Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Circle Trilogy - A Review

I do not usually write reviews. I am the girl who reads a book, rates it accordingly, and then moves on to the next book. I have felt this overwhelming desire to start doing book reviews, so I thought there would be no better place to start than with The Circle Trilogy!

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Fantasy. Fantasy is my dream world. I live to love Fantasy. My pastor recommended The Circle Trilogy to me when he found out about my love for science fiction and fantasy. I am so glad that he did because this series changed my life. Wow! What a powerful read.





Ted Dekker is a Christian author who is best known for his stories such as suspense thrillers and fantasy. His stories include major twists and unforgettable characters. 

The book that I read is a part of Ted Dekker's The Circle Trilogy that includes the books: Black, Red, and White. He has since come out with a new book, Green, which is considered Book 0. I have not read Green, yet, but expect that it will be just as entertaining as his Trilogy.

Here is the trailer for Green.



Now, on to the review:

BLACK

"An incredible story of evil and rescue, betrayal and love, and a terrorist threat unlike anything the human race has ever known. A virulent evil has been unleashed upon the people of Earth. The only man who can stop it is Thomas Hunter, an unlikely hero who life is stretched between two worlds. Every time he falls asleep in one reality, he awakes in the other. Soon Thomas no longer knows which reality is real. Yet it quickly becomes apparent that his choices in each world impact the other - and that the fates of both rest in his hands."

Black starts out very confusing. It is action packed from the beginning, which grabbed my attention. Despite the confusion, I could not put this book down. There were occasions when life forced me to put it down, but trust me, I was not a willing participant. If I could have read it all in one sitting, I would have. I would have devoured this delicious piece of work. I immediately felt a connection with Thomas. I began to care about what happened to him as if he was my own brother. Speaking of that, Thomas does have a sister and she is introduced very quickly in the story. It was VERY difficult for me to relate with his sister, Kara. It isn't until the next book, Red, that I begin to develop a connection with Kara. 

The characters are very fascinating, and as stated above, unforgettable. The way Dekker creates these new creatures, basing them off of figures from the Bible, is simply creative genius. I found myself wishing that I could live in this wonderful world that Elyon, their God, created. I even envisioned myself swimming in the lake of Elyon, tasting his sweet water. The fantasy aspect definitely drew me in and held on to me tight. 

RED

"In one world, Thomas Hunter is a battle-scarred general commanding an army of primitive warriors. In the other, he's racing to outwit sadistic terrorists intent on creating global chaos through an unstoppable virus. Thomas must find a way to change history - or face the destruction of two worlds."

Gah. Red is where things start to get very intense. I can see Dekker's talent for thrillers shine through in his work. In Red we see that Thomas' predictions are very true. His dreams actually mean something of importance. Thomas is not crazy!! The virus has been released. I do not want to make this a spoiler post, but I will let you know that Thomas' life has changed drastically. In one world he is a nobody and in the other world he is a husband, father, and warrior. He learns that his knowledge, skills, and blood can be transferred between the two worlds. He uses this to his advantage but it isn't all good. If he dies in one world, he dies in the other. Thomas must be careful in both realities. Red is action packed and it starts to answer the many questions you will have after reading Black. Confusion seems to flow throughout this book, but once you get into Red, it lessens and becomes more like you are the one dreaming. 

WHITE

"Thomas Hunter has only days to survive two separate realms of danger, deceit, and destruction. The fates of both worlds now rest on his unique ability to shift realities through his dreams. Thomas and The Circle must quickly decide who they can trust - both with their own lives and the fate of millions. And neither the terror of Black nor the treachery of Red can prepare Thomas for the forces aligned agains The Circle in White."

White had me on a very emotional roller coaster. I won't lie. I cried. Once. Twice. The virus infects the nation. Once the media finally tells the public about the virus, the world becomes chaos. Thomas is the answer to overcome this destruction but first he must overcome his own death. This time he will rely on the help of his sister Kara, and the inventor of the Raison Vaccine (that becomes the Raison Strain), Monique. Intensity and thrill are heightened in White. Once I started White, I could not stop. I read it in one sitting and was sad when it was over. It was brilliant.

It wasn't until the end that I found myself wanting to punch someone. I felt like all my questions where answered and then Dekker plants this HUGE seed of doubt in my mind. Billy. Who the heck is Billy? I find Gabil's interest extremely suspicious and wonder if he was the one who sent Thomas on this impossible journey. Gabil, the Roush, a bad guy? No, I just can't believe it!! Dekker..... I need to know!!!

White is also full of love and romance. Brides. Brides everywhere. 


Overall, I was very impressed with this series. Because I was so impressed, I gave it FIVE STARS!! I highly recommend this book to anyone who would be interested on a fantastical twist on God's creation and where man went wrong. How does man redeem himself in such a world? Seriously, pick up this series!! I think everyone should read this wonderful story.

I do recommend getting The Complete Circle Series that has all four books! I am looking forward to finally picking up GREEN! 





