Friday, July 10, 2015

Review and Author Interview! Welcome H.L. Burke

I'm so excited to have you on my blog today! I loved your book. I'm wondering what brought you to this place in your life, why do you write fantasy? Take it away H.L.!

Why Fantasy?
“Mom, are mermaids real?”
I have the hardest time answering questions like this. I don't like to give my daughter a hard no but I also don't like to deceive her. I wish she'd just accept fantasy at face value for a bit longer, let her imagination win, but Coryn is one of those kids who wants to know the truth. 
But dang it, I haven't explored every inch of the ocean! For all I know there COULD be mermaids. What if there are mermaids? 
So I usually end up with, “Well, I've never seen a mermaid . . .”
I think that's why I love fantasy. It's about the impossible or in the very least the improbable, but by taking away the hard and fast lines of reality, it opens up a far bigger world of possibilities. Anything could happen. 
It's easy in the modern world to assume we know everything, that everything has been explored, that there is nothing left to find. However, the truth is, our human knowledge is finite. What lies at the bottom of the ocean? In the furthest reaches of caves? In the deepest jungles? And that's just our earth. What about space? What exactly is out there? 
Fantasy provides a world that is bigger, braver, and more beautiful. It sparks that desire for “something more” that I think was left in us for a reason. Fantasy feeds our natural curiosity. Good fantasy allows us to think about possibilities without straining us into “that's just ridiculous” territory. It makes the improbable seem completely natural. 
So while I don't want my child to be so gullible that she believes in anything, I want her to stay open to the possibility that she doesn't know everything. Also to the reality that she can't possibly know everything. That even if she read every book and discerned every truth known to man, there would just be more questions, more doors to open.
And perhaps some of those doors lead to other worlds. Why not?
Perhaps some of those caves have a sleeping dragon.
Perhaps . . . And that's why I write fantasy, and why I always keep one eye open for mermaids.

Thanks so much for stopping by H.L. I'll be on the lookout for mermaids from you in the future. I believe I heard a rumor that you were submerged in something along those lines.

My review is as follows from H.L.'s book, Lands of Ash. Check it out here!

I came into this book not sure what kind of book I was getting. I'm not sure what I expected, but it surpassed my expectations. The writing flowed beautifully, the world building was dynamic without being too over the top confusing, and the characters were individual and wonderfully complicated. Elements about it reminded me of the Mistborn trilogy by Sanderson.

The plot begins with the end of the world and then shows what happens after that to the people who saved it. Is that a spoiler? H.L. Burke built a rich tapestry that had wonderful layers of development.

My favorite character, Smoke. I LOVE him. He's wise and witty and good but relatable. I love the name.

I love the different abilities the different types of people have, the empaths (Those who can sense and soothe the emotions of those around them) and the sypaths (which are like emotional/energetic vampires). I loved the fight scenes against the fire monster people where the sympath sucked the energy out of the fire monsters and gave it to the good guys making them superhuman with their ice blade weapons. That was super awesome and very well written. I was never left scratching my head uncertain what was going on.

All in all, I'm left on the edge of my seat, looking forward to the next in the series. This prolific writer cannot write fast enough.

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