The Girl Who Could Unite Them All, Part One

It all started on the morning of the Awakening.

Vali woke up from a restless sleep, remembering what day it was. The Awakening! She would either have water powers or fire powers, along with a new hair color, at the end of this day.

The ache in her hands that had been there since she was ten, which her father believed to be a sign of powers wishing to be Awakened, seemed to be worse than it was last night, as if they knew they would be released this very day.

The tradition for Awakenings was to wear the color of the power you thought you would get. Vali opened her closet, pondering what color she should wear: red or blue? She finally decided on red, knowing that her father wouldn’t be pleased for her to wear the color of her mother’s powers.

She wondered about her mother, whom she hadn’t seen since she was two. Vali didn’t really remembered her, and her whole life there had been a hole in her heart where a mother belonged. Where was she? Was she alive? Did she know that her own daughter was going to the Awakening today?

Vali pulled out a frilly red dress that reminded her of a rose. She pulled it over her head and brushed her teeth and hair.

Vali jumped to her door. It opened with a long creaking sound. “Good morning, Valerine,” her father called from the kitchen.

Vali entered the kitchen. Her father was sipping a cup of jasmine tea. “Are you ready to go to your Awakening?” he asked Vali, turning and looking at her. His intelligent golden eyes smiled.

“Oh, yes. I’m so excited!” Vali exclaimed. She held up a lock of her jet-black hair. “Can you believe that my hair will be red or blue by the end of this day?”

“Quiet down, Valerine,” her father gently scolded, though he still had a shadow of a smile settled on his angular features.

“Sorry,” Vali whispered. She wondered what she would be: a flame or an aquatic? Her mother had been an aquatic, and her dad was a flame, so there was no telling what she could be.

Vali heated up a pastry in the kitchen. She set it on a plate and joined her father at the table.

Vali started eating, deep in thought about the awakening. She found herself staring at her father’s deep crimson hair. Her hands suddenly burned.

“Ouch!” Vali exclaimed.

“What is it?” her father asked.

“It’s my hands,” she explained. “They really hurt.”

“Interesting,” her father mused. “I guess your powers really want to escape from you.”

“Wow,” Vali breathed. “I guess that means we should go to Diamond Square so we can get to the Awakening soon.”

“I always knew you’d be powerful,” her father whispered, getting a faraway look in his eyes. “I mean . . . good idea,” he said abruptly. “Let’s go.”

Her father slipped his dress shoes on at the front door, looking very dignified in his black suit.

Vali went to the door and quickly pulled on her black flats.

Her father opened up the door for her and they were off, walking down the glittering sidewalk to Diamond Square.

They soon arrived at the square, the gargantuan pavilion (which was more like a stadium because of its titanic size) located in the middle, which Vali marveled at. It was constructed out of shining diamond, hence the name of the square, with silver accents along the bottom and top.

Vali and her father joined the long line of people, dwarves, elves, fairies and dragons heading into the pavilion.

Vali felt another jolt of excitement and a jab of pain in her hands in unison.

As soon as they entered the pavilion, a woman with a clipboard noticed them. “Are you one of the children whose powers are being Awakened?” Vali noted that the woman addressed her and not her father. Vali nodded.

“This way, please,” the woman said, taking a step. “And please seat yourself,” she told Vali’s father.

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Amber & Dusk, by Lyra Selene

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       Amber & Dusk, written by Lyra Selene, is a high fantasy novel that despite following the typical fantasy plot, had some charm to it. It follows Sylvie, a girl who was left orphaned with only a note and a necklace. She works her way to the Coeur d’Or after realizing she is a legacy, where she lives life in the dark and twisted court under the name Mirage, a name given to her because of her ability to make illusions.

This story wasn’t entirely unique, but I enjoyed the detailed court visuals, the individual powers each person possessed, and the scene where she first comes to the Amber City and meets the Empress. Unfortunately, I find myself struggling to remember exactly what happened in this book and what happened in Ash Princess, by Laura Sebastian, because I read them days apart. This isn’t a good sign for the originality of the books, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. One thing I wish the author had done was to add more detail to the story. It was fast-paced, which was great, but if she had added another hundred pages allowing more insight on Mirage’s training and interacting with her friends and love interest, I would have felt more attached to the characters.

