Writer of words. Builder of worlds.

Category: Book Reviews Page 1 of 2

Every Heart a Doorway Analysis, Chapter 5: Survivors, For a Time

Warning: Here be spoilers
In Chapter 5, students turn on Jack, suspecting her of the murder. In group therapy, they discuss the likelihood of returning to their worlds, and the present situation. We close the chapter on a new corpse.

Every Heart a Doorway Analysis, Chapter 4: Lightning to Kiss the Sky

Warning: Here be spoilers
In Chapter 4, Nancy goes through her first day of school, and wakes up on her second to find her roommate murdered. After learning more of Jack and Jill’s travels, Nancy helps Kade and Jack clean up Sumi’s things.

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie: Second Person Narration

The Raven Tower is a story of gods and people. It tells of what happens when the Lease’s Heir and his aide, Eolo, return to the palace to find that the Raven’s Lease, ruler of the kingdom and appointed sacrifice to the kingdom’s god, has disappeared. What follows is a whole bunch of intrigue, politics, and religious history.

It’s also told from the point of view of a god.

Every Heart a Doorway Analysis, Chapter 3: Birds of a Feather

Warning: Here be spoilers.
In Chapter 3, Nancy meets the school therapist, Lundy, who is aging in reverse, due to a bargain she made at the Goblin Market. The morning after group therapy, Nancy learns some unpleasant truths during her orientation.

Every Heart A Doorway Analysis, Chapter 2: Beautiful Boys and Glamorous Girls

Warning: Here be spoilers.
In Chapter 2, Nancy meets Kade, sorts out her wardrobe problem, and navigates her first dinner in this new place. We also meet Jack and Jill, who provide a little more information about the worlds on the Compass.

Every Heart a Doorway Analysis, Chapter 1: Coming Home, Leaving Home

Warning: Here be spoilers.
In Chapter 1, our heroine Nancy arrives at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. Recently returned to this world from the Halls of the Dead, Nancy is greeted by the eccentric Eleanor, and then placed in a room with rhyme-loving, hope-dashing Sumi. When she finds out her parents have switched the contents of her suitcase, Sumi steals her luggage. Nancy follows.

Every Heart A Doorway: Chapter By Chapter Analysis, Introduction and Prologue

This is new series in which I analyse Seanan McGuire’s novella Every Heart A Doorway, chapter by chapter. Every Heart a Doorway is a story about a boarding school for children who have come back from the fantastical journeys to other worlds. Whether it be the Halls of the Dead, a world of insects, or the setting for every gothic horror ever, each child had found a world where they felt at home, and now have to deal with the fact they aren’t there anymore. (Also, they have to deal with the fact that they’ve had experiences most people wouldn’t believe.) Also, there’s a murder mystery.

How not to write your story out of existence

Endings are very important. You can enjoy a story all the way up to the end, but sometimes the actual ending will be so bad it retroactively makes you hate the rest of the story.
Many say that the worst ending is “And then I woke up and it was all a dream.”

Wolf Road: Setting that doesn’t overtake plot

Wolf Road, by Beth Lewis, is a post-apocalyptic Western. It centres on Elka, a girl who was lost in a forest far from home and ended up being raised by a man who turned out to be a serial murderer. Once she finds this out, she decides to run away and seek out her parents, but she is pursued by the murderer who raised her and the sheriff who wants to catch them both.

Howl’s Moving Castle and John Donne’s ‘Song’

Note: this post contains spoilers for the novel Howl’s Moving Castle, which by the way is vastly different from the movie adaptation. If you’ve only seen the movie, reading this will probably confuse you.

Diana Wynne Jones was a genius.
If I were to explain all the ways her genius comes through her writing, I’d be here all day. But I’m going to focus on one thing — her use of the poem Song (by John Donne) in her novel Howl’s Moving Castle.

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