Monday, February 23, 2015

Kickstarter Day 7 (22 days left): Sawatch panorama and a disturbing YA trilogy

Yesterday the Kickstarter for The Labyrinth of Flame passed $5K.  This morning there's only $831 to go to reach the short story stretch goal, hooray!  I continue to be amazed and so, so thankful for everyone's support and enthusiasm.  I've got a bunch of stuff going on this week, including an AMA on r/Fantasy tomorrow (Tues) and a guest post on Fantasy Book Cafe, so I'm going to keep this post short.  Today's mountain pic is a view of the Sawatch Range in central Colorado, taken while I was climbing 14,067 ft. Missouri Mountain as part of doing three 14ers in a day, which was a heck of a hike

View of the Sawatch mountains from the ridge to Missouri Mountain's summit
In keeping with the "triple threat" theme, for today's book rec I chose Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking trilogy, which I read in omnibus form during my recent trip to Australia. 

 People who don't read much YA often have the misconception that YA novels have to be lighter in tone than adult novels, or deal with less difficult themes.  NO.  So not true. Ness's trilogy deals with war and prejudice and torture and collusion and examines in depth the question of how good people can slowly slide into doing terrible things.  All this is wrapped in a really fascinating take on the old science fictional standby of telepathy.  I can't talk too much about this without spoilers, but suffice it to say that when the book opens, we're in the head of a boy named Todd, the youngest of his village, where all the women are dead and every living thing constantly broadcasts their thoughts and emotions.  Todd thinks he knows the history of his village; he's wrong.  The first book deals with his journey out of innocence.  The second book is darker yet, so dark it is at times difficult to read.  The third book attempts to wrestle with issues of colonization, and here I feel the story gets away from Ness; but not to the point it stops me from recommending the trilogy as a whole.  My brother Matt Hilliard wrote an in-depth analysis of the trilogy that makes for great reading once you've finished the books. 

4 comments:

  1. Aha, Mountains that I have seen this time...but never from as high as you did!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean, "NOT YET from as high as you did." :) One day you should come in the summer and try Elbert (Colorado's highest) - it's not that hard of a hike.

      Delete
  2. Wow. I'd be lucky if I could do three 14ers in a year. Not for want of enthusiasm, just for want of 14ers.

    And speaking of that trip, whose dog is that with you? And how do dogs take to the high altitudes? I can imagine them frolicking about and sniffing everything, but it's got to amaze them in that they've never seen views like that before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The dog belongs to the hiker in the picture, who actually turned out to be a fellow member of 14ers.com - we had great chat on the way back down. Plenty of people take dogs on 14ers, though just like people, the dogs need to get fit first and toughen up their feet. Some dogs have even completed all 54 14ers along with their human owners, though that happens more often with smaller dogs that can fit in a pack for the 4th class sections on some of the more difficult peaks. I know a couple climbers here who even haul their (smaller) dogs up all their technical alpine climbs.

      Delete