Saturday 28 March 2015

Short Story: Dark Nights, Bites and Bad Luck: The Wake to Darkness

Hello guys, this post contains the second and final part of last week's story. I've also just realised that I wrote a post about luck this month (though technically in February). Not sure they have anything else in common otherwise. Things that happen this week of note: mess up my YouTube video scheduling, illness developing, applied for a job at cinema and  discovered the most depressing thing to do on your birthday: go to a funeral. I'm not elaborating on any of them for the moment.

Not much to say about this part of the story, but it's amuse me that I set this in America so clearly and I wouldn't do that now as I write everything as if its in my home country and not for mass appeal. Here it is anyway.

Dark Nights, Bites and Bad Luck:

The Wake to Darkness

I woke up with a burning feeling, as though my whole body was on fire. I couldn't move. I thought the pain meant I was alive, that I had survived and I was in a hospital. What it really meant was I was becoming a monster, a Vampire. I hadn't ever really thought about Vampires. I had never read a book or even see a film about them but it turn out they were more real than the actors that play them. It wasn't fair. I was only eighteen, I hadn't even graduated yet. Instead of a diploma I was stuck with a yearbook page dedicated to me. My life was gone, I had no real future, I would never have a happy ever after or even just a happy for now. It was over. I had lost but still had to play the game.

I would realise where I was when I got movement back. At first I could only move my eyes, it was too dark to see. It didn't make me think any different. I realise the truth when I was able to move my arms again. I reached out in the dark until I soon felt the smoothness of the walls and lining. I could feel the soft yet rough fabric but smooth in a way. Silk.

That's weird for a hospital bed

I continue to feel the sides and lid, pushing against without any movement in return.  I was closed in, I was surrounded. I was in a coffin! I did what any normal person would do. I panicked. I started banging on the coffin door. I had heard about people being buried alive and I thought I was just one of the rare few. If only. I had gained superhuman strength and I accidentally broke though the wood. I didn't even think. I tore away the wood and climbed out. I made my way though the dirt quickly, and easily broke though the surface. A normal person would have died from the dirt crushing them. I wasn't even tired. It never crossed my mind how weird that was. I was too focused on my grave stone. It was a strange thing to see, not many people got to see theirs. It said plainly

Katia Stone
Taken too soon
1971 -1989

The flowers from the funeral were still there, it was just too odd. I started to stand up when I noticed the grave next to me. It was Steve's and next to it was Bill's. Only one not there, Angie. She had survived the night. I felt briefly happy that one of them had made it. Very briefly, I got up and started to head for graveyard's gate. I was almost through the gate when I smelled it. It smelled  like food, delicious food. Suddenly I had never been hungrier in all my life. The smell was coming from a shed in the graveyard. I stepped towards it carefully. I slowly opened the door, there wasn't anything I would have called food. There was an old man sitting at the desk on the opposite wall. He must have been the groundskeeper.

He hadn't heard me come in. I smelled the air, trying to figure out where the smell of food was coming from. It was coming from the direction of the man. I slowly walked towards him, I could hear his heartbeat and it was making me excited. I didn't know why. I had gently put my hand on the man's shoulder. He jumped up and turned around. I could smell the fear from him, it was when I realise the smell was him and instincts took over. I lunged at the him and biting him, on the only available flesh,  his neck. I sucked him dry, without a thought.

It was when I was licking the last drops of his sweet blood from my lips that I realise what I had done. What I was. I started screaming. I had just killed a man, but I was the one screaming. That guy had been a Vampire, I was a Vampire. I wouldn't have ever believed it if I hadn't just sucked the blood of a complete stranger. I had killed a man. I couldn't strand to look at his body; I had to get out of there. I ran from the shed, but I didn't get far before they caught me.

Vampires have a society, a government of sorts. There are rules and laws they... we have to abide by. Its first thing they teach the new offspring. You could only kill people that wouldn't be missed, Oh, they were bloody missed, but no one cared. Only their friends and family would even look. The cops don't give a damn if a couple of druggies went missing or the local homeless population decreased without an explanation. I had actually broke the rules once or twice by killing a rapist and paedophile. I got away with it, mainly because the bastards had never been caught and they weren't that rich either. The Vampires looked after me in the early years. Taught me the rules of survival. I stay close to the main group, I don't see the point in leaving. I have no where to go.

