New Book Cover!!

Good evening, my darlings of the Web. Ahead of the normal novel review, I’m just updating you with an update on The Fall of Peter Pan – nothing textual, merely the frosting on the cupcake of adventure. I’ve changed the cover:

The Fall of Peter Pan

The Fall of Peter Pan

What do you think?

For comparison, here is the previous cover. I’m sure I’ll rotate through them as one becomes odious, creating further exercises in stretching the same words across the same proportion of space.

 

Like reading? K.L. has published their first novel, The Fall of Peter Pan. Be entertained!

Like poetry? K.L. has also published a collection of poems, The Loaded Brush. Find it here. I promise not to make you search for metaphors.

 

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Clariel – Garth Nix

Clariel

Clariel

Beyond the safety of the Wall, in the Old Kingdom, the ravenous dead walk, Free Magic creatures roam, and necromancers seek to pervert the Charter. The Abhorsens, the royal family and the Clayr fight to keep the charter strong, protecting the inhabitants of the Old Kingdom.

Nix’s previous novels, Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen, take place in a time when the royal house has been all but extinguished, and necromancers roam the Old Kingdom freely. It is a dark, primitive post-apocalyptic world, roaming from the rivers of death to the crumbling ruins of Belisaere, the adventures of the title characters mesmerising and addictive.

Clariel takes us back six hundred years to just after the peak of the Old Kingdom’s power, where a mad king refuses to rule, and corrupted Guilds are steadily taking hold of greater amounts of power and wealth. The heir-apparent has been missing for over a decade, presumed dead, and there is a Free Magic creature roaming the streets of Belisaere. Young Clariel has been brought to the capital to be appraised, apprenticed and married by her parents, whilst she pines for the solitude and forests of her childhood.

Despite this promising start, Clariel failed to grip my attention in the same way as its predecessors. The setting of Belisaere was reminiscent of an overripe Roman Empire,  a somewhat cynical representation seeming to declare that crumpling from the weight of ones’ own excesses and corruption into obscurity is an inescapable aspect of any society. The character of Clariel was mildly interesting, but aside of a few peccadilloes, she fell rather neatly into the character of ‘disaffected, sullen teen outcast.’ She also seemed a little too readily corruptible in the realms of Charter Magic vs Free Magic – her transition resembled nothing so much as a rapidly burgeoning drug addiction, pursued at the cost of family, friends and logical thought.

Regretfully, I do not consider Clariel a particularly re-readable novel, as much as I loved it predecessors.

K.L gives Clariel 2.5 out of 5 broken Charter Stones.

 

 

Like reading? K.L. has published her first novel, The Fall of Peter Pan. Be entertained!

Like poetry? K.L. has also published a collection of poems, The Loaded Brush. Find it here. I promise not to make you search for metaphors.

Top 10 books I want to read

As an aside from my normally unscheduled book reviews, tonight I wish to do something different: book previews.

My reading list has a bridle put upon it, to stop fancy from galloping free, rampaging across the literary countryside, and eventually throwing me from the saddle to land, winded, at the bottom of a large pile of unread or partly-read novels, in a muddy puddle of insolvency.

Therefore, in addition to all the books that I can borrow for free from the library, I am allowed to purchase one and only one book per month. This rule does, occasionally, get bent out of shape a little (“A $6 kindle book? Then I can buy another book of similar value to meet normal expenditure on a novel!”), but overall holds up fairly well.

(We shall not speak of the occasion last year, when I bought 4 yoga books at once in April, thus using up my potential book purchases of May, June and July in the one fell swoop. August was a month of much rejoicing).

This rule does mean, however, that I read a great many more ebook samples than I actually buy; the local temple of Athene is helpful in providing the lack, but overall, there is a lag between sample and satisfaction.

Thus, finding myself at the end of a particularly egregious sampling binge (“No, K.L.! Wait until March! You can do it!”), I have decided to share with the gems I anticipate, even salivate, at the prospect of devouring in future, in order of excitement:

1. The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell

David Mitchell is the author of Cloud Atlas, which was a brilliant read made into a beautiful, poignant movie. The sample of The Bone Clocks features Holly, a fifteen-year-old girl in the act of quitting school to move in with her older boyfriend, and subsequently running away from home, fancying herself adult enough to survive alone – and possibly (though she is unaware of this) pregnant. Similarly to Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks promises a series of interlinking narratives, so I am wildly excited to see exactly where this novel leads us.

2. The Philosopher’s Apprentice – James Morrow

A Doctorate student of ethical philosophy quits – dramatically, publicly – midway through his dissertation, and is immediately hired by a reclusive geneticist to instil a moral compass in her daughter, who lost hers in a diving accident. Satirical and well-described, I anticipate reading further.

