John Scritchfield spends his days wrangling three future readers and his nights wearing costumes and pretending to hit people with blunt weaponry. There is very little money it. He holds an MFA in Acting, which he puts to use by teaching at a Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan and as the Creative Director for the Calvin Theatre Company. In his free time, he enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, reading, writing, and spending time with his wife, three children, and two cats (Jasnah and Vin). Oh, he's also the new Booknest Admin.
How many other authors set out to write a novella and accidentally write a novel? To be perfectly honest, I don’t know of many. I do know a former professor of mine who once received a master’s degree he didn’t know he was working toward if that counts, but I don’t think it does. In any case, this was the case with Brandon Sanderson’s Dawnshard, the second Stormlight Archive “novella.” Written as part of BranSan’s kickstarter for the leatherbound Way of Kings, Dawnshard was originally supposed to be about the same length as Edgedancer but ended up over 56,000 words (double what it was intended to be). While this is short for a SFF novel, it is technically long enough to be considered a novel.
As I believe I have mentioned in previous reviews, I have greatly struggled this year to actually sit down and read a physical book. My last six reviews, I believe, have all been audio books. It is therefore with sincere happiness I can tell you about Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi, the first physical book I have managed to read in its entirety since February.
Piranesi tells the story of a lone man’s life in an otherworldly house comprised of labyrinthine corridors, populated by stunning statues, and filled with a boundless ocean. His lone companion, apart from a wide variety of birds and fish, is the Other, a mysterious man who seeks Piranesi’s aid in discovering A Great and Secret Knowledge within the House. But in search of this secret knowledge, Piranesi uncovers a far more sinister truth than he could have possible imagined. What follows is a tale comparable to likes of Carroll, Lewis, or L’Engle.
Mister Monday is the first installment in Garth Nix’s series The Keys to the Kingdom and is one of my favorite childhood reads. The story follows young Arthur Penhaligon in his quest to solve the mystery revolving around an enigmatic House only he can see and the strange denizens dwelling within.