Thursday, November 20, 2008

Interrogate the Author: Starring Marcia Colette

Author: Marcia Colette
Novels: Halfbreed, Unstable Environment (Amazon link + Review)
Extra: Blog

Marcia, I am so excited to have you here on my virtual chair. I have known you for some time and finally I got the chance to take a peek inside the writer Marcia, so thank you once again for agreeing in this little interview of mine.

Harry: As we all know, to end up published you must have started somewhere. So how and when did your writing path begin?

Marcia: I started eight years ago after I moved to Boston and fell in love with Laurel K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. Once I finished devouring her books and a few others, I was heartbroken that I couldn't find anything else like that. So, I decided to write my own.

H: What was the first piece of fiction you wrote about? When did you accomplish it and what was the genre?

M: Oh, man! I wrote this horrible 250,000 word dark fantasy (pre-urban fantasy) about a woman hunt for the person who killed her werewolf husband. I can't remember how long it took me to write it, but I remember I didn't want it to end, hence the monstrous length.

H: It says in your author’s bio that the first manuscript you completed was 250,000 words. It’s quite the number? What did you have to share in this volume?

M: LOL! See the previous answer. I will say there was a part two that was 190K words, I think. I call both of those my on-the-job training for writing basic grammar.
H: So what inspired you to write paranormal romance?

M: Well…I thought if I was going to belong to Romance Writers of America, I should at least try to write one. Of course, it had to be paranormal because that was all I knew. Anyway, I wrote one and Unstable Environment was the result. And to think I wasn't going to pursue publication for it. It was just an experiment to see if I could write romance.
H: And why did you choose cheetahs for your shapeshifters in “Unstable Environment”?

M: I've always liked big cats. My favorites are cheetahs, snow leopards, and panthers. So far, I haven't seen anything with cheetahs in it, so that big cat won over the others. Werewolves were also an option, but I had already done them in an e-book.

H: Were they hard to research and how much did you initially use and what was fiction?

M: There's a lot of information about cheetahs out there, so it isn't that difficult to research them. However, choosing what to use versus what not to use was the hard part because I wanted to make them as real as possible. For instance, female cheetahs raise their young either with other females or alone. Who wants a deadbeat dad for a werecheetah hero? So I used my artistic license and said that werecheetahs are part human, too, thus making my hero a responsible cat.

H: I am a bit clueless here. Is “Unstable Environment” a standalone novel or a first installment in a series?
M: It's the first book in my werecheetah series, though right now I only have plot outlines for two more books. Also, those books will be written so that you read the series out of order and not get lost.

H: Either way, I am just dying to know even if “Unstable Environment” is a solo project, will or would have Sinclair get bitten herself?
M: Mmmmm, you ask the tough questions.  I have no plans in the works for Sinclair to be bitten. Her role as a human in a werecheetah clan puts her in such a unique position that the conflict alone makes me salivate. Mwahahahahahaha.
H: How did the idea for UE come around in your head?

M: It took some time because I wanted some serious baggage with my characters and I wanted it to weigh thousands of pounds, almost unbearable to carry. It had to be something serious enough that it would radically change lives forever while keeping the story interesting. Kids have an interesting way of doing that. So, I wanted one that wouldn't just influence two people's lives, but everyone around her with the couple being the focal point. The rest of the pieces sort of came together after that.

H: To take a peek in the future, can you secretly share what your writing schedule will consist of?

M: Revisions, revisions, and more revisions. Right now, the biggest project on my plate is THE HIVE, the sequel to Unstable Environment. When that's done, I'll be polishing up three urban fantasies, which will either be standalone novels or separate series. The prequel to my e-book is polished well within an inch of it's life, so that will also be out and about, too.

H: Also taking another sneak peak in the past, we can see you have another shapeshifter novel “Half Breed”. Can you say something about that one?

M: Can I? Oh yeah! This was the final version (I had gone through too may to count) of that that 250K monstrosity. Both are completely different. I absolutely adore this book because the main character, Alexa, is part werewolf and part human. Sort of like the werewolf version of a dhampir. When her bounty-hunting group calls ex-sniper Alexa back into service for their next mission, her loyalties are tested when they go after members of her husband's wolf pack.

H: You really do enjoy shapeshifters. What do you think will be interesting to be done in the field and which animals would you like to see as a form?

