Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 1

Hi Blogland!

Welcome to the first edition of Goals Summary for 2018. I really liked these posts in 2017, even if I wasn’t super consistent with them. Hopefully I can do better this year.

What did I set out to accomplish last week?

  • Publish 1 blog post
  • Start writing Sanctified chapter 31
  • Review/start The Steel Armada editsDark SkyFinish reading Dark Sky by Mike Brooks
  • Finish listening to The Children of Men by P.D. James

How’d I do?

I published one post last week, my traditional Blog Remodel post and year in review post. That was an easy goal to reach, thank goodness.  I wrote just under 300 words for Sanctified, which isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing. I did not even look at The Steel Armada, I’ll get into why a bit later. I finished reading Dark Sky, as well as The Children of Men AND Wishful Drinking. So, lots of reading/listening done last week! Check out the What I’m Reading page for an updated list, or follow me on Goodreads for updates in real time.

I also decided that I’ll be tracking my word count in these posts. Only fiction (fanfic or original) counts toward my weekly word count, blog posts do not.

Weekly Word Count: 1,600

What’s on the docket for this week?

  • publish 1 book review
  • finish Singull fic (tumblr give away)
  • hit 1,500 words on Sanctified chapter 31
  • finish listening to Shockaholic
  • edit The Seasons and Lifelike, send to Madhu for work-shopping

Notice that The Steel Armada isn’t on here. I want to work on these short stories a little bit and take my time organizing and prepping The Steel Armada. I also have two give away fics that I need to finish, so either next week or the week after I’ll be ready to crack open The Steel Armada and start wading through it. Basically, I don’t want to have lingering projects that might distract me from working on the rewrites, because I know myself, and just about anything will be more enticing than drafting this book.

All right, I think that’s everything that I wanted to talk about today. I’ll post the review for The Children of Men either tomorrow or Thursday. As always, thanks for reading this far!

 

BZ

Goals Summary Wk 1/16

It’s been a really wonderful weekend. In fact, looking back, it’s been a great week.

Yesterday we cleaned house and finally took down all the Christmas decorations. We would have done it sooner, but since there was snow and ice everywhere, we decided to wait. This weekend saw some balmier temperatures (it hit 36 degrees today!), so we finally froze our asses off and officially said good bye to the holidays.

Then we played DnD (Dungeons and Dragons) which is always a good time.

Today we were both off for MLK day. We spent it primarily with each other, which was blissful. Trevor creates YouTube content for Heroes of the Storm (a Blizzard free to play MOBA- Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). With his commitment to his channel, and my commitment to writing and blogging, we can both squirrel away to our offices without seeing much of the other.keto-dinner

Today we went grocery shopping, made a ridiculously delicious (and extravagant) dinner, and then played Overwatch together for a few hours.

But, despite the holiday, it is Monday, which means we both have work to do.

So, how did last week go? Fan-fucking-tastic. Pardon my French.

Last week’s goals were:

  • Finish Chapter 11 of From the Quorum
  • Read A Borrowed Man
  • Publish 2 blog posts

It doesn’t seem like much, now that I look at it, but I accomplished it all and I feel damn good about it!

I wrote a total of 2,822 words plus four handwritten pages of world building. I published three blog posts. And I not only read and reviewed A Borrowed Man, but started and finished Dark Run. The book review will be out later this week, so keep an eye out.

So, with such a productive week behind me, what’s on the docket for this week?jackaby

  • Write Chapter 12 of From the Quorum
  • Finish reading Jackaby
  • Publish 2 blogposts

Basically, I’m not going to mess with a good thing. This formula worked last week, and it will most likely be my formula through the end of the month. February is when things will look a bit different, as that’s when I’ll be diving back into editing The Steel Armada.

So, that’s the plan. Small, doable steps each week. At this rate the novel will be done sometime in June or July, with edits on The Steel Armada done in either July or August. It sounds far away, but it’s much closer than it seems.

And I can’t wait.

Later Blogland,

 

BZ

 

 

Book Review – A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe

We meet again, Mr. Blog…

Obviously, I’m in a strange mood today. Yesterday was a refreshing success on many accounts, and I’m feeling relaxed and ready to get some work done today. The Husband came home sick from work, so he’s in the next room napping, and I’ve got the Writing Room door closed for the first time since I’ve started using it for its intended purpose.

