Good Evening from the other side of the world! Erika from The Nocturnal Fey and I are excited to announce that we are going to host a Twitter Chat with JULIE C. DAO featuring her books Forest of a Thousand Lanterns and Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix! All of this is possible with the help of our friends from Penguin Teen and Penguin Random House International USA. Thank you, guys! You don’t know how grateful we are to your support and kindness!
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings, Book One of the Stormlight Archive begins an incredible new saga of epic proportion.
Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.
It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.
One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.
Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.
Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.
The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.
Speak again the ancient oaths:
Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.
and return to men the Shards they once bore.
The Knights Radiant must stand again.
Fiery Seas Publishing
August 14, 2018
Financially independent, biochemistry genius Stacy Romani grows up off the grid, while her Roma family takes advantage of her knowledge for their own gain.
Watching his family farm struggle, and traumatized by mass slaughter, Aatos Pires wants to heal animals but gets seduced by industry and goes to work for a big pharmaceutical company.
When Aatos’ co-worker Trinity creates a deadly doomsday virus, it puts the world population in jeopardy as it spreads exponentially. . .with no cure in sight.
Stacy and Aatos work alone to find a cure, as the CDC and FBI close in. Will they find a way to stop the plague or will it be the end of the world?
“This is disgusting.”, that’s what I thought about the hierarchy in Daniel Cohen’s Coldmaker’s World. There are a lot more people who think they are above anyone and there are taskmakers and Jadanmasters who treat Jadans, the race that you could think of as a slave in this world, ungrateful and immoral. As I was reading the book – I felt outraged, humiliated and terrified. I’m not a fan of these kinds of treatment and I feel the anger rising inside my chest – that’s how effective Cohen as a writer.
At first, I had a difficult time digesting the novel. There are terminologies that are new in the book that I am not yet familiar with. The main character’s personality is slowly building up its profile to its audience but as long as you don’t give up on the book – you will get to know what is the status of their world and what could happen next. There are also some variables in the novel that you need to be attentive to fully grasp the condition of the World Cried. It is both fascinating and interesting, it will make you question a lot of things like how did their world became like this or how did they ended up being slave or maybe why the hell would she kill the kid? My heart mourns for that death.
I’ve never felt so betrayed in a book. This was the first time that I felt so many emotions that I couldn’t define in a book through its ending. May it be revelations, betrayal, or love – I’m confused. I don’t know whose side I should be, I don’t know who are the characters that I should believe in and I don’t know what is right and wrong anymore for Theodosia.
There are some glimpses of sadness at the beginning – living in your own country ruled by The Kaiserin who conquered your country for a decade and making you suffer whenever he wants? That’s insane. I started reading Ash Princess with so many expectations and it left me in pain. From the Guardian to the cruel choices that Theodosia has to make, there’s a punch on the gut – there’s a pinch of pain that will hurt you in the heart. It was hopeful and yet suffocating, it was terrifying but exciting, and it is romantic but deceitful.
With the Ash Princess, Theodosia, trying to venture out her escape plan. She never knew that after years, she will see the true color of Lady Cress. And for a decade, someone had her heart but couldn’t be with. It felt like I am reading a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with more twist than I expected.
I think the best asset of this novel, it doesn’t cross the line. Laura Sebastian knows how to tease her readers with few magic scenes that can look forward to the next book. There are more elements that we can be anticipated on the sequel. I would like to know what will happen next after Theodosia met the Dragonsbane household, what would happen to Theodosia and Soren. Deep inside, I really want them to be together but the factors, situations, and variables couldn’t let them be. How could a Queen trade the life of someone – could be dear to her – to the thousand Astrean? Would the magic system will be emphasized in the next book? Will there be more world building and characters?
I have a lot of answers and I’m expecting more in the next installment. I hope, I won’t be disappointed as Ash Princess is the book that gets rid of my book slump.
Ash Princess is truly a magical, and brilliant book that will betray, play and give you twist on your feelings. It gave me so many emotions that I don’t know whom to trust in this book. It was remarkable on its own that will keep you enticed. I hope Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian will stand out as it should be.
MY RATINGS: 4 STARS!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I write YA books and I’m also entrusted with taking care of other people’s children. I write books about girls who are strong in all different ways, usually with a healthy dollop of magic and a few dragons.
I live in NYC with my extraordinarily fluffy dog, Neville.
What happens when one of America’s biggest rock stars leaves the Las Vegas stage to run for the United State Senate?
The ultimate celebrity candidate, Tyler Sloan is no stranger to politics – his estranged father was a California governor who narrowly lost a Presidential campaign. He runs as a political independent, refuses campaign contributions, and dismisses special interests and lobbyists.
Sloan is caught in a political campaign fraught with; sexual scandal, corruption and conflicting loyalties. Will he be able to navigate through political turbulence and his own past to win the race?
THE SWEET SPOT IN FILM ADAPTATIONS OF BOOKS
There have been countless fiction and non-fiction books adapted to the screen. My list of great films that were derived from books includes the classics; The Godfather, Schindler’s List, Gone with the Wind and the Wizard of Oz. Our entertainment world is richer because of both the books and the films.
What elements are necessary for a movie to be a great adaptation? What is the ultimate goal? What is the sweet spot?
First, the disclaimer—in art there are no hard and fast guidelines. It’s art.
A successful adaptation will have a film that completes the story, creates a universal, visual image to the protagonist, edits out the background details and has a quicker pace for a two-hour film.
