It’s been quite a while, between all the stress and germs of being a first year teacher this is my first post in months, but thankfully Summer is here and there will be lots more to follow (especially with Phoenix Comicon this weekend)! Now if only I had a time machine… I could go back and write when I couldn’t… oh well.
If you’re still reading, here’s what I was reading. The Year of Lighting. If you recall I did an interview with author Ryan Dalton back in December before the book was released. It was a lot of fun getting details without spoilers and I’ll be having a follow up interview for the sequel, coming out January 2017.
Before I get ahead of myself though (sorry if the blogging skills are rusty), let’s look at WHY I’m excited to see Dalton again or read the sequel.
The short version… I really liked the book… and here’s a not-so-secret secret… I wasn’t initially sure that I would. Ok, with that big confession out of the way. Let me break this down a bit more.
So ever since Twilight (yes I read it okay) I’ve been pretty set against young adult fiction. I worked my way through Hunger Games (despite loving Battle Royale more) because it was less bad than Twilight and because I loved the relationship between Katniss and Prim. After Hunger Games my attitude was basically “Great, now I can read grown-up stuff, like the Dark Tower series, or finish catching up on Game of Thrones”. Well, I’ve yet to read the final book in King’s series (for lots of reasons), and George RR Martin has derailed my reading plans for another year. Sure I’ve got the Wheel of Time series, but most of the characters are YOUNG ADULTS and I’d gotten sick of that demographic.
I mean I could keep explaining all the reasons I dislike YA (the romances, the hormones, the stupid choices characters make)… but I’ve already rambled long enough.
So, let’s get to the nitty gritty. Despite really enjoying my interview with Dalton, and his reading at the launch party (apologies for the poor audio – let it be an incentive for you to read the book and follow along for clarity… also doesn’t the book in front of his face add to the mystery?).
I was incredibly hesitant to read the book, both because I detest the YA genre and I was afraid that would lead to a not-so-awesome review.
Thankfully though for all parties involved I loved the book! Once I finally had an opportunity between grading papers and being too sick for anything but sleep I couldn’t put it down.
The characters were the most grown up young adults I’d seen in print in a long time. The last time I felt like I related to kids the ages of Mal and Valentine (they’re 15 by the way) was probably the Harry Potter series, and the setting couldn’t be more different.
What about the setting you ask? Well instead of witches and wizards it was full of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimeyness, and that’s what hooked me. I’m a sucker for sci-fi. What kept me reading though was the fact that Mal, Valentine and their friends were intelligent, reasonable and head strong. They were everything I either thought I was or wanted to be when I was 15. Part of my ability to relate to the twins wasn’t that they were perfect, they (and their friends) had their flaws, but like most teenagers they’re insecure about all the wrong ones, and that felt familiar too.
Without giving away too much of the plot it’s safe to say that unlike most YA protagonists Dalton’s never made stupid choices. Sure they made reckless choices, but they’re teenagers, and most adults only learn to avoid the reckless after being teenagers. Additionally, on the plot side of things considering this is time travel related typically there’s room for plot holes or loose ends, but to that end Dalton ties everything up nicely while still leaving readers (yours truly included) hanging on for the sequel.
So, without any further ado, and since it’s been forever since I’ve rated anything with kittens. I give it the following:
Happy cat for how much I loved curling up with the book, miffed cat for being sucked into a YA series, and PLEASE kitty because I can’t wait for The Black Tempest to come out next January.
Stay tuned for more news and interviews with Ryan Dalton!