Zero by (the always exceptional) J. S. Collyer

Hi lovely readers 🙂

zero-cover

As most will know I’m a bona fide fantasy nut; give me a World full of magic, swords, sorcery and adventure and I can be gone for hours. However, there are times where even I will branch out my literary interests and diversify to broaden my knowledge; also, who isn’t completely in love with Mr Darcy? 🙂 My first understanding of sci fi came from reading my mothers books. She had a fabulous series by the late Anne McCaffrey called The Tower and the Hive series; the first book The Rowan. I remember being taken by such strong female leads in a World where science and technology runs on the power of the mind. I love creative and original stories along those lines.

To which, Zero is the début novel from my wonderful friend, and admittedly my writing hero, J. S. Collyer. It’s a literary slice of ooey gooey space pirate cake that leaves you not only wanting but needing to know more, especially after your damn lucky eyes have taken in the epic ending. This is a multi layered piece rife with exceptional writing, adventure, in-depth character development, adventure and oh yes, lasers; but did I mention adventure? I was lucky enough to receive an advanced review copy and my goodness all I can say is: as soon as the sixteenth of August gets here buy this book, you won’t be disappointed.

Kaleb Hugo is a Service man through and through; he lives, eats, works and breathes that life like no other. He’s positive he’s the best, most focused soldier… until one fateful day he ignores the commands of his higher ups and moves the ship he’s in command of to attack a perceived weakness in the War. What came over him? To the public face Hugo is disgraced, demoted and hated; but in secret he is promoted to Captain of The Zero, a beat up space ship concealing more than just a dented hull; it’s a ship that can get under the radar and accomplish things most Service ships couldn’t. Hugo has to act as a contact for the Service, keep an eye on the missions and report back to his superiors. He didn’t, however, expect to find those on the ship that were loyal, steadfast and perhaps the only friends he could remember having. What would await them in their coming missions?

I cannot begin to tell you all the things which are great about this novel, but I’ll give it a jolly good go anyway. J. S uses such literary diversity that simply pulls you straight into the Universe she has expertly created. I love the velvety feel of language such as ‘Hugo had admitted to himself long ago that Death was something he’d accepted into his life like a friend. Or a lover. It followed him like a phantom.’ Now before you ask yes this is from the first page. Heck it’s the first few lines. I didn’t want to give too much away about J. S’s stellar narrative. However, this is just a small example of what I love about her language use. Unlike many authors, she doesn’t try to make the language too archaic and stiff (don’t ask me why but some authors think stories are better like that) but she keeps it natural and flowing allowing the narrative to just slip into your subconscious and hold onto your interest for many hours before you even notice. She also has an uncanny ability to not alienate readers by being too scientific, if you catch me. She smoothly traverses into the science part of her science fiction in such a way that even someone as daft as me can understand it and thoroughly enjoy it. This is what makes her such a stunning writer.

The part of the novel I really liked however is that J. S. manages to reach into my chest and crush my heart into a million pieces (God how over dramatic does that sound?). I won’t give any details away but there is a part of the narrative that I’m not ashamed to admit brought a tear to my eye. The crew must endure a soul destroying time and the adversity which follows not only at the time but a year later as well. You can really feel the emotion in the writing which in turn forcibly drags your emotions to the surface and waves them in your face. It’s been such a long time since I’ve felt such a response to a book that it had me enthusing about its author. It’s incredible.

Please, please, PLEASE buy this book when you can. Not only will you be getting a jolly great read but you’ll discover a literary World you may never have experienced before. You’ll love every minute. I’m still going to buy a hard back copy of the book and beg J. S. to sign it, it’s just that great.