M: I'd LOVE to see a mermaid who kicks some serious ass. Take MaryJanice Davidson's Fred the mermaid and mix it up with the dark side of ass-kicking like Jeaniene Frost's Cat Crawfield. Also, I'd like to see something where a character does more than just talks to ghosts. I'm mean physically turning into one at will and walking on the limbo side. That's sort of shapeshifting, right?

H: So now let’s get a tad serious. Do you think that with the number of paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels increasing every year, the market will saturate fast? I ask this because there are already several categories of clichés established.

M: Most definitely! When publishers see that something is selling, they tend to buy as much of it as they can, which leads to too much of a good thing. It pays to think well outside the box in this business, even if it sounds like a lunatic idea that you think nobody will buy. At least you're likely to stand out among the masses.

H: Speaking of clichés, what do you think are the most wide spread clichés in those genres and what are your pet peeves, when reading such novels? And on the opposite side, what is your favorite scenario?

M: You're going to get me in trouble.  But truthfully, no more protagonists who are private eyes, detectives, secret agents, or part of a supernatural investigative/government unit. I won't read it unless it comes highly recommended (i.e. L.A. Banks). I don't care if a secondary character is any of the above, but not the primary characters. Also, I'm not a fan of love triangles unless the story is exceptional. I've never been that lucky in my love life, nor do I know of anyone who has. So, to me, it's not realistic. Everyone else's mileage may vary.

Notice I said nothing about vampires and werewolves being old news. To me, they're not. While the world building is important, I'd prefer to see them in a different situation. For example, what would happen if a vampire has to serve in Iraq? Suppose a werewolf CEO contributed to the downfall of a major bank on Wall Street, only to learn that he's the small pawn in chaos demon's bigger picture?

As you can see, my favorite scenarios are those where real life crosses into the supernatural world.
H: If the market does saturate and you find yourself with a literary niche, do you have a backup genre you want to write in?

M: Horror. I know it's been a "dead" market since the 1980's, but I love writers like John Saul, Bentley Little, and Alexandra Sokoloff. Sci-fi is another option. Preferably horror sci-fi, of course. 

H: Here comes the last question in the bunch. What kind of writing advice can you give to aspiring writers apart from writing and reading constantly, which is the most commonly used advice?

M: ROFLMAO! You're not the only one who gets tired of hearing that. Those of us who've been here a while have that one down pat.

Don't let the disappointment of rejection drive you nuts to the point that you begin to resent writing. I’m not implying the overly advised "don't give up" either. Instead, look into other options like e-pubs where they're more likely to give a newbie a chance. Keep in mind, this doesn't mean you can slack off on plotting, characterization, and pacing. Your readers will know. Though an e-pub may not be your primary goal, if you're good enough to land a contract, it's one hell of a confidence booster. There's nothing that says you can't get your name out there while still banging on NY's doors.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Site Spot: Book View Cafe

Today in my mail I found an unexpected surprise by Sylvia Kelso, who e-mailed me with a link to this new website Book View Cafe and asked whether I could cover it. The basic concept of the site is to supply readers with samples from already published and known authors in the market.

Book View Cafe is a new approach to publishing made possible by the Internet. While most of the fiction on the site is free, authors will also be offering expanded work, additional content, print versions, or subscriptions for a fee. Our authors are all professionals with publishing credits in the print world. The Internet is giving us an opportunity to make their out-of-print, experimental, or otherwise unavailable work to you. We love feedback on how we are doing.

Every day, new content available nowhere else will be served up on Book View Cafe: short stories, flash fiction, poetry, episodes of serialized novels, and maybe even a podcast now and then. The content will be archived and available after the posting date by visiting the author's bookshelf.

Author's bookshelves are accessed by using the pulldown menu at the top of the first page of the site. Current authors are:

Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
Brenda Clough
Kate Daniel
Laura Anne Gilman
Christie Golden
Anne Harris
Sylvia Kelso
Katharine Eliska Kimbriel
Sue Lange
Ursula K. Le Guin
Rebecca Lickiss
Vonda N. McIntyre
Nancy Jane Moore
Pati Nagle
Darcy Pattison
Irene Radford
Madeleine Robins
Amy Sterling
Jennifer Stevenson
Susan Wright
Sarah Zettel

Our blog is updated daily with posts from the member authors. Subject matter is up to the authors. There are no rules, guidelines, or speed limits.

Some of our authors will be providing additional work for sale. When this premium content becomes available, you can be sure we will be making announcements. E-mail us if you'd like to be included on our mailing list and receive all the Book View Cafe news you can use.

