Excuse the shameless self-promo today, readers, but I’m wildly excited to report that not only is my series, A Clockwork War, complete, but it’s now also available as a bargain-priced boxed set.
Bingeing a series once it’s all available is apparently THE way to consume fiction these days. I feel out of step since I don’t tend to binge read books (I mean, I read constantly, natch, but jumping from one thing to another). I do tend to record TV series and watch them once they’re all out, but I think that’s a shortage of time more than a deliberate choice.
When it comes to books, however, I’ll grab them as soon as they’re out if I like them (case in point, I’m foaming at the mouth for two instalments in novella series I’m midway through that won’t be out until the end of the month, alongside a more distant yearning for the next Tides novel by Alex Lidell which doesn’t yet have a release date).
But, if you’re a binge reader (or even if you’re not!) and you like steampunk, genius heroines, gutsy heroes and dastardly antagonists, do try A Clockwork War. I had terrific fun writing about Clara, her friends and her fabulous brothers (she has five) in a world where England and Scotland remain at war in the 1840s.
Another first for me this week, as I finished “reading” my very first audiobook. It has been a fascinating experiment and insight into my psyche!
I wouldn’t ordinarily pick to consume a book via audio, but this was offered to me and I thought I’d give it a try. People who listen to audiobooks rave about them, and it’s the growing way to get your books, apparently, so maybe I was missing something.
Maybe I still am, but audiobooks really aren’t for me. Air and Ash is a fabulous book, Kaitlyn Bellamy narrates beautifully and it’s very easy to listen to. But it took so long! I can’t remember when I started Chapter 1, but it’s probably not an exaggeration to say it’s taken 3 months to listen to it start to finish.
For comparison, when I read it on Kindle, I zipped through it in under 24 hours (it’s excellent – did I mention?).
I was fascinated by my response to it, because I can always find time to read and I get through a book usually in around 48 hours. Finding time to listen seemed to be a whole other matter. It seems that if I have a book/kindle in my hand, then I’m reading, but if “all” I’m doing is listening to something I should be doing something else as well (washing up, knitting, etc). Since I’ve usually got either the TV or radio on for those activities, it felt like a big logistic effort to get the audiobook running instead (it’s not; Audible is a doddle to use).
Several friends listen to audiobooks on their commute and rave about that to pass the time in traffic. I wondered if that might make a difference – but since my commute is 6 minutes in a car share with a colleague I couldn’t test that idea. However, if I ever return to my corporate life I’ll bear it in mind.
In summary, I’ve now “read” an audiobook, but I still don’t quite know what the fuss is about. Audiobook fans, please weigh in – how do audiobooks fit into your life?
So, I knuckled down and read a Y book at last. I chose Marie Lu’s The Young Elites, and it should have been right down my street, but most of it was just … okay.
I think a big part of it was because The Young Elites is written in present tense. I read the first couple of chapters, then we changed POV and my brain jumped out of the book to say, “Hang on, this is first person, that’s tricky.” And once I’d noticed, I couldn’t stop noticing. I think I’ve said before that my view of books is that you should slip straight through the words and just be in the story with the characters. I couldn’t manage that with this because the present tense kept hauling me back to awareness that I was reading a book.
I also think there are too many POVs. They’re all interesting, but my opinion is that it’s lazy to have loads – find another way to suggest what you want us to learn about a character without dipping into their head to do so (crikey, aren’t I an opinionated know-it-all this week? I do apologise; my brain may be fried from editing, normal service should be resumed shortly).
And while the plot was strong and the characters were interesting, the story just didn’t feel particularly remarkable. Teens with powers, and our protagonist is the most powerful and dangerous of them all … ho hum.
HOWEVER, the ending was an absolute stunner. I loved the twists and turns, and narrative rules were shockingly broken (to the good). And the little epilogue piece was also smashing. I’m not going to run out and grab the next, but I’ll take a look when it crosses my path.
I’m nearly at the end of my Alphabet Challenge (wipe away that tear!). Check back next week to discover what I made of my Z book, titled simply Z (spoiler alert, I’ve started it already and I’m struggling. I’m not convinced I’m going to end on a high!).
I’ll confess, I was starting to panic, dear reader. I finished my G book, the fabulous Goldfish Boy, and I had no H book lined up. Searching Amazon got me nowhere. Then, in the space of two days, newsletters I’m subscribed to recommended TWO books that started with a H. Brilliant, I thought. Yeah…not so much… I tried, I really did, but neither turned out to be my kind of thing (and no, I’m not going to name them because I’m sure their authors worked very hard on them; it’s not their fault they weren’t to my taste).
So I have had to cheat. Another friend raved about Rachel E. Carter’s books on Facebook, and I stopped to look because of the GORGEOUS covers. And then I downloaded Non-Heir because it was close enough to an H and I was desperate, plus it was free, which meant I wouldn’t have lost anything if it had turned out to be the worse offence against literature I’d ever set my eyes upon.
Oh my giddy aunt, it’s delicious. It’s pretty dark (there is a lot of violence, not particularly bloody or gruesomely described, but distinctly gratuitous – these are not nice people) and I am loving it. Rachel E. Carter has gained a fan (just a shame the first in the series begins with ‘F’, so it might have to wait for my summer holiday now, but … ooh, four books to vanish into. That’s my kind of holiday!).