Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Write For Japan

Write for Japan is an anthology by 34 different writers around the world. A collection of stories of devastation and hope, 100% of the profits will go to the Red Cross and possibly The Salvation Army.

Right now, it's available on Lulu and Smashwords, but it will also be available on Kindle and Createspace.

Lulu - for sale for $10.56/6.99 pounds
Smashwords - for sale for $3.99
EDIT: Kindle - for sale for $3.99

I personally didn't contribute a story, but I'm doing the US side of things and trying to get the word out :) Enjoy!

Book/Movie Comparison: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

A long time coming! After a brief summary, I'll look at Characters, Setting, Theme, What Was Gained by Film Adaptation, and What Was Lost by Film Adaptation.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was written by CS Lewis in 1952. It was released as the third book of The Chronicles of Narnia, but now is regarded as the fifth because of chronological events of the series. Edmund and Lucy Pevensie return to Narnia with their obnoxious, spoiled cousin, Eustace Scrubb. They're taken aboard the Dawn Treader, where King Caspian is searching for seven lost Lords that his uncle banished from the land. The story follows their journey as they search for these men, coming across dragons, one-footed Duffers, merpeople, and Aslan's country. This was my favorite book in the series, so I was excited for the film adaptation.

The movie came out in 2010, and I just saw it about a month ago. It stars Georgie Henley as Lucy, Skander Keynes as Edmund, Ben Barnes as Caspian, Will Pouter as Eustace, and Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan. Produced by Walden Media, it's the third in the film franchise.

I LOVED Will Pouter as Eustace. He was so perfect, and the writing did him justice. They really captured his arrogance and also his transformation later with the dragon incident.

I feel like in the Narnia movies they try to give every character a little journey, even if it's not very convincing. For example, in this movie, Edmund was still struggling with being less than Peter. To me, Lucy's 'struggle' with wanting to be Susan was a little more believable, but it still fell a little flat to me. It was like the writers just put it in there to feel like there was character growth.

As for the other characters, I adored Reepicheep, as usual. I wanted to see more of the Duffers because they're so amusing. A ten minute scene hardly did them justice.

As with the other Narnia movies, I really enjoyed the setting. The vast landscapes, the various creatures, the magical feel to it all. I think the film did a good job in capturing that childlike wonder of the books.

That's one of the reasons this book is my favorite; we see so many new things beyond Narnia. Aslan's Country was pretty sweet.

(spoilers from here on out!)

I think the book was more focused on adventure and discovery. They had the whole world ahead of them and they weren't really sure where they were going. The writers saw there wasn't one coherent conflict holding it all together, and so they added 'the darkness.' This mist appears in the beginning, taking human sacrifices.

I don't know how to feel about this. I realize that if it strictly followed the book, viewers may have been like, 'Where is this story going?' But the mist/darkness seemed so generic. Oh, if we don't do something, all Narnia will be taken! All three swords have to be together on the table! Here's a giant sea serpent! I think they could have been more imaginative. I did like how Eustace was the one who put the three swords together; he's so awesome. (side note: I want them to do The Silver Chair, but The Magician's Nephew is next. Oh, well, I like that one too.)

What Was Gained by Film Adaptation:
Like I said, the film had one conflict holding everything together. There was a mission, there was something big at stake. Other than that. . .I can't think of anything.

What Was Lost by Film Adaptation:
I already mentioned how much I missed the Duffers. I wouldn't have minded a movie without an underlying mission; I liked the sense of discovery, but I realize it wouldn't have made a great movie plot.

To be honest, this wasn't my favorite of the Narnia films so far. The darkness made it quite cheesy towards the end, but since it was my favorite book, it was a thrill to see scenes and characters made real.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Read an Ebook Week Promotion

Until March 12th, Passages (Seven Short Stories) is available for free on Smashwords with the coupon RE100! And check out the other awesome books for sale :)

It also has a new cover!

Friday, March 4, 2011

In My Mailbox #1

Even though this blog is not primarily a book review blog, it's the majority of what I've been doing lately. Thus, In My Mailbox is here!

I tried to do a video, but I didn't end up liking it. Have some pictures of me making weird faces instead!

The Alchemaster's Apprentice by Walter Moers. After reading The City of Dreaming Books, I looked up more of his books, and this one sounded the most interesting. Picked up from the public library, I'm enjoying it already!

The Night is for Hunting by John Marsden. I'm kind of cheating with this onebecause I've had it for a week or so already. Actually, funny story - I checked it out of the library about a month ago. I got to page 60, and it skipped thirty pages to 96!! A whole chunk of the book was missing! So, I had to bring it in and request a different copy from a library nearby. Anyways, I'm about halfway through this. They're quick reads, but I've been reading other things. This is on my "to finish before it's due" list!

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Picked it up at the Kroc Center library. I've had this small desire to read it ever since it hit the best seller's list. I don't know if, as a Christian, this makes me a traitor or something. My mom tells me it's a good thriller. I'll be the judge of that ;)

I'm also reading Switched by Amanda Hocking on my Kindle. Just past the sample. Not sure what to think yet.

So, there you have it! In My Mailbox the first!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hush Money by Susan Bischoff

Hush Money (Talent Chronicles, #1) by Susan Bischoff

2010, Approximately 50K words, Kindle edition. Purchased and read on my Kindle.

Since I want to pursue self-publishing, I've been looking into the Indie books available on Kindle. For only 99 cents, I bought this book on about a week ago and finished it today. I read the sample first, of course - I LOVE that feature of Kindle.

This book is about high schoolers who have Talents - various powers such as invisibility, super strength, telekinesis, etc. It's illegal in this world and most Talents are picked up by the NIAC (National Institutes for Ability Control) when they're found out. It's reminiscent of X-men, but with a much different setting and crowd. It actually reminded of my novel The Second Generation, which deals with part-alien, part-humans who are discriminated against.

I really enjoyed this book. It did take me a little while to get into it because the 1st POV was very personal, practically stream-of-consciousness in parts. Once I got used to the writing style, I read through it really quickly. One of the things I liked was the unique female protagonist. She didn't strike me as the usual YA female lead; I liked Joss. Though her transformation at the end was sort of sudden like the author thought, "Well, it's ending, and now she's okay with all these people" I enjoyed reading about her. I'm rooting for her and Dylan, of course.

There were small flaws - like her head-hopping. So many times, I was like, "Wait, who's talking here??" The narrative, like I said above, was kind of disjointed. I thought it was a great read, though, especially for only 99 cents!

I'm excited for the next book. Marco is a mean guy, he's a pretty good villain, but I'd like to know more about why he's such a jerk. I just hope everyone eventually gets out of his grip.

A few things I could learn from this book. . .
Head hopping is bad. Make sure the people know who's talking!

Dream/Novel Adaptation #8

This was a weird one. . .people were enslaved by a siren-type song, and then they became zombies who had to be imprisoned or killed. There was one woman who was trying to find who/what was responsible, and she began to blame another woman who'd been there since the beginning. Protagonist's husband was also one of the victims.

(also, side note that is totally irrelevant: protagonist was Tina Fey and antagonist was Amy Poehler LOL)