The characters were frustrating at times. We didn’t get much detail with the friendship between Lullaby and Mirage, which made the friendship less believable. Mirage is a very frustrating protagonist because she is not only socially dumb, but just generally dumb, emotional, and much too arrogant. She had incredible trouble handling emotional outbursts that Lullaby warned could get her killed, but she never faces any consequences for her outbursts. A lot of Mirage’s dialogue is full of her repeating that it’s her birthright to be in the court and her birthright to rule and make decisions despite lacking any education and experience at her age of 17 or 18. She can’t even read, yet she still doesn’t seem to want the advice of people more experienced with how the court works. I understand the author wanted the character to have flaws, and I wasn’t annoyed at the beginning, I even welcomed the flaws, but when she never seemed to grow out of them, I got annoyed.

There is a slight love triangle, but it gets handled quickly. Mirage first has a romantic interest in one of the boys she traveled with to the Amber City, but once she was in the Coeur d’Or, she started developing feelings for Sunder. My problem with Sunder is that we don’t get to see him nearly as much as we should for the reader to get excited about their romance. The book was so fast-paced that when they finally got together, I was a bit disappointed and I felt it should have been drawn out longer. Sunder’s sister is a character we don’t get to see much of, but I feel like she might have more time to be developed in the second book (I hope Mirage will too).

The imagery was decent, and I got a great sense of what everything looked like – but nothing much beyond that. I hope that in the next book Selene decides to explore more areas of the world and the cultures out there. A pretty map at the beginning of the book would be awesome! there were some sexuality and race diversity, which was good. Selene’s writing is very beautiful and quotable, almost to the point of trying too hard. This sort of took me out of the story as I imagined the phrases on calligraphed bookmarks. This isn’t a bad thing if you like this style of writing; it reminds me a little of Sarah J. Maas’, which does make me cringe at times. There were times that the writing really helped bring emotion out of the reader, which I loved.

Overall, this was a decent book. I will be continuing the series to hopefully see more depth added to both the characters and the world. I rate this 6/10 dragons.

