me, reading serpent and dove: so sarah j. maas supposedly loves this book... that's sus...
serpent and dove: big titty liddy was not very pretty, but her bosom was big as a barn. her creamery knockers drove men off their rockers, but she was blind to their charms. big willy billy talked sort of silly, but his knob was as long as his arm-
This week’s ‘Weekly Recap’ was a day late because I had a book tour post scheduled to go up yesterday (which was Sunday), which is why this post is going up on a Monday.
As the blog post title reads, I did not read as much as I would have liked to this week. I was swamped with university work and feeling quite unusually tired throughout the read. That being said, I am feeling a lot better and…
reflecting on book tropes and it really hit me that James is the epitome of attractive yet it's not an in-your-face overkill
like he's smart, well read, eloquent, polite, a gentleman, good dancer, fit but not a gym-bunny, poetry scholar soft boi vibes, a leader, team player, passionate and emotional yet not a showoff
and he's not overpowered and doesn't try to come across as "seductive" or manly or anything to society or Cordelia... I highly believe that Jane Austen and Charles Dickens would have approved of homeboy James
Oh yeah that reminds me, my whole shebang with romantic/fluffy g/t revolves around 'people don't get hurt on accident because the power of love makes it easier to be gentle and know where your tiny beloved is' because the idea of being able to accidentally hurt someone small and delicate is upsetting and i really don't like it so!! Whenever i talk about like, tiny folk sleeping beside big folk or any other situations where it could potentially be more risky...they are fine and safe! Because of the rules of the universe i smushed together around my characters! So don't be a smart arse and try to poke holes in stuff or be like "oh but they'd get squished/killed if they did this" i will smack you with a broom < 3
#tbh if you try to punch logic holes in this clearly not real fantasy scenario...... #you are the worlds most boring person FLGJDLSKDL #and also i despise when people 'well actually' me abt my stories and characters lmao #why the hell would real world rules apply. none of this is real. its made up. leaf me to my fantasy will ya #and when i say dont do this like. i will legit block you for annoying me i have a small temper fjgnfkf #so dont do it just cuz u think its funny or as a joke u will regret it <3 #like yeah accidents happening could come up as a plot ppint but like. if i'm writing just fluff then no. its not a possibility #for reasons i will not get into accidental harm/death of small things is upsetting to me! #like! very! very much so! makes me feel ill! so do not try to well actually me into it thanks muchly oke doke #also i should clarify nobody's done it at this moment in time. i was just thinking of when they have in the past #and i got angy so i rambled bout it! okey dokey! gonna go get me my dinner. wait everyone else calls it lunch. gonna go get lunch
I was accused of betraying my pack because I saved that hot rogue.
As a daughter of a beta, everyone knows me and treats me with the utmost respect.
I'm smart, kind, and beautiful. I possess all the characteristics of a Luna. Everyone in the pack including our parents wish that me and our future Alpha, Adam, would end up mates.
I'm not sure what Adam feels for me, but I truly feel about him.
However, I lost everything since the day I saved that rogue.
The Red Moon Pack is known for its power and wealth. No one messes with us even the rogues. Our pack consists of the best werewolves. We have the best military and a powerful leader which is as powerful as the Lycan.
The Lycans are the Leaders of Werewolves. They are in charge of maintaining peace between packs, monitoring rogue attacks, and seeing that the Alpha and Luna are following the Law and ruling their pack in the right way. Most Alphas are Lycans by blood like Adam and his family.
"Mira! Hurry up, we must not keep the Alpha and Luna waiting." My mom called downstairs while I fixed my clothes back into my closet.
"Coming!" I shouted and hurried downstairs.
We went inside the car and dad drove towards where Adam lives. The Alpha and the Luna invited us to dinner and it would be rude to say no even if we don't plan to say no either
When we arrived Alpha Damien was already outside waiting to welcome us with his son. The smell of the flowers that Luna Heidi had well taken care of, wafted into the air making us feel more welcome.
My father held the alpha's hand and bumped his shoulder with his arm.
Adam just stood there like us and watched the adults talk with each other like friends who hadn't seen each other for a long time.
"Mom, Dad, can you please excuse me and Mira," Adam asked his parents politely, and I looked at him confused.
Adam held me by the hand and dragged me to their small gazebo in the middle of the garden away from our family.
"What's wrong?" I asked him.
I could tell that he was nervous. He wasn't looking straight at me and he's moving his feet too frequently.
"Whatever I would tell you, promised me that nothing would change between us."
I looked at him weirdly. He had told me everything weird about him before but it didn't change anything between us, "You know that you can tell me everything, right?"
"Yes, but this is different," he said softly between his breaths.
I didn't respond and waited for him to tell me what he wanted to say.
"I love you," he paused, "More than friends. It has nothing to do with what other people tell us. I've loved you the day I laid my eyes on you."
