Category Archives: Book Reviews

Stories Are Meant To Be Shared

Hi everyone!

Last night, my wife and I watched Ready Player One again, one of our favorite movies, and at the very end, there’s a line of dialogue that has always caught my attention:

“Goodbye, Parzival. Thanks. Thanks for playing my game.” -James Halliday.

Being a creator of, well, anything is special.  But why do we create?  Why do crafters make things, why do artists make art, why do writers write?  I’m sure most people have different answers to those questions, everyone comes to the table with different life experiences and expectations.

But for me, a big part of it is sharing the story.  While there might be exceptions, I’m willing to bet this is a common reason, or at least desire, for most people.  Jewelcrafters want people to wear their jewelry.  Artists want to show their art so others can see them and enjoy them.  Engineers want people to use their things.

And writers want people to read and enjoy their stories.  Or at least, I do.

If by some strange coincidence I was able to write full time for the rest of my life, but no one ever read my work, and no one ever talked about it or felt anything about it, I would never be happy.  It would never be enough.

I suspect James Halliday, and many other game designers in real life, have much the same thought.  Why make a video game if no one is going to play it?

Maybe I’m wrong, but the look on Halliday’s face when he delivered that final line instantly made me think that.  He had built the most elaborate game in the history of games, and Parzival played it passionately and vigorously.  It meant something to Parzival.  It meant everything to him.

And Halliday, whether he was an elaborate AI or some sort of mind-uploaded copy of the real Halliday, couldn’t have been happier about it.

That’s something I hope I have achieved, even if only for a few people – passion.  I hope there’s someone out there who has enjoyed my stories, and eagerly awaits my next one.  I hope that there are people out there talking about them with each other, discussing their views on the characters, their favorites and least favorites, and why.

I’ve been a little despondent about it lately – Over a year since I published the 2nd editions of books 1 and 2 and not a single review on Amazon.  Not even a negative one.  Is it because my stories are ‘meh’ and no one feels passionately enough about them to even click a star or 5?

It doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying, and it tells me I need to hone my craft and come up with truly engaging stories.  But it really does make it hard sometimes.

Which is why I say to all of you, if you have enjoyed an author’s work, or even hated it, please do them a favor and let them know.  We crave input from our readers, good and bad!  It lets us know that we’ve made an impact, even if a minimal one.  It also lets us know what we’ve done right, and what we’ve done wrong, so that ultimately, we can write better stories for you in the future :)

Stories are meant to be shared.  Especially your own.

Thanks for reading!
-Jon Wasik

Book Review – Rider’s Revenge

Hi everyone!

Although this was the week I had chosen to take off from writing, I decided to write a usual Saturday blog anyway…especially because I wanted to write a review for the novel Rider’s Revenge :)

Rider’s Revenge by Alessandra Clarke

riders-revengeRider’s Revenge is a novel about K’lrsa (pronounced killrisa), a young woman in the desert tribe known as the White Horse Tribe.  She is a rider, one of the best up-and-coming riders of her tribe, who is torn between her responsibilities to her tribe as a First Daughter and her desire to be a full-fledged rider.

However, when she is struck by tragedy, she vows an oath to seek vengeance on those responsible, and leaves her tribe, her family, everything she knew and loved behind to fulfill her oath.  Along the way, she will make startling discoveries about the world outside of the desert, find something she never thought she could, and will be faced with the most difficult decisions of her life.

…Is love worth sacrificing your oath to vengeance?

My Thoughts

K’lrsa was a great character to read!  She is a very strong, independent woman who suddenly finds herself in a world where those very traits that define her are forbidden.  Imagine a strong, independent woman today being thrust back into Victorian England, the struggles she might go through as everyone around her, men and women alike, cast her down and try to restrain her from exercising basic freedom.

There were also several surprises along the way that I rather enjoyed, some I figured out just ahead of their revelation, and some I never saw coming.  I enjoy both kinds, because I get excited for the ones I figure out, and I love the surprise of the ones I didn’t :)

I also like how so much of K’lrsa’s struggle became mired in grays, rather than it being a black and white struggle.  It made for an engaging story, and helped me learn more about just what kind of woman K’lrsa really is.

While considered a fantasy, the fantastical elements in Rider’s isn’t overt in most cases.  You won’t find Wizard’s casting magic like you would in Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.  Yet it exists just underneath the surface everywhere you look, and if you keep your eyes open and your mind open, you’ll see it everywhere :)

Recommendation – yay or nay?

I’d definitely give this one a thumbs up.  Anyone who enjoys a strong female protagonist, fun adventures, and exploring the differences between two polar cultures (with a touch of magic thrown in), check it out! The writing style is strong and enjoyable, too, so that makes it an even more enjoyable read :)

Also, the continuation, Rider’s Rescue, just came out!!  :D

Where to Find It

All over the place!!  Ms. Clarke has made it available through so many mediums.  The easiest would be on Amazon.com for either print or Kindle…

Click Here to find Rider’s Revenge on Amazon.com

Also, for anyone local to the Denver, CO area, you can find Rider’s Revenge on the shelves of Tattered Cover!  :D

That’s all for today.  Thanks for reading, everyone!

-Jon Wasik