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Saturday, 24 January 2015

Book Review: Abduction (Alex Cain #3) By Alan Baxter

Book three Alan Baxter’s Alex Cain series, Abduction, launches straight into the action. Books one and two lead in with a bunch of scene setting, which was the weakest part of both of them, but not this time. In my view this is the best of the three very good books.

Alex is immediately abducted and taken to the land of the Fey. The evil race from another dimension who have been in the background previously are now front and centre. Just to add to the fun, Alex’s enemy from book one returns with a twist. What follows is action and then some more action. In all the action there is also a lot of world building and character development, which is nice. Character and world building through the action is one of a number of things Alan Baxter does well. Alan actually does a lot of things well.

Another good thing about Abduction is that the story feels bigger. Most of books 1 & 2 focus very closely on Alex Cain, he is the main character. However, because he is taken off the Fey Land early and spends a lot of time separate from his friends we get to see a lot more from their point of view. This really helps. It feels like an evolutionary step forward in the series.

The one small issue that stands in this book (it’s also in the others) is the sudden appearance of convenient helpers. People who appear at the right time with the right bit of information. Given the high speed nature of the stories, this may have been necessary and really not a big deal.

Basically all the major plot threads are tied up in this book and there is a solid, and surprising, conclusion. However, there is still heaps of scope for more books and I hope there will be.
A great book to end a great trilogy.

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Monday, 19 January 2015

Writing Journal: Tonight I wrote a whole story

My four year old son is obsessed with monsters right now. He is always telling me about them like he is an expert, which I'm sure he is. What they eat, what they are afraid of (parents) and all sorts of incredible information.

The other day he told me how some monsters are really small. Asked him are they itty bitty monsters, and his eyes lighted up with a big,'Yes!'

A story was born.

Tonight I wrote a 340 word story called, 'The Itty Bitty Monster.' I'm really proud of my, inspired by youngest son, story. Hopefully someone will publish it.

I'm not sure if I'll read it to him yet, it's a bit gory. I will one day and tell him how he was the inspiration for it. I hope he likes it.

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Saturday, 10 January 2015

Book Review: Aurora: Meridian By Amanda Bridgeman

Book three of Amanda Bridgeman’s Aurora series continues the adventures of the crew of the spaceship Aurora, which makes sense really. In particular, it focuses again on the two main characters Captain Saul Harris and Corporal Carrie Webb.

I really enjoyed Aurora: Meridian. It has all the elements that made the first two books great; Lots of terrific action and spot on story pacing and development. Sharley and his crew continue to be great villains and just enough of their plans and motives are revealed to keep the tension and interest.

There was just one thing, well two things, which bothered me. Both Carrie and Saul do something really dumb. For no good reason except that their actions advance the plot or provide more tension.

Carrie’s dumb thing comes first, a choice to take a course of action that makes no sense. It’s bad enough to make me wonder why everyone thinks she is so special. However, the outcome does lead to an important plot development. Does that make it okay? I am very keen to find out what happens next.

For Saul it’s an out of the blue family twist. His reaction to this family thing causes him to miss something really important. I don’t think it should have, but it did. This continued an ongoing tension in Saul’s story line that I would like to see resolved. However, I don’t think it will be any time soon.

Besides these two annoying things, I really enjoyed Aurora: Meridian and want to read more. I will be buying the next book in the series, Aurora: Centralis, as soon as it comes out. That is a cool name.

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Monday, 5 January 2015

Writing Journal: 2015 and other stuff

I've made myself the commitment to write and/or edit every day in 2015. My aim right now is 300 words a day. I've already found I can do this in just one hour. I'm hoping to do a lot more some days. I'm tweeting each day what I've done under #writingeveryday1015. I'm not going to include any of my bogs as part of the word count, nor am I going to include any short story editing.

However, editing my novel, Lonely Susan, I will most likely count. I'm planning to start my second draft edit of Lonely Susan in February and try to do at least a chapter every second day. With just over 30 chapters I'll hopefully get through it in about two months.

What I'm aiming for is to be very productive in my writing this year.

My other aim, which I have less control over, is to get more stuff punished. At the end or 2014 I mentioned how I'd sent three short stories out for publication. I was hoping for 3 out of 3. I got 1 out of 3. Which is still good. So, in issue 201 of AntipodeanSF (March 2015) will include my story, Earth Grand Master. I've resubmitted the other two to new markets. Here's hoping.

I have definite plans for what I would like to see published in 2015. I may share them with you in the future.

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