NovelSisters

watching, reading, and writing stories

John Flanagan or Rick Riordan

Image result

Image Source

Image result for rick riordan

Image 2 Source

I was thinking about what my favorite book series are and that got me thinking about two authors that I have enjoyed a lot in the past few years: John Flanagan and Rick Riordan. I was introduced to Riordan’s books first by a 6th grader who was reading The Lightning Thief. It was an awesome book with lots of humor, very good descriptions, an intriguing story and great characters. I read the whole Percy Jackson series that summer and loved it. Then I eagerly awaited each new book in his Heroes of Olympus series. So when someone has asked me who my favorite author is in the past, I’ve often said Rick Riordan.

But more recently I’ve started reading John Flanagan’s Brotherband Series. I got into his Ranger’s Apprentice books several years ago but I was always hesitant to try this new series. Often with authors, I find that I like stories with certain characters but once they bridge off to new stories with new characters, I don’t like them as much. But I was surprised as I started reading Brotherband. Even though I had seen none of these characters before, except for brief mentions of Erak, I fell in love with the characters. Each book has been interesting and has an intriguing plot. It made me wonder why I hadn’t tried this series sooner.

Then I had a realization. Even though I love the Percy Jackson series by Riordan, I haven’t loved his other series. I never could get into the Egyptian one, the Norse one sounded interesting, but I never started and even though I’ve been trying to read the one about Apollo I’ve found it hard to get into. It’s like I’m forcing myself to read it, instead of getting sucked in. There are still some good characters and plenty of humor and references to modern culture, but it’s missing something. And I think that something is a connection to the characters and a desire to see them succeed. In Apollo’s series, his character is so full of himself that it’s hard for me to care if he complete’s his mission or not. Plus Riordan’s thing is to write all about other gods and that is sometimes hard for me to read as a Christian. He has also started adding more and more non-traditional relationships in his stories and that just make it harder for me to enjoy.

John Flanagan on the other hand, has a way of creating an intriguing story with diverse characters that you can still relate to. Even though I love Halt and Will from the Ranger’s Apprentice Series, I’ve found that I love Hal and his friends just as much in this new series. There’s even a girl character with my name so that makes it even better.

So even though I’ve said Rick Riordan was my favorite author in the past, I don’t think I can say that anymore. I’ve definitely enjoyed some of his books, but I can’t say that for everything he’s written. But from all that I’ve read from John Flanagan, I can say that.

So anyway, if you’re looking for a good book series to read this summer, I’d suggest Ranger’s Apprentice, Brotherband, or Percy Jackson if you’ve never read it.

Happy Reading!

Leave a comment »

I Love Youth Fiction

So for the past two months I’ve been trying to read a book, it’s a mix of historical fiction and romance. And I just can’t get into it. I’m still not even halfway through the book and it’s just not engaging. But in that same time I have read 3 youth fiction books! It only takes me a couple of hours or maybe one day if it’s longer to speed through a youth fiction book. They’re just so fun to read, so interesting and just enjoyable. It’s no wonder I’m writing in that same genre. So I thought I’d give you some short reviews from my most recent explorations into the youth genre and then give an update on my upcoming book.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/eckhartpubliclibrary/6887718935

 

First off I read Cinder. The final book of the Lunar Chronicles was just released and my sister bought it the day it came out. When she refused to do anything but read she suggested I read the first book in the series: Cinder. I don’t usually read the futuristic sci-fi kind of books, but I knew it was based on the classic Cinderella story so I gave it a chance. And it was great, plenty of action and good descriptions, funny characters and unexpected changes to the classic story. I was surprised when characters actually died and my happily ever after ending wasn’t fulfilled. I have a feeling I have to wait to read Winter to get the ending I crave. But the book opened up a new and interesting world with plausible realities and a great assortment of characters. I would highly recommend this book, and by the way I’m already reading the second book in the series: Scarlet.

The Tournament at Gorlan

Image Source: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/kids/return-to-the-world-of-the-rangers-apprentice-with-the-tournament-at-gorlan/

The next book I dove into was The Tournament at Gorlan, the first of the prequel series for Ranger’s Apprentice. I had been looking forward to this book after reading all of the other books in the Ranger’s series. And I did enjoy reading it and getting to see some of my favorite characters as their younger selves. However, it didn’t connect to me as much as Cinder did. I felt like a lot of the jokes I’d already heard before. For example Halt got thrown off his Ranger Horse just like every other Ranger when they were apprentices. I did enjoy the plot of trying to rescue the king and prince from Morgarath and I also loved the scenes when Halt and Pauline first meet. But it wasn’t my favorite book in the series and I may never read it again.

