One of the latest YA fairytale adaptations to gain the attention of fantasy enthusiasts is Intisar Khanani’s Thorn, which puts a creative spin on the Brothers Grimm story The Goose Girl. Khanani first begun writing the story in 2001 when she was in college. She published Thorn independently as an e-book in 2012, but strong word of mouth led to YA Publishers HarperTeen buying it in October 2017. After Khanani did some revisions and edits, Thorn was published physically earlier this year. The UK publication of the novel was handled by Hot Key Books, who also published Stepsister and Robin Hood: Hacking, Heists and Flaming Arrows.
Tagline: A magical epic about sirens, fae, and family ties.
Tobias Cabral picked a good time to send me his 2018 novel New Eyes for review. Mars is in the air. Actually, it's always been in the air, or at least, at the top of the air, in the sky. But NASA's Perseverance is on its way to Mars, with a landing date in February of next year. Elon Musk wants to colonize the Red Planet (I'm 100% on board, here's a talk I gave at the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention at The Catholic University in Washington, DC on 23 September 2016):
Despite being a war orphan, the dark-skin peasant girl, Rin, surprises her entire village when she aces an Empire-wide test called the Keju through hard work and dedication. Rather than help further her guardians' criminal enterprise or live out the rest of her life serving someone - Rin seeks her path in the prestigious Imperial Academy of Sinegard.
Brett Petersen’s The Parasite from Proto Space & Other Stories has been compared to the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Ursula Le Guin, and Charles Bukowski, among others. Suppose I told you that I not only agreed, but added Frank Herbert, Sam Delany, and Olaf Stapledon to that lustrous list, and added them after reading just the first two stories in Petersen’s anthology. In the words of Ringo, would you stand up and walk out on me? If you did, that would be your loss.
In Moon Chosen, the first book in the series Tales of a New World, P.C. Cast explores a post-apocalyptic world divided into tribes and clans, plagued by disease and bloodthirsty creatures, and infused with magic. This novel’s 600-page heft demonstrates its lofty goals, but it ultimately failed to satisfyingly achieve them. On the contrary, the seeming effort to make a statement about racism and human rights through the conflict between dark-skinned Earth Walkers and white-coded Companions continually sided with the view that Earth Walkers are lesser and Companions are noble but misled.
It has been a while since I first read “Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell. I was sixteen years’ old and my first reading experience of it basically blew my mind. I stayed up all night making notes, drawing sketches of characters and by the morning, I was not only insanely tired, but I had a whole notebook filled with masses and masses of information about the book. I had handwritten over one hundred pages of notes, quotations, sketches, drawings, opinions, lists and so many other things. This would be an annual thing and now I can’t live without the book. I still have my copy from all the way back then. I used it at university for one of my essays and it’s now covered in notes and highlighting. Now, my copy is safely tucked into a box under my bed and I take it out every now and again, I was reading it the night before my twenty-first birthday, at Christmas whilst I was twenty-three and I read it recently and the ripe age of twenty-four. It changed my entire opinion on the very limitations of literature. The truth is: there are no limitations.
I’ll begin with a brief paragraph describing my regular daily routine. At 5am I wake up and do a couple of hours of mindfulness exercises prior to getting out of bed. As soon as I pull off my blankets I start looking for my clothes and begin to get dressed. Once I’m fully dressed I have my breakfast, medication and finish everything that I need to do before I begin my work. If at home during the day I write my blogs, answer various emails or do work on my business. Sometimes I go out on weekdays for travel training with a support person. Perhaps I’ll go to the shops and buy a few things that I need/want; or maybe I’ll visit places such as our local historical village which is so fascinating and run by lovely people. Many younger people have become more interested in this place after a paranormal show investigated the site and reported it to contain a few ghosts. Once I return home (and/or finish my work) in the evening I have dinner, have a shower, brush my teeth, watch television, play Minecraft, pull on my pyjamas and read in bed before falling asleep at around 11pm.
I remember this feeling of zooming out of my own existence when the much needed realization of change took the world weeks ago. I experienced this epiphany in a discord call talking with a group of diverse and polarizing thinkers, I am fortunate enough to call great friends, from all corners of the world. The realization that we were truly right in the middle of a very historical moment was jarring that sober night. A long due moment in history that is destined to change the course of our civilization for the nth time and this time, as rare as it may be for our brief human history, for a much more positive and peaceful advancement in our society. I remember following the very simple epiphany with a quick statement in the discord call that our unborn kids will be reading about this time in their textbooks a decade from now.
“African Myths of Origin” is a book that concerns the different regions of Africa, their creation stories and theme-based narratives. Themes of hunting, food, humanity, morality, death and dying, the Gods, supernatural ability, war and battle, masculinity vs. femininity and others prove that these stories are not only well-written and sophisticated but also prove that these narrators understand the very essences of human existence. Along with the ability to make it into an entertaining narrative, a lot of these stories echo and almost Biblical experience of life. The outline of the book is to treat these historical stories as a part of a geographical location and an entire population of people. The most notable thing is how all of these themes link together to make a narrative that contains a teaching, a tale and characters who are relatable to any time and place. As the narrative states on the theme of hunting: “the original human lifestyle is foraging mixed with hunting.” (p.3). Thus showing that the nature of humans looking for food is not only important thematically to the stories, but is also a quintessential part to every human no matter upon place, time etc. Past, present and future, humans will always require food to survive and this is only one of the bases of human existence that is seen in the book.