I stared at him with my eyes wide open. I was speechless. I just stood there like a statue not knowing what to say or do.
"It's okay if you don't feel the same way. I just want you to know what I feel."
"What if we weren't mates?" I asked.
"I love you so much that I'm willing to risk it, Mira. If by chance we didn't end up as mates and you decided to leave for your other half," he gulped as if he can't accept what he just said, "I will let you go, because all I want is for you to be happy."
"I-I don't know." I lied.
The thing is I knew what I felt and I've been denying it for so long. I know that Adam is more than just a friend for me, and that I feel the same thing he feels for me.
I should have said that I love him. I love him too much that when I found out he wasn't my mate, I wouldn't care because he's all that matters to me. I should have hugged him as my life depends on him while I can still hold him.
If I only knew that things would change that fast.
"Mira!" My brother called me.
"I'm coming!" I shouted back but Adam grabbed my arm.
"Wait!" He said, so I waited.
He brought out a pure silver necklace from his pockets and handed it to me. It has an infinity pendant with words, "No Matter What," engraved across it.
Werewolves aren't affected by silvers. It was a myth. Only vampires are affected by silver. Our only weakness is wolfsbane.
"It doesn't matter if we weren't mates. It doesn't matter if the world tells us no. No matter what, I will choose to love you," he whispered and my heart melted with his words.
That night, both of us lied. I lied about my feelings and he lied about his promises.
My class just ended and I had to wait for an hour for my sibling's class to end. While waiting I decided to go to the forest near the school where people are not allowed to go.
I trudged deep into the forest, marking every tree I passed by with an infinity symbol, just like the pendant on the necklace that Adam gave me, so that I would know my way back to the pack. I didn't think of the warriors who might see me breaking the pack's rules. I was just curious and besides, I would go back immediately when I'm satisfied with my adventure.
Dried leaves crunched beneath my feet as I went deeper. In just a few moments I heard the sound of rushing water and the sound of birds. I sniffed the air and smelt flowers like the ones in Adam's garden.
I ran excitedly to where the scent was coming from and parted every leaf blocking my view and gasped at the beauty in front of me. I saw a small brook and a treehouse covered with vines. The place was surrounded by large rocks and flowers are scattered across the meadow. Birds are circling the sky and butterflies were resting on every leaf. It's like I entered a different world.
I love reading while laying down on the grass beside the brook.
I inhaled the fresh air and the fragrance of flowers and shifted through pages of what I'm reading. I could also hear the birds humming and the water whispering beside me. I was there, drowned in my world. This is the most wonderful experience I ever had in my life.
A branch snapped from the forest and I instantly stood up and looked where the sound came from.
I sniffed the air trying to search for a familiar scent but instead I smelled something disgusting like a wet street dog.
I thought Logan, Leila, or Adam had found me but instead, a rogue had.
My heart sped up and cold sweat flowed down my spine. My father used to tell me stories about them. He said they were once normal werewolves who rebelled against their pack and lost their minds and humans in the process.
They were greedy and selfish that's why they became rogues.
"I am the daughter of Beta Sebastian Savera, of The Red Moon Pack. So run if you don't wish to die." I shouted with a defiant voice.
"I don't wish to harm you Beta. I was just passing by," the voice replied and he went out and revealed himself to me.
I was expecting to see someone scary that nearly looked like a zombie but instead, the man who came out looked more like a beggar. He has holes in his clothes and his body is covered in dirt, "Please spare me, I'm not like the other rogues. I left my pack because they were mistreating me," he said with his face on the ground.
"Show me your face," I commanded him and he immediately obeyed.
There were a lot of bruises and even dry blood all across his face and body and I can't help but have mercy on him.
How could a pack mistreat one of its members when they are all connected despite anything bad he could do.
"What have you done to your pack to deserve this?" I asked him. Surely, they won't beat him for no reason.
"I was born out of wedlock. My mom was impregnated by a man who already has a mate. She beat me because of her anger towards my father," He lowered his gaze sadly and I immediately regretted asking him why.
His stomach growled and he lowered his head in embarrassment, "When was the last time you ate?" I asked.
"I hadn't had a proper meal for two days since I left. I only survived by picking fruits from the trees."
I guess that explains why his wounds aren't healing fast, "What's your name?"
"Okay Coby, I would bring you to our pack to answer some questions, and if you pass you can join us."
"I-I thought your pack hates rogues."
"We do hate rogues but we don't hate those who need our help."
He bowed again with his face touching the ground, "Thank you ma'am for sparing my life and giving me mercy. I promise I would repay your kindness."
"You don't have to. We had always helped rogues like you. Some of our members were rogues whom we had taken in. By the way, stop calling me ma'am and just call me Mira since you are older than me."
