Review

The Reflections of Queen Snow White- A Book Review

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51qjp7z3kdl-_sx311_bo1204203200_The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

This one is another book I read in exchange for an honest review.

On first look, The Reflections of Queen Snow White is right up my alley. I absolutely adore books/movies/television shows that are re-tellings/reworkings/what-have-you of common tales or fairy tales. However, once I began reading, one thing struck me very clearly from the very start of the book.

That is, David Meredith’s style of writing is best summed up in three (alliterative) words: “Pretty Purple Prose.”

Purple Prose is regularly agreed to be prose that is flowery and extravagant (often to the detriment of the story) and heavy handed with usage of adjectives and metaphors.

Generally speaking, I prefer my stories to be nitty-gritty and get straight to the point. And at first, I thought this manner of prose was going to be tiresome. However, as I read, I realized that this wasn’t a story that would “get straight to the point.” The Reflections of Queen Snow White is just that: a collection of her (with a little help from The Mirror) reflecting on her life and the events that led up to where she is now.

Now, all of this makes it a book that is far removed from what I usually read. I like action and adventure and excitement and stakes.

However, this is the first book in a long while, that has actually and fully made me cry. Though there is no true adventure, at least in the traditional sense, there is change, and there are stakes.

Snow White changes, and you can see that very clearly. Perhaps even more clearly than in my preferred “action-packed” adventure novels. The stakes, while not clear, I understood at the end. If she hadn’t changed, she would forever stay a “wraith,” estranged from her daughter and from her people. Alive, but not living.

I’m rating this 5 stars out of 5.

(And broadening my horizons, by looking for more books that house internal, rather than external, conflict.)

About the Author51s58vmezzl-_ux250_

David Meredith is a writer and educator originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. He recieved both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee as well as a Tennessee State Teaching license. On and off, he spent nearly a decade, from 1999-2010 teaching English in Northern Japan, but currently lives with his wife and three children in the Nashville Area where he continues to write and teach English.

LINKS: Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

 

Outlining Your Novel

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Stole the title from K.M. Weiland‘s A-mazing book, Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success.

One, because that what this post pertains to. 

Two, because it’s freaking amazing. 

Three, because I’m reading it right now. 

Four, because it taught me a lot about outlining and planning 

 

But what the book taught me wasn’t so much in the words or instructions, though those are helping me a LOT right now, too! One thing, the big thing, that I learned while reading this, is what it means to be a writer. To be a writer is to question. Why do people act the way they do? What makes people tic? (tick?)  In any case, this post is part regular blog post, part book review (even though I’m only half-way through it.) 

Back to being a writer. You must question. Question everything. Question the obscure, the normal, the obvious. Question the way we’ve always done things. Question history, question science. Anything and everything. Nothing is too outlandish. To be a writer, you have to have an unquenchable thirst for questions. Not for answers. We’re not here to provide answers. We, as writers, are here to make readers feel. Now, onto plotting and the book. 

 

Plotting is a thing that is met with either derision, or ever-lasting love. There isn’t much of a middle ground. You either swear by it, or swear it off. I used to swear it off. I hated the idea of plotting or outlining. Now, I hesitate to start anything without giving it a go again. But I wasn’t quite sure where to begin, as I am still in the “discovery” part of Blame the Moon, and didn’t think I knew enough about the novel or the characters or the world to even start planning. So I did some world building. But I stopped, because I am one of those people who could over plan a world to the point where the story would be forced to mold to the world. Instead of the other way around, as it should be. 

So I stopped world building. But then I was stuck, how to start figuring things out? On Twitter a day or so ago, I saw a link to a blog post with another writer talking about her experiences reading Outlining. I’ll admit, I didn’t read the blog post, but I did remember that I had the book on my kindle. So I pulled it up and started reading. 

And let me tell you, it sparked so many ideas for Blame the Moon, you have no idea. The one thing that really kicked it into high gear was the use of “What If?”s and “What’s Expected?” I will leave it at that, but to me, it was revolutionary. 

I highly recommend any writer, plotter or pantser, get this book. Not only for the plotting/outlining itself. But from taking your idea from that first spark to a full-blown novel. I know I am. 

My Week in Review

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Thanks to K.R. Green for this idea!

This will normally be posted on Friday’s but I slacked yesterday, and until I find or are suggested a better title, this will be it. BUT! Onto the review.

