adventure

Grond: The Raven High: Grond Book 1 Review

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

If you’re looking for a space-adventure that flies a bit outside what is usually expected, you’re going to find it in Yuri Hamaganov’s Grond: The Raven High: Grond Book 1. Our protagonist is a young girl, Olga, who is living on a space station far outside the realm of earth. Here, she is raised by an Android and begins preparing for work at the tender age of six. Olga, called Raven by her android nanny Arina and curator Mikhail Petrov, works tirelessly in her strange little bubble to be able to run a plant that produces water. We follow along her everyday life as she prepares for her occupation and demonstrates her higher than average aptitude. It will soon be clear to readers that Olga is not an ordinary six-year-old girl, at least by current standards. She is something more advanced that the human beings we are today. Where her life will take her is an interesting journey.

As the first book in an apparent series, it is up to the author to build their world. First installments set the stage for future books. They captivate the interest of readers and leave them wanting more. Hamaganov does write quite eloquently and it is clear that some amount of research went into creating this novel. The world is not too far in the distant future and the layout is somewhat believable. Olga is isolated on a space station and has video communication with Petrov on a consistent basis. As we learn more about her origins and the type of work required of her, we begin to empathize with Olga’s predicament. When she faces the greatest struggle of her young life, readers will find themselves hoping that she will come out victorious.

There are areas for improvement, however. Several times throughout our story the voice changes from past to present in the middle of sentence. This is confusing for the readers as we’re not sure what’s supposed to be happening. Not a lot of detail is given about the state of Olga’s world, why she’s referred to as ‘Raven’, and how exactly it became okay to use child labour. We know that Olga is not the only one, as there is reference to other children in the same line of work as she. We also know that Olga is not quite an organic human being, but it’s never clearly stated if she was born with her advanced capabilities or if her parents simply sold her off to be implanted and sent to work. The only things that are clear is that the Earth is in trouble, there was a war in space, Olga works harder at the age of twelve than most people do in their thirties and that she is seen as a tool by those who employ her. There is mention of a resistance group that would help her achieve freedom, but when her very life is threatened there is no sign of this group. Perhaps these are all things that will be explored in future installments.

If you can manage to ignore the few shortfalls of this novel, most readers who love a good science-fiction piece will enjoy the adventures of Olga in Grond: The High Raven: Grond Book 1 by Yuri Hamaganov. The tidy epilogue at the end sparks curiosity in the reader and the sneak peek at the next installment will have most readers looking forward to book two.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Book Reviews, 0 comments

One Week Left!

Hi everyone!

Black & Red

My First Book!

Just wanted to let you know there is one week left to get my debut novel, Black & Red, for FREE through Smashwords.

Now I shall end the shameless self-promotion 😛

Thanks to those who have downloaded it and if you’d like to leave a review, please do so! Even if you say my book is horrible I’ll happily link to it.

I can’t fix things if I don’t know they’re broken! All the grammar issues, though, I know about those hahahaha 😉

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Have You Checked This Out Yet?

Don’t forget!

Black & Red

My First Book!

For the month of July you can get my debut novel for FREE!

This is a Smashwords Exclusive and you can access it here!

I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read it 🙂

I promise I’ll stop being annoying about it…..

In August 😉

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 4 comments

Shameless Self-Promotion

HEY GUYS.

YEAH, YOU.

GUESS WHAT?

I had some extra time/fun today. I made a new menu item on my site that will link you to a free preview of my book, Black & Red. You can find it here:

Preview

Enter a caption

Synopsis: 

“It’s been two hundred and fifty years since Kalan, the most powerful sorceress in all of Eikon, has been banished to endless hell.

Due to the actions of the powerful men of her time she has been forced to endure endless life in a waste land where death is a luxury she cannot ever hope to achieve.

Then one day, a voice pulls her from her hell back into the world where she once lived.

Upon her return she is confronted with the repercussions of the actions those men have had on their descendants and the world that has come after them.

What is Kalan’s part to play in this? Why has she been returned to her native world?

In a fantastical tale of revenge, pain, and suffering, the results of the actions of others will dictate the lives of those in the future.”

Except there won’t be any sparkles on my actual page. Lame, I know.

BUT!