Have you read The Circle? What are your thoughts?
Did you love it or hate it?
What if one night you fell asleep and woke in another reality?
What if that reality seemed more real than the life you've been living?
What if you could predict the future?
Sound exciting? Interesting? You should pick up this book series ;)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Attacking and Accusing Authors? My Thoughts on the Matter

Stephenie Meyer is celebrating 10 years of Twilight with a complete reimagining of Twilight, including a gender swap, in her new book Life and Death. Her fresh look on Edward and Bella's love story has generated a lot of heat from people. Many people are complaining she's only in it for the money and she is just trying to "cash in." Others are saying that her writing has always been lacking and they will never pick the book up. Some are even saying she should have stopped with the Twilight series and left it at that. These types of comments really frustrate me. I understand we each have our own opinions about books and that there will be books that I love and you hate, or books that you love and I hate. It's just how it is. As they say, no person ever reads the same book twice. We each have our own perspective and that's okay. If you don't like a book you have the right to voice your opinion. For me, I think attacking the author is just taking it too far. Accusing any author of writing just for the money is just ignorant. I would like to mention that the creation of Life and Death is a celebration. You may not be one of them, but there are MANY fans out there who have been wanting more from Stephenie Meyer. This fresh look on Edward and Bella's romance is her way of giving the fans what they have been asking for. It's not just to pocket more cash like many are suggesting. As a matter of fact, accusing others of being in it for the money is a very common opinion about many other authors who write multiple books. It is not a fair accusation to make and it is by no means true. 

I posted my thoughts on the matter on my Facebook wall. Sadly, not many of my "friends" on Facebook take the time to read any lengthy material so they wouldn't relate (let alone actually read my post). It is one of the reasons I love this blog. It is a place where I can communicate and relate with those who have similar passions as me, like reading and writing. Even if we don't agree on a book. ;)

Here is my Facebook post:

My pet peeve: when people don't like a book (or series) and get upset when the author comes out with a new book and calls them "greedy" or "in it for the money."
1. Author is a job title. Yes, they very well deserve to get paid!! They don't write to get paid, they get paid to write!
Sure, writing is a hobby as well, but so is crafts/arts and sports. Lord knows they get paid. Why not writers? <-- the answer is OF COURSE THEY SHOULD!!
2. There are tons of you who don't like certain books, but there are also tons of us that DO like them! Your opinion is one in a pool of many! You are not all high and mighty! Get down off your unicorn. Unicorns deserve better company anyways! 
3. New POV and twists on a book that is already out is OKAY!! Do you have any idea how much time and creativity goes into one book? Now make that a series! Now, brace yourselves... let's take that story and turn into something brand new! Wow! That takes dedication! Something you will probably never accomplish! (The use of the word "probably" is just me being nice)
4. You are the reader. You literally just sit on your bum and read. Don't get me wrong, reading is wonderful and I love it immensely, but it's still just reading. Our imagination runs wild on words that someone else wrote. Keep in mind that they pulled the story out of their own (genius ) mind and dedicated their time (and money, because many authors actually travel and research what they are writing about) to write a story that the readers will be happy with. Sure, not all people will be happy with it. That's the struggle of being a writer, but chances are if an author has made it far enough to get their work published, then they will indeed have many fans as well as haters. 
5. Haters gonna hate! Just like I hate your attitude! >:p



Seriously, if you love a book, rate it 5 stars and explain why you love it. 
If you hate a book, rate it accordingly and explain why you don't like it. 
There is NO need to bash an author and there is certainly no need to accuse an author of being greedy or money hungry. Authors write for YOU! If you don't like a certain author's work, pick up a new book by a new author. 
Most of the time when an author is accused of dull content, it is only because the reader doesn't relate to the story. There are many others who will, many others who do. Just because you didn't connect with the story does not make it any less of a contribution. 
Also, there are those who complain about the twist on vampires in Meyer's series. I don't understand it. I think it is very creative to imagine a new take on an old legend. Vampires have been wrote about and movies have been made about them for a very long time. Sometimes people want more than the same old thing. Also, there is nothing wrong with the same old thing, either. Meyer gave people the opportunity to see vampires in a new light. That is perfectly fine. It is amazing, actually. You may prefer the other stories over hers, and that is perfectly fine as well. It does not, however, mean that she is less of an author. Seriously people, get over yourselves. 

I have not read Stephenie Meyer's Life and Death, yet, but I will be reading it soon. Who knows, maybe it won't be my cup of tea. Then again, maybe it will. I won't know until I read it. Even if I end up not favoring it, I still have respect for all of the work that Stephenie Meyer does. 


Now, I would like to hear from you.
Do you think that authors who publish multiple books are in it for the money??
Are you interested in reading Stephenie Meyer's new take on Edward and Bella's love story?
What are some of your pet peeves when it comes to book critics?

photo credit: B&N


** This post is not sponsored. Stephenie Meyer, B&N,
nor any other person affiliated with Twilight
 or Life and Death knows I am writing this post.
 I have chosen to write about this topic out of
my own free will. Thank you.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Little Something Called the #WritersLife Tag

I just want to take a quick second to thank Paper Fury for indirectly tagging me to do this post. Thanks girl! ;-]






#WritersLife

*WRITE FUEL: WHAT DO YOU EAT/DRINK WHILE WRITING?*



I don't eat while writing. It is just too much of a hassle. I don't need chocolate stains on my sheets of paper or cookie crumbs in my keyboard. Um, NO! 