We walked through the forest towards our pack. I'm excited to introduce Coby to my dad. I'm sure he will take pity on him because of his situation.
I didn't bother going to school or telling my siblings about Coby. I just went straight to the pack's office where dad works.
Before I could even reach his office the pack warriors had already sensed his presence. A great howl echoed throughout our borders and it was accompanied by the others. In just a few seconds, Coby and I were already surrounded by them.
They were all in their human form since they are strong whether in their wolf form or not. It's also because Coby doesn't possess much of a threat.
"Get away from our beta!" The one in the middle commanded and Coby cowered away from me. His body was bent over because of the heaviness of his command.
I'm actually not their Beta but they call me one since I'm their beta's daughter.
"He's with me. I found him near our border." I defended him.
"And what are you doing near the borders?" Someone shouted.
It was my father and he's making his way towards me. The warriors bowed their heads at him when they saw him coming.
He's frowning and clearly angry at me, "Didn't we tell you before to never leave school without your siblings!"
I remained silent and lowered my head guiltily. Maybe, I should just have left that place when I saw it. I shouldn't have gone there and broken his orders multiple times.
"Bring the rogue to the dungeons," dad ordered and they followed him obediently.
"Dad, he's harmless. I was hoping if you'll accept him into the pack."
"You know the protocols. He had to do the interrogation."
"Dad," I paused, "I'm sorry for breaking your trust. I promise I won't leave the school again," I muttered
It's hard for me to leave the place I fell in love with but it's wrong to break his orders and disrespect the alpha.
He was about to say something when the sound of a siren interrupted our conversation.
"One," dad whispered.
"Two," he whispered again after it went off twice.
"Run to the bunkers!" Dad shouted and transformed into his midnight black wolf when the siren went off thrice which means someone is attacking our pack.
I did what he told me and ran with the crowd.
Our pack has its own secret and highly secured bunker for emergency purposes. All of the men, women, and children who don't know how to fight ran towards it while our pack warriors transformed into their wolves and formed their formation around our borders.
It was so sudden that the people were caught off guard. Everyone was pushing, shouting, and running towards the bunker and even causing a stampede.
And then, as soft as the sound of the wind, I heard it. It was thousands of paws running across the forest and it's coming towards us. It was a rogue attack and at that moment I knew that Coby betrayed me.
"Mira!" Coby called my name. The warriors who were supposed to bring him to the dungeons are now gone and had probably gone off for the war.
"You signaled them, did you? You told them that they are free to go and they can attack our pack," I yelled at him.
I should have known better. I was too naive that I trusted him and even led him towards our pack. He is exactly the rogue that dad warned me about.
"Never! I told you that I wasn't with them. I'm not like the other rogues."
I searched his face trying to look for any hint of lies but he's dead serious.
The rogues had now entered our borders. Their ferocious growl echoed and the war had now begun.
I never saw such horrifying wolves in my entire life. Their wolf is huge and they were standing with their hind legs. Patches of fur had fallen out of their scarred bodies. They are too thin that you can see their bones popping out. They look like they weren't fed for months and would die of hunger any minute. Despite their thin bodies, they were still strong and could fight our warriors equally. Their strength is three times more than an average werewolf.
There are still a lot of people running towards the bunker and instead of hiding to be safe, I helped the people go in.
"Hurry up! They are inside the territory!" I yelled.
The rogues are attacking the weakest first instead of attacking the warriors and those who can fight.
The other warriors were forced to leave their formation to defend the pack members and because of that, the warriors weren't able to use strategy to defeat them.
The war didn't just bring destruction to the pack, it also brought destruction to me. My world turned upside down and I lost everything.
As I was helping the pack, I saw a girl my age crying while clutching his father's hand who was a warrior, "Papa! Please don't leave me," she pleaded.
"Ingrid, go to the bunkers and let me defend our pack. I'll come back." He removed his daughter's arms around him and shifted into his brown wolf and went to fight off the rogues.
The girl whose name is Ingrid didn't leave but cried where her father left her. She knows her dad won't make it. She was afraid of losing her father.
Only a few of our warriors were left standing. Everyone knows that we can only win if the rogues decide to retreat, but no one showed signs of stopping.
Then when I was about to help her, I saw an enormous rogue approaching her from behind.
I ran as fast as I could towards her and pulled her from the rogue's path and helped her to the bunkers.
The rogue was running so fast that he wasn't able to control his body to turn to us.
He snarled at me for helping his prey and charged at me instead. I was defenseless. I thought it was my end.
"Mira!" Coby shouted and blocked me from the rogue.
The rogue who was about to bite me was taken aback when Coby blocked his jaw.
Coby whimpered in pain and blood came out of his side where the rogue bit him. The rogue threw him off as a doll and Coby landed in a loud thud. The rogue didn't bother finishing him off and went towards us instead.
