For some reason I’ve been reminiscing about some of my funniest moments being a children’s librarian and this memory stands out. One of my favorite aspects of the job was Storytime. At the end of each June our town celebrates Family Festival Week and has all sorts of concerts, activities for kids, etc. It culminates in a Fourth of July extravaganza. One particular year we had the National Guard with a tank and some of their equipment set up on our library lawn. I took my preschoolers out after Storytime to talk to some of the soldiers. There was one in particular who was great with the kids and had no problem answering their questions. During a lull he asked one little boy named Anthony, “So. Do you want to be a soldier when you grow up?” Without missing a beat Anthony replied “Of course not. I want a real job when I grow up!” I don’t know whose face turned redder, mine or the poor National Guardsman’ s. Still, after all these years this never fails to bring a smile to my face.
I Think Any Book Lover Will Abide By These Commandments!
I found this excellent Infographic over at Quoth the Wordsmith’s blog and just had to share. Enjoy, and many thanks to Quoth for this hilarious resource! 🙂
This month, it is Pearseus: Rise of the Prince that’s on sale. Read the second book in my best-selling epic fantasy series for only 99c (no, you don’t need to have read the first book to make sense of it).
Celes Vale has lived an ordinary life with his close knit family in working class Midgardian. That is, until his twelfth birthday. On that day his magic is awakened and shortly thereafter he is sent to a magical school in the floating city of Gardarel where he will be trained as an Invoker. It’s soon apparent though that there is a nefarious plot underway. One that could destroy Gardarel itself. Can Celes and his friends stop the villains before it’s too late?
I’m going to get the negatives out of the way. Yes, there are parts of The Kingdom Lights that are similar to Harry Potter. One of the opening scenes took me right back to when Dumbledore dropped Harry off at the Dursleys. And yes there are extreme similarities in regard to the characters. In addition to Celes, Zephyr, and Imogene being somewhat like Harry, Ron, and Hermione, there’s a Draco clone with two henchmen that are a little too close to Crabbe and Goyle. I also felt there wasn’t quite enough world building. For instance, I would have liked to have known more about the origins of the prejudice towards the Wisps. Finally, there was some repetetive phrasing that got on my nerves. Too many instances of “the young Vale” for example. Despite this, I actually wound up liking the book. Steven VS has created a lovely children’s book that is a combination of Steampunk, Fantasy, and a little Science Fiction. Indeed, with his gorgeous descriptions of Gardarel and all it’s wonders, it brought to mind The Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back. For all the similarities in the characters to those in Harry Potter, there was also a uniqueness to them. I genuinely grew to care about Celes and I loved the difficult relationship between him and his cousin Sam. I also loved the character of Zephyr, Celes’ best friend who as a Wisp is not afforded the same rights as everyone else. Imogene was also an interesting character, although I’d love to see her fleshed out more. When the true villain of the story finally revealed themselves, I was actually surprised. It truly was one of those “the person you least expect” moments. The Kingdom Lights can be a standalone novel, but the ending also leaves room for another story. I rather hope the author continues with this. I’d like to find out more about this magical world.
*UPDATE* I just received an email from Steven who is indeed writing a series. Phew! And in his words, he “Has a plan”!
“In one way, at least, our lives are like movies. The main cast consists of your family and friends. The supporting cast is made up of neighbors, co-workers, teachers, and daily acquaintances. There are also bit players: the supermarket checkout girl with the pretty smile, the friendly bartender at the local watering hole, the guys you work out with at the gym three days a week. And there are the thousands of extras — those people who flow through every life like water through a sieve, seen once and never again. The teenager browsing graphic novels at the bookstore, the one you had to slip past (murmuring ‘Excuse me’) in order to get to the magazines. The woman in the next lane at a stoplight, taking a moment to freshen her lipstick. The vendor who sold you a bag of peanuts at a baseball game. But sometimes a person who fits none of these categories comes into your life. This is the joker who pops out of the deck at odd intervals over the years, often during a moment of crisis. In the movies this sort of character is known as the fifth business.”
Thus begins Stephen King’s latest novel. For Jamie Morton, his fifth business, or nemesis as it were, is the Reverend Charles Daniel Jacobs. He first meets the charismatic preacher when he is six years old and the two form an instant bond. Over the next three years the Reverend, his wife, and young son become fixtures in the small community of Harlow, Maine. Then one fateful day the unimaginable occurs. An unspeakable tragedy that will not only cause Reverend Jacobs to lose his faith, but also will send him and Jamie on a collision course which concludes with a horrific act beyond imagination. Some doors are better left unopened.
I finished Revival last night around 7:00 pm and was left so stunned I couldn’t put a string of coherent words together in order to review it. First, let me warn you not to finish this within a couple of hours of when you’re going to bed. You will either not be able to sleep, or you’ll have some truly nasty nightmares. That said, the majority of this book does not really fall under the genre of horror. Indeed, it’s pure Americana, from 1950s small town Maine, to the carnival circuit in the Midwest, to finally landing back in present day Maine where the true horror takes place in the last thirty something pages. The way Jamie’s and Jacobs’ lives develop over five decades, for better or for worse, is vintage King, which is why I loved this book so much. Both men are shaped by the tragedies in their lives and not for the better. Jacobs sets out on an obsessive and destructive path which winds up effecting so many lives, while Jamie is only set on destroying his own, yet once the two meet again when Jamie is an adult the outcome is a foregone conclusion. Jamie is a wonderful, albeit flawed hero whose life is defined by his experiences. You cannot help but sympathize with him even when he’s making the worst decisions. I also wondered if King put a little of himself in Jamie with his addictions and love of classic rock. Reverend Jacobs who begins as a sympathetic character ultimately lets his experiences shape him into a true monster. As this story unfolds you also are introduced to the main cast and the supporting cast who are almost as fascinating as Jamie and Jacobs. Without either the events that play out would never come to fruition. The actual “horror” at the end of the book is a decided homage to two classic writers of that genre, and it’s brilliantly done. When King is at his best, his stories are tapestries where all of the threads are interwoven, finally coming together in one spectacular picture, and this is what he has created with Revival. I’ve tried not to put any real spoilers in this review because if you’re going to read this book I honestly think you should do so with no preconceived notions. Hopefully I’ve succeeded in giving you a tantalizing peek instead.
Hey you! What’s up? My name is David Long and welcome back to another post on doubleyourpresence.com where I do my best to help people with social issues to understand and manage them better and hopefully, even inspire them to live their life to the fullest!
So, as mentioned in the Year-Ending Reminder (My previous blog post), here is the short email interview with Jim Beaver (Actor best known for his roles in Deadwood & Supernatural) that many of you are excited to get your eyes on (Hah, get it? I said eyes, not hands) and so without further adieu, enjoy!
Q1. When did you start making VERDIGRIS a reality? Why? Was it a tough decision for you?
VERDIGRIS as a play was conceived even as the events which inspired it were taking place.
Even then, long before I’d ever written a play, I knew somehow that…
View original post 1,245 more words
“WHAT IS THE SILENCE OF SIX, AND WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?”
These are the final words of Max Stein’s best friend Evan as he hacks into a live stream of a Presidential debate taking place at their high school. Shortly after, he tragically kills himself. Armed only with some cryptic information Evan has sent him, and not knowing who he can trust, Max now finds himself on the run, a victim of a conspiracy that has far reaching implications. Will he be able to uncover the plot in time to save not only himself but the two people who are trying to help him? This is an exciting and timely conspiracy thriller set in the time of Julian Assange and Eric Snowden and the ever growing world of social media. I zoomed through it in two sittings. Even though it’s got a lot of hacker and technical computer terminology, I had absolutely no problem following the plot, which for a technically-deficient person like me is really saying something! The characters are interesting, if a little too good to be true. For example, seventeen year old Max is immediately able to successfully evade capture using his neglected hacker skills, outwitting some extremely powerful people, with only two teen sisters to help him. Also, I felt the dialogue was a little bit stilted in places. Overall though the pros far outweigh the cons. I recommend reading the ebook version as it provides links to click on which take you to the news blog of Courtney Garcia, Max’s girlfriend, at http://fullcortpress.tumblr.com and a conspiracy theorist blog Fawkes Rising at http://www.fawkesrising.com This just adds to the fun and uniqueness of this book. I think teens and adults will enjoy this fast-paced novel especially if they’re into computers. If you want to check out the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Diptk5Q9ziM
And finally, if you want to get an idea of what this is all about, check out “SOS” the prequel to The Silence of Six on Wattpad at http://www.wattpad.com/story/25238632-sos-a-prequel-to-silence-of-six
You may not have guessed, but I’m a bit of a fan of the tv series Supernatural. Okay, I’m obsessed. I’ve watched every episode since it first came on the air in 2005. I’ve crushed on both the Winchester boys, had my heart stomped on by them, and even have been completely disillusioned by of all things, angels. If you’re not a fan of the show you may well be asking what inspires such devotion to a tv series that is basically about two brothers who hunt the things that go bump in the night. It’s because it is so much more than that. For me, it is that incredible brotherly bond between Sam and Dean which has survived Sam being soulless, and this season Dean being a demon. Their bond has even survived death more than once. And some of the secondary characters are equally compelling like the late Bobby Singer who was their father figure for so many seasons. Anyway, tomorrow night is a very special night for fans of this cult tv series. Supernatural celebrates it’s 200th episode by doing a musical. Well, sort of. A teacher goes missing and when the Winchesters go to investigate they discover the student body is putting on a musical based on their lives. This could be one of the best meta episodes ever or it could completely crash and burn. I just saw a preview on Variety (which I was unable to copy here otherwise I’d share it with you), which was oddly moving, so I’m thinking it’ll be the first. Here’s hoping!