more!

If your blogger works, feel free to leave a comment below (;

Monday, 30 May 2011

Giveaway: Accidental Abduction

This giveaway is part of a massive Giveaway Blitz, hosted by The Bookish Snob Promotions. Click here to find more blogs participating.


Accidental Abduction
Eve Langlais
Sci Fi Romance

Abducted by a space pirate, she fights the temptation to let him plunder her goods.

A boyfriend’s attempted murder leaves Megan floundering in the ocean. Sinking without hope, the bright light she sees in the night sky isn’t her doorway to heaven, but rather the beginning of her accidental abduction by a space pirate. While thankful of his rescue, Megan stays true to form and just can’t keep her mouth shut, even when he keeps threatening to kill her--or auction her off to the highest bidder. Even odder, despite her decision to not get involved with her wickedly hot captor, she can’t help craving his touch.

Tren retired from his job as a mercenary so he could enjoy life, but he never counted on the boredom of normalcy. The acquisition of rare items has somewhat filled the void, but his accidental abduction of an outspoken earthling, who doesn’t know when to shut up, turns his life upside. Her fiery spirit draws him while at the same time drives him insane. Struggling with his urges, he must decide-- throttle her barbarian neck or ravish her delectably lush body?

Despite what his heart tries to tell him, he’s determined to sell her to the highest bidder even as he seduces her body. However, despite his best intentions, he discovers he can’t let her go. And when a foe from his past thinks to steal her, he’ll do anything to get her back.

Author Bio

So you want to know a little about me? Well, I'm in my mid thirties, married 11 years to a wonderful supportive man--yes, he's a hunk-- who gave me three beautiful--noisy-- children aged ten, seven and four. I work as a webmistress/customer service rep from home and in my spare time--of which there is tragically too little-- I write, read or Wii.

I was born in British Columbia, but being a military brat lived a little bit everywhere--Quebec, New Brunswick, Labrador, Virginia (USA) and finally Ontario. My family and I currently reside in the historic town of Bowmanville, about an hour or so out of Toronto.

Wow was that ever boring!!! Now for the fun stuff.

I'm writing fantasy the way I like it--hot with a touch of magic. I enjoy reading and writing stories that push the envelope of what we consider normal, and I love to cross the line into fantasy. I tend to have alot of sexual tension in my tales as I think all torrid love affairs start with a tingle in our tummies. My heroes are very male, you could even say border line chest thumping at times. So if you want a truly sensitive man, I am not for you. But that said, my men will do almost anything for the one they love. Even babysit.

I'd love to tell you more, but judging from the sounds in the living room the children are at it again, which means I'll need a mop and loads of patience. What I really need is a robot maid like Jane Jetson! Thanks for checking me out and hope to see you again soon.

Giveaway of one ebook copy of Accidental Abduction

Fill in the form to enter!
This giveaway will run until June 6th.

Sunday Stew #7



Around the Web:

I haven't been on the web at all last few weeks, as I was trying hard to get through my finals, and I'm proud to tell you all that I have survived! So today I will be sharing one of my favourite songs by the amazing band Midgar:






Around Me:

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Blog Tour: Hedgeland by Ann Nyland (Book Excerpt & Giveaway!)

Today I would like to welcome Ann Nyland on my blog! Ann is the writer of the urban fantasy time travel book Hedgeland. She is sharing an excerpt of the book and has been so incredibly kind to give one of her books away for one lucky reader! This blog tour is part of The Bookish Snob Promotions. Click the banner to find more blogs participating in this tour!


Chapter 18. Caridwen.

A thousand thunderclaps all at once. That's what it sounded like, a deafening roar, a wild explosion. The noise was terrifying. I was flung out of bed onto the floor, hard. The wall to my garden fell down; I was at once covered with crystal dust. The floor buckled like a wave was going under it. The air was thick with the noise of people screaming. I struggled to my feet and ran out the door - or where the door had been. Perhaps I ran through the hole in the wall; it was all a blur.
Cian wasn't there. In public Cian and I studiously avoided contact, but every night, Cian did easily scale the wall from Dewi's garden to mine, and he was able to stay most nights. Dewi never said a word to me about Cian, but occasionally winked at me in a conspiratorial fashion. I don't know if the Hierophant ever found out or suspected. The Initiates certainly didn't.
As I ran I tried to reach Cian on my X-Comm. Dead. Adrenaline kicked in and I ran for the Anaktoron. People passed me running the other way. They were screaming and crying. It was early morning, but the sky was black. I coughed in the black ash; it was hard to catch my breath with the dust and the weirdly smelling fumes. Cracks, some narrow, some wider and deeper, opened up in the ground in front of me; I jumped over them all. Some parts of the pavement were higher than others. It was like running on a moving surface; I was running on a moving surface. The ground was buckling, and bucking like a wild horse. Water was bubbling up through the pavement making mini whirlpools. The earth felt alive beneath my feet.

Official Book Blurb

Hedgeland, an urban fantasy of time travel. Dr April Neuland, a Professor of Ancient Languages turned non-fiction writer, has been plagued by dreams all her life, dreams of her past life in the Otherworld. Meanwhile, in a parallel dimension of April's past and Caridwen's future, Worthing, a Future History Professor, has allied with the Military to access Future Internet communications and use new technology to influence April to write an ebook novel revealing where she, in her past life as Caridwen, hid the Kiste, a device to travel through time and space. Hedgeland weaves all three time/space frames: Caridwen, Worthing, and April. Hedgeland is the first in the Hedgecraft Sequence, but is a fully self contained novel with no cliff hangers.

Buy This Book

Author Bio

Author Dr Ann Nyland was on Faculty at the University of New England, Australia. She is a grammar pedant, ancient languages translator, and best selling non-fiction author of such books as The Complete Books of Enoch; Angels, Archangels and Angel Categories: What the Ancients Said; The Book of Jubilees; A Devil of a Job to Find Satan in the Bible, among others. Hedgeland is her first novel.




Ever wanted to be a character in a book? Don't forget to follow the Hedgeland Blog Tour and enter for your chance at Ann Nyland's site!