"Mira! Go to the bunkers," my mother said with her long nails and canines out. Her wolf is threatening to come out but she can't fully shift because she's pregnant.
The rogue looked at her amused. My mom is no match to the rogue and he could easily kill her without any effort. Then in just a blink of an eye, my dad flew out of nowhere and pushed the rogue away from us and he fought him by myself.
"What are you doing? Run!" She shouted at us.
I did what she said and pulled Ingrid towards the bunkers, "Stay in here, I'll go help the others."
"No, don't. It's dangerous," she said and pulled my arm.
"I'm sorry. I need to go," I insisted and removed her hands on my arm, and ran towards where Coby is.
Blood is coming out of his mouth. He's too weak since he hadn't eaten yet and he's injured from his past beatings.
"Coby," I whispered.
"You came back," he wheezed.
"Of course, I'm your friend and you saved me."
"I wasn't part of them." He coughed.
"Shhhh. I know," I whispered, and a smile appeared on his face.
If he's with them he won't risk his life to save me and the rogue won't kill him.
"Thank you, for trusting and believing in me," he whispered.
A tear escaped my eyes. We just met and now he's dying. He was just about to get a chance to live his life but it's now getting taken away from him.
"I know we just met but you mean a lot to me. You were the first person who took pity on me and treated me with kindness. Promise me that you won't change and that you'll continue to be kind and give hope to others. I want you to continue to be kind and help people like how you helped me." He mumbled under his last breath.
He closed his eyes, and his heart stopped beating and I can't do anything about it.
He sacrificed his life for me. He could have just run to the bunkers but he chose to stay and help us in all that he can and all that he can give even if he wasn't even a part of our pack.
I stood up and looked around me. A lot of our warriors had fallen and the others are still fighting to death. The rogues had done a lot of damage to our pack and more rogues are still coming for us. Only a few of our enemies had died. The attack was clearly planned and we weren't strong enough to win it.
It's a battle of death and the warriors knew it but they didn't show signs of stopping.
When I reached the bunker the people inside were quiet and you can clearly hear the sound coming from the outside.
There were howls, snarls, whimpers, and breaking of bones. The people here probably thought our side was winning. They didn't know that more warriors had died today, more than the number of rogues who died.
Everyone is now confused about who's winning the war.
I was restless. We can't afford to lose our dad or our mother. It will be hard for us to rise up again from this war if we will lose them.
I had no choice but to go out again and help in all I can. I sneaked outside without them noticing. I saw my father along side the alpha fighting the rogues along with the few other warriors that were left.
All of them are strong when combined but they are outnumbered. There is no chance that they will win this fight.
I can't just go and help them either because I'm weak and hadn't even met my wolf yet so I just stood there watching the rogues pounce at them.
Even though they are tired and still panting from fighting the other rogues, they didn't show any signs of weakness at all. They all exchanged punches kick and snarls and they all kept their ground mightily.
The rogues were amused at their bravery and thought that they were crazy, but they don't know what our pack is made of. We never surrender. We're more than a fighter. We are survivors.
One of the rogues lunched at my father, aiming for his left hind leg but dad is too fast and evaded his attack. The rogue rolled over his stomach and Dad took that as his advantage and lunched for his neck but one of the rogues scratched his back with his long nails and blood gushed out of his body.
Dad whimpered and I could even feel his pain from here. With all his strength he kicked the rogue behind him and his body was thrown off with a thud.
The rogue below him kicked his bruised ribs with a large blow and dad was taken aback by his move.
The rogues snarled and circled him and they pounced at him at the same time.
Dad doesn't know who to attack first because they are all too fast and too many.
He managed to throw blows and bit chunks of their flesh but their strength didn't waver like they were on drugs. He did a huge amount of damage to them but not as much as they did to him.
They didn't care that they were weak, hungry, and in pain. It's like they don't feel anything but the urge to kill.
Soon, the other rogues came and tried to kill dad but no one managed to stop and help their beta with his fight.
The alpha and the other warriors are too busy fighting at least six rogues at the same time.
Dad howled for help many times but no one bothered to help.
I should have gone there and let myself die with him. If only I knew what would happen after this. I should have died with him.
Tears fell out of my eyes but I didn't bother to stop watching my dad fight for death. My feet were rooted on the ground. I'm too shocked to do anything.
Then his howls and whimpers of pain stopped and the rogues left one by one.
He was just there lying on the ground with his eyes open beside mom who died first before him.
I screamed my lungs out and knelt on the ground. I clutched my heart and cried. The rogues heard my cry and sauntered towards me.
My heart hurts so bad that I didn't care about them or about dying.
The long sound of a horn interrupted the rogues and they all ran away from our pack. Their tails were between their legs as they scampered off and left.
The sound came outside of our borders. I thought it was their signal to leave but instead, a pack of huge white wolves with symbols of the moon on their forehead appeared.
