In my review for A Christmas Carol I asserted that I will read most anything with “Dickens” on the cover, and this is a good example; I cannot recall any reason for it being on my reading list except for it being by Charles Dickens.
I’ve recently begun reading Bleak House, a Charles Dickens novel. While I almost always enjoy Dickens novels, with the partial exception of A Tale of Two Cities, the funny thing is that I don’t really read his books for the stories.
I love A Christmas Carol. I'll read most things with "Charles Dickens" on the cover, but I love A Christmas Carol. It's a feeling that I inherited from my dad, and I have for several years now been in the habit of re-reading this classic Christmas tale every year around the holidays. This is in addition to frequently attending whatever stage adaptation happens to be around, listening to the Patrick Stewart audiobook version several times (often while running), watching at least one movie adaptation (I like the Muppets version and the Patrick Stewart version the most), and for several years participating in a radio play adaptation for a fundraiser.
I remember having several English teachers, especially early in my schooling, who spent a great deal of time talking about how important a good opening line is. As they likely did for many of you, they called this opening line a “hook,” and explained how the entire fate of the universe, or at least my essay, rests on having a “hook,” a first line that will draw readers in and make them desperately excited to learn more about what I have to say on such fascinating topics as Lyme’s disease, Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home, or the intelligence of dolphins.
Unsouled, and the Cradle series as a whole, is described as something called martial arts fantasy. The magic system has defined levels of skill, with each skill level gaining distinct abilities and possessing unique attributes. It's not a design that I generally prefer, but it worked well in Unsouled. Which matters, because Unsouled is not necessarily the kind of book that you read for the compelling characters or political drama. You read it for the vivid magical fights.
I will fully admit that I devoured The Burning White after my re-read of the Lightbringer series, by Brent Weeks. I'll be posting a review of that book, specifically, here, and will also make a later post reviewing the series as a whole. Now, I'm not some kind of literary critic, but I have read a lot of genre fiction, and I have a good idea of what I like to see. That being said, what I like to see may not be the same as what you like to see.