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What I'm Reading
I just finished Scarlet by AC Gaughen and I have to say, I could not put it down. The basic premise is that of the Robin Hood tale, but from the perspective of Will Scarlet, who...wait for it... in this version is really a girl in disguise. The Merry Men know that Scarlet is a girl, but no one else does.
What did I love about this book? I found it riveting. Lots of action as the characters climbed castle walls, jumped through the trees, and ran through the forest-- but it wasn't just an action book. There was also a lot of character development. In fact, I found the character of Scarlet to be the most amazing combination of tough and vulnerable that I have seen in a long time. She is a complete and total knife-flinging, tree climbing badass, but she also has real heart. Then there's Robin of Loxley. Sheesh-a-reesh. Smoldering is the word. I love that the author took these characters I thought I knew and did something really unique and creative (yet still logical and true to the overarching story) with them. I read on Goodreads that some have been bogged down by the narrator's manner of speech, but once I got used to it a few pages in, I thought it was a fantastic way to develop character and voice. I could not recommend it more.
The family read aloud this week is Arthur Slade's Hunchback Assignments. We stayed up a little past bedtime to finish it last night. I had to, because we were so close, and ALL of us were dying to learn how it would end. This is a steampunk that has been on my shelf for a while. I wanted to finish working on my own SP book before I read it. This book, like my MS, features some clockwork creatures and a clockwork guild-- but thankfully there is really nothing else similar about it. Whew!
Like the Robin Hood book above, this story borrows some characters from literature (like Quasi Modo and Dr Hyde) but then does something really creative and amazing with them. A great deal of the story is told from the perspective of Modo, who has been raised from childhood to work for a secret organization that seeks to protect Britannia. I don't want to include any spoilers, but suffice it to say there are lots of really funky-cool creatures and inventions, mysterious organizations and dastardly double-crossers. My sons, ages 6 and 8 (soon to be 7 and 9) were SO INTO THIS BOOK. Not only did we have to read it in just three short days, they also peppered me with endless questions about how the mechanics might work, who I thought might be the real bad guys, and what might happen next. I have promised to get the next one ASAP so that we can dive right in.
What I'm Writing
Mina is still off with the agent. No creative writing this week. Just work. And that's okay.
What Inspires Me Right NowThese guys.
We have been having the best time reading together and hanging out this summer.