Although there is material for sale the site, Book View Cafe itself is not a profit-making organization. This is a cooperative effort between the authors. Book View Cafe welcomes donations to help pay for the site, site management, and upgrade efforts.

The website is stylish in its simplicity. The major colors are red, black and a pale beige sort of white, although I am not sure about the menu. The site is easy to navigate in. Its menus are defined and easy to spot. The blog is regularly updated with posts about fantasy, writing, literature and all in between. Plus I think the idea behind the site and the community is really worth it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

True Blood: The TV Series with Fangs

Website: True Blood
Seasons/Episodes: Season 1, episodes 12
Season Finale: November 23rd

Everybody in the urban fantasy community have been hyped out about the series release of “True Blood” by HBO on the silver screen, so I finally decided to see what the commotion was all about. Any serious Internet surfer has come across adds for “TruBlood”, bottled synthetic blood for vampires.

The approach used to promote the TV series is original as the producers take the world written by Charlaine Harris, an icon in urban fantasy, and throw a lot of money to make it believable with world reports about the vampire situation and their civil right, interviews with the main characters and TV speeches from both human and vampire sides on the matter of integrating vampires in human society. The result is definite since True Blood is a hit on HBO and if people think that urban fantasy is repeating itself to boredom in novels, then on TV the effect is addictive. Right from the starting scenes to the title sequence with a smoldering Southern song “I wanna do Bad Things to You” by Jace Everett and a very precisely crafted montage of scenes to show the many faces of the South, the show grabbed me. Just to note the series takes place in the fictional small town Bon Temp, Louisiana

I personally haven’t had the pleasure of reading the Sookie Stackhouse Series, so I cannot say whether the show does any justice to the novels, which is the normal outcome or vice versa. But having watched the first nine episodes, I might as well read them. The casting for the series is interesting and judging by the characters involved I would say that the producers have struck gold. Anna Paquin is more known for her role in the X-Men trilogy as the super heroine Rogue and the transformation from a self conscious mutant to a very perky and too optimistic, even tad naïve telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse is an amazing one indeed. My first impression of Anna’s character is that Sookie is with no self preservation instinct and kind of dumb to go out in the middle of the night chasing vampires out of curiosity. She just goes there like a moth bathed in gasoline to a torch, waiting to set herself on fire, but thankfully in nine episodes we see depth that explains most of her behavior. Being a telepath not introduced to a means to active her gift when she wishes, Sookie has to deal with the very unflattering thoughts of the people that visit the bar, where she waits.

The vampire Bill Compton is portrayed by the English actor Stephen Moyer, who has been capable enough to get the Southern accent just fine. Although lacking a filmography with widely known blockbuster roles, something he and the rest of the actor staff have in common, Stephen is a perfect fit for the part. He is tall, dark, handsome and his eyes have that mysterious feel that you can’t possibly place. When it comes to credibility all the actors in the series are competent enough. Ryan Kwanten, who plays Sookie’s Brother Jason, does a fine junkie playboy stud, while Rutina Wesley, portraying Sookie’s best friend Tarra Thornton, does a fantastic job bossing people around with her loud mouth and promises quite an entertainment. I view this series as the trampoline for many of these actors.

So let’s drop the cast and move to the story. Every episode is like a shot of tequila, a concentrated dosage of the good old urban fantasy spirit. You have your buxom blond hottie with paranormal abilities, who doesn’t seem like a cliché. Then you add a charming vampire, who wants to mainstream and due to that disturbs the usual flow of the small town. This mixture can’t go without a love triangle, a good for nothing brother womanizer, who gets himself in vampire related trouble and then to top it off, you have your buxom blond make herself known to the vampire world as a telepath. Mix all of these with hot actors, add the necessary sex and blood scenes and you have nine explosive episodes. This is a cocktail I would drink any day several times.