It feels so… solitary. Isolated. Deliciously mine. Surrounded by my favorite things (my Garrus Vakarian figurine, my framed Elantris maps, coffee, my diplomas, and of course the books!) I finally feel like I can get down to business.

garrus-vakarian
“Can it wait a minute? I’m in the middle of some calibrations.”

So, yesterday. I wrote a book review for Blood Rites, outlined four chapters and an interlude of From the Quorum, and then wrote 1,113 words of chapter 11.

I also read Saga vol. 6, and finished reading A Borrowed Man. FINALLY. This book took multiple attempts, each time maxing out the possible renewals from the library. I had to return it and read something else at one point, but I finally came back to it.

I was damn near ready to execute my “200” rule. This is a relatively new thing I’ve implemented, in an effort to keep me reading as I work on completing my annual reading challenges. I found that, occasionally, there are books that I just can’t get through. I’ll spend weeks trudging through them, or avoiding them, instead of moving on and reading something else.

In an effort to curb this habit, I created a “rule” for myself. If I can get to page 200, roughly the 50k word mark of most books (which is a generally accepted minimum length of a novel), and I still am not interested in finishing the book, I get to count it toward my reading challenge. At that time I can decide, based on how much I understand of the book, whether or not to write a review.

Obviously, any review written about an unfinished book would be proclaimed as such, and would be a generally vague “I liked it and why” or “I didn’t like it and why” sort of review. I have yet to actually do this, but I am open to it. And who knows, maybe I’ll make another attempt to finish it somewhere down the road, as I’ve done in the past. In which case I could then do a full and proper review.

Anyway, a comment of mine basically stating the concept of the “200” rule on John Guillen’s blog led to this response blog post on his site. It’s worth a read and comment if you’re so inclined.

But, A Borrowed Man was nearly my first “200” book of 2017. I was all set and ready to return it unfinished. And then I hit page 200 and things actually started happening. Literally 2/3 through the book and something interesting finally happened.

But, let me go back and actually do this review right.

a-borrowed-manA Borrowed Man is a Sci-Fi novel by Gene Wolfe. He is widely accepted as one of the most prominent literary voices in the genre, and seems to be generally well-loved. Apparently, my mistake was introducing myself to him via this particular book. Based on a number of reviews, I should have started somewhere else.

I would consider this book to be literary Sci-Fi. The science fiction elements are definitely there. The whole premise is that E.A. Smithe is the property of the Spice Grove Public Library, because he is the clone of a popular 21st Century crime novelist. A woman checks him out to help her solve the mystery of her father’s and brother’s deaths, not just because of his expertise in understanding and writing murder-mysteries, but because their deaths seem tied to a physical copy of one of his books, Murder on Mars.

Add to it that the setting is a futuristic Earth that lost 2/3 of the population to some sort of war, and a very intriguing bit of astrophysics later in the book, and I staunchly agree that this is a Science Fiction novel.

But, it’s also a Noir. And it’s also very literary in its approach to character development and the narrator’s voice.

This combination of genre elements could have been very interesting and attention grabbing, but instead it plodded along, and bits and pieces fell together in ways that just weren’t very satisfying for me.

That could be a problem with me and not the book. Perhaps I missed a lot of cues early on (most likely due to bored inattention) that prevented me from anticipating the finished result. Apparently, with Gene Wolfe, that’s not unlikely. The book is very cerebral, without giving me anything to latch on to and get my brain in gear. dark-run

In short, I was bored. Only the last 50 pages or so were decent, but by then I was just frustrated with the previous 250, and not open to thinking too kindly of E.A. Smithe and his associates.

Anyway, it all comes together in the end, so if you don’t hate the first half of the book, its worth finishing. But, I’m glad I can put this one in the rear-view mirror. Now on to Dark Run by Mike Brooks! Nothing like a jaunt with space pirates to captivate my attention!

Until next time, Blogland!

 

BZ

 

Goals Summary 1/9

Hello Blogland!

First and foremost, what does everyone think of the new appearance? It’s sort of a tradition of mine that the blog gets a new look each year, and though I was quite partial to the 2016 edition, I have a lot of love in my heart for 2017’s new look.

