Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How Many Words AND Another Review...

I've gotten so used to using this blog to vent about my reader experiences that it feels weird to talk about my writing again.  Compis has moved into type editing(YAY!!! No, seriously, YAYAYAYAYAY!  I hate editing past the 3rd round or so, when you're not cutting or fixing plot issues and just nitpicking) and when I get my spiffy world map from my spiffy artist, it will soon be released.  I'm hoping for the 3rd week in April, but we'll see how long the final edit takes.
And on to that 80 days thing, I've written... (have to go check my word count...) 4,376 words.  That is two things:  First, the next short story in the Angelic Agents series.  Can't get enough of Gideon and Samora.  And of course, the sequel to Compis, which has no title yet, so I will call it the next in the Five Tribes series.

And now that we've moved past the business portion of the program, let's talk about my next indie review:
At this point in time, I have Marked by Kim Richardson on the agenda.

So Marked (book 1 in the Soul Guardians series, book 2 of which will be out in May, hopefully!) is the story of Kara Nightingale, a teenage artist living in what I assume to be Canada (which is an assumption, but there's a lot of French stuff around and the author is from Canada, soooo... I think it's a safe assumption).  Up until the story starts she's lived with her crazy mom who says she sees demons and avoided making friends for the most part except Mathieu, the one guy who can seem to deal around her mom.
On her way to a major presentation of her work, one that could mean everything to her future career, she is hit by a bus and that is when the real story begins.  Kara wakes up in an elevator, staring down a grumpy chimpanzee elevator attendant, and after realizing that she is stone cold dead, she is thrown into her new life as a Guardian Angel (GA).
This book is has one of the most interesting worlds I've read about in a long time.  My mom found it confusing, but then again, she comes from a more strict religious background.  There are several religious elements at play in the story, you have guardian angels, archangels, reincarnation(not in every case, though), the Chief (who I assume is God?) and of course, multiple levels of demons.
The GA's job is to in the best case, prevent their assigned case file from dying, at worst, save the souls from the dead mortal.  The demon's job is ALWAYS to kill and eat the mortal's soul, thus making themselves more powerful, and to capture and eat the GAs, if they can.
Kara is a Rookie GA, meaning that she's in training and she's been assigned to David, super hot GA with a cocky charm and flirty wit.  He takes her through all her first case files, teaches her the ins and outs of demon defense.
So that is the basic story.  Without going into spoilers, my overall impressions.  I liked the characters, David cracked me up, he was pretty funny.  The author does some great jokes about his addiction to winking at pretty girls.  Kara comes off more as a quiet girl with deep reserves of strength.  She was much better to me than Meghan in the first book of the Iron Fey series.  Kara didn't whine much, she felt understandable pain at her short life, but she also sucked it up and did her job as best as she could.  I thought her reactions in situations were realistic and I didn't once think, "What the crap?" like I did when I read Hocking's first book in the Trylle Trilogy, where she discovers she is in love with the guy after like a WEEK.  Seriously.
Let's talk about love here.  What I really really liked about this book is even though the main characters liked each other, even though there is obviously a love interest hinted at, and some really great boy-girl moments, there is NO RUSH to declarations of love.  That is my biggest pet peeve with YA books I've read lately.  It used to be in a story that a high school girl met a high school boy and you know, they DATED for a while before they fell deeply in love for all of eternity.  These characters were so normal and likeable in that respect.  Very impressed on that note.
I also, having read a lot of more serious YA fantasy of late, appreciated some of the more lighthearted aspects of this book.  The various simian elevator attendants were hilarious!  Not to mention the forgetful oracle office workers.
My only wish for this first book in the series would have been more backstory on Kara's mother, her art(which seemed like a fascinating part of her former world that I would have like touched on) and more on her friendship with Mathieu.  Like maybe some flashbacks?
Anyway, that's my review.  This book gets four stars from me and I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel.  Can't wait to see where the author takes this series!

Happy Reading!
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