Giveaway of one ebook copy of Hedgeland
  • This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL
  • Being a follower of Nyx Book Reviews is not required but certainly appreciated
  • To enter, just leave a comment with a way to contact you
  • This giveaway runs until June 4th at midnight
  • The winner will be announced June 5th
  • Only one entry per person please

Visit the next stop: Ann Nyland's Author Site

Review: Need by Carrie Jones

Need by Carrie Jones
(Need #1)
4 out of 5 stars

Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books

When I started reading this book, I was impressed. The story begins with main character Zara travelling to stay with her grandmother in a small Maine village. Her stepfather has just passed away and she is so overcome with grief she has become numb. I really enjoyed the first part of the book, where Zara slowly, with help of her grandmother and new friends in Maine, returns to her old self. There was a lot of emphasis on her feelings, and these scenes were very well written.

But not everything in Maine is sweet happiness. Zara is stalked by a freaky guy that does nothing but point at her. Her stalker actually kind of freaked me out. I enjoyed the mystery and was eager to find out who he was and why he is following her.

However, the closer I came to solving the mystery, the less interesting this book became. Zara's personality seemed to be subordinate to the action and the suspense. We just flit in and out scenes but nothing really stands out. Her personal thoughts are about gone, except for a few scenes with her love interest (that has a big secret of his own) that were al right.

You can't tell from the blurb, but this is actually a paranormal themed book. There are bloodthirsty pixies and weres with a hero-complex. The lore seems pretty interesting, at least it's nothing I have ever read before, so I would have loved to know more about where these creatures came from etcetera. I hope this will be explained more detailed in the next book of the series.

Even though the book kind of fell flat for me halfway through, I still enjoyed reading it. Mrs. Jones has a certain ease in her writing that makes the book really pleasant to read. I'm very curious to see if the next book in this series is better. If you're looking for a cute paranormal romance for young-adults, you could try Need.

Blurb

Zara White suspects there's a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She's also obsessed with phobias. And it's true, she hasn't exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane...but Zara's pretty sure her mom just can't deal with her right now.

She couldn't be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara's overactive imagination. In fact, he's still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There's something not right - not human - in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs point to Zara.

In this creepy, compelling breakout novel, Carrie Jones delivers romance, suspense, and a creature you never thought you'd have to fear.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Books I Love: Crime Noir



Books I Love is a weekly feature hosted by Nyx Book Reviews where a guest blogger can gush about his or her favourite genre of choice. 
This week's Books I Love guest blogger:


Troy about Crime Noir!


“Do you ever notice you talk a lot, but never get to the point?” – Karen DiCilia, Gold Coast

Language spoken in crime noir is different than other novels. They have a rough cadence when they speak, rarely from the good district of town, and fewer still have had the opportunity to better themselves in any way possible rather than by the end of the gun. Crime noir is an alternative to detective/murder mysteries. Crime noir keeps to its roots as a base level of humanity, edgier in its style because the good guy has to fight to win and may never do so.

The way Elmore Leonard’s characters speak is remarkable because it keeps the education level at where you would guess a criminal would be at. That doesn’t mean all criminals are idiots, but few talk with the proper grammar that an academic would care for. Jim Thompson does everyone writing crime noir one better by making his characters depraved to the point of no return. He ended up taking a wide turn right when everyone else decided to go left.

In the 1950s, Thompson wrote several crime noir books, some in less than a month with little rewriting. That appeared to add to his style. His characters spoke in forms, cut off half way through sentences, and never with the proper inflection to their tone. Deputy Lou Ford who narrates The Killer Inside Me (1952) speaks in clich├ęs, and talks of his addiction to “the sickness.” These types of characters showcase a base that society is typically unwilling to acknowledge but must admit is out there. Thompson continued this streak of character and language on in the 1957 book The Getaway. It is where no one person in the story is innocent, nor incapable of doing harm to another person for the benefit of greed.

When I select a book to read, I look for the honesty of the writer. Thompson and Leonard possess that honesty that their characters are as real as it gets. Most are mill workers or people without means. Those are the people I know. And few, if any of them, speak proper grammar. Mostly, they speak as themselves, which is the best type of writing, and character. Hopefully, Karen DiCilia would be relieved that I got to the point in this article.

Troy Kirby is a writer in the Pacific Northwest, author of the crime novel “Crunk” and horror novella “The Deity.” His blog www.troykirby.com touches on random topics, from writing, to the world in general.


I would like to thank Troy for his interesting choice!
(don't forget to leave him a comment and to visit his blog)


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The New Internet Pirates: Ebook Downloading

Yesterday in an article on The High Low, there has been stated that "One in every three people who download e-books on their digital readers do so illegally". Even though this statement at first seems shocking, I personally can't see this problem so black and white as a lot of authors and publishers do.

Don't throw rocks at me just yet. Downloading ebooks is illegal. You shouldn't do it. However, is this as much as a problem as this article implies? And why do so many people turn to illegal downloading?


I investigated the sources of this article a little further, coming to an article on the Telegraph site, which states: "One in eight women over 35 who own such devices admit to having downloaded an unlicensed e-book". Let's think about that. That means that 12,5% of females over 35 that own a ereader admit that they have downloaded at least one illegal ebook. There is absolutely no proof or further investigation about the behaviour of those who pirate. Do they just download one? Or all of them? If you take, for example, that they might have given in to downloading a book, maybe 3 times now on average. On estimate, I think about every owner of an ereader has about 100 books on it. Legal books. So, now 3% of those books are illegal, spread over 12,5% of ladies out there, we come to this conclusion: about 0,375% of all ebooks owned by women over 35 are illegal.

Look at that number again. Seems a lot less intimidating than it was on first sight.

In an age where music piracy is the order of the day, the pirating of books seems an impending thread to the publishing world. It doesn't feel like "stealing" on the internet. I will admit that I download songs. I actually never feel sorry for that, because if I wouldn't download them, I would listen them on Youtube, which is free but perfectly legal.

I think that one of the reasons that ebooks are getting pirated, and will continue to be so, is that the price of many ebooks is still too high. You just don't want to pay the same price for a few pixels, as you will for a beautiful hardback edition you can actually hold. Not trying to defend anyone here, I try to understand their motives.


It's too harsh to simply state: "That's ONE-THIRD of our sales flying out the window" (as said by a lovely lady on Twitter). There is no proof at all for being it 33% of all sales. I understand it's hard for authors to see their hard work being used without them getting any reward for it. However, the side of me that always thinks the cup is half-full wants them to look at it this way: if they're pirating it, it's worth pirating. There are people who want to read it. Readers are interested in your book. And if they really enjoyed it, they will buy a real copy, because you're awesome and they want to support you.