As with everything quite as provocative as this TV series, you either love it or hate it. I am glad to say that most of the people agree with me. According to Metacritic the critics are favorable with a rating of 64 out of 100 based on 30 reviews, while the users are more generous with 8.5 out of 10. If you want a full list of opinions then here is the link to Metacritic…

All I can say is that I have a new reason not to do anything responsible and enjoy myself. To the Charlaine Harris fans this will be a re-discovery (not only Madonna is entitled to that) and to all the people, who wonder what new book genre to start, this will be a great first interaction. Also here are some videos that might interest future fans of the show:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Dreamscapes" by Stepanie Pui-Mun Law

Author: Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
Title: "Dreamscapes"
Publisher: Impact
Pages: 176

Fantasy has been ever present in the human life. From ancient lore and fairy tales to Dungeons and Dragons and movies, every human has had a brush with what lies beyond reality and is only reachable in our hearts and imagination. One of the strongest incarnations of fantasy comes in art. From gothic depictions to comic books, to sites like Deviant Art more and more portraits of fantasy emerge to captivate and submerge into a new world. One of the people responsible for this is Stephanie Pui Mun Law, a goddess with brushes and watercolor. I am a huge fan of her artwork and having the chance to read and review her book “Dreamscapes” has been an exclusive guide behind the scenes of real magic.

“Dreamscapes” is a guide to drawing with watercolor, but it is far more than that. Even though it’s 176 pages, “Dreamscapes” is four books in one. The first part introduces us with the basis of painting with watercolor. These include the differences and importance of brushes and what types of brushes and pencils are used in different situations from size to shape to how long they have been used. Stephanie does a quick 101 with colors, rubbing alcohol, masking fluid, watercolor paper and even shows some tricks with salt and plastic wrap for textures. A quick list of techniques is also available and also where and how to seek inspiration. Now that our artist has been geared for some serious painting action let us proceed to the main events.

Part Two of “Dreamscapes” is called “Faery Lands” and as you have probably guessed it’s about the fairies. Since fairies are embodiment of movement and nature, Stephanie takes us on a journey throughout different fairy species, how to emphasize on different features to portray the vast diversity of fairies, pixies and nature spirits. These include facial features and expressions, clothing and poses both on land and in the air. Once we have our desired fairy we go on to more complicated tasks such as different styles of wings, glowing effects and how the light should fall, how we can create magic wisps and how to handle different trees and environments for the fairies. Once all of the elements have been explained Stephanie helps further by giving a step by step sneak peek behind how she has composed some of her fairy art, giving full details along the way.

Following the same structure as part two, parts three and four present two more popular figures in fantasy: mermaids and angels. Part Three is called “Mermaid Worlds”, which stresses on the typical aspects of mermaids and creating the effect of actually being underwater. The most important thing about successfully creating a mermaid is the ability to meld a marine life form with a maiden; the first lesson you have to learn. Then come some tips on the implication of fins in modeling a mermaid and how to draw scales. Stephanie explains how hair can behave underwater, shows how a mermaid in movement should be portrayed and helps with the tricky jewelry mermaids like to be adorned with. The step by step combining of all elements introduces how the world above and below can meet and the tricky sea vapors.

“Angel Realms” is the last part and with it Stephanie covers one of the most favorite fantasy figures aka the beloved angel. As the book progresses the reader can feel how the level of skill increases greatly leaving the hardest part for last, because drawing and coloring angels involves serious confidence in one’s own skills to pull it off. Apart from the basis of learning to paint feathers, angel wings and their proportions, an artist has to know how to paint white, which is a lot more complicated than it sounds. Also the mentioned artist has to know how to draw robes realistically and know how they react to movement in the air. A real challenge and if accomplished a great step in one’s technique.

Stephanie Pui-Mun Law has done an exceptionally good job at penning down what makes her writing this special and how that one small lesson after another can create such ethereal visions on paper. Until you read closely and observe how many different materials, techniques and steps an artist has to undergo in a specific order to accomplish even the simplest painting, you can never really realize how much hard work has gone to bring beauty and imagination in our world so that others can enjoy it. My applause to Stephanie. I can whole heartedly recommend this book to anyone, even if they can’t paint, because it’s a journey into a whole new world.

© All the artwork is copyrighted. Please do not use the images without the permission of the artist or owner. The artwork in this post has been used according to the rules listed by the artist herself or at least I think I have.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

D.Gray Man: End of an Anime Saga ~ Review

With 103 episodes the anime epic “D.Gray Man” has ended with an indefinite end, while the manga written and illustrated by Katsura Hoshiro continues without the slightest hint, when the actual ending will commence. I was utterly disappointed, when episode 103 aired September 30th and concluded nothing, even though on its own it was one of the coolest to watch.

