It's nice now and then to read a book that takes religion seriously. I'm not much for religion personally, but it's the primary vehicle for a lot of our real-life character arcs, and I think it deserves more of a place in fiction.
Doubly so YA, where such things usually get filed with parents and responsibility: out of the way of the protagonist who's got better things on their plate. Not so in Defy the Stars, Claudia Gray's brilliant start to her Defy the Worlds series. Not only is her opening killer, her pacing intense and romance memorable, she manages to hit deep with a character who takes her religion seriously (even as she questions it). There's also a meditation on what it means to be human buried here, embodied in the form of an android main character, and she pulls it off flawlessly. Who says YA can't get deep?
Well, a lot of people do, actually, and if you look at most of what's sold best in the genre, you'll understand why. But if you're looking for something meatier intellectually without sacrificing a fast-paced engaging story, you could do worse than to drop a couple dollars on Defy the Stars. (I wrote a longer review for this on Top New Fantasy--find it here).
I'm always exhausted after a conference, in the best kind of way. This conference's best kinds of ways included meeting new and talented writerly geeks, soaking up my fifteen seconds of fame for winning the conference's writing contest, pitching to agents and editors who showed grains of interest (let's hope I've got more news to share on that later), and getting to know Mary Robinette Kowal, who along with her fellow podcasters may have more to do with my writing ability than the several degrees I have collecting dust (one of them Literature with a Writing Emphasis, mind).
This was the first bar-con I've gone to and not felt like a total loser, or stayed at more than fifteen minutes--thanks again to MRK and her dedicated cohort of students, but also to author friends M.H. Boroson and Mike Haspil. It's nice to feel that I'm finding my way into a community of authors. Writing can be lonely as it is joyful. Especially when you're a giant (see pic below).
That's it: Pike's Peak 2018, thank you very much. Time now to sleep.
You've reached the electronic home of author Levi Jacobs. Cleverly hidden in this site are stories I've written, news about things I've published, excerpts from my novels, and dark secrets about my other life as an itinerant fruit salesman. Enjoy!
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