Book Review – ‘Under the Never Sky’ by Veronica Rossi

Enjoyable but had me frowning at some inconsistencies…

Under the Never Sky Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Science Fiction, Dystopia

No. of pages: 374

From Goodreads:

Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered.

This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland–known as The Death Shop–are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild–a savage–and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile–everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky. 

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I’d been uncertain of picking up this book for over a year, and decided to put myself out of annoying procrastination and read the damn thing. “Under the Never Sky” was an epic dystopian adventure that entertained me to no end with its blend of science fiction and primitive civilization.

Written in alternating POV’s from our protagonists Perry and Aria through their trek and survival, was compelling, but I’d much rather have maintained a single voice in the narrative. Though the dual perspective does add layers to the story.

Under the Never Sky Book Review Pic 02 by Casey CarlisleThe Aria/Perry relationship was believable, and even though a slow burn, I felt a little rushed towards the end. Aria learning skill so readily – I would have liked to see her trip up a little more often instead of becoming an instant warrior. But really loved the character development.

Under the Never Sky” gave me the feeling that it was coloured with shades of so many other YA books, and did not feel entirely original. It is gritty and raw with violence and death and although not totally predictable, it failed to give me any surprises.

Veronica Rossi did a good job at setting up the villain Consul Hess. I really did not like him or his motives and am interested to see where the continuing story leads us. (Don’t worry this is no spoiler, we discover early on just how diabolical Hess is.

Would have liked a bit more about the history on how the world became what it is. The reasoning behind the epidemic of DLS felt flimsy at best. The social structure and the fact of two warring civilizations also felt wishy-washy… there seemed little reason they weren’t more aware of each other, especially with the primitive ‘Dwellers’ searching for a cure to DLS and scientific advancements.

Ever Blue? A great myth/quest. Not sure how it could exist given the information we’ve been fed already on the state of the planet. So my hope is that we have naive or unreliable narrators with Aria and Perry and the truth is yet to make some sense, because as it stands, I’m having trouble stomaching the world around them.

I liked where the ending was going, but it lacked punch and didn’t really have me with a burning desire to pick up the sequel, but alas, my nature will force me to see it through to the end. Let’s hope the series improves.

Overall reaction: C’mon… really?

Under the Never Sky Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Under the Never Sky Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – ‘Twilight : The Graphic Novel Part 1’ by Stephenie Meyer & Young Kim

Revisiting a classic never looked so good.

Twilight Graphic Novel Part 1 Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Fantasy, Romance

No. of pages: 224

From Goodreads:

When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret… 

Page border by Casey Carlisle

This brought me back to my first ‘Twilight’ experience. The movies are great, but as an adaptation there are many differences to the narrative of the book. This version remains faithful to the original story line I was first introduced to.

The illustrations are beautiful and depicted in a way that more fits the descriptions imagined by Stephenie Meyer. I could gaze at them all day. It is primarily in black and white, with a few colour pages at key points in the story where colour makes artistic sense.

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The story itself though, (because realistically we can’t use all the material,) felt flat. A lot of the humour and angst got cut out, the novel being squashed down to a couple of pages of dialogue… so if you have not read the original book, you’ll not have a very high opinion of ‘Twilight The Graphic Novel Part 1.’ It is also the reason I deducted a point – it felt like part of the soul of ‘Twilight’ had been ripped out. I’d recommend this more for fans, who what to enrich their experience, or revisit the novel in a different medium.

I liked the reveal (climax) for this first volume, the way it was drawn and the parts of the story Young Kim used was masterful. It gave a new edge to the events that happen in ‘Twilight.’

The dust jackets are cute how they match up to a larger poster for volumes 1 & 2. And I’ll be reviewing Part 2 soon.

Definitely recommend this for all Twilight fans.

Overall feeling: Still in love

Twilight Graphic Novel Part 1 Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Twilight Graphic Novel Part 1 Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Write a novel… and then what?

I’ve had “Write a Novel” on my bucket list since I was a child, but I think I should have been clearer, or at least added a couple of more steps…

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Write a novel? Tick, yes. Done!

But now it’s time to do re-writes. Then off to some Beta readers to get some input. Then another draft. And lastly, off to an Editor to get a final draft.

And that’s just the writing process.

After that it’s off to a publisher… or should I say, go through the submission process to get a publisher (via literary agent).

Then, if deemed a suitable match (and contract negotiations), my manuscript will be published and I’ll see it on shelves at my local bookstore.*

Write a Novel Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

All of that listed above is what’s really meant to be included in the ‘write a novel’ Bucket List item. How naive I was.

 

I don’t want to be a one hit wonder either. I want several books published. Not through self-publishing, or vanity publishing, or any of the other variety of ways to see your novel in print. I desire traditional publishing. (Plus it’s a validation that you have been deemed worthy… something that plays to my ego.)

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These days, a traditional publisher wants to see that you are a viable investment – a career writer. So, simply ‘write a novel’ has a lot of weight to it if you want to take it seriously. And I do. So what started off as a pipe-dream when I got diagnosed with cancer has turned into a career.

I’m old fashioned that way.

If only my chemo addled brain had made that realisation when I’d scratched out the single most want of my heart’s desire.

You need to have a vision of many books to be written in the future, either stand alone, or a series. Roughly sketched out plots, a timetable.

Now that you have the writing side sorted, there is all manner of elements that go along with it to add to your dossier to be deemed a worthy investment. Like an online presence, previously published works, a network or connections within the industry, a marketing plan, all these are thrown onto the pile just to make life just a little more exasperating. All from the three words “write a novel.”

Granted, you don’t really have to do any of it. You could just complete your manuscript and release it online, or self-publish an ebook. But I’m a glutton for punishment and a purist. I want the dream from my childhood, whether it’s realistic or not.

So I formed a 1-3 year plan. Made a detailed list. And I’m halfway there…

As big and as involved as this innocent little item on my Bucket List is, it has definitely been the most satisfying. I guess anything that takes a considerable amount of effort to achieve is ultimately rewarding… and while I could cross if off the list because the manuscript is complete; I think I’ll keep it there until the dream is fully realised.

But in the meantime I have plenty more items to attack, and life will be ever more richer because of it 🙂

 

Do you have a Bucket List, or are writing a novel? I’d love to hear all about your experiences and goals to help make life more fun and amazing.

*Let me live in this fantasy of perfection – it’s the only thing keeping me going at the moment – that, and a fridge stocked full of Tim-Tams and LOTS of coffee!

Bucket List by Casey Carlisle

 © Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.