I am forbidden to see my family or friends again, but I keep an eye on them. My father died of cancer last year, leaving my mother all alone. I had been an only child. Angie, the only real survivor of that night, is married and has three grown up children. She had named them after me and Steve. In fact, she even has a grandkid on the way. She has everything I wish I could have but never would. I try not to think about them, but they're all I have left of my life. They're the only pieces of the real me unharmed.

Becoming a Vampire changes you and never for the better. Some embraced the monster, don't feel any guilt for the lives they take and enjoy the lifestyle. Actually, most do. I sometimes wish I was like them, that I, too had lost my humanity. The others like me, are rare. They feel guilt, they remember the faces. I remember them but I have killed too many people to count. Why you ask? Because the hunger is too great. It always won and always would. I had given up all hope for control, there was no way to. The only way to stop it was to destroy the monster and it wasn't as easy as the movies make out. To kill a Vampire, it took a great force. The strength of another Vampire. The only way to end this hell, would be to expose us in some way. Sure, they could easily cover it up but no mistakes were allowed. If anyone connected Vampires to a murder, you were dead. I had some comfort to know that the monster that killed my friends and cursed me, had been executed. I had thought of breaking the rules so many times, and joining him, but I could never choose someone to die. The people I had killed, I could always blame it on their bad luck. Like mine.

I've went through that night so many times and the events leading up to it. They were all bad luck. If I hadn't forgot to check the batteries in the torch, I would have never had fallen in the dark. I wouldn't have hurt myself. The Vampire wouldn't have smelled my blood. I would have been home by the time Steve and the others drove by, and they would have been safe at the house by the time of the attack. Yes, it was all bad luck. It was my bad luck that got them killed. It was my fault.
Original Author Note: [i]Every time a comment is made a writer gets her inspiration[/i]

I though I was so clever when I came up with that author note. I'm pretty certain that next post will not be a reposted story and hopefully a short story. I'm forcing my self to write.

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Book Review: Half Wild by Sally Green


After finally meeting his elusive father, Marcus, and receiving the three gifts that confirm him as a full adult witch, Nathan is still on the run. He needs to find his friend Gabriel and rescue Annalise, now a prisoner of the powerful Black witch Mercury. Most of all he needs to learn how to control his Gift - a strange, wild new power that threatens to overwhelm him. Meanwhile, Soul O'Brien has seized control of the Council of White Witches and is expanding his war against Black witches into Europe. In response, an unprecedented alliance has formed between Black and White witches determined to resist him. Drawn into the rebellion by the enigmatic Black witch Van Dal, Nathan finds himself fighting alongside both old friends and old enemies. But can all the rebels be trusted, or is Nathan walking into a trap? 

There are going to be spoilers for the first book in this reviews so you haven't read that and don't want to be spoiled. Leave now and go to my review of the first.

There is a love triangle in this book. Different in two aspects, the centre is a boy and we still have two boys. This isn't a real triangle (most ain't because for it to be a true triangle the other two would have to get on too inside the canon). One of the angles, is not really a character, she is a plot device. I can understand Nathan's attachment to Annalise because she was first person outside his family to be nice to him. But as a reader we know nothing about her, I have no attachment and even though Gabriel is over top with his attachment, we know him and care about him. Him in danger effects me. Annalise just doesn't feel like a character to me, she is a damsel in distress. Anything she does and has happen to her in this whole series just feels like plot, meaning having her as love interest is boring and pointless. She could just be a childhood friend and Nathan feels he owns her. In this book defense, a lot of books fallen into this trap of just telling us the characters love each other and give no reason why: No show, only Tell. There is a least a reason, this is just more annoying in this case because Pixie Dream Girls are annoying and everywhere. If we just had one personal info about her that didn't involve any other characters, maybe she be more like a person and less problematic.

We have more flashback in this, in fact we have flashbacks of after Nathan escaped. I found this to be weird. Like why didn't we hear about that then if it was so important, though the writer did say she should have planned more in acknowledgements and this is her debut series. Just a sentence instead of some of the flashbacks would have been fine.

