News

News: Since April of last year I have managed to accomplish several monumental things in my studies, but I update you now to tell you that three nights ago I had the best sleep since I last visited my aunt's house (years ago) and probably will never have another good sleep like it for years to come *nods sagely*.

--12 March 2017 --

Quote: I really dislike how glasses slide down your nose impetuously when you're glaring down at your unfinished work. -Me

The Fellowship

May 15, 2014

The Great Mutiny + Sailing Ships

I've been travelling a bit in the USA over the last couple days (those of you who read my personal blog, The Minstrel Warrior will know of this already). Today I came upon a delightful find - my brother wanted to stop by a little nautical shop we'd seen the other day, so we pulled up and walked inside. It was a quaint, warm little place with sea charts curled up in cubby holes and books on ship design scattered about. I saw some stairs and discovered an attic filled with old books that had something or other to do with the ocean.

The first thing that caught my eye was Sailing Ships by Attilio Cucari. It's a cute little book with pictures of many important old ships - it gives basic information about all kinds of stuff: the cog, the caravel, the frigate, the galleon, the brigantine, the schooner, etc etc. If you've been a long time reader of this blog, you'll know I'm rather fascinated with old ships and I've always wanted to try my hand at writing about them or incorporating them into a novel at some point in the future (if that ever happens). So now I've got this book, perhaps I'll feel a bit more confident about turning out into uncharted waters, so to speak :P

The second thing that caught my eye was a thick volume with beautiful cover art: The Great Mutiny by James Dugan. Goodreads gives the following short blurb:
A gripping and thorough account of the great British naval mutinies at Spithead and the Nore in 1797 when the sailors of the Royal Navy rose up in revolt against their appalling working conditions and withholding of pay. The author contrasts the unexpected success of the Spithead mutiny, in which the sailors were granted most of their demands, with the story of the Nore mutiny where, under the leadership of a seaman called Richard Parker, the revolt took an altogether more tragic course.



Some pictures from inside The Great Mutiny


All in all, The Great Mutiny sounds like a superb book, and even if it's a dry read I'm happy to keep it simply for the wonderful cover art.

That's all I have for you today folks :) I hope you're all enjoying your week - it's blazing hot where I am right now (an undisclosed location ;) we know how it goes, lol).

Signed with a soft breeze,

Squeaks.

May 8, 2014

[Review] Dreamtreaders by Wayne Thomas Batson

I just finished Dreamtreaders this morning and now give myself over to write a review of the book.

First I'd like to point out the fact that this book is written in the typical, humorous style that I've come to love from Batson. His characters are unique, the scenery is delightful, and the implied Christian undertones are most welcome. I've noted that a few reviewers have claimed the introduction was rough or "typical fantasy style" - I, however, found it wonderful. We were quickly introduced to the main character (Archer) and his protagonist (The Nightmare Lord); we were also thrown instantly into the dreamscape and became acquainted with its rules and regulations.

There wasn't any bumbling about, nor were there any useless bits of fluff and drivel that didn't help support the overall plot. This I was very appreciative of - as a wide reader of many different genres, I often find myself skimming past silly rabbit trails authors thought important to their tale. Let me tell you this - it is a very rare thing for an author to be able to get away with a good, decent rabbit trail and not lose the interest of the reader :) So thumbs up to WTB for avoiding them altogether!

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Quick review break to include Squeak's absolute favourite quote from Dreamtreaders ;)
They could no more catch Archer than a sloth could leap up and grab a soaring hawk. --Dreamtreaders, pg 9
Honestly, the simple beauty in this analogy is what defines my favourite property of the story - the humour. It's priceless. And gosh golly, pairing the imagery of a leaping sloth to that of a soaring hawk creates the most delightful imagery in my mind! I. Adore. It.

Also, Razz - I cannot begin to explain how ecstatic I was to see Batson created such a delightful little character! My only wish was that he gave her a little more dialogue - seriously, she was radical :D

The Christian undertones are undeniably there if you look for them. To those people who've implied that Batson's avoiding the gospel, I tell ya'll you're definitely blind. The entire tale is an allegory, most cleverly wrought. *quirks eyebrow* I was most impressed. Perhaps the implied statements pass over the minds of younger individuals, but they're clear as an exploding supernova to me. So huzzah to Batson! He did a great job!

Now, I do have one disagreement to make (a disagreement hedged by several very important points). Amazon advertises an age range of 8-12yrs for the recommended readers. While the writing style is definitely geared towards young children, the content is more suiting 16+. My personal opinion? I would never let a 12 yo read this book, even though I absolutely love Wayne Thomas Batson. Why? Let me explain.