That was the first time I saw a full-blooded Lycan.
The Lycans went after the rogues and tried their best to catch them all but some of them escaped. The others helped us pick up the bodies of our dead and fix the damage that the rogues caused in our pack.
The horrifying sounds earlier were changed by weeping and mourning when the families of the warriors came out.
Everyone was surprised to see the number of casualties that were caused by the attack.
Only eighteen Warriors survived, including our Alpha.
Werewolves can indeed have second chance mates if their true mate died but I doubt Alpha Damien would accept anyone as his mate.
Luna Heidi was more than a mate to him. She was his first love and they vowed to never leave each other.
Everyone turned quiet when they saw Alpha Damien leaning to his wife's dead body. Tears weren't coming out of his eyes unlike his son Adam but everyone could tell how broken he was.
He sat beside Luna and caressed her hair and touched her stomach where their baby was. He just sat there quietly and left.
Weak werewolves can't live without their mates and eventually die, but Alpha Damien's wolf is strong enough to live without his.
All the people I cared about changed after the incident. They became blinded by anger, hatred, and revenge.
The pack wasn't the same as it used to. It lost its former glory and became the ridicule of all werewolves. They can't believe that we lost to a random rogue attack and worst we lost our important leaders and a great deal of our highly trained warriors.
I went towards Adam to comfort him, "I'm sorry," I whispered.
He wiped his tears and stared straight to my face with anger evident in his eyes, "I will never forgive them. They will pay for what they did," he hissed while clenching his fists.
I caressed his back to calm him down until his breathing turned even.
My siblings were looking at both of us. They know how much close we are.
"I'm sorry about your parents and your sibling," he muttered under his breath.
I smiled sadly at him. We were all expecting to meet our new brother next month if mom didn't die. We weren't also able to know the gender of Adam's sibling. At least our alpha didn't die.
I just wish that the Lycans came early. If they did, my dad will also still be alive until now and he would be there to protect me from what was about to happen.
The attack just happened yesterday, but for me, it seems like forever. It's the first time I had to sleep without both of my parents. It's also the first time that I never heard their voice. Waking up without my mom cooking us breakfast and without dad drinking his cup of coffee, just reminded me of how they died.
I cried myself to sleep last night. I didn't bother to check up on my siblings because I'm so caught up with my emotions.
I don't have the energy to comfort them when I'm not feeling well myself.
The other Lycans chose to stay in our pack to help us. I don't know how long they are going to stay. We just have to wait for the alpha's orders but he's nowhere to be seen.
Everyone was looking for him. The last time we saw him was when he sat beside his mate's dead body.
When I went out, everything was already fixed as nothing happened but everything is strange. The damages on the buildings were restored, the bodies and the blood were gone. The streets are empty and it's eerily quiet.
Everyone is hiding in their homes and still taking in what happened just like the three of us.
We were all eating breakfast that was brought by the pack chefs. Leila's eyes were red and puffy and she would sniff from time to time and Logan is eating emotionlessly which reminds me of dad's expression when he's out on meeting and doing his duties.
Now that our parents are gone, their responsibility now weighs on his shoulders. He's the eldest, he now has to protect and take care of us just like what they used to tell him, "Logan, always look after your sister at school.","You should always put your siblings first."
After we ate, I volunteered to wash the dishes and Leila volunteered to clean the floor.
"Leila, Mira, the alpha just called for a pack meeting. It's urgent and everyone is called to go." Logan said.
Since he's now the head of the family. He's now also connected to the pack link.
A pack link is how werewolves can talk to their members through their minds. Only people who can shift are allowed to join but having one family member connected to the pack link is required.
We all went to the packhouse where great and small gatherings happen. It is also where the guest rooms are located and where the Lycans are staying in. Most important events such as the coronation and forming of alliance, are done in the woods under the moon
The Alpha was guarded by the Lycan Warriors instead of our own Warriors. I can't tell how he's feeling after yesterday's events because of his emotionless face and blank stare.
Adam wasn't with him on the stage but he's in the crowd among us. I badly want to approach him but I believe it's not the proper time yet.
"Thank you for coming and gathering for today's meeting." His voice boomed and the whispers fell silent as he spoke.
"Today, I will announce three important things." he briefly paused, "First, I want to share my condolences for the Warriors who had fallen. They were true to their duty and had never failed to give honor. They died to save those who lived."
Some of us, who were probably the families of the warriors, started to cry.
"To honor their death, we will have their ceremony under the full moon and return a few of what they did to us."
"Yesterday, we didn't only lose our warriors but also our beta and…" he gulped and shifted his gaze, "Our Luna."
"We will never forget their sacrifices and the things they did for our pack. They thought of us first. They thought of their duties and responsibilities until their last breath. It's painful that we won't see them ever again."