This time big players are even. If have read my last review, I found the fact that the big players mostly being men unrealistic (and boring) when women tend to have more powerfully gifts and witches value that. That being said, wouldn't be cool to have a female villain that's just straight up evil. One can only dream (or get writing). One of the players doesn't make that much sense to me and I don't believe that this character would ever be given a role of that much power and don't feel I can say more without spoiling things. 

The ending feels a bit rushed. I think certain scenes were rushed over or skipped completely near the end that were important for the characters and their relationships with each other. I would have liked a bit more development with these.

Overall, I gave this five out of five stars for letters. I still like this series and I enjoyed this book better than the first one. I think the setup we had in the first plays off and now we only have to wait for the final part of the trilogy to find out this wrap up well and we get a satisfying ending. I will see you next March where I will tell you if I think it does. I'm guess it coming on the 27th.

I got this book for review off Netgalley and it's being published by Penguin on 26th March 2014.

Saturday 21 March 2015

Short Story: Dark Nights, Bites and Bad Luck: The Night

HELLO Nurse. Yes, that greeting makes no sense in this context. I have made my return to YouTube this week instead of just bitching about, how I miss making videos. Turns out I don't miss editing and my videos still turn out too long. Who knew? I've filmed a lot of videos but I still have so many videos ideas floating in my head. One has deadline to keep if I want to do and things I need to do before I can filmed it. Anyway, the main element of this blog is a repost story (still trying to write new stuff).

This is a piece of writing that I wrote five years ago. I was really proud of this when I wrote it. Now, it's okay and there is a line of dialogue in this that's not all realistic. I left it in (comment what you think it is) but I have changes things to make the tense right. It got messed up and for years I couldn't see it when several people told me the tense kept changing. I like this story because I thought I did something interesting with the changing narration and point of view. This is two parts of this story and I have decided to leave the story in that same format, so this is part one of the story which in honest is the better part but in terms of story and plot I felt that second part was need. Anyway, here's the story:

Dark Nights, Bites and Bad Luck:

The Night 

I remember...

I hate the dark. Not the barely-enough-light-to-see dark, the completely black dark, the walk-off-a-cliff-and-not-realise-until-you're-falling dark. It just happens to be that sort of night. I had made the mistake of thinking that I would be fine walking home by myself. Let me just tell you, you can't -and I mean you really can't - walk a farm road without light (whilst remaining in one piece, anyway).  I had already tripped over twice and my knee was bleeding pretty bad. If my luck continued like this, I was going to end up scarred and needing stitches.  If only I had checked the batteries in the torch. Hopefully my luck would change.

It didn't.

The party had still been worth it. It'd been the best party I had ever been to. The music rocked and there had been alcohol everywhere...It was legendary...

For reasons other than main event.

But the best part for me was that T.J. had finally kissed me. I just hope he would remember it tomorrow - he had been one of the many who had taken advantage of the free booze. Maybe it was that kiss that stole my luck. It was still worth it.

Not any more, I would take it back if it changed anything.

I was halfway up the road when I saw the truck.

I was almost home when it happened.

It was Steve's. He had been at the party, but he was meant to be staying over at Bill's house. He stops the truck about a metre and half away from me.

I sometimes wish he hadn't stopped in time, that he hadn't seen me. They might have lived.

 I heard Bill and Tony before I see them - I was blinded by the headlights.
"Well, well. If it isn't Miss Mary-Anne." Bill had decided that Mary-Anne made a better name for a farm girl than my own. He had always called me this, ever since the first day we met.

He didn't in our last seconds.

"Good evening sirs, would ya mind giving a young lady a ride?" I say in a deep, southern drawl. None of us really had the local accent - it had been lost with the invention of the TV.

"Why, we'll all be happy to," Tony smirks from the back seat. The truck was a five seater so we all fit in - Bill made room for me by climbing into the back.

Trapping him.

Steve's little sister Angie (who'd obviously drank too much) was passed out in the back seat.

It's what saved her.