It might be naive to suggest that every pirateer will buy your book after downloading it, but I think this does happen. The problem is, you can't stop internet piracy. The music industry tried this and see what happened to them. After countless lawsuits The Pirate Bay is still up and running and probably doing better than ever.

Will ebook piracy become a problem? Definitely. Should we all start a massive witch-hunt for those who have downloaded one book in their lifetime? Please don't. There will always be enough book lovers to actually buy the book. I know I will.

I'm curious to see what you guys all think about this subject! Leave a comment below (:

Monday, 23 May 2011

Review: Shine by Lauren Myracle

Shine by Lauren Myracle
4 out of 5 stars


Published by Abrams Books
ARC received through Netgalley

A beautiful tale of finding yourself again after a traumatising event.

Cat has been pushing everyone around her away. Now, her best friend, who is gay, is the victim of a horrible hate crime, and Cat is determined to find out who did it. Set in a small Southern town, there are a lot of people that don't want Cat poking around...

This book is one hell of a journey. Cat has been shutting all of her relatives and friends out. She couldn't stand to be around them. She was scared and angry, but hid all of her feelings within herself, turning into an empty shell of her former self. When her best friend, with whom she hasn't talked for years, is beat up so bad that he is in a coma, she finally fights her past and tries to find out who hurt him.

What I really loved about this book is Ms. Myracle's beautifully uncomplicated but unforgiving writing. She isn't afraid to talk about difficult issues like addiction, rape and abuse. All these problems come together in a small Southern town, where a lot of people live in poverty. This is all described so truthfully, without going into graphic explanations. This still is written for a young-adult public, but the issues touched upon by this book is interesting for both young and old.

Our narrator Cat is a great character. She lives in hard circumstances, but grows into an independent and strong girl. She faces her past with an admiringly courage. Cat is not perfect, and she has certainly done things that she regrets, but overall she is a good girl. She is not the smartest girl either, but that made the story even more believable for me.

This is a dark tale, a great story with characters you ache for. There is quite some suspense going on, with a thrilling denouement at the end. Shine gives a message of hope. I would certainly recommend this book.

Blurb

When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice.

Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery. Smart, fearless, and compassionate, this is an unforgettable work from a beloved author.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Blog Tour: Daughter of Deception by Kara Thorpe (Giveaway!)

Today's blog tour is featuring Kara Thorpe with her book Daughter of Deception. She has been so kind to give one of her books to one lucky reader of Nyx Book Reviews! Keep reading for the giveaway. My review for Daughter of Deception is delayed because of my finals, but I can assure you this book is pretty awesome! This blog tour is part of The Bookish Snob Promotions.


Official Book Blurb

Daddy's little girl.

That's what clairvoyant Viola Ashwood has been her entire life. She wouldn't mind quite so much if her father hadn't been possessed by a powerful, and nasty, demon nearly a decade earlier. After recovering from a horribly tragic confrontation with Daddy Dearest, Viola wants nothing more than to get back in to the federally-funded but privately run demon-hunting Network. Duke, her brother's ex-best friend and the guy she's crushed on since she was six, stands in her way. As Network regional head, Duke's got plenty of reasons for keeping Viola out of his region, and that's before he considers the fact that her father's on the Network's most wanted list

Just when Duke grudgingly allows Viola into the Network, Daddy Dearest, still possessed and more obsessed with Viola than ever, reappears. While trying to stay one step ahead of the demon, Viola struggles to overcome fears about her surprise demonic heritage while learning to control her new abilities. Especially the one that has her raising zombie squirrels in the middle of the afternoon. Together, Duke and Viola deal with dangerous demons, centuries of family secrets, and a mysterious link that may bind them for life.

Author Bio

Kara Thorpe started writing as a distraction in French class and never stopped (just don’t ask her to conjugate many verbs). Born and raised in Texas, she loves all things historical, scientific, and downright geeky. Though she prefers to write short, character-driven stories, she ventured into the world of the novel with the first book of the Family Lies series Daughter of Deception.

Giveaway of one ebook copy of Daughter of Deception
(closed)

  • This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL
  • Being a follower of Nyx Book Reviews is not required but certainly appreciated
  • To enter, just leave a comment with a way to contact you
  • This giveaway runs until May 29th at midnight as blogger comments have been out for a few days this giveaway will run untill June 3rd
  • The winner will be announced June 4th
  • Only one entry per person please

Next tour stop: The Wormhole

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Blog Tour: Bloodmaiden by Christine E. Schulze (Interview & Review)

Today we have another great author as guest here on Nyx Book Reviews, Christine E. Schulze! Christine has been so kind to answer a few of my questions. For my review of her book, Bloodmaiden, see below. This tour is part of The Bookish Snob Promotions.

Nyx Book Reviews: Could you describe your book in one sentence?

Christine: Four dynasties, four aria, one brilliant quest:
A young couple, accompanied by a feisty sprite, a magical guitarist, an enthusiastic servant, and a mysterious fox must venture across the four dragon dynasties of Sulaimon to collect the sacred Aria, defying tradition for truth and justice in Schulze’s debute YA fantasy full of myth, action, suspense, and a dash of romance.

Your world includes different kinds of dragons. Do you have any specific myths or stories about dragons that inspired you?

Honestly, this is my first and probably last dragon book; I had never been a big fan of dragon books but had never written one either and decided I needed to add one to my fantasy repertoire. I determined I would write the kind of dragon book that I would enjoy.

The land of Sulaimon is divided into four dynasties, each ruled by a race of dragons differing in appearance, character, and personality. I did a bit of online research to learn about how different types of dragons might look, different powers they might have, and then added in bits of things I knew or heard about dragons plus adding my own unique spin.

For example, the dragons of Zale look very much like Chinese dragons and are a very wise, peaceful race, the friendliest of the dragons. The dragons of Varden are much more cunning and love riddles. And the dragons of Gauthier have a sort of medieval warrior flare, their brute strength most their prominent trait. The dragons of Tynan are snowy white and relate more to ancient traditions and rituals. I don’t want to say too much, but there’s a snippet on each of the dragon races.

Do you have any writing rituals to get into the writing mood?

I don’t have rituals persay; I have to be inspired, have to be “in the mood”. That being said, I never write a book from start to finish. My writing is entirely sporadic. If I feel like romance and that means I write the last chapters before the first, then so be it! I am working on something for Books By You right now and should be able to send them something already, only I’ve finished the last chapters before the first. ^_^

What message would you like to give readers through your writing?

