In Review: Abducted Life By Patricia Josephine

Savannah and Evan were happy together until one night they disappeared. They were abducted by aliens but while both came away changed, only Evan remembers what happened. Former lives shattered, they must work to overcome what was lost.

Despite being a huge scifi fan, especially where aliens are concerned, the trope where people are abducted and experimented on is honestly one of my least favorite tropes involving aliens and scifi. One of my oldest story ideas that’s still hanging around is a subversion of this very trope.

That said, I was drawn to it by the fact that one of them remembers what happened, and oh man did this book deliver. I don’t want to spoil the whole thing, but every idea of what I thought the climax would be happened before the climax. By the time it happened I had an inkling. A small idea in the back of my mind what it would be, and even when it did happen it went far above and beyond what I ever expected.

In fact, one of my least favorite parts of the trope is the question of whether the aliens exist in the first place when the book has told us they were abducted by aliens. Maybe it’s my early exposure to Star Wars, but dang it, I always wanted to actually see the aliens and see them interacting with people.

But that’s never a question in this book. Evan remembers everything and has been so horribly changed by it that he couldn’t forget if he tried, and even though Savannah has had her memory of it wiped she’s been so irreverocably changed by it that it’s undeniable. She knows something happened, just not what.

The characters were also well written and believable. Certain reactions made sense because of what other characters had already been through. The story itself and pacing were great. Even if you’re not huge on the romance genre or the particular trope I recommend you pick up this book, especially if you’re a fan of scifi.

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One piece at a time

So I just started a rewrite of Stronger Than Fear last week. It’s a story I’ve been working on for several years and after some good beta reader feedback, I realized that the edits I needed to make were extensive enough to warrant this.

Just… one problem. The current finished version of STF is 87k words long. By far the longest thing I have ever written. Staring at it and contemplating a rewrite was daunting, which is why it took me so long to start it despite knowing the problems it had.

This reminded me of a metaphor my dad used to say a lot about eating an elephant. Fictional pachyderm killing aside, the idea is that while the task looks impossible when looked at in one chunk, if you break it into pieces it becomes much more manageable.

So I did this with the rewrite, and I’m now several thousand words in. Now, I’m not even close to done, but had I only looked at it as a whole I might still be procrastinating on it. And considering I want to get this story published eventually, that would be bad.

So if you’re having trouble writing a story because it looks too intimidating, or with any other huge project or life goal, breaking it down is a great way to get bits and pieces done, and before you know it you’re almost done.

 

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In Review: Jade City by Fonda Lee

Family is Duty. Magic is Power. Honor is Everything.

The war ended decades ago and now two clans vie for power in the modernizing city of Janloon. The center of this conflict? Jade. A mineral that enhances the power of any Green Bone warrior who wields it. As a new drug appears on the market allowing foreigners to wield this power, conflict arises that may forever change the balance of power in Janloon.

Jade City by Fonda Lee came out last November and on the premise of martial arts and magic I picked it up. And I couldn’t stop reading. The book revolves around the Kaul family, one of two gangs controlling the city of Janloon. The conflict never really goes away and the stakes only rise, even at the end there are more than enough things to make me want to read the sequel when it comes out.

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The worldbuilding is fantastic, as is the character development. The entire world and the people who inhabit it come alive, from the Pillar of the Kaul family to the people who run the shops under their control. The magic flows seamlessly into the world in such a way that its existence is at once normal and awe inspiring to various characters.

Jade City is a great book that everyone should read. It also has my favorite cover of any book that came out last year.

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