First there are some scenes that are unfitting for an 8 year old's eyes. To avoid writing a spoiler, I will simply say - the nightmarish properties of the novel are quite nightmarish. It brought to mind the underwater island scene in Isle of Fire, involving the Merchant (for any of you who've read the book); however, it's not even close to the intenseness we read in Ghost. Still, it's not what I'd consider kid material. Now in my opinion, this quality would bump up the age rating to 13+... but there's one more hitch.

Batson goes into a light discussion of lucid dreaming. Let it be said now - this is not a topic to play around with. Lucid dreaming is very much so a practice of some individuals today, and getting wrapped up into it is terribly dangerous. I didn't learn about this concept until I was hmm, 16 or 17; without much moral guidance I found myself rather enchanted by the idea of being able to control ones dreams. The problem - it leads to a lot of scary, cult-y stuff. Needless to say, I'm a strong supporter of bringing awareness to the dangers of lucid dreaming. In part, this is because of my own beliefs.

Why is this a hitch if Batson deals with it in a way that say "No, this is bad, don't do it - see the dangers here"? Well, children are insatiably curious creatures. Opening their eyes to a danger in the current age we live in (e.g. access to powerful search engines, forums, and so on and so forth) is a recipe for disaster. Now there are exceptions - I know several 12 year olds that have the minds of 16 year olds simply because of the situations they've been through in life. However, speaking of children as a whole, I personally wouldn't subject their minds to potentially dangerous material.

Therefore, I feel that by the age of 16, an individual will be mature enough to determine right from wrong and have the aptitude to steer clear from the temptations of that which is morally unsound.

That being said, Dreamtreaders is a wonderfully exciting book with superb scenery and humour (yes, I repeat myself - it's true). I heartily recommend the adventure to anyone 16+! While the reading level might be aimed at younger individuals, I still feel the tale is delightful and enjoyable and I look forward to the next book :)

Signed with leaves and fruit,

Squeaks.

May 7, 2014

Dreamtreaders by Wayne Thomas Batson



Hallo Folks!

It's been a while since I've posted anything book-related - alas, I'm a day belated on the newest release from one of my favourite authors, however that will not prevent me from urging you today to go and pick up his book. 

Isn't that absolutely GLORIOUS cover art? I feel pain in my soul every time I look at it, because I cannot get my hands on a solid copy yet (I have acquired the kindle version - voila insta-book!). 

Now, I encourage you to read below as to why you should invest, with haste, into this book. 


***

Book #1 in a trilogy from fantasy author Wayne Thomas Batson explores the concept of dreams and their effects on us.
People are fascinated by dreams, and the Bible has a great deal to say about them. From Jacob’s dream of the heavenly stairway in Genesis 28 to angels visiting Joseph during dreams in Matthew 1 to the Apostle John’s “waking dream” from which he obtained the book of Revelation—dreams have been powerful ingredients of God’s plan as revealed through Scripture.
Fourteen-year-old Archer Keaton discovers he has the ability to enter and explore his dreams. He is a dreamtreader, one of three selected from each generation. Their mission: to protect the waking world from the Nightmare Lord, who wreaks chaos in the Dream World. But as Archer’s dreams become more dangerous and threatening, so too does his waking life.
Rigby Thames, the new kid from England, builds a suspicious rock star-like following at Dresden High School a little too quickly. Even Archer’s best friend and confidant, Kara Windchil, seems taken in by the cool guy with the wild blond hair, which definitely rubs Archer the wrong way. Archer must face two foes in two worlds, but he cannot succeed alone. Archer sets off to find other dreamtreaders in a desperate attempt to defeat the enemy terrorizing his friends and family.
Features & Benefits:
  • New fantasy trilogy from bestselling author Wayne Thomas Batson
  • Batson’s previous epic fantasy trilogy, The Door Within, has sold more than 250,000 copies
  • Brings epic fantasy with a biblical base to middle grade readers
  • Epic fantasy is popular in movies and TV shows, and this is a spiritual epic fantasy


***

Are you convinced yet? I certainly was! I have always been fascinated with the concept of dreams - I was even more so intrigued after reading Bryan Davis' series Echoes from the Edge (that's a link to Book 1 of 3), which also discusses the idea of dream-walking. The fact that WTB, one of my favourite authors in the entire world, is writing a series on this very topic instantly makes this book a must-read. 

So what are you waiting for? The kindle version of Dreamtreaders is super easy to attain! You can read it on your computer or ebook device (if you don't know how, feel free to email me - just click the Contact Me tab). I'd love to know if this post was the final straw for your decision to read WTB's latest book - post a comment if you decided to buy it :) 

Signed with utmost excitement, 

Squeaks.
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