Brimstone, Brimstone, Brimstone

Sometimes, if I have enough to say about a book, I like to post my reaction to it here. In this case, my reaction went straight into my Goodreads review. So sorry if you’ve already seen this, but here it is for those who haven’t:

Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone is gorgeous. I was blown away by pretty much everything from page one: the writing, the setting, the characters. I’ve seen a few people mention they’re wary of books involving angels, and while I’ve never actually read any of the angel books that are all the rage right now, I’d be willing to put money down this one isn’t anything like them. Seriously, don’t let the mythos get you down. This book is not what you think—absolutely, 100% not what you think.

There were a couple moments in the flow of the story that jostled me a bit. The climax, in particular, doesn’t really feel like a climax, but a kind of story-spike that’s meant to lead to a much greater climax this book never gets around to. I got the impression this was written as one very long story and then divided up because it was just too epic. I can’t specifically mention what else was odd about the climax without potentially spoiling a surprise, so I won’t.

Lastly, I am a person who needs a character to cling to in order to enjoy a story. If I don’t have an anchor character, neither the most beautiful writing nor the greatest story will hold my attention (yeah, my attention-span is evil; I learned to accept that at an early age). Daughter of Smoke and Bone had so many fantastic characters I could have clung to, but it wasn’t even a competition in the end. There was only ever one anchor character for me from the moment he stepped on the stage: Brimstone, Brimstone, Brimstone.

So in short, read this book, if only because Brimstone is magnificent. As for me, I’m going to go looking for everything else Laini Taylor has written.

Why I Killed My Facebook Account

Being horrible at social networking comes naturally to me. Honestly. I’ve been horrible at social networking since before it was something people did on the internet. But suddenly, there was Facebook, and my family was on it and wanted me to join, so I did. Isn’t that how we all started—well, most of us, anyway?

So I did the Facebook thing for a while, and I found a lot of people I had lost contact with over the years. A lot of people found me, too. It was great to see them again, all grown up, kind of like a free high school reunion. But after a couple years, I started to notice something. Most of the people I was in touch with through Facebook were not people I would say I knew any more. We never talked or met up or anything like that. We just… read each other’s status updates. So what is that, exactly? That’s not a relationship. That’s keeping tabs on people.

I started to wonder why I needed to be keeping tabs on people I didn’t know any more. I mean if I wanted to talk to someone, wouldn’t I just call or write them? Why would I post an update on a newsfeed for everyone else and then hope that person responded? That sort of thing feels more like advertising than conversation. It seemed strange—keeping people that way—fearful even, habitual. It felt kind of like I was hoarding people. My computer had stacks of people in it I never even talked to! What if they were becoming a fire hazard? These are questions I needed to address.

To me, it’s natural that most people I know pop into my life and back out again. There should be just a few who stick around forever, and those people, whether they’re related to me or not, I would call family. Relationships are meant to have a lifespan, just like us. And Facebook sort of puts them in stasis, even though they’re already dead.

Anyway, I’m not anti-Facebook or anything. I just discovered I was likely using the thing out of habit and not because it helped me to build relationships. So that’s why I got rid of it, which means my “fan page” had to go, too. Sorry about that. But you can get updates here and on Twitter (which seems to be more about making new contacts instead of holding on to old ones). And it’s more manageable for me to keep track of fewer networking sites. It leaves more time for me to write, which is the most important thing, right? It is to me, for sure.