Book Review – The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant #6) by Ben Aaronovitch

Blogland,

This is my first post written in the new WordPress editor. If you have tried it already and have any hints or suggestions, please let me know, because this is a trip. I think I like it. Image result for uncertain gifIt’s very clean, with less clutter to distract the eye. But that means I have to relearn how to navigate a system I’ve used religiously for like… seven years.

A/N: 108 words into the new editor and I already had to revert back to the Classic Editor. The new format handles content in blocks, which doesn’t really allow me to embed gifs and pictures the way I like to. Or at least, I wasn’t able to figure out how to do in a timely fashion. I’ll keep poking at it for awhile and see if I like it. As of this moment, it’s getting a thumbs down from me.

Additional A/N: Turns out, reverting back to the Classic Editor part way through royally screws with the formatting. I was unable to resolve it no matter how much I tried until I went back into the new editor and manually fixed every single error. I officially hate this “update” and I doubt I will be using it in the future.

After bouncing around the entire library consortium, I finally got my hands on the only copy of The Hanging Tree available in the whole Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Service. It’s been a very popular book.

Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars

Peter Grant and company are back at it, this time investigating what seems to be a routine drug overdose. Except, the deceased shows evidence of thaumaturgical degradation (aka her brain was a bit gooey from exposure to magic). And, Lady Tyburn’s daughter was at the scene.

As if that isn’t a big enough pain in Peter’s backside, there’s a member of the demi-monde, known unironically as Reynard Fossman (etymologically speaking, Fox Foxman), has come to the Folly to offer Nightingale something he can’t refuse: Newton’s Third Scientific text, the Principia Chemica.

Alchemy. It was rumored that the genius had worked out the laws that governed transmutation and the like, but that the text was lost to mankind. Until Reynard waltzes in and tries to sell it to the highest bidder. Because, why would he only offer it to Nightingale?

And guess who else has his metaphorical eye on the prize? Yep! None other than the dastardly Faceless Man himself.

Which, it’s about stinking time! My biggest gripe about the last Peter Grant story I read was that there wasn’t enough substance in regards to the Faceless Man and Lesley. I wanted MORE! Well, this book delivered, let me tell you.

All the things I’ve come to expect from a Peter Grant book remained true for this one. Fantastic dialogue that begs to be read aloud, a wide and dynamic cast of characters, an intricate and compelling plot told in a voice that is self-deprecating, fun, and clever as hell.

All that being said, it took me longer to read than I would have expected, mainly because I’ve just been too tired to stay up and read lately. Which, as I’ve discussed, is really shit timing. Every book under the sun seems to have a release date this month, and here I am too swamped and too sleepy to do a darn thing about it.

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One of those November releases is the next book in this series, the long anticipated Lies Sleeping. But, DO NOT read the synopsis for this book before you’ve read The Hanging Tree, otherwise you’re in for a giant spoiler.

I found that out the hard way while I conducted research to recommend the library purchase a copy of the newest book in the series. Whoops!

Also, my library doesn’t own any of the Peter Grant books, but several of the smaller libraries in our consortium own copies. But, none of them had purchased Lies Sleeping yet. Two weeks before the book is out and no one had bought it yet?Not acceptable. So, I recommended the purchase, and now I’m first in line on the hold list.

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So, in summary, this book was another solid entry in the Peter Grant series and the perfect book to read just a week or so before the newest installment is released here in the US. It’s nice to be caught up.

I’ve got a slew of books queued up for the rest of the year, which I mentioned in yesterday’s goals summary post. I’ll be a busy reading bee all the way through the new year.

Just the way I like it.

I’ll see you all again on Monday, maybe sooner if I have something to talk about. But we have a friendsgiving celebration on Saturday, so don’t expect much from me the rest of this week.

Until later, Bloggos.

BZ

Writing and the Community

A table finally opened up! I’m  not sure why Tuesdays are so hopping at the Bux, but for a solid 20 minutes it was standing room only. Not a very good way to write fiction.

Yesterday was productive. Slow, when I think about the time spent at the computer and the number of words produced, but it still felt good.

I ended my day at just over 2500 words, and chapter 7 is almost done. It’s gonna be a long one, and there was a lot of worldbuilding to be done, so I’m running a bit behind my ‘outline’.

Which I consider a good thing. It means the book is growing, leaving the constraints of outlining behind and becoming something real. Something alive. Plus, it means my word count will be more than anticipated, which is a good thing. For me.

So, first on the docket for today is finishing chapter 7. If the juice is flowing I’ll move on to chapter 8 and see where that takes me.

If chapter 7 fights me, as it did most of yesterday, then I’ll give my brain a break and turn to editing chapter 2 of ‘Vessels’. I have it sitting out, teasing me, and I’ve got to say, I’m eager to tear into it.

I wanted to take a moment to thank you all. I came to WordPress almost three years ago with no expectations. A retired Literary Agent spoke in one of my creative writing classes and suggested blogging as a way to keep yourself accountable and a way to get your name out in the ether.

Those who have been with me longest know that I struggled with the accountability aspect for a long time, and when I lapse between projects the blog suffers too. Sad, but true. Though I’d say I’ve made strides in this department since I started ‘Vessels’.

My writing has not only been more consistent, but it’s getting better. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it sure as hell helps.

Now, as for getting my name out there… I really didn’t care three years ago. I had no fiction published, and no attachment to a last name I’d always resented. But, a lot has happened in these years. Four short stories have been published under that last name, and as I find myself hurling toward the date when it will no longer belong to me, I’m panicking.

I may have talked about this before, but I’m going to continue to publish under my maiden name. It’s a standout name, and I’m the ONLY Brittany Zelkovich in the United States… Possibly the world. Though I’ve never checked that one. It’s become precious to me, a representation of the brand I am trying to build.

But, the blog wasn’t an instant fame generator. Obviously. We all know that. I’d get a view here or there, and I would titter and bounce with excitement. I still do when I see the views reach toward higher double digits.

It’s exciting! To know that people I would never otherwise meet or know can read my daily thoughts, and comment on them. I now have conversations with writers all over the world. People who write totally different things than me, whose fiction I might not read if I didn’t follow their blog.

And thanks to Twitter, this community is really burgeoning. The writing community on Twitter is large, and while a lot of people are pushing their self-published books, and pushing them HARD, a lot of other people are having great conversations about the Writing Life. We can commiserate when we know the last hour spent will actually end up cut out of the finished work, and share the joy when one of us lands an Agent, or even better, an actual publishing deal.

The internet, and the social media I participate in, has made the world so much smaller. It has brought me into contact with so many people that I can’t help but be grateful. It’s truly amazing.

And so I want to thank you all. For reading. For responding. For sharing my blog or Retweeting something of mine. For all the Favorites and the Likes. And for all the support these past three years.

I came to WordPress with no expectations, and have found a virtual home. A community I am proud to be a part of. Where I can share thoughts, ideas, and my woes at being a writer, and have people there to remind me that it’s all worth doing.

Also, just a small, very small, celebration. The blog surpassed 1500 all-time views a few days back! And while this is horribly pathetic to most other bloggers, I think it’s amazing! I smile every time I see the numbers on my stats page.

So, with that smile, and the warm, fuzzy feelings from the internet, I’m off to finish chapter 7.

Have a great day Blogland!

 

BZ