"Jesus Christ, what happen to you?" Steve shouts, noticing my knee and dirty hands. By the  light of the dash board, I could see the damage. I had scraped my hands bloody and both my knees were cut open - the left one was worse than right. It was a good thing my dress was dark red.

"Tripped and fell, I couldn't see what I was doing,"

"Well, it good thing Bill's ma kicked us out," Steve says as he starts the engine, "Or you'd still be wandering about in the dark."

Bill's mother would regret that decision for the rest of her life.

Talk of the party immediately broke out. All three floors of spoiled, rich Kim Tale’s house had been trashed by the time cops got there at 2 am. Laughing about the trouble she was in might have been mean, but it was part of high school. She was so dead.

No, we were.

“K, have you thought about going to the hospital about those knees?" Steve adds about ten minutes into the drive. We had already passed Steve's house, he decided to take me right to my door without giving me a chance at talking him out of it. He was that kind of guy, always doing the right thing by others.

Even at the end.

He'd be a good catch, if he wasn't like a brother to me.

He didn't deserve it.

"I'll clean myself up when I get home and get my dad to take me tomorrow." I smile as I say this.
Tony and Bill are bickering in the back seat whilst Steve and me chatted. Angie wakes up briefly, only stays awake long enough to hit them both, then leans back down on the window to sleep.

"Now, do behave children," I say doing my best not to laugh, not succeeding. We laugh, but our laughter is cut short from Steve slamming on the brakes.

"For fuck sake, Steve, I bloody banged my head." Bill continues to swear loudly. Steve doesn't respond to him.

"Steve, “ I ask cautiously. “Why did you stop?"

"I saw...I thought I saw something," Steve says hesitantly. Before any of us could respond, there was bang and then the sound of tearing metal. I turn around to the noise. I'm confronted with the sight of  Bill being dragged out of the truck. Tony was already gone, only small flecks of blood were left on the grey seat. All I can hear is Bill, screaming for help.

"Katia! Steve! Help!"

I can't respond, I can't move. I'm frozen and the world is in slow motion. Steve grabs my hand and begins to drags me across the gears. It wakes me up and starts me moving. I'm almost completely over when I feel a pain in my leg. I make the mistake of looking back. It's a guy. A guy is biting me. Shock fills me, followed by sheer panic. I do the only thing I can - I kick his head with my free leg. His face, his eyes, his teeth... He wasn't human, he can't be. Blood drip from his mutant mouth. He snarls at me, and I'm still once more.

Luckily, Steve isn't - he pulls me out the truck. I can barely stand, having to lean on Steve. I look back at the truck. I can see Tony's head at the side of the road, but not his body. It's in the back of the truck. I swallow the vomit threatening to escape. Bill lays two meters behind the truck. He's too still, too silent. I try to go towards him but the guy blocks our way.

It should have been impossible! A person can't move that fast; he had been at the other side of the truck only seconds ago. We step back cautiously. I could hear my heart pounding in my ears.

He knew our fear and would have enjoyed it.

I can’t see a way out of this. We are as good as dead.

If only I would have stayed it.

We try to walk backwards - he just smirks at us with those fangs. It makes me sick. I had always been told there was no such thing as monsters - but here is one. He'd had killed my friends and will kill me. I just hope it will be fast.

Bleeding to death is like falling asleep.

He starts walking towards us. We turn around and run - he cuts us off. We turn again - he's already there. Steve whispers in my ear.

"I'm going to distract him, you run for help." Before I can even I respond. He kisses me on the cheek and starts running towards the guy. He's going to sacrifice himself for me. I know I can't help him so I'll do his last wish for me, I'll run.

I run for what felt like miles but couldn't possible have been. My legs were aching but I can't, I won’t stop. I have to run for Steve, I have to get help.

I never did.

I trip, spraining my ankle this time. I try to get up but can't. I don't have the strength. I start to scream as loud as I can. Just hoping I had run far enough for my family to hear me.

They woke; but thought it was an animal.

I scream and scream and continue to scream even when my throat began to burn. I start to feel dizzy. I was fading. I try to keep my eyes open but they were getting heavier and heavier. I was on the ground still screaming. My last words were help before I past out.

