Passages: Darien’s Rise, Paul McCusker

So you’re a city kid who’ve been sent out to an exile in a small town named Odyssey- obviously when you hear about an old abandoned mansion you go to explore it. And when you hear mysterious voices behind a closed door, you go to investigate those voices. Kyle thinks this is OBVIOUS. Anna thinks they should go home.

Kyle kinda gets his way. It’s hard to tell, since he fell through the floor into a bright light, and Anna opened a door to find the same bright light swallowing her up. Now he’s running across the country side with a dashing young officer, and she’s been charged with spying and sold as a slave.

Those people who’ve read 1st Samuel will find the plot of the book to be rather familiar. That would be because it’s the same plot, just in a different setting, with several added characters, and technology, and points. And stuff. *cough*

I have mixed feelings about this story.

There are several points against it. A Con would be that it’s very sexist. Kyle is going on adventures and saving lives all around the country for most of the book, as said, while Anna gets rescued from the slave market and then does chores in the house of the Old Prophet. Then they send her on a mission- which is to go hang out in a convent. That doesn’t go well, but the pattern continues. Kyle does stuff, Anna stays home. She’s even the one with the natural mystical faith, which faithful-girl trope I am SO OVER. I was also quite bothered by the reaction the characters have to deaths of other characters. One “main” character dies, offscreen, and everyone is devastated. That’s fine. I support devastation. The fact that some minor characters died, ON SCREEN, and they got one line about the (girl) character praying for them? That bothered me.

But on the Pro side, it’s a very funny book. I laughed quite a lot, and not in a mocking way. Okay, a couple times it was mocking. Like when Darien is paying for his bride with enemy metals? In the original it was the foreskins of his enemies. Had to update that one a bit, did they? Though they didn’t really have to update the one where Darien steals part of the king’s clothes while he’s sleeping, and it’s hilarious all ways. 😀 The book is also a rollicking good adventure, at least on Kyle’s part. And while Anna’s story arc is less satisfying at the end, she gets to witness some good parts, and have the most human reactions to her situation.  (You know, like : I’m seeing things in the mirror that aren’t there- I MUST BE CRAZY.)

Overall, it was a successful book, and I would feel quite sanguine about lending it to my smaller siblings. It’s one of those that has nothing to pollute young minds in it- but even with that handicap it manages to land a solid “fun read.” I gave it three stars out of five.

P.S. ONE MORE THING. Why does no one accuse them of being crazy when they say they’re from another world? I feel strongly that there should have been more allegation of insanity. AUGGGGGGGGH.


P.S. I’m trying Hubris on for size now. Can you tell?

Let’s cut to the chase. (Dude, I love that phrase. Don’t you love that phrase? Man, I love that phrase. *looks around* Oh yes, chase. Need to cut to it. *cough)
Yes I haven’t been blogging. No, my hands have not been eaten by a toothy snail in my sleep. No, I probably won’t be much better about regular posting in the future.
BUT. I am here to share some NEWS with you.
First of all, I did NOT sell the film right to my most excellent story Expendables The film that you might have heard about is not- I repeat, NOT- the story that I’ve mentioned and excerpted here in the past. ^_^ I thought I’d mention that and save us all some pain and confusion.
In connection to my not selling the film rights to my WONDERFUL AND AWESOME stories, I’ve been putting much of my income towards paying off some debts of mine incurred in the ENRICHMENT OF MY MIND. If I do not spend any money at all in September, I do believe I- Lord Willing And The Creek Don’t Rise- will be free of debts at the end of the month.
In the interest in keeping myself HONOURABLE and keeping my visa card out of my grabby hands in the middle of the night when I’m busy surfing the blogs of debut authors, (no, this totally didn’t happen last month, why do you say that,) I am going to join A Girl Reads a Book’s Book Buying Ban.
Aren’t I pretty?

Because a picture of a chained pig is what I REALLY need to get me through the dark nights. (Don’t think about that one too hard. *pause* I warned you. ^_^)


I, uh, won an award. *beams*

My very first award! And it’s all green and loopy!


Here’s the instructions for the award. *stares at them*

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order…)

4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.

Right So. I was actually awarded this TWICE, from both shield Maiden @ Wings of Daedalus and Bahnree @ I am, Therefore I Write. They’re both lovely, and you should check them out. 😀 (YES DO IT.) However, shield maiden isn’t blogging there any more, so you have to toodle over to her new collab site with her husband, location TBA.

Let’s see, what’s next? Things about me! Oh boy. Well….