"We must not waste their sacrifices for the pack. We must continue what they left us. They died for us, and we must prove our lives to them. The Red Moon Pack will never be the same without them, but we will rise again and prove that our pack isn't worthless. It's as worthy as the lives of those who died for us."
"As you all already know. The Lycans will stay here to help us restore our former glory. Our beta will be temporarily replaced by Lycan Reece who was recommended by the Alpha of the Lycans himself until our late Beta Sebastian's son's coming of age."
"To make this official, we will serve him our traditional coronation ceremony before we offer our goodbyes to our fallen warriors. It means we will do it by day instead of by night."
"Lycan Reece might not be part of our pack but he didn't hesitate to help us when we needed him. I hope that you'll treat him with the same respect you give to our past betas."
"From now on, we won't accept rogues into our pack. Kill all rogues who would pass our borders." The pack remained silent at his decree.
"All of the rogues whom we accepted into our pack before, I command you to go in front."
All previous rogues that were accepted in our pack went in front. There were about 30 of them. There were men, women, children, and the elderly.
"Bring all those in front to the dungeons and kill them slowly with wolfsbane!" Alpha Damien ordered and the guards took hold of them.
They shouted for help and mercy and struggled to their holds. The children were crying and the men were trying their best to protect their family.
"Alpha, have mercy on us!"
"Please, spare the children!"
"Don't kill us! Just let us go!"
We all watched in horror as the Lycans who were temporarily placed as pack guards pushed them outside the packhouse and led them to the dungeon.
No one dared to stop the alpha and help those werewolves from the fate that awaits them because deep inside, even how cruel it was, they wanted to kill all the rogues because of what happened. They don't care if it was a child or an infant. All rogues deserve death.
And then, as if nothing had happened or nothing was going to happen to those who were dragged away. The Alpha spoke again, "Lastly, the most important announcement I wish to say is that there's a traitor in our midst." The crowd gasped at the revelation.
They couldn't believe that someone would betray our pack.
"Who is it? Tell us, so we can kill him with our own hands." Someone in the crowd shouted and everyone shouted in agreement.
"Our pack took her as our own and we treated her with the utmost respect, but she betrayed us and even took away our beta, his mate, and our luna. She even made our pack an object of ridicule. She ruined our pack and had it from the brink of destruction. Killing her would only be a sign of mercy, don't you all agree?"
Everyone thought that the alpha is talking about one of the rogues that our pack took in. Everyone was imagining different kinds of punishment that they can give to whoever she is. They wanted to torture her, kill her and chop his body into little pieces and feed it to the dogs.
"Tell us Alpha, and we will make her regret the decision she made," the same man shouted again.
The crowd is sneering and shouting in anger. They badly want to know who it was.
"It was Mira Savera," Alpha Damien answered.
"Is he joking? How could a girl possibly betray us."
"That's ridiculous, Mira can't even hurt a fly."
"How could that girl talk to rogues and more importantly, why would the rogues trust her."
The crowd whispered to themselves. They were all confused.
"I will never betray our pack Alpha. I couldn't do that!" I shouted so he could hear me at the front.
"Alpha, there's no way Mira could possibly do this. Besides, you told us that we took in that person. How can we possibly accept Mira to the pack when she's already accepted by law, since she's the daughter of our beta." The crowd questioned.
Alpha Damien went down and sauntered towards me, "Because, she wasn't his real daughter. She was adopted."
Today I’ll be reviewing Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone. I went into this anticipating a gothic novel, but there wasn’t much that made me like this book. I’ll be discussing why I didn’t like this book in this post.
About the Book
Title: Lakesedge • By: Lyndall Clipstone
Published on: 12 Oct 2021 • By: Titan Books
Pace: Fast • Pages:400 • Age: 15+
Series: World at the Lake’s Edge…
Description: To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.
Representation: Sam is Pakistani and a trans boy and Miel (his love interest and other main character) is Hispanic.
Genre: Fantasy, YA
TW(s): Transphobia, abuse, death of a parent
An excerpt from the book I’m currently working on!
“I was wondering how you’re doing.”
I took a moment to consider what to say next. This had come pretty far out of left field, and so rarely was I asked- I didn’t want to waste the opportunity to share my feelings with Peter. “Well… All of this stuff notwithstanding… I would say I’m doing alright.” So much for sharing.
He frowned. “Alright?”
“I’m eating, I’m sleeping. I’m waking up and going about my days without terrible difficulty. I’m alright.”
“You seem anxious- just about all the time. Is there any way that I contribute to that?”
He stared me down with his doughy eyes. This was bizarre. Was this his way of expressing concern? It was so formal. I tried to roll with it. “Yes, to be honest. I worry about you a lot. And for good reason, I should like to think.”