First off, I write fantasy, so I always hope to transport readers to a new world; I hope for the world to be real to them, a place they can get away to for a time and imagine themselves inside an incredible story. I’ve been told I am good at creating starkly visual images and real emotions in my stories, and this is what I aim for.

As a Christian, I also usually like to include some sort of spiritual message; this doesn’t mean I’m preachy or awkward with things. I like the spiritual aspect to be naturally woven in. In Bloodmaiden, there are themes of peace, healing, courage, and forgiveness woven throughout. Such themes could appear in many children’s and young adult books, it’s just that for me, as a Christian, I’ve always done it on purpose in most of my books, to give back to God for the talent He’s blessed me with.

I would also like to encourage writers, young and old, to pursue their dreams! Or anyone who has a dream—follow it! It takes much hard work, patience, and persistence, but you can see the dream come alive, just like mine begins to unfold before me.

What do you like best about being a writer?

I love the creativity of it, and the hope in my ability to someday inspire the world through my books. I could never write anything but fantasy; the real world stifles my imagination. I love traveling to my worlds as much as I hope my readers do too.

Will there be more books set in the world you’ve created in Bloodmaiden?

I do not plan for there to be, no. Although I’ve written several series set in other fantasy worlds, this is one book which I believe will remain a stand-alone.

Thank you for answering my questions (:

Thank you for having me! I always enjoy sharing a bit about myself and meeting new friends and contacts through blog tours. Thanks again so much, and God bless!

~ Christine E. Schulze


Official Book Blurb

Zale. Gauthier. Varden. These three dynasties... They all sound like something out of an ancient, oriental myth or fairy tale. The concept of humans and dragons helping and living in harmony with one another, without fear. To me, that's exactly what they are. A distant dream only read of, whispered secretly, quietly yearned for. For, you see, I am the new Quelda of Tynan.

These words echo the mystery, horror, and romance found within Schulze's fantasy novel. Along with her new husband, Chalom, Crislin must choose to embrace cruel tradition, run from it, or stand against it. The young couple's only hope is to rally the help of the three peaceful dragon dynasties of Sulaimon-but tradition is not on their side, even outside the realm of Tynan. The dragons outside Tynan's borders have been rumored as too stubborn and proud to believe their Tynanian brothers would commit such horrors as inflicted upon the Quelda. Gaining their aid is not a likely hope. Yet, any hope at all is valued in Tynan...

Buy This Book

Author Bio
Christine E. Schulze has been creating books since she was too young to even write them in words. Her collection of YA fantasy books, The Amielian Legacy, is comprised of series and stand-alone books which can all be read separately but which weave together to create an amazing fantasy. Her fanatsies also incorporate many other genres, such as Christian fantasy, romance, and even a spark of horror at times. She hopes to inspire readers throughout the world with these books by publishing in both traditional and electronic formats to make them available to all readers.

Christine has published several stories with Calliope and Kalkion magazines and is an active member of the WEbook online writing community. She has also published several Christian/fantasy books which are available at various online retailers, as well as publishing several eBooks via Writers-Exchange.

Her latest and most exciting venture includes her publications with Old Line Publishing: Bloodmaiden and Tears of a Vampire Prince: the First Krystine. She also anticipates her upcoming publication with Old Line, Lily in the Snow, as well as releasing The Chronicles of the Mira with Writers-Exchange in both paperback and electronic forms.

Christine currently lives in Belleville, Illinois in her first and most thrilling apartment.

Visit the next stop: A Chick Who Reads
See full tour schedule

Or continue reading for my review of Bloodmaiden!


Bloodmaiden by Christine E. Schulze
3 out of 5 stars

Published by Old Line Publishing, LLC

There have been countless dragon stories in the fantasy genre. We have seen them in all kinds of different colours and shapes, and we have seen them with all kinds of different personalities. Still, Bloodmaiden manages to give us an alternate view on this overused theme.

The story is set in the world of Sulaimon, consisting of four dragon dynasties, in which dragons live in harmony with the people they protect. But in the dragon dynasty in the north, in the land of Tyrnan, the dragons ask horrible sacrifices of their people. And a young couple, Crisilin and her husband Chalom, have been chosen to fulfil the frightening ritual. By a twist of fate they are able to escape from their certain death, and get the opportunity to free their people for ever. We follow them on their quest to collect the four Aria, parts of a magical song that have been created so the dragons will never abuse any human being.

This book is truly beautifully written. The way the author describes the world, the way she chooses words and makes them flow. It draws you in, makes you feel what the characters feel. There are many sad stories in this book, and I really felt for those characters. But herein lies the biggest flaw too. In some passages we see such amazing writing, but then we have to fast-forward to the next event and the next environment with other characters. There just isn't enough time to enjoy it.

This story is incredibly fast paced, too fast paced even. We jump from kingdom to kingdom, travel at an inhuman speed, get all important events and plot twists dished up right after each other. There is just no time at all to get to know our travellers, to enjoy the fantastic world that is created in Bloodmaiden. It does keep you at the edge of your chair once the story sets off, but sometimes you need to catch a breath as reader. It sometimes gets a little bit too overwhelming, too much information in one time.

This also showed in the narration and the interaction between our couple. The events are described pretty accurately, but we seldom hear what Chrisilin, our first person narrator, feels, what she thinks about it. And this feels like such a waste, because we have seen how amazing Mrs. Schulze can write, and what she could have done with it, but just didn't. Our couple never talks, the only interaction we see is them holding hands or sleeping in each others arms. Sometimes Chalom throws in a "Are you alright, love?" and that's it for deep conversation that chapter. I did buy their love for each other though, there certainly is a bond between them. Sometimes we get a peek into their carefree past, and then they truly shine together.

Another little annoyance I had while reading this is that Chrisilin refers to our world. She once compares something to a roller coaster, or calls a palace "Chinese looking". How is this possible when she lives in a totally imaginary place? She tells us her aunt has told her about other worlds (including ours, apparently) but then forgets to mention how this different-worlds thing works. It felt like something the author didn't think through well enough.

This book has so much potential. If it had been longer and more extensive this would have been one of my favourite books. It has everything, but everything crammed in too few pages. I'd love to see what happens when Mrs. Schulze takes her time to write a book. This is a promising author I would keep my eye on in the future!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Books I Love: Contemporary Young-Adult



Books I Love is a weekly feature hosted by Nyx Book Reviews where a guest blogger can gush about his or her favourite genre of choice. 
This week's Books I Love guest blogger:


Tracy about Contemporary Young-Adult!