  1. My job means that I meet all kinds of people. (I work at a bank.) I mean think about it. EVERYONE comes to the bank. In fact, today I helped out an elderly man who had some old-school tattoos. You know the ancient signs that are a hand holding a flower or something? He had one of those, and a ribbon with what seemed to be another language on it, and quite a few others. A cool, respectable old man who didn’t even need hearing aids. And then I looked at his date of birth and realized he was 94. Which just impressed me. 😀 And proved that if you have the right KIND of tattoos, they can still last. Service jobs, teaching you about what kind of tattoos to get since the beginning of time.
  2. And speaking of tattoos, boys with tats seem to be the most well behaved, at least at MY work. They come in and are respectful, and smile shyly- if at all, and don’t- you know, leer or boss me around or make creepy remarks, like the church boys or the old men with lots of grandkids or the married men. It’s gotten so that I see a guy inked up with multiple piercings and my first reaction is “what a nice boy.” So yeah. That’ll get me far in the outside world.
  3.  I drank Twinnings Earl Grey tea with religious fervour while at College. Now the taste or even the smell of that tea makes me feel smart. ^_^
  4. I play one-person computer games as a group activity. I sit on the couch, and my little siblings sit beside me on the cushions or arms (and hang over the back of said furniture) and they point out things to me. For example, today Elizabeth was in charge of informing me when I needed to collect taxes from my villagers, and Bonny told me what my objectives were when needed. 😀
  5. When I get sleep deprived, I get depressed. Weirdly enough, I’m only making the connection between late night dark valleys of the soul and getting by on six hours of sleep NOW…
  6. I also watch television as though it’s a multi-person contest. Quotes must be identified, songs must be named, and commercials must be mocked. And if we’re watching Jeopardy, well, I play along. 
  7. I don’t like getting my hair cut. So I just grow it, and grow it, and grow it, until I finally explode into exasperation and cut off two feet or more at a blow. I have become so frustrated that I have seriously considered shaving my head. Fortunately my mom was there to haul me back into the car.
So- there’s my weird fact. Oh- they weren’t supposed to be weird? HAH well with me weird is what you’re gonna get. Learn it love it LIVE it, babeh. 
Hmm, now I have to tell you about 15 blogs that I adore, and found recently. Well, found within the last two years is recent, right? Right? SURE. *beams* 
*starts to go over blog list*
PIcking just 15 is HARD. 
*cries over computer*
*leaves list, make tea, comes back*
Okay these are my top 15 bookish/nerdish blogs. They’re the ones that whenever I see they’ve posted, I am gleeful and I dash over to see what they wrote. ^_^ I’ll give you the link, how I found them, some suff you should know to expect, and why I love them. (I just realized these are all blogs written by women. Hah. Sorry Kyle Cassidy, you almost made the cut, but not QUITE as much love for you and your ilk.)
  1. Just A Good Book
    1. Origin of Discovery: We’ve been best friends for almost three years now, and I love her in general and also her reviews. Kemendraugh’s only been book blogging for a little while, but that just means you get to get in on the ground floor. 
    2. Whois: Library Tech. Snarky writer girl. Older sister. Canadian. Lover of hilarious quotes.
    3. Why I ❤ Her: She's Kemendraugh.
  2. I Am, Therefore I Write 
    1. Origin of Discovery: Bahnree and I were housemates. She got me to read Star Wars and Dune and Manga, and start blogging, and introduced me to the joys of salacious comments. 
    2. Whois: English Major. Writer. Christian. American.
    3. Why I ❤ Her: She's Bahnree.
  3. Reading Writing Rachel
    1. Origin of Discovery: Um. Let me think. OH YEAH, I follow the tenners on LJ, and she posted there to enthuse about her lovely cover for Hex Hall. I followed the links to her blog, found it was hilarious, and bookmarked. After I read her book and found it to be hilarious (sometimes the blog love does not last through the book, sadly,) I decided to stop by more often. 
    2. Whois: Rachel Hawkins. Alabama- (Subset of American.) Mom of an energetic Small Son. Writer of snarky YA fiction which I lurve. Conscience which extends to giving things and money, not just fixing WrongThinking.
    3. Why I ❤ Her: She's hilarious, whether talking about books, life, writing or marketing. And I like hilarious.
  4. Natural/Artificial
