Saturday, January 31, 2015

Interview with Serra (Subsapien)




Me: 
Hey, everyone! It's the first character interview of the year! So excited. ^ ^ I can't believe it's already the end of January. Wow. I'm starting off the year with a member of my favorite series of books Subsapien. If you'd like to know a little bit about her before you read the interview, check out her bio. Thank you to everyone who contributed questions. This is a great exercise to develop characters and Serra plays an important role in the books so thank you for helping me write her story. ^ ^ Here we go. *turns in chair to Serra* Hi, Serra.

Serra: 
*smiles, has her legs crossed* Hi.

Me: 
Ready to answer some questions?

Serra:
*bobs her head*

Me:
The first one is from Amy Covel. She asks, "How tall are you?"

Serra: 
I'm not that tall. I'm 5' 5". 

Me: 
*nods* I actually didn't know this. Next question. Morgan Margerison asks, "If she had to choose a favorite ability what would it be?"

Serra:
*smiles slightly* I like breathing underwater. 

Me: 
Cool. Another from Amy Covel, "Since you have aquatic creature abilities, do you actually enjoy swimming? What's your favorite part about it?" 

Serra:
I really like swimming, yes. *raises shoulders, lets them sink back down slowly* It kinda feels like I'm in another world, a place only me and a certain number of people can come to since we can stay down there as long as we want. It feels safe and it's a good place to be alone so I can think.

Me:
*smiles* Two are coming up from Ruth Blomgren. Here's the first one: Okay, Serra, I have some questions for you! I've asked questions of several of Tori's characters and even several of these questions to Matt, so I hope you don't mind. What do you like to eat, do and go? What's fun to you whether you're with friends or alone?

Serra: 
Um ... *looks up at the ceiling, taps her chin, looks back at me* I like fish, and like I said before swimming, and I go wherever the blue-wheels or green-wheels send me.

Me: 
Let me pause you a second. Can you tell us what blue-wheels and green-wheels are?

Serra:
Oh sorry. *blushes* They're scientists. We call them that because of the wheels on their blue or green labcoats. Where was I? Oh yeah. I guess I like playing Monkey in the Middle with my friends.

Me: 
And the second from Ruth: Who is your best friend and who is your worst enemy? What one person do you feel the most strongly toward (either positively or negatively)?

Serra: 
Sting is my best friend and the person I feel the most strongly toward I guess.

Me: 
*nods* Here is one from Maggie: "Hello, Serra! How did you first meet Sting?"

Serra:
Oh that story. I'll keep it short. I don't want to bother you nice people by making it too long. Sting and me met when we were transferred to a new lab. He came from a different on than me. We met there. Neither of us knew many people. Most of the people we took the final trial with to graduate the L.G.R. were dead. I saw him standing alone in the Social Time hall and started talking to him and it just went on from there. *smiles, eyes water a little*

Me: 
*smiles* Next one is from Lyssa: Okay my question is, "How did she meet Able?"

Serra:
Oh we met on an assignment. He was assigned to our team. We connected really fast.

Me:
All right. Here's another from Amy Covel: I know you're in love with who Sting once was. Are you trying to change him back, and if so, how do you plan to do it?

Serra: 
Sting won't see this right? Or any of my masters?

Me: 
You have my confidentiality.

Serra:
Okay well ... *wrings hands* If I could, I'd get him out of labs and maybe get him to other doctors so they could fix him. I don't know how I'd do it. He doesn't even want to go, and I'd get in so much trouble. Just me saying this would get me in trouble. *sighs* It's just a thought. I don't know if it will ever happen. I'm not meant for a life outside of serving humans. That's just how it is.

Me:
Maybe things will work out, but I can't do spoilers. Sorry. *clears throat* Well, here's the last one from Morgan Margerison: Would she trade her friends for a chance at the open world?

Serra:
*shakes head* I don't think I could do that. I can't leave Sting behind.

Me: 
Coming up are two more from Ruth Blomgren: How do you typically act around others and how does it differ than when you're alone?

Serra:
Um ... I don't know?

Me:
That's kind of a tough one. "What are your greatest fears and happiest thoughts? What/who calms you down or makes you angry?

Serra:
Well, I guess my greatest fear is that Sting is always stuck the way he is, and my happiest thought is if I ever get him back. Sitting underwater calms me down, and Sting's handler makes me angry. He's so mean to him.

Me:
Yeah, his handler really does suck ... Anyway ... Emily Lynne asks, "What does she have nightmares about?"

