Saturday, April 2, 2011

So, um... there's this thing I'm doing... It has 80 days...

I heard about this writing thingy, A Round of Words in 80 Days.  And now I guess I'm supposed to be posting what my goal is:
70,000 words

As usual, I messed up EVERYTHING and referenced only my blog, so now I'm going to have to keep this entry here until the 4th of April, I guess.  *sigh* Will I never learn to read directions properly?  I'm the type of person who pulls the cake out of the oven and wonders why it is flat and takes like baking soda.

So because this is going to be here a while, I am also going to post what was going to be my NEXT blog entry, a review of Amanda Hocking's Trylle Trilogy.

Over the next few months I want to take the opportunity to highlight some of the indies I've enjoyed.  No one is sending me these and asking me to read them.  These are books I've gotten ahold of by asking or borrowing or (in rare cases) buying.  I'm not going to talk about grammar or type errors because I find them in the non-indies frequently. (Anna & the French Kiss anyone? And the Alanna series that I just reread, holy crap.)

Anyhow, onto the show.  As usual, the first book in a series is a rough one for me.  I don't know what it is, but the introduction of a set of characters and a new storyline is always jarring for me.  It's the toughest thing to sell me on, as a reader, but if I can into a story in that first book, I'm a fan till the end.  That's how George R. R. Martin has earned my never ending frustration... PLEASE finish your book, George.  I'm dying over here.

The Trylle Trilogy is the story of changeling Wendy Everly who replaced a human boy in the arms of his mother -who has never forgiven or forgotten that offense.  When her psychotic mother acts out on this hatred and tries to kill her, the rest of Wendy's life is turned upside down.  Her aunt and brother become her protectors and they move her from place to place, trying to find somewhere their family can forget the memories they've left behind.
So that is the setting, now, my impressions: Wendy is pretty much the epitome of a spoiled brat.  Every time they move to a new school she acts out, gets herself expelled and they move on to a new school.  No one likes her, except her family (not her mother, remember) and she doesn't like anyone either.  Any believe me, I didn't like her.  I wanted to shake her several times and the friends she makes are so odd.   Honestly, the first half of the story puzzled me to no end, and I guess that's what kept me going.  I just had to find out where all the oddness ended up.
So, here is where I dig into the rest of the series.  She ends up meeting this guy Finn, tracker of the changelings and now, all her freaked out behavior starts to make sense.  She's not SUPPOSED to fit in, because she's not human.  She's Trylle.
Before I go into the spoiled portion, I just want to say that by the third and final book, I was sold on this series.  Wendy really won me over and the other characters shined, each in their own way.  The ending was the kind I like -no tragedies or loves lost.  Just a nicely rounded out, complete and ended story.  I recommend it, if you can read past the first book.  My mom got through it, though, so I have high hopes that others will.  :)
Overall, I give the series 5 stars, but rated alone, the first book is a 3, and the other two are a five.


**********SPOILERS**********
So what is Trylle?  Well, I simply DETEST the author's explanation so I'll tell you my take.  Trylle are like wood elves.  They are almost strict vegans who are grounded in the elements and have powers associated with the elements: wind, clouds, weather... some odd ones like telepathy, persuasion and telekinesis also enter in, but they don't seem out of place in the story.  Oh yeah, and they go barefoot everywhere and they have crazy untamed hair.
Again, this first book irritated me, because there really wasn't anything to LIKE.  Her "host" mother sucked, her "real" mother sucks, being human isn't possible, but being Trylle bites the big one.
The second book, however, was a joy to read.  The story was much more compelling, the plot gets taken much further, and some genuinely great characters are introduced to the story.  Wendy really starts to come into her own and by the third book, I really knew which love interest I was rooting for and where I hoped the series itself would end up.  It did not disappoint.

It's a high recommend from me.  I just read this series, and there is a part of me that wants to go back and reread it.  That's how good the story is.
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