I do have coffee at my side at all times though. Coffee and I have a thing. Togetha Fo'Eva!


*WRITE SOUNDS: WHAT DO YOU LISTEN TO WHILE WRITING?*

I don't listen to anything while I am writing. Why? Well, because I will get into my jam and will start dancing and singing until I totally forget I was writing in the first place. Not very productive.

On occasion, I will listen to the Harry Potter soundtrack while writing. I need it turned way down. Also, it helps that there aren't any words or beats that drop. I will save the dancing for after I finish writing. ;-]


*WRITE VICE: WHAT'S YOUR MOST DEBILITATING DISTRACTION?*

My children. Have you tried to write while you have one child dumping chocolate milk on your sofa? Your special spot, too. The spot that is just so comfy that you refuse to sit anywhere else. All while another child is screaming and biting another child. Then, there is the horrifyingly quiet child. The one who is giving you peace and quiet, so you know something is up. The one who is probably coloring a beautiful masterpiece on your walls. Yea, distractions are everywhere in my home. 

Just gotta love them though. <3


*WRITE HORROR: WHAT'S THE WORST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU WHILE WRITING?*

I was so excited to write my first book. I was almost finished with it when, all of a sudden, it was gone. I came home from school one day and realized it was nowhere to be found. I still don't know what happened to it. I have a wild guess that my mom was cleaning my room and accidentally threw it away. Maybe she hated it and threw it out on purpose? Maybe a magical unicorn crept into my room and robbed me blind? Could have been a famous wizard looking for a quick buck by publishing it under his name? Well, whoever it was. I loathe you. Unless it was the unicorn. I love unicorns. Always.



*WRITE JOY: WHAT'S THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED WHILE WRITING OR HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE SMALL VICTORIES?*

I must admit, since I lost my first (nearly finished) novel, I have not attempted a second. I have been writing short stories and lines instead. I think that one of the best things that happens while I'm writing is when I come up with a genuine idea. An idea that is MINE! The feeling is ecstatic. 

It's a feeling that sounds a little like .... "Gahhh, I'm a freakin' genius!!!" 
Ya know?




*WRITE CREW: WHO DO YOU COMMUNICATE WITH OR NOT COMMUNICATE WITH WHILE WRITING?*

Since, until recently, I chose not to have anything published and only wrote for fun. I have not had anyone read my work either. I never even talk about my writing. It wasn't until a few days ago that I decided I'm going to give it a go and write my first, finished book. I am going to be communicating with an old friend of mine, Beth. She's a book lover and nerd just like myself. I wouldn't trust anyone else with my first draft. Wish me luck. 

Potterhead vs TwiHard. It's a thing. A thing that inspires me to write. So, I will.




*WRITE SECRET: WHAT'S YOUR WRITING SECRET TO SUCCESS OR HIDDEN FLAW?*

Writing Secret?
The secret is my brain. I like to make it do things it has never done before. When that happens, things get interesting. Imagination station, baby!
So, I say.... Let your imagination run wild. Don't hold back. 

Hidden Flaw?
Everybody hates me. Nobody will like what I write.
I am never, ever, ready to share my thoughts with the world. I have a thing called "writing anxiety" where I fear that nobody will enjoy my writing. I mean, writing anxiety is a thing, right? Well, now it is! ;-]


*WRITE-SPIRATION: WHAT ALWAYS MAKES YOU PRODUCTIVE?*

My three amigos: Beth, Britney, and Megan. They are always there to keep me on my toes. Their positive encouragement does more than they know! :)

Also, I inspire myself. I am not myself if I am not thinking for myself or learning new things. Reading, reading, reading! That is a major contribution to my productive-ness. The more I know, the more I grow.




*WRITE PEEVE: WHAT'S ONE THING THAT WRITERS DO (OR YOU DO) THAT'S ANNOYING?*

Writers who think they walk on rainbows and do no evil really get under my skin. You know, the one who febreezes the air after you ask for an autograph. You are not all that and a bag of tater chips. No, the only royal position you have is the royal pain in my butt.




*WRITE WORDS: SHARE ONE SENTENCE FROM A PROJECT, PAST OR PRESENT?*

Are you trying to kill me? Why would you ask me to do such a thing? It's just not right! 


*From a current project*



I AM SUPPOSED TO START TAGGING PEOPLE NOW, BUT I WILL NOT. 
IF YOU WRITE, YOU SHOULD DO THIS!
IF NOT, THEN DON'T! 
;-] TOTALLY UP TO YOU!
Soooo, do I have any readers who write? Tell me now, I wanna know ;-]