He nodded and took a somber lick from his strawberry cone, catching some drips that were melting down the side. “I’m sorry, Ira. I wish I could do something to alleviate that anxiety, but my immediate response would be to tell you to stop caring about me so much, which I understand to be something you won’t be willing or able to do.”
“You’re damn right on that,” I said.
“Right. I’m not used to it. I don’t really understand your unwavering affinity for me.”
I felt blood rising to my cheeks at this. “Do you want me to explain?”
His face betrayed him, his lips pursing as though he’d eaten something sour. He stared at the table, trying to hide a smile. “No, please.” After a pause, he added, “I think that would be difficult for me to hear.”
“All the better- it might be equally difficult for me to express,” I admitted.
“And anyway, I sell myself a bit short there. I think I can understand it to an extent.”
“And to what extent might that be?” I took a bite out of my mint chocolate chip.
He looked perplexed at the action, but shook his head and moved on. “I feel similarly towards you. In the... affinity… area of expertise.”
We sat there in constipated silence now, chomping and licking respectively.
“Cool,” I said, about thirty seconds later.
“Cool indeed,” came his terse reply.
“Anyway.” I bit the bottom of my cone now, letting the melted ice cream drip down into my mouth. “I’ll try to stop worrying. It’s just.. I trust you to do a lot of things. And take care of yourself is not necessarily one of them. I want you to be well and prioritize your happiness.”
A little while ago I made a post about Alice in Wonderland retellings and made a little ranking of them. This was one of the books I read for that!
Plot 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Alice led a normal life until the night her father died. Drawn to her negative feelings, she was attacked by Nightmare. A year later, Alice knows all about the dream world of Wonderland and, as a Dreamwalker, she kills Nightmares and purges them. However, when her friend and mentor Addison Hatta is poisoned, Alice must venture deeper into Wonderland than ever before for a cure.
While I liked the little references, this book isn't really an Alice in Wonderland retelling. It took some names and then repurposed them. The only thing that even slightly resembles the original story of Alice is the first human that entered Wonderland, but that's given hardly any attention, just an explanation of the villain's backstory. I think this story, while a little cliche at some points, could easily stand on its own as an original fantasy novel; it did not need the Alice connection.
Like I said, the plot is a little cliche. It's probably going to be easy to predict where it goes. It's also a bit slow to get into things; the plot doesn't pick up until around a third of the way through the book. I did like that instead of being completely fantasy-problem focused, it brought in issues from the real world and how that affects the fantasy world. The big thing is that a black, teenage girl, just like Alice, was recently shot by the police, and the paranoia from that is amping up the Nightmares while simultaneously making it harder for Alice to sneak away since her mom is always worried about her. It made sense, and it brought in a bit of reality (even if it's pretty grim) to the story, adding reasonable conflict.
I liked the worldbuilding, but I kept searching for hints to the original Wonderland, which are pretty much nowhere to be found except in character names. Once again, I think I would've preferred this as an original fantasy story.
Characters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
As just a general character, I like Alice, but her development is kind of lacking. That might be because this is the first in a trilogy, but while her relationships develop a little, she herself stays pretty stagnant. Speaking of relationships, my favorite was between her and her mom; I really hope they mend their relationship by the end. In terms of romance, Alice has tension with both her mentor, Hatta, and one of her normal friends, Chess.
Hatta himself is kind of MIA through most of the book, being poisoned and all, so it was hard to get a handle on his character. To be completely honest, I still don't fully trust him.
Alice's friends Court and Chess (short for Courtney and Chester despite being some of the most Wonderland-sounding names in the world), gave me mixed feelings. I found myself just generally annoyed with Court, and Chess seems way too good to be true. Years of reading books filled with betrayal has ruined me.
The last character I want to talk about is Maddie. Maddie is a Poet, a Wonderland wizard that casts magic through language. She's very powerful, so she speaks in incomprehensible riddles most of the time. I hate to say this, but although I liked her character, she feels way too similar to another character I know and love. Madeline Hatter from the kid's TV show, Ever After High, who is also nicknamed Maddie, also talks nonsense, and is the daughter of the Mad Hatter. I don't know, it felt too close for me.
Writing Style 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
I think the writing style is pretty good. Alice has a very distinct voice, and I loved that the chapters had actual titles. My only issue is that Alice kept almost cursing then shortening or censoring herself, which felt very out of tune with her typical-teenage-girl persona. I understand that it's a YA book, but the weird almost-cursing threw me off. Beyond that, the way Alice "speaks" as a narrator fits well with her character.
Overall 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
This was an average YA book. To be fair, this is a debut book, and in that context, it's pretty good. The plot, while a little cliche and slow in the beginning, picks up and eventually drew me in. The characters have an interesting set-up for the later books, and it has a nice cliffhanger. The thing is, I love Alice in Wonderland retellings, and this is not one. The only similarity I can find are names, and some of those names don't even correspond to their original character. I probably would've enjoyed this a lot more if I hadn't been waiting for the connection to the original book the entire time. Give this book a try for a fun, interesting YA debut fantasy, but don't pick it up if you're looking for a retelling.
