Digitus 233- A Great Adventure Book

This was a great story, although there were few moments where I felt the story lost plausibility, but I think that was a personal thing.
This was partly due to the addition of Crazy Dude, I loved the character, but as a result of him I didn’t take the rest of the story as seriously as I should have done.
He felt unnecessarily silly to me. I can assume that there will be a reason for the little Dude, and I will feel terrible for pooh poohing him, but for now I’m unconvinced.
Otherwise the rest of the story was very creative and I love the hook ending- that was an ending that was cleverly dangled

I felt like this is a 3.5 Cup of Tea book but am rounding up to four because it has so many merits.

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Steampunk! Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories

I bought this because I read Clockwork Fagin and loved it, when I received my copy I was over the moon to discover that one of the contributing authors was Garth Nix!
Not only that but I now realise there are more steampunk short stories compiled by this crowd.

So what do I make of the book?
The stories compiled are of varying lengths, some of them are even comic sketches. There are a mixture of different types of steam punk from fairy tales right through to dystopian.
I think the stories work well as a group and they are all gripping, if you like steampunk there will be something in this for you.

Lord of the Rings Film VS Book- Frodo’s No Wuss

Ok, so now I’m three quarters of the way through the second book of Lord of the Rings.

I don’t know what I was whinging about all those years ago when I couldn’t get past ‘all the walking’, it’s not that bad. In fact the story is fantastic!

Although my eyes do to tend to glaze over with the songs; there are far too many of those in my opinion.

Having recently watched the films it struck me how much they’ve changed some of the characters.

They turned Frodo into an absolute wuss, Pippin into an idiot, and Gimli, for the part where they went through the mines of Moria, for some reason turned into an over the top emotional wreck, flailing around and wailing.

I can understand why they might have to alter the characters to make them filmable, but it always bugged me that any time Frodo was approached by the enemy he dropped his sword and ran away. How was he supposed to protect anything like that, let alone the most dangerous piece of jewellery on middle earth?

Turns out he’s not a wimp at all, he always gave all he got whilst he could, he stabbed a cave troll in the foot in the book!  But in the film, sword on floor, run and hide.

Grr, rant, mutter, grumble.

Other than that there are a few discrepancies, Saruman doesn’t die in the book for one, some of the lines are swapped and parts of the story are merged, but it’s largely true to form.

I can now conclude that I like both, but for different reasons.

They both have their merits and their foibles, but for once I can’t say clearly whether I prefer the books or the films; which is odd for me, because normally it’s books all the way.

Life is Stranger than Fiction

I am pleased as punch to announce that I have been hosted by the kindly people at Read Write Muse today!

I wrote a post on some of the great and fun ways you can conduct research and why it’s important.

They even made me a little quote icon!  It feels pretty cool to be quotable I can tell you.

So thank you to the people at Read Write Muse; especially to Katie Cross who formatted and posted the article.
Here’s a little excerpt:

Everyone should research—because life is stranger than fiction

Hi Folks,

Today I’m going to help you find the enthusiasm to conquer that pesky little blighter of boredom- research.

‘Research?’  I hear you cry. ‘I don’t need any of that, I’m writing fiction!’

Tired of doing #research for your next fiction WIP? Children's Author JR Barker discusses ways to make research interesting again over here at ReadWrite Muse!

The truth of the matter is you do need to do research no matter what genre you’re writing for.

You can read the rest HERE and find more writing tips on their site.

The Zombie Chronicles Gets 3.5 Cups of Tea!

This is now my second Zombie book and, although I liked the story,  I don’t think I’ll be picking up another zombie book in a hurry.
It turns out that zombies just don’t tickle my literary fancy but hey, you gotta try these things right?

I shall review this one based on plot, readability, writing skill and characters.

The story starts with a happy couple on their first date and, within the first chapter, everything goes to hell in a hand basket.
Zombies come out the woodwork and people are forced to flee, the survivors manage to hole themselves up on a series of nice safe islands.
It’s  safe for all but  a group of siblings, who crash land into zombieland with a potential cure that they were supposed to be taking for analysis on another island, and an infected girl who they can’t bring themselves to kill because *spoilers*.
Trapped in zombieland they are set upon by many hoards of, you guessed it, zombies.
There are some nice subplots and a few twists and turns, which I won’t discuss until you have read it yourselves!
It was a superbly action orientated story. The cause of the outbreak isn’t known at this point, but it is a mutating virus, which means it effects everyone at different rates and spreads in multiple ways.
So storyline and readability has a big fat check next to it.

Writing- the writing style and description was pretty good.  I felt like I was there struggling through with them, I bought into their situation, the action scenes were faultless and the zombies were portrayed really well. Nasty little blighters that they are.
On to the peoples! The older brother and sister were pretty cool characters but some of the motley crew felt a bit false to me. At the beginning they were supposed to be but by the end I still hadn’t bought into them as people; they didn’t seem to develop believably.
There was also a irk on the romance side of things, everyone got paired off, which was odd because two of the characters had to undergo a little personality surgery to make it work.  It felt like they’d been put together because they were both good looking and therefore why not?

It’s written that they came together by circumstance, but I just didn’t feel it.
I would like to see how this series pans out, the end of this book ended on a cliffhanger good enough to make me want to grab the next book.

However, I don’t think I’ll be looking out for any other zombie books. Not because I didn’t like this story, but because I find zombies dull.

Tea Verdict?

3.5 cups of tea, the extra half star was lost on the romance and secondary characters.

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Keep Ponies off the Menu!

A few years ago I made a documentary with my other half about Dartmoor‬ Pony‬ Conservation.

Dartmoor ponies have been in decline since they ceased to be used as work horses in the mines of Dartmoor. Their numbers have dropped even further since their use as riding ponies has fallen out of fashion.

When we made this documentary a charity called the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust were making headway and were slowly bringing these iconic animals back into popularity.

Our little video went out across the globe and the Dartmoor Pony became famous and the charity flourished.

Today we heard that some pony owners are giving up and starting to sell these beautiful creatures for sausage meat. Our conservation video is up online for anyone who wants to see it.

Please help keep these beautiful ponies off the menu!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-28465981

The Night Circus gets 3 Cups of Tea

I had been looking forward to reading this for aaages, so whether this factored in how disappointing I found it, I don’t know.

I had to nibble away at this book, chapter by chapter.

Every time I got into a scene I got whisked away somewhere else, I was never allowed to settle, after a while this got wearying, then boring.

The premise was intriguing, the cover was enticing, the plot was there, even the writing skills and descriptions were there, but because it dotted around so much I just found myself distracted by almost anything that wasn’t the story.

You never got to hang around any of the characters long enough to connect, large sections of the story could be condensed into, “ this was added to the circus, isn’t it pretty?”

I can describe this book in one four letter word, “nice”, the characters were intriguing, but not enough to save the book, the storyline was o.k, but it could have been spectacular.

And that’s the rub, it could have been spectacular, if it had been laid out in a more linear fashion, if the author stuck to one scene for more than a few pages at a time, if we’d gotten to know the characters under the skin as well as outfits they wore and the circus they worked in.

I liked how it ended, it didn’t need a big flashy finish, but the journey to get to the end felt like a mirage, all glitz and glamour and no substance.

Perhaps if I’d read it in another time and place maybe it would be something more than it was, but I read it here and now and it simply felt flat.

It gets three cups because I’m haunted by the story it could have been.

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The Night Circus image is an affiliate link, which means that if you buy it I’ll get a portion of the proceeds.