Serra: 
*shifts in her seat* Do I have to answer this?

Me: 
*puts hand on her arm* It would be nice.

Serra:
*sighs* Mostly about the lab or Sting doing something horrible--again.

Me:
I'm sorry. I know I did it, but I still feel bad ... Here's another pair from Ruth Blomgren: What is your favorite childhood memory and what is your earliest memory?

Serra: 
Hmm ... I guess my favorite childhood memory is learning how to swim, and my earliest memory is my barbs growing in. Those were painful. *rubs her wrists*

Me:
*winces* "What are your morals and beliefs? And where did you get them?"

Serra:
Um ... I'm not sure ... I just kind of figured them out for myself I guess.

Me:
All right. Almost through. This is the last one from Amy Covel: I noticed the hearts on your design. Are those because you are hoping for true love?

Serra: 
Well ... After I was allowed to go out on assignments, the blue-wheels allowed me to pick any clothes I wanted. I picked ones with a lot of those. I guess, I want true love, but not just from Sting. I wish I had a family, but that will probably never happen. My mother didn't want me. I doubt anyone else will.

Me: 
*sighs* Okay. Last question is from Ruth: You don't have to answer this at all. I'm just curious. *winks* What are your specific feelings towards Matt?

Serra:
He's just a target. *shrugs*

Me:
We are done. *finishes typing on laptop* Thank you, Serra, for answering all of the questions.

Serra:
No problem. *smiles*

Me:
*looks at my blogling audience* And my thanks to you all for the questions once again. If you have any more for Serra, post them in the comments and I'll save them for another interview. I learned a lot about Serra. Thank you for reading!

My drawing of full body Serra with six of her expressions. :)

What do you think of Serra? Have you done a character interview before? Post a link in the comments!

If you liked this post, come back every Saturday for more writing advice, character interviews, book reviews and more! On Sundays I have Soundtrack Sundays where I post a new score piece, Tuesdays are Tea Tuesdays with tea reviews, Wednesdays I have Wonderful Word Wednesdays where I post a new vocabulary word, and Fridays are Fan Fridays where I post tags and other goodies. To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wonderful Word Wednesday: Truncate




It's Wonderful Word Wednesday again! Do you as a writer ever struggle finding that perfect word to describe something or do you want to shake your writing up with some new words? Each Wednesday I post hand-picked descriptive words for writers and other vocabulary nerds out there. ;) This is a pretty interesting one. :)

truncate
verb (used with object), truncated, truncating.
1.) to shorten by cutting off a part; cut short:
Truncate detailed explanations.
2.) Mathematics, Computers. to shorten (a number) by dropping a digit or digits:
The numbers 1.4142 and 1.4987 can both be truncated to 1.4.
adjective
3. truncated.
4. Biology.
square or broad at the end, as if cut off transversely.
lacking the apex, as certain spiral shells.

Example Sentence: Bryce's arm was truncated so the scientists could fuse on the metal arm.

Not exactly how I picture Bryce's arm but close. ;)
Credit goes to the respective artist.

Have you seen or used this word before? What do you think of it?

If you liked this post, come back every Saturday for more writing advice, character interviews, book reviews and more! On Sundays I have Soundtrack Sundays where I post a new score piece, Tuesdays are Tea Tuesdays with tea reviews, Wednesdays I have Wonderful Word Wednesdays where I post a new vocabulary word, and Fridays are Fan Fridays where I post tags and other goodies. To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)




Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tea Tuesday: Weiss Schnee




I'm not really a coffee person. I prefer tea, and I know a lot of fellow writers love tea, too. But have you ever wanted to break out of the Early Grey or English Breakfast norm and try something new? Well, let me help you find some cool new teas! If you need a little hot and flavorful boost to help you reach your writing goal or you're just a lover of tea or you'd like to try some tea but aren't fond of the stereotypical types, these Tea Tuesday posts are for you.

This weeks tea is ... 

*drum roll*

Weiss Schnee






How I found it: I'm back with another fandom set from Adagio Teas. I've had my eye on this set for a while. It's the RWBY (pronounced Ruby) set! If you haven't heard of this YouTube anime, you must watch it. It is so good! Don't believe me? Check out the trailer, and see how awesome this series is. If you like it, perhaps you'd like some character-inspired tea to drink while watching it. This set includes Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long.

This is the same site I bought the Avengers set,Sherlock set, Tolkien set, Avatar: the Last Airbender set, Doctor Who set, and Attack on Titan set from!