Thank you 🙂

We Have a Release Date…

Evening lovely readers 🙂

Well I’m very excited to say that my great friend J.S Collyer now has a release date for her super début novel Zero 🙂

 

Do you like science fiction? Do you like adventure? Do you like space pirates with lasers? I hear you all cry “What a daft question, of course we do.” Well then you won’t be disappointed with this excellent package of literary magnificence. The official book launch will be on the 16th August 2014 at the epic Fantasticon where J S Collyer will be signing copies, talking sci fi and just generally being quite frankly awesome. Luckily the eBook and paperback will be available on Amazon on the same day. I personally cannot wait. I do in fact have an advance copy for the purposes of reviewing it but there’s nothing like having a book written by one of your best friends officially on your Kindle. In having an advance copy I can in fact tell you that the novel is proving to be as fabulous as I expected and was it not that real life keeps interjecting I would be constantly reading this 🙂 Please keep your peepers peeled for my official review as I can promise it won’t disappoint: an awesome review for an awesome book I say 😉

In other news I can officially say that I have started my second novel while my first is being edited. As a bit of a difference I am not writing the sequel to my first novel, though I have that firmly ensconced in my mind, but another novel that I posted on here a while back. Then it was called Frozen due to it being about a blind winter fae archer but given the recent Disney outing I felt a title change was in order so soon there will be a post on my new Tears of Ice.

Thank you 🙂

Frozen

This is the working title I have given to my second concept for a novel. I want to store the first writings of it here and if you wouldn’t mind giving me feedback that would be wonderful 🙂 Please keep in mind this is a very, very early attempt. Thank you 🙂

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The journey to the High Court was always perilous for her people at this time of year. The golden sunshine shone down on their carriage with intense venom. Snow sighed and pulled the silk back over the window, being enveloped once more in its cool calmness. The silk was made especially for her family by the Oracles and she appreciated them beyond all others. Her people thrived in the crystal snow and silver moonshine and could not understand why her father was insisting they make the journey now. The High Court existed in a realm between all others and every season had a turn of being predominant; at this moment it was Summer with its treacherous sun. Snow sighed again and adjusted her spiders silk gown. In turn she heard her father sigh;

“Do not fret so Snowflake,” her father pleaded. He was Frostfall, King of the Winter Fae and she was sure she had never heard him plea before, what was he up to? “This is merely a trip to acquaint ourselves with the other Fae people’s. You know things have been tense between us and we do not want war to break out.”

“Father,” she began tentatively. “You worry beyond measure. I know of the myth where the War of the Fae begins and I think you put too much merit into it. Why did I have to attend?” She knew she was whining but couldn’t help it. She had been happy hunting and defending the borders when she had been called home. She was surprised her father had even remembered her existence. Yes she was the Crown Princess but she had been sure her father had been intent on naming one of his several other children as heir. She was the only child by Queen Winter before she had been killed in a riot and that made her sole heir but she was allowed to not like it.

“You come because you are needed.” That was all her father would say and he sat back and shut her out once more. She knew she should be insulted but she had been shut out most of her life so she was indeed used to it.

The dress felt alien to her, like it was too heavy and it over encumbered her. She longed for her Nightsilver armour and pure Nightsilver bow. Then she felt invincible, away from the politics and drama of the court. No one could touch her, ignore her or demean her. She had no responsibilities there and it felt wonderful. She brushed a lock of silver hair back behind her ear and winced. Her hair was a sign she was of royal blood; her family were signified by their silver hair, piercing ice blue eyes and blue tinged skin. When away she had sought different ways to hide it and blend in with the green-eyed, black-haired demeanor of her people but had failed miserably. Instead she had woven a tail about the bastard child of the High King unwanted and unneeded and for the most part it had worked.

She sighed and was just about to settle back into her contemplative whining when a heavy object hit the side of their carriage. It was quickly followed by another and another. The horses screamed in protest and bolted, breaking their fine Nightsilver chains and leaving their passengers behind. Snow stood, a little unsure of what to do in her father’s presence. He never condoned her fighting in any sort of way; he prefered she sit back and let the men fight in her stead. Her luminescent wings twitched in annoyance at that thought.

She could hear the footmen fighting outside and feared for them. They were part of the army but they were not her father’s elite, the men he usually took everywhere. Perhaps he had not expected an attack of this level on this particular journey. Whatever the reason he should have been more prepared and the warrior side of Snow rebelled.

She was taken aback however when her father stood, moved in front of her and drew his sword. Even she was not foolish enough to go outside, they would lose their strategic ground, surely he must know that. In any case he adopted a defensive position and waited. She hoped he did not need to fight as he hadn’t done for an age and she was unsure how good he was anymore.