My name is Tracy Marchini, and I love contemporary YA.

There are several reasons that I could give you for my love of contemporary YA – the ability to explore a tough situation that may have affected myself or a friend, the ability to go back to a cooler, most exciting version of high school, or even as a way to vicariously rebel like I wished I could as a teen! But in celebration of my new short story Effie At The Wedding, I thought I’d let my character Effie give us a few words about her love of contemporary YA.

7 Reasons Contemporary YA Is Better Than Being Trapped In A Bathroom Stall

  7.) Contemporary YA novels tend to smell better.
  6.) If I had a contemporary YA novel with me right now, I might be slightly less embarrassed about being trapped in the bathroom stall, because the character would be suffering something far more embarrassing. (It would also distract me from what’s happening in the stall next door. Just because a wedding is open bar, doesn’t mean you have to DRINK THE WHOLE BAR.)
  5.) It can be handy for new playlists. I mean, not that I live under a rock or anything, but I wouldn’t have heard of the Smiths if it wasn’t for David Leviathan.
  4.) Contemporary YA novels don’t have dragons in them. I don’t really like dragons, unless we’re describing my Uncle Leo who occasionally tries to breathe fire at family functions.
  3.) Number four is probably happening AS WE SPEAK, and I’m totally missing it.
  2.) I usually know EXACTLY how the protagonist of a contemporary novel feels. As you can probably guess by my stuck-in-the-bathroom-situation, I am a bit on the clumsy, unpopular and unlucky side. But the protagonists of contemp YA stories tend to win in the end because they are so clumsy and weird. Here’s hoping that I end up on the other side of that line (and the other side of the stall!)
  1.) Okay, okay, ANY book is better than being trapped in a stall. If you can’t get me out, could you please pass a book under the door?


I would like to thank Tracy for her amusing top 7!
(don't forget to leave them a comment and to visit her blog)


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Blog Tour: The Demon Kiss by Lacey Weatherford (Book Excerpt)

Today I would like to welcome back Lacey Weatherford, author of the Witches and Warlocks series! She is sharing a part of her wonderful book, The Demon Kiss, today. This tour is part of The Bookish Snob Promotions. Click the banner to find more blogs participating in this tour!


Chapter 2

The emotions hit me all at once, and suddenly everything was spinning out of control. I took off running down a narrow hallway and into a large shipping area, looking frantically around the enormous room the second I entered it.
There he was, standing across the huge space in front of me, rifling through an old filing cabinet. His back was to me, but I knew his leather and jean clad physique anywhere.
My breath caught, and I could feel my pulse racing in my neck at my reaction to seeing him.
He straightened suddenly, stopping what he was doing. Slowly, he turned to face me with a puzzled look on his face.
Our eyes connected instantly across the room.
“Portia?” he breathed out softly, looking at me in confusion, as if he couldn’t believe what his eyes were showing him.
“Hello, Vance,” I replied, trying to sound calm and collected, but I couldn’t keep the tiny tremor out that crept into my voice.
I couldn’t judge his reaction to tell whether or not he was happy to see me standing there in front of him.
He hesitated for a moment, before he started moving toward me, quickly then, and my heart began pounding hard in my chest.
I matched his pace then, crossing the room toward him, meeting him in the middle, with all sorts of thoughts tumbling in my mind, relief and anger being the foremost ones.
“What are you doing here?” he asked, stopping just short of me, as if he was afraid to touch me, and I saw the uncertainty flash over his face.
“I came to do this,” I said, my emotions threatening to boil over the surface in that very moment.
I swung back and punched him in the jaw as hard as I could.

Official Book Blurb

Can someone else's past come back to bite you?
After being drained of nearly all the blood in her body, novice witch, Portia Mullins, wakes up to find that her warlock boyfriend, Vance Mangum, has fled in search of his demon father. Determined to keep him from facing the evil alone Portia follows after him, unknowingly setting herself on the path of a new adventure that will take her, Vance, and their coven over international borders, into a foreign place where they will discover that the black magic which awaits them is far worse than they ever imagined. Portia finds herself tangled up in a web of lies and deceit in another's quest for demonic power in the excitingly romantic second paranormal novel in the Of Witches and Warlocks Series, The Demon Kiss.

Buy This Book

The Demon Kiss Tour Grand Prize
The Grand Prize winner will receive swag, signed copies of books 1, 2, 3, & 4, AND will be written into an interactive scene with VANCE in book four too! Want extra entries? You can get 1 more entry for every time you comment on the tour, and 5 more entries for every time you send a Tweet or Facebook the link to that day’s blog post. Make sure you keep track of those as you will be asked to submit verification links when you enter the giveaway.
Good Luck! May the “Vance” be with YOU!

Author Bio
Lacey Weatherford has always had a love of books. She wanted to become a writer after reading her first Nancy Drew novel at the age of eight.
When she is not reading, writing, blogging, or doing book tours for her current series, she can often be found out at sporting/musical events which her kids are in or texting like crazy with her best friend.
Lacey resides in the White Mountains of Arizona, where she lives with her husband, six children, one son-in-law, and the family dog Sophie.



Visit the next stop: Book Lover's Hideaway

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Guest Post: Graham Parke on Publishing


As you probably know, to become an internationally best-selling author, you need to sell three books. This is not an easy task, but once you’ve managed to rack up these three sales, the rest is more or less a done deal.

Now, these sales themselves will not put you on the best-seller lists. They won’t even put you within a million spots of the bottom of the lists, but what they will do, and what they do every time, is spark a slowly growing buying frenzy that will get you there.

These three people will love your book, they will tell another five people, who in turn tell another seven. Within roughly four-and-a-half weeks, you finally make your first million.
That’s how it happens. Every single time.

But, how does an author tackle this monumental task? Where does he find these three readers?

I myself was quite lucky. When my novel appeared on Amazon I already knew over five people! What’s more, some of these people even liked me... somewhat. So I set out to become an internationally best-selling author by convincing at least three of these five people to buy my novel.

I started with my mother. Of all the five people I knew, I probably knew her the longest. I showed her my Amazon page and she nodded approvingly. She did not, however, make any attempts to buy a copy. So I logged on for her, navigated back to my novel’s page, and left the mouse pointer conveniently positioned over the BUY button.

