Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review of Nightingale by David Farland


I was fortunate to get an advanced copy of the hardcover of Nightingale, written by New York Times bestselling author David Farland. I was very impressed Farland's first YA fantasy novel, and it has a great opening chapter, and definitely hooked me right way. After the prologue--which features a young woman named Sommer--the story centers around a 16-year-old outcast boy, Bron Jones. He has never fit in, and is stuck living in a terrible foster home with grotesquely fat woman who uses him as slave labor to take care of her house and her brood of children.

Bron seems to have nothing going for him, except he is an incredibly handsome young man, but he can't make friends because of his ragged clothing and the stigma of being a "foster kid." He's quite cold and distant, which seems to be from the treatment he received in the foster care system, which moved him around a lot and never let anyone really bond with him. The truth is more complex, and is buried very deeply and Bron is fascinating character.

Everything changes when Bron ends up with a new foster mother, a music teacher named Olivia Hernandez, and we find out that Bron is not who he thought he was. This is the main issue in the book: "who," or more precisely, "what" is Bron? We find out that his birth mother, Sommer, who is featured in the prologue, gave him up when he was an infant, and he is not like everyone else . . . (minor spoiler) because he is not human. He is one of the masaak, a species similar to humans, but more evolved. Bron has strange and terrible powers that are discovered by his new foster mother, who is like him, one of the masaak, but has far different abilities than he does. She is a "memory merchant" or a "Muse" and Bron turns out to be something extremely rare, which is why his father's hunters are after him, and why his presence endangers everyone around him--and puts one person in the hospital by mistake.

At first, when Bron moves in with his new foster mother, Olivia, he thinks that he's going to be just a regular kid in a high school for the performing arts, a real place in southern Utah called Tuacahn High School where he can learn to be a guitarist--one of his few dreams in life. He meets a girl, actually he meets two gorgeous girls, who vie for his affection, but when he is spotted by masaak hunters, (known as the Draghoul) his life is at stake, and the big mystery about who he really is becomes extremely important for his survival. His foster mother helps him as much as she can, and wants to save him from becoming a pawn of the Draghoul, and their adventure leads them down a dangerous road, where dating and the drama of high school seems fairly unimportant.

This book is definitely aimed at today's teens, primarily boys, but I think girls will enjoy this book as well. There are numerous references to current movies, music, and media that today's teens will be intimately familiar with. Somewhere in the first third of the book I started to feel like this novel was not the flavor of fiction that I liked best--as I'm no longer a teenager with raging hormones--but once the mystery of Bron started getting solved, and information was coming out about the masaak, and their powers, I was extremely interested again. The writing was solid the whole way though, but the drama of high school, first love, going to a new school, bullies, and the somewhat immature nature of teenagers clashed with where my sensibilities are at this stage of my life. I think also, I didn't want to remember how awful aspects of high school actually were. Poor Bron doesn't realize what his powers are doing to some of the people around him, and he causes havoc that he doesn't intend, making the high school experience even worse.

Even though I felt this book was aimed at the teen demographic, I was fascinated with the true nature of the masaak, and their role in shaping the world with their amazing powers. They go way back in history, and were instrumental in so many things, and learning the details of that was my favorite part. Toward the end of the novel, you get to learn a lot about the powers the masaak possess, and Bron comes into his own--though this is just the beginning.

Nightingale is Bron's origin story, and creates a dark shadow world, where factions of super-humans war for the future of the planet. Bron's lineage has given him rare powers and the choices he makes might alter the course of history. The awesome ending was a huge payoff, and this series is just getting started. I blasted through Nightingale in two days, and whenever I wasn't reading it, I wanted to be reading it. I can't wait for the next book, Dream Assassin.

Highly recommended for teens and fans of Twilight and The Hunger Games
View Nightingale on Amazon.com

Paul Genesse
Author of the Iron Dragon Series and Editor of The Crimson Pact Series

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kindles For Kids


Here's the link to her blog to learn more and help with this worthy endeavor.


Kind Regards,

Paul Genesse
Author and Editor

Happy St. Patrick's Day

 Okay, here's a link to 18 everyday words that come from the Irish.


This will make you look cool, but remember, with great power, comes great responsibility.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

FREE eBOOK The Winds of Khalakovo





Paul Genesse
Author and Editor

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The House Beyond the Hill Review


The House Beyond the Hill by Michael R. Collings is a very creepy horror novel. It’s a challenging book that will make you think. The descriptions are top notch and the author really knows how to turn a phrase, which as an author, I appreciate a lot.

I also really enjoyed the style of short scenes within chapters, though there were a lot of characters to keep straight. The author does skip between the characters quite frequently, making some of the book a little hard to follow, but eventually it all comes together and the horror of what’s going on hits you full force.

It starts with a truly depraved criminal entertaining himself by shooting people who are driving on the freeway, and goes from there with twists and turns you don’t expect. The supernatural aspects were scary and the ending and the last few chapters were truly chilling. Overall, I loved the vivid way it was all described and the author knows how to create a mood.

This is not an easy book where the author spoon-feeds the reader all the information, but fans of horror and those looking for something different to entertain themselves will find The House Beyond the Hill an excellent read. The book is available as an eBook or a trade paperback and I flew through my e-copy.

Paul Genesse
Author of the Iron Dragon Series and Editor of The Crimson Pact Series

Friday, March 2, 2012

Steamfest 2012 in Salt Lake City


Salt Lake City, July 27-28, 2012


I am so going to this event and hope to be on a panel or two and do a book signing.

I love steampunk and am so glad there is an event here in the Salt Lake City area where I live.

Paul Genesse
Author of The Nubian Queen
featured in Steampunk'd edited by Jean Rabe

The Crimson Pact Volume 3 & 4 Update

The Crimson Pact Volume 3 & 4 Editorial Update:
What I've done since Feb. 1, 2012
Read 67 stories total
43 rejected stories--so tough to reject so many stories
15 stories out with the authors being revised--send them soon please
9 stories that are finalized--thank you
4 left to read--be patient please
2 or 3 stories still to come in, possibly for volume 4
Release date for Volume 3, the end of March.
Release date for Volume 4, April or May--date not set.

Paul Genesse
Editor of The Crimson Pact Anthology Series

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Partials by Dan Wells


Newborn #485GA18M died on June 30, 2076, at 6:07 in the morning. She was three days old. The average lifespan of a human child, in the time since the Break, was fifty-six hours. They didn't even name them anymore.

--the beginning of chapter one from Partials by Dan Wells.

This is such a rockstar opening line, and it just goes from there, drawing you in. Such a great book written by a writer on top of his game. Readers can't put this down, as it's so riveting, and writers can learn a lot from this book, a dystopian novel that paints one of the scariest pictures of the future that I've ever read about.

The tag line on the cover is great too:

"The only hope for humanity isn't human."

Check it out on Amazon. It's already got 50+ reviews. Wow.

Paul Genesse
Author of The Secret Empire