Hopefully you all feel the same.

So, last week, I’m calling a mulligan. It snowed, I had a migraine, and there was a SERIOUS New Year’s Eve hangover in there somewhere. Basically, I was useless all week, aside from listening to audiobooks while my migraine kept me awake.

In non-writing news, Trevor and I changed our diet to be back on Keto. It was something we’d discussed at length, and decided to enact after the holidays. The lack of grains and sugar is just so much better for him. He sleeps through the night, isn’t gaggy every morning, and it helps his digestion.

I don’t experience much of these changes, or at least not as drastically, but I like the food so I don’t mind committing to the diet to help him.

I’ve taken up a fairly vigorous (for me) yoga routine, and have stopped biting my nails. Typing now is very strange, and it’s going to take time to get used to where to place my fingers all over again.

Otherwise, I spent a good portion of my day today planning out my writing and editing schedules, and I’m feeling good about where the year is heading. But, let’s break it down for this week.

Week of January 9th:

  • Finish writing chapter 11 of From the Quorum
  • Finish reading A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolf
  • Publish two blog posts

That’s all for now. I’m gunning for 12k words a month, when I’m not editing, and I’m already a week behind. Hopefully FtQ will continue to flow as it has in the past. I should have the first book review of 2017 up on Thursday, Blood Rites by Jim Butcher. It was the aforementioned audiobook, so keep your eyes peeled for that one.

In non-weekly goals, part of my outlining this morning included penciling in time to start reworking The Steel Armada into its third draft. I’ve told myself that I can’t edit Cards until The Steel Armada is done, and I have a feeling that the third draft will be close enough to count. There’s no point putting it off any further. So, the month of February will start my dive into the hard rewriting and problem-solving I’ve been avoiding.

While all that heavy lifting happens, I’ll cut my word count goal for FtQ down to 500 words/day, meaning “writing day” which is roughly three days a week. Anything beyond that is gravy.

As long as I finish the rough draft of FtQ this year, I’ll be happy. Getting The Steel Armada into draft #3 by July is my goal, followed by getting Cards into draft #2 by the New Year. Somewhere in there I’ll rewrite and perfect The Portrait of Sterling Madison.

2017 is going to be busy! Mainly with projects and writing. I cannot wait to see what I can accomplish.

Until Thursday Blogland,

 

BZ

Goals Summary Wk of 10/24

Happy Halloween!!!

It’s our first Halloween in the house, and my first time ever handing out candy to trick or treaters. It was the best! This whole weekend has been wonderful. We went out with friends Saturday night to celebrate Halloween in a more adult way: with beer and dancing! Photos to follow. And then Sunday was spent recuperating by bingeing on Stargate SG-1 all day. It was the most relaxed I’ve been in months.

shaun-stage-1
I was stopped at least five times with, “you’ve got red on you.”

But, there’s more to discuss here than just the general awesomeness of Halloween. Goals, for instance!

Last week’s goals were:

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write Library of Souls Book Review
  • Write 750 words for From the Quorum

What did I accomplish? Prepare the fanfare! I met all my goals this week! That’s the first time since I started tracking goals, and I’ll say, I did more than just meet them. Yes, I published two posts. Yes, one of them was the Library of Souls book review. And yes, I wrote 750 words of the novel. And another 1,158 words.

shaun-stage-2
Word of advice: splurge for the fake, washable blood. Red pen bleeds through to the skin…

That’s right, a total of 1,908 words this week! I was giddy with joy and relief as I tracked the word count. It felt so good to just sit for three hours and write something new. And it was actually a really wonderful and quaint scene. Probably complete garbage as far as pacing and fitting in with the rest of the book, but hey, it’s words on the page. Plus, the dreaded chapter 7 is now complete. I’m on to the next one, which is a great way to start NaNo.

Speaking of which, that’s tomorrow! Holy crow! Where did the time go? So, what’s the plan? Write every day. 500 words each day. Anything beyond that is gravy. The end goal is that, by the end of the month, I’ll be writing over 1,000 words a day, every day. Although, I’d be happy with 5k a week. Ultimately I just want this month to help me learn to carve out writing time, while I work 45+ hours a week. It’s a tall order, but I’m coming in pretty confident.

We’ll see how long that lasts.

