Review: “The Woods” Series


The Way Home by James Tynion IV

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It has been a loooong time since I’ve had a book series that I could not put down. It was so different from so many other books I’ve read. Sure, I’ve read books that take place on alien planets, where people are transported somewhere strange, where times/people collide, where human nature proves to be the most dangerous adversary, where teenagers have to grow up very fast to save the day…. But all of that in one story? All with perfect pacing; engaging characters; twists, turns, and surprises; and emotional punches to the gut? Honestly… there’s not a single complaint in this series. Each book was devoured. I read the first four in one day. And the rest were read just as quickly. In fact, I have no doubt that I would have read all nine books in one weekend if I hadn’t needed to wait for the next books to arrive at the library. I’m quickly learning that James Tynion IV is just a dang amazing writer. Between the times I’ve come across his works in DC (especially in “Red Hood and the Outlaws”) and “Something is Killing the Children” (which may be darker and more gruesome than my usual taste, but I can’t deny how well-written it is)…. basically, he may be one of my favorite graphic novelists. I’m eager to find more to read by him. In short, this series is a perfect example of a talented writer letting his creativity… just flow. It’s an intense read, for sure, but it’s one that you won’t be able to put down.

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Review: Green Arrow, Vol. 4: The Rise of Star City

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Green Arrow, Volume 4: The Rise of Star City by Benjamin Percy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another really engaging installment in this series…. especially since it includes the return of one of my favorite characters, Roy Harper! Toeing the line between thought-provoking and preachy, this story gives the reader a lot to consider beyond the action and twists as the story unfolds. Between all of that and on-point character interactions and a plot that continues to build and develop new and more complex layers…. honestly, I wish I would have picked this series up sooner.

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Review: Green Lantern: Sector 2184, Vol. 3

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Green Lantern: Sector 2814, Vol. 3 by Steve Englehart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A really fascinating book, especially from a Green Lantern history standpoint. As a GL fan–but one who has mostly only read modern books–it was really cool to see the role Green Lanterns played in “Crisis on Infinite Earths” as well as how certain ring-wielders have changed over the year…. particularly my favorite, Guy Gardner. In modern comics, he is rough (very rough) around the edges, but still basically a good guy. A jerk, but still a hero. And for all his bravado, he at least can back up his boasts. In this book, though, he was only a couple steps away from being a villain. (And the argument could even be made that those were very small steps.) Reading this, I can see how many long-term GL fans hate Guy. But I think this is more of a case of the writers have a learning curve when it came to really “getting” this character. Over the years, they perfected this unlikable jerk who still has a heroic heart. I’m very interested to continue to see how this Guy will turn into the Guy that I know and love.

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A Late Update

So, it’s been a little while since I updated. Ah, yes…. Past Sarah had high hopes of being able to reach that vaunted 50k word count.

Past Sarah was unrealistic.

Between work, Thanksgiving, and Christmas activities already starting…. Yeah, Past Sarah was unrealistic.

But I did manage to hit 42k words. And I’ve enlisted the help of the best plot hole-finder/fiction-cynic I know to ensure my manuscript “works” once I’m done writing and editing it.

That person is my brother. (Thank you!!!) He is the most fun person to watch a bad movie with, and I have no doubt that he is the critical eye my admittedly bizarre manuscript will need to be the best that it can be.

That is still months away, of course. I need to finish writing it, and then comes all of my own personal edits.

But I have a plan, and that is certainly something.

I probably won’t update as much this month, since you know…. Holidays = Family.

But if something cool happens or if I get the urge to write a random poem…. I’ll check in.

Thank you, everyone for your support and interest in this writer. It means more than I can possibly say. I wish everyone a happy December, a fulfilling end to the year, and joyful tidings for the holidays you celebrate!

Lots of love, all!!!

Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really wanted to read this book since it was the inspiration for one of my favorite sci-fi movies, “Blade Runner.” And while this was an interesting and well-written book…. this is one of the rare instances where I liked the movie better. This book had depth and asked complex questions, yes. But the movie… actually felt like it went deeper and dove into more complexities. The basic theme of the book was: What is life? (Particularly in terms of artificial life and especially in relation to empathy.) The movie, however, took that idea even farther, diving into these creator-vs.-creation themes and leaving us with that mystifying ambiguity at the end. While this is a classic sci-fi book and delivers everything a well-written sci-fi should (thought-provoking commentary in a what-if setting that exercises both the analytical and imaginative sides of your brain), if I’m being honest… the movie did all that even more for me. This book was also a slow read; I never had a moment where I couldn’t put it down. I was intrigued, but not necessarily riveted. But with the movie, I was both. Again, still a solid book and one I would recommend reading, especially if you’re a sci-fi nerd like me. It’s definitely worth having in your repertoire.

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I Haven’t Forgotten NaNoWriMo….


Last week, I went on vacation!!

My husband and I vamped up our nerdy levels to 9,000 and went to the Grand Rapids Comic Con in Michigan!

So much fun ensued! One of the biggest highlights was a panel featuring the original voice cast of Pokemon! Plus the costume contest, so comics and collectibles, a LEGO city, panels with comic artist Jae Lee and the voice of Courage the Cowardly Dog, a special 100th anniversary viewing of Nosferatu, and a live riff of The Super Mario Brothers Movie with Channel Awesome.

And that’s honestly just the very tip of the nerdy iceberg. We also visited an amazing museum that was right next to our hotel—and saw a real mummy!!!

Writing was not forgotten amid the fun though. I went to two different panels on publishing—which were very informative. I have new tools ready for my next round of query letters! (Whenever I get to those….)

And now I have a long weekend coming up. And that means… back to the keyboard! Cue the song from Mulan: “Let’s get down to business….”

(But in the meantime…. Pictures!!!)

A Howlin’ Good Time at the Library

Growing up, my favorite fictional character was Remus Lupin (from Harry Potter). He was a werewolf, and that meant that I automatically loved anything related to werewolves.

The Werewolf by Night comics? I searched for them every time we went to a flea market.

Warren Zevon’s one-hit wonder “Werewolves of London?” You bet I downloaded that and burned it to a mix CD. (And yes, I’m old enough that I made mix CDs.)

The Stephen King movie Silver Bullet? You know I watched it!

Of course, most other werewolves weren’t as lovable as Professor Lupin, but that didn’t stop me from devouring any lupine story I could find.

And it’s little wonder that one of my favorite animals quickly became the wolf.

Majestic and misunderstood and utterly beautiful…. What’s not to love about wolves?

And this week…. We had two wolves visit our library! (And you know I have to share.)

Review: The Midnight Library


The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the best books I’ve read this year. The whole concept of parallel universes absolutely fascinates me, so if you take that idea and shine it through a very philosophical lens, you get this wonderfully thought-provoking story that is also perfectly summarizes what it means to be alive: It means to love and be loved, but also to hurt and be hurt; it means success and failure; it means mundanity and turbulence–it means experiencing the entire spectrum of emotions. No matter what choices you make in life, you will feel it all, good and bad. This book is about all of that–about learning to accept and move past regrets, and about the road not travelled–and about, ultimately, how that untraveled road may not matter as much as the road we, ourselves, are actually on. A beautiful book that I couldn’t put down and that I don’t want to say any more about: You just have to visit the Midnight Library yourself.

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