3. The Incarnations – Susan Barker

A Chinese taxi driver is being stalked by someone who claims to have known him through six successive incarnations. With the vague horror overtones, I am concerned it will feature murder most foul before long. The local library has a copy, thank goodness.

4. The Madonna and the Starship – James Morrow

A television script writer has to save the world from aliens who admire his show for children about science… And who are determined to annihilate any humans who disagree with them.

5. Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World – Haruki Murakami

Surrealist and…well, Murakami. A man catchs a lift up an office building, to find himself climbing inside a cupboard, down a ladder and into an alternate dimension of pitch darkness, to find his employer’s grandfather and deliver a message. Delicious!

6. Only Begotten Daughter – James Morrow

A sperm donor is called in to explain why one of his samples has turned itself into a foetus. He then raises the daughter of God, who can cure the sick.

7. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’engle

A classic of science fiction, and also a children’s novel. Apparently highly-recommended, and well-written thus far.

8. The Last Witchfinder – James Morrow

This particular James Morrowism was less satirical that the others I sampled: I found the matter-of-fact torturing of accused witches hard to stomach, their objectification by the main character’s father, a witch hunter, being a little too well portrayed. It narrated, confessional memoir-style, by Newton’s magnum opus, The Principia Mathematica.

9. Lesbian Pulp Fiction: the sexually intrepid world of lesbian paperback novels 1950-1965  – Katherine V. Forrest

An interesting snapshot of a post-war period, and the surreptitiously blooming of the lesbian queer fiction culture, which I am keen to explore further.

10. Clariel – Garth Nix

A long-awaited continuation of the novels set in his astonishing world of the Old Kingdom, where the dead walk and the magic of the Charter is used to bind creatures of free magic. This is a prequel to Sabriel and Lirael, adolescent favourites of mine. Clariel, blood relation to both the Abhorsens and the royal family, has been unwillingly brought to the capital city of Belisaere by her parents, who seem intent on marrying her to a murderer, ignoring her dreams of a life of self-sufficiency as a woodswoman. Intrigue run rampant.

That’s all for now, dear readers. See you soon!

(P.S., have I mentioned that my novel The Fall of Peter Pan is currently the #1 bestseller in the Mashups section of the Kindle store? Have I? I have? Oh, sorry. Don’t believe me? Find it HERE!)

My Novel is #1 in the Mashups section of Amazon.com!!!

Friends, Romans, Countryfolk!

My novel, The Fall of Peter Pan, has reached #1 in the Mashups section of the Amazon eBookstore!! I was excited enough when it was at #4 a few days ago, but now?? Levitation is definitely occurring. My head is bobbing against the ceiling, enabling me both to indulge in jubilation, and clean off some cobwebs.

NUMBER ONE!!!!

I know, these things are temporary, but temporising aside, it has made my temper excellent! Ok, I promise I’ll stop.

Check it out! Bask in my (momentary) glory!

The Fall of Peter Pan… rising steadily!!

The Fall of Peter Pan… rising steadily!!

And, y’know, keep it bobbing up there at the top of the charts. Buy a copy! Or provide some feedback on what you thought of it 🙂

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Kill a Mockingbird

I realise that this novel has been ruined for many people through the education system: I am sorry for that. Many otherwise blameless and enjoyable experiences have been destroyed via injudicious application of essay questions, and the resentful hunt for textual symbolism. I was lucky to have my honest enjoyment of To Kill a Mockingbird unscarred by such schooling experiences. As a result, I found it a beautifully voiced, well-written, gravely significant novel.

Culturally I found it one-sided; written from the perspective of Scout, a comparatively affluent white child, it ignores the presence of members of the black community (barring Calpurnia) for most of the book. The wrongfully accused Tom Robinson is a rarely-seen or heard fulcrum upon which the action of the novel pivots, and arguably these impressions are what Harper Lee intended when she wrote the novel, based loosely upon events from her childhood. Winning the Pulitzer prize in its first year of publication, To Kill a Mockingbird explores issues of racial and class inequality, rape, gender roles, courage and innocence, in what has been the author’s only written work to date.

It is so famous a work… I feel that its story has leaked into the public consciousness, becoming part of that core of literary works which, when named, nine out of ten passersby will say, “I know that. It’s about…”, in much the same way that everyone knows Romeo and Juliet is about unlucky lovers, and the necessity of not jumping the gun (and learning how to take a pulse) when mired in apparently-tragic circumstances.

 

K.L gives To Kill a Mockingbird 5 out of 5. Nothing less could be said of it. The novel was brilliant: reading it won’t be a literary struggle, only an emotional one.

That’s what we read for, isn’t it?

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

 

 

Like reading? K.L. has published her first novel, The Fall of Peter Pan. Be entertained!

Like poetry? K.L. has also published a collection of poems, The Loaded Brush. Find it here. I promise not to make you search for metaphors.

