Friday, March 9, 2012

More books!

Hooked, by Les Edgerton
NF writing education

My critique group is discussing this one. It's all about beginnings, which are the hardest part of writing, IMO. A lot of his points were things I'd already considered, but one point I'd never thought about was his comment that your story starts at the point where your internal plot (he calls it the "story-worthy problem") starts. Yes, it starts the Day Everything Is Different, and yes, it starts with something happening--but once you're there, the exact moment it starts is when that Thing That is Happening starts to have meaning in an internal way for your main character. If you're looking for a good book to just focus on beginnings, this is a good one.

Liar's Moon, by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Upper YA historical fantasy/mystery

The sequel to Starcrossed. Digger's a thief, but she's got quite a bit more to her than just that--dangerous relatives (and friends), and her own secrets to keep that could land her in extreme trouble. The last book featured magic and intrigue at a snowed-in castle; this time, Digger's home in the city, where she finds that an old friend has been accused of murder. This is one of those books that is YA today, but in a past decade might have been shelved in adult--it's on the line and can be enjoyed by both, I think. Combines the best of fantasy and the best of mystery!

Magic Under Stone, by Jaclyn Dolamore
YA fantasy
releases April 2012

The sequel to Magic Under Glass. I think you may need to have read the first book before this one so that the connections between characters makes the best emotional sense, but having done that, I really enjoyed this! And I'm not sure how to talk about it without spoilers for the first one. Let's say...there was once a fairy prince trapped in a clockwork body, and only Nim the circus dancer had the courage to try and help him. But her efforts only partly worked, and now they're on a quest to find the answer that will make him truly alive. I loved the feel of the world in this, like you could go to that place if you could only find it. It's an interesting mix of fantastical and down-to-earth, which is what I really love about Jackie's writing. Also, the characters aren't the same ones you always see in fantasy novels, just with different names. They're different, and I like them! So here's your chance to catch up on the first book before the second one comes out.

Tuesdays at the Castle, by Jessica Day George
MG fantasy for girls

Jessica George came to my town and spoke at my son's junior high last fall. I was dying to go to her author talk at the public library, but our children were multi-scheduled in things that could not be missed (required concerts for school grades), and I did not get to go. Waa. It sounds like she was fantastic--my 14YO son, who is the LAST person to pick up a girly fairy tale book, loved her school visit. I haven't read this to my girls yet, and I'm thinking of giving a copy to my upcoming 7YO for her birthday. I know they'll love it! It's about three royal children who's parents are ambushed on their way home from the oldest brother's graduation from wizard school. Meanwhile, a bunch of royals and their nasty attendants move into the castle and try to take over. It's up to the three kids--and their magic castle, that changes rooms according to how much it likes the residents--to save both castle and kingdom. Very fun story!

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