I won National Novel Writing Month in 2017 and finished graduate school in the same week, so reading has been in a strange place for the past four weeks. I read a work that made me really excited for my project that’s with my beta readers, so that’s a good way to regain some momentum.
Murder on the Orient Express
What I Learned: Character Introductions
This book is short. It amazed me how well organized the character introductions were, considering there were 12 suspects, Hercule Poirot, the train staff and others. One would think the characters would be hard to manage, but Agatha Christie did it so expertly. Definitely something to learn for genres like fantasy where large casts are the expectations.
The City Stained Red
What I Learned: Episodic Chapter Structure
What made this book really easy to pick up after embarrassingly long breaks was the chapter structure. Each could stand alone with its own arcs and character development. Each had its own sense of setting. The reader got to see the characters from a new angle as well. It was the epitome of “each chapter should say something new or add to the story.”
Blood and Sand
What I Learned: Taking Liberties for Historical Fiction
Read as an ARC from Tor Teen. Comes out January 2018. The premise of this historical fiction is that so little is known about Spartacus, what if he was a she? I loved how Wyk grants Attia so much complexity while still being a kickass warrior princess. The depth of research into early Rome made this an enthralling read.
What I Learned: So Much
I can’t remember the last time I read a book that felt so specifically tailored to me, my interests, and the stories I want in the world. Kristoff created an engaging world of assassins, dukes, and rebels with an enthralling magic system that really resonated with me. The way he wove twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat, but none of it felt rushed. I loved the steady introduction of characters and I can’t wait to see how this book can help me as I move onto to revise and edit my own thieves story.
The next recap is going up on December 23rd because on Christmas Day, I’m starting the #12DaysofReading holiday challenge. That’s going to get its own recap on the 13th day, so look out for that.
*immediately opens the library database to add Nevernight to my TBR*
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