Daughters of a Coral Dawn – Katherine .V. Forrest

Daughters of a Coral Da

Entertaining, lesbian-themed escapist science fiction. A few tens of thousand of part-alien, genius-level women  (all descended from the Vernan alien whom they call Mother) steal a spaceship and flee the repressive, 70’s-era patriarchal Earth territories (where a woman using reproductive technology without a husband is a legal crime) to establish their own utopian colony.

Fifteen years later, they respond to the distress call of a crippled Terran ship. But now that their location has been compromised, what will they do with the chauvanistic survivors? And how will Megan, leader of the colony on Maternas, respond to the presence of the bewitching earthling Lieutenant Laurel Meredith?

I loved this humorously cheesy novel, and have been disappointed to find that Amazon.com only sells (currently) the first of this series. Worse still, it isn’t present in any of the local library catalogues. Woe! Daughters of a Coral Dawn works perfectly well as a stand-alone novel, but the presence of a lesbian science fiction novel reminiscent of the webcomic I was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space makes me eager to track down further novels in the genre. That it is unashamedly queer sci-fi, rather than brief lesbianism acting as a aperitif to the actions of a heterosexual hero, make me extremely happy.

“ “Six thousand I’ve spawned,” Mother grumbled, “and I’m the only heterosexual left.” “

The subject of a society of women bereft of men is both intriguing and appealing – witness the women of Whileaway in The Female Man, the civilisation of women in The Sultana’s Dream, the inhabitants of Jeep in Ammonite (review forthcoming), and of course our very own Amazons – and personally, a subject I can’t get enough of. Before you cry foul, cast a glance over many of the adventure stories throughout history, from the older: The Lost World, 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Old Man and the Sea to the more recent action novels, such as Ice Station, where women are either entirely absent, or present only as foils for heterosexual conquest. Turn-about is fair play, and long overdue!

“Once we completed our home-based education and ventured out into the world we thought it would be more difficult to hide our gifts, especially when  we all performed spectacularly well scholastically, and later, professionally. But we had one overwhelming advantage: We were women. Scant significance was attached to any of our accomplishments.”

K.L gives Daughters of a Coral Dawn 4 out of 5 winning references to emerald eyes, cantaloupe-sized breasts, and Sapphic passion.

 

And one, final quote:

“Father was furious when he learned of her pregnancy. “Great James Garfield, how could you let that happen!” he bellowed. “We’ve been married only six weeks! You said you’d take ovavoid!”

“No I didn’t, you just gave me the pills,” Mother informed him coolly. “I did what all Vernan females do when their males leave it up to them. Each time before we made love I concentrated hard and thought negative thoughts.” ”

 

 

 

Like reading? K.L. has published her first novel, The Fall of Peter Pan. Be entertained!

Like poetry? K.L. has also published a collection of poems, The Loaded Brush. Find it here.

My Novel is published!

Friends, Romans, Countrypeople of all genders, lend me your kindles…

…My first novel, The Fall of Peter Pan, is now available online! I’m so excited! It’s been published on Amazon (say what you will, their range of eBooks makes me happy), and is available here.

Three years of writing later, and here we are, surveying the vast new world of internet publishing which expands before us, reaching out to the very horizon…! Yes, I am excited, and a little euphoric, not least because I never need edit that particular manuscript again.

What is The Fall of Peter Pan about, I hear you cry? This:

All children have to grow up. All bar one – or so he says. But can you trust Peter Pan?

The iconic, classic tale of one boy’s refusal to ever grow up has been darkly adapted with humour and spirit. Discover J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan as you’ve never yet read it.

Wendy Darling is the unhappy eldest child of Mr. and Mrs. Darling. She is being slowly, inevitably pushed towards adulthood and a life that she does not fit. Peter Pan is the ruler of Neverland, an island stranded between universes and peopled by castaway philosophers, becalmed pirates, imprisoned Indians and lost children. Restless, he roams the many universes, eavesdropping upon the adult world from which he has fled.

They meet, and Wendy bargains with Peter to take her and her brothers away from the adult world forever.

She is unprepared for what she discovers in Neverland, and her emerging ability to control the very fabric of reality develops hand in hand with a burgeoning animosity between her and Peter. Lost in the mountains, forgotten by her brothers and the lost boys, Wendy begins to uncover the roots of an ancient magic which will change everything.

Wendy must choose her allies carefully on Neverland, because worse things are coming than pirates… And one of them might just be Peter Pan himself.

And if you are interested, and haven’t seen my blog before, you can sample the preliminary chapters, starting with the prologue, here.

 

Hugs, kisses, scatterings of flowers, teary-eyed waving of hands to the crowd. Muah! Muah! My darlings! Thank you all!

Exeunt.

Fall of PeterPan

Book reviews will shortly resume on their irregular schedule.