All posts tagged: fiction

10 Years, 10 Books: Best of the Decade

Switching it up this year! Instead of posting a yearly round-up (because, to be honest, I haven’t had the most fulfilling reading year in 2019!), let’s talk about my absolute favourite books published in the last ten years. That I have read. Obviously.   The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M. H. Boroson This book was everything I didn’t know I wanted; a proper little gem picked up on a whim just because the literary Gods smiled upon me one evening. I did not expect to get so into it, but when your protagonist is a martial arts expert with astral projection abilities who can see into the depths of the supernatural underworld of 19th century Chinatown in San Francisco … I don’t believe it’s possible to go wrong. Inspiring, thoroughly entertaining, something a bit different and completely unexpected. Plus, it’s always good to support small presses! This book totally makes the list. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon Another ghost story has made the list, this time taking place in a dystopian futuristic London/Oxford. …

Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

“Months passed, winter easing gently into place, as southern winters do. The sun, warm as a blanket, wrapped Kya’s shoulders, coaxing her deeper into the marsh. Sometimes she heard night-sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whenever she stumbled, it was the land that caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.” I was completely entranced by this story, in ways I never expected to be. It was memorable, both in character and in content, and though it was only a story about one little girl in one small part of the world, it swept me off my feet as if it were a saga. It’s books like these that prove stories do not to be epic in scope to pack a punch. You can still fall in love with a character and their journey, and that’s exactly what I did. If you’re …

This is why I write

Some useless dude once told me I should give up on writing. “You really should stop,” he said. “What’s the point? There’s no money in writing.” As if I didn’t know. As if I had spent my youthyears toiling away thinking I was going to be the next JK Rowling. As if money is the only reason we do anything. I suffer no delusions, trust me. I’ve always known what I’m getting myself in for. Authors make a pitiful amount of money and it’s only getting worse, yet here I am, still fighting for my place on the shelf. This is what a lot of non-writer people don’t understand about my (stellar) choice of career. They’re either under the impression that publishing is a lucrative career option (it’s not), or they think I’m a fucking idiot. Because why oh why would anyone work so hard if they’re not going to be paid for it? I’m no stranger to reward-free work. I’m surprised I stayed in school as long as I did, for the amount of …

Review: The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

“You called a god, and the god answered.” The Poppy War may actually be the adult fantasy debut of the year. Everyone and their mother is raving about it, five-star reviews are littering Goodreads. And though I may not have ended up quite as obsessed as the rest of the bookish community, I was still immensely impressed. If you’re a fan of Chinese-inspired high fantasy, pay attention. The Poppy War draws from the culture in so many different ways, ways that make it stand out from other books in the genre. It draws from the rich folklore of course, but touches more on lesser known legends, creatures of nightmare and notably DEITIES. There are copious martial arts here, if you’re into that, but most importantly, the story itself is based on true Chinese history (and a very interesting history, at that.) Author R. F. Kuang sums it up perfectly: “This is, as I’ve always conceived it, a war story. It draws heavily on the Second Sino-Japanese war which–if you know anything about Asia–was one of …

What I learned over the course of a ninth draft

Draft nine of my heart-project has taken me three months of raw, no-shortcuts, hard work. I have never reached a ninth draft before. I don’t know many other authors who have revised their work this many times, and I certainly didn’t expect to be one of them. I have never put so much of my time, energy and soul into something. I have never held onto this kind of hope and belief in a project as I have with The Young Volcanoes of Tenemere. I’ve never held onto this kind of belief in myself.