She read the novel description again, searched-inside-this-book, and nodded some more. When I asked her if she’d like to buy a copy, she scrunched up her nose and said;

‘But what if I don’t like it?’
I told her not to worry. ‘It’s a really good book,’ I said. ‘I should know. I’ve re-written it like 50 times. It’s really funny and interesting.’
My mother wasn’t convinced. ‘I’m not really into comedy writing, though,’ she said.
‘It’s not just a comedy,’ I pointed out. ‘It has a real story; it’s a mystery. And it has twists and turns and believable characters.’
My mother hesitated. ‘Maybe I should just play it safe and buy another Stephen King novel…’

I ended up having to offer a personal money-back guarantee, and purchase a copy using my own credit card for the time being, but she finally cracked. I’d made my first sale!

Next, I prodded my wife. Although she did like words in general, she wasn’t sure she was up for reading and entire book full of them. ‘Is this like your usual stuff?’ she wanted to know.
‘What usual stuff?’
She shrugged. ‘I don’t know. Is it like listening to you talk?’
‘What’s wrong with they way I talk?’
‘Nothing. It’s just, well, sometimes you talk a lot of nonsense.’
I waved it away. ‘Don’t worry,’ I said. ‘I am much more interesting and ‘telligible’ on paper.’

Long story short; my second sale is almost in the bag. Now I just need to find one more person to buy my novel, and I’ll be set for life!


Check out the Summer of Gomez!


Get free books and win a Kindle or iPod.

As reviewers have been calling “No Hope for Gomez!” the perfect summer read - light, fast, fun - I decided to give this summer's Gomez readers some exclusive content and the chance to win prizes.

Book Trailer: Bone Dressing by Michelle I. Brooks




Blurb

Sydney Roberdeau lost her parents as a young girl. Waiting for her life to start and the freedom that will come with her eighteenth birthday, Syd spends much of her time haunting the local cemetery. It is there, stretched out among the dead, that she feels most alive, most at home. Until one rainy night when Beau, Sarah and T.J. crash her ghostly sanctuary, appearing out of nowhere, turning her already inside-out world one degree past upside down.

Syd must now revisit past lives, dressing in the bodies of her previous selves … bone dressing. Her only chance to outrun the evil breathing down her neck is to face her own worst nightmares and her strongest desires. But if she can’t stay out of trouble in this life, how can she possibly fix mistakes from past lives? And just how many lives has she lived, loved and lost? What is Syd exactly, and what will she risk for the life of a man she doesn’t remember, the man she spent a lifetime with, the man she loves? Everything ... including her very own life?

Bone Dressing, the first in a series of seven books, will carry Syd and Beau on an adventure that transcends life itself. 

Available now as an eBook and in paperback. Bone Dressing is a young adult paranormal urban fantasy novel.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
(The Hunger Games #2)
4 out of 5 stars

Published by Scholastic Press
This review may contain spoilers for the previous books in the series

The sequel of the extremely popular The Hunger Games, Catching Fire continues the story of Katniss and Peeta, two teenagers that try to survive in a world ruled by those in the Capitol.

When they both won the Hunger Games, they defied the Capitol, and they're going to have to pay for that. Neither them or their families are safe. I can't say more about the plot without spoiling it, but expect there to be a lot of hardship. Decisions will have to be made that can either save their loved ones or sentence them to death.

The Hunger Games was so absolutely awesome, I expected Catching Fire to at least be its equal, if not even better. I guess I'm quite disappointed now. Catching Fire didn't have the same lightning fast pace, the suspense. Especially the first part of the book was terribly slow. There was a lot of switching back and forth between past and present that was so confusing and unlike this series that I caught myself wishing for an editor to clean this part up.

When the pace did pick up, 'bout halfway in the book, the story resembled the one described in The Hunger Games a little too closely for my taste. And while the one in THG was so frightening and thrilling that I was sitting on the edge of my chair, urging myself on to read quicker, the plot in CF felt a bit old. You can only kill off so much characters before it stops to be scary.

What I did enjoy in this book is that there is a lot more attention to the world of Panem, where rebellion is starting in several Districts. I liked that we got more insight into how the Capitol oppress the general masses. We also get some glimpses into several other Districts, how people live there, which was pretty awesome.

I'd also like to give another cliffhanger warning. The end of Catching Fire gives no closure at all. Expect to be gasping and panicking when you come to the final pages. Make sure to have a copy of Mockingjay nearby before finishing this book.

This was by no means a bad book, yet it's not as awesome as its prequel. It's a decent continuation of the story, but I was expecting something that would leave more of an impression. Still, this trilogy is definitely worth continuing.

Blurb

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol.

Other reviews you might be interested in

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Books I Love: Urban Fantasy



Books I Love is a weekly feature hosted by Nyx Book Reviews where a guest blogger can gush about his or her favourite genre of choice. 
This week's Books I Love guest blogger:


Jessica & Donna about Urban-Fantasy!


Hi all! Jessica and Donna here from Book Passion for Life blog.

Okay when we were asked to write a guest post about a genre that we loved, we spent ages trying to come up with which one we preferred. In the end we decided (by mutual agreement) that we both love the Urban Fantasy genre. Mostly for the same reasons.

Here’s what we love about the Urban Fantasy genre:

Urban Fantasy is a little grittier than Paranormal Romance, even though PNR is also one of our favourite genres. With Urban Fantasy, we enjoy the fact that there's always a lot more detail. In PNR there sometimes are books that don’t have much of a back story which in the end make it a little confusing for the reader, while we’ve read some Urban Fantasy books and they’ve had great back stories. We love that the Urban Fantasy genre tends not to stick to the same story line, love triangles for example. Love triangles can sometimes be the centre of a story (like Twilight) but with Urban Fantasy most authors tend to involve more characters, who have their own story lines. In the end they write books with characters who have their own personality with their own nitty gritty twist at the end.

So, I bet you’re wondering which Urban Fantasy series is our favourite? Well it happens to be The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.


Now the thing we love about TMI is that Cassandra Clare has made each book unique, imaginable, full of action, suspense, romance and of course Jace! We love Clare’s style of writing, how you can also feel that you’re there in the story & feeling what they feel as their journey unfolds. In all honesty we’ve never read another series quite like it and it’s a series that even after countless times, still manages to blow us away. TMI is an instant classic and an all time favourite and a series that we BOTH will continue to read and love. Forever.

