The Devil’s Servants by CL Raven

The Devil’s Servants is a story set during the 1649 Edinburgh Witch Trials and tells the story of Nessie and how she gets wrapped up in the trials.

Now, I am a big fan of CL Raven. Not only are they great people I LOVE their writing. Their previous release, Silent Dawn, blew me away and I had high expectations for The Devil’s Servants, and I wasn’t disappointed.

It’s very easy to feel like you’re in Edinburgh while reading this. CL Raven give just enough to fuel the imagination, I felt like I was there in the graveyard, or the market. Or in Nessie’s room. Especially the Gaol. Cat and Lynx know a lot about the subject of the witch trials from this era, and that came through in the book.

Not only is it beautifully written, its gripping. I’m really not a big fan of historic fiction in any form. It’s just not something that catches my attention, The Devil’s Servants really hooked me though. The amount of times I thought I’d only read one chapter and end up reading two or three instead, I can’t even count.

With each book, Cat and Lynx Raven are getting stronger and stronger with their writing. I haven’t read all of their work, but each time I read one of their stories I see the strength there is in them. With each new release I see a new strength to their work. One of the elements I loved in Silent Dawn was the relationship between the main three characters. What I love in this book is what Nessie goes through and her whole arc. I felt a lot of her conflict throughout the story and really liked how her story wrapped up.

A quick little shout out for the cover(above image) by David V G Davies. It’s awesome!

I strongly recommend The Devil’s Servants, it’s a page turner and one that got me interested in a part of history that I’ve never really paid much attention to. Please check it out.

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Savant By Nik Abnett

Okay, so Savant is the story of Tobe and Metoo, and I don’t really want to say more about the story, simply because I don’t think I can give much of a description of it without giving something away.

Savant is a damn good, slow burn, which unravels as the pages pass. I found it to be a page turner which surprised me at how quickly I read it. I am a slow reader but with Savant I zipped through it at quite a lick for me. I think it was three weeks that I smashed through it with the last half of the book in about a week, which is pretty impressive for me. It really pulls you along and it’s easy to read it in small doses and not loose the momentum of the story.

The pace of the story is impressive, it never feels like it’s speeding up or slowing down but just leads up to the story’s climax very naturally. There’s no real world building in the story, but everything you need to know is revealed as the story progresses, and revealed at the right time to give the answers needed.

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The writing is very beautiful and it was easy to picture what was going on while not having too much detail of the surroundings inserted into the text.

If you want a book that spoon-feeds you everything, or is action packed, then this isn’t the book for you. If you want something that has depth, a little mystery, varied and engaging characters. A storyline that slowly gains pace to it’s climax, then this book is worth checking out.

15th January 2017

A pretty decent day today, 1317 words on Penal Earth and I passed the 10k word mark on it. I have a chilled day, having spent most of it out with my folks. When I got home I watched the Jeff Dunham specials on Netflix and then did some writing. I haven’t done any editing at all.

I did finish Day of Chaos:Endgame (Judge Dredd) today. Damn that is one epic comic! I’m really excited by the fact that I’ve got other Dredd universe collections siting on my ‘To-Read’ shelf.

Next up reading wise is going to be Silent Dawn by the awesome C L Raven.

Looking Forward At 2017

Not to start on a negative note, but I am already behind where I was hoping to be. I’d wanted The Space Watch done by now so I can get onto the next project but that’s not how it’s gone. I don’t think I’m going to be setting dates to be done by just yet. I think it’ll be a case of once one is done then I’ll move onto the next one. If I set targets by date and I don’t hit them then I’ll get demoralised and that can lead into falling into a rut easily.

I’m trying to be realistic with my expectations for the year. I’m going to try and have The Space Watch done by November, and one other novella length piece. That’ll probably be something with Penal Earth (NaNoWriMo 2015). I’m not happy with what I’ve got right now, but I know what I want to do with it now. I can see turning the book I’ve gotten written at the moment into two and then add a third which will make up a trilogy. Then I’ve got a few ideas of where I want to go forward with stories in the world I’ve created there after the trilogy has been wrapped.

I’m not sure what I want to work on for NaNoWriMo just yet, and I know it’s quite sometime off but I want to be ready for it this year. I thought I was ready last year but not even close. I’m tempted to write on an idea I’ve got that’s been inspired by war children. That’s the piece I was planning to work on at the start of this year but I’m not nearly ready for it. I’ve got a lot of research and building work to do to be ready for it. This is something that I’ve learnt from FanFiction (and spoken a lot about) but having much more depth in my work and I need to lay groundwork before I start writing.

I am going to work on a few short stories and novelettes during the course of the year, but I don’t want to set myself targets that I’m not going to be able to achieve.

This year I just want to keep some focus on what I’m writing, and not to loose momentum. I spoke in my post Looking Back At 2016 about getting into ruts, and I’m going to try and keep alert to it and if I see it coming I’ll do what I can to stop myself falling into it.

Reading wise I’ve set my Goodreads challenge and I’ve gone for sixty books again and intend to hit it and not just get halfway like I did in 2016.

Now, it’s time to start writing!

NaNoWriMo 2016: Day One

I’ve written 2045 words today. At one point this evening I wasn’t sure I’d get more than the minimum of 1667 but during my second of two sprints with my local NaNo group I managed to smash out those extra few hundred words to pass over the 2000 mark on the first day.

Breaking things down: I wrote about four hundred words first thing, then another 450-500 at lunch and the rest this evening after getting home from work and visiting my Grandad, and eating etc. I think this’ll be how my word counts across a working day will roughly go.

Now, I’m off to read a bit of Fragile by Justin R. Macumber before bed. 

Flash Post:Reading

Something that I need to improve on is reading. I’ve not read anywhere near as much in the past couple of years as I should have done.

I’m naturally a slow reader and someone who is easily distracted, but that shouldn’t stop me getting me head down and getting stuck in a bit better.

I’ve got some pretty awesome indie and smaller press writers in my Kindle library and I really want to get some more of their work read, but I also want to work through some of the classics and more bigger press writers. I’m tempted to read one indie/smaller press book and then one classic/bigger press book, and see how that works out. One thing I think I will do is have two or three books lined up so that when I’ve finished the one I’m reading I’m not going to spend three days decided what to read next.

I’ve also got an Audible subscription and that’s been great this last year, and will be for this coming year. 

Reading Struggles

These last few months I’ve really struggled to read fiction, and even listen to it. At first I was worried it was because I wasn’t enjoying what was reading but when I’ve been I that position before I was stil listening to the various podcasts that I do. I’m not even doing that at the moment. I’m not intending to audiobooks much either, and I’ve got a good half a dozen audiobooks in my Audible library, books I want to get stuck into but the urge just isn’t there at the moment.

This has unfortunately coincided with reading an Advanced Review Copy (ARC), thankfully the author is a good bloke and has been very understanding. I’ve finished the book now but I felt bad that it took me so one together the book read and it’s really struck home that something’s not right at the moment. Normally when I get a ARC -which isn’t often- I try and knock it out in a couple of days. 

I am wondering if it’s tied into the fact that I was struggling with Project Apollo and I was losing a of of enthusiasm for writing and maybe that overflowed into reading/listening. Especially since now that I’m enjoying writing and I’ve been getting the urge to read again.

These last few months have not been good for anything related to reading and writing. I’ve watched a lot of Netflix and played video games in that time. I’m telling myself that the break has done me a bit of good and it’s refreshed me,  and I hope it has. Writing is feeling natural and fun again and hopefully reading will follow suit.