Now you can read an excerpt of Black & Red which is pretty awesome in and of itself.

So I hope your Wednesday isn’t bogging you down. If you’re chained to a desk and need something to do, why not take a read? Who knows, you might like it 🙂

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 3 comments

Personalities and Characters

When I was a late teen until I was an early twenty-something I dated this guy who was  the most pretentious, ridiculous person I have ever met. For seven years I had a relationship with this guy and I almost married him. I had accepted a ring and plans were being made and everything!

Then one day I left the ring on the table with my keys and left.

It’s an embarrassing time of my life and I don’t like to remember it. He probably doesn’t like to remember it either.

He was a mechanic who wanted to be a doctor or an actor (he couldn’t make up his mind). He drank wine while bitching about the ‘low-brow’ humour that occurred on the shop floor. He was so full of himself watching Frasier and House like he wanted to be those guys it made me doubt my own intelligence.

Even now; I used to think I knew everything about writing but I don’t. Boss and BSP are far more educated than I in that realm. It made me feel like the one thing I had going for me was gone. I know that’s not the case, but it’s hard not to think that way sometimes.

And that reminds me of Brexton and Aldric.

Brexton is a showy, loud, confident guy. He’s probably not the sharpest tool in the shed as he leaves all the strategies and planning to Aldric. He discounts his own intelligence and is comfortable with the fact that there are those who know more than he does. He is happiest in battle, slicing his katana through the air and through bodies. That is his niche and it is where he feels his best. It’s part of the reason his relationship with Dessa broke down. Brexton wasn’t ready to discover who he could be without his sword.

Aldric is not confident. He has confidence in his battle skills, but that’s it. He is the smarter of the two in terms of planning and strategies. He also has more street-smarts than Brexton. But because Brexton shines like such a star, it makes Aldric self-concious. He feels that perhaps he’s too low to keep up with Brexton. It’s like Brexton is the cool popular kid that everyone loves and Aldric is the smart, quiet nerdy guy with no friends. In reality, they are the best of friends because they have traits that compliment each other. Aldric and Brexton have always been together so there’s that fear that they are only together out of habit.

The funny thing is, they both feel that way. Brexton feels like Aldric could do way better than him and that he is only with him because of familiarity and a sense of responsibility. Aldric feels the same way about Brexton. They don’t talk about it, but there’s that awkward concern under the surface.

I love writing scenes when this comes up. They’re both so ignorant with their emotions and that’s because they were never shown how to express them. Maybe that will change by the end of the story. I can’t tell you now though 😉

I channel a lot of my personal experiences in my writing. Of course I do! I don’t know a writer who doesn’t. This is what I know best because I lived it. I am living it. You could probably learn more about me by reading my book/musings than  you could reading a blog post.

It’s enjoyable to write about Brexton and Aldric. I can’t wait to write more! The office is getting painted this weekend and that makes me so happy! Soon, everyone. Soon I’ll be able to lock myself in there for hours on the weekend and just let my fingers fly over the keyboard.

My husband got his new laptop so I’ll be getting his old one. That will make it much easier to type as well.

Enjoy your Tuesday! Try to stay awake! 🙂

Stay-Awake-Funny

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Mindful Musings #55

Mindful Musings

Follow my steps,

Young children.

I will lead you on a path

Through pain and strife.

I will take you through the woods

Of existence and life.

Follow my steps,

Dear friend.

I will take you on a journey

Through your mind.

I will take you on the course

Of heartache and love.

Follow my steps,

Old one.

I will lead you on this adventure

Of living and dying.

I will lead you through the maze

Of discovery and loss.

Follow my steps,

Beloved self.

And I will make you whole.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Musings, 0 comments

A Godless World

In a fantasy world, there are times when  the appearance of various gods or goddesses is warranted. I once wrote a story that I may rewrite and polish for publication in a few years that followed such beings.

In Three Abandoned Kingdoms there are gods and goddesses. However, we don’t really see them. The followings are established and the information about the gods and goddesses is well known.

