Book Talk: Playing Tyler

Cover for Playing Tyler by T L CostaOut of all the books I picked up for the reading month, I have to admit that this is one I’d pegged most likely to put it down because of a mismatch of taste and interests. You can’t be right all the time, though. (Well. I can’t, anyway.) And this is a case where I am… both right and wrong in equal measures.

Let’s start off with the description because it feels pretty durned long compared to the others I’ve shared so far.

Tyler MacCandless can’t focus, even when he takes his medication. He can’t focus on school, on his future, on a book, on much of anything other than taking care of his older brother, Brandon, who’s in rehab for heroin abuse… again.

Tyler’s dad is dead and his mom has mentally checked out. The only person he can really count on is his Civilian Air Patrol Mentor, Rick. The one thing in life it seems he doesn’t suck at is playing video games and, well, that’s probably not going to get him into college.

Just when it seems like his future is on a collision course with a life sentence at McDonald’s, Rick asks him to test a video game. If his score’s high enough, it could earn him a place in flight school and win him the future he was certain that he could never have. And when he falls in love with the game’s designer, the legendary gamer Ani, Tyler thinks his life might finally be turning around.

That is, until Brandon goes MIA from rehab and Tyler and Ani discover that the game is more than it seems. Now Tyler will have to figure out what’s really going on in time to save his brother… and prevent his own future from going down in flames.

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Serial: A Promise Broken, 28

This still comes with warnings for bullying. I am still very, very sorry. (It also still comes with a note that I’m scared I may have messed up the pronouns somewhere and I’m still trying to figure out the best way to tackle combining what remains of the English case system with the ao pronoun. Thoughts on whether you think the grammar is clear or not would be appreciated greatly. I’ve gone, roughly, with the situation of ‘aos’ for all inflections regardless of case. It works for me, but I have no idea how it works for others.)

Wherein we (finally) get a half-baked explanation why ‘sifanou’ is a bad word and Eiryn does not understand counting. Or numbers, really. Don’t ask her to count to ten. She will mess it up.

A Promise Broken is a WIP serial fantasy novel that updates every Monday for free. You can read more about the project here. For every €20 in donations, an additional Wednesday post will be unlocked.

A Promise Broken

Lynn E. O’Connacht

Part 28

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A More Diverse Universe

A More Diverse Universe Banner (September 14-27)

I’m just going to copy over the text from the original sign-up post.

For those who have not heard about #Diversiverse before, it’s a very simple challenge.  For those of you who have participated in the past, it’s even easier this year.  The criteria are as follows:

  • Read and review one book
  • Written by a person of color
  • During the last two weeks of September (September 14th – 27th) 

And that’s it. Any genre goes, any book goes provided it was written by a person of colour. Aarti links some really good posts on reading more diversely in the sign-up post, so please do take a moment to check them out. I’ll quote Aarti again:

You may have to change your book-finding habits to include POC authors in your reading rotation.  You absolutely do not need to change your book-reading habits.

I’m not officially joining because I can’t guarantee the review aspect of the event. We’ll see how it goes. It’ll be fun, anyway. ^_^ Come join #Diversiverse this September!

Seven Deadly Sins (of Reading) Meme

I found this one The Bibliophibian and it looked like fun. ^_^

GREED – What is your most inexpensive book?

Aside from the ones I’ve received for free for whatever reason? I don’t actually know. Probably either one of the $0.99 ebooks that convert to goodness knows what or the various ¥100 manga I bought when I was 17.

WRATH – What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

Terry Pratchett, I guess. I hated and loathed and routinely threw his books (borrowed from the library, I might add) against the wall not five pages in every time I tried. Up until about the time that The Last Hero came out and I decided to give his works just one more try. And then it shifted over into love of all things Discworld at least.