So, this week’s goals are:

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write Beacon 23 book review
  • Read A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe (hopefully write book review)
  • Write 500 words a day 11/1-11/6 = 3,000 words

That’s a tall order, but that’s the plan. Swing by next Monday for a recap on Week One of NaNoWriMo and  a look at my goal completion!

As usual, until next time Blogland!

shaun-stage-3
That’s a homemade “cricket” bat. Because my husband is the best!

 

BZ

 

Goals Summary Wk of 10/3

Hello again Blogland!

This last week was a rough one for me, as mentioned in my previous post. Add a migraine to it today and I’m not surprised that I didn’t make my goals. But, I did well, and persevered  through my shitty feelings and doubts. I’ll take it.

So, last week I wanted to:

  • Publish two blog posts
  • post the Morning Star Book Review
  • Finish chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

I posted two blog posts, including the Morning Star book review. However, I did not make any headway on Jordinn’s Story. I know where the chapter needs to go, I just need to actually sit down and write it.

So, for this week:

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Catch up on reading
  • Finish chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

This is a good set of goals for this week. I fell behind in my reading, mainly because A Dance of Cloaks isn’t that interesting so far. I’m halfway through it, and so far I don’t really care about any of the characters. The plot is interesting, but purely in a “I wonder how this all plays out” kind of way. I don’t really care who wins. Also, if I don’t finish listening to The Neverending Story this week, I’m calling it good. I can’t waste months of my time slogging through this boring mountain of text.

I’ve got books cued up for very nearly the end of the year. My next will probably be Hollow City and Library of Souls, so I can catch up on the Miss Peregrine’s books, then go see the film. Plus, they’re quick reads, so I should plow through both in about a week, week and a half.

Then it’s on to some Sci-Fi!

Anyway, that’s the goals for this week. If I finish A Dance of Cloaks I should have a book review out sometime this weekend. I won’t be doing a review for The Neverending Story. If you’ve been following the blog these last few months, you know how I feel about it.

Until then Blogland!

 

BZ

 

Goals Summary Wk. 9/12

Hello again Blogland.

Last week I set some lofty goals.

  • The Obelisk Gate Book Review
  • Publish two blog posts
  • Draft #4 of The Portrait of Sterling Madison
  • Chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story
  • A Monster Calls Book Review
oktoberfest
Yes, those are pretzel necklaces for easy, drunken snacking.

In hindsight, that was entirely too much, especially when we had a booked weekend. We were at Oktoberfest Saturday night and a friend’s party on Sunday. Apparently bringing a book to a party is frowned upon in certain circles, so I got very little reading done this weekend.

So, what did I complete?

  • The Obelisk Gate Book Review
  • Publish two blog posts

I also read/finished reading three books this last week, so that feels pretty good.

But, after a week with so much red left on the board, what’s my plan of attack this week? First it’s important to note that I have no social obligations this week, other than a standing sushi date on Friday. I also feel the need to acknowledge how unfocused I am. I have too many projects, that I’m not prioritizing very effectively.

So, what’s most important?

I still think that reading and writing book reviews here is very important. It’s my consistent, guaranteed word count, and it keeps the writing juices flowing when all else fails. It also keeps my critical thinking and reading skills sharp, which I need for editing. Luckily this is the one area I seem to be performing well in so far.

Writing Jordinn’s Story is very important. These characters, this world, has been waiting nearly a decade to find the page. I’m done putting them on the back burner.

And, as much as I’d love to shelve the project, getting The Steel Armada into its third draft is huge for me. The bulk of the hard work comes between draft two and three. It’s not just the grammatical, line by line work. I’m good at that. It’s the tearing out and replacing the things that don’t work. Adding and subtracting to build the world and characters. It’s looking at all the glaring errors, and instead of hiding from them, challenging myself to fix them.

Let’s face it, I’ve been hiding from this project for a long time now. It’s time I faced up to the task.