Here’s the gist:

  • The world itself is called Tessera
  • It exists in an almost bowl like formation. There are mountains or oceans that surround the kingdoms. Beyond the mountains are deserts. This may connect with a previous work I had written years ago.
  • There are four kingdoms: Byrnan, Haima, Hieros and Allos
  • Allos was said to have been loved by the gods. Their people were said to have been touched by the goddess and that is why magic came easy to them.
  • During the First Wars it was said that Allos had an incredible power capable of wiping out an entire kingdom. It was also said that power could save an entire kingdom from famine and drought.
  • Brynan has always been a war-nation. Before they were just proud of their prowess with martial arts and strategy. Their main exports before the war were metal, smithing skills, science and martial arts.
  • Haima’s main exports are literature, medicine and science.
  • Hieros has exports of art, music, and silks
  • Allos had exported magic, education, science, medicine, music and arts
  • If you think of Tessera like a box, Brynan is in the top left, Haima in the top right, Hieros in the bottom left and Allos in the bottom right.
  • In the First Wars Brynan breached Allos’s kingdom walls. It was said that when Brynan stole the Weapon the entire kingdom began to crumble. Brynan brought the Weapon back to their labs which sleep under the castle and for the next 500 years they tried to unlock it.
  • It was said in one last act of sadness the gods and goddesses closed Allos off from the rest of the world by causing the earth to shake and break. If you were to come to the border of Allos from either Hieros or Haima you would not be able to enter. There are sheer rock walls that encase it.
  • During the events of TAK Allos is closed off and Brynan has basically conquered the entire world of Tessera. The gods and goddesses are absent.
  • Our protagonists are attempting to retrieve the Weapon, return it to Allos and destroy Brynan.

And that’s all I’ll tell you right now. This is just a bit of back story that will be covered in the book itself. So don’t try to steal it. Everything I post is copyrighted so I will hunt you 😉

I might write up another short since I haven’t done that in a while. Maybe I’ll write one about Allos before the Fall. I haven’t decided yet.

I hope you enjoy what you’ve read so far, even though it’s more like thoughts at this time. Happy Tuesday!logic

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 2 comments

Quantifying My Existence

Everything in life is a measurement. Your age, the ticking of the clock as time passes, the effort you put into your day. We exist here on this planet in this galaxy in this universe. What effort have you put in? What does it matter? Who are we trying to impress by bleeding and sweating our lives away? Are we trying to impress friends? Lovers? Parents? Ourselves?

I find that I am constantly and almost desperately trying to measure myself and my contribution on a regular basis. Have I done enough? Will I be remembered when I’m gone? Will people remember me when I’m gone?

I’m only 32 and yet I think like this on a regular basis. But who am I trying to impress? My kids will remember me. They have no choice. You don’t have an obnoxious mother like myself and then simply forget about her. Same with my poor sod of a husband. The guy will never forget me, even if he wants to.

It’s not like I’m ill and I’m going to die tomorrow. It’s not like I’m one of those people who expects to get crushed by the roof of the mall when I’m shopping (That has happened to people in my country before, though. It was devastating). Perhaps it’s because where I currently am in writing TAK.

There is a lot of death in this book. Some of it is symbolic death. Some of it is true, honest death. There is a lot of soul-searching as the characters try to figure out who they are and what they can offer. Granted, their world is tougher than ours. Well, tougher than the life I lead in my country. There are countries in our world right now who have been dealing with wars for longer than I’ve been alive.

Sometimes I wonder if that’s why I published Black & Red before I was certain it was ready. I  was just so desperate to have something out there, in the world, for others to read and realize that I existed. That the story had been crafted by a human being and although the ending may leave much to be desired, it was still something that was agonized over.

Perhaps it is just too goddamn early on a Monday morning to be introspective. I shall end my ramblings here today and continue on with work. 6 minutes to go until I have to be ‘on’.

Happy Monday, suckers like I who are working. And screw you guys who are all at home without work or responsibilities 😉

poppins

Mary Poppins is the shit.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, Rantings, 2 comments

The March

The land

The land

It all belongs to us

We take

We take

You cannot stop it

Marching

Marching

Through the lands we take from you

Calling

Calling

None shall rescue you

The children cry

Their sorrowful tears

The mothers cry

Their pitiful tears

The fathers cry

Their  silent tears

The land

The land

Shall never be the same

The March of Byrnan Soldiers

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments