Review of “Fugitive Six” by Pittacus Lore

Title: Fugitive Six
Author: Pittacus Lore
Series: Lorien Legacies Reborn #2
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 464
Published: 2018, HarperCollins
My Grade: 3 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

The Human Garde Academy was created in the aftermath of an alien invasion of Earth. It was meant to provide a safe haven for teens across the globe who were suddenly developing incredible powers known as Legacies.

Taylor Cook was one of the newest students and had no idea if she’d ever fit in. But when she was mysteriously abducted, her friends broke every rule in the book to save her. In the process, they uncovered a secret organization that was not only behind Taylor’s kidnapping but also the disappearance of numerous teens with abilities. An organization that has dark roots in the Loric’s past, untold resources, and potentially even a mole at their own school.

Now these friends, who have become known to other students as the “Fugitive Six,” must work together to bring this mysterious group to an end before they can hurt anyone else.

 

MY REVIEW

It took me a while to pick this one up, and the third and final installment in this series about the Human Garde has even been released. I think the reason for that is because I miss the original Garde. They do not take a big part in this new series. I want to know what John Smith is up to! Nine is here, but not as the person he was in the original series.

It is however a very cool continuation with humans getting Legacies but I do not feel as strongly towards this type of magic as for example with Harry Potter. Maybe I’m more fastidious when it comes to magic now than what I was twenty years ago, haha!

It was a year ago that I finished Generation One, the first in this trilogy, and I had honestly forgotten about the characters and it took me so long to get back into it. I don’t know if that has more to do with me than with the book, but also, following so many different characters is difficult. Is it nine?

It is still very good though and I love that we got to continue in this world after the main series ended. But does not quite reach up to that potential so I give Fugitive Six a three.

Chapter milestones

This post is meant to shine a small light on the nerdy side in me (I have to start small, there will be more). I’ve always been very organized and structured as a person, which is probably why I am now working as a project manager. I’ve both read and heard about different authors writing processes and they all vary greatly. Some just write without knowing where they are heading. Some have everything figured out from the start and some are in between. I’m the person in between. I know where I’m heading, I have my place for notes and thoughts (that’s another post coming), but I only have eight major milestones and the details in between just come to me. Literally whenever and wherever. I don’t have a say in it, AT ALL!

To the point. I’m nerdy because I love statistics. I write down every workout I do so I can get a pretty pie chart where I can see if I’m heading in the direction that is aligned with my goal. I am doing kind of the same with my book. From day one, I’ve kept track of when I’ve finished writing a chapter and how long they are.

The first summer, 2017, I wrote a lot and had eight chapters written within the first three months. Then I went to the Book Fair and got a professional analysis of my first chapter and got so inspired that I, for the 15 months, rewrote the first five chapters, turned them into six chapters, and tripled the amount of words. The difference in quality was insane! But after that I decided that I would save any rewriting until I was done with the first draft. So, since December 2018 I’ve been on track again and written approximately one chapter per month. I actually wrote 12 chapters in 2019. So far in 2020, I’ve finished two chapters and it’s not even the end of the first month. That’s boding well. My new and realistic goal is to be finished with the first draft on my birthday in April. That’s definitely doable.

Chapter Twenty-Five was finished this morning on the tram, at 6am on my way to the gym. I think I will get a total of thirty chapters when I’m done. As was what I said from the very beginning. I’m pretty impressed by my early estimations, 30 chapters and 100 000 words. I have 79 000 words and 25 chapters right now.

I will most likely summarize everything I can about this book when I’m done. That will be a nerdy post (If I am not too embarassed to post it, haha!)

Christmas goals

Tomorrow I’m going back to work. Can’t say that I’m super stoked, I really like waking up without an alarm and doing whatever I like. In the long run, I think that I would probably be a little bit bored, but I’m not there yet.

These 18 days off work looked as I thought they would. I slept a lot, I played computer games again (wow, what I missed that!) and I did finish reading Obsidio, finally. I wish I would have written more but I still wrote more than I usually do. And I did reach the goal that I set up for myself for this break. That goal was to finish the first three quarters of the book, which I also did, with one day to spare even. Woho!

In total I have almost 77k words and I’m aiming for 100k so this is definitely going in the right direction and very close to my estimations. Not sure if the last piece is exactly a quarter of the whole story, but it will definitely be an interesting piece to write. And the end! The end is so near and I can’t wait to write it. I will just have to stop myself so I’m not rushing anything because I know what I want the readers to think while they are reading it. It will be awesome! People will most likely don’t like me.

I hope that I will be done with the whole first draft sometime during the spring. And then comes the next part of trying to write something: the editing and finding a publisher. I will brace myself for rejection letters. Or more like, that’s what I will be counting on to not be let down. I know that this is my very first book ever and I honestly have no idea what I’m doing. I just write what I want to read and if someone wants to publish it, great! But there are self-publishing options too. Preparing myself for the “worst” will not make me disappointed.

I hope everyone had a great time off work or school or whatever. I already feel better just knowing that the sun is up a few more minutes every day and that we also have lots of red days (holidays off from work) to look forward to now during the spring. I feel like I’m going strong into this new year :).

My Year in Books 2019

If you love books and are not yet on Goodreads, what are you waiting for? It’s the best place to just press the button “Want to read” and then keep that long list in check. It also gives you reccomendations according to what you’ve read and those lists that you can create. I’ve been on it since someone in San Diego recommended it to me in 2013. That’s seven years now!

Believe it or not, I did not get paid by Goodreads to write that. But I honestly believe you should join, add me as a friend. I do not send recommendations, but I will any day now change my profile to the one of an author and not just a member. That’s exciting. Apparently anyone can add their books to Goodreads for anyone to press “want to read” and add them to their lists. Any day now!

Ever since 2015, I’ve been a part of Goodreads reading challenge. Some years better than others, that’s for sure. But ever since I started writing, my “read books” list is not growing as much. I know I should be reading a lot, even as an author, but it’s hard to find the time when most of my writing happens on buses and trams when I usually read. So 2019’s challenge went horribly. Only 7 books out of 20. Although, two of them were bricks!

  • 2015 – 22/50 (I was still high from my year in California when I read ridiculously much and got overambitious with that goal).
  • 2016 – 46/25 (The next year I therefore lowered my goal, just to be up there again with my reading…).
  • 2017 – 27/49 (And up again with the goal. Unfortunately, this was the year I decided that I would start writing on my own, so a majority of those 27 books were read in the first 7 months of the year).
  • 2018 – 32/20 (I did not write too much that year unfortunately).
  • 2019 – 7/20 (Needless to say, I wrote a lot in 2019! 35k words out of the total now of 75k just this year).

This year I will try to balance it out better. My goal is 20 again. I will do it! Good luck!

Review of “Obsidio” by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Obsidio
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 615
Published: 2018, Alfred A. Knopf
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Kady, Ezra, Hanna and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza–but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys–an old flame from Asha’s past–reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

MY REVIEW

The third installation in the Illuminae Files series took me way too long to finish, 9 months. Wow. Not okay! Which is probably the main reason why I didn’t enjoy it as much either. It was a long time ago that I read Gemina and I didn’t really enjoy reading such a big hardcover book (since I’ve gotten used to reading on my ereader) and therefore finished several ones on my ereader while trying to finish this brick. It’s not a heavy book to read, it’s an as easy read as the first two in the series, still written in the same cool way with compiled files. Many video transcriptions, which makes sense in the scenes of this book. But the physical book is big and I didn’t have it as an e-book.