The Tea: This was my least favorite blend of all of the RWBY teas, but still they were all amazing. Not one I wouldn't have again. 

This tea definitely fits Weiss. The tea is actually white. The Berry Blues tea gives a strong and tart berry flavor which relates to Weiss's negative personality; the White Blueberry reminded me of her ice abilities, white hair and icy personality; the dominant chamomile flavor alludes to her sweet side which is hidden in their, and the rose hips adds an extra tint of sweet. It's a very tasty tea that I'm sure Weiss would enjoy if she could try it.




Serving Recommendations: I steeped this tea for six minutes and added sugar and cream.

How much is it and where can you get it? You can find this tea at the Adagio website. I bought this tea in a sample tin and you get a goodly amount of tea since you only need about a teaspoon per cup. You get it for $4 for a sample tin, $10 for a 3 oz. pouch and $19 for 5 oz. tin. 

So how good is it? It's definitely a good and unique tea, I just like others better. The flavor was a bit too light for me. Four stars!


Have you tried this tea? What did you think of it? Have you seen RWBYWho's your favorite character?

Bonus! If you are a first-time Adagio customer I can send you a $5 giftcard! Ask in the comments for details! (This is no joke and no catch I seriously can. It's part of the amazingness of Adagio Teas)

If you liked this post, come back every Saturday for more writing advice, character interviews, book reviews and more! On Sundays I have Soundtrack Sundays where I post a new score piece, Tuesdays are Tea Tuesdays with tea reviews, Wednesdays I have Wonderful Word Wednesdays where I post a new vocabulary word, and Fridays are Fan Fridays where I post tags and other goodies. To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Soundtrack Sunday: Short Hair (Mulan)




It's Soundtrack Sunday again! The day where I post awesome music to write to or just listen to for pleasure if you're a fellow soundtrack junkie. Disney is the most famous for their musical pieces in their movies, but many of their scores are just as catchy like this track from Mulan

This piece has gorgeous strings, horns, clarinet, drums, and an Asian flute to give it the feel of ancient China. In the middle of the piece they add in an eighties-like segment which normally I wouldn't like, but it fuses so well with the horns and the orchestra it creates a really unique mix. This track is a great one to listen to while writing a scene with a Chinese feel. You can listen to more epic music in my Soundtrack Sundays YouTube playlist.


Have you heard this piece before? What do you think of it? Have you seen Mulan?

If you liked this post, come back every Saturday for more writing advice, character interviews, book reviews and more! On Sundays I have Soundtrack Sundays where I post a new score piece, Tuesdays are Tea Tuesdays with tea reviews, Wednesdays I have Wonderful Word Wednesdays where I post a new vocabulary word, and Fridays are Fan Fridays where I post tags and other goodies. To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)



Saturday, January 24, 2015

Blogger Recognition Award & One Lovely Blog Award!




So I was given this award in November/December, and I've just now have a slot to post it. *pants* Thank you so much, Adriana at Adriana Gabrielle Writes, Rachel Day at Stained Glass Windows, and Kristana Aleman at Words in My Soul, for nominating me. ^ ^ Be sure to check out their blogs. I'm going to do both of these awards in one shot. Okey dokey. *cracks knuckles*


Blogger Recognition Award:

The Rules:
 ♥ Thank the person who nominated you. 
♥ Leave a link to their page. 
♥ Give a brief story about how you started blogging, and share some tips. 
♥ Nominate 15 other bloggers 
♥ Notify your nominees by email or comment 

How it all started: I touched on this briefly in another post, but I'll expand it more here. After I joined the Go Teen Writers Facebook group almost three years ago (I can believe it's been that long), I noticed a lot of the other members had their own blogs, and I wanted to start building my author platform. I decided to make a blog, but I had no clue about blogging. I just knew people do it and people read them. That was pretty much the extent of my knowledge.

At first, I only posted about my own characters, because I felt like I wasn't good enough give anyone writing advice, because I wasn't an author so I wasn't qualified. Then I sorta like my blog die. After some time I started realizing, "You know what? Despite not having been published, I do know a thing or two about writing." After I started getting confidence in myself my blog started to blossom. Now I write a wide variety of posts catering to the writing geeky crowd. But it took me a while to gain the level of commitment to blog well. Only last year do I feel like I really started getting good.

Blogging is a journey, and I think it's helped me a lot as a writer and a person. Seeing people comment on my posts and getting emails about how it's helped them encourages me to keep writing both my books and my blog. Plus writing blog posts gives me experience with a different type of writing instead of just novels.