Other than that… I suppose there’s Tolkien where it really depends on the mood I’m in even for rereads. Either I get along with the style and have a blast or it frustrates me terribly, so I tend to swing about between loving his work and hating it in equal measures just because they’re very much mood books. (But only if they’re The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. As of yet, the only time I’ve been in the mood for The Silmarillion has been when it was an audiorecording of Tolkien reading bits of it. And friends who know my bookishness well know that I am so not an audiobook person. I get flitty and antsy and wishing there was a triple speed option, but Tolkien reading things? Nary a twitch.)

GLUTTONY – What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?

I’m not a big rereader nowadays, but that honour definitely belongs to the aforementioned Hobbit and LotR. I reread those books endlessly as a child. When I wasn’t rereading them, I was probably rereading my copy of Grimm’s fairytales.

SLOTH – What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?

Er… I’m going to say The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione since I have yet to get around to it and it’s probably the one that’s been on my shelves unread the longest. But it’s more a case of not being very fond of nonfiction and finding lots of other shinies than outright laziness, I think.

PRIDE – What book do you talk most about to sound like an intellectual reader?

Wait, I sound like an intellectual reader? Honestly, if I wanted to sound like an intellectual reader, I would remind you all that I have an MA in British literature in general, not focus on just a single book. That leaves the playing field wide open for many of the classics, though. Oh! Oh! I know! Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. Because most lit students hate that book when it’s assigned (for understandable reasons; it is… very much not like anything modern readers would expect, even in an epistolary and it is boring as heck if you treat it the way you would a modern book), but I quite liked it. (I also made my way through Genjimonogatari, albeit it in translation, which gets me the pretentious honour of babbling about how I read what is possibly the oldest and longest book ever written. It took me something like a year and a half.)

So I suppose either Clarissa or The Tale of Genji goes.

LUST – What attributes do you find attractive in male or female characters?

Kindness, compassion, intelligence… I like well-rounded characters that seem like fun people to be around or be friends with, really. Beyond that I’m not too picky.

ENVY – What book would you most like to receive as a gift?

Em. Er. Um. Um. Um. I don’t know? A book that I’ll fall head-over-heels in love with and want to run around recommending to everyone in all the world because I love it that much? But I don’t know what book that is. No, you know what. This book. The Lord of Rushie River and Simon the Swan by Cicely Mary Barker. The first story in this book is one of my favourite stories ever and I’d never heard of the second until I came across that volume. (Also, my copy of The Lord of Rushie River is all tatty with age and rereading now and it’s a paperback. T_T)

This was fun! And harder than I expected it to be. (I should do a version with games. That should be a lot easier for me to fill in.)

Book Talk: Zenn Scarlett

Zenn+ScarlettI kind of maybe possibly potentially perhaps mayhaps juuuuuuuuuust perchance want a rikkaset. Katie is my favourite part and favourite character of the whole book. (This will not surprise some of my friends in the least.) But. But. Go read this book and then come back and tell me you don’t want a rikkaset too. I DARE YOU.

*ahem* That out of the way (Can I have a rikkaset of my very own? Please, universe?), what is Zenn Scarlett about? Teenage apprentice exovets! Okay, that’s not helpful, sorry. Here you are, have a proper summary written by someone else entirely:

Zenn Scarlett is a bright and occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. She specializes in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars was going well – until there are a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school that Zenn finds herself blamed for. As if this isn’t enough to be dealing with, her father vanishes under strange circumstances, and Zenn is worried that she has started hearing the thoughts of the creatures around her… With the help of Liam, a towner boy, and Hamish, an alien bug also training at the clinic, Zenn must try to find her father, rescue the animals and unravel the mystery of who is behind the attacks on the school. And all without failing her first year.

As an additional note: I don’t think this contains any spoilers. Maybe something that leans towards being a spoiler, but is vague enough to pass as not-a-spoiler.