And so, I’ve decided that, yet again, The Portrait of Sterling Madison will get benched. I’m glad that I feel like my writing is finally at a level to tackle the project, but ultimately, it’s a_monster_callsjust not the right time to focus on it. Maybe next fall, when I’ve reacquainted myself with my former discipline and schedule.goldenson

So, the quick read bullet points for this week are:

  • A Monster Calls Book Review
  • Golden Son Book Review
  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

Also, not white board official, I think the shelves will finally get installed this weekend! Everything is sanded. Wednesday we measure and drill. Thursday we stain and poly. Which means Sunday we install! Fingers are crossed that we can stick to some sort of time table with this project. The weather is turning here in the PNW, and I’d really like to be able to park in my garage when Fall decides the rainy season has officially arrived.

I’m over 100 pages into Morning Star, and am generally freaking out every single chapter. Something incredible seems to happen on every page. I’m not sure how Pierce Brown does it, but I’m taking notes.

So, now you know what to expect this week. Hopefully I can share more success stories next Monday.

Until then Blogland, have a good one!

 

BZ

Book Review- The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

Hi Blogland!

I’m finally here to discuss The Obelisk Gate. Though I fear it won’t be in quite as much detail as usual, because I’ve read five more books since then. It’s just no that fresh in my mind right now, and that’s totally my fault for taking so long to get this review out.

First I would like to strongly suggest you read my review of The Fifth Season, because I outline the general characters, magic system, and world there. I won’t be doing that again here, so read up. Also, if you haven’t read The Fifth Season yet, you really should. It won the Hugo for Best Novel this year, and deserved to 100%.

Now, without further ado, The Obelisk Gate!theobeliskgate

This book picks up directly where the first left off. Essun is with Alabaster and Antimony in Castrima’s makeshift hospital, discussing how she must catch the moon and return it to its proper place in orbit around the Earth.

Since Essun has never even heard of such a thing as a moon, the concept takes a bit of time for her to digest. Alabaster begins training her to use the Obelisks. How to call them and commune with them, so that she can amplify her powers in order to be strong enough to capture the moon. This training is slow, mainly because Alabaster is dying. Bit by bit he is turning to stone, and will be eaten by Antimony.Any time he uses his Orogeny, more of him calcifies.

While this laborious training takes place, the book bounces between Essun’s point of view, Nassun’s point of view, and Schaffa’s point of view.

Nassun is a very talented Orogene. Better even than her mother. She learns intuitively what Alabaster struggles to teach Essun, that all Orogeny is actually magic. There’s something in them, in the very Earth that isn’t quite quantifiable. A silver thread runs through them and the the Earth, through all living things, and it is able to be manipulated by Orogeny.

As Essun learns this, Nassun experiments with it. And Schaffa battles it. It’s this silver thread that pulses within Guardians. It controls them, gives them their unnaturally long lives and the ability to silence Orogeny. But it also craves Orogeny. Their power is almost like a food source and the Guardians need it to feel less pain. Nassun learns this because she and Jija go to Antarctica and find Schaffa. He takes her under his wing, and teaches her to become a better Orogene than even her mother.

When Schaffa went after Seyenite and nearly killed her, we thought he’d drowned. But, he succumbed to the “evil” Father Earth, and sacrificed much of himself in order to survive. He has fleeting memories of his life before drowning, and he’s spent the last decade traveling and collecting young Orogenes, creating a small, fledgling Fulcrum of his own, off the grid in Antarctica.

And he has his own plans.

Central to all of this are the Stone Eaters. It seems that extremely strong Orogenes are irresistible to Stone Eaters. But once a Stone Eater has claimed an Orogene, that person is off limits to other Stone Eaters. Alabaster has Antimony. Essun has Hoa. And now Nassun has Steel. These creatures remain the most enigmatic element of Jemisin’s books. I’m still not sure what they want. What is their stake in all of this?

JemisinHiRes1.jpg
The lovely N.K. Jemisin

Hoa is aligned with Essun. And Antimony is too, via Alabaster. But Steel? He nearly killed Hoa, and would have killed Essun too. And now he’s attached to Nassun.

As much as I enjoyed this book, it left me with far more questions than answers. There are so many moving pieces, and I feel like I was handed the tools to figure it all out in this book, but lack the knowledge to actually use them.

I don’t understand Schaffa’s motivations right now. I like him a lot, and his tenderness for Nassun is touching. And his quiet brutality is riveting. It seems like he has very similar goals as Essun and Alabaster, which seems counter to what I know about him. But, all told, I don’t actually know that much about Schaffa, or Alabaster for that matter.