My super sage advice:

1.) Be consistent - That's probably one of the hardest things about blogging, but it's essential. I didn't get hardly any following when I just posted whenever I felt like it. Determine when you think you can consistently blog. Once a month, once a week, multiple times a week on certain days ... Whatever works for you. Posting around the same time is important too, so your readers will know exactly when to expect posts from you. Something that helps with this is setting a schedule. Plan out your posts for the month so you know what you're going to do or even better go ahead and write them all at the same time if you can.

2.) Comment. Comment. Comment. - Reply to every comment on your blog. Readers like interaction, and you may have a good conversation. Comment on other people's blogs. People love comments. It only takes about a minute to write a short one, and that goes a long way. It's a nice gesture to that person and could give them the spark of confidence they need when they see it. You never know. They could check out your blog because you took the time to comment on theirs too. I do that.

3.) Participate in blog activities liiiiike this one - Blog hops, nominations, and link-ups are a great way to interact with other bloggers plus they're fun whether you create your own or do someone else's. You often learn about yourself, learn about your character, or just help others.

4.) Know who you're writing for, and target your posts toward those people - I write for writers and geeks so I target my posts toward them. Keep your posts relative to your determined audience. If I started randomly posting about how to crochet baby bonnets then I will be cheating my audience, because they came to my blog for geeky writing stuff not crochet tips. I made this sort of mistake a while back. ^ ^'

5.) Have confidence that you do have something to say - You're you and be confident in that. What you say matters. Don't think you're inferior to someone else and let that suppress you. Everyone has something to say, you just have to have the guts to put it out there.





The Rules: 
♥ Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog. 
♥ List the rules and display the award. 
♥ Add 7 facts about yourself. 
♥ Nominate 15 other bloggers. 
♥ Follow on blogger the person who nominated you


1.) I'm adopted, and I know the families of both sides of my birth parents, including my six adorable half siblings.

2.) I have over seventy cousins on my mom's side, because my mom is one of twelve children.

3.) I am a die hard Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Avatar: The Last Airbender, King's Quest, Hunger Games, Doctor Who, and Marvel fan. "Preciousssss!" "Further up and further in!" "Sparky sparky boom man!" "Be careful, Graham!" "May the odds be ever in your favor!" "Allonzee!" "I understood that reference."


4.) I have a very mischievous white cat named Lessy whom I named after one of my book characters.


5.) I own over twenty different weapons, including broadswords, a bow, various pocket knives, and a pistol.

6.) I'm an INFJ. 

7.) I love seeing movies of my fandoms at midnight/early showings, because I love the energy in the air, going with friends, and being one of the first people ever to see it.

Les Nominees:

Yeah so fifteen people is so not happening, especially since most are probably taken by now. ^ ^' But I'll do five.

1.) Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination

2.) Heather @ Sometimes I'm a Story

3.) Cassia Taylor @ Dimensions of My Universe

4.) Casey Covel @ Meek Geek

5.) Jessi @ Jessi L. Roberts

Well that's it! Thanks again, ladies, for the awards! ^ ^

Have you heard of this tag? Have you done it? Show me yours in the comments!

If you liked this post, come back every Saturday for more writing advice, character interviews, book reviews and more! On Sundays I have Soundtrack Sundays where I post a new score piece, Tuesdays are Tea Tuesdays with tea reviews, Wednesdays I have Wonderful Word Wednesdays where I post a new vocabulary word, and Fridays are Fan Fridays where I post tags and other goodies. To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wonderful Word Wednesday: Pernicious




It's Wonderful Word Wednesday again! Do you as a writer ever struggle finding that perfect word to describe something or do you want to shake your writing up with some new words? Each Wednesday I post hand-picked descriptive words for writers and other vocabulary nerds out there. ;) I stumbled on this fun one. ^ ^

pernicious
adjective
1.) causing insidious harm or ruin; ruinous; injurious; hurtful: pernicious teachings; a pernicious lie.
2.) deadly; fatal: a pernicious disease.
3. Obsolete. evil; wicked.

Example Sentence: The pernicious secret of the Red Hoods could be the downfall of Silfurlund.

Mor, a Red Hood from Silfurlund.

Have you seen or used this word before? What do you think of it?

