Thursday, 17 July 2014

Review - In Search of Gods and Heroes - Sammy HK Smith

I have just completed reading In Search of Gods and Heroes written by Sammy HK Smith, and I have to confess I would have finished it sooner had I not started to ration it when I realised I was nearing the end. I've never seen fit to ration a book before but just couldn't bear to finish this one and be faced with the realisation there was no more left to read. I have to say, I'm impressed with my self control that I managed to stretch it out the extra week. 

Anyway, on to the actual review. I really enjoyed this novel. It has a real air of mysticism and a feel of Greek mythology, with the kingdom of the Gods and the underworld battling against each other. The world is vividly painted both in description and in its history, with detail lavished in all the right areas. I’ve read many books before where the richness of the world is created at the expense of pacing. I glad to say this is not a problem here, which is one of the aspects I admire most about the book, as the detail is carefully woven in with the action and kept relevant to the current scene/ character. I never once found my attention wandering, and that really is something for me as numerous times I’ve sat down to read a book and flipped several pages then suddenly realised I had no clue what had happened in them as my mind was on something else completely while reading them. My attention span isn’t so bad that I blame myself, as when I rescan the pages I usually find that nothing much happened anyway. But this book does not hit that snag and I have to say I found that massively refreshing as I’m so used to my attention wandering at least once during a book.

The characters are strong and match well with the world they live in. I really enjoyed the contrast between Adley and Nathan, and the way the two personalities managed to enrich and draw the other out. There are a lot of threads to the story, all held together with sometimes rather tenuous interactions, and yet the overarching plot manages to keep all these threads ordered and coherent, which shows real skill from the author as the more threads a plot has, the more likely it is to unravel. I can’t really say too much more without releasing spoilers, but I will say that I found this an absorbing and exciting read. I strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy read. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Novel Editing and Trailer Update

I'm now a few weeks into the editing process of my novel, and it's going well. My editor, Caro, is really nice and due to the fact that my novel is mainly a NaNoWriMo novel, there are plenty of mistakes for her to sink her teeth into. I have to confess the volume of mistakes is no where near as bad I had predicted. We're going through it chapter by chapter, and I'm easily able to do the corrections within my hour lunch break. So all is good.

Due to Kristell Ink instating new publishing guidelines, it has been necessary to go through the whole manuscript and change the formatting around. All the dialogue tags have all had to be changed which is quite the task and that did set us back a bit with the editing but things are picking up speed again now.

As for my book trailer the model of the eternal library is almost complete. Here is the most recent render:

Just missing the spiral staircase down the center and a few things on the ground floor then I can render out the video. This is only part of the trailer. There are a number of other scenes I will be modeling.

Anyway, all in all, this is a very exciting time. I'm looking forward to sharing first the trailer and then the book with everyone.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Book Trailer Update

I've been working really hard on the new models for the trailer for my upcoming novel. Not really made a whole lot of progress to be fair. I've been working on a model of the eternal library.

I started by modelling the skylight window. The eternal library is circular, which I regret now as circular things are always more a pain to model, and is spread over three levels. The only window is the skylight, the rest is lit by gas lamps. Here is my first render:

Yes, it's dark and it really isn't much but it was a start. As of now, I have the confines of the top floor modeled with a quarter of the books in place and the lights are modeled and have the relevant lighting/glow effects. I'll have to confess that texturing the book was a pain as it involved unwrapping and arranging the textures the same way 15 times in a row. I didn't make all the books the same out of laziness or to conserve texture space but because this the main library of an official organisation and they would have a certain uniformity in their book binding. There will be different colours for different sections but all the books in one section will be the same with the exception of the thickness of course.

Anyway, here is my latest render:

Anyway, true there is still along way to go, but I think it's heading in the right direction. I'm slightly worried as to if my computer will be able to handle all the books once they are arrange across the three floors, but I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it. I think once all the other items are in the scene it should look fairly decent. Here's hoping, anyway.