The Watchmaker of Filigree Street: A Review

This book gave me whiplash.

Set against the backdrop of the 19th century Clan na Gael bombings in London, and 19th century political unrest in Japan, Natasha Pulley’s The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is nothing short of immense. For a new author to release a debut novel that gripped me so intensely, in a genre I don’t generally read, is nothing short of mindblowing. I won’t lie and says it’s perfect. At one point I found myself slightly lost during a confusing, labyrinthine scene, and a couple of plot points came across as jarring. But on the whole, the book is enjoyable, unique, and smart enough to keep readers guessing all the way up to the end.

Continue reading “The Watchmaker of Filigree Street: A Review”

Sharing a Favourite

I know that, for a lot of us, poetry isn’t just a one-day deal. There are plenty of bloggers here on WordPress that practically breath poetry.

But it is nice to see that the art form is being universally celebrated for at least one day a year.

Yes, today is World Poetry Day.

In light of this occasion, I would like to share with you one of my favourite poems. Invictus by W.E. Henley is the poem I turn to when I doubt myself, when I’m feeling down, or even just for fun! (Yes, just because I like poetry doesn’t mean I’m always sat in a dark corner somewhere feeling sad.)

Do you have a favourite poem? If so, tell me in the comments below.

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There is Nothing Sweeter than a Free Book!

A London Book Haul

You may have noticed that I’ve been to The London Book Fair, god knows my Twitter feed has been full of stuff about it.

For those of you who don’t know much about it, The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels.

It is an annual event that sees more than 25,000 publishing professionals, authors, and students arrive in London for the week of the Fair to network, attend seminars, and kick off the year of business.

Perhaps even more important, however, is the metric tonne of free stuff that one can acquire. Continue reading “There is Nothing Sweeter than a Free Book!”

I Went to The London Book Fair

We stumbled out of Baron’s Court tube station looking lost and feeling overwhelmed. I, clutching my new oyster card, walked over to a map and pretended that I knew what I was looking for. I had obviously failed because a kindly old lady approached me, observed my pained visage, and gave me and the group the directions we needed.

That was the first surprise London afforded me! I had been led to believe that everyone in London was stuck in tunnel vision mode. That they were too rude and/or indifferent to bother with a lost looking group of master’s students. At least, that is what I had been told.

Unfortunately, that soon became the truth as pedestrians elbowed us aside, people cut in front of us, and drivers beeped their car horns and swore under their breath as we failed to cross the road quick enough.

Ah! Finally, the ‘authentic’ London experience. Continue reading “I Went to The London Book Fair”

Show, Don’t Tell: Is it That Simple?

Anyone that has ever taken a creative writing course or an interest in the subject has most likely encountered the famous phrase: show, don’t tell! I’ve received this as feedback countless times and have been told the phrase even more so. But what I haven’t often been battered over the head with, is what show, don’t tell actually bloody means!

It is often said that showing, not telling, is the best way to write fiction. This opinion often stems from the fact that people who are just beginning to write have a tendency to tell the audience about everything happening in a story, rather than show them. This, of course, is not always the case. Even established authors can be guilty of over-telling.

Continue reading “Show, Don’t Tell: Is it That Simple?”

The Queen of the Tearling: A Review

The Queen of the Tearling is the debut novel, and the first book in a trilogy, by American Author Erika Johansen. Johansen grew up in the San Fransisco area and achieved a MFA from the Iowa’ Writer’s workshop.

Erika Johansen is a fascinating author, with an interesting – and quite public – stance on having more ‘ugly’ heroines in book series. This is certainly reinforced in The Queen of the Tearling with constant references to how ‘plain’ and ‘ugly’ the main character is. In fact, Johansen touches upon a great many meritorious subjects during this novel. But it is for these very same reasons that I’ve come away from this novel quite disappointed.

I hate to give a bad review, especially when everything seems to point at the book actually being good. Johansen secured a seven-figure book and movie deal before the first novel even hit the shelves, the book has sold oodles of copies, and it has drawn comparisons to Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, both widely regarded as fantastic series.

And that’s a problem! Continue reading “The Queen of the Tearling: A Review”

Versimilitude in Chatoyant Petrichor: Wednesday Wordage

No matter how many of these posts I do, there never seems to be an end to the words I discover. I’m beginning to wonder if the English language is infinite! Well, in some ways I suppose it is. With new words being added to the dictionary all the time, the only language-limiting factor seems to be time. While some of the more recent additions don’t particularly fit into the theme of Wednesday Wordage – twerk and selfie being the pertinent examples – I’m sure that more incredibly, needlessly, horrifically complicated words are on their way.

In fact, the first word on this list is incredibly, needlessly, horrifically complicated. Not to mention that it focuses on a very specific definition (of course), but isn’t that what we’re here for?

Continue reading “Versimilitude in Chatoyant Petrichor: Wednesday Wordage”