Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Review: Heir of Power by Michele Poague

All books that I love have something in common - good characters. This book, Heir of Power, is among those books. The characters are very memorable. Each character has a set of personality flaws and strengths; worries, fears, and insecurities; loves and hates; strong, realistic emotions; and all the other things that makes a character real. Things that make a character stick out in a person's mind. Part of the enjoyment of reading about the characters is to watch them grow and develop. The main character, Kairma, is probably the one who changes the most, and it only improves her life. Michele Poague does a good job with this and I feel that by the end of her novel, all of her characters have grown into better people.

Not only do the characters face their internal and personal issues during the plot of the story, but they face something greater - circumstances that are out of their control. The civilians of the colony of Survin, which has been hidden away in seclusion for centuries, are suddenly being forced to interact with the outside world, in ways that could potentially help or harm them. Because of this series of seemingly random plot twists and events, the Survinees are forced to adapt from their lifestyle in order to survive.

Another thing the author has done that I liked was the subtle hints about where and when this story takes place. Instead of telling you outright that it takes place on, say, the moon in the year 2121 (which, for the record, isn't this novel's setting), Poague leaves small pieces of the puzzle throughout the story, revealing something here or there that tell you the setting of the novel. Though that knowledge isn't necessarily critical to understanding the novel, it is good to know, and by the end, it all mostly fits together. Personally, as soon as I finished, I wanted to go back and start reading it again, just to see if there were some things I might have missed while reading it the first time that fit with the setting that I had discovered.

The end of the novel isn't exactly a cliffhanger, which can be a good thing. Though there are two other books in the series, which I do intend on finding to read, just as soon as I can, I would be content stopping right at the end of this book and not continuing on, because the book ends well. There are very few things left unsettled - just enough that a second and third book can be added on to it.

Between the interesting religion and lifestyle of the Survinees, the characters that were placed in this world, and the series of events, this novel kept me attached to it, reading to the very last page with curiosity and excitement. It is a book that I would recommend to anyone seeking a science fiction tale with adventure, romance, and just enough mystery.

Click HERE for the link to purchase.
The link for the author's blog :

Friday, December 9, 2011

Playing Games with Reality

When I was a child, I used to play imagination games, like most other children. My favorite was a hypothetical situation game. What would happen if some random stranger showed up and told me I was actually adopted and belonged to a different family? What would happen if my parents died and I was sent to live with some random unknown relative in some random unheard of country? What if the house burned down and we were forced to live as forest people? I would play like this had actually happened for weeks on end with the same situation, not telling anyone, but imagining how real life went differently in my mind, without anyone else noticing except that I simply observed rather than participated. Then, I would write those pretend things down in my journal, like they were what really was happening. That was probably actually a good indication that I would become a writer, someday, now that I think on it.

One thing that I never anticipated was how reality would actually turn out. One circumstance, out of the hundreds I must have played out with myself, that I never imagined, was having divorced parents. I never even thought about that situation. It just simply could never happen to me. Of course, reality showed me it could and would, in time. Reality is funny that way, I suppose. It does what it wants, because, of course, other people shape what happens in it as well, not just you and your overactive imagination.

It's rather like being a character in somebody's book. You can develop your personality and your little quirks and a few other things about you, but someone always keeps the plot moving. Something is always happening, whether you can see it or not, and suddenly you're faced with a challenge that you have to get passed to make the writer, and whoever eventually reads this book, happy. It has to keep moving forward, you have no choice in it.

Of course, there is always help. People are sent to help you if you get stuck and such, but it's your challenge. You  must face it and overcome it to continue on to the end, because nobody likes a book where the hero dies trying to face the first great challenge. The hero has to make it to the end of the book, and hopefully that book has a happily ever after, in whatever form that happens to come in.

Now let's just hope that I'm actually one of the heroes of the book and not just a lovable side character that the author plans to kill off halfway through the book.