Tuesday, January 04, 2011

REVIEW: The Lost Gate

So, it is finished. This is the first of Orson Scott Card's Mithermages saga. Not having ever read Card in the past, I was completely in the dark as to what he had in store for me. I wasn’t disappointed as The Lost Gate is quite a good read overall. It will be on store shelves and shipping January 4. There’s a nice follow-up in the back of the book by the author that explains that this story was 30 years in the making… worth the wait. The story is described as contemporary urban fantasy. Normally, that would turn me off a bit. I like contemporary fiction and fantasy but when those words are placed together along with the word urban, it just sounds like someone is trying too hard to be the next Twilight. YA novels generally get too syrupy for my tastes.

Mither Mages is a creative attempt to tie all of the world’s mythology into one neat story. This particular tale focuses mainly on a teen named Danny. His family is part of the Norse mythology. An additional story line follows Wad, a mysterious young man who springs from a tree. Both discover that they are gatemages and learn what that means as the story progresses. By the book’s end their stories are tied together. Wad is a compelling character – full of mystery. He ends up living in the kingdom of Iceway. As for Danny, I didn’t much like him early on but his personally fits his character perfectly and Card’s writing quickly hooked me and made me want to know more. The dialog is believable, the characters interesting and the pace had me devoting more time to The Lost Gate than I had to spare. I couldn’t help feeling that there was a sense of doom following Danny and I kept waiting for one of the characters to “get him”. If you want to know more about the story see my earlier post, I have an exerpt, or check out the book's trailer.

The world of the Mither Mages that Card has created will entertain readers for years to come. I can’t help but feel a bit helpless after reading this first in a series as I am currently invested in a number of other fantasy sagas and wonder where I will find the time for this new one. Speaking of other sagas, I have cracked open my Christmas present Towers of Midnight. It is the 13th and next to last in the Wheel of Time series by the late Robert Jordan. The last three installments are being finished by the very talented Brandon Sanderson. His last WoT novel, The Gathering Storm was the best that series offered in many years. The book is over 860 pages and with my work load what it is, George R.R. Martin may actually have enough time to finish his next installment in his long over due sage, A Song of Fire and Ice. As much as I am looking forward to reading A Dance with Dragons, I would rather the author take his time and do it right. I know I will be scrambling this April to get a look at the Game of Thrones on HBO.

And before I finish, I must give props to Tor, the publisher of The Lost Gate, for going with something other than their traditional bad cover design. One final note, I received my advanced reading copy courtesy of the First Reads program from Goodreads.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Working at MOCA has been one of those dream jobs. For those who know me you've heard that sometimes those dreams are a bit on the nightmarish side what with the insane deadlines and shortened hours. Usually though, it has been a place to grow and learn and work with some amazing people. Being resourceful has also been one of the skills that I have had to hone. Often, a new idea for a fundraiser comes to MOCA all at once and we must all scramble to make things happen. The Art of the Dog was one such event. Unfortunately, it was one of those events that didn't quite make it out of the gate. All the MOCAteers worked like fire ants trying to make this happen but the plug was pulled. Perhaps it will happen this year.

The saying goes that there is always some kind of good that can be found in everything. Sometimes we really have to dig deep. The Art of the Dog made a lot of us extra work when we were all already working over capacity. Some were happy that it didn't happen. Today, I can say that this little doggy is wagging his tail as the logo that I designed for the event will be published in Logo Nest 01.