Book Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

So as university gets underway, I figured I’d better get to reading more as well. Keep in mind that I’ve been really lazy about that and instead wasted my time playing video games more than reading, and I missed these trips into amazing-villes filled with unique characters, worlds, and plots.

I’m going to be straight up with you: this book is one I fully intend to read multiple times with pen in hand, to see just how Lynch managed to pull off everything he did, because wow. (That’s more or less grammatically correct now you know.)

Plot

Locke Lamora is no ordinary thief. He performs complicated trickeries on the highbrow nobility, cheating them out of their money in the most inventive and embarrassing ways — so they’ll never tell a soul he did it. Convenient, all things considered. But of course a setup like that is never flawless, and things get interesting when new players come onto the board and cause Locke and his Gentleman Bastards to trip up.

Seriously I can’t do this plot justice. It has the coolest and most strangely realistic fantasy city you will ever read about, snarky thieves that fuck up brilliantly, and a lot of fun twists that build up on one another like a house of cards — sometimes falling apart in a similar fashion. On purpose and with amazing style.

What I Liked

Everything. The characters, the setting, the ridiculous level of detail in the writing itself, the plot, the ending, the personalities, the heists, the complications, the imperfections and fuck-ups both Locke and his enemies make. Everything.

Except…

The interludes in the past between present-time chapters. They were ALWAYS relevant. Always, so I never skipped them, but some lingered a little too long and really, really, really broke the flow of the action towards the end. It’s the ONLY flaw. Seriously.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Read: if you like thought-out fantasy that isn’t typical and yet familiar in all the right places, sassy thieves, and well thought-out plot and characters.

Don’t read: if you don’t like outside the norm fantasy, cursing, and flawed as hell characters.

There is nothing else I can say other than GO TRY IT. You won’t see me this enthusiastic about a book if I didn’t adore it, and obviously that means something right? (Right.)

Moving ever forward: college update!

So I was true to my goals and didn’t back out of the semester just because moving to a university really pushed my anxieties to the breaking point. That might sound silly to some of y’all, but I’m incredibly introverted. A place as large as University of Houston’s main campus was super daunting. BUT a friend of mine that I actually met online through WordPress happened to also go there, and she showed me around. So that made everything a hell of a lot easier.

I also am stuck on campus all day so it’s been good for writing between classes.

All of this to say, I’m alive, I’m active, I’m still writing. AND I’m doing a blog tour thingymabob with some awesome people in a few days, so keep an eye out for that interview.

How have y’all been?

My goals for 2014

I don’t like resolutions. I get too guilty when I inevitably break them. Goals are much more doable, and general (for me), and they help me figure out where I went that year.

So my goals for 2014 are…

  • Lose weight and/or maintain current weight (no more gaining)
  • Finish a damn novel
  • Write more short stories
  • Art more
  • Play guitar again (I suck now and my guitar is dusty)
  • Don’t back out of college just because it’s intimidating
  • Enjoy life

General stuff, yes?

What are your goals or resolutions for 2014?

Happy New Year! 2013 in review

A lot of good happened this year for me. I think I’ve really grown as a person and a writer. That being said, I pretty much failed every goal I set for myself back in 2012, but I don’t care. Writing-wise, I feel 2014 is the year I learn to produce quality material in a timely fashion. It took all year this year to knock out some pretty nasty self-loathing and hatred and doubt I had towards myself and my writing. This means I’m walking into 2014 with a new outlook on my life and my career.

So! The noteworthy good things that happened in 2013:

  • took on a rewrite I was terrified of
  • got my first short story published by a lit magazine — and won reader’s choice for that month
  • published a short story
  • got into university and quit stalling in that area
  • realized I am worth something and that my self-image was crap, so I improved it
  • went to two conventions, little bucket list items of mine, really
  • got a daily deviation on deviantART (just two days ago), another little thing I’ve always wanted

Yeah, it’s been a good year. Not all achievements are monumental, but they’ve made big changes in my day to day outlook. Sometimes it’s the little things, you know?

In any event, I hope y’all had a good 2013 overall. Happy New Year. Here’s to 2014 being awesome.

Flash Fiction: The Green Star in the Sky

Not really sure what got into me this morning, but I felt like writing some good old fashioned chosen one flash fiction. The picture is the writeworld prompt. I’m getting obsessed with these, heh.

A strange energy woke Destrier before dawn. Canter pricked his white ears up, eyeing him with startling blue eyes without lifting his head from the floor. When his master rose, threw some clothes on, and walked to the window, he silently followed. Destrier looked out into the predawn sky, absently scratching Canter behind the ear. The wolfhound didn’t whine like the other dogs did. He was as aware of the green object among the fading stars as Destrier was because it signaled the inevitable.

Destrier would leave today.

“I guess it was only a matter of time,” he mumbled, looking down at Canter, who lifted his head up in response, sniffing at him.But he made no noise. “Aw, don’t be like that. Can you blame me for hoping it was just a legend?”

The dog huffed once and licked the palm his hand.

Destrier smiled sadly at the show of support. Then he sighed. “Come on, let’s go greet destiny. It’d be rude not to.”

They went outside. A cold wind blew from the north, but Destrier didn’t feel it, or any other physical sensation. He never had, and never would. It was the curse of being the Stormbreaker and all that. Most people expected him to mind, but having never experienced something doesn’t make you yearn for it. Not in his experience. But perhaps that was part of the curse as well.

There was an orange glow at the edge of the eastern horizon. Destrier sat down at the stone base of the training facility and watched. The sun was a beautiful sight, subdued in brightness compared to its midday form, but larger and more imposing.

But the new object in the sky, the aggressor he’d prepared for his whole life, grew and grew in size as it sank into the east over the sun. The world was bathed in a sickly green, though the sun wasn’t fully obstructed. An orange ring cast its normal glow out as a reminder that it was still there. And as it would rise, the green object would sink, coming into view again at dusk, rising as the sun set, its opposite in every regard.

Meteors fell to the ground as it passed by. If the legends were true, it would dump strange beasts onto their world that used an energy they couldn’t compete with, an energy only Destrier could challenge. Somehow. He would do it. He’d lived his whole life knowing he had to.

Destrier frowned, glaring up at his opponent while Canter stared out towards the countryside, where a meteor had fallen not far away. It was time.

Image source: “The Outsider” by Luminaris on dA