Since The Cuckoo’s Calling, I’ve enjoyed the Cormoran Strike series, written by J.K. Rowling as Robert Galbraith. Each entry has been a mind-tickling, exciting mystery in the old-style gumshoe detective vein, with all of the flourishes that made Rowling’s Harry Potter books so enjoyable — memorable characters, sly humor, exciting plot, and a deft hand at shifting moods unexpectedly. The latest entry in the series, Lethal White, provides many of the delights of the earlier books while revealing increased skill on the author’s part — but also revealing a disappointing tendency toward formula. Continue reading Review: Lethal White — Deadly Fun
It is difficult to know whether the elegiac mood I felt while reading The Shepherd’s Crown was due to the book itself or to the fact that the fifth Tiffany Aching novel (and forty-first Discworld novel) was in fact the late Sir Terry Pratchett’s final work.
The Shepherd’s Crown focuses on the young witch Tiffany Aching as she comes fully to find her place both in the non-hierarchy of the witches’ world, in the land of her birth (the Chalk), and in her own life. She finds herself pulled between two steadings, the districts for which, as a witch, she is responsible for doing “what needs to be done” — whether visiting the old and sick, birthing babies, or protecting the inhabitants from supernatural invasion. And, as the book begins, a supernatural invasion does in fact loom: Nightshade, Queen of the Faeries (whom a nine-year-old Tiffany defeated in the first book in the series) finds that the boundaries between her world and Tiffany’s are weak, and she is planning large-scale revenge. Discworld faeries have much more kinship to the Celtic sidhe than to the cute winged creatures of most children’s books or than to Tolkien’s aristocratic elves: they are (literally) glamorous, pitiless creatures who take delight in mayhem ranging from spoiling beer and stealing sheep to kidnap, torture, and murder.
This past Saturday at BAIPA, I led a roundtable about the reasons that every independent author and publisher (as well as every “dependent” author) needed to have an active presence on Goodreads.com. It was one of three roundtable sessions at the time, and I assumed that most BAIPA folks (who are pretty savvy) would already know most of what I had to say. I was surprised to find that not only did they not, but they were very hungry to hear about the world’s largest book review site
Because they all found the material I presented to be helpful, I thought I’d share my major points here. This is why you have to be on Goodreads: Continue reading Authors: 6 Reasons You Have to Be on Goodreads