Tag Archives: review

It’s The Little Things

On a break at work last night I was checking emails on my phone and there was a message via FB from one of my friends that she had looked at Song and Sword on Amazon and there was a second review up.

Since I still had about six hours to go until I was home, changed, and at my computer, I did the only rational thing: I called my roommate and had her look it up and read it to me.

(I should seriously make her write a guest post about the trials and tribulations of living with a writer…)

It was a good review (5 stars) and I was jazzed the rest of the night.

And thoroughly frustrated because there wasn’t anyone I could tell.

Now, granted, the review was from February, but it was “new to me” because I have quit obsessively checking for reviews because a) there haven’t been many (two on the US side and one on the UK site) and because b) that way lies madness.

I love the UK review – mostly because of the story behind it.

It is from a friend of mine who bought the book at its introductory price just to help me out and show support for a friend.  Thus began a series of FB messages.

In the first one, he told me that he doesn’t like fantasy (he only reads non-fiction mostly war history and such “You know, bloke stuff.”) and had expected to read a couple pages and quit.

At the time he told me that he was on chapter five.

The next day he told me he was on chapter 20 and asked if he could play Pashevel in the movie version.

I cannot tell you how much that made me smile – inside and out.

Sadly, he only plays the trombone, not the lyre or flute. I did offer him the role of Pashevel’s father, though, which he declined.

A few days later he told me that there had better be a couple marriages by the end of the book.

And then he posted an endorsement for it on FaceBook and I felt like I’d reached nirvana – or at least the pages of Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul.  (Yes, there really is such a book.  I checked.  And then I downloaded it to my Kindle where I won’t have to find shelf space for it.)

I think that even more than the good reviews is the fact that two of the three admitted that this is not a genre that they normally read – but they loved it.

(And my UK friend is waiting for a sequel…)

So, yeah, it’s the little things that brighten a writer’s day – a good review, knowing that you’re touched someone with your words, people wanting more…

(And in only-semi-related news, I just made my 123rd post on my poetry blog.  Since I only use it for NaPoWriMo that means I am on my fifth year of participating in National Poetry Writing Month.  That sort of blows my mind because it doesn’t seem like it has been that long.)


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There is point of view and then there is point of view.

I recently read Alaric Albertsson’s first fiction book, Perception. For those who don’t know me, I am a sucker for first contact stories, and that’s what Perception is… sort of.

The aliens have arrived on Earth, but they have not made contact with the humans.  There has been no “Take me to your leader” moment, no “We are here to help you” moment, not even a “Submit or die” moment.

The aliens have arrived – but no one knows what they want.

And that’s all right, because while that is the inciting incident of the story, it is not really what the story is about.

There is a post-apocalyptic feel to Perceptions.  It is set in modern times and in some places it reminds me of Pat Frank’s 1959 novel Alas, Babylon as the characters deal with the aftermath of an attack:  modern life starts to unravel – no phone, no electricity, no running water – and so do the people who depend on those things.

There is no big battle:  the battles in this story are between the characters – and within the characters – as their perceptions about themselves and each other are challenged.

(I’m not a big fan of battle scenes where the smoke clears and only the hero and (maybe) his love interest are left standing:  internal conflict for the win!)

And then there are the aliens themselves.

They are actually non-human.  As in, not humanoid, not “humans with bumps on their heads,” but true aliens with motivations and thought processes that are also alien.  The characters cannot figure out what the aliens want because the aliens simply do not see things the way we do:  they have a different perception of life on Earth – an outsider’s point of view.

And from their point of view…

Like I said: there is point of view and then there is point of view.


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