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Serial: A Promise Broken, 27

I’m sorry. I’m so very, very sorry. This comes with all the warnings for bullying. (Also with a note that I’m scared I may have messed up the pronouns somewhere and I’m still trying to figure out the best way to tackle combining what remains of the English case system with the ao pronoun. Thoughts on whether you think the grammar is clear or not would be appreciated greatly. I’ve gone, roughly, with the situation of ‘aos’ for all inflections regardless of case. It works for me, but I have no idea how it works for others.)

Wherein Eiryn goes to school and encounters Janyn again. Did I mention it comes with warnings for bullying? We also get a better idea of how Eiryn thinks about herself. I’d forgotten how much bullying there actually was in this story. We also get some subtle hints on part of why Janyn is the way he is. This story. Sometimes it breaks my heart.

A Promise Broken is a WIP serial fantasy novel that updates every Monday for free. You can read more about the project here. For every €20 in donations, an additional Wednesday post will be unlocked.

A Promise Broken

Lynn E. O’Connacht

Part 27

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Week 1 of the Reading Month

Banner for the Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Reading Month in August, 2014

So far my reading month has been going pretty well! I’m really impressed with myself! Let me divide my original pile into two for you!


  • Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon
  • Playing Tyler by T. L. Costa
  • Stolen Songbird by Danielle Jensen
  • Feather Bound by Sarah Raughley

Still Unread

  • Blackwood by Gwenda Bond
  • Pantomime by Laura Lam
  • Essence by Lisa Ann O’Kane

That puts me at half-way through my list! :O I feel like I’ve been focusing on stand-alones, even though it’s been a 50/50 split between stand-alones and first-in-a-series books. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get to Under Nameless Stars before the end of the month, but I hope so!

So far, most of my reading has been a lot of fun. I haven’t fallen head-over-heels for anything I’ve read yet (unless you count rikkasets, in which case I did), but I’ve been having a lot of fun with everything I’ve read. I’m pretty happy that I decided to dedicate the month to reading my stack of Strange Chemistry books (and sadly still have no recommendations for Exhibit A Books. Anyone want to help me out there? Please?) because I would’ve been sad to wait with experiencing these books.

The only review I’ve got up so far has been for Stolen Songbird, but I’ve been scheduling them throughout the month. I don’t want to post them as I finish and then leave the rest of August go by with only the round-ups.

How about you? How has your reading month been going so far? Did you get to any of the books you were hoping/planning to get? Did you read something else that was so good it pulled you away from the month? If so, what was it?

If you’ve posted or shared anything related to the reading month, drop a note in the linky provided below or leave a comment! I hope you’ve all been having a lot of fun!

Book Recommendations Meme

Hey, look! A book recommendation meme. ^_^ Found over on SF Signal, slightly ‘late’ in posting it because yay scheduled posting and I’m not filling in the horror category because I usually stay as far away from it as I can get. So! Below the cut! Book recommendations for SF and fantasy books. WHEE!

Just as a fair warning, I will be restricting myself to one book per question because otherwise I’ll be here forever. In reality, I would never stick to one book because, in reality, I tailor my responses to the person asking for recommendations and try to give them a few options so they can pick what they think is most interesting to them. I have a pretty decent track record, too. (The other way around… not so much. I’m notoriously picky.)

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Book Talk: Stolen Songbird

Stolen+SongbirdStolen Songbird marks my first read for the Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Reading Month, as well as my first experience with Strange Chemistry imprint books. I don’t appear to have loved this as much as some other readers have, but I did quite enjoy myself with it and I hope that Jensen will be able to get the sequel picked up by another publisher or that self-publishing turns out to be a viable option for her. The book left quite a few dangling strands and I really, really want to know more about the world this is set in and the backdrop that determines much of the plot (and would be minor spoilers to discuss). So instead, I shall give you the description of the book (without accent marks because I’m too lazy to go add them all in where they should be, sorry) and below that there most likely will be spoilers.

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cecile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cecile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cecile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

Below this point lie probable spoilers. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

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