If you liked this post, come back every Saturday for more writing advice, character interviews, book reviews and more! On Sundays I have Soundtrack Sundays where I post a new score piece, Tuesdays are Tea Tuesdays with tea reviews, Wednesdays I have Wonderful Word Wednesdays where I post a new vocabulary word, and Fridays are Fan Fridays where I post tags and other goodies. To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)




Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tea Tuesday: Ruby Rose




I'm not really a coffee person. I prefer tea, and I know a lot of fellow writers love tea, too. But have you ever wanted to break out of the Early Grey or English Breakfast norm and try something new? Well, let me help you find some cool new teas! If you need a little hot and flavorful boost to help you reach your writing goal or you're just a lover of tea or you'd like to try some tea but aren't fond of the stereotypical types, these Tea Tuesday posts are for you.

This weeks tea is ... 

*drum roll*

Ruby Rose





How I found it: I'm back with another fandom set from Adagio Teas. I've had my eye on this set for a while. It's the RWBY (pronounced Ruby) set! If you haven't heard of this YouTube anime, you must watch it. It is so good! Don't believe me? Check out the trailer, and see how awesome this series is. If you like it, perhaps you'd like some character-inspired tea to drink while watching it. This set includes Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long.

This is the same site I bought the Avengers set, Sherlock set, Tolkien set, Avatar: the Last Airbender set, Doctor Who set, and Attack on Titan set from!

The Tea: This tea is fantastic. It not only fits Ruby perfectly, but it is delicious. The summer rose tea (Yes, that is also the name of Ruby's mother, Summer Rose. I thought that was so amazing.) is flowery, bold, with a calm taste which refers to not only Ruby's last name, but her trademark flower petals and her calm, collective during battle. 

The strawberries alludes to her hyper, kind, and caring side. The little strawberry pieces and rose petals reference the colors of her clothing and hair highlights and an extra burst of cuteness. I could totally see Ruby drinking this. I adored it. I guzzled my first cup in five minutes. This is my second favorite tea I've had from Adagio Teas. My first is the Katara blend. I highly recommend this tea. I've never tasted anything like it. It is scrumptious!



Serving Recommendations: I steeped this tea for five minutes and added sugar. 

How much is it and where can you get it? You can find this tea at the Adagio website. I bought this tea in a sample tin and you get a goodly amount of tea since you only need about a teaspoon per cup. You get it for $4 for a sample tin, $10 for a 3 oz. pouch and $19 for 5 oz. tin. 

So how good is it? This tea is amazing. If you're looking for a unique tea with a sweet berry flavor, then this is the tea for you.


Have you tried this tea? What did you think of it? Have you seen RWBYWho's your favorite character?

Bonus! If you are a first-time Adagio customer I can send you a $5 giftcard! Ask in the comments for details! (This is no joke and no catch I seriously can. It's part of the amazingness of Adagio Teas)

If you liked this post, come back every Saturday for more writing advice, character interviews, book reviews and more! On Sundays I have Soundtrack Sundays where I post a new score piece, Tuesdays are Tea Tuesdays with tea reviews, Wednesdays I have Wonderful Word Wednesdays where I post a new vocabulary word, and Fridays are Fan Fridays where I post tags and other goodies. To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Soundtrack Sunday: Night Elves (Neal Acree)




It's Soundtrack Sunday again! The day where I post awesome music to write to or just listen to for pleasure if you're a fellow soundtrack junkie. I stumbled on this piece while browsing for new music on YouTube, and I absolutely love it. 

The foreign vocals are so haunting, and then the more upbeat part of the piece comes in with drums and harps and it just sweeps you away. This song is certainly epic and perfect for listening to while writing fantasy. You can listen to more epic music in my Soundtrack Sundays YouTube playlist.


Have you heard this piece before? What do you think of it? Have you listened to any more Neal Acree tracks?

If you liked this post, come back every Saturday for more writing advice, character interviews, book reviews and more! On Sundays I have Soundtrack Sundays where I post a new score piece, Tuesdays are Tea Tuesdays with tea reviews, Wednesdays I have Wonderful Word Wednesdays where I post a new vocabulary word, and Fridays are Fan Fridays where I post tags and other goodies. To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)



Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Book Review of Singularity by Steven James




Jevin Banks is searching for a killer--and answers to terrifying questions he never even thought to ask.

When his friend is murdered, illusionist Jevin Banks is determined to find out what really happened. Drawn deep into a web of conspiracy and top-secret research on human consciousness, Jevin won't stop digging until the truth is revealed. Soon he uncovers a dark secret that could change the very fabric--and future--of human life on the planet.

Based on frightening scientific realities and bristling with mystery, suspense, and intrigue, Singularity is the riveting sequel to Placebo.