Cover of the first edition of How to Train Your Dragon

Image Source:

Then yesterday I read the first book of How To Train Your Dragon. I’ve loved the movies for years and have always meant to read the books, but I never did. Well now I can say I have read at least the first book in the series. It’s definitely meant for a younger audience, but it was an enjoyable read. I found it interesting how different the movie was from the book. There are several characters that never even show up in the movies, and a very different take on dragons. I did find it humorous that the vikings book on how to train your dragon has only one suggestion: Yell at it. I also enjoyed seeing the outcast young Hiccup and Toothless become the heroes of the story. I’m not sure if I’ll ever read the other books, but it was a fun and very quick book to read.

And lastly I’ll give a quick update on my upcoming sequel Finding Home: The Lost Brother. This month instead of writing a new book for NaNoWriMo, I’ve been editing each day. I’m hoping to print a test copy at the end of this month and get some more feedback from readers. But the book will soon be finished and I’m excited to get to share it with all of you.

Leave a comment »

My Top 5 Inspiring Book Series Authors

So I’ve enjoyed a lot of good books in my life that have influenced me and inspired me. Some were novels; one good book that I really enjoyed, but often I’ve found myself engrossed in a series of books. Which is fine with me because I get to read more about the characters I’ve already connected with and see an author expand on their universe. There are several authors who have written a series that has a special place in my heart and impacted my own writing. I could read them again and again. So, here we go with a count down for My Top 5 Inspiring Book Series Authors.

Number 5 is C.S. Lewis for his Chronicles of Narnia series.

Monochrome head-and-left-shoulder photo portrait of 50-year-old Lewis

Image 1 Source

I’ve grown up with these books and enjoyed rereading them on several occasions. I love the characters, especially Lucy and Eustice. But all of the characters are so wonderful. And I enjoy the British accent I can easily slip into if I read it out loud. But I also just love the way these books connect to my life as a Christian and getting to see the themes of Christianity woven throughout the seven books. I especially love the way Lewis describes what heaven is like in the last book. In any case, I could reread this series at the drop of a hat and it’ll always have a special place in my heart. And I hope that in my own work my beliefs will come through just as they did for Lewis.

Number 4 is Brian Jacques for his Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series.

Image 2 Source

I didn’t discover this series until I was older, in high school I believe. I had read one or two of Jacques’s other books about the mice. But I never got caught up into that series. However, with Castaways I couldn’t help myself, these books were full of adventure, excitement, a boy and dog going on amazing adventures and joking with each other along the way. I’ve reread them, especially my favorite parts over and over and it has influenced my own writing as well. It’ll always have a place on my bookshelf and I hope that my own writing is just as full of adventure.

Number 3 is Rick Riordan for his Percy Jackson series.

Image 3 Source

I didn’t hear about this series till I was in college, but as I saw the kids I helped with at a middle school reading them, I was intrigued. Riordan has a comedic style of writing that keeps his audience giggling, yet he also comes up with the most fantastic adventures. He’s continued his writing with several other series, though I haven’t read them all. Percy will be a classic for me and I hope to reread the series sometime soon and perhaps learn something new from Riordan’s style of writing and incorporate it into my own.

Number 2 is John Flanagan for his Rangers Apprentice series.

Image 4 Source

Another great series that I was not aware of till after college, I quickly became a fan and read all twelve books in one summer. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting the author and it was a great experience. In any case, all of these books are enjoyable to me and the characters’ development are so well done. Though I may have written them a bit differently if I was the author, I cannot help but be impressed and hope that my own writing and character development may eventually be just as good.

And finally number 1 is Michael and Jeff Shaara for their Civil War series.

Image 5 Source

Image 6 Source

In contrast to all of the other books I’ve mentioned these are meant for adults and would not be categorized as youth fiction. All of Shaara’s books are historical fiction. But boy can these guys bring the past to life. History books have nothing on these fantastic novels. I started with Michael’s “The Killer Angels” and soon got wrapped up in the prequel and sequel that Jeff wrote. And since then I’ve read every single book that Jeff Shaara has written. I’m currently reading “The Fateful Lightning” and it’s just as good. Though the style may not be what I’m going for in my own writing, I hope to become better at researching for my own books and bring some realism to my own work.

Looking back at this list of authors gives me much encouragement. Many of these authors have inspired movies and although the quality of the movies may not compare to the original writing, it is still impressive to me. I hope one day my own books will inspire other authors just as these ones have inspired me to write.

Leave a comment »