    1. Origin of Discovery: I blame Kiersen White. She linked about something, and then i found a blog full of pictures of beautiful british men. I will confess I was there for several visits before I noticed the mention of the book she’s writing. (I’ve pre-ordered, and I don’t even read romance successfully. She’s so adorable I’m hoping this book will be magic. ^_^)
    2. Whois: Stephanie Perkins. Blue hair. Happily Married. Pictures of british men- just accept and enjoy. Writer about the magic of normal life. American Paris fan-girl.
    3. Why I ❤ Her: She's adorably funny, and honest about how hard it is to write, and adorable. My inner bouncy-happy-girl comes out when I read her blog. 
  5. Kiersen Writes
    1. Origin of Discovery: Someone on twitter RTed something about a friend getting a book deal, and how she totally deserved it! And I clicked through and found a post about almost dying a year ago, and how now she just signed a three book deal with HarperTeen.
    2. Whois: Happily married mom of two adorable kids. San Diegoer- (subset of Californian- (subset of American.). Paranormal YA writer. Mormon. Helpful and caring.
    3. Why I ❤ Her: She's snarky funny and clever and honest. And she's openly short. Which makes her seem so much more approachable? I don't know! Also I heart her book, which helps.
  6. Liyanaland
    1. Origin of Discovery: Um. I think this one was Kiersen White as well! Maybe. Or perhaps it was Sarah Rees Breenan. ANYHOW, I discovered her, and I bounce whenever she posts blogs.
    2. Whois: Book Blogging from Singapore! That’s all I know, really. It’s all about the books.
    3. Why I ❤ Her: Well written, well thought out, well PUNCTUATED posts about YA books. I can't even tell you how much of a relief that is. Not much hilarity, but she's also on the bleeding edge of discovering books before they're buzzing, which makes this a darn useful site. I just enjoy it. ^_^
  7. Attention Rebellious Jezebels
    1. Origin of Discovery: UMMMMMMMMMMMM. *points madly* Sarah Rees Breenan! It was HER!  
    2. Whois: Karen Healey. YA writer. Classicists. Feminist. Australian and New Zealand politics. Social Conscience. Painfully Liberal 
      1. A I mean that not in a mocking way, but in that she will go to lengths that are unboubtedly personally painful to make sure that she’s not inadverntaly engaging in issues like sizeism. This is where I learned about mansplaining, what on earth it is to be cis-gendered, and the incredible sincerity that is behind people who talk about inclusion with those wide eyes. Which was, as someone who was raised in a pretty Conservative and conservative house, rather illuminating. We don’t agree on everything, but she generally makes me think. Which I find useful. 😀
    3. Why I ❤ Her: She's hilarious. (Sensing a theme, eh?) She has "adventures in lying"as a tag on her journal. Also, her incredible sincerity is refreshing. Given that I work at a bank, as above noted. NOT the most sincere of people
  8. Occupation: Girl
    1. Origin of Discovery: Banhree sent me a link, I read, and I said first, “so THIS is where you get all your  hilarious and useful links,” And then I said “WHY AM I NOT FOLLOWING HER?” So then I followed her. 
    2. Whois: CleoLinda. Nerd-girl. Reader. Watcher of movies. Mocker of movies. Mocker of books. Mocker of life, surgery, death, pain, and all the rest. LINK_MISTRESS_EXTRAORDINARY.
    3. Why I ❤ Her:  I like people who can look at hospitals and then walk out and laugh at Twilight. And she LAUGHS
  9. Sarah Tells Tales
    1. Origin of Discovery: Spartezda linked a quote about gratuitous vampires. I followed the link and found MAGIC.
    2. Whois: Sarah Rees Breenan. Feminist. Writer of YA paranormals. Social Conscience, in the manner of Karen Healey. Irish- (not really a subset of English.)
    3. Why I ❤ Her: I think this was the first feminist blog I read and actually agreed with what she was saying. All of it. ^_^ That didn't happen with EVERY blog post, but basically with all "Ladies, carry on being awesome," posts I'm up in my room going PREACH IT at the computer. Which is- one reason. The real reason I keep checking back, if I am honest about my OH SHINY mind, is because she is hilarious and talks about books I want to read but didn’t know until she mentioned it. The woman can make me want to be stuck in trains and rescued by a grim ex-marine so that I can write blog posts like that.
  10. Maureen Johnson’s Blog
    1. Origin of Discovery: Twitter told me to follow her. What was I to do?
    2. Whois: Maureen Johnson. YA Writer. Abba-worshiper. Irreverent but sincere (which is another version of Laugh So You Don’t Cry.) Keeps her twitter followers in jars. New Yorker (specialized subset of American.)
    3. Why I ❤ Her: She's HILARIOUS. I spammed many of my facebook friends with her post about how to move into a dorm. Sometimes you just need to read someone who makes you smile. 😀
