I’m not sure I can write this without any spoilers but I’ll try. Okay, how to describe Jacked…awesome, well written, fast paced, edge of your seat, unrelenting… Should I keep going?
First, the technical stuff. Jacked is the launch of Per Aspera Press, a Ragnarok Publications imprint. If you have read any of my other reviews, you should know I LOVE Ragnarok’s very talented authors. If Dougal’s novel is any indication, we will all love Per Aspera Press and all the SF yumminess they will bring us. Jacked is about a teenage boy with a talent for fixing technology in a world that has lost technical capabilities. He faces a lot of fears and dangers and grows up in a hurry. This is so hard without any spoilers! I want to tell you everything! Let me say that I read it through a second time and noticed some interesting correlations to Rowling’s Potter series. I missed them the first time because I was too engrossed in the story.
Now, the goodies. Dougal delivers with Jacked. I read it in one sitting. I just couldn’t stop. It’s like a roller coaster you want to ride over and over so it doesn’t end. It’s fast paced and keeps you racing through each page. Even when you think you know what is going to happen next, you have to devour every single word. It has gangs, fights, seriously evil bad guys, chases, escapes, even some angsty teenage romance. There are surprises and they are delightful. And the ending is very exciting. I’m trying not to give too much away. It’s a very good book. You can find it on Amazon at this link. You need to read it.
Sometimes we need a little help to figure stuff out. The big stuff. Deep stuff. Stuff we don’t always like to examine in the light of day. I came across a blog post today that really struck a nerve. Here is the part that brought me to tears:
“When I feel better, I am more creative and more willing to allow myself to take the risk of feeling good about myself. Isn’t that strange? It’s a thing that I do, that I’ve done for my whole life: I don’t want to take the risk of feeling good about myself, because I’m afraid that I’ll get complacent, or arrogant, or someone will discover the Truth that my Depression tells me: I’m not that great and I don’t deserve to feel good about myself.”
I’ve never felt like I was depressed. Sometimes aggravated and upset with myself that I haven’t ended up where I thought I would be by now. But I never considered it depression. When I found this blog post from Wil Wheaton, I realized that what he described is exactly how I feel. I don’t know when it started but I have the feeling it goes way back. Mom had a way of making me feel guilty for doing something well, even my grades. I wasn’t given a choice but to make good grades. Yet she would fuss at me for always having my nose in a book whether it was for school or not.
How do you learn to break free from that when it’s all you were ever taught by the one person who’s supposed to love you and encourage you and nurture you above all others? For a lot of the time I remember, my mother was a miserable person. Nothing I could do to make her happy, nor my dad or my brother. She seemed to revel in it. The more I read about depression, I’m not sure she had a choice. That doesn’t make it any less tragic to instill that thinking into your children.
Now that I recognize what’s going on, I have to stop the cycle. I don’t have kids but I do have friends and family. I don’t want my behavior to be a negative influence on anyone. I recently had a meltdown. I hit my breaking point. And I am now medicated. Hopefully, the medication will help me find my way back to the right path. The path I should have found my way to when I was supposed to be learning who I was.
Okay, we finally have the Audible link for Karina Fabian’s book, I Left My Brains in San Francisco. This is the second book in the Neeta Lyffe series. If you like your zombies on the funny side, you need to read/listen to these books.
I’m on vacation this week and giving myself a birthday present. I’m interviewing my friend and fellow writer Karina Fabian. She has a new audio book that should be dropping this week.
Do zombies take vacations?
Zombies are dead people whose hind brains haven’t clued into the fact yet. While they sometimes keep enough brain function to do things like return home, shamble through a drive-thru or try to vote, they aren’t really making conscious decisions. So, if one dies while on vacation and was really, really invested in doing something while on that vacation, its soulless corpse may return to hang out on the beach or go skydiving – likely what may have killed it in the first place, but zombies don’t really learn from their mistakes, either. However, it would not take a vacation.
What’s been you experience with audio books?Do you like it or not? Will you do it again?
I’ve had a great experience working with Becky Parker on the audiobooks. She has a good narrative style, fun voices and has fantastic special effects. It puts a new spin on the story. I’d love to do it again. In fact, I suggested to my publisher we just jump right to producing Shambling in a Winter Wonderland in audio, too, and have the print and audio come out together.
Do you have a bazillion notes on Neeta like J.K. Rowling has on Harry?
Nope. Neeta tells me what I need to know as I write the story.
What’s next for Neeta?
Neeta and Ted are heading to Utah. Neeta is showing off her exterminator’s van as part of the publicity agreement she made with HumVans, and they’re hoping to enjoy a zombie-free vacation snowboarding. (Yeah…guess how that turns out.)
How has writing Neeta Lyffe impacted your other writing universes?
My universes stay separate. I don’t see them crossing over, ever. They each have their own histories and population, and I enjoy moving from one to the other. Each book I write does teach me lessons I can apply to other novels, however. I’d say Neeta’s books help me remember to keep in mind how the wider world affects the doings of my characters.
Neeta’s universe was the easiest one to build, since it’s ours 30 years in the future. I took current social and political trends, projected them to ridiculous extremes (or what I hope would be ridiculous), and then added the zombies. I took a different approach to zombies. I have a hard time believing in the overwhelming apocalypse model, especially as we were in the middle of the H1N1 scare at the time I started the series, and while some people were sure we’d wipe out a significant amount of the population, strong controls made it a tempest in a teapot.
I figured the same thing would happen with zombieism. Even if we didn’t figure out what caused it or how to cure it, we would put controls in place to contain it. Thus, zombies as pests, not pestilence.
If you could ask Neeta a question, what would you ask her?
Why was it so hard for you and Ted to just admit you loved each other? It was the hardest part of the book to write.
I always enjoy having Karina on the blog. You can find her and all of her universes at Fabian Space.