As you all know, I’m editing The Forsaken (Mortality Book 1).I’ve drawn a map, gotten a few new chapters planned out and learned a thing or two.

One- Devin and Damon got across the map too fast. I didn’t realize how far away they were until I drew the map, but damn. I had to draw that out. Which is great, considering I’m lengthening the novel.

Two- Never forget what’s going on in the background. I had almost completely forgotten about the antagonist (who remains almost completely hidden until book two), until I reached a point where I knew I had to throw something else at them, but didn’t know what. Then it was like “duh, he hasn’t killed her and isn’t going to stop trying.”

My tip?

Don’t forget about what’s going on behind the scenes, even if the readers don’t necessarily see it, something is still happening and it may just affect what the readers do see.

I haven’t gotten any of the new scenes written yet, and there’s quite a few of them. Once I have a count, I’ll update that bar on the right hand corner with the correct number (of scenes or chapters, I haven’t decided yet) and keep you guys updated weekly.

Look forward to the Snippet tomorrow!

Again, if there is anything, anything, you guys would like to see on the site, throw it out there. I’m always listening and always open.

Lichgates (Book Review)

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Lichgates Cover
The cover for S.M. Boyce’s first book, Lichgates.

Lichgates by S.M. Boyce

“The Grimoire turns its own pages and can answer any question asked of it…and a Magari is its next target.

Kara has no idea what she’s getting herself into when she stumbles across the old book while hiking along a hidden trail. Once she opens it, she’s thrown into Ourea: a beautiful world full of terrifying beings that all want the Grimoire’s secrets. Everyone in this new world is trying to find her, but most just want to control the new-found power the Grimoire bestows upon her. 

Braeden Drakonin grew up in Ourea, and all he’s ever known in life is lying. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. He has one question to ask the book—one question that can fix everything in his broken world—and he’s not letting Kara out of his sight until he gets an answer.

There’s no escaping Ourea.”

When Kara stumbles through a Lichgate, (which, I may add, should have been better marked) she is thrown into a world unlike that which she has known her entire life, she is hunted by creatures she barely understands, and has, understandably, a hard time knowing who to trust. Braeden is the first remotely friendly face she meets in Ourea, and even he may lead her to ruin, or worse, her death. However, he has been trustworthy thus far and she is loathe to give up her constant companion as she slowly redraws her definition of normal.

S.M. Boyce has created a vibrant world full of memorable characters. The writing is simple and easy, making for a quick read. The plot is easy to follow, with few subplots to detract from it over all. Written in a limited omniscient style, we as readers are given a glimpse into the minds of Kara and Braeden, immersing us into the story that much deeper. There are a few spelling errors and the like that were sadly missed during the editing process, but only one or two are so egregious that they pull the reader out of the story.
The beginning is artfully done, showing a view into Kara’s “normal” life, just before she is thrown for a loop and pulled into Ourea. The first few chapters bounce between Kara and Braeden’s view points until the two finally meet, each chapter ending with a well done cliff-hanger. I quickly came to empathize and fall in love with the characters. Also well done was the introduction of the antagonist. Carden is a well-created character, and S.M. Boyce has no hesitation in painting him in the worst light possible. It was hard for me to find a redeeming quality in him, though I do admire the reasons for doing what he does, most would agree his means are evil by definition.
The meat of the book shows us Ourea in all its glory. Boyce paints the landscape fully in the mind of the reader, with minimal, succinct descriptions, letting us fill in the blanks. It is done tastefully and with a light hand. In the middle of the book, we are introduced to, I think, all the characters that will play a role in the later novels. The middle moves quickly from place to place, staying just long enough for Kara to grow to love, or hate, it before moving on.
The end of the book is quite sudden. The forward movement of the rest of the book seems to be picking up speed, and it’s just go, go, go, and then when it comes to the end, it’s jarring. It ends on a large cliffhanger, which is nonetheless well done. In the epilogue we are introduced to a character who has, until this point, only been spoken of in absentia. This reader was left wondering just what his role in the grand scheme of things would be.
Things I liked: Characters, Description, Easy-to-read, Pacing
Things I disliked: Too Fast, Some errors, Ending too sudden
Overall, I absolutely loved the book and can’t wait for Treason which comes out this month (the 27th to be exact). Four and a half out of five stars.
You can visit S.M. Boyce here, and I highly recommend you buy the book here, or the paper back here.
[EDIT: The minor errors I mentioned have sense been fixed in later rounds of editing.]