Monthly Archives: January 2014

San Francisco Book Review

Alright, so I recently got my book reviewed by the San Francisco Book Review. That’s pretty sweet right! Well, this is an interesting review for a couple of reasons and I want to post it and hear your thoughts about what I should do. So, here is the review:

“Star Rating: 3.5 out of 5

//Guardian of the Core: Trials of the Core// is a riveting new science fiction/fantasy novel that will delight those who are new to the genre. To those who have read the //Harry Potter// series or //Lord of the Rings//, or for those who have seen a Star Trek movie or two, the plot will seem bizarrely recycled.

Edwyrd Eska is the Guardian of the Core, a sort of leader who seeks to maintain a balance of power between all the noble families in one cluster of planets. As the end to his 200-year term approaches, Eska must choose a successor. He selects several young people from different worlds to join him at the Core and participate in a series of challenges to prove their worth. One is a labyrinth, one is a riddle, one involves hand-to-hand combat and the last involves a treacherous mountain ascent. The contestants all have some sort of emotional baggage. Prince Hydro, perhaps the most powerful and influential of the group, experiences rejection and animosity from his step-mother. Zain accidentally causes the death of his friend, Zakk, or so he thinks. Gabrielle has experienced a long life of abuse at the hands of her father. Eirek comes from a common background and has no magical abilities. There are several others involved in the contest, but narratively, they get pushed to the back burner while the other characters work around them.

The biggest issue I had with //Trials of the Core// is that the plot was over-recycled. The structure reminded me mostly of //Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire//, but with different character archetypes. Even subplots were borrowed from somewhere else. At one point, Prince Hydro encounters a dangerous-looking necklace in a maze. He takes it from the maze, and from that point on, it tries to coerce him into wearing it. That sounds like the plot to //Lord of the Rings// a bit. Some of the sentences read a little awkwardly. For example, Eirik talks to his uncle, Angal, about the trials early in the book. One passage reads, “Looking at the stars, Eirik searched for a reason to hate him. They were few and dim.” I get what Thies was going for, but the “wait, what?” moments interrupted the flow of the story.

“Trials of the Core” left a lot of loose ends. There are hints of corruption among the nobility and even with the Guardian of the Core himself. Zakk swears revenge on Zain for ruining his chances in the contest. Prince Hydro still has the evil necklace in the end. It’ll be interesting to see what Thies decides to do with his //Guardian of the Core// series.

Ultimately, I enjoyed the book, for all of its plot pitfalls and awkward sentence structures. I appreciated the characters and all of their troubled backgrounds. The book read like a movie, and I could clearly imagine the trials and the characters in my mind. While not on my top-10 list of favorite books, I’d probably keep an eye out for the sequel and read it again.”

Alright, not too bad of a review, right? It’s a 3.5 out of 5 star review. Typically I like to post 4 – 5 star reviews because that is the kind that I typically get (my rating right now on Goodreads is a 4.44). So, this one to me was a little lower than I would have hoped, but it is also coming from a larger agency then just an individual person.

Now, here are a few things I want to point out about the review. Firstly, the reviewer mentions that Hydro experiences animosity from his step-mother. It isn’t his step-mother but actual mother that hates him, which is pretty obvious in the book. This draws into question, how seriously did this reviewer review it?

Also, the reviewers main problem with this story is that the plot in this novel is over recycled. That, I totally do not deny. It is. I had inspiration from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire definitely. But, here’s the thing everyone, in today’s day and age NOTHING IS ORIGINAL. Everything written derives from some sort of inspiration. Shakespeare stole all of his plots (besides the Tempest) and that was in the 16th century, what are the chances that I’ll be able to come up with something original if Shakespeare couldn’t? Also, to be fair, I do think that the second story of my novel definitely starts to develop it’s own, unique plot which he does acknowledge, too.

Even characters have their set archetypes that many authors play off of. What is needed is portrayal of characters in interesting ways. Readers want to connect with the characters and to the reviewers credit he does mention that I have good character interaction and good world-building.

Anyways, 3.5/5 is definitely not bad, but what do you all think about the review? Is that an legitimate “big” issue? Do you think the review may have been skewed by a non-interested reader who didn’t take time to dissect the story as a whole?

Back to School

I am awash with emotions today. I finally go back to school tomorrow which is awesome, but nerve racking at the same time. I’ve been out of school for a whole year now so hopefully I still know how to do this school and study thing. The past couple months have been mixed with this same sort of feeling as I struggled with my break up and also as I coped with it through friends. I am so glad to have good friends.

