Author Archives: Literary Titan
Written by Sunshine Somerville, The Eighth is a gripping, yet short, introduction to her paranormal fantasy series The Alt-World Chronicles.
The tale begins with Esme sitting at a bar delivering this hard hitting opening line, “Hi, I’m Esme and I’m going to die tonight”. Esme is the Order’s current alterni and is preparing to be called to battle. Esme recalls a nightmarish battle filled with monsters and demons, whilst drinking to calm her nerves.
The recollection of the battle is vivid and gripping. I felt like the opening was a good reflection of how the rest of the story unfolds. The tension and action throughout the book is punctuated with short, sharp sentences. There is absolutely no time to waste in this short book and the author utilizes every word to great effect. With that said, I felt like the sheer amount of characters and creatures in the second chapter made things a little hard to follow.
We’re introduced to King Owen and some of his soldiers. A battle ensues that is filled with graphic descriptions of demonic shrieks, winged beasts and beheaded elves. All described in a way that puts the action first and let’s you fill in the rest.
The Eighth is well written and grabbed my attention from the first line. Esme’s character is intriguing and begs to be explored further. As she sits at the bar her fear and resignation is palpable. With the introduction of yet another unique and expertly developed character like King Owen this book is the perfect launching point for any new fans to the series. Overall, an excellent introduction to a series that left me wanting more.
Pages: 23 | ASIN: B07QNLPZJY
The Farthest-Reaching Ball A Memoir of Motherhood by Sandra Bowman is definitely a unique read. The book starts with an Author’s Note explaining that the author has a daughter and that this daughter has always been her daughter. When I first read that sentence I wondered if maybe the author had adopted her daughter and that’s why she had declared that, but in fact, it turns out that her daughter is transgender which made it an intriguing read. In the story, you follow the life of Sandra and her son Grant with husband, Robert, and youngest son, Parker, almost being side characters. Grant realizes at a young age that he feels as though he is a female, but he is unsure of how to open up to anyone for fear of rejection.
Throughout the story, he is an intelligent man that everyone loves but he goes through some very dark times hiding away from the world, wanting to be left alone, dropping his grades despite his intelligence, dropping out of college multiple times as well as other situations all because he is afraid of rejection. He is afraid of coming out and people rejecting him, hating him, taunting him. He’s on medication for depression, later he’s diagnosed as bipolar, he skips therapy and doctor’s appointments multiple times. He’s one huge depressed messed. It takes years for Grant to finally come out and admit that he is a female and that his name is Grace.
I had mixed feelings towards this story because I try very hard to not judge parents since I’m a parent myself, but I found it hard to not judge Sandra for almost forgetting that she had a second son because she was so focused on Grant and his issues. I felt bad for Parker throughout the story and wanted to adopt him. I was so glad when Parker finally opens up about feeling neglected and I am happy that eventually the family is able to find happiness and become a whole again. I love that Parker accepted Grace for who she is even though she was the cause of him being neglected throughout his childhood and young adult life. I felt bad for Sandra for everything that she was going through, I could feel her emotions as she battled her own depression, I could feel her relief when she finally knew what the problem was with her daughter and I could feel her happiness when her family became whole again. I think Sandra did a really great job conveying the emotions in the story.
This is an exceptional memoir, the only thing that I didn’t like was that the timeline jumps around a bit, Grant is young and then in the next scene he’s an adult and then the next scene he’s young again. This happens a few times but isn’t really a huge problem, to be honest, it’s just the one thing that I think could have made the book a little easier to follow.
I liked how Sandra’s story helped me see what it’s like for transgenders growing up, what they go through during the transformation, the process of creating their new identity and being on hormones. I hope that this story helps to soften the heart of those that have problems with transgender people.