The characters are well developed; even though they all have faults (but I guess that’s what makes them interesting?) they help each other out as much as possible. We love the fact that even though they’re not always the same species i.e. vampire, werewolf etc. there’s still a good combination with the right amount of tension. We love the fact that through books 1-4 all the characters manage to overcome their prejudices against one another and just simply, well, get along. TMI isn’t without its fair share of romance though; aside from the entire demon killing we still come to love the romance. Take the romance between Jace & Clary for example; this is a heartbreakingly good romance. The type of romance you find yourself wanting and praying will work out. The type of romance, you know deep down is wrong in the moral sense of the world, but still want it to work out. That right there is GOOD writing. Two people so devoted to one another that HOPEFULLY nothing can break them! The secondary characters like Maya, the new guys (what's his name?) oh Jordan, they’re really enjoyable characters to read about and we will look forward to seeing how Cassie Clare develops them.

Well I think that’s it from us, we hope this was fun to read and let you know a little more about why we love the Urban Fantasy genre, especially The Mortal Instruments.


I would like to thank Jessica and Donna for sharing their favourite books with us!
(don't forget to leave them a comment and to visit their blog)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Teaser Tuesday #26: Need

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Make sure you do not include spoilers
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Teaser Tuesday #26: Need

"That's what stinks about lying/ It's hard to do it to yourself and actually believe it. It's much better to just chant your phobias, face the truth, and be on your way, but I can't do that. Not yet."

Taken from the second chapter of Need by Carrie Jones. From what I've read, I think this book is pretty awesome. It's about killer pixies!

Leave your teaser below (:

Monday, 9 May 2011

Review: Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison

Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison
(Rachel Morgan/The Hollows #3)
4 out of 5 stars

Published by HarperTorch
This review may contain spoilers for the previous books in the series

Rereading these books feels like returning to an old friend. Even though you might not have everything in common any more, you can't help but love them anyway.

Rachel is in big trouble, once again. She made a pact with a demon to put a vampire master in prison, promising to be the demon's familiar, yet keeping her soul. She's living together with a living vamp that still craves her blood, and we haven't started on her complicated relationship with the city's drug baron yet. Prepare for another book of Rachel trying to keep her head above the proverbial (and literal) water.

In this book we see a slight shift from the fast-paced plot-driven books we're used to, to a book more focussed on the complex relationships Rachel tries to balance. Ms. Harrison has created a few of the most layered secondary characters I have ever seen. Which is both a blessing as a curse. A good example of this is Ivy, Rachel's roommate. She has so many issues with her identity that at times, she is really hard to like. She takes unpredictable into the extreme, often making choices I don't agree with at all. Yet she is always Rachel's friend when she needs one, and will protect her with her life. A big part of her private life is still shrouded in mystery, making it even harder to sympathise with.

But to make up for Ivy's sometimes not so sociable skills, this series has the most awesome pixy in the world of books. I don't think there is a person out there that doesn't like Jenks. He is so tiny he can fit on a large earring, but incredibly brave and protective. He isn't afraid to say what's on his mind which only makes him more charming. I want more of him!

As for our narrator, Rachel herself, I feel like she is growing up a bit. She is starting to accept help from her friends without hesitation. She is taking more responsibility, without losing her edge. I'm really glad that Nick is kind of fading out of the picture. I always thought he was one hell of a strange human, muddling with demons and such. I really wonder if there will be a happily ever after for Rachel at the end of the series. And if so, with who?

Another great book in a great series. Maybe not the best one tension-wise but there is enough of character development going on to keep you interested. On to the next one!

Blurb

There's no witch in Cincinnati tougher, sexier, or more screwed up than bounty hunter Rachel Morgan, who's already put her love life and soul in dire jeopardy through her determined efforts to bring criminal night creatures to justice.

Between "runs," she has her hands full fending off the attentions of her blooddrinking partner, keeping a deadly secret from her backup, and resisting a hot new vamp suitor. Rachel must also take a stand in the war that's raging in the city's underworld, since she helped put away its former vampire kingpin - and made a deal with a powerful demon to do so that could cost her an eternity of pain, torment, and degradation. And now her dark "master" is coming to collect his due.

Other reviews you might be interested in

    Looking For Team Members For Blog Tours!

    Are you a blogger who LOVES reading romance, urban fantasy and all things paranormal? Someone who loves showcasing the amazing authors who write them? Are you looking for a way to help promote through your blogs?


    If you answered yes to any of those questions, I’d like to invite you to become a team member of The Bookish Snob Promotions. This is a hot new book promotional business that focuses on providing fun blog tours and bringing readers and authors together.

    Why should I sign up?

    Good question. I'm a fellow blogger who has a complete addiction to books. If you're like me, you have a real passion for what you read and want to do what you can to spotlight the authors you love. You're also on the lookout for new talent and being part of a blog tour team can help you do that. This is a way for you give back and also connect with other readers who love the same genres. This is a great addition to your blogs and can also ease the nerves of contacting authors for reviews/interviews/guest posts. By being a member, I help with that.

    What does being a TEAM MEMBER mean?

    It means you’re part of an amazing group of bloggers that have agreed to host authors on their sites. It means that as authors approach with their books and purchase tour packages, you'll be contacted by me and invited to sign up. For each tour you participate in, you commit to:

    · Reading and reviewing the author's book

    · Posting the review on your blog and other sites

    · Hosting the author for either an interview/guest post/excerpt/giveaway

    I work with you each step of the way, answering questions and making sure you're successful. The Bookish Snob Promotions is 100% friendly and I want this to be an exciting experience for you.

    Ok, I'm in. How do I sign up?

    Signing up is really easy. Just fill in the below form and I'll get in contact with you.

    Team Member Sign Up

    If you have any questions, feel free to email me at thebookishsnob(AT)hotmail(DOT)com. I can’t wait to get to meet you and thanks for stopping by. Happy reading!!

    Bels aka The Bookish Snob J

    Sunday, 8 May 2011

    Sunday Stew #6



    Around the Web:

    This Friday I went on a book shopping spree, as you can see in this week's In My Mailbox post. There was something we Dutch people call the "Boekenfestijn", which literally translates to "Booksfest". There are rows and rows of tables full with books, all for discount prices. Sometimes they are slightly damaged, but often still in a perfect state for very little money. It looks like this:



    I'm trying to not buy that many books any more, since I have so much unread books lying around. But as this is a yearly event, I thought it was okay to indulge for once!

    Around Me:

    In My Mailbox

    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

    I kind of went on a shopping spree this Friday. There was a pretty large book sale nearby, so I had a lot of fun there. Here's what I bought:

    Jonathan Stange & Mr Norrel by Suzanna Clarke

    I've been eyeing this book for a while now, so I'm pretty excited to have found this boxed set for a very good price.