But, I know that those three all want to do something to/with the moon. And according to Hoa, some Stone Eaters want that too. However, they are not a united people. There are Stone Eaters who want to harvest Orogenes, and basically slaughter them all. Steel is one of those Stone Eaters.

That’s pretty much where the book leaves off. Obviously there’s much more interpersonal drama that fills the pages. Like Essun and Alabaster getting closure on their doomed relationship, and even enjoying one another’s company again. Or, Tonkee and Essun nearly getting kicked out of Castrima as tensions rise when food rations shrink. There’s the tense, fragile relationship between Nassun and Jija, as she convinces him time and time again not to kill her like he did Uche. And there’s the burgeoning parental love between Nassun and Schaffa.

Character development was huge in this book. Much more so than world-building. Characters and the magic system were the headliners here, and it does not disappoint. In the moment, The Obelisk Gate is very good. I enjoyed every moment. It’s when the veil falls away, and you start looking at the book with closer scrutiny that it starts to fall short in comparison with its predecessor.

But, The Fifth Season is a hard book to compete with. I think I can give The Obelisk Gate a break there. Still a great book, and I can’t wait for the last title in the series!

Thanks again for reading this far Blogland. I should be back tomorrow with a goals update. Spoiler Alert: it didn’t go that well this week. I’m also looking to write the A Monster Calls book review, as well as catch you all up on what I’m reading now. I’ve been burning through books, so hopefully I can keep the reviews coming.

See you soon,

 

BZ

 

Book Review- The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

Well… this is awkward. I was supposed to write and post this about two weeks ago. And here it is almost halfway through November and you’ve heard nothing from me!

Downright despicable, that is.

Anyway, a couple small points before I dig in.

I didn’t win that writing contest, which is fine, since it’s an ancient story and I had zero hopes set on it winning.

Book Club meets today to discuss Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. I’ve already finished it, but won’t talk about it at length until after the meeting.

Also, thanks to Book Club and various assigned readings, I only have to read three more books this year to meet my goal! That’s right! I’ve read 42 books this year, which when you think about all the school work and the whole 48+ hours a week thing, is pretty badass. I am super excited to reach this achievement.

Anyway, on with the review! Consider yourself warned, here there be massive spoilers and fangirlish squealing loud enough that you’ll swear you can hear it through your computer screen.

My paperback version, which is now mostly illegible thanks to the myriad notes...
My paperback version, which is now mostly illegible thanks to the myriad notes…

So, The Alloy of Law is what you might call a spin-off. It’s set in the same world as the original Mistborn series, 300ish years after the events of those novels. Which is awesome because-

A: I’ve never seen a fantasy world do that before. Grow, change, experience time in a moderately realistic way.

and

B: The reader gets to pick up countless references to characters from the old series, and figure just how they played into the development and history of the world. They have weight and value beyond just the old plots. They’ve become gods, statues, and tombs. Street names and slang terms. It’s really wonderful to experience.

So, Scadrial, the planet on which all of this takes place, is an active place with sense of time and history.

We meet Waxillium Ladrian in the prologue, as he’s hunting down a deranged serial killer called Bloody Tan. Even in these early pages Wax’s strong sense of justice and his wry sense of humor comes through. He’s immediately likable and intriguing, part lawman, part gentleman, and an Allomancer to boot.

Btw, being an Allomancer means he can use a type of magic (Allomancy) which allows him to “burn” a metal which grants him a certain ability. Every type of Allomantic metal creates a different kind of power, but most people can only burn one metal (unless you’re a Mistborn, then you can burn them all, but those seemed to have died out after the events of The Hero of Ages). In Wax’s case he can burn steel, which allows him to push off of metals and basically fly around. In the world’s layman terms, he’s a Coinshot.

Anyway, Wax hunts down this Bloody Tan chap to find that the killer has Lessie, Wax’s wife (more or less), held hostage. But, not to worry, they have a plan for this exact scenario. Lessie blinks three times, on three Wax fires, and Lessie jerks to the side. Perfection, right?

Oh, except for the part where Bloody Tan is on to them, and Wax’s bullet takes Lessie right above the eye, killing her instantly.

