Photos and Words: A Blank Page

– ‘What should I write about?’ She mused, hesitating to let her pen leave its inky trail across such crisp, untouched perfection that was the beauty of a blank page.
‘Everything, anything and nothing all at once,’ the teacher replied, ‘the most important task is that you write.’ –

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Photos and Words: They Say it’s a Place on Earth

– ‘This must be what Heaven looks like,’ She said, gazing up at the treetops with joy in her eyes. The only sounds were that of birdsong and the gentle beating of her heart as she entwined her fingers with his, snuggling closer to his chest.
‘Yes,’ he whispered as he drank in the beauty of her smile and the soul he carried so much love for, ‘it must be’. –

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Photos and Words: Pages of the Past

 – ‘She lived for pages that wove the past into the very fabric of her dreams, devouring their stories one by one as times long gone by became more familiar than her own.’ –
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Photos and Words: Crossing the Bridge

– ‘ ‘You must let go of my hand and run back to mummy,’ I said. My voice was intentionally light despite the heaviness setting in my heart as five little fingers began to uncurl from my own. Then they hesitated, ‘But what about you grandpa?’
My knees creaked as I bent low to face those inquisitive crystal blue eyes my own daughter had sported as a small girl. They scrutinised me in the same way hers had when I broke the news that our beloved Lab had ‘went to the farm’.
‘Grandma needs me, I’m going to be with her now. You look after mummy and be a good girl.’ With a tussle of her hair, she nodded and skipped off into awakeness.
Taking a deep, steadying breath, I savoured the scenery around myself one more time and felt the twinge of fear succumb to a seedling of excitement.The old man crossing the bridge was welcomed into the sunshine and in that moment, all those close to him knew a life well lived had passed.’ –

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Review: Fool Moon (Dresden Files #2) by Jim Butcher

Fool Moon
Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brilliantly witty and entertaining, Fool Moon was an excellent step-up in the Dresden Files series from its anti-climactic first book, Storm Front.

The Dresden Files series was recommended to me by a history lecturer I have the utmost respect and admiration for so when I ploughed through the first book in the series, Storm Front, I was incredibly confused and disappointed. However, Fool Moon has managed to completely turn that around as the initially misogynistic, highly unlikeable, arrogant character that is the wizard Harry Dresden, has turned into quite a well-developed and sound guy. I’m not sure at what point this transformation happened but it made this book so much more enjoyable than its predecessor!
Another giant improvement in this book is its plot – it was sufficiently intriguing, action packed and mysterious for a detective novel and though it could be worked out quite quickly, the action alone was enough to keep the reader hanging on to see what would be around the corner. However, this was a double-edged sword as the intensely packed action scenes began to grow tiresome towards the end and it felt like the author was being stretched to fill a word count by adding more and more instead of leaving it well alone while the going was good.

As a standalone book, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the plot very much given how action-saturation it was but again, in view of the progress of the series, it was a refreshing break away from the lengthy description and background information doled out in Storm Front.

The characters in this are all much more developed (and realistic!) than they were in Storm Front, Butcher was careful this time around to add quirky little details which livened up the plot and gave the action scenes a nice emotional boost.
The world-building was also much better, in part because it actually told us information as and when Harry learned it himself rather than him dropping in the piece that solves the puzzle as a conveniently forgotten magical-world afterthought.

Something I enjoyed in Storm Front cropped up again in Fool Moon but this time, instead of turning the book around, it was incredibly frustrating. The action scenes already stretch the imagination to its limit by involving an array of creatures from the Nevernever (that’s the magical world) described with Harry Dresden’s colourful imagery but they begin to happen so often in this book that it’s difficult to pay attention to them or to keep up with Harry’s latest injuries. This gets to the point where the action scenes begin to lose all of their momentum because the amount of suspense building them up just can’t compensate for them getting devalued by sheer quantity. It was a real shame to see my favourite aspect from the last book being overused and ruining its impact in the follow on, I hope the balanced gets worked out as I read the third book in the series, Grave Peril.

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Photos & Words: Madness in the Woods

– ‘Deep in the woods the girl wandered, her curiousity making the air shimmer and glow around her. As the shackles of self-doubt loosened on her mind, her imagination revealed a door lying in wait for her arrival. Something beyond it called to her softly and she followed, drawn to its spell.

They say that when the girl returned to the village some years later her senses had all but left her. No child ever went near the woods again.’ –

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