Picking up where my earlier review of the series started, there is a lot of material to cover. As the episodes progress from 40 and above, the small details from episodes that had no plot other than seek the demons and kill them, fall in place we see a bigger picture. All of the demon activity prepares the scene for the most serious battle between good and evil with Biblical proportions. As the exorcists have to fight against Level 2 of Akuma and beyond, more characters are introduced such as the Five Generals, the five strongest exorcists in the Order, whom the Noah Clan has targeted for illumination. Alan Walker and Lena Lee are sent on a search for Allen’s master and trainer, General Cross Marian, which occupies the focus of the series. The story arc features an ongoing battle with Akuma, which cause Lena Lee to destroy her Dark Boots by shifting them in overdrive and leave her legs injured. We also see the power of Miranda Lotto, who has kept the majority of people alive through her time disc. And we also witness how one of the Noah Clan, Tyki Mikk, who represents pleasure, shatter and almost kill Allan, who in the process loses his innocence as well.

The battle between the exorcists and the Noah family enters a new stage, when the Millennium Earls’ plans to annihilate the Generals fail and he has to face them raising a new type of demons, the Giant Akumas. In the meantime Allan’s struggles with recovering his innocence, which being a parasitic type can mean there is a chance he can synchronize with it again. When that happens and Allan receives a new and improved version of his innocence, he rejoins the party in Noah’s Arc, the Noah family’s base, and from then we witness duels between each Noah and an exorcist. Eventually the exorcists manage to take control over the Arc and Allan is recognized as a descendent of the Noah as well through a secret room with a piano, stops the Arc’s destruction, while it was in a process of downloading to a new form and version. This triggers the Earl’s fury and the last episodes encompass the exorcists’ slaughtering by a rare Akuma Level 4. In attempts to overpower the Akuma Lena Lee evolves innocence from equipment type to a parasitic type and the series end with the exorcists finishing off the level 4. A very unsatisfying, but cool ending nonetheless.

In “D.Gray Man” we can find all the traits in a typical Shounen manga storyline such as a team of protagonists in their early up to their late teen years, since Shounen is aimed for male readers between 10 and 18 years old. Humor is intertwined with a great dose of dramatic moments to broaden up the spectrum of emotions we spent on the series. All of the characters have special abilities to make them unique on their own and in typical Japanese style, every single one of them has a story to tell. Action is always brewing and graphic violence is mostly tamed down, but as the story progresses the level of physical suffering extends.

All of the above are valid for “D.Gray Man”, but I think that the time the story is set in, makes all of the difference. Most titles about empowered teens on a world-saving mission occur in either ancient past, apocalyptic mecha filled future or a present full of rivaling schools with uniforms. What we talk here is the 19th century of an alternative Earth and the steam punk element quickly does justice with the typical train stations, carriages, mechanical boats and giant telephones. Being fiction of course there are mild inconsistencies, where wireless connection and heavy data analysis machinery appear, but credibility is not what we search for.

I personally watched and followed all 103 episodes for the super power display. When it comes to anime, animation with an edge and amazing battle scenes are what I look for and considering that a majority of people enjoy superheroes, this is as close as you get seeing your heroes really getting it down in massive proportions. It’s not the best reason in the world to start reading a manga and invest time in it, so I will try to point out other strength.

I might have mentioned before, but it’s interesting to see how Japanese culture of demons and the views on how they are created clash with the Biblical mythology. In most Shounen I have watched, we see either typical Japanese mythologies involved or popular Western paranormal legends. No one so far has gone to the Bible (at least in my experience) and involve God as the one, who spread this “Innocence” to the people, who call themselves exorcists. The inspiration must have come for the Old Testament, since we see Noah’s arc in a slightly twisted version as a floating city with the Noah family holding on a memory from the people, who have died during the flood. Now mix this with kick ass fight scenes, the state of the art steam punk/futuristic 19th century and that characters that usually almost die, reveal their life stories and then spring back with a new lesson learned about themselves and their mission and you have one amazing anime to watch.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Winner: "Days of the Dead" Blog Tour giveaway

Halloween has passed and left us all energized or totally drained, depending on whether you have been a demanding child, a party crazed dancing machine or a parent with a little kid, wanting sweets. I myself couldn’t celebrate dressing up into Death and get a descent scythe, but met the spirit in many different shapes.