  11. Waiting For Antlers
    1. Origin of Discovery: I noticed Merc was talking to someone a lot on twitter, and then followed the SIGNS down through LJ and found the blog. She talks about SNAKES, yo. And slashfiction. o.O And biological awesomeness that makes this happy basement-dweller think that maybe outside is also cool. 
    2. Whois: Californian (subset of American.) Keeps snakes and mice and other creatures. Wears feathery earrings. Has an awesome family. Writer of Fantasy and SF, in such a way that makes me want to read stories WAY above my usual rating.  (I don’t even know what snake musk IS!)
    3. Why I ❤ Her: She has hilarity and snakes and writing. "I pretty much never want to eat again. I will subsist on tea and souls, like some sort of librarian demon." Nuff said. 
  12. Fire, Guns and Zombies
    1. Origin of Discovery: Bahnree followed her blogspot blog, back when I followed blogspot blogs that I couldn’t have delivered to my email. 😀 And then I followed the links to LJ, where I live now. It’s easy. And people talk to me in text form. Oh man I need to finish this post and then regrow my brain.
    2. Whois: Merc Rustad. Prolific and published Horror Writer. Minnesota, (subset of American.) Ferret-owner. 😀 Does not talk politics or religion, so really I have no idea. 
    3. Why I ❤ Her: She's a nice person who is encouraging about writing (including mine) and has a sarcastic, sketchy sense of humour, and she's from Minnesota. EXOTIC LOCALES.
  13. Rules For Anchorites
    1. Origin of Discovery: Merc RTed something about a writer who needed support and signal boosting for a book she was writing to pay the bills of her and her lover. (This was already a sign that I was moving outside of my normal blog paths.) As they needed the money NOW, not a year down the road, she was putting the book online and asking for crowd funding. The book was The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Boat Of Her Own Making, and I am very glad that it was the first crowdfunded story I’d ever found, because I got burned pretty hard in the next few weeks clicking through other links. But Fairyland was incredibly strange and tactile and fascinating, and the blog was- brutal.
    2. Whois: Catherine Valente. Pagan. Feminist. Bisexual. Spinner and knitter and beader and crocheter and maker of beautiful things. Writer of SF and Fantasy. Happily married to a Russian computer boy. (I am too shot to remember the name of someone who codes? Coder? He does computers.) Player of rockband. User of profanity for dramatic effect. Cook and Baker and Honest to the point of pain, all the time.
    3. Why I ❤ Her: Cat lives in a world that shares almost no common points with mine. I doubt that we would agree on any point of politics, or music, or reading, or art. We might agree on food. But she is SO sincere and articulate and honest that I always want to see what she is saying. This is her life blog, and she talks about good things in her life, crappy things in her life, and whatever is annoying her at the moment. (I think she has a temper much like mine, only she writes vicious blog posts instead of slapping people.) Expect passion. (And swearing. Really, it doesn't bother me, but some people might be miffed. And yeah- heresy too.)
  14. Stephanie Burgis
    1. Origin of Discovery: Someone- I think it was Linyanaland posted a link to the first chapter of her book, A Most Improper Magick. I read, loved, and followed links to her blog. 😀 And I’ve just stayed, cause she makes me happy. 
    2. Whois: Stephanie Burgis. YA Paranormal Historical Fiction Writer. American Ex-pat living in Wales. (Not really a subset of England.) Happily married mom of one. 
    3. Why I ❤ Her: From her blog, I just feel like I know her, and she's a lovely person. 😀 She talks about writing, and enjoying it and life, and family, and chocolate, and is currently writing a book described as Pride and Prejudice with Dragons. HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE? Also, she's just lovely. 😀
  15. Angela Mary Butler’s Photostream
    1. Origin of Discovery: My dad was cruising Flickr, as one does, and looking at the pictures tagged with the Janeway, which is the hospital my brother Gideon was treated at. Through those he found a girl who’d just been diagnosed with cancer and was photo-blogging her way along. Our whole family has become friends with her now, and I follow her photo-stream with great glee. ^_^
    2. Whois: Angela Mary Butler. First year art school student. Photographer. Cancer survivor. Gamer nerd. Teenager. Funny.
    3. Why I ❤ Her: She's Angela. 
Also, you should check out The Book Smugglers, and Presenting Lenore, Book Bloggers extraordinary.
Wow, that was painful. I don’t think I’m accepting any more awards. *dies*