Sunday, 13 February 2011

This week's word is: ETHEREAL

There was  a slightly subdued atmosphere at Wayward Crescent earlier this week when the author received news that his eldest sister had been taken seriously ill. We won’t rattle any scales with the details, but she is okay now and out of hospital. We sent flowers to her bedside, of course - well, one of Gretel's potions, via the time-travelling, shape-shifting dragon, Groyne (plus a special healing crystal from Gollygosh’s toolbox). Both were well-received.  Needless to say, we are keeping a good watch over her and making the author write plenty to take his mind off it. He’s well into part two of THE FIRE ASCENDING now, which is subtitled The Flight of Gideon. Hrrr!

What really lifted the author’s spirits this week (apart from me jabbing him with my isoscele if he got too melancholy) was a brilliant review of FIRE WORLD. Here’s the link to it:

The piece was written by a young man called Rhys who is a huge reader of YA fiction and writes many reviews on his Thirst for Fiction website (the link will take you to it). It’s probably safe to say that Rhys is a bit of a fan of the Chronicles, but that has never stopped him giving his honest opinion of a book, and nor should it. I don’t want to tell you too much about the review; we’d rather you read it. But he did use one exceptionally good word to describe the whole book, which had the author muttering ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’. The word, of course, is our header this week: ETHEREAL. Translated literally, ‘ethereal’ would mean ‘heavenly’ or ‘spirit-like’. Now we dragons would hardly describe ourselves as ‘heavenly’ – except Gretel, of course, if she’s reading this! But the word seems entirely appropriate for the nature of the book. Someone else described it as ‘out there’. And it is. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a Lucy Pennykettle number of times: FIRE WORLD is different. The author also liked Rhys’ neat description of imagineering as ‘mental engineering’. For those of you who haven’t read the book yet, in Co:pern:ica, where the story is set, the characters are able to ‘imagineer’. What this means is they can materialise objects just by thinking about them. Think how much fun you could have with that?  A lot, yes.  But it comes with a price. First of all, it takes a lot of ‘auma’ to imagineer powerfully and that ‘auma’ has to come from somewhere else in the universe. We won’t say where it comes from in Co:pern:ica because that would spoil the story for you. Also, the more you imagineer, the less capable of it you become. So wise people only imagineer what they really need. Also, the people of Co:pern:ica are only allowed to imagineer within the limits of something called ‘The Grand Design’. But what if you could imagineer beyond The Grand Design? That would make you pretty powerful, wouldn't it. But would it also make you dangerous? Say your name was Gwilanna, for instance, and you had that ability. Or David… Mmmm.

Anyway, a big HRRR to Rhys and his lovely website. Apart from the feedback we receive in fan mail, that is the first review we’ve seen of the book. If they are all like that, this is going to be a very special year. Happy reading. Hrrr!

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