Before I died.
To be continued next week.
(it will be as it already written)

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Book Review: Killing the Dead by Marcus Sedgwick

I brought this on 5th of March, but online so it only came the day I wrote this.

Follow the dark, dark path
Into the dark, dark woods
To the dark, dark bridge
By the dark, dark water.

Let the ghosts of heaven
tell their story.

This book is 2015 World Book Day and I thought I would review it while you can still buy it. Also somewhat in a reading stump and busy so having a short thing to review is a good thing for me. It's annoying but expected as there is stuff I'm meant to be doing. Ar...If I could ignore everything in my life and make YouTube videos.

This is set in a girl's Bordering school in Stockbridge, Massachusetts; name Foxglove which sounds like the name of a fantasy character that looks like a fox and slaps people with gloves

 The story revolves around the school a year after a girl has killed herself and there's not much else I can say without spoiling anything.

This book is told in third-person with changing euphansis on character about every chapter. It works well for the story. 

My only problem with this story is that motive for a small thing a teacher does, isn't explained. It minor, but still it's problem and we should judge it harshly for having one single issue. Of course, that last sentences is not true.

Overall, I gave this little book 4/5 stars for chewing gum. It's interesting story and definitely worth a read for £1.

Book Review: Half Bad by Sally Green

I own two editions of this book because the design of this cover is awesome.

Wanted by no one.
Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan's only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it's too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

This book was overhyped. When publishers/a mass lot of reviewers get excited about a book, it does more damage than good. I did like it and enjoy it, but I looking through this book reviews on goodreads a lot of people didn't like. Someone actually claimed that the whole book was a prologue, which is a nonsense and it would be annoying prologue. I think the problem with is highers expectations and people who would never pick up a book because the plot not really them, does pick up and guess what they don't like it but they got pressured into it (Note to self: do a video about over hyping).

This book is parts in the point of view main character and mostly in first persons, however, it is separated into parts and  the first part in seconded person. Not sure why that choice was made completely, except maybe it's normal target of engaging the reader but I did like how a scene was told in second and then first. I do the like the general sturcture of this book, with the parts and chapters.

The world building is interesting but problematic. Though, I don't think I can really judge in a proper critical manner till I've read the whole trilogy (or at least the second book). The book is plotted pretty well, the book ends where it should and is good start for trilogy. There is a tiny empty second half of the book, that is a bit lacking in realism. The ending is also sappy.
Some of the characters and relationships are good, some are just Nathan is a okay character, I cared about him, though a big problem with him is that he is given a characteristic that are ignore in the plot, lazy solved and it kinda bugs me. I can forgive it but having a similar characteristic myself it annoys me. There is romance in this book, but I know nothing about the main romantic interest except what find out from a I.D. and a family tree. She is literally just plot point, in terms of the plot that really bad thing. I don't care if we ever see this character again, except for Nathan's sake that can't carry a romance. There is sort of another romance that I feel is walking a tightrope as the end of this book (and not just because of love triangles). However, I care about the other party, we know personal stuff about this character and I want to see development instead of there being nothing to develop.

In this world, magic is meant to favour woman, woman tended to be stronger but it's strangely patriarchy. I'm not sure how to explain this without spoilers. I guess what I mean is by the end, almost all the big players are men and they are also arguably bigger players than that one woman. I don't know, I'm mean thinking about feminism in relation to media (which books do come under) so playing in the back of my mind, counting the genders of who influence the plot. Especially, since they don't have to be that sex. The woman are mostly just sisters (other relations as well) and dead. Some could say that it opposite of female lead YA books where woman are usually, no sometimes all the big players and men are dominant in the background. But no most YA still have mostly male villains so not the opposite at all. Something unsatisfying about this setup, it's no more sexist than most media but feels bit mismatching with the setting.

Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 stars for bone samples. I originally gave this book 4 stars but in reflection it doesn't quite deserve that rating. There is a lot to discuss in this book and there are things set up in this book that could go terribly wrong in the next book so I'm anxious to see how things turn out. Though, I did enjoyed reading this novel and I want to see where this series is going. If I'm good then a review of the sequel will be out next week.