They waited in silence while the fighting quietly ended outside; she wept silently for the footmen as she knew by now they must be dead. They had been good men and all with families who loved them. How would she ever be able to face them again?

Suddenly, the door to the carriage flung open and both were dazzled by the harsh sunlight. Her father faltered, as she somehow knew he would, and she had to listen as a sword sliced through his ceremonial armour and pierced him. She screamed. Still blinded by the sunlight she felt for the sword and started swinging it almost wildly, hoping she wasn’t injuring her father in the process. She could hear male laughter coming from all directions. How hilarious it must be to see a woman struggle with a sword. She wished again that she had her bow, then they would not be laughing as hard; she loved to shoot things blindfolded.

This carried on until someone grew tired and decided to hit her over the head and pick her up. She was trying her hardest to stay awake but the blackness of oblivion was quickly replacing the golden sun spots. She caught a brief glimpse of her father knelt as if in pain and in a pool of his own silver blood. She hoped he would make it; her heart broke at the thought of him dying. She tried to get to him but the overwhelming darkness consumed her…

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Thank you for taking time to read this 🙂 I would love just a general thought on how I could improve it. Thank you.

Green Rider by Kirsten Britain

It’s time again to post another book review but instead of writing about a book that I could only enthuse of I decided to write about one that gave me a decidedly mixed reaction.

Green Rider is the first book in this series and focuses on Karrigan G’ladheon, a merchants daughter. She has just run away from her elitist school as she’s treat too differently due to her common birth. What ensues is an adventure of epic proportions full of magic, colourful characters and self exploration. She comes across deceptively seductive beings tempting her to forgo her destiny and give in to them. Among this she discovers romantic possibilities with both a fellow rider and the Lord she is to serve. She’s determined to finish her task and fulfill the promise she made to a dying man.

The book intrigues me in many ways. Karrigan is a deep character with many levels and many different emotions. She longs to find her own place in the World, seperate from her family and the expectations of her father. Coming across the dying Fryan and discovering she could use the rider brooch seem like the perfect opportunity. You begin to love Karrigan immediately but I will admit that the book loses me a few times on the way. Kirsten Britain describes the World beautifully but sometimes goes into a little too much detail for my personal liking; I find myself skipping a fair few pages.

Not only does the tempo lose me but it seems that Kirsten Britain sets out from the beginning to make Karrigan suffer. She’s filled the character with so much of a noble spirit; Karrigan is compassionate, brave and all too ready to come to the aid of her friends. She’s never allowed happiness though; she’s denied the closest friendship she could wish for, she’s denied any love and she seems to suffer with unending torments. My question is: when will Karrigan get her happiness? I couldn’t say anything else bad about the book; it’s a well written, imaginative piece.

What do you think? Am I wrong? Please share 🙂

A Distraction I Can Live With…

Distractions are fateful things; both wonderful and notorious in the insidious way they creep into your brain and take over. These can come in oh so many forms; watching a film, playing a game or spending time with a brand new loved one; I’ll admit, I have been lucky enough to experience this recently :). This time however I have experienced a distraction I can live with. Much like my fellow writer Jex, I have found myself recently distracted by a brand new story idea. Below is a brief synopsis:

Snowflake, the Crown Princess of the Winter Court, is on a journey. Her father Frostfall, King of the Winter Fae, is taking her to the High Court, a place dominated by all four seasons. They must travel there during Summer, the most perilous time for her people, to meet the man she is betrothed to against her wishes; Goldbloom, Crown Prince of the Summer Fae. She did not know how this would possibly work, they were complete opposites.

Snowflake has to endure many hardships and tests along the way. The Fabled War, foretold battle of all the Fae peoples, is almost upon them and Snow must adapt, become more mature and survive to be able to attain her true destiny. For she is one fated to a greater destiny than all others…

I really want to start this story. You know when you have the whole story set out before you? I don’t want to lose the images. However, I still have Aly in my Angel of Death novel, I Cast Magic Into the Darkness, talking to me and I really must finish her story first.

What do you think? Does my new story idea sound interesting?

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