    The Hitchhiker's Guide by Douglas Adams

    Another boxed set I bought. I don't really like the front covers, but the sides will look very pretty on my shelves.
    I apologise for the Paramore poster on the background, this was the only place where the lighting was right.



    The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel


    The Shining by Stephen King


    Well of Tears by Cecilia Dart-Thornton




    Bliss by Lauren Myracle

    This is how the hardcover looks without his jacket. The book is slightly damaged, but I decided to take it anyway. I'm currently reading an ARC of Shine by the same author, and I have to say I'm really impressed with her writing. Looking forward to read this one (:



    Sin Undone by Larissa Ione

    I won this book in a giveaway hosted by the wonderful ladies over at Book Lovers Inc. Anyone know if this series is readable out of order? I've never read a book by Larissa Ione before.




    Dracula The Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker


    The Colour Of Magic by Terry Pratchett






    That's it for this In My Mailbox! Feel free to leave a comment with your mailbox for this week (:

    Thursday, 5 May 2011

    Books I Love: Science Fiction

    Books I Love is a weekly feature hosted by Nyx Book Reviews where a guest blogger can gush about his or her favourite genre of choice. 
    This week's Books I Love guest blogger:


    Pavarti about Sci-fi!


    I don’t like Star Wars.

    I tolerate Star Trek (mostly because of my love of The Shat)

    So when I say I am in love with science fiction few people understand how that’s possible. Well as much as those two iconic franchises’ happen in space there’s not much science in either of them; really they are more correctly classified as general fiction. Hey, stop throwing things at the screen and hear me out!

    The fundamental issue is that so few people understand what sci-fi actually is. There have been thousands of books listed as sci-fi which under the true definition don't remotely resemble pure science fiction.

    This confusion happens most commonly with the fantasy genre. Somehow fantasy and sci-fi have become interchangeable for so many that the differences are blurry; however, there is a clear and solid line separating them. Sci-fi is possible. Fantasy is not.

    In the words of L. Ron Hubbard: “...science fiction, to be credible, has to be based on some degree of plausibility; fantasy gives you no limits at all.”

    This is an incredibly important distinction. In sci-fi there are no wizards, no magic, no nymphs or elves or fairies. Fantasy is wonderful; this is not a rant against it. But let's let fantasy be fantasy, call a moose a moose, and give sci-fi its due.

    The thing I find so thrilling about science fiction is exactly what Hubbard is referring to: it is possible. This doesn't mean that it's going to happen now or that it's going to happen at all, but the possibility of life on Mars or alien invasions or even the simplicity of space travel lifts my hope for the future. Sci-fi, when done well, is at its core inspirational.

    Even Dystopian books within this genre possess that glimmer of hope. There is something about what human kind has or can create that propels a simple fiction tale into the ranks of pure sci-fi and gives the reader permission to dream, and dream big. Hey, we created a kind of energy that is consuming the Earth and we all have to find a new planet. WOW. My imagination is on fire with what that energy could be and where we could possibly go.

    If done well a science fiction novel will include not only technology but psychology, anthropology and sociology; creating some of the most realistic and fleshed out cultures that have ever existed in fiction. The reason for this is the writer's commitment to describing the real and the possible. Once you've researched how a nuclear reactor works and figured out a way to make it propel a space craft, it's only natural to put the same effort and commitment into every aspect of the work.

    The other door science fiction opens is for the author to explore issues of philosophy, religion and culture. Because technological advancement and cultural shifts are fundamentally tied - this is proven throughout history, but I think Celine will kill me if I start waxing poetical about that too - it is logical to think through the effects that the imagined technology will have on the people who live with it.

    One of the most famous quotes from one of the best written sci-fi books is not about technology but about philosophy:

    I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when my fear is gone I will turn and face fear's path, and only I will remain. - Dune

    To further my point I want to take a moment to discuss three of the classic sci-fi novels I think show how broad a genre it can be, without losing its purity: Battlefield Earth, Dune, and Lilith's Brood.

    • Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard is by far one of the best books I've ever read. Go ahead, laugh, you know you want to. Yes, he invented Scientology. No, I'm not a Scientologist. But yes he did write one of the best pure Science Fiction novels ever written. Hubbard's look into the year 3000 includes science so detailed I almost believed I could build it from his descriptions. He showed us a culture so torn apart it had mutated into something recognizable as human, but fundamentally different. He also introduced aliens whose customs and language were so clearly depicted they rose out of the confines of fiction and into the realm of possible.
    • Dune by Frank Herbert takes us out of our modern time but also out of the comforts of what we consider religiously/morally/biologically possible. His science does not stop at hover-copters or galactic space travel; by introducing the concept of "Spice," sand worms and the culture of the "Fremen," Herbert is able to explore some of the fundamental questions of human existence. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose?

      Further in the series he explores questions of authority, government, multi-cultural conflicts and even addiction. Few books span across history and culture as completely as Dune. The science in many ways takes a back seat to the other issues discussed, but in spite of that, and I would propose because of it, Dune is a model of pure sci-fi.

    • Lilith's Brood by Octavia Butler is one of the very few sci-fi books of this caliber written by a woman. And not just a woman, but a black woman in the 1970s. Lets all take a moment to recognize the immense achievement of that: she stood against race, gender and genre and wrote what she loved. And what she wrote blew my mind.

      Lilith's Brood spans generations of humans from the first awoken from cryogenic sleep by aliens who rescued them from World War III to her youngest child, a hybrid between aliens and humans and the beginning of a whole new society. The science of the ship and biology of the alien race she introduces to her readers is unlike anything else I've read and so beautifully detailed it becomes real.
      Three completely different books, with completely different approaches to science and culture but all three are examples of old school, pure sci-fi. The thread that connects them isn't only the science but the realism of the possibilities entailed. So when looking for a quality book, full of thought provoking issues and deeply affective stories, check out the sci-fi section. If you are interested in reading a contemporary Sci-Fi novel by an exciting Indie Author you can check out Gabriel's Redemption (Evan Gabriel) by Steve Umstead. I have reviewed it here and can say it’s one of the few pure sci-fi works being released today. What's your favorite sci-fi book? Do you believe there is a difference between fantasy and science fiction? Does realism of possibility appeal to you and does it add to the story?

      To Infinity and Beyond! Pav

      I would like to thank Pavarti for this wonderful post!
      (don't forget to leave her a comment and to visit her blog)