And one of those faces was the Halloween spirit judging committee for my giveaway [see how important it was to judge] and the spirits have spoken. The official winner of a signed copy of “The Blood King” is:

Way to go girl. Now all you need to do is simply e-mail me your mailing address and we are all settled.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

"Harvest of Changelings" by Warren Rochelle

Title: "Harvest of Changelings"
Author: Warren Rochelle
Pages: 320
Publisher: Golden Gryphon

“Harvest of Changelings” by Warren Rochelle is an interesting and a very unconventional member of the urban fantasy tradition. His characters are children in the age between nine and thirteen, who are half fey and the story is largely coming of age, but the novel itself should not be recommended to early teens just yet for the unspeakable things the characters have endured. In that sense “Harvest of Changelings” is quite untypical.

Malachi Tyson is a half fairy, his mother being Daoine Sidhe and the Prime Mover for her people back in her land. Now after his tenth birthday his life turns into an unexpected chain of events, when his powers begin to violently manifest. He carries the element of win inside of him and can fly, teleport and levitate objects. At the same time three other children from mixed human-fey heritage start the same school as Malachi and develop their own special gifts connected the remaining elements fire, water and earth; Malachi being the most potent one. The four children walk a long road to deal with their past, their selves, their new powers, finding each other and fight the dark fey, Fomorii. The Fomorii have united with the dark practitioners of North Carolina to use the children’s powers on Halloween to win the war against the light fey. As October approaches the paranormal reigns in North Carolina and chaos ensues. Malachi, Jeff, Hazel and Russell must find the gate to Faerie, where they have been called to, fight against those, who wish to harm them and hide their powers from society.

Unlike most urban fantasy novels, the protagonist isn’t one lone wolf trying to face all the dangers of the transition through the paranormal all alone. Even though the topic of adolescents embracing the powers of the four elements has been done before, namely the popular comic book series “W.I.T.C.H”, to incorporate a team of interconnected characters on a magical level hasn’t been popularized in novels yet. We have one main protagonist and secondary characters of various degrees. Rochelle’s changelings are a tag team, who is only strong, if all are together and act as one unit. However the story deals with the outsiders, the one repressed from society, who have suffered in the world and are strong only through love, friendship and when they are together.

In this sense Rochelle stresses on the most common problems, which can destroy a human being at an early age and which sadly have become a common trait of growing up. Malachi has dealt with humiliation all of his life for his size and color of the eyes, something superficial, which shouldn’t matter, yet that has destroyed his confidence. Jeff has been molested by his father for a very long time, thus detaching himself from the world and thinking that all love in the world is only painful. Russell has been the victim of his father’s physical and verbal abuse for most of his life, leading him to believe he isn’t worth anything, while Hazel suffers from the invisibility complex, never really sure that she is loved. The deep psychological angle interested me more in how the children interacted with each other and given their new surroundings, rather than the fantastical aspect of the story.

Regarding the actual magic and lore of the novel’s lore, I was satisfied most of the time. Rochelle’s main tool to introducing the changelings to their homeland and their call is the dreams, which always have smeared the lines of reality. The sense of not knowing whether something is just a part of your imagination or if there is a side of the world, unexplained and unrevealed to the human eye, intensifies the reader’s experience. During the course of the novel the characters discover and learn to control their powers, which for me worked out pretty well. Fantasy is when the magic comes out of nowhere and begins to surprise you. Everything is new for the character and you live through these moments as well.

As much as I enjoyed the story itself, I felt like the delivery lacked in certain ways. First of all, even though the four children stand for one of the elements, we only experience Malachi and Russell exhibit an active manifestation of their respective element, namely air and fire. It is hinted that Jeff stands for water for his attitude and dreams and Hazel for Earth for her connection with her cat. But they do not show anything besides the typical flight, aura sensing and levitation of objects. I am also not particularly fond of the stereotypical Black and White portrayal of both fey courts and the bit clichéd black practitioners. I would understand that if the novel is YA, that a more simplified version of the age old battle between the fairy courts should be presented, however Rochelle sets the bar high with emotionally complex and deeply wounded characters that go through things YA novels don’t usually deal with like child abuse, homosexualism, eating hearts and sex. The novel builds and grabs the attention in more ways than possible and then when the real confrontation with the past and the future, the delivery of the climax fails.

“Harvest of Changelings” was a different altogether for me. In some very wonderful ways it made my imagination bubble and expand, while in other moments it pushed my buttons enough to twitch. The cover for the novel is not the catchiest thing in the world and the publisher isn’t a big one, but the title has more merit and tries something new than most novels on the market. I may have not liked all, but I do recommend this to all fey fans and because different people like their fantasy served in a different plate.

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