And that’s how Wax finds himself back in Elendel, seeing to his family’s estate, shrugging on the mantle of nobleman with decided discomfort.
Map_Of_Elendel

But, Wax’s retirement is short lived, as a series of train robberies mystify local constables, and one of his own shipments goes missing. Enter Wayne, Wax’s irascible sidekick, who’s equal parts confusing and lovable. He is easily my favorite character ever. I mean this literally. Wayne is my all time favorite character I have ever read.

Anyway, Wayne has returned from the Roughs (read: frontier) to pull Wax from retirement, but it isn’t until women are kidnapped at a wedding he was attending that Wax finally takes up arms.

I feel it’s important to mention here that Wax’s fiancée, Steris, is one of the kidnapees. It’s an engagement of necessity. Wax’s family, the Ladrians, are very prominent in society, and have a seat at the Senate. But, thanks to his uncle, they’re very literally broke. Steris’s family is loaded, but outside of that inner circle of nobility.

Anyway, once Wax and Wayne battle at the wedding, there’s no keeping the duo from following leads in an effort to get Steris back. They even get a new accomplice, Ms. Marasi Colms, who turns out to be Steris’s illegitimate sister. And a potential love interest for Wax.

As the story moves on, Wax figures out that the leader of the Vanishers, the enigmatic robbers responsible for disappearing train cars and the kidnappings of women with Allomantic genealogies, is none other than Miles Hundredlives, a Roughs lawman with an overwhelming ability.

See, Miles is a Bloodmaker, like Wayne, allowing him to heal by using stored health from his Metalminds, but he also can burn gold as well. It’s called compounding, and pretty much means that Miles can heal continuously, with no known limit. Aside from aging, the man is quite immortal.

Gunfights between Wax and Miles are intense, full of aerial acrobatics on Wax’s part, and require a ridiculous amount of cleverness from him as well.

But, in the end, it’s Marasi’s Allomantic power that saves the day. She’s been told her whole life that it’s useless, shameful even, but she can speed up time for herself. The outside world moves in a blur, as she sits inside a bubble of normal time. It’s the opposite of Wayne’s Allomancy, which allows him to slow down time.

Anyway, after clearing the hideout of all other Vanishers in a grueling gunfight, Wax singles out Miles and basically starts boxing him. At this point, Wax’s body is in bad shape, and he lets Miles take out his rage on him. While Miles is preoccupied, Marasi uses her Allomancy, and Wayne runs to get a squad or three from the nearest Constabulary.

And so they capture Miles Hundredlives, rescue Steris, and Wax earns an Honorary Constable Badge, allowing him to investigate crimes and perform arrests.

But, at the end, Wax draws the line between him and Marasi. She’s infatuated with him, and he likes her, but he’s engaged to Steris, and Lessie’s been gone less than a year.
Ironeyes

And so Marasi focuses on her schooling, in criminal justice by the way, and attends Miles’s death sentence. But, as she’s leaving, she sees something strange. An unusually tall figure, in a cloak, beckoning her to follow. Turns out it’s Ironeyes himself, a character from the original trilogy, come to deliver a handwritten book to her. He wants her to give it to Wax. And then he disappears.

And then I waited four long years to see what that book had to say!

Obviously, I am a huge fan of this series, as I’ve talked about it at length for about four years now. And it doesn’t look like I’ll be quiet anytime soon, since the next book comes out in January!
Wax and Wayne (Mistborn)

See you soon, Blogland, when I’m back to discuss Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.

Fab Fables with Caladria (#1)

Since I was featured in this issue, it didn’t seem right to review it. So I let Ellie!

Eleanor Musgrove

OK, first things first: I wrote 1240 words of Blooms of Summer today.

Secondly, I promised a bit of information about Caladria, and I’ve decided that’s mostly going to take the form of a review of the first issue of our first publication, Fab Fables.

This is a sort of grab-bag of unrelated stories from the world of Caladria, offering you a variety of stories to suit your fancy and whet your appetite. After all, until you’ve explored a little of the world, how will you know what your favourite sorts of stories from it are? So Fab Fables is designed to bring you some great stories and help you decide which of our future publications you’ll love most (of course, you may get hooked and want them all – I have a horrible feeling it’ll happen to me).

Issue #1 contains five stories:
Hunting Storm by Brittany Zelkovich…

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