The last month has been all about teams. I've been reading the Infernal Devices and watching the European Championships. It's been dramatastic.
Beautiful young men, running around trying to save the day, while gorgeous girls watch them with bated breath and vicious villains hack them to the ground. Crowds of remorseless enemies attacking like robots and success and failure balanced on a knife edge.
And then there's the Infernal Devices, Clockwork Prince, one of the best books I've read in a really long time. The breadth of characterisation and the complexity of the plot is breathtaking. The romance becomes perfectly complicated, and the mysterious ambitions of the Magister become ever more twisted. The setting is fantastic, Victorian London and Yorkshire and there is such attention to detail. There are minor characters - a slightly deranged old Yorkshireman, and a gloomy Irish kitchen maid who are beautifully drawn and much more than walk on parts.
My one problem with the book is that the reason Will Herondale is like, well, like Will Herondale, is revealed and for me it didn't quite work. It requires the reader to believe that a series of quite odd actions and convictions are possible, and more than that, they can continue for years with nobody finding out about them. I'm sorry if this sounds a bit cryptic, but I don't want to give anything away. if you've read the book, you'll know what I mean.
Returning to my original point, The Infernal Devices divides its readers into teams. Team Will, or Team Jem, while the book itself is jammed with teams, there's the Magister crowd, there are the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders - themselves split between the Lightwoods and the Institute crowd, and werewolves and vampires. And they all play against each other.
Which of course, the footballers don't, they face off one at a time. The Greeks and the Germans in an occasion crammed with drama, tragedy, a bit of austerity. The English and the Ukrainians, mistake fuelled and cagey. Every night ends in tears. Fat, shirtless men wipe their eyes in the stand. Tonight the Spanish and the French. Each occasion is loaded with excitement, but it's only ever a two-way affair.
And this is why the Infernal Devices beats football. It's just more complicated. Though, at the moment I could do with it being much less interesting and the football itself being very dull indeed. I've got , Song to Wake to to release in paperback and as a free eBook in a week's time and Lullaby of Lies to polish. The 3rd Levels book will hopefully - like Clockwork Prince - split readers into Team Eddy and Team Jon.
This was me last week. Really. If you saw this in the movie and thought Steven Spielberg has a fantastic imagination, well you're right, but he didn't invent any of this. Petra is real, and it's completely amazing. You enter it down a winding road through what is essentially a long, narrow crack in the rock.
At the end of the
road-in-the-crack you come to what was once the main square of Petra.
Two Thousand years ago. It’s
really amazing and it’s really real. Who needs Alicante, or The Capitol, when you have this… I've been to a wonder of the world, and it's pretty cool.
As well as seeing Petra, I
was driven around the desert a lot, which is interesting at first, but then all
gets a bit samey. Fortunately I filled the time by finishing off the first
draft of Lullaby of Lies, the third Levels book.
Now I’m rewriting it, as well
as getting ready for the other exciting events this month… I’m going to tell
you about two, now, but watch this space.
Song to Wake to is going to
be released in paperback.
I’ve given it a bit of an
edit (the eBook version as well). The marvellous Oliver Prentice is working on
the cover, and it’s going to hit the shelves of Amazon and hopefully other
places on my birthday, June 30th.
The other thing I’ve done is
started a TUMBLR for Song to Wake to. Essentially, it’s bits of text and
the music or film that goes with them, or maybe even inspired them. Guess which scene THIS marvellous song goes with. Answers on a postcard...
Please go and have a look at all the other bits HERE and tell me what you think. If you've got any suggestions for other clips and bits of text that go together, then pleeeease let me know. Anybody really inspired will probably win a free book, or something.