Series: The Jevin Banks Experience (Book 2)
Genre: Christian Adult Fiction/Suspense
Publisher: Revell (November 5, 2013)
Page Count: 464

What I liked: This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It's well-researched, well-paced with phenomenal characters, deep themes, and a gripping plot. From the very beginning the book was very intense and very creepy, starting out with the first victim to the villain's evil plans. Jevin search for his friend's killer is a thrilling and fascinating journey. I've read passages of it to my friends and family, because I was so obsessed with it and it is so quotable.

I fell in love with the characters even more than I did in the first book. They are all so developed and unique. Jevin is the world-traveling illusionist; Charlene is his kindhearted Christian assistant; Xavier is the humorous, conspiracy theorist special effects guy; Fiona the hacker homeschool mom; and Fiona's intelligent kids Lonnie, Donnie, Maddie, and Mandie. The bad guys are very well done as well. Akinsanya the ex-military assassin with a penchant for stitching his victims and Solomon the tattooed pimp are both terrifying.

Calista, a sociopathic twenty-something, has an excellent voice. You can tell she was young without even knowing her age at first. I forgot the book was written by a guy when it was in her POV. The book switches between many character's POVs so voice has to be strong for each character to know the difference and James pulled this off excellently. The switching POVs make the scenes even more tense.

There were many sections that made me smile or laugh. Xavier is really cute with Fiona's kids and at one point tells them a bed time story. It's adorable and it took me back to childhood. The kids joking about lighting each other on fire and when Fiona told Lonnie and Donnie to go play catch outside to get a closer look at two dirty cops surveying the house tickled me too. Also Xavier with his taser named Betty had me snickering like crazy especially the line from Page 241. Fiona's tendency to fuddle metaphors and idioms is hilarious. My favorite is, "The clot thickens." It's such a funny quirk.

The themes and philosophy in this book were astounding. They truly took me aback. The main theme is, "What is it to be human?" Since the book is about the conspiracy of a human consciousness being preserved in a machine. If that came to pass, would we be human anymore? On Page 57, the antagonist Akinsanya aka Derek mentally talks about how he is an agnostic because he feels like believing in God gives him too much constraint and not believing him Him was hopeless. But this line (Page 289) made me put down the book and think about it. My eyes watered at this gorgeous visual.
"'We live in a fallen, broken, stunning, and breathtaking world. We can tell we're from here but don't belong here. We're meant for more than this. We are dust and bones and blood and dreams, skin-covered spirits with hungry souls. We are nurses and terrorist, lovers and liars, suicide bombers and little grinning children with milk mustaches. We are both the thorns and the roses, the harlots and the children of the king.'
The paradox of life on this planet.
The paradox of the heart of human nature."
Some of my other favorite parts are when he mentions some of my favorite books including an A Wrinkle in Time and his excellent argument about the classics on Page 329. Yes, I loved this book so much I wrote down exactly where my favorite parts are.

I love James' imagery. He makes such pretty pictures both in interior monologue and in description. I really enjoyed finally seeing Jevin perform a magic show and his house is really awesome. It plays a big role in the story. There is some fantastic foreshadowing and circularity (when one thing mentioned earlier comes back later on such as a theme). The climax is so exciting and intense I was gripping the book. Mind-blowing twists occur especially near the end, and the book leaves you with much to think about with this quote from page 448.
"Well," [Charlene] says," to create truly 'human machines', they'd need to be able to worship or rebel against their creators."
"You mean against us," [Jevin says.]
"Yes."
"But what kind of creator would ever be bold enough to give his creation free will and the opportunity to kill him off if they chose to?"
"The real one," she says softly.



What I didn't like:  There were very few things I didn't like about this book, but nonetheless they were there. In a few areas I felt like there was too much research spiel. The first scene with Jevin felt like it had too much telling in areas in particular. 

Content Cautions: I'd rate this book at PG-13. There are some scary images with reptiles and experimentation, some blood and gore with the worst near the end where a character's face is mangled. There is some implication of sexual activities since there is a sex trafficking character and Calista is a prostitute. But there are no sex scenes or swearing.

I loved this book. It was so good. ^ ^ I highly recommend reading this series.


About the Author:
Critically acclaimed author Steven James has written more than thirty books, including the bestselling Bower Files thriller series. He is a contributing editor to Writer's Digest and has taught writing and storytelling on three continents. Steven lives in Tennessee with his wife and three daughters. You can find him on FacebookTwitterGoodreads and his website.

Check out the first book, Placebo! I also have an interview with the author on the site.






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