I will be posting another blog post at the end of the week as I clue everyone into how I am doing as a student and will probably continue blogging about it. I need to be more active with my social media besides Facebook anyways. I am going to be trying to post twice per week now. Maybe I’ll have a simple quote Friday like a lot of other bloggers I know do.

On top of everything else in school I’ll need to do this because I have a book blogging tour come late March! So, hopefully that is the push that my book needs in order to start selling more copies.

This post isn’t too long but I have no idea how I’m ever thinking about doing this again! I probably wouldn’t but I need some sort of structure in my life again. I’ve been too carefree for too long now but 18 credits is quite the load and I recently just picked up my books and there are 17 of them!!! Now, granted, I will not need to read all of them front to back but that is still quite a lot of books to read considering that my goal for reading for the year is 12 books. Well, looks like I’ll have that accomplished J

Wish me luck everyone as I embark on this new adventure!

Looking Ahead to 2014

So, my last blog post dealt with everything that has happened to me in 2013. This one will focus on everything I plan on accomplishing in 2014. Boy do I have my sights set high. But, you know what, that’s fine. If anything writing a book last year has told me is that nothing is impossible, only you decide what is and what isn’t, so I’m gonna tell myself “I’m Possible” and get stuff done!

Well, first things first, my schooling. This next year will be CRAZY! On January 21st I officially start schooling again in UW-Whitewater in order to get my teaching degree which will also be my second bachelor’s degree. I will be taking 18 credits in the spring, 9 over the summer, and 17 in the fall. Needless to say I will be busy.

My resolution for this part of schooling? Well, I want to maintain a decent GPA of at least a 3.3, but I am striving for that 3.5. That is what I got in Eau Claire, so I feel as though it should be obtainable for me here, the only thing that worries me is my outrageous amount of credits that I will be taking along with the organizations I want to be a part of. A few of those organizations being: Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society), Boys and Girls Club (looks good on a resume for teaching) and even a hip hop dance club cause I think it’d be cool to learn some of those moves.

Secondly, I have a large battle ahead of me with my writing. Here is my tentative layout for how this year will go so that I can accomplish my dreams of having the second book published depending on finances in 2015.

Book #2 Draft 1 = December 31st, 2013

                                                                                         2014

Book #2 Draft 2 (Outline #3) = March 21st

Book #2 Beta Readers Test = March 21st – April 30th

Book #2 Draft #3 = June 29th

Book #2 Developmental Edit = August 15th (This will depend on finances)

Book #2 Draft 4 = September 30th

Book #2 Copyedits = Done by November 28th (Depends on finances)

Book #2 Final Draft/Proofreading = Finished by December 31st

2015

Book #2 Pre-Release Marketing Begins = January – June

Book Launch Party = End of May

Book #2 Release Date = June 21st, 2015

And, that is the tentative schedule for when I want to release my book. Now, why do I have a specific date for launching it already in 2015? Well, the major event of the second book deals with the converging of the two suns in an event called Pirini Lilapa (The Great Inferno). Although overly beautiful to see, it is very deadly and something bad always happens during it. What better day to release it than Summer Solstice when the days are longest and hottest?

What else is going on this year in 2014? Well, I have a trip to Savannah Georgia planned for late February. I have a trip to Vegas planned for late March. And then, just living life I suppose.

Even though I have all of these goals, here are some of the other resolutions that I plan on following through on during 2014.

Resolution #1 = Read 12 books within the year that are non-school related. One book per month, I think I can handle that. There have been a few on my to-read list that I really need to get into.

Resolution #2 = Completely finish (drafts and all) of my second book. I do not think this will be too much of an issue, the only problem comes from financing the project. I have taken a hard hit with this first book and am not seeing as much of an ROI on it as I would like to see so it will greatly determine whether or not this second book goes according to plan.

Resolution #3 = Be Healthier. I already am pretty healthy but these past couple of months I have been going out way too much. Mostly being due to the fact that I recently broke up with my significant other, but I really need to slow my role a little bit. I think that going to college will help this (especially the course load I have) because I won’t have that much time to go out.

Resolution #4 = Keep up with my once-per-week blog. I know it may not seem like a lot because many people blog a lot more than I do. But, it’s good enough for me and I’m already seeing the significant benefits of it.

 

Woh! That was a long one. Glad you could stick with it for me and I hope you enjoyed learning about my goals in this new year. It is full of possibilities and I am hoping to take advantage of all of them as I start this new phase in my life.