Broken Wings Still Fly

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I am clumsy yet beautiful

A firefly flying high in the sky

Only visible in the void of the night

When people dare to admire my light

But, no one can shine the brightest

My left wing is bent, broken and bruised

Curved to the ground where the people shine too

In their own strange, greedy ways

Screens light up their faces

Day through night

Night through day

A box of wires blocking them from the meadows beneath their feet

I slowly sink lower, my eyes seeking the stars

Like drowning in quicksand

A frayed rope just inches away

I gave one last grasp towards the sky

Hopelessly falling into the dreaded fate of the norm

But she sees me and my fading green beam

Her soft hands catch me

And hold me close to her face

Electric blue eyes glimmering at me

Holding a world of her own

Her light

Lighting up mine

We hold that simple moment for a while

Our curiosity growing

And in that fragment of the universe

I then realize

Maybe I don’t need to be somewhere to be free

I need the spirit, the drive

The joy of having a light to be seen

The gratefulness to be given a chance to fly

And the trust to come back down and find my peace

Dear Past,

blue-sky-bright-clouds-125457Dear Past,

The day you left, the present came

Bought along with a brand new smile, and a brand new face

Don’t know why don’t know how

But this present will overshadow you

Dear Past,

I watched your things being packed away with a smile

Not wanting a piece of you,

To remind me of your horror

I know this present has bought me more

More, that I’ve asked for before

But, I still thank you,

For setting me on a beautiful path,

That I have never dreamed of

Tonight, the happiness is celebrated

With lots of lively laughter

Because, what I have wished for,

Has come to be true

And this present is onto something…

A lead to a beautiful future

Reboot- Book Review

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The book “Reboot” by Amy Tintera was an action-packed thriller focused on a destroyed world. When more than half of the world’s population is killed off by the KHD virus, people began rising from the dead. They were faster, stronger, better. Depending on how long they were dead before rising determines how much human was left in them. Wren, dead 178 minutes, wasn’t human, not anymore. She had no emotion, no fear, and she healed within minutes of injury. Wren was the most intimidating reboot in the facility. She had the highest number ever recorded and she was feared. Even as a short blond girl, she was the best. The reboots were controlled by a powerful company, HARC, and used to do their dirty work. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a dangerous love story and who doesn’t squirm at the mention of blood. This book kept me interested the entire time while not being too confusing. Reboot had well developed characters and an amazing plot. Amy Tintera really painted a picture in my head while I read. This book opened my eyes to another world where I could imagine the characters running through the broken streets with bullets tearing through their bodies. I would recommend this book to developed readers and rate it 10/10.

I am Annalia: Part Eight

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I gradually opened my eyes, a blur of a very light yellow right up in my face. Something cold was gently resting on my left hand. I blinked a few more times, but I still couldn’t focus my vision. Glasses. I remembered. “Annalia?” I heard someone softly whisper.

“T-Tessa?” I weakly guessed.

“Yes…yes it’s me, Tessa,” I tilted my head slightly towards her. “Oh! Your glasses.” I watched as Tessa put on my glasses and I could finally see her. Her light brown hair was up in two braided space buns, with one stand of hair left loose on each side. She was no longer in her clothes from earth also. She wore a flowy light cream shirt with the shoulders cut off and the sleeves gradually growing larger until they hung off of her wrists.

“What…what happened? Where…”

“Wait, do you remember what happened?”

“Yeah, I just…wanted t-to make sure.”

“Okay, save your breath, you’re still weak. Anyway, I’ll explain what happened since I don’t know how much you know. While I was away getting Liku, you supposedly disobeyed me and didn’t stay put,” I wanted to object, but there was no point. “So, when I came back with Liku, I didn’t see you anywhere, so I called for you. Then Liku said he heard a very faint whisper from you?” I nodded. “Okay, cool. Liku searched through the woods for where he heard you and I followed after him. We found you lying on the ground next to one of the trees. Liku opened your eyes and saw your irises were slightly greenish-yellow, so we knew you were attacked by a Normwhaug. But-”

“The trees…are they magic?”

Tessa looked at me weirdly. Seemed like everyone was doing that today. “How so?”

“When…I was attacked, my hand on the tree…deduced the pain, and was helping to keep me alive,”

“They can do that, but not very often. Only if your hand is firmly grasped on it and it senses you’re in danger,” I nodded. “Okay. Anyway, I…got upset since I assumed you were dead. No one has survived a Normwhaug attack before until now. I held you in my arms while Liku looked around for where the Normwhaug went. That’s when I felt the slightest pulse from you. You weren’t dead, Annalia. Do you know how amazing that is?” Tessa gave a quick, relieved laugh and held my hand.

“Tessa.” She looked up at me. “You know I killed it, right?” The color drained from Tessa’s face as shock and graveness washed over it.

“You…you-you…killed it?” I nodded. “It’s true. A fear stronger than itself…”

“Huh?”

“I’ll have to have the council explain. But, let me finish the story, I’m almost done-”

“Wait, Liku. Was he in human or dragon form?” Tessa looked even more shocked.

“Human…but…but how did you know…” Tessa grabbed my other arm and looked at the inside of my wrist. There was surprisingly a tattoo there: a large black teardrop with a smaller one inside. “The blessing of Rohtaan,” She muttered bitterly. “Of course.”

“What’s wrong?” Tessa looked down at her lap silently.

“I…it’s a fragile subject.” Tessa fiddled with her fingers. I tilted my head towards the ceiling, now seeing that there were daisies literally growing from it, dangling over me.

“Did…did he lead you into a dark room with red mist?” she asked kindly and sadly at the same time.