Since it took me so long to finish it, I found it very hard to remember the characters, but then the winter holidays came and I finished more than half in just a few days and I got into it again and remembered everything that happened before so it’s not my laziness that drags down the grade a bit. When I started reading a lot again, I still had a very hard time understanding the characters and telling who was who. Maybe that is the downside of writing in chat logs and radio transmissions? But still, the authors manage to get that high level of details and complexity in the story perfect. And this type of writing really works well with action. The end and conclusion to this trilogy really ends well. Without spoiling, the ending was not unexpected but very satisyfing still.

The other books in this trilogy got fours, but because of how difficult it was to keep track on the characters (especially the ones up on the ship, the characters down on Kerenza IV was very easy to know), the grades lowers a bit to a 3.5.

But all in all: a really interesting and fascinating space battle story well worth your time!

The end of decade

In three days, we will be going into a new decade, the twenties. It’s already been twenty years of this millenium, how crazy isn’t that? I am very excited for the new year to be honest. I don’t have anything extraordinary planned, a few trips here and there perhaps. It will be my last year in my twenties, 2021 I will be thirty, can you imagine? Nope, me neither. The main reason I think that next year will be interesting is because I believe that I will be reaching a huge milestone in my side career as an author. I strongly believe that in the first half of next year, I will be done with the first draft of my first book. That’s the easy part of writing a book, if I had to guess. Then comes the second draft ,and the third, and fourth and maybe sixth and ninth. No, I don’t think it will take that long, although I really do want to make this a great debut. I know myself well enough to know that I will be working on it. A lot (!) before I am ready to publish. At the same time I’m very eager to get it out there as well.

The Book Fair this year helped me a lot and I am no longer afraid of finishing the first draft, but it will be a completely different journey. I have as of today written 75k words. My goal is 100k. Not sure I will reach it because I only have one more place to visit (out of four in the whole book) and I am not sure that I can write 25k words about that place. Or maybe I will, hard to tell yet. But I am really excited to write the plot twist that I have planned for the very last chapter of this book.

I know that I have been really bad when it comes to blogging lately. My intentions were to write about my progress and my thoughts about this whole writing-a-book-thing. I am therefore going to be as stupid as to make it a new year’s resolution to update my blog more frequently about what it’s like to be an aspiring author with a full time job and time-consuming hobbies. Also to reach out to people and future readers. I don’t know if I will self publish or find a publisher, but either way, I need to spread the word. If you don’t already, you can also follow my Facebook page. I’ve been more active there than on this blog up until now.

 

Let’s start now though. I don’t think I have ever posted anything about the title of this book that’s about 75% done now. The series is called Legend of Enunta and will consist of a duology and a stand-alone prequel. The first title is Across the Divide and will be concluded in Toward the Divide. The prequel does not yet have a name.

 

Happy New Year’s and may you all stay true to your resolutions!
(this very, very much include me!)

 

Review of “Introvert – Den tysta revolutionen” by Linus Jonkman

Title: Introvert – Den tysta revolutionen (~Introvert – The Silent Revolution)
Author: Linus Jonkman
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction
Pages: 243
Published: 2013, Forum
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION (translated to English by me)

An underrated personality type.

Do you speak before you think or think before you speak? Are you uncomfortable when a salesperson comes up to you in the store or do you think it is just pleasant? Are you as most creative when you work alone or when you work in a group?

In our time “outgoing and flexible” seems to be the most sought after attributes on the job market, social competency is valued higher than specific work competence and the loudest person usually gets his or her way. It is a time where attributes such as inward looking, thoughtfulness and stillness have been classed as mental diseases. It is a time where introversion is confused with shyness, arrogance, and asocial behavior. Nothing could be more wrong.

Introversion and extroversion is a biologically hard-boiled part of our personality. This has been known and researched on by scientist for more than a hundred years. Despite this, there’s always new additions to the subject. Linus Jonkman takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the introverted world. He tells of his and other’s experiences as introverts and explains the differences and similarities between extroverted and introverted people. Much of the friction that we experience in our lives, both privately and professional, have roots between these different personalities. The understanding of what it means to be an introvert has increased significantly lately. But we have yet to seen is a job ad searching for an introverted person.

In a world where everything is going faster and faster and where the noise gets stronger and stronger each day, it can be an advantage to be an introvert, and the people who have that gift can call themselves lucky.

 

MY REVIEW

I’ve always known that I was an introvert but I’m still really glad that I read this book. First of all, it was funny. I laughed! I recognized so many things and the author described them in funny ways. But it also made me realize that I’ve been trying to be someone that I’m not, just to try to fit in a society that favors extroverted attributes. But I have to admit that I do recognize myself in many of the extroverted traits that he writes about as well. But the testresult at the end of the book confirmed what I had always known anyway. 50/57 introvert, 7/57 extrovert. Pretty clear.

This is not a book solely based on science even if lots of studies are mentioned. No references though. This is a popular science book where the author makes an introvert laugh while at the same time making everyone understand and accept introverts a little bit more than before. It made me accept myself more than before.

But, take this book with a little grain of salt. It can sound kind of condescending towards extroverts and it is of course generalizing and mostly focusing on the author’s personal feelings, experiences and what makes him an introvert. It does not apply to everyone. Me for example am an introvert in most of the ways possible. But I would for example not say no to a last minute work trip to another country. At the end of every chapter there is a summary for extroverts. I thought that was funny.

One thing that really stood out for me was when Jonkman described the differences in English words and their Swedish translations. There are two words in English that both translates into the same Swedish word. Loneliness (unwanted alone time) and solitude (wanted alone time) both translates into “ensamhet” in Swedish, which means loneliness. Many people suggest to add a new Swedish word that translates into solitude, “självsam”. I totally agree with that!

Then there was the more serious section of the book about introverts in work environments. I would say that it was eye opening for me. I knew about most of the things he wrote, but I never really thought about it, because that’s just how it is. But why is it like that? I honestly got a bit upset. Commitment in a recruiter’s eyes is a person who is seen, who is loud, helps themselves, can fill a room. That’s loud commitment. Isn’t working very late at the office also a type of commitment? But since that is silent commitment, it’s not visible. Why does it have to be like that?

 

I don’t know if a book like this can be spoiled, but I have some things I would like to write here. The quotes are obviously translated by me since the book is originally written in Swedish (and probably not translated to English).

“An introvert does not need the outer world as a source for impressions. We already have lots of stories in our heads.” Maybe this is why I’ve always loved to write? I have always had countless of worlds and stories in my head that I had to get out. The “flow” that he describes is an amazing feeling. I don’t experience it as he describes it, but new things can come to me in the weirdest situations and it just fills my head and it is a blissful feeling of images and words all mixed together but somehow makes total sense.

“Some psychologists are saying that introversion is a mild form of autism and that ADHD is an extension to extroversion due to the ability to multitask.” Makes sense. I’m currently watching Atypical on Netflix about a boy with autism and even if I was never diagnosed with autism, I can relate to so many things.

“I’m not angry, depressed or antisocial. I just don’t want to talk to people for a while and that’s okay.” This is something that I honestly think about daily. Especially at work. I’m working as a project manager where most people are extroverted like nothing I’ve ever seen. Which is great, but the truth is that I’m doing a really good job as the flexible and introvert that I am as well. But I can sometimes feel “forced” into talking at lunch or breaks. And I think this is because extroverts are not comfortable with silence as I am. I am perfectly content with eating my lunch in silence next to my coworkers.

 

It was an entertaining book and for me it was a great read! I now find it easier to say no to invitations that would not be beneficial to me at all. Although I’ve learned that sometimes, compromises is an act of love. I am also more comfortable staying quiet when I before felt almost an obligation to say something because silence is generally seen as something awkward. I will give it a 3.5. I don’t recommend everyone reading it. But it was a very good read for me and probably for many others as well!

 

“The best way to find out if you’re an introvert or extrovert is to think about what you do when you don’t have to do anything.” A good conclusion to this book.