I thought about titling this Novellas, Short Stories, and Bonus Content of 2019; Part Two, as it encapsulates the material described better. However, as there was already a Part One, I decided I really ought to keep with the same name but be warned there are a bunch of content rather than stories involved. And a graphic novel I wasn’t sure what to do with.
Q & A with Madeline Miller
At the back of the Waterstones Paperback edition of CIRCE is a Q & A with Madeline Miller. It expands upon her reasons for writing CIRCE, as well as her thoughts on the story and process. It’s a really nice addition that adds more context to the story and why.
I love hearing more about author’s inspirations and how they went about tackling their story. It also names the major texts Miller drew off, which I’m curious to read now. The TBR might not thanks me though! Sprinkled among the questions are images taken from the front – Circe, the owl, a star etc. – which is a nice touch.
Q & A with Savannah Brown
Yup, another Q & A, hence wanting to change the title. This one was found in the back of THE TRUTH ABOUT KEEPING SECRETS. It was short and sweet, and simply reinforced the sense that this wasn’t a thriller. I’m quoting here, but Brown says it was “a fun challenge [to write] a story where the thriler aspects serve as a backdrop to something more grounded in reality”.
There was an interesting question about the difference between writing poetry and a full novel, though, but overall, it just reinforced my sense of disappointment with the story.
SHADES OF MAGIC: VOLUME 1: THE STEEL PRINCE, by V. E. Schwab
I rarely read graphic novels, and never comics. The art and I often don’t click well. However, I adore the Shades of Magic series (and will one day get around to reviewing them I promise). This year I am trying to push out of my comfort zone, so a graphic-novel bind up about a character who clearly has much more of a story than the novels have time for? Sign me up.
THE STEEL PRINCE is a fun, quick read. The magic looks so cool in this medium, bold and exciting. Maxim’s magic is unique, controlling metal, and the shards glittering along the pages make him stand out.
I loved meeting Maxim and Isra – who don’t get much page time. Maxim is an antagonist most of the time for Kell (and Rhy) and THE STEEL PRINCE gives us a arrogant young man who has yet to grow into the stern king of the trilogy. I liked the easy relationship between Maxim and Isra.
The art was a little confusing in a few places when I wasn’t sure who was doing what (or what they were doing) but that could easily be thanks to my inexperience with comics. A few things stood out as a shorthand that I didn’t know, particularly the panel layout. It didn’t really bother me, because I got the gist from the flow of the story.
You can add THE STEEL PRINCE to your Goodreads shelves here. You can even add each of the three comics separately.
Q & A with Victoria Aveyard
Honestly, the bonus content of these past three months have basically been Q&As. Funny how these things happen, and I am slightly disappointed. I much prefer bonus chapters.
Found in the backs of RED QUEEN and WAR STORM, I quite like the ‘book-end’ effect this has. The perspective is different too – an interview pre-debut and a post-final book release (I have the paperback) after she’s wrapped up a whole series and seen its success.
RED QUEEN being the first book, this Q&A reflects on the inspiration and process behind it as well as general writing advice. Also, this is where I realised the book was dystopia because a) a question describes the book as such and b) Aveyard talks about the potential of a dystopia setting. She says that wandering into the remains of the statue of liberty having more impact than some random temple.
In WAR STORM’s Q&A, the reflection is on the series generally – hardest scenes to writes, favourite moments and the such. It’s interesting to see what a massive author thinks of a series, and the thought process behind some of the best known scenes/moments.
What extra content have you read these past few months? Is there a type you like to read most?