L. L. McKinney: American, started #PublishingPaidMe on Twitter, also wrote Nubia and contributed to A Phoenix First Must Burn
My name is Wonderose; I try to post a review every two weeks, sometimes once a week, usually over vacations. I take recommendations! Check out my about me post for more!
I mean, I love it when I know what to give but that’s rarely the case.
Thankfully, in fiction, character’s will like what we tell them to like. But a powerful gift within the narrative requieres a bit more than for the character to like it. So here’s a couple of ideas to help:
1.- Make it something useful. Show your character having a recurring problem, preferably something unimportant, something trivial. Don’t show them complaining, show their frustration through smaller details such as them taking a deep breath, rubbing their nose or pausing for just a second mid-task.
This shows two important details on part of the gift giver: them paying attention to notice the problem and them finding a solution.
Attentiveness plus problem solving. Meaningful no matter how minor.
2.- Make it something they like, but something they’ve bought up only passingly before. If it’s something they love and go on about, anybody could get the right gift. Make it a small detail, maybe they’re at a farm in an early chapter and the receiver mentions their favourite animal, towards the end of the book the gift givers gets a plush, a figurine or a necklace with the animal.
Same as before, attentiveness. Just make sure it doesn’t happen too soon, if the information is still fresh the reader will be like: “Well, you literally just bought that up to make this gift meaningful.” And they might be right, but give them time to forget and then be reminded and it’s like: “Oh! They remembered!”
I did a whole post dedicated to giving time for things to sit, it’s a thing.
3.- Make it hard. Hard to find. If they make it themselves, hard to make. Maybe they need to get the materials, hard to collect materials for? You ever heard of the McGuffin trope? Some people say it’s bad writing, personally, I believe it depends. But it’s the idea that the item doesn’t matter, it’s just an excuse for the actions to get it. Look at the gift like a McGuffin. But if you want it to be more meaningful, combine it with one of the previous points.
4.- Maybe the gift isn’t the important part, maybe it’s the way it’s wrapped, with her favourite colour wrapping paper, maybe it’s the hand written note with a desperate attempt at cursive because, “You’re hand writing is so pretty, I thought it must matter to you.” Perhaps it a hand-made card that goes with it. Perhaps they’re separated for a mission but the gift givers sneaks away and risks a lot to get the gift to the receiver despite it all. (This could also end in a big argument but that’s up to you).
Remember sometimes the point of a gift isn’t the gift but the situation surrounding it.
5.- Make it something important to the gift giver. This is a pretty common trope but when properly established it still gets me every time. This is the whole, “Here, take my dead mother’s necklace.” “But it means so much to you!” “But I’d rather you have it!” Trope. I’m a sucker for it.
Also, it doesn’t always have to come from the gifter. I have a scene way later on in my series where the love interest actually gives my main character something (not going to say what, that would be a spoiler) that he got from her father that once belonged ot her mother. It’s similar because the father gives it up so she can have it, but then it comes from the love interest. I’m not sure if this makes sense without context but obviously I don’t want to spoil like, final book scenes. But the idea is, there can be other characters involved in this, other than the two giver and receiver.
6.- Maybe it isn’t important, maybe it isn’t meaningful, maybe it become so over time. I have plenty of stupid bits of plastic that were given to me on a night out as a joke in between laughters, perhaps a baby Shark kinder egg or a pretty plastic ring. But then instead of getting rid of it, I put it away. I look back at it and smile remembering those nights. Something can be meaningless in the moment, but become meaningful just for staying around long enough.
Extra points if the grifter dies or otherwise leaves.
And those are my 6 tips. You can combine as you wish. Also, I used a love interest in one example, but anybody can give anybody a gift! I give gifts to my roommates, friends and family. And it’s just as important to work on the relationships that aren’t romantic as it is the romantic ones. (Unless you’re writing a romance I guess, but I only do fantasy, usually YA so, can’t really comment on that).
As usual, check out my book, stories I’ve written plus other social medias: here.
So, with christmas coming up, how’s your gift buying going? I knows it’s not that soon, but I have exams in November so I try to start really early. I have a special box where I just put things in.
EXTRA NOTE: I know, I know, I’ve been missing for a while. I’ve got one month at university and as always, exams, homework, chaos everywhere! I promise I’m still around, I promise I’ve got 18 drafts plus several lists of ideas. As soon as I have time I’ll get back into posting more often. I just have to prioritize school, work, paying for food and those good boring stuff!
Also, I’ll be putting my ebook on sale sometime this December for Christmas! So, you know, if you want a gift idea for someone who likes reading YA Fantasy with dragons, look out for that!