“Yeah,”

“Makes sense…Moving on, Liku shifted into dragon form and brought us here, the Court Palace. Here lives Viallanne and the council, rather than her having the castle and power to herself. We brought you here, the recovery room, and just…waited. The council has been talking for days about you. Now that I know you didn’t merely survive the Normwhaug, this will definitely prove Viallanne’s point of human’s purpose here. I mean, I haven’t been included in the meetings, but Liku has caught me up on it. Now that I think about it, they didn’t include me in the meeting when they specifically chose you…I was just whisked back to earth after receiving the message about it from Liku… Anyway, now, finally, after three long days-” I whipped my head at Tessa.

Three?

“Uh huh,”

Days?!”

“Yes. Well, sort of. Time is kinda weird here compared to earth. While three days have passed here in Azudacluke, only three hours have passed on earth.”

“Oh.” I adjusted my glasses. “I’m not sure if that makes me feel better or worse.” After a moment of silence, there was a soft knock on the door.

“Come in,” Tessa replied. The door quietly cracked open. A shiny, emerald green eye on a pale face peeked through. The eye scanned the room and quickly widened once it noticed me. The opened all the way to reveal a some-what tall young man, around twenty-one-years-old I’d guess. His hair was shaggy and furry but somehow slightly spiked up so it wouldn’t touch his forehead. That’s when his features got weird. His hair was a mixture of blue and purple, shining with stars in it. His skin was pretty pale with patches of fur the same style as his hair in random spots on his body. He wore a black t-shirt, neon blue galaxy jeans, and surprisingly, white Converse. Tessa probably got him those, that’s my guess at least.

“She’s awake,” He said, looking at Tessa. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“She just got up a few minutes ago so I was explaining what happened to her,” Tessa replied.

“Is this Liku?” I whispered to Tessa. She nodded in reply. “Liku, uh…thanks for helping to save me,”

“Oh uh,” Liku scratched the back of his head. “It was no problem, really,”

“Thanks anyway,”

“Hey,” Tessa began as she examined my face. “Are you up to walking at all? Because I should probably tell the council soon, I’ve heard they want to talk to you, especially since out of everyone in the council, only Liku has seen you so far,”

“Uh…I’m not sure.” I swung my feet over the side of the bed and shakily stood up. I immediately grabbed for Tessa, just in case my legs would collapse. What? I didn’t know the side effects to killing a Normwhaug! My legs were a bit shaky and my head somewhat hurt, but that was about it.

“Okay, I’ll have someone bring an extra chair to the council,” Tessa said.

“No, really, I’m fi-”

“Just in case.” Tessa sat me back down on the bed, and quite frankly, I was glad.

“Are you sure about this?” Liku asked. His face was extremely pale now, and I thought it was pale before.

“Why? What’s wrong?”

Liku sighed a shaky breath and paused. “I screwed up, Tessa-” Liku glanced at me worriedly. “really bad.

Behind the Paper: Part Nine

Slowly, I started to walk to the car. I have never been this scared before. What have I gotten myself into?

The guy lowers the window, and yells, “Are you going to stay there, or are you going to get in?”

No no no no.. This isn’t happening! I recognize that voice! It belongs to.. Jacob Rod!

I quickly try to cover my face with my hands as I run to the car. Having to open the doors with my hand, I turn my head around so Jacob can’t see me. As I sit in the shotgun seat, I turned my head to face the window.

“Hi?” Jacob says with confusion in his voice.

I was about to say hi and thanks, but then I realized he could probably recognize my voice.

“….”

“So you can’t talk?” Jacob says,” I shouldn’t have agreed to this..” Jacob looks at me. I realized I am still wearing my work clothes.

“MOLLY?!”

I turn my head and make a fake smile, “Hi Jacob.”

“Oh my god. So now I have to deal with you at work and at home!?” Jacob angrily states as he starts driving the car to his house.

“Thank you,” is all I could say. As much as I hate Jacob, I have no choice. I really do not want to go back to Darry.

Suddenly, my phone rings.

“Is that yours?” Jacob asks.

“Yeah,” I look at the caller id. Oh so now Darry is calling me?

“Are you going to pick it up?!” Jacob asks, annoyed at the ringing noise.

“No.” I turned my head to look out the window again and noticed it started raining.