The sweet spot is when a movie is true to the novel’s characters, pacing and plot; but conveys unique qualities that result in a movie as memorable as the book. The movie needs to enhance the most memorable moments of a book. Ideally, a film maker respects the novel, but trims what needs to be trimmed and focuses on what needs to be focused on. Ideally, the director has a new “take” on the novel.
There are numerous reasons why a book is a natural starting point for a movie—the novel has the story, characters and plot. A screenwriter does not begin with a blank page. The latest adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie is a classic story with numerous television and film adaptations. A screenwriter can read the novel and place the characters in numerous locales and scenarios.
A novelist focuses on characters, plot and pacing. The novel has the time to complete the characters, fills in the blanks of their thinking and motivations. The novelist does not have the worries that plague filmmakers of actual filming; lighting, sound, inclement weather, temperaments of actors and directors or logistics that exist in films.
A great film immerses the viewer with sight and sound. The visual images and expansive sound transport you when sitting in a dark theater or living room. This is where the director’s imagination comes to life. One of the most enjoyable aspects of any adaptation is to hear the dialogue spoken by a great actor or actress.
The purpose of adapting a novel is to illustrate and create visual depth to the author’s work. Books are far more detailed and offer their own rich, compelling experience. A good read is: thought-provoking, escapism, illuminating, and ideally, makes the reader pause to think about the meaning or characters of what they just read. When I close the book of a good novel, I yearn to read the next chapter. A good read is a long and satisfying meal. A novel’s pace is always slower than the film. I savor a good novel far longer than a two-hour film.
Let’s look at four book-to-movie adaptations. Critics of the film The Hunger Games claim the film was too similar to the novel, it was too faithful. I loved both the novel and film, The Godfather. The audience was hooked in the film’s opening scene with Marlon Brando’s memorable half-speak, half-mumbles. One wave of the great actor’s hand spoke volumes.
The Great Gatsby is a classic American novel. Yet both film adaptations fell short, despite great actors; Robert Redford in the 1970s and Leonardo DiCaprio in 2013. The novel’s characters and dialogue possessed emotional insight, but the 2013 film appeared chaotic with its visual explosions of color and decor.
J.K. Rawling’s Harry Potter has a unique place in the pantheon. My wife and I read the novels to our young sons until they could read for themselves. The novel forces its readers to employ their imagination with the characters. Reading the book and visualizing the Hogwarts School was a supremely enjoyable exercise. The movie also delivered. The special effects were outstanding and seeing Alan Rickman portray the life of anguish of Severus Snape was uniquely fulfilling.
There have been many stories of authors being thrilled or betrayed by the film adaptation. I hope I have that opportunity with my novel Roll the Dice.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wayne Avrashow was the campaign manager for two successful Los Angeles City Council campaigns and a Deputy/Chief of Staff to those two elected City Council members. He served as a senior advisor for a successful city-wide referendum in the City of Los Angeles, co-authored ballot arguments on Los Angeles County-wide measures, served as Chairman for a Los Angeles County ballot measure, and was a Los Angeles government Commissioner for nearly twenty years. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Yaroslavsky Institute, a public policy institute founded by long time Southern California elected official, and now UCLA professor, Zev Yaroslavsky.
His background in politics, government, business, and law provides unique insight into the machinations and characters that populate political campaigns.
Wayne is a practicing attorney who specializes in government advocacy, real estate, and business law. Formerly, he was an officer in two real estate development firms. As a lawyer-lobbyist, he has represented clients before numerous California municipalities and in Nevada and Idaho. He has lectured at his law school and taught at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. He has also authored numerous op-ed articles that appeared in daily newspapers, legal, business, and real estate publications. In addition, he is the author of a self-published book for the legal community, Success at Mediation—10 Strategic Tools for Attorneys.
Enticing. Exudes Uniqueness. Thrilling. Beast Made of the Night is a YA Fantasy Book that you’ll never think you’ll come across too. How one does simply conceptualize a magic-system? That’s the first question that appeared on my head when I read the story in its early chapters. It is beyond amazing because I never thought that such book would exist with the concept, sin as a magic. Who would ever think that, right? Things that I love about the book is that you could see the diversity implied in the book, the hierarchy that was once in our history focuses and the connection in the story. Again, the magic-system, beyond imagination, that I love how Tochi Onyebuchi writes and execute how awesome, compelling and vigorous the fantasizing powers in the book.
It was an easy, fast-paced read that you’ll lose once you started reading the book. How the author portrays his characters on the book is lovable, confusing and the one that stands out the most for me are innocence and selflessness. It touches my heart because the mere thought of eating other’s sin to balance the nature in their world is surreal! And the fact that those sins that have been eaten will take more impact to the person who has eaten it. They’ll see in their dreams horrid flashbacks, they would feel the guilt, they would be consumed by the sin of others. I just love how the main thought was written beautifully. I would definitely say that Tochi Onyebuchi made an amazing debut to me as a reader and I would definitely watch out for the next installment.
Beast Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi is surely one of the books that every reader should be anticipated. One of the best books that I had this year and obviously, Tochi Onyebuchi, just became one of my auto-buy authors. I love everything about the book except one. THERE’S NO SEQUEL YET THAT I NEED TO READ. This would be a humongous waiting game but I would definitely love to wait for the love of the book. I am expecting a lot of character development (Although, there’s a handful of development already in the book.), unexpected plot twist, the manipulation, and of course, a tragedy.
I would like to thank Penguin Random House for sending a review copy of this book because if it weren’t for you, guys, I wouldn’t read this brilliant, and remarkable book beforehand.
MY RATINGS: 5 STARS!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR