Tag Archives: Simon Toyne

Read any good books lately?

Hiddey-ho J Monkeys, here.  Happy Saturday to you and yours!  One of the things I hear again and again from authors, is that we love to read.  And reading is a great procrastination technique…I mean…research opportunity…I mean…way to learn stuff about story structure.

Okay, seriously…who cares why they say reading is good…it just is!  I love to read.  Left to my own devices, I would do very little other than read.  It’s my favorite thing to do.  Now lately, I’ve read a bunch of fun stuff and I thought I’d take a few minutes to tell you about it.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: This is a wonderful story of two young women working for the war effort in England during the blitz.  If you have any interest in WWII or young women for that matter, you need to get this book.  Let me put it to you this way.  When I hit the 30% mark on this book, I emailed the author to tell her how much I was enjoying the story and to ask if she’d consider doing an interview with us.  Stay tuned for my interview with Ms. Elizabeth Wein next Saturday.

Sanctus & The Key by Simon Toyne:  I raved about this series a few weeks ago.  Check out that post here.  Only 6 months or so until the third book comes out.

rl stevensonTreasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson: Have you heard of this guy?  Why didn’t I ever come across Mr. Stevenson during my years studying English Literature?   I read that crap by Mary Shelly in three different classes.  Three!  And James Joyce?  Yuck – I’m not a fan.  But this Stevenson guy?  He’s pretty cool.  Seriously though.  I’m 1/2 way through Treasure Island and it’s really good.  The writing is really accessible to today’s reader.  I love movie adaptations of Dickens’ books, but I find reading them tough.  I’ve tried a couple of them and I find that I read it with my finger stuck in the end notes to figure out what the heck-fire he’s talking about.  None of that with nonsense with this Stevenson fellow.

casual vacancyThe Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling: This is Ms. Rowling’s new adult book.  I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and I love Ms. Rowling’s writing in those books.  Love the imagery, the richness of the description, the cleverness of the plot twists that I totally should have seen coming.  But I’m having a bit of trouble with this book.  I’ve been reading it for two weeks.  Two WEEKS!  I can’t remember the last time it took me that long to read a book and I’m only 1/2 way through it.  It kinda reminds me of some of Stephen King’s books – like Under the Dome.  I read that one last year and I liked it.  Like Under the Dome, The Casual Vacancy has a huge cast of characters.  And I know this is a silly thing, but it’s full of four letter words.  It’s kind of like if Laura Ingalls Wilder decided to follow Little House on the Prairie up with Fifty Shades of Gray.  Somehow, I just never imagined Harry Potter’s “mom” using those words.  As I said, it’s silly.  I don’t dislike the book, but I can’t give it a glowing recommendation yet either.

Today’s Secret: Code Name Verity!  Read it.

Today’s Question: What was the last great book you read?

Nanowrimo-ing Monkey Blog #2

Hello Scribblers!  J Monkeys here.  I’m posting early this month, if you don’t know why, check out last weeks’ blog

Nanowrimo day 9 ended a minute ago.  I have 13,253 of 18,000 words written so far.  I’m behind, but not so far that I can’t catch up with a couple of good days!

I wanted to tell you all about a GREAT new trilogy that I’ve started reading.  The first two books are available now, Sanctus and The Key Simon Toyne, the author says that the 3rd is still a WIP and should be available in the United States early next summer.  If you liked The DaVinci Code, you should definitely pick up this series. 

Let me tell you how Sanctus came to be found at the top of my To Be Read pile.  I walked past The Key in my town library and was immediately attracted to the fire blaze on the cover, in the shape of a key.  Yup – that’s all it took.  I knew nothing about the book, or the author, but the tag line on the front cover read, “The fate of man lies in the hands of one woman.”  I checked it out without even glancing at the jacket.

About 50 very gripping pages into the story – I began to suspect that there was something I didn’t know but should.  I read the jacket text much more carefully than I had previously and even read the short blub about the author on the back.  That’s where I realized that The Key is the second book in the trilogy.  I put it down, picked up my Kindle and immediately shelled out $9 and change for Sanctus.  Immediately.  I think that’s the reaction every author hopes for in their readers. 

So I plowed through Sanctus as quickly as possible and the little that I’d read of The Key immediately made more sense.  I read and read and read at every spare moment.  It’s Saturday morning now.  I think I might have purchased Sanctus on Wednesday-ish.  I’ve finished both books and I can’t wait to read the last one next summer!

I don’t want to tell you anything that happens in the story because it’s so exciting.  I’ll just say this, vast conspiracy throughout history with religion at it’s center.  I loved the pacing, fast – like Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (which I thought was the best of his books so far with The Davinci Code as a close second.)  Lots of characters to root for or root for their demise.  (Yes that’s the correct version of “root”; I looked it up.  I had “route” at first and thought that seemed off.  It was.  Freakin English language!)

Today’s Secret: Read